posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his associates recently spent a week in Asia meeting with companies within Apple's supply chain, and today they shared research on iPhones, AirPods, and the HomePod gathered from their trip. In terms of AirPods, the analysts expect Apple will continue to increase production of the wireless earphones. Barclays forecasts that AirPods shipments will likely approach 30 million units in 2018, within the ballpark of KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's estimate of 26-28 million units. AirPods remain backordered on Apple's online store, with orders placed today estimated for delivery within 12 to 13 days in the United States and several other countries. The wireless earphones have been in short supply since December after availability briefly improved during the fall months. The lengthy shipping estimates for AirPods suggests Apple may still be having difficulties manufacturing the wireless earphones, can't keep up with strong demand, or is dealing with some combination of those two factors. Apple doesn't disclose AirPod sales, but chief executive Tim Cook said the company's total revenue from wearables was up almost 70 percent year over year. Apple's broad "Other Products" category, including AirPods, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, set a new all-time record with $5.5 billion in revenue last quarter. In contrast with the popularity of AirPods, Barclays says HomePod sales have been "underwhelming" so far. The research note says Apple planned an initial production run of 6-7 million units, but it's unclear how many have sold. Apple will soon release a wireless charging case for AirPods to be used with its upcoming AirPower charging mat. Beyond that, Bloomberg reported that Apple may release new AirPods with "Hey Siri" functionality as early as this year, and a subsequent pair with water resistance as early as next year. Barclays also believes Apple will release a new pair of AirPods in early 2019, but it's unclear if they are referring to the pair with "Hey Siri" functionality or the subsequent water-resistant ones. And for the HomePod, a relatively sketchy rumor out of China suggests Apple may release a smaller version of the speaker later this year for between $150 and $200 in the United States. No further details were provided. The research note corroborates Apple's widely rumored plans to launch a new iPhone X, a so-called iPhone X Plus, and a lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone X-like device with some design compromises such as an LCD instead of OLED display, 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB, a single-lens rear camera, and no 3D Touch. An excerpt from the research note, edited slightly for clarity:Looking ahead, we expect iPhone X production to cease entirely before this year's launches and now believe the 6.1" LCD model could be half or even more of the mix in the second half of 2018. The LCD version will likely be tiered between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X2 with cut down features; we expect it will have only 3GB RAM, a single rear camera, and lack 3D Touch, but still have the new form factor with Face ID. In terms of lower Bill of Materials, we note the LCD screen module costs less than half the cost of an OLED one. Further, we expect the iPhone X2 and a Plus-sized version to also be launched, likely with 4GB of RAM, and Intel to gain modem share this cycle. However, rear 3D-sensing doesn't happen until 2019 or later.The information about the new iPhones is entirely in line with research previously shared by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.Related Roundups: HomePod, AirPodsTag: BarclaysBuyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now), AirPods (Caution)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
MBLM this week published part of its Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, with the preliminary findings focusing on responses from millennials and other young age groups. MBLM surveyed 6,000 consumers and performed 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 total industries in the United States, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates in order to discover which brands had the deepest emotional connections with respondents. For millennials (typically individuals in their early twenties to late thirties as of 2018), Apple earned the top spot as the most intimate brand in the U.S. In second place was Disney, followed by YouTube, Target, and Amazon. The top four spots last year for millennials were Disney in first, followed by Amazon, Netflix, and then Apple, so the company has climbed and beaten out a few well-known brands this year. Image via PRNewsfoto/MBLM MBLM said it was "surprised and pleased" to see YouTube climbing the rankings this year. "We were surprised and pleased to see YouTube as an addition to the top three most intimate brands for millennials this year," stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. "We believe its rise is due to our culture's continued need for escape and the brand's immediate, diverse content, personalities and growing offerings in movies and live TV. YouTube is clearly an established ritual in the lives of many millennials today." A younger age group of individuals between 18 and 24 years old kept Apple as their most intimate brand, but listed Amazon in second, then YouTube, PlayStation, Starbucks, Nintendo, Google, Netflix, Coca Cola, and Walmart. This is just a snapshot of the larger Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, which MBLM said it will be sharing next week, on March 13. Since Apple has earned the top spot in two important age groups, it's expected for the company to sit at number one for the overall rankings. For the 2017 list, Apple was MBLM's "top-ranked brand overall" and earned high marks in various categories like "can't live without" and frequency of use.Tags: MBLM, Brand IntimacyDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Since Siri's introduction in the iPhone 4s in 2011, responses to Apple's AI assistant have often weighed towards the unfavorable side, most recently in several HomePod reviews that specified Siri as one of the biggest downsides of owning the speaker. This week, Siri creator, co-founder, and former board member Norman Winarsky added in his own commentary about the assistant's current state, saying that he didn't think this is where Siri would be at this point (via Quartz). In 2008 Siri began as spin-off of SRI International, where Winarsky was the President, and eventually launched as an app for iOS in February 2010. Two months later Apple acquired Siri, and just over a year after that introduced it within the iPhone 4s, shutting down the standalone app shortly thereafter. Seven years later, Winarsky said that Siri's capabilities have fallen short of his earlier predictions for where he thought the assistant, and Apple's development, would end up. Specifically, Winarsky's comments focus on what Siri's intention was "pre-Apple" versus where the assistant is today. According to the co-founder, Siri was originally meant to be incredibly intelligent in just a few key areas -- travel and entertainment -- and then "gradually extend to related areas" once it mastered each. Apple's acquisition pivoted Siri to an all-encompassing life assistant, and Winarsky said that this decision has likely led Apple to search "for a level of perfection they can't get." But part of it is also likely because Apple chose to take Siri in a very different direction than the one its founders envisioned. Pre-Apple, Winarsky said, Siri was intended to launch specifically as a travel and entertainment concierge. Were you to arrive at an airport to discover a cancelled flight, for example, Siri would already be searching for an alternate route home by the time you pulled your phone from your pocket—and if none was available, would have a hotel room ready to book. It would have a smaller remit, but it would learn it flawlessly, and then gradually extend to related areas. Apple launched Siri as an assistant that can help you in all areas of your life, a bigger challenge that will inevitably take longer to perfect, Winarsky said. [...] “These are hard problems and when you’re a company dealing with up to a billion people, the problems get harder yet,” Winarsky said. “They’re probably looking for a level of perfection they can’t get.” Last September, Apple VP of marketing Greg Joswiak commented on a few aspects of Siri's development, stating that Apple's aim from the beginning has been to make Siri a "get-s**t-done" machine. Joswiak did a series of interviews around the same time last September, after Siri leadership moved to Craig Federighi and before the assistant's six year birthday. In one, he discussed the claim that Siri development has been hindered by Apple's commitment to privacy, describing these reports as "a false narrative." The original Siri Assistant iOS app Winarsky didn't specifically comment on Apple's focus on privacy and how that could be a factor in Siri's development, but he did state that there's one simple factor absent from Siri today: "Surprise and delight is kind of missing right now."Tag: SiriDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Netflix is said to be in advanced negotiations with former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to produce a series of high-profile shows for the streaming service, with Apple said to be waiting in line if a deal between the two parties falls through. The New York Times reports that Netflix is offering to pay the Obamas to produce the exclusive content, according to people familiar with the discussions, although it's unclear how much is on the table given the couple's lack of experience in the media business. Image via Getty Images However, rather than use the shows to respond to President Trump or conservative critics, Obama is reportedly interested in treating them as a platform for topics that dominated his presidency, such as health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, and climate change.Another program could feature Mrs. Obama on topics, like nutrition, that she championed in the White House. The former president and first lady could also lend their brand — and their endorsement — to documentaries or fictional programming on Netflix that align with their beliefs and values. Several people familiar with the Netflix discussions said that executives from Apple and Amazon, which have their own streaming services, have also expressed interest in talking with Mr. Obama about content deals.The New York Times notes that Obama retains close ties to Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer. Sarandos is married to Nicole A. Avant, an activist who served as Obama's ambassador to the Bahamas. Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, was also close to Obama while he was president and an attendee at state dinners, according to the report. Apple has been comparatively slow at securing original content for its television offering, but the company now has at least 10 television shows in the early stages of development, including an untitled morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon and an "Amazing Stories" reboot from Steven Spielberg. Other shows on the tech giant's books include 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, and "Little America," an anthology series from "The Big Sick" creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Related Roundup: Apple TVTag: NetflixBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Samsung is unlikely to introduce an under-display fingerprint recognition feature in its 2018 flagship smartphone line-up, according to KGI Securities research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo had earlier predicted that the South Korean firm was planning to debut an under-screen fingerprint sensor in its Galaxy Note 9, due for release in the third quarter of this year, but Kuo now believes Samsung will cancel the feature because of technical issues. The following quote is taken from a KGI research note obtained by MacRumors and has been edited for clarity. While we previously predicted that Samsung's new flagship Galaxy Note 9, due out in 3Q18, will come equipped with an under-display fingerprint recognition function, we now believe Samsung will cancel this feature on Note 9 because both ultrasonic (provided by Qualcomm) and optical (provided by Samsung LSI, Goodix, Egis, and Synaptics) solutions cannot meet Samsung's technical requirements. According to Kuo's understanding of the technologies involved, under-display fingerprint solutions continue to have many technical issues surrounding the use of screen protectors as well as different environments affecting recognition rates and power consumption. Previous reports suggested Samsung decided not to include a fingerprint scanner under the display of the recently launched Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones due to similar technical difficulties. The fingerprint scanner remains positioned on the back of each device, just like the previous Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ models. However, despite the ongoing problems, KGI remains "positive" on the outlook for under-display recognition in OLED panels and sees Samsung leading the way in this regard, although he doesn't expect mass-market adoption of the technology until the first quarter of 2019 at the earliest. We recognize that under-display fingerprint recognition is key for full-screen designs, and we don't think that facial recognition can fully replace fingerprint recognition. For these reasons, we remain positive on this technology over the long term. Also, as under-display fingerprint recognition module has a unit price 4-6 times that of capacitive fingerprint recognition module (or higher), we think that once the former module goes into mass production, the contribution to suppliers' sales and profits will be significant.Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate Touch ID under the display on the iPhone X, or even on the side or back of the device, but Apple hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio has suggested it ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with the company's Face ID depth-sensing facial recognition. Indeed, Apple is said to be so confident in Face ID that it is expected to abandon Touch ID in favor of the TrueDepth system on all of its new iPhone and iPad models released in 2018. Notwithstanding Samsung's longer-term aims, Kuo believes the launch of iPhone X late last year has tilted general interest in the mobile industry away from under-display fingerprint recognition, and towards camera-based 3D sensing technologies as the ideal user authentication solution. Inquiries by Android smartphone vendors into 3D-sensing technologies are said to have at least tripled since Apple unveiled its TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology. Kuo went on to say he believes the next two to three years will see shipments of 3D sensor-equipped Android devices to exceed those with under-display fingerprint recognition by a factor of two or three or more. This will be mainly due to 3D-sensing's wider compatibility with LCD screens than under-display optical fingerprint recognition, which is exclusive to OLED panels. Related Roundups: iPhone X, 2018 iPhonesTags: Samsung, KGI Securities, Ming-Chi KuoBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Android customers continue to be loyal to the Android operating system than iOS users are to the iOS operating system, according to new data shared today by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Android saw a 91 percent loyalty rate in 2017, compared to 86 percent for iOS, with loyalty rates for the two operating systems remaining largely steady since early 2016. Android loyalty has hovered at 89 to 91 percent since January 2016, while iOS loyalty has been between 85 and 88 percent. Operating system loyalty for the year was measured by the percentage of customers that remained with each operating system when activating a new phone over the twelve months ending in December 2017. CIRP says its findings are based on quarterly surveys with a sample of 500 subjects each."Loyalty for both Android and iOS increased in 2015 and into 2016, when it leveled off for both operating systems," said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. "Loyalty is also as high as we've ever seen, really from 85-90% at any given point. With only two mobile operating systems at this point, it appears users now pick one, learn it, invest in apps and storage, and stick with it. Now, Apple and Google need to figure out how to sell products and services to these loyal customer bases."With the Android operating system, customers have access to a range of different smartphones that are all able to run Android, which may explain why it has a higher loyalty rate. Android devices are also typically more affordable than iOS devices, with a wider range of low-priced options available. As CIRP points out, with fewer and fewer first-time smartphone buyers available, poaching customers from competing operating systems is becoming increasingly important. Apple regularly aims to lure Android users to iOS through trade-in options, videos, a Move to iOS app to make transitioning simple, and a "Switch" website dedicated to explaining all of the reasons why the iPhone is better than competing smartphones."We know Android has a larger base of users than iOS, and because of that larger base, the absolute number of users that switch to iOS from Android is as large or larger than the absolute number of users that switch to Android from iOS. Looking at absolute number of users in this way tends to support claims that iOS gains more former Android users, than Android does former iOS users."These loyalty rates are not equivalent to switcher rates, where iOS wins out. With a larger Android customer base, more customers are switching over to iOS devices on a regular basis. During earnings calls, Apple CEO Tim Cook always touts the high number of Android switchers Apple sees, with each quarter setting a new record.Tags: CIRP, AndroidDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Galaxy S9 and S9+ reviews are officially out, and they're mostly positive. The consensus is that Samsung's latest smartphones are iterative but improved versions of its already-impressive Galaxy S8 devices. We've linked a handful of the reviews below for anyone interested, but since we're an Apple-centric website, we've chose to specifically highlight some comparisons made to Apple and the iPhone X in particular. Highlights The Wall Street Journal's David Pierce believes that Samsung and the Galaxy S9 once again "set the bar for smartphone design":Nobody makes better-looking phones than Samsung. Last year's Galaxy S8 was a particular gem of a device, glassy and stark with that "infinity display" stretching almost entirely across the front. It was thoughtfully designed on a level only Apple used to be able to achieve. As a result, it flew off shelves. So why change anything? Nine versions in, Samsung feels it has landed on the right design for its Galaxy S phones. A company spokeswoman compared Samsung's approach to the way a luxury car maker might build new models: Nip and tuck, but dont change what people already love.CNBC's Todd Haselton described the Galaxy S9 as "a worthy rival to the iPhone X" in his review. However, he said Samsung still lacks a Galaxy S smartphone that "pushes the boundaries a bit more" like the iPhone X.I don't normally compare Android phones with the iPhone because the product ecosystems are so different […] There's no question the Galaxy S9 is a worthy Android rival to the iPhone X, with a great screen, camera, wireless charging and more. If you're buying an Android phone and don't like Apple products for whatever reason, this is a safe bet.This brings up a larger point: Samsung's Galaxy S9 feels a lot like the move from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone 8. It's an upgrade, but not really a huge bump in a lot of ways. Samsung needs something in the Galaxy S range that pushes the boundaries a bit more, like the iPhone X does in Apple's lineup.Samsung finally included stereo speakers on the Galaxy S9, and Haselton believes they sound "noticeably better" than those on the iPhone X. The Verge's Dan Seifert said Samsung's new "AR Emoji" feature is "built just to compete with Apple" and "not very good":There are a couple issues with Samsung's AR Emoji. First, Samsung isn't using any special tech to capture your face or movements, it's just relying on the front or rear camera, so tracking is bad. Second, the characters it creates are on the wrong side of creepy, and everyone I've tested it with has been completely turned off with the results. The animal characters are similarly weird. It's definitely something that Samsung built just to compete with Apple, and it's not very good.Quartz's Mike Murphy said what irks him most about the iPhone X is that it can only be unlocked with Face ID or a passcode, whereas the Galaxy S9 has a fingerprint scanner, iris scanner, facial recognition, or a passcode. However, he adds that the Galaxy S9's iris scanner and facial recognition system are both slower than Face ID on the iPhone X.While it's nice that there are multiple ways to unlock the S9, the iris and face scanners aren't as quick as the iPhone X. The iris scanner requires you to hold the phone pretty much at eye level and takes a few moments to scan, whereas Apple's Face ID technology seems to work almost instantaneously, at a range of angles.Mashable's Raymond Wong touted the Galaxy S9 camera's variable aperture, but he said low-light photos aren't necessarily better than those shot with an iPhone X or Google Pixel 2. Most reviews agree it is a matter of personal preference.Yes, the camera is smart enough to identify the amount of light in a scene and switch to the suitable aperture, but the photos don't stomp all over the iPhone X's or Pixel 2's shots, even in low light scenarios. The iPhone X still takes the prize for color accuracy. The S9 camera still over-saturates and over-processes photos. And the Pixel 2 XL is still the sharpness and low-light champion.More ReviewsTechCrunch Wired Axios Android Police The New York Times The Independent The Next Web USA Today SlashGear TIME Gizmodo BuzzFeed News CNET Engadget Digital Trends Pocket-lint BGR TrustedReviews TechRadar PCWorld T3Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ can be pre-ordered on Samsung's website for $720 and $840 respectively. The smartphones launch March 16.Related Roundup: iPhone XTags: Samsung, reviews, Galaxy S9Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
California is preparing to join several other states with a new Right to Repair bill, which will require smartphone manufacturers to provide repair information, replacement parts, and diagnostic tools to product owners and independent repair shops. California Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman this afternoon announced plans to introduce the new California Right to Repair Act. Eggman says the bill will provide consumers with the freedom to choose a repair shop of their choice. iPhone X image via iFixit"The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence," Eggman said.Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste said smartphone manufacturers and home appliance makers are "profiting at the expense of our environment and our pocketbooks" while Kit Walsh, Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the new bill is "critical to protect independent repair shops and a competitive market for repair," which will lead to "better service and lower prices." In addition to California, 17 other states have already introduced similar Right to Repair legislation, including Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia. Several states began introducing Right to Repair legislation early last year, and the Right to Repair movement has continued on since then, spurred by Apple's iPhone throttling controversy. Since last year, Apple has been lobbying against Right to Repair bills in various states, as have several other technology companies. In Nebraska, for example, Apple said approving Right to Repair would turn the state into a "mecca for bad actors" making it "easy for hackers to relocate to Nebraska." Other arguments from tech companies and appliance manufacturers have suggested Right to Repair bills would compromise device security and safety. Right to Repair bills are heavily endorsed by repair outlets like iFixit, independent repair shops, and consumer advocacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In California specifically, the Right to Repair bill is particularly interesting because as Motherboard points out, there are strong repairability laws already in place. California Civil Code Section 1793.03 states that companies must offer parts for repair for at least seven years after a product is released, which is why on Apple's vintage and obsolete products list, it lists California as the sole state where consumers can continue to get repairs on vintage products. Apple currently requires customers who have Apple products in need of repair to visit an Apple retail store, mail a product to an Apple repair facility, or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to receive support for their devices. Repairs from third-party repair shops that are not Apple Authorized Service Providers can void a device's warranty. Apple's current flagship iPhone, the iPhone X, earned a repairability score of 6 from repair site iFixit. Repairs on the device require a special Apple-specific screw driver, delicate cables are often in the way and are difficult to replace, and Apple's waterproofing makes repairs complicated. Other Apple products, like MacBooks, have much lower repairability scores. Tag: Right to RepairDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
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. Wednesday, March 7 - Apple Watch soon available through UnitedHealthcare Motion: Apple Watch will be integrated into the wellness program, which provides participants with an eligible plan access to activity trackers that can enable them to earn up to $1,000 in incentives per year by meeting certain daily walking goals. Select program participants will have access to an Apple Watch starting in July, with full availability later this year. The cost of shipping and taxes on the Apple Watch is due upfront, and then participants can apply their earnings towards paying off the cost of the device in as little as six months.UnitedHealthcare Motion is available to employers with self-funded and fully insured health plans nationwide. The program enables employees to earn up to $4 per day in financial incentives based on achieving F.I.T. goals: Frequency: complete 500 steps within seven minutes six times per day, at least an hour apart; Intensity: complete 3,000 steps within 30 minutes; and Tenacity: complete 10,000 total steps each day.Commentary: UnitedHealthcare should benefit from offering this program in the long-run by encouraging its customers to live more active lifestyles, ideally resulting in fewer health insurance claims being filed. Similar programs are offered by life and health insurance providers John Hancock and Vitality. - Universal announces Jurassic World Alive: The augmented reality game enables players to collect a variety of dinosaurs while exploring their own neighborhoods and cities around the world. Players discover dinosaurs by locating them on a map and deploying an in-game drone to collect DNA samples. Commentary: Jurassic World Alive sounds a whole lot like Pokémon GO. The game is intended to promote the film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which debuts in theaters across North America on June 22. Pre-register here. - Ireland chooses Bank of New York Mellon to manage Apple's escrow fund: The European Commission ruled in August 2016 that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland, and ordered the country to collect 15 billion euros (currently $18.6 billion) in back taxes from the iPhone maker. Commentary: The Bank of New York Mellon will hold the funds while Apple and Ireland both appeal the decision before the European General Court. Apple expects the amount will be reported as restricted cash on its balance sheet. - Macintosh Portrait Display released on this day in 1989: The 15-inch display was released for $1,099 alongside the Macintosh IIcx. The grayscale monitor featured a vertical orientation designed to show full pages on a single screen, making it useful for desktop publishing. Commentary: Apple discontinued the Macintosh Portrait Display in late 1992, but tech specs are still available on its website for those who want to take a trip down memory lane. Nowadays, we wait for Apple to deliver on its promise of a new pro display to succeed the nearly seven year old Thunderbolt Display. 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

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Google today announced a new Android update, Android P, which introduces support for display notches built into Android devices that mimic the design of the iPhone X. According to Google, Android P offers support for "the latest edge-to-edge screens with display cutout for camera and speaker," with a new "DisplayCutout" class for outlining the size and shape of a notch on an Android device. Several new Android devices feature an edge-to-edge display with an included notch much like the iPhone X. The Leagoo S9, for example, is a $150 iPhone X clone that features slim side bezels and a front notch, with a design that looks very similar to the iPhone X. Leagoo S9 The recently announced Asus ZenFone 5 also adopts a design that uses a notch, and when it was unveiled, Asus bragged that its notch is 26 percent smaller than the notch on the iPhone X. Asus ZenFone 5 Other clone devices have surfaced from Chinese vendors, such as the Boway "Notch Series," and with official Android support for notch-style designs, we'll likely see more Android smartphones that aim to emulate the iPhone X. Even more well-known Android smartphone vendors are embracing the notch, with LG's upcoming G7 said to include a notched design. Renders of the upcoming LG G7 via Techno Buffalo Apple implemented a notched design in the iPhone X in an effort to maximize the available display area. The notch houses the TrueDepth camera system, which includes several components necessary for Face ID. Android companies copying Apple's design aren't using the notch in the same way, with currently available models offering fingerprint scanners rather than facial recognition. In addition to notch support, Android P includes several other notable new features, such as indoor positioning APIs, enhanced notifications, multi-camera support, HEIF image support, design tweaks and changes, restricted access to the mic, camera, and other hardware, and more. Android P is available for developers starting today, with a public release to come in the future following beta testing. Google is warning that Android P is in the early stages of development and should not be installed on a primary device.Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: AndroidBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In January, Voicebot.ai surveyed 1,057 Americans over the age of 18 regarding their ownership or interest in smart speakers, and today the researchers have published their final report with the results. While the data precedes Apple's entry into the market with HomePod in February, it does include a few points of data regarding iPhone/iOS users and their interest in smart speakers, prevalent long before rumblings about Apple's HomePod began. Specifically, the Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report states that iPhone owners are 22 percent more likely to own a smart speaker compared to non-Apple smartphone owners. Of the smart speakers on the market besides HomePod, iPhone users are 30 percent less likely to own a Google Home and favor devices like Amazon Echo. Graphs via Voicebot.ai In fact, Voicebot.ai argued that Apple and Amazon are likely companions in "multi-manufacturer households," where HomePod is purchased as a "luxury item for music listening" and Echo is used for more "utilitarian tasks." iOS users are attractive consumers and far more likely to own a smart speaker overall, but far less likely to own a Google device. However, the data also suggests that Google is at less risk of losing share to Apple HomePod than Amazon. Apple and Amazon may be the focus of multi-manufacturer households where HomePod is a luxury item for music listening in living spaces while Echo products get placed in the kitchen and bedrooms for utilitarian tasks. In addition, iPhone owners are a good fit for Amazon because they are far more likely to have made a purchase by voice and more likely the 30,000 Alexa skills offered to Echo users. The favoritism shown by Apple owners to Alexa devices may also appeal to developers. Historically, iPhone app users have been far more valuable to developers on a revenue basis than Android users. The report has many other interesting tidbits of information, stating that about 19.7 percent of adults in the United States use smart speakers, while 47.3 million have access to one of these devices. This means that they live in a home with a smart speaker, but may not be the primary owner -- a necessary distinction for the survey as smart speakers are "communal devices" used by entire households, unlike a smartphone with one user. Many consumers own an average of 1.8 smart speakers, most place them in their living room (45.9 percent of owners) or kitchen (41.4 percent), and Amazon remains the dominant player in the market with a 3.5 times larger install base than Google. All of this growth surprised many analysts, particularly compared to growth rates of other product categories. How does the march to nearly 50 million smart speaker consumers in 3 years compared to growth rates of other communications channels? Television took 13 years, the internet four years, and Facebook just two years. Smart speakers are devices but are growing almost as quickly as social media apps." Among the most popular use cases, questions, music, and weather commands remain at the top. In total, the researchers said that this data provides the best indication that smart speakers are "being incorporated into everyday lives of consumers," with 63 percent using them daily and 77 percent at least weekly. For those who don't own a smart speaker, 37.9 percent stated disinterest as their reason, 21.2 percent said they get enough similar features from their smartphone, 16 percent referenced privacy concerns, 11.8 percent said they plan to purchase soon, 8.8 percent claimed they were too expensive, and 4.2 referenced other reasons. For future owners, 9.8 percent expect to make a purchase in 2018, 26 percent of which said they will be purchasing Apple's HomePod.Related Roundup: HomePodTags: Amazon Echo, Google HomeBuyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's rumored iPad Pro with Face ID will likely be released in the second quarter of 2018, according to Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang. iPad Pro with Face ID mockups via Ben Geskin and Carlos Guerra If accurate, the timeframe suggests Apple will unveil the new iPad Pro models at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which will likely take place June 4-8 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Apple similarly unveiled its current iPad Pro lineup at WWDC last year. Zhang expects the revamped iPad Pro to have slimmer bezels and no home button, in line with the iPhone X. The revamped design will likely be featured on both the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, although his research note didn't specify. Apple's plans to release an iPad Pro with Face ID were first revealed by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said the refresh would occur in 2018. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman was a bit more specific, noting the iPad Pro with Face ID would debut "a little more than a year" after the current models. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro and second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro launched in June 2017, so it's not entirely clear if "a little more than a year" meant WWDC 2018 or Apple's annual September event where it introduces new iPhones. The new iPad Pro models will likely retain LCDs instead of OLED displays due to supply, cost, and technological constraints. It's unclear if the tablets will have a notch for the TrueDepth sensor housing, or if the device will have uniformly slim bezels on all four sides with enough room for the components. A supply chain report out of China recently claimed the new iPad Pro models will be faster thanks to an octa-core A11X Bionic chip with three high-performance "Monsoon" cores and five energy-efficient "Mistral" cores. There's no word on potential pricing yet, but the new iPad Pro lineup will likely cost more than the current 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models, which start at $649 and $799 respectively in the United States. Since the new models won't have OLED displays, however, the price increase might not be substantial. Apple is also rumored to release a new 9.7-inch iPad for $259 in March, while the fate of the iPad mini remains uncertain. Zhang also believes Apple may be planning to unveil a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone in the near future. Based on Apple's past (PRODUCT)RED devices, which included a (PRODUCT)RED version of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, it makes sense that a red iPhone and iPhone 8 Plus could be in the works. There's also a possibility Apple could be planning to unveil a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone X, but Zhang's predictions have been a little unclear on this point.Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone 8Tag: Rosenblatt SecuritiesBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Neutral), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral), iPhone 8 (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple will launch lower-priced versions of four products this year, including an iPad, iPhone, MacBook Air, and HomePod, according to a translated report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News via Japanese blog Mac Otakara. We've already heard rumors about more affordable iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air models, but this is the first word of a supposedly lower-priced HomePod being on Apple's roadmap. The speaker is forecast to launch in the second half of 2018 for between $150 and $200 in the United States. At $349, the current HomePod is considerably more expensive than the Amazon Echo and Google Home for $99 and $129 or less respectively. But the HomePod also has significantly better sound quality than its smart assistant rivals, in line with Apple positioning it as a high-quality speaker first and foremost. A lower-priced HomePod would certainly be more competitive with the Echo and Google Home, but it's unclear if that would come at the expense of audio quality. One possibility is that Apple will release a smaller HomePod mini that still delivers premium sound relative to other portable speakers in that category. Here's the full breakdown of the Economic Daily News report, based on what we could gather from a translated version: 9.7-inch iPad for $259: This lines up with a DigiTimes supply chain report from last December that said Apple is considering releasing a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad for $259 in the second quarter of 2018. The current 9.7-inch iPad was released in March 2017 for $349. 6.1-inch iPhone for $649 to $749: This lines up with a prediction from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who expects Apple to launch a mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID, but with some design compromises like an LCD rather than OLED display to achieve the lower price point. MacBook Air for $799 to $899: This lines up with another prediction from Kuo, who said Apple will launch a more affordable MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018. The estimated price range comes from WitsView researcher Yubin Qiu. The current MacBook Air starts at $999. HomePod for $150 to $200: Today's report cites industry sources who expect a more affordable HomePod to launch in the second half of 2018. It's hard to decipher details from the loosely translated report, but Mac Otakara's coverage seems to suggest it will be a smaller speaker.It's worth noting that these prices are estimates, as it's hard to envision Apple sharing pricing information with its supply chain partners. Of the four products, the new iPad and MacBook Air are most likely to debut first. Apple is rumored to unveil new devices later this month, but it's unclear if the announcements will be made via press release or at a media event. If there is a keynote planned, invites would certainly have to go out soon. The new 6.1-inch iPhone should debut in September alongside a new iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus, and the lower-priced HomePod could certainly be introduced at the same event. The current HomePod launched in early February.Related Roundups: MacBook Air, HomePodTag: udn.comBuyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Caution), HomePod (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The next-generation iPhone X will feature a smaller notch for the TrueDepth camera system, while future models released in 2019 or later will have no notch whatsoever, according to Korea's ET News. The report reiterates Apple's widely rumored plans to release three new iPhone models this year, including a second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed iPhone X Plus, and a mid-range 6.1-inch model with design tradeoffs like an LCD screen to achieve a lower price point. The interesting bit is that all three iPhone models are said to feature slimmer bezels and smaller notches, emphasis ours:Apple is planning to release two models with OLED display and a model with LCD display during this fall. It is heard that OLED models will be available in 5.85-inch display and 6.46-inch display while a LCD model will be available only in 6.04-inch model. All three of these models will have Face ID function and it is heard that there will be less bezel and smaller notch design.An unnamed industry source added that Apple has decided to remove the notch "from 2019 models," suggesting the third-generation iPhone X could be the first model with a truly full-screen design."Apple decided to get rid of notch design starting from 2019 models and is having discussions with relevant companies," said a representative for an industry. "It seems that Apple is planning to implement full-screen that is more complete to its new iPhones."The report claims each iPhone will have Face ID, but it's unclear how Apple would manage to fit the required TrueDepth sensors on the front of the devices without a notch. The report speculates that Apple could drill holes into the display itself, or use patented multi-layer Black Matrix technology. Barclays analysts have also predicted the trio of new iPhone models released in 2018 could have smaller notches. ET News previously said Apple was exploring ways to combine a face recognition module with a camera module. Apple removing the notch on the iPhone X is almost certainly its end goal, but as with any supply chain report, the timing of the move is uncertain.Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: etnews.comBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's newest iPhones can capture high-quality 60 FPS 4K video, but there are a lot of other factors that need to be taken into account to make excellent videos that can compete with what you can do with a traditional camera. Lighting, stabilization, settings, and composition are all elements that can make or break a video, and in our latest guide on YouTube, we're sharing a series of tips you can use to make your videos better than ever. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Without shelling out any cash, there are certain settings you can change to make sure you're getting the best quality video out of your iPhone. Open up the Settings app, choose the "Camera" section, and you can set your video recording quality. On iPhone X and iPhone 8, you can capture 4K video at 60 frames per second. On older iPhones like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, your options will be more limited, with 4K video topping out at 30 frames per second. You can also improve your videos with simple Auto Exposure and Auto Focus locking features, which will prevent abrupt changes while you're filming. After setting exposure with drag gestures on the iPhone's screen when using the Camera app, hold a finger on the focal point until the AE/AF lock banner pops up. You'll get even more control over settings using a third-party app like FiLMic Pro ($14.99), which lets you set parameters like exposure, white balance, color, aspect ratio, and focus while also giving you live tools for monitoring video and making adjustments. Lighting is a huge factor when it comes to video quality, so shooting outdoors in daylight or in a well-lit room will improve your videos immensely if you can't shell out for a lighting setup, and you can spice up your videos with iPhone camera capabilities like time lapse and slow motion. Stabilization is as important as lighting - brace your elbows or invest in a tripod or a handheld gimbal. If you're going to be taking a lot of video with your iPhone, you might want to check out something like the $130 DJI Osmo Mobile 2, which uses a gimbal to smooth out and counteract camera shake. It's not for everyone given its high price point, but it's worth the investment if you're aiming for quality video that's shake free. For a cheaper option, check out the Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod, which is just $24.95 (with an additional $9.95 for the mount). For a full rundown on all of our video tips, make sure to watch the video above, which, fittingly, was filmed entirely on an iPhone X. Did we leave anything out? Let us know your own tips and tricks for capturing better video in the comments.Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
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. Tuesday, March 6 Apple confirms it will stop accepting new iTunes LP album submissions at the end of March: Apple says existing LP albums will not be removed and will remain available to download via iTunes on Mac or PC. Commentary: iTunes LPs, introduced in 2009, are interactive albums with multimedia such as lyrics, liner notes, artist and band photos, performance videos, and more. A lot of this content can now be found in Apple Music, so it's no surprise that Apple is beginning to phase out this long-forgotten feature. Get up to six months of free Apple Music with the purchase of a new Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, or Ram: The offer is available between May 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019. CarPlay is a standard feature in all of those vehicle brands, while some models include built-in BeatsAudio speakers. Commentary: The six-month offer only applies to first-time Apple Music subscribers. If you've already taken advantage of Apple Music's standard three-month trial period, you'll only receive an additional three months of complimentary service. Volkswagen is also offering a similar deal in Europe. Microsoft begins accepting pre-orders of new Surface Pro with LTE Advanced: The new Surface Pro gains cellular connectivity, with support for 20 LTE bands, but it's otherwise the same as the previous generation. The tablet-notebook hybrid starts at $1,149, but only a higher-end $1,449 model is available currently. Commentary: While the Surface Pro isn't part of Apple's ecosystem, the tablet has received favorable reviews from The Verge and CNET, and some customers may prefer its versatility over the cellular-enabled iPad Pro. House near Apple Park smashes Sunnyvale real estate record: A two-bedroom, one-bathroom house in Sunnyvale, near Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, recently sold for $2 million in cash. At $2,358 per square foot, it's reportedly the highest price per square foot for a home in Sunnyvale ever. Commentary: Sunnyvale is situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, where companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook are headquartered. With these tech giants often offering six-figure salaries, it's no surprise that real estate prices continue to rise in the area. The previous record was $2,175 per square foot, according to the MLS. 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

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The Magical Bridge Foundation, which helps build playgrounds for children and adults with disabilities and special needs, this week announced that Apple will help fund the foundation's latest playground, located in Sunnyvale, California's Fair Oaks Park. Magical Bridge Foundation's playgrounds are located in select communities in the Bay Area, including Mountain View, Morgan Hill, Palo Alto, and Redwood City. Apple's contribution to the playground will come in the form of a $250,000 donation and mark the company as a sponsor of an "Innovation Zone" section of the park. Magical Bridge Foundation describes this area as "a dynamic space within the Sunnyvale playground for people of all ages and abilities to meet, learn, explore, create and build new and diverse relationships." Clockwise from top left: The Innovation Zone, Kindness Corner, Playhouse + Playstage, and Tot Zone Apple's sponsored Innovation Zone is said to lie "at the heart" of the new playground's leading edge concepts. Capturing the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley, the Innovation Zone provides unique and interactive play experiences utilizing technology, art and design that stimulates the full array of human senses in an entirely new way. “The dream to build magical spaces where people of all abilities can feel freedom of play has become a reality because companies like Apple and our other partners are so committed to this community, its residents and visitors,” Magical Bridge co-founder Olenka Villarreal said. “The joy is contagious. Magical Bridge Playgrounds are changing neighborhoods, cities, and soon, the country through truly inclusive play.” Magical Bridge Foundation is still collecting contributions for the playground, and if it raises its goal of $3.3 million it will begin construction on the Sunnyvale location in fall 2018, with a public opening aimed for 2020. Other tech companies have also announced sponsored areas in the playground, including LinkedIn's $150,000 sponsorship of the "Kindness Corner." Other play zones, like a Tot Zone, Spin Zone, and Playhouse + Playstage, are still available for sponsorship. Apple has long been a proponent of accessibility within its software and through the selling of hardware accessories in its online and retail stores. The company has annually celebrated events like Autism Acceptance Month and Accessibility Awareness Day, and in 2015 was honored as a recipient of a Helen Keller Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind for the company's accessibility efforts, particularly VoiceOver's ability to give vision-impaired users access to iOS devices.Tag: accessibilityDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple this evening uploaded a new "Welcome Home" HomePod video to its YouTube channel, which was directed by well-known filmmaker Spike Jonze. The four minute spot stars singer and dancer FKA Twigs and is set to a new song from Anderson .Paak called "Til It's Over." In the video, FKA Twigs arrives home after a long day and asks HomePod to play something she'd like, which she starts to dance to in a magical realism-style scene. This is Apple's first longer-form HomePod ad. The company previously shared a series of short 15-second HomePod videos featuring the word "HomePod" animated in various ways, each set to a different song. Apple plans to feature the four minute "Welcome Home" video online, while a shorter cut will be played on television. Apple's HomePod has been available for purchase since early February, and it's received largely positive reviews when it comes to sound quality, but reactions to Siri have not been quite as favorable. The HomePod can be purchased from Apple's website for $349.Related Roundup: HomePodBuyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
iPhone users who haven't upgraded to the iPhone X were recently queried on why they've held out on purchasing a new phone, with the majority citing reasons like high price and a lack of compelling features. A survey conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson and shared by Philip Elmer-DeWitt this morning asked 1,500 people who own an iPhone but didn't upgrade to the iPhone X to explain their reasoning. 44 percent of respondents said they hadn't upgraded because their iPhone works fine, suggesting there were no standout features compelling them to purchase a new device, while 31 percent said the iPhone X was too expensive at a starting price of $999. Eight percent of respondents said the iPhone X's screen isn't large enough, while 17 percent had another reason entirely. Piper Jaffray believes the iPhones coming in 2018 will address most of these issues, with Apple rumored to be planning to introduce three devices. One will be a followup to the iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED display, a second will have a larger 6.5-inch OLED display, and a third will feature a 6.1-inch LCD display with a lower price tag. All upcoming 2018 iPhones are rumored to feature an edge-to-edge display with no bezels and a TrueDepth camera system for Face ID, along with other improvements like a faster A12 processor. Piper Jaffray believes Apple will sell 233.8M iPhones in fiscal 2019, with the 2018 iPhones set to drive ongoing upgrades well into next year.Related Roundups: iPhone X, 2018 iPhonesBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
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 5 - Xiaomi plans to enter U.S. market within a year: "We've always been considering entering the U.S. market," Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun said at the sidelines of China's annual legislative session in Beijing, according to the WSJ. "We plan to start entering the market by end 2018, or by early 2019." Commentary: Xiaomi was the world's fifth-largest smartphone maker in 2017, with an estimated 92.4 million shipments, according to research firm IDC. To be successful in the United States, where Apple and Samsung reign supreme, the Chinese company will need a sales agreement with a big carrier like AT&T. - Ritual launches Apple Pay promotion: Today through March 16, any customer who orders with the Ritual app and pays with Apple Pay will have access to exclusive daily deals at 1,300 restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston, and Toronto. Commentary: Ritual is a mobile app for ordering and paying ahead of time at participating restaurants and coffee shops, enabling customers to skip the line and pick up their food instantly upon arrival. - iPhone X supplier Finisar gives tour of its Texas facility: "We are trying to make this the VCSEL capital of the world," said Finisar Vice President Curt Barratt, referring to the small town of Sherman, Texas. Commentary: VCSELs, or vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, are part of the TrueDepth camera system that enables Face ID on the iPhone X. In December, Apple announced it had awarded Finisar $390 million to expand its research and development and production capacity. - Apple Park: Transcript of 911 calls about injuries from walking into glass: Following reports of some Apple employees walking into glass doors at the company's new headquarters, The San Francisco Chronicle obtained transcripts of 911 calls about related injuries via a public records request. Commentary: Many people have accidentally walked into a door or two at some point. Hopefully the employees are okay. Apple is reportedly adding stickers to the glass doors to make them more visible. 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: Xiaomi, Quick Takes, RItual, FinisarDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
MoviePass, the app that allows you to watch a movie in theaters each day for the low price of $10 per month, is unsurprisingly planning to use your location data to make money. As TechCrunch points out, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe recently told an audience at a Hollywood event that MoviePass is collecting and monetizing through location information. "We get an enormous amount of information. We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards," said Lowe. MoviePass, which is owned by a data analytics firm, has made no secret of the fact that it plans to use data generated from subscribers to make money. "There are dozens and dozens of businesses like ours that invest in building a large subscriber base," Lowe told Recode in early February. "Netflix buys $8 billion of content a year, and believe me, they have to borrow the money to do it. Or companies like Facebook -- it's free, but they're monetizing all the advertising and all the data about you. That's exactly what we are [doing]." While MoviePass has been transparent about how it plans to make money, most people are likely not aware of the extent of the data the company collects. As TechCrunch says, it's likely users assumed MoviePass would collect data like ticket sales, movie choice, promotions, and more, rather than detailed location data that tracks your movement before and after seeing a film. MoviePass's privacy policy says that the app requires access to location when selecting a theater, and that it makes a single request for location coordinates. There's no mention of ongoing tracking, so it's not clear if this is something the MoviePass app is doing on the sly, if such tracking has yet to be implemented, or if the CEO's comments were exaggeratory.MoviePass(R) requires access to your location when selecting a theater. This is a single request for your location coordinates (longitude, latitude, and radius) and will only be used as a means to develop, improve and personalize the service. MoviePass(R) takes information security very seriously and uses reasonable administrative, technical, physical and managerial measures to protect your location details from unauthorized access. Location coordinate data is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology into password-protected databases.iOS users who are concerned about MoviePass collecting excessive data can restrict access to their location on the device level. To do so, open the Settings app, navigate to Privacy, and then choose Location Services. From there, select MoviePass. You can opt to change your location setting to "Never," "While Using the App," and "Always." You'll probably want to leave it on "While Using the App," as location information is required when making a ticket purchase. Alternatively, you can toggle "Never" on and off whenever you use the MoviePass app for further security. MoviePass charges $9.95 per month (or $7.95 if you pay for an annual subscription) and allows customers to see a 2D movie each day. MoviePass provides customers with a debit card that's loaded with money to make ticket purchases, so it works at more than 90 percent of theaters across the United States. With ticket prices that often exceed $10 in certain areas for a single movie, MoviePass is a solid deal, if you don't mind sacrificing your privacy for cheaper movies. As of January 2018, MoviePass had 1.5 million subscribers. The MoviePass app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]Tag: MoviePassDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.3 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the third beta and two 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. iBooks has also had the "i" removed from its name, so it's just "Books" now, and the App Store 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

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Accessory company Mophie has applied to the Wireless Power Consortium for an accessory it calls the "Juice Pack Air for iPhone X." Spotted by Mac Otakara [Google Translate] in the WPC's Qi Certified Product Database, Mophie was granted a certification for the accessory today, March 5, suggesting the iPhone X accessory could be announced in the near future and then be available to purchase sometime later this year. While there are already iPhone X battery cases on the market, Mophie's accessory is the first to be Qi-certified by the WPC. This certification program encourages manufacturers to submit verification that their products comply with the latest Qi specifications, and subsequently allows customers more peace of mind when purchasing products, knowing that they will support devices like the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus. Image of Juice Pack Air for iPhone X via Wireless Power Consortium The Juice Pack Air for iPhone X is described as a "form fitting case for the iPhone X," with a 1,720 mAh battery that provides "an additional 9 hours of talk time." Comparatively, the Juice Pack Air for iPhone 7 has a 2,525 mAh battery and the iPhone 7 Plus accessory has a 2,420 mAh battery. In the sole image posted to the Wireless Power Consortium's product details page (seen to the left in the above image), the accessory appears in black. Mophie sells similar Juice Pack Air products for other iPhones in up to five colors, like Navy and Rose Gold, so other colors could be coming as well. Like those products, Mophie's Juice Pack Air for iPhone X would let users charge up the battery inside the case, and when their iPhone X begins to die, they could flip a switch and begin fueling up the iPhone while on the go. The Juice Pack line is compatible with Mophie's "Charge Force" ecosystem, so it can be placed on accessories like the Charge Force Desk Mount or any other Qi-enabled mat. Mophie's Juice Pack Air for iPhone X (left) compared to iPhone 7 (right) Mophie currently sells Juice Pack accessories for the iPhone 7/7 Plus, 6s/6s Plus, 6/6 Plus, SE, 5s, and 5, as well as a few other Android devices, typically priced at around $100. The only wireless charging accessories it has listed on the iPhone X's page are the Wireless Charging Base (also sold on Apple.com), the Charge Force Wireless Charging Base, and Charge Force Powerstation.Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: MophieBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
As reported last month, Apple is said to be developing its own brand of high-end, over-ear wireless headphones with an "all-new" design. The new headphones are expected to debut in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and today Bloomberg weighed in to corroborate that rumor, along with an additional detail regarding Apple's plans for the cans. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on noise-canceling, over-ear headphones that rival headsets from market leaders like Bose and even the company's own Beats by Dre brand, according to people familiar with the product's development. The company plans to launch the headphones as early as the end of this year, but has faced development challenges that might push back the release, the people said.Kuo's earlier report specified Apple's plan was to target the high-end market, but the focus on active noise-cancelation (ANC) features puts a new angle on the company's intentions. Apple acquired Beats Music and Beats Electronics in 2014, and only five months ago, Beats launched its Studio3 wireless over-ear headphones featuring Apple's W1 Bluetooth pairing chip – first used in AirPods – and Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling technology. Apart from blocking out ambient noise, Pure ANC also evaluates fit and adjusts for leakage caused by hair, glasses, different ear shapes and head movement. Whether Apple's own-brand ANC headphones will adopt the same set of technologies as Beats Studio3 cans remains unclear, although Bloomberg's sources indicate Apple plans to include similar wireless pairing functionality to the AirPods. The paper's sources also claim work on the headphones has been "on-and-off over the past year" and that it's still possible Apple will redesign the headphones again before launch – or even scrap the project altogether. Another detail that remains unclear is pricing. Beats, Bose, and Sony charge $350 for their high-end wireless ANC headphones, while Sennheiser prices can run all the way up to $500. Should Apple take the same pricing strategy as it did with HomePod, which is at least $100 higher than the closest rival product from Sonos, then customers can expect the rumored headphones to be a top-tier premium audio accessory with a price tag to match. Along with over-ear headphones, Apple is also reportedly working on several upgrades to its wireless AirPods with a new version of the popular headphones set for release as soon as this year.Tags: Bloomberg, AirPodsDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research report encouraging investors to keep their eyes on three products for 2018: the rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, AirPods, and a "more affordable MacBook Air." The first two in that list have been widely discussed in recent weeks and months, but this is the first we've heard about an update to the MacBook Air. We expect Apple (US) to roll out the new MacBook Air with a lower price tag in 2Q18. We forecast total shipments of MacBook models will grow 10-15% YoY in 2018 (vs. 0-5% YoY decline for the NB industry), up from 15.5-16mn units in 2017. While Quanta, Radiant, Catcher and SZS are likely to benefit from strong shipments momentum, SZS also stands to benefit from increased market share and a higher ASP.Kuo doesn't offer any details on what to expect in an updated MacBook Air beyond a lower price tag, but the current models are certainly outdated as they haven't had any substantial updates in three years. Since that time, Apple has cut back on available models including a complete discontinuation of the 11-inch model. The only recent upgrade to the 13-inch model has been a bump to the base processor option last June, but it's still a Broadwell chip from the 2014–15 timeframe. Aside from obvious internal upgrades like processors and graphics, another area that could see improvement is the display, as the MacBook Air currently offers a 1440 x 900 non-Retina display. We'll likely also see some USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 upgrades and perhaps an overall redesign given the age of the current design. Kuo's claim of a second-quarter introduction points to the April–June timeframe, which could mean an announcement at WWDC in June, and we'll likely hear more rumors as the time gets closer. In a separate report, Kuo predicts that AirPods and the rumored high-end over-ear headphones are the future of Apple's artificial intelligence and augmented reality ambitions. Kuo believes that compared to HomePod, Apple's headphones offer more opportunities for reaching users quickly, personalization, and complementing rumored augmented reality glasses. Kuo is extremely optimistic about AirPods demand going forward, but less enthusiastic about HomePod given "mediocre" demand so far.Related Roundups: MacBook Air, Apple VR Project, HomePod, AirPodsTag: Ming-Chi KuoBuyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Caution), HomePod (Buy Now), AirPods (Caution)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...