posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Developers hoping to attend Apple's 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California can now apply for a chance to purchase a ticket, with Apple's lottery having kicked off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Tickets are priced at $1,599. Tickets will be doled out using a random selection process, implemented because in past years, tickets sold out within a matter of minutes. Approximately 5,000 attendees are expected at the conference, which will also be attended by Apple executives and more than 1,000 Apple engineers. The 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference will start on Monday, June 5, and will last through Friday, June 9. Apple announced the conference in mid-February this year, as it is the first that will be held outside of San Francisco in many years. In 2017, WWDC will take place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, which should be a welcome change for many developers as it is less expensive to secure accommodations. Apple says that it is working with the city of San Jose and local businesses to plan "very special experiences" around San Jose during the week of the conference, so this year's event promises to be unique. Along with the ticket lottery, Apple is now accepting WWDC scholarship applications for students and STEM organization members who don't have the funds to attend the conference. Scholarship applicants, who must be at least 13 years old, have a chance to earn both tickets and accommodations for the 2017 event. Apple is asking prospective scholarship attendees to share a visually interactive scene created in Swift Playgrounds that can be experienced in three minutes. Swift Playgrounds for iPad or Xcode on macOS must be used, and Apple will judge applications on technical accomplishment, creativity of ideas, and the content of written responses. Apple's ticket lottery will end on Friday, March 31 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, while Apple will take scholarship applications until Sunday, April 2 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Lottery winners are likely to be notified on April 3 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time as that is when Apple will begin charging credit cards. Developers and students who are not selected to purchase a ticket will be able to watch both the keynote event and sessions with engineers through the Apple Developer website and through the WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.Related Roundup: WWDC 2017 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Sierra operating system that launched on September 20. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 has been in testing since January 24, with Apple having seeded eight betas ahead of its public release. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 is a free update for all customers who are running macOS Sierra. The update can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 brings iOS's Night Shift mode to the Mac for the first time. Night Shift, first introduced on iOS devices in iOS 9.3, is designed to gradually shift the display of a device from blue to a subtle yellow, cutting down on exposure to blue light. Blue light is believed to interrupt the circadian rhythm, disrupting sleep patterns. Night Shift is activated through the Displays section of System Preferences, where a setting to have it come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise is available. It can also be set to turn on and off at custom times. Night Shift can also be toggled on manually using the Notification Center or Siri. The 10.12.4 update focuses primarily on Night Shift, but the update also includes dictation support for Shanghainese, cricket score integration for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and new iCloud Analytics options.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today released iOS 10.3 to the public, marking the launch of the third major update to the iOS 10 operating system since it launched on September 13, 2016. iOS 10.3 has been in testing since January 24 and Apple seeded seven betas to developers and public beta testers before releasing the software. iOS 10.3 is available as a free over-the-air update for all iOS 10 users, and it can also be downloaded via iTunes. As a major 10.x update, iOS 10.3 includes both significant additions and more minor design tweaks and changes. The biggest new consuming-facing feature is "Find My AirPods," which has been added to the Find My iPhone function to help AirPods owners locate a lost earphone should one be misplaced. Find My AirPods can play a sound to help users find an AirPod misplaced nearby, and it also saves the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth, but it can't locate the AirPods when the iPhone isn't nearby nor can it locate the Charging Case. iOS 10.3 introduces a new Apple File System (APFS), which is installed when an iOS device is updated. APFS is optimized for flash/SSD storage and includes improved support for encryption. Other features include snapshots for freezing the state of a file system (better for backups), space sharing, and better space efficiency, all of which should result in a more stable platform. Customers updating to iOS 10.3 should first make a backup given that the update installs a new file system. Some App Store changes are coming in iOS 10.3, allowing developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. iOS users are also able to label reviews in the App Store as "Helpful" or "Not Helpful" for surfacing more relevant review content, and Apple plans to limit the number of times developers can ask for a review. The update even adds a master switch that lets customers turn off app review request prompts all together. Other new features in iOS 10.3 include a revamped open/close animation for apps, an Apple ID profile in Settings, a better breakdown of iCloud storage usage, warnings about outdated apps that may not work with future versions of iOS and could slow down devices, HomeKit support for programmable light switches, improvements to SiriKit (bill paying, bill status, and scheduling future rides), CarPlay interface improvements, and iCloud analytics options.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is "stepping up" its augmented reality eyewear efforts, with an eventual goal of releasing a consumer-facing product, according to the Financial Times.Apple first began to build a team to examine the feasibility of a head-worn device more than a year ago. Now, it is devoting more resources to its augmented-reality efforts, with the aim of taking it from a science project towards a consumer product, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.Don't expect to be wearing a pair of Apple-branded augmented reality glasses in the near future, however, as the report said any potential launch remains at least a year away, or "perhaps much longer." Bloomberg was first to report that Apple is exploring digital glasses that would connect wirelessly to iPhones and "show images and other information in the wearer's field of vision." The report said the digital glasses, which may use augmented reality, would not launch until 2018 at the earliest. One person who expects a sooner launch is tech evangelist Robert Scoble, who insists that Apple is working on a pair of "mixed reality" glasses that will debut alongside the 2017 iPhone lineup, according to his sources. He also said Apple and German company Carl Zeiss are working together on augmented reality optics. Scoble's information has yet to be corroborated by other sources, so 2018 or later remains a more likely timeline at this point. While a standalone product appears to remain far off, most analysts agree that Apple will start incorporating AR-related features into its existing products in the near future. A future iPhone camera, for example, could be able to detect faces and apply Snapchat-like filters using augmented reality. Apple CEO Tim Cook has shown significant interest in augmented reality over the past few years, calling the technology everything from "profound" to a "big idea like the smartphone" in recent interviews. He also believes that augmented reality is essentially more important than virtual reality. Last year, Cook said that Apple continues to "invest a lot" in augmented reality, and the company has filed several patents related to the technology over the past decade, confirming its interest in the field. However, Apple routinely tests new products and technologies that are never publicly released. Apple's augmented reality efforts have been preceded by the Microsoft HoloLens, a cordless, self-contained Windows 10 holographic headset that mixes virtual reality with augmented reality. Microsoft began shipping the HoloLens Development Edition in March 2016 for $3,000 in the United States and Canada.Related Roundup: Apple VR Project Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple Music executives Jimmy Iovine, Zane Lowe, Robert Kondrk, and Larry Jackson spoke to The Verge over the weekend about their work with the musician Drake and the success of Beats 1 radio station, which launched in tandem with the Apple Music app in 2015. Republic Records told The Verge that Drake's new album More Life was streamed 300 million times worldwide in its first week on Apple Music. It has already eclipsed his previous album, Views, which was an Apple Music exclusive and streamed around 250 million times in its first week. More Life also streamed 89.9 million times during its first 24 hours, breaking single-day album streaming records for all music services. The numbers for Drake's More Life are impressive in another way – the album is also available on Spotify, which has 100 million subscribers compared to Apple Music's 20 million. The Apple Music team puts the success of the release down to Drake's close collaboration with Beats 1 and his OVO Sound Radio show. The show has debuted several Drake records, including More Life on the most recent episode, which set the record for the most listened-to show. "What we saw on Drake's radio show were TV numbers," Iovine told The Verge. "We learned so much from just building what Drake needed. He had the idea, we kind of just built and supported around him, and we've learned a lot from that, and the entire industry has learned a lot from that."Jackson called Beats 1 "the biggest radio station in the world" and boasted that there wasn't another station in existence that has as many concurrent listeners, (although Apple declined to offer specific listener numbers). "If you rewind back to July of 2015, and those records that rolled out like 'Back to Back,' — 'Hotline Bling' debuted on OVO Sound Radio first, 'Charged Up' debuted there first — all these records debuted in a space that was really still new and nascent, and [Drake] made it his own. You can glance over it, but we created this idea that was really great for him, and he took advantage of it," Jackson said. "Drake and Oliver and [Drake's other co-manager] Future [The Prince] were the first to do this with us."Zane Lowe, head of Beats 1, said that what Drake had taught him in terms of the parameters of broadcasting was remarkable. "He knows what he's doing, and he knows his audience," said Lowe. "And he knows it's going to work when it's ready. The best thing that anyone — including myself — can do is get out of the way." Kondrk described the relationship between Apple Music and Beats 1 like an amusement park — once users are inside the Apple Music app to listen to Beats 1, he said it was "only natural you'll stay in it to stream the songs afterwards". "The music is debuting through OVO Sound Radio first, no one really ever leaves the amusement park, and that's why the numbers make sense," Kondrk says. "It's a new paradigm that we've really created here for someone like him to come in and be a genius and take full advantage of everything we have to offer."Speaking more generally, Iovine reiterated his belief that Apple Music can't become just a "utility" and that the company had to stay nimble, while working with artists like Drake was key to avoiding that distinction. "Two years ago, people would've thought we were crazy with what we were doing with Drake. And we are starting things with other people that in two years will look as interesting as this." You can read the full article over on The Verge.Tags: Apple Music, Drake, Beats 1 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, released yesterday, feature a bright red aluminum casing that many are a fan of. Unfortunately, it comes equipped with a white front plate, much like the Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold iPhones, something that's been a point of criticism for people who think it would have looked better with a black front plate. YouTuber Danny Winget recently tore apart a red iPhone 7 Plus and replaced its logic board and front plate with parts taken from a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus, giving us a glimpse at what an actual (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Plus with a black front would have looked like. Winget had to replace not only the front plate but also the logic board because if he swapped just the front portion of the device, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor would have been rendered unusable. Apple ties the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to an iPhone's logic board and disables it for security reasons if any of the parts are swapped out. Therefore, most of the internal structure of the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone had to be replaced with parts from the Jet Black iPhone. Purchasing an entire Jet Black iPhone 7 or 7 Plus for the purpose of creating a hybrid red/black iPhone 7 is probably out of the question for most people, but it's an interesting proof of concept. This method essentially ruins the Jet Black iPhone 7 involved, making it a rather pricy project, and it destroys the waterproofing seal on the red iPhone. It's also worth noting that this is a highly complicated process that essentially requires tearing apart two iPhones, melding them together, and hoping nothing goes wrong, something that the average person won't want to attempt. For a closer look at the Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone, make sure to check out our hands-on video. Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus went on sale online and in retail stores around the world today, and after a short wait in line, we managed to get our hands on one of the new devices. Made from a matte red aluminum, the red iPhone 7 is super pigmented and bright in real life, but aside from its snazzy new casing, it's identical to existing devices. Check out the video below for our detailed look at Apple's first red iPhone. The new red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can be purchased from the online Apple Store and in retail locations, where supplies seem to be plentiful. There were lines at many stores around the country, however, so it could potentially sell out. Prices for the red iPhone 7 start at $749, with the device available in 128 and 256GB capacities. Pricing for the red iPhone 7 Plus starts at $869. The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are available in the United States and dozens of other countries today, and by the end of March, the device will be available in more than 40 countries and regions.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
T-Mobile today announced the launch of two new anti-scam features designed to cut down on scam phone calls, Scam ID and Scam Block. Scam ID, as the name suggests, alerts customers when an incoming call is coming from a phone number known to be associated with a scam. Scam Block goes one step further, automatically blocking any calls identified as scams by Scam ID. "Every year, three out of four people in the US get at least one scam call--and fraudsters cheat consumers out of more than half a billion dollars per year! It's insane - so we had to do something to protect our customers!" said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. "So the T-Mobile team designed a brilliant set of patent-pending technologies -- then built them directly into our network, so there's nothing customers have to do. No hoops to jump through, no app to download. Like most T-Mobile technologies, it just works."Scam ID is powered by a global database that contains "tens of thousands" of known scammer numbers. T-Mobile updates the database in near real-time by analyzing every call that comes into its network with "behavioral heuristics" and "intelligent scam pattern detection." Every call is analyzed to identify and block scammers. Both Scam ID and Scam Block are available on all devices on T-Mobile's network and will be included at no cost. The features are rolling out to customers starting today, and will be available to T-Mobile ONE customers first. New T-Mobile ONE customers will automatically get Scam ID beginning on April 5, while other T-Mobile postpaid customers can enable the feature on that date by dialing #ONI# (#664#). To turn on Scam Block, customers can dial dial #ONB# (#662#). T-Mobile warns that enabling Scam Block could potentially cause customers not to receive legitimate calls, so caution should be used before turning it on. Once enabled, it can be turned off by dialing #OFB# (#632#).Tag: T-Mobile Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has just begun accepting orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad and (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on its online store in the United States and dozens of other countries and regions around the world. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are also available for in-store pickup at select Apple Stores starting today. The new 9.7-inch iPad is equipped with a faster Apple A9 chip and brighter Retina display compared to the iPad Air 2, which has been discontinued. It is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down. The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2. The new 9.7-inch iPad starts at $329 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi, making it the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold. Apple also offers a 128GB model with Wi-Fi for $429, while cellular-capable 32GB and 128GB models are available for $459 and $559 respectively in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. The tablet is now available to order on Apple's website in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Turkey, and other countries will follow in April. Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad will be available to purchase in Apple Retail Stores, through select carriers, and at Apple Authorized Resellers starting next week in the United States and more than 20 other countries. The first online orders are estimated for delivery between March 31 and April 5. Apple's special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models are also now available to order on Apple's website in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for $749/$849 and $869/$969 respectively. Initial orders are slated for delivery on Tuesday, March 28 in the United States. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones have a vibrant red finish complemented by a silver Apple logo and white front bezels. Apple said the models are in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), which gives customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund in support of HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. If you want a red iPhone today, try your local Apple Store. It’s in stock right now around the world. pic.twitter.com/hJt8o5sXF7— Joe Rossignol (@rsgnl) March 24, 2017 The special edition iPhone joins the current (PRODUCT)RED lineup, which is available to purchase year-round, including the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case, and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The new (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are available as early as today at many Apple Retail Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores. Apple said the new models will begin shipping to customers by the end of March in the United States and more than 40 countries and regions around the world.Related Roundups: iPad, iPhone 7 Tags: (PRODUCT)RED, Apple retail Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple took down its online store early this morning as the company prepares to launch its special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in more than 40 countries around the world. Internet users attempting to access the store section of the U.S. site are being met with the familiar "We've got something special in store for you" placeholder, accompanied by a relaunch time of 8:01 a.m. Pacific Time, which is when Apple previously said it would officially be launching the new red colorway iPhone. Apple is also launching a new lower priced 9.7-inch iPad, new Apple Watch bands, iPhone cases in new colors, and new storage tiers for the iPhone SE and the iPad mini 4. Apple is also due to discontinue the iPad mini 2. The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for the same $749/$849 and $869/$969 prices as the equivalent iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models in standard colors. The anodized aluminum's vibrant red finish has a white Apple logo and white front bezels. It's very unlikely that the message relates to anything other than updates to the online ordering process to reflect the new products, but we'll keep readers updated as soon as we learn more. (Thanks, Andrea!)Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: (PRODUCT)RED Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In response to a series of CIA documents leaked this morning that outline exploits the government used to gain access to Macs and iOS devices, Apple gave a statement to TechCrunch claiming that the documents are old and that the vulnerabilities outlined in the leak have long since been patched. Apple says the iPhone vulnerability only affected the iPhone 3G and was fixed in 2009, while all Mac vulnerabilities were fixed in Macs launched after 2013. We have preliminarily assessed the Wikileaks disclosures from this morning. Based on our initial analysis, the alleged iPhone vulnerability affected iPhone 3G only and was fixed in 2009 when iPhone 3GS was released. Additionally, our preliminary assessment shows the alleged Mac vulnerabilities were previously fixed in all Macs launched after 2013. We have not negotiated with Wikileaks for any information. We have given them instructions to submit any information they wish through our normal process under our standard terms. Thus far, we have not received any information from them that isn't in the public domain. We are tireless defenders of our users' security and privacy, but we do not condone theft or coordinate with those that threaten to harm our users.The new documents, part of an ongoing "Vault 7" leak focusing on the United States Central Intelligence Agency, were released by WikiLeaks this morning. Codenamed "Dark Matter," the documents primarily covered techniques for exploiting and accessing Macs through a peripheral device like a USB stick. An iPhone exploit, called "Night Skies 1.2," was also featured, adding to the range of "Year Zero" iPhone exploits that were shared by WikiLeaks last week. All of the Dark Matter and Year Zero documents can be found on WikiLeaks. Additional Apple-related hacks and exploits may surface as the Vault 7 series continues, and it will take time for security analysts and experts to determine the impact of the leaks. While Apple says all of the exploits have been patched, its results are preliminary. Should any remaining exploits be unaddressed, Apple will undoubtedly fix them quickly. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: WikiLeaks Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's widely rumored high-end iPhone with a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display will launch in September, although the majority of stock may not be available until later in the fourth quarter, according to the latest research from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O'Malley, and Jerry Zhang. "iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor Balogh The prediction suggests that Apple's tenth-anniversary iPhone, which has been variously dubbed the iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition, will still be available in limited quantities in September. However, shipping estimates could slip to several weeks out just minutes after pre-orders begin. An excerpt from the Barclays research note obtained by MacRumors:Suppliers generally had good things to say about the upcoming iPhone 8 launch (for our purposes iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Pro) as new features drive a more complicated manufacturing process and higher ASPs. We now believe that all three devices will feature wireless charging and will all be launched in the normal September timeframe, although the majority of iPhone Pro volumes may not be available until Q4.Barclays contradicts a recent report that claimed the 5.8-inch iPhone will be announced alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, or the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but might not go on sale until much later. By the sounds of it, availability of Apple's first iPhone with an OLED display could be similar to the iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black, which was virtually nowhere to be found through the holiday shopping season last year. When an Apple Store or reseller happened to get a few Jet Black models in stock, they sold out almost instantly. The analysts, citing information from Apple's supply chain following a trip to Asia earlier this month, also reiterated their expectations for the 5.8-inch iPhone, corroborating many predictions already made by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at revealing Apple's plans. Barclays said the phone will feature a 5.8-inch display with 5.15 inches of usable screen, as Kuo said. It expects Touch ID to be embedded in the display, and the remaining space could be for virtual buttons. It believes the device will have wireless charging, but without charging accessories in the box. It said the 5.8-inch iPhone's stacked logic board design will provide more space for a larger battery and other components, as Kuo previously said. Other features Barclays expects include a front-facing 3D sensor module, the same dual camera setup as the iPhone 7 Plus, and a film-based Force Touch solution.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: Barclays Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
WikiLeaks today continued its "Vault 7" series by leaking details concerning CIA-related programs that were built with the intent to infest iMac and MacBook devices. Today's "Dark Matter" installation of Vault 7 follows a few weeks after WikiLeaks debuted "Year Zero," which focused on exploits that the CIA created for iOS devices. In a response the same day that Year Zero came out, Apple said that many of the vulnerabilities in the leak were already patched. Now, WikiLeaks is shedding light on Mac-related vulnerabilities and infestation programs, which the leakers claim "persists even if the operating system is re-installed." The project in question, created and spearheaded by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch, is called the "Sonic Screwdriver" and represents a mechanism that can deploy code from a peripheral device -- a USB stick, or the "screwdriver" -- while a Mac is booting up. According to WikiLeaks, this allows an attacker "to boot its attack software" even if the Mac has a password enabled on sign-up. In the report, it's said that the CIA's own Sonic Screwdriver has been stored safely on a modified firmware version of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. Besides the Doctor Who-referencing exploit, Dark Matter points towards yet another bounty of CIA programs aimed at gathering information, infesting, or somehow crippling a Mac device. "DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants. Documents on the "Triton" MacOSX malware, its infector "Dark Mallet" and its EFI-persistent version "DerStake" are also included in this release. While the DerStake1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0. Dark Matter isn't exclusively Mac focused, however, and includes a few new iPhone exploits in the round-up as well. One is called "NightSkies 1.2" and is described as a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the iPhone that is designed to be physically installed on an iPhone directly within its manufacturing facility. This conspiracy-leaning exploit is said to date back to 2008 -- one year after the first iPhone debuted -- and suggests, according to WikiLeaks, that "the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008." While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise. The full list of the new Dark Matter documents can be found on WikiLeaks, and we're likely to see more Apple-related WikiLeaks as the Vault 7 series continues. As it was with Year Zero, it'll still take some time for security analysts and experts to determine the full impact of today's leaks. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: WikiLeaks Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In response to a ransom threat in which hackers are claiming to have access to more than 600 million iCloud accounts, Apple told Fortune there have been no breaches of its systems. Instead, if the hackers do have access to iCloud accounts, Apple suggests previously compromised third-party services are at fault. From an Apple spokesperson:There have not been any breaches in any of Apple's systems including iCloud and Apple ID," the spokesperson said. "The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.Apple's response follows a report from Motherboard that suggests a group of hackers known as the "Turkish Crime Family" have claimed to have access to hundreds of millions of iCloud accounts. The Turkish Crime Family has threatened to reset the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victims' Apple devices if Apple does not pay $150,000 in Bitcoin or Ethereum by April 7. If Apple does not pay in three days, the group plans to increase the amount of money it is asking for. Originally the group was believed to have access to 300 million icloud.com, me.com, and mac.com email addresses, but that number later jumped to 627 million due to additional hackers allegedly stepping forward to provide account credentials. The hackers say at least 220 million of the login credentials are verified to work and do not have two-factor authentication enabled. With Apple denying a breach, the iCloud account information has likely been obtained from major hacking incidents that have affected companies like Yahoo. iCloud users who have the same username and password that was used for both a hacked site and for iCloud should change their passwords immediately. The Apple spokesperson also told Fortune the company is "actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved," but did not outline what specific steps are being taken to monitor the situation beyond "standard procedure." Apple recommends that all iCloud users choose strong passwords, use different passwords for different sites, and turn on two-factor authentication to protect their accounts.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has acquired well-known and popular automation app Workflow, reports TechCrunch. The deal was reportedly finalized today for an unspecified sum. Workflow, first released in 2014, is an automation tool that can essentially do anything. It allows users to create a variety of workflows to accomplish tasks like creating GIFs from a series of photos, pulling images from a web page, translating an article, posting photos to multiple social networks at once, calculating a tip, and tons more. It is equipped with a built-in Gallery, which allows people to quickly find and use a wide range of automation tasks, and it can be used to create custom automations. Apple is purchasing the Workflow app and the Workflow team, including Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, and Nick Frey will be joining the company."We are thrilled to be joining Apple," said Weinstein in a statement. "We've worked closely with Apple from the very beginning, from kickstarting our company as students attending WWDC to developing and launching Workflow and seeing its amazing success on the App Store. We can't wait to take our work to the next level at Apple and contribute to products that touch people across the world.Apple confirmed the acquisition of Workflow, which notably received an Apple Design Award in 2015 for its excellent accessibility features, likely one of the reasons behind the purchase. Typically apps acquired from Apple disappear from the App Store, but Workflow will remain available and will be made free starting later today. The Gallery will continue to be updated on a regular basis, as will app integrations. Beyond the app, it is not clear what Apple will do with Workflow in the future, and whether it will be built into future versions of iOS and macOS, but it is definitely a possibility. TechCrunch speculates that it could be used alongside Siri in the future, or perhaps be the backbone of powerful automation tools for the iPad. Tags: Apple acquisition, Workflow Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple yesterday announced the newest addition to its iPad lineup, somewhat confusingly called the "iPad" and known officially as the "5th-generation iPad," following in the footsteps of the fourth-generation model that was released before the iPad Air. Designed to replace the iPad Air, the iPad comes with a tantalizingly low price tag: $329. It is Apple's most affordable tablet to date and it's a competitive price point that will allow the iPad to better compete with lower-priced Android offerings. What do you get for $329? As it turns out, quite a lot. The iPad is a little bit iPhone 6s, a little bit iPad Air, and a little bit iPad Air 2. In a nutshell, compared to the iPad Air 2, the iPad has a brighter display and a faster A9 processor (first introduced in the iPhone 6s). Other internal hardware seems to be very similar to what's included in the iPad Air 2, with the exception of the display and the casing. Camera, battery life, Wi-Fi, LTE, and other sensors are all nearly the same. The iPad does not include a laminated display, and is thus thicker, much like the original iPad Air. It measures in at 7.5mm thick, compared to the 6.1mm iPad Air 2. The thickness and accompanying weight discrepancy is noticeable and the one downside between the new iPad and its predecessor. Compared to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the new iPad is, of course, significantly inferior, which is why it's priced at $329 and not $599. It does not support the Apple Pencil or the Smart Keyboard (no Smart Connector), and it lacks many of the display improvements, including True Tone color shifting and wide color gamut. The iPad has a slower processor than the iPad Pro, an inferior camera (8-megapixel vs. 12-megapixel rear and 1.2-megapixel vs. 5-megapixel front), two speakers instead of four, a slower LTE modem, and of course, since the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the same size as the iPad Air 2, the iPad is noticeably thicker and heavier. If you're looking for top of the line hardware and accessory support, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the tablet to buy, but if you don't need the bells and whistles, the iPad is a steal at its price point. Performance wise, it's going to run all the latest games and apps, it'll take decent pictures, it still has a high-quality Retina display, and it features a 10 hour battery life, so it will hold up for several years, especially when doing basic tasks like web browsing and emailing. Click for larger version For those looking for a bit more, Apple is rumored to be planning to introduce an updated ~10-inch iPad Pro model that's going to replace the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The ~10-inch model is said to have smaller bezels and perhaps an edge-to-edge display, allowing it to feature a bigger screen in a 9.7-inch-sized body. That tablet was originally rumored to be coming in the spring, but now it's looking like we won't see it until later in the year. Based on rumors, it may be worth the wait for those willing to shell out more money for the best technology. Apple plans to start selling the new iPad on Friday, March 24. The entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi only model will be priced at $329, and a 128GB model is available for $429. Wi-Fi + Cellular models are available at a $130 premium, so $459 for 32GB and $559 for 128GB. For more details on Apple's new iPad, make sure to check out our official iPad roundup. And for details on the upcoming iPad Pro updates, check out our iPad Pro roundup.Related Roundups: iPad, iPad Pro Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution), 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
With the news earlier today that Apple has ditched the PRODUCT(RED) branding for the red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in China, MacRumors reached out to CEO Tim Cook to find out if any of the proceeds on sales in the country would still be donated to charity in the fight against HIV/AIDS. MacRumors' question: We noticed the (PRODUCT)RED branding is missing from the new red iPhone 7 on the China Apple website. Will you be donating any of the proceeds from the phone's China sales to the HIV/AIDs cause anyway? Tim Cook's response: We donate to the Global Fund on every iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus we sell in every country in the world. Since the omission of the branding came to light, there's been some speculation that recent changes in Chinese law prevent not-for-profit organizations from being involved in commercial advertising. Whatever the truth of the matter, it appears Apple will be upholding its (PRODUCT)RED charitable donations commitment with or without said branding. Apple's special edition red iPhone 7 models, due to be launched on Friday in more than 40 countries, are the first iPhones to join Apple's (PRODUCT)RED line-up. Apple said the new handset color was in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and the charity (RED), offering customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund and "bring the world a step closer to an AIDS-free generation". Other Apple products in the (PRODUCT)RED range that are available all year round include the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case, and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tags: China, Tim Cook, (PRODUCT)RED Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
iPhone was the world's most popular smartphone last year, in terms of global shipments, according to research firm IHS Markit. iPhone 6s took the top spot as the most-shipped smartphone in the world in 2016, trailed by the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus, based on research from IHS Markit's Smartphone Shipment Database, which tracks quarterly shipment data for more than 350 smartphone models. Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge took the fifth spot, followed by the low-cost Galaxy J3 and several other Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S7. Notably absent was the Galaxy Note7, which was recalled last year due to safety concerns after some units were found to have defective batteries. Apple's lead over Samsung is impressive given that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were launched in March 2016, around six months prior to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. The mid-range Galaxy J3, Galaxy J5, and Galaxy J7 also preceded the latest iPhone models when they launched in April 2016. The above chart makes it hard to determine exactly how many shipments each smartphone model had last year, but it looks like the iPhone 6s had somewhere around 60 million shipments, while the Galaxy S7 edge and other Samsung smartphones are around the 25 million mark. iPhone 6s Plus is mistakenly labeled twice. IHS Markit did not immediately respond to a request for exact shipment figures, but this article will be updated accordingly when we hear back. Oppo's A53, a popular smartphone in markets such as China and India, was the only smartphone not manufactured by Apple or Samsung to make the list. Huawei, the world's third largest smartphone maker after Samsung and Apple, did not have any of the top ten smartphones shipped last year, IHS said. Apple's iPhone 6s was similarly declared the world's most-shipped smartphone in the second quarter of 2016 by research firm Strategy Analytics, ahead of the iPhone 7, and if IHS Markit's data is accurate, then Apple's last-generation smartphone remained most popular through to the end of last year. It is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales. Apple does not break out iPhone sales on a model-by-model basis in its quarterly earnings results.Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 Tag: IHS Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa are being put through their paces in a "tech incubator" hotel chain, in order to determine which voice assistant brings more to the table for guests wanting to order room service, control lights, change TV channels, adjust the temperature, and more (via Bloomberg). The main incubator for the test is happening in Aloft Hotels, which are owned by Marriott. The Aloft Hotel in Boston is using Amazon Echo devices and a collection of iPhones and iPads to gather information on which voice assistant will ultimately best serve guests in the long run. Marriott hasn't divulged information on who might be the winner as of yet, but the company did say that it expects to decide if it will expand the test to more chains besides Aloft Hotels "as early as mid-year." Marriott expects to decide whether to adopt the technology for one or more of its chains as early as mid-year, potentially boosting sales for the device of choice. More important, it will increase the winning company’s exposure in the market for voice-activated devices, which are gaining more mainstream traction. “Those two players are in the game right now,” said Toni Stoeckl, who oversees the Aloft, Element, AC and Moxy chains as global brand leader for lifestyle brands at Marriott. There are almost 130 Aloft hotels in the U.S., and more than 100 additional ones planned. Carolina Milanesi, a market analyst with Creative Strategies, compared the introduction of voice assistants into hotel rooms to when the hospitality industry began putting iPhone docking stations into rooms so guests could easily charge their phone and listen to their own music. Still, personalization with the voice assistants remains a key question for the new tests. As of now it's unclear whether guests will be able to somehow access their own accounts to use Alexa and Siri, or be treated with a "standard set of skills relevant to a hotel stay," concerning news reports, weather forecasts, and other default commands that might be easier for guests unfamiliar with voice assistant technology. In regards to the overall voice assistant battle over hotel rooms, Alexa currently appears to be winning. Amazon's assistant and its connected speaker system Echo are now helping out guests in hotels like the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, with Alexa devices installed in 10 of 1,002 rooms and plans to add around 100 more as early as next month. On an even bigger scale, the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas plans to equip all 4,748 rooms with an Echo speaker by this summer. Although most users agree Siri is inferior to other assistants from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, Apple isn't out of the running yet in the battle to win hotel rooms, and Siri's advantageous support of multiple languages could give it a leg up over its competition with international travelers. According to Toni Stoeckl, Marriott's global brand leader, the company is searching for which voice assistant can become the "ideal solution" and ultimately turn into "a global platform" with Siri or Alexa installed at multiple of its locations around the world. Stoeckl said that the company should have an indicator of where it's headed by the end of 2017, so "the race is still on." Marriott’s Stoeckl said his company is “looking for the ideal solution to make this a global platform.” Aloft hotels act as a “tech incubator” for new concepts, and a successful test may determine whether digital assistants -- and which ones -- are installed at other Marriott chains, he said. Of course that means that neither assistant could win, but the company said it will continue to test both out in its Aloft Hotels, and even plans to add more "concierge-like" services in the future, which hint that more personalized experiences are likely to be introduced. These include the ability to connect with a guest's personal smartphone to fuel actions like setting an automatic wake-up temperature or creating an activation time to open the room's drapes. Voice assistants continue to be a dominant factor in the smartphone and tablet market, and thanks to devices like the Echo speaker, they're expanding into unique product categories as well. Reports have been scarce lately, but last year Apple was said to be "pressing ahead" into prototype testing for its own standalone Siri speaker. The Cupertino company is also believed to be working on "enhanced Siri" capabilities that should beef up the assistant's presence on iOS devices, likely to begin with this year's "iPhone 8."Tags: Siri, Amazon, Amazon Echo, Alexa Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Early this morning, Apple unveiled new Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, which feature a vibrant red aluminum finish paired with a silver Apple logo and white front bezels. While the new red iPhone models won't be available for purchase until Friday, March 24, tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee got his hands on one of the new devices early, and has shown it off in the first (PRODUCT)RED iPhone unboxing video. The (PRODUCT)RED iPhone ships in a box decorated with red text and a red iPhone, and inside, there's a (PRODUCT)RED insert alongside the regular manuals. Aside from that, the packaging is the same as other iPhone models with a charging cable and Lightning EarPods. Brownlee's first reaction to the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone was "Wow, this thing is really red and really good looking." He goes on to say that it's as "ridiculously good as you think," and calls it the most photogenic iPhone he's seen in a long time. According to Brownlee, in person, the device has an almost satin finish that is super saturated, and because it's not as dark as the Matte and Jet Black iPhones, it isn't as prone to showing fingerprints. Brownlee is not a fan of the white front of the device (he calls it "goofy") and says he'd prefer it with a black front. Apple release the Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to celebrate more than 10 years of partnership with the (RED) charity. All (PRODUCT)RED purchases let customers contribute to the Global Fund to join the fight against HIV and AIDS. Over the course of its 10 year partnership with (RED), Apple has been responsible for donating more than $130 million and is the largest corporate donor to the Global Fund. The new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone models are available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities, priced at $749/$849 for the iPhone 7 and $869/$969 for the iPhone 7 Plus. As mentioned above, the new devices will go on sale on Friday in more than 40 countries around the world.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple didn't hold an official event to make major announcements this week, but there was a mini press release extravaganza that saw the company introduce new hardware products, a new app, and improvements to existing devices. A new 9.7-inch iPad debuted with an impressively low $329 price point, and there's now a red aluminum iPhone 7. New Apple Watch bands are out, there are iPhone cases in new colors, Apple is about to release an app for making videos, and the iPhone SE and the iPad mini 4 got new minimum storage tiers and pricing drops. We've recapped everything Apple announced today in the video below, and we've rounded up all of our new product coverage. - Apple Debuts New 9.7-Inch iPad With A9 Chip to Replace iPad Air 2, Starting at $329 - iPad Mini 4 With 128GB of Storage Now Starts at $399 as 32GB Model Discontinued - Apple Unveils Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus - Apple Announces Video Creation iOS App 'Clips' - Apple Doubles iPhone SE Storage to 32GB and 128GB - Apple Watch Gets New Striped Woven Nylon, Classic Buckle, and Standalone Nike Sport Bands - Apple Launches New Silicone and Leather iPhone 7 Case Colors - Apple Discontinues iPad Mini 2 - Swift Playgrounds Now Available in Five Additional Languages While we saw new devices today, there's still quite a bit on the horizon. The much-rumored ~10-inch iPad with a revamped design has yet to make an appearance, and we're still awaiting a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, too, along with Kaby Lake Macs and the highly anticipated iPhone 8. With no event coming up in the near future, we may be waiting until June's Worldwide Developers Conference or the fall to see many of these new releases but make sure to keep an eye on MacRumors for the latest rumors on Apple's launch plans.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced a new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition on its online store, following a scheduled "maintenance" break this morning. The new color option is described as a vibrant red aluminum finish in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), which Apple says give customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund and "bring the world a step closer to an AIDS-free generation". “Since we began working with (RED) 10 years ago, our customers have made a significant impact in fighting the spread of AIDS through the purchase of our products, from the original iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition all the way to today's lineup of Beats products and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "The introduction of this special edition iPhone in a gorgeous red finish is our biggest (PRODUCT)RED offering to date in celebration of our partnership with (RED), and we can’t wait to get it into customers' hands."The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at $749 and from Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary). The special edition iPhone joins the current (PRODUCT)RED lineup, which is available to purchase year-round, including the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo 3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The new red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus model will be available to order online worldwide and in stores beginning Friday, March 24.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today introduced a new lower cost 9.7-inch iPad that starts at $329 for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and $459 for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. “iPad is the world’s most popular tablet. Customers love the large, 9.7-inch display for everything from watching TV and movies, to surfing the web, making FaceTime calls, and enjoying photos, and now it is even more affordable,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “New customers and anyone looking to upgrade will love this new iPad for use at home, in school, and for work, with its gorgeous Retina display, our powerful A9 chip, and access to the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for it.” iPad is available to order beginning Friday, March 24, from Apple.com and starts delivering to customers and arriving next week in Apple Stores, through select carriers and Apple Authorized Resellers (prices may vary) in the US and more than 20 countries and regions, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Turkey and other countries and regions will follow in April. Brazil, Taiwan and other countries and regions will follow in May.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced that the iPad mini 4 now offers more capacity for the same price. The 128GB model with Wi-Fi now starts at $399, which was previously the price for the 32GB model with Wi-Fi, which has been discontinued. A cellular model with 128GB of storage is also available for $529. Japanese website Mac Otakara had claimed that Apple would release a 7.9-inch iPad Pro, but other analysts had disagreed, and it turns out the rumor was indeed incorrect, at least for now. Apple has also introduced a new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad and discontinued the iPad mini 2 as part of its tablet lineup refresh. The newly priced iPad mini 4 is available now on Apple.com in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray with next-day shipping. Related Roundup: iPad mini 4 (2015) Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's online store has been taken offline for a scheduled "maintenance" break between midnight and 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time. The extended downtime is fueling hopes that fresh hardware will be available when the store is brought back online, as has been the case many times in the past. Apple traditionally invites the media to Special Events to unveil new products, but it does not have one planned for today. Accordingly, any additions or changes to Apple's online store today are likely to be minor, and a press release would be an appropriate medium for sharing the announcements. Lending credence to this theory is that 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time happens to be exactly when Apple typically distributes press releases. Rumors suggest Apple is planning updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, a 128GB iPhone SE, a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and new Apple Watch bands, all of which could be minor enough to simply be added to Apple's online store and announced with press releases. Less likely to be announced today is a rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro sporting slimmer bezels that allow for an edge-to-edge display, which seems too significant to be unveiled without an Apple event. If so, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro could be introduced at an upcoming Spring event, WWDC 2017, or possibly even later. One rumor said Apple would host an event in March, but that appears increasingly unlikely at this point. Apple has yet to invite the media to said event, and there are only ten days remaining in the month. A subsequent report said Apple will host an event in April, coinciding with the opening of its new Apple Park campus. Apple's online store has gone down roughly six hours before many of its recent Special Events, while today's maintenance break is scheduled to last five and a half hours. Apple said its online store will be "updated" during this time, suggesting that at least something new might be coming today. So-called "maintenance" really could just be maintenance, but the classic "We've got something in store for you" placeholder notice on the sites suggests something more. We'll know for sure in just a matter of hours, so keep checking back.Tag: Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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