posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
In the continued release of Apple news originating from developers digging through HomePod firmware, we now have some of the first user interface sounds that HomePod users could be hearing once the smart home speaker launches this December. Developer Avery Magnotti discovered the sounds within a file named "audioOS" of the HomePod firmware that Apple released this past weekend. In order of appearance in the file, the sounds are called: alarm1.wav Lighthouse.wav SessionInactive-b238.wav SetupFinal-b238.m4a SetupStepSource-b238.m4a SetupStepTarget-b238.m4a timer1.wav TwoShot-b238.wav WOCAudioPasscodeTone.wav In case anyone was curious, here are the new HomePod UI Sounds https://t.co/RT7H0hpNmp— Avery Magnotti (@citrusui) August 1, 2017 To hear what the files sound like, Magnotti posted a video on his YouTube channel, sharing samples of each file listed. Alarm1 and Timer1 sound like simple tones that HomePod users might be able to choose from when setting up timers in their kitchens. The rest are a bit more unclear, although each Setup file is likely related to the initial pairing process of HomePod and a user's iPhone. HomePod firmware-related reveals have been steadily rolling out since Saturday, revealing the general design of the iPhone 8, referencing a "split" status bar, including potential new Apple Watch skiing workouts, and more. Magnotti himself revealed yesterday that the HomePod's Siri display measures in at 272 x 340. The reason that there are so many iPhone and Apple Watch bits of news coming out of the new HomePod firmware is because Apple's smart speaker will run on a modified version of iOS when it launches, and the firmware being investigated by developers relates to iOS 11.0.2. Apple announced the HomePod at WWDC this year, and it will launch this December for $349.Related Roundup: HomePod Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 16 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is set to report its earnings results for the third quarter of its 2017 fiscal year at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time today. Apple provided the following guidance for its third quarter on May 2: • revenue between $43.5 billion and $45.5 billion • gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent • operating expenses between $6.6 billion and $6.7 billion • other income/expense of $450 million • tax rate of 25.5 percentThat guidance suggests Apple will report its second-best third quarter earnings results in the company's history. The quarter corresponds with March 26, 2017 through June 24, 2017. Apple's Fiscal Third Quarter • 2013: $35.3 billion • 2014: $37.4 billion • 2015: $49.6 billion • 2016: $42.3 billion • 2017: $43.5+ billionWall Street's consensus is that Apple will report approximately $44.9 billion revenue and earnings per share of $1.57, according to dozens of estimates averaged by Thomson Reuters and Yahoo Finance. Apple is forecasted to have sold 40.7 million iPhones, 9 million iPads, and 4.3 million Macs, according to average estimates shared by Wells Fargo, compared to 40.4 million, 9.95 million, and 4.25 million respectively in the year-ago quarter. MacRumors.com compiled third quarter estimates from several financial institutions and analysts tracking Apple and the company's stock. The figures are listed below, ranked from highest to lowest in quarterly revenue. All signs point to Apple reporting an above-average and generally unsurprising June quarter. The most interesting takeaway will be Apple's fourth quarter guidance and any clues that provides about the so-called iPhone 8. In addition to iPhone sales, investors will be looking for continued growth of Apple's services category, which includes the likes of the App Store, iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, AppleCare, and licensing fees. Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri will discuss the company's financial results on a conference call at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors.com will transcribe the call as it unfolds for those unable to listen.Tags: earnings, AAPL Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Firmware for the as-of-yet unreleased HomePod has provided a wealth of information on the speaker itself and the upcoming iPhone 8, thanks to developers like Steven Troughton-Smith who have spent time digging into the code. Troughton-Smith shared a few new prospective iPhone 8 features and predictions this evening, once again sourced from the HomePod firmware, giving us even more insight into the radically redesigned iPhone Apple plans to release in 2017. An iPhone glyph discovered yesterday in the HomePod firmware, which is believed to be representative of the iPhone 8 design First and foremost, Troughton-Smith has seen no indication that there are features related to under-display Touch ID functionality in the iPhone 8, and he does not believe that such a feature will be included in the device. For what it's worth… I've seen nothing to suggest an ultrasound under-the-display Touch ID here. Looks like not this year. Quash that one— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) August 1, 2017 Initial iPhone 8 rumors suggested Apple was working to put Touch ID under the display as the iPhone 8 features an edge-to-edge design with no Home button, but that may not have panned out due to rumored production difficulties. Current information suggests Apple may instead replace Touch ID with a new facial recognition system, and there are indeed several references to infrared face detection in the firmware. The iPhone 8 is expected to have an edge-to-edge design with thin bezels at the top and the sides, but there will be a blocked out area for the front-facing camera and the new sensors that will enable facial recognition. According to Troughton-Smith and developer Jeffrey Grossman, there are references to new "split" options for the visual provider system for UIStatusBar, suggesting status bar information like connection strength, battery, Bluetooth, and the time may be displayed on either side of the sensor/camera area, for a streamlined status bar at the top of the device. Troughton-Smith says the new status bar "seems a lot more complex and powerful in design," and could even be interactive in some way. Some interesting related strings (I’m guessing you’ve come across these) pic.twitter.com/Go5ZVFlzea— Jeffrey Grossman (@Jeffrey903) August 1, 2017 Along with details on the split status bar and the lack of references to Touch ID, Troughton-Smith has also found information suggesting the iPhone 8 could potentially support a "tap to wake" feature. Tap to Wake is a feature built into some Windows-based Lumia smartphones, allowing the screen to be activated with a double tap, something Apple could use as an alternative to a Home button for waking up an iPhone. In regard to the Home button, it appears to be called the "Home Indicator" in the firmware, and according to Troughton-Smith, Apple has "no qualms about hiding it in certain contexts." Rumors have suggested that while there will be no physical Home button, there could be an on-screen function area that houses a virtual Home button and other controls. Based on what Troughton-Smith says, this virtual area may be able to be hidden for things like full-screen apps and videos. The virtual home button seems to just be called the 'home indicator' — looks like the OS has no qualms about hiding it in certain contexts— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) August 1, 2017 As a last little tidbit, Troughton-Smith says ARKit and Photos are getting new functionality that goes with the front-facing camera with depth sensing features, such as "ARFaceAnchor." There are details about the iPhone 8 within the HomePod firmware because HomePod will run a version of iOS. The firmware that Apple released corresponds to iOS 11.0.2, a future update that will be introduced sometime after iOS 11 launches in the fall alongside new iPhones.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
As it prepares to go public, Spotify has reached 60 million paid subscribers, reports TechCrunch. The 60 million mark comes nearly five months after the company announced its 50 million paid subscriber milestone in March. When adding in customers who listen to the free ad-supported tier, Spotify has more than 140 million subscribers worldwide. Comparatively, Apple Music now boasts 27 million paying subscribers, a number Apple shared at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Since its 2015 debut, Apple Music has been growing steadily by luring customers with exclusive album releases, concerts, and original television programming, but it does not offer a free tier like Spotify. Apple Music subscriptions start at $9.99 per month after a three-month free trial. Spotify paid subscriptions are also priced at $9.99 per month, and in 2016, Spotify's revenue grew over 50 percent to $3.3 billion. In the near future, Spotify plans to go public through a direct listing, forgoing the traditional initial public offering and making existing Spotify shares available to the public. With this method, likened to an elopement instead of a full-on wedding, Spotify avoids the fanfare of an IPO and does not have to hire an underwriter. Spotify is expected to initiate its direct listing in 2018.Tag: Spotify Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Though Apple's HomePod speaker won't launch until December, Apple on Friday released firmware for the device, allowing developers to glean information both about the speaker itself and the upcoming iPhone 8 by digging into the code. According to the latest revelation, shared on Twitter by Avery Magnotti, the screen of the HomePod that's used to display a visible multicolor LED waveform when interacting with Siri measures in at 272 x 340. The display blends in seamlessly with the top of the device and is primarily dedicated to making it clear when Siri is listening to a command, but it also includes virtual buttons for activating Siri and controlling speaker volume. Based on previous leaks, the screen could also display other shapes or symbols, but its full functionality isn't yet known. Along with the dimensions of the display, the information leaked today suggests the HomePod is equipped with 1GB RAM, equivalent to the amount of RAM in older iOS devices. HomePod also includes an A8 chip, and combined with the RAM, it's more powerful than competing smart speakers, enabling features like spatial awareness, Siri interactivity, and impressive sound. As we learned over the weekend, HomePod will run a full version of iOS and can be equated to an iPhone without a screen. It will use a shell app called "SoundBoard" to integrate with the hardware built into the device, and it will include Accessibility features like VoiceOver. HomePod is priced at $349 and will be available for purchase in December.Related Roundup: HomePod Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today uploaded a new trailer for its upcoming original television show "Carpool Karaoke: The Series." The new trailer, set to the song "On the Road Again," teases several of the celebrities who will appear on the show. "Carpool Karaoke: The Series," which Apple purchased in mid-2016, is based on the popular Carpool Karaoke segment from "The Late Late Show with James Corden," with James Corden, Ben Winston, and Eric Kankowski producing. Apple's new television show will feature 16 half-hour episodes featuring celebrity pairs riding in a car as they sing songs together. Each episode will feature a different host, with new content coming out on Thursdays. Featured celebrities will include Will Smith and James Corden; Miley, Noah, Billy Ray and the entire Cyrus family; Shakira and Trevor Noah; Game of Thrones stars Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams; Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith; John Legend, Alicia Keys and Taraji P. Henson; LeBron James and James Corden; and more. Apple plans to debut "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" on Tuesday, August 8 in more than 100 countries. It will be limited to Apple Music subscribers.Tags: Apple Music, Carpool Karaoke Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
United States district judge Lucy Koh has denied Apple's motion to dismiss a lawsuit related to disabling FaceTime on iOS 6 and earlier software versions three years ago, allowing the case to proceed as a class action lawsuit. MacRumors obtained court documents of the opinion filed electronically. The lawsuit was filed in February by California resident and iPhone 4 owner Christina Grace, who claims Apple intentionally broke FaceTime on iOS 6 and earlier by disabling a digital certificate that caused the service to cease functioning. California resident Ken Patter was later named as a second plaintiff. FaceTime abruptly stopped functioning for all iOS 6 users in April 2014. At the time, a spokesperson for Apple said devices may have encountered a "bug" resulting from a device certificate that expired on that date, and the company advised affected users to update to iOS 7 to fix the issue. The lawsuit, however, alleges that Apple intentionally broke FaceTime, prioritizing its financial interests over its customers. Apple used two connection methods when launching FaceTime in 2010: a peer-to-peer method that created a direct connection between two iPhones, allegedly used between 90 and 95 percent of the time, and a relay method that used data servers from content delivery network company Akamai Technologies. Apple's peer-to-peer FaceTime technology was found to infringe on VirnetX's patents in 2012, however, so the company began to shift toward the relay method, which used Akamai's servers. Within a year, Apple was paying $50 million in fees to Akamai, according to testimony from the VirnetX trial. Apple eventually solved the problem by creating new peer-to-peer technology that would debut in iOS 7 in September 2013. But not all users upgraded and, seven months later, the lawsuit alleges that Apple intentionally broke FaceTime on iOS 6 and earlier to stop paying millions per month to Akamai. Testimony from Apple's 2016 retrial with VirnetX indicated that, between April 2013 and September 2013 alone, Apple paid approximately $50 million as a result of FaceTime functioning in relay mode only on iOS 6 and earlier. Updating to iOS 7 could be seen as the simple solution in this situation. But the plaintiffs owned an iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s, and cited internet articles that claim updating to iOS 7 significantly impairs the performance and functionality of those smartphones. Their complaint also cited Bluetooth and Wi-Fi issues. In its now-denied motion to dismiss, one of Apple's arguments was that the plaintiffs have no right to uninterrupted, continuous, or error-free FaceTime service under the terms of its iOS Software License Agreement. Apple said the plaintiffs also didn't experience the iOS 7 issues mentioned on their own iPhones. The class action lawsuit would apply to all iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s owners in the United States who, on April 16, 2014, had iOS 6 or an earlier version of the operating system installed on that device. The plaintiffs claim Apple's actions violate California's Unfair Competition Law and are seeking a jury trial.Tags: lawsuit, FaceTime, VirnetX Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Russia has banned VPNs and other software that enables users to gain anonymous access to websites. The new law was signed by President Vladimir Putin on Monday and will come into effect on November 1st (via TechCrunch). Leonid Levin, chairman of the Duma's committee on information policy and technology, was quoted by state-run media as saying that the new law is not targeted at "introducing new bans for law-abiding citizens" but aims to prohibit access to illegal content. However, privacy advocates see the law as another way for the Russian government to restrict access to political content that it disagrees with. In 2015, it became mandatory for all user data from Russian citizens to be stored in Russian-based servers, and last year another law was passed making it necessary for internet service providers to retain traffic data for up to a year. Recently the government also threatened to block access to the Telegram encrypted messaging platform unless the company that runs the app provides more information about itself. Elsewhere, virtual private networks took another blow over the weekend, as reports emerged that Apple has removed the majority of VPN apps from the App Store in China, following regulations passed earlier in the year that require such apps to be authorized by the Chinese government. The action was first revealed by ExpressVPN, a provider based outside of China. The company said in a blog post that "all major VPN apps" including its own had been removed from the App Store. "We're disappointed in this development, as it represents the most drastic measure the Chinese government has taken to block the use of VPNs to date, and we are troubled to see Apple aiding China's censorship efforts. ExpressVPN strongly condemns these measures, which threaten free speech and civil liberties," ExpressVPN wrote on its blog.The company shared a note from Apple explaining that its app was removed because "it includes content that is illegal in China". A few hours later, Apple issued a statement to TechCrunch explaining its decision to pull the apps from the App Store: Earlier this year China’s MIIT announced that all developers offering VPNs must obtain a license from the government. We have been required to remove some VPN apps in China that do not meet the new regulations. These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.Earlier this month, China reportedly started blocking some features of the WhatsApp messaging service, as authorities continued to tighten controls over the country's internet. 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: China, Russia, VPN Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Late last week, Apple released early firmware for its HomePod smart speaker, which won't be launching to the public until December. HomePod will run a version of iOS, and the firmware released by Apple corresponds to iOS 11.0.2. One iOS developer has dug into the firmware and discovered that it also contains hints of what we can expect for other devices. Most importantly, the firmware includes numerous references to infrared face detection within the BiometricKit framework that is currently home to Touch ID authentication, supporting claims that the iPhone 8 will rely at least in part on facial recognition. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith has also confirmed these discoveries. Within BiometricKit are new "FaceDetect" methods addressing such circumstances as faces being too close or too far from the camera, the presence of multiple faces, and more. Other references point to infrared capture in BiometricKit, pointing toward the rumored infrared sensors on the front of the iPhone being involved in capturing images for authentication, rather than using visible light through a traditional camera. Various references point toward the code name for this functionality being "Pearl," while the code name for the iPhone 8 is "D22." The iOS 11.0.2 HomePod firmware also includes a glyph for this D22 device representing an iPhone that looks much like the rumored iPhone 8, featuring a full-front display with a notch cut out at the top for the earpiece and sensors. The iPhone 8 is expected to debut around the usual September timeframe, but availability may be delayed somewhat due to production difficulties. Apple has reportedly been trying to incorporate Touch ID fingerprint sensing beneath the device's display, but some rumors have suggested Apple has had difficulty achieving that goal and may instead switch to facial recognition for authentication purposes.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Amid reports Apple is investing billions of dollars to help LG begin production of OLED displays for future iPhones, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report sharing his take on the situation. According to Kuo, the OLED display panel for this year's "iPhone 8" has been the "single most troublesome component for Apple in terms of bargaining power," as Samsung is currently the only company with design and production capabilities to make the displays. To counter Samsung's advantage, Apple is working hard to support LG's efforts to ramp up similar expertise and capabilities.We think Apple is therefore committed to having LGD geared up for its OLED iPhone display business in 2018 as it seeks to reduce supply risks. Even though LGD may likely start off with minimal initial penetration in 2018 (we estimate no more than 4-6%), the effort, with the full commitment of both Apple and LGD, will help LGD mature during the process and steadily gain supply share from 2019 onward. This will in turn continuously boost Apple’s bargaining power on OLED prices.Kuo predicts LG will capture 10–20 percent of iPhone OLED display production in 2019 and up to 20–30 percent in 2020, helping to diversify Apple's sourcing and limit Samsung's leverage. While LG will have expertise at production of the display panels themselves, Kuo predicts Foxconn subsidiary General Interface Solution (GIS) will be brought on board to assist with lamination processes. GIS would also offer expertise in production troubleshooting and vertical integration with Foxconn, so it would be an ideal partner for accelerating LG's growth in Apple's display supply chain.Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo, iPhone 9 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Yesterday, Apple pushed out firmware for its $349 HomePod smart speaker ahead of the device's launch in December, and developer Steve Troughton-Smith has been sharing some interesting tidbits online that he managed to unearth in the code. Bearing the name "AudioAccessory1,1", the firmware reveals that the HomePod runs a full iOS stack – essentially like an iPhone without a screen – and relies on a shell app called "SoundBoard" to integrate with the device's hardware. Looks like the 'shell' app on HomePod is called SoundBoard. It runs a full iOS stack, unsurprisingly. Its apps are prefixed with 'Air' pic.twitter.com/IPFF0vV3UT— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) July 28, 2017 Troughton-Smith said that HomePod apps are prefixed with "Air" in the firmware, but that there currently appears to be no provision for third-party apps or extensions in the OS shell. In addition to revealing that the device will include Accessibility features like VoiceOver, Troughton-Smith also found references to a 32x32 LED matrix, possibly relating to the area on the top of the speaker that with the right density could display shapes and/or symbols. Plus and minus symbols and a Siri button are known to be on the top of the device, so the existence of an LED matrix could potentially present additional information to the user, such as icons or a graphic equalizer. So the #HomePod probably has a screen like this. If it's the right density could easily show basic things like temperature & weather icons pic.twitter.com/l5f16EkddV— Alan Miller (@rosewoodat5th) July 28, 2017 Oddly enough, the developer also found that the HomePod is identified as an iPhone SE in the iTunes Store. Apple is sure to make further changes to the software that runs the audio speaker before it ships in December, so we'll likely have to wait until then for the full lowdown on its functionality. In the meantime, you can learn more about the device by checking out the MacRumors HomePod roundup.Related Roundup: HomePod Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
MacRumors reader Tomas Jackson has discovered that Apple is listing select movies as 4K and HDR in iTunes purchase history. In a discussion topic on the MacRumors forums, Jackson shared a screenshot of his iTunes purchase history with the 2016 film Passengers listed as "4K, HDR" in brackets. However, he said iTunes only presents the option to download the movie in HD quality, which is either 720p or 1080p depending on the content. Another reader mentioned that the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is also listed as 4K and HDR. MacRumors rented the film to check, and we can confirm the film indeed has "4K, HDR" next to it in our iTunes purchase history. Nevertheless, iTunes lists the movie's video quality as 720p. Not all movies are listed as 4K and HDR yet, and content is still in SD or HD for now, but this discovery may foreshadow what's to come. In February, Bloomberg reported Apple was testing a new, fifth-generation Apple TV capable of streaming 4K video, adding that it may be released as soon as this year. The report also said the new Apple TV, allegedly codenamed "J105" internally, would display more vivid colors, suggesting HDR support. A month later, developer Firi Games provided MacRumors with evidence of a device identified as "AppleTV6,2" and running "tvOS 11.0" connecting to its arcade game Phoenix HD for Apple TV in its logs. The IP address fell within a range linked to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California. The current Apple TV has a model identifier of AppleTV5,3, and Apple TV6,2 does not correspond with any released model. It's conceivable that Apple could launch 4K content in iTunes alongside a new Apple TV with support for up to 4K video output and HDR, or high dynamic range, which allows for sharper colors and lighting. The current, fourth-generation Apple TV has a maximum 1080p video output, and no support for HDR.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10 Tags: 4K, HDR Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Nokia disclosed its financial results for the second quarter of 2017 this week, and within the results the company mentioned that it received an "up-front cash payment" of approximately €1.7 billion ($2 billion), part of which was said to be recognized during the Q2 2017 results. Nokiamob then reached out to Nokia, and the company confirmed that the cash payment came from Apple. The payment is part of a settlement agreement reached between Apple and Nokia in May of this year, regarding a lawsuit began by Nokia in December 2016. In the original lawsuit, Nokia sued Apple in the United States and multiple other countries, with a complaint that stemmed from a disagreement between the two companies over licensing fees for Nokia technology. The legal battle continued to escalate as Apple responded with its own antitrust lawsuit against Nokia. In Apple's claims, the company said that Nokia was transferring patents to patent holding entities in a bid to gain additional royalties from Apple, violating FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) deals Apple had established with Nokia. In the settlement news this past May, the companies agreed to a multi-year patent license deal, where Nokia would provide "certain network infrastructure products and services" to Apple, and Apple would then return all Nokia-owned health products to Apple retail and online stores. In regards to the $2 billion payment from Apple, Nokia said it would disclose its plans for the money in its Q3 earnings later this year. Second, we got a substantial upfront cash payment of €1.7 billion from Apple, strengthening further our cash position. As said earlier, our plans is to provide more details on the intended use of cash in conjunction with our Q3 earnings. Nokia Technologies led the way, with sales up 90% versus the same period last year. That was largely, but not completely, driven by our recently-announced agreement with Apple; and you can also see the impact of that agreement in our cash position. So far, Apple has only partially paid the $2 billion cash sum to Nokia, so besides finishing that payment, Apple will also continue to pay royalties to the company during the term of the agreement.Tag: Nokia Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Atlantic Media chairman David G. Bradley today announced that Emerson Collective is obtaining a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine. Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell Jobs Emerson Collective is an educational and philanthropic organization co-founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple's late Steve Jobs. Bradley will retain a minority stake in The Atlantic and will continue as chairman and operating partner for at least three to five years, at which point Emerson Collective may assume full ownership of the magazine. The Atlantic is a monthly magazine with coverage areas ranging from politics and art to business and technology. It was founded in 1857 as The Atlantic Monthly in Boston, Massachusetts. The Atlantic also publishes on the web. Bradley reported to his staff that he and his advisers had compiled a list of 600 potential investors, but ended up approaching only Powell Jobs as a potential partner, due to her ambition and presumably her philanthropic efforts as well. In a statement, Powell Jobs praised The Atlantic for the breadth and scope of its purpose: to "bring about equality for all people; to illuminate and defend the American idea; to celebrate American culture and literature; and to cover our marvelous, and sometimes messy, democratic experiment." Atlantic Media did not disclose how much Powell Jobs invested to gain a controlling stake in the magazine. At this time, the deal does not affect Atlantic Media's other brands, including Quartz, Government Executive, and National Journal.Tag: Laurene Powell Jobs Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Florida company CustomPlay filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple today, claiming the fourth-generation Apple TV's rewind with closed captioning tvOS feature copies its movie companion software. Using the Siri Remote, Apple TV users can ask "what did she say?" and tvOS will rewind the TV show or movie by 10-15 seconds and resume playing with closed captioning temporarily enabled. Skip to roughly the 1:02:13 mark of Apple's September 2015 event video below to see a live demo of the feature. Skip to roughly the 1:02:13 mark of the video CustomPlay owner Max Abecassis essentially argues he invented the idea first, based on U.S. Patent No. 6,408,128 B1, filed in 1998 and granted in 2002. A relevant excerpt from the patent's description:A remote control capable of activating a replay function comprises a WHAT? button, key, or other replay function key or means, to enable a viewer by activating the replay function to automatically cause the system to: i) rewind or skip backwards the playing of the video a system default or a viewer specific previously defined amount, e.g. 20 seconds; ii) turn on the subtitle to a system default or a viewer specific previously selected subtitle language, e.g. English; iii) turn off the subtitle at either the point the WHAT? button was pressed or at some viewer specific previously defined point with respect to the time at which the WHAT? button was pressed, e.g. five seconds prior to, or after, the point the WHAT? button was pressed; and iv) increase the audio/dialog volume during the segment replayed.In its complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, CustomPlay says it has software that uses the patent available for download on its website. The company's homepage lists apps such as PopcornTrivia and CustomPlay, each available on the App Store for iPhone. For one app, named One Screen, CustomPlay describes a "What?" feature that does sound similar to the Apple TV's feature.The What? function rewinds the movie a user-defined amount of time, e.g. 20 seconds, and continues playback with the subtitles automatically enabled only during the replayed portion.One Screen, however, is the only app listed as "coming soon" on CustomPlay's website. The company still intends to make the software available to end users, according to its complaint. It's unclear if similar functionality is included in its PopcornTrivia and CustomPlay apps, or in its DVD software for PCs. CustomPlay's so-called "What"? feature CustomPlay says it contacted Apple about the potential for an exclusive business relationship in 2014. The company believes Apple is aware of its patent and, without a license, proceeded to implement its patented technology. Court documents obtained by MacRumors show CustomPlay seemingly mailed letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook and three iTunes executives in July 2014, and Abecassis sent a few follow-up emails to Cook later in the year, but it's unclear if Apple responded. There is no indication of Apple responding at the very least. Apple has an unsolicited idea submission policy to prevent potential misunderstandings or disputes when the company's products or strategies might seem similar to ideas it has received, but it's unclear if it would apply in this situation, and it does not automatically excuse Apple from patent infringement. CustomPlay's website says it is affiliated with Nissim Corporation, which appears to be a non-practicing entity, also owned by Abecassis. Nissim sued Apple last September for allegedly infringing upon seven patents related to DVD specifications. The two companies reached an unknown settlement in December. Nissim's website says it has brought lawsuits against major companies such as Apple, Paramount Pictures, Time Warner, and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. All of those companies, excluding Apple, are also listed as Nissim's licensees, alongside Acer, Bose, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Sony, and others. CustomPlay is seeking damages of an undetermined amount from Apple, plus legal costs, and it has requested a jury trial.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10 Tag: lawsuit Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has finalized terms with Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, to lease a portion of the Carnegie Library at at Mount Vernon Square, described as a newly transformed convention and entertainment district in downtown Washington D.C. The leased area, approximately 19,000 square feet, will eventually be home to an Apple retail store. The lease term is ten years with two five-year options, according to Events DC. The Historical Society, under its existing 99-year lease, will continue to operate its museum and library in the building. "As part of its philanthropic efforts, Apple will also empower local youth with job-training and educational programming," said Max Brown, chairman of Events DC's Board of Directors. "Through this collaboration, Apple's investment in the neighborhood will stimulate additional activity and spending in the area to ensure that the community will continue to thrive." Carnegie Library is a 114-year-old building located across the street from the Washington Convention Center in Mount Vernon Square. Apple will work with Foster + Partners, as it often does, to redesign the interior, which will likely draw similarities to stores like Apple Opéra in Paris and Apple Grand Central in New York. Washington D.C.'s National Capital Planning Commission still has to approve Apple as a tenant due to the building's historical legacy and importance to the city. Apple is expected to begin construction of the store later this year if approved. Apple has promised to respect Carnegie Library's historical integrity. For example, Apple's logo won't be prominently featured on the library's facade or sides. Apple does plan a few changes to Carnegie Library, including a major new skylight, but the company aims for its presence to be as subtle as possible. Rumors about Apple opening a retail store at Carnegie Library first surfaced last September. Apple has been in talks with Events DC and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. since then.Related Roundup: Apple Stores Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
The FCC has granted Apple a license to test next-generation 5G wireless technologies, as brought to our attention by DSLReports. In May, Apple submitted an application for an experimental license to test wireless technology on millimeter wave spectrum bands. Millimeter wave bands provide higher bandwidth and throughput up to 10Gb/s, but they are limited by line of sight issues that can cause problems in dense urban areas. An excerpt from Apple's application with the FCC:Apple Inc. seeks to assess cellular link performance in direct path and multipath environments between base station transmitters and receivers using this spectrum. These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks.Apple intends to transmit from two fixed points located at Apple-controlled facilities in Cupertino, California, where it is headquartered, and nearby Milpitas, according to its FCC application. Apple said it anticipates that it will safely conduct its experiments for a period not to exceed 12 months. Apple will use the 28 and 39 GHz bands, which were among those opened up by the FCC last year for the purpose of next-generation 5G broadband. It’s not entirely clear why Apple is planning to test millimeter wave performance, but it will join the likes of Google, Facebook, and major U.S. cellular carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, who are testing 5G networks in preparation to deploy the next-generation technology in the coming years. Apple could perhaps be preparing its future iPhones to take advantage of 5G technology, or the company may have some other purpose in mind. The 28GHz band in particular has been earmarked for earth-to-space transmissions, an area Apple has been exploring based on recent hires with satellite expertise.Tags: FCC, 5G Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today tweaked its iPod touch storage and pricing configurations after discontinuing the iPod nano and iPod shuffle. Apple now offers a 32GB model for $199, and a 128GB model for $299, in the United States. 16GB and 64GB models have been discontinued. Apple's previous iPod touch lineup was priced as following in the United States: • 16GB: $199 • 32GB: $249 • 64GB: $299 • 128GB: $399 The new configurations are currently in stock on Apple's online store in the same colors as previously: Silver, Gold, Space Gray, Pink, Blue, and Red. Apple last updated the iPod touch in July 2015 with an Apple A8 chip and 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera.Related Roundup: iPod touch Tag: Apple retail Buyer's Guide: iPod Touch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today removed the iPod nano and iPod shuffle from its website and online store around the world, suggesting the iconic portable media players may be discontinued. Apple continues to sell the iPod touch. Beyond new colors and storage capacities, Apple had last updated the iPod nano in October 2012 and the iPod shuffle in September 2010. Apple last updated the iPod touch in July 2015 with an 8-megapixel rear camera. Apple introduced the iPod shuffle in January 2005, followed by the iPod nano in September 2005. In total, there were seven generations of the iPod nano, and four generations of the iPod shuffle. iPod sales had been declining for several years. Apple reported 2.6 million iPods sold in the fourth quarter of 2014. Since then, Apple has grouped iPod sales under its "Other Products" category in quarterly earnings results. iPod sales peaked at 54.8 million in 2008, compared to 14.3 million in 2014, the last year in which data is available.Related Roundups: iPod shuffle, iPod nano Buyer's Guide: iPod Shuffle (Don't Buy), iPod Nano (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple supplier Foxconn today announced plans to invest $10 billion in the United States, which will go towards building a new factory in Wisconsin that will employ 3,000 or more workers. Foxconn is sharing the news at an event at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, says Recode. The upcoming factory will produce large LCD displays that are meant to be used in televisions and other similarly sized electronics, but Foxconn chairman Terry Gou has said Apple is willing to invest in the factory, so it could be expanded to smaller displays in the future. According to the Trump administration, the factory could grow to employ as many as 13,000 workers, while also encouraging Foxconn to build additional facilities in other parts of the country. Foxconn has been mulling a U.S. factory for several months and has been in talks with both the U.S government and several state governments. Foxconn considered several locations for the factory before settling on Wisconsin. 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: Foxconn Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Though Apple's radically redesigned "iPhone 8" is expected to be introduced in September alongside standard iPhone 7s and 7s Plus devices, it may not start shipping out to consumers until October to early November, according to new information shared today by Japanese site Mac Otakara [Google Translate]. Citing information from supply chain sources and various accessory makers, Mac Otakara says the iPhone 8 will not ship until the first half of the first quarter of fiscal 2018, translating to sometime in October or November. This is in line with many previous rumors and analyst predictions hinting at a delayed mass production timeline. An iPhone 8 rendering based on leaked CAD drawings that depicts the much larger side button The site's sources have only seen a front display panel component in black, suggesting Apple may only release the iPhone 8 in black. Previous rumors have suggested it will be available in a limited number of colors, with white unconfirmed. There has been some speculation that because Apple is removing the Home button from the iPhone and introducing a larger side button Touch ID could be built into said side button, but Mac Otakara does not believe that is the case. Side button components are said to be solid with no additional sensors or parts needed for Touch ID, suggesting the side button is just a simple power button. With rumors of both rear and side button Touch ID quashed, it's looking more like reports suggesting Touch ID is built into the display or removed entirely are accurate. Apple was said to be planning to build Touch ID into the display of the device, but rumors now indicate its efforts may have been unsuccessful, with the company instead planning to replace Touch ID with facial recognition. Reports are still mixed, however, so it's not yet entirely clear if Touch ID has been eliminated, but Mac Otakara says the possibility of in-display Touch ID "seems to be low." Based on images of screen protectors, the site believes there are several new front-facing sensors accessory makers will need to compensate for, further pointing towards the inclusion of new 3D sensors for facial recognition purposes. The front-facing FaceTime camera may also be relocated to the right of the device. With August fast approaching, we're only about five or six weeks away from the prospective debut date of the iPhone 8 and its companion devices, based on past launch timelines. In recent years, iPhone launch events have taken place during the first or second week of September. Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
The United States Transportation Security Administration today announced stronger screening procedures for carry-on electronics, and will require all devices larger than a cell phone to be placed in bins for X-ray screening when going through standard screening lanes. The TSA already requires laptops to be removed from carry-on bags and placed in a separate bin with nothing above or below, and it appears this will now expand to devices like iPads and portable gaming consoles. According to the TSA, extensive testing and successful pilot programs have been going on at 10 airports, which has led the administration to expand the measure to all U.S. airports "during the weeks and months ahead.""Whether you're flying to, from, or within the United States, TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security by strengthening the overall security of our commercial aviation network to keep flying as a safe option for everyone," said TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia. "It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe. By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats," said Gowadia.The TSA has found ways to "improve screening measures" by using "quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags," but requiring more bins is bound to slow down screening procedures. The new rules are already in place in the following airports: Boise (BOI), Colorado Springs (COS), Detroit Metropolitan (DTW), Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL), Logan International (BOS), Los Angeles International (LAX), Lubbock Preston Smith International (LBB), Luis Muñoz Marín International (SJU), McCarran International (LAS) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX). There's one way to get around the rules -- a TSA Pre membership. Customers who are enrolled in TSA Pre and using TSA Pre lanes will not need to remove their laptops or other electronic devices.Tag: TSA Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has informed Genius Bar employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers that it is actively working to rebuild worldwide supply of top case assemblies with batteries for Mid 2012 and Early 2013 models of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. Apple's memo says, effective July 26, service inventory of top case assemblies with batteries are now available for new repairs. The directive adds that MobileGenius, the service and support tool that Genius Bar employees use on the iPads they carry around, has stopped presenting messages about delayed repairs. For all new repair requests, Apple advises Genius Bar employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers to order the necessary inventory. Apple advises its service providers to inform customers that the inventory should arrive within 15 business days of the part order, corresponding with early August. Prior to today, a customer with an eligible MacBook Pro that failed Apple's battery diagnostic test was offered the option of exchanging the notebook for a functionally equivalent model. Or, customers could wait until battery inventory became available, in exchange for Apple covering the cost of the repair. Likely because Apple no longer makes Mid 2012 and Early 2013 models of the 15-inch MacBook Pro, the functionally equivalent model ended up being a refurbished 2015 MacBook Pro, or sometimes even a 2016 or 2017 model, according to many customers who shared their experiences on MacRumors and Reddit. What made the deal so compelling is that, for the exchange, Apple only charged its out-of-warranty battery fee of $199 in the United States, £199 in the UK, or $259 in Canada, significantly less than a new MacBook Pro costs. Apple's memo today appears to mark the end of the company offering outright exchanges for newer MacBook Pro models. Many users on MacRumors and Reddit have confirmed Genius Bar employees are now informing customers that battery inventory is available in 15 business days as instructed. It's unclear if Apple Stores will honor exchanges initiated prior to July 26 that are still being processed. Apple previously said top case assemblies with batteries for the MacBook Pro models would remain severely constrained until September 15, 2017, according to an older internal memo obtained by MacRumors. The directive did not identify a reason for the shortage, which has been ongoing since at least March.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
The Wall Street Journal has shared a lengthy interview with Apple design chief Jony Ive about Apple Park, the company's new headquarters in Cupertino, California, revealing a few new anecdotes about the all-new campus and the exhaustive architectural process that has went into constructing it. Ive, for instance, reportedly scoffed at a recent article claiming Apple Park has contributed to a tree shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area.Ive takes offense at the idea that he hasn’t already thought of every detail during the years of planning Apple Park. He scoffs at an article claiming that Apple contributed to a tree shortage in the Bay Area by buying up so many plants for the campus, “as if we’d got to the end of our project and we thought, Oh, we’d better plant some trees.” Apple began working with an arborist years ago to source trees, including varieties that once made up the bountiful orchards of Silicon Valley; more than 9,000, many of them drought-resistant, will have been planted by the time the campus is finished.The report also mentions that Ive's design team will be among the last to move into the new headquarters this fall. Employees began moving over from Apple's existing Infinite Loop campus in April, and when the transition is completed, the spaceship-like campus will reportedly house some 12,000 workers. Apple Park's fourth floor is where the company's executives will be situated, including Ive's design studio, along with the Apple Watch team and part of the group working on Siri, according to the report. Apple's Mac and iPad divisions will be interspersed with software teams on the middle levels, it adds. Apple Park has open workspaces with desks that can be raised to standing level at the push of a button (Image: WSJ) Apple Park's main cafeteria, which will reportedly serve some 14,000 lunches a day, is a four-level atrium with massive 440,000-pound glass doors. Apple employees have to pay for food, but at a somewhat subsidized rate, the report said. For perspective, some tech companies like Google offer entirely free meals. Outside, the green space within Apple Park's inner circle will play host to Apple's iconic "beer bashes" on Friday afternoons, which often include featured performances. Here, more than 9,000 trees, many of them drought-resistant, will supposedly have been planted by the time the campus is finished. Some of the trees will be regularly harvested to provide fruit for the campus kitchen, according to the report. The Wall Street Journal's complete interview is a worthwhile read for those interested in learning more about Apple Park. A handful of drone operators have also been filming monthly videos that provide a closer look at the new headquarters and its surrounding facilities throughout the construction phase.Tags: Apple Park, Jony Ive Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning to build three "big, big, big" manufacturing plants in the United States, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly told U.S. President Donald Trump. The news was shared by Trump in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Executive Tech Summit at Trump Tower in December of 2016 Cook is said to have promised to build "three big plants, beautiful plants," but little additional information is available. What those plants will manufacture is unclear, as is their potential location."I spoke to [Mr. Cook], he's promised me three big plants--big, big, big," Mr. Trump said as part of a discussion about business-tax reform and business investment. "I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won't consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward."Apple representatives declined to provide clarification on Trump's statement. Apple has been investigating manufacturing in the United States since Trump said "we're going to get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries," during a campaign speech at Virginia's Liberty University in 2016. At the time, Trump threatened to introduce a 45 percent tax on products imported from China. Following pressure from Trump, Apple reportedly asked its suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron to look into making iPhones in the United States. While Pegatron declined, Foxconn is planning to build a TFT-LCD factory in the United States, with the latest rumors suggesting the company is considering Wisconsin as the state where the facility will be built. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously explained that iPhones are manufactured in China because of the skill of the workforce. "China put an enormous focus on manufacturing," he said. "The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we're currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields." 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: Tim Cook, Donald Trump Discuss this article in our forums

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