posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In the wake of urging from investors to do more about smartphone addiction among children, Apple has added a new "Families" section to its website that outlines parental control tools and information that parents should be aware of. The mini site is broken into several sections that highlight a range of kid-friendly features that Apple has put into place like app recommendations, in-app purchase controls, restrictions on apps that can be downloaded, internet limiting tools, Find My Friends, and more. Apple highlights the Kids section of the App Store, for example, which the company says parents can use to find carefully curated content that's appropriate for children. The site provides links to tutorials for enabling Ask to Buy so parents can approve app downloads, and it lets parents know how to turn on restrictions to limit in-app purchases and which websites are available to children. Another section of the site points out tools like Find My Friends for keeping track of a child's location, and recommends setting up group chat for the whole family in Messages. Apple also provides details on Family Sharing, which is designed to let members of the same family share apps, music, books, iCloud storage, and more, and there's a section on tips for the whole family, with feature recommendations like Do Not Disturb While Driving, Bedtime, Medical ID, Night Shift, and Emergency SOS. Apple also recommends products like the Apple Watch with LTE connectivity to "reach kids in an emergency" and to help the whole family stay fit, and there's a dedicated section on privacy controls. Parents who have children that use iOS devices will likely want to give the new site a look. Apple has promised to introduce more robust parental control tools, and rumors have suggested the company will introduce the features in iOS 12. Apple is said to be planning to debut a Digital Health tool that will let parents know how much time their children have spent using iOS devices.Discuss this article in our forums

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David Smith, the developer behind the popular Pedometer++ app for iPhone and Apple Watch, today shared some interesting user data that offers insight into Apple Watch adoption rates, and specifically, how quickly he's seen Apple Watch Series 3 adoption grow. Smith looked at data collected from August 1, 2017 (a month before the debut of the Apple Watch Series 3) to March 14, 2018. During that time, he's seen rapid growth in the number of active Pedometer++ users who have an Apple Watch Series 3, and a steady decline in users who have an Apple Watch Series 0 or an Apple Watch Series 2, both of which are now discontinued. Just under 35 percent of Pedometer++ users now have an Apple Watch Series 3, while around 24 percent have an Apple Watch Series 0, down from more than 40 percent in August of 2017. According to Smith, he's been keeping a close eye on Apple Watch Series 0 usage rates because he's hoping that Apple will soon drop support for the original Apple Watch, which he describes as a "bit painful" to develop for.It is just slow and honestly a bit painful to develop for. Even basic things like deploying your application to the watch can take uncomfortably long amounts of time. In daily use the Series 0 is probably "good enough" for many customers, especially with the speed/stability improvements added in watchOS 4, but as a developer I can't wait until I no longer have to support it.By contrast, Smith says the new Apple Watch Series 3 is "a delight to work with" because it's fast, capable, and has LTE functionality that allows for new kinds applications. Smith is hoping watchOS 5 will drop support for the original Apple Watch, which is why he tracks falling Series 0 usage rates, but he does admit that the device is still adequate for many users who just need basic functionality. When watchOS 5 launches, presumably this September, the original Apple Watch will be more than three years old, and Smith believes, that based on current trends, Series 0 usage could be as low as 15 to 20 percent in his Pedometer++ app, which presumably is reflective of overall usage rates. For comparison's sake, Apple ended support for the original iPhone, released in 2007, in 2010 when the fourth-generation version of iOS was released. Support for the first-generation iPod touch, also released in 2007, ended with the same operating system update. Apple ended support for the first-generation iPad, released in 2010, with the launch of iOS 6 in 2013. Apple clearly has a history of ending support for first-generation devices after a few years, but it's not yet clear if the company will do the same for the original Apple Watch. Some of the original Apple Watch models, which were offered in 18-Karat gold, were priced at up to $17,000, so Apple could have unhappy customers when support for the device eventually ends. For more of Smith's Apple Watch adoption analysis, make sure to check out his full blog post.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays. Wednesday, March 14 - Why hasn't Samsung ditched the headphone jack yet? Daring Fireball's John Gruber remains convinced that headphone jacks are going the way of the floppy drive, but he explains why Samsung might not be ready to ditch the 3.5mm port yet, as Apple did with the iPhone 7 a few years ago.Samsung is more of a "do what the customer is asking for" company; Apple is a "figure out what they’re going to want" company. Samsung’s customers aren't asking for the headphone jack to be dropped, so the path of least resistance is to just keep the jack. But looking at what's available on the market, a big problem facing Samsung (and the rest of the Android world) is that the USB-C headphone market is a mess — and expensive to boot. "No-name brand headphones at high prices" is a hard sell.Commentary: Apple arguably has an advantage in this space thanks to its custom W1 chip, which provides a quick and seamless connection between Apple devices and its wireless headphones like AirPods and BeatsX. - Dutch bank hints that Apple Pay could launch in the Netherlands next week: Dutch mobile bank bunq was recently added to the list of Apple Pay participating banks in Italy. When contacted by the Dutch blog iCulture.nl about the possibility of Apple Pay launching in the Netherlands, the bank said it could not share any details before a press conference it is holding March 20. Commentary: During its earnings calls, Apple usually mentions a list of countries where Apple Pay is coming soon, and the Netherlands hasn't been one of them. If this rumor proves true, however, hopefully it signals a wider expansion of Apple Pay to other European countries like Germany and Poland. - Amazon considered buying Texture before Apple deal: "Next Issue Media LLC, owner of Texture, hired investment bank Moelis & Co. in the past year to advise on a sale process, said the person." Commentary: Amazon already operates a Texture-like service called Kindle Unlimited, which provides subscribers with access to over one million e-book titles, thousands of audiobooks, and select magazines on Kindle Fire, iOS, or Android smartphones and tablets for $9.99 per month. - Apple details Intelligent Tracking Prevention 1.1: All partitioned cookies are treated as session cookies and are not persisted to disk. Domains with a pending purge will not be able to set new cookies and their existing cookies are not sent in requests. These updates are available in Safari 11.1 on iOS 11.3 beta and macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 beta, as well as in Safari Technology Preview. Commentary: Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a Safari privacy feature which detects domains that have the ability to track the user cross-site and either partitions or purges the associated website data. The feature is designed to stop companies from invasively tracking customer web browsing habits across websites. For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.Tag: Quick TakesDiscuss this article in our forums

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The Information has published an in-depth look at how Siri has transitioned from one of Apple's most promising technologies into a "major problem" for the company. The article includes interviews with a dozen former Apple employees who worked on the various teams responsible for the virtual assistant. The report claims that many of the employees acknowledged for the first time that Apple rushed Siri to be included in the iPhone 4s before the technology was fully ready, resulting in several internal debates over whether to continue patching up the half-baked product or start from scratch.Siri's various teams morphed into an unwieldy apparatus that engaged in petty turf battles and heated arguments over what an ideal version of Siri should be—a quick and accurate information fetcher or a conversant and intuitive assistant capable of complex tasks.The team working on Siri was overseen by Apple's then iOS chief Scott Forstall, but his attention was reportedly divided by other major projects, including the upcoming launch of Apple Maps. As a result, Forstall enlisted Richard Williamson, who was also managing the Apple Maps project, to head up the Siri team. According to the report, several former employees said Williamson made a number of decisions that the rest of the Siri team disagreed with, including a plan to improve the assistant's capabilities only once a year. Williamson, in an emailed response to the report, wrote that it's "completely untrue" that he decided Siri shouldn't be improved continuously.He said decisions concerning "technical leadership of the software and server infrastructure" were made by employees below his level, while he was responsible for getting the team on track. "After launch, Siri was a disaster," Mr. Williamson wrote. "It was slow, when it worked at all. The software was riddled with serious bugs. Those problems lie entirely with the original Siri team, certainly not me."Forstall and Williamson were both fired by Apple in 2012 following the botched launch of Apple Maps on iOS 6. The former employees interviewed said they lamented losing Forstall, who "believed in what they were doing." Another interesting tidbit is that the Siri team apparently didn't even learn about the HomePod until 2015. Last year, Bloomberg News reported that Apple had developed several speaker prototypes dating back to 2012, but the Siri team presumably didn't know due to Apple's culture of secrecy.In a sign of how unprepared Apple was to deal with a rivalry, two Siri team members told The Information that their team didn't even learn about Apple’s HomePod project until 2015—after Amazon unveiled the Echo in late 2014. One of Apple’s original plans was to launch its speaker without Siri included, according to a source.The report says that Siri is the main reason the HomePod has "underperformed," and said Siri's capabilities "remain limited compared to the competition," including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.The most notable failure in Siri's evolution is that it still lacks the third-party developer ecosystem considered the key element of the original Siri vision. Apple finally launched SiriKit in 2016 after years of setting aside the project and shifting resources away to other areas. […] But SiriKit has yet to fulfill its promise. So far it includes just 10 activities—Apple calls them "intent domains"—such as payments, booking rides, setting up to-do lists and looking at photos. Several senior engineers who worked on SiriKit have left Apple or moved off the project.Some former employees interviewed noted that "while Apple has tried to remake itself as a services company, its core is still product design." Apple responded to today's report with a statement noting Siri is "the world's most popular voice assistant" and touted "significant advances" to the assistant's performance, scalability, and reliability."We have made significant advances in Siri performance, scalability and reliability and have applied the latest machine learning techniques to create a more natural voice and more proactive features," Apple wrote in its statement. "We continue to invest deeply in machine learning and artificial intelligence to continually improve the quality of answers Siri provides and the breadth of questions Siri can respond to."The full-length article is a worthwhile read for those interested in learning more about Siri's internal struggles and shortcomings. The Information: The Seven-Year Itch: How Apple's Marriage to Siri Turned SourTags: Siri, theinformation.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has commemorated the life of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who died early Wednesday at the age of 76. "We will always be inspired by his life and ideas," he said on Twitter. Stephen Hawking via REX/Shutterstock “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” -Stephen Hawking. We will always be inspired by his life and ideas. RIP.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 14, 2018 Hawking was a renowned scientist, cosmologist, astronomer, and mathematician. He authored several books, including his best-selling 1988 classic A Brief History of Time, which has sold more than 10 million copies. Hawking was diagnosed with the degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, at the age of 21. He was given just a few years to live, but battled the illness for more than five decades.Tag: Tim CookDiscuss this article in our forums

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Yesterday, it was discovered that a Mac App Store app called Calendar 2 had implemented a cryptocurrency mining feature that users could elect to use to unlock in-app features rather than paying cash, raising questions about whether Apple planned to allow such apps in the Mac App Store. Calendar 2 was mining a digital coin known as Monero, and initially, Apple was slow to respond to questions from Ars Technica about whether or not such a feature was permissible, resulting in the app staying in the Mac App Store for a good 24 hours after Apple knew of its existence. Shortly after widespread media reports about the cryptocurrency mining feature circulated the app disappeared from the Mac App Store, but at the time, it was not clear if it was Apple that removed the app or the app's developer. As it turns out, the app was indeed pulled by Apple. According to Greg Magarshak, CEO of Qbix, the company behind the Calendar 2 app, Apple removed the app from the Mac App Store for violating rule 2.4.2, which states that apps should not put an unnecessary strain on device resources.Design your app to use power efficiently. Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources.The Calendar 2 app was supposed to be using currency mining as an opt-in feature, but it was riddled with bugs causing the mining feature to use excessive resources and run regardless of whether or not users opted in, which is what drew so much attention to it. Just before the app was pulled from the Mac App Store by Apple, Magarshak promised to remove the feature from future versions of Calendar 2 because of these issues. As of today, the Calendar 2 app is back in the Mac App Store. Magarshak said on Twitter that he worked with Apple to get a new version of the app released that has no mining features. As an apology for the snafu, all Calendar 2 users, new and old, will be provided with upgraded features for free for a year. Calendar 2 uses should update immediately as the older version of the app continues to include the miner. 1st of all lets give credit where due: an hour after we updated Ars about removing the mining feature, Apple removed our app citing 2.4.2 &worked w us to put it back on the store. New release has NO mining and we are giving all old&new Calendar users ALL features free for a YEAR.— Qbix Apps (@QbixApps) March 13, 2018 Though the cryptocurrency mining feature made it past Apple's review team and into the Mac App Store, it appears that based on Apple's response and the rule violation cited, Apple will not be letting Mac App Store apps use background cryptocurrency mining as a way to unlock premium features within apps.Tag: Mac App StoreDiscuss this article in our forums

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays. Tuesday, March 13 - Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Capitol Hill: Cook was spotted in the U.S. Capitol with senators Mark Warner (Democrat-Virginia) and Richard Burr (Republican-North Carolina). He reportedly had lunch with Warner. SPOTTED in the US Capitol: Senate Intel Cmte Chair @SenatorBurr, @MarkWarner & Apple CEO @tim_cook (Warner is getting lunch with Cook in the Senate dining room): pic.twitter.com/VwtnE4EQGS— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) March 13, 2018 Commentary: The report doesn't mention what was discussed, but it is fairly routine for Cook to make visits to Washington D.C. given his position. Warner is known to be a tech-savvy senator with concerns about cybersecurity. - Apple hires Golden State Warriors executive as events director: Apple has hired Gail Hunter, who was vice president of public affairs and event management of the NBA's Golden State Warriors team. Hunter will serve as Apple's director of events effective March 19, according to the team. Commentary: Hunter will join Apple just under three months prior to its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the company's largest event of the year. The report doesn't mention what her responsibilities will be. - Apple supplier Wistron secures land to build new site in southern India: The contract manufacturer has received approval to build a new facility roughly 40 miles from Bengaluru, in the Indian state of Karnataka. Commentary: Wistron will likely use its new facility to expand its iPhone SE assembly work. India charges a 20 percent duty on imported smartphones to encourage companies to manufacture products within the country. - Apple expands rollout of Apple Music for Artists, a dashboard that provides artists with insights about how often their music is played and purchased, listener demographics, and more. A few thousand artists were invited to test the beta in January, and now additional artists can reserve a spot. Commentary: Apple has also refreshed the look of its Apple Music and iTunes Store badges for artists and affiliate partners, shortly after updating its Made for iPhone, iPad, and iPod logos for certified accessories. For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.Tags: Tim Cook, Quick TakesDiscuss this article in our forums

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With its new Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung debuted AR Emoji, a feature that mimics Animoji, the animated emoji characters that Apple introduced alongside the iPhone X. In our latest YouTube video, we compared Samsung's new AR Emoji on the Galaxy S9 to Apple's Animoji on the iPhone X to check out the similarities and differences between the two features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple's Animoji are enabled through the TrueDepth camera system, which is Apple's 3D facial recognition feature that maps out a user's facial features. The TrueDepth camera analyzes more than 50 muscle movements in different areas of the face for Animoji, detecting movement of the eyebrows, cheeks, chin, eyes, jaw, lips, eyes, and mouth to create super realistic representations of facial expressions. Samsung's AR Emoji, while similar to Animoji, don't have the same kind of underlying technology powering them, so the facial expressions AR Emoji can replicate are far more rudimentary. While Animoji on the iPhone X can mimic subtle expressions, on the Galaxy S9, AR Emoji have trouble with anything that isn't exaggerated, better recognizing movements like a blink or an open mouth than something more subtle like a wink or an angry face. There are a limited number of Animoji available, though, and that's where Samsung has Apple beat. There are more AR Emoji character options to work with, and in fact, you can even create a custom Bitmoji-style character modeled after your own face. Characters can be customized with unique facial features, clothing, skin tone, and more, plus your recordings with AR Emoji aren't limited to 10 seconds -- you can record for as long as you want. You can also add stickers, and there are Bitmoji-like pre-made GIFs to send to people. All in all, AR Emoji seems to have more in common with Snapchat than with Animoji. Those aforementioned stickers are similar to the Snapchat filters that let you add sunglasses, cute animal faces, and more to your own face and can't be compared to anything offered natively by Apple. It's worth noting that third-party apps like Snapchat on iPhone X can also take advantage of the TrueDepth camera for filters that better fit the face, while on Samsung devices, Snapchat filters and AR Emoji stickers look much less natural. As is typical, Samsung wins out in customizability, but Apple has the edge when it comes to the underlying technology. What do you think of AR Emoji compared to Animoji? Let us know in the comments.Related Roundup: iPhone XTags: Samsung, Animoji, Galaxy S9Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple today announced that its 29th annual Worldwide Developers Conference will kick off on Monday, June 4 and will last through Friday, June 8 with the conference to be held once again at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Developers can register to attend starting today, and Apple says registration will be open until Thursday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. As is typical, Apple will be selecting WWDC attendees using a lottery system due to the popularity of the conference. Tickets will be priced at $1,599, and only developers who win Apple's ticket lottery will be able to purchase a WWDC ticket. To enter the lottery, developers must have been a member of the Apple Developer Program or the Apple Developer Enterprise Program as of March 13, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Developers who are chosen through the WWDC ticket lottery will be notified by March 23 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Apple also plans to make up to 350 WWDC Student Scholarships available this year for students and members of STEM organizations. Scholarships provide a free WWDC ticket, free lodging, and free one year membership to the Apple Developer Program. Scholarship submissions will open on Monday, March 26, 2018, and students will be asked to build an interactive scene in Swift playground that can be experienced within three minutes. Apple uses its Worldwide Developers Conference to introduce new software, to debut new hardware products, and to network with thousands of developers from all over the world. This year, Apple is expected to introduce iOS 12, macOS 10.13.4, tvOS 12, watchOS 5, and new software for the HomePod. Apple will hold a keynote event on Monday, June 4, where we will get our first glimpse at new software products and perhaps some new hardware. Rumors suggest Apple could use the event to introduce new lower-cost MacBook Air models and refreshed iPad Pro models equipped with Face ID. Last year was the first year that Apple held its Worldwide Developers Conference at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California rather than at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and it appears the new location will be used for the foreseeable future. Apple says that developers who are not chosen to attend the conference and "Apple enthusiasts everywhere" will be able to live stream the conference through the Apple Developer website or through the dedicated WWDC app for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Those who are not picked for WWDC are also able to attend alternate events throughout San Jose during the week of WWDC, such as AltConf, which was announced this morning. Tickets to AltConf, which allows developers to mingle and provides a venue for watching the keynote and other WWDC events, are free. AltConf will take place from June 4 to June 7. Related Roundup: WWDC 2018Discuss this article in our forums

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Apple's new AirPower inductive charging mat will be released by the end of March, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes. The report, citing industry sources, claims the AirPower will have a maximum charging performance of up to 29 watts, compared to 7.5 watts for single-device wireless charging pads like the Belkin Boost Up and the Mophie Wireless Charging Base for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Apple said the AirPower will be released in 2018, but it hasn't provided an exact release date or pricing. Apple blogs Mac Otakara and The Apple Post also reported that the charging mat will be released in March, which is a common month for Apple to introduce new products, including a new 9.7-inch iPad last year. AirPower is an oval-shaped accessory that can inductively charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3 models. It will also be able to charge AirPods when they are placed in a new inductive charging case set to launch alongside AirPower. The mat's ability to charge multiple devices will be achieved with a propriety technology developed by Apple. Apple said it will work to have its technology become part of the universal Qi standard supported by the latest iPhones. It's still unclear if Apple will announce the AirPower's availability at a March event alongside other new products, via press release, or quietly with an update to its online store. If there is an event planned, Apple will likely send invitations to the media by Thursday at the absolute latest.Tags: digitimes.com, AirPowerDiscuss this article in our forums

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Apple's services chief Eddy Cue, who spoke at the SXSW media festival in Austin, Texas this week, revealed that Apple Music now has 38 million paying subscribers worldwide. Cue also said there are over eight million customers that are currently taking advantage of Apple Music's free three-month trial period. The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Apple Music had 36 million subscribers in a February 4 report, so it appears the streaming music service has gained around two million subscribers in just over five weeks. The numbers suggest Apple Music is growing at a clip of roughly 400,000 subscribers per week, or 1.6 million per month. Accordingly, it would appear to be Apple Music's fastest growth rate since it launched in June 2015, at least based on the figures that Apple has publicly shared over the past three years. Apple Music SubscribersOct 2015: 6.5 million Jan 2016: 10 million Feb 2016: 11 million Apr 2016: 13 million Jun 2016: 15 million Sep 2016: 17 million Dec 2016: 20 million Jun 2017: 27 million Sep 2017: 30 million Feb 2018: 36 million Mar 2018: 38 millionSpotify maintains a sizeable lead over Apple Music. The streaming music service revealed that it had 71 million paying subscribers as of the end of 2017, so it should be around twice as large as Apple Music by now. Spotify also has a free, ad-supported tier, giving it over 159 million listeners overall around the world. Spotify launched in 2008, and expanded to the United States in 2011, while Apple Music debuted in over 100 countries at once in 2015. Both platforms offer individual subscriptions for $9.99 per month, student plans for $4.99 per month, and family plans sharable with up to six people for $14.99 per month. Apple Music has the benefit of being preinstalled on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads. It's also available on Mac, PC, Android, Apple Watch, Apple TV, vehicles equipped with CarPlay, Sonos, and HomePod. At SXSW, Cue estimated there are around two billion people that have access to and a means to pay for streaming music, suggesting the market is ripe for growth. Apple Music and Spotify have around 110 million subscribers combined, so there is clearly an opportunity for both services to continue growing. The harder task for Spotify will be turning a profit, which it has yet to do. Apple Music executive and record industry mogul Jimmy Iovine recently said streaming music services are "not making any money" due to a lack of margins, suggesting that a standard $9.99 per month subscription is not profitable. Apple Music's profitability is likely less of a concern for Apple, as it sells a wide range of other products and services. Apple's broad services category brought in a record $8.5 billion revenue last quarter, up 18 percent year over year. Tag: Apple MusicDiscuss this article in our forums

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Fitbit today announced the Fitbit Versa, which the company described as the "smartwatch for all." The Versa has a few features that directly compare it to the Apple Watch, as well as an overall design that looks similar to Apple's wearable device. Alongside the Fitbit Versa, Fitbit announced a kid-focused Fitbit Ace device and female health tracking coming to the Fitbit iOS app. Fitbit said the Versa is the "lightest metal smartwatch" in the United States market, with a case made out of ultra-thin, anodized aluminum that is slightly tapered and angled so it fits small or large wrists. The device's touchscreen supports a brightness of up to 1,000 nits, allowing users the ability to read the screen in bright environments, and it has a battery that will last for 4+ days. The Fitbit Versa has many of the expected features seen in previous Fitbits, like 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts, onboard music storage, automatic sleep tracking, and wallet-free payments on the Fitbit Versa Special Edition with an NFC chip. Fitbit will also sell a variety of accessories, ranging from stain-resistant classic bands to Horween leather, stainless steel links, metal mesh bands, and a designer collection. "As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price," said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. "Versa brings consumers the advanced health and fitness features Fitbit is known for, along with broad compatibility across mobile platforms and 4+ days battery life to provide users with a better picture of their overall health, making it stand out from any smartwatch available today." The new smartwatch will launch with Fitbit OS 2.0 for the company's line of wearable devices, which will include a new personalized dashboard for a simplified overview of a user's health and fitness data. Users will be able to see daily and weekly health stats, historical activity, heart rate, exercise summaries, motivational messages, tips, and daily guidance, all from their wrist. Over time, Fitbit said this dashboard will become more personalized, offering reminders, celebrations, logging, insights, sleep summaries, and social challenges, all with prompts to take actions based on each user's own data. This ongoing personalization aspect of Fitbit OS 2.0 is said to launch later in 2018. Here are a few other features available on Fitbit Versa with Fitbit OS 2.0: Music on your device: Listen to phone-free music anywhere using Bluetooth headphones like Fitbit Flyer, including 300+ songs from your personal music collection, your favorite stations from Pandora, and now your own or curated playlists as well as Flow from Deezer. Apps and clock faces you want: Personalize your device by choosing from a wide range of apps and clock faces in the Fitbit App Gallery, including those from Fitbit, Fitbit Labs, and popular brands like E*TRADE, Flipboard, Hue Lights, Nest, Starbucks, Strava, Surfline, United Airlines, Weather powered by AccuWeather, and Yelp. The Fitbit App Gallery has more than 550 apps and clock faces available today, many of which developers are working to make available to Versa users soon. Fitbit Ace, the kid-focused wearable band, will include many of Fitbit's features in a pared-down hardware model. Kids eight and older wearing the device will see that it automatically tracks steps, active minutes, and sleep on a five day battery. Using a Fitbit family account, parents will be able to monitor and control who their kids connect with in the Fitbit app and other features of the Ace band. The band will remind kids to move, and reward them for listening to such reminders with collectible badges. Coming soon, Fitbit will launch daily and weekly challenges where families and friends can compete against one another in certain health goals. There will also be a "Family Faceoff" that challlenges family members in a family account to earn the most steps in five days. Fitbit Ace can be pre-ordered today on Fitbit.com for $99.95, and will launch in Q2 2018. Fitbit Versa is available to pre-order today on Fitbit.com and at select online retailers tomorrow, priced at $199.95. The smartwatch will come in the following colors: black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, and peach with a rose gold aluminum case. Band accessories will start at $29.95 and cap at $99.95. For those who want the NFC-enabled Fitbit Versa Special Edition, that model will be $229.95. The device will officially launch worldwide in April.Tags: Fitbit, Fitbit VersaDiscuss this article in our forums

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Apple is planning to release a new iPad Pro with a display that measures about 11 inches, according to Taiwan's Economic Daily News. iPad Pro with slimmer bezels rendered by Benjamin Geskin We've already heard rumors about a 10.5-inch iPad Pro with slimmer bezels and no home button, so Apple could include a slightly larger 11-inch display without increasing the physical size of the tablet itself. This would mirror the iPhone X, which has a 5.8-inch screen, but is smaller than an iPhone 8 Plus. Details are hard to gather from a loose translation of the Chinese report, which says the 11-inch iPad Pro and an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro are likely to be released at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, echoing an earlier prediction from Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang. Both new iPad Pro models are expected to feature Face ID and faster eight-core Apple A11X processors. It's unclear if the tablets will have notches for the TrueDepth system, or a slimmer, uniform top bezel that still has enough room to house the camera and sensor technology that powers the facial recognition. The report, citing a source, adds that Apple has no new iPhone models planned for the first half of 2018, dampening hopes for an iPhone SE refresh. The first new models of the year will likely be the so-called iPhone X2, iPhone X2 Plus, and a 6.1-inch aluminum iPhone with Face ID in September. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had already cast doubt on rumors about a second-generation iPhone SE launching in the first half of 2018. He said Apple was likely to focus its development resources on the trio of iPhone X-like models expected to launch in the second half of the year. The current iPhone SE looks much like the iPhone 5s, including a smaller four-inch display, preferred by a subset of customers. The device is powered by Apple's A9 chip, like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it has 2GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Touch ID. Apple hasn't fully refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched in March 2016, but it did double its available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB last March. It also dropped the device's starting price to $349 last September. Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone SETag: udn.comBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Neutral), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral), iPhone SE (Don't Buy)Discuss this article in our forums

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A Mac App Store app called Calendar 2 has been mining a digital coin known as Monero using customers' machines, and Apple took no action against the app despite knowing about it for at least 24 hours. As Ars Technica points out, Calendar 2 is supposed to have an opt-in feature that allows users to choose to let the app mine cryptocurrency to unlock paid features that normally require an in-app purchase, but instead, it's been bugged and has been mining Monero by default. Image via Ars Technica Surprisingly enough, Apple has allowed the Calendar 2 app to remain available in the Mac App Store despite the fact that it openly embraces cryptocurrency mining. Ars Technica asked Apple if the app violated App Store policies, but did not receive a response, and more than 24 hours after Ars contacted Apple, the app remains available for purchase in the Mac App Store. It's not clear if Apple has left the app in place because it approves of allowing cryptocurrency mining in the Mac App Store as a way to enable paid features or because Mac App Store apps often receive little attention from the company. Regardless, because of the attention the feature has received from the media today, Qbix, the company behind Calendar 2, has decided to remove the feature from the app. Qbix founder Gregory Magarshak told Ars Technica that the currency miner's rollout had been complicated by bugs that prevented it from working as intended, with the miner running continuously even when not approved by the user. Other bugs caused it to use too much of a Mac's resources. Magarshak originally said Qbix would update the app to fix the bugs, but he later told Ars that Qbix has decided to remove the miner in the app, so there will be no way to get free features via cryptocurrency mining going forward. From an email he sent to Ars Technica:We have decided to REMOVE the miner in the app. The next version will remove the option to get free features via mining. This is for three reasons: 1) The company which provided us the miner library did not disclose its source code, and it would take too long for them to fix the root cause of the CPU issue. 2) The rollout had a perfect storm of bugs which made it seem like our company *wanted* to mine crypto-currency without people's permission, and that goes against our whole ethos and vision for Qbix. 3) My own personal feeling that Proof of Work has a dangerous set of incentives which can lead to electricity waste on a global scale we've never seen before. We don't want to get sucked into this set of incentives, and hopefully our decision to ultimately remove the miner will set some sort of precedent for other apps as well.Even though the features are going to be removed from the Mac App Store app, it continues to be unclear how Apple feels about cryptocurrency mining within apps and if the company's apparent indifference on the issue is going to lead to additional Mac apps attempting to go this path to implement features in exchange for processing power. Websites and malware have been sneakily mining for currency by taking advantage of unsupecting users, but Calendar 2's method of openly offering features in exchange for free mining is new to the Mac App Store.Tag: Mac App StoreDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays. Monday, March 12 - PGA TOUR introduces augmented reality app: PGA TOUR AR uses Apple's ARKit platform on iOS 11 to project 3D models of featured holes on any flat surface. Fans will be able to select their favorite player on the golf course, compare shot trails from each round, and compare the shots of different players. The first featured hole will be No. 6 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational starting March 15, while shot trails can be reviewed from the seventh hole of last month's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament. The end goal is for at least one hole to be featured at every tournament on the PGA TOUR schedule. Commentary: PGA TOUR AR is free on the App Store for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and iPad Pro models. The app is somewhat rudimentary at launch, but an update later this year will enable fans to view 3D shot trails for selected players at live golf tournaments. - Apple Bluewater re-opens Saturday, March 24, according to a photo shared yesterday by Joe White on Twitter: The store has been closed for nearly eight months to allow for renovations to be completed. Apple Bluewater is located in Greenhithe, Kent, on the edge of Greater London in [email protected] Bluewater re-opening March 24 after 9 month refurbishment. pic.twitter.com/8UtXL3ThmO— Joe White (@JoeWhiteLondon) March 11, 2018 - Canada to initiate mobile emergency alerts on April 6: iPhones and other LTE-enabled smartphones in Canada will receive emergency alerts from the government about life-threatening situations, such as tornadoes, flash floods, and child abductions, when necessary. On an iPhone, these will appear in the form of a push notification at no cost to the user. There is currently no way to opt out. Commentary: This long-overdue feature, already in place in the United States, should greatly extend the visibility of emergency alerts beyond TV and radio in Canada. Test alerts, to be identified as such, are scheduled to begin in May. Other Reading: BuzzFeed News interviews Mikey Elkins, winner of $25,000 on HQ Trivia: The 25-year-old physical education teacher from Jacksonville, North Carolina said he was "sitting on his toilet" guessing most of the answers to win the special one-person-takes-all prize on Sunday. AAPL sets another all-time high closing price: $181.72. Apple's market cap rises to around $922 billion. Intel fights for its future: Jean-Louis Gassée, an Apple executive in the 1980s, argues that Intel acquiring rival chipmaker Broadcom would be a "suicidal defensive move" against a possible Broadcom-Qualcomm merger, which could improve Qualcomm's relationship with Apple.For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.Tag: Quick TakesDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has picked up its first animated TV series, a new show called "Central Park" developed by Loren Bouchard, well-known for popular cartoon "Bob's Burgers." According to Variety, the animated series is a "musical comedy" written by Bouchard, Josh Gad, and Nora Smith. It's said to tell the story of how a family of caretakers who live in Central Park in New York City end up saving the park and the world. Apple has ordered 26 episodes of the show in total, split into two 13-episode seasons. "Central Park" is produced by 20th Century Fox and stars Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Titus Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Daveed Diggs, and Kathryn Hahn. This marks the 12th known television show that Apple has invested in so far. Other TV shows Apple is working on include an untitled morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, an "Amazing Stories" reboot from Steven Spielberg, an untitled space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore, a series written by "La La Land" creator Damien Chazelle, a Kristen Wiig comedy series, See, an epic world-building drama, Home, a docuseries focusing on incredible homes, "Little America," an anthology series from "The Big Sick" creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, Swagger, a drama based on the early life and career of NBA star Kevin Durant, and a psychological thriller produced by M. Night Shyamalan. Additional detail on all of Apple's TV projects can be found in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.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
Apple recently updated its Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) licensing program to include specifications for USB-C ports and a Lightning to 3.5mm output cable (via 9to5Mac). With the new specifications, accessory makers will be able to include USB-C ports on MFi-certified charging accessories designed for the iOS and Mac, with those accessories able to use the USB-C cables that ship with new Macs. Third-party MFi accessories that include Lightning ports are able to offer passthrough charging, but Apple's new specifications do not allow the USB-C port built into an accessory to be used for passthrough charging or syncing of an iOS device. Apple's documentation suggests speakers and battery packs could benefit from the use of a USB-C port for charging purposes. As for the Lightning to 3.5mm stereo output plug, it is designed to let users connect to a 3.5mm input using a Lightning port on an iOS device, something that was previously only possible with adapters. Apple also recently revamped its Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod logos, introducing support for the San Francisco font and replacing device icons with standard Apple logos.Tags: USB-C, MFi ProgramDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple iTunes music chief Eddy Cue is at the SXSW conference today, where he sat down for an interview with CNN's Dylan Byers to discuss media, entertainment, and why curation matters. The major announcement of the event was Apple's pending acquisition of magazine subscription service Texture, which will be integrated into Apple News, but Cue also shared some insight into Apple's original content plans, and much of what he said has been shared on Twitter. Image via @JohanTrouve According to Cue, Apple News is a unique service because it isn't focused on advertising, so it's not solely providing the news you want to read - it's also sharing news "you should be reading." Cue says Apple can do that because advertising isn't the focus. "We're not trying to get you to read so we can serve you more ads," he said. "We want to give you a bit of serendipity to see all of what's out there," he added. On the topic of Apple's content plans, Cue said the company is "all in." "We're completely all in," he said. Apple isn't going to buy a company like Netflix or Disney, though, because the focus is not quantity, it's quality. "You need to have a great story," he said, while also teasing technology that will be a "surprise" to users. Apple searched for the right people to run an original content team for two years before finding former Sony executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht. Cue says Apple was after someone who "really knew the business but was also willing to think about it differently." Since hiring Van Amburg and Erlicht last year, Apple has inked deals for more than 10 TV shows, many with high-profile actors, producers, and directors. "We're making big investments," said Cue. "Money isn't an issue." Apple's original content team has grown to about 40 people over the course of the last year. When asked about sports, Cue said that Apple wants to "augment the experience" rather than own sports content, doing things like sending out notifications when a game stats to enhance the viewing experience. "We think there's a huge opportunity," he said, referring to making sports watching a more interactive experience. Cue also shared new details on Apple Music. The subscription service has grown to 38 million subscribers, with more than 8 million people using the trial service. Cue commented on the HomePod, which went on sale in February. He said Apple is happy with the initial sales of the device, which is the "best musicologist there is." Cue said Apple is "very proud" of the device. Echoing statements Apple CEO Tim Cook has made several times over the course of the past year, Cue said Apple is "very, very optimistic" that AR is going to be huge. It's going to be a mainstream product that everyone uses every day. He declined to give specifics on the topic of AR hardware outside of the iPhone, though, citing a desire to continue working at Apple. "I've worked for Apple for almost 30 years and hope to work for Apple for another 20 years, so I'm not going to answer questions on future products," he said.Related Roundup: Apple TVTags: Eddy Cue, Apple MusicBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.3 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fourth beta and three weeks after the release of iOS 11.2.6, an update that addressed a bug causing iPhones and iPads to crash when a character from the Indian language Telugu was rendered improperly. Registered developers can download the new iOS 11.3 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. iOS 11.3 is a major update that introduces a long list of new features, like Messages in iCloud for saving space and syncing messages across devices, and ARKit 1.5, a new version of ARKit able to more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces, recognize images, and place objects on vertical surfaces like walls. There are four new Animoji on the iPhone X (dragon, bear, skull, and lion), and in the Health app, there's a new Health Records feature that aggregates all of your medical records in one easy-to-access place. As of iOS 11.3 beta 2, the update includes a new "Battery Health" feature that's designed to provide iOS users with more information about their batteries. Battery Health offers details on maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability, and for devices with degraded batteries, it provides information on if and when a device is being throttled with performance management features. It also provides a way for customers who do have a device with a degraded battery to turn off performance management all together. By default, iOS 11.3 disables performance management on the iPhone, and the feature is only re-enabled once a device experiences an unexpected shutdown. Early betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 included support for AirPlay 2 features, allowing audio to be played to multiple Apple TVs, but these features were removed in iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 beta 3. Other features in iOS 11.3 include a "For You" section in Apple News that displays the top videos of the day, support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) for more accurate location when placing an emergency call in a supported country, more information about app size in the Updates tap in the App Store, software authentication for HomeKit, and a new Privacy screen and icon that will show up whenever Apple asks you for info. The privacy screen is reflected in several new splash screens that pop up when you first open apps. The App Store also now lets you sort reviews by most helpful, most favorable, most critical, and most recent, a handy change for better finding the app info you're looking for. Business Chat, which will let you interface with businesses like Wells Fargo, Delta, Hilton and Lowe's right in the Messages app is coming when iOS 11.3 is released, and improvements to Apple Music will bring better support for music videos. iOS 11.3 will be released to the public in the spring. Spring kicks off on March 20, so the update will be in testing for at least another couple of weeks.Related Roundup: iOS 11Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire digital magazine service Texture, available on iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows, and Kindle devices. The deal is pending approval and financial terms were not disclosed. Apple's services chief Eddy Cue, who revealed the news at the SXSW media festival in Austin, Texas today alongside Apple's press release:We're excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world's leading publishers. We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.Texture provides unlimited access to over 200 digital magazines for $9.99 per month. Magazines can be read on up to five devices per subscription, with the ability to download issues for offline reading. Available magazine titles include People, Vogue, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Wired, Maxim, Men's Health, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, ESPN The Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. New issues are available alongside a searchable archive of thousands of past issues. iPad and iPhone users can download the Texture app for free from the App Store and take advantage of a free seven-day trial.Tags: Apple acquisition, TextureDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is expected to introduce a cheaper MacBook Air sometime during the second quarter of the year, and a few days later a second report backed up Kuo's claims with a claim of a price point starting at $799 or $899. DigiTimes is now reporting that Apple is planning to launch a new 13.3-inch "entry-level MacBook" late in the second quarter of the year, which suggests an introduction at WWDC in June. While DigiTimes calls the notebook a "MacBook," it is unclear whether it would be part of the MacBook or MacBook Air line, but the entry-level nature of the machine and the MacBook's positioning at a similar 12-inch size suggests this new machine might be part of a refreshed MacBook Air family. However the new entry-level machine is marketed, DigiTimes says the pricing will be the same as or slightly higher than the current MacBook Air, which starts at $999, and the machine will include a Retina display.The 13.3-inch a-Si panels for the new notebook feature the same resolution as Apple's 13.3-inch MacBook Pro at 2,560 by 1,600. LG Display will begin supplying the panel in April with the new MacBook scheduled to enter mass production at the end of May or the beginning of June.The report claims that Apple is targeting shipments of six million units of the new notebook through the end of the year, although DigiTimes analysts believe four million is a more likely figure considering the estimated pricing. In addition to the new MacBook Air or MacBook, DigiTimes says Apple is also preparing updated entry-level iPad models for release in the second quarter and new iPad Pro models for the second half of the year.Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iPadTag: digitimes.comBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Neutral), MacBook Air (Caution), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral), MacBook (Caution), iPad (Don't Buy)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
AliveCor, the company that makes an FDA-approved EKG band for the Apple Watch called KardiaBand, teamed up with the Mayo Clinic for a new study that suggests an AliveCor EKG device paired with artificial intelligence technology can non-invasively detect high levels of potassium in the blood. A second study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic also confirms the KardiaBand's ability to accurately detect atrial fibrillation. AliveCor's KardiaBand For the potassium study, AliveCor used more than 2 million EKGs from the Mayo Clinic from 1994 to 2017 paired with four million serum potassium values and data from an AliveCor smartphone EKG device to create an algorithm that can successfully detect hyperkalemia, aka high potassium, with a sensitivity range between 91 and 94 percent. High potassium in the blood is a sign of several concerning health conditions, like congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes, and it can also be detected due to the medications used to treat these conditions. According to AliveCor, hyperkalemia is associated with "significant mortality and arrhythmic risk," but because it's typically asymptomatic, it often goes undetected. Currently, the only way to test for high potassium levels is through a blood test, which AliveCor is aiming to change with the new non-invasive monitoring functionality. AliveCor says that the AI technology used in the study could be commercialized through the KardiaBand for Apple Watch to allow patients to better monitor their health. Vic Gundotra, AliveCor CEO, said that the company is "on the path to change the way hyperkalemia can be detected" using products like the Apple Watch. For the Cleveland Clinic study, cardiologists aimed to determine whether KardiaBand for Apple Watch could differentiate between atrial fibrillation and a normal heart rhythm. The researchers discovered that the KardiaBand was able to successfully detect Afib at an accuracy level comparable to physicians interpreting the same EKGs. The Kardia algorithm was able to correctly interpret atrial fibrillation with 93 percent sensitivity and 94 percent specificity. Sensitivity increased to 99 percent with a physician review of the KardiaBand recordings. KardiaBand, which has been available since late last year, is available for purchase from AliveCor or from Amazon.com for $199. Using the KardiaBand also requires a subscription to the AliveCor premium service, priced at $99 per year. AliveCor premium paired with the KardiaBand offers SmartRhythm notifications, unlimited EKG readings, detection of atrial fibrillation or normal sinus rhythm, and unlimited cloud history and reporting of all EKGs.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Tag: AliveCorBuyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays. Friday, March 9 Apple's ecosystem explained: YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee explains why Apple's ecosystem of products and services is so strong. He also advises against becoming too locked into just one ecosystem. Commentary: A good example of the strength of Apple's ecosystem is iMessage and its coveted blue message bubbles, which have essentially become a status symbol. As silly as it may sound, there are a countless number of tweets that mock green bubbles, which is the color Apple uses to display standard text messages. AAPL sets all-time high closing price of $179.98: The previous record was $179.26, set on January 18, 2018. Apple's overall all-time high remains $180.62, set during intraday trading on February 28, 2018. AAPL has been on the rise since bottoming out at $150.24 on February 9 amid a wider stock market selloff. Commentary: Apple shares have technically traded for higher prices, but today's record high factors in multiple stock splits, including a 7-for-1 split in 2014. Apple's market cap now hovers around the $915 billion mark. Timing of Apple's rumored March event: Apple typically invites the media to its special events roughly 10 to 12 days beforehand, so if there is a March event on its agenda, then we'll likely hear about it soon. 2015: Thursday, February 26 invites → Monday, March 9 event 2016: Thursday, March 10 invites → Monday, March 21 event 2017: No event. 2018: Thursday, March 15 invites → Monday, March 26 event (?) Commentary: The big question is whether Apple will hold a media event or make its announcements via press releases as it did last year. Rumored products that could debut this month include a new iPhone SE, lower-priced 9.7-inch iPad and MacBook Air models, and the AirPower charging mat, along with iOS 11.3. Other Reading: Swift is now the world's tenth most used programming language, tied with Objective-C, according to analyst firm RedMonk's analysis of GitHub and Stack Overflow data. Apple's open source programming language was released at WWDC in June 2014. Apple has applied to patent a crumb-resistant keyboard: The patent application describes a MacBook keyboard with mechanisms that prevent contaminant ingress, which is a fancy way of saying dirt and crumbs. This could involve the use of "brushes, wipers, or flaps" that block gaps around key caps. For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.Tag: Quick TakesDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S9 started last week, and the first S9 orders are set to arrive to customers on March 14. We managed to get our hands on a new Galaxy S9 ahead of the device's launch date, so we thought we'd compare Samsung's new flagship device to Apple's latest flagship device, the iPhone X. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the Galaxy S9 looks a lot like the Galaxy S8, with slim bezels at the top, sides, and bottom and a display that curves downward at the sides. It's taller and slimmer than the iPhone X, and with Samsung continuing to use a thicker top bezel, there's no notch. The Galaxy S9 has a 2960 x 1440 display, which DisplayMate says is better than the iPhone X's display. With the Galaxy S9, Samsung uses multiple biometric methods, so there's a fingerprint sensor that's been relocated to the middle of the device's back underneath the rear camera, making it easier to reach. The iPhone X, of course, has fully embraced facial recognition, something Samsung hasn't been able to do because it's using an inferior 2D facial and iris recognition system that's not secure enough on its own. A fingerprint sensor is, of course, an attractive offering for those who prefer fingerprint sensors to facial recognition, and offering multiple biometric methods provides consumers with choice. The Galaxy S9 also continues to offer a headphone jack, which Apple abandoned with the iPhone 7. Samsung's Galaxy S9 is using variable aperture camera technology (with two cameras if you have an S9+), and it's putting out photos on par with the iPhone X (if not better), and to combat Animoji, Samsung has its own new AR Emoji, which are more realistic humanoid animated emojis that some have called creepy. We'll be looking into both AR Emoji and the Galaxy S9 and S9+ cameras in later videos, so make sure to visit MacRumors next week to check those features out in detail. The Galaxy S9 runs Android 8.0 Oreo, with useful features like native multitasking and edge panel customization. Android is appealing to many because it's more customizable than iOS, but it can't match features like iMessage and Continuity, and these key differences are what draw people to the different operating systems and drive customer loyalty. When it comes to performance, Samsung's Galaxy S9 doesn't quite measure up to the iPhone X in terms of benchmarks, but in day to day usage, the difference isn't noticeable. Both devices are responsive, fast, and offer the kind of performance you expect in an expensive flagship smartphone. It's worth noting, though, that Galaxy S9 pricing starts at $720 in the US, while pricing on the Galaxy S9+ starts at $840. That's a solid $280 to $160 price difference compared to the $999 price tag of the iPhone X, and lower price is often an edge that Android devices have over iOS devices. With Samsung and Apple devices, deciding which one is "better" is often a matter of choosing your preferred features and your preferred operating system. Both of these smartphones are fast, modern, and highly capable devices and each one has its upsides and downsides. We'll be further exploring similarities and differences between Samsung's new flagship smartphones and the iPhone X next week, but let us know what you think of the new Galaxy S9 in the comments below.Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: Galaxy S9Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
One of the minor disadvantages of buying an iPhone X early is having to wait for developers to update their apps with support for the smartphone's taller display. Many popular apps were updated within a few weeks after the device launched, but over four months later, there are still some notable omissions. MacRumors recently asked our readers to share their favorite apps that have yet to be optimized for the iPhone X display. Then, we reached out to the developers of each app to ask them if and when they will release updates with iPhone X support. We've included comments from every company that responded below. Apple Apple did not respond to multiple requests for comment. iMovie iTunes Connect iTunes Remote Beats Pill+ AirPort Utility Music MemosGoogle Google said it does not have anything to share at this time. Google Authenticator Google Analytics Google Admin Google Street View Google Wifi Google Cloud Console Inbox by Gmail Chrome Remote Desktop SnapseedMicrosoft Microsoft confirmed it is working on updating its remaining apps to be optimized for the iPhone X, but it did not provide a timeframe.Microsoft Remote Desktop Microsoft Solitaire Collection Office 365 AdminBanking and FinanceChase — "We constantly evaluate changes in the market while listening to customer feedback and regularly update our mobile app based on that feedback. Watch for an update in the near future." TD Canada — "The next release of the TD mobile app, expected later this month, will be optimized for the iPhone X display." National Bank of Canada — "The app will be updated for iPhone X in the coming months." HSBC ANZ Australia BarclaycardFast FoodDomino's — "It will be updated in one of our upcoming app updates. I don't have an exact date." Pizza Hut — "Pizza Hut is currently developing numerous app enhancements, including optimizing the iPhone X display and other capabilities offered by the phone." Taco BellSports and GamingNBC Sports — "It will happen soon." PGA TOUR — "We are updating our app on March 20 to support the new iPhone X format." MLS Steam Hearthstone Candy Crush Soda SagaTV and MediaNPR News — "We will have an update for iPhone X for the NPR News app on April 2." NPR One — "The update for NPR One will come later in the summer." The Economist IGN TiVo CineplexTechnologyAmazon Alexa — "The Alexa app will be updated and optimized for iPhone X display in the coming weeks." Linksys — "The update for the Linksys app for iPhone X will be rolling out in the next few days." OpenVPN — "We are currently developing a new iOS app that will support iPhone X. It will tentatively be released end of April." HipChat — "HipChat will not be updated for the iPhone X but Stride will be soon." Harmony ControlAirlines and TravelHotels.com — "We will be releasing our update to better support iPhone X shortly." Virgin Airlines Emirates Air France myChevroletApple recently announced that, starting April 2018, all new iOS apps submitted to the App Store, including universal apps, must support the iPhone X display. The rule doesn't apply to existing apps.Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: App StoreBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

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