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Pokémon GO Soon Won't Support iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and Some Older iPads

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 14:33
Niantic on Tuesday announced that Pokémon GO will require an iPhone or iPad capable of running iOS 11 or later at the end of February.


The company plans to release an update for Pokémon GO around February 28, 2018 that will end support for older iPhone and iPad models incapable of updating to iOS 11, including the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c.

The complete list of affected devices, released between 2011 and 2013:
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad (3rd generation)
  • iPad mini (1st generation)
  • iPad 2
After that date, players may no longer be able to access their Pokémon GO accounts on affected devices, or use their PokéCoins or other items in their bags. They will need to switch to a supported device to continue playing the game.

More specifically, players who attempt to access Pokémon GO using any of the devices listed above will no longer be able to sign in and will see a message stating that they need to switch to a supported device, suggesting server-side changes.

Niantic said the change is a result of improvements to Pokémon GO that push the game beyond the capabilities of previous iOS versions, likely including a new AR+ mode based on Apple's ARKit for iPhone 6s and newer.

Related Roundup: iOS 11Tag: Pokémon GO
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iPhone X Sales Were 'Stellar' in Several Countries During First Month of Availability

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 13:55
Kantar Worldpanel's newest smartphone OS data details the "stellar" performance of the iPhone X in multiple markets around the world during November, amid an overall "mixed performance" for iOS devices from September to November 2017. While Apple's piece of the smartphone ecosystem fell in Great Britain, the United States, Japan, and Australia, the company saw ongoing growth in urban China during this period.

Specifically, iOS dropped 3.8 percentage points in the U.S. when compared to the year-ago period, resulting in a total smartphone OS sales share of 39.8 percent. In the U.S., Android grew 4 percentage points to capture 59.4 percent of the smartphone OS market.


Kantar noted that in the U.S. the iPhone X was outsold by the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in November, coming in third and helping Apple capture the three top spots for the best-selling smartphone models that month. The researchers said that Apple "easily" beat Samsung's Galaxy S8, which landed at sixth place.

In China, Kantar said that iOS "continues to impress" with a growth of 4.6 percentage points from the previous year and sitting at 24.3 percent of the smartphone OS market in the country. At the same time, Android fell 4.6 percentage points, but it still owns 75.5 percent of the smartphone OS share in China.


Kantar Worldpanel global director Dominic Sunnebo explained that Apple's growth in China during this period was helped by "staggering" demand for the iPhone X, despite its high price tag, and came from users who were mostly switching sides from rival smartphone makers.
“Apple was riding on the back of some momentum before the iPhone X release but demand for latest model in urban China has been staggering given its price point.

“Apple is now back on form – the iPhone X was the top selling model in urban China in November, with a market share of 6.0%. Unlike in Europe and the US, where the vast majority of new early iPhone X sales came from existing Apple smartphone owners, in urban China there are significant numbers of Huawei, Xiaomi and Samsung customers switching to the new iPhone models, which they deem a cut above the rest.” Despite an overall percentage point loss for Apple in Great Britain from September to November (down 4.2 points), Kantar said that for the month of November only, "Apple achieved its highest share in more than three years." The company reached 49.4 percent of the market in November thanks to iPhone X demand, beating out Samsung and "easily regaining" the number one sales spot for the month.

For most markets, Kantar wondered how long Apple will be able to keep its sales momentum going with the smartphone's high price tag. Numerous reports in recent weeks have discussed the same topic, with analysts predicting "weakened demand" in Q1 2018 now that early adopters have received their iPhone X.

Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: Kantar WorldpanelBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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CES 2018: Matias Announces Wired Aluminum Mac Keyboard With RGB Backlighting

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:51
At CES on Tuesday, third-party accessory maker Matias announced an RGB-backlit wired aluminum keyboard for Mac. Inspired by Apple's own, now defunct wired keyboard, Matias' silver and space grey versions look almost identical, except for the addition of a "color dial" on the back and a dedicated key on the layout that allow users to incrementally shift the backlighting through the color spectrum.


Citing a Harvard sleep study, Matias notes that too much blue-light exposure at night is known to negatively impact melatonin levels, which can shift the body's natural time clock — leading to poor sleep and various other health issues. However, the existence of the rotary color dial on its latest keyboard means users can dial back the blue component of white light when they're working late into the evening.

The RGB keyboard features Apple-style function keys to let users control screen brightness, volume, iTunes, and so on, and also includes a built-in USB 2.0 port underneath on the right hand side, for connecting a wired mouse or wireless dongle.

The keyboards cost $99 each and will be available in a wide range of international layouts (US, EU, and Asian). They can be pre-ordered now from the Matias website, with free shipping to the U.S. and Canada, for delivery in late February.

Tag: CES 2018
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CES 2018: Philips Hue Announces iOS App Redesign, 'Hue Sync' for macOS, and Outdoor Bulbs Coming Mid 2018

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:50
Philips Hue is back with a handful of new announcements at CES today, following Monday's news of a collaboration with Razer that allows your Hue lights to react to any game played on a device that features Razer Chroma. Philips continued that announcement by reiterating that even more partners across the gaming, movie, and music industries will debut in the future.

Philips calls this "Hue Entertainment," and added that a "Hue Sync" app for macOS High Sierra and Windows 10 devices will be coming in Q2 2018. Hue Sync will let you create and customize light scripts for games, movies, and music played on a Mac or Windows computer.

Also in Q2 2018, the company plans to update its iOS and Android apps to version 3.0, bringing about a redesign of the app inspired by comments and feedback from current Hue users. Philips said 3.0 will "enhance" existing and new features so that the smart home lighting system can be activated "with even more ease."


Design changes were not yet specified, but Philips said the new interface will allow you to "instantly access" last used scenes, as well as simplify how lights are grouped together.
Early in Q2 2018, Philips Hue will introduce a redesigned Hue app for both iOS and Android. Based on comments, feedback and ideas from Philips Hue users, the redesign will enhance both existing and new features, to help consumers light their home smarter with even more ease. The new app will improve daily use, and ensure seamless setup and integration of Hue accessories and new Philips Hue Entertainment partnership integrations. The interface will also enable consumers to instantly access their last used scenes, and to simply group lights and select their desired color temperature or color. Finally, this summer Philips will introduce an outdoor line of Hue bulbs so that you can sync and control lighting in a backyard or elsewhere through the connected Hue app. No other information regarding the outdoor line and its price tag were given.


Over the past year Philips has been expanding the Hue line, launching new light fixtures, expanded starter kits, a candle light bulb, and table lamps, while extending its HomeKit support to the Hue Tap switch, Hue dimmer switch, and Hue motion sensor.

Tags: Philips, Philips Hue, CES 2018
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Apple Announces Relocation of Chinese Customers' iCloud Data From U.S. to Mainland China

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:47
Apple today confirmed that its iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by a Chinese company from next month (via People's Daily, China). The firm, called Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China, and will manage Apple's new $1 billion data center, which opened in the region last year.

Apple said customers based in the country had been contacted and advised to examine new terms and conditions, which include a clause that both Apple and the Chinese firm will have access to all data stored on iCloud servers.

Apple on Wednesday announced its decision to relocate Chinese mainland customers’ iCloud data from the U.S. to China, promising that the relocation will not compromise users' information security pic.twitter.com/AYIvFNnMUF

— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) January 10, 2018

Apple originally announced in July its intention to set up its first China data center in partnership with a local internet services company. The operational change was agreed between Apple and the Chinese government, bringing the tech giant into compliance with the country's cloud computing regulations, introduced in June 2017.

The cybersecurity law requires foreign firms to store data within the country. Other tech firms with data centers in China include Microsoft and Amazon, which will also need to comply with the new rules.

Apple said the partnership with GCBD would also allow it to improve the speed and reliability of iCloud services products, but assured customers that no backdoors had been created into any of its systems. However, critics claim the move will make it easier for Beijing to spy on users in the country. Last year, Apple was accused of kowtowing to state demands that it remove virtual private network (VPN) apps from its App Store in mainland China.

Shortly after, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple "would rather not remove apps", but like it does in other countries, "we follow the law where we do business". Cook also said he hoped China would ease up on the restrictions over time.

In Wednesday's announcement, Apple said customer iCloud data will be transferred from February 28, and customers living in mainland China who did not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD had been given the option to terminate their account.

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: China, iCloud
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U.S. Government Official Questions Apple Over iPhone Battery Slowdowns

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:54
Just two days after it emerged a French consumer fraud group is investigating Apple over its handling of battery-related performance issues on iPhones, Apple is now facing questions from government officials in its own country over the controversy.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Senator John Thune (R–S.D.), chairman of the Commerce Committee, has sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking a series of questions about how the company decided to throttle processing performance in iPhones with older batteries.

In a letter to Chief Executive Tim Cook, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Thune asked how Apple has tracked customer complaints of processing performance, and if Apple has explored offering rebates to customers who paid full price for a battery replacement before the company offered discounted rates last month.In the letter, Thune went on to note that Apple's decision to offer battery replacements at a reduced price had prompted further criticism from customers who believe that Apple should have offered the replacements for free.

In addition to the senator's letter, Wednesday's WSJ report included official confirmation from the Paris prosecutor's office that it is overseeing an investigation into Apple's "alleged deception" that is being conducted by French consumer fraud group DGCCRF, which is part of the country's economy ministry.

The investigation – which could lead to preliminary charges or be dropped – follows Apple's admission that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Apple introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1 after complaints of unexpected shutdowns in the iPhone 6s, but the company didn't make it clear to consumers that it was due to battery deterioration, nor did Apple inform customers that it could cause occasional performance slowdowns.

Despite Apple's apology and its efforts to correct the issue, in addition to the French inquiry, the company is now facing more than two dozen lawsuits accusing it of intentionally slowing down older iPhones and failing to disclose the changes that it introduced in iOS 10.2.1. One of those lawsuits also stems from France, filed by French consumer group "HOP", which translates to "Stop Planned Obsolescence".
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Jimmy Iovine Dismisses Rumors Suggesting He Plans to Leave Apple

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 02:20
Last week, rumors from several sources suggested Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine was planning to leave Apple in August following the final vesting of his stock, but Iovine yesterday told Variety that he isn't going to leave the company.

Iovine made the comments at the Grammy Museum during a Q&A session held to promote "The Defiant Ones," a documentary about his career and friendship with Dr. Dre. According to Iovine, he is committed to helping iTunes chief Eddy Cue and Apple CEO Tim Cook continue to grow Apple Music and take it "all the way."

"I am almost 65, have been with Apple for four years and in 2 1/2 years the [Apple Music] service has gotten to well over 30 million subscribers and Beats has continued its successful run. But there's still a lot more we'd like to do. I am committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band."While Iovine did confirm that the final portion of the stock he was granted when Apple acquired Beats will vest in August, he says the bulk of his stock "vested a long time ago." A tiny portion remains unvested, but it's "not what [he] thinks about.""The bottom line is I'm loyal to the guys at Apple. I love Apple, and I really love musicians. That's why those articles annoyed me, because it had nothing to do with reality. It made it out to be all about money."Iovine plans to continue to help the streaming music industry advance, and while he says he'll "eventually" need to slow down, that's not happening soon. His goal is to get streaming music right.

According to Iovine the streaming music industry needs to become "more interesting" to be successful, following in the footsteps of companies like Netflix with original content. Apple has been focusing heavily on original content with exclusive music-related documentaries and television shows like "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke: The Series," which have debuted on Apple Music, and it is delving into serious original content programming with several new TV shows on order.

Iovine first joined the Apple Music team in 2014 when Apple acquired Beats Electronics and the Beats Music streaming service, both of which were co-founded by Iovine and Dr. Dre. Iovine has a much longer history with the company, though, first pitching a subscription music service to Steve Jobs in 2003.

Though Iovine has no official title at Apple, he has been heavily involved in Apple Music since its 2015 launch and has negotiated many of the streaming deals for the service alongside Eddy Cue, Dr. Dre, Robert Kondrk, Trent Reznor, and other Apple Music execs.

Under Iovine's leadership, Apple Music has seen strong growth, with the service now boasting more than 30 million subscribers.

Tags: Jimmy Iovine, Apple Music
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CES 2018: Hulu Demos New Live TV Guide and Interface Updates

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 23:26
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Hulu is showing off a redesigned user interface that will be coming to the streaming service in the near future, reports TechCrunch.

A main feature in the revamped interface will include a new Live TV guide designed for subscribers of Hulu's live TV service. The Live TV guide is meant to help Hulu subscribers find something to watch when they're not seeking out a specific show.


According to TechCrunch, the new Live TV guide will be accessible through a lightning bolt icon in the main navigation bar. Once clicked, it will take users to an interface that resembles a cable-style TV guide with info on live TV that's currently airing.

In addition to the Live TV guide, Hulu will introduce a "Stop Suggesting" feature that lets you permanently remove shows you don't want to watch from your Hulu recommendations, and it will allow you to remove items from your Watch History.

Hulu also plans to implement a tool to allow you to manually mark shows as watched, which can be useful when you watch Hulu shows off of the Hulu service, and specific to the Winter Olympics, Hulu will add a dashboard for watching specific sports.

Hulu's planned interface changes come as the company hits a new milestone - 17 million subscribers. Hulu today announced that it closed its fiscal 2017 year with over 17 million subscribers across its subscription on demand and live TV plans in the United States, an increase of five million subscribers since 2016.

Hulu's new features will be introduced in the spring of 2018.

Tags: Hulu, CES 2018
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Ad Firms Hit Hard by Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention Feature in Safari

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 23:11
Internet ad firms are losing out on "hundreds of millions of dollars" following the implementation of anti-tracking features introduced to Safari with iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, reports The Guardian.

One of the largest advertising firms, Criteo, announced in December that Intelligent Tracking Prevention could have a 22 percent net negative impact on its 2018 revenue projections. Other advertising firms could see similar losses, according to Dennis Buchheim of the Interactive Advertising Bureau."We expect a range of companies are facing similar negative impacts from Apple's Safari tracking changes. Moreover, we anticipate that Apple will retain ITP and evolve it over time as they see fit," Buchheim told the Guardian.Intelligent Tracking Prevention techniques were introduced in iOS 11 and in Safari 11 in macOS High Sierra 10.13, both of which were released back in September. Intelligent Tracking Prevention is designed to stop companies from invasively tracking customer web browsing habits across websites. Intelligent Tracking Prevention does not block ads -- it simply prevents websites from being able to track users' browsing habits without their permission.

Shortly after the launch of the two new operating systems, advertising groups asked Apple to "rethink" its position and its decision to block cross-site tracking, arguing that Apple would "sabotage the economic model for the internet."

An open letter signed by the Data and Marketing Association and the Network Advertising Initiative said the collective digital advertising community was "deeply concerned" because Apple's cross-site tracking prevention is "bad for consumer choice." "Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful," read the letter.

In response, Apple defended cross-site tracking and said its customers "have a right to privacy." From Apple in September:Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person's web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet. The new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature detects and eliminates cookies and other data used for this cross-site tracking, which means it helps keep a person's browsing private.There was initially an Intelligent Tracking Prevention workaround that companies like Criteo were using following the launch of iOS 11, but as mentioned in Criteo's announcement, Apple closed that loophole with the introduction of iOS 11.2.

Ad company Criteo says that it is working to circumvent Intelligent Tracking Prevention with an "alternative sustainable solution for the long term" that will align the interests of Apple users, publishers, and advertisers, but it's unclear whether Apple and its customers will find any cross-site tracking feature to be acceptable.

Apple customers who are running iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra can double check to make sure Intelligent Tracking Prevention is enabled on their devices.

In iOS 11, the toggle to disable cross-site tracking can be accessed by going to Settings --> Safari --> Prevent Cross-Site Tracking. With macOS High Sierra, the feature can be activated by going to the Preferences section of the Safari app, choosing Privacy, and then checking "Prevent Cross-Site Tracking."

Tags: Safari, privacy
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CES 2018: The Best of Pepcom With LaCie, Zagg, August, Ring and More

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 20:14
At CES, there are several major media events like Unveiled, Pepcom, and ShowStoppers, which often serve as a way to see the highlights of the best products on display at the show without having to brave the show floor.

Pepcom took place last night, and MacRumors videographer Dan was on hand to seek out some of the most interesting products and accessories that were being demoed.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
Unsurprisingly, Pepcom, like Unveiled, was filled with smart home products featuring Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit support, but the focus was definitely on the former two integrations rather than Apple's smart home system.

Ring was showing off its newly announced recent devices, including the Stick Up Cam and the Ring Beams, outdoor lights with motion sensing that integrate with existing Ring security cameras and doorbells. Though many would like Ring to introduce HomeKit support, the company has not done so.

Noon had a neat smart lighting system with light switches that feature integrated OLED displays. Noon's system is designed to work with traditional bulbs because it replaces standard light switches, but it's pricey and doesn't include HomeKit support.

There were multiple smart locks on display, including the August Smart Lock and a smart lock from Yale, both of which do, in fact, have HomeKit support and work with your HomeKit setup.

Other products on display at Pepcom that were of interest included Zagg's new iPad Pro cases that combine keyboards with rugged protection, the Alexa-enabled Voice One from KitSound, and the Lightning-equipped LaCie hard drive created in partnership with DJI.

LaCie's hard drive is designed to allow you to automatically back up drone footage, and it can be controlled and accessed using the DJI app, but it also works with other non-DJI cameras and products.

Make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors for additional CES coverage, because there's a lot more to come with the show floor officially opening up this morning. We're highlighting all of the new products and accessories relevant to Apple users. To check out what we've shared so far, take a look at our CES 2018 hub.

Tag: CES 2018
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CES 2018: Brinks Announces New HomeKit-Compatible ARRAY Smart Lights and Lock

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 19:30
Home security brand Brinks is expanding its ARRAY line of smart home products with new outdoor lighting options equipped with cameras and smart deadbolts that let you make sure your door is secure from afar.

The ARRAY Smart Light fixtures, which are meant to replace a home's existing outdoor lighting, include built-in cameras with custom lenses and improved camera firmware to offer up reduced shadows and distortion.


AI built into the accompanying app is able to tell the difference between people, animals, and inanimate objects like tree branches to deliver smart notifications, and Brinks says there's "virtually no lag time" between when the camera senses motion and an image appears in the ARRAY app.

Brinks will offer two versions of the ARRAY Smart Light, including a coach light designed for front porches and a dual-head security light meant for yards and side areas. Both are equipped with a 2-in-1 lighting feature that includes a standard illumination setting and an ultra bright setting that's activated when motion is detected. The Smart Lights will launch later in 2018.

Brinks' upcoming ARRAY Chek lock, also coming at an unspecified date in 2018, is a smartphone-connected lock that uses electronic sensing to make sure your deadbolt is secured. An integrated "Smart Latch" will communicate with the ARRAY app, letting users know whether the door is locked and closed for peace of mind.


Both the ARRAY Smart Lights and Chek are compatible with HomeKit, which will allow them to interface with existing HomeKit products. Brinks tells us that HomeKit support will be available for both either at launch or very close to launch.

In addition to the Smart Lights and the Chek lock, Brinks is this week opening up pre-orders for its previously announced Smart Deadbolt.


Priced at $249, the Smart Deadbolt has a built-in solar panel for charging and Alexa support. HomeKit support will be available for the Smart Deadbolt in the first half of 2018.

Tags: HomeKit, CES 2018
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CES 2018: NETGEAR's Arlo Baby Monitoring Camera Now Supports HomeKit

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 19:00
NETGEAR at CES 2018 this week announced its Arlo Baby monitoring camera will soon be compatible with Apple's HomeKit platform.


A new HomeKit-enabled version of the Arlo Baby camera will be released soon, and a firmware update will automatically add HomeKit support to existing models at no additional cost to customers.

HomeKit support will enable iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users to access the majority of Arlo Baby's features for smart monitoring of your baby in Apple's Home app on iOS 10 and watchOS 3 or newer software versions.

NETGEAR shared a list of some of the Arlo Baby's functions that can be controlled with the Home app or Siri voice commands:
  • Live video stream viewing of your baby via the Arlo Baby camera feed
  • Two-way audio for talking, cooing and listening to your baby and other people near the camera
  • Quick view of the most recent screenshot recorded by Arlo Baby when the camera was last activated
  • Voice control by asking Siri to show you your camera's live stream
  • Remotely access the camera's live video/audio feed and two-way communication when you have an iPad or fourth generation or newer Apple TV in your home.
Many of these functions previously required downloading NETGEAR's Arlo companion app, which will remain available on the App Store.

Arlo Baby features 1080p video recording with a rolling seven days of free cloud recordings, infrared night vision capabilities, two-way audio, ambient air quality sensors, a music-and-sound player, and a dimmable night light.

The camera sends real-time, customizable alerts to your Apple devices when motion or sound is detected, including your baby crying. It is primarily intended to be plugged into an AC wall adapter, but it also has a built-in rechargeable backup battery that lasts up to six hours in the daytime and up to three hours at night.

Arlo Baby can be personalized into animals like a bunny, kitten, or puppy with add-on character sets. The camera is available to purchase on Amazon and at major retailers for a suggested price of $249.99 in the United States, but it may take some time for the HomeKit firmware update to roll out.

Tags: HomeKit, CES 2018, NETGEAR
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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 to Developers

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 18:09
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta and more than a month after releasing macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, the second major update to the macOS High Sierra operating system.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.


It's not yet clear what improvements the third update to macOS High Sierra will bring, but it's likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

The previous macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update focused solely on security fixes and performance improvements, with no new features introduced.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of tvOS 11.2.5 to Developers

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 18:08
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming tvOS 11.2.5 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the third beta and almost a month after the release of tvOS 11.2.1, an update that introduced a fix for a HomeKit vulnerability.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the new tvOS 11.2.5 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode.


We don't yet know what features or changes might be included in the tvOS 11.2.5 update, but it likely focuses primarily on bug fixes and performance improvements rather than major outward-facing changes.

There were no outward-facing changes discovered in the first three developer betas, but we'll update this post should new features be found in the fourth beta.

Related Roundup: Apple TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 4.2.2 to Developers

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 18:08
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming watchOS 4.2.2 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta and more than a month after releasing watchOS 4.2, an update that introduced support for Apple Pay Cash.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS 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.

We don't yet know what features or improvements might be included in the watchOS 4.2.2 update, as no outward-facing changes were discovered in the first three betas.

It's possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes, and if that's the case, we won't know the extent of the changes until it sees a public release complete with release notes. Should new features be discovered in the fourth watchOS 4.2.2 beta, we'll update this post.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of iOS 11.2.5 to Developers

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 18:07
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2.5 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta and almost a month after releasing iOS 11.2.1, an update that introduced a fix for a HomeKit vulnerability.

Registered developers can download the iOS 11.2.5 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


iOS 11.2.5 introduces a new feature that allows Siri to play daily news podcasts when queried about the current news. Siri will offer up news from The Washington Post by default, but you can also choose to switch to Fox News, CNN, or NPR.

The new audio news feature, which appears to have been developed for use with Apple's upcoming HomePod speaker, is invoked when using Hey Siri or asking Siri about the news when using CarPlay or with headphones connected - essentially any situation where you're not looking at the display of an iOS device. If you activate Siri using the side button or Home button of a device, standard Apple news headlines are provided instead of the audio-based news highlights.

It's not clear what other new features, if any, will be included in the iOS 11.2.5 beta. We didn't discover other noticeable outward-facing changes in the first three iOS 11.2.5 betas, so it's possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes and security improvements aside from the Siri news update.

If that's the case, we may not know the extent of what's in the update until it sees a public release.

Apple is supposed to be releasing an iCloud Messages feature that was pulled from the iOS 11 release, but there has been no indication of when we can expect iCloud Messages to be reintroduced. Should new features be discovered in the fourth beta of iOS 11.2.5, we'll update this post.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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CES 2018: Satechi Debuts New Dual Charging Station for iPhone and Apple Watch

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 17:01
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Satechi is launching a new Smart Dual Charging Station designed to charge both the iPhone and the Apple Watch at once.


Made from silver or space gray aluminum, the Charging Station features two separate docks -- one that accommodates a Lightning cable to charge the iPhone and a second one that houses an Apple Watch charging puck to charge an Apple Watch.


Unlike some docks on the market, Satchi's option does not come with built-in cords, so you will need to supply your own cables. Cables are designed to wrap around the base of the Charging Station inserts to hide any excess. Satechi says that its dock distributes a total of 15W of power, providing fast yet safe charging capabilities.

Satechi's Smart Dual Charging Stand will be available for $64.99 starting in the spring of 2018.

Tags: Satechi, CES 2018
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CES 2018: Misfit Announces New 'Misfit Path' Hybrid Smart Watch

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 17:00
Misfit, known for its line of affordable fitness tracking devices and smart watches, today announced the launch of the Misfit Path, its latest smart watch.

The Misfit Path is Misfit's smallest smart watch yet, allowing it to look much like a traditional analog watch while also providing smart features.

MIS2150921-M
Misfit has designed the Path with a stainless steel case that has a matte finish, and it comes in four colors: Stainless Steel, Rose Tone, Gold Tone, and Stainless Steel with Gold Tone Accent. Each watch also features a silicone sport strap in matching colors.

Like all of Misfit's smart watches, the Path tracks health metrics like steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and sleep duration using its built-in 3-axis accelerometer. It is not as advanced as devices like the Apple Watch as it has no heart rate monitoring function.

It does have smart watch functionality, though, alerting users to incoming calls, texts, and emails through an iOS app. Path also includes a smart button that serves as a remote control, allowing users to do things like ring their iPhones, control smart devices, snap pictures, and more.

Path is swimproof and water resistant up to 50 meters, and it does not need charging because it uses a standard watch battery that lasts for six months before needing to be replaced.

Path is priced starting at $150 and it will be available from the Misfit website starting in the spring of 2018.

Tags: Misfit, CES 2018
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Apple Store in Zurich Evacuated Following Incident With Overheated iPhone Battery

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 16:16
The Apple retail store located on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, Switzerland was evacuated on Tuesday following a situation with an overheated iPhone battery and its injury of a repair worker (via Reuters and Swissinfo.ch). Zurich police said that the incident happened as the worker was removing the battery from the iPhone, subsequently overheating and "slightly" burning his hand.


It wasn't confirmed which iPhone was the source of the incident, but afterwards smoke began building up within the store, leading to the temporary evacuation of around 50 customers and employees from the premises. In addition to the repair worker, seven other people required medical attention but none were hospitalized.

The police mentioned that Apple staff responded quickly to the overheated battery by sprinkling quartz sand over it and containing the smoke as fast as possible.
“At the same time, there was a slight build-up of smoke, which led to around 50 customers and employees having to leave the business temporarily,” a police statement said.

“The staff responded well and correctly. It sprinkled quartz sand over the overheated battery so that the smoke could be contained and sucked out after switching on the ventilation.” According to the police statement, forensic specialists are now examining what caused the incident in the first place, so no explanation was given at the time of writing. Apple has yet to comment on the situation.

Related Roundup: Apple StoresTag: Zurich
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CES 2018: August Announces Expansion of In-Home Delivery Service 'August Access'

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:41
Today at CES, smart lock maker August announced the expansion of its in-home delivery service "August Access," which will roll out in partnership with delivery company Deliv. Similar to Amazon Key, customers who use August's service will grant Deliv drivers one-time access into their home so that packages aren't left outside (via TechCrunch).

August's service will expand upon its previous August Access platform by opening it up to any interested online retailer, allowing users to order products from these stores and select the August Access in-home delivery option. As long as customers have smart locks from August, Emtek, or Yale, August will then generate a one-time password that the Deliv driver enters, drops off the package inside, and closes the door on their way out (which re-locks automatically).


Once the process is complete users will get a notification on their iPhone or Android smartphone, and the company will also offer "a camera feature" to see the delivery live or watch it later. No information was given on what security cameras will be supported with the service.
“We have been working on this for some time with a variety of retailers and testing it,” said Jason Johnson, the co-founder and CEO of August, in an interview. “It’s now coming along very fast.”

“Through this unique partnership, we are bringing a bit of magic to the shopping experience,” said Daphne Carmeli, CEO of Deliv, in a statement. “Deliv provides the last mile fulfilment solution for a broad retailer network across the country while August Home supplies the technology to take the final step into the home for a totally seamless experience, start to finish.” Besides August locks, the Emtek and Yale brands are supporting August Access now that each company is under the Assa Abloy umbrella, following its acquisition of August last year. The service was previously tested with Walmart in September, even allowing delivery people to put away groceries in customers' refrigerators when needed.

Amazon Key works in much the same way as August Access, allowing Prime members in 37 cities across the United States to order "tens of millions of items" on Amazon.com and have them delivered securely inside their home. But August CEO Jason Johnson said August Access provides more "choice and flexibility" since it's not only available to products on Amazon but will be supported by any retailer who decides to back the platform.

Tags: August Smart Lock, August, CES 2018
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