posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Hulu's anticipated live television service, which was rumored in the past few weeks to launch in early May, has quietly appeared on the iOS App Store [Direct Link], although the app doesn't appear ready yet to begin streaming live content. At the time of writing, Hulu with Live TV only supports on-demand content, but the live services could presumably be turned on as early as later today. Officially named "Hulu with Live TV," the company said that this version of the app comes with Cloud DVR and the ability to stream more than 50 live and on-demand television channels, including sports-related content. User interface changes include a new onboarding experience, a new home screen, and "My Stuff," so subscribers can manage their shows, movies, networks, and more. A multitasking feature called "Fliptray" will let users watch a show and browse Hulu with Live TV simultaneously. You’ll enjoy features that help you customize how you watch TV: - Create up to 6 personalized profiles for the whole household. Enjoy your own collection of shows, movies, networks, and more. - Track your favorites with My Stuff. Add shows, networks, and movies for quick access across your devices. - The more you watch, the better it gets. Enjoy a reimagined TV experience that adjusts to your tastes every time you use Hulu. - Browse while you watch with Fliptray to quickly find what else is on, change the channel, or get recommendations of what to watch next. At launch, Hulu with Live TV has the following channels that subscribers will be able to watch live once the service is turned on: FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, FX, NBCSN, FS1, History Channel, and TNT. Additionally, sports coverage for pro, college, and regional teams will be on the service, along with national news and local feeds in some cities, kids shows, big events, and on-demand shows and movies from most of the supported channels. One slight uncertainty is exact pricing for the service, which isn't mentioned anywhere on the app's page or during the user profile set-up process. It's been rumored to cost users around $40 over the past few months, with features like Cloud DVR potentially priced as a $20 add-on. Those interested can download Hulu with Live TV from the iOS App Store now [Direct Link]. The app mentions support for the fourth-generation Apple TV as well, but at the time of writing that version hasn't appeared yet on Apple's set-top box. It's clear that the app was added onto the App Store ahead of an official announcement, so we'll update this post once more information becomes available.Tag: Hulu Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
During today's second quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple was seeing a "pause" in purchases of the iPhone, which he attributed to "earlier and much more frequent reports about future iPhones." The comment came in response to a question about a 451 research survey, which mentioned a nine year low in iPhone purchase intent. Cook said he hadn't read the survey in depth, but explained Apple was seeing slower iPhone sales. iPhone 8 concept based on alleged leaked design renderingsI only glanced at it and so I haven't had time to study it, but in general, what we are seeing... we're seeing what we believe to be a pause in purchases on iPhone, which we believe are due to the earlier and much more frequent reports about future iPhones. And so that part is clearly going on, and it could be what's behind the data. I don't know, but we are seeing that, in full transparency.Rumors about the iPhone 8, coming in 2017, started before the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus were even released, despite Apple's ever-increasing focus on secrecy. Major changes are rumored to be in the works for the 2017 iPhone, and those changes have been difficult for Apple to keep quiet. The device is expected to feature the biggest overhaul to the iPhone in a number of years, with an edge-to-edge OLED display with no Home button, a glass body with stainless steel frame, Touch ID embedded under the screen, new biometric features, a revamped camera, and more. With the number of rumors circulating about improvements coming to the iPhone, it should come as no surprise that customers are holding off on an iPhone purchase until 2017, when the entirely revamped iPhone debuts.Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8 (2017) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Apple did not expect so many people to choose the iPhone 7 Plus over the iPhone 7, according to statements made by Apple CEO Tim Cook during today's second quarter earnings call. "One of the things we didn't get right was the mix between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus," said Cook. "Demand was much stronger towards the iPhone 7 Plus than we expected." Apple's misestimation of the popularity of the iPhone 7 Plus led to some shortages of the bigger-screened device during the December quarter. Apple sold the highest number of Plus models in the first half of fiscal 2017 than ever before, higher than the iPhone 6 and 6s lineups. Cook says it took Apple a while to "bring the iPhone 7 Plus into balance," something that occurred early in the second quarter. According to Cook, Apple learns from its mistakes. "Every time we launch something, we learn something, and we brush up our models and apply everything we learn for next time," he said.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced financial results for the second fiscal quarter of 2017, which corresponds to the first calendar quarter of the year. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $52.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $11.0 billion, or $2.10 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $50.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $10.5 billion, or $1.90 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin for the quarter was 38.9 percent compared to 39.4 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 65 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an increased quarterly dividend payment of $0.63 per share, up from $0.57. The dividend is payable on May 18 to shareholders of record as of May 15. In addition to the increase in the dividend payment, Apple says it will once again expand its share repurchase authorization by an additional $50 billion and the company says it expects to spend a total $300 billion in cash under its overall capital return program by the end of March 2019. Apple sold 50.8 million iPhones during the quarter, down slightly from 51.1 million a year earlier, while Mac sales rose slightly to 4.20 million units from 4.03 million units in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales continued to decline, falling to 8.92 million from 10.25 million.“We are proud to report a strong March quarter, with revenue growth accelerating from the December quarter and continued robust demand for iPhone 7 Plus,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve seen great customer response to both models of the new iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition and we’re thrilled with the strong momentum of our Services business, with our highest revenue ever for a 13-week quarter. Looking ahead, we are excited to welcome attendees from around the world to our annual Worldwide Developers Conference next month in San Jose.”Apple's guidance for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 includes expected revenue of $43.5–45.5 billion and gross margin between 37.5 and 38.5 percent. Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q2 2017 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights. Conference call starts at 2:00 PM Pacific - No need to refresh Loading live updates... Tag: earnings Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Microsoft today unveiled an all-new "Surface Laptop," a student- and teacher-focused Windows 10 S, new features for Minecraft: Education Edition, a new Surface Arc Mouse, and more at an education-focused event in New York. The hardware reveal of the Surface Laptop marks the first major computer launch for the company since last year's debut of the Surface Book and Surface Studio, the former of which saw huge sales numbers thanks to churn from the "disappointment" of the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, according to Microsoft. When compared to the Surface Book's unique reversible hinge, the just-announced Surface Laptop is more traditionally built with a clamshell design and four color options: burgundy, platinum, cobalt blue, and graphite gold. Microsoft is aiming the Surface Laptop at the grade school and college education market, but the laptop will still be purchasable by all users on Microsoft's store, starting at $999 for the Intel Core i5 version with 4GB RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. In terms of specs, the Surface Laptop includes a 1080p PixelSense Display touchscreen that measures 13.5 inches on the diagonal, made with edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 3. USB-C is not found on the Surface Laptop, but ports otherwise included are: USB, an SD card slot, mini DisplayPort, and a traditional charging port. The laptop will have a battery life that lasts for around 14.5 hours. The Surface Laptop weighs 2.76 lbs and is 14.47mm at its thickest point, which Microsoft said is unmatched by any of its rivals' laptops. In comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar weighs 3 lbs and is 14.9mm thick. The keyboard section of the Surface Laptop is covered in the same Alcantara material used by the Surface Pro 4 keyboard, and resists spills and is easy to clean, according to the company. We built Surface Laptop to do two things: refresh the classic laptop form factor that our customers, especially college students, have been asking for; and make a Surface that works seamlessly to showcase the best of Windows 10 S. The result is the most personal and balanced Surface we’ve ever made. This Surface perfectly blends fabric and function, power and portability, beauty and performance. It does all of this without compromising on the things we know are important to higher education students: battery life, display quality, storage, and portability. Microsoft's new Windows 10 S operation system comes installed on the computer and is said to provide "superior performance" on laptops at the lower end of the hardware spectrum. Windows 10 S is a walled garden OS, allowing only approved applications from the Windows Store to be downloaded on the system while also cutting down on some Windows 10 features to provide streamlined security and performance. Microsoft said that these features are expected to come in handy for teachers in classrooms who need regulations on the computers and applications with which their students interact. Windows 10 S will be making it onto a variety of hardware devices, not just the Surface Laptop, including laptops from HP, Dell and Acer. These devices will come in much cheaper than Microsoft's first-party laptop as well, expected to range from $189 to $300. Microsoft's EDU event also saw the announcement of new features for Minecraft: Education Edition, which will be gaining a new "Code Builder" tool that will allow students to connect to popular learn-to-code platforms to build impressive structures within the game. During the presentation, Microsoft gave a few examples of projects that students have already begun working on using Code Builder in Minecraft, including a Liberal Arts teacher tasking her class with reconstructing Shakespeare's Globe Theater. Other details of the event include Microsoft Teams, which will let students and teachers collaborate on projects in a chat room, new 3D and mixed reality initiatives, and updated device management software for teachers. A new $79.99 Surface Arc Mouse was also announced today, and is aimed to be a "travel companion" for any Surface device, including the Surface Laptop. The mouse supports Bluetooth 4.0, houses two buttons, and is designed with a travel-friendly, bendable tail. Pre-orders for the Surface Laptop will begin today, and the device is said to begin shipping on June 15. Configurations on the laptop will go all the way up to an i7 processor with 16GB RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. For a recap of Microsoft's EDU event, check out a highlight video that the company posted to its YouTube channel, as well as a design-focused overview of how Microsoft engineers crafted the Surface Laptop.Tag: Microsoft Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
T-Mobile today said it plans to roll out a 5G network in the United States starting in 2019, with a target of 2020 for full nationwide coverage. The third-largest U.S. carrier said it will use part of its newly acquired 600 MHz low-band spectrum to deliver 5G coverage from coast to coast. “The 600 MHz spectrum will allow 5G to be deployed nationwide, bringing the ultimate experiences to T-Mobile’s enterprise customers and consumers throughout the United States,” said Borje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson. “We will support T-Mobile US with 5G radio development for this spectrum. Commercial availability of the product will be aligned with 3GPP standardization and ecosystem support.”5G networks will pave the way for faster data speeds and lower latency on smartphones and other cellular-enabled devices. Last year, AT&T said it reached speeds above 10 gigabits per second in early 5G lab trials, and it has even promised speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G LTE. 5G isn't expected to become a reality until at least next year, as 3GPP is still working to establish the first set of 5G standards by 2018.T-Mobile will help drive 3GPP certification for 5G in 600 MHz. As 5G standards are defined, chipsets are delivered, and equipment comes to market, T-Mobile will quickly deploy 5G nationwide in a large swath of unused spectrum.T-Mobile expects the first smartphones compatible with the 600 MHz spectrum to be released later this year. In February, Verizon said it will begin offering gigabit broadband internet over a wireless 5G connection to pilot customers in 11 select U.S. markets during the first half of 2017. AT&T is also rolling out "5G Evolution" speeds in over 20 major metro areas, but as widely reported, it's not really 5G.Tags: T-Mobile, 5G Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook is partnering up with Charitybuzz for the fifth year in a row, offering Apple fans the chance to bid on a lunch with Cook where they can hold a discussion with the CEO in a private environment. Additionally, this year the meet-up will be hosted at Apple's brand new Apple Park campus. Like previous years, the winning bidder will be able to bring along one other person, and the lunch is said to last for around an hour. The cost of the Apple Park meal is included in the winning bid, but travel and accommodations are not. The bidding ends on May 16 at 3PM EDT and as of writing one bid of $10,000 has been entered, with the auction listing an estimated value of $100,000. Over the past four years, Tim Cook and Charitybuzz have raised $610,000 (2013), $330,001 (2014), $200,000 (2015), and $515,000 (2016). This year will mark the first year that the winning bidder attends the lunch at Apple Park, which a small number of employees are believed to have moved into in April while construction remains ongoing. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, which aims to achieve a just and peaceful world by advancing corporate responsibility, teaching social justice, and partnering with human rights leaders. Cook joined the RFK Center's board of directors last year after being a longtime supporter and proponent of the charity.Tags: Tim Cook, Charitybuzz Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is set to report its earnings results for the second quarter of its 2017 fiscal year at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time today. Apple provided the following guidance for its second quarter on January 31: • revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion • gross margin between 38 percent and 39 percent • operating expenses between $6.5 billion and $6.6 billion • other income/expense of $400 million • tax rate of 26 percentThat guidance suggests Apple will report its second-best March quarter earnings results in the company's history: • Q2 2013: $43.6 billion • Q2 2014: $45.6 billion • Q2 2015: $58 billion • Q2 2016: $50.6 billion • Q2 2017: $51.5+ billionWall Street analysts generally expect Apple to meet the higher end of its guidance, with estimates averaging out to around $53 billion. If accurate, Apple will have grown around four to six percent compared to the year-ago quarter for its second consecutive quarter of growth after an uncharacteristic nine-month skid last year. MacRumors.com compiled estimates from over a dozen financial institutions and independent firms tracking Apple and the company's stock. The figures are listed below, ranked from highest to lowest in terms of total revenue. The date column reflects when each research note was distributed to clients. On a category-by-category basis, the highlight of Apple's earnings results will likely be its services, such as the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, and Apple Pay. Most analysts estimate Apple's services revenue will be up to 20 percent higher, totaling up to $7.3 billion versus $5.9 billion a year ago. iPhone remains Apple's most important product by a significant margin. Most analysts predict that Apple topped the 51.1 million iPhones it sold in the year-ago quarter, with several estimates coming in above 52 million. However, four analysts expect iPhone sales to decline compared to the year-ago quarter. iPad unit sales are forecasted to decline to between 7 million and 9.8 million compared to the 10.2 million tablets Apple sold in the year-ago quarter, while Mac sales should remain relatively flat on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile, analysts believe Apple Watch sales totaled between 1.6 million and 3 million in the quarter. Apple does not disclose Apple Watch sales in its quarterly earning results, instead grouping the device under its "Other Products" category, alongside iPods, Apple TVs, Beats Electronics, and accessories. Apple's cash and marketable securities total is projected to have surpassed $250 billion in the second quarter, up from $246.1 billion last quarter. Apple is expected to provide an update about its capital allocation, including dividends and share buybacks, as it usually does at this time of its fiscal year. 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 23 days ago on mac rumors
Apple customers who have purchased the AirPods are largely satisfied with the wire-free earbuds, according to a new survey conducted by Experian and Creative Strategies. Of 942 AirPods owners polled, 82 percent said they were "very satisfied," while another 16 percent said they were "satisfied," for an overall customer satisfaction score of 98 percent. At 98 percent satisfaction, Creative Strategies says the AirPods set the record for the highest level of satisfaction for a new product from Apple. For comparison's sake, the iPhone had a 92 percent customer satisfaction rate in 2007, the iPad had a 92 percent customer satisfaction rate in 2010, and the Apple Watch had a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate in 2015. Customers were also asked whether or not they would recommend the AirPods to others, and AirPods owners largely said yes, earning the AirPods a Net Promoter Score (explained below) of 75.We used a standard benchmark question called a Net Promoter Score, which ranks a consumer's willingness to recommend the product to others. This ranking is on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being extremely likely to recommend and 0 being not likely at all to recommend. It was this number that surprised me. Apple's Net Promoter Score for AirPods came back as 75. To put that into context, the iPhone's NPS number is 72. Product and NPS specialists will tell you anything above 50 is excellent and anything above 70 is world class.When asked to explain the ranking they gave, customers used words like magic, fit, sound quality, convenient, love, good sound, and battery life, and cited benefits like the simple pairing process, and the convenience of a wireless experience. Negatives included issues with fit and connectivity. In a series of general sentiment questions, 82 percent of survey respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that AirPods are their favorite recent Apple product, while 62 percent said they consume more audio with the AirPods. 82.5 percent wanted more control over content, like turning the volume up or changing a song, and 84 percent said that using one AirPod makes sense in certain situations. Apple's AirPods, priced at $159, first went on sale in October, but are still hard to track down even today. Current shipping estimates suggest orders placed today will not arrive for six weeks, while in-store pickup estimates offer June 20 as the earliest possible pickup date.Tag: AirPods Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Over the course of the last few months, several major companies have quietly removed support for the Apple Watch from their apps. As first noted by AppleInsider, Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay have pulled their Apple Watch apps from the App Store. Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay were all early supporters of the Apple Watch, releasing apps within a few months of the device's April 2015 debut. Checking today, none of the three companies offer Apple Watch apps, having quietly removed Apple Watch functionality through App Store updates. It's not entirely clear when each app was updated to remove Apple Watch support, with the feature elimination appearing to have largely gone under the radar. That three major apps were able to remove Apple Watch support without much fanfare seems to explain the reasoning behind the decision to cease offering an Apple Watch app, as it suggests there weren't many people using the apps in question. Whether the removal of the apps is permanent is unknown. Google Maps was perhaps the only app that was useful on the wrist, with quick directions to places like home and work. Amazon's Apple Watch app simply allowed for voice-based searches and one-tap purchases, something that's easier to do on a phone or computer, while eBay's offered notifications for auctions being tracked on the site, which also required the concurrent use of an iPhone or Mac to track content in the first place. Target has also recently removed Apple Watch support from its Target app, but Apple Watch functionality remains available via the separate Cartwheel by Target app. With the Apple Watch having celebrated its second birthday on April 24, the kinds of apps that work on the wrist-worn device are becoming more clear, allowing companies to stop using resources on content that's not suitable for a wearable device.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.5 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and more than one month after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.4, which introduced Night Shift for the Mac. The fifth beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. According to the release notes accompanying the beta, the update "improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac." Apple's release notes don't often provide much insight into what's included in new beta software, so we don't know what features or bug fixes might be built into the 10.12.5 update. No notable changes or major bug fixes were discovered in the first four betas, but should anything pop up in the fifth macOS Sierra 10.12.5 beta, we'll update this post.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released a new ad on its YouTube channel, highlighting the photographic capabilities of iPhone 7 Plus, including Portrait Mode. In the sweet new ad, entitled "The City," two people spot each other from across a crowded city street and then go on a series of adventures while using the iPhone 7 Plus's camera to capture their journey. The song "Sing to Me" by Walter Martin is featured in the background, and the ad uses the tagline "With Portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus, you can focus on what you love and leave everything else behind." Apple has done several ads focusing on the iPhone 7 Plus and its dual-lens camera, and this particular ad appears to be a sort of sequel to "Take Mine," the ad about a girl in a Greek village who captures the town using the Portrait Mode depth effect.Tag: Apple ads Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's widely rumored Siri-based smart speaker and home hub has an "over 50 percent chance" of being announced at WWDC, scheduled for June 5-9, according to often-reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities. The device is rumored to have a "Mac Pro-like" concave design (Image: iFunnyVlogger) Kuo said Apple's smart home product will likely launch in the second half of 2017 and cost more than the Amazon Echo, $179. The device will supposedly support AirPlay with "excellent acoustics performance" from one woofer and seven tweeters. Kuo said its performance will be similar to the iPhone 6/6s. An excerpt from Kuo's research note obtained by MacRumors:We believe there is an over 50% chance that Apple will announce its first home AI product at WWDC in June and start selling in the ]second half of 2017] in order to compete with the new Amazon Echo models to be launched […] We expect Apple’s first home AI product will have excellent acoustics performance (one woofer + seven tweeters) and computing power (similar to iPhone 6/6S AP). Therefore the product is likely to be positioned for: (i) the high-end market; (ii) better entertainment experience; and (iii) higher price than Amazon Echo.Last week, leaker Sonny Dickson likewise said Apple's smart speaker could be announced as early as WWDC. He said the device will run a variation of iOS with unspecified Beats technology, in addition to a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls and speaker meshing covering the majority of its surface. Apple's plans for a smart home device and Amazon Echo competitor were first revealed by The Information in May 2016, and Bloomberg reported that the device had entered prototype testing in September. The latter report said Apple's smart home device would be able to control appliances, locks, lights, and curtains through Siri voice commands. It added that some of the prototypes in testing have facial recognition sensors, in line with a CNET report claiming the device could have a built-in camera. Kuo said Taiwan-based Inventec will be the exclusive speaker supplier, including both the woofer and tweeters.Related Roundup: WWDC 2017 Tags: AirPlay, KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo, Amazon Echo, Siri speaker Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 24 days ago on mac rumors
MacRumors is pleased to announce the Eighth Annual MacRumors Blood Drive, throughout the month of May 2017. Our goal is to save lives by increasing the number of life-saving blood and platelet donations. While most blood drives are specific to a geographic location, our blood drive is online and worldwide. MacRumors routinely reports on Apple's support for charity, as summarized in our Help Center, and the MacRumors Blood Drive is our own community effort. Over the past 7 years, the MacRumors Blood Drives have recorded donations of 381 units of blood, platelets, and plasma, and noted new signups for the organ donor and bone marrow registries. We've heard from many forum members whose lives were affected by blood, platelet, or bone marrow donations. How to participate 1. If you are eligible, schedule a blood or platelet donation (see FAQ), in May if possible, at any donation center near you. Register for the bone marrow registry in your country and/or register as an organ donor in your state, province, or country (see FAQ). Then post in the MacRumors 2017 Blood Drive! thread to tell us about it and to accept our thanks. 2. If you aren't eligible to donate blood for reasons of health, age, height/weight, a recent donation, or because you are deferred as a donor, please encourage someone else to make a donation, and let us know. If they donate, you belong on our Honor Roll! If you are a sexually active gay man deferred from donating, join our Blood donor eligibility discussion, with its debate over deferrals based on sexual orientation but not on monogamy. 3. Share our message and help this cause by convincing friends and relatives to participate as well. The Honor Roll lists this year's donors. Please congratulate them for their altruistic acts to help strangers. Tag: MacRumors blood drive Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Drone videographer Matthew Roberts has posted a new video on his YouTube channel this morning, covering the ongoing progress of construction at Apple's soon-to-open campus, Apple Park. A few weeks ago, Roberts posted what was expected to be the final update before Apple Park's grand opening, but the campus still hasn't opened its doors to employees with just a few days left in April. Ever since Apple officially announced the name for Apple Park back in February, construction on the site has ramped up rapidly over the ensuing weeks. Today, solar panel installation on the roof of the central "Spaceship" building appears nearly complete, while the courtyard of the building is still seeing major construction related to the large pond and surrounding greenery. Landscaping everywhere on the campus has been expanding over the past few weeks, so much so that Apple has caused tree shortages for other companies in the area. In Roberts' newest video, it's evident that there is still much time left for Apple's landscaping to be finished, which will eventually end with 9,000 native and drought-resistant trees spread across the site. The continuation of landscaping, as well as construction on some of Apple Park's auxiliary buildings, will continue into the summer, well after Apple moves the first employees into the main building. While some of the side buildings are complete -- like the parking garage -- a few still have a ways to go, including the new campus auditorium, which has been named the "Steve Jobs Theater" in honor of the late CEO. Once employees begin moving in, it's estimated to take Apple around six months to move in all the workers coming to Apple Park, which will number about 13,000. Earlier in April, another well-known drone videographer, Duncan Sinfield, shared off a video of what Apple Park looks like when it's lit up at night. Tag: Apple Park Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
AT&T today sent out emails to customers who continue to have a grandfathered unlimited data plan for the iPad, informing them that its unlimited status is essentially being eliminated on May 24, 2017. Going forward, customers with an unlimited tablet data plan may see their data usage throttled when using more than 22GB of data during a single bill period. According to AT&T, data may be slowed down during times of network congestion. While that's in line with AT&T's policy for its newly announced unlimited data plans, it's a big change for iPad owners who are not used to having a data cap in place. Prior to the change, iPad owners with the grandfathered unlimited plan have not been subject to restrictions. AT&T briefly offered unlimited iPad data plans after the original iPad was released in 2010, but phased them out just months later. Since then, customers who managed to purchase one of the plans have been able to hold onto them, making the unlimited plan highly coveted. The plans required no contract and cost $29.99 per month, with customers able to transfer them to new iPads and even sell them to other iPad owners. With the change coming on May 24, the original unlimited iPad data plans will be much less attractive. (Thanks, David and Eli!)Tag: AT&T Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today informed retail store employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers that it is extending the service coverage for first-generation Apple Watch models experiencing battery problems to three years. In an email (via 9to5Mac), Apple explains that coverage is extended for original Apple Watch models that are seeing swollen or expanded batteries. A public announcement about the service extension has not been made, and it's not clear if Apple will offer reimbursements for customers who have already paid for battery replacements or have done battery replacements themselves. Image via MacRumors forum user Rosepod5 Customers who have an original Apple Watch afflicted with a swollen or expanded battery will now be able to have the device repaired for up to three years after its purchase date, even when AppleCare was not purchased for the watch. From the email:Apple has extended Service coverage for eligible Apple Watch (1st gen) models with an expanded/swollen battery to three years after the original date of purchase. Eligible devices will be covrered for two years beyond the original 1-year Limited Warranty.Complaints about swollen batteries on the original Apple Watch have been circulating for a few months on reddit, the Apple Support Communities, and the MacRumors forum. Reports are rare, but it does appear to be an issue affecting a small number of original Apple Watch users. The battery problem causes the Apple Watch screen to pop away from the casing The first-generation Apple Watch, first introduced in April of 2015, recently reached its second birthday on April 24.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Tag: Apple retail Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has asked the California DMV to alter the rules that require it to publish detailed public reports about the success of Apple's self-driving car tests, according to papers shared by the DMV. If the DMV complies with Apple's request, less information would be included in the reports. [PDF] In a letter, Apple says it is "investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and goes on to say the company is "excited" about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation. One of the SUVs Apple is using to test its autonomous driving software, courtesy of Bloomberg The company then proposes that the DMV "amend or clarify" its positions in the areas of disengagement reporting, definitions, and testing without safety drivers. Apple is concerned that inconsistency in how permit holders reports disengagements can lead to media coverage that causes public confusion and misunderstanding. Apple wants disengagement reports to cover times when a driver takes control of a vehicle to prevent a crash or traffic violation, and little else.Apple suggests the following changes to the disengagement reporting requirements to achieve an objective set of data to accurately and clearly inform the public about the safety of the automated vehicles being tested A disengagement should be defined as an unexpected event or failure that requires the safety driver to take control of the vehicle in order to prevent a crash or traffic violation. A disengagement should not be reported for the following: - Operational constraints where either the safety driver has been trained to disengage the system, or when the system detects the constraint and disengages automatically. For example, a system that requires the safety driver to navigate through a construction zone. - System errors or failures. For example, a software bug or sensor dropout that does not affect the safe operation of the system. - Discretionary decisions made by the safety driver. For example, when the safety driver perceives a vehicle is approaching too quickly and opts to disengage the system. - Any tests that are planned to result in a disengagement. - The end of a test or experiment. Additionally, the proposed requirement in §227.50(b)(3)(B)(vi) to describe the type of incident that would have happened without the disengagement should be removed. It requires speculation about future events that have not occurred.Apple two weeks ago was granted a permit for testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, and has already begun to do so. The company has three Lexus SUVs equipped with sensors and cameras, presumably running the autonomous driving software the company has been working on for the last several months. Those SUVs have been spotted on Cupertino roads this week. By participating in the DMV's Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program, Apple will need to publicly share many details about its testing process, which will make it difficult to keep development on the software under wraps.Related Roundup: Apple Car Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is widely rumored to be working on a Siri-based smart home device with a speaker, and Australian leaker Sonny Dickson has shared new details about its possible design and features on Twitter and with MacRumors. Apple's smart speaker could take design cues from the Google Home Dickson said that Apple is currently "finalizing designs" for the Amazon Echo and Google Home competitor, which he expects to be marketed as a Siri and AirPlay device. "It is believed to carry some form of Beats technology," he added, while noting that the device will run a variant of iOS software. It is believed to carry some form of Beats technology, and is expected to run an variant iOS— Sonny Dickson (@SonnyDickson) April 27, 2017 Dickson later told MacRumors that the device, allegedly codenamed B238 internally, will feature a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls. His source, which he told us is "someone inside Apple," described the device as "fat" like the Google Home with speaker mesh covering the majority of the device. Dickson was told Apple's smart speaker could be unveiled at WWDC 2017 in early June, but as always, the company's plans could change. In September 2016, Bloomberg reported that Apple's smart home device had entered prototype testing, including both a larger and a smaller model in line with Amazon's current Echo lineup. However, at the time, the report cautioned that Apple's early efforts do not guarantee that a finalized product will be released. The report said Apple's smart home device would be able to control appliances, locks, lights, and curtains through Siri voice commands. It added that some of the prototypes in testing include facial recognition sensors, backed by an earlier CNET report claiming the device could have a built-in camera for facial recognition. Dickson is best known for leaking various iPhone and iPad parts from overseas sources, such as these iPhone 5c rear casings in 2013, but his latest information supposedly comes from a source directly within Apple, an area where his track record is less established. His sources have proven incorrect at times.Related Roundup: WWDC 2017 Tags: Siri, AirPlay, Amazon Echo, Google Home, Sonny Dickson Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
About two weeks ago, Qualcomm reported that Apple suppliers were underpaying royalties in the second fiscal quarter of 2017, as a way for Apple to regain the unpaid royalties owed to the company by Qualcomm. At the time, Qualcomm wasn't sure whether or not Apple would continue to pay royalties at all, and today the manufacturer -- which provides LTE modems for iPhones -- has said that Apple will not pay its iPhone suppliers for royalties related to sales in Q1 2017. Furthermore, Qualcomm stated that Apple has "indicated it will continue this behavior until its dispute with Qualcomm is resolved." The royalty cut-off hurts Qualcomm because the manufacturer's licensing deals are directly with iPhone suppliers. The total loss of royalty revenue is estimated by Qualcomm to be about $500 million, which is expected to hit the company hard in terms of share prices and investors watching the dispute between the two companies. In its report adjusting the financial guidance for the third quarter of 2017, Qualcomm's previous estimate of $5.3 billion - $6.1 billion in revenue has been marked down to $4.8 billion - $5.6 billion, amid the ongoing suing and counter-suing actions taking place between Qualcomm and Apple. In a statement, Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said that the company will continue to "vigorously" defend its business model as the legal dispute continues. Qualcomm Incorporated today announced that it has been informed by Apple Inc. that Apple is withholding payments to its contract manufacturers for the royalties those contract manufacturers owe under their licenses with Qualcomm for sales during the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Apple has indicated it will continue this behavior until its dispute with Qualcomm is resolved. "Apple is improperly interfering with Qualcomm's long-standing agreements with Qualcomm's licensees," said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm. "These license agreements remain valid and enforceable. While Apple has acknowledged that payment is owed for the use of Qualcomm's valuable intellectual property, it nevertheless continues to interfere with our contracts. Apple has now unilaterally declared the contract terms unacceptable; the same terms that have applied to iPhones and cellular-enabled iPads for a decade. Apple's continued interference with Qualcomm's agreements to which Apple is not a party is wrongful and the latest step in Apple's global attack on Qualcomm. We will continue vigorously to defend our business model, and pursue our right to protect and receive fair value for our technological contributions to the industry." The legal dispute between the two companies follows a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission, stating that Qualcomm used anticompetitive tactics to remain on top of the LTE modem supply chain for smartphones. Another contributing factor to the bad blood between the companies centers around Apple's decision to start using modem chips from Intel in some of the iPhone 7 devices launched last year, instead of tapping Qualcomm exclusively like it usually does. Apple claimed that Qualcomm was charging unfair royalties "for technologies they have nothing to do with," since the manufacturer provides only one part of the whole of the iPhone. "Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined," the Cupertino company stated in its lawsuit.Tags: lawsuit, Qualcomm Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Mobile phone leaker KK Sneak Leaks posted an image on Twitter this morning purporting to show one of the first third-party protective cases for Apple's upcoming redesigned OLED iPhone, which isn't expected to launch until at least September. The transparent case has a few features that are consistent with recent schematics purporting to depict the front-running design of the so-called "iPhone 8". Most prominent is the cutout on the upper left of the case which indicates vertically aligned dual cameras, as opposed to the horizontal alignment on the iPhone 7 Plus. Purported third-party case for "iPhone 8" via KK Sneak Leaks Conspicuous in its absence however is any sort of opening for a fingerprint sensor located on the rear, suggesting Touch ID will remain a front-facing feature. Apple is rumored to be trying to build Touch ID into the iPhone's display, but the company has reportedly been struggling with perfecting the technology, suggesting it could resort to putting the sensor on the rear of the device. The pill-shaped volume buttons shown in the picture on the right side appear to be in their normal places, but the power button on the left looks longer than on previous iPhones, which is something we've also seen on recent dummy models. Elsewhere, the bottom of the case indicates standard speaker grille locations either side of what will presumably be an all-in-one Lightning connector. Early case leaks have historically been fairly accurate indicators of new iPhone designs, with some exceptions, but this is a uniquely challenging year for third-party case manufacturers looking to nail down the final design. Apple is still thought to be testing multiple prototypes for its upcoming "10th anniversary edition" iPhone, and rather than be privy to the final design, case makers may simply resort to following the most likely one based on the same leaks covered by rumor sites, so bear those caveats in mind. Apple's 4.7-inch OLED iPhone is likely to be sold alongside two standard "S" cycle iPhones with LCD displays, which are said to be similar in size to the existing iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Rumors suggest the leading candidate for the final chassis is a stainless steel frame sandwiched between front and rear symmetrical glass. Apple is also supposedly working on an inductive wireless charging solution for its "premium" handset model. Rumors also suggest Apple's "iPhone 8" supplies may be highly constrained when the new range of phones launches, making it harder to obtain in the first few months of release, although this is not an unusual claim in the months preceding a new iPhone launch.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is teaming up with popular music video app Musical.ly to promote Apple Music, reports Re/code. Apple will soon provide song snippets and clips to the service, which is designed to let users create and share their own music videos. Apple Music content will be replacing content from UK-based provider 7digital as soon as tomorrow. Through the partnership with Apple, and with Apple's access to licensing deals, Musical.ly will be able to expand the number of countries where it is available from 30 to 120. Musical.ly, which calls itself an entertainment social network, has been around since August of 2014, but has recently seen a surge in popularity among teenagers. In exchange for the right to use Apple Music content, Musical.ly will promote the Apple Music service to its users and will let Apple Music subscribers listen to full songs within the Musical.ly app.Tags: recode.net, Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 28 days ago on mac rumors
Apple recently obtained a permit allowing the company to test its self-driving software on public roads in several Lexus SUVs, and now Bloomberg has shared details on the equipment Apple is using after one of the vehicles was spotted leaving an Apple facility. Earlier this week, a white Lexus RX450h SUV was seen leaving an Apple building and was captured in a series of photos by an unnamed source who shared the images with Bloomberg. The vehicle is equipped with multiple sensors, cameras, and radar. The sensors included Velodyne Lidar Inc.'s top-of-the-range 64-channel lidar, at least two radar and a series of cameras. The sensors appear to be products bought off the shelf from suppliers, rather than custom-made, according to an industry expert who saw the photos.The vehicle is distinct from the vehicles used for Apple's mapping project, which uses a series of Dodge Caravans to capture data across the United States for the purpose of improving the Apple Maps app. Apple was first granted a DMV permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads on Friday, April 14. At the time, a DMV spokesperson said the company had registered three 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs to be driven by six Apple employees with expertise in autonomous vehicles. Apple's permit application and the appearance of the SUV confirm its work on a car-related project. Rumors originally suggested Apple was developing its own autonomous electric vehicle, but Apple is said to have since transitioned to building an autonomous driving system rather than a complete car. In California, where Apple is testing its vehicles, companies that participate in the DMV's Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program must file Disengagement Reports that outline how many miles were covered with self-driving vehicles and whether any accidents occurred, so Apple won't be able to keep much of the testing on public roads a secret. Apple's car team, led by Bob Mansfield, reportedly has until the end of the year to prove the feasibility of an Apple-designed autonomous driving system.Related Roundup: Apple Car Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 28 days ago on mac rumors
Nike's latest Apple Watch, the Apple Watch NikeLab, is now available for purchase from the Nike website, Nike Lab stores, and the Apple Watch pop-up shop at the Isetan department store in Tokyo. First announced last week, the Apple Watch NikeLab pairs a Space Gray Apple Watch Series 2 aluminum case with a black and cream perforated Nike band. According to Nike, the Apple Watch NikeLab is limited edition and designed to be the "ultimate style companion" for runners. Like the existing Apple Watch Nike+, the Apple Watch NikeLab features a Nike watch face and integration with the Nike+ Run Club app. Apple Watch NikeLab has the same pricing as an aluminum Apple Watch Sport at $369 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm model. The new watch is available exclusively from Nike and the Isetan department store, marking the first Apple Watch that is not available in Apple retail stores and from the Apple website. Apple and Nike first teamed up in September of 2016 for the Nike+ Apple Watch that launched alongside Apple's own set of Series 2 Apple Watch devices. Apple offers two Apple Watch Nike+ models in Silver and Space Gray aluminum along with standalone Apple Watch Nike+ bands.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 28 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today sent out an email to developers announcing App Store pricing increases in Denmark, Mexico, and all territories that use the Euro currency. The new pricing changes will go into affect before the end of next week, with Apple citing changes in foreign exchange rates as the reason behind the price hike.Due to foreign exchange rate changes, prices for apps and in-app purchases (excluding auto-renewable subscriptions) will increase in Denmark, Mexico, and all territories that use the Euro currency in the next 7 days. Auto-renewable subscription prices will not be affected. You can change the price of your subscription at any time in iTunes Connect with the option to preserve prices for existing subscribers.French site iPhoneAddict has shared a chart listing the new pricing tiers in Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, and Slovakia. In those countries, app pricing will now start at 1.09 euros, up from 0.99 euros. Similar pricing increases will be seen in the other affected countries. Along with the App Store price change, Apple has announced that a value added tax (VAT) rate of five percent will go into effect for customers in Taiwan starting on May 1, 2017. Apps and in-app purchases will be affected.On May 1, 2017, a value added tax (VAT) rate of 5% will go into effect for customers in Taiwan buying apps and in-app purchases. We will administer the collection of taxes from customers and the remittance of taxes to the appropriate tax authority in Taiwan. Your proceeds will be reduced accordingly, and will be calculated based on the tax exclusive price.Apple's App Store price hike in Denmark, Mexico, and countries that use the Euro comes just a few days after Apple announced a significant decrease in its affiliate program commission rate. Sites linking to the App Store used to receive a 7 percent cut when someone purchased an app, but that number will drop to 2.5 percent next week, impacting many websites that rely on App Store commissions.Tag: App Store Discuss this article in our forums

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