posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Although rumors surrounding Apple's electric car project began intensifying after the vehicle's development sped up last September, a new report out of The Guardian looks back before all of the current hubbub began, at the "secret car" that became of special interest to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Called the V-Vehicle and created by industrial designer Bryan Thompson, Jobs flew the designer out to San Francisco in 2010 to discuss Thompson's plans for the car, and pick his brain on the status of the automotive industry as a whole. Thompson and the V-Vehicle Thompson and his team created the V-Vehicle with the goal of constructing a disruptive force in the car industry with "a lightweight, petroleum-powered car that used cheaper materials and could sell for just $14,000." They had been working on it for two years when Jobs became interested in their progress, and invited Thompson to his home in Palo Alto to see it for himself. According to Thompson, within their fifteen minutes together -- Jobs sitting in the driver side and Thompson in the passenger side -- he "learned more about plastics than in his years in design school and auto industry combined." The former Apple CEO discussed his thoughts on the V-Vehicle, focusing a lot of his time on the materials of its body, which were made of polypropylene and glass fibre. The results were a car that was 40 percent lighter than a normal steel-made vehicle, not to mention would cost 70 percent less capital to produce. The inside of the V-Vehicle Jobs told Thompson to think about emphasizing the plastic rather than disguising it. “Let the material be honest,” he said, noting the dashboard, which was made of fibre-wood, a composite of synthetic resin and wood pulp. He suggested it would look better designed as one piece that “evoked a sense of high precision” – an idea Jobs often returned to with Apple’s chief design officer Jonathan Ive. Jobs continued to tip Thompson to take another look at the V-Vehicle's interior, telling him that "a taut surface has a sense that it's full of energy, like an animal ready to pounce. It's a subconscious thing that gives the product an impression of high quality and confidence." Thompson took Jobs' advice to heart and immediately began reworking a few subtle design changes in the car's interior on his flight back home. Despite the V-Vehicle's potential for success, the business ultimately failed after venture funding evaporated and long-term plans for subsidized manufacturing plants failed due to tighter state budgets. Eventually, Thompson's designs were bought by LCV Capital Management in 2015, and V-Vehicle was renamed Next Autoworks, with a renewed plan to build the car in Italy. Steve Jobs was said to have passed on building a car in 2008 to focus on the recently launched iPhone, although the former CEO remained interested in the vehicle project throughout the years. Rumors that have ultimately pegged the Apple Car for a 2020 launch began in early 2015, when mysterious vans linked to Apple began being spotted driving around Northern California. Thompson's redesigned interior sketch Those were in fact related to a mapping project, as Apple confirmed later, but the media interest in the potential for an Apple-made vehicle continued to fuel rumors surrounding a car that could potentially "give Tesla a run for its money." Now, some of Steve Jobs' hopes for the V-Vehicle might be coming to fruition, including Apple's rumored talks to use BMW's i3 as a basis for Project Titan, which would fall in line with Jobs' appreciation of a precise, lightweight unibody material thanks to its carbon fiber outer shell. Those talks reportedly didn't end in an inked deal, but could "resume at a later stage," according to sources within BMW. You can read The Guardian's full story on the meeting between Steve Jobs and Bryan Thompson here.Related Roundup: Apple Car Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
HealthKit-enabled Apple Watch app Cardiogram has received its 1.0 release, bringing native watchOS 2 compatibility, 3D Touch for supporting devices, and a redesigned interface. The app has been developed in collaboration with researchers at the University of California San Francisco's Health eHeart study, which aims to help end heart disease. The program wants to develop a way to detect atrial fibrillation – a medical condition that can lead to stroke – using innovations in everyday consumer technology. By that token, the Cardiogram developer team have been refining an algorithm that attempts to detect abnormal heart rhythms using the Apple Watch's heart rate sensors. The 1.0 version of the app at the center of its efforts brings that goal a step closer, introducing native watchOS 2 support that enables users to track and view recorded heart rate data without having to check their iPhone. A new Apple Watch complication also allows users to quickly view their latest heart-rate readings. Meanwhile, the iPhone companion app now includes comprehensive activity statistics and trending HRM data, along with a Metrics screen that brings together users' move, stand, and exercise goals. In addition, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus device owners can use 3D Touch gestures to tag peaks in heart rate, while social media sharing and interface tweaks make up the rest of the update. Anyone with an Apple Watch can take part in the eHeart study, since the algorithm learns from its users, whether or not they have preexisting heart conditions. Apple's HealthKit framework debuted in 2014, allowing developers to build health monitoring software that integrates with Apple's Health app, while Apple's open source framework ResearchKit was made available to developers in April 2015, enabling them to create their own iPhone apps for medical research purposes. Apple itself continues to have significant interest in making its Apple Watch part-medical health instrument. An Apple patent application recently came to light, titled "Care event detection and alerts", which envisions a hardware system with the ability to monitor the surrounding environment for events that would require assistance from medical professionals, police, fire rescue or other emergency services. Cardiogram is a free download for iPhone on the App Store. [Direct Link]Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2 Tag: Cardiogram Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Because iOS, watchOS, and tvOS all share a common naming scheme, there's been some speculation that OS X, the operating system for Macs, could see a name change to "MacOS" at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference. Earlier this year, Apple referenced "MacOS" in an environmental website update, and today the company has made the same gaffe on a developer FAQ page outlining new App Store revenue sharing policies, again raising the question of whether a name change is on the horizon. In a section on when the new revenue split goes into effect, Apple references the types of apps that are eligible, listing iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Unlike the first time "MacOS" was spotted on the Apple website, the iTunes Connect mention uses "macOS" with a lowercase "m" that better fits with the lower case letters used in iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. It continues to be unknown if the macOS mention is a mistake made because of the naming of Apple's other operating systems or an error made because of an imminent name change planned for OS X. If Apple is planning to switch from "OS X" to "macOS" or "MacOS," it is not clear if the company will continue on with naming each iteration after California landmarks, a tradition that started with OS X Mavericks in 2013. tvOS, watchOS, and iOS operating system upgrades follow a number-based naming scheme. We don't have long to wait to find out if there's a naming change in store for Apple's Mac-based operating system. The Worldwide Developers Conference is set to kick off next Monday with a keynote event that will take place at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. (Thanks, Guilherme!)Related Roundups: WWDC 2016, OS X 10.12 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Luxury device manufacturer Feld & Volk is known for ripping the internals out of iPhones and building new enclosures for them from a range of high-quality materials, and now the company is doing the same thing with the Apple Watch. Feld & Volk extracted the components of the Apple Watch and built a unique carbon fiber Apple Watch body from the ground up, for a line of Apple Watches unlike anything Apple is able to offer. Ahead of the launch of its new carbon fiber Apple Watch, Feld & Volk invited us to take a closer look at the device, so MacRumors videographer Matt did a hands-on video to show off its construction and build quality. As can be seen in the video, the carbon fiber enclosure of the Apple Watch has been built with precision, incorporating a custom carbon fiber side button in addition to leaving the heart rate sensor and Digital Crown functional and accessible. The cutouts for the microphone and speaker have also been added to the body, so this works just like a regular Apple Watch. Because it's a custom designed body, Feld & Volk's carbon fiber Apple Watch is not compatible with standard Apple Watch bands. Instead, it is designed to work with traditional watch bands, so it still offers a wide range of band options. A rubber band with a matching clasp customizable with initials will ship with each carbon fiber Apple Watch, and an additional band of alligator leather, textile, or resin will also be included, varying by model. Feld & Volk plans to officially launch its carbon fiber Apple Watch in the near future, but disassembling the Apple Watch and putting it into a new body doesn't come cheap -- these watches will retail for upwards of $5,000. Along with the carbon fiber Apple Watch shown off in the video, Feld & Volk also plans to release custom enclosures made from brass/carbon and wood, with each new custom Apple Watch available in 38 and 42mm size options. The Feld & Volk watches will be available later this month at French luxury boutique Collette and from the Feld & Volk website. Note: Feld & Volk loaned a carbon fiber Apple Watch to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this video. No other compensation was received and the watch was returned at the conclusion of filming.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2 Tag: Feld & Volk Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's Phil Schiller recently sat down with several publications including The Loop and The Verge to detail some of the changes that are going to be made to the App Store under his reign, including major improvements to search, subscription access for all developers, App Store ads when searching for content, and some other smaller tweaks that should go a long way towards improving app discoverability. Apple is opening up app subscriptions to all product categories, giving developers more options for selling their apps and additional ways to earn revenue. An app like Workflow or Fantastical, for example, could be sold on a subscription basis, with customers able to obtain it for a $5/year subscription fee. With that change, developers will be able to charge $5 per year rather than just a flat $5 fee, for an ongoing revenue stream, and they'll also be able to offer a subscription that encompasses multiple apps. Apple also plans to introduce up to 200 new tiered pricing options across different currencies and territories for app subscriptions. Subscription fee changes are also being implemented. Currently, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of subscription fees on the App Store, but now, if a customer stays subscribed to a service for multiple years, Apple will only take a 15 percent cut, leaving 85 percent of profits for developers. That works on a per customer basis, so for customers who subscribe to Netflix through Apple, Netflix will pay Apple 30 percent during the first year and 15 percent the second year. Apple is adding ads to App Store search results, something that was hinted at earlier this year. Ads will be displayed when a search is conducted and developers will have opportunities to purchase those ads for better app exposure. There will be one ad on the search results page, which Apple will clearly denote as an ad. Ad content will be the same content available on the App Store, and ads will only be accepted from developers. Apple plans to distribute ads through an auction system."We've thought about how to carefully do it in a way that, first and foremost, customers will be happy with," Schiller says, adding that he believes the ad auction system in App Store search will be "fair to developers, and fair for indie developers, too."Recently, the Apple TV Top Charts stopped displaying apps that a user has installed, and that's a change that's rolling out more widely. The "Featured" section in the App Store will change dynamically for each user, no longer displaying apps that are already installed and Apple plans to bring the Categories tab back to the App Store. A Share sheet will be added as a new 3D Touch Quick Action for all apps, allowing app recommendations to be more easily shared without needing to access the App Store directly. Search is also seeing some significant improvements to make it easier to find exactly what you're looking for and it is one of the areas Apple is focusing on. Schiller took over the App Store from Eddy Cue late last year, amid developer complaints about discoverability, the review process, poor communication, search results, and myriad other complaints. Schiller promised improvements and has been delivering on that promise. In an interview with The Verge, Schiller said there's a "renewed focus and energy" around the App Store. Under Schiller's leadership, the App Store has been steadily improving across 2016, not even counting today's changes. The app review process takes as little as two days, featured app sections like Best New Apps are updated on a more regular basis, and Schiller has a secret team working on exploring changes that could be made to the App Store to introduce further improvement. Apple plans to begin rolling out these changes over the next couple of months. Ads will be made available as part of a beta program next Monday. Subscriptions will be accessible to developers starting in the fall, while existing subscription apps will see changes to the revenue split on June 13.Tags: App Store, Phil Schiller Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple plans to announce new MacBook Air models within the month of June, and begin shipping the notebooks to retailers in August, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara. The conflicting report also claims that Apple will announce a refresh to its entire MacBook Pro series this month, although it did not specify when shipments of those models would begin. The report, citing "a reliable Chinese supplier," mentions earlier rumors that Apple will discontinue the smaller 11-inch MacBook Air to focus on 13-inch and all-new 15-inch models, although it is unclear if Mac Otakara's source is independently corroborating them. All of the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models are expected to be equipped with Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, while USB-A, MagSafe 2, and Thunderbolt 2 ports found on existing models will allegedly be removed. Mac Otakara said it is unclear whether Apple plans to announce the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models at WWDC 2016, but multiple reliable sources have indicated that it will effectively be a no-hardware event. Apple could still make a non-WWDC announcement in June by way of press release, as was the case with the new 12-inch MacBook in April, possibly indicating only minor updates. Today's report is mostly in line with Taiwan's hit-or-miss Economic Daily News, which reported that Apple will announce slimmer 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models with "fully redesigned" internal components at WWDC 2016, followed by a launch in the July-September quarter. That report is from November 2015, however, so Apple's exact product roadmap may have changed over the past eight months. Taiwanese website DigiTimes also reported that Apple will begin shipping new "ultra-thin" 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks at the end of the June quarter. The report said the new MacBooks will "share a design similar to the existing 12-inch MacBook" and be "thinner than [the] existing MacBook Air," which makes it difficult to infer whether the report is referring to the MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro lineup. In a recent research note, however, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple will not introduce new MacBook models until the second half of 2016, including a thin and light 13-inch MacBook in the third quarter, and two thinner and lighter 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models in the fourth quarter. Other reliable sources have also suggested new Macs will be released later in the year. In terms of the new MacBook Pro, Kuo said the 2016 model will feature a thinner and lighter form factor, Touch ID, and a new OLED touch bar positioned above the keyboard. Leaked photos of what appears to be the notebook's unibody revealed space for the OLED touch panel and four USB-C ports. The new MacBook Pro is also expected to adopt metal injection mold-made hinges, which are reportedly already shipping. Other improvements to the 2016 MacBook Pro should include faster Skylake processors across the lineup, while the top-of-the-line models may sport AMD's new 400-series Polaris graphics chips. Apple last refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Pro in March 2015, followed by the 15-inch model in May 2015, with Force Touch trackpads, faster flash storage, longer battery life, and improved graphics. Meanwhile, Apple has not fully refreshed the MacBook Air since March 2015, when both the 11- and 13-inch models were upgraded with faster Broadwell processors, Thunderbolt 2, and Intel HD Graphics 6000. The 13-inch MacBook Air also received up to two times faster flash storage. The only minor update to the lineup since then was in April, when Apple bumped the stock 13-inch MacBook Air to 8GB of RAM, up from 4GB. Apple not updating the 11-inch MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM as well lends credence to rumors claiming the ultra-portable model will be discontinued. While it is widely believed that Apple may eventually discontinue the entire MacBook Air, which currently sits awkwardly between the Retina MacBook and MacBook Pro, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said the notebook will remain part of Apple's lineup for now, repositioned as its lower-priced offering.We expect new MacBook Pro models to be thinner and lighter with better hardware specifications. As such, it will retain its high-end position in the line. MacBook will replace MacBook Air to become the medium-/ high-end model. As both MacBook Pro and MacBook have a thin and light form factor, there is no need to keep MacBook Air. For this reason, we predict no significant upgrade for MacBook Air going forward. Rather, it will serve as an entry-level model sold at low prices.Apple's WWDC 2016 keynote will occur on Monday, June 13 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, WWDC 2016 Tag: macotakara.jp Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Don't Buy), Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
New sources have come forth claiming that Apple is in fact aiming to phase out digital music downloads on iTunes, despite the fact that Apple rep Tom Neumayr specifically stated such rumors were "not true" in May. Speaking with Digital Music News, the insiders said that Apple is simply "keeping their options open" while moving forward, intending to keep a watch on how Apple Music performs in comparison to the digital sales numbers in iTunes. According to the sources, Apple might be gearing up for an iTunes revamp that would introduce software architecture with the ability for the company to "more easily drop iTunes music downloads" down the road. This would allow Apple to subtly shift the service towards the streaming and radio side of things in the event that paid music downloads drop off precipitously. The same sources suggest such a refresh could be discussed at WWDC next week, bringing "harmony" between Apple Music and iTunes while preparing for the potential closure of paid downloads down the line. Sources couldn’t share screenshots or any sensitive information about the upcoming iTunes launch, though a key aspect of the overhaul includes ‘making more sense’ of iTunes music downloads and Apple Music streams. That has been a huge source of confusion for fans, even those that clearly understand the difference between downloading and streaming. But one source noted that Apple is “definitely not getting rid of [music] downloads” at the WWDC event next week, or any time in the short-term future, while another mentioned that possibility that top executives may “double down” their expressed commitment to the format during WWDC presentations to cool rumors. The early rumors in May suggested that Apple was looking at a three-to-four year timeline on ending iTunes music downloads, with a staggered termination plan based on regional popularity of paid downloads. Projected gross from downloads in 2019 are around $600 million, down from the $3.9 billion users paid for downloads in 2012. With many artists refraining from streaming services -- and fan support of owning their music remaining relatively strong -- DMN's sources admit that, for the time being, "downloads are here to stay." Read DMN's full report on the iTunes download situation here.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
According to some rumors, Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will not include a headphone jack, requiring headphones to connect to the devices using a Lightning connector. Last month, MacRumors considered the case for and against Lightning headphones by comparing the audio performance of existing brands at three different price points: the $45 Brightech earphones, the $300 Philips Fidelio M2L headphones, and the $800 Audeze El-8 headphones. In our tests, all of the Lightning-connected headphones, from the $45 pair to the $800 pair, sounded better than comparable headphones connected to an iPhone using the 3.5mm jack. Yesterday, The Verge took a closer look at the brand in our highest price bracket, the Audeze El-8, alongside the company's Sine headphones, and argued its own reasons for why adopting Lightning for audio should be considered a welcome and essential advance for serious listeners. The review makes the general case that Lightning headphones have the potential to hand crucial audio reproduction tasks back to the headphone maker, relegating the iPhone to the role of simple digital source. For high-end listening enthusiasts, this is said to be a potential game-changer, although the impact on an iPhone 7's battery life obviously remains unclear. In purely sonic terms, The Verge notes how the Audeze audiophile cans sound "dramatically better when exploiting the all-digital connection with their so-called Cipher Lightning cable", which houses its own digital signal processor, digital-to-analog converter (DAC), and headphone amplifier. "If all future Lightning headphones are designed as thoughtfully and in the same integrated manner as Audeze's, then we'll have nothing to fear from the future," says The Verge. "These Lightning headphones are the real deal: good enough to make me forget all about the 3.5mm jack." The review continues in a breakdown of general arguments for using Lightning for serious listening enjoyment, the first being better hi-fi portability. This is based on the idea that the integrated smartphone DACs and amps which traditional 3.5mm jack headphones rely on are inferior to dedicated external components. Given that the latter are usually bulky and inconvenient in their own right, if Lightning headphones can integrate these components into the connector cable, the trade-off should be far superior sound quality. Audeze takes care of that by integrating those components within its Cipher cable. From the outside, the Cipher module looks like an enlarged remote control, but on the inside it performs an almost magical transformation.The second argument for Lightning is more power: the reviewer notes that the iPhone's integrated circuitry is among the best on the market, but it still lacks the power to drive high-end cans to their full potential. Maximum volume directly from the iPhone is quite mediocre, pushing the EL-8 to no more than 70 percent of their capacity through the standard 3.5mm jack. Swap in the Cipher cable, however, and the EL-8 transforms into a super powerful set of cans. It's loud even before you hit Apple's warnings about continuous playback at high volumes, and it's straight up bad for your hearing at its max.The article also highlights the fact that the Audeze iOS app gives exceptional control over headphone frequency response, and saves user settings in the firmware housed in the Cipher cable. With two customizable presets per headphone, that means you only have to make your adjustments on one iOS device, and then your pair of EL-8 or Sine will carry those preferences with them to the next Lightning-connected device. I love the granularity of Audeze's EQ adjustments — which span all audio sources, whether your sound is coming from Tidal, YouTube, or the default Music app — as they can be made in 1dB increments across 10 frequencies.Finally, The Verge argues that the growing trend towards more digital and less analog "make the classic 3.5mm jack redundant" and positions Lightning alongside wireless protocols as the future drivers of audio innovation. I can get more convenient audio if I drop the wires, or I can get better audio if I go digital via Lightning. With upgradeable firmware and new sensors being built in, headphones are changing in function just as they're changing in connectivity. If you want to buy the headphones of the future, don't cling on to the connector of the past. Sure, there'll be an adaptation period where adapters will be necessary, but over time Apple's Lightning and the more universal USB-C standard will take over from the 3.5mm connector. LeEco has already started the trend by eschewing the old jack in its latest phones, and others are sure to follow.The iPhone 7 is expected to be launched in September, when we should find out just what's in store for audio enthusiasts and regular listeners alike. You can read The Verge's original article here, and be sure to catch MacRumors' video, Lightning Headphones: Are They Better or Just an Inconvenience?.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The Merchant Consortium Exchange, aka MCX, today told beta testers that it is suspending its CurrentC beta test on June 28 and postponing all further releases of the payments platform. The news was delivered in an email sent to all Columbus, Ohio beta testers and shared by The Consumerist. On June 28, when the beta test ends, MCX plans to disable all active accounts and end customer access. MCX has also announced the news on the CurrentC website, complete with an FAQ for customers that says MCX has "not yet determined the future timing of CurrentC" but will provide further details in the future addressing whether or not the project will be continuing. Last month, MCX CEO Brian Mooney announced plans to postpone the rollout of the CurrentC payments platform following feedback from the beta test. At the same time, he said MCX would downscale and lay off 30 employees as part of an effort to transition from a consumer-facing product to building business partnerships with financial institutions. MCX, a consortium of merchants like Walmart, Best Buy, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Lowe's, and more, has been working on implementing the CurrentC platform since 2012. It was once believed CurrentC could be a major Apple Pay competitor given the number of retailers backing the effort, but interest appears to have fizzled out. CurrentC required customers to open an app and scan a QR code to make a payment, a convoluted system described as offering minimal benefit to consumers. Its implementation was not as simple as Apple Pay or other payment options from Google and Samsung, which may explain why development did not move beyond a beta testing phase. Many MCX members now accept Apple Pay despite some early resistance due to exclusivity agreements, and Walmart, one of the main CurrentC backers, has developed its own payments service and Apple Pay competitor called Walmart Pay.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Tags: MCX, CurrentC Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple has added a page for the 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference to its events website, confirming plans to live stream the keynote event on June 13 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The keynote event, which will take place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, will be available on Macs and iOS devices through an event stream on Apple.com and on the Apple TV through an events app. On the second and third generation Apple TV, there will be an event channel, and on the fourth-generation Apple TV, the event will either be watched through the dedicated WWDC app, which expanded to the Apple TV this year, or through an upcoming events app. Apple has not yet updated its apps on the Apple TV to reflect the streaming information. As always, MacRumors will also be providing live coverage of the event on MacRumors.com and through the MacRumorsLive Twitter account. The 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference is expected to focus on new software and services, with Apple debuting new versions of iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS, along with potentially introducing new Apple Pay features.Related Roundup: WWDC 2016 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Google today announced the launch of a new app called Motion Stills, which is designed to create unique GIFs from Live Photo images captured with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. According to Google, the app was built by the Google Research Team and uses the company's video stabilization technology to freeze the background into a still photo or create cinematic panoramas. Multiple clips can also be combined into a montage. GIFs created by Motion Stills can be shared via apps like Messages or on social media networks. We pioneered this technology by stabilizing hundreds of millions of videos and creating GIF animations from photo bursts. Our algorithm uses linear programming to compute a virtual camera path that is optimized to recast videos and bursts as if they were filmed using stabilization equipment, yielding a still background or creating cinematic pans to remove shakiness. [...] Short videos are perfect for creating loops, so we added loop optimization to bring out the best in your captures. Our approach identifies optimal start and end points, and also discards blurry frames. As an added benefit, this fixes "pocket shots" (footage of the phone being put back into the pocket).There are several other apps designed to create GIFs for Live Photos, so Google's offering isn't unique, but it is notable that Google is offering an iOS-only app that works with an iOS-only feature. Google says the information it learns from Motion Stills will perhaps be used to introduce new capabilities into Google Photos in the future. Aside from making Live Photos viewable on iOS and Mac devices running the latest operating systems and implementing an API for developers to incorporate Live Photos viewing into their apps, Apple has not designed any tools that allow users to manipulate and edit their Live Photos or convert them into videos or GIFs. Google's new Motion Stills app is available now and can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]Tags: Google, Live Photos, Motion Stills Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple's suppliers have already begun providing it with parts for an upcoming 13-inch "MacBook" update, according to a paywalled report from China's Commercial Times summarized by DigiTimes. Notebook hinge maker Jarllytec reportedly started shipping metal injection mold-made (MiM) hinges to Apple in May, said to be destined for a 13-inch MacBook. The MacBook in question is likely to be a future revamped 13-inch MacBook Pro, which past rumors suggest will use MiM hinges. Metal injection molding is a technique used to create small, intricate metal parts. Apple is rumored to be using hinges crafted this way to save space, as the next-generation MacBook Pro models are said to be ultra-thin. The same report suggests Jarllytec will begin shipping hinges for 15-inch MacBook models in the third quarter of 2016, raising the possibility that Apple will stagger the releases of the redesigned MacBook Pro, first introducing a 13-inch model and following it up later with a 15-inch model. If Apple already has hinges in hand for a 13-inch MacBook Pro, it would perhaps be ready to debut in the next couple of months. We've already seen a chassis said to be for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, supporting the notion that it is perhaps already in production. We are not expecting to see MacBook Pro announcements at WWDC, but rumors have suggested Apple will debut its next-generation MacBook Pro machines during the fourth quarter of 2016. Should Apple be planning to stagger the releases, a 13-inch model could come in September and a 15-inch model could follow in October or November should it not be ready to launch at the same time. Predicting Apple's plans for the 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro is difficult because there are a lot of confusing rumors about the two machines. Many of the rumors about the devices have referred to them as simply "MacBooks," and that ambiguous naming is further confused by a report from Ming-Chi Kuo suggesting Apple is also working on a 13-inch MacBook that would be sold alongside the 12-inch MacBook. Distilling the rumors down, it's clear there are new MacBook Pro machines in the works, but figuring out a more concrete release date won't be possible until we have more information to work with. In addition to being ultra thin with a MacBook-style design, Apple's next-generation MacBook Pros are expected to include an OLED touch panel that will replace the function keys on the existing MacBook Pro. Touch ID may be included, and rumors suggest the bar will be dynamic, changing the available keys based on the app in use. This touch panel will need to be deeply integrated into OS X, so additional hints on the upcoming MacBook Pro may be found in OS X 10.12, releasing to developers next week.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.6 beta to public beta testers, one day after releasing the second OS X 10.11.6 beta to developers. OS X 10.11.6 has been in testing since May 23 and the second beta comes three weeks after the public release of OS X 10.11.5, the fifth update to the El Capitan operating system. Beta 2 is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store for those who are enrolled in Apple's beta testing program. Mac users who want to join the program can sign up on Apple's beta testing website. OS X 10.11.6, like most of the previous updates to the El Capitan operating system, appears to be minor in scale, focusing mainly on bug fixes and security improvements that are not immediately obvious to testers and developers. No outward-facing changes or major bug fixes were discovered in the first two developer betas.Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan Tag: OS X 10.11.6 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming iOS 9.3.3 update to public beta testers, one day after seeding the second iOS 9.3.3 beta to developers. iOS 9.3.3 has been in testing since May 23 and comes three weeks after the release of iOS 9.3.2, an update focusing primarily on bug fixes. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 9.3.3 update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on their iOS device. Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to both iOS and OS X betas. As another minor 9.x.x update, iOS 9.3.3 includes under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements to address issues that have been discovered since the release of iOS 9.3.2. No outward-facing changes or immediately apparently bug fixes have been discovered in the first two developer betas of iOS 9.3.3.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tag: iOS 9.3.3 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Smartphone maker and display manufacturer Samsung is believed to launch a pair of smartphones in early 2017, each with a bendable OLED display. According to people familiar with the smartphones' development (via Bloomberg), the two devices could be unveiled as early as Q1 2017 -- potentially at Mobile World Congress in February -- and come in two different sizes, similar to that of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Bendable smartphone mockup by Samsung One phone would have a 5-inch screen when used in a normal handset fashion, and could then be opened to a tablet size that's "as large as 8 inches." The smaller alternative is estimated to be sized around a traditional modern 5-inch smartphone, but users would have the ability to fold it in half "like a cosmetic compact" to easily fit it into bags and pockets. “This product could be a game-changer if Samsung successfully comes up with a user interface suitable for bendable screens,” said Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co. in Seoul. “Next year is a probable scenario. Their biggest obstacle was related to making transparent plastics and making them durable, which seems resolved by now.” Codenamed "Project Valley," the bendable smartphones won't be Samsung's new flagship devices, and are believed to be angled more as an experiment by the company to test the waters of user response to bendable screens. Because of this, the two new handhelds also won't fall under the Galaxy S line of phones currently running by Samsung, but will be newly named entries in its collection of smartphones. While not bendable, Apple's 2017 iPhone is expected to pack in a curved OLED display with an edge-to-edge, bezel-free design, similar to that of Samsung's Galaxy S7 smartphone. Overall, Apple's "iPhone 8" is expected to be a huge update year for the company's smartphone, following 2016's internals-focused upgrade, so it'll be interesting to see how the the two handhelds fare against each other when they launch.Tag: Samsung Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
There's been some speculation that the dark theme of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference website and WWDC app are hinting at a potential dark mode set to be released as part of iOS 10, and a new set of concept images from iHelpBR imagines what a dark mode setting could look like on iOS devices. A system-wide dark mode is depicted in the images, offering up an example of what darker backgrounds would look like in Messages, Mail, Contacts, News, and more. iHelpBR speculates that such a feature could be set to come on automatically when the sun sets, darkening the entire operating system as is currently done in the Maps app. The site images a dark mode that would extend to built-in Apple apps and system menus, as well as third-party apps using a potential dark mode API. iHelpBR's concept also features split-screen multitasking and picture-in-picture support, bringing the iPad feature to the iPhone when used in landscape mode. It's not clear if Apple would consider bringing split-screen multitasking to the iPhone given the small amount of screen real estate compared to an iPad, but some users would likely welcome the feature. OS X has had a dark mode since the 2014 launch of OS X Yosemite, with a darker menu bar, dock, and system menus, and since then, it's been a highly desired feature for iOS. Despite the darker look of Apple's WWDC app and WWDC website, there is no concrete evidence a dark mode is coming, but it's a possibility. A dark mode was also featured in the iOS 10 wish list concept video created by MacStories. iOS 10 will debut next week alongside OS X 10.12 and new versions of watchOS and tvOS. Apple is expected to show off the new operating systems at the WWDC keynote event, set to take place on June 13 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Following the keynote event, Apple will likely provide beta versions of new software to developers. Related Roundup: iOS 10 Tag: Concepts Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
For the last several months, well-known luxury brand Coach has been quietly working on a set of designer Apple Watch bands created to match Coach handbags, and now those bands are set to debut on June 12. Haute Écriture's David Boglin de Bautista has been sharing details on the design of the bands gleaned from sales representatives and over the weekend, he learned Coach retail stores will be receiving the bands starting next week. Coach is planning to release the bands in three styles: Leather Strap with Charms, Wild Beast Camo, and Tea Rose Appliqué, with each style available in three colors for a total of nine bands. High-quality photos of each style were shared by de Bautista. Coach salespeople are readily sharing information on the bands with customers, and a redditor was able to snap a photo of a product guide that depicts all of the new bands and their color options. Leather Strap comes in black, white, and saddle brown, while the Wild Beast Camo band is available in denim, military green, and saddle brown. The Tea Rose band will be available in black, white, and tawny orange. All bands are listed as women's bands and will be priced at $150. Coach has reportedly made the Apple Watch bands in small quantities and one sales representative told de Bautista that she expects them to sell out quickly. The bands will be available in select stores in California, Nevada, and New York, and will not initially be available online. It was originally unclear if Coach was teaming up with Apple on the bands or releasing them independently, but it appears the bands will not be sold by Apple. Apple offers its own line of Apple Watch models and luxury bands through a partnership with Hermès.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2 Tag: Coach Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple this weekend debuted new ads for Apple Music, featuring record producer, label executive, and musician DJ Khaled. The ads, which aired following the Apple Music launch of DJ Khaled and Drake's new track "For Free," feature DJ Khaled with Naomi Campbell and Ray Liotta. The first of the two ads, filmed with Naomi Campbell, was shared by DJ Khaled on Twitter. In the spot, DJ Khaled drives Campbell down the Pacific Coast Highway in a Rolls Royce while listening to his new track. Me @naomicampbell in my first @AppleMusic commercial #ForFree w/ @Drake at #1 ONLY on Apple Music NBA Finals 2morrowhttps://t.co/xluWbBZq1W — DJ KHALED (@djkhaled) June 4, 2016 The second ad, featuring Ray Liotta, was shared on the Beats 1 YouTube channel yesterday. In this spot, Liotta and Khaled are in a nail salon getting pedicures while talking about the perks of Apple Music. DJ Khaled first began partnering up with Apple in February, when he launched his We the Best Radio Show on Beats 1 Music. DJ Khaled's "For Free" single is from his upcoming album Major Key, which is also expected to debut on Apple Music. Apple has been heavily promoting Apple Music in recent months, and has featured a series of videos starring Taylor Swift.Tag: Apple Music Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
T-Mobile CEO John Legere today hosted an Un-carrier 11 event, where he announced T-Mobile's latest customer perks, which include a new app that offers weekly freebies, customer stock options, and free in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic flights. T-Mobile is releasing a new T-Mobile Tuesdays app, available now, with freebies available every Tuesday. Starting tomorrow, T-Mobile customers can get perks like food, movie tickets, ride-sharing credits, and more. Some of T-Mobile's partners include Domino's Pizza and Wendy's. Tomorrow, all T-Mobile customers will be able to get free frosties and a ticket to the upcoming movie Warcraft. T-Mobile Tuesdays will also include weekly giveaways for trips, with tomorrow's raffle consisting of a Warcraft viewing party with a party bus that can accommodate 40 friends. Extra rewards come from sharing on social networks. T-Mobile is also giving a share of T-Mobile stock to every primary account holder and customers who switch to T-Mobile from another carrier. For every customer who brings another customer to T-Mobile, T-Mobile will offer an additional share. Customers can receive up to 100 shares of T-Mobile stock per year. Customers who have been with T-Mobile for more than 5 years will get two shares of stock per referral. Customers can claim their share starting tomorrow through the T-Mobile Tuesdays app, which will walk customers through the brokerage process. T-Mobile's final announcement brings a full hour of free GoGo Wi-Fi to T-Mobile customers for every domestic flight they're on, allowing customers to use Google Hangouts, Viber, WhatsApp, and iMessage. Over the course of the last two years, T-Mobile has aimed to disrupt traditional mobile service with its 11 "Un-carrier" initiatives. The company began with uncoupling device costs from service costs in 2013, and then went on to offer several additional incentives to encourage customers to switch to the carrier, including paying early termination fees, offering a JUMP! upgrade plan, unlimited texting and 2G data in 100 countries, free streaming music from Spotify, Rdio, iTunes Radio, and Pandora, one week free trials to test the T-Mobile service, Wi-Fi calling, data rollovers, low-cost plans for businesses, and free "Binge-On" video and music streaming.Tag: T-Mobile Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the first OS X 10.11.6 beta and three weeks after the public release of OS X 10.11.5. The OS X 10.11.6 update, build 15G12a, can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. OS X 10.11.6, like OS X 10.11.5 and the El Capitan updates that came before it, appears to focus mainly on performance improvements and bug fixes. According to Apple's release notes for the first beta, OS X 10.11.6 improves the stability, compatibility, and security of Macs. No outward-facing bug fixes or changes were found in the first beta but we'll update this post if any new features are discovered in the second beta.Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan Tag: OS X 10.11.6 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming iOS 9.3.3 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeing the first beta of iOS 9.3.3 and three weeks after the public release of iOS 9.3.2, a minor bug fix update. The second iOS 9.3.3 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. As a minor 9.x.x update, iOS 9.3.3 appears to focus on under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements to address issues discovered since the release of iOS 9.3.2. No outward-facing changes or obvious bug fixes were found in the first beta of iOS 9.3.3. There was originally no iOS 9.3.3 update released for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro because Apple needed to fix an iOS 9.3.2 bug that bricked some devices, but it was addressed in a new iOS 9.3.2 update last week. iOS 9.3.3 is now available for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. We'll update this post with any changes that are found in the second iOS 9.3.3 beta.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Tag: iOS 9.3.3 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple rose to 3rd place in the annual Fortune 500 list of the top U.S. corporations based on gross revenue, trailing behind only Walmart and Exxon Mobil. Apple's previous rankings include 5th place in 2015 and 2014, 6th place in 2013, 17th place in 2012, 35th place in 2011 and 56th place in 2010. Other notable carriers, technology companies, and Apple suppliers on the list include AT&T (10th), Verizon (13th), Amazon.com (18th), HP (20th), Microsoft (25th), IBM (31st), Alphabet (36th), Intel (51st), Cisco Systems (54th), Oracle (77th), Qualcomm (110th), Facebook (157th), and Broadcom (331st). Apple's profile highlighted the company's recent slowdown in iPhone and iPad sales, push into India, and the much-rumored Apple Car.After more than a decade of solid growth fueled first by the iPod music player and then by the even more popular iPhone, Apple finally appeared to hit a wall. Still the most profitable publicly-traded company in the world, Apple’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus upgrades barely outsold their predecessors after arriving on the market at the end of 2015, while sales of the iPad tablet computer continued to shrink throughout the year. In April 2015, the Apple Watch arrived to mixed reviews and modest sales. And though debate raged for a bit about the state of Apple’s sales in China amid a slowing economy there — including an unusual August 2015 email from CEO Tim Cook to CNBC host Jim Cramer claiming no summer slowdown — the year ended on a weak note for the company in Asia. Lately, hopes have turned to the next iPhone upgrade cycle and a push to focus on India, where Apple’s market share remains miniscule. Still, even with the growing concerns, Apple’s next big leap came into view in 2015. Dubbed Project Titan and staffed with hordes of former car industry experts, Apple’s effort to leapfrog the automobile market with an electric masterpiece likely won’t reach consumers for a few more years. But when it does, Cook and company could be riding high again.Apple's revenues topped $233.7 billion during the 2015 fiscal year, a 27.9 percent year-over-year increase. While Walmart and Exxon Mobil posted higher gross revenues of $482.1 billion and $246.2 billion respectively, note that Apple's annual profits of $53.4 billion were more than both companies earned combined.Tags: Apple, fortune.com, Fortune 500 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The Indian government is prepared to allow Apple to open its first three planned retail outlets in the country without any sourcing requirement for their first few years of business, reports Times of India. As a rule, 30 percent of goods sold by foreign companies must be manufactured or produced in the country, a requirement Apple does not meet as its products are largely made in China. That obstacle initially appeared to have been removed for Apple last year, when India exempted retailers selling state-of-the-art goods from the rule, prompting the company to file a new application with the Indian government. However, a recommendation from the country's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to allow Apple to move ahead with single-brand retail outlets was shot down by the ministry of finance, which decided Apple's products do not fall into the cutting-edge technology category. Now, the DIPP and the finance ministry appear to be open to the idea of allowing Apple to set up shop in the country without immediately complying with the 30 percent rule. This would allow the company to look at the option of manufacturing in India and begin sourcing components locally as volume increases. Apple has reportedly already informed the government that it has started buying chargers from the country, which are also being exported. "It is only fair to insist on some local production and two-three years is a reasonable period. Five years may be too long," said the Times of India source, who did not wish to be identified. The developments follow Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent weeklong visit to India, where he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other local business leaders, actors, politicians, and developers. During the visit, Apple announced the launch of a Maps development center in Hyderabad and an iOS app and design accelerator in Bangalore. Last quarter, Apple saw its revenue from India grow 56 percent, surpassing $1 billion. Tag: India Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple recently updated the homepage of its website with a tribute to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday at age 74. Ali was admitted to a hospital earlier in the week due to respiratory ailments, which were further complicated due to a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease. The tribute on Apple's website includes a quote that reads, "The man who has no imagination has no wings." Apple has been a long-time supporter and admirer of Ali, showcasing the boxer in one of its famous "Think Different" campaign videos back in 1997. "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." Rest in peace #MuhammadAli— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 4, 2016 Following the announcement of his death on Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared a commemorative Tweet about Ali on his account, as did Phil Schiller. Ali's family has also taken to Twitter to share more details about his passing and honor his life, including his daughter Hana.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Tony Fadell, widely known as the "father" of the iPod and the creator of the Nest Learning Thermostat, today announced he is leaving Nest and Nest parent company Alphabet. Fadell, Nest's founder, has been with Google since it acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in 2014 and has worked on projects like Google Glass in addition to continuing to run Nest Labs. In a blog post, Fadell says he has decided the time is right to "leave the Nest," a decision that was originally made late last year. Fadell will not be present for day to day activities at Nest, but he plans to remain involved with the company as an advisor to Alphabet and Larry Page.While there is never a perfect time to transition, we've grown Nest to much more than a thermostat company. We've created a hardware + software + services ecosystem, which is still in the early growth stage and will continue to evolve to move further into the mainstream over the coming years. The future of Nest is equally as bright given the strong and experienced leadership team in place, as well as the two-year product roadmap we've developed together to ensure the right future direction. [...] I will miss this company and my Nest family (although I'll be around to provide advice and guidance and help the team with the transition), but I am excited about what's coming next, both for Nest and for me.Fadell says his new role as advisor will provide him with "time and flexibility" to pursue new opportunities and "create and disrupt other industries." He's leaving Nest with a two-year roadmap in place and Marwan Fawaz, a former Motorola executive, will be joining Nest as CEO. According to Bloomberg, Fadell's departure follows some recent issues at Nest, including a long length of time between product releases and software issues with the Nest Protect smoke detector that led to a recall.In recent months, Nest employees complained publicly about Fadell's management, while claiming the business had missed sales targets, botched upgrades and delayed future productsTony Fadell, in addition to being known for his work at Nest Labs, is credited as one of the original creators of the iPod, heading up the project as senior vice president of the iPod division from 2006 to 2008. Fadell started at Apple in 2001 and helped to produce early versions of Apple's iconic music player.Tags: Nest, Google, Tony Fadell Discuss this article in our forums

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