posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's widely rumored 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID may use the same MLCD+ display technology as LG's new G7 ThinQ smartphone, according to a BusinessKorea report today spotted by the blog Patently Apple. BusinessKorea:According to the smartphone industry on May 9, Apple is expected to load its next 6.1-inch iPhone model with an MLCD+ display which LG used in its G7 ThinQ smartphone. The MLCD+ display realizes a bright screen with less power consumption than the IPS LCD display.Whereas a traditional LCD screen has three sub-pixels, forming a red, blue, and green stripe, MLCD+ screens have a fourth white sub-pixel that allows for increased brightness. LG's G7 ThinQ has a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, for example, compared to between 625 nits and 804 nits on the iPhone X. Like the OLED display on the iPhone X, MLCD+ screens can also display 100 percent of the wide DCI-P3 color gamut for improved color accuracy, all while consuming less power than a traditional IPS-based LCD panel. Rumors suggest the 6.1-inch iPhone will essentially be a lower-priced iPhone X, achieved through some cost-cutting design compromises, including the lack of an OLED display. Based on this report, however, it sounds like the device could still have a better display than the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The 6.1-inch iPhone will also have an aluminum frame rather than stainless steel, a single-lens rear camera, and may lack 3D Touch, according to former KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He predicted the device will be unveiled later this year with a starting price of between $700 and $800 in the United States.Related Roundup: 2018 iPhonesTag: businesskorea.co.krDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Google yesterday introduced the newest version of Android, Android P, at its Google I/O developer conference held in Mountain View, California. Android P includes a few enticing features like a new Dashboard for monitoring usage and an adaptive battery feature for improving battery life, but what was of interest to iPhone users was the new gesture system. Android P adopts a new gesture-based system interface that's reminiscent of the interface of the iPhone X, so we decided to download the Android P beta to check it out for ourselves. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For years, Android has used a navigation system that focuses on three buttons: home, back, and multitasking. That's gone in Android P, having been replaced with a small oblong button at the bottom of the display that will be familiar to iPhone X users. Swiping up on the button brings up a card-like interface with an app overview that includes a search bar, your recently used apps, and five predicted apps, while a longer swipe (or a second swipe) brings up the All Apps screen where you can access all of the apps installed on an Android device. As on the iPhone X, you can use the swipe up gesture from anywhere in the Android operating system, regardless of which app is being used, while a tap goes to the Home screen. A left or right swipe, meanwhile, initiates a "Quick Scrub" gesture that lets you swap between your recently used apps. The iPhone X's gesture system is intuitive and easy to use, so it's no surprise that Google opted to introduce a similar design, and it's the natural evolution for controlling a smartphone without traditional buttons. In addition to adopting a swipe-based interface, Android P has some other neat features, a few of which we may see in some form in iOS 12. A new Android Dashboard, for example, is designed to tell you how much time you're spending on your device and in apps in the name of digital health, something that Apple is also expected to focus on this year. A new Do Not Disturb feature called "Shush" automatically silences Android devices when placed facedown, while a Wind Down option lets Android users set a specific bed time that enables Do Not Disturb and turns the entire phone's interface gray to discourage further use at night. Google is also introducing a new Adaptive Battery feature that maximizes battery power by prioritizing the apps you're most likely to use next, while a new Auto Brightness feature modifies screen brightness based on your own personal preferences. Some of these features haven't been enabled just yet on all Android devices that are eligible for the beta, but they should be coming soon. What do you think of the new Android P operating system? Are there features here you would like to see Apple enable in iOS? Let us know in the comments.Tags: Google, AndroidDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning to offer subscriptions to select streaming TV and video services through its dedicated TV app that's available on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, reports Bloomberg. The TV app already aggregates television and movie content from a range of different providers into one easy-to-access place, so offering subscriptions is a natural evolution of Apple's efforts to simplify and improve the television watching experience. Right now, while you can access content from hundreds of apps and cable providers, many require a premium subscription that must be obtained directly from the provider. Services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, Netflix, and more, for example, all require subscriptions, which must be purchased from within a third-party app or website. Apple is going to offer the TV app subscription options as an alternative to requiring customers to subscribe to various video services from multiple apps and content providers. It will streamline content acquisition for customers, but it will also bolster the company's rapidly growing services business. Apple is said to be planning to introduce the new subscription feature "in the next year." There's no word on how Apple's own original programming efforts will factor in to the subscription service. Apple has more than a dozen television shows in the works, and at the current time, it's still unclear whether Apple is building a dedicated service for the content or if it will debut on iTunes or Apple Music.Related Roundup: Apple TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
iPhone users who have been waiting to take advantage of Apple's discounted battery replacement offer may be in luck. Apple has confirmed that "service inventory of all iPhone replacement batteries is now available without delay," in an internal memo distributed to Apple Stores and its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers on April 27. The document was obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. What this means is that Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers can now order iPhone replacement batteries from Apple and receive them without facing extended shipping delays, but that doesn't necessarily mean that every Apple Store or authorized repair shop will have supply available right away. The information that Apple shared in this internal memo likely applies worldwide, but as with any supply-demand situation, availability of replacement batteries will likely vary by Apple Store and region. Apple's support website still notes that the replacement process may take up to five business days. Apple previously said that replacement batteries for select iPhone models may be in short supply until late March or early April, and that certainly proved to be the case, as some but not all customers to date have been required to wait up to several weeks for their iPhones to be serviced and returned. In fact, an anonymous tipster claiming to be a Genius Bar employee, recently told MacRumors that Apple hired third-party contractors, or reassigned existing AppleCare employees in some cases, to help clear the backlog of iPhone battery replacements at some of its stores. This information is unconfirmed. Apple lowered its battery replacement fee to $29 in the United States in late December for the iPhone 6 and newer, as part of an apology over its lack of transparency about slowing down some older iPhone models to prevent unexpected shutdowns. The discount varies in other countries and is available until the end of 2018. Apple has since released iOS 11.3 with a new feature that enables users to track their iPhone battery's health and performance status. The software update also automatically disables all performance management features that might have been enabled until another unexpected shutdown occurs. To initiate a replacement, read our guide on how to get an iPhone's battery replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. More details about what led to this point can be read in our FAQ.Tag: iPhone SlowdownDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's design chief Jony Ive, who is responsible for overseeing the creation and design language of almost all of Apple's products, even down to its stores and campuses, recently sat down for an interview with Benjamin Clymer, the founder of watch-focused site Hodinkee. Ive shared details on the creation process behind the Apple Watch, some of Apple's inspiration for the device, and the experts the company consulted with, along with background on the first watches he purchased, Apple's focus on health, what he finds inspiring, and more. Ive's first watch of note was an Omega Speedmaster, which he says he bought in 1992 on a trip to Kowloon. Ive says he was "utterly seduced" by its use in space exploration. "Somehow it epitomizes the optimism, ambition, and courage of invention," he said. Ive said he also admires the Nautilus by Patek Philippe, which he describes as a "bizarre, bizarre object." According to Ive, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had no particular interest in watches, and so early discussions for the watch didn't take place until 2012, a few months after Jobs passed away. The death, said Ive, caused Apple to "think about where we wanted to go" and what trajectory Apple was on as a company. Apple was also exploring its contribution to its users. "I think, incontrovertibly, that Apple since the 1970s has made difficult-to-comprehend and inaccessible technology easy to understand and accessible." The Apple Watch, with its focus on the personal, was the next logical step in device development, and its creation was different from many of the products that came before it because there were existing references. "Normally there are no parallel products from which to learn," said Ive. Given the historical context of the watch, though, Apple did something "highly unusual" and consulted a range of experts. Ive says Apple asked seven experts for their assistance with the Apple Watch while it was still in development, and he provided details to Hodinkee. Apple consulted Will Andrewes (a horologist with 40 years of expertise), Jonathan Betts (Curator Emeritus at the Royal Observatory), Dominique Fléchon (a specialist in antiquarian horology), Grégory Gardinetti (Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie historian), Claudia Hammond (a writer and psychology lecturer), David Rooney (Keeper of Technologies and Engineering at the London Science Museum), and Chris Lintott (an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford). Marc Newson, who Ive said is his best friend, was also involved in the Apple Watch's development as he had designed several watches in the past. Apple wasn't aiming to solve a particular problem with the Apple Watch, according to Ive. It was more so a "matter of optimization - of opportunity." In the vein of "opportunity" Ive also alluded to future Apple Watch development and how much more impressive the idea of opportunity is to him because he knows the technology Apple has in development.You can look at Apple Watch in terms of trade docs - what it does, etcetera - or you can look at what would be possible if you knew that you had this much technology with you at all times. Many of us have our phones with us all the time, but they aren't connected to you. Imagine having something this powerful with you at all times, and what opportunities that might present to the user. That the opportunity is phenomenal. Particularly when [you] don't understand just where we are today in terms of technology and capability, but where we are headed.Despite the early input from horological experts and the storied history of the watch, Ive says there were no homages in the Apple Watch. "Everything served a purpose," said Ive. "Everything we did was in the pursuit of what we thought was the best solution." Ive used the digital crown as an example, which he said "took a modicum of courage" to implement with Apple's typical disposition towards "direct manipulation." According to Ive, one of Apple's aims with the Apple Watch was to "broaden how relevant we were," which is why the company explored new materials like the gold and ceramic that's been used for higher-end Edition watches. Ive says that working in gold and ceramic was "purposeful" for expanding "who Apple is" and from a materials science perspective as it will help with the development of future products. Health-based capabilities were "an early and significant focus" of the Apple Watch, and Ive says that feedback from customers who have had health benefits from the Apple Watch has been hugely motivating. In fact, he says that he finds customer feedback much more motivating than Apple's new position as the largest watchmaker by revenue.I am honestly far more motivated by hearing from one customer who believes that the Watch has materially improved his or her life. It's a privilege to work on products that people develop an affection for and that become an important and positive part of their daily lives.The full Ive interview, which goes into much greater depth on many topics surrounding Apple Watch development, can be read over at Hodinkee.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Tag: Jony IveBuyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has applied to participate in a new pilot program that would allow the company to operate drones in ways that are typically restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States, according to Reuters. DJI Mavic Air The report states that the U.S. Department of Transportation will announce 10 winning state or local government bodies for inclusion in the program today, and each has partnered with companies who will play a role in the tests. At least 200 companies are said to be vying to be part of the program. The initiative, introduced by the U.S. government last year, will allow for a larger range of testing, including flying drones at night, over people, and beyond an operator's line of sight, within the United States. The list of winners, which appears to have been determined, is said to include companies that plan to test drones for delivering packages, environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, pipeline oversight, and for various uses at airports, but it's unclear what Apple's intentions will be if selected. Back in December 2016, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple planned to use drones to improve Apple Maps. The company itself does not sell any drones, aside from those made by other companies like DJI and Propel.Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Yet another Unicode bug has been discovered that is capable of crashing apps and operating systems, ranging from WhatsApp on Android to iMessage on iOS. We won't share the exact string, to prevent it from spreading further, but it includes black dot (⚫️) and pointing left (👈) emojis and other characters. In general, whenever this type of bug occurs, the issue can be resolved by deleting the conversation containing the problematic message. The following steps work on iPhone 6s and newer, excluding the iPhone SE:Force close the iMessage app. Ask Siri to send a reply to the sender of the message so that the Unicode string is no longer the most recent bubble in the conversation. 3D Touch on the Messages app icon from the home screen and tap New Message in the menu that pops open. Tap on Cancel in the top-right corner of the New Message screen. Tap on Edit in the top-left corner of the conversation list. Tap the circle to the left of the conversation containing the problematic message. A blue checkmark will appear. Tap on Delete in the bottom-right corner.If you have an iPhone with Siri but not 3D Touch, ranging from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone SE, the steps are slightly different:Force close the iMessage app. Ask Siri to send a reply to the sender of the message as many times as necessary until the bubble containing the Unicode string is bumped off the visible part of the conversation. Open the Messages app. Tap on the back arrow in the top-left corner to return to the conversation list. Tap on Edit in the top-left corner of the conversation list. Tap the circle to the left of the conversation containing the problematic message. A blue checkmark will appear. Tap on Delete in the bottom-right corner.It may also be possible to delete the problematic message on another device running the iOS 11.4 or macOS 10.13.5 betas via Messages on iCloud. While this latest Unicode bug was discovered last week, it is only now beginning to receive widespread attention in the Apple community, after it was highlighted on a few popular YouTube channels. We've elected not to provide any links, but the specific string is easily Google-able for those interested. The bug affects both iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.4 beta, and likely other software versions, platforms, and devices. Apple has yet to issue a fix, but it likely will soon given the attention. Those who have yet to be affected, at their own risk, do have the option of simply waiting for the software updates to be released.Tags: iMessage, UnicodeDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
At its Google I/O event taking place in Mountain View, California this morning, Google showed off features that are coming in Android P, a new version of Android that's set to launch this fall. Google is focusing on three parameters for Android P: Simplicity, Intelligence, and Digital Wellbeing. Android P has a new gesture-focused interface, which is similar to the interface that Apple introduced for the iPhone X. "The new design makes Android multitasking more approachable and easier to understand," said Android Engineering VP Dave Burke on stage, after explaining that Google has been working on it for more than a year. Android P does away with the standard three button home, back, and multitasking lineup that's been available on Android devices for the last several years. Instead, As with the iPhone X, there's a little oblong navigation button at the bottom of the screen that enables several gestures like swiping up to access a card-like interface that displays a search bar and recently used apps. A single upwards swipe goes straight into the app overview, which includes a list of recently used apps as well as a search bar and five predicted apps at the bottom of the display. You can swipe through the apps to go forwards and back through them. A second swipe up on the button icon opens up an All Apps screen where all of the apps installed on the device are located for quick access. "Architecturally, what we've done is combine the all apps and overview spaces into one," said Burke. A walkthrough of the interface is available at 2:26:00 As might be familiar to iPhone X users, the swipe up gesture works from anywhere in the Android phone, no matter which app is being used, while a tap brings you to the Home screen. Swiping left or right in a "Quick Scrub" gesture lets you swap between your recently used apps, something taken directly from iOS. All of these gestures look and feel a lot like the swipe-based gestures that are used on the iPhone X to do things like access the Home screen and switch between apps. Google is focusing on digital health tools in Android P, which is something Apple is also expected to feature in iOS 12. There's a new Android Dashboard that's designed to let you know how much time you're spending on your phone and within individual apps to maximize for meaningful engagement. The feature will let you set time limits on apps, and after a set amount of time is spent in a given app, the app's icon will be grayed out for the rest of the day to discourage you from continuing to use it. Google is also introducing Do Not Disturb features to silence calls, notifications, text messages, and other alerts. Do Not Disturb can be enabled automatically through a new "Shush" feature that will activate whenever an Android smartphone is turned face down. This automatic activation silences all incoming alerts with the exception of starred contacts so you can still be reached by key contacts in the event of an emergency. A new Wind Down mode is designed to help Android users prepare for bed. You can set a specific bed time, and when that time rolls around, Do Not Disturb will be enabled and the phone's entire interface will turn gray to discourage people from continuing to use their devices. In addition to these features, Google is also introducing Adaptive Battery and Auto Brightness options based on personal preferences. With Adaptive Battery, an Android-enabled device predicts the apps that you'll use in the next few hours and expends battery life only on what you're going to use, restricting it from other apps. Google says testers have seen a 30 percent improvement in battery life. As for auto brightness, it will adjust the brightness of an Android device based on personal preference. It learns how you like your brightness settings in given places and at certain times of day and it sets it for you. App actions are being added to predict what users want to do in an app next, offering up shortcuts (another iOS-like feature) to help users do tasks like make a phone call or send a message more quickly. Google is also introducing "Slices," a new developer API that will let "slices" of an app be rendered into various parts of the UI. Search will be the first implementation. So when a user searches for an app like Lyft, the search results will include a slice that displays the price for the ride and allows a Lyft to be ordered without having to enter the app. Google also announced a new ML Kit feature that's similar to Apple's recently announced CoreML machine learning API. ML Kit will let developers access APIs for barcode scanning, landmark detection, smart replies, text recognition, face recognition, image labeling, and more. Developers will also be able to tap into Google's cloud-based machine learning technologies with several ready-to-use models available. ML Kit is cross-platform and available for both iOS and Android apps. Dozens of other features are coming to Android P, like simplified volume controls, improved notifications, better screenshots, and more, which will be outlined by Google over the rest of the week. Android P is available in a beta capacity starting today on the Google Pixel and several other flagship devices from various companies.Tags: Google, AndroidDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Google today hosted its annual I/O conference designed for developers, where the company had several new announcements to share related to AI, Google Assistant, and machine learning. Google announced the launch of its next-generation machine learning chip, the TPU 3.0, which is powering many AI improvements to Google products using machine learning techniques. Gmail, for example, is gaining a new smart compose feature that will suggest full phrases for you as you type. Pressing the tab key will insert the suggested phrase, cutting down on the amount of typing that you need to do in Gmail. In the next couple of months, Google Photos will get Suggested Actions, offering contextual functions for you to act on. For example, if you have a photo with a friend in it, Google Photos will suggest sending the photo to the friend. If a photo is underexposed, Google will suggest a fix that can be initiated with one tap. It can also do things like remove the background color from an image, or colorize a black and white photo. Multiple improvements are coming to Google Assistant, Google's version of Siri. Google Assistant is gaining six new voices, including John Legend's Voice, and there have been improvements to the assistant's understanding of the social dynamics of conversations. Continued conversations will be supported in the coming weeks, which means you won't need to say the Ok Google activation phrase for every request. Instead, you can say it once and then follow up a request with additional questions that Google Assistant will be able to understand. As of today, Google Assistant will be able to respond to questions that include two requests at once, and later this year, parents will have the option of turning on a "Pretty Please" feature that's designed to teach children manners by offering positive reinforcement for polite conversations that include please and thank you. Google has been working with companies like Starbucks, DoorDash, Domino's, and other restaurants for Google Assistant integration, and Google Assistant will also be added to Google Maps for navigation purposes this summer. Google also plans to roll out its visual assistant, which works hand in hand with Google Assistant to offer up information, on iOS and Android later this year. Google also unveiled a new Google Duplex feature, which lets Google Assistant make actual phone calls to businesses to do things like schedule appointments and make reservations. In a demo on stage, for example, Google Assistant called a real salon and made an appointment in a natural-sounding conversation. This feature is rolling out later in the year, but Google will add it on a small scale in the coming weeks. Google Assistant will be able to call businesses for holiday hours, using that information to update information in Google search for all users. Google unveiled a revamped Google News app with personalized news suggestions, "Newscasts" that offer up news previews from multiple sources, a "Subscribe with Google" option that lets you access paid content from subscription news sites, and several other new features. It's rolling out on Android and iOS devices next week. Other new features include Morse code support for the Gboard keyboard with text output and solutions for Accessibility purposes, an Android Dashboard for digital well-being that will let Android users know how much time they're spending on the phone and which apps they're using most, and warnings on YouTube that will tell users to take a break.Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The iOS 11.4 update, currently being beta tested, includes a USB Restricted Mode that introduces a week-long expiration date on access to the Lightning port on your iOS devices if your phone hasn't been unlocked, which has implications for law enforcement tools like the GrayKey box. USB Restricted Mode was outlined this morning by Elcomsoft after testing confirmed that the feature has indeed been enabled. In Elcomsoft's experience, after an iPhone or iPad has been updated to iOS 11.4, if it hasn't been unlocked or connected to a paired computer in the last 7 days using a passcode, the Lightning port is useless for data access and limited to charging.At this point, it is still unclear whether the USB port is blocked if the device has not been unlocked with a passcode for 7 consecutive days; if the device has not been unlocked at all (password or biometrics); or if the device has not been unlocked or connected to a trusted USB device or computer. In our test, we were able to confirm the USB lock after the device has been left idle for 7 days. During this period, we have not tried to unlock the device with Touch ID or connect it to a paired USB device. What we do know, however, is that after the 7 days the Lightning port is only good for charging.With a time limit on the Lightning port, it seems law enforcement officials and bad actors who have physical access to a device will have one week from the time that it was last unlocked to attempt to access it through unlocking tools like the GrayKey, which uses the Lightning port to install software to crack the passcode of an iOS device. USB Restricted Mode won't prevent tools like the GrayKey box from being used on an iPhone, but it does suggest that the passcode needs to be discovered within a matter of days, severely limiting the amount of time that law enforcement officials have to get into a device. In developer documentation, Apple says the new mode is meant to bolster security on the iPhone and iPad: "To improve security, for a locked iOS device to communicate with USB accessories you must connect an accessory via Lightning connector to the device while unlocked - or enter your device passcode while connected - at least once a week." Apple is pairing the new USB Restricted Mode with several other security features that have been introduced through iOS 11 updates. Early iOS 11 updates introduced expiration dates for local backup techniques used to access iOS devices, while iOS 11.3 introduced further limits, cutting down access to just one week. GrayKey iPhone unlocking box, via MalwareBytes Companies like GrayShift that provide iPhone unlocking tools to law enforcement agencies keep their methods highly secretive to prevent Apple from discovering and patching the exploits being used for access, but USB Restricted Mode and restricted access to local backups introduce clever mitigations that allow Apple to limit these tools even if the specific vulnerabilities haven't yet been addressed. USB Restricted Mode was actually first introduced in the iOS 11.3 beta, but it didn't make it into the iOS 11.3 release, so its presence in the iOS 11.4 beta does not guarantee that it will be included when iOS 11.4 launches to the public. 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: iOS 11Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's upcoming 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, one of the three smartphones planned for 2018, will be about "the same size" as the iPhone 8 Plus, according to a "reliable supplier source" cited by Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The site says the 6.5-inch device could be 0.2mm thicker than the iPhone 8 Plus due to the rear camera design, however, which will include a vertical dual-lens camera. The iPhone 8 Plus measures in at 7.5mm thick, while the iPhone X, which the new 6.5-inch iPhone will be modeled after, measures in at 7.7mm. A mockup of the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, via Mac Otakara When it comes to dimensions, the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus is 6.24 inches long and 3.07 inches wide, but on that device, there are sizable bezels at the top and bottom. On the 6.5-inch iPhone, which can be thought of as a sort of "iPhone X Plus," there will be slimmer bezels and no Home button, with the display spanning from edge-to-edge. As for the next-generation 5.8-inch OLED device that will follow the iPhone X, Mac Otakara says it will use the same body as the current iPhone X, but it will feature a larger rear camera lens attributable to a bigger camera sensor. Rumors have suggested that the third device Apple plans on introducing, a lower-cost iPhone with an LCD display, will measure in at 6.1 inches, but Mac Otakara believes it could instead be a bit smaller at six inches. It will feature Face ID, but it may only have a single rear camera like the iPhone 8, compared to the dual-lens setup expected for Apple's two more expensive OLED devices. Former KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said to expect a single rear camera. In addition to predicting features for Apple's 2018 iPhones, Mac Otakara's report suggests that iOS 12, the software that will run on both the new devices and existing devices, will feature improvements to Face ID. Face ID in iOS 12 will reportedly allow users to unlock a device when it is held at a horizontal angle, rather than limiting unlocking via Face ID to the vertical orientation. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says the horizontal Face ID support is designed for the upcoming iPad Pro models that are expected to incorporate Face ID and the TrueDepth Camera system. It's also likely that the horizontal support being added for the iPads will also work on iPhones. More information on what to expect in iOS 12, which will be unveiled in just under a month, can be found in our iOS 12 roundup. Additional details on what to expect in the iPhones coming in 2018, likely in the September timeframe, can be found in our 2018 iPhones roundup.Related Roundups: 2018 iPhones, iOS 12Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
One of Apple's biggest competitors in the laptop space is arguably Microsoft, with its line of portable, productivity-focused Surface Book machines. Microsoft in November released its newest product, the Surface Book 2, a 2-in-1 PC that has quite a few selling points to entice Apple customers. In our latest YouTube video, we took a look at the 15-inch Surface Book 2 and compared it to the 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro across a number of categories including build quality and design, key features, and overall usage experience for someone in the Apple ecosystem. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Both the Surface Book 2 and Apple's most recent MacBook Pro models are powerful machines with some of the latest technology in processor and graphics cards, so modern apps, games, and other software features run well on either device. The Surface Book 2 and the MacBook Pro are both well-built with attractive, eye-catching designs, but there are some major differences here. While the MacBook Pro is a traditional laptop with a display and attached keyboard, the Surface Book 2 is a 2-in-1 with a touch display that can be converted into a tablet. Because of its 2-in-1 design, the Surface Book 2 has an usual hinged design that lets the display be folded backwards or disconnected from the keyboard entirely for use in a tablet mode. The MacBook Pro, meanwhile, has no touch screen and it is a unibody machine. Microsoft's Surface Book 2 has a wealth of ports that are missing from the MacBook Pro, which only offers 4 USB-C ports. The Surface Book 2 has an SD card slot, a USB-C port, and two USB-A ports, something that Apple users unhappy with the MacBook Pro port situation will appreciate. The Surface Book 2 may have a 3240 x 2160 touch screen display, but it has some faults compared to the MacBook Pro's 2880 x 1800 display. It's nowhere near as bright, and it's also not quite as crisp. As for the trackpad, the MacBook Pro wins out because of its large trackpad equipped with haptic feedback and support for multiple gestures. Trackpad is one area where PC laptops often lag behind Apple, and the Surface Book 2 is no exception. When it comes to the keyboard, the Surface Book 2 has a softer keyboard that's not quite as clicky and solid as the keyboard of the MacBook Pro, but as we well know, the keyboard redesign on the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models has been receiving a lot of attention lately for reliability issues and its seemingly frequent failures, so the Surface Book 2 may have the edge here. The aforementioned 2-in-1 tablet option for the Surface Book 2 is something Apple just can't compete with. You can press a key on the Surface Book 2's keyboard and pull the display right out of the keyboard to use it as a standalone touch-based tablet with the Surface Pen and the Surface Dial, both of which are ideal for creative tasks. There are no input devices like a Surface Pen available for the MacBook Pro, and the main feature that it can boast over the Surface Book 2 is the Touch Bar, something that arguably does not get as much use as a 2-in-1 design. The Surface Book 2 has a lot of perks that aren't available on Apple's MacBook Pro, but choosing to adopt the machine over an Apple device is still going to be difficult for those enmeshed in the Apple ecosystem. There's a lot of integration between macOS and iOS, and features like Continuity, Handoff, and iCloud will be missed if you're used to Apple devices. Certain software, like Final Cut Pro, is also limited to Apple's machines. So which one is better? As with a lot of devices that are similar in specs, it's tough to say. It largely comes down to preference - do you want to use macOS or Windows? Most people in the Apple ecosystem likely won't want to give up macOS/iOS perks for the Surface Book 2's feature set, but those who don't use a lot of crossover functionality won't miss macOS as much. If you're not tied to a specific operating system and don't mind mixing devices across different platforms, Microsoft's Surface Book 2 is absolutely worth considering as a powerful, capable machine that offers functionality you can't get in a MacBook Pro. Would you switch from an Apple machine to the Surface Book 2? Let us know in the comments.Related Roundup: MacBook ProTags: Microsoft, Surface BookBuyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Don't Buy)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Despite positive first quarter results for 2018, Intel faces continuing issues with its foundries, both with the oft-delayed 10nm, as well as its own modem production in 14nm. Intel revealed in the earnings conference call that volume 10nm manufacturing had been delayed to 2019, without specifying which part of the year. The debut of Intel's 10nm process has been a particular sore spot, with the forthcoming Whiskey Lake set to be the fifth new architecture debut in the 14nm process. Prior to 14nm, Intel had maintained a two architecture, "tick-tock" strategy for its processors, where a new foundry node denoted a small architecture update over the previous processor as a "tick," and a more significant architectural evolution as a "tock" on a matured process. We first reported on the demise of the tick-tock strategy in 2016. Things have only grown worse for Intel since then as 10nm has faced further delays. To put this delay in perspective, Intel's original roadmaps had 10nm technology debuting in 2015. There are several reasons for the delay, but Intel CEO Brian Krzanich explained that some features in Intel's 10nm process require up to five or six multi-pattern steps, whereas other competing foundries are known for up to four steps in 10nm or 7nm processes. This development has consequences for Intel, its customers, and its competitors. First, Intel has lost the technology advantage it once held over the rest of the semiconductor industry. While you cannot compare the dimension in the node name directly across foundries, competitors such as TSMC, Samsung, and Global Foundries have largely reached parity with Intel's 10nm on 7nm processes, with transistor densities besting Intel's own at 10nm. Intel used the transistor density metric to combat the marketing furor that the node names created, but it seems to have lost those bragging rights as well. More importantly, Intel's competitors are starting to enter volume manufacturing of competing 7nm nodes. While the technology leadership was only important to Intel before as an enabler for superior products, its relatively recent opening of fabs to outside customers has lost some of its luster as a result of these developments. In the earnings call, Intel also acknowledged that it expects to cede marketshare to rival AMD, as its rival has enjoyed recent success thanks to the debut of new CPU architectures such as Zen that have begun to close the performance gap with Intel's own CPUs. AMD is expected to make significant gains in the server space thanks to recent developments, and after spinning off its own foundry into Global Foundries, has been using a mixture of the former in-house foundry and TSMC. AMD is expected to debut consumer products on the 7nm node in 2019. The impact to Apple is fewer processor updates for its Mac product line with meager performance improvements between successive generations. Apple famously abandoned PowerPC for its stagnation and performance gap to Intel's x86 offerings, and now the situation seems poised to repeat itself with the persistent rumors that Apple could use its own processors for the Mac line of products. Apple's iPhone and iPad products are affected as well, as the company's increasing reliance on Intel modems is held back by Intel's troubles in producing modems at volume on its own 14nm process. Intel's modems, the product of its acquisition of Infineon, had been fabricated on TSMC's processes as had been originally designed until recently. The XMM 7560, Intel's gigabit class modem with CDMA support, will be fabricated on its own 14nm process and is widely expected to be featured in Apple's next mobile products. Intel also has ambitions to enter the fray for RF and analog design wins, and recently disclosed details on its 22FFL process, a combination of the 22nm, 14nm, and 10nm product lines aimed at lower cost and power solutions, as well as analog and RF. However, notably absent from this disclosure is an announcement of any design wins. Intel's RF transceivers, such as the SMARTi 7 RF transceiver that is paired with the XMM 7560 modem, would have been a prime candidate for a process such as this. The lack of such an announcement suggests it remains fabricated at a foundry with an established RF/analog process history -- most likely TSMC. Finally, Intel may be facing another CPU vulnerability disclosure, with Anandtech reporting via c't magazine, that more vulnerabilities are currently being researched in the security community, and Intel has issued its own statement on data security seemingly in anticipation of this disclosure. The magnitude of the exploits appears to be on the scale of the original Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, and Intel is already preparing patches for the newly identified exploits, according to c't. These vulnerabilities are expected to affect ARM and AMD as well, as at least one of the original Spectre and Meltdown exploits did, but Intel arguably faces the most scrutiny given its high profile position of market leadership.Tag: IntelDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta and more than a month after releasing the macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 update. The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 beta can be downloaded through Apple Developer Center or the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed. macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 introduces support for Messages on iCloud, a feature that was previously present in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 betas before being pulled ahead of the release of the update. Messages on iCloud is also available in iOS 11.4. The Messages on iCloud feature is designed to store your iMessages in iCloud for improved syncing. Right now, incoming iMessages are sent to all devices where you're signed into your Apple ID, but it's not true cloud-based syncing because your old messages don't show up on new devices nor does deleting a message remove it from all of your devices, both features enabled through Messages on iCloud. Messages on iCloud also allows your older iMessages and attachments to be stored in iCloud rather than on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, saving valuable storage space. The update also likely includes bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, but as Apple does not provide detailed release notes for macOS High Sierra beta updates, we may not know exactly what's included until the new software is provided to the public. No major outward-facing changes were found in the first three betas of macOS High Sierra 10.13.5, but we'll update this post should any new features be found in the fourth. The previous update, macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, brought support for external graphics processors (eGPUs) along with Business Chat in Messages and several other bug fixes and smaller feature improvements.Related Roundup: macOS High SierraDiscuss 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 11.4 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta and over a month after releasing iOS 11.3, a major update that introduced several new features. Registered developers can download the new iOS 11.4 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. The iOS 11.4 update introduces a new ClassKit framework for educational institutions, which supports new features announced at Apple's March 27 education-focused event. For regular users, the iOS 11.4 update adds features that were originally present in the iOS 11.3 beta but removed ahead of release. It includes support for Messages on iCloud, designed to store your iMessages in iCloud rather than on each individual device, allowing for improved syncing capabilities. Currently, incoming iMessages are sent to all devices where you're signed in to your Apple ID, but there is no true cross-device syncing. Messages on iCloud will allow you to download all of your iMessages on new devices, and a message deleted on one device will remove it on all devices. Older messages and attachments are also stored in iCloud rather than on-device, saving valuable storage space. The iOS 11.4 update also includes AirPlay 2 features, with the Apple TV once again available in the Home app. With AirPlay 2, the same audio content can be played in multiple rooms on devices that support AirPlay 2. AirPlay 2 includes a feature that lets you ask Siri on one device to play content on another AirPlay 2-enabled device. So, for example, you can ask Siri on iPhone to play content on your Apple TV in another room if you're running the iOS 11.4 and tvOS 11.4 betas. There were initially signs of support for HomePod stereo sound in the first iOS 11.4 beta, a long-promised feature, but stereo sound didn't work properly and the mention was removed in the second beta. It's not clear if it will return for the update's release. For the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, there is a new (PRODUCT)RED wallpaper available, which is not available on iPhone X. iOS 11.3, the previous update to iOS 11, introduced a new Battery Health feature for monitoring the status of your iPhone's battery, Business Chat for iMessage, which lets you communicate with companies directly in the Messages app, ARKit 1.5 with augmented reality improvements, new Animoji on iPhone X, Health Records from participating medical providers, and more.Related Roundup: iOS 11Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's stock price has established a new all-time high, as shares exchanged hands for slightly above $187 in intraday trading today. Apple's stock price has been steadily increasing for over a week, driven by the company's successful earnings report on May 1 and Berkshire Hathaway buying 75 million additional Apple shares in the first three months of 2018. North American stock markets have also been rallying in general since Friday. Berkshire Hathaway now holds 240.3 million shares in Apple, worth over $44 billion at the stock's current price, and the holding company's billionaire CEO Warren Buffett continues to praise the company with bullish comments. "I clearly like Apple… we bought about five percent of the company. I'd love to own 100 percent of it," he quipped, in an interview with CNBC. "We like very much the economics of their activities, and we like very much the management and the way they think, and the way they act," he added. Buffett on his Apple stake: We currently own about 5% of the company, "but I'd love to own 100% of it" https://t.co/9SiIuaXfCo pic.twitter.com/A3zsAQfpPu— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) May 7, 2018 Buffett was only joking about his intention of owning 100 percent of Apple shares, which wouldn't be possible due to financial and regulatory considerations, but the comment is a testament to his confidence in the iPhone maker. Buffett wasn't the only billionaire to offer praise, as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Apple is an "amazing company" in an interview with CNBC, at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting. "The top tech companies do have a very strong profit position right now but Apple has the most of all." Apple now has a market cap fluctuating around the $915 billion mark, as it inches closer to becoming the world's only trillion dollar publicly traded company. Amazon is second closest to that milestone, with a market cap around the $775 billion mark, followed by Microsoft and Google's parent company Alphabet. In a research note following Apple's earnings results last week, Apple-focused analyst Brian White said Apple remains "one of the most underappreciated stocks in the world with a valuation that remains depressed." "After the Apple supply chain came crashing down over the past couple of weeks and the market quickly cast an ominous dark cloud over Apple's stock, the company delivered strong second quarter results last night and a solid outlook," wrote White, in a note obtained by MacRumors. "Moreover, Apple minted a new $100 billion stock repurchase program and hiked its dividend by 16 percent." Looking ahead, Apple's guidance of between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion in revenue in the third quarter of its 2018 fiscal year would be an all-time high for that period. Its current record for the quarter is $49.6 billion in 2015.Tag: AAPLDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is likely to launch at least one new iPhone model with a triple-lens rear camera in the second half of next year, according to the Taipei Times, citing a research note from Yuanta Securities analyst Jeff Pu. A triple-lens iPhone X mockup by Martin Hajek via iDrop News The report does not provide any additional details, but a Chinese report from the Economic Daily News last month suggested the camera system will have a 6P lens design with up to 5x zoom and at least one 12-megapixel lens. The addition of a third lens would likely enable 3x optical zoom on an iPhone for the first time, enabling users to magnify the image in the viewfinder by up to 3x without a blurry reduction in quality like digital zoom. iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models feature 2x optical zoom for comparison. A triple-lens rear camera would likely be a feature reserved for Apple's highest-end iPhones, so if accurate, this rumor probably applies to a third-generation iPhone X and/or iPhone X Plus launching around September 2019. Huawei P20 Pro Huawei's new P20 Pro smartphone is the first with a triple-lens rear camera system, including a 40-megapixel lens, a 20-megapixel monochrome lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. The Verge's Vlad Savov said he prefers the P20 Pro's camera over those on the iPhone X and Galaxy S9. For anyone hoping this might be a 2018 move instead, former KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously ruled out any significant changes occurring to the iPhone X's current dual-lens rear camera system this year.Tag: 2019 iPhonesDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the late Steve Jobs introducing the iMac, in what has become a defining moment in Apple's storied history. Apple CEO Tim Cook commemorated the occasion on Twitter today. 20 years ago today, Steve introduced the world to iMac. It set Apple on a new course and forever changed the way people look at computers. pic.twitter.com/GbKno7YBHl— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 6, 2018 "This is iMac," said Jobs, who had returned to the helm of Apple as interim CEO just eight months prior. A large crowd erupted with applause at the Flint Center, the same theater where Jobs unveiled the original Macintosh in 1984. The excitement centered upon the fact that the iMac didn't look anything like other desktop PCs of the time. This wasn't a typical boxy monitor-and-tower in dull beige. This was an all-in-one machine with curvy, translucent plastic, first in bondi blue, and later in several other colors of the rainbow. Jobs was as charismatic as always on stage:This is iMac. The whole thing is translucent. You can see into it. It's so cool. We've got stereo speakers on the front. We've got infrared right up here. We've got the CD-ROM drive right in the middle. We've got dual stereo headphone jacks. We've got the coolest mouse on the planet right here. All of the connectors are inside one beautiful little door here—the Ethernet, the USB stuff. Around the back, we've got a really great handle here. The back of this thing looks better than the front of the other guys, by the way.iMac was all about getting everyday people connected to the internet. In fact, the letter I in iMac stood for internet, according to Ken Segall, the creative director who came up with the name for the computer. It also stood for individual, instruct, inform, and inspire, according to Apple's presentation. More importantly, the iMac was a turning point for Apple, a company that had lost its direction by the mid-1990s. Apple was hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, had a bloated product lineup with over a dozen Macintosh models, and seemed to lack a clear direction forward. That is, until Jobs stepped in. Jobs aimed to simplify Apple's product lineup with a four-quadrant product matrix, with one desktop computer and one portable computer for consumers and professionals respectively. iMac filled the consumer-desktop quadrant. Jobs in Apple's press release for the iMac:We designed iMac to deliver the things consumers care about most—the excitement of the Internet and the simplicity of the Mac. iMac is next year's computer for $1299; not last year's computer for $999. Today we brought romance and innovation back into the industry. iMac reminds everyone of what Apple stands for.The original iMac pioneered many industry firsts such as USB, FireWire, and quiet fan-less operation, and while the removal of the floppy drive and legacy ports was controversial, the computer ultimately pushed the industry forward. The original iMac's tech specs:PowerPC G3 processor clocked at 233MHz 15-inch display with 1,024×768 resolution Two USB ports and Ethernet with a built-in software modem 4GB hard drive 32MB of RAM, expandable to 128MB 24x CD-ROM drive Built-in stereo speakers with SRS sound Apple-designed USB keyboard and mouse Mac OS 8.1The strategy was effective, as the iMac kickstarted Apple's return to profitability, just months after it flirted with potential bankruptcy. iMac sales topped 278,000 units in the first six weeks, and in October 1998, Apple reported earnings of $106 million in its fourth quarter, contributing to its first profitable year since 1995. The success of the iMac was due in part to a significant marketing campaign developed by ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. The ads, both in print and video form, focused on the iMac's design and the simplicity of both setting it up and connecting to the internet. A few of the spots featured actor Jeff Goldblum. A sampling of taglines from the campaign:Yum. Sorry, no beige. Chic. Not geek. High-technicolor. No artificial colors. The rebirth of cool. The most colorful way to the Internet. Family vehicles for the information superhighway. The thrill of surfing. The agony of choosing a color. The most dramatically new Macintosh since the original.In the two decades since, the iMac has undergone several revisions, keeping up with rapid technological advancements. Over those years, Apple's attention to both design and function hasn't wavered. In 2002, the iMac received its first significant redesign, with a thin flat-panel display affixed to a white semicircular base with a cantilevered metal arm. In 2004, Apple integrated the main logic board, optical drive, and other components behind the display, allowing for a thinner aluminum stand. iMac in 2002 on left and in 2007 on right In 2007, Apple ditched white plastic and gave the iMac an aluminum enclosure backed by black plastic. A model with a complete aluminum unibody enclosure was released in 2012. In the years since, the computer has been slimmed down a few times and upgraded with 4K and 5K resolution Retina displays. It is 1998, though, that will always be remembered as the year Apple started a new chapter of success. Happy birthday to the iMac.Related Roundup: iMacBuyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has several major iPad-focused features planned for next year's iOS 13 update, codenamed "Yukon," according to information shared by Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman on Twitter. Apple is said to be working on a revamped Files app, in-app tabs similar to the tabs that are available in macOS apps, support for using the same app side-by-side in Split View multitasking mode, and unspecified improvements to Apple Pencil. Some of this information was previously shared by Gurman in reports on Bloomberg, but details such as a revamped Files app are new. Gurman also previously said that some features originally planned for iOS 12 will be pushed back to iOS 13 to allow Apple to work on bug fixes and performance improvements. These features include a redesigned Home screen (which will include changes on the iPad) and a revamped Photos app. Somewhat. iOS 13 “Yukon” will have a big iPad-focused feature upgrade as well, including an updated Files app. some other things in the works are tabs in apps like in MacOS, same app side by side, Apple Pencil stuff. The home screen redesign is iPad focused.— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) May 4, 2018 iOS 11, the current version of iOS, was also an iPad-focused update, introducing the Files app, a revamped iPad dock, a new App Switcher, Drag and Drop support, new Apple Pencil features like Instant Markup and Instant Notes, a redesigned QuickType keyboard, and more. iOS 12, coming this year, will offer fewer new features than Apple had originally planned, but Gurman believes Apple will introduce at least one major change that also affects macOS 10.14 - support for cross-platform apps. Apple is said to be working to implement features that would allow apps designed for the iPhone and the iPad to run on the Mac, but there has been some disagreement over when this feature will debut. Daring Fireball's John Gruber says Apple will not introduce this functionality until iOS 13 and macOS 10.15, so it is unclear if it will indeed be coming in iOS 12. Gurman does, however, often share accurate information on Apple's software updates ahead of their release. Other features planned for iOS 12 include additional Animoji characters, a new Animoji interface and Animojis on iPad, FaceTime support for Animoji, updated parental controls with a new Digital Health tool to allow parents to better monitor screen time, a revamped Stocks app, an enhanced version of Do Not Disturb, and support for multiplayer augmented reality games. Apple will unveil iOS 12, macOS 10.14, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5 at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference that kicks off on Monday, June 4. The first day will include a keynote event where Apple will share all of the new features coming in the software updates, and following the keynote, developers will be provided with access to the software to begin to prepare their apps ahead of a fall public launch.Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPad, iOS 12Buyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Caution), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral), iPad (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that its new MBUX infotainment system will feature support for wireless CarPlay in future vehicles. The all-new 2019 A-Class will be Mercedes-Benz's first vehicle equipped with the MBUX system when it goes on sale later this year, according to a spokesperson for the automaker's parent company Daimler in Germany. Wireless CarPlay will expand to other new Mercedes-Benz vehicles in 2019, the spokesperson told MacRumors. The automaker previously announced that the 2019 A-Class will be available in a sedan model in the United States, while a hatchback version will also be sold in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and select other regions. The spokesperson said wireless CarPlay will be available in all of those markets. A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz in the United States declined to comment on MBUX's wireless capabilities until midsummer. It's still early, so it's possible the company's exact vehicle and market rollout of wireless CarPlay could change. Barring announcements from other automakers, Mercedes-Benz will likely become the second to offer vehicles with wireless CarPlay functionality, after BMW rolled out the feature starting with its 2017 5 Series a few years ago. Apple first introduced wireless CarPlay in 2015 alongside iOS 9. Alpine Electronics also offers an aftermarket infotainment system with wireless CarPlay for self-installations in other vehicles. Every other automaker that offers CarPlay currently uses a wired implementation that requires connecting the iPhone to the system with a Lightning to USB cable. The platform is available in well over 300 vehicle models, and it's generally considered to be a highly desired feature with strong customer satisfaction.Related Roundup: CarPlayTag: Mercedes-BenzDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Following its acquisition by Apple, Texture this week announced plans to shutter its Texture magazine subscription app for Windows users at the end of June. As noted by The Verge, Texture recently sent out emails to its users letting them know that the Windows service will be discontinued on June 30th, and the company also added a notice to its website. Texture says the Windows app, which has not been updated in some time, is being shut down to "keep things working smoothly." The discontinuation of the app may have been on the horizon regardless of the acquisition by Apple based on its infrequent updates and poor reviews.Texture is an all-access pass to the world's best magazines. To keep things working smoothly, older versions of the app sometimes need to be retired. After June 30th, 2018, the Texture Windows app will no longer be available. Your Texture subscription will continue to be available on compatible phones or tablets running iOS or Android and on Fire HD tablets along with ongoing access to all the magazines you have selected as your favorites.Windows users who are losing access to Texture through the Windows platform will be able to continue to access Texture using smartphones and tablets running iOS or Android, but there will no longer be a way to read Texture magazines on a Windows PC. Apple first announced plans to acquire Texture in mid-March. At the time, Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue said Apple was "committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users." For those unfamiliar with the service, Texture offers subscribers unlimited access to more than 200 digital magazines for $9.99 per month. Available titles include major magazines like Cosmopolitan, People, Better Homes and Gardens, Time, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Condé Nast Traveler, Allure, Billboard, Town & Country, ELLE, Good Housekeeping, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Vogue, and more. Rumors have suggested Apple plans to use its Texture acquisition to launch an upgraded Apple News app with a subscription-based news service that would include Texture's magazine subscription options. The news subscription option, which would be similar to Apple Music but for news and magazines, would provide a boost to Apple's growing services category.Tags: Apple acquisition, TextureDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has acknowledged a microphone issue affecting a limited number of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.3 or later. In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple said affected customers may experience a grayed-out speaker button during phone calls. The issue may also prevent affected customers from being heard during phone calls or FaceTime video chats. Apple Authorized Service Providers have been instructed to first ask customers to disconnect or power off any Bluetooth headsets or other audio accessories connected to their iPhone to see if that alleviates the problem. If the speaker button remains grayed out during a call, the service providers have been instructed to run audio diagnostics. Affected devices will display a "device could not detect dock" or "accessory not supported" alert in the diagnostic pane, in which case the service provider can initiate a repair for the iPhone. If an affected iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus is no longer covered by warranty, Apple says its service providers can request an exception for this particular issue. Apple's document does not specify if the repairs will be completed free of charge, but it seems likely given the circumstances. While this does not appear to be a widespread problem, there are have been some complaints about microphone issues on iOS 11.3 scattered across MacRumors, Reddit, Twitter, and the Apple Support Communities in recent months. It's unclear why iOS 11.3 and subsequent software versions are unintentionally disabling microphones on some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus units. Apple mentions that some of the devices may require a repair, suggesting the software update could somehow be causing a hardware defect, but information is lacking. Affected customers can schedule an appointment with an Apple Authorized Service Provider or with the Genius Bar at an Apple Store via the Contact Apple Support page: iPhone → Repairs & Physical Damage → Unable to Hear Through Receiver or Speakers → Built-in Speaker → Bring In For Repair. Apple has not confirmed this issue publicly, but MacRumors has verified the document's authenticity with a reliable source. However, outside of our control, some Apple employees may be unaware of or deny the information. In that event, we recommend escalating your case to a senior AppleCare advisor if possible. MacRumors has reached out to Apple for clarity on this issue. If and when we hear back, we'll update this article. Relevant: Apple's support document titled Get help with the microphones on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touchRelated Roundup: iOS 11Tag: AASPDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
iPhone X was the world's most popular smartphone for the second consecutive quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Strategy Analytics estimates that iPhone X shipments totaled 16 million units in the first three months of 2018, making it the best-selling smartphone model during that period, as it was during the final three months of 2017. "For the second quarter running, the iPhone X remains the world's most popular smartphone model overall, due to a blend of good design, sophisticated camera, extensive apps, and widespread retail presence for the device," said Juha Winter, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics. The findings contradict a flurry of reports that variously referred to the iPhone X as a failure, disappointment, and flop. Multiple publications said the iPhone X did not live up to the hype due to poor or dull sales. Much of the doom and gloom centered around Apple suppliers like AMS and TSMC warning about weaker smartphone demand. Apple CEO Tim Cook has dismissed those kind of reports in the past, noting that the company's supply chain is very complex, and that conclusions shouldn't be drawn from singular data points. Cook in 2013:Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant to our business. The supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for things. Yields can vary, supplier performance can vary. There is an inordinate long list of things that can make any single data point not a great proxy for what is going on.In reality, Apple accounted for the top four best-selling smartphones worldwide last quarter. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were the second and third most popular, with an estimated 12.5 million and 8.3 million shipments respectively, while the iPhone 7 took fourth place with around 5.6 million shipments. The research lines up with Cook's recent revelation that "customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter." He added that the iPhone X is a "Super Bowl winner," even if "you want them to win with a few more points." Apple on Tuesday reported that it sold 52.2 million iPhones last quarter, but it doesn't break out the sales on a model-by-model basis. However, the average selling price of an iPhone was $728 in the quarter, up from $655 in the year-ago quarter, suggesting the higher-priced iPhone X did sell relatively well. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi's budget Redmi 5A was the sole Android smartphone to crack the top five on the best-selling list, with an estimated 5.4 million shipments last quarter. Samsung's new Galaxy S9 Plus, launched in the final month of the quarter, ranked sixth with an estimated 5.3 million shipments. iPhone X may not have lived up to the hype of some overblown Wall Street expectations, but in the end, the device was a key contributor to Apple's record-breaking revenue in the first half of its 2018 fiscal year.Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: Strategy AnalyticsBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has begun inking deals with publishers in Apple News to gain timed exclusive video series on the platform, as it competes with news distribution outlets on Facebook, Google, and Twitter. In a new article today, Digiday highlights BuzzFeed News as one of the first major partnerships for the video initiative on Apple News, with the debut of docu-series "Future History: 1968" last month. Under the partnership, BuzzFeed News launched the first three episodes of Future History: 1968 exclusively on Apple News, and then one week later expanded them to Facebook Watch, YouTube, Twitter, and the BuzzFeed app. BuzzFeed head of audience development Roxanne Emadi says Apple paid the publisher for first-window rights to the show's first three episodes and cut BuzzFeed a share of ad revenue. Apple has become so serious about competing with Facebook, Google/YouTube and Twitter as a distribution outlet for news publishers that it’s paying publishers to unveil shows on Apple News first. “We’re focused on really just in-depth, unique video experiences and finding partners to support that,” Emadi said. “It’s very different than what you’re used to, which is social video and news feed video.” After its launch on April 21, Future History: 1968 was featured in video galleries for an entire weekend on Apple News and got included in push notifications of users that follow the publisher in the app. According to Emadi, during the first week of the show's availability on Apple News it received "several hundreds of thousands" of views across the three episodes. On April 28 the show launched on YouTube, Facebook Watch, and Twitter, amassing over 110,000 views across all three since then. The show focuses on major events that happened in 1968, including the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the space race, but the depictions of each event are filtered through a modern lens. For example, conversations between King and his wife are shown visually as a text message thread. The episodes are mostly formatted in a vertical orientation to fit on iPhone screens without having to transition into landscape mode, and the shortest one runs at just over eight minutes. Apple has been working on beefing up Apple News recently, with a report last month suggesting that the company will introduce a subscription-based plan into Apple News within the next year. The company has also been pushing for higher-quality and lengthier video series on the platform, although publishers are said to remain hesitant as the app "hasn't delivered on the revenue front." Limited revenue and hassles with placing ads alongside content are some of the reasons that publishers are reluctant to adopt Apple News. This could change, as Apple reportedly plans to allow publishers to use the ad tech they already employ on their sites, such as Google's DoubleClick for Publishers, to deliver third-party ads in the Apple News app. For publishers embracing the app, they have noted that Apple News can yield a flood of traffic to its articles, with Vox.com stating in February that Apple News accounted for as much as 60 percent of traffic for some stories.Tag: Apple NewsDiscuss this article in our forums

Read More...
posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
As part of its recent Q1 earnings call, TSMC announced that its 7-nanometer FinFET process node has entered into high volume manufacturing (HVM), meaning we could see consumer devices featuring the process as soon as the second half of this year. Previous reports indicated that TSMC is expected to have sole production responsibility for Apple's upcoming A12 chip and its variants expected to debut in new iPhone and iPad products starting this fall. The 7nm node (referred to as CLN7FF, 7FF, or simply N7) is expected to have an approximate 40 percent power and area benefit over TSMC's 10nm FinFET process, utilized in Apple's A11 processors. Additionally, as reported by EETimes, TSMC has offered insight into its technology roadmap, both for its silicon processes and for its device packaging technologies. TSMC is believed to have wrested sole ownership of production for Apple's processors away from the dual-sourcing arrangement with Samsung due to its advancements in wafer-level packaging. (What also went largely unnoticed at the time was TSMC's introduction of land-side capacitors attached directly to the substrate.) Building on the packaging leadership established with its InFO packaging offerings, TSMC has now announced six new packaging types aimed at a variety of devices and applications. The InFO technique is getting four cousins. Info-MS, for memory substrate, packs an SoC and HBM on a 1x reticle substrate with a 2 x 2-micron redistribution layer and will be qualified in September. InFO-oS has a backside RDL pitch better matched to DRAM and is ready now. A multi-stacking option called MUST puts one or two chips on top of another larger one linked through an interposer at the base of the stack. Finally, InFO-AIP stands for antenna-in-package, sporting a 10% smaller form factor and 40% higher gain. It targets designs such as front-end modules for 5G basebands. But that’s not all. TSMC introduced two wholly new packaging options. A wafer-on-wafer pack (WoW) directly bonds up to three dice. It was released last week, but users need to ensure that their EDA flows support the bonding technique. It will get EMI support in June. Finally, the foundry roughly described something that it called system-on-integrated-chips (SoICs) using less than 10-micron interconnects to link two dice, but details are still sketchy for the technique to be released sometime next year. It targets apps from mobile to high-performance computing and can connect dice made in different nodes, suggesting it may be a form of system-in-package.The announcement of these packaging technologies is important because they will enable a variety of different package and interconnect structures for Apple's SoCs, with the immediate benefit being novel interfaces to in-package memory. While InFO offers height, performance and thermal advantages for Apple, they still must interconnect to the RAM seated on top of the application processor through the use of wire bonds in a package-on-package configuration. This interface presents thermal challenges and limits the width and speed of the memory bus interface due to the type of interconnects. The IC industry has seen quite a bit of effort into novel memory technologies such as High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), but this technology has largely been relegated to graphics processors aimed at scientific, research, and extreme enthusiast use due to the high cost and low yield associated with the silicon interposers that enable the chip-to-memory connections. The fact that TSMC has unveiled a variant of InFO directly aimed at this solution bodes well for its increased adoption in the industry in a variety of products. The InFO-oS process is of much more near-term interest for mobile device makers such as Apple, where the memory bus widths would be much lower, but the per-pin bandwidth is much higher, as seen in LPDDR4. According to a TSMC report, the "oS" portion this technology refers to on-substrate, where die-partitioning would take place. This would seem to allow for a 2.5D solution where the memory die is placed alongside the processor die as opposed to suspended above via a mold compound as seen in the original InFO-WLP packaging, enabling the higher interconnect density. However, the retention of a redistribution layer means a mold compound must still be in play, so a more thorough technical disclosure could help eliminate some of the ambiguity with this naming convention. While this would eliminate die-stacking, it would increase the total footprint of the packaged solution, which would still be a concern in a size-constrained mobile package. TSMC InFO variants While Apple could eventually move to an HBM solution, which affords much greater memory bandwidth at lower power levels, the wafer-on-wafer (WoW) announcement is a genuine step towards true 3D integrated circuits, where eventually dies would be stacked directly on top of each other and interconnected through vias placed directly in the IC die. The innovation for TSMC here would be in exactly how it packages these dies together, and what the interfaces look like as well as what type of redistribution layers (RDLs) they offer. While not directly applicable to Apple's line of processors, the InFO-AIP is also an important development, as radio frequency (RF) front-ends stand to take on another order of complexity with their adoption of much wider frequency bandwidths needed for 5G standards. Beyond the 7nm node, TSMC also shared its outlook for the foundry's successive nodes, 7nm+ and 5nm. 7nm+ will be TSMC's first node to feature extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, which stands to simplify the mask process by eliminating the need for multiple patterning in many areas to define smaller features. Following 7nm+ will be 5nm, which would enter risk production late next year if current timelines hold, meaning volume production would occur sometime in 2020, though likely too late for a fall 2020 product launch, even with the most optimistic timelines. Though EUV has been long-awaited and will solve many problems in the industry, it brings a host of its own issues and will not bring huge performance jumps in successive nodes, nor will it grant smoother node transitions, as 5nm already presents its own EUV challenges.The node delivers 35% more speed or uses 65% less power and sports a 3x gain in routed gate density. By contrast, the N7+ node with EUV will only deliver 20% more density, 10% less power, and apparently no speed gains — and those advances require use of new standard cells.Still, the above news is encouraging, as Apple should be able to enjoy the benefits of a new technology node for at least two out of the next three years. This will offer a boost as its processor architecture gains slow down, and the advent of new packaging techniques will allow Apple to overcome bandwidth and thermal constraints in ways that were simply not possible before. TSMC has also offered hope for the future, painting the picture beyond 5nm in broad strokes with plans for newer transistor topologies such as silicon nanowires, and moving beyond silicon as the prime semiconducting medium to materials that ultimately offer higher carrier (electrons and holes) mobility. TSMC also detailed ways to improve the conductivity and reduce the parasitics associated with the interconnects present in the silicon die. Ultimately, these interconnects often dictate how quickly transistors can switch due to the effective line load on them, and that is a concern all the way from the die to the package and on to the PCB. TSMC seems to be diligently pursuing a variety of solutions for its customers on two of those fronts, and its packaging solutions are bringing more and more of those PCB components straight into the device package to combat the third element. Tags: TSMC, A12Discuss this article in our forums

Read More...