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Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Apple TV's Search Feature Expands to BBC America, CBC, and Other Apps

1 hour 36 min ago
Apple TV's universal search feature now supports a selection of additional apps in the United States and other countries.


In the United States, fourth- and fifth-generation Apple TV users can now search for movies or TV shows on BBC America, Classix, and Oxygen, an NBC-owned channel that primarily airs true crime programming.

In Canada, newly supported apps include Apple Music, CBC TV, Classix, FXNOW Canada, ICI Tou.tv in Québec, and kids channel Treehouse.

In addition to the United States and Canada, Apple Music search functionality on tvOS is also now available in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

In Australia, other newly supported apps include 9Now, SBS, and Tenplay, while Viaplay was added in Norway and Sweden.

The universal search feature allows users to conduct Siri voice searches or text-based searches to find TV and movie content across a wide range of channels. A fourth-generation Apple TV or newer is required.

Related Roundup: Apple TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Facebook Begins Testing Résumé 'Work Histories' Feature on Mobile, Acquires Popular Teen App 'TBH'

1 hour 47 min ago
After announcing support for job applications within the Facebook app on iOS earlier in 2017, Facebook this week has been testing out a LinkedIn-like résumé/CV "work histories" feature for certain mobile users. Discovered by developer Jane Manchun Wong, and shared by The Next Web, the feature lets Facebook users share their work experience with potential employers without having to leave the app.

The update is an expansion to Facebook's standard "work and education" profile section, but not all aspects of a user's résumé are shared publicly. Although it's unclear, it appears that "detailed information" from this section could potentially only be shown to job hunters looking at a profile.

Images via @wongmjane and The Next Web
Users are able to list professional and educational background information, select start/end dates, and more. Facebook confirmed the feature's test, but as with any trial period, there's a possibility that this "work histories" update won't see an expansion to all users.
At Facebook, we’re always building and testing new products and services. We’re currently testing a work histories feature to continue to help people find and businesses hire for jobs on Facebook. In other Facebook news, this week the social media company acquired popular teen app "TBH" in a continued effort to appeal to younger generations (via BuzzFeed). The app lets its users give one another compliments by sending and receiving brief quizzes, with the multiple choice answers randomly generating four friends who also have the app. Responses are anonymous, but users can choose to reveal their answers after the questions have been asked.

TBH originally launched in one high school in Georgia, then spread to more than 3,000 schools in just three days. More states will follow soon, according to the app's creator Midnight Labs, but an expansion timeline is unclear. Despite the limited area of support, TBH has been the top free app in the iOS App Store for more than three weeks.


Facebook told The Wall Street Journal that TBH will continue to operate as a standalone app, and not be rolled into any existing Facebook experience.
“TBH and Facebook share a common goal -- of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together," Vanessa Chan, a Facebook spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We’re impressed by the way TBH is doing this by using polling and messaging, and with Facebook’s resources TBH can continue to expand and build positive experiences.” Facebook previously launched its own teen-focused iOS app called "Lifestage" in August 2016, which let users create short video clips and amass them into their own unique profile, which friends from their school could browse and comment on through direct messages. That app shut down after about one year, with Facebook removing Lifestage from the App Store this past August.

At the time, Facebook said that "teens continue to make up an important part of the global community on Facebook, and we've learned a lot from Lifestage. We will continue to incorporate these learnings into features in the main Facebook app.”

Tag: Facebook
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Google App Now Lets You Get Directions With Apple Maps or Waze

2 hours 40 min ago
Google's official search app for iOS has been updated this week with more navigation options in the United States and other countries.


In addition to Google Maps, you can now use Apple Maps or Waze for navigation when searching for places and addresses in the Google app.

When you search for an address and tap the navigation button, a menu opens with the three options for directions: Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze.

The update also brings search filters to the Google app. Once you've searched for something, scroll across the options bar underneath the search box to find the "Tools" option and filter results by time range and more.

Google's app is free on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Tags: Google, Apple Maps, Waze
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PayPal Announces Over 2M U.S. Retailers Will Begin Accepting Venmo Payments Online

2 hours 44 min ago
PayPal today announced that "more than two million" retailers in the United States will now accept online payments from the PayPal-owned, peer-to-peer payments platform Venmo. Users with Venmo accounts will be able to pay on retailer apps like Forever 21, Foot Locker, and Lululemon starting this week (via Reuters).

With the addition of Venmo into the checkout process of these apps, Venmo customers can use their app balance, linked cards, or bank account to shop on the mobile sites of "almost all merchants that accept payments with PayPal." The peer-to-peer payments app will appear as a checkout option similar to PayPal and other mobile wallets.

“At Venmo from the very early days our vision was to always let you use it for whatever you want to buy,” Ben Mills, head of product, at Venmo, said in an interview. Venmo will charge merchants fees for processing payments through its platform, with Venmo head of product Ben Mills stating that the service's ease of use "could help increase" the company's sales.

Another update coming down the line -- first announced over the summer -- will let users transfer their app's balance to their bank account instantly, for a transfer fee of $0.25. Currently, Venmo transfers to bank accounts are free, but take up to a day to complete.

PayPal is said to be looking to bolster Venmo's stance in the peer-to-peer payments market following the launch of Zelle earlier in 2017, and the impending debut of Apple Pay Cash. However, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman has said he doesn't think Apple Pay Cash will hurt Venmo, mainly citing Venmo's availability across platforms as its leg up on Apple's iOS-only P2P payments.

Tags: PayPal, Venmo
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Apple CarPlay Support Comes to BBC iPlayer Radio App

3 hours 28 min ago
The BBC today updated its Radio iPlayer app to support Apple CarPlay, allowing vehicle drivers with the feature to listen to BBC radio more safely when behind the wheel.

A simplified touch interface has been adopted for the new in-car version, designed to be easy to fast-forward in a show or skip through entire episodes.


Apart from CarPlay and Android Auto support, the update also brings additional features to help make radio listening a more personalized in-car experience.

The new app interface is split into four sections titled Following, Listen Later, Downloads, and Stations. The Following section gathers favorited shows for easy access from within CarPlay, Listen Later lists shows tagged by users for future listening, while the Downloads section keeps shows ready for listening offline in areas with poor signal.

The BBC iPlayer Radio app is a free download for U.K. listeners available from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tags: CarPlay, BBC Radio, United Kingdom, BBC iPlayer
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Walking Route Calorie Estimator Removed From Google Maps After User Criticism

4 hours 18 min ago
Google is removing an experimental calorie estimator from its Maps iOS app, following criticism from users that the feature amounted to unsolicited health advice and could do more harm than good (via TechCrunch).

The feature began rolling out to some users last week and shows an estimate of the calories that would be burned if a selected walking route was taken.


The calorie estimator not only displayed the potential number of calories burned, but also how many "mini cupcakes" they were worth. "The average person burns 90 calories by walking 1 mile," the app states. "To help put that into perspective, we've estimated how many desserts your walk would burn. One mini cupcake is around 110 calories."

Some users reportedly welcomed the feature, but it sounds as if a good proportion of them didn't, as Google has taken the decision to roll it back "based on strong user feedback".


Why does @googlemaps have a “Calorie Tracker” built into directions I take now? Could be triggering for ppl with past ED.At least have ‘off’ pic.twitter.com/aNEHk346jg

— 👻Nuclear Summer🕸 (@sweetbabyruski) October 14, 2017

I guess Google maps now automatically shows you how many calories you'd burn if you walk somewhere instead of driving pic.twitter.com/eixqCh00rn

— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) October 17, 2017
Some user criticism related to an inability to disable the feature, while others questioned its usefulness, given that rates of calorie burn vary widely from person to person, and no context is given about how the estimate is calculated.

Critics also noted that an excessive preoccupation with calorie counting is a symptom of anorexia and other eating disorders, therefore getting calorie estimates every time a route is looked up could have a negative impact on sufferers.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link] For those who found the calorie estimator feature useful, other calorie-counting apps are available, such as CityMapper and MyFitnessPal.

Tag: Google Maps
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iPhone X Parts Suppliers Reportedly on Schedule to Meet 2017 Production Demand

5 hours 9 min ago
Yield rates for some iPhone X components have improved and become more stable, allowing for shipments of the upcoming smartphone to grow substantially after October, according to sources from Apple's supply chain.

Yesterday it was reported that Apple manufacturer Foxconn has started shipping its first iPhone X units from its main plant in Zhengzhou, China. The same sources are now reporting improved production yield rates for key parts such as the 3D sensing modules, signaling the first positive indicator from suppliers previously struggling to meet Apple's demand.

The first batch of iPhone X devices has already been shipped out from Foxconn Electronics' site in Zhengzhou (Henan, China), said the sources. With production yield rates for certain key components such as 3D sensing modules improving, shipments of the device have increased gradually and will meet Apple's demand ahead of the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the sources indicated.DigiTimes quoted sources at analog IC vendors who said that chip deliveries for the iPhone X have been on schedule up to now, with orders fulfilled on time for the device in the third quarter. The same sources claimed they were not aware of any production delays or shipment cutbacks, contradicting media reports and analyst claims of supply issues, particularly with respect to tricky-to-manufacture 3D sensing modules used in Apple's new TrueDepth camera.

Chip orders for the iPhone X are now expected to grow through the fourth quarter of 2017, before slowing down in the first quarter of the following year, said the sources.

At the same time however, other supply chain sources have sounded a note of caution over the late availability of the iPhone X and worries about pre-order demand for the device outstripping supply, with a supply/demand balance not achievable until the first quarter of 2018.

There are some suggestions that iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales have been lower than expected, as the public bides their time until the more feature-rich iPhone X hits stores, although with no actual sales figures at hand, this is still purely speculation.

Pre-orders for the iPhone X start on Friday, October 27, with the device's official launch the following Friday, November 3.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
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Face Detection in Google Photos App Now Recognizes Cats and Dogs by Name

6 hours 4 min ago
Google updated its Photos app on Monday with a new facial recognition feature that lets users organize pictures of their family pets more easily.

Since it was launched, Google Photos has employed facial recognition to identify humans and help users sort their snaps by friend or family member, similar to how Faces works in Apple Photos.

The latest version of Google's own photos app builds on its face detection feature by recognizing cats and dogs by name, so users no longer need to type in "cat" or "dog" into the search field to bring up the relevant pictures.

Going forward, simply labeling a photo of a furry friend will cause any other photos of the cat or dog to be grouped under that name, just like they do for people.

In addition to the pet grouping feature, Google says users can also now "search by breed to see photos of your Poodle or Maine Coon", or even search using a single cat or dog emoji.

The new pet detection naturally feeds into the app's automated movie generator, found in the Assistant view, and users can create their own short films by tapping on the new photo group of their pet, selecting their favorite pictures, and tapping the "+" symbol.

Google has also included six "pet-inspired songs" to choose from in the movie editor to be twinned with four-legged family collections.

Google Photos is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: Google Photos
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Greenpeace Gives Apple a B- in 'Guide to Greener Electronics'

10 hours 53 min ago
Greenpeace today published its Guide to Greener Electronics, which provides insight into the environmental practices of 17 major companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, and more.

Among all of the companies Greenpeace evaluated for energy, resource consumption, and chemicals, Apple received the second best marks, trailing behind only Fairphone, a device designed with minimal environmental impact in mind.


Apple was lauded for its commitment to renewable energy and reducing supply chain emissions and its efforts to be transparent about the chemicals that are used in its products.

According to Greenpeace, Apple is the only company to have set a renewable energy goal for its supply chain, and several of its suppliers have already committed to using 100 percent renewable energy.

Apple is also committed to renewable energy at its own facilities and is ultimately aiming for a closed-loop supply chain. As for chemicals, Apple is one of two companies (along with Google) that have eliminated all brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride.

Apple's overall Greenpeace "grade" was a B-, but broken down, the company received an A- for the aforementioned environmental efforts, a B for chemicals, and a C for resources, due in large part to the lack of repairability of its devices and its use of proprietary parts.

Apple continues to design products with proprietary parts to limit access and actively lobbies against right to repair legislation in New York and Nebraska.

It is reported that Apple and Sony have blocked attempts to strengthen environmental electronics standards that would encourage device designs that are easier to repair, upgrade, and disassemble for recycling.Greenpeace has previously targeted Apple in a repairability campaign to combat planned obsolescence, accusing Apple's difficult-to-repair devices of shortening device lifespan and leading to more electronic waste. Apple is not likely to make changes to the way its devices are manufactured to make them easier for third-parties to repair, but its efforts towards a closed-loop supply chain could eventually result in far less waste.

Earlier this year, in Greenpeace's annual green report, Apple was ranked the most environmentally friendly technology company in the world. That report focused on factors like energy transparency, energy efficiency, renewable energy commitment, and advocacy.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: Greenpeace, Apple environment, Right to Repair
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New Car Buyers Increasingly Interested in Apple CarPlay

14 hours 34 min ago
CarPlay is becoming an increasingly important feature that consumers look for when purchasing a vehicle, according to a new report released today by Strategy Analytics.

In a survey querying future car buyers about their interest in Android Auto, CarPlay, and Baidu CarLife in the United States, Western Europe, and China, Strategy Analytics discovered the majority of consumers are interested in CarPlay.


In the United States, 23 percent of respondents said CarPlay was a "must have" feature, while 56 percent said they were "interested." Just 21 percent were "not interested." In Europe and China, the numbers were even higher. 36 percent of respondents said CarPlay was a must have feature in China, and 29 percent said the same in Europe.

No fewer than 30 percent of consumers surveyed said they were willing to pay more for a smartphone mirroring feature like CarPlay or Android Auto, provided it's offered at a reasonable price point. For existing customers who have access to mirroring systems like CarPlay, they're often used exclusively over the existing in-car infotainment options. From Strategy Analytics' Derek Viita, author of the report"All of our research suggests that consumers will soon be ready to adopt CarPlay and Android Auto for their infotainment needs, which is another round of bad news for embedded navigation suppliers and OEMs that want to sell upgraded navigation systems." Continued Viita, "It also shows a missed opportunity: OEMs have been including these systems 'as standard,' when our research suggests that consumers would actually be willing to pay for them, even to the price of traditional navigation options."For the survey, Strategy Analytics queried 1,503 consumers in the United States, 1,607 in Western Europe, and 2,003 in China. To participate, respondents were asked to confirm whether they owned or leased a motor vehicle and a smartphone, and they were only asked about in-car mirroring systems available in their regions and compatible with their smartphones.

Though CarPlay has been available since 2015, car manufacturers didn't begin widely adopting the feature until mid-2016. CarPlay is now included in many new 2016 and 2017 vehicles from a wide range of car makers like Ford, Cadillac, Honda, Kia, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Fiat-Chrysler, and more.

CarPlay in the new Nissan Leaf
More than 200 vehicles include CarPlay support, with Apple offering an official master list of all the CarPlay vehicles available in the United States on its website. CarPlay is also available in many aftermarket infotainment units from companies like Pioneer and Alpine.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
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Apple Responds to Senator's Request for Info on Face ID Privacy and Security

15 hours 23 min ago
Shortly after the iPhone X was unveiled, United States Senator Al Franken, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask several questions about the security and the privacy of Face ID.

Franken asked Apple to address his questions by October 13, 2017, which Apple did through a letter sent by Cynthia Hogan, the company's Vice President for Public Policy in the Americas.


In the letter, Hogan highlights its recent Face ID security paper and Face ID support document, which outline how Apple protects customer privacy and keeps customer data secure.

She also addresses several of Franken's questions, reiterating much of the information that's in the two documents and that's been previously published about Face ID. One of Franken's questions, for example, concerned how Face ID was trained, with Apple's response below:The accessibility of the product to people of diverse races and ethnicities was very important to us. Face ID uses facial matching neural networks that we developed using over a billion images, including IR and depth images collected in studies conducted with the participants' informed consent.

We worked with participants from around the world to include a representative group of people accounting for gender, age, ethnicity, and other factors. We augmented studies as needed to provide a high degree of accuracy for a diverse range of users. In addition, a neural network that is trained to spot and resist spoofing defends against attempts to unlock your phone with photos or masks.Hogan ends the letter with an offer to provide Senator Franken with briefings on Apple products should additional information be required.

Following his receipt of the letter, Franken today issued a statement where he said he appreciates Apple's willingness to provide information on Face ID.All the time, we learn about and actually experience new technologies and innovations that just a few years back were difficult to even imagine. While these developments are often great for families, businesses, and our economy, they also raise important questions about how we protect what I believe are among the most pressing issues facing consumers: privacy and security.

I appreciate Apple's willingness to engage with my office on these issues, and I'm glad to see the steps that the company has taken to address consumer privacy and security concerns.

I plan to follow up with Apple to find out more about how it plans to protect the data of customers who decide to use the latest generation of iPhone's facial recognition technology.In addition to offering up a Face ID white paper and detailed support document, Apple has also provided information on Face ID through a series of interviews software engineering chief Craig Federighi did with various media sites.

Face ID will be available to consumers starting on November 3, the official launch date for the iPhone X. Apple plans to begin accepting pre-orders for the iPhone X on October 27.
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Apple Considered Buying Medical Clinic Startup Crossover Health

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 23:52
Apple considered purchasing medical clinic startup Crossover Health as part of its push into healthcare, reports CNBC. Apple is said to have participated talks with the healthcare company up until recently, but after months of discussion, no deal materialized.

According to its website, Crossover Health works with major companies to provide employees with on-site medical clinics. Some of its existing customers include Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Square, and Apple, with many of these companies offering on-campus medical care.


Citing three sources with knowledge of the talks, CNBC says it's not clear why no acquisition ultimately happened between the two companies. Apple also talked to One Medical, another startup that offers patient clinics in several different cities.

Whether Apple would use such a startup to develop public-facing actual medical clinics or use existing facilities to sell products and gather data is not known.The discussions about expanding into primary care have been happening inside Apple's health team for more than a year, one of the people said. It is not yet clear whether Apple would build out its own network of primary care clinics, in a similar manner to its highly successful retail stores, or simply partner with existing players.Apple has made serious inroads into medical care with the introduction of CareKit and ResearchKit. CareKit is aimed at helping app developers create health-related apps to allow consumers better access to healthcare data, while ResearchKit is aimed at helping medical professionals develop studies to further medical research using data gathered from Apple customers.

Apple is said to be aiming to make the iPhone a "one-stop shop" for medical info, offering a centralized way to store all of a person's health data.

In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that health is an area that interests Apple because it's where hardware, software, and services can come together into "something that's magical." "We believe that health is something that is a huge problem in the world," said Cook in 2016. "We think it is ripe for simplicity and sort of a new view, and we'd like to contribute to that."

Tags: HealthKit, ResearchKit, CareKit, health
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Apple's Mac Mini is Now Three Years Old, No Refresh Date in Sight

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 22:28
Today marks the third anniversary of the last update of the Mac mini, Apple's most affordable and compact desktop computer. The Mac mini was refreshed on October 16, 2014, and since then, the machine has seen no additional updates.

The Mac mini is positioned as a "bring your own" machine that comes without a mouse, keyboard, or display, and the current version is still running Haswell processors and integrated Intel HD 5000/Intel Iris Graphics.

Pricing on the Mac mini starts at $499 for the entry-level base configuration, making it far more affordable than the iMac, which starts at $1,099 for a non-4K 21-inch version.


With the 2014 refresh, fans were disappointed as Apple ceased offering a quad-core processor option and support for dual hard drives, features that have not returned.

At this point, it's not clear if and when Apple will introduce a new version of the Mac mini. Prior to the 2014 refresh, the Mac mini was updated in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, so it's never before gone three years sans update.

Many Apple customers are eagerly awaiting a new Mac mini, including businesses that rely on the machine, like Brian Stucki's MacStadium.

When Apple announced plans for a modular Mac Pro, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said the Mac mini "is an important product" in the company's lineup, suggesting Apple doesn't have plans to abandon the machine. He declined to offer up any information on a potential refresh, though.

Aside from a single rumor from Pike's Universum hinting at a new high-end Mac mini with a redesign that "won't be so mini anymore," we've heard no details at all about work on a possible Mac mini refresh.

If a new Mac mini is in the works, though, it could use either Seventh-Generation Kaby Lake chips or Eighth-Generation Kaby Lake Refresh chips, both of which are available now.

The Mac mini typically uses the same 15W U-series chips that are found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro. With Intel's Eighth-Generation chips, the U-series all feature four cores, so should a future Mac mini adopt Kaby Lake Refresh chips or later, quad-core performance will return.

Given that it's October and there are no rumors, it's not likely we're going to see a Mac mini refresh in 2017, but sometime in 2018 is fair game.

Related Roundup: Mac miniBuyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Don't Buy)
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Deals: iPad Mini 4 Sales Continue, Exclusive Discount on iPhone/iPad USB Wall Outlet, and More

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 20:17
Best Buy this week has launched a sale on Apple's iPad mini 4, mirroring the $100 discount that Target placed on the 7.9-inch device late last week. You can get the 128GB iPad mini 4 from Best Buy in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold for $299.99, down from $399.99. There are also a few markdowns for the tablet on its cellular versions, depending on which carrier you choose.


Most notably, Best Buy is offering shipments to your home, unlike Target's sale which required in-store pickup. Free two-day shipping is available for the device as well, and anyone who buys one of Apple's smaller tablets during the sale will gain a six-month subscription to Trend Micro Internet Security for three devices. Furthermore, students can save an additional $20 on their total order if purchasing an iPad mini 4 with two years of AppleCare+.

In other discounts, we've partnered with Top Greener to offer MacRumors readers an exclusive 15 percent discount on the company's Dual USB Wall Charger Outlet at Amazon, priced at $19.29 with promo code RUMORUSB, down from $22.69. The accessory is rated at 2.4 amps per USB port with a maximum output of 24W, which should provide quick charge times for iPhones and average charge times for iPads.


There are also three interchangeable face covers in white, black, and light almond that come with Top Greener's accessory, but the wall plate that surrounds the outlet is not included. There are many simple and cheap solutions on Amazon, however, like Leviton's standard wall plate for $2.58.

To purchase the Top Greener Dual USB Wall Charger Outlet on sale at Amazon, select the "15A Dual USB Outlet" style on the Amazon page, add the item to your cart (making sure it specifies "Sold by Top Greener Inc."), and then type in the promo code "RUMORUSB" at the final stage of checkout. You have until Thursday, October 26 at 11:59 p.m. PDT to take advantage of the discount.

Also running this week only is an Aukey sale at Amazon, which ends this Saturday, October 21. Each Aukey accessory with a discount is listed below:


If you're looking for sales on smart door locks, The Home Depot's Special Buy of the Day is worth checking out today as well. The retailer has taken a variety of smart locking systems and marked them down by 48 percent, including the Schlage Sense Smart Lock in numerous colors and finishes for $179.00, down from $344.00.

Otherwise, be sure to check out our full Deals Roundup to stay up-to-date on the latest sales going on throughout the week.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Apple Says 'KRACK' Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities Are Already Patched in iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS Betas

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:46
Apple has already patched serious vulnerabilities in the WPA2 Wi-Fi standard that protects many modern Wi-Fi networks, the company told iMore's Rene Ritchie this morning.

The exploits have been addressed in the iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS betas that are currently available to developers and will be rolling out to consumers soon.

A KRACK attack proof-of-concept from security researcher Mathy Vanhoef
Disclosed just this morning by researcher Mathy Vanhoef, the WPA2 vulnerabilities affect millions of routers, smartphones, PCs, and other devices, including Apple's Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

Using a key reinstallation attack, or "KRACK," attackers can exploit weaknesses in the WPA2 protocol to decrypt network traffic to sniff out credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, photos, and other sensitive information. With certain network configurations, attackers can also inject data into the network, remotely installing malware and other malicious software.

Because these vulnerabilities affect all devices that use WPA2, this is a serious problem that device manufacturers need to address immediately. Apple is often quick to fix major security exploits, so it is not a surprise that the company has already addressed this particular issue.

Websites that use HTTPS offer an extra layer of security, but an improperly configured site can be exploited to drop HTTPS encryption, so Vanhoef warns that this is not a reliable protection.

Apple's iOS devices (and Windows machines) are not as vulnerable as Macs or devices running Linux or Android because the vulnerability relies on a flaw that allows what's supposed to be a single-use encryption key to be resent and reused more than once, something the iOS operating system does not allow, but there's still a partial vulnerability.

Once patched, devices running iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS will not be able to be exploited using the KRACK method even when connected to a router or access point that is still vulnerable. Still, consumers should watch for firmware updates for all of their devices, including routers.

Ahead of the release of the update that addresses the vulnerabilities, customers who are concerned about attacks should avoid public Wi-Fi networks, use Ethernet where possible, and use a VPN.

Tags: security, wi-fi, Apple security
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iMac Pros With Custom Xeon Chips Possibly Appear on Geekbench Ahead of December Launch

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:18
While the iMac Pro doesn't launch for another six weeks or so, possible benchmarks for the computer may have already surfaced on Geekbench. The results provide us with an early look at just how powerful Apple's $4,999-and-up desktop workstation will be when it is released in December.


Interestingly, the iMac Pro models benchmarked appear to have custom, downclocked Xeon chips that Intel hasn't publicly announced yet. There is a benchmark result for a model with a 3.2GHz 8-core Xeon W-2140B processor, while a third listing exists for a model with a 3.0GHz 10-core Xeon W-2150B chip.

All of the models are identified as "AAPJ1371,1," and unlike other Xeon chips, the processors have a "B" suffix. A few of the benchmark results are from late August, while the rest are from October.


MacRumors spoke with Geekbench founder John Poole, who speculated that the iMac Pro may require chips with lower thermal design power, and thus lower frequencies, due to its all-in-one form factor. He noted that the other chips in the Xeon Processor W family have relatively high TDPs of up to 140W.

The multi-core Geekbench score for the 8-core model averages out to 23,536, which is the highest performance of any iMac ever. It's nearly 22 percent faster than the latest 5K iMac equipped with a maxed-out 4.2GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, which has an average multi-core score of 19,336.

The higher-end 10-core iMac Pro has a multi-core score of 35,917, which is roughly 41 percent faster than the latest Mac Pro maxed out with a 2.7GHz 12-core Xeon E5 processor. Even its single-core score of 5,345 is faster than all but the highest-end 5K iMac released earlier this year.

All in all, the benchmarks point to the iMac Pro being unsurprisingly powerful from top to bottom. And that's not even looking at the 18-core iMac Pro, which hasn't been benchmarked yet and will surely blow every other Mac out of the water—at least until the modular Mac Pro is ready.

Apple said the iMac Pro will also feature top-of-the-line Radeon Pro Vega graphics, up to 4TB of SSD storage, and up to 128GB of ECC RAM. The computer will share the same design as the standard iMac, but with an all-flash architecture, a new thermal design, and four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Related Roundup: iMac ProTags: Intel, Geekbench, benchmarks
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Apple Seeds Third Beta of tvOS 11.1 to Developers

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 18:07
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming tvOS 11.1 update to developers for testing purposes, a week after seeding the second tvOS 11.1 update and a month after releasing tvOS 11 to the public.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the tvOS 11.1 beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode on the Mac.


The tvOS 11.1 update appears to focus on bug fixes and performance improvements rather than outward-facing design changes, and no new features were found in the first two betas. Should anything notable surface in the third tvOS 11.1 beta, we'll update this post.

tvOS 11 introduces features like full support for AirPods, automatic switching between light and dark mode based on local time, Home screen syncing options designed to keep multiple Apple TVs in a single household in sync, and new background modes and notification support.

Related Roundup: Apple TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Apple Seeds Third Beta of watchOS 4.1 to Developers

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 18:07
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming watchOS 4 update to developers for testing purposes, a week after releasing the second watchOS 4.1 beta and a month after releasing the new watchOS 4 operating system to the public.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS 4 beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software update.

To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.


watchOS 4.1 brings support for streaming Apple Music content directly to the Apple Watch Series 3 over LTE and it introduces a new Radio app with access to Beats 1 and other Apple Music radio stations.

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The Music app on the watch looks the same, offering up access to the Music Library, recently played songs, playlists, and Apple Music mixes, but now all Apple Music content can be streamed over an LTE connection and doesn't need to be downloaded to the device. watchOS 4.1 also adds a new Wi-Fi toggle for turning off Wi-Fi to force the Apple Watch Series 3 to use LTE and it displays the Wi-Fi SSID so users can see the Wi-Fi Network an Apple Watch is connected to.

Support for Apple Music streaming appears to be the main feature in the new watchOS 4.1 update, but Apple is also introducing a range of new Unicode 10 emoji characters that include vomiting face, head exploding, mermaid, zombie, hedgehog, fairy, broccoli, and more.

watchOS 4 is a significant refresh of the watchOS operating system introducing new watch faces, including a personalized Siri face, improvements to the Workout app, support for integration with gym equipment, an Apple News app, a vertical Dock, and a new Flashlight feature in the Control Center.

For more on what's included in watchOS 4, check out our watchOS 4 roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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Apple Seeds Third Beta of iOS 11.1 to Developers

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 18:06
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 11.1 update to developers, one week after releasing the second iOS 11.1 beta and a month after releasing the iOS 11 update to the public.

Registered developers can download the iOS 11 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


iOS 11.1 introduces a range of new Unicode 10 emoji like crazy face, pie, pretzel, t-rex, vampire, exploding head, face vomiting, shushing face, love you gesture, brain, scarf, zebra, giraffe, fortune cookie, pie, hedgehog, and more.


Several emoji have also seen some small design changes in iOS 11.1, including the dolphin, octopus, bee, snail, and whale characters, among others. The new designs are more detailed and realistic than existing designs.

The update also brings back the 3D Touch App Switcher gesture that has been missing from iOS 11 since its release. With the return of the gesture, iPhone users can once again 3D Touch at the left edge of the display to bring up the multitasking App Switcher interface.

A few other small features are included in the iOS 11.1 beta. The built-in keyboard in iOS 11.1 now offers up multiple emoji symbols when using an emoji-related word like "cake" or "happy," with each of the suggestions displayed at the end of the predictive text suggestions.

There's also an updated camera icon under Restrictions, a new animation when tapping the status bar to scroll upwards, and a faster unlock animation.

iOS 11 marks a major update to the operating system with systemwide design tweaks, a new Lock screen experience, a revamped Control Center, ARKit, new app features, and an entirely new interface for the iPad that includes a Dock, Drag and Drop support, and a redesigned App Switcher for better than ever multitasking.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Sylvania Smart Lighting Line Gains HomeKit-Enabled Flex Strip and Soft White Bulb

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 17:41
LEDVANCE today announced an expansion to its line of HomeKit-enabled Sylvania lights, introducing the Indoor Flex Strip Full Color and the Soft White A19 Bulb, both of which are joining the existing HomeKit-compatible A19 Full Color Bulb.

The Soft White A19 Bulb is less expensive than the Full Color Bulb at $26, and it offers only a soft white shade instead of multiple colors. It is an 800 lumen bulb that is dimmable, and it works with any lamp that is compatible with A19 bulbs.


Sylvania's Full Color Flex Strip is a 400 lumen LED light strip that's designed to be used as accent lighting under shelves, along bookcases, under cabinets, and anywhere else light strips might work. It supports millions of colors and has a 1900K-6500K adjustable color temperature range.


The Sylvania lights connect to a HomeKit setup over Bluetooth, and thus do not require Wi-Fi or a hub to function. With HomeKit compatibility, both can be controlled via the Home app or through Siri, and they can be combined with other HomeKit accessories in scenes.

Sylvania's new products can be pre-ordered from Amazon and will ship out later this month. The A19 Soft White Bulb is priced at $26, while the Full Color LED Flex Strip is priced at $60.

Tags: HomeKit, Sylvania
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