posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
While speaking at the Code Conference today in San Francisco, Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey announced that 35% of U.S. merchants now accept Apple Pay, reports The Verge. She said that only 4% of merchants accepted the payment option two years ago when it debuted. Bailey says the new EMV chip cards are annoying customers and have helped drive adoption. "Once you figure out you have to chip, you wait a while, you wait awhile," she said before imitating the "BEEP" sound the chip reader makes when you can remove your card. Apple won't be marketing Apple Pay to take advantage of the annoyance toward EMV chips, Bailey said, instead focusing on creating new partnerships with banks and merchants. "Knocking EMV is not necessarily the way to go," she said. "I think it's to increase acceptance and work with great partners." The Cupertino company is also focusing on offering deals with retailers and banks. In November, Apple debuted exclusive holiday offers for those who use Apple Pay on the web. Promotions included one- or two-day free shipping with Adidas and 50% off a one-year subscription to The New York Times. Bailey notes that Apple has to work with partners for special offers because Apple doesn't collect transaction data, eliminating its ability to offer promotions by itself. Bailey says that Apple is excited by the speed of the transition to contactless payments. However, Bailey says that the challenge for Apple is that they have to match the speed of the transition to EMV chip readers. Apple has to get retailers and merchants to adopt Apple Pay at the same time they adopt EMV chip readers so that consumers can more easily see the benefit of Apple Pay. Bailey also teased what was next for Apple Pay, saying that the company is thinking about "everything in your wallet."Related Roundup: Apple Pay Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today published its annual Best of 2016 charts for the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBooks Store, naming photo editing app "Prisma" as the iPhone App of the Year and "Clash Royale" as the iPhone game of the year. Released in June of 2016, Prisma is designed to turn photographs into works of art using a range of different filters. Prisma garnered a lot of interest in 2016 and continually introduced new art filters. Clash Royale, named Apple's best game, first came out in March of 2016. A card based game, Clash Royale encourages players to collect dozens of cards from the Clash of Clans universe and duel other players. Apple also chose top apps and games for the iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, with all of the top picks listed below: iPhone App of the Year: Prisma iPhone Game of the Year: Clash Royale iPad App of the Year: Sketchbook Motion iPad Game of the Year: Severed Apple TV App of the Year: Twitter Apple TV Game of the Year: Riptide GP: Renegade Apple Watch App of the Year: MySwimPro - Personal Swim Trainer Apple Watch Game of the Year: Field Day Mac App of the Year: Bear Mac Game of the Year: Life is Strange Apple has named face-shifting app "MSQRD" as the runner up for best iPhone app, and swipe-based game "Reigns" as the runner up for best iPhone game, both of which are showcased alongside the winners in the main banner in the App Store. Two new App Store sections, "10 Best Apps of the Year" and "10 Best Games of the Year" further break down the best apps chosen by Apple's editors, highlighting apps like Quartz, Vogue, Hyper, Plants vs. Zombies, Rodeo Stampede, and more. There are separate sections for both iPhone and iPad apps and games, each with different picks. There are also a selection of apps in categories that include games playable on one hand, card-based games, celebrity games, video making apps, tap-based games, productivity apps, shopping apps, indie games, coding apps, and more. In the Mac App Store, Apple has also published a full list of its picks for best Mac apps, with selections that include Spark, Polarr Photo Editor, Mini Metro, Doo, XCOM 2, Darkest Dungeon, Day One, Layers of Fear, and OmniGraffle 7. Finally, Apple has announced the top apps based on overall App Store charts throughout the year, with Snapchat winning Top Free iPhone App and Heads Up! winning Top Paid iPhone App. For the iPad, YouTube was the top free app and Minecraft: Pocket Edition was the top paid app, while Netflix was the top free Apple TV app and Earthlapse TV was the top paid Apple TV app. All of Apple's best app picks can be found in the App Store, with similar lists available naming the best music, TV shows, movies, and books in the iTunes and iBooks Stores. Tag: App Store Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today shared some tips to "Shoot like a Pro" with depth-of-field "Portrait" effect in the iPhone 7 Plus, highlighting a range of suggestions collected from professional photographers on its news site. Tips include getting up close to a subject to bring out details, minimizing the background, putting the sun behind a subject, slightly underexposing, and using soft, diffused lighting. The suggestions are sourced from fashion photographer JerSean Golatt, celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart, travel photographer Pei Ketron, and wedding photographer Benj Haisch, and are accompanied by photos shot on the iPhone 7 Plus. For many years running, the iPhone has been the most popular camera on Flickr, which has encouraged Apple to make continual improvements to the camera equipment in its smartphones. Along with dual cameras and the Portrait mode in the iPhone 7 Plus, both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus feature lens, sensor, stabilization, and image signal processor improvements that offer much improved performance compared to previous-generation devices, especially in low-light conditions.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple recently made a quiet update to its Apple Support site, introducing a new feature that allows customers to find and schedule repairs for iPhones, Macs, and iPads from Apple Authorized Service Providers. When troubleshooting a product, choosing "Bring in for Repair" after going through Apple's support prompts now brings up all repair centers near a customer, including Apple's own retail stores and retail locations where customers can get repairs from Apple Authorized Service Providers. In addition to including all nearby Apple Authorized Service Providers, the new repair site also lists availability, so customers can find the fastest repairs and get same-day service in many locations. There's even an option to book a repair right from the site. Most of the time, getting a repair appointment at an Apple Store's Genius Bar requires a wait of several days to a week, while Apple Authorized Service Providers have much more open availability. In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, local Apple Stores do not have repair appointments until next week, but third-party repair shops like Best Buy, Clickaway, Mobile Kangaroo, and Computercare have appointments today or tomorrow. Apple Authorized Service Providers have been officially authorized by Apple to perform repairs on Apple devices. Both AppleCare repairs and out-of-warranty repair services are available, but many customers may not be aware of local options outside of an Apple Store. Apple's new focus on third-party service providers may provide some much-needed relief for Apple retail stores that are unable to keep up with repair requests and it will ensure customers are able to get faster service.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today officially launched Single Sign-on, the service designed to allow cable subscribers to sign in once with their cable credentials to gain access to all cable-restricted content in iOS and tvOS apps. Single Sign-on is limited to the United States, and according to a support document, is available for the following providers: CenturyLink Prism, DirecTV, Dish, GVTC, GTA, Hawaiian Telecom, Hotwire, MetroCast, and Sling. While Single Sign-on was introduced and tested in the tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 betas, the feature was remotely released today to all iOS 10 and tvOS 10 devices. Using Single Sign-on does not require one of the betas, and is instead immediately available to all iPhone and Apple TV users running iOS 10 or tvOS 10. With Single Sign-on, customers with a supported provider will use the Settings options in iOS or tvOS to sign in with their cable credentials. From then on, when accessing a supported app that requires a cable subscription, the app will ask to use the saved sign-on credentials. To get to Single Sign-on on iOS devices, open the Settings app and scroll down to "TV Providers." The process is the same on the Apple TV - open the Settings app and choose the TV Providers option to sign in. Most cable channels and content providers offer individual apps on the Apple TV and iOS devices, but still require cable authentication before users can access content. Prior to Single Sign-on, customers were required to enter their credentials in each individual app, a frustrating and time-consuming process. Single Sign-on will play a key part in the upcoming "TV" app that's set to debut in iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1. The TV app serves as sort of an Apple-designed television guide that lets customers find new content and keep track of what they were watching across multiple devices. At the current time, Single Sign-on is available to a limited number of customers, but its availability will expand as Apple signs the necessary deals with cable providers. Single Sign-on also requires apps to implement support for the feature, and many apps have not yet introduced Single Sign-on support. Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
As Apple's iPhone 6s is facing scrutiny in China over a battery issue that causes unexpected shutdowns, a Chinese consumer group has complained of a separate problem with the iPhone 6 - spontaneous battery fires. According to the The Wall Street Journal, the Shanghai Consumer Council says it received eight reports from Chinese users claiming their smartphones spontaneously caught on fire, but Apple inspected the devices and says "external physical damage" is to blame. Apple said it analyzed the affected phones and found that the fires followed "external physical damage." The company encouraged customers with issues to visit an Apple store or contact company support. "We appreciate that customers are more concerned than ever about the performance and safety of batteries in their mobile devices," Apple said in a statement.Given that the iPhone 6 has been available since 2014 and there have been no notable reports of device fires, Apple's physical damage explanation rings true. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which had a true faulty part leading to fires, reports from around the world started flooding in just weeks after the device was released. Complaints from Chinese consumer groups over iPhone 6s battery problems led Apple to introduce a repair program for iPhone 6s devices that unexpectedly shut down, and Apple has gone out of its way in China to explain the issue and assure customers that it is not safety related. Apple's repair program will see it providing new batteries to customers with iPhone 6s devices primarily manufactured between September and October of 2015. Just today, Apple expanded the repair program to encompass a small number of customers "outside of the affected range" who are also experiencing shutdowns. On its Chinese site, Apple explained that the iPhone 6s shutdown issue was caused by exposure to "controlled ambient air" during the manufacturing process, which caused the battery to degrade faster than a normal battery. Next week, Apple plans to introduce a diagnostic tool that will allow it to gather information and better manage battery performance levels to prevent shutdowns. With iOS 10.2 nearly ready to launch, it's likely the diagnostic capability will be included in that update. As Apple's third largest market after the United States and Europe, China has become increasingly important to Apple over the last several years. Apple has made an effort to introduce a number of retail stores in the country, and it has made a $1 billion investment in Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing. Despite its efforts, Apple has struggled in China. In Apple's third quarter earnings report, revenue in China was down 33 percent year over year, dropping from $13 billion in 3Q 2015 to $8.9 billion in 3Q 2016. Chinese officials have said Apple is "too deeply established in the country's core industries," and along with recent trouble over its iPhones, Apple has also struggled with its iTunes Movie and iBooks Store in China, which were shut down by Chinese administrators in April. Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Tag: China Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is continuing to add new providers to its Single Sign-on feature in tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2, and today introduced Single Sign-on support for four new providers: CenturyLink Prism, Hawaiian Telecom, MetroCast, and GTA (available in Guam). GVTC Communications, previously listed as a Single Sign-on option, has been removed. With the new additions, when tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 become available for the public, Single Sign-on will be available for eight cable subscription options: DirecTV, Dish, Hotwire, Sling TV, CenturyLink Prism, Hawaiian Telecom, MetroCast, and GTA. Apple will continue adding support for additional providers as it manages to secure the necessary deals. Single Sign-on allows Apple TV and iOS users to enter their cable credentials once and then sign in to all available live cable content, even across multiple apps. Single Sign-on works automatically when you have a cable subscription through a participating provider, prompting you allow a compatible app to use your sign in credentials. Many cable channels offer individual apps on the Apple TV and iOS devices, but still require cable authentication to access content. Without Single Sign-on, users need to enter their cable information for each app, a process that's a huge hassle. Apps that take advantage of Single Sign-on and user cable subscriptions will be easier to find and track in tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2, with content located in the new "TV" app that's been introduced. We expect to see tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 introduced to the public next week alongside macOS Sierra 10.12.2 and watchOS 3.1.1.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10, iOS 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
Like the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung's next-generation Galaxy S8 will not feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, reports SamMobile. Samsung will instead use a single USB-C port to deliver both power and audio capabilities, using the space once taken by the jack for other components. Samsung often takes design inspiration from Apple, something that's caused legal problems that are still ongoing today, but the decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack is curious given Apple's move was so controversial. According to Apple, removing the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus took a lot of "courage." Apple executives have claimed that the 3.5mm jack is outdated technology that was taking up essential space and holding Apple back from implementing features like a new Taptic Engine and waterproofing. Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 Many iPhone users have not been happy with the removal of the headphone jack, a fact that Samsung took advantage of when announcing the now-defunct Galaxy Note 7. "Want to know what else it comes with?" Samsung VP Justin Denison asked on stage, mocking the iPhone. "An audio jack, I'm just saying." With the removal of the headphone jack in the Galaxy S8, Samsung users will face the same drawbacks iPhone users have had to deal with since September. There will be no way to charge and listen to music at the same time without a special adapter, and existing headphones will also be useless without a 3.5mm to USB-C adapter. Samsung plans to debut the new Galaxy S8 at the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which takes place in February. In addition to overcoming any negative reaction to the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack, Samsung will also need to quell customer fears over the device's build and its battery. The Galaxy Note 7 suffered from an exploding battery issue that injured dozens of people and eventually led Samsung to discontinue the device and pull it from store shelves.Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S8 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of Samsung in its longstanding smartphone design lawsuit with Apple, reversing a $399 million damages judgment awarded to Apple by a lower court. The case will now return to lower court for further proceedings. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided it does not have enough info to say whether damages should be based on the total device, or rather individual components like the front bezel or the casing. Samsung now has another chance to argue its case before a lower court in attempt to recollect the penalty it paid to Apple in 2012. The lawsuit dates back to 2011, when Apple successfully sued Samsung for allegedly infringing upon the patented design of the iPhone, including its rectangular front face with rounded edges and grid of colorful icons on a black screen. Apple was awarded $399 million in damages based on Samsung's entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones. Tags: Samsung, lawsuit Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
When looking at the current state of the Mac lineup, the new MacBook Pro is the only model Apple has updated over the past seven-plus months. Even the latest MacBook Pro models required a 527-day wait, which was considerably longer than the average of 320 days between previous MacBook Pro refreshes. A glance at our own MacRumors Buyer's Guide shows the new MacBook Pro is the only Mac currently listed with a "Buy Now" status, as all other models beyond the 12-inch MacBook have not been refreshed for significant periods of time. The longest overdue is the Mac Pro, last updated 1,084 days ago.• iMac — 420 days ago • MacBook Air — 638 days ago • Mac mini — 782 days ago • Mac Pro — 1,084 days agoThe lack of updates can be at least partially attributed to Apple having to wait on chipmakers and suppliers such as Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, each of which follow their own product roadmaps, although that cannot be the only reason given Skylake processors are now readily available for update-deprived Macs. A lack of meaningful updates to several Macs this year impacted Apple's bottom line, as Mac revenue has declined for four consecutive quarters year-over-year. The declines have worsened each quarter, starting with a 3% drop in Q4 2015 and progressing to a 17% drop in Q3 2016, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple investors now await the company's first quarter earnings results to see if the new MacBook Pro models will be able to reverse that trend. Conversely, after several down quarters, the iPad has experienced a mostly upward trajectory over the past year, thanks largely in part to the iPad Pro's higher average selling price. Apple's tablet revenue is now stable on a year-over-year basis, after dipping as low as -21% one year ago. Strategy Analytics senior analyst Eric Smith attributes the stabilizing effect to Apple's renewed focus on iPads. He said Apple entered the 2-in-1 tablet market with the iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard right in time to renew growth and capitalize on growing enterprise demand in the future. Recognizing that Microsoft was changing the computing device market, Smith said Apple "pretty much forgot about Mac" in order to attack the 2-in-1 tablet segment with the release of iPad Pro models over the past year."Apple has been a master of cannibalizing its own business before other companies do so in a major way," Smith told MacRumors. "Apple let iPad slide until it became clear that Microsoft was changing the computing device market. It refocused on iPad with the Pro series and pretty much forgot about Mac to attack the 2-in-1 segment."Apple's move was rather effective, as iPad market share has stabilized at 22% over the past two years after declining for the previous four years. But it would seem it took a change in stance to get there as, in the past, Apple essentially dismissed the idea of releasing a tablet-notebook hybrid. During a 2012 earnings call, when asked to comment on why the MacBook Air and iPad would not eventually converge, Apple CEO Tim Cook argued that combining the products would result in compromises. "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator but those won't be pleasing to the user," he said. By contrast, earlier this year Apple released a TV ad called "What's a Computer?" that positions the iPad Pro as a computer. "Imagine what your computer could do if your computer was an iPad Pro," the tagline concludes. Likewise, Cook said the iPad Pro is a notebook or desktop computer replacement for many people. "They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones," he added. "I think if you're looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?" In the post-PC era, it is perhaps unsurprising that Apple's attention has shifted more towards the iPhone—and by extension, the iPad. But many faithful customers are hoping Apple will eventually turn its sights back to the Mac, following what some critics believe was a disappointing MacBook Pro update amid an aging lineup of Macs. Rumors suggest Apple will launch new iMacs in the first six months of 2017, and at least one model is said to include an option for new AMD graphics chips. The roadmap for other Macs remains less clear.Related Roundups: iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro Tag: Strategy Analytics Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy), Mac Pro (Don't Buy), Mac Mini (Don't Buy), MacBook Pro (Buy Now), 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
A few days after issuing a message on its Chinese website regarding the battery shutdown issue plaguing some iPhone 6s users, Apple today added a new message onto the site. The update reiterates on the cause of the issue -- some batteries were exposed to "controlled ambient air" during manufacturing -- while also expanding the scope of the affected range of customers facing the problem. In the original message, Apple noted that "a small number" of iPhone 6s smartphones made in September and October of 2015 were facing unexpected shutdowns due to their prolonged exposure to controlled ambient air. Now, Apple said that it's discovered a few customers "outside of the affected range" who have also been facing unexpected shutdowns of their iPhone 6s devices. A small number of customers outside of the affected range have also reported an unexpected shutdown. Some of these shutdowns can occur under normal conditions in order for the iPhone to protect its electronics. In an effort to gather more information, we are including additional diagnostic capability in an iOS software update which will be available next week. This will allow us to gather information over the coming weeks which may potentially help us improve the algorithms used to manage battery performance and shutdown. If such improvements can be made, they will be delivered in future software updates. As it continues to face new issues with the "small number" of affected customers, Apple is preparing an iOS update that it said will introduce an "additional diagnostic capability" so the company can gather information and improve its ability to manage the battery performance levels and untimely shutdowns. The update, presumably iOS 10.2, will be made available sometime next week, and Apple mentioned that if any improvements and solutions are discovered thanks to the diagnostic tool, "they will be delivered in future software updates." For those who think their iPhone 6s is affected, Apple launched a repair program last month offering free battery replacements for any iPhone 6s manufactured between September and October 2015 which are experiencing shutdowns. There's also a new tool so customers can enter their iPhone's serial number to see if it's eligible for the replacement program.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Earlier today data from market research firm IDC said that Apple Watch's share of the wearables market fell to 5% as fitness trackers "reigned supreme." In an email responding to a Reuters inquiry about the report, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Watch's sell-through rate hit a new high recently. "Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch," he said.Cook added that Apple's data shows that the Watch "looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year." The IDC report estimated that Apple shipped 1.1 million Apple Watch units in the third quarter, down from 3.9 million shipments last year during the same quarter. IDC attributed the decline to an "aging lineup" and an "unintuitive user interface." Apple addressed those concerns with the Apple Watch Series 2, but the model's launch date in mid-September hampered its impact in the third quarter. While Cook told Reuters that Apple's sell-through rate was high, he has not yet responded to Reuters' request for specific sales figures. Apple doesn't disclose Apple Watch sales figures, instead grouping it into its "other products" category, which also includes iPod and Apple TV, in earnings results.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Tag: Tim Cook Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today shared a new iPhone 7 ad on its YouTube channel, which is designed to highlight the video recording features of Apple's latest device. In the ad, entitled "Romeo and Juliet," two children are shown acting out Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in a realistic setting, with the camera panning out to show that it's actually a father recording a school play with the iPhone 7. A caption underneath the video reads "Your movies look like movies on iPhone 7." The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus both feature optical 12-megapixel high-speed sensors, new image signal processors, optical image stabilization, and wide color gamut, all features that have led to improved performance over previous-generation devices. Today's iPhone 7 ad is the latest in a series of ads that have showcased iPhone 7 and 7 Plus features like waterproofing, improved battery life, the camera, and the iOS 10 operating system.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 the upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.2 update to developers and public beta testers, one week after releasing the fourth 10.12.2 beta and more than a month after the public release of macOS 10.12.1. The fifth beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.2 is available for download through the Apple Developer Center or through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store. macOS Sierra 10.12.2 includes new emoji, introducing Unicode 9 characters like clown face, selfie, face palm, fox face, owl, shark, butterfly, avocado, bacon, and more, plus many profession emoji are available in both male and female genders. Apple has also updated the artwork on many existing emoji, adding detail and design elements to make them look less cartoonish and more realistic. New wallpapers are also included in macOS Sierra 10.12.2, introducing the color explosion options that have been used in iPhone marketing materials. There are few other outward-facing changes aside from the addition of new emoji and wallpapers, but the 10.12.2 update also likely includes many bug fixes and performance enhancements to address issues that have surfaced since the release of macOS Sierra 10.12.1. Available since September, macOS Sierra is the latest Mac operating system. It includes Siri support, Apple Pay for the web, Universal Clipboard, Apple Watch auto unlocking, improved iCloud Drive integration, Picture-in-Picture multitasking, and dozens of smaller features that can be found in our macOS Sierra 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 sixth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.2 update to developers and public beta testers, a few days after seeding the fifth beta of iOS 10.2 and more than a month after releasing iOS 10.1, the first major update to iOS 10. Registered developers can download the sixth beta of iOS 10.2 from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. iOS 10.2 introduces new emoji, such as clown face, drooling face, selfie, face palm, fox face, owl, shark, butterfly, avocado, pancakes, croissant, and more. There are more than a hundred new emoji, including several profession emoji available in both male and female genders, such as firefighter, mechanic, lawyer, doctor, scientist, and more. Apple has also redesigned many existing emoji, adding more detail to make them look much more realistic. Along with new emoji, iOS 10.2 includes new wallpaper, new Music sorting options and buttons for Repeat and Shuffle, new "Celebrate" and "Send with Love" Screen Effects, an option for preserving camera settings, Single-Sign On support for watching live TV via apps, and the official "TV" app that was first introduced at Apple's October 27 event. The TV app serves as an Apple-designed TV guide that aims to simplify the television watching experience and allow users to discover new TV shows and movies to watch. The TV app is available on both iOS devices and the Apple TV (tvOS 10.1), and in iOS 10.2, the "Videos" app has been replaced entirely with the new "TV" app, which will now serve as the iOS TV and movie hub. Apple has called iOS 10 its "biggest release ever" for iOS users, with a revamped lock screen, a Siri SDK for developers, an overhauled Messages app, a dedicated "Home" app for HomeKit users, new facial and object recognition capabilities in Photos, and redesigned Maps and Apple Music apps.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
While the Apple Watch remains the world's best selling smartwatch, the latest data from market research firm IDC reveals basic wearables "reign supreme" as consumers gravitate towards simple, dedicated fitness devices—which also typically cost less than the Apple Watch and other smartwatches. Shipments in millions (Source: IDC) Basic wearables accounted for 85% of the market and experienced double-digit growth in the third quarter, according to IDC. Fitbit remained the leader with 23% market share, up from 21.4% a year ago, on the strength of its new Charge 2 fitness tracker. Fitbit shipped an estimated 5.3 million wearables in the quarter. Xiaomi trailed in second as its $14.99 Mi Band is priced well below any competing wearables, allowing the Chinese company to capture 16.5% market share based on an estimated 3.8 million shipments in the quarter. Xiaomi's market share remained virtually unchanged from 16.4% a year ago. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch captured just a 4.9% share of the broader wearables market in the quarter based on an estimated 1.1 million shipments, according to IDC. Comparatively, in the year-ago quarter, Apple had an estimated 3.9 million Apple Watch shipments for a much higher 17.5% market share."It's still early days, but we're already seeing a notable shift in the market," said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "Where smartwatches were once expected to take the lead, basic wearables now reign supreme. Simplicity is a driving factor and this is well reflected in the top vendor list as four out of five offer a simple, dedicated fitness device. Meanwhile, from a design perspective, many devices are focusing on fashion first while allowing the technology to blend in with the background."IDC attributed Apple's decline in the third quarter to an "aging lineup" and an "unintuitive user interface." Apple addressed those concerns with Apple Watch Series 2, but the second-generation models launched in mid-September and therefore did not have a full impact on the third quarter. Apple does not officially disclose Apple Watch sales, instead grouping the device under its "Other Products" category in earnings results.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Tags: wearables, IDC, Fitbit Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Ahead of the official launch of Single Sign-on on tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 later this month, Apple has added a new App Store section with apps that support the feature for beta testers. The apps are categorized by supported TV providers, including DirecTV, Dish, Sling TV, Hotwire, and GVTC. If you are a Dish Network satellite TV subscriber, for example, you can sign in once with your Dish username and password to start using any of the following apps, among others: Watch Cooking Channel, Watch DIY, Watch Travel Channel, Hallmark Channel Everywhere, and Watch Food Network. When you open an app that supports Single Sign-on on iOS 10.2 beta, a pop-up alert asks if you "want to allow XYZ to use your sign in credentials," according to beta testers. If you decline, the app lets you sign in and authenticate with a provider-specific username and password as usual. On a fourth-generation Apple TV running tvOS 10.1 beta, Single Sign-on can be accessed by opening the Settings app and navigating to Accounts > TV Provider. On an iPhone or iPad running iOS 10.2 beta, Single Sign-on can be accessed by opening the Settings app and tapping on the TV Provider section. Single Sign-on will be available on tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 in December upon completion of beta testing, enabling U.S. customers to sign in once with their cable TV credentials to access all live cable content available through their cable TV subscription, even when it is spread across multiple apps.Tags: App Store, iOS 10.2, tvOS 10.1, Single Sign-on Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
A subset of users who purchased a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar claim to be experiencing shorter than expected battery life. In particular, some users claim to be getting as little as 3 to 6 hours of battery life on a single charge, or between 30% and 60% of the up to 10 hours advertised. MacRumors forum member SRTM said:Currently I'm powering a 1080p external monitor and casually browsing with Chrome. At full charge, I'm getting an estimate of 3 hours battery life. With gaming it's even less.MacRumors forum member Aioriya said:I bought a maxed out 13-inch Touch Bar model and I've been using it for about a week. With light use, I've been consistently getting around 5-6.5 hours when mainly browsing. Apple claims 10 hours wireless web but my battery has never lasted this long.Reddit user Azr-79 yesterday claimed his new base model 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar received only 3 hours and 45 minutes of battery life on a single charge, despite what he described as "normal usage" in the form of web browsing, watching YouTube videos, and software development. MacRumors forum member Scott claimed he experienced a 5% drop in battery life, from 10% to 5%, in just 12 minutes. Google Chrome, a known battery hog, was listed as the only app drawing significant power. The discussion topic he posted in and others are littered with similar claims of sizeable percentage drops in mere minutes. Other claims on Reddit include anywhere from 3 hours to 5 hours to 6 hours — sometimes more, and sometimes less. Reversely, some users report battery life exactly in line with Apple's advertised figures. Reddit user Andrew J., for example, said he was working on non-intensive tasks on his new MacBook Pro for 90 straight minutes, and still had 92% battery life with an estimated 10 hours and 35 minutes of usage remaining.I've been working non-stop for the past 1.5 hours, back and forth between emails, Safari, Calendar, Messages, organizing files, editing some PDFs in Adobe Acrobat DC, and building a financial model in Excel. I started at 100% and am now at 92% battery, with an estimated 10 hours 35 minutes remaining. If you're not getting this kind of battery life on your MBP you should definitely get it checked out.Estimates unsurprisingly vary widely based on screen brightness, background processes, and other factors, so user reports are only anecdotal evidence and your mileage may vary. It is also important to note battery life could be initially reduced until Spotlight finishes indexing your new MacBook Pro. Battery life complaints are nothing new following the launch of a new Apple product. However, some users speculate battery life could be impacted by the new MacBook Pro switching from more efficient integrated Intel graphics to the power-hungrier dedicated AMD Radeon Pro GPU for unnecessary tasks. Once again, however, there are always claims to suggest otherwise. Reddit user Lebron Hubbard claims he received 5 hours and 48 minutes of battery life on his high-end built-to-order 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar when forcing only the dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics to run using gfxCardStatus:Even though the dGPU rarely kicks in for day to day stuff, the Radeon Pro 460 seems really efficient for small tasks. 5:48 is nothing to scoff at for dGPU only, and it runs very cool and quiet. Apple's built-in Activity Monitor and third-party app coconutBattery are useful tools for tracking system processes and detailed battery information. Apple officially says the new MacBook Pro is rated for up to 10 hours of battery life. Specifically, its tech specs page says all new 13-inch and 15-inch models are capable of up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing, up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, and up to 30 days of standby time on a single charge. TechCrunch placed battery life at 9 hours and 35 minutes for the 13-inch model. Mashable said 10 hours is a fair estimate overall. The Wall Street Journal got 9.5 hours on the 13-inch model. Engadget gauged between 9 and 10 hours of video playback on the 15-inch model. Nilay Patel got 5.5 hours on the 13" in real-world use. Apple explains how it performs its battery tests on its website:The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The iTunes movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network and signed in to an iCloud account, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default.Apple's website also provides tips for maximizing battery life on the MacBook Pro, including updating to the latest version of macOS, optimizing Energy Saver settings in System Preferences, dimming the screen's brightness to the lowest comfortable level, and turning off Wi-Fi while not connected to a network. Additional battery optimization advice provided by users includes performing a fresh install of macOS Sierra and resetting the SMC.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Tag: battery life Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Last week, Apple wrote a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration telling it that "new entrants" to the auto industry should get the same rights as the established companies in the industry, reports VentureBeat. In the letter, Apple admits to its interest in "machine learning and automation" as it pertains to transportation.Apple uses machine learning to make its products and services smarter, more intuitive, and more personal. The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation.Apple points out that established car manufacturers do not have to pursue exemptions to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards when attempting to test cars on public roads due to the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. New entrants in the auto industry, like Google and others, are not granted the same right under the FAST Act. The Cupertino company argues that the best way to maximize safety benefits for autonomous vehicles, ensure fair competition and encourage innovation is for the NHTSA to amend policy to state that seeking exemptions isn't necessary for internal development vehicles on public roads. The other half of the letter, which is dated November 22, addresses the Federal Automated Vehicles policy and a proposed data sharing program. "Apple agrees that companies should share de-identified scenario and dynamics data from crashes and near-misses," the letter says. "Data should be sufficient to reconstruct the event, including time-series of vehicle kinematics and characteristics of the roadway and objects." Apple also points out that data sharing should not come at the expense of privacy, and that companies should invest resources to protect the "individuals' fundamental right to privacy." In October, it was reported that Apple was abandoning its car plans "for now." After numerous layoffs and reassignments, the remaining members of the Apple Car team were said to be focusing on autonomous systems. Dozens of employees are also working on a car operating system in Canada. The letter was signed by Apple VP of Product Integrity Steve Kenner, who used to be Ford's Global Director of Automotive Safety. It's not known when Kenner joined Apple, as his LinkedIn still lists Ford as his employer. Update: Apple issued a statement to Financial Times confirming the letter and Apple's interest in helping to define rules for self-driving vehicles.“We’ve provided comments to NHTSA because Apple is investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems,” the Apple spokesman said. “There are many potential applications for these technologies, including the future of transportation, so we want to work with NHTSA to help define the best practices for the industry.”Related Roundup: Apple Car Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Since new MacBook Pro models launched last month, an increasing number of early adopters have reported serious graphics issues on Apple's latest notebooks. The glitches and other problems appear to be most prevalent on built-to-order 15-inch models, but standard 13-inch and 15-inch configurations are also affected. MacRumors reader Jan Becker, for example, said the graphics began to glitch on his new high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro, equipped with built-to-order AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics, while transcoding video with Adobe Media Encoder in Premiere Pro. The notebook subsequently crashed. Becker claims when he took his MacBook Pro to an Apple retail store to be replaced, an employee said the graphics issues are likely a hardware problem. He later claimed he received a phone call from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, where it allegedly has a team of engineers looking into the issues.Apple called me from Cupertino. They put together a group of engineers to get to the root of this. I re-created the incident while I was on the phone with them and sent them the log files of the crash. They also want to "capture" my MacBook Pro with all the files on it to investigate more.The most common symptoms reported by users include brightly colored flickering, full-screen checkerboard patterns, screen tearing, and other visual artifacts. Affected systems may subsequently experience unresponsiveness or a kernel panic, sometimes resulting in the MacBook Pro crashing. 15-inch MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics with full-screen visual artifacts The high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and built-to-order AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics appears to be most commonly afflicted, but several users have reported similar issues on 15-inch models equipped with standard AMD Radeon Pro 450 or AMD Radeon Pro 455 GPUs as well. MacRumors reader Jayselle recorded his 15-inch MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro 455 graphics flickering while connected to two external LG displays. It is not entirely clear if the issues are a hardware or software problem. The graphics appear to act up most when users are completing intensive tasks, such as transcoding video with Adobe Media Encoder, syncing large photo libraries with Photos, or using other Adobe apps such as Photoshop and Lightroom. It would initially seem the issue is limited to 15-inch MacBook Pro models with dedicated AMD graphics, but there are a few isolated reports of graphics issues on 13-inch models with integrated Intel Iris 540 and Intel Iris 550 graphics — including the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a standard row of function keys. User complaints extend to the Apple Support Communities and other MacRumors discussion topics, indicating the graphics issues are rather widespread, but not all users are affected. Some speculate the latest macOS Sierra beta may fix the issues, but evidence remains anecdotal. Separately, a number of users are reporting brief glitches during the boot up process on new MacBook Pro models, particularly along the bottom of the screen. It appears this issue is related to FileVault 2 startup disk encryption, as the glitches go away for many of these users once the feature is disabled. As insurance, Apple's extended holiday return policy is currently in effect. MacBook Pros purchased or delivered between November 10 and December 25 are eligible for return until January 8, 2017 in the United States, Australia, and Canada, or January 20 in the United Kingdom and some other European countries. Select 2011-2013 MacBook Pro models have exhibited similar graphics issues in the past, including distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts. Apple accordingly launched a Repair Extension Program offering free repairs and refunds, but not before facing a class action lawsuit over the matter. Apple appears to be aware of and is investigating these latest graphics issues, but it has yet to publicly comment on the matter. Apple been actively exchanging MacBook Pros for affected customers, according to users. Schedule a Genius Bar appointment or contact Apple Support to facilitate this process.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Both AT&T and Verizon offer apps and streaming services that don't count against the data cap they impose on customers, a practice that the United States Federal Communications Commission does not approve of. The FCC this week sent letters (via The Verge) to both Verizon and AT&T, claiming that the data cap exemptions, called "zero rating," raise net neutrality concerns and could impact consumers and competition. AT&T and Verizon each offer programs that allow content providers to pay a fee to be exempted from customer data caps, programs that they themselves take advantage of with their own apps and services. DirecTV Now, AT&T's recently introduced streaming television service, does not use data when streamed on the AT&T network, for example. DirecTV Now pays for the data, but as an AT&T subsidiary, AT&T is just paying itself. Verizon, meanwhile, exempts its own Go90 streaming service from using data on the Verizon network and does not pay fees to do so. The FCC first sent a warning to AT&T in early November, but was not pleased with the response it received from the company. In this week's letter, the FCC says that it has come to the "preliminary" conclusion that the Sponsored Data program inhibits competition, harms consumers, and violates Open Internet rules. It asks AT&T to answer a series of questions about its Sponsored Data practices.We find that those responses fail to alleviate the serious concerns expressed in our November 9 letter regarding the potential anti-competitive impacts of a wholesale Sponsored Data program for zero-rated mobile video services. Indeed, your submission tends to confirm our initial view that the Sponsored Data program strongly favors AT&T's own video offerings while unreasonably discriminating against unaffiliated edge providers and limiting their ability to offer competing video services to AT&T's broadband subscribers on a level playing field.A similar letter sent to Verizon expresses concern over the "FreeBee Data 360" program and says it has the potential to "hinder competition and harm consumers" because Verizon does not need to pay to participate in the Sponsored Data program when it exempts its own app, but competing content providers do.The position that the participation of Go90 in FreeBee Data 360 is the same as that of third parties, however, fails to take account of the notably different financial impact on unaffiliated edge providers. For example, while there is no cash cost on a consolidated basis for Verizon to zero-rate its own affiliated edge service, an unaffiliated edge provider's FreeBee Data 360 payment to Verizon is a true cash cost that could be significant.AT&T and Verizon have responded to the letters sent by the FCC in statements given to the media. AT&T says the government should not take away a service that's saving customers money, while Verizon says its practices are good for consumers, non-discriminatory, and consistent with the rules. The two carriers have been given a December 15 deadline to respond to the FCC's concerns.Tags: FCC, AT&T, Verizon 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 10.2 update to developers and public beta testers, four days after seeding the fourth beta of iOS 10.2 and more than a month after releasing iOS 10.1, the first major update to iOS 10. Registered developers can download the iOS 10.2 beta 5 from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. iOS 10.2 introduces new emoji, such as clown face, drooling face, selfie, face palm, fox face, owl, shark, butterfly, avocado, pancakes, croissant, and more. There are more than a hundred new emoji, including several profession emoji available in both male and female genders, such as firefighter, mechanic, lawyer, doctor, scientist, and more. Apple has also redesigned many existing emoji, adding more detail to make them look much more realistic. Along with new emoji, iOS 10.2 includes new wallpaper, new Music sorting options and buttons for Repeat and Shuffle, new "Celebrate" and "Send with Love" Screen Effects, an option for preserving camera settings, Single-Sign On support for watching live TV via apps, and the official "TV" app that was first introduced at Apple's October 27 event. The TV app serves as an Apple-designed TV guide that aims to simplify the television watching experience and allow users to discover new TV shows and movies to watch. The TV app is available on iOS devices and the Apple TV, and in iOS 10.2, the "Videos" app has been replaced entirely with the new "TV" app, which will now serve as the iOS TV and movie hub. Apple has called iOS 10 its "biggest release ever" for iOS users, with a revamped lock screen, a Siri SDK for developers, an overhauled Messages app, a dedicated "Home" app for HomeKit users, new facial and object recognition capabilities in Photos, and redesigned Maps and Apple Music apps.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has posted a message on its Chinese website to address unexpected battery shutdowns affecting some iPhone 6s models, noting the issue is related to some batteries having been overexposed to "controlled ambient air" during the manufacturing process (via Business Insider). We found that a small number of iPhone 6s devices made in September and October 2015 contained a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than it should have been before being assembled into battery packs. As a result, these batteries degrade faster than a normal battery and cause unexpected shutdowns to occur. It's important to note, this is not a safety issue.Apple added that iPhones are designed to shut down automatically under certain conditions, such as extremely cold temperature. In this case, some iPhone 6s models are shutting down with around 30% battery percentage remaining to protect the device's internal components from low voltage. Apple said it has investigated other factors that could potentially cause an iPhone to shut down unexpectedly, but it has not identified any new factors. Nevertheless, the company said it will continue to monitor and analyze customer reports. Apple reiterated the battery issues are not a safety concern. Apple launched a repair program earlier this month offering free battery replacements for affected iPhone 6s models. These devices fall within a limited serial number range manufactured between September 2015 and October 2015. Apple has since launched a tool to check if your serial number is affected. Apple is also offering refunds to customers who previously paid to have their eligible iPhone 6s battery repaired or replaced. Apple recommends customers experiencing iPhone 6s battery issues visit an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or contact Apple Support.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
New research conducted by a global independent safety firm has revealed that 99 percent of fake Apple chargers sold online fail a basic safety test (via BBC). The tests were commissioned by the U.K.'s Trading Standards and undertaken by Illinois-based global safety specialists UL. The insulation tests applied a high voltage to the chargers, which were bought online from eight different countries, including the U.S., China, and Australia. According to the results, only three out of 400 counterfeit chargers were found to have adequate insulation to ensure protection against electric shocks. Leon Livermore, the chief executive of Chartered Trading Standards Institute, described the counterfeit chargers sold online as an "unknown entity" and urged shoppers to buy electrical goods only from trusted suppliers. "It might cost a few pounds more, but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one," he said.Earlier this week, Amazon acknowledged a worsening counterfeit problem on its site and said it had made fighting the fake products a "major goal" going forward. The announcement followed a lawsuit filed by Apple last month against a company it accused of selling fake power adapters and cables on Amazon. Apple conducted its own tests and said it found that almost 90 percent of so-called genuine Apple products and accessories it had purchased from Amazon over the last nine months were actually counterfeit. "Counterfeit electrical goods are likely to be poor quality and in the worst cases unsafe," said Gillian Guy, chief executive of the U.K.'s Citizens Advice. "Look out for tell-tale signs of counterfeiting such as mistakes in brand names or logos, and check plugs for safety marks - all genuine electrical items made in the EU should have a CE mark on them." Trading Standards included guidelines in its press release to help consumers in the EU spot a fake charger, advising them to check pin size, look for regulation markings, warnings and instructions. In addition, Citizens Advice urged consumers not to overcharge appliances and to never cover devices when charging or use a charger with a cracked case or frayed cable.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Over 400 Apple retail stores around the world have red logos today, in recognition of World AIDS Day. The logos, which Apple has put up at its stores for the last several years on December 1, are meant to raise awareness for the global fight against AIDS. Earlier this week, Apple announced plans to donate $1 to partner charity (RED) for every Apple Pay purchase made at an Apple Store, on Apple.com, or through the Apple Store app as part of a World AIDS Day campaign. Apple has pledged to donate up to $1 million during the event, which will last until December 6. Bank of America is also making a donation for every Apple Pay transaction made using its cards from December 1 to December 7, with plans to donate up to $1 million. In addition to its Apple Pay promotion, Apple has released several new PRODUCT(RED) items over the course of the last month, including an iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case, an iPhone SE case, a Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, and Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones. Throughout the year, a portion of the proceeds from PRODUCT(RED) sales goes to The Global Fund to put a stop to AIDS. Several App Store apps are also offering limited-edition custom (RED) content for World AIDS Day, and all in-app purchase proceeds will be donated. Participating apps include popular titles like Best Fiends, Boom Beach, Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Jelly Saga, Farm Heroes Saga, PewDiePie's Tuber Simulator, Hay Day, Plants vs. Zombies Heroes, and more. Apple Stores around the world are @RED today for #WorldAIDSDay. Together we can #endAIDS. pic.twitter.com/yFrLua7IoR— (RED) (@RED) December 1, 2016 The (RED) initiative has raised more than $365 million to date to stop AIDS in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zambia. Funds raised by (RED) are donated to The Global Fund, a group that works to end AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria as epidemics. Apple is one of (RED)'s biggest contributors and has donated nearly $120 million over the last 10 years.Discuss this article in our forums

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