posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Wireless bluetooth headphones have been gaining traction over the past few years as potentially reliable replacements to the traditional wired headsets offered in most smartphone boxes. With the announcement of the "Bragi Dash" at CES in 2015 -- and the subsequent year of updates trickling out of the German company -- interest in true wireless earphones that don't even require a wire between the earpieces has begun to increase. Interest in these products took another step forward last week when it was reported Apple may be working on a Dash-like product to be sold alongside the so-called "iPhone 7" later this year. The Apple-owned Beats by Dre brand already offers customers a variety of Bluetooth headphones, but none that are as small and undetectable as the Bragi Dash. With the first round of Bragi Dash units now shipping to Kickstarter backers, a few sites have been sharing their initial impressions of the new earphones. The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, Engadget, and Wired agree on the Dash's impressive suite of features, especially subtle motion gestures and ambient noise control, but some remain skeptical of their wide appeal due to syncing issues and a short three-hour battery life. The Verge commented on the gesture controls, surprised by the amount of subtlety the Dash still managed to pick up. The basic gestures let users nod or shake their heads to accept or reject phone calls, which the site found to work nearly too well, and worried over accidental gestures causing miscommunications with the Dash. Still, The Verge's favorite feature was the ability of the headphones to allow ambient noises to pass through to your ears from their location in a room, even when music is playing.With the Dash, you just swipe on the left earbud and the ambient noise around you suddenly appears in your earbuds. Better yet, Bragi has done some especially tricky software work to make that ambient noise sound like it's coming from the corresponding direction. If someone is speaking to the right of you, it sounds like their voice is coming from that direction. You can do this while music is playing or not, and it's the kind of feature that you wind up wanting on any pair of headphones even after using it just one time. Connectivity issues were the main concern of The Wall Street Journal's experience with Bragi's new headphones. The Bluetooth connection between the iPhone and the Dash became unreliable for the site "particularly on outdoor runs," necessitating the purchase of an armband case to bring the iPhone closer to the in-ear headphones. Although Bragi promises an upcoming update will address such problems -- and the Dash's 4GB of internal memory can offset some iPhone connectivity issues -- The Wall Street Journal remained skeptical on the consistency of the feature.But in testing, another problem emerged: The Dash still connects via Bluetooth to the phone itself, and that connection dropped even more frequently than the Earin, particularly on outdoor runs. I ended up buying an armband case for my phone so I could get a more consistent connection. A few times, the Dash fritzed out and became unresponsive until I put it back in its charging case. Buyer beware: These are surely signs that the software is a work in progress. (Bragi says an update is coming, which Dash owners will install by plugging the companion case into a computer.) On the plus side, the site was largely impressed by the Near Field Magnetic Induction used by Bragi to keep the dual earbuds in sync, creating a "bubble around one’s head through which the sounds travels from one ear to the other." NFMI was the reason the Dash were delayed in the middle of last year, when the team decided to find a better way for the earbuds to communicate with each other. WSJ also found that each of the Dash's earbuds were reliable in their fit within the ear, never causing concern over whether either piece would fall out during long runs and workouts. The Bragi Dash inside of its portable charging case, via Engadget Engadget was doubly impressed by the use of NFMI as an alternative to Bluetooth connectivity between each piece of the Dash (Bluetooth is still used to communicate with the iPhone). Like most reviews, the site also commented on the usefulness of the Dash's voice assistant that guides users through the initial setup and can also read out data and information back to them on the fly.I insert a bud into my right ear, and then the left. A few seconds later I hear a woman's voice. She explains how I can listen to music on my phone, afterwards there is silence; deafening silence. Until I connect my phone to the wireless headphones, and the lady returns, confirming that everything is good, and I'm all set. This is probably the slickest gadget set-up I have ever experienced. Wired's experience with the Dash most succinctly categorized the headphones apart from everything else that is available on the market, the site calling Bragi's new product "a computer, a platform, an entirely personalized object," separate from competitors like Earins. When testing the basic music functionality of the earphones, Wired found the quality to be "fantastic" and referred to the new product as "remarkable" for what it accomplishes even considering the slim three-hour battery life.The Dash is not a pair of headphones. Well, it is, but that’s like calling the iPhone a telephone. It’s not competing with devices like the Earins, or whatever truly wireless Beats headphones Apple’s working on for the iPhone 7. Dash is a computer, a platform, an entirely personalized object.Read more reviews and impressions of the Bragi Dash online: DC Rainmaker, The Gadgeteer, Wareable, and Reviewed.com.Tag: Bragi Dash Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iAd program has never been responsible for a large portion of its sales, leading Apple to decide that it's time to take a step back from the platform. According to BuzzFeed, Apple plans to end its efforts at advertising sales and cease its direct involvement with iAd. "It's just not something we're good at," an inside source told BuzzFeed. To accomplish this, Apple will dismantle its iAd sales team and will turn the iAd platform over to publishers, allowing them to directly create and sell advertising content. Publishers will be able to keep 100 percent of revenue generated. Advertising industry sources familiar with Apple's new plan for iAds seem intrigued by it. "I think this is going to be great for publishers," said one. "It gives them direct dialogue with their customers as opposed to forcing them to go through an Apple middleman. Access will be more plentiful and easier to manage -- theoretically."In September, Apple made the first steps towards automating iAd with an iAd Workbench update that added tools to allow publishers to sell ads themselves in Apple News. Currently, Apple News publishers are able to sell their own ads or have iAd sell on their behalf, while developers have to rely entirely on iAd. Apple is expanding its Apple News model to the App Store and other platforms, allowing publishers to sell directly. Since its debut in 2010, Apple has failed to establish iAd as a successful advertising platform, mainly due to pricing. At launch, iAd's minimum buy-in fee was at $500,000 and despite several price cuts, Apple has struggled to get advertisers on board. Apple made several improvements to iAd over the years and attempted to revive the platform when iTunes Radio launched, but it has never been a successful venture for the company. For end users, the impact should be minimal. The iAd platform is sticking around and should continue to serve up many of the same in-app ads in the same format that's available today.Tag: iAd Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes reportedly told investors on Monday that he would entertain a sale of the media company, and Apple has been named as a possible suitor, according to the New York Post. AT&T, which owns DirecTV, and Fox are also said to have shown interest.Eddy Cue, one of Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook’s top lieutenants, in charge of content deals, has been keeping tabs on proceedings at Time Warner, a source close to Apple said.Time Warner owns a large number of assets that could lay the foundation for Apple's much-rumored streaming TV service, including CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, NBA TV, Cartoon Network and its Warner Bros. division. A deal could allow Apple to offer a skinny bundle of channels airing popular TV shows for all ages like Adventure Time, Game of Thrones, Sesame Street, Silicon Valley and Veep. Apple's streaming TV service has reportedly been placed on hold due to its difficulties in securing deals with content owners, but striking a deal with Time Warner would allow the company to reconsider offering a skinny bundle of channels through a Netflix-like service for Apple TV, Mac, iPad, iPhone and other devices. Apple has previously been in talks with CBS, ABC, Fox, Disney, Viacom, Discovery and others about launching a web-based streaming service that would bundle approximately 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month, but content owners have been reluctant to give up control of the living room up to this point. For now, fourth-generation Apple TV owners can stream select on-demand content from tvOS apps like ABC News, CNNgo, Fox NOW, HBO NOW, MLB.TV Premium, NBC Sports Live Extra, PBS, PBS Kids, USA NOW, Watch ABC and WatchESPN, but most require authenticating with a cable or satellite TV subscription.Tags: HBO, Time Warner, streaming TV service, CNN Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
A new report out of China today points to an earlier than expected trial production of the unannounced "Apple Watch 2," expected to begin as soon as the end of January. According to Taiwanese website Commercial Times (via G for Games), the second generation of the Apple Watch will be manufactured by Quanta, which was also responsible for last year’s production of the original smartwatch. Despite today's report of Quanta's eagerness to begin production on the Apple Watch 2, a rumor back in November suggested the company had a "weaker than expected" profit return on the original Apple Watch. As such, Apple may be searching for new suppliers of the device (in addition to keeping on Quanta to take the brunt majority of the line), including Foxconn, Wistron, and Inventec. Although it has yet to be confirmed by Apple, rumors regarding the new Apple Watch include a thinner case, FaceTime camera, and an upgraded Wi-Fi chip for more independence from the iPhone. This week it was discovered that Apple has posted four job listings centered around health technologies, suggesting possible improvements on the first generation Apple Watch's health and fitness features.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2 Tag: Quanta Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Amid an overall decline in worldwide PC shipments, Apple is the sole manufacturer that saw positive shipment growth, according to new PC shipping estimates from Gartner. With worldwide PC shipments from Lenovo, HP, Dell, ASUS, and Acer down, Apple also broke into Gartner's list of top 5 worldwide PC vendors for the first time. Gartner's Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q15 (Thousands of Units) During the fourth quarter of 2015, Apple shipped 5.7 million PCs, for 7.5 percent market share. That's up from 5.5 million PCs and 6.7 percent market share in the year ago quarter, for an overall year-over-year growth of 2.8 percent. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 75.7 million units in Q4 2015, an 8.3 percent decline, with Acer and Lenovo seeing some of the biggest drops. Gartner's Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q15 (Thousands of Units) In the United States, Apple saw more significant growth of 6.5 percent, shipping an estimated 2.2 million PCs in Q4 2015 for 12.8 percent market share. That's up from 2 million PCs and 11.6 percent market share in Q4 2014. When it comes to U.S. PC shipments, Lenovo saw significant growth with 2.1 million shipments, while ASUS maintained status quo with 1.2 million shipments. HP, Dell, and manufacturers in the "Other" group that comprises non top-5 vendors, all saw a decline in shipments. Apple's U.S. Market Share Trend: 1Q06-4Q15 (Gartner) Overall PC sales in the United States during the fourth quarter of 2015 were at 16.9 million, a decline of 3.1 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. According to Gartner, PCs were not a top holiday gift item."Holiday sales had a limited impact on PC sales in the U.S. market," Ms. Kitagawa said. "Notebooks were off the top wish list of holiday gifts. Unlike 2014 holiday sales, there were not many holiday mega deals for laptops, especially in value segments. At the same time, consumers' interest shifted to other consumer electronics devices such as TV's and wearables. "For the full year, Gartner estimates Apple shipped a total of 20.7 million PCs worldwide, ranking the company as the number 5 worldwide PC vendor for 2015. That's up from 19.6 million total in 2014, for a total growth of 5.8 percent and a 7.2 percent share of the market. Lenovo was the market leader in 2015 with 57 million shipments, while HP was second with 52 million and Dell and ASUS were third and fourth with 39 and 21 million shipments, respectively. IDC also released its own estimates of Apple's worldwide and U.S. PC shipments during the fourth quarter of 2015, which are surprisingly close to Gartner's numbers considering the two firms' estimates typically differ significantly. IDC also estimates Apple shipped 5.7 million PCs during the quarter, for 7.9 percent market share. Like Gartner, IDC ranks Apple as the number 5 worldwide PC vendor. For U.S. shipments, IDC estimates Apple shipped 2.2 million machines for a 12.7 percent share of the market. Both Gartner and IDC rank Apple as the number three PC vendor in the United States, below HP and Dell. IDC's shipment estimate for the full year also matches Gartner's, with Apple responsible for 20.7 million shipments and 7.5 percent market share, up from 19.6 million shipments and 6.3 percent market share in 2014. It's important to note that data from Data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and the numbers can shift. Last year, for example, Gartner predicted PC shipments of 2.1 million and 11.7 percent market share for Apple in 4Q 2014, later revising that number to 2 million shipments and 11.6 percent market share. Gartner and IDC both position Apple as the sole top vendor that saw positive worldwide growth in 2015, and the same trend could continue into 2016. Apple is expected to refresh many of its Macs during the year, introducing significant upgrades in the form of Skylake processors for most machines.Tags: IDC, Gartner Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
After four months of availability, Apple's newest mobile operating system, iOS 9, is now installed on 75 percent of active iOS devices as of January 11, according to new numbers posted on Apple's App Store support page for developers. iOS 9 adoption has climbed from 71 percent to 75 percent over the course of the past month, which is when Apple last updated iOS 9 adoption numbers. As iOS 9 adoption grows, the number of people using iOS 8 and earlier operating systems has declined. 19 percent of iOS users continue to use iOS 8, while 7 percent use an earlier version of iOS. iOS 9 adoption has outpaced iOS 8 adoption. At four months after launch, iOS 8 was installed on 68 percent of active iOS devices. In fact, iOS 9 adoption is nearly on pace with iOS 7 adoption, which was installed on 79 percent of devices four months after it was released in 2013. In September, when iOS 9 hit a milestone that saw it installed on more than 50 percent of active iOS devices, Apple called it the "fastest iOS adoption ever," and said it was on pace to be downloaded by more users than any other software release in Apple's history. The latest installation growth follows the release of iOS 9.2 on December 8, which introduced a huge number of bug fixes and brought improvements to Apple Music, Mail, and iBooks. iOS 9 adoption may see another boost with the release of iOS 9.3, which is currently in beta testing. iOS 9.3 is one of the biggest updates to iOS 9 yet, introducing a new Night Shift mode, new Quick Actions, and improvements to several apps and features like Notes, Apple News, Health, and CarPlay.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iOS 9.3 beta introduces major new features like Night Shift, but there are also dozens of little tweaks to be discovered in the operating system update. It appears that one of those minor changes applies to Wi-Fi Assist, adding a much-needed feature that allows users to see just how much data it's using. Wi-Fi Assist data usage can be checked within the Settings app by choosing the Cellular section and scrolling down to the Wi-Fi Assist option. Next to the toggle that turns the feature on and off, there's now a data usage number that displays how much data has been consumed when it is in use. Wi-Fi Assist was first introduced with iOS 9. It's a feature that allows an iPhone to seamlessly switch over to a cellular connection whenever a local Wi-Fi connection is weak. Enabled automatically when updating to iOS 9, Wi-Fi Assist proved to be unpopular with users who claimed it was eating up a lot of data. One recent news story even accused Wi-Fi Assist of causing a teenager to receive a cell phone bill for upwards of $2,000. Concerns about Wi-Fi Assist led Apple to publish a support document on the feature, explaining how it works and assuring users that data usage should only be a "small percentage higher" than previous usage. Wi-Fi Assist only turns on in a limited number of circumstances and won't activate when data roaming, when apps are downloading background content, or when using third-party apps that stream audio or video. Despite Apple's reassurances about Wi-Fi Assist, unhappy customers filed a $5 million class action lawsuit over the feature, with the plaintiffs claiming they were subjected to overage charges on their iPhones after updating to iOS 9. The lawsuit also claims Apple did not do an adequate job explaining the feature when iOS 9 was released. Wi-Fi Assist is available on any iOS device running iOS 9 or later, with the exception of the iPhone 4s, the iPad 2, the third-generation iPad, and the original iPad mini. Wi-Fi Assist can be turned off using the Settings app for those who don't want to risk using extra data.Tags: Wi-Fi Assist, iOS 9.3 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Apple yesterday surprised us with new betas of iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4, watchOS 2.2, and tvOS 9.2. Of those betas, iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 introduce important new features to iOS devices and the fourth-generation Apple TV. iOS 9.3 includes a new Night Shift mode that cuts down on blue light in the evening for better sleep, plus it introduces new Quick Actions for several stock apps and brings new features for News, Notes, Health, CarPlay, and more. A full walkthrough of what's new in iOS 9.3 is available in the video below. tvOS 9.2 introduces features that have been sorely missing from the new Apple TV, including support for Bluetooth keyboards to make text entry a simpler process. It includes folders for organizing the Home screen much like one can do on an iOS device, and it introduces a new look for the Home screen, among other things. To see everything that's new in tvOS 9.2, make sure to watch our walkthrough video. watchOS 2.2 and OS X 10.11.4 include less obvious under-the-hood updates, but both bring important new features. OS X 10.11.4 introduces support for locked notes, while watchOS 2.2, paired with iOS 9.3, allows the iPhone to connect to multiple Apple Watches. There's no word on when we'll see the public releases of iOS 9.3, tvOS 9.2, OS X 10.11.4, and watchOS 2.2, but there's undoubtedly several weeks of testing left before the updates will launch. Ahead of these major releases, we will see the launch of iOS 9.2.1 and OS X 10.11.3, both of which are also in testing.Related Roundups: Apple TV, iOS 9 Tags: iOS 9.3, tvOS 9.2 Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has posted at least four job listings since November seeking biomedical engineers and technicians to join the research and development arm of its Health Technologies team, reports BuzzFeed. Apple's current health and fitness initiatives include the Apple Watch, launched last April with a heart rate sensor and activity tracking, and ResearchKit, an open source medical research framework for clinical trials on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The rumored Apple Watch 2 is expected to launch in March with several improvements, possibly including a FaceTime Camera and expanded Wi-Fi capabilities, but Apple's health and fitness ambitions beyond its next-generation smartwatch remain open to speculation. Apple CEO Tim Cook stirred speculation in November when he said that while Apple does not want to subject the Apple Watch to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, the company is not against the idea of putting adjacent products like apps or "something else" through the FDA. Since then, Apple has made a number of hirings that suggest it may be working on a new health and fitness project. BuzzFeed News also found that over the last three or so months, Apple has snapped up employees from the medical world, according to LinkedIn. For example, Anne Shelchuk, who has a doctorate in biomedical engineering, left ultrasound software company ZONARE Medical Systems for Apple’s health technology team in November. […] Craig Slyfield, a mechanical engineer who’s co-authored several papers related to measuring and visualizing human bones in 3D, also joined Apple as a product development engineer in November. A hire in October was system design engineer Nathan Clark, who has a doctorate in biomedical engineering and a patent for a device that separates cells.Last March, ABC provided a closer look at Apple's top-secret health and fitness lab where it collected more than 18,000 hours of health and fitness data from over 10,000 workout sessions by Apple employees. Apple COO Jeff Williams is known to lead the Apple Watch team internally, while Director of Fitness for Health Technologies Jay Blahnik, a former Nike FuelBand consultant, also plays a key role.Tags: Apple job listings, Apple Watch 2, Health Technologies Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Following a lengthy beta testing period, VideoLAN has announced that its VLC app is now available for the fourth-generation Apple TV on the tvOS App Store. The app is a full port of the VLC media player and supports virtually all video formats in line with the VLC for iOS app. There are also many tvOS-specific features. - Content Discovery: The app automatically discovers video files stored on your local network, using the SMB, UPnP media server, FTP and PLEX protocols. You can browse through videos with the Siri Remote and select content for playback. During playback, subtitles can be added from OpenSubtitles.org. - Saved Logins: Login credentials can be securely stored on the Apple TV and will be synchronized to and from your iPhone and iPad. - Remote Playback: VLC displays an IP address under the Remote Playback menu on Apple TV. This address can be typed into your computer's web browser, and an interface will pop up allowing you to drag and drop a file to play it on your TV remotely. You can drag and drop multiple files to queue them. The files will remain available locally on the Apple TV until its internal storage is maxed out. The web interface can be used for remote play, pause and seeking.For playback of a network stream URL on your TV, just paste it to the field and push return. Once playback concludes, you will find it in the Network Stream view for future use. Like for files, you can send multiple URLs rows in a row and they will be attached to the playback queue. - Playback: VLC for the Apple TV supports basic play, pause and seek controls. You can navigate the app by chapter and titles or select from multiple audio and subtitles tracks. Other features include custom playback speed and hatchet.is integration for artist imagery and biographies. VLC is currently beta testing Apple TV support for cloud services Dropbox, OneDrive and Box. The feature will be available in the near future.Related Roundup: Apple TV Tags: App Store, VLC, tvOS Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 26 days ago on mac rumors
Following rumors claiming that iPhones will adopt OLED displays in less than three years, Taiwanese website Focus Taiwan cites local media reports stating that Apple is planning to invest in AMOLED display supplier AU Optronics.According to the reports, Apple is likely to transform AUO into an active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) screen supplier for production of future iPhones, and if AUO agrees with Apple's fund injection plan, the Taiwanese firm could see its sales and gross margin grow significantly.AU Optronics declined to comment on its potential investment deal with Apple, but the supplier's shares of the company gained 5.15% on Tuesday to close at NT$9.53 on the Taiwanese stock market amid the rumors. AU Optronics, which has supplied LCD panels to Apple in the past, has reportedly been developing AMOLED displays for more than a decade, and last year it began shipping AMOLED panels to Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers. Apple currently uses LCD panels for iPhones, sourced primarily from Sharp and Japan Display. Last month, it was reported that Apple has been recruiting talent from AU Optronics and Qualcomm to work at a Taiwanese factory, where the company is purportedly developing thinner, lighter and brighter displays for future Apple devices. The secretive lab may be specifically focused on OLED and Micro-LED technologies. Samsung, LG and Japan Display have also been rumored to provide Apple with OLED displays for iPhones starting in 2018. OLED displays typically have brighter colors and deeper blacks, and the lack of a backlight increases power efficiency, but the panels can also have shorter lifespans and higher manufacturing costs compared to LCD technology. Apple has reportedly been consulting with OLED panel makers to eliminate potential drawbacks. Samsung is the most popular smartphone maker that uses AMOLED displays, while the Apple Watch became Apple's first AMOLED device last April.Tags: AMOLED, OLED, AU Optronics Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
In an interview with the BBC, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said it is an "open secret" that Apple is developing an electric car. Musk made the statement when asked if he had heard anything about Apple's car development plans and went on to highlight the huge number of hires Apple has made as evidence. "Well, it's pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it," he said, before adding that he believed Apple was serious about the project. "This is an open secret." Musk went on say Tesla welcomes participation by any company that wants to create electric vehicles, but he cautioned that it's "quite hard to do." He brushed off the interviewer's question of whether an Apple car would be a threat to Tesla, and said that he believes Apple will develop a "compelling" electric car because "it seems like the obvious thing to do." "Tesla will still aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal, while at the same helping other companies to make electric cars as well."Musk is aware of Apple's hiring efforts because Apple has made an effort to hire former Tesla employees for its car project. The two companies have developed something of a rivalry as they compete for talent, leading Musk to take a jab at Apple in an October interview, saying "If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple," a statement he later retracted. The first rumors surrounding Apple's car project, allegedly codenamed "Project Titan," surfaced in early 2015. Since then, Apple has recruited dozens of engineers and researchers from the automotive industry and other car-related fields, poaching employees from companies like Tesla, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Samsung, and more. Over the past few months, there's been a growing body of evidence pointing towards work on a car. Apple sought out a secure testing facility for testing electric vehicles in May of 2015, and met with DMV officials to discuss the laws and regulations surrounding self-driving vehicles in California in September. Most recently, Apple registered three auto-related top-level domain names, including apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto. Little is known about Apple's car project, but the company is rumored to be working on an electric vehicle. Rumors have disagreed on the topic of autonomy, but the most recent information suggests that while Apple is exploring self-driving technology, it is a feature that may come in a later version of the Apple Car.Related Roundup: Apple Car Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Over the weekend, The Telegraph published a questionable rumor suggesting Apple was planning to develop a tool to help iPhone users switch to Android to appease major European telecoms operators. Citing a "senior industry source," the site said Apple had agreed to create a feature that would let customers transfer contacts, music, and photos from an iPhone to an Android device. The rumor gained enough traction to prompt Apple to step in and make a statement to Buzzfeed, clarifying that no iPhone to Android switching tool is under development. "There is no truth to this rumor," Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great."As the Apple spokesperson says, Apple has been working hard to encourage Android users to switch to iPhone over the past few months, making the development of a tool to encourage the opposite nonsensical. In September, Apple launched a "Move to iOS" app to make it easier for Android users to switch to an iPhone, and before that, the company debuted a trade-in program that allows Android users to trade in their Android-based devices to receive a gift card towards the purchase of an iPhone. Apple's efforts have been successful, and Apple often shares details on the sizable number of Android users that have switched to the iPhone. During Apple's October earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that 30 percent customers who purchased an iPhone and replaced a smartphone in Q4 2015 had switched from an Android device.Tag: Android Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iOS 9.2.1 update is still in testing, but that didn't stop the company from surprising us with an iOS 9.3 beta this morning. The iOS 9.3 beta is one of the biggest updates to iOS 9 yet, introducing a new Night Shift feature and improving several existing apps, including Notes, Apple News, Health, CarPlay, and more. We've gathered up a full list of the changes and new features in iOS 9.3, to give MacRumors readers a clear picture of what they can expect to see when iOS 9.3 is released to the public. Night Shift - Night Shift is a new feature that's designed to automatically cut down on the amount of blue light an iOS user is exposed to at night by shifting to more yellow tones for the iPhone or iPad's display. Studies have suggested blue light exposure at night can disrupt the circadian rhythm, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Night Shift settings are available in the "Display & Brightness" section of the Settings app. In this section, there's a new option to toggle on "Blue Light Reduction" and set the display to be Cooler or Warmer. A Schedule option lets users set a custom schedule or choose to turn on Night Shift from sunset to sunrise. Quick Actions - On the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, there are new 3D Touch Quick Actions for several of the stock apps, including Weather, Settings, Compass, and Health. Weather's Quick Actions allow you to see the weather at your current location or for saved locations in the app. Settings includes useful shortcuts for accessing Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Battery, and Wallpaper options. Health's Quick Actions provide access to the Medical ID or a user's dashboard, while Compass now features options to open directly to the compass or the level. There are also new Quick Action options for the App Store and iTunes Store apps. For the App Store app, Quick Actions now include "Update All" to update all apps at once from the Home screen, and "Purchased" for opening up to a list of all purchased apps. For the iTunes Store, new options include "View Downloads" and "Purchased." Notes - There's a new option to use Touch ID or a password to protect the Notes app. With this enabled, Notes will ask for either the user's PIN or a fingerprint when opening the Notes app. Password Protection for Notes is available in the Settings app, but it appears that the feature may be non-functional at the current time. There are also new options in Settings to organize notes by Date Edited, Date Created, or Title. News - Apple has improved the news app in iOS 9.3 to make it more tailored to each person's interests. The For You section is also incorporating trending topics and specific picks from Apple editors to help users better discover content. Other new features include a new landscape view for News on the iPhone, in-line video playback for videos in news stories, and faster content updating when opening the news app. Health - In the Health app, when viewing the Weight, Workouts, and Sleep categories, Health now links to apps you can download that will allow you to collect this data. Health also mirrors the Apple Watch move, exercise, and stand data in a new "Activity" interface, and it displays your goals. The new Health features in iOS 9.3 may not be functional yet, as the new interface and the app suggestions were not available on our iOS devices running iOS 9.3. CarPlay - Several CarPlay apps have been updated to bring them in line with iOS apps on iOS 9. The Apple Music CarPlay app now includes New and For You sections for better music discovery, and a Nearby feature in Maps offers better access to information about what's close by, providing suggestions for local gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, and more. Alongside iOS 9.3, Apple's also provided a comprehensive list of all the cars in the United States and other countries that offer CarPlay support. Apple's list includes more than 100 2016 and 2017 models from 22 auto manufacturers like Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Ferrari, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Opel, Porsche, Peugeot, Seat, Škoda, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo. Education - iOS 9.3 includes multiple Education-oriented features including shared iPads for students, a new Classroom app, an Apple School Manager, and improved Apple ID management features. Apple Watch - With iOS 9.3 and watchOS 2.2, the iPhone is able to pair with more than one Apple Watch. Both updates are required, with each watch running watchOS 2.2 and the iPhone running iOS 9.3. WatchOS 2.2 was seeded to developers alongside iOS 9.3. Live Photos - On the iPhone 6s, there's a new option to save a full resolution photo from a Live Photo. When using the Share Sheet, choosing "Duplicate" now gives an option to create a Still Photo duplicate of a Live Photo. Wallet/Apple Pay - In Wallet and when using Apple Pay, there's now an option to open an app that's linked to a pass or credit card. For example, on a Southwest boarding pass, there's a new icon that will open the Southwest app when tapped. Siri - Siri has been updated in iOS 9.3 to include the following languages: Malay (Malaysia), Finnish (Finland), and Hebrew (Israel). App Switcher - iOS 9.3 includes haptic feedback when using the Force Touch app switcher on an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. "Peek" feedback is provided when first opening the app switcher, and a full "Pop" feedback is given when pressing further to open it fully. Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
With iOS 9.3, Apple is introducing a number of new features that are specifically geared towards the education market. Outlined on a new Education Preview site, education-oriented features in the iOS 9 beta include shared iPads for students, a new classroom app, an Apple School Manager feature, and an improved Managed Apple IDs function. Apple's new Shared iPad feature is designed for educational systems where a 1:1 student-to-iPad ratio isn't possible. It gives each student an Apple ID that can be used to log into any iPad in the classroom, with all of the student's content readily available on any device. That means students can switch from classroom to classroom, logging into an iPad in each class while the iPad remains in the classroom for all students to use during class time. Students have access to all of their apps, books, and documents when logging on, and for a student that uses the same assigned iPad in a class each day, an intelligent caching system keeps all of their content at the ready. Shared iPad uses a photo login system to make it easy for kids to find their assigned iPad, and a PIN system for logging in makes the system easy for younger children. Along with Shared iPads, there's a new Classroom app. With Classroom, teachers can launch the same app on all student iPads at the same time and guide students through the app. A Screen View feature lets teachers see what's on any student's iPad at any given time, and it allows teachers to lock apps to keep students on task. There's also a feature for helping reset student passwords directly within the classroom app. Apple School Manager, a web-based feature, is designed to give admins a central location for creating Apple IDs, building courses, and managing accounts for students, teachers, and admins. It allows administrators to make volume purchases of books and apps and distribute the content quickly. Within the Apple School Manager, there are new tools for Managed Apple IDs, which are Apple IDs created specifically for schools. Managed Apple IDs have all of the functionality of a standard Apple ID, but they allow administrators to reset passwords, audit accounts, and assign customized roles to each ID. Apple has been working on overhauling its iPad in Education program since early 2015, when a leaked email suggested the company was planning on unifying deployment programs, simplifying app distribution, and updating the way student Apple IDs work. Apple's new educational features will be available to schools with the launch of iOS 9.3. iOS 9.3 was provided to developers this morning.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tags: education, iOS 9.3 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's latest beta, iOS 9.3, brings quite a few changes to iOS 9, including a new "Night Shift" feature. Night Shift is designed to cut down on the amount of blue light an iOS device is putting out during the evening hours, based on studies that have demonstrated that blue light can negatively impact sleep by altering the body's circadian rhythm. With Night Shift mode enabled, when the sun goes down, the iPhone's screen will automatically change towards the warmer (yellower) colors in the spectrum, reducing blue light. In the morning, the display automatically turns to its normal temperature color, mimicking natural daylight. Many people who use f.lux on the Mac are likely already familiar with the type of visual changes to expect with Night Shift mode. f.lux is an app that has been available for free on the Mac for several years, successfully cutting down on the amount of blue light that users see at night. In fact, f.lux recently attempted to introduce an iOS app that featured the same functionality, but because it used private APIs, it skirted the App Store by asking users to side-load the app on their devices using Xcode, something Apple asked f.lux to put a stop to shortly after it was released. At the time, Apple said that asking users to side-load an app violated the Developer Program Agreement, and f.lux was forced to stop providing the app to iOS users. F.lux appealed and asked Apple to allow the necessary APIs for a legitimate App Store app, but it appears Apple was working on its own in-house solution instead. Night Shift is currently available to developers who have downloaded the iOS 9.3 beta. Today's beta also includes several other important features, including the ability for an iPhone to connect with more than one Apple Watch and improvements to Apple News, Notes, Health, and CarPlay.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tag: iOS 9.3 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan update to developers for testing purposes, just over one month after releasing the second OS X El Capitan update, OS X 10.11.2. OS X 10.11.3 is also in testing and has been provided to developers and public beta testers. The new OS X 10.11.3 beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center. It is not known what improvements the fourth update to OS X El Capitan will bring, but like prior updates, it's likely to focus on security enhancements, performance improvements, and bug fixes to address issues have been discovered since the release of OS X 10.11.2 and were not able to be included in the OS X 10.11.3 beta. We'll update this post with any changes that are discovered in the beta.Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan Tag: OS X 10.11.4 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today provided developers with the first beta of an upcoming update to tvOS, the operating system that runs on the fourth-generation Apple TV and powers its built-in App Store. Today's tvOS beta comes just over one month after the release of tvOS 9.1, the first update to tvOS since it was released in October alongside the new Apple TV. tvOS betas are more difficult to install than beta updates for iOS and OS X. Installing the tvOS beta requires the Apple TV to be connected to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, with the software downloaded and installed via iTunes. We don't know what's included in the new version of tvOS, but it's likely to bring expanded features, bug fixes, and performance improvements to Apple's youngest operating system. The first tvOS update, tvOS 9.1, introduced Siri support for Apple Music, allowing the personal assistant to play content from Apple Music when requested. Siri for Apple Music on the Apple TV works similarly to Siri for Apple Music on iOS devices, enabling queries like "What was the top song in 1980?" or "Play Adele's latest single." It also brought support for the iOS and Apple Watch Remote app, which is now compatible with the new Apple TV. What's new in tvOS 9.2: Bluetooth keyboard support - tvOS 9.2 now supports Bluetooth keyboards, allowing a keyboard to be paired to the Apple TV for text entry. This is a major feature that was missing from previous versions of tvOS and its addition should make it much easier to do things like enter passwords. Folders - tvOS 9.2 includes support for grouping apps in the Home screen into Folders, much like one can do on an iOS device. MapKit - tvOS 9.2 supports MapKit, allowing developers to implement maps into their tvOS apps. Siri - Siri now includes support for US Spanish (in the US only) and French Canadian (in Canada only). UK English, Australian English, and US English are now available in the UK, Australian, and US Storefronts when English is set as the tvOS language. App Switcher - There's a new look for the App Switcher interface in tvOS. Podcasts - The Podcasts app is now available on the fourth-generation Apple TV. Related Roundup: Apple TV Tag: tvOS 9.2 Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the first version of an upcoming watchOS 2.2 update to developers, just over a month after releasing the first major update (watchOS 2.1) to watchOS 2, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch. The 2.2 beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on an iPhone running the iOS 9.3 beta by going to General --> Software update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the Apple Watch charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone. It is not yet clear what is included in watchOS 2.2, but it's likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues discovered since the release of watchOS 2.1. It may also include new features to enhance the performance of the Apple Watch. The first major update to watchOS 2, watchOS 2.1, included a range of bug fixes to address problems with Calendar, Power Reserve mode, third-party apps, and more. It also included support for several new languages. What's new in watchOS 2.2: Apple Watch - With watchOS 2.2 and iOS 9.3, the iPhone is able to pair with more than one Apple Watch. Both updates are required, with each watch running watchOS 2.2 and the iPhone running iOS 9.3.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2 Tag: watchOS 2.2 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 9.3 update to developers for testing purposes. The iOS 9.3 beta is available for download immediately from the Apple Developer Center, and a public beta is likely to be available in the near future. With iOS 9.3, developers can also download the update over-the-air using the new iOS 9.3 Configuration Profile. There have been no hints about what might be included in iOS 9.3, but as a major .1 update, it’s likely to include new features and operating system tweaks that improve performance. As with all iOS updates, it will undoubtedly include a long list of bug fixes to address problems found since the release of iOS 9.2. We will update this post with any changes that are discovered in the beta. What's new in iOS 9.3: Apple Watch - With iOS 9.3 and watchOS 2.2, the iPhone is able to pair with more than one Apple Watch. Both updates are required, with each watch running watchOS 2.2 and the iPhone running iOS 9.3. WatchOS 2.2 was seeded to developers alongside iOS 9.3. Night Shift - iOS 9.3 includes a feature that reduces blue light at night, much like f.lux does on a Mac. Notes - Notes is now password protected and there are new features for sorting by date created, date modified, or alphabetically. Apple News - News algorithms have been improved to offer more tailored articles in the For You section. There's also a new landscape mode and in-line video playback. Health - Health has been updated with a new interface that makes it easier to see move, exercise, and stand data. There's also a new menu in certain categories to help users discover apps that can be used to track health data. CarPlay - CarPlay includes iOS 9 features like New and For You sections in Apple Music along with a Nearby feature in Maps for discovering the best local restaurants, coffee shops, and more. Education - iOS 9.3 includes multiple Education-oriented features including shared iPads for students, a new Classroom app, and an Apple School Manager.Tag: iOS 9.3 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 27 days ago on mac rumors
Chinese website cnBeta [Google Translate] is the latest source to claim Apple will release a new 4-inch iPhone early this year. The blog, citing Foxconn sources, shared many new details about the so-called "iPhone 5e" that we have broken down for comparison against previous 4-inch iPhone rumors below. "iPhone 5e" vs. "iPhone 6c" Apple's next-generation 4-inch iPhone has been given several names, including "iPhone 6c," "iPhone 7c" and "iPhone 5s Mark II," but this is the first report where it has been called "iPhone 5e." The website claims "iPhone 5e" will represent an "enhanced" iPhone 5s and replace the latter in Apple's smartphone lineup once released. iPhone 5e would be Apple's new entry-level handset. A8 Chip with 1GB of RAM The report says the "iPhone 5e" will be powered by Apple's 64-bit A8 chip and 1GB of RAM. Apple devices with an A8 chip: iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPad mini 4, Apple TV 4, iPad Air 2 and the newest iPod touch. Japanese website Mac Otakara also said the new 4-inch iPhone will have an A8 chip, without disclosing potential RAM, while Chinese website MyDrivers said the device will have an A9 processor and 2GB of RAM. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also said the 4-inch iPhone will have an A9 chip in a research note to investors, but that appears to be more of a prediction rather than supply chain evidence. 16GB/64GB Storage The report claims the "iPhone 5e" will have 16GB base storage, with a 64GB model also available. Chinese website MyDrivers also said the new 4-inch iPhone will have 16GB base storage. iPhone 5s Camera "iPhone 5e" will have the same rear-facing 8-megapixel iSight camera as the iPhone 5s, according to the report. If the "iPhone 5e" proves to be an "enhanced" iPhone 5s, then this makes sense. No other reputable iSight camera rumors have surfaced about the new 4-inch iPhone, but Mac Otakara said the device will have an improved FaceTime HD camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture. Slightly Thinner and Lighter The report claims the "iPhone 5e" will be lighter, implying that it will likely also be thinner. Mac Otakara previously reported the new 4-inch iPhone will resemble a sixth-generation iPod touch. Mac Otakara now says the new 4-inch iPhone will have dimensions of 122.90 mm ​​x 57.63 mm, which is fractionally thinner than the iPhone 5s. Apple could use 2.5D cover glass like the iPhone 6s. Apple Pay Apple will reportedly add NFC to the "iPhone 5e" to support Apple Pay, which is not available on the iPhone 5s unless paired with an Apple Watch. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also claimed the new 4-inch iPhone will feature Apple Pay to complete Apple's lineup of NFC-enabled devices. VoLTE Calling The report claims the "iPhone 5e" will support VoLTE calling, allowing for wideband, high-quality phone calls on select carriers in the U.S. and nine other countries. Rose Gold and Colors The report corroborates previous rumors claiming the new 4-inch iPhone will be available in Rose Gold and other existing iPhone colors. Multiple reports claim the device will have an anodized aluminum finish like the iPhone 5s, rather than plastic casing like the budget iPhone 5c. Pricing and Availability The report claims the "iPhone 5e" will launch in February-March, possibly around the Chinese New Year, lining up with multiple other reports claiming the new 4-inch iPhone will launch in early 2016. Pricing could start at around 3,288 yuan ($500 U.S.). cnBeta accurately reported on the iPhone 6s Plus's packaging and smaller battery, but also incorrectly claimed the A8 chip would top 2 GHz a few years ago.Related Roundups: Apple Pay, iPhone 6c (2016) Tags: cnBeta.com, iPhone 5e, VoLTE Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 28 days ago on mac rumors
Publishers who have been offering their content on Apple News have been receiving incorrect usage statistics from Apple due to an internal glitch that caused the company to miscalculate the number of people using the service, Eddy Cue told The Wall Street Journal in a statement this evening. According to Cue, Apple has been underestimating the number of readers using the News app since it launched alongside iOS 9 in September. The problem went under the radar because Apple was busy working on improving other aspects of the service. Apple doesn't know how exactly many people are using the News app, but the company is working to fix the problem."We're in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality," [Cue] said. "We don't know what the right number is," but he added that it was better to undercount than overcount traffic.In October, during Apple's fourth quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple News had approximately 40 million users, but he did not specify whether that number represented people who use the Apple News app on a regular basis or if it was a number reflecting the number of people who accessed the app at one point or another. Cue echoed that number in his comments to The Wall Street Journal, but it is not clear if that is an accurate figure given Apple's current inability to calculate exact usage. Despite not knowing how many people are using Apple News at the current time, Cue says that Apple News usage has "scaled very fast," and that the company is happy with the Apple News product's progress thus far. After launching in the United States in September, Apple News expanded to the U.K. and Australia in October with the launch of iOS 9.1. As The Wall Street Journal points out, accurate readership numbers are important to publishers because the figures impact advertising. Publishers who share content on Apple News are able to keep 100 percent of proceeds from ads sold on their own, or 70 percent from ads sold through the Apple iAd service. According to Cue, iAd has been popular enough with publishers that Apple will be expanding the platform with a self-service ad-buying feature in the next two months. Apple has partnered more than a hundred publications for Apple News, including The New York Times, CNN, ESPN, The Atlantic, The Daily Mail, Slate, and more. MacRumors is also on Apple News and can be subscribed to by clicking this link on an iOS device.Tag: Apple News Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 28 days ago on mac rumors
Apple Music has surpassed 10 million subscribers across iOS, Mac, PC, Android and Apple TV in just six months, a milestone that took its largest rival Spotify around six years to accomplish, Financial Times reported on Sunday. Apple Music, which launched in over 100 countries on June 30, 2015, has cemented its position as the world's second largest streaming music service behind Spotify, which last announced reaching over 20 million paying subscribers and more than 75 million active users three weeks before Apple's streaming service became available. Spotify was an early entrant in the streaming music market when it launched in Europe in October 2008. The service did not expand to the U.S. until July 2011 due to lengthy negotiations with major record label companies, and it has since launched in nearly 100 countries and territories worldwide. Unlike Apple Music, Spotify also offers a free ad-supported tier with limited features on desktop and mobile. Music industry analyst Mark Mulligan predicted last month that Apple Music would have 8 million subscribers by the end of 2015, and he expects the service to reach 20 million total users by the end of this year. At that pace, Apple Music could top Spotify as the largest streaming music service by number of subscribers in 2017, assuming that Spotify maintains around its current rate of growth. Apple has reportedly internally set a goal of reaching 100 million Apple Music subscribers. Tim Cook confirmed 6.5 million paid subscribers last October. Update: Spotify told Business Insider that it experienced its fastest subscriber growth ever in the second half of 2015, but did not provide an updated subscriber total.Tags: Spotify, Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Facebook may be developing an official Messenger desktop app for Mac, according to TechCrunch. The technology website obtained a blurry photo that allegedly shows a Facebook employee using the Messenger client on Mac, which would be easily accessible from the OS X dock as opposed to a tab in a web browser. Leaked photo of claimed Facebook Messenger for Mac app (Image: TechCrunch) Messenger for Mac appears to have a navigation tab bar in the bottom left with options matching the Messenger for iOS mobile app, including Recent, Groups, People and Settings. These menu options are reportedly not found in unofficial Messenger apps, making it more likely the app is not a third-party version. The company's goal is likely to create a standalone Messenger experience on Mac, similar to how it released a dedicated Messenger app for iOS in August 2011. But unlike when Messenger was detached from the main Facebook app on iOS in July 2014, the web version of the chat platform may remain available alongside the desktop app.It’s unclear but seemingly unlikely that Facebook would require users to chat via the desktop software instead of the website. We have no information about when or even if Facebook might release Messenger For Mac. The company often builds and internally tests apps that never ship. Still, this app seems like a smart move. Slack has proven people enjoy a dedicated desktop app for messaging. It could help Facebook box out competitors like Google, WeChat, Line, Kik, and KakaoTalk.Facebook released a Messenger desktop app for Windows in March 2012, and said it was "busy working on Messenger for Mac" at the time, but the company discontinued its Windows app two years later and has yet to release a Mac app. Facebook also launched Messenger.com last April as a standalone web chat client. Facebook often internally tests apps that never ship, so it remains unclear when or if Messenger for Mac will be released. A company spokesperson declined to "comment on rumor or speculation," but author Josh Constine said that is "the same boiler plate response" he has received about rumors proven true in the past.Tags: Facebook, Messenger Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The iPhone 7 isn't coming until September 2016, but early rumors say it will be thinner with no headphone jack, water resistant, and made from an all new material. Check out our full iPhone 7 roundup for more details. Discuss this article in our forums

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