posted 17 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today confirmed that it has addressed the recent "Meltdown" vulnerability in previously released iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 updates, with additional fixes coming to Safari in the near future to defend against the "Spectre" vulnerability. Apple has also confirmed that the two vulnerabilities affect all Mac and iOS devices. The company's full statement, available through a new support document covering Meltdown and Spectre, is below:Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems. All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time. Since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, we recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store. Apple has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to help defend against Meltdown. Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown. In the coming days we plan to release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre. We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Apple's statement does not make it clear if these vulnerabilities have been addressed in older versions of iOS and Mac, but for Macs, there were security updates for older versions of macOS released alongside macOS 10.13.2, so it's possible fixes are already available for Sierra and El Capitan. News of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities first came to light this week, but Intel and major operating system vendors like Apple, Linux, and Microsoft have known about the issue for several months and worked to prepare a fix before the security flaws were publicly shared. Spectre and Meltdown are serious vulnerabilities that take advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU. As these use hardware-based flaws, operating system manufacturers are required to implement software workarounds. These software workarounds can impact processor performance, but Intel has insisted every day users will not see serious slowdowns. Apple also says that no measurable impact has been detected in macOS and iOS.Apple released mitigations for Meltdown in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2. watchOS did not require mitigation. Our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2017 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS as measured by the GeekBench 4 benchmark, or in common Web browsing benchmarks such as Speedometer, JetStream, and ARES-6.The Meltdown vulnerability allows a malicious program to read kernel memory, accessing data like passwords, emails, documents, photos, and more. Meltdown can be exploited to read the entire physical memory of a target machine. The vulnerability is particularly problematic for cloud-based services. Spectre, which covers two exploitation techniques, breaks the isolation between different applications. Apple says that while the Spectre vulnerability is difficult to exploit, it can be done using JavaScript in a web browser. Apple plans to release Safari updates for macOS and iOS to prevent Spectre-based exploits. As with the Meltdown vulnerability, Apple says the upcoming Safari mitigations will have "no measurable impact" on Speedometer and ARES-6 tests, and an impat of less than 2.5% on the JetStream benchmark. Apple says it will continue to test further mitigations for Spectre and will release them in future versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Apple Music exec Jimmy Iovine, who works alongside Dr. Dre, Eddy Cue, Robert Kondrk, Trent Reznor and other prominent executives is planning to leave Apple in August, reports Billboard. The rumor about Iovine's alleged departure from Apple first surfaced on music rumor site Hits Daily Double, but Billboard says its sources have confirmed the news. According to Billboard, Iovine's exit will be timed with the vesting of stock he acquired when first joining Apple. Iovine joined the Apple Music team back in 2014, when Apple acquired Beats Electronics and the Beats Music streaming service, both of which were co-founded by Iovine and Dr. Dre. Iovine has had a long history with the company, though, first pitching a subscription music service to Steve Jobs in 2003. Iovine does not have an official title at Apple, but he has been heavily involved in with Apple Music since its 2015 launch and has negotiated many of the streaming deals for the service. Under Iovine's leadership, Apple music has seen strong growth since its debut, with the service now boasting more than 30 million subscribers. Should Iovine leave Apple, it's not clear if he would be replaced, nor what his plans are after departing the company.Tags: Jimmy Iovine, Apple MusicDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Intel today announced that the firmware updates and software patches that are being released for its CPUs render Intel-based computer systems "immune" to both the Spectre and Meltdown exploits that were widely publicized this week.Intel has developed and is rapidly issuing updates for all types of Intel-based computer systems -- including personal computers and servers -- that render those systems immune from both exploits (referred to as "Spectre" and "Meltdown") reported by Google Project Zero. Intel and its partners have made significant progress in deploying updates as both software patches and firmware updates.Intel says updates have been issued for the majority of Intel processor products introduced within the past five years, and by the end of next week, more than 90 percent of processor products from the last five years will be patched. For Mac users, Apple has already addressed the vulnerabilities in the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update, and further updates will come in macOS High Sierra 10.13.3. To make sure you're protected as a Mac user, install all of the latest operating system updates and firmware patches. As always, it's also worth avoiding suspicious programs, websites, and links. Intel today also reiterated that the updates that are being released for Mac, PC, and Linux machines should not significantly impact day to day usage and should, for the most part, be unnoticeable. That seems to be true of the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update, as there have been no reports of slowdowns from Mac users.Intel continues to believe that the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time. While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that impact.While hints of an Intel CPU design flaw and security vulnerability surfaced on Tuesday, it wasn't until Wednesday that full details were shared on the Meltdown and Spectre exploits, which take advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU. Meltdown impacts Intel CPUs, allowing a malicious program to access data from the memory of running apps, providing passwords, emails, documents, photos, and more. Meltdown can be exploited to read the entire physical memory of a target machine, and it can be done through something as simple as a website. The vulnerability is particularly problematic for cloud-based services. Spectre, which breaks the isolation between different applications, is a wider hardware-based problem impacting all modern Intel, ARM, and AMD processors. Spectre is harder to exploit than Meltdown, but it is also harder to mitigate. While patches are going out that appear to prevent the current known Meltdown and Spectre exploits, these speculative execution vulnerabilities will continue to be a problem for years to come, according to security researchers. Similar vulnerabilities will surface, and while performance impacts from software-based workarounds are minor, they're still present. Paul Kocher, one of the security researchers who helped discover the flaws, told The New York Times that this will be a "festering problem over hardware life cycles." "It's not going to change tomorrow or the day after," he said. "It's going to take awhile."Tag: IntelDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
The App Store had a record-breaking holiday season according to a new press release issued by Apple this afternoon. During the week starting on Christmas Eve, a record number of customers made App Store purchases, spending more than $890 million in that seven-day period. On New Year's Day 2018 alone, customers made $300 million in purchases. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said the company is "thrilled" with the reaction to the revamped App Store that was introduced as part of iOS 11. "We are thrilled with the reaction to the new App Store and to see so many customers discovering and enjoying new apps and games," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We want to thank all of the creative app developers who have made these great apps and helped to change people's lives. In 2017 alone, iOS developers earned $26.5 billion -- more than a 30 percent increase over 2016."According to Apple, popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go topped the App Store charts on December 21 after new AR features were introduced. Apple says there are close to 2,000 ARKit-enabled apps on the App Store, with popular titles including CSR Racing 2, Stack AR, Kings of Pool, Amazon, Wayfair, Night Sky, Pitu, and Snapchat. Apple's ARKit mention comes following a report that has suggested interest in ARKit apps is waning. App Store data shared yesterday by Apptopia suggests developers have been releasing fewer ARKit-compatible apps over the course of the last two months. Apple in iOS 11 introduced a new App Store that separates apps and games into distinct categories for improved app discovery. The redesigned App Store also features a "Today" section that's updated on a daily basis with new and popular apps and games.Tag: App StoreDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Spotify today announced on Twitter that it has hit a new milestone, with the streaming music service reaching a total of 70 million paid subscribers. Over the course of the last six months, Spotify's paid subscriber base has grown by 10 million customers, up from 60 million in late July. When adding in customers who listen to the free ad-supported Spotify tier, the service has more than 140 million subscribers worldwide. Comparatively, Apple Music has upwards of 30 million paying subscribers. Apple last shared Apple Music metrics in late September, when Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine said the service had "well over" 30 million subscribers. Since it's been three months since we last heard an update, Apple's current subscriber number is likely closer to 35 million subscribers, based on past growth rates. Hello 70 million subscribers 👏— Spotify (@Spotify) January 4, 2018 In September of 2016, Apple Music had 17 million subscribers, so growth has nearly doubled over the course of the past year, but that hasn't stopped Spotify from continuing to grow at a rapid pace as well. Apple Music subscriptions start at $9.99 per month following a free trial (with lower prices available for students), while Spotify continues to offer both a free tier and an upgraded on-demand listening tier also priced at $9.99 per month. Spotify's new 70 million subscriber milestone comes following a recent confidential IPO filing with Securities and Exchange Commission. Spotify plans to go public through a direct listing, forgoing the traditional initial public offering. Without a traditional IPO, there will be no predetermined price for Spotify shares when it goes public. Spotify is also currently facing a copyright lawsuit for allegedly using thousands of songs from artists like Tom Petty, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, and the Doors without a license from publisher Wixen Music.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Back in October, Google released the Google Pixelbook, a portable laptop/tablet hybrid machine that runs Chrome OS. We got our hands on one of the Pixelbooks from Google, and we decided to pit it against the iPad Pro, Apple's tablet that's powerful enough to serve as a PC replacement. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Priced starting at $999, the Pixelbook is more expensive than even the largest iPad Pro. Apple charges $649 for the entry-level 10.5-inch iPad Pro and $799 for the entry-level 12.9-inch iPad Pro. For $999, the Pixelbook comes equipped with a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD, with all of the components upgradeable for a higher price tag. It has a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, putting it on par with Apple's larger iPad Pro, and it offers 10 hours of battery life. The Pixelbook is just as portable as the iPad Pro, and it has the benefit of a 2-in-1 design with a 360-degree rotating hinge, which means it can be used as a traditional laptop or folded back for use as a tablet, complete with accompanying pen. As a laptop, the Pixelbook is on par with other ultraportable notebooks, but as a tablet, its keyboard is adding some extra thickness you won't see on the iPad Pro. Though convertibility is a nice feature and wins out over the traditional tablet form factor, Google can't quite compete with Apple when it comes to software and performance due to issues with some unoptimized Android apps running on the Pixelbook. The iPad Pro's A10X Fusion chip is incredibly speedy, and optimizations like Metal 2 mean apps run super fast and super smooth on Apple's tablet. The Pixelbook isn't slow by any means, and ChromeOS does offer increased security much like iOS, but the Pixelbook's high price tag, operating system limitations, and size are tough to swallow compared to the lower-priced and just-as-capable iPad Pro.Related Roundup: iPad ProTag: GoogleBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Neutral), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
A new report posted today by Canalys predicts that 2018 will be "the defining year" for smart speaker adoption, with the global market expected to grow to 56.3 million shipments by the end of the year, up from just over 30 million in 2017 (via TechCrunch). Canalys predicts that Amazon and Google will remain in the lead with Echo and Home speakers, respectively. In addition to existing products, Apple's HomePod will be one of multiple new entries in the market to help smart speaker consumer adoption grow this year. Canalys research analyst Lucio Chen said that smart speaker uptake has "grown faster than any other consumer technology" the group has recently encountered, including augmented reality, virtual reality, and wearables. “2018 will be the defining year for smart speaker adoption,” said Canalys Research Analyst Lucio Chen. “Smart speaker uptake has grown faster than any other consumer technology we’ve recently encountered, such as AR, VR or even wearables. While 2017 has been a banner year for smart speakers in terms of hardware sales, especially for Google and Amazon, smart speakers in 2018 will move beyond hardware, with strategic attempts to monetize the growing installed base in the US and beyond. The possibilities to do this are endless, be it discreet advertising, content subscription bundles, premium services or enterprise solutions. The technology is still in transition, and increased investments from multiple players of the ecosystem will fuel growth.” On a country-by-country basis, the United States is believed to remain "the single most important market" for smart speakers in 2018, with shipments predicted to reach 38.4 million units. China is then marked as a distant second place with 4.4 million units. Looking further into the future, Canalys mentioned that the U.S. will hold its top spot in the global smart speaker market through 2020. Canalys wrote that smart speaker adoption has accelerated on a global scale due to "successful upgrades" to existing products, and potential for smart home integration. “Vendors have begun offering successful upgrades to their latest models, and a key element driving this stickiness are the smart home partnerships. Alexa’s multiple smart home integrations, Google’s partnership with Nest and Apple’s HomeKit initiatives will continue to excite consumers of the smart speaker and fuel sales in 2018.” The HomePod will be Apple's entry into the smart speaker market, allowing users to use voice commands to control HomeKit devices, play Apple Music, ask Siri questions, and more. The device was previously set to launch in December 2017, but in November Apple decided to delay the speaker's debut to early 2018. Since that delay we haven't heard any mention of when the HomePod might launch, but the company's definition of "early" is generally January through April.Related Roundup: HomePodTag: CanalysDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 18 days ago on mac rumors
Canada's most populous city may eventually be home to a flagship Apple retail store at one of its busiest intersections. A render of what The One will look like upon completion MacRumors has learned that Apple has been labeled in a planning document for The One, a massive 82-floor condominium under construction at the corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street in Toronto. The architecture firm behind the project, Foster + Partners, has partnered with Apple on numerous occasions. The One's architectural plan The plans outline a proposed triple-height, 19,000-square-foot retail store with space for a riser to the ceiling, suggesting the store could have a cantilevered balcony like Apple's flagship Union Square location in San Francisco. The store's large glass entrance would open up to the sidewalk facing Yonge Street. Apple Union Square in San Francisco While the blueprints were submitted to the City of Toronto in March 2016, eagle-eyed MacRumors reader and Toronto resident Pedro Marques noticed the document has been updated, and it appears Apple was labeled at a later date. Apple has yet to announce any plans to open a flagship store in Toronto, but rumors about the company setting up shop at Yonge and Bloor date back to at least 2012. The planning document is the first concrete evidence we've seen beyond subtle hints from builder Mizrahi Developments. Apple would be one of several retailers at the base of the condominium, and the store could also have an entrance in Toronto's PATH, a series of underground hallways that connect downtown offices, stores, and subway stations. Despite being mentioned in the planning document, there is no guarantee that Apple has finalized a lease to occupy The One. A few years ago, an anonymous tipster informed MacRumors that Apple was considering pulling out of the project given delays, pushback from some local residents, and other issues. Toronto has four existing Apple retail stores at Eaton Centre, Fairview Mall, Sherway Gardens, and Yorkdale, but all of them are within shopping malls, and only one is located in the downtown core. A large, street-facing Apple store has been long desired in Toronto, and within a few years, it may finally be a reality.Related Roundup: Apple StoresTag: CanadaDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's decision to offer $29 battery replacements to customers with older iPhones could cause iPhone sales to drop in 2018, according to Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz (via CNBC). Customers opting for a battery replacement instead of upgrading an iPhone could be a "mild headwind" for iPhone unit sales, potentially resulting in millions of fewer iPhone purchases during the year. Moskowitz believes up to 77 percent of iPhone users are eligible to upgrade their batteries. In our base case scenario, 10% of those 519M users take the $29 offer, and around 30% of them decide not to buy a new iPhone this year. This means around 16M iPhone sales could be at risk, creating ~4% downside to our current revenue estimate for C2018.It remains to be seen if and how the battery replacement program will impact sales in practice despite analyst predictions, as there are other considerations that drive upgrades, such as new features. Apple began offering reduced-cost battery replacements following backlash from an admission that it slows down some older iPhone models with degraded batteries to prevent them from shutting down unexpectedly. The power management issue impacts the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus, but only in situations where battery health has declined. Affected iPhones see throttling during times of peak power usage, such as when running a benchmark. iPhones that are running slower can be restored to their original condition with a fresh battery, which is why Apple has decided to offer $29 replacements from now until the end of 2018. While Apple implemented power management features in older iPhones in an attempt to extend their lives as long as possible, some people have claimed that Apple is intentionally slowing devices to push its customers to upgrade, which the company says is not true. From Apple:First and foremost, we have never -- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.Though Apple may not have been aiming to get customers to upgrade their devices by implementing power management features, it's an inevitable side effect, hence why the battery program could cut into sales somewhat. Apple is currently facing several lawsuits from customers who claim they upgraded after experiencing slower speeds on their older iPhones. Apple plans to offer $29 battery replacements throughout the year, and according to internal documentation, all customers who ask for a battery replacement for an affected iPhone will receive one, regardless of battery health.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Intel this afternoon addressed reports of a serious design flaw and security vulnerability in its CPUs, shedding additional light on the issue that was uncovered yesterday and has since received extensive media coverage. In a statement on its website, Intel says that it planned to disclose the vulnerability next week when additional software patches were available, but was forced to make a statement today due to "inaccurate media reports." According to Intel, the issue is not limited to Intel chips and the exploits in question do not have the potential to corrupt, modify, or delete data. Despite Intel's statement, Intel chips are more heavily impacted, and it's worth noting that Intel makes no mention of reading kernel level data.Intel and other technology companies have been made aware of new security research describing software analysis methods that, when used for malicious purposes, have the potential to improperly gather sensitive data from computing devices that are operating as designed. Intel believes these exploits do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data. Recent reports that these exploits are caused by a "bug" or a "flaw" and are unique to Intel products are incorrect. Based on the analysis to date, many types of computing devices -- with many different vendors' processors and operating systems -- are susceptible to these exploits.Intel says it is working with several other technology companies including AMD, ARM, and operating system vendors to "develop an industry-wide approach" to resolve the problem "promptly and constructively." As outlined yesterday, the design flaw appears to allow normal user programs to see some of the contents of the protected kernel memory, potentially giving hackers and malicious programs access to sensitive information like passwords, login keys, and more. Fixing the issue involves isolating the kernel's memory from user processes using Kernel Page Table Isolation at the OS level. Despite reports suggesting software fixes for the vulnerability could cause slowdowns of 5 to 30 percent on some machines, Intel claims performance impacts are workload-dependent and will not be noticeable to the average computer user.Intel has begun providing software and firmware updates to mitigate these exploits. Contrary to some reports, any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time.Intel goes on to say that it believes its products are "the most secure in the world" and that the current fixes in the works provide the "best possible security" for its customers. Intel recommends that users install operating system updates as soon as they are available. For Mac users, Apple has already addressed the design flaw in macOS 10.13.2, which was released to the public on December 6.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
A serious design flaw and security vulnerability discovered in Intel CPUs has reportedly already been partially addressed by Apple in the recent macOS 10.13.2 update, which was released to the public on December 6. According to developer Alex Ionescu, Apple introduced a fix in macOS 10.13.2, with additional tweaks set to be introduced in macOS 10.13.3, currently in beta testing. AppleInsider also says that it has heard from "multiple sources within Apple" that updates made in macOS 10.13.2 have mitigated "most" security concerns associated with the KPTI vulnerability. The question on everyone's minds: Does MacOS fix the Intel #KPTI Issue? Why yes, yes it does. Say hello to the "Double Map" since 10.13.2 -- and with some surprises in 10.13.3 (under Developer NDA so can't talk/show you). cc @i0n1c @s1guza @patrickwardle pic.twitter.com/S1YJ9tMS63— Alex Ionescu (@aionescu) January 3, 2018 Publicized yesterday, the design flaw in Intel chips allows normal user programs to see some of the contents of the protected kernel memory, potentially giving hackers and malicious programs access to sensitive information like passwords, login keys, and more. Full details on the vulnerability continue to be unavailable and under embargo, so it's not yet clear just how serious it is, but fixing it involves isolating the kernel's memory from user processes using Kernel Page Table Isolation at the OS level. Implementing Kernel Page Table Isolation could cause a performance hit on some machines. According to The Register, which first shared details on the vulnerability, Windows and Linux machines will see a 5 to 30 percent slowdown once a fix is in place. It appears Macs may not be hit as heavily, as no noticeable performance slowdowns have been reported since the launch of macOS 10.13.2. Ionescu also says that performance drop on a system with PCID (Process-Context Identifiers), available on most modern Macs, is "minimal," so most users may not see an impact on day-to-day Mac usage.Tag: IntelDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has yet another new original television show in the works, which will star Octavia Spencer, known for her work in movies like "Hidden Figures," "The Help," "Gifted," and "The Shape of Water." According to Variety, the upcoming series is a drama called "Are You Sleeping," which is based on a novel by Kathleen Barber. Image of Octavia Spencer via Variety Described as a psychological thriller, the book focuses on a podcast that reopens a murder case, similar to the popular "Serial" podcast. The novel explores how the reopening of the murder case impacts the victim's daughter and disrupts her life. Sarah Koenig, who created and produced the "Serial" podcast, will consult on the series. "Are You Sleeping" was written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman, and the series will be produced by Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine and Chernin Entertainment/Endeavor Content. Apple is also working with Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine on an as of yet untitled "morning show drama" that will take a look into the "cutthroat world" of morning TV. Along with these two TV shows, Apple has picked up two additional shows, including a revival of 1985 Steven Spielberg sci-fi series "Amazing Stories" and an untitled space drama developed by Donald D. Moore, known for "Battlestar Galactica." Apple has been heavily pursuing original content since June of 2017, which is when it hired former Sony executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht to form a new video unit. Van Amburg and Erlicht, who produced shows like "Breaking Bad," "The Crown," and "Better Call Saul," are running Apple's video programming efforts on a worldwide scale under iTunes chief Eddy Cue. Since June, Apple has made multiple high-profile TV-related hires and has opened an office at The Culver Studios in Los Angeles. It's not yet clear when the first of Apple's original TV shows will premiere, but it's possible at least one of these will be ready in time for a 2018 debut.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2.5 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the second beta and three weeks after releasing iOS 11.2.1, an update that introduced a fix for a HomeKit vulnerability. Registered developers can download the iOS 11.2.5 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. It's not clear what new features, if any, will be included in the iOS 11.2.5 beta. We didn't discover any noticeable outward-facing changes in the first two iOS 11.2.5 betas, so it's possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes and security improvements. If that's the case, we may not know the extent of what's in the update until it sees a public release. Apple is supposed to be releasing an iCloud Messages feature that was pulled from the iOS 11 release, but there has been no indication of when we can expect iCloud Messages to be reintroduced. Should new features be found in the third iOS 11.2.5 beta, we'll update this post.Related Roundup: iOS 11Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
By now, you've probably seen headlines about Apple slowing down your iPhone, but it's not nearly as simple or corrupt as it sounds. In this Q&A, we've taken the time to explain exactly what's going on. Why is Apple slowing down some older iPhone models? iPhones, like many other consumer electronics, are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan. As the battery in your iPhone ages, its ability to hold a charge slowly diminishes. A chemically aging battery can also have increased impedance, reducing its ability to provide a sudden burst of power when demanded by other components in an iPhone, such as the CPU and GPU. A battery's impedance will also temporarily increase when it has a low charge and/or in cold temperatures. A battery with a high enough impedance may be unable to provide power quickly enough to the iPhone when needed, and Apple safeguards components against the drop in voltage by shutting down the device. Apple recognized that iPhones unexpectedly shutting down on users is not a good experience, and starting with iOS 10.2.1, it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns. The update was released in January 2017, and a month later, Apple said it saw a major reduction in shutdowns. How does Apple's power management feature work? Apple says it looks at a combination of an iPhone's internal temperature, battery percentage, and battery impedance, and only if a certain criteria is met, iOS will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, such as the CPU and GPU, in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Does my iPhone have this feature if needed? Apple said the power management feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE models running iOS 10.2.1 or any newer software version. The feature was also expanded to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.2 or any newer software version. Any older iPhone models are currently not affected, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 3G, and the original iPhone, even though some of those models have also experienced shutdowns. The latest iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are also currently not affected. How do I know if my iPhone is being slowed down? There are a few different ways in which you can determine if your iPhone is being slowed down temporarily: - Benchmark your iPhone: Download the Geekbench 4 app from the App Store and benchmark your iPhone. Each CPU workload models a real-world task or application. If your iPhone has noticeably lower scores compared to the averages, it could be due to Apple's power management feature artificially kicking in. - Use coconutBattery: Download, install, and open coconutBattery for Mac, connect your iPhone to your Mac with a Lightning to USB cable, and click on the iOS Device tab in the app. Here, you can view your iPhone's battery capacity, which if low suggests your device may be slowed down only when necessary. - Wait for battery-related iOS update: Early in 2018, Apple has promised to release an iOS update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance. This will likely be the easiest solution. Will the iPhone 8 and iPhone X eventually be affected? In a statement issued December 20, Apple said it "plans to add support for other products in the future," and by that definition, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X could eventually be affected. In a support article titled iPhone Battery and Performance, published December 28, Apple toned down that language a bit and simply said "we will continue improving our power management feature in the future," so it's unclear if the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X may be eventually affected. Apple expanded the feature to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models when iOS 11.2 was publicly released in December 2017, nearly one year after implementing the changes in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE when iOS 10.2.1 was publicly released in January 2017. Is my iPhone slowed down all the time? Apple is not permanently or persistently slowing down older iPhones. Even if your iPhone is affected, the performance limitations only happen intermittently, when the device is completing demanding tasks. The power management only occurs in spurts, when needed, and ensures a smoother distribution of system tasks, rather than larger, quick spikes of performance all at once, which was the root cause of shutdowns. A recent analysis of Geekbench 4 scores for iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models running iOS 10.2, iOS 10.2.1, and iOS 11.2 visualized an apparent link between lower performance and aging batteries, but this is to be expected since iPhones are artificially pushed to their maximum performance in benchmark tests. How much is Apple slowing down my iPhone if and when it is? Apple hasn't specified exactly how much it is slowing down older iPhones when necessary, but in extreme cases, it said users may notice effects such as longer app launch times, lower frame rates while scrolling, and slightly lower speaker volume. Cellular, GPS, and location services are always unaffected. An excerpt from Apple's iPhone and Battery Performance document:In some cases, a user may not notice any differences in daily device performance. The level of perceived change depends on how much power management is required for a particular device. In cases that require more extreme forms of this power management, the user may notice effects such as: - Longer app launch times - Lower frame rates while scrolling - Backlight dimming (which can be overridden in Control Center) - Lower speaker volume by up to -3dB - Gradual frame rate reductions in some apps - During the most extreme cases, the camera flash will be disabled as visible in the camera UI - Apps refreshing in background may require reloading upon launch Many key areas are not impacted by this power management feature. Some of these include: - Cellular call quality and networking throughput performance - Captured photo and video quality - GPS performance - Location accuracy - Sensors like gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer - Apple PayIs there a way to disable the power management feature on my iPhone? Not currently. The only way to avoid Apple's power management feature is to avoid installing iOS 10.2.1 or iOS 11.2 depending on which iPhone you have, although many customers have already updated by now, and it is no longer possible to downgrade to software versions earlier than iOS 11.2. Is Apple purposefully slowing down my older iPhone? For several years, there has been a conspiracy theory that Apple artificially slows down older iPhone models to incentivize a customer to upgrade to a newer, faster iPhone, and a wealth of misinformation and some sensational reporting about Apple's power management feature has only fueled that fire. In a letter to customers, Apple said its power management feature is actually designed to extend the life of an older iPhone as much as possible, rather than having the device frustratingly shut down unexpectedly. In other words, Apple's intentions are actually quite the opposite of what some are accusing. Apple denied any kind of planned obsolescence by flat out stating that it never has and never would do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience, to drive customer upgrades.We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.Whether a customer chooses to believe Apple is his or her choice, but there is no evidence to suggest that Apple's power management feature is designed for any other purpose than to prevent iPhones from unexpectedly shutting down. Why did Apple apologize then? Apple apologized because it could have been much more transparent about the power management changes introduced in iOS 10.12.1. The feature was not mentioned in the update's release notes, and in a statement issued in February 2017, Apple vaguely mentioned "improvements" made to prevent unexpected shutdowns. From its letter to customers:We've been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize.Given it didn't fully communicate the changes, some iPhone users with a suddenly slower device may not have realized that they could have simply replaced the battery to regain maximum performance consistently. As a result, some customers may have even unnecessarily purchased a brand new iPhone. Are other Apple products affected: iPad, Mac, Apple TV? Apple said the power management feature only applies to select iPhone models listed above. There is currently no evidence to suggest the feature extends to other Apple devices, including any iPad, iPod, Mac, Apple Watch, or Apple TV. Why is Apple in the headlines now when iOS 10.2.1 was released nearly a year ago? When iOS 10.2.1 was publicly released, the release notes vaguely mentioned that the software update contained general bug fixes and improvements. Likewise, when Apple released a statement claiming iOS 10.2.1 had resulted in a significant reduction of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s shutdowns, it still only mentioned "improvements" were made to reduce occurrences of shutdowns. Apple's statement in February 2017:With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone. iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50% of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we've received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we're seeing a more than 80% reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70% reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down.It wasn't until December 2017, nearly one year after iOS 10.2.1 was released, that Apple revealed the software update includes a power management to "smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed" to prevent older iPhone models from unexpectedly shutting down. Apple's statement in December 2017:Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components. Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We've now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.Apple's admission came a few weeks after a Reddit user claimed his own iPhone 6s' performance significantly increased after replacing the device's battery, which reignited the conspiracy theory about the company intentionally slowing down older iPhone models. Apple didn't help itself by remaining quiet. What are Apple's next steps? In its apology letter for its lack of communication, Apple outlined three steps it is taking to address customer concerns and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted the company's intentions. First, Apple has reduced the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements by $50 (from $79 to $29 in the United States) for any customer with an iPhone 6 or newer. The discount is available worldwide between now and the end of 2018, with prices varying based on local currencies. Next, early in 2018, Apple has promised to release an iOS update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance. How do I get my iPhone battery replaced? Depending on your location, you can receive a battery replacement by sending in your iPhone or scheduling a Genius Bar appointment. To get started, visit the Contact Apple Support page, click on See Your Products, sign in to your Apple ID account, select which iPhone, and click on Battery, Power, and Charging and then Battery Replacement. After completing the above steps, you should have options available to you to bring in your iPhone to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider, mail the device to an Apple Repair Center, or both. If you choose to bring it in, you will be prompted to schedule an appointment at a nearby Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. If the store or service center you visit has replacement batteries in stock, the repair could take just a matter of hours, but otherwise it could take up to 3-5 business days. If you choose to mail it in, you will be asked to fill in your shipping address and billing information to pay for the $29 battery replacement fee, plus shipping costs and local taxes. Shortly after, Apple will send a postage paid box to the address you provide to send your iPhone to an Apple Repair Center. Apple says the mailed-in battery replacement process takes approximately 5-9 business days, although your mileage may vary. Be prepared to possibly be without your iPhone for awhile if you choose this option. Does my iPhone battery have to fail a diagnostic test to qualify for a reduced-price battery replacement? Apple distributed a memo to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, that states customers with an iPhone 6 or newer can request a $29 replacement battery "regardless of diagnostic result." If a customer is requesting a free battery replacement under the terms of Apple's limited one-year warranty, however, the battery must fail the diagnostic test, meaning it has lower than 80 percent capacity with fewer than 500 full charge cycles. I already paid to have my iPhone battery replaced recently. Am I eligible for a partial refund? Apple distributed a memo to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, that states customers may be eligible for a refund if they paid for a battery repair or replacement at a higher price. In other words, if you paid Apple's standard $79 out-of-warranty fee to replace the battery in your iPhone 6 or newer, you should contact Apple Support or visit an Apple Store to inquire about a partial refund. We've heard that Apple may only honor refunds for full-price battery replacements initiated after December 14, and there may be other requirements, so your mileage may vary. We recommend contacting Apple Support for more details. How do I contact Apple Support? Visit the Contact Apple Support page to reach a specialist by phone, online chat, or email, or to schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store. Apple also operates a support account on Twitter.Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone SEBuyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone SE (Don't Buy), iPhone 8 (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
LG Display saw its shares surge to a one-month high on Wednesday following a report that the company will begin supplying OLED panels to Apple's new range of iPhones this year (via Financial Times). LG's stock rallied on an Electronic Times report that the South Korean firm would make over 15 million OLED panels for Apple's 2018 range of iPhones. LG is already a supplier of LCD panels, currently used in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but Samsung dominates supply of OLED displays for Apple's flagship iPhone X. Indeed, last week LG Display revealed in a regulatory filing that it didn't supply any of the OLED panels currently used in the iPhone X. iPhone X Plus mockup by Benjamin Geskin via iDrop News However, that could change this year, since Apple is expected to launch two new 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iPhone models with OLED displays in 2018. According to today's report, LG Display will supply Apple with the 6.5-inch OLED panels, while Samsung will supply the 5.8-inch or 6-inch OLED panels. Reports have been trickling out since July 2017 that Apple has invested billions of dollars in LG's OLED production capability for smartphones, but the fruits of its investment were thought to be some ways off. LG was initially reported to have secured 45,000 panels per month for future iPhones from 2019, while as recently as September it was suggested that Apple would have to wait until at least next year before it could move beyond Samsung for significant supplies of OLED panels. However, Wednesday's report suggests LG could secure its position as the number two supplier of OLED screens for Apple's iPhones as early as the second half of 2018. LG is said to be planning to mass-produce the panels for Apple at its Gen 6 flexible OLED production line located in Paju, South Korea. LG came in for scrutiny recently after it emerged that the firm supplied Google with the Pixel 2 XL's OLED displays, some of which were reportedly prone to screen burn-in or image retention issues. It remains unclear whether the problems stemmed from LG or other factors were involved, although the smaller Pixel 2 and original Pixel phones – both with Samsung-supplied OLED displays – have experienced far fewer issues. It's also worth noting that Apple says OLED displays can show "slight visual changes" after extended long-term use and minor screen burn-in is considered normal. The new iPhone X and iPhone X Plus will likely launch around the usual timeframe of September to October, potentially alongside a new 6.1-inch mid-range model with an LCD display. Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: LG DisplayBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
A serious design flaw and security vulnerability has been discovered in Intel's CPUs that will require an update at the operating system level to fix, reports The Register. All modern computers with Intel chips from the last 10 years appear to be affected, including those running Windows, Linux, and macOS. Similar operating systems, such as Apple's 64-bit macOS, will also need to be updated - the flaw is in the Intel x86 hardware, and it appears a microcode update can't address it. It has to be fixed in software at the OS level, or go buy a new processor without the design blunder.Full details on the vulnerability aren't yet known as the information is currently under embargo until later in the month. The Register has unearthed some data, however, and it seems the bug allows normal user programs to see some of the contents of the protected kernel memory. This means malicious programs can potentially, in a worst case scenario, read the contents of the kernel memory, which can include information like passwords, login keys, and more. It's not yet clear how severe the bug is, but The Register speculates that it's significant given the rapid changes being made to Windows and Linux.At worst, the hole could be abused by programs and logged-in users to read the contents of the kernel's memory. Suffice to say, this is not great. The kernel's memory space is hidden from user processes and programs because it may contain all sorts of secrets, such as passwords, login keys, files cached from disk, and so on. Imagine a piece of JavaScript running in a browser, or malicious software running on a shared public cloud server, able to sniff sensitive kernel-protected data.To fix the bug, the kernel's memory needs to be isolated from user processes using Kernel Page Table Isolation, which could cause a performance hit on some machines. According to The Register, Linux and Windows machines will see a 5 to 30 percent slowdown once the fix is in place. It's not yet clear how Macs will be impacted, as there is little information available at this time. Software updates are in the works for Linux and Windows, and though not mentioned, Apple is also likely working on a fix for the issue. Full details on what's known about the vulnerability can be found at The Register, and additional information will be available later this month when complete details on the design flaw are shared.Tag: IntelDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
With the iMac Pro now in the hands of customers and available at Apple retail stores, popular repair site iFixit has acquired one of the $4,999 machines and has opened it up to see just what's inside. iFixit tore down the base iMac Pro model with an 8-core processor, 32GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD. iFixit found that the RAM, CPU, and SSDs in the iMac Pro are modular and can potentially be replaced following purchase, but most of the key components "require a full disassembly to replace." Standard 27-inch iMacs have a small hatch in the back that allows easy access to the RAM for post-purchase upgrades, but that's missing in the iMac Pro. Apple has said that iMac Pro owners will need to get RAM replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. iFixit says that compared to the 5K 27-inch iMac, replacing the RAM in the iMac Pro is indeed "a major undertaking." Apple is using standard 288-pin DDR4 ECC RAM sticks with standard chips, which iFixit was able to upgrade using its own $2,000 RAM upgrade kit. A CPU upgrade is "theoretically possible," but because Apple uses a custom-made Intel chip, it's not clear if an upgrade is actually feasible. The same goes for the SSDs -- they're modular and removable, but custom made by Apple. Unlike the CPU, the GPU is BGA-soldered into place and cannot be removed. The internals of the iMac Pro are "totally different" from other iMacs, which is unsurprising as Apple said it introduced a new thermal design to accommodate the Xeon-W processors and Radeon Pro Vega GPUs built into the machines. The new thermal design includes an "enormous" dual-fan cooler, what iFixit says is a "ginormous heat sink," and a "big rear vent." Apple's iMac Pro appears to be equipped with the same LG display panel that's used in the standard 27-inch 5K iMac, but because of new cables and a different camera setup, screens can't be swapped across models. iFixit gives the iMac Pro a repairability score of 3/10, because despite its upgradeable RAM and CPU, it's difficult to open and tough to get to internal components that might need to be repaired or replaced. The iMac Pro became available for purchase in mid-December, and the machine is now available to order from Apple's website, with 8 and 10-core configurations shipping out in just a few days. Many Apple retail stores around the world also have the base model in stock and available for immediate purchase. Higher-priced 14 and 18-core configurations can be ordered, but won't ship out for several weeks. Pricing on the iMac Pro starts at $4,999 for the base machine with an 8-core 3.2GHz processor, 32GB ECC RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics card, and goes up to $13,199 for a maxed out iMac Pro with a 3.3GHz 18-core processor, 128GB ECC RAM, a 4TB SSD, and a Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics card.Related Roundup: iMac ProBuyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple recently purchased Vancouver-based app startup Buddybuild, according to a blog post on the Buddybuild website (via iMore). Buddybuild's website describes the company as a "continuous integration, continuous deployment, and user feedback platform for development teams." In other words, Buddybuild offers tools for developers that are designed to let them quickly and easily build apps through GitHub, BitBucket, or GitLab. The entire Buddybuild team will be joining the Xcode engineering group at Apple to "build amazing developer tools for the entire iOS community," with Buddybuild being rolled into Xcode itself. Buddybuild will continue to operate out of Vancouver, Canada, and the Buddybuild service will remain available to existing customers for building, testing, and shipping iOS apps.We're excited to share that the buddybuild team has joined the Xcode engineering group at Apple to build amazing developer tools for the entire iOS community. We've always been proud to be a Canadian company, so we're also pleased that we will be staying right here in Vancouver -- a hotbed of developer and engineering talent.Though the service will remain available for current customers, the company is no longer accepting new customers. Current free starter plans and Android app development tools will be discontinued on March 1, 2018 following the acquisition.Tag: Apple acquisitionDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning to launch a second-generation iPhone SE in 2018 to target the mid-range smartphone market, according to a new report on predicted global smartphone production growth in 2018 shared this morning by Taiwanese market research firm TrendForce. The first iPhone SE was introduced in the spring of 2016, and it saw no updates in 2017. For that reason, it's been unclear if Apple plans to continue on with the iPhone SE line, but in addition to the information from TrendForce, a recent rumor from Taiwan's Economic Daily News has suggested a new 4-inch device is in the works. A new iPhone SE could come during the first half of 2018, and it is reportedly being assembled by Taiwanese Apple supplier Wistron at its factory in Bangalore, India. We don't know what specs a new iPhone SE might include, but the original has hardware from the iPhone 6s, including an A9 chip, 2GB RAM, and a 12-megapixel rear camera. In addition to a new version of the iPhone SE, TrendForce says new flagship iPhones in 2018 will include improved Face ID, more memory, and AMOLED displays for two models, in line with previous 2018 iPhone rumors we've heard pointing towards a second-generation 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X, a larger ~6.5-inch OLED "iPhone X Plus," and a ~6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display.iPhone X sparked a heated discussion in 2017, but iPhone's production volume increased by only 3% over 2016 due to the technical barriers in improving yield rate of innovative models. With regard to the supply chain, new iPhones in 2018 will continue to improve Face ID technology, screen to body ratio, etc., moreover, the company plans to increase the memory content and embed AMOLED display in two of its models. [...] In terms of biometric recognition, iPhone will continue to feature Face ID while other brands will use mainly capacitive fingerprint sensors in the first half of 2018 due to existing technical barriers.Apple's iPhone lineup will continue to focus on Face ID, according to TrendForce, while other smartphone manufacturers will stick with capacitive fingerprint sensors in the first half of 2018 due to an inability to match Apple's technology. Later in 2018, the first smartphones using under-display fingerprint technology will enter mass production. TrendForce believes Apple's iPhone production will expand in 2018, leading to volume growth of 7.5 percent. Samsung won't fare quite as well, though, due to "fierce competition" from rivals that include Apple and Chinese smartphone manufacturers. While Samsung will continue to remain the top smartphone manufacturer worldwide, TrendForce predicts a 3 percent drop in production volume. Overall, TrendForce estimates that 1.46 billion smartphones were produced in 2017, with that number set to increase an estimated five percent to 1.53 billion units in 2018.Related Roundups: iPhone SE, iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy), iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Last week, Apple reduced the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements from $79 to $29, following a wave of controversy over power management features in older iPhones. In a note to customers, Apple said its new policy applied to "anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced", but failed to specify if this eligibility criteria was dependent on whether a given iPhone failed an official Genius Bar diagnostic test. This morning, French tech blog iGeneration reported that an internal Apple Store memo has been circulated which states that if a customer asks for a battery replacement on an iPhone 6 or later, then the Genius Bar should allow it, even if their phone passes Apple's own diagnostic test. Apple has since independently confirmed to MacRumors that it will agree to replace an eligible battery for a $29 fee, regardless of whether an official diagnostic test shows that it is still able to retain less than 80 percent of its original capacity. The concession appears to have been made to mollify the anger of customers stoked by headlines suggesting that Apple artificially slows down older iPhones to drive customers to upgrade to newer models. Anecdotal reports also suggest that customers who paid $79 to have their battery replaced before the new pricing came into effect on Saturday, December 30, will receive a refund from Apple upon request. Please let us know of your own experiences in the comments below. Apple last week was forced to apologize over a lack of transparency regarding its process of dynamically managing the peak performance of some older iPhone models with degraded batteries to prevent unexpected shutdowns. When iOS 10.2.1 was released in February, Apple vaguely referred to "improvements" it had made to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns. It only chose to explain that the changes it made may result in temporary slowdowns on some older iPhone models with degraded batteries after controversy recently reignited. Apple can run a diagnostic on your phone's battery remotely – you don't need to visit an Apple Store. To initiate the battery diagnostic/replacement process, contact Apple Support by phone, online chat, email, or Twitter. Alternatively, you can schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store with the Apple Support app. You can also inquire about a battery replacement with select Apple Authorized Service Providers.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
In our recent What to Expect post, we covered everything we think we'll see from Apple in 2018 based on the current rumors that are circulating about the company's 2018 plans. Three new iPhones are on the horizon, one a followup to the iPhone X, one that will serve as an "iPhone X Plus" with a larger OLED display, and one with an LCD display that will be positioned as a low to midrange device with a cheaper price tag. Apple's first smart speaker, the HomePod, will come out in 2018, and we're also expecting a revamped iPad Pro, refreshed Macs, and new software, but there's always a chance for a wildcard update or new product that will surprise us all. A high-end modular Mac Pro, new original TV shows, AR smart glasses, and autonomous driving software are all products Apple is working on, with no official release date known. We want to hear from the MacRumors community -- what are you expecting or hoping to see Apple release in 2018? Are there specific features you're hoping Apple will implement in iOS 12, tvOS 12, watchOS 5, or macOS 10.14? Popular wishlist items for last year included a dark mode for iOS, a customizable Control Center (which happened!), animated icons, iPhone complications, a swipe-based keyboard, offline Maps and Siri, and more. Let us know what you want to see in the comments, and make sure to check out our What to Expect post to get a glimpse at the current rumors. Apple's plans for 2018 will become more clear in the early months of the year, and as always, we'll be covering every rumor that pops up in-depth here at MacRumors. The MacRumors forums are also a rich resource for discussing upcoming products and rumors, and with so many exciting changes on the horizon for 2018, our forums are the place to be for lively discussions on what's coming. We'd like to thank all of our readers and forum members for making MacRumors the absolute best source for Apple news, rumors, and advice on the web. We wouldn't be here without you, and we look forward to yet another rumor-packed year in 2018.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced it is making its reduced $29 battery replacements available immediately for iPhone 6 and all newer models. Apple previously said it would offer the cheaper battery replacements in late January, but it has removed that timeframe from its letter to customers, and has confirmed immediate availability in a statement to TechCrunch.We expected to need more time to be ready, but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away. Initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited.Apple normally charges $79 for out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements, but it reduced the price by $50 following a wave of controversy over its process of dynamically managing the peak performance of some older iPhone models with degraded batteries to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Given a lack of nuance in some mainstream coverage, many headlines have fueled speculation that Apple artificially slows down older iPhones to drive customers to upgrade to newer models, but the actual issue was Apple's lack of transparency about the power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1. When it released iOS 10.2.1 in February, Apple only vaguely said it made "improvements" to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns. It only chose to explain that the changes it made may result in temporary slowdowns on some older iPhone models with degraded batteries after controversy recently reignited. The issue came into the spotlight in early December after a Reddit user claimed that his iPhone's performance significantly increased after replacing the device's battery. Soon after, analysis of iPhone 6s benchmarks visualized an apparent link between lower performance and degraded battery health. Apple responded by noting the power management process is a "feature" rolled out to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE, but since it didn't fully communicate this change, some iPhone users may not have realized all they needed was a new battery. Apple said it will release an iOS update in early 2018 with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance. It's unclear if Apple will ever let customers opt out of the power management process. Apple said the cheaper iPhone battery replacements will be available worldwide through December 2018. The $29 fee applies to the United States, with prices varying in other countries based on exchange rates. To initiate the battery replacement process, we recommend contacting Apple Support by phone, online chat, email, or Twitter, or scheduling a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store with the Apple Support app. You can also inquire about a battery replacement with select Apple Authorized Service Providers.Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone SEBuyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone SE (Don't Buy), iPhone 8 (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Like 2017, 2018 promises to be a major year for Apple, with many new products on the horizon. We'll get Apple's first smart speaker -- the HomePod -- this year, along with a second-generation version of the iPhone X accompanied by a larger-screened version for those who want to go even bigger. A new iPad Pro with Face ID is said to be in the works, and this is also the year when Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat will debut. Beyond that, we can expect Mac refreshes, new software, a new Apple Watch, and maybe that new modular Mac Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Below, we've rounded up all of the products we're expecting to see from Apple in 2018 based on both current rumors that we've heard so far and past release information. HomePod - Early 2018 HomePod is Apple's first Wi-Fi connected smart speaker, designed to compete with existing smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. It was originally meant to debut in December, but Apple delayed its launch to an unspecified date in "early 2018." With HomePod, Apple focused on sound quality, with a 7 tweeter array, each with its own driver, and a 4-inch upward-facing woofer for crisp, distortion free sound. An A8 chip powers spatial awareness features, allowing the HomePod to analyze a room and then adjust the sound accordingly. Siri is built into HomePod, and there's integration with Apple Music for Apple Music subscribers. Using a six-microphone array, HomePod can detect Siri commands from anywhere in a room, so Siri can be used to play music, answer queries, and more. We don't know exactly when HomePod will be released, but it should come out in the first few months of 2018. Apple plans to charge $349 for the speaker. Read more about HomePod in our HomePod roundup. Three New iPhones - September 2018 Apple introduced three iPhones in 2017 -- the iPhone X, the iPhone 8, and the iPhone 8 Plus -- and current rumors suggest we'll also see three new models in 2018. The first iPhone we're expecting will be a followup to the iPhone X with the same 5.8-inch OLED display. Rumors suggest it will be accompanied by a second OLED iPhone, this one measuring in at 6.5 inches, which means it can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus." Alongside these two OLED iPhones, Apple is also said to be planning to introduce a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display, positioned as a more affordable device targeting the low-end and midrange markets with a starting price of $649 to $749 in the United States. Apple's planned 2018 iPhone lineup, via Ming-Chi Kuo According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, all three of these iPhones will feature edge-to-edge displays, Face ID, and TrueDepth camera systems, which means the end of both the Home button and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in new iPhone models for the time being. Kuo believes the 5.8-inch model will have a display with 458 pixels per inch, indicating the same 1125 x 2436 resolution as the iPhone X, while the larger 6.5-inch OLED model will offer 480 to 500 pixels per inch. The LCD model, which, as mentioned, will be positioned as a lower cost device, will have a lower-resolution LCD display with 320 to 330 pixels per inch. Kuo's predictions are often accurate, and he was able to share many details on the iPhone X ahead of its launch, so the three-iPhone rumor is credible. It's not clear what other features we may see in the 2018 iPhones aside from Face ID and edge-to-edge displays across the board, but a faster processor is a guarantee, and Apple may also adopt improved battery technology to offer longer battery life. New LTE modems are also in the works, which will allow for faster LTE connections. All of the new iPhones are likely to use the same general design as the iPhone X, with glass bodies to support wireless charging, though one unsubstantiated rumor has suggested the lower-end device might instead include a metal frame. With the iPhone X, Apple changed its naming scheme for the iPhone, so it's anyone's guess what. the 2018 devices will be called. Apple could name the next-generation iPhone X and its larger sibling the iPhone XI and the XI Plus, but it's not clear if that's what the company plans to do. Read more about what's coming in the 2018 iPhones in our iPhone X roundup. iPad Pro - September 2018? Face ID has been well-received in the iPhone X, and rumors suggest Apple is planning to deploy it to additional devices, including the iPad Pro. A high-end 2018 iPad Pro could adopt many of the design elements of the iPhone X, with slimmer bezels, no Home button, and Face ID powered through the same TrueDepth camera system introduced in the iPhone X, according to Bloomberg. iPad Pro render via Benjamin Geskin A faster processor and custom Apple-built GPU are also rumored for the new tablet, but it's not expected to gain an OLED display, with Apple continuing to use an LCD because of technical and financial constraints. We haven't heard rumors on the size of this updated tablet, but Apple is likely to stick with the 10.5-inch form factor. Whether we'll also see a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with slimmer bezels and no Home button remains to be seen, but a separate rumor has said all 2018 iPad Pro models will feature Face ID and a TrueDepth camera. Apple may also have a new version of the Apple Pencil in the works, but what improvements might be included aren't known at this time. Rumors suggest Apple may introduce the iPad Pro "a little more than a year" after the prior iPad Pro update, which was in June, so we may see the 2018 iPad sometime around September. Read more about the next-generation iPad Pro in our iPad Pro roundup. Low-cost iPad - Early 2018? In 2017, Apple introduced a new 5th-generation 9.7-inch iPad with the lowest price we've seen yet - $329 for the 32GB model. Though not as thin as the iPad Pro, and missing features like Apple Pencil support and ProMotion display technology, the iPad has an A9 processor and is a capable, powerful device. Rumors suggest Apple could introduce an even lower-cost iPad in 2018, with a price tag that starts at $259. That would allow Apple to better compete in the lower cost tablet market. This rumor comes from DigiTimes, though, a source that's not always entirely reliable, so it's not yet clear if Apple does indeed have an even more affordable iPad in the works. If there is a new iPad coming, it could be introduced in early 2018, a year after the March 2018 debut of the fifth-generation iPad. Read more about what's next for the iPad in our iPad roundup. Apple Watch Series 4 - September 2018 Apple has been updating the Apple Watch on an annual basis, so we're expecting to see a fourth-generation model in 2018. These updates have come in September alongside the iPhone for the last two years, and Apple will likely follow the same schedule for 2018. The Apple Watch has not seen a redesign since it was first introduced in 2015, so 2018 could be the year that Apple introduces a new look for the wrist-worn device. We haven't heard rumors about a redesigned fourth-generation model, but there was some talk about a redesign for the Apple Watch Series 3. That didn't happen, but there's a possibility that info was referring to an Apple Watch coming at a later date because it did come from a reliable source - Daring Fireball's John Gruber. Rumors have suggested Apple will perhaps use micro-LED displays for the 2018 Apple Watch, which would allow for a thinner, lighter display with improved color gamut and brightness. New sensors could also be in store, as Apple has been testing EKG functionality for the Apple Watch. The feature would require users to place two fingers on either side of the Apple Watch to record the electrical activity of the heart to better detect irregularities. It's not known if this functionality will be ready to debut in 2018. Other sensors could be in the works, as could accessories that add new health-related capabilities to the device. Apple has been testing non-invasive blood glucose monitoring techniques, but it's not likely this is something ready to debut in a product, and while Apple has patented bands that have built-in sensors, it's also not clear if this is something that will come to fruition. Both are possibilities, though. Read more about the next Apple Watch in our Apple Watch roundup. AirPower Charging Mat The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X introduce support for Qi-based inductive charging for the first time, allowing them to work with Qi-certified chargers. There's no Apple designed charger on the market yet, but as Apple announced in September, an accessory is in the works. Called the AirPower, Apple's wireless charging device is designed to charge the Apple Watch, the AirPods, and the iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus all at the same time. It will work with the three newest iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 3, and the AirPods with a new inductive charging case that's in the works. Apple has not announced pricing or a launch date beyond the nebulous "2018" for the AirPower, but rumors suggest it could cost somewhere around $199 in the United States. Next-Generation AirPods - Mid to Late 2018 Apple in September introduced a second-generation AirPods case that's coming out in 2018 alongside the AirPower charging mat, which is designed to allow the AirPods to charge wirelessly. In addition to this inductive charging case, Apple is also said to be planning to debut an upgraded version of the AirPods themselves in the second half of 2018. There's no real word on what improvements might be made to the AirPods in 2018, but a "smaller quartz" component is one prediction from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the source of the rumor. Better Bluetooth connectivity, an upgraded W1 chip, and new color options are all possible features Apple could introduce in updated 2018 AirPods, but nothing is confirmed at this point. iMac and iMac Pro - Mid-to-Late 2018? Apple refreshes the iMac on a yearly basis, so we're likely to see updated 21.5 and 27-inch machines with 8th-generation Coffee Lake chips from Intel. The bump to Coffee Lake should introduce some nice speed improvements, as Intel says they're up to 32 percent faster than previous-generation chips. The iMac hasn't seen a design refresh since 2012, but it's not yet clear if other changes are in store beyond updated internals. As for the iMac Pro, it's a new product that was just introduced in December of 2017, so we don't yet know its refresh schedule. In the past, Apple has not updated its pro machines on a yearly basis, so it's not yet clear if it will be refreshed with updated components in 2018. Read more about iMac and iMac Pro in our iMac and iMac Pro roundups. MacBook Pro - June? The MacBook Pro is typically refreshed on an annual basis, and 2018 should be no different. We're expecting a minor spec bump with 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh chips, and perhaps some other improvements that include faster RAM and SSDs. In 2017, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was working on a higher-end MacBook Pro machine for professional users with 32GB RAM, set for a 2017 launch, but no such machine materialized. Whether there's actually such a product in the works remains to be seen. Given that the MacBook Pro's design was just updated in 2016, we're not expecting any design changes in 2018. The last refresh was in June of 2017, so a 2018 refresh could also happen in June following the Worldwide Developers Conference. Read more about the MacBook Pro in our MacBook Pro roundup. MacBook - June? The MacBook is another machine that Apple normally updates on an annual basis, and this year's refresh is likely to introduce 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh chips for speed and efficiency improvements. Other internal components could also be updated, but no external design changes are expected as it's only been two years since the MacBook came out. Read more about the MacBook in our MacBook roundup. New Software - June Preview, September Release Apple in 2018 is expected to introduce new versions of the software that runs on iOS devices, Macs, the Apple Watch, and the Apple TV. In 2018, we expect to see iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12. As it does every year, Apple is likely to introduce these new software updates at the Worldwide Developers Conference, typically held in June. Following WWDC, beta versions will be provided to developers and eventually public beta testers for testing purposes ahead of an eventual September release alongside new iPhones and other new products. We haven't heard a lot about what we can expect to see in iOS 12, macOS 10.14, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12, but Bloomberg has suggested Apple is working on a universal app solution that would allow developers to create apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Currently, developers must develop apps for iOS and macOS separately. A unified app system would mean developers could create a single app able to run on iPads, iPhones, Macs, the Apple Watch, and the Apple TV with less effort, as currently, iOS apps can already be extended to the Apple Watch and the Apple TV. Apple is tentatively planning to introduce this universal app change in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14. No other hints on what we can expect in next year's software updates have surfaced as of yet, but we're likely to learn more as the next Worldwide Developers Conference approaches. Products We Might See Apple TV Shows Apple is delving into original television programming in a big way, and it's possible the first of the company's new TV shows could launch in 2018. So far, Apple has purchased the rights to three new TV series: an "Amazing Stories" reboot with Steven Spielberg based on the original sci-fi show that ran from 1985 to 1987, an untitled "morning show drama" starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and an untitled space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, best known for creating the 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Amazing Stories from 1985 The morning show drama is described as an "inside look at the lives of the people who help America wake up in the morning," while the space drama "explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended." Apple just recently purchased all three of these shows and none of them are in production, so it's not entirely clear when exactly each one will debut. Read more about Apple's original content plans in our Apple TV roundup. Mac mini The Mac mini, which hasn't been updated since 2014, is in dire need of a refresh. We've heard no real word about work on a new Mac mini machine, but in October of 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple plans for Mac mini to be "an important part" of the Mac product lineup going forward. We don't know if 2018 is the year when the Mac mini will finally be overhauled and updated, but it's a possibility. If Apple does plan on introducing a Mac mini update at some point, it could come in June or September, and it could include 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors from Intel and Thunderbolt 3 support. Read more about the Mac mini in our Mac mini roundup. Mac Pro and Display Apple in April announced plans to introduce a next-generation high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of the company's pro user base. Apple plans to ship the machine alongside an upcoming Apple-branded pro display. Work on the new Mac Pro didn't commence until spring of 2017, and all Apple said about a release date is that it wouldn't be ready in 2017. Apple's made no mention of 2018, but it's possible the Mac Pro will come late in the year. We may, in fact, hear more about it at the Worldwide Developers Conference, which will likely take place in June. Modular Mac Pro concept image from CURVED/labs. Apple has a dedicated team working on the Mac Pro, designed specifically for "demanding pro customers." Apple is committed to making the Mac Pro the highest-end desktop system able to accommodate VR and high-end cinema production. Read more about the Mac Pro in our Mac Pro roundup. New iPhone SE People who prefer smaller 4-inch iPhones are undoubtedly hoping for a new version of the iPhone SE, the updated 4-inch device Apple introduced in the spring of 2016. We really haven't heard any concrete, reliable rumors suggesting another version of the iPhone SE is in the works, but there have been some less credible hints. Supply chain sources told Taiwan's Economic Daily News that a second-generation iPhone SE is in the works for the first half of 2018, with the device to be assembled by Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron at its factory in Bangalore, India. An entirely questionable and unverified rumor from Indian site Tekz24 has said the next iPhone SE will include an A10 chip, 10GB RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and thinner side bezels, but we're not sure that's accurate information. Read more about what's next for the iPhone SE in our iPhone SE roundup. What's Not Likely in 2018 New Apple TV The Apple TV 4K was released in September of 2017, and so far, Apple hasn't been doing yearly Apple TV updates. Prior to the 2017 release of the Apple TV 4K, there was an updated model released in 2015, but no 2016 refresh. With an A8 processor in the Apple TV 4K, it's fast enough to hold up for a few years, so we're not expecting to see a new Apple TV in 2018. Read more about the Apple TV in our Apple TV roundup. MacBook Air Apple refreshed the MacBook Air in 2017 with slightly faster Broadwell processors, but aside from that, the device, which is Apple's most affordable laptop, has not been updated since 2015. Apple is likely phasing the MacBook Air out in favor of the MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, both of which make the "Air" moniker antiquated with their slimmer bodies. The MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro are still not machines Apple is able to sell for under $1,000, so the MacBook Air may stick around for another year or two in its current incarnation. No upgrades are expected, though. Read more about the MacBook Air in our MacBook Air roundup. AR Smart Glasses We've heard multiple rumors suggesting Apple is prototyping augmented reality smart glasses and virtual reality headsets, but while these products are in development, a release is not expected for a couple of years yet. An AR/VR headset built by VRvana, a company Apple purchased in late 2017 According to the most recent rumors, Apple is working on an augmented reality headset with a dedicated display, built-in processor, and a new "rOS" operating system based on iOS, with the "r" standing for reality. Apple is said to be aiming to finish work on an augmented reality headset by 2019 ahead of a launch it hopes will come in 2020. A new version of ARKit is rumored to be in development, though, and that could come as soon as 2018. New ARKit functionality could include multi-player game support and support for persistent tracking. Apple in November bought its first VR/AR hardware company, VRvana. VRvana developed a virtual reality headset called Totem, which was designed to combine both augmented and virtual reality technologies in a single headset. Read more about Apple's work on augmented reality in our AR/VR roundup. Apple Car Software Apple is working on an autonomous driving system, but development on the software is still in the early stages and it's not likely we'll see any kind of finished product in 2018. Testing is ongoing on the roads around Apple's Cupertino offices using autonomous driving software and specialized equipment installed in Lexus SUVs. One of the Lexus SUVs Apple is using to test its autonomous driving software While no finished products are expected, we may hear more about Apple's work on autonomous software throughout the year. It's not really clear when something will come of Apple's efforts. Read more about Apple's work on autonomous software in our Apple Car roundup.Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iMac, MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, watchOS 4, iPad (2017), HomePod, iMac Pro, iPhone XBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Neutral), iMac (Neutral), MacBook Pro (Caution), Apple Watch (Buy Now), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral), iPad (Caution), iMac Pro (Buy Now), iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
The iPhone has been named the "best-selling tech product of 2017" by analyst Daniel Ives of GBH Insights (via USA Today). Apple's smartphone achieved the same ranking in 2016, and Ives said that the company will sell a total of 223 million iPhones in 2017, increasing from 211 million sold in 2016. The iPhone was followed by Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 (33 million), Amazon Echo Dot (24 million), Apple Watch (20 million), and Nintendo Switch (15 million). The rankings include all models of iPhone grouped together, explaining why the gap is so large between Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Note 8. But all in all, Apple sold more iPhones total, although less than the peak year of 2015, when it moved 230 million units. (That was the year of the iPhone 6, a redesign that brought a bigger iPhone to consumers for the first time and enthralled the public.) Ives thinks Apple will have an even bigger 2018, with a spring update to its compact SE iPhone and more new phones in the fall. Out of the billion-plus consumer base of the iPhone, "350 million of them will upgrade next year," says Ives. In the fourth spot, Ives described Apple Watch as a product that's now "found its niche" in the wearables market, thanks to the LTE Series 3 update that makes it less reliant on the iPhone. The analyst also cited ongoing discounts for older models, improved battery life on the Series 3, and Apple's pivot away from marketing the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory to one mainly used for fitness and working out. Earlier this week, data shared by mobile analytics firm Flurry described the iPhone and iPad as the most popular items gifted around the world for the holidays. Flurry looked at device activations from December 19 to December 25 and noted that 44 percent of new device activations were for Apple products, with the iPhone 7 leading the pack at 15.1 percent of Apple product activations. For the newer models, the iPhone X was at 14.7 percent while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sat at 8.1 and 8.7 percent, respectively.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, iPhone 8, iPhone XBuyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now), iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Apple this afternoon addressed customer concerns about an ongoing controversy over power management features in older iPhones, pledging to introduce more detailed information about battery health and reducing the price of battery replacements for all of 2018. In a letter explaining its policies, Apple apologizes for the misinformation that's been spread and says that it would never "intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades." Apple explains the aging process for lithium-ion batteries, and once again goes over the reasons why it introduced power management features in iOS 10.2.1 to avoid unexpected shutdowns. To allay customer concerns and address recent customer feedback, Apple says it is implementing several changes. - The price for out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements is being dropped from $79 to $29, starting in late January and lasting through December 2018. Apple plans to provide more information on the price drop in the near future, but it will apply to anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced. - In early 2018, an iOS update will introduce new features to give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can clearly see whether the state of the battery is affecting performance. Apple says its team is also always working on ways to make the user experience better, including how performance is managed to avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.Discuss this article in our forums

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