posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 will feature a curved OLED display made by Samsung to differentiate it from two additional new iPhone models, according to The Wall Street Journal. Tuesday's report corroborates previous claims from KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo that Apple will release three devices this year: Two 'S' cycle iPhones with LCD displays to succeed the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, as well as a special "10th Anniversary Edition" iPhone 8. Apple Inc. has decided to adopt a flexible display for one model of the new iPhone coming out this year and has ordered sufficient components to enable mass production, people familiar with the matter said.According to WSJ's anonymous sources, Apple will drop the traditional home button on the iPhone 8 in favor of a distinct touch-enabled area on the chin area of the handset, also corroborating Ming-Chi Kuo's claims of a "function area" below the new iPhone's main display. Additionally, in a new claim likely to cause much debate, the paper reports that Apple will replace the iPhone Lightning connector with a USB-C port. Over recent weeks, reports have clashed over which models will include several purported new features. For example, citing "reliable sources" within Apple's supply chain, Japanese blog Mac Otakara most recently claimed that only the OLED model will adopt glass casing and wireless charging capabilities, contradicting a Nikkei report and analyst Kuo's repeated claims that all 2017 iPhones will feature an all-glass design and wireless charging. Further muddying the waters, Mac Otakara made no mention of the Lightning port being dropped, despite the fact that a USB-C connector would allow newer MacBook or MacBook Pro owners to connect the iPhone 8 to their laptop straight out of the box. On the contrary, Mac Otakara's sources claimed Apple's Lightning to USB-C Cable would remain an optional purchase, which just goes to highlight the odd situation that newer Mac owners could find themselves in, should the next iMac and Mac mini models also adopt exclusively USB-C ports, as they are expected to do so. With an edge-to-edge design, the iPhone 8 is said to be similar in size to the 4.7-inch iPhone, but with a display the size of the 5.5-inch iPhone. According to Kuo, it will feature a 5.8-inch display with 5.15 inches of usable area, with the rest dedicated to virtual buttons that will replace the existing Home button. The iPhone 8's front-facing camera may also include 3D sensing capabilities, allowing it to find the location and depth of objects in front of it, perhaps enabling facial and iris recognition. According to one report, the iPhone 8 could cost upwards of $1,000.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: The Wall Street Journal Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Amazon is building upon the Alexa voice-recognition technology found in its Echo range of speakers so that the virtual assistant can distinguish between individual users based on the sound of their voices. According to anonymous sources who spoke to TIME, Amazon's feature would work by matching the person speaking to a pre-recorded voice sample, or "voice print", to verify the speaker's identity. A primary account holder would be able to require a specific voice print to access certain commands. A user would, for example, be able to set it so that a parent's voice would be required to make a credit card purchase or turn on the coffee machine through the Echo.Amazon has been developing the feature, internally called Voice ID, since at least the summer of 2015, according to people familiar with the company's Alexa strategy. The underlying technology is said to have been completed and just needs integrating into Echo speakers, however it's still unclear when that will happen. The Voice ID technology would be a first in the smart speaker space and make Echo units easier to share between multiple people under one roof. Currently, Echo users can set up multiple profiles and jump between them, but the user must say "switch accounts" or use the Alexa app to do so. And as for credit card purchases, a four-digit authentication code must be said out loud to confirm them. It's unknown at this point whether Voice ID will extend to the many Alexa-enabled third-party devices now available, or if it would be limited to Amazon's Echo speakers. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. Alexa recently became capable of responding to 10,000 skills, according to Amazon. Skills are essentially third-party apps that you can interact with via voice, once they've been enabled. The 10,000th skill was Beat the Intro, a music game that tests users' knowledge and love of music. AI assistants have become increasingly popular over the past few years, while Apple's Siri has remained largely unchanged over the past few iOS updates. Last May it was rumored that the company would launch an Echo-like speaker with Siri integration, enabling users to play music, get news headlines, and more, without needing to interact with their iPhone, but further details have been scant.Tags: Amazon, Amazon Echo, Alexa 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 10.3 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta of iOS 10.3 and more than two months after the release of iOS 10.2, the last major update to the iOS 10 operating system. Registered developers can download the fourth iOS 10.3 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. iOS 10.3 is a major update, introducing several new features and changes to the iOS 10 operating system. The biggest new consumer-facing feature is "Find My AirPods," which is designed to help AirPods owners locate a lost earphone. Find My AirPods records the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth and can play a sound on a lost AirPod. Apple's latest update also introduces a new Apple File System (APFS), installed when an iOS device is updated to iOS 10.3. APFS is optimized for flash/SSD storage and includes features like strong encryption. Apple plans to introduce some App Store changes in iOS 10.3, allowing developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. iOS users are also able to label reviews in the App Store as "Helpful" or "Not Helpful," which should help surface the most relevant review content. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also plans to limit the number of times developers can ask for a review, allow customers to leave app reviews without exiting an app, and provide a "master switch" that will let users turn off all app review request prompts. Also new in iOS 10.3 is a redesigned app open/close animation, an Apple ID profile in Settings, a better breakdown of iCloud storage usage, warnings about outdated apps that won't work with future versions of iOS, HomeKit support for programmable light switches, improvements to SiriKit (bill paying, bill status, and scheduling future rides), CarPlay interface improvements, iCloud analytics options, and more. For a full rundown of the changes introduced in the first beta, make sure to check out our dedicated "What's New" post. If we find any new features in the fourth iOS 10.3 beta, we'll update this post.Related Roundup: iOS 10 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 macOS Sierra 10.12.4 update to developers, one week after seeding the third macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta and over a month after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.3. The fourth macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta is available for download through the Apple Developer Center or the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store for those who have previously installed a beta. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 brings iOS's Night Shift mode to the Mac for the first time. First introduced on iOS devices with iOS 9.3, Night Shift is designed to gradually shift the display of a device from blue to yellow, cutting down on exposure to blue light. Blue light is said to disrupt the circadian rhythm and is believed to interrupt sleeping patterns. Night Shift can be activated through the Displays section of System Preferences, where a setting to have it come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise is available. Night Shift can also be toggled on manually through the Notification Center or via Siri. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The 10.12.4 update focuses mainly on Night Shift, but also includes dictation support for Shanghainese, cricket scores for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and iCloud Analytics options.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro will have a higher resolution of 2,224×1,668 pixels, while maintaining the same pixel density as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro, according to IHS Markit director of tablets and PCs Rhoda Alexander, who shared her expectations for the upcoming tablet with Forbes over the weekend. Specifically, a 10.5-inch iPad Pro at 2,224×1,668 would have 264 PPI, equal to the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro at 2,048×1,536. The article actually quoted Alexander as saying the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will have a 2,024×1,668 resolution, but she confirmed to MacRumors that this was a typo and that she indeed expects a resolution of 2,224×1,668. If the 10.5-inch iPad Pro does in fact end up having the same pixel density as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro, that would go against another mathematically possible scenario in which the tablet could have the same 2,732×2,048 resolution as the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the same pixel density as the iPad mini 4. In line with existing rumors, Alexander said the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will have slimmer bezels that allow it to have the same overall footprint as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. She reportedly expects the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to "arrive in the March-April timeframe," which lines up with Apple's rumored March event. Japanese blog Mac Otakara said Apple will release four new iPad Pro models at a March event. The report said the 10.5-inch model may not ship until May, while new 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, and 12.9-inch models are said to ship in March. DigiTimes likewise said the 10.5-inch iPad Pro may not come until May-June. Alexander also said Apple's rumored low-cost 9.7-inch iPad Pro could start at $299, which would be $100 cheaper than the iPad Air 2. It could supplant the iPad mini 4, which Alexander said may not be updated. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the low-cost model could have an older A9X chip.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tag: IHS Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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AT&T launched a new unlimited data plan less than two weeks ago, but with more competitive options available from Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, it went back to the drawing board and came up with something better. Starting Thursday, new and existing AT&T customers can choose from two new plans: Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice. Unlimited Plus starts at $90 per month for a single line and includes unlimited talk, text, and data at up to 4G LTE speeds. Video can be streamed in HD quality, but Stream Saver mode, which reduces streaming video to around 480p quality, is enabled by default and must be turned off through myAT&T. AT&T Unlimited Plus includes up to 10GB of 4G LTE tethering per line per month, with speeds reduced to a max 128 Kbps for the rest of the bill cycle for eligible devices once the high-speed allotment is exceeded. Two smartphone lines starts at $145 per month, while up to eight additional devices, such as tablets and hotspots, can be added for $20 per month each. The pricing includes monthly access charges, but it is not inclusive of taxes or additional fees. AutoPay and paperless billing are required. For a limited time, AT&T Unlimited Plus customers will receive a $25 bill credit towards DirecTV, DirecTV NOW, or AT&T U-verse each month. The bill credits begin in 2-3 billing periods. The total monthly cost for AT&T Unlimited Plus with DirecTV NOW, for example, would start at $100 per month after discounts. Meanwhile, AT&T Unlimited Choice is a new cheaper option starting at $60 per month for a single line, and includes unlimited talk, text, and data at up to 3 Mbps speeds. Video streams at a max of 1.5 Mbps, aka about 480p. No discount is offered for bundling DirecTV, DirecTV NOW, or U-verse. Two smartphone lines starts at $115 per month, while up to eight additional devices, such as tablets and hotspots, can be added for $20 per month each. The pricing includes monthly access charges, but it is not inclusive of taxes or additional fees. AutoPay and paperless billing are required. For both plans, customers that exceed 22GB of data usage may experience reduced speeds for the remainder of the billing cycle, but only at times and in areas where there is network congestion, which is similar to 22GB, 23GB, and 28GB soft cap policies from Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile respectively. Additionally, AT&T said both plans allow individuals and businesses to make unlimited calls from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico, and send unlimited texts to over 120 countries. AT&T customers on these plans can also use their plan to talk, text, and use data in Canada and Mexico with no roaming charges. AT&T's earlier unlimited data plan started at $100 per month and did not include any tethering, so its new plans offer better value. Meanwhile, Verizon Unlimited starts at $80 per month, Sprint Unlimited starts at $50 per month for a limited time, and T-Mobile ONE starts at $70 per month, inclusive of taxes and fees.Tags: AT&T, unlimited data Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The Mobile World Congress 2017 officially opened today in Barcelona, where some of the biggest names in mobile technology gather annually to show off their latest products. With Apple skipping MWC as in previous years and Samsung choosing to delay the announcement of its next flagship phone, this year's event offers a better opportunity for their smaller rivals to hog the limelight. LG G6 Kicking things off at MWC on Sunday, LG announced the G6, its latest flagship smartphone and the successor to the G5. Dominating the front of the new phone is a 5.7-inch LCD display sporting a resolution of 2880x1440 and an 18:9 aspect ratio – making the screen length double the size of its width – with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 HDR videos. The unusual screen ratio allows the G6 to display two 1:1 square photos side by side, something LG was eager to promote as a particular benefit for Instagram users. With the phone's bezels taking up minimal space on the front, the power button and fingerprint sensor sit on the back of the phone below the camera, while a virtual home button is located on the main display. LG also made much of the resilience of the G6 compared to previous phones. The front is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, while the back is encased in Gorilla Glass 5. Elsewhere, the rear dual-lens camera boasts Gorilla Glass 4. The device is also IP68-certified waterproof. Other specifications of the LG G6 include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset, 4GB RAM and a 3300 mAh battery. The front camera has a 5-megapixel sensor and a 100-degree field of view, while the dual cameras at the back pack 13 megapixels each. No announcement was made regarding pricing or the release date of the handset.  Huawei Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic Also at MWC on Sunday, the Chinese mobile maker unveiled the Huawei Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic. The Watch 2 has a plastic chassis, while the Classic is metal. Both are sportier, bulkier successors of the company's original 2015 Watch, despite both of them having smaller 1.2-inch circular displays than the prior model’s 1.4-inch screen. The Watch 2 includes LTE (a Wi-Fi only one will be available), and both timepieces offer GPS, heart rate sensors, and NFC for Android Pay. The watches have two buttons and come with microphones and speakers. Huawei says the 420mAh batteries offer up two days of continuous power, which is double what the original version provided. A new, low-power mode also allows the watches to last up to 25 days, but functionality is limited to showing the time and counting steps. Huawei P10 and P10 Plus Huawei's two new phones bore the names P10 and P10 Plus. The P10 comes with a 5.1-inch 1920x1080 FHD display, while the larger 5.5-inch P10 Plus has a 1440p IPS display. Both come with a dual-lens 20 megapixel rear camera and a front-facing 12 megapixel camera. Like LG, Huawei also touted the photography capabilities of its new phones, pointing to the front and rear Leica-made cameras and the advantages of new motion-tracking facial recognition technology for taking portraits. But it was the company's partnership with Pantone that stood out on the day, with the smartphone to launch in eight different colors, including "greenery" and "dazzling blue". A Huawei Kirin 960 octa-core GPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 3,200mAh battery make up the main internals, with the larger 5.5-inch P10 Plus featuring the same specs but with an option for 128GB storage and 6GB RAM. Prices remains unannounced, but neither Huawei phone is expected to become available in the U.S. anytime soon. As expected, Samsung didn't reveal any details about the successor to its Galaxy S7, allowing its new Galaxy Book and Galaxy Tab S3 tablets to fill stage time at this year's MWC. Samsung did however confirm the official launch date of its Galaxy S8 would be March 29.Tags: LG, Huawei, MWC2017 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
iPhones that have undergone any third-party screen repair now qualify for warranty coverage, as long as the issue being fixed does not relate to the display itself, according to an internal memo distributed by Apple today. MacRumors confirmed the memo's authenticity with multiple sources. Previously, an iPhone with a third-party display was not eligible for any authorized repairs under warranty. When a customer with an iPhone that has a third-party display seeks a repair for a non-display issue, Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers have been advised to inspect the device for any fraud or tampering, and then swap out the device or replace the broken part based on Apple's in-warranty pricing. iPhones with third-party displays must still be within their warranty coverage period, whether it be Apple's standard 1-year manufacturer's warranty or extended AppleCare coverage, in order for warranty service to be honored. If the iPhone is out of warranty, or the repair involves a display-related issue, customers will be offered the option to pay Apple's flat rate out-of-warranty pricing. If a customer declines this out-of-warranty pricing, then Apple Authorized Service Providers are instructed to decline service altogether. If the presence of any third-party part causes the repair to be unsuccessful or breaks the iPhone, Apple said customers will be required to pay the out-of-warranty cost to replace the third-party part, or the entire device if necessary, in order to resolve the issue that the iPhone was initially brought in for. If a customer wants to pay for an Apple genuine display to replace their third-party display, Apple Authorized Service Providers have been instructed to quote the typical out-of-warranty price for a new display. Apple said AppleCare+ will not cover third-party display or battery repairs. Apple Authorized Service Providers are still instructed to decline service for any iPhone with a functional failure related to a third-party aluminum enclosure, logic board, battery, Lightning connector, headphone jack, volume buttons, mute switch, sleep/wake button, and certain microphones. MacRumors has confirmed that the policy applies to repairs in the United States and Canada, while other regions are likely included.Tags: warranty, AASP Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
If you purchased a 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro with Retina display and have experienced issues with the anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating, Apple will repair the notebook free of charge. Apple will replace Retina displays on eligible models purchased as far back as June 2012 until October 16, 2017, or within three years of the original date of purchase, whichever is longer. The program was extended to provide affected customers with a longer window of time to get their notebook serviced. The program has not been publicly announced, but Apple confirmed to MacRumors that repairs continue to be handled internally through AppleCare. Apple does not plan to announce the program publicly at this time, unlike its iPhone 6s battery replacement program and over a dozen others listed on its website. We recommend affected customers schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store or contact Apple support by phone, online chat, or email. Click on "get help" on this page, and then select Mac > Mac notebooks > Hardware Issues > Display Issue and support options should be presented to you. Apple's support website will ask for your Mac's serial number, which can be found by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and clicking on About This Mac in the dropdown menu. Affected customers can also visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their notebook is eligible for coverage. If you have already incurred out-of-warranty costs related to this issue, you may be eligible for a refund, which can be initiated by contacting Apple support directly. MacRumors revealed the repair program's existence in October 2015 following over two years of online complaints from thousands of customers within our discussion forums, on the Apple Support Communities, and elsewhere. A website called Staingate contains a gallery of MacBook Pro models with seemingly damaged anti-reflective coating, revealing that the blemishes can extend across the entire screen in extreme cases. Meanwhile, a Facebook group related to the issue has nearly 9,000 members and continues to see regular activity.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Tags: repair program, anti-reflective coating Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Steve Jobs, born on February 24, 1955, would have celebrated his 62nd birthday today. The late Apple co-founder, who passed away on October 5, 2011 following a lengthy battle with cancer, is remembered not only as a visionary and marketing genius, but also as a friend, father, and husband. Jobs, who co-founded Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, introduced three of Apple's most iconic products in its history: the Macintosh in 1984, and after a twelve-year absence from the company, the iPod in 2001 and iPhone in 2007. His iconic career had its fair share of highs and lows. In 1985, following a power struggle with then-CEO John Sculley, Jobs resigned from Apple. He went on to found NeXT later that year, and while its hardware business was largely unsuccessful, Apple acquired the company in 1997 to use its NeXTSTEP operating system as the foundation of Mac OS X. Jobs would become Apple CEO again later that year and guide it from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s to become the world's most valuable company just two months prior to his death. His legacy lives on at Apple, which recently said the theater on its new Apple Park campus will be named after him. Apple CEO Tim Cook:“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved the most energy-efficient building of its kind in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”Coincidentally, today also marks the 17th anniversary of MacRumors.com, founded by Arnold Kim on February 24, 2000 during his fourth year of medical school. Kim stopped practicing medicine in 2008 to focus on this website full time, and the community now reaches millions of Apple fans around the world. As always, we express our gratitude to our readers, forum members, contributors, volunteers, sponsors, and all those who allow us to continue sharing the latest Apple news and rumors.Tag: Steve Jobs Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads that Apple is expected to debut at a March event aren't expected to ship until May or June, supply chain sources tell DigiTimes. An entry-level 9.7-inch iPad, however, is expected to ship within close proximity of the March event. In January, DigiTimes reported that the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads were expected to enter mass production in the Q2 of 2017 while the 9.7-inch iPad would enter mass production in Q1 2017. The potential release dates partly line up with a recent report from Mac Otakara, which said the 10.5-inch iPad may not be ready to ship until May. However, that report said the three other iPad models rumored to debut at the March event, new 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPads, are expected to ship in March. 12.9-inch iPad shipments have been drying up around the world in recent weeks, slipping to shipping estimates of 2-3 weeks in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Japan. While increasing shipping times are a sign of an impending refresh, in this case it seems to be a supply issue. During Apple's latest earning call, CEO Tim Cook said that the company underestimated iPad demand in the past quarter and had an issue with one of its suppliers. Cook said the issue would probably not be resolved this quarter, likely leading to shriveling 12.9-inch iPad stock. Similarly, the supply issue could keep the refreshed 12.9-inch iPad from shipping before May. The new 10.5-inch model is expected to be the flagship model in Apple's new iPad lineup, sporting an edge-to-edge display on the same footprint as the current 9.7-inch iPad. Alongside new iPads at a March event, Apple is also expected to debut a 128 GB iPhone SE and red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus color variations.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tag: digitimes.com Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
For the last several months, iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, and 6s Plus users have been dealing with a problem that causes their devices to unexpectedly shut down, an issue that Apple now says it has successfully addressed in the latest iOS 10.2.1 update, released to the public on January 23. In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Apple says that the iOS 10.2.1 update has resulted in an 80 percent reduction of unexpected shutdowns on the iPhone 6s and a 70 percent reduction of unexpected shutdowns on the iPhone 6. With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone. iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50% of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we've received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we're seeing a more than 80% reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70% reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down. We also added the ability for the phone to restart without needing to connect to power, if a user still encounters an unexpected shutdown. It is important to note that these unexpected shutdowns are not a safety issue, but we understand it can be an inconvenience and wanted to fix the issue as quickly as possible. If a customer has any issues with their device they can contact AppleCare.According to Apple, the shutdown issue that is solved by the iOS 10.2.1 update is separate from the problem that caused it to recall a select number of iPhone 6s devices. In that case, Apple said some batteries had been overexposed to "controlled ambient air" during the manufacturing process, resulting in the need for a physical battery replacement. That there are multiple issues causing iPhone shutdowns explains why many iPhone 6 users also complained of problems after the iPhone 6s recall, and why the iPhone 6s issue seemed more widespread than Apple suggested in the recall program. There were even rumors that Apple was planning an iPhone 6 battery exchange program, something Apple quickly refuted. The shutdowns solved by iOS 10.2.1 are reportedly caused by uneven power delivery from older batteries, which can trigger an emergency shutdown on an iPhone. Apple has tweaked its power management system to reduce shutdowns, but some users may occasionally still have problems, so Apple has also created a way to auto-restart without needing to connect to power. The auto-restart feature is available on the iPhone 6 and 6s in iOS 10.2.1 and will be added to the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus in iOS 10.3. A new battery info screen will also be added to iOS 10.2.1 in the next few days, letting customers who need to replace their battery know that it's not functioning as expected. The warning, which will be in the Battery section of the Settings app, will only be displayed to customers who need new batteries. When iOS 10.2.1 was released, Apple did not include a mention of a fix for the iPhone 6 and 6s in its release notes, giving it time to quietly collect data on the shutdown issue before making an official announcement. Customers who are experiencing shutdowns on their iPhone 6 or 6s devices should upgrade to iOS 10.2.1 if they have not done so already.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Harman today announced that it has achieved the first-ever implementation of wireless CarPlay in vehicles. It said its infotainment system is currently being deployed for a luxury German automaker, which more than likely refers to BMW, the only automaker that currently supports wireless CarPlay as a built-in feature. A number of BMW models have supported wireless CarPlay since late last year, and Harman's announcement comes just as the 2017 BMW 5 Series with wireless CarPlay hits the streets in the United States. Harman did not disclose plans to roll out wireless CarPlay to other automakers, but it has business relationships with several vehicle manufacturers, including Volkswagen Group, Daimler, and FCA, so it is plausible that wireless CarPlay could expand to brands such as Audi, VW, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep in the future."HARMAN is the renowned Tier 1 supplier of infotainment systems to global automakers,” a company spokesperson told MacRumors. "Our customers include Audi/VW, Daimler, BMW, Chrysler/FCA, and many others. HARMAN has pioneered the introduction of many Apple features in the past into car – iPod out, CarPlay, etc – as well as other 'smart apps' such as Android Auto and Baidu CarLife, for automakers across the world."Volkswagen actually wanted to demonstrate wireless CarPlay at CES 2016, but it said Apple blocked them from doing so for undisclosed reasons. Due to confidentiality agreements, it is likely we will have to wait for each of these automakers to announce wireless CarPlay individually, but Harman and BMW have proven that it can be accomplished. Apple introduced wireless CarPlay support in iOS 9, but the majority of current systems require connecting an iPhone to the vehicle with a Lightning to USB cable. Harman's system is the first to enable wireless implementation, with the iPhone connecting via Bluetooth and data transferring via Wi-Fi. Last month, Alpine introduced the first aftermarket system with wireless CarPlay for do-it-yourself installations. The iLX-107 features a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with LED backlighting, and it begins shipping this month for a suggested price of $900. Some resellers may offer it for cheaper as seen with other Alpine receivers. CarPlay is available in over 200 vehicle models around the world, enabling drivers to make and receive calls, access text messages, play music, get directions, check traffic conditions, and more with Siri voice commands and on-screen controls. CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or newer.Related Roundup: CarPlay Tag: HARMAN Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's rumored iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will have longer battery life, which will drive customers with older iPhone models to upgrade at an accelerated rate, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. Huberty also expects the high-end iPhone to have a significant form factor change with wireless charging, 3D sensors, and more advanced AI software capabilities, which are all features that have been previously rumored.In addition to more modest updates to current iPhone SKUs, we expect Apple to launch a higher priced device with AMOLED display that allows for a curved form factor and longer battery life, wireless charging technology, 3D sensors, and more advanced AI software capabilities. While we see accelerated upgrades for Apple's highest end users in all regions, our work suggests China users are especially sensitive to new technology and form factor changes.Her research note said a larger base of customers that own at least a two year old iPhone, particularly in China, has resulted in "pent-up demand" for the significantly redesigned "iPhone 8," and this "supercycle" will help drive sales growth alongside modestly updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models. Morgan Stanley raised its Apple stock price target to $154 accordingly. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the "iPhone 8" will have a stacked logic board design that provides room for a larger 2,700 mAh L-shaped battery. As such, while the "iPhone 8" is expected to have a 4.7-inch form factor, Kuo said it will have comparable battery life to a 5.5-inch Plus model. For comparison, iPhone 7 has a 1,960 mAh battery and iPhone 7 Plus has a 2,900 mAh battery.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Morgan Stanley, battery life Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple will expand its presence in downtown Seattle, where it has a growing team working on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, according to GeekWire. The report claims Apple will expand into additional floors in Two Union Square, and this will allow its Turi team to move into the building and provide space for future employees.“We’re trying to find the best people who are excited about AI and machine learning — excited about research and thinking long term but also bringing those ideas into products that impact and delight our customers,” said computer scientist Carlos Guestrin, Apple director of machine learning. “The bar is high, but we’re going to be hiring as quickly as we can find people that meet our high bar, which is exciting.”Apple's director of machine learning Carlos Guestrin, who founded Turi and is a University of Washington professor, said the Seattle team collaborates "extensively" with groups at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, including working on new AI features for upcoming Apple products and services. Guestrin said AI, for example, will enable the iPhone to be more understanding and predictive in the future:“But what’s going to make a major difference in the future, in addition to those things, for me to be emotionally connected to this device, is the intelligence that it has — how much it understands me, how much it can predict what I need and what I want, and how valuable it is at being a companion to me,” he said. “AI is going to be at the core of that, and we’re going to be some of the people who help with that, here in Seattle, but of course there will be tons of groups in Cupertino doing amazing things with that, too.”Guestrin said Apple is doing long-term research in Seattle, looking ahead "three to 10 years," while also focusing on the near term by developing new features for upcoming Apple products."We work on the whole spectrum," he said. "It's not just about doing research, but it's about the technology transfer and how that gets embedded into experiences that customers love."Today, the University of Washington will reportedly announce a new $1 million endowed professorship in AI and machine learning, which is said to have been made possible by Apple's acquisition of Turi last year. The endowment is named after Guestrin, and it will allow the university to attract more top talent in the field. Last month, Apple became a member of the Partnership on AI, a non-profit organization established "to study and formulate best practices, to advance the public's understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society". A recent report, which referenced Turi, said Apple is working on "enhanced" Siri capabilities for next-generation iPhones.Tags: Seattle, Apple real estate, machine learning, artificial intelligence, Turi Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is widely expected to launch its first iPhone with wireless charging capabilities later this year, but rumors remain conflicting about whether the feature will be based on inductive technology, which would require a charging pad or puck, or a truly wireless long-range charging solution. Apple recently joined the Wireless Power Consortium, a group of over 200 companies backing the Qi wireless charging standard, perhaps signaling that it is leaning towards an inductive solution. After all, the Apple Watch uses Qi, albeit a tweaked version that only works with Apple's own charger. Qi, pronounced "chee," is capable of scaling from less than 1 watt to more than 2,000 watts of power, making the standard more than adequate enough for charging any smartphone. Its backing members include Samsung, LG, HTC, Qualcomm, Dell, Canon, Sony, Huawei, Apple supplier Luxshare, and others. Apple is known to test many different technologies behind closed doors, some of which never see the light of day. Reuters today, citing "a person with knowledge of the matter," said there are still "at least five different groups" working on wireless charging technology within the company ahead of new iPhones. Just three months ago, Apple was said to have more than 10 different iPhone prototypes under development, so it could be experimenting with different charging solutions for future devices; however, with iPhone 8 production expected to begin relatively soon, Apple has likely already finalized the hardware. Apple will reportedly begin production of its upcoming iPhones as early as next quarter, so the first part leaks will likely begin to surface over the next few months, which should give us a better idea of what to expect. Apple is rumored to launch a 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display, alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, in September. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said all three iPhones will feature wireless charging, while some reports have said only the OLED model will be capable.Tags: wireless charging, reuters.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
One of the more contentious iPhone 8 rumors we've seen recently is the claim that with the removal of the home button, Apple will ditch its Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology and replace it with another form of bio-recognition hardware. While several possible alternatives have been put forward – such as iris scanning, facial recognition, and even a combination of technologies – each has its pros and cons, while it's still far from clear how Apple would implement them in a purportedly bezel-free OLED handset. On the other hand, it's possible that Apple plans to retain a fingerprint identification system in the context of a wider technology which doesn't rely on Touch ID as it is currently understood. A new Apple patent application published on Thursday and discovered by AppleInsider offers a case in point. The patent is called "Acoustic imaging system architecture" and describes a method by which a conventional capacitive sensor like Touch ID is replaced by an array of acoustic transducers laid out beneath an iPhone display or in its protective housing. Some embodiments describe the transducers as capable of generating acoustic waves, or pulses, which propagate through different substrates, including an iPhone's coverglass. A sensing mode then monitors reflections, attenuations, and diffractions in the sound waves caused by a foreign body – such as a finger – coming into contact with the responsive substrate. According to the filing, the ridges in a fingerprint create an identifiable acoustic impedance mismatch. The resulting scan data is transmitted as electric signals which subsequently inform an onboard image resolver to enable it to create a two-dimensional map of the surface. Similar to existing biometric security technology, the digital map is then compared against a database to authenticate the user. Crucially, the system is capable of being configured to scan for particular body parts like a user's ear or a skin pattern, in order to determine how the device is being held. Depending on the implementation, the acoustic imaging system might also replace an iPhone's proximity sensors. Additionally, the design of the acoustic system allows it to be installed almost anywhere in a device chassis, including directly under the display, around the screen's perimeter or bezel, around buttons and in other, non-input areas like a rear chassis. It's not known if the system just described will find its way into an upcoming iPhone, but the patent suggests Apple may be working on sensor technology capable of various feats, with fingerprint identification being just one of them. Alternatively, one could envision a scenario in which Apple considers its implementation of fingerprint recognition different enough to warrant a subtle re-definition of Touch ID – as when "Force Touch" on the MacBook became "3D Touch" on the iPhone, for instance. Indeed, at this early stage in the iPhone 8 rumor mill, the uncertainty surrounding the future of Touch ID may come down to a semantic quibble. Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: patent, Touch ID Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple tonight spoke out on President Trump's move to rescind Obama administration protections for transgender students, providing a statement to Axios. The protections had allowed transgender students to use bathrooms that corresponded to their gender identity. The Cupertino company reiterated its commitment to equality, saying that everyone deserves a chance to be free from stigma and discrimination. "Apple believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination. We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals. We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections."This isn't the first time Apple has spoken out against the actions of the Trump administration. In late January, CEO Tim Cook said that the immigration executive order was not a policy that Apple supported. Apple made its HR, legal and security teams available to employees who were affected and eventually joined nearly 100 firms filing a legal brief against the order. Under Cook, Apple has had a history of speaking out in favor of equality. In March 2015, Cook spoke out against Indiana's controversial "Religious Freedom" law, which allowed business owners to turn away LGBTQ customers by citing "religious freedom." Cook also called on Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto the bill. Additionally, in 2013 both Cook and Apple came out in support of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and released a statement of support after the Supreme Court gay marriage ruling. 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.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
ColorWare, a company that custom paints Apple products, today announced that it is now accepting orders for Apple's AirPods, which can be purchased from the site in range of different colors. For $289, a $130 premium over the $159 price of the AirPods, ColorWare will paint them in one of 58 different shades, from solids to metallics in every color of the rainbow. A deep glossy black is also an option, giving customers who have been wanting a "Jet Black" set of AirPods a way to get it. Each AirPod can be painted in a different shade, and for an extra $30, ColorWare will also paint the AirPod Charging Case. Along with a custom color, users can also choose a matte or gloss finish, for a set of AirPods that are totally unique. To paint various products, ColorWare fully disassembles them and carefully custom paints each individual component. On its Twitter account, ColorWare says developing a process for the AirPods was "FAR from easy." It was FAR from easy, but we made it happen! AirPods now come in your choice of 58 colors: https://t.co/9ukve4qGKe #WeDidIt pic.twitter.com/suvrPPoazy— ColorWare (@ColorWare) February 22, 2017 The total price for a fully customized set of AirPods plus case is $319, which is about double the price of a plain white set of AirPods purchased from Apple. In addition to shelling out quite a bit of money for a custom set, those who order AirPods from ColorWare will also need to wait for approximately six weeks for their order to arrive. ColorWare often lets customers send in their own devices to be painted, but this isn't currently an option with the AirPods. Because $319 is a lot of money to shell out for an accessory, ColorWare does offer paint samples so users can test colors out before placing an order. Each set of three paint samples costs $15. All ColorWare work is guaranteed for 12 months, and 24 months with the purchase of an additional warranty. Returns are available for the first 30 days but are subject to a 25 percent restocking fee. ColorWare paints a range of devices, from iMacs and MacBooks to Apple accessories like the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Mouse 2. The company also paints other accessories, like game consoles and headphones (including Beats), plus it offers a range of skins for products like the MacBook and iPhone.Tags: AirPods, ColorWare Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 months ago on mac rumors
Just over five months after iOS 10 was released to the public, the operating system is installed on 79% of active iOS devices, according to the latest adoption data shared by Apple. iOS 9 remains installed on 16% of active iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, while 5% of devices are running an earlier iOS version, as measured by the App Store on February 20. iOS 10 adoption appears to be slightly outpacing iOS 9 adoption over the same time period. iOS 9 adoption briefly stalled at 77% of active devices last February. iOS 10 could see further adoption when iOS 10.3, which is currently in beta for developers and public testers, is officially released. The software update's key new features include "Find My AirPods" and a switch to the all-new Apple File System (APFS). iOS adoption continues to significantly outpace Android. Nougat, the latest version of Android, is installed on just 1.2% of active Android devices as of February 6, despite being released six months ago today. Android Lollipop, released in November 2014, is still installed on 32.9% of active devices. Apple's control over both hardware and software gives it an advantage over the Android ecosystem, while Apple persistently notifies iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to update to the latest iOS version, including offering the option to have the software update install overnight while the device is plugged in.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 months ago on mac rumors
Apple today announced that Apple Campus 2 will be open and ready for employees to begin moving in this April, while also officially naming the site "Apple Park." Moving more than 12,000 employees to the site will take more than six months, the company said, and some smaller building construction and landscaping will continue into the summer. In honor of the late CEO Steve Jobs -- who would have turned 62 on Friday, February 24 -- Apple announced that the theater at Apple Park will be named the "Steve Jobs Theater." The theater will be one of the buildings that opens later this year, and is situated at one of the highest point on the campus, overlooking the nearby meadows and the large, circular main building at Apple Park. "Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved the most energy-efficient building of its kind in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy." Apple's press release also covered a collection of other buildings at Apple Park, including a visitor's center that will include a full Apple Store and cafe, both of which will be open to the public. Apple worked in collaboration with Foster + Partners to build Apple Park, which occupies 175 acres and will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The main building, which has been referred to as the "Spaceship" building, includes 17 megawatts of rooftop solar power, meaning Apple Park will be running one of the largest solar energy installations on the planet when it opens in April. Apple also takes pride in the Park's landscaping initiatives, which has resulted in the replacement of 5 million-square-feet of asphalt with various greeneries, as well as over 9,000 native and drought-resistant trees. Construction on the campus began back in 2013 and was originally pegged for completion in late 2016 before construction delays pushed back its opening date. Throughout the years, coverage of the campus has been ongoing thanks to reliable drone videos that have showed up every month or so, giving Apple fans the chance to see major construction milestones like the first time the Spaceship building took shape, all the way up to the day that lights began turning on. Check out more images and a video about Apple Park here.Tags: Apple Campus 2, Apple Park Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 months ago on mac rumors
Apple recently purchased the iCloud.net domain, one of the last major iCloud-related web addresses that wasn't in its possession, reports TechCrunch. The iCloud.net domain, which now appears to be registered to Apple, was the home of the "iCloud Social Network," a dubious-looking social networking platform designed to allow people to share activities, pictures, music, videos, and other content. It's not clear how many users iCloud.net had before Apple purchased the domain, but the site now states that the iCloud.net services will be shut down at the end of February 2017, and data will be destroyed in March. It has apparently existed since 2011, and in a blog post, the site's owner said "iCloud.net finished his mission, it is time for him to retire." MacRumors received a tip suggesting Apple had purchased the domain for $1.5 million, but we have been unable to verify the information. The price Apple paid for iCloud.net is unknown and the company declined to comment on the purchase when contacted by TechCrunch. Back in 2011, ahead of the launch of the iCloud service, Apple purchased the iCloud.com domain name from Swedish company Xcerion, shelling out approximately $5.2 million. Apple also possesses upwards of 100 iCloud domains, ranging from iCloud.us and iCloud.eu to iCloudApps.com and iCloudAds.com. It's not clear why Apple waited more than five years to acquire the iCloud.net domain, and it likely was just done as a measure to make sure the company owned all of the iCloud-related domains, but TechCrunch speculates that the purchase may have been made due to ongoing work on a social networking app that Apple is rumored to have in development. While the rumored app may not use iCloud branding, the existence of an Apple social network could have been confused with an iCloud.net social network, an ambiguity Apple may have wanted to resolve with the purchase of the iCloud.net domain.Tag: iCloud Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 months ago on mac rumors
T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, the four major carriers in the United States, all offer unlimited data plan options as of last week, allowing customers to forget about traditional data caps. With so many options now available for unlimited data, we thought we'd do an in-depth video comparing the plans offered by the four companies to figure out the best value based on price and coverage. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos Unsurprisingly, Sprint offers the lowest prices, but many people choose not to use Sprint because its LTE coverage is poorer than other carriers. Eliminating Sprint, T-Mobile offers the next best deal, while Verizon comes in third, and AT&T comes in at a distant fourth. For a single individual, Sprint charges $50 for new customers (for a limited time -- it goes up to $60 next year). T-Mobile charges $70, Verizon charges $80, and AT&T charges $100, making it the most expensive unlimited plan of the four carriers for an individual user. Prices even out a bit more with an increasing number of lines. At four lines, Sprint is charging $90 (new customers only -- and it's $160 next year), T-Mobile charges $160, and Verizon and AT&T both charge $180. Not all plans are equal though, especially in AT&T's case. While Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer high-definition video streaming by default, AT&T limits video streaming to 480p unless customers specifically opt out. Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile all also offer 10GB of tethering data per line for connecting your Mac or iPad to your phone, but AT&T offers no mobile hotspot functionality with its unlimited plan. T-Mobile offers the same video streaming and hotspot option that Verizon and Sprint do, but its prices are better than Verizon and aren't much more than Sprint, while offering a better network. T-Mobile is also the only network that offers fee-free data plans, so the price listed -- $70 -- is what you pay. T-Mobile doesn't charge activation fees, but other carriers do, which is something to take into account. All networks will "deprioritize" (aka slow down) data after a certain amount of data is used per month. T-Mobile's limit is 28GB, while AT&T's is 22GB, Verizon's is 22GB, and Sprint's is 23GB. When these caps are hit, data speeds are slowed down. On paper, T-Mobile seems to offer the best value for the price, but it's always worth taking a look at coverage maps and getting the opinion of other cellular users in your area before choosing a provider. There are also other benefits to look into, such as coverage abroad -- another area where T-Mobile leads the pack.Tags: Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 months ago on mac rumors
Apple's latest line of notebooks introduced an entirely revamped keyboard featuring flatter keys built using a second-generation butterfly mechanism, designed to optimize for stability while also maximizing travel. The butterfly mechanism was originally introduced in the ultra thin MacBook, but a newer version was implemented in the MacBook Pro. There have been mixed opinions about the keyboard of the 2016 MacBook Pro due to its vastly different feel compared to previous-generation MacBook Pro models, and it appears the new butterfly mechanism may also be less reliable compared to older construction techniques. A growing number of customers who have purchased a 2016 MacBook Pro are running into issues with the keyboard, including non-functional keys, strange high-pitched sounds on some keys, and keys with a non-uniform feel. There are dozens of threads both on MacRumors and on the Apple Support site. One of the most significant issues appears to be keys that make different higher-pitched sounds than other keys in some cases, a problem that was caught on video by MacRumors user monstermac77. As is demonstrated, when the caps lock key is pressed, it makes a sound that's much different than the other keys on the keyboard. According to monstermac77, the issue is only reproducible when the Mac is warm, a complaint that has been echoed by several other MacBook owners in the thread, suggesting heat plays a role in activating the problem. Some users are experiencing the overly-clicky sound without heat, though.Within a few hours of using my Late 2016 MacBook Pro 15" with Touch Bar, I noticed some of my keys made a very high pitched click on-key-up (when I lifted my finger from the pressed down key). The affected keys: Caps Lock, left Option, and very occasionally: Delete, 'H', and 'C'.The high-pitched clicking sound is irritating, but it isn't as serious as some of the other issues MacBook Pro owners have been having with the keyboard. In some cases, certain keys on the MacBook Pro miss clicks, enter double letters, or refuse to respond at all, a problem that we here at MacRumors have also experienced. MacRumors reader rroch describes the problem:My 2016 15'' MacBook Pro arrived yesterday (as one of the first). 63 of the 64 keys work fine. But the i-key most of the time types the letter twice. I suggest you test out your keyboard thoroughly. With auto-correct it can be easy to think it works. However, my password contains the letter i, and I quickly became super frustrated not being able to get my password right (come to think about it, maybe that's why they added Touch ID, so you don't need the keyboard for passwords). So take a document, turn off auto-correct, and check all the keys. I found that the failure happens more frequently with a slight delay before releasing the key.It's not clear what's causing the issue with the keys that suddenly become non-functional, but the butterfly mechanism is sensitive and can be interrupted by something as simple as a bit of dust. In our case, with the machine we had that was experiencing issues with a specific key, the problem cleared up on its own, but other MacBook owners have not been so lucky. One other minor keyboard complaint is an inconsistent feel across keys, with some keys that feel spongier than others or that don't press down consistently. This seems to be related to a problem with the butterfly mechanism which some users report having fixed with a needle or other thin tool, but most people should not try that sort of repair at home. While many of the complaints seem to be focused on the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, some users have also had problems with both the 13-inch model with a Touch Bar and the 13-inch model with no Touch Bar. Customers who are experiencing keyboard problems should visit an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. In most cases, Apple is offering repairs and replacements for affected users, especially those who have verifiable hardware problems related to skipping keys, but some MacRumors readers have needed to go through several replacement machines to find a keyboard that doesn't experience issues. Keyboard replacements are also not a simple matter on a machine as complex as the MacBook Pro, and users should expect repairs or replacements to take multiple days. According to reports from customers who have sought repairs, Apple is outright replacing most Touch Bar models while sending non-Touch Bar models out for repairs.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 2 months ago on mac rumors
Ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, Qualcomm and Intel have separately announced the latest LTE modems for smartphones with theoretical download speeds exceeding so-called "Gigabit LTE," aka 1 Gbps. Apple sources LTE modems for iPhones from both chipmakers. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X20 modem is the first-announced modem to support Category 18 download speeds up to an ultra fast 1.2 Gbps, with Category 13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. That builds upon Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16, which has a peak download speed of 1 Gbps. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon X20, built on a leading-edge 10nm FinFET process, supports more combinations of LTE carriers and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams. This "vastly expanded flexibility" will for more operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE in the future. Qualcomm said the first products with the Snapdragon X20 modem are expected to be available in the first half of 2018. Intel's new XMM 7560 modem [PDF] supports LTE Advanced Pro for up to Category 16 download speeds "exceeding" 1 Gbps, and Category 13 upload speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The XMM 7560 modem is Intel's fifth-generation LTE modem, and the first to be manufactured based on its 14nm process. Intel said the XMM 7560 modem is expected to sample in the first half of this year and move into production soon afterward. Both modems support 5x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO configurations, up to 256-QAM, and other technologies. Both chips also work with a number of cellular technologies, covering most LTE, CDMA, and GSM standards, meaning that equipped smartphones will be usable on most networks around the world. Overall, Qualcomm appears to remain a step ahead of Intel, but it's a rather moot point for now given that Australian carrier Telstra currently has the only Gigabit LTE network in the world. There are also no Gigabit LTE-capable smartphones, although the first ones are expected to be announced at Mobile World Congress next week. Nevertheless, the broader availability of Gigabit LTE is on the horizon. More smartphones will inevitably support the faster speeds in the future, while AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are all testing or plan to deploy Gigabit LTE this year in the United States, on the bigger path towards next-generation 5G networking. But even then, it is important to remember these are just theoretical speeds. In the latest OpenSignal testing, based on aggregated data from nearly 170,000 smartphone users, average LTE download speeds at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile ranged between 8 Mbps and 17 Mbps—a far cry from 1 Gbps. Apple could theoretically include the Snapdragon X20 or Intel XMM 7560 in a future iPhone, thereby making it a Gigabit LTE-capable smartphone, but it may elect to wait until more networks are up to speed. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X12 or Intel's XMM 7360 depending on the model. The X12 has a theoretical peak download speed of up to 600 Mbps, while the XMM 7360 reaches up to 450 Mbps. Qualcomm models were unsurprisingly found to be faster in subsequent testing.Tags: Intel, Qualcomm, LTE Discuss this article in our forums

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