posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Today's release of the second developer beta of iOS 10 brought a number of tweaks and improvements, and we'll undoubtedly see more as Apple continues through the development and testing process ahead of a full public release likely in September. In addition to the tidbits we listed in our original coverage, we've also put together this overview video to help highlight some of the changes and new features in the second beta. It takes a look at the new Messages App Store with some sticker packs from Apple, changes to the Control Center 3D Touch actions, Apple's new organ donor signup, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For additional details on new features coming in iOS 10, make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup. Also, don't miss out on our previous videos covering the first beta version of iOS 10: - WWDC 2016 Overview in Seven Minutes - iOS 10's Overhauled Lockscreen - The New iOS 10 Photos App - The New iOS 10 Messages App - iOS 10 Hidden Features - iOS 10's Redesigned Apple Music Experience - 3D Touch in iOS 10 - The New Home App for Controlling HomeKit Devices - iOS 10's Revamped News App - Hands-On With Apple's Redesigned Maps App in iOS 10Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
In a wide-ranging commentary piece about why now is a bad time to buy a new iPhone, The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that the iPhone 7 will start with 32GB of storage, replacing the infamous 16GB base tier offered since the iPhone 5.The new iPhones are expected to have more storage for those photos. Instead of 16GB as a starting point for the entry-level iPhone, the new starting point will be 32GB, according to a person familiar with Apple’s iPhone plans. Hallelujah! I’ve long said that keeping the 16GB iPhone was just a ploy for Apple to get people to buy the 64GB model—for $100 extra.The bump from 16GB to 32GB of entry-level storage has already been widely rumored by multiple Asian sources connected with Apple's supply chain, but confirmation from The Wall Street Journal makes the claim much more credible. Two of the three storage options for iPhone 7 will likely be 32GB and 128GB, while multiple sources have said that at least the larger Plus-sized 5.5-inch model will be available with 256GB of storage. It is unclear if the 4.7-inch model will also have a 256GB storage option. The current storage options for both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus include 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB. The Wall Street Journal previously confirmed that the iPhone 7 will have a thinner iPhone 6s-like design with no headphone jack and improved waterproofing. Other rumored features include a faster Apple A10 processor, repositioned antenna bands, faster LTE and Wi-Fi, and camera improvements, possibly including a dual-lens camera (and 3GB of RAM) exclusive to the 5.5-inch model.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: wsj.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of macOS Sierra, the newest operating system designed for the Mac, to developers. macOS Sierra beta 2 comes three weeks after the software was first unveiled at Apple's 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store or through the Apple Developer Center. macOS Sierra is a major update that brings Siri to the Mac for the first time, allowing users to conduct voice searches to quickly find files, look up information, and more. New Continuity features offer an "Auto Unlock" option for unlocking a Mac with an Apple Watch and a Universal Clipboard for copying something on one Apple device and pasting it on another. Deeper iCloud integration makes files stored on the desktop or the Documents folder of a Mac available on all of a user's devices, and Photos features new deep learning algorithms for facial, object, and scene recognition. There's a new Memories feature for displaying photo collections, and Messages has features like rich links, bigger emoji, and "Tapback" response options. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple Pay is coming to the web in macOS Sierra, with payments authenticated through an iPhone or Apple Watch, and new features like multiple tabs, Picture in Picture multitasking, and optimized storage are available. For full details on all of the new features included in macOS Sierra, make sure to check out our macOS Sierra roundup.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 10 to developers for testing purposes, just over three weeks after first unveiling the new operating system at its 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference. Today's update is available as an over-the-air download to those who installed the first beta or the beta configuration profile and it's available for direct download through the Apple Developer Center. The update is accompanied by a new beta of Xcode 8. iOS 10 is a major iOS update with a host of new features and design tweaks, including a new Lock screen experience with 3D Touch-enabled notifications, a more easily accessible camera, a redesigned Control Center, and a new widgets screen. Messages has been entirely overhauled with features that include background animations, bubble effects, Digital Touch, handwritten notes, Tapback replies, predictive emoji, and its own dedicated App Store, and Photos has gained impressive facial and object recognition capabilities along with a Memories feature for rediscovering forgotten moments. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. There's a new Home app and apps like Maps and Apple Music have been redesigned, plus there are hundreds of smaller tweaks and changes in the operating system. iOS 10 is only available to developers at the current time, but Apple plans to introduce a public iOS 10 beta in July before the official fall release of the software. For full details on iOS 10, make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is set to give U.S. users of its mobile Health app a one-tap option to sign up as organ donors when the company releases iOS 10 this fall (via CNBC). The option to enroll in the national donor registry will be made available via a button in the operating system's native Health app, which allows users to view and manage their health and fitness data. Speaking to The Associated Press, CEO Tim Cook said he hoped the new option would help ease a longstanding donor shortage, a problem that hit home when Steve Jobs endured an "excruciating" wait for a liver transplant in March 2009. Cook reportedly offered to donate a portion of his own liver because the two men shared a blood type, but Jobs turned down Cook's offer and later received a full liver transplant. Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in October 2011, aged 56. The U.S government is currently pushing an initiative to speed up the donor and matching service, while Facebook, Google and Twitter are also developing tools to achieve greater automation in the process, as part of their own public advocacy campaigns. According to government statistics, someone is added to the national organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and 22 people die while waiting for life-saving transplants every day. Apart from an interface overhaul for the Health app, iOS 10 includes major updates for Messages, Siri, Photos, Maps, Apple Music, News, Apple Pay, Control Center, and more. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Tag: health and fitness Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Edward Majerczyk, a 28-year-old Chicago man who played a role in the phishing of celebrity iCloud accounts in 2014, has signed a plea agreement and agreed to plead guilty to a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, according to court documents made public on Friday. Majerczyk was charged in a Los Angeles, California district court, but will enter his guilty plea in the Northern District of Illinois. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison. Ryan Collins, a 36-year-old Pennsylvania man who was also involved in the iCloud attack known as "Celebgate," likewise entered into a plea agreement in March with a recommended sentence of 18 months in prison. Between November 2013 and September 2014, Majerczyk and Collins engaged in a phishing scheme to obtain the iCloud and Gmail usernames and passwords of over 300 victims, including female celebrities, according to court documents. The perpetrators sent their victims emails that appeared to be from Apple and Google, asking them to provide their usernames and passwords. Majerczyk and Collins used the credentials to illegally access accounts and extract private information, which included nude photographs and videos. In September 2014, hundreds of nude photos of celebrities were then leaked on online image board 4chan before spreading to multiple internet sites, but investigators have not yet been able to find any evidence that either of the men were directly behind the leak. Shortly after the breach occurred, Apple conducted an investigation that revealed the accounts were compromised by weak passwords -- a Find My iPhone flaw may have also played a role. Apple then strengthened security by adding email alerts when iCloud accounts are accessed on the web, allowing app-specific passwords for third-party apps accessing iCloud, and enabling two-factor authentication on iCloud.com. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: iCloud Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
In celebration of July 4th, Google is offering new U.S. subscribers to its Play Music streaming service a four-month trial completely free of charge. Play Music subscribers can choose from a library of over 35 million tracks, which usually costs $9.99 per month, so the offer amounts to a $40 saving and users can cancel the subscription at any time. Customers who sign up to the trial will also gain access to the company's ad-free YouTube Red service, which features original content, and enables offline and background playback of YouTube videos on mobile devices. Prospective users of the service should note that it's a U.S.-only promotion, and is only available to those who have never signed up for Play Music or YouTube Red in the past. Google Play Music is a viable alternative to Apple Music, Tidal, and Spotify, as the company offers an iOS app as well as desktop access via a web browser. Third-party standalone apps like Radiant Player are also available for accessing the service on a Mac. In addition to music streaming, Play membership includes access to a cloud storage locker where users can store up to 50,000 of their own songs, with or without a paid Play Music subscription, using the Google Music Manager client. Google's promotion comes the same week that Spotify accused Apple of using its App Store process to stymie rival streaming services after Apple rejected a Spotify app update. Apple responded to the accusation through its lawyers, who said Spotify was seeking exemptions to rules that have applied to all app developers long before Apple Music was introduced. Apple Music also celebrated its one-year anniversary earlier this week. The service has 15 million paying subscribers, far short of Spotify's user base, which is roughly twice that amount.Tag: Google Play Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's Maps app received a major overhaul in iOS 10, introducing a new look and some impressive new features. Design wise, Maps looks a lot different, with easier to access controls and destination suggestions that are front and center. As seen in the video below, when you open the Maps app, you'll immediately see a search window and an overview of your current location. Swiping upwards from the search bar brings up options for places you might want to go, based on recent places you've visited, calendar events, appointments in your Mail app, and general user habits. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Maps in iOS 10 features traffic information en route, with options for alternative routes and routes that avoid toll roads. There's a dynamic view that allows users to pain in and out to see what traffic conditions look like ahead, and there's an option to search along a route to find gas, food, coffee, and more while on a trip. Maps will automatically adjust routes to incorporate stops, letting you know how much time a detour will add. When parking, Apple Maps has an awesome new feature that'll automatically remember your car location so you never forget where it is, and a new Maps extensions option for developers will let you do things like book a reservation in OpenTable or call an uber all without leaving the Maps app. For details on other new features coming in iOS 10, make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup. Don't miss out on our previous videos, which have covered iOS 10, watchOS 3, tvOS 10, and macOS Sierra: - WWDC 2016 Overview in Seven Minutes - iOS 10's Overhauled Lockscreen - The New iOS 10 Photos App - The New iOS 10 Messages App - macOS Sierra - Siri - iOS 10 Hidden Features - watchOS 3 Overview - iOS 10's Redesigned Apple Music Experience - 3D Touch in iOS 10 - The New Home App for Controlling HomeKit Devices - iOS 10's Face Gallery App for Apple Watch - iOS 10's Revamped News App - Everything New in tvOS 10 - Apple's Upcoming Apple TV Remote App We've also got roundups for all of the upcoming operating systems, including watchOS 3, macOS Sierra, and tvOS 10.Tag: Apple Maps Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple plans to finish construction on its second campus at the end of 2016, giving the company five more months to wrap up work at the location. As the deadline approaches, construction is continuing at a rapid pace, as seen in a new July update video shared by drone pilot Duncan Sinfield. Sinfield's July video features a complete overview of the different buildings that are going up on the campus, along with details on the progress that's been made over the course of the last month. Solar panels and HVAC units are continuing to be added to the roof of the main ring-shaped building, and the solar panels on the roof of the parking garage are almost all in place. Heavy machinery that will allow Apple to start the landscaping process has been transported to the campus, so we may soon see progress on the giant dirt pile. The dirt will support more than 7,000 trees and other greenery, including many citrus trees. A second Apple Campus 2 drone video from Matthew Roberts shows a nearly-completed R&D facility, located on Tantau avenue, and gives a close look at the 100,000 square foot fitness center that will be available to employees. Earlier this year, Apple began taking down the green privacy fence surrounding the entire campus, replacing it with a shorter chain-link fence. Construction crews often leave the gates at the campus open, allowing passersby to get a close-up look at the ongoing construction. Apple plans to complete work on Apple Campus 2 at the end of 2016, with employees set to start occupying the facility at the beginning of 2017.Tag: Apple Campus 2 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Yesterday, Spotify accused Apple of using its App Store approval process as a "weapon to harm competitors" after Apple rejected a Spotify app update, and now Apple has responded to Spotify's accusations to "set the record straight." In a letter to Spotify lawyer Horacio Gutierrez that was shared by BuzzFeed, Apple's legal head Bruce Sewell says Apple is disappointed with the public attacks and concerned that Spotify is asking for exemptions to rules that apply to all app developers. There can be no doubt that Spotify has benefited enormously from its association with Apple's App Store. Since joining the App Store in 2009, Apple's platform has provided you with over 160 million downloads of your app, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental revenue to Spotify. That's why we find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service. Our guidelines help competition, not hurt it. The fact that we compete has never influenced how Apple treats Spotify or other successful competitors like Google Play Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, Pandora or the numerous other apps on the App Store that distribute digital music.Sewell goes on to say that Spotify's belief it should not have to pay to take advantage of the "benefits of Apple's hard work" is "simply unfair and unreasonable," pointing out that the App Store rules existed long before Apple Music was introduced. He also points out the new revenue split rules for subscriptions, which will see Apple taking a 15 percent cut from customers who have subscribed to a service for more than a year, instead of a 30 percent cut. Sewell's letter to Spotify ends with some clarification on why Spotify's app was rejected on May 26. Spotify replaced its in-app subscription purchase options with an account sign-up feature Apple says was "clearly intended to circumvent Apple's in-app purchase rules." Apple notified Spotify about the guideline violation and following discussions with Apple, Spotify submitted a new version of the app on June 10 that incorporated the same sign-up feature asking for customer email addresses to be used to invite customers to sign up for a Spotify subscription on the web, which Apple again rejected.That feature exists only for the purpose of avoiding to having to pay Apple for your use of the App Store by emailing customers within hours, directing them to subscribe to Spotify on its website. A clear violation of the terms every other developer adheres to. [...] There is nothing in Apple's conduct that "amounts to a violation of applicable antitrust laws." Far from it. Apple has continued to innovate with lower pricing for our customers, and a new revenue share model for the developers that have helped make us so successful. We understand you want special treatment and protections from competition, but we simply will not do that because we firmly adhere to the principle of treating all developers fairly and equitably.In Spotify's own letter, sent to Apple on June 26 but made public yesterday, Spotify accused Apple of causing "grave harm" to its business by rejecting the app update. Spotify said Apple's aim was to "exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS," which "raises serious concerns under both US and EU competition law." Sewell's full letter to Spotify can be read over at BuzzFeed.Tags: App Store, Spotify, Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
One of the apps that's getting a redesign in iOS 10 is Apple News, Apple's dedicated news reading app that first came out in 2015 as part of iOS 9. Apple News aggregates stories from several sources into one mobile-friendly format for reading on iOS devices, allowing users to find content based around their interests. In iOS 10, Apple News features a bolder, simpler interface that puts content front and center. The "For You" section filled with customized picks has been broken up into smaller topic-based sections with improved organization to make it easier to keep up with incoming stories. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. "For You" features all of the topics a user follows along with "Trending News," featuring current popular stories, and "Featured News," a section with news suggestions hand-picked by Apple's editors. There are easier tools for sharing, liking, and disliking news stories, accessible by swiping to the left or the right on the screen. In addition to these design changes, Apple News will now send notifications to users whenever there's a must-read breaking news story, and Apple has added support for subscription-based publications so you can read content from paid subscription-based sites like The Wall Street Journal right alongside free content. The revamped Apple News app will be available in the fall when iOS 10 launches. For details on other new features coming in iOS 10, make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup. Don't miss out on our previous videos, which have covered iOS 10, watchOS 3, tvOS 10, and macOS Sierra: - WWDC 2016 Overview in Seven Minutes - iOS 10's Overhauled Lockscreen - The New iOS 10 Photos App - The New iOS 10 Messages App - macOS Sierra - Siri - iOS 10 Hidden Features - watchOS 3 Overview - iOS 10's Redesigned Apple Music Experience - 3D Touch in iOS 10 - The New Home App for Controlling HomeKit Devices - iOS 10's Face Gallery App for Apple Watch - Everything New in tvOS 10 - Apple's Upcoming Apple TV Remote App We've also got roundups for all of the upcoming operating systems, including watchOS 3, macOS Sierra, and tvOS 10.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Tag: Apple News Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
The Walt Disney Company is nearing a deal that will net it a one-third stake in Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the streaming division of MLB whose business is valued at around $3.5 billion (via Bloomberg). According to those close to the deal, an agreement between the two companies has not yet been officially finalized, but once it is the contract will allow Disney to purchase another 33 percent of MLB's digital sector over the next four years. Disney currently owns ESPN, which has been reported recently to be facing troubles with its traditional, broadcast viewing numbers with the rise of streaming and web-only packages. WatchESPN offers viewers the option to watch live sports broadcasts on platforms like the Apple TV, as long as they have a cable package that includes ESPN's content channels. Disney has also been a key Apple content partner over the years, due in large part to Disney's partnership with and ultimate 2006 acquisition of Pixar that made Steve Jobs the largest individual Disney shareholder and gave him a seat on the company's board. Long-standing rumors of Apple seeking to launch an over-the-top streaming television service have generally included Disney as one of the key early content partners on board with the project, although Apple has so far been unable to secure all of the deals it would need to launch the service at the price point it wants to hit. Given that the deal between Disney and MLBAM is not yet official, there's no word yet on what the ultimate outcome of the acquisition would entail for the company's streaming services. Still, some knowledgable of the deal and the streaming sports world see the move as a way for Disney to continue to bolster ESPN's streaming offerings if MLBAM were to be rolled into the company's online video platforms. “MLBAM has some great assets that could help ESPN build a robust over-the-top offering,” said Bernard Gershon, a media consultant based in New York. “You see the biggest sports media company moving to greater digital delivery,” said Chris Russo, a former National Football League executive who now heads sports investment banking at Houlihan Lokey Inc. in New York. “It really shows they’re trying to get ahead of the digital phenomenon rather than being left behind it.” Disney currently offers a number of its services as streaming options on the fourth-generation Apple TV, including Watch ABC, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Jr, and Watch ESPN. MLB has also been a strong Apple content partner, with an advanced live streaming app being one of the key demos during the introduction of the fourth-generation Apple TV.Tags: ESPN, Disney Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is in talks to acquire rapper Jay Z's streaming music service Tidal, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with the matter." The talks are said to be exploratory and "may not result in a deal," but Apple is considering the purchase to bolster its Apple Music service. A Tidal spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that Tidal executives had not held talks with Apple, and the terms of the deal are unknown. Tidal, which launched in 2014 and was acquired by Jay Z in January of 2015 before a March 2015 re-launch, is a subscription-based music service that advertises high-quality lossless audio and high-definition music videos. Tidal offers two tiers of service, a standard premium option for $9.99 per month and HiFi for $19.99 per month. Tidal has 4.2 million paying subscribers, and as of March, 45 percent of those subscribers paid extra for the hi-fidelity tier. Positioned as one of Apple Music's major competitors, Tidal has clashed with Apple in the past. In February, Apple was in talks to exclusively debut Kanye West's album "The Life of Pablo," but West pulled out of talks and opted to debut his album on Tidal. Tidal's strong connection to artists like Kanye West, Beyonce, and Madonna is one of the reasons Apple is mulling an acquisition. Apple has made a major push into both exclusive and original content with Apple Music, luring artists like Taylor Swift, the Weeknd, Eminem, and more into offering up Apple Music exclusives. Today is the one-year anniversary of Apple Music, which first debuted in 110 countries on June 30, 2015. As of June 2016, Apple Music has more than 15 million paying subscribers.Tag: Tidal Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Following rumors suggesting Apple's iPhone 7 will be available in a much darker Space Gray color that's close to, but not quite black, designer Martin Hajek has created renderings exploring what such a device might look like. Using the iPhone 7 design rumors pointing towards a larger camera, no headphone jack, and relocated antenna bands, Hajek has created an iPhone 7 rendering in a deep shade of gray that's close to the color of the Space Black Apple Watch. In Hajek's concept, the iPhone 7 is a much darker shade of gray than the Space Gray iPhone 6s, appearing even darker than the black and slate iPhone 5. Over the years, Apple has used several different shades of Space Gray, Black, and Slate across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch product lines, with some shades that are much darker than others. Apple's most recent products, the iPhone 6s and the iPad Pro, feature a light shade of Space Gray, and a darker Space Gray could differentiate the iPhone 7 from earlier devices. Rumors of a darker Space Gray or Space Black iPhone 7 first surfaced earlier this week, when Japanese site Mac Otakara clarified that a rumor suggesting a deep blue iPhone 7 was in the works was mistaken. The site, which reported the deep blue color in early June, said its source had misidentified a darker space gray for a shade of blue. Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September with an iPhone 6s-style design, no headphone jack, an A10 processor, a better camera (larger sensor for the iPhone 7 and dual-lens for the iPhone 7 Plus), and faster LTE and Wi-Fi. Unconfirmed possible features include a flush home button, improved water resistance, and a thinner body.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: Concepts Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Apple and NASA have collaborated on a short musical film [Direct iTunes Link] called "Visions of Harmony," which is designed to celebrate NASA's Juno spacecraft reaching Jupiter's orbit. First launched in 2011, Juno is expected to enter Jupiter's orbit on the evening of July 4, giving us our closest ever look at the gas giant and the secrets hidden beneath its dense cloud cover. Artist's rendering of Juno in Jupiter's orbit, image via NASA According to the new "Destination: Jupiter" section of Apple Music, Apple has collaborated with NASA and the Juno team to offer "education and inspiration throughout the historic journey." "Visions of Harmony" celebrates the link between exploring space and making music, featuring songs from artists like Weezer and Nine Inch Nails frontman and Apple exec Trent Reznor. Reznor and collaborator Atticus Ross created a song inspired by sounds emitted by Jupiter, which features actual recordings from the planet, while Weezer wrote a single called "I Love the USA." Celebrating the intersection of art and science. @AppleMusic x @NASAJunohttps://t.co/LcnGZMwxWG pic.twitter.com/p5JpmaCg82— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) June 30, 2016 Other music featured on Apple's Destination: Jupiter page comes from artists like Corinne Bailey Rae, Quin, Brad Paisley, Zoé, Jim James, and GZA the Genius.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Spotify and Apple are embroiled in a major dispute, which Spotify is today taking to the court of public opinion. Spotify submitted a new version of its app to the App Store, following a decision to eliminate the option to purchase a subscription through Apple, and Apple has rejected the update. In response, Spotify wrote a letter to Apple's legal team on June 26, portions of which have been shared by Recode. Spotify's letter, which it shared yesterday with Congressional staff in Washington, D.C., accuses Apple of causing "grave harm" to Spotify by rejecting the app update. The details on the rejection are somewhat murky, but Spotify claims Apple denied the app update and demanded Spotify use Apple's billing system if it "wants to use the app to acquire new customers and sell subscriptions." Spotify was using its iOS app to highlight a promotion offering new Spotify customers three months of service for $0.99, something Apple didn't like. Apple reportedly forced Spotify to stop advertising the promotion in the iOS app or face the removal of the app from the App Store. Spotify stopped the advertisements, but also decided to stop offering App Store subscription options, a move that's led to the current disagreement between the two companies."This latest episode raises serious concerns under both US and EU competition law," Gutierrez wrote. "It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple's previous anticompetitive conduct aimed at Spotify...we cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors."At issue is the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from App Store subscriptions, which has caused Spotify to charge $12.99 for subscriptions purchased through the App Store, a $3 premium over subscriptions purchased on the web and $3 more than the price of Apple Music. Apple does not force apps to use its billing system, but it also does not allow apps to offer other purchase options. As stated in the App Store guidelines: Apps may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than IAP. [...] Auto-renewing subscriptions should only be offered using in-app purchase and may only be used for periodicals (e.g. newspapers, magazines), business apps (e.g. enterprise, productivity, professional creative, cloud storage), media apps (e.g. video, audio, voice, photo sharing), and other approved services (e.g. dating, dieting, weather).Apple in the past had a battle with Amazon and other book sellers over its App Store rules, which resulted in Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo removing an in-app book store purchase options from their apps. Apple has never relented on the issue, even years later. Apple recently announced plans to tweak its subscription policies to take a smaller 15 percent cut from subscribers who stay subscribed to a service for more than one year, but Spotify says those changes don't "get to the core of the problem." Though Apple has rejected Spotify's update, options to purchase Spotify subscriptions in the Spotify app for iOS devices have been gone since the end of May, removed via a backend update. At the current time, it is not possible to purchase a subscription through the Spotify app, and the Spotify app is not able to direct customers to purchase a subscription on the web.Tags: Spotify, Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Today marks the one year anniversary of Apple Music, which launched in 110 countries on June 30, 2015. The streaming music service was initially limited to the Mac and iOS devices, and it has since expanded to Apple TV and Android. Apple's streaming music service, an evolution of the Beats Music service it acquired in 2014, has steadily gained listeners over the past twelve months, reaching over 15 million paying subscribers as of WWDC 2016 earlier this month. Spotify still remains the world's most popular streaming music service, with roughly twice as many paying subscribers as Apple Music, but the Swedish rival has been available in Europe for nearly eight years and in the U.S. since 2011. Assuming that Apple Music maintains its current pace of growth, it is reasonable to assume that it will eventually eclipse Spotify as the top streaming service worldwide, with Apple Music benefiting greatly from its prominent placement within a default app on iOS and a lengthy three-month free trial to get users hooked on the service. Apple Music has received its share of criticism since launch, partly due to somewhat confusing layouts that can make it difficult to find content and easily manage downloaded or owned content versus streamed content. Apple's "Connect" social feature intended to allow artists to share content with fans also failed to take hold, with many quickly drawing comparisons to the ill-fated "Ping" social network that debuted as part of iTunes in 2010 but was officially canceled just two years later. With iOS 10, Apple is undertaking a reinvention of the Apple Music experience on its mobile platform, completely revamping the app with new organization and a new design. The new design in particular has been controversial, with bold fonts standing in stark contrast to most of the rest of the operating system. But the new layout makes for a much more logical organization of content and features, with downloaded music receiving its own section and Connect receiving much less prominent placement. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple is also pushing forward its relationships with artists for Apple Music, working hard to secure exclusive content as it seeks to follow the model of "MTV in its Eighties and Nineties heyday" in becoming the go-to place for artists and content. Apple Music is clearly still in its early days, with Apple still evolving its integration of the Beats Music team and their streaming service into iTunes and the stock Apple user experience across all platforms. But with strong subscriber growth and industry trends pointing toward a continued shift toward streaming services, it's clear this is where Apple's content future lies, whether it be the current music service or future video services.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren today gave a speech where she accused Amazon, Apple, and Google of attempting to "snuff out competition" by locking out smaller companies, reports Recode."Google, Apple and Amazon have created disruptive technologies that changed the world, and ... they deserve to be highly profitable and successful," Warren said. "But the opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors that want their chance to change the world again."In regard to Apple specifically, Warren said the company has made it difficult for its rivals to offer competitive streaming services able to compete with Apple Music, presumably through the cut that it takes from streaming services like Spotify when people sign up through the iOS app. To account for Apple's cut, Spotify charges $12.99 to customers who purchase a subscription through an Apple device, which is $3 higher than the $9.99 price tag of Apple Music. While Apple declined to comment on Warren's statements, Spotify's head of communications and public policy Jonathan Prince took the opportunity to lambaste Apple in a statement given to Recode. "Apple has long used its control of iOS to squash competition in music, driving up the prices of its competitors, inappropriately forbidding us from telling our customers about lower prices, and giving itself unfair advantages across its platform through everything from the lock screen to Siri. You know there's something wrong when Apple makes more off a Spotify subscription than it does off an Apple Music subscription and doesn't share any of that with the music industry. They want to have their cake and eat everyone else's too."Spotify has long been unhappy with Apple's pricing policy. In the past, Spotify fought against Apple's cut by sending emails to its customers who had signed up for a $12.99 per month subscription on an iPhone or iPad, encouraging them to cancel their subscriptions and re-subscribe via the web. Recently, Spotify criticized some upcoming App Store changes like a new revenue split for subscriptions and ads in search results, saying Apple's efforts don't "get to the core of the problem" and criticizing Apple's insistence on "inserting itself between developers and their customers." Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: Spotify, Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 9.3.3 update to developers and public beta testers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the third beta of iOS 9.3.3 and more than a month after the release of iOS 9.3.2, a minor bug fix update. iOS 9.3.3 has been in testing since May 23. Today's iOS 9.3.3 beta update can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center (developer only) or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. As another minor 9.x.x update, iOS 9.3.3 features under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements to address issues unearthed since the release of iOS 9.3.2. No outward-facing changes or obvious bug fixes were discovered in the first three betas of iOS 9.3.3. iOS 9.3.3 beta 4 follows the developer launch of iOS 10, a new version of iOS that will be released to the public this fall. iOS 10 includes features like a redesigned Lock screen experience, a revamped Messages app with its own App Store, a Siri SDK for developers, a new Home app for controlling HomeKit devices, a redesigned Apple Music app, and more.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tag: iOS 9.3.3 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has announced a new MFi Headset Development Kit, a reference platform that is designed to help "Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod" accessory makers quickly develop Lightning-based headphones. The development kit, available through Apple's MFi Program, includes a form factor reference design and other resources to help MFi licensees create Lightning-based headphones. A reference iOS app is also available.The MFi Headset Development Kit demonstrates the advantages of Lightning-connected headsets over conventional analog headsets. For example, digital connectivity with an integrated, high-performance DAC and headphone driver delivers high-fidelity audio to the headphone speakers. In addition, Lightning-connected headphones can interact with an iOS app to create a more custom audio experience, such as personalized EQ settings.Multiple credible sources have confirmed that Apple plans to remove the 3.5mm headphone plug on the iPhone 7 series in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector for audio output, charging, and connectivity, but only a handful of Lightning-equipped headphones are available today. Apple introduced new MFi Program specifications in June 2014 that allow third-party manufacturers to create headphones that connect to iOS devices via a Lightning cable, but the rollout has been slow. Philips has unveiled Lightning-equipped Fidelio M2L and Fidelio NC1L headphones, pictured above, over the past two years. Apple may also release Lightning-equipped EarPods, but a more recent conflicting rumor said the iPhone 7 will ship with standard 3.5mm EarPods and a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter. Apple is also believed to be exploring Bragi Dash-like wireless headphones, but it may hold off on adopting the technology until 2017 or later. Those interested in learning more about Lightning-equipped headphones can watch our video: Lightning Headphones: Are They Better or Just an Inconvenience? We also shared a video showing what an aftermarket 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter looks like as they begin to reach the market.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tags: Lightning, MFi Program, Cirrus Logic Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Over the past few weeks, some Apple Watch wearers have noticed that a growing portion of Apple's band inventory has been marked as "sold out," with many styles, sizes, and colors, now included in that group. While Apple has made it clear that its first foray into fashion accessories will follow a "seasonal" cycle, with certain styles leaving its store forever once sold out, the array of bands unavailable on the store paints an erratic picture of shortages from all three of the Apple Watch's seasonal collections: Spring 2015, Fall 2015, and Spring 2016. Tracked in the U.S. on both Apple.com and the Apple Store iOS app [Direct Link], the Classic Buckle currently has the most significant stock shortage of any of the Apple Watch bands, totaling 13 out-of-stock color options in both the 38 mm and 42 mm sizes. The smaller 38 mm wrist size option is the most affected, with only one band -- Saddle Brown -- available to purchase. Behind Classic Buckle, the Sport Band has 12 out-of-stock options on Apple's store, the Modern Buckle has four, and the Leather Loop has three, with varying sizes affecting availability for the latter two bands. Out-of-Stock Apple Watch Bands 38 mm Sport -Stone -Apricot -Lavender -Lilac -Turquoise -Vintage Rose -Pink 42 mm Sport -Lavender -Lilac -Royal Blue -Vintage Rose -Green 38 mm and 42 mm Nylon -Gold/Royal Blue 42 mm Link Bracelet -Space Black Leather Loop -Medium Storm Gray -Medium Black -Large Black 38 mm Classic Buckle -White -Marigold -Blue Jay -Midnight Blue -Storm Gray -Marine Blue -Black -Red 42 mm Classic Buckle -Midnight Blue -Storm Gray -Marine Blue -Black -Red Modern Buckle -Small Marigold -Small Soft Pink -Medium Midnight Blue -Large Blue Jay Besides the completely in-stock Milanese Loop, the newer Nylon Band is the least affected by shortages, with only the Gold/Blue colorway out of stock right now for each wrist size. The Link Bracelet is faring similarly well for 38 mm (which has stock in both Silver and Space Black) and 42 mm (which is sold out only in Space Black). The Hermès bands have several "unavailable" options as well (the only ones to use such wording), but two collections are marked as "Sold Out," in line with the rest of the out-of-stock Apple Watch band inventory. Still, given Hermès' top-tier pricing and third-party nature, their shortages probably won't affect what the stock of Apple's own first-party bands could hint at moving forward. In each collection, availability varies among old color options and some of the newer Spring 2016 entries, like Green and Royal Blue for the 42 mm Sport Band. Whereas some original styles have gone out of stock steadily following the launch of the Apple Watch last year, which is expected, the sudden and varying disappearance of so many colors -- both new and old -- is leading to speculation on what Apple might be gearing up for behind the scenes. Out-of-Stock Apple Watch Bundles Apple Watch Sport -42mm Silver Aluminum Case with Royal Blue Sport Band -42mm Silver Aluminum Case with Scuba Blue Woven Nylon -38mm Rose Gold Aluminum Case with Royal Blue Woven Nylon -38mm Gold Aluminum Case with Gold/Red Woven Nylon Apple Watch -42mm Stainless Steel Case with Storm Gray Leather Loop (All Sizes) -42mm Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Space Black Link Bracelet -42mm Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Black Sport Band -38mm Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Black Sport Band -38mm Stainless Steel Case with Blue Jay Modern Buckle (All Sizes) -38mm Stainless Steel Case with Pearl Woven Nylon As one Redditor posited, these shortages could be a potential hint at the incoming launch of new bands, but whether that means Apple is preparing for its first mid-season "Summer" collection, or getting a jump on fall, remains to be seen. It's also been contemplated whether this could be early inventory shuffling ahead of the Apple Watch 2, expected to launch sometime around the iPhone 7 in the fall, with the potential for all-new band lugs making first-generation Apple Watch bands incompatible with the new wearable. That's a highly unlikely possibility, however, given the proliferation and popularity of interchangeable bands that customers have accumulated already in one generation of the Apple Watch. It should also be noted that the wording for each unavailable model isn't Apple's usual "Currently Unavailable" that typically appears when an item is temporarily out of stock for an undetermined period of time, but a seemingly more definitive "Sold Out." Fortunately, those bands that are in stock -- including all models of the Milanese Loop -- are showing shipping estimates with availability between one and three days. At the time of writing, the only bands with lengthy waiting periods are the 42 mm Saddle Brown Classic Buckle and 42 mm Light Pink Sport Band, which both have a 1-2 week shipping estimate. Some unavailable individual bands are also still in stock as part of a watch bundle, so there's potentially a way for users to get their hand on sold-out bands if they don't own an Apple Watch yet. Be sure to visit the MacRumors forums to discuss the topic of the potential retirement of certain Apple Watch bands, along with plenty of other topics related to the Apple Watch and its accessories.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2, watchOS 3 Tags: Apple Watch accessories, Apple Watch bands Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung Display will remain the global leader among AMOLED display suppliers over the next few years, with shipments estimated to increase to 560 million units by 2019, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes Research. Samsung Electronics, which produces the company's lineup of Android-based Galaxy smartphones, is expected to remain Samsung Display's largest customer over the next few years, with its in-house AMOLED panel demand projected to grow from 239 million units in 2016 to 290 million units in 2019. Apple is rumored to release its first OLED-based iPhone in 2017, moving away from traditional LCD technology it has used since 2007 for at least one iPhone model. The report estimates that Samsung Display will supply Apple with 40 million AMOLED panels in 2017, 80 million units in 2018, and 120 million units in 2019. LG Display, AU Optronics, Japan Display, and Foxconn-owned Sharp may also share production of OLED panels for future iPhones. Earlier this year, DisplayMate found that Samsung's Galaxy S7 makes a compelling case for Apple to switch to OLED display technology. Possible benefits include increased brightness, improved color accuracy, improved screen visibility in bright environments, and more efficient power consumption. A number of China-based smartphone vendors, including Vivo, Oppo, GiONEE, Huawei, and Lenovo, have also adopted or decided to adopt AMOLED panels in the future, with Samsung Display's combined shipments to them projected to increase from 99 million units in 2016 to 150 million units in 2019.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Samsung, digitimes.com, AMOLED, OLED Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday in the United States, ride hailing app Uber today announced a suite of safety improvements for its driver app, aimed at "predicting, preventing and reducing the number of crashes on the road." The update comes in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Governor's Highway Safety Association, and focuses on parsing out more information to the company's drivers to ensure the safety of its customers. As part of the update, Uber will send out daily reports to drivers with detailed statistics showing their driving patterns, as well as comparisons to other drivers in the city, "with suggestions on how to provide a smoother, safer ride." According to a more detailed report in the company's engineering blog, multiple readings taken from GPS and accelerometer data in the smartphone will fuel these statistics, and also provide a new "speed display" in the driver app to alert them of potentially passing the speed limit. Other basic features include reminders to take a break and safety messages to inform drivers about regulations from Uber, like mounting their smartphone to the dashboard instead of holding it in their hands while driving. The safety-focused update will begin as a rollout in 11 United States cities (the company left which cities unspecified) in the next couple of weeks, with more planned to be added after that. In addition to the new features of its driver-focused Partner App, in today's blog post the company remarked on the overall positive impact that Uber has had on drunk driving accidents, specifically focusing on the city of Atlanta. Using a chart made available by the Atlanta Police Department, which shows every DUI made in the city from 2010-2016, a noticeable down tick in drunk driving arrests can be seen: dropping from 2,243 to 1,535, or a 32 percent decline, in that time period. Uber used the dataset to correlate that dive in DUI arrests to the implementation of the ride hailing service in Atlanta in 2012, along with a surge in use a few years later in 2015. As the company itself points out, however, "many factors" could be affecting drunk driving trends in Atlanta, so it's difficult to directly attribute the two statistics to one another. Still, the company mentioned that "it's heartening to see that these incidents are declining over time." It also cited its own survey data, released today, wherein 90 percent of riders said Uber helped generally reduce drinking and driving, and 80 percent said it helped personally on the same issue. No specific ranking was given, but according to Uber the same survey revealed that the app is "riders' top choice for trips" when inebriated, coming on top of public transportation, taxis, and other ride hailing apps. Previous Coverage: Uber Update Spotlights 'Upfront Fares' While Burying Surge Pricing NotificationsTag: Uber Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has consistently been securing exclusive content, like Drake's latest album "Views", Taylor Swift's "The 1989 World Tour" concert film and music videos from The Weeknd and Eminem. In a new feature from Rolling Stone, Larry Jackson, Apple Music's head of original content, said the goal of securing that exclusive content is to put the service "at the intersection of all things relevant in pop culture." Jackson says that the model is "MTV in its Eighties and Nineties heyday. You always felt that Michael Jackson or Britney Spears lived there. How do you emotionally conjure up that feeling for people?"Apple's deals with artists not only include exclusive streaming windows for singles and albums, but funding for music videos. For instance, Drake's "Hotline Bling" music video was funded by Apple, as were two videos for The Weeknd's "Cant Feel My Face" (one of which was not released). The goal is to help artists feel like they can do interesting things with Apple. Monte Lipman, head of Republic Records, home of Ariana Grande and The Weekend, tells Rolling Stone that the Cupertino company has been prepared to do things other companies haven't. "Lately they've been very clever in coming to us with what we consider groundbreaking opportunities," he said. Many of these opportunities include contributions from Apple executives. Tim Cook "weighed in" on the production of M.I.A.'s "Borders" music video while Swift says Jackson helped her brainstorm, make plans for and edit her concert film. That collaboration led to the Apple Music commercial where Swift raps along with Drake and Future's "Jumpman." The commercial helped increase "Jumpman" sales 43 percent, according to Rolling Stone. However, Apple's strategy hasn't always worked out. Jackson says the company was in talks to host Kanye West's "The Life of Pablo." West eventually pulled out of talks to put his album on rival service Tidal, which he co-owns with Jay-Z. He chose Tidal over Apple Music because he "wanted to work with his friend," according to Jackson. While Kanye West initially said the album would "never" appear on Apple Music, the album did eventually come to the service. Ultimately, Jackson told the magazine that the philosophy at Apple Music is "to go and get it done" when it comes to securing original content The service also has deals with Keith Richards, Selena Gomez and the Black Eyed Peas. Most recently, Apple gained the rights to exclusively launch Dreezy's debut album "No Hard Feelings." The service will also soon start hosting original video content like Dr. Dre's "Vital Signs" TV show and a six-episode documentary series co-produced with Vice.Tags: Apple Music, Larry Jackson Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple may be planning to introduce a Force Touch home button on the iPhone 7, according to analysts at Cowen and Company (via Business Insider). Citing supply chain "field checks," Cowen and Company predicts the iPhone 7 will do away with a physical home button, instead adopting a home button that sits flush with the phone. Apple's Force Touch technology will reportedly be built into the home button to provide haptic feedback when pressed, much like the Force Touch trackpad on Apple's most recent MacBooks. With haptic feedback, iPhone users would still feel the sensation of pressing on the home button even without a button to actually depress. Cowen and Company has a mixed track record, but it's worth noting that we've heard two other rumors about a redesigned home button on the iPhone 7. In April, DigiTimes said Apple was testing a touch-sensitive home button that fits flush with the phone, and a highly sketchy image of what was said to be an iPhone 7 with a touch-sensitive home button surfaced in mid-June. Given the unreliability of each of the home button rumors, the information should be viewed with some skepticism until confirmed by a more reliable source, but when viewed alongside rumors of improved waterproofing and the removal of the headphone jack, a flush home button is not a rumor that seems entirely out of the question. For several months, we've heard mixed rumors about the possibility of better water resistance in the iPhone 7, but it appears to be shaping up to be a potential feature. Last week, The Wall Street Journal, often a reliable source, lent credence to the rumor by suggesting the elimination of the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 will improve its water resistance. At the same time, The Wall Street Journal has said the iPhone 7 will feature only "subtle changes," a sentiment echoed by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said the iPhone 7 will be a modest update without "many attractive selling points." A revamped home button seems like more than a minor change, so we'll need to wait for additional information to resolve some of the conflicting information we're hearing about Apple's next-generation iPhones. If the physical home button is replaced with a Force Touch home button in the iPhone 7, it will bring Apple one step closer to eliminating the home button all together, something that is rumored for the iPhone 8, coming in 2017. Apple is said to be planning on introducing an edge-to-edge display with built-in Touch ID functionality and no home button.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: Cowen and Company Discuss this article in our forums

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