posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2.5 update to developers, one week after seeding the first beta and a week after releasing iOS 11.2.1, an update that introduced a fix for a HomeKit vulnerability. Registered developers can download the iOS 11.2.5 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. It's not clear what new features, if any, will be included in the iOS 11.2.5 beta. We didn't discover any noticeable outward-facing changes in the first iOS 11.2.5 beta, so it's possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes and security improvements. If that's the case, we may not know the extent of what's in the update until it sees a public release. Apple is supposed to be releasing an iCloud Messages feature that was pulled from the iOS 11 release, but there has been no indication of when we can expect iCloud Messages to be reintroduced. Should new features be found in the second iOS 11.2.5 beta, we'll update this post. Apple has also released new beta firmware for the HomePod, which will be available to employees currently testing the device. Related Roundup: iOS 11Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today launched a new iTunes Movies sale centering around 4K HDR bundles, allowing Apple TV 4K owners to further expand -- or start -- their 4K film collections at a cheaper price. The bundles are divided up by studios and further split into four main genre categories under each studio: Action and Adventure, Comedy, Drama, and Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Most of the bundles are $19.99 for three movies, although some rise to $22.99 and $24.99 depending on the studio. For the most part, sale prices haven't hit the SD versions of each collection, with some SD price tags still as much as double the price of the 4K versions of each bundle. Below we've listed each collection and the movies you will find in each: Warner Brothers - Action and Adventure ($19.99): The Accountant, Argo, Into the Storm - Comedy ($19.99): Central Intelligence, CHiPs, Get Hard - Drama ($19.99): Sully, Collateral Beauty, Live By Night - Sci-Fi and Fantasy ($19.99): Blade Runner (The Final Cut), I Am Legend, Jupiter Ascending Sony Pictures - Action and Adventure ($19.99): Bad Boys, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Professional - Comedy ($19.99): Ghostbusters (1984), Rough Night, Sausage Party - Drama ($19.99): The Bridge On the River Kwai, Concussion, Inferno - Sci-Fi and Fantasy ($22.99): Starship Troopers, Life, Passengers (2016) 20th Century Fox - Action and Adventure ($24.99): Independence Day, Hitman: Agent 47, Assassin's Creed - Comedy ($24.99): Keeping Up With the Joneses, Snatched, Spy - Drama ($24.99): Life of Pi, The Martian, The Revenant Universal Studios - Action and Adventure ($24.99): Lone Survivor, Everest (2015), The Great Wall - Sci-Fi and Fantasy ($24.99): Warcraft, Snow White and the Huntsman (Extended Edition), King Kong (2005) Lionsgate - Action and Adventure ($24.99): John Wick, The Hunger Games, Saban's Power Rangers For the new sale, Apple said: "We're so excited about movies in 4K HDR on Apple TV 4K that we want to help kick-start your collections. Explore a variety of specialty priced bundles,divided by studio and genre, and start building your library in this amazing picture quality today." iTunes Movies sales are frequent around the holidays, and there are also a few Christmas-themed movies in 4K being discounted right now, like Home Alone, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Holiday ($9.99 each). You can visit iTunes Movies on macOS or iOS and the new 4K HDR collections should start appearing on the store's carousel today.Related Roundup: Apple TVTag: 4KBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
SplashData today published its annual list of the worst passwords of the year, using data pulled from over five million passwords that were leaked across 2017 by hackers. Despite many well-publicized major data leaks in 2016 and 2017, many people continue to use weak passwords that are easily guessed. "123456" and "Password," for example, were the two most popular passwords SplashData came across, as they have been for several years running. Other passwords in the top 10 of the worst passwords list included "12345678," "qwerty," "12345," "123456789," "letmein," "1234567," "football," and "iloveyou." "Monkey," "123123," and "starwars" also made the list this year, as new easily guessable passwords people have adopted. Passwords made up of a single word or consecutive number string are dangerous because they're so easy to guess."Unfortunately, while the newest episode may be a fantastic addition to the Star Wars franchise, 'starwars' is a dangerous password to use," said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, Inc. "Hackers are using common terms from pop culture and sports to break into accounts online because they know many people are using those easy-to-remember words."With data breaches from major companies so common, a strong password that consists of multiple random words or multiple numbers, letters, and characters is essential, and it's also important not to use the same password for more than one account. Safari has built-in password generating features, and passwords can also be stored in the Keychain and accessed on all of your iOS and Mac devices. Password management apps like 1Password, LastPass, or SplashID can also make remembering and managing multiple passwords simple. SplashData publishes its annual list to encourage people to use stronger passwords. This year, the company's data came primarily from North America and Western Europe, culled from data leaks. Yahoo data and data from adult websites was not included. In 2017, there were several major data leaks from companies that included Verizon, Saks Fifth Avenue, Deloitte, and Uber, along with a huge Equifax breach that exposed the personal information of millions of people.Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple will release an upgraded version of AirPods in the second half of 2018, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. An excerpt from Kuo's latest research note, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors:Media reports over the past few days on brisk AirPods demand and Apple struggling to keep up with holiday season demand align with our findings and positive predictions on AirPods in several previous reports. […] In 2018, we predict AirPods shipments will grow 100% YoY to 26-28mn units. We forecast the ASP of RFPCB for upgraded AirPods in 2H18 may increase, further benefiting business momentum of Unitech and Compeq.Kuo said one internal change on the second-generation AirPods will include a "smaller quartz component," but he didn't provide any further details about new outward-facing features or improvements to expect. Kuo said the new AirPods will continue to be assembled by Taiwanese manufacturer Inventec, with individual components supplied by fellow Taiwanese companies such as Unitech, Compeq, TXC, and HLJ. Apple will also be releasing a new inductive AirPods charging case that will enable the wireless earphones to be charged with its new AirPower charging mat, which it said launches at some point in 2018. Apple teased the AirPower mat at its iPhone X event back in September. It will be able to charge the Apple Watch Series 3, an iPhone X or iPhone 8 model, and AirPods inside the new charging case simultaneously. As for the current AirPods, Kuo said Apple's suppliers are unable to make them quick enough to fully satisfy what he believes is robust holiday season demand, which likely explains why AirPods are sold out until January. Kuo, who keeps a close eye on Apple's supply chain in Asia, said Apple has recruited Luxshare to help make AirPods, but RF printed-circuit boards for AirPods batteries are proving to be a key production bottleneck. Kuo also reiterated his estimate that AirPods shipments will double in 2018 to 26-28 million units on a year-over-year basis, suggesting Apple will have sold around 13-14 million AirPods worldwide by the end of this year.Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo, AirPodsDiscuss this article in our forums

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Today marks the fourth anniversary of Apple last updating the Mac Pro. The second-generation Mac Pro was released on December 19, 2013 for $2,999 and up, and it remains the current model despite having at least four year old hardware. That hardware includes up to a 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 64GB of ECC RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, and dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs, with prices topping out at $6,999. The lack of a Mac Pro refresh in several years generated concerns that Apple was less focused on professional users, eventually prompting the company to respond. Specifically, in April, Apple took the rare step of revealing it was working on an all-new Mac Pro with a modular design, and a high-end iMac Pro released earlier this month. Apple briefly reiterated that promise at the bottom of its press release about iMac Pro availability last week, noting that the new Mac Pro will be not only upgradeable, but also a high-performance, high-throughput system.In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest performance, high-throughput system in a modular, upgradeable design, as well as a new high-end pro display.Apple hasn't provided any additional details, including tech specs or a release date, but fingers are crossed for a 2018 launch. While we don't know what the new Mac Pro will look like, Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi admitted that the 2013 version's so-called "trash can" design has a limited thermal capacity that doesn't always meet the needs of the most demanding workflows. The new model will address this shortcoming. Apple could return to a tower design like the 2006 to 2012 Mac Pro with a case that could be opened with a lever on the back, or it could go in a completely different direction. It's too early to say right now, which is somewhat ironic given that over 1,400 days have passed since the last Mac Pro refresh. Apple still hasn't provided any word about when if ever we can expect a new Mac mini, which hasn't been updated in over 1,150 days, according to the MacRumors Buyer's Guide. The current Mac mini launched in October 2014.Related Roundup: Mac ProBuyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Caution)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
When the Apple Watch Series 3 first launched, carriers in the United States and other countries where the LTE version of the device is available offered three free months of service and waived activation fees. That fee-free grace period is coming to an end, and customers are getting their first bills that include the $10 per month service charge. If you have an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE functionality, you've probably already learned that $10 is not all it's going to cost per month. On carriers like AT&T and Verizon, there are additional service charges and fees, which means it's not $10 per month for an Apple Watch, it's more like $12-$14. On Verizon in California, for example, there's an additional $1.55 in fees on top of the $10 per month charge. On AT&T in North Carolina, fees and surcharges add an additional $4.39 to the $10 per month charge, bringing the total to almost $15 per month for an Apple Watch. In some states, these fees on Verizon and AT&T are even higher. If you're planning to avoid fees by deactivating service and activating again when it's needed, that may not be the best plan of action. As Macworld's Michael Simon points out, line activation fees that come with reactivation can be hefty. Though the Apple Watch Series 3 is linked to the cellular number of the iPhone on a given carrier, it requires adding an additional line to a cellular service account. When you cancel and re-add a line, there's an activation fee involved. On Verizon, for example, if you deactivate the Apple Watch Series 3 and then want to activate it again at a later date, there's a $25 charge. Suspending service doesn't work, as it requires a $10/month fee, aside from a one-time 30 day free suspension on Verizon. From Macworld:Because Apple Watch uses NumberShare on Verizon, it's not considered a month-to-month or prepaid device, so it's not so easy to skip a month of service. According to the Verizon representative I spoke to, I have two options: - Suspend my Apple Watch service for up to 90 days at a time. This will cost me $10 a month, so that's not really an option. - De-activate the watch completely. That will wipe it from my account and bill. However, I will need to pay a $25 activation fee once I decide to reinstate service. That's a recurring change. That means Verizon will essentially charge me for two and half months service every time I turn it off and on again.Like Verizon, AT&T charges $25, while Sprint charges $30. T-Mobile no longer charges activation fees, so it may be more affordable to cancel and reinstate service if you're a T-Mobile subscriber. On AT&T and Verizon, though, that $25 re-activation fee is the cost of two months of service, or close to it, when taxes and fees are included, meaning it's not really worthwhile to start and stop service if you're going to do it more than once or twice a year. Macworld was also told that if he stopped and started service he could run into problems when attempting to reactivate the watch, but it's not entirely clear why. With the three-month grace period, most Apple Watch owners have likely learned whether or not the $10-$15 per month fees are worth the freedom of an always-on wrist-worn cellular connection. Neither Apple nor the carriers in the United States were fully upfront about the additional service fees and taxes and the hassle involved with deactivation/reactivation, though, so there are bound to be some users who will feel tricked when the first full Series 3 bill comes in.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update to developers, one week after seeding the first beta and almost two weeks after releasing macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, the second major update to the macOS High Sierra operating system. The macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed. It's not yet clear what improvements the third update to macOS High Sierra will bring, but it's likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2. No major outward-facing changes were discovered in the first beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3, but we'll update this post should new features be found in the second beta. The previous macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update focused solely on security fixes and performance improvements, with no new features introduced.Related Roundup: macOS High SierraDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Primate Labs founder John Poole has plotted the kernel density of Geekbench 4 scores for iPhone 6s models running iOS 10.2, iOS 10.2.1, and iOS 11.2, visualizing an apparent link between lower performance and degraded battery health. The charts show that on iOS 10.2, the vast majority of iPhone 6s devices benchmarked similarly in performance. However, Poole explains that the distribution of iPhone 6s scores for iOS 10.2.1 appears multimodal, with one large peak around the average and several smaller peaks around lower scores. In other words, after iOS 10.2.1 was released last January, the performance of a percentage of iPhone 6s devices began to suffer. In a statement, Apple said it made improvements in iOS 10.2.1 to reduce occurrences of unexpected iPhone shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing. The shutdowns were reportedly caused by uneven power delivery from older batteries, which could cause an emergency shutdown of the devices. While at least one report suggested that Apple tweaked its power management system in iPhone 6s devices, the company never disclosed what specific improvements it made to reduce the unexpected shutdowns. A recent Reddit discussion, however, has reignited speculation that Apple is intentionally slowing down older iPhones to maximize power efficiency and stability when battery capacity has degraded, and reduce voltage-related shutdowns, and the Geekbench charts and Poole himself lend credit to that theory being true. "The difference between iOS 10.2 and 10.2.1 is too abrupt to be just a function of battery condition," he said. "I believe … that Apple introduced a change to limit performance when battery condition decreases past a certain point." The charts show that the number of iPhone 6s devices with lower Geekbench scores was even more pronounced on iOS 11.2, which is likely because the software update is around one year newer, which means that the battery capacity of many iPhone 6s devices has likely continued to deplete as expected. Interestingly, even the iPhone 7 may be starting to be affected. While the distribution of Geekbench scores for the device on iOS 10.2, iOS 10.2.1, and iOS 11.1.2 appear identical, the results change with iOS 11.2 and start to resemble the iPhone 6s' degraded performance starting on iOS 10.2.1. What this all means is that Apple may be intentionally slowing down older iPhones to maximize power efficiency and stability when battery capacity has degraded, as speculated, seemingly without publicly acknowledging so. It's important to remember that all lithium-ion batteries naturally lose some of their ability to hold a charge over the course of a few years. Given the iPhone 6s was released in September 2015, the device has been available long enough that some users should consider replacing their battery regardless. Apple charges an out-of-warranty fee of $79 to replace the battery of all eligible iPhone models in the United States. iPhone 6s users can contact AppleCare or schedule a Genius Bar appointment at a local Apple Store using the Apple Support app. Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment about the Geekbench findings. We'll update this article if we hear back.Tag: GeekbenchBuyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
iPhone X shipping estimates continue to improve, with the flagship smartphone now available with free next-day delivery from Apple's online store if ordered by 3:00 p.m. local time today in the United States. Apple quotes delivery by tomorrow for all iPhone X models except the silver SIM-free version with 64GB of storage, which is estimated for delivery within 2-4 days. This means every iPhone X is still a last-minute gift option. Apple is also offering next-day delivery of all iPhone X models on its online store in the United Kingdom, and in some other countries, shipping estimates are short enough that delivery before Christmas may still be possible. With next-day delivery now available, it would appear that Apple has achieved supply-demand balance of the iPhone X, at least for now. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said improved iPhone X shipping estimates are the result of better-than-expected production, rather than weak demand. He originally predicted the iPhone X would likely remain in short supply until 2018. Just hours after iPhone X pre-orders began in late October, Apple issued a statement to MacRumors indicating that customer demand was "off the charts." We'll have to wait until Apple releases its next quarterly earnings results to analyze just how well the iPhone X has sold, but Apple's revenue guidance of $84-$87 billion suggests the smartphone's sales will be very strong. iPhone X shipping estimates were initially pushed back to 5-6 weeks, but gradually shortened to just a few days last week. Apple always offers free next-day delivery of in-stock iPhone models, and it has extended the deal to all in-stock items ordered from its online store by 3 p.m. local time on Friday, December 22 in the United States. Less-expensive gift ideas for an Apple fan available by Christmas include the Apple TV 4K, BeatsX, an official Apple-branded iPhone case, Apple Watch bands, or simply a physical or emailed Apple Store or Apple Music gift card.Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Amazon's long-awaited Prime Video app for Apple TV had the most first-week downloads of any app in the history of the tvOS App Store. "Prime Video has been a hit with Apple TV customers around the world — it had the most first-week downloads of any app in the history of tvOS," an Amazon spokesperson reportedly told BestAppleTV.com. Amazon and Apple haven't disclosed any actual download numbers, nor do we know the previous record or the app that achieved it. The tvOS App Store launched alongside the release of the fourth-generation Apple TV in October 2015, and thousands of apps are now available to download on the platform. Amazon Prime Video launched on the tvOS App Store for the fourth-generation and fifth-generation Apple TV earlier this month, and it was also automatically made available on the non-tvOS third-generation Apple TV. Similar to the Prime Video app on other platforms, the Apple TV version enables Amazon Prime subscribers to watch Amazon Prime exclusive TV series, and a collection of movies, including some titles in 4K HDR. Prime Video for tvOS supports both the Apple TV's universal search functionality and Apple's TV app. Amazon achieved this accomplishment despite some criticism about the Prime Video app having a poorly designed interface. Apple reporters John Gruber and Rene Ritchie, for example, have both said Prime Video is the worst tvOS app they've ever seen, echoing a sentiment shared by some users on Twitter. Nevertheless, given Prime Video is a popular service and was already available on so many other platforms, many Apple TV owners are likely happy that at least some kind of app is finally available on tvOS. BestAppleTV.com is run by Brad Gibson, who has previously worked for Apple-related publications such as MacUser, MacFormat, MacNN, The Mac Observer, MacCentral, and Macworld, some of which have shut down. We haven't confirmed the accuracy of Amazon's statement with Apple or Amazon.Related Roundup: Apple TVTags: Amazon, Amazon Prime VideoBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Washington University computer science graduate Nathan Gitter has released Rainbrow, an eyebrow-controlled arcade game for iPhone X. The simple game requires players to use their eyebrows to move an emoji face up and down the screen to collect stars, worth one point each, while avoiding other emoji obstacles such as cars, basketballs, and ducks. Simply raise your eyebrows to move the emoji up, frown to move the emoji down, or make a neutral expression and the emoji stays still. Note that if you raise your eyebrows, and keep them raised, the emoji will continue to move in an upwards direction, and vice verse when maintaining a frowning expression. While there are no levels, the game gets increasingly difficult as more obstacles appear. The goal is simply to get the highest score possible, but players can only compete against themselves right now. Gitter told us that he plans to integrate Apple's Game Center for multiplayer competition in a future update. Rainbrow is a novel concept since it's an early example of a game using ARKit, an iOS 11 framework that can detect the position, topology, and expression of a user's face in real time using the iPhone X's new TrueDepth camera system. Gitter told us he believes there is a lot of future potential for face-based apps, especially for those that improve accessibility. He pointed us to another face-controlled game that was released earlier this week, Nose Zone, which tasks players with destroying targets by pointing at them with their nose. Upon first opening Rainbrow, a prompt asks for permission to access the front-facing camera. As with any app, this permission can be toggled on or off at a later time in the Settings app under Privacy > Camera. Rainbrow's privacy policy, which all apps with face tracking are required to have, says that depth data is collected only for gameplay purposes, only stored on the device locally, and only for the duration of a game session. The policy adds that depth data is never stored remotely, given to third parties, or used for any non-gameplay purposes. Rainbrow is free to download on the App Store for iPhone X. Gitter told us he may add an optional in-app purchase to unlock new emoji characters in the future, but he does not plan on implementing ads into the game. Gitter works at mobile app studio SwiftKick Mobile in Austin, Texas. His personal website says he's available for iOS design and development work.Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: TrueDepthBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
If you were planning to purchase AirPods as a last-minute holiday gift, it may be challenging to find a pair in time for Christmas. Apple's wireless earphones are currently estimated for delivery in early January if ordered today from Apple's online store in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and several other countries. AirPods are also currently out of stock at most of Apple's retail stores around the world, and at authorized resellers such as Best Buy, Macy's, Target, Walmart, and Verizon in the United States. Bottom line: they're hard to find anywhere. At $159, AirPods are a more affordable gift idea than many Apple products, which may be causing stronger demand than Apple can keep up with. If you are still hunting for AirPods, there may be one option. AT&T appears to have stock on its website, but you may have to pay an extra $14.95 for express delivery within 2-3 business days, and there is no guarantee they'll arrive before Christmas. Other gifts available by Christmas for under $200, and that an Apple fan is likely to appreciate, include the Apple TV 4K, BeatsX, an official Apple-branded iPhone case, Apple Watch bands, or simply an Apple Store or Apple Music gift card. Apple's online store is now offering free next-day delivery for all in-stock items ordered by 3 p.m. local time on December 22 in the United States.Tag: AirPodsDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
At its Build developer event earlier this year, Microsoft said Apple was planning to bring its iTunes app to the Windows 10 store, making it easier for Windows users to find the software. At the time, Microsoft said the app would be available in the Windows Store "by the end of this year," a deadline Apple now says it's not going to be able to make. "We have been working with Microsoft to deliver the full iTunes experience to our customers and we need a little more time to get it right," an Apple spokesperson told ZDNet. Both companies are still working to get iTunes into the Windows Store, according to ZDNet's sources, but there is no updated timeline on when it might be available. Apple also did not provide details on why it's taking so long to wrap up the transition to the Windows Store. Most Windows users can download the iTunes software outside of the Windows Store, but Windows 10 S users will need to do without iTunes for the time being as that's a version of Windows that can only run apps available in the Microsoft Store.Tags: Microsoft, Windows 10, iTunesDiscuss this article in our forums

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Apple has picked up a third new television show, placing a straight-to-series order for a space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, known for his work on shows like "Battlestar Galactica," "Caprica," "Helix," and "Outlander," reports Deadline. The show, which "explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended," comes from Sony Pictures Television and Moore's Tall Ship Productions. It was created and written by Moore and "Fargo" co-executive producers Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi. The new space drama is Apple's third series that's in development. Apple in October inked a deal with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television and Comcast's NBC Universal to create new episodes of sci-fi series "Amazing Stories." "Amazing Stories," created by Spielberg, originally ran on NBC from 1985 to 1987. In November, Apple picked up an untitled "morning show drama" that will star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston as morning talk show hosts, examining the cutthroat world of morning TV. Apple's original content push is being led by former Sony executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who joined Apple in June of 2017. Van Amburg and Erlicht, who produced shows like "Breaking Bad," "The Crown," and "Better Call Saul," are running Apple's video programming efforts on a worldwide scale under iTunes chief Eddy Cue. Apple has been steadily building out its video team in recent months as it continues to pick up shows to better compete with companies like Netflix and Amazon.Related Roundup: Apple TVTag: Apple's Hollywood ambitionsBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
With the iMac Pro release dominating headlines on Thursday, we want to make sure nobody has missed that Apple also reiterated some other exciting news for pro customers: a modular Mac Pro is coming. 2013 Mac Pro on left vs. 2012 Mac Pro on right The brief mention came at the very end of Apple's press release about the iMac Pro becoming available to order:In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest performance, high-throughput system in a modular, upgradeable design, as well as a new high-end pro display.While this isn't new information, it does let us know that Apple remains committed to an all-new, powerful Mac Pro with an upgradeable design after first teasing the news to a group of reporters back in April. We don't know what the new Mac Pro will look like, but given it will be a modular system, Apple could return to a tower design like the 2006 to 2012 Mac Pro with a case that could be opened with a lever on the back. The promise that it will be a high-performance, high-throughput system suggests the modular Mac Pro could be even faster than the iMac Pro, which itself is easily the fastest Mac ever with workstation-class tech specs. The maxed-out iMac Pro, for example, costs $13,199 and is equipped with an 18-core 2.3GHz Intel Xeon W-class processor, 4TB of SSD storage, 128GB of ECC RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics with 16GB of HBM2 memory. It's also good news for customers who were sad to see Apple discontinue its standalone Thunderbolt Display, which will be revived in the form of an all-new Apple-branded high-end display geared towards pro customers. Apple's discontinued Thunderbolt Display What we also don't know is when the new Mac Pro is coming. Apple only revealed that it wouldn't be ready this year. It could certainly be released at some point in 2018, or it could take a little bit longer—it's anyone's guess right now. Apple hasn't updated the current Mac Pro in just shy of four years, beyond reshuffling some configurations and pricing back in April. At the time, Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi admitted that the 2013 Mac Pro's so-called "trash can" design has a limited thermal capacity that doesn't always meet the needs of the most demanding workflows. "I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will," said Federighi, according to multiple reports. It isn't often that Apple pre-announces new products in its pipeline, but there were growing concerns the company was no longer focused on professional users, evidently to the point that it felt the need to respond in a big way. "We're committed to the Mac, we've got great talent on the Mac, both hardware and software, we've got great products planned for the future, and as far as our horizon line can see, the Mac is a core component of the things Apple delivers, including to our pro customers," said Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller.Related Roundup: Mac ProBuyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Caution)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Like Apple, Samsung has been working on a smart speaker that will compete with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, and the South Korean company is aiming to release it in the first half of 2018, reports Bloomberg. Samsung's smart speaker sounds similar to the HomePod, with a "strong focus" on audio quality. Apple aimed to make the HomePod stand out with sound quality that beats out competitors like the Amazon Echo. Apple's HomePod One prototype in testing is said to be "between the size" of the newest Echo and the HomePod. It could come in different colors, including a matte black shade, and it has no screen but offers a light-up area on the top for visual feedback like the HomePod. Similar to other products, the Samsung smart speaker will be able to control smart home accessories, and it will be controlled via voice assistant. It will feature built-in Bixby support, Samsung's voice-based AI solution. Amazon's latest Echo Samsung confirmed its work on a smart speaker to compete with the HomePod back in August of 2017. At the time, Samsung mobile president DJ Koh said the aim was to provide a "fruitful user experience at home with Samsung devices." Samsung is considering a price of around $200 for the smart speaker, which would make it more affordable than Apple's $349 HomePod. If Samsung is indeed aiming for an early 2018 release, the smart speaker could come out around the same time as the HomePod. Apple originally planned to introduce the HomePod in December, but has since delayed its release until 2018.Tag: SamsungDiscuss this article in our forums

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Apple today made the iMac Pro available to order from its online store, with 8-core and 10-core models shipping in late December, but customers looking to see or purchase one at an Apple Store will have to wait a little bit longer. MacRumors has learned from a reliable source that Apple will begin selling select iMac Pro configurations at its retail stores by mid next week. We don't know if all of Apple's retail stores around the world will have in-store stock by mid next week, but it's safe to assume that many locations will have the iMac Pro both on display and available to purchase in limited quantities. We can't confirm when authorized resellers like Best Buy will have iMac Pro availability in stores. iMac Pro is an expensive workstation aimed at professional users with demanding workflows, and it is also highly customizable, so many customers may prefer to order from Apple's online store, where exact tech specs, accessories, and software add-ons like Final Cut Pro X can be selected as desired. iMac Pro starts at $4,999 for a base 8-core model in the United States, with 10-core models available from $5,799. 14-core and 18-core models start at $6,599 and $7,399, but they aren't estimated to ship for 6-8 weeks. Every configuration has optional upgrades available for storage, memory, and graphics, with prices topping out at $13,199 for a maxed-out, high-end model with an 18-core Intel Xeon processor, 4TB of SSD storage, 128GB of ECC RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics with 16GB of HBM2 memory. First impressions of the iMac Pro have generally been very positive. YouTube reviewer Marques Brownlee, for example, said the iMac Pro is very fast and even fairly priced, although he said its lack of upgradeability is a weakness. Fortunately, for customers who want upgradeability, Apple today confirmed that it continues to work on a modular Mac Pro that will be released alongside new Apple-branded external displays. Apple hasn't provided a release date for any of those products, beyond noting that they won't be available in 2017. In the meantime, at least the iMac Pro's RAM will be upgradable by Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers. Still, we recommend future-proofing your iMac Pro by choosing tech specs that will meet your needs over the long term.Related Roundup: iMac ProBuyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Standard 27-inch iMacs have a small hatch in the back that allows the RAM in the machine to be upgraded after purchase, but the iMac Pro does not have that feature. There is no rear hatch because the RAM in the iMac Pro is not user upgradeable following purchase, but there's good news -- an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider is able to open up the iMac Pro and swap out the RAM. iMore's Rene Ritchie spoke to Apple and learned that any service center is able to upgrade the RAM on an iMac Pro following purchase. Yes. Any service center, Apple or indie, can upgrade the RAM on iMac Pro post-purchase. https://t.co/4JIRCSsu5H— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) December 14, 2017 At Apple Stores, iMac Pro users will likely only be able to upgrade to Apple-provided RAM, but third-party service providers will be able to offer non-Apple RAM and might even allow users to bring in their own RAM. Policy will undoubtedly vary by location, however. The entry-level $4,999 iMac Pro ships with 32GB of 2666MHz ECC RAM, but up to 128GB RAM is supported. Apple charges $800 to upgrade to 64GB RAM and $2,400 to upgrade to 128GB RAM. Upgrading RAM after purchase in eligible machines is often more affordable than purchasing Apple's RAM upgrades at checkout. There are no post-purchase options for upgrading the SSD, processor, or graphics card in the iMac Pro. Apple began allowing customers to purchase the iMac Pro this morning. 8 and 10-core machines will begin shipping out this week, while 14 and 18-core options won't be available to ship out for 6 to 8 weeks. While the entry-level iMac Pro is priced at $4,999, there are a number of upgrades available. A maxed out 18-core machine with 4TB of storage and a Radeon Pro Vega 64 is priced at $13,199.Related Roundup: iMac ProBuyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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Amazon has decided to once again sell the Apple TV and Google Chromecast in its online store, reports CNET. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the company is officially offering the two products as of today. "I can confirm that we are assorting Apple TV and Chromecast," CNET was told. There are new product pages for the 32GB fourth-generation Apple TV, the 32GB Apple TV 4K, and the 64GB Apple TV 4K. There are also two listings for the Chromecast and the Chromecast Ultra. All of the products are listed as "Currently unavailable" right now, but that is likely to change soon after the listings are completed and propagated to Amazon's site. Amazon first stopped selling the Apple TV and the Google Chromecast in its online store in 2015, claiming the reason for the removal was incompatibility with the Amazon Prime Video streaming service. "Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime," Amazon said in the e-mail. "It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion."Since then, the Apple TV has been unavailable on Amazon's site, but Amazon's original reason for not selling the Apple TV was invalidated with the launch of the Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV. Amazon last week introduced a long-awaited Amazon Prime Video app for the Apple TV. The new app is available on third, fourth, and fifth-generation devices. The return of the Chromecast to the Amazon site comes after Google once again removed YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show and the Fire TV. Google said Amazon's refusal to carry the Chromecast and Google Home and its refusal to make Prime Video available for Google Cast was a key reason that it stopped supporting YouTube on Amazon's products.Related Roundup: Apple TVTags: Google, AmazonBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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The Federal Communications Commission today voted to repeal Net Neutrality rules put in place by the United States government back in 2015 under the Obama administration (via Recode). Instead of classifying internet service providers as "common carriers" under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, the FCC has voted 3-2 in favor of rolling back to reclassifying ISPs as "information service" providers, as they were between February 1996 and February 2015. Now, companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast, and Verizon will be allowed to block or slow down a user's access to certain websites, as well as potentially charge access to sites and services. The vote passed in favor under FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, along with the two other Republican commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr. Outvoted were Democrat commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel. The order now adopted by the FCC today will eliminate a "utility-style regulation" of ISPs, and also removes any requirement for these companies to refrain from blocking or throttling web traffic. One requirement remaining is that telecom companies will be forced to tell customers if and when they prioritize their content over competitors, and if they don't they could face penalties from the Federal Trade Commission. Apple and many other large technology companies previously urged the FCC to reconsider its proposal. Those in favor of keeping ISPs classified under Title II argued that the FCC rolling back the internet's classification as a public utility will hurt net neutrality, as it could eventually divide internet users into so-called "fast lanes" and "slow lanes." Throughout his remarks given today, Pai said that this will not be the case. And Pai, before the vote was final, sought to swat away his critics. “Following today’s vote,” he began, “Americans will still be able to access the websites they want to visit. They will still be able to enjoy the services they want to enjoy. There will still be cops on the beat guarding a free and open Internet.” Apple's comment on the topic earlier this year stated that this ruling could "fundamentally alter the internet as we know it," and if it passed it would be put in place to the detriment of consumers, competition, and innovation. Around the same time, the FCC received a record-breaking 22 million comments from the public who voiced their opinions on the controversial issue in the months leading up to today's vote. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: net neutrality, FCCDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today confirmed the iMac Pro is equipped with its custom T2 chip for enhanced security and integration. The chip is second-generation silicon, building upon the T1 chip in the latest MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar that authenticates and secures Touch ID and Apple Pay respectively. The T2 chip integrates several previously separate components, including the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller, for expanded capabilities on the iMac Pro. For instance, Apple says the T2 chip's image signal processor works with the FaceTime HD camera to enable enhanced tone mapping, improved exposure control, and face detection-based auto exposure and auto white balance. The T2 chip also has a Secure Enclave coprocessor that makes the iMac Pro even more secure with new encrypted storage and secure boot capabilities.The data on your SSD is encrypted using dedicated AES hardware with no effect on the SSD's performance, while keeping the Intel Xeon processor free for your compute tasks. And secure boot ensures that the lowest levels of software aren't tampered with and that only operating system software trusted by Apple loads at startup.Cabel Sasser, co-founder of software company Panic, recently shared a few screenshots of the Startup Security Utility powered by the T2 chip.⑤ Security. This new chip means storage encryption keys pass from the secure enclave to the hardware encryption engine in-chip — your key never leaves the chip. And, they it allows for hardware verification of OS, kernel, boot loader, firmware, etc. (This can be disabled…) pic.twitter.com/qKJ6bHdtr8— Cabel Sasser (@cabel) December 12, 2017The settings reveal that users can enable a firmware password to prevent the iMac Pro from starting up from a different hard disk, CD, or DVD without the password. There are also three secure boot options and options to allow or disallow booting from external media devices such as USB and Thunderbolt drives. "Full security" ensures that only the latest and most secure software can be run. Apple says this mode requires a network connection at the time of software installation. "Medium security" requires verifiable software to boot, but not the latest software, and "no security" lets the operating system boot freely. iMac Pro became available to order today with 8- to 18-core configurations ranging in price from $4,999 to $13,199 in the United States. 14-core and 18-core models don't ship for an estimated 6-8 weeks.Related Roundup: iMac ProTag: T2 chipBuyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today shared a new tutorial video on its YouTube channel, this time demonstrating how to use Apple Pay in retail stores with the iPhone X. Apple Pay on iPhone X is similar to Apple Pay on other devices, but with no fingerprint sensor, you need to unlock your iPhone with Face ID and double tap on the side button to bring up the Wallet app. Apple's video uses step-by-step instructions to walk users through how to use Apple Pay, similar to other tutorial videos the company has released in the past. - Step 1: Locate a point-of-sale system that accepts Apple Pay - Step 2: Double click side button and glance at screen - Step 3: Hold top of iPhone near reader screen Apple has been using short tutorial videos for several months now to demonstrate iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iOS 11, and iPad Pro features. Previous videos have highlighted peer-to-peer Apple Pay payments, Portrait Lightning, iPad-specific iOS 11 tools, and more.Related Roundup: Apple PayDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The all-new iMac Pro is now available to order from Apple's online store and through the Apple Store app on iPhone and iPad. 8-core and 10-core models starts at $4,999 and $5,799 respectively and currently ship by late December in the United States, while 14-core and 18-core models starting at $6,599 and $7,399 can also be ordered today, but aren't estimated to ship for 6-8 weeks, which pushes deliveries into February. From there, each iMac Pro configuration has optional upgrades available for storage, memory, and graphics, with prices topping out at $13,199 for a maxed-out, high-end 18-core model with 4TB of SSD storage, 128GB of ECC RAM, and an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics processor with 16GB of HBM2 memory. iMac Pro is a powerful, top-of-the-line workstation designed for professional users with demanding workflows, such as advanced video and graphics editing, virtual reality content creation, and real-time 3D rendering. Apple said the iMac Pro is the fastest and most powerful Mac ever, at least until the modular Mac Pro is ready to be released. YouTube reviewers Marques Brownlee and Jonathan Morrison recently shared hands-on videos of the iMac Pro, and put its CPU performance to the test with benchmarks on Geekbench, which simulates real-world workload scenarios. In both videos, the mid-range iMac Pro with a 10-core 3.0GHz Intel Xeon processor recorded a multi-core score of just over 37,400, which is up to 45 percent faster than the high-end 2013 Mac Pro's average multi-core score of 25,747. The 10-core model is also up to 93 percent faster than a high-end 2017 27-inch 5K iMac. Brownlee found the iMac Pro to be a super capable yet quiet machine with a beautiful display and a stealthy space gray enclosure. He said the iMac Pro's biggest weakness is its lack of upgradeability, but he argued its expensive $4,999 starting price is actually fair for the hardware included, and he noted that a PC with equivalent tech specs costs around $5,100, so he believes the iMac Pro is priced competitively compared to what's on the market. In addition to up to an 18-core processor, that hardware includes up to 4TB of SSD storage, up to 128GB of ECC RAM, and up to an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics processor with 16GB of HBM2 memory. The high-end performance is made possible by an all-new thermal design that delivers up to 80 percent more cooling capacity than a traditional iMac. With four Thunderbolt 3 ports, the iMac Pro can drive two external 5K displays or four 4K displays at 60Hz simultaneously. It also has a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB-A 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. A black Lightning to USB-A cable and space gray Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 are included in the box. A space gray Magic Trackpad 2 is optional. iMac Pro is now available to order in the United States, Canada, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, most European countries, and select other regions. In some other countries, like Singapore, Apple says to check back later for information.Related Roundup: iMac ProBuyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Caution)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced it has released Final Cut Pro X version 10.4 and updated versions of Logic Pro X and Motion just ahead of the iMac Pro launching today. As previewed earlier this year, Final Cut Pro X 10.4 includes 360º VR video editing, HDR support, and new color tools like a white balance picker. It also includes support for HEVC, the new video format introduced in macOS High Sierra and iOS 11, and direct import of iMovie for iOS timelines. Meanwhile, Logic Pro X has been updated with optimized performance for the iMac Pro, including support for up to 36 cores. Version 10.3.3 also includes performance and stability improvements, including a fix for an issue which could cause user-created content to become unavailable on macOS High Sierra. Motion has been updated with support for 360 VR motion graphics. Users can now import 360° video and design 360° titles, generators, and effects, and later output the 360° video to a connected VR headset. Version 5.4 also supports import, playback, and editing of HEVC video and HEIF photos from Apple devices. Final Cut Pro X version 10.4 release notes:360 VR editing • Import and edit 360° equirectangular video in a wide range of formats and frame sizes • Output 360° video to a connected VR headset* • Open the 360° viewer to simultaneously monitor headset and equirectangular views while editing • Option to track movement of a VR headset in the 360° viewer in Final Cut Pro • Add 360° effects including blurs, glows, and more • Share 360° video directly to YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo • Use the 360° patch to instantly remove cameras and rigs from the scene • Use the Horizon overlay to easily change the orientation of 360° video right in the viewer • Edit 360° video into a non-360° project and animate the pan, tilt, and zoom • Place any graphic, still, or video into a 360° project, then reposition and resize to fit perfectly into the 360° scene • Support for monoscopic and stereoscopic 360° video Advanced color grading • Dedicated color tab in the inspector provides one location for all color controls • Powerful new color wheels improve upon traditional wheels with integrated sliders to adjust hue, saturation, and brightness • Color curves enable ultra-fine adjustments using multiple control points to change color and contrast • Hue/saturation curves let you select a specific hue or brightness level to make adjustments while leaving other parts of the image unchanged • Use the eye dropper in the color and hue/saturation curves to quickly sample parts of an image for adjustment • Balance Color command includes an eye dropper for manual white balance • Apply custom LUTs from popular color grading apps and sites • Adjust color corrections over time with precise keyframe controls • Speed through color correction using new keyboard shortcuts for color adjustments and role-based timeline navigation • Color presets are now located in the effects browser for skimmable preview and fast search High Dynamic Range • Import, grade, and deliver High Dynamic Range (HDR) video as Rec. 2020 HLG or Rec. 2020 PQ for HDR10 • Output video to third-party HDR monitors using third-party I/O devices • Built-in waveform monitor indicates HDR brightness levels up to 10,000 nits • HDR Tools effect lets you easily tone map HDR to Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) output as well as convert between PQ and HLG formats • Option to view HDR as raw values when working without an HDR monitor Additional features • Send your iMovie for iOS project directly to Final Cut Pro for advanced editing, audio work, and finishing • Import, playback, and editing of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC, also known as H.265) video clips and High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) photos from Apple devices** • Send to Compressor to export video projects in the HEVC format • Adjust audio using effects plug-ins from Logic Pro X with redesigned, resizable interfaces • Support for Canon Cinema RAW Light format with additional software from Canon • Faster Optical Flow analysis using Metal 2 • Support for NFS-based libraries and media • XML 1.7 with support for new color grading controls, 360 VR effects, and HDRApple's new versions of Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, and Motion are available from the Updates tab in the Mac App Store.Related Roundups: macOS High Sierra, iMac ProTags: Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro X, MotionBuyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Caution)Discuss this article in our forums

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Following weeks of news coverage about the potential acquisition of certain Fox assets by The Walt Disney Company, today the confirmation of that acquisition has come from Disney with a press release detailing the specific parts of Fox that will now merge into Disney. Notably, Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox, including Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television Studios and Fox-related cable and international TV businesses, for $52.4 billion in stock. Movie assets that are now Disney-owned under 21st Century Fox include Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, homes of movies like Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Shape of Water, and Gone Girl. Disney also now owns Fox's TV production companies including the previously mentioned Twentieth Century Fox Television, as well as FX Productions and Fox21, which brought viewers shows like The Simpsons, This Is Us, and The Americans. On the TV network and streaming side of things, Disney has also acquired FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India, Sky plc, Tata Sky, Endemol Shine Group, and most notably Fox's 30 percent stake in Hulu. With this particular asset acquisition, Disney is now a majority shareholder of Hulu. “The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We’re honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings. The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world.” According to Disney, all of these new assets will build on the company's "commitment to deliver the highest quality branded entertainment," as well as fuel Disney's ability to "create more appealing content." The company also references its intent to deliver a "more compelling" entertainment experience to Disney consumers "whenever and however" they choose. Specifically, Disney said that the Fox assets will even accelerate its use of certain technologies, including the recently acquired BAMTech platform, which it aims to use for its solo-streaming service. The company said these advancements will create more ways for Disney storytellers to share content with audiences, while providing those audiences more choices for how they consume film and TV. For these reasons, the company said that the newly announced Disney streaming service, ESPN service, and Hulu will all benefit from the Fox acquisition. Bringing on board 21st Century Fox’s entertainment content and capabilities, along with its broad international footprint and a world-class team of managers and storytellers, will allow Disney to further its efforts to provide a more compelling entertainment experience through its direct-to-consumer (DTC) offerings. This transaction will enable Disney’s recently announced Disney and ESPN-branded DTC offerings, as well as Hulu, to create more appealing and engaging experiences, delivering content, entertainment and sports to consumers around the world wherever and however they want to enjoy it. Important assets being left out of the deal and staying with Fox include the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2, and Big Ten Network. Immediately prior to the acquisition 21st Century Fox separated all of these assets out into a newly listed company and will spin off ownership among its shareholders. There are plenty of more details about the Disney-Fox deal -- including the "reuniting" of X-men with Disney-owned Marvel -- which can be found in Disney's press release.Tags: Disney, FoxDiscuss this article in our forums

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