posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Originally opened in 2015 as a high-end location for users to browse various models of the Apple Watch, particularly the gold Apple Watch Edition, Mac4Ever is now reporting that Apple will close its location in Galeries Lafayette effective January 2017. A number of upscale department stores launched Apple Watch pop up shops when the original wearable device debuted in 2015, including Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Selfridges in London, and Isetan in Tokyo. Today's report cites a lack of sales at the Apple Watch-centric shop, along with an apparent reduction of employees over the past few months that had been in preparation for its January closure. The remaining employees will be given jobs at Apple retail stores around Paris once the pop up shop officially closes, including Apple's future location in Saint Germain, expected to open by the end of the year. The status and potential closing dates of the other luxury Apple Watch shops was not confirmed. The shops were some of the select few locations that users could browse and purchase the high-end Apple Watch Edition, which in Series 0 began at $10,000 and went up to over $17,000. The "shop-in-shops" were noted as being located in easily visible areas in each department store, nestled next to other high quality brand locations, and ensured that "customers looking to make major purchases" only received "the best service possible." These locations only handled Apple Watch viewing and sales, however, with customers getting directed to other Apple retail stores for their support needs. With Apple's shift to health and fitness over fashion and luxury in Apple Watch Series 2, it makes sense for Apple to eliminate its high-end pop up stores that were marketing mostly in the now-retired gold Apple Watch Edition models. With Series 2, Apple's new Edition device comes in white Ceramic and is noticeably cheaper, beginning at $1,250 for 38mm and rising to $1,300 for 42mm.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Tag: Apple Watch Edition Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
At the Jamf Nation User Conference yesterday, designed for IT management professionals, IBM VP of Workplace as a Service Fletcher Previn talked about IBM's decision to start letting employees choose between Windows or Mac machines, the cost of PCs vs. Macs, and the resulting changes to the company. IBM began adopting Macs for its employees in mid-2015, quickly becoming one of Apple's largest corporate customers. In the first year, IBM deployed approximately 30,000 Macs, and with employees have continuing to choose Macs over PCs, IBM now has 90,000 deployed Macs supported by five admins. There were assumptions early on that Macs would be significantly more expensive than PCs, but over the last year, IBM has found that it's actually PCs that are more expensive. Over a four-year lifespan, Previn says IBM saves up to $543 per Mac compared to a PC.But isn't it expensive, and doesn't it overload IT? No. IBM found that not only do PCs drive twice the amount of support calls, they're also three times more expensive. That's right, depending on the model, IBM is saving anywhere from $273 - $543 per Mac compared to a PC, over a four-year lifespan. "And this reflects the best pricing we've ever gotten from Microsoft," Previn said. Multiply that number by the 100,000+ Macs IBM expects to have deployed by the end of the year, and we're talking some serious savings.At last year's Jamf conference, Previn made similar comments. At the time, it had been only months since IBM deployed the Macs, but already, IBM had been noticing savings because Macs required less management and setup efforts than PCs, despite costing more up front. "Every Mac that we buy is making and saving IBM money," Previn said last year, and at this year's conference, that remained true. "Every Mac we buy is in fact continuing to make and save IBM money," he reiterated. Macs are continuing to grow in popularity with IBM employees, and 73 percent say they want their next machine to be a Mac. To keep up with demand, IBM is deploying 1,300 new Macs each week, using Jamf and Apple's Device Enrollment Program to get new users set up quickly.Employees receive a consumer experience from the moment they receive their Mac, which continues with a Workstation Asset Management Tool and a re-designed intranet, providing employees with an Apple-like, self-help experience. Not only do these additions drive self-sufficiency among employees, but they also help create confidence with the product.Along with IBM's success, the Jamf conference also highlighted the use of Apple products in schools and in healthcare. In La Crosse, Wisconsin, students across 11 elementary schools, six middle schools, and four high schools successfully use iPads and MacBooks in the classroom to meet unique learning needs. At the upcoming Jacobs Medical Center at the University of California, San Diego, iPads and Apple TVs will be deployed in 245 patient rooms to make it easier for patients to access their medical records, get medication reminders, and control lights, blinds, and room temperature. Tag: IBM Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue today sat down with HBO CEO Richard Plepler for a joint interview during Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, where both spoke passionately about the television industry, the partnership between Apple and HBO, and how TV will improve in the future. According to Eddy Cue, television "needs to be reinvented" because of confusing, hard to navigate interfaces. "You live with a glorified VCR," he said. "You're still setting things to record. There are 900 channels, but there's nothing to watch." He went on to say that there's incredible stuff to watch, but the interface makes it impossible to find content. "The problem is the interface," he said. "The ways you interface with it are pretty brain dead." Because Apple has been unable to negotiate the deals it needs to create its own streaming television service, the company has taken another approach to revolutionizing the television experience, through the Apple TV. The Apple TV, with a full App Store, now serves as a platform that allows content providers to offer content while Apple exercises greater control over the interface. Apple has been aiming to improve the way we interact with the television through features like Siri, universal search, and live tune-in, which allow users to conduct voice searches, find content across multiple apps, and play live content automatically without needing to search through a directory, all of which Cue alluded to in the interview. Using HBO Now as an example, Cue said it's representative of a much better television service with an easier to navigate interface than what he sees on his cable box or satellite. Cue believes that television will continue to improve gradually, getting better each year as restrictions relax and content providers become more comfortable with emerging technology. "It's moving rapidly," he said. "Look, it's gonna get better every year." On competition, he said Apple can compete with companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify but "still be together" because all of those services are on Apple's platform. Cue says Apple's platform will win if the company gives customers the best way to pay for and access content, even content coming from direct competitors. On Apple's partnership with HBO, Cue said that though HBO has more than 1 million subscribers on Apple devices, the relationship between the two companies "at the beginning" and will continue. Both Cue and Plepler offered high praise for one another and said they have a strong partnership. Cue said he loves working with Plepler because he "cares about making the best stuff," while Plepler said Cue offers solid counsel and is easy to work with.I said to him 'look, our natural DNA is not tech - it's content. We have a long learning curve and we could use your counsel and input.' They gave us great input and counsel. I call them for counsel all the time, so it's been a great partnership. [...] They're a pleasure to do business with. I'll never forget that any time the two of us got on the phone when there was an impasse, we solved it together in 10 minutes. That's rare.Despite Plepler's praise, Eddy Cue's "hard-nosed" negotiating tactics are said to be one of the reasons why Apple has not been able to establish a stronger foothold in the television industry with its own streaming service. Cue and Apple refuse to settle with content providers for less than what Apple wants, which led to Apple walking away from its latest streaming television plans after networks refused to unbundle channels and demanded higher prices than the company was willing to pay. Apple's focus is now on the Apple TV set-top box and on serving as an intermediary between people and content, but the company is also making some investments in original television programming.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10 Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
With the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple elected to use LTE modems from two different sources, Qualcomm and Intel. The A1778 and A1784 iPhone models use a GSM-only Intel XMM7360 modem while the A1660 and 1661 iPhone models use a GSM/CDMA-compatible Qualcomm MDM9645M modem. Apple's decision has already caused some disappointment among customers because the GSM-only Intel modem is not compatible with as many carrier networks as the GSM/CDMA Qualcomm modem, and now independent testing conducted by Cellular Insights suggests there are some significant performance differences between the two modems, with the Qualcomm modem outperforming the Intel modem. Using an R&S TS7124 RF Shielded Box, two R&S CMW500, one R&S CMWC controller, and four Vivaldi antennas, Cellular Insights created a setup to simulate LTE performance at different distances from a cellular tower using two iPhone 7 Plus devices, one with an Intel modem and one with a Qualcomm modem. The goal of the test was to measure the highest achievable LTE throughput starting at a Reference Signal Received Quality of -85dBm (a strong signal) and gradually reducing the power level to simulate moving away from a cellular tower where signal is weaker. Three LTE bands were tested: Band 12, Band 4 (the most common band in North America), and Band 7. In all three tests, both the iPhone 7 Plus models offered similar performance in ideal conditions, but as power levels decreased, Cellular Insights saw "unexplainable sharp dips in performance" in the Intel modem, finding a gap "north of 30%" in favor of the Qualcomm iPhone 7 Plus. In the charts, the Qualcomm modem maintains noticeably higher throughput speeds than the Intel modem as signal strength decreases. In real world conditions, this would suggest the Qualcomm modem does better in areas where the cellular connection is weak, with faster throughput speeds. Cellular Insights describes the Band 12 test below:Both iPhone 7 Plus variants perform similarly in ideal conditions. At -96dBm the Intel variant needed to have Transport Block Size adjusted as BLER well exceeded the 2% threshold. At -105dBm the gap widened to 20%, and at -108dBm to a whopping 75%. As a result of such a huge performance delta between the Intel and Qualcomm powered devices, we purchased another A1784 (AT&T) iPhone 7 Plus, in order to eliminate any possibility of a faulty device. The end result was virtually identical. [...] At -121dBm, the Intel variant performed more in line with its Qualcomm counterpart. Overall, the average performance delta between the two is in the 30% range in favor of the QualcommCellular Insights also created a chart that compares the edge of cell performance of several different smartphones. The increasing numbers on the X-axis below represent increasingly poor signal strength, while on the Y-axis, a higher throughput number indicates better performance. The iPhone 7 Plus with an Intel modem demonstrates the poorest performance of all phones tested. According to Cellular Insights, in every single test, the iPhone 7 Plus with a Qualcomm modem "had a significant performance edge" over the iPhone 7 Plus with an Intel modem. For more information on the testing methodology and greater technical detail on the results, make sure to check out Cellular Insights' full comparison article.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
A week before Apple's just-announced October 27 Mac-centric event, a newly discovered trademark filing has been unearthed online, suggesting a potential name for the OLED panel on the new MacBook Pro. According to information rounded up by Brian Conroy at The Trademark Ninja (via The Next Web), a trademark filed by a company called "Presto Apps America LLC" for a device dubbed the "Magic Toolbar" could be Apple's name for the touch bar panel on its new MacBook Pro line. Conroy lays out a line of evidence pointing to Apple's involvement with this particular name, beginning with Presto Apps' incorporation on January 22, 2016, and followed by its filing for the trademark just a few weeks later on February 5, 2016. The cost of the trademark application was furthermore estimated to be around €16,000. The trademark's cost, along with Apple's stable of "Magic" products -- Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad -- fuel Conroy's main line of evidence. Given that Apple has a well-established reason to potentially do battle with any company in court who would file a trademark with "Magic" heavily featured in the title, Conroy says anyone would "have to be 100% certified insane" to spend so much money on something that a company like Apple could shut down with relative ease. He calls this "the main reason" he believes Presto Apps is Apple. They would almost certainly be able to stop any other company applying for the trademark ‘Magic Toolbar’, on the basis it’s similar to their existing trademarks and likely to cause confusion. So, another company would have to be 100% certified insane to spend €16,000 in outlay for a trademark application that someone with the clout of Apple was almost certain to be able to object to and defeat. And that’s the main reason that I’m putting my neck on the line and saying that ‘Presto Apps America LLC’ is actually Apple. To top it all off, when investigating Presto Apps' trademark applications in Canada, Indonesia, and Malaysia, it was discovered that the "Magic Toolbar" application was filed by the same lawyers who applied for the "AirPods" trademark. As Conroy concluded, "either Presto Apps America is Apple and the Magic Toolbar is going to be part of the MacBook announced on 27 October or else it’s the strangest set of coincidences and unlikely events I’ve ever seen." Rumors that began earlier in the year suggested that the OLED panel on the MacBook Pro will dynamically change for specific apps that are open on the computer, as well as integrate Touch ID into Apple's MacBook line. Internally, Apple reportedly named the OLED panel the "Dynamic Function Row." Refreshed versions of the MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini are also believed to be part of the October 27 event.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today sent out media invites for a Mac-centric event that will be held on Thursday, October 27 at 10:00 a.m. at Apple's Cupertino campus. The October event is expected to focus on the introduction of new Macs, headlined by a much-rumored and highly anticipated revamped MacBook Pro. According to rumors, the new MacBook Pro will feature the first redesign to the machine since 2012. A thinner, lighter body is expected, with a wider, pressure-sensitive trackpad and a flatter MacBook-style keyboard with the same butterfly key mechanism. The MacBook Pro will be available in the same 13 and 15-inch size options, and will feature USB-C with USB 3.1 support for faster transfer speeds, Thunderbolt 3, and Touch ID. Touch ID is expected to be built into a new OLED touch panel built into the top of the MacBook Pro, where it will replace the physical function key row. The OLED touch panel is said to feature contextual buttons that will change based on each app that's in use. A leaked chassis suggests it will feature four USB-C ports and a headphone jack, but no HDMI port, no USB-A ports, no MagSafe connector, and no SD card slot. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. A refreshed 13-inch MacBook Air with USB-C ports has also been rumored, but it is not clear if other internal changes will be made to Apple's low-cost machine. It's possible the 13-inch MacBook Air will be a standalone product going forward, based on rumors suggesting the 11-inch model will be discontinued. Apple is also said to be working on updated iMacs with AMD graphics chips, which could be introduced at the event, and we might possibly see the debut of a rumored 5K Retina display with an integrated GPU. Apple discontinued the original Thunderbolt Display earlier this year, but an updated product has been in the works and it makes sense to release it alongside refreshed Macs if it's ready to launch. Apple's Mac Pro and Mac mini are in dire need of refreshes, having been updated last in 2013 and 2014, respectively, but it is not clear if these machines will also see updates at the event. MacRumors plans to provide live coverage of Apple's October 27 event, both here on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account. Apple will also live stream the event on its website and on the Apple TV. Related Roundups: iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy), MacBook Air (Don't Buy), Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Google has inked a deal with CBS for its upcoming web-based streaming television service, reports The Wall Street Journal. Called "Unplugged," the paid subscription service, available on YouTube, will see Google offering a bundle of several channels for a set price of $25 to $40 per month. CBS, a major network, is now on board, and Google is also said to be close to reaching deals with both 21st Century Fox and Disney, putting it one step closer to establishing a streaming service. Google plans to launch "Unplugged" in early 2017 and has already built out the necessary infrastructure. Google's YouTube Unplugged offering is aimed at cord cutters and is the type of television service that Apple was hoping to provide to customers before its streaming television plans were put on hold. Apple wanted to offer a "skinny bundle" featuring channels from major networks and popular cable channels, which would have been priced at approximately $35 per month. Apple has been trying to create some kind of streaming television service for many years, but has continually run into negotiation difficulties with content providers due to its "hard-nosed" negotiating tactics and an inability to assuage fears about the interruption of traditional revenue streams. Apple's latest streaming plans fell through because media companies demanded too much money for content rights and were reluctant to unbundle channels. While Google and other companies are developing streaming television services, Apple is aiming to position the Apple TV set-top box and the tvOS App Store as a platform to allow existing content providers to share their content through Apple's interface. Apple is also working on some original television programming, including "Planet of the Apps," "Vital Signs," and "Carpool Karaoke."Tags: Google, YouTube Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple Inc. has been listed as a 2017 exhibitor at Mobile World Congress, which is an oddity given the company's trade show presence has been virtually nonexistent since the company's final appearance at Macworld in 2009. If the listing is accurate, it would mark Apple's first time attending Mobile World Congress, the world's largest exhibition and conference for the mobile industry. MWC 2017 runs between February 27, 2017 and March 2, 2017. Babel PR pointed us towards Apple's exhibitor listing, which shows the company has booked space in the App Planet in Hall 8.1, as well as two spaces in the upper level that runs above Hall 2 in the Fira Gran Via Conference Centre. App Planet is described as "a unique area focusing on the latest technology from the fast-moving apps industry," so Apple's presence could be related to promoting the App Store ecosystem or Planet of the Apps. Apple's other upper level spaces appear to be meeting rooms, suggesting the company's presence may not be public facing. This would be unsurprising, given Apple has shifted new product announcements to its own media events. Apple steadily stopped attending trade shows in the late 2000s, including the NAB Show, Macworld, and Apple Expo in Paris, and it has regularly passed on attending CES, the largest consumer electronics show, in Las Vegas. In announcing its departure from Macworld, Apple said trade shows have become a very minor part of how it reaches its customers. For that reason, Apple's public presence at Mobile World Congress is questionable, although still plausible.Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.Should we receive confirmation about Apple's presence at Mobile World Congress, we will update this article accordingly. Tag: Mobile World Congress Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra update to developers and public beta testers, just over one week after seeding the fourth beta and a month after releasing the new macOS Sierra operating system to the public. macOS Sierra 10.12.1 beta 5 can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software update mechanism in the Mac App Store for those who already have an earlier 10.12.1 beta installed. macOS Sierra 10.12.1 appears to focus on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements to address issues that have been found since the operating system’s release, and it’s also likely adding features designed for next-generation MacBook Pro models set to be released later this year. Few outward-facing changes were discovered in the first four betas, but it 10.12.1 does include Photos support for the new iPhone 7 Plus Portrait feature introduced with iOS 10.1. New features discovered in the fifth 10.12.1 beta will be listed below. macOS Sierra is a significant update that brings features like Siri support, a new storage optimization option, cross device copy paste, auto unlocking with the Apple Watch, and more. For full details on macOS Sierra, make sure to check out our roundup.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 10 update to developers and public beta testers for testing purposes, two days after seeding the fourth iOS 10.1 beta and more than a month after releasing iOS 10 to the public. Today's beta appears to be available only for the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, suggesting it perhaps has the LTE bug fix that was bundled into iOS 10.0.3, released on Monday. Registered developers can download the iOS 10.1 beta 5 from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile is installed. Public beta testers can download the update over-the-air after installing the configuration profile from Apple's beta testing website. iOS 10.1 introduces a new "Portrait" mode for the iPhone 7 Plus that allows it to use the two built-in cameras to create shallow depth of field portrait photos with blurred backgrounds. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. To achieve the blurred look, the image signal processor in the iPhone 7 Plus uses the wide-angle camera to create a depth map, dissecting the different layers of the photo to decide what to blur. It works on people, pets, and objects, but does require good lighting to achieve the proper effect. The update also likely includes bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements to address issues that have been uncovered since iOS 10 was released, such as an ongoing CallKit bug that has caused CallKit to function unreliably. iOS 10 has been described by Apple as the "biggest release ever" for iOS users, with features that include a redesigned Lock screen, a Siri SDK to allow third-party apps to integrate with Siri, and a completely overhauled Messages app, a dedicated "Home" app for HomeKit users, new facial and object recognition capabilities in Photos, and more. For more details on iOS 10, make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has filed a lawsuit against Mobile Star LLC, accusing the firm of infringing upon its registered trademarks and copyrights by selling counterfeit 5W USB Power Adapters and Lightning to USB cables on Amazon and Groupon, according to court documents published electronically this week. Apple said the counterfeit power products pose a significant danger to consumer safety because, among other things, they lack adequate insulation and/or have inadequate spacing between low voltage and high voltage circuits, creating risks of overheating, fire, and electrical shock.The safety of Apple’s customers is of paramount importance to Apple, and Apple devotes significant resources to ensuring its power products meet industry safety standards and are subjected to rigorous testing for safety and reliability. Apple brings this suit to stop Mobile Star from any further distribution of counterfeit Apple products to the public.The legal complaint says the products, shipped and sold by Amazon through its Fulfilled by Amazon program, were listed as genuine Apple products, often using the company's copyrighted marketing images. Apple said Mobile Star's counterfeit products hurt its sales and damage its reputation. Apple determined at least a portion of Mobile Star LLC's chargers and cables were counterfeit upon purchasing them as part of its routine efforts to combat the distribution and sale of knockoff products. It then alerted Amazon, which subsequently removed Mobile Star's selling privileges. Takedown notices are standard procedure for Apple, which found that almost 90% of so-called genuine Apple products and accessories it purchased from Amazon over the last nine months were actually counterfeit.Over the last nine months, Apple, as part of its ongoing brand protection efforts, has purchased well over 100 iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables sold as genuine by sellers on Amazon.com and delivered through Amazon’s “Fulfillment by Amazon” program. Apple’s internal examination and testing for these products revealed almost 90% of these products are counterfeit.Apple went one step further and filed a lawsuit in this case because it said Mobile Star's distribution of counterfeit Apple products is "ongoing" and extends beyond Amazon, including Groupon and direct sales. Mobile Star has also allegedly failed to cooperate with Apple upon being contacted.Mobile Star’s distribution of counterfeit Apple products is ongoing and extends beyond Amazon.com as shown by Apple’s purchase of 10 counterfeit Apple products directly from Groupon in December 2015. […] In addition, an Apple investigator recently purchased counterfeit Apple EarPods headphones and Lightning cables directly from Mobile Star, showing that Mobile Star is brazenly continuing to sell counterfeit Apple products even after learning that Apple was on to it. Apple is seeking damages of up to $150,000 for each registered copyright infringed, in addition to damages of up to $2 million per trademark infringed. Apple has demanded a jury trial in the case, titled Apple Inc. v. Mobile Star LLC, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Tag: lawsuit Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The FCC today announced it has reached a $48 million settlement with T-Mobile, including a $7.5 million fine and $35.5 million in consumer benefits, following an investigation into whether the carrier adequately disclosed speed and data restrictions for its so-called "unlimited" data plan subscribers. FCC investigators determined that ads and other disclosures from T-Mobile, and its prepaid brand MetroPCS, failed to adequately inform customers about its policy that de-prioritizes the top 3% of its heaviest data users during times of network contention or congestion, resulting in slower network speeds.“Consumers should not have to guess whether so-called ‘unlimited’ data plans contain key restrictions, like speed constraints, data caps, and other material limitations,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “When broadband providers are accurate, honest and upfront in their ads and disclosures, consumers aren’t surprised and they get what they’ve paid for. With today’s settlement, T-Mobile has stepped up to the plate to ensure that its customers have the full information they need to decide whether ‘unlimited’ data plans are right for them.”As part of the settlement, eligible T-Mobile and MetroPCS subscribers will automatically receive an additional 4GB of 4G LTE data for one month in December and be offered 20% off any single accessory at participating T-Mobile stores with a promo code to be sent via text message in December. Good settlement with FCC today. @TMobile believes more info is best for customers. #themoreyouknow https://t.co/XFY6dHPfN6— John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 19, 2016T-Mobile has agreed to update its fine print disclosures to clearly explain its "Top 3 Percent Policy," what triggers it, who may be affected by it, and its impacts on data speeds. T-Mobile will also be required to notify individual customers when their data usage approaches the threshold for de-prioritization.Tags: T-Mobile, FCC Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is partnering with various building companies to integrate its HomeKit platform directly into homes from the get-go, with the hopes that such ingrained smart home features will convince prospective buyers into sticking with the Apple ecosystem for the long haul. The news comes in a report by Bloomberg, which looked specifically at a four-bedroom stucco house in Alameda, California as one of Apple's many HomeKit-enabled properties coming to the market. David Kaiserman, president of the technology division at construction company Lennar Corporation, walked Bloomberg through the potential advantages of buying a smart home from the start, mainly centering around the sometimes frustrating installation of devices like smart blinds and locks. In the home in Alameda, Siri responded to "Good Morning" light requests, while Apple's new Home app played music from connected speakers, and even ran a bath. All told, $30,000 worth of connected technology was integrated into the house. The model smart home in Alameda, California Apple's vice president of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, said that the company's goal with these so-called "test beds" of internet-connected smart homes is to eventually introduce complete home automation into a mainstream market, which could otherwise be tricky if users have to go out and buy dozens of separately-sold products. As such, Joswiak concluded that "the best place to start is at the beginning." The gamble is that pricey wireless home devices will be an easier sell when bundled into the home itself. Builders market granite countertops and brushed-nickel fixtures at thousands of models homes across the U.S. Why not video doorbells? “We want to bring home automation to the mainstream,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing. “The best place to start is at the beginning, when a house is just being created.” Purchasing a house with smart devices already installed doesn't appear to come at a discount, however. The $30,000 worth of products inside the Alameda home included devices like Lutron's automated shading system, which starts at $349, and the Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt, which retails for $199. As Bloomberg pointed out, "a regular deadbolt fetches $32 at Home Depot -- and there’s always hiding a key under the flower pot." Apple is said to be working with other builders besides Lennar, including Brookfield Residential Properties Inc., but neither company said when the smart homes would actually go up for sale. Kaiserman mentioned that he hopes working with Apple in the smart home market will produce a “halo effect,” in any neighborhood that the homes sell in, convincing potential buyers that the new home has a "cool" factor that other properties nearby lack. All the same, some people watching the rise in connected home devices believe "the hype may be getting ahead of the reality," with examples given centering around products like a wireless onesie for a baby that can turn on lights and play soothing music when the child stirs. Likewise, IDC analyst Jonathan Gaw cited "useless" products like the recently announced smartphone-controlled candle LuDela, which "only hurts the message. It tells people that we have gone too far. There’s too much crap out there, it’s only diluting stuff that’s really cool.” For people interested in smart home tech, it's predicted that a total of $24 billion will be spent on home automation in 2016. While it may take a while for its popularity to catch on, research firm Strategy Analytics believes that number will jump to over $40 billion by 2020, potentially with the help of companies like Apple leading the way into whole-home integration of the technology. Check out the full Bloomberg report here.Tag: HomeKit Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
In an ongoing story surrounding the alleged talks between Apple and Australian startup Sonder, The Wall Street Journal is today adding its own set of "people familiar with the plans" to the report. The new article reiterates a 2018 launch window for customizable e-ink keyboards on Apple's MacBook line, which was mentioned in a now-deleted Reddit post that began the rumors last week. In response to the increasing amount of rumors surrounding Apple and Sonder, the latter company this week has confirmed that it never met with Apple during Tim Cook's travels in China and Japan, suggesting that any talk of Apple's acquisition of Sonder is false. In a press release, Sonder CEO Francisco Serra-Martin stated that the original article by The Guardian -- which ignited the story on the back of the Reddit post -- "contains a number of factual errors." Serra-Martin confirmed that he "did not meet Tim Cook on Wednesday 12th October 2016," which The Guardian story said he did, without providing specifics of the meeting and its potential relation to acquisition talks. The Guardian’s article “Apple in talks to acquire Australian startup Sonder” contains a number of factual errors. Sonder founder Francisco Serra-Martins did not meet Tim Cook on Wednesday 12th October 2016, although we would very like the opportunity to in the future. The team at Sonder is pleased with the incredible response from the industry as we continue to present our story. We are not able to comment further on information on any single company or customer. Sonder’s E Ink keyboard provides infinite possibilities right at your fingertips and releases later this year. With Serra-Martin's direct confirmation of the original story's lack of veracity, it appears that, for now, Apple's plans aren't immediately related to introducing the customizable e-ink technology into MacBooks or Magic Keyboards. Sonder's own e-ink "Sonder Keyboard" is launching later this year for $199.Tag: Sonder Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The first round of reviews of Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones appeared online this morning. Most sites have come away with largely positive impressions of the devices, hailing in particular the Pixel's camera performance compared to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The Verge called the Pixel a "home run" for Google, noting that while it looks like an iPhone from afar, "there are a lot of differences" in design details, such as the glass shade on the upper third of the back of the phone where the fingerprint ID sits, the "subtle wedge shape" of the handset, and the lack of a camera bump. Camera performance was a standout feature, said The Verge, which claimed it "bested the iPhone in picking up detail". In terms of speed, both Pixels were rated as "fast – noticeably faster than Samsung's Galaxy S7. On performance alone, these are easily the best Android phones you can buy". Google's failure to make the Pixel range waterproof though was considered "dumb and annoying". This is Google's first phone, and for a first effort it is remarkably good. By almost every metric I can think of — speed, power, camera, smart assistant, you name it — it matches or exceeds the best phones available on the market today.TechCrunch said Google had delivered a "terrific photo and video experience" on the Pixel, noting that its video stabilization works "astonishingly well". Testing the Pixel camera side-by-side with the iPhone 7 Plus, the latter was considered to deliver more accurate colors outdoors, but overall picture quality was said to be "so close that it's impossible to call, except by personal preference". Wired said the Pixel's built-in AI was "the best voice assistant yet", while overall the device "has a look and competence of an iPhone, with a truly great camera and loads of innovative software and services". The immediate joke everyone, including me, made on Twitter after the Pixel launch was that Google made an iPhone. Well, that's true. As it turns out, an iPhone running Android is exactly what I've been waiting for.CNET performed a direct comparison of the iPhone 7 and Pixel's camera capabilities, and came away with the impression that the Pixel achieved brighter colors, sharper detail in backgrounds of photos and on-par low-light photography. In contrast to the general consensus, The New York Times was less flattering in its overall estimation of Google's phone, calling the Pixel "mediocre". Photos shot with the camera "don't look as good as the iPhone's", while Google's built-in AI personal assistant was said to be "fairly dumb". For those interested, Pixel is available in 32GB and 128GB options as a Verizon exclusive in the United States, but is also available unlocked for $649 on the Google Store. Each phone comes in "Very Silver," "Quite Black," and "Really Blue" colorways. Tag: Google Pixel Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple will introduce new Macs at an event that's set to take place on Thursday, October 27, reports Re/code. The event will be held "at or near" Apple's Cupertino campus instead of in San Francisco, suggesting it will perhaps be at the company's Town Hall conference center. Re/code does not detail which Macs will receive a refresh at the event, but Apple's entire Mac lineup, aside from the Retina MacBook, is in need of a refresh. New MacBook Pro models will likely headline the event, as rumors suggest a major update is in the works. The new MacBook Pro is said to include a redesigned, thinner body with a flatter MacBook-style keyboard, an OLED touch panel that replaces the physical function keys at the top of the keyboard, and Touch ID support. It is expected to do away with the USB-A port, HDMI port, and SD card slot, featuring just four USB-C ports based on part leaks, and it is said to include support for USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3. A recent rumor from Japanese site Mac Otakara suggests Apple will also be introducing a new 13-inch MacBook Air, also featuring USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. Other products that could potentially see refreshes include the iMac, the Mac Pro, and the Mac mini. With an event set to take place on October 27, media invites should be going out later this week.Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Don't Buy), Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
While full-device skins can be a good solution for iPhone owners looking for scratch protection without using a full case, those with Jet Black models should exercise caution when applying or removing the plastic wrap. A small number of iPhone 7 Plus owners with Jet Black models have noticed the text printed on the back of the device, such as "Designed by Apple in California," becomes transposed onto the skin upon being removed from the device. MacRumors forum member ksyu found out the hard way when he removed a full-device skin from his iPhone 7 Plus and noticed the letters transferred onto the plastic. Under bright light, all of the rear markings, including "iPhone" and the required FCC regulatory labels, are easily distinguishable. "I had a normal protector on for about 1 minute and took it off," he said. "The writing peels right off." MacRumors reader Keith experienced a similar situation when removing a Slickwraps from his iPhone 7 Plus: The writing actually came off onto the clear Slickwraps just like pulling silly putty off of a newspaper comic strip. If you're one of the people hoping to keep their phone in brand new out of the box condition this might cause a problem for you. I don't know if the writing came off because the wrap is sticky or because it was a wet install meaning getting your phone wet then drying the phone could lead to the writing rubbing off.The fine print does not completely come off the iPhone, but it does become faded. This type of issue has not affected previous iPhone models, nor does it appear to affect Black, Gold, Rose Gold, or Silver colors. Apple says the high-gloss Jet Black finish is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process, but it remains unclear why the letters are rubbing off for some users. Fortunately, the problem does not appear to be widespread, but full-skin aficionados should be extra careful.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
WikiLeaks has leaked yet another email from Hillary Clinton presidential campaign chairman John Podesta that reveals Apple CEO Tim Cook was among a list of candidates for Vice President of the United States, alongside Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and dozens of others. In August, Cook hosted a fundraising event for the Hillary Victory Fund, a committee that contributes to the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and 38 state parties. Cook, along with Apple environmental chief Lisa Jackson, acted as private citizens, not as representatives of Apple. Cook has demonstrated support for both Democrats and Republicans. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: Tim Cook, Hillary Clinton Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Angela Ahrendts, Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail, was the opening speaker for Fortune's annual Most Powerful Women Summit, speaking a little about the next-generation Apple retail stores, her vision for Apple's physical presence and more. Ahrendts started the evening by talking about her background and how Apple CEO Tim Cook recruited her, mentioning that she originally tried to convince Cook she wasn't right for the job. Ahrendts said that her big pitch for Apple was to integrate Apple's retail and online stores and turn the company's physical prescence into a bigger part of the communities they operate it. Cook, much to her surprise, loved the idea. She said that she believes that "the bigger the company, the bigger the obligation" of that company to do something other than rake in profits. One of the things on her agenda was education, so Ahrendts planned on a next-generation of Apple retail stores that could function as something more than retail stores. The new next-generation store designs are the culmination of that vision, featuring a town square concept that's focused less on selling things and more on enriching lives. She notes that the retail side of the company tries to hire candidates based on their empathy and compassion so that they can enrich lives rather than salesmanship. For instance, Apple wants to teach kids things they can't learn in school, which is why the retail stores will start hosting Swift programming lessons for kids, teachers, and parents. The lessons, which are currently available for teachers at Apple Union Square in San Francisco, will slowly roll out to next-generation stores by next year. Kids, teachers, and parents will be able to attend Apple retail stores and learn to code for free three times a day. Currently, Apple provides educational camps for kids during the summer. Another driving force behind the next-generation stores was making the retail spaces represent the products better. "How do we make it so the best of Apple can come together in one place?" Ahrendts said they asked as they designed the new stores. Their solution was to map out everything people did on their devices and integrate them into the stores, which meant a larger focus on the liberal arts. Ahrendts said that she's always been in a believer of Steve Jobs' "technology married with the liberal arts" philosophy, and that she wanted to increase the presence of liberal arts in the stores. She explained the new Creative Pro position at Apple retail locations is the liberal arts equivalent of the Genius, and that the two are equal in terms of importance. Creative Pros are supposed to help you figure out what to do with your Apple product, which could range from photography lessons to coding to learning how to make movies or music. Another way of integrating the liberal arts with the retail stores is turning the stores into community centers. "On the weekend you'll see an artist sketching things or a guy playing a guitar," Ahrendts said. The goal is to help foster human experiences that draw people out of their digital bubbles. The town square concept also extends to naming. The accessory-laden "avenues" represent avenues bordering a town square, while the giant screens are called "forums" because they act as a hub for many activities. Finally, Ahrendts said she considers the retail store the biggest product Apple has. Employee retention is also strong, with Ahrendts saying they have an 87 percent retention rate, better than the average retail retention rate of 20 percent. The company plans to have 95 next-generation Apple stores open by the end of the year. Ahrendts has been the head of Apple's retail efforts since 2014, when she left her job as CEO of Burberry to join the Cupertino company. Earlier this month, Ahrendts had her title shortened from Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores to just Senior Vice President of Retail, reflecting Apple's new vision of tightly integrating its online and retail efforts. Similarly, Apple dropped the "Stores" from Apple store branding in August, reflecting a more singular experience as well as Apple's efforts to turn the store into more than retail outfit.Related Roundup: Apple Stores Tag: Angela Ahrendts Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple still plans to announce its new MacBook Pro "in the month" with shipments to begin at the end of October, according to new information shared by Japanese site Mac Otakara. Citing a "reliable Chinese supplier," the site says that Apple will launch both 13 and 15-inch models, continuing to offer the machine in the same sizes available today. Apple is also expected to launch a new 13-inch MacBook Air, but will not debut a new 11-inch MacBook Air machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Both the new MacBook Pro models, which will replace existing models, and the new 13-inch MacBook Air are said to include USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 support. Previous rumors and part leaks have suggested the upcoming MacBook Pro will include four USB-C ports, doing away with an SD card slot, an HDMI port, USB-A ports, and a MagSafe connection. It is also expected to feature a redesigned, thinner body with a flatter keyboard, an OLED display touch panel that replaces the physical function keys at the top of the keyboard, and Touch ID support. Mac Otakara often shares accurate information sourced from the Asian supply chain, but the site does not have a flawless track record and has gotten some details wrong in the past. Other more reliable rumors have also pointed towards an October launch date, however. With the month coming to an end in just two weeks, it is unclear if there will be an event to announce the new machines. There have been no hints of an event and no invites have been sent out, so it's possible Apple will debut the machines more quietly, with just a press release.Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Don't Buy), Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 10 update to developers and public beta testers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the third iOS 10.1 beta and more than a month after releasing iOS 10 to the public. Registered developers can download the new iOS 10.1 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile is installed. Public beta testers can download the update over-the-air after installing the configuration profile from Apple's beta testing website. iOS 10.1 introduces a new "Portrait" mode for the iPhone 7 Plus that allows it to use the two built-in cameras to create shallow depth of field portrait photos with blurred backgrounds. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. To achieve the blurred look, the image signal processor in the iPhone 7 Plus uses the wide-angle camera to create a depth map, dissecting the different layers of the photo to decide what to blur. It works on people, pets, and objects, but does require good lighting to achieve the proper effect. The update also likely includes bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements to address issues that have been uncovered since iOS 10 was released, such as an ongoing CallKit bug that has caused CallKit to function unreliably. iOS 10 has been described by Apple as the "biggest release ever" for iOS users, with features that include a redesigned Lock screen, a Siri SDK to allow third-party apps to integrate with Siri, and a completely overhauled Messages app with stickers, a full App Store, Digital Touch, Bubble Effects, and more. Other features include a dedicated "Home" app for HomeKit users, new facial and object recognition capabilities in Photos, and redesigned Maps and Apple Music apps. For more details on iOS 10, make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Carnegie Mellon University professor Russ Salakhutdinov has been hired by Apple to lead a team focused on artificial intelligence, according to a tweet Salakhutdinov sent out this morning. He will continue to teach at Carnegie Mellon, but will also serve as "Director of AI Research" at Apple. In his tweet, Salakhutdinov says he is seeking additional research scientists with machine learning expertise to join his team. An included job posting asks that candidates have experience with Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Reinforcement Learning, Optimization, and/or Data Mining. Salakhutdinov specializes in statistical machine learning and has authored many papers on neural networks, deep kernel learning, reinforcement learning, and other related topics. His expertise may be used to improve services like Siri, which has been in the spotlight recently after journalist Walt Mossberg wrote a piece calling the personal assistant "limited," "unreliable," and "dumb." Siri is powered by a neural network and uses machine learning techniques to improve over time, as do other Apple features like Spotlight, QuickType, Photos, autocorrect, Maps, and more. Salakhutdinov's hiring comes as rumors suggest Apple is aiming to improve Siri as part of an effort to build the personal assistant into an Amazon Eco-like smart home product that would be able to do things like control smart home accessories. Apple is also on the verge of finishing an R&D research center in Yokohama, Japan, which will focus on "deep engineering" and developing Apple's artificial intelligence services.Tags: Siri, machine learning, artificial intelligence Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today released the second official update to the iOS 10 operating system, nearly one month after releasing iOS 10.0.2 and a month and a half after providing the new iOS 10 operating system to the public. iOS 10.0.3 comes ahead of iOS 10.1, a more significant update that brings a Portrait mode depth-of-field effect to the iPhone 7 Plus. iOS 10.0.3 can be downloaded as an over-the-air update on all iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices. Today's update includes a fix for a bug that could cause issues with cellular connectivity, a problem that only affected the new iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Shortly after the iPhone 7 was released, a number of Verizon users began experiencing a serious issue that caused them to regularly lose LTE connectivity on their new device. It was later discovered that the issue affected iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices associated with other carriers as well, and it should now be fixed for all users. iOS 10 is a major update that includes features like a redesigned Lock screen experience, a revamped Messages app with a full App Store, a Siri SDK for developers, new looks and features for Maps and Apple Music, and tons more. Make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup for details. Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
A class action lawsuit filed by four former Apple retail employees over alleged California Labor Code violations commences tomorrow in San Diego Superior Court. A civil jury trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. local time in a courtroom presided over by the Honorable Eddie C. Sturgeon, nearly two years after Apple's appeal and motion for dismissal was denied in the case. The lawsuit, titled Felczer vs. Apple Inc., falls under the court's Department 67. The lawsuit, originally filed in 2011 and elevated to class action status in 2014, accuses Apple of failing to provide timely meal and rest breaks, failing to pay all wages due upon ending employment within the required time, and failing to provide accurate wage statements, according to court documents filed electronically. The proposed class would involve all current, former, or prospective employees in California who have worked for Apple between December 16, 2007 and the time of trial, which totaled approximately 18,000 employees as of 2014. Any settlement awarded would be divided evenly between class members. California Labor Code dictates that employees must be provided with at least a 30-minute meal break when the work period is more than five hours, and at least a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked. The defendants claim Apple failed to always provide these breaks for at least four years prior to the lawsuit. Meanwhile, the complaint notes Apple took several weeks to send out a final paycheck to multiple employees. As a result of these unlawful business practices, the lawsuit asks for compensatory damages and repayment of all wages owed, along with interest and legal fees, but it does not specify a damages amount.Tags: lawsuit, Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has informed retail employees it will be removing the Lead Creative role at its stores, according to multiple sources. The changes should take effect by mid November at all stores except select flagship locations. Apple will be relegating current Lead Creatives to the role of Creative as part of the transition. A source said pay will remain the same for existing leads, but their current leadership responsibilities will be slowly removed. The move comes less than three months after Apple introduced a new "Creative Pro" position above Creative. Retail employees holding this position are considered the most knowledgable about Apple products and services, providing customers with advice and expertise about products such as the iPhone. Creative Pros are situated on the sales floor, internally described as the Product Zone.Tag: Apple retail Discuss this article in our forums

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