posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Former DreamWorks Animation CEO and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg is working on a new mobile-focused TV service, tentatively named New TV, and has met with Apple executives to discuss a possible investment, reports Variety and CNBC. Katzenberg was in attendance at this year's Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, along with dozens of other tech and media moguls, including Apple CEO Tim Cook. According to Variety, he was aiming to coax one of several tech companies into a $2B investment in his new project. Katzenberg was seen meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Eddy Cue at the event, and CNBC says he has previously held meetings with Apple, Google, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Snapchat, and Spotify. Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Sun Valley event last week. Image via Rob Latour, Shutterstock Given the sheer number of investors Katzenberg is courting, it's not yet clear who he will partner with nor if Apple is interested, but New TV is a unique proposal. Katzenberg wants to create a short-form video series that's produced with primetime TV budgets to target 18 to 34-year-olds.For example, imagine a drama akin to "Empire" or "Scandal" but shrunk to 10-minute episodes made for mobile consumption. Or a five-minute talk show, or a two-minute newscast -- all with high-profile talent attached.In addition to seeking a distribution partner, Katzenberg is also pursuing potential content partners, with CBS and Disney CEO Bob Iger considering producing shows for the service. "The explosion of short-form video is obvious to all of us, but a lot of what we've seen is the production of amateurs -- user-generated content," Iger told Variety. Katzenberg's goal is not to shrink longer-form media into a shorter format, but to create "new and different" programming that's native to mobile devices. No episode will last longer than 10 minutes, and there will be no ad breaks, with monetization coming via title sponsorships and brand integrations. New TV will be shaped by whichever partner joins the project, says Katzenberg. It could work as a subscription service offered by a single video provider for a monthly fee, or it could be entirely free and integrated into an existing brand. Apple has been aggressively pursuing original content in recent months, but in a more traditional format with standard episode lengths. Planet of the Apps, the company's first original show, launched in June, and its second show, Carpool Karaoke: The Series is set to be released on August 8.Tags: Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, Jeffrey Katzenberg Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
A United States House panel this morning unanimously approved a proposal that would allow car manufacturers to deploy tens of thousands of autonomous vehicles without adhering to existing auto safety standards, reports Reuters. The legislation would also ban states from implementing and enforcing some driverless car rules as regulators work to create improved federal safety standards for autonomous driving. Under the terms of the proposal, automakers would be required to submit safety assessment reports to United States regulators, but pre-market approval of autonomous vehicles would not be required.Automakers would have to show self-driving cars "function as intended and contain fail safe features" but the Transportation Department could not "condition deployment or testing of highly automated vehicles on review of safety assessment certifications," the draft measure unveiled late Monday said.Companies working on autonomous vehicles, including General Motors, Alphabet, Ford, and Tesla, have been lobbying Congress to pass a federal measure that would pre-empt rules being considered in California and other states that would limit the deployment of self-driving vehicles. The measure preliminarily approved today would let manufacturers subvert the rule requiring autonomous cars to have driver controls, and it would prevent states from setting self-driving car standards for software and safety systems. One of the Lexus vehicles Apple uses to test its autonomous driving software The measure was updated last week to add a directive that would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to draft new rules for autonomous vehicles within 18 months, but consumer advocacy groups say that the bill needs tweaking to ensure that automakers prioritize safety and do not put consumers at greater risk of a crash. Apple has its own autonomous driving software in development and would benefit from the relaxed regulations should the bill be passed. Apple has previously asked the California DMV to re-evaluate some of its rules, including those requiring companies to provide detailed public reports about testing variables and results. Apple CEO Tim Cook in June said Apple considers its work on autonomous driving systems as "the mother of all AI projects." Apple is currently testing its software in several Lexus RX450h vehicles that are equipped with a host of sensors and cameras. The full committee could vote on the measure as soon as next week, but the U.S. House of Representatives will not consider the bill until it reconvenes in September after the summer recess. Representative Robert Latta, who leads the Energy and Commerce Committee subcomittee overseeing consumer protection, plans to continue considering changes ahead of the full committee vote.Related Roundup: Apple Car Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.6, the sixth update to the macOS Sierra operating system that launched in September of 2016. macOS Sierra 10.12.6 comes two months after the release of macOS Sierra 10.12.5, an update that introduced a headphones audio fix, enhanced Mac App Store compatibility, and more. macOS Sierra 10.12.6 is a free update for all customers who have a compatible machine. The update can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store. There were no bug fixes, feature additions, or other changes found in macOS Sierra 10.12.6 during the beta testing process, suggesting the update focuses on security improvements and other small enhancements. macOS Sierra 10.12.6 is likely to be one of the last updates to the macOS Sierra operating system, as Apple is preparing to shift focus to macOS High Sierra, the next version of macOS. Apple introduced macOS High Sierra at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released iOS 10.3.3 to the public following several weeks of beta testing with six betas provided to developers and public beta testers. iOS 10.3.3 comes more than two months after the launch of iOS 10.3.2, a minor bug fix update. iOS 10.3.3 is a free over-the-air update available to all users with a compatible iOS device. It can also be downloaded and installed on iOS devices using iTunes on a Mac or PC. No outward-facing changes or features were discovered during the short beta testing period, so it appears iOS 10.3.3 focuses on bug fixes, security enhancements, and other minor improvements, much like iOS 10.3.2. Apple's work on iOS 10 is winding down as the company prepares to launch the next-generation version of iOS, iOS 11, which first debuted at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. iOS 11 will see a release in the fall following a summer of beta testing. With work shifting to iOS 11, iOS 10.3.3 is likely to be one of the final updates we see to iOS 10.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
A questionable rumor has surfaced today suggesting Apple could unveil a new iPhone SE next month, but it might just be more noise in iPhone silly season. The rumor comes from French-language blog iGeneration, which cited an unnamed source claiming Apple will hold a product event in late August to introduce an updated version of the 4-inch smartphone. Mickaël Bazoge, the author of the article, told MacRumors that he received the info from a "new source" with an unproven track record. He expressed some skepticism, but added that the source "seems reliable." The timeline is immediately questionable given Apple has never introduced any new iPhone model in August. Beyond the current iPhone SE and iPhone 4s in March 2016 and October 2011 respectively, Apple has officially debuted all other iPhone models at events in June or September each year. Moreover, given the current iPhone SE essentially has iPhone 6s tech specs, the next model's tech specs would likely be closer to the iPhone 7. And if that happens in August, then the new iPhone SE would be nearly as powerful as the iPhone 7 with a much cheaper price tag, potentially cannibalizing Apple's sales. There have also been few if any rumors about a new iPhone SE. Back in November 2016, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it was unlikely that Apple would release a new iPhone SE in the first half of this year. That claim proved to be accurate, but Kuo hasn't outlined any new predictions since then. When introducing the iPhone SE, Apple acknowledged that some people simply love smaller phones, and revealed that it sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015. The device looks like an iPhone 5s, but it has newer tech specs, including a twice-as-fast A9 chip and a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera. iPhone SE remains Apple's cheapest smartphone, starting at $399 in the United States. Today's rumor claims the next-generation model could start at €399 in Europe, down from €489 currently. The rumor also says Apple will hold a second event in October to introduce the supposedly delayed "iPhone 8." Apple doubled the current iPhone SE's storage capacities to 32GB and 128GB, up from 16GB and 64GB, in March. Related Roundup: iPhone SE Tag: igen.fr Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today debuted a new blog called the "Apple Machine Learning Journal," with a welcome message for readers and an in-depth look at the blog's first topic: "Improving the Realism of Synthetic Images." Apple describes the Machine Learning Journal as a place where users can read posts written by the company's engineers, related to all of the work and progress they've made for technologies in Apple's products. In the welcome message, Apple encourages those interested in machine learning to contact the company at an email address for its new blog, [email protected] Welcome to the Apple Machine Learning Journal. Here, you can read posts written by Apple engineers about their work using machine learning technologies to help build innovative products for millions of people around the world. If you’re a machine learning researcher or student, an engineer or developer, we’d love to hear your questions and feedback. Write us at [email protected] In the first post -- described as Vol. 1, Issue 1 -- Apple's engineers delve into machine learning related to neural nets that can create a program to intelligently refine synthetic images in order to make them more realistic. Using synthetic images reduces cost, Apple's engineers pointed out, but "may not be realistic enough" and could result in "poor generalization" on real test images. Because of this, Apple set out to find a way to enhance synthetic images using machine learning. Most successful examples of neural nets today are trained with supervision. However, to achieve high accuracy, the training sets need to be large, diverse, and accurately annotated, which is costly. An alternative to labelling huge amounts of data is to use synthetic images from a simulator. This is cheap as there is no labeling cost, but the synthetic images may not be realistic enough, resulting in poor generalization on real test images. To help close this performance gap, we’ve developed a method for refining synthetic images to make them look more realistic. We show that training models on these refined images leads to significant improvements in accuracy on various machine learning tasks. In December 2016, Apple's artificial intelligence team released its first research paper, which had the same focus on advanced image recognition as the first volume of the Apple Machine Learning Journal does today. The new blog represents Apple's latest step in its progress surrounding AI and machine learning. During an AI conference in Barcelona last year, the company's head of machine learning Russ Salakhutdinov provided a peek behind the scenes of some of Apple's initiatives in these fields, including health and vital signs, volumetric detection of LiDAR, prediction with structured outputs, image processing and colorization, intelligent assistant and language modeling, and activity recognition, all of which could be potential subjects for research papers and blog posts in the future. Check out the full first post in the Apple Machine Learning Journal right here.Tag: machine learning Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today resumed carrying Nokia's digital health products on its online store in the United States and Canada, nearly two months after reaching a business cooperation agreement with the Finnish company. The products available to purchase again include Nokia's Body Cardio Scale, Body+ Scale, BPM+ Blood Pressure Monitor, and Thermo Thermometer. Each of the accessories were previously sold under Withings, but Nokia retired the Withings brand last month, roughly one year after acquiring the French company. Apple's website indicates the products are also available for pickup at Apple's retail stores between Friday, July 21 and Monday, July 24. Apple had removed all Withings accessories from its online and retail stores around the world in December due to a legal dispute. On May 23, however, Apple and Nokia announced they settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and agreed to a multi-year patent license. The legal dispute began last December, when Nokia filed dozens of patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in the United States and other countries. Apple countersued Nokia, accusing the former phone giant of transferring patents to patent holding entities to squeeze additional royalties from the iPhone maker. As part of the settlement, Nokia will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple, with additional revenues during the term of the agreement. Nokia will also be providing "certain network infrastructure product and services" to Apple.Tags: Withings, Apple retail, Nokia Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced that Isabel Ge Mahe, the current vice president of wireless technologies, has been made the vice president and managing director of Greater China. In her new role, Mahe will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams. According to Apple, Mahe, who has led Apple's wireless technologies software engineering teams for nine years, will provide leadership and coordination across Apple's China-based team. "Apple is strongly committed to invest and grow in China, and we are thrilled that Isabel will be bringing her experience and leadership to our China team," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "She has dedicated a great deal of her time in recent years to delivering innovation for the benefit of Apple customers in China, and we look forward to making even greater contributions under her leadership."As VP of wireless technologies, Mahe has focused on the development of cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, and location and motion technologies for nearly all of Apple's products. She has also previously been in charge of the engineering teams developing Apple Pay, HomeKit, and CarPlay, and she has worked closely with Apple's R&D team and carrier partners to bake China-specific features into the iPhone and iPad. She has overseen the addition of QR Code support in iOS 11, SMS fraud prevention services exclusive to China, and the feature that allows Apple customers to use a phone number as an Apple ID. In a statement, Mahe said she is honored to represent Apple in China. "Everyone at Apple is proud of the contributions we make to the communities where we do business, and I am looking forward to deepening our team's connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability," she said. China has become an increasingly important market for Apple over the course of the last few years, and Mahe's appointment comes as the company struggles to maintain iPhone sales momentum in the country. In the second quarter of 2017, revenue in China was at $10.7 billion, down from $12.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. Mahe will begin working in her new position, which is based in Shanghai, later this summer.Tag: China Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group today announced that its Bluetooth technology has been updated with support for mesh networking, designed to create large-scale device networks by connecting multiple Bluetooth devices to one another. Bluetooth calls these "many-to-many" connections, which can support just a handful of devices or up to thousands. In a home setting, the mesh feature will be useful for connecting smart home devices to one another to establish a network that spans an entire house, with no areas that are out of range. Mesh networks are an improvement over single-point connections because a Bluetooth signal can be transmitted from device to device, reaching further distances. Some products, like the ZigBee-based Philips Hue line of lights, already use mesh networking techniques that are similar to what's being implemented today. Bluetooth mesh also has many commercial uses, because it creates a reliable network with no single point of failure, it can scale to support thousands of nodes, it supports multi-vendor interoperability, and it offers industrial-grade security. Bluetooth SIG believes Bluetooth mesh will be essential for commercial building and factory automation. "By adding support for mesh networking, the Bluetooth member community is continuing a long history of focused innovation to help new, up-and-coming markets flourish," said Mark Powell, executive director for Bluetooth SIG, Inc. "In the same way the connected device market experienced rapid growth after the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy, we believe Bluetooth mesh networking can play a vital role in helping early stage markets, such as building automation and wireless sensor networks, experience more rapid growth."Existing devices that support Bluetooth 4.0 or 5.0 can be updated with support for Bluetooth mesh, but implementing support requires a firmware update. Bluetooth mesh networking specifications and the tools that qualify Bluetooth products with networking support are available on the Bluetooth Website. Bluetooth SIG told The Verge that it often takes approximately six months for manufacturers to adopt new Bluetooth technology, but mesh could start rolling out sooner because it doesn't require new hardware.Tag: Bluetooth Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Samsung Electronics will return to producing chips for Apple in next year's iPhone lineup, according to a new report today by The Korea Herald. Before, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company held the sole supplier responsibility of providing Apple's A10 chip in the iPhone 7, as well as the A11 chip in the upcoming iPhone 8, but now today's report references a "crucial deal" made between Samsung Electronics co-CEO Kwon Oh-hyun and Apple during a visit to Cupertino last month. According to the report, Samsung managed to close the deal because of the company's decision to purchase equipment solely intended for 7-nanometer chip fabrication for iPhone devices. This move, as well as using Samsung's "close ties on OLED," convinced Apple to reintroduce the supplier into the iPhone chip supply chain. Although details remain vague, The Korea Herald's sources said that Samsung would "share some parts" of the 2018 iPhone orders that have been previously monopolized by TSMC. According to news reports on July 18, Samsung recently purchased extreme ultra violet lithography machines, the most advanced chip manufacturing equipment, to produce seven-nanometer mobile processors solely for iPhone. “The CEO could persuade Apple’s top brass taking advantage of their close ties on OLED,” said an industry source. Samsung, the world’s largest mobile OLED maker with a whopping 95 percent market share, is the sole OLED supplier for the upcoming iPhone. In 2015, Apple dual-sourced the A9 chip from both TSMC and Samsung for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, leading to some blowback from consumers when battery tests were performed and saw the TSMC chips outperform those made by Samsung. To avoid that issue again, and thanks to TSMC's aggressive moves to adopt smaller and more energy efficient manufacturing processes, Apple chose the company as the sole supplier of the A10 and A11 chips. Now, Samsung is said to be preparing tests for its own chip processing machines, and next plans to "seek final approval from Apple for the chip production" for what will presumably be called the A12 chip. As the sole OLED supplier for the 2017 iPhone, Samsung Display's deal with Apple has placed the manufacturer with providing between 70 and 92 million OLED displays for the upcoming iPhone 8. Apple is predicted to shift to OLED-only iPhone production as soon as 2018 or 2019.Tags: Samsung, TSMC, iPhone 9 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Developers have wasted no time testing the limits of Apple's new ARKit platform, as each passing week serves up tantalizing previews of what's possible on an iPhone or iPad now that developers can quickly and easily build augmented reality experiences into their apps. The latest demo to raise the bar comes courtesy of New York-based virtual reality developer Normal VR and offers a sneak peek at what's potentially in store for anyone with an iOS device, an iMac, and a VR headset. Blobbing in the studio today w/ the Vive + ARKit. Definitely some huge mixed reality potential here. 😍😍😍😍#arkit #vr #indiedev #gamedev pic.twitter.com/C1zANBuSrx— Normal (@normalvr) July 10, 2017 The video clip, recorded on a 10-inch iPad Pro, shows the company using ARKit and the Unity game engine to capture the physical movements of a VR artist and project her virtual painting onto the real world via the mimicking actions of a digital avatar. The interaction also appears to be two-way, with scaling and repositioning functions controlled by the external viewer using iPad gestures. It's unknown whether the HTC Vive is connected to a Mac or linked to some other supporting machine, but either way the potential uses for such a setup could be pretty far-reaching. We already know Apple's latest top-of-the-line iMacs will include VR headset support out of the box once High Sierra gets its final release. Steam game platform creator Valve has also developed a version of its SteamVR software development kit for Mac, offering Apple users the same 360-degree, room-scale tracking as the Windows and Linux variants, with the added bonus of Oculus Rift support. If ARKit-wielding developers can create apps that allow VR content to be viewed and interacted with outside of a headset, cross-platform Apple users could be looking at a shared future of exciting mixed reality experiences. The first apps powered by ARKit are set to launch on the new-look App Store alongside iOS 11 this fall.Related Roundups: Apple VR Project, iOS 11 Tag: ARKit Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle since the beginning of the year, and though the fight has escalated in recent weeks, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf today told Fortune that an out of court settlement is not out of the question."There's not really anything new going on," Mollenkopf said speaking at the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen. About the Apple dispute, he explained "those things tend to get to resolved out of court and there's no reason why I wouldn't expect that to be the case here."Mollenkopf went on to say that he has no specific news of a settlement and that nothing new has happened in the case. "I don't have an announcement or anything so please don't ask, he told Fortune. Mollenkopf made a similar statement back in February, but that was before the legal battle between the two companies intensified. At that time, he also said he didn't expect a public fight, something Apple and Qualcomm have not been able to avoid. Today's interview suggests Qualcomm is still open to settlement talks, but whether that will happen remains to be seen. If Apple and Qualcomm do not settle, we can expect a legal battle that will continue on for several years. The fight between Apple and Qualcomm started in January, after the FTC complained that Qualcomm had engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices. Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion just days later, accusing the company of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and refusing to pay quarterly rebates. According to Apple, Qualcomm has overcharged it by billions of dollars by "double-dipping" with unfair patent licensing agreements, while Qualcomm claims its innovations are "at the heart of every iPhone" and that the royalties are fair. Qualcomm went on to countersue Apple in April, accusing the company of breaching licensing agreements, making false statements, and encouraging regulatory attacks against Qualcomm, which prompted Apple to stop making royalty payments to Qualcomm entirely until a court can determine the proper amount due. Apple in late June expanded its lawsuit against Qualcomm, and at the beginning of July, Qualcomm filed a separate patent lawsuit against Apple and asked the International Trade Commission to block imports of select iPhone and iPad models.Tags: lawsuit, patent, Qualcomm, Patent lawsuits Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
After first giving iTunes an emoji-themed makeover, Apple is continuing its celebration of World Emoji Day with a preview of all-new emoji characters coming to iOS, macOS, and watchOS later in 2017. The new emoji previewed today by Apple include Woman with Headscarf, Bearded Person, Breastfeeding, Sandwich, Coconut, T-Rex, Zebra, Zombie, Elf, Star-Struck, Exploding Head, and more. All of the emoji shared today were previously included in the new Unicode 10 standard released in June. The new emoji make it easier for users to express themselves with greater diversity, additional animals and creatures, new smiley faces and more. Apple didn't specify a launch date for the new line of emoji characters coming to iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches this year, but it's expected that they will arrive sometime around the public launch of iOS 11 this fall, or soon thereafter. World Emoji Day celebrations are also extending to the iOS App Store, where Apple said that it has highlighted apps that showcase fun things to do with the smartphone characters.Tag: emoji Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Reports of delays to Apple's upcoming iPhone line-up continued this week, with the Chinese-language Economic Daily News claiming on Monday that production of the so-called "iPhone 8" will not start until between November and December, with production of the more typical "S" cycle upgrades to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also potentially facing delays. According to the report, the flagship redesigned OLED iPhone will ship only in small volumes this year, because yield rates at the main manufacturing plants have still not reached the mass production stage. While there were previous reports indicating that volume production for new iPhone devices has commenced, yield rates at the two main ODMs, Foxconn Electronics and Pegatron, have not yet reached levels that warrant mass production, the report said.Reports of iPhone delays typically happen every year and don't tend to pan out, but on balance we seem to be seeing more than usual this time around, apparently spurred by claims that Apple has found its redesigned handset particularly challenging to finalize, whether that's because of the intricacies of the customized OLED panel and other key components leading to low or staggered supplies, or problems integrating the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently published a report supporting claims that Apple will debut the OLED iPhone in September, but the device will face "severe supply shortages" for some time. Kuo believes that production ramp-up on the OLED iPhone model won't begin until as late as October-November, two months later than previous ramp-ups in August-September. Similar rumors have been circulated by Bloomberg, analysts from Barclays, and Brian White. Today's report is the most delayed 2017 timeframe for "iPhone 8" production we've seen so far. Last week claims were also made that the software-side of things isn't going well for Apple either, with rumors that problems with the front-facing camera's 3D sensor could see the feature temporarily unavailable at launch. A purported wireless charging accessory for the iPhone is also thought to be coming later than originally planned. As for the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD iPhones that Apple is said to be launching alongside the OLED iPhone, volume production is now said to be entering "full swing" in August, which is one to two months later than the normal mass production schedule for Apple's iPhones. (Via DigiTimes.)Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Tag: digitimes.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
It appears Apple may be cracking down on some VPN-based ad blockers that are designed to block ads in third-party apps, based on a recent interaction iOS developer Tomasz Koperski had with Apple's App Store review team. Koperski is the CTO of Future Mind, a software company that produces AdBlock, Weblock, and Admosphere, three ad blocking apps. When submitting an update for AdBlock for iOS, a VPN-based ad blocking app, it was rejected. Upon appeal to the App Review Board, Koperski was told Apple is no longer allowing VPN/root certificate-based ad blockers on the App Store and will not be accepting updates of existing ad blockers that use those techniques going forward. According to Apple, Future Mind's AdBlock app violates section 4.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines, which dictates that apps must be useful, unique, and "app-like." Specifically, the app violated section 4.2.1, which says "Apps should use APIs and frameworks for their intended purposes and should indicate that integration in their app description," and to get even more specific, Future Mind was told the update was rejected because "Your app uses a VPN profile or root certificate to block ads or other content in a third-party app, which is not allowed on the App Store." Koperski was told that Safari content blockers, introduced in iOS 9, will be the only Apple-supported ad blockers going forward, and those ad blockers are limited to use in the Safari web browser.After submitting an appeal to the App Review Board, a member of the Review Team contacted me directly via phone and informed that Apple has officially changed their policy regarding VPN/root certificate based ad blockers on the App Store and is no longer accepting updates of apps, which directly block content in third party apps. The only officially allowed ad blocking method is now Safari Content Blockers.Koperski says that the change marks a major shift in Apple's ad blocking policy, as Future Mind has had its ad blocking products in the App Store for the past five years. AdBlock, the app that Apple rejected, has been available for purchase since 2014, and it was one of the first VPN-based ad blockers able to block ads in all apps locally on both Wi-Fi and Cellular. There are dozens of similar ad blocking apps available in the App Store at the current time, some that were updated as recently as June. It's not clear why Apple has changed its policy after so many years, but many apps, including native apps like Apple News, feature ads as a way to monetize. Apple has recently undertaken a major overhaul of the App Store, eliminating clone apps, outdated apps, and more, so it's possible this new crackdown is a part of that effort. Since late 2015, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller has been overseeing the App Store and has enacted some significant changes. Future Mind was told the AdBlock app could be updated if it switches from ad blocking via VPN to the Safari Content Blocker, but the company is worried about upsetting customers who paid for the ability to block adds in both Safari and in apps. The company has not yet decided what to do and is mulling several possible choices, including leaving the app as is, expanding existing functionality into a VPN service, or transitioning to a Safari-only blocker. Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple recently purchased expensive production equipment to produce the rigid flexible printed circuit board for the iPhone 8, reports The Korea Herald. Apple doesn't plan to use the equipment itself, but is instead leasing it to suppliers to ensure it can get the components it needs for the iPhone 8 amid rumors of production difficulties. The equipment cost Apple "tens of millions of dollars" and will be used to create the aforementioned circuit boards, which are a key component that connect parts like the iPhone's display and camera. A rigid flexible printed circuit board is reportedly more difficult to produce than conventional rigid or flexible PCBs. iPhone 7 logic board, image via iFixit Apple made the purchase after one of three suppliers it planned to source parts from backed out of the deal. Interflex and Youngpoong Electronics, two Korean companies, are said to be producing the components going forward."One of the three suppliers recently decided to back out," a source told ET News on condition of anonymity, saying that the supplier is a Taiwanese manufacturer. The exact reason why the Taiwanese supplier withdrew from the deal with a big client Apple was not revealed. But sources say the firm may have felt a pinch on the tricky production and strict quality requirements along with low profitability.With one supplier pulling out of the deal, Apple decided to make sure the remaining suppliers can meet capacity. "To fill the loss, Apple is supporting the other two suppliers, both Korean, to beef up production," said The Korea Herald's source. Rumors have suggested Apple is struggling to produce several of the new iPhone's components, including the 3D sensor and the display lamination process, which many analysts believe is going to lead to some delay in production ramp up. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often accurately predicts Apple's plans, believes production ramp up could be delayed by a month or two, which means the iPhone 8 could be available in limited quantities with Apple unable to meet demand until late in 2017 or early in 2018.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
When you purchase an iTunes gift card and redeem it in the App Store, the camera on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac can scan the code on the card to recognize it automatically, saving you the time of typing the numbers in manually. Equinux, the company behind Mail Designer Pro 3, dug into how Apple's promo code engine works in an effort to make their own scannable cards, and the results are quite interesting. As it turns out, the scanning feature in the App Store is tuned to recognize two things: a unique, hidden font and the dimensions of the box around it. Equinux tried the box alone with a range of fonts like Courier and Monaco, and attempted to identify the unique characteristics of the font to find it, but were unsuccessful. Ultimately, the team realized the font that Apple's using is hidden deep within iTunes.The breakthrough came when we noticed that when you scan a card with your iPhone, the app briefly displays a "scanned" overlay of the code. This means the font must be embedded in the app somewhere. We tried the same with iTunes on macOS. And voilà - the iTunes on Mac behaves the same way. When you look at some of the other folders inside iTunes, we found a tantalizing plugin called "CodeRedeemer." It showed promise. But alas, no font files there either. The app binary does give a hint of where the heavy lifting is being done: "CoreRecognition.framework."Hidden in the CoreRecognition.framework, there are two fonts: "Scancardium," for entering and recognizing codes, and "Spendcardium," which appears to be for obscuring credit card details as they're entered. The two fonts can be found by going to Finder on a Mac, clicking Go, choosing Go to Folder and pasting the following: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreRecognition.framework/Resources/Fonts/ With a simple double click, the fonts can be installed on a Mac and can be used within different apps. While this is a neat breakdown for end users, it's of particular interest to developers because these fonts can be used to create custom App Store promo code cards that can be scanned in the same way as iTunes gift cards. Equinux outlines the exact font height to use and how to position it within the surrounding box to get Apple's engine to recognize it, details the company uncovered after investing a lot of time in tweaking fonts and the border of the required box. Equinux even went one step further and created helpful Sketch and Photoshop templates that developers can use to create App Store promo code cards that can be automatically scanned using a device camera and recognized by the App Store.Tags: App Store, iTunes Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple at WWDC 2017 last month introduced Core NFC, a new iOS 11 framework that enables apps to detect Near Field Communication tags. Similar to Apple Pay, iPhone users are prompted with a "Ready to Scan" dialog box. After holding the iPhone near an item with an NFC tag, a checkmark displays on screen if a product is detected. An app with Core NFC could then provide users with information about that product contained within the tag. A customer shopping at a grocery store could hold an iPhone near a box of crackers, for example, and receive detailed information about their nutritional values, price history, recipe ideas, and so forth. Or, at a museum, a visitor could hold an iPhone near an exhibit to receive detailed information about it. Core NFC will expand the iPhone's NFC chip capabilities beyond simply Apple Pay in several other ways. A bottle of wine with an NFC tag similar to CapSeal Cybersecurity company WISeKey, for example, today announced that its CapSeal smart tag will now support iPhone thanks to Core NFC. CapSeal smart tags are primarily used for authentication, tracking, and anti-counterfeiting on products like wine bottles. Many other companies offer similar solutions.When placed on a bottle of spirit or a bottle of lubricant oil, for instance, and tapped by an NFC phone, the chip is able to securely authenticate and track the bottle like an ePassport does. It offers the same certified security level. It also allows the brand to broadcast personalized messages to the phone-holder detecting whether the bottle has been open or not.Core NFC is currently supported by the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the framework is read-only for NFC tags of types 1 through 5 that contain data in the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF). Developers interested in learning more can read Apple's documentation or watch the Introducing Core NFC session from WWDC 2017.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Tags: NFC, Core NFC Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook and iTunes Chief Eddy Cue this week attended the Allen & Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, as they have done for the last several years. Many well known tech and media moguls attend the Sun Valley event, which is essentially a retreat and is invitation only, but meetings and discussions at the conference are kept under wraps so it's unlikely we'll hear details on anything that goes on. In years past, Cook and Cue have kept a low profile during the week long event. Described as a "summer camp for billionaires," the conference includes activities like rafting, cycling, and golf, and because it brings so many major media executives together in one place, it's been credited as the catalyst for major deals like the AOL and Time Warner merger, Walt Disney's acquisition of ABC, Google's purchase of YouTube, and Jeff Bezos' acquisition of The Washington Post. Apple has been taking a more direct approach to media in recent months with its ever-growing interest in original content, so it's no surprise to see Cook and Cue at the event once again. Other notable 2017 attendees include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Jared and Ivanka Trump, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, Twitter COO Anthony Noto, 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch, CBS Chairman Les Moonves, and Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg. Image via Rob Latour, ShutterstockTags: Tim Cook, Eddy Cue Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Matthew Roberts has uploaded his latest 4K drone tour of Apple Park, the company's new headquarters in Cupertino, California. A limited number of Apple employees began moving into the new headquarters in April, but the video shows that construction is still well underway. Among the highlights are a closer look at the main circular building, Steve Jobs Theater, the visitor center across the street, and the overall landscaping. Roberts also flew his drone over the historic Glendenning Barn, which Apple has now completely reassembled after tearing it down and pledging to move it to a new location due to construction of Apple Park. Glendenning Barn, a historic site in Cupertino, has been situated on Apple Park's property since the early twentieth century. After taking over the site of HP's previous campus, Apple reportedly dismantled the redwood barn piece by piece, including every plank, nail, and crossbeam, and made careful notes on its construction. The drone video reveals that Apple has successfully recreated the barn, although a few of the redwood planks appear to be brightly colored, indicating they might not be original. Apple reportedly stockpiled redwood salvaged from an old grove in case any damaged planks needed to be replaced. When finished, Apple Park will be surrounded by some 9,000 trees, with a large pond, walking trails, benches, and a fitness center for employees.Tag: Apple Park Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is working on a rear-facing 3D laser system that will enable better depth detection for augmented reality apps and more accurate autofocus in the iPhone 8, reports Fast Company, citing a source with knowledge of the company's plans. The iPhone 8 is said to use a VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) system for the rear camera, which analysts have previously speculated could be added to the device. There's also been some evidence that Apple has been sourcing VCSEL components from companies like Lumentum and Finisar, and Fast Company says Apple has tapped both companies along with II-VI for sensors. iPhone 8 rendering via OnLeaks and TigerMobiles VCSEL would offer faster and more accurate depth measurements for augmented reality purposes, along with speedier autofocusing when taking a photograph.VCSEL laser systems calculate the distance the light travels from the laser to the target and back to the sensor, and generate a Time of Flight (TOF) measurement. The system consists of a source (the VCSEL laser), a lens, detector (sensor), and a processor. The whole thing costs about $2 per phone, our source says.That Apple is working on improved augmented reality hardware for the iPhone 8 is no surprise given the focus on augmented reality and ARKit in iOS 11. New 3D camera technology was rumored for the rear-facing camera as early as November of 2016, and multiple design leaks point towards a revamped vertical dual-lens camera, suggesting a major camera revamp. The front-facing camera is also expected to include a new 3D sensor that would enable facial recognition. According to Fast Company's source, the VCSEL system for the rear-facing camera is "probably intended" for the upcoming iPhone 8, but its inclusion "depends on the progress" Apple engineers make integrating it into the iPhone. As we learned in a report yesterday, the source that Fast Company has spoken to believes iPhone features "can remain fluid until deep in the summer" ahead of an iPhone launch, though it seems more logical that work on the iPhone 8 is complete as we are just two months away from its prospective September introduction. Given the many rumors of a major camera redesign and previous rumors pointing towards 3D capabilities, a VCSEL laser system is a reasonable feature to expect to see in the device. Fast Company's previous report suggested there is a "sense of panic" in the air at Apple as engineers and designers struggle to work out software problems with wireless charging and the 3D sensors meant for the device. The site also said Touch ID was "likely" to be included in the iPhone 8, despite multiple rumors suggesting it's been removed in favor of facial recognition.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's Mac sales remained stagnant in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the year-ago quarter, according to new PC shipping estimates shared today by Gartner. During the quarter, Apple shipped an estimated 4.24 million Macs worldwide, down from 4.26 million in the second quarter of 2016, for an estimated decline in growth of -0.4 percent. While sales were down slightly, market share was up. Apple held 6.9 percent of the market during the quarter, up from 6.7 percent a year ago. Apple is estimated to be the number four PC vendor in the world, edging out Asus, the company that held that position this time last year. HP and Dell, the number one and number three worldwide PC vendors, respectively, saw shipment growth during the quarter. HP shipped an estimated 12.7 million PCs for 10.8 percent of the market (3.3 percent growth) while Dell shipped an estimated 9.6 million PCs for 15.6 percent of the market (1.4 percent growth). Lenovo, once the number one worldwide PC vendor, is now in second place after sales dropped from 13.3 million in Q2 2016 to 12.2 million in Q2 2017. Lenovo now holds 19.9 percent of the market and saw a -8.4 percent dip in growth. Asus and Acer, the number five and six worldwide PC vendors, also saw PC sales fall significantly. Asus shipped 4 million PCs during the quarter, down from 4.5 million for -10.3 percent growth, while Acer shipped 3.9 million, down from 4.4 million for -12.5 percent growth. According to Gartner, overall worldwide PC shipments totaled 61.1 million units in Q2 2017, a 4.3 percent decline compared to Q2 2016."Higher PC prices due to the impact of component shortages for DRAM, solid state drives (SSDs) and LCD panels had a pronounced negative impact on PC demand in the second quarter of 2017," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner "The approach to higher component costs varied by vendor. Some decided to absorb the component price hike without raising the final price of their devices, while other vendors transferred the costs to the end-user price."In the United States, PC shipments totaled 14 million units during the second quarter of 2017, a 5.7 percent decline compared to the second quarter of 2016. Apple is the number four PC vendor in the United States, shipping an estimated 1.7 million Macs (for 11.8 percent market share), a significant decline from the 1.83 million Macs shipped in the second quarter of 2016. Apple's U.S. sales dropped 9.6 percent from Q2 2016 to Q2 2017, with Lenovo and Asus also seeing sharp dips. Lenovo's sales were down 16.3 percent (1.9 million PCs shipped vs. 2.2 million in Q2 2016), while Asus's sales were down 40.7 percent (447K PCs shipped vs. 754K in Q2 2016). IDC also released its PC market shipment estimates today, and its numbers are a bit rosier. IDC estimates Apple shipped 4.3 million Macs during the quarter, up from 4.26 million for a small 1.7 percent growth. According to IDC, worldwide PC shipments totaled 60.5 million units, a decline of 3.3 percent. Like Gartner, IDC estimates Apple is the number four worldwide PC vendor, behind HP, Lenovo, and Dell, but above Asus and Acer. It's important to note that data from Gartner and IDC is preliminary and that the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically and sometimes less so. Last year, for example, Gartner estimated Mac shipments of 4.56 million in the second quarter of 2016, but the actual number was 4.26 million. Apple recently refreshed much of its Mac notebook lineup and its iMacs, so it could see some growth in the coming quarter as customers purchase the new machines.Tags: IDC, Gartner Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second public beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra update to public beta testers, two weeks after releasing the first public beta. The second public beta of macOS High Sierra corresponds with the third developer beta, provided to developers earlier this week. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program are able to download the second macOS High Sierra beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store after the proper profile has been installed. Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. For instructions on how to install the public beta, check out our how to, and make sure to make a backup before giving the software a try. Don't install the beta on a main machine, as betas are notoriously unstable. High Sierra runs on all machines that support Sierra. The macOS High Sierra update is designed to improve and refine the existing macOS Sierra operating system. Along with a new, more efficient file system (APFS) designed for modern storage, the update introduces Metal 2, the next-generation version of Apple's Metal graphics API with support for machine learning, external GPUs, and VR content creation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC aka H.265) is coming in High Sierra, and many of the existing apps are being updated. Photos features a new persistent side view and editing tools for Curves, Selective Color, and Live Photos, while Siri is gaining a more natural voice and support for more music-related commands. Safari offers a new autoplay blocking feature for videos and Intelligent Tracking Prevention to protect your privacy, while Mail storage is being optimized to take up 35 percent less space. iMessages can now be stored in iCloud, and there are new iCloud Drive file sharing options and new iCloud storage family plans. For a full overview of the new features you can expect to see when macOS High Sierra is released in the fall, make sure to check out our full macOS High Sierra roundup.Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today released the second public beta of iOS 11 to its public beta testing group, allowing non-developers to download and test the new operating system ahead of its fall launch. The second public beta of iOS 11 comes a little over two weeks after Apple released the first public beta and it corresponds to the third developer beta that was released earlier this week. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 11 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on an iOS device. Those who want to join the beta testing program can sign up on Apple's beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. Step-by-step instructions for downloading installing the public beta can be found in our how to. Betas should only be installed on a secondary device as the software is not stable and can include many bugs. iOS 11 introduces subtle design changes to the operating system, including a new Lock screen experience and a customizable, redesigned Control Center. Siri is smarter, has a more natural voice, and can do more, Messages features person-to-person Apple Pay, Notes has searchable handwriting and document scanning, and Music lets you share playlists with your friends. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. A new Files app improves file management on iOS devices, and on the iPad, there's a new Dock, an App Switcher, and support for Drag and Drop, all of which improves multitasking on the device. An entirely revamped App Store is coming in iOS 11, photos and videos take up less space, iMessages can be stored in iCloud, and developers are getting new tools like ARKit for creating impressive new augmented reality apps and games. In the developer beta released this week, Apple introduced a handful of changes, including new TV Providers, new locations for the Files app, changes to the iPad App Switcher, and more. Details can be found in our beta 3 tidbits post and the video below. For full details on all of the new features included in iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup. Apple plans to release iOS 11 to the public in the fall following several months of testing and refinement.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today launched its annual Back to School promotion in the United States and Canada, offering a free pair of Beats Solo3 wireless headphones to qualifying students, parents of students, and educators that purchase an eligible Mac with education pricing, including the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac Pro. The promotion also offers Apple's newer BeatsX wireless headphones, or students can pay the difference to upgrade to Beats Solo3 wireless headphones or Powerbeats3 wireless earphones, with the purchase of an iPad Pro. Apple's website outlines the complete eligibility requirements for the promotion in the United States and Canada. Tags: Beats, Back to School promotion, Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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