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Dialog Shares Continue to Fall After Company Admits Apple Could Design Own iPhone Battery Chips

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 13:08
Dialog Semiconductor admitted on Monday that Apple, its top customer, could build its own power management chips for future iPhones without relying on the British-based chipmaker (via Reuters). The comments saw Dialog shares tumble as much as 19 percent, despite the firm claiming there was no risk to its existing supply deals in 2018.

Dialog said it was already in the advanced stages of working with Apple on designing "2019-type products" that could lead to commercial contracts by next March.

"Our position remains that we have seen no material change to our ongoing relationship with Apple Inc," Chief Executive Jalal Bagherli told investors on a conference call.

However, the company acknowledged for the first time that "Apple has the resources and capability to internally design a PMIC and could potentially do so in the next few years".A report last week claiming Apple would design its own power management chips as early as 2018 came as a serious blow for Dialog, which exclusively designs the current main power management chip for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch models. Apple reportedly accounted for nearly three quarters of Dialog Semiconductor's revenue in 2016.

Dialog's PMIC chip controls an iPhone's battery, including charging capabilities and energy consumption. Apple's own design will supposedly be "the most advanced in the industry", according to Nikkei Asian Review, and could enable future iPhones to have a better balance between performance and battery consumption. Taiwanese supplier TSMC will be the exclusive manufacturer of Apple's in-house power management chip, according to the report.

Since last week's report, Dialog shares have lost nearly a third of their value. At one point this morning they were down 15.2 percent at 26.47 euros ($31.38), according to Reuters.
Bagherli said Apple's feedback so far on 2019 product plans had been 
"very good" and that he expected to have more clarity by March on the terms of new business from Apple for 2019. Dialog would update investors when it had more details, he said.

Semiconductor suppliers are typically barred by Apple from revealing their supply relationships. Dialog, which has previously declined to name Apple, referring to it only obliquely as its "largest customer" or its "main business", said it had received a special dispensation from Apple to mention it.Dialog emphasized that it had no reason to believe its 2018 business with Apple would be affected if Apple chose to design its own chips, but acknowledged that it would need to meet the company's "technology, quality, price, and volume expectations" if it wanted to remain a key supplier.

Dialog Semiconductor may turn out to be the second large British company to lose major business from Apple with the next couple of years. In April, Imagination Technologies shares plunged after Apple informed the firm it plans to stop using its PowerVR graphics technology in its devices by mid-2019.

Apple looks on course to start designing several other components in-house in the next few years, potentially including ARM-based Mac processors and iPhone modems.

Tag: Dialog
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KGI: AirPods Shipments Will Double Next Year Given Strong Demand

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:49
AirPods will remain one of Apple's most popular accessories in 2018, with shipments likely to double to an estimated 26-28 million units on a year-over-year basis, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo said there has been strong demand for AirPods, which he views as the most important accessory in Apple's wireless ecosystem. His prediction implies AirPods shipments will total 13-14 million units in 2017.

An excerpt from Kuo's latest research note with investment firm KGI Securities, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors:We believe demand for AirPods has been strong, and note that the shipping time of the product on Apple's official shopping website has shortened to 1-3 days, mainly thanks to an improved assembly process and increased capacity from Luxshare as the new assembler […] We expect AirPods to remain one of the most popular Apple accessories in 2018, with shipments likely to rise 100% YoY to 26-28mn units next year.Chinese company Luxshare could become the main assembler of AirPods in 2018, with a higher order allocation than fellow supplier Inventec, after improving its assembly process and increasing production capacity.

Apple doesn't break out AirPods sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Instead, it groups the wireless earphones under its "Other Products" category, alongside Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats, iPods, and other accessories.

Apple reported revenue of $3.2 billion from its "Other Products" category last quarter, up 36 percent year over year.

Last month, on an earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was "thrilled with the momentum" of AirPods. He boasted that Apple's entire wearables business generated the annual revenue of a "Fortune 400" company in the 2017 fiscal year.The combination of music streaming on Apple Music and AirPods is truly a magical experience for people on the go. We're thrilled with the momentum of these products. In fact, our entire wearables business was up 75 percent year over year in the fourth quarter, and in fiscal 2017, already generated the annual revenue of a Fortune 400 company.AirPods launched for $159 in December 2016 after a two month delay, but orders on Apple's website faced a six-week shipping estimate until August 2017 as Apple struggled to improve the supply-demand balance of the wireless earphones.

AirPods shipping estimates have gradually improved since then, with orders now slated for delivery in under one week.

We haven't heard many rumors about second-generation AirPods, but Apple will be releasing an inductive charging case for the wireless earphones designed to work with its AirPower charging mat, which itself will launch in early 2018.

Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo, AirPods
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iPhone X Early Adoption Rate Said to Beat iPhone 8 and 7 Plus Levels

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:05
iPhone X handsets make up over 2 percent of the iPhone active installed base, just three weeks after it was released on November 3, according to research conducted by IHS Markit. The countries with the highest rates of adoption are markets with high gross domestic product per head, like Singapore, Denmark, Switzerland, and Japan.

According to IHS, countries where "Plus" models have been popular show a strong correlation with initial adoption rates for iPhone X, because consumers in those markets are more interested in larger displays and dual-lens camera technology, and are willing to spend more to get them.

Production constraints appear to have had little effect on early uptake of iPhone X, which is said to be "very similar" to adoption of previous flagship iPhones launches over the same period, said IHS analysts.
In the US, iPhone X adoption after three weeks matched the adoption of iPhone 8 Plus and beat early adoption levels for both the iPhone 8 and 7 Plus. Only the iPhone 7 model had greater initial success. In Japan, initial iPhone X adoption was as good as or better than any recent iPhone launch, and matched the level of the iPhone 7.Apple is set to enjoy its best ever year for iPhone, according to IHS, with year-on-year increases in iPhone shipments over the next four quarters. In the fourth quarter of 2017, IHS Markit forecasts Apple will ship 88.8 million iPhones, which would be the highest number of iPhones ever to be shipped in a single quarter.

Shipping 31 million iPhone X units would cause the iPhone average selling price (ASP) to exceed US$700 for the first time in the iPhone's 10-year history, assuming total shipments in the quarter amount to 88.8 million.

Shipping estimates for the iPhone X continue to improve in many countries. In the United States, iPhone X models ordered today will arrive in just about a week, while several European stores list delivery dates of December 12. In line with IHS Markit's analysis, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier claimed that improved iPhone X shipping estimates are due to better-than-expected improvements in production, rather than a lack of demand for the new device.

(Via DigiTimes.)

Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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Tim Cook Touts Apple's Contribution to Chinese Economy at State-Run Web Summit

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 13:38
Chinese developers have earned more selling apps on its iOS platform than devs from any other country, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Sunday (via Bloomberg). His comments were made in a keynote speech given at China's annual state-run World Internet Conference, which aims to develop the digital economy, while operating under the rubric of respecting the right of sovereign nations to regulate and control public internet access.

Cook said users of its iOS platform number 1.8 million in China, collectively earning developers a total of $16.9 billion, which is roughly a quarter of total global App Store earnings. Apple said earlier this year that the global developer community has earned over $70 billion since the App Store launched in 2008.

Tim Cook delivers a speech at the Fourth World Internet Conference (Photo: IC)"The theme of this conference – developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits – is a vision we at Apple share," Cook said. "We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace."China's cyber regulation has stepped up in the last year, with new rules coming into force that require companies to store data locally and make data available for surveillance measures. Apple was the first foreign tech firm to announce amendments to its data storage arrangements in China, when the cybersecurity laws came into effect in June.
"Much has been said of the potential downsides of AI, but I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines," he said. "We all have to work to infuse technology with humanity, with our values."

Technology of the future should have openness, creativity and safeguards to protect users while providing privacy and decency, he added.Cook's words appeared carefully chosen so as not to upset his Chinese hosts, who routinely curtail access to online services seen as a potential threat to the country's internal cohesion. Facebook and Instagram have been blocked by China's Cyberspace Administration since 2009 and 2014, respectively. Encrypted messaging service Telegram was also blocked inside China after it became popular with the country's human rights lawyers, while several VPN apps – which are commonly used to evade censorship and access services abroad – were recently pulled from China's App Store in compliance with stricter state rules.

The Wuzhen-based conference was opened earlier on Sunday with comments from Chinese president Xi Junping, read by the head of the government's publicity department, in which Xi advocated for "cyber sovereignty", the idea that states should be permitted to manage and contain their own internet without external interference.
"Developments online are raising many new challenges to sovereignty and security, and China is willing to work with the international community to respect cyberspace sovereignty and promote partnerships," said Xi in the note. "The development of China's cyberspace is entering a fast lane... China's doors will only become more and more open."China remains the world's biggest smartphone market, one which historically Apple has struggled to penetrate. The company shipped an estimated 11 million iPhones in China last quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, despite six consecutive quarters of declining iPhone sales in the region.

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, Tim Cook
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Best Buy Doorbuster Event Day 2: Save $200 on MacBook Pro and $80 on Beats Pill+ Speaker

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 17:19
Today is Day 2 of Best Buy's 20 Days of Doorbusters sale event, which began yesterday and offers customers new deals on a variety of products every day until December 20. For today's sale, you can get $200 off the mid 2017 model of Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro in three configurations, which we've listed below. These discounts are mostly hitting between $50 and $100 below the price of similar models at other retailers like B&H Photo and MacMall, so be sure to check them out before the sale prices disappear tonight at midnight.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy and Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

13-inch MacBook Pro
Besides MacBook Pro, Best Buy today also the Beats Pill+ speaker on sale for $149.99, a savings of $80 from its normal price of $229.99. You can buy the Bluetooth speaker in Black, White, or (PRODUCT)RED. If you're looking for other colors, Walmart has the Beats Pill+ at the same $149.99 price point in Asphalt Gray and Turf Green, part of the Beats Neighborhood Collection.

Additionally, there is a collection of MacBook accessories made by Incase available during Day 2 of Best Buy's Doorbuster event. With these discounts you can get up to $35 off select hard shell, cover, and sleeve accessories created for 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Air.

Check out Best Buy's deals page for more of Day 2's discounts -- which include an Amazon Fire TV, Lenovo laptop, and Google Pixel 2 -- and remember that all of today's sales will end around midnight tonight. For those planning ahead, the next few notable Doorbuster days include headphones (December 4), Smart 4K TV sets (December 6), iPad (December 11), iPhone (December 17), and another MacBook sale (December 19).

To keep track of even more deals going on this week, make sure to head over to our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple DealsTag: Best Buy
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Signal Encrypted Messenger 2.19 Update Finally Available Following App Store Hiccup

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 12:43
Encrypted messaging app Signal pushed out its v2.19 update late on Friday after a post-release 48-hour delay, owing to an App Store issue that Apple has now resolved. The update includes a number of new features and improvements, including full UI display support for iPhone X.

After the update is applied, users will no longer see the "Load Earlier Messages" link within chat threads, because additional messages now appear automatically upon scrolling to the top of a conversation.

In other improvements, a new simplified interface has been introduced to the Signal mobile app that aims to make sending photos, files, and GIFs easier and quicker. For example, attachment previews are now displayed directly in the message bar instead of on a separate confirmation screen.

Adopting a design concept popularized by Facebook Messenger known as "Jumbomoji", emoji characters are now also visibly larger in Signal chat bubbles that don't contain any other text. Elsewhere, messages that fail to send have been made easier to spot and re-send, while a new "Tap for More" option should make navigating extremely long messages a more pleasant experience.

The list of supported languages has also been expanded to include Burmese, Hebrew, and Persian, while users with an external keyboard linked to their device can now make use of new key combination shortcuts for sending messages (Shift + Enter, and Command + Enter).

Apart from the above changes, Open Whisper Systems has revamped the layout code to improve performance and flexibility, so everything should feel smoother and more refined, according to the developers. Lastly, a number of bugs have been fixed, including one where recently sent messages sometimes reappeared after being deleted.

Signal Private Messenger is a free download [Direct Link] for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store.

Tags: security, Encryption, Signal
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Apple CEO Tim Cook to Attend China's World Internet Conference Next Week

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 12:09
Apple CEO Tim Cook will attend China's state-run internet conference next week, reports the Wall Street Journal. The annual World Internet Conference starts on Sunday in Wuzhen and is organized by the central government's Cyberspace Administration.

According to the conference's website, other foreign executives and officials set to attend include Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook VP Vaughan Smith, LinkedIn co-founder and VP Allan Blue, and Microsoft executive VP Harry Shum.

The event will host a range of discussions including the future of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and methods of combating criminal activity and terrorism online, all of which feed into the summit's main aim of advancing the digital economy "for openness and shared benefits". What the press material doesn't mention is the Cyberspace Administration's role in online censorship and its history of blocking access to unapproved sites.

Skype became the latest victim of its strict internet filters when it was removed from the App Store last month. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to the administration's regulations, while other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and the New York Times app.

During a Q3 earnings call in August, Cook said Apple believes in engaging with governments around the world even when it disagrees with rules or restrictions. Regarding the removal of VPN apps from China's App Store, Cook said that over time Apple hoped to see the restriction loosened, because "innovation requires freedom to collaborate and communicate".
Some folks have tried to link it to the [Apple-FBI dispute] last year — they're very different. In the case of the US, the law in the US supported us. It was very clear. In the case of China, the law is also very clear there, and like we would if the US changed the law here, we would have to abide by it in both cases. That doesn't mean we don't state our point of view, in the appropriate way — we always do that. To what extent Cook will voice concerns about Chinese law at the summit is unclear, however his attendance reflects the country's growing importance to Apple's business as it seeks to boost revenue in the region. Apple shipped an estimated 11 million iPhones in China last quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, according to research firm Canalys. The strong growth put an end to six consecutive quarters of declining iPhone sales in the region. However, that growth could be short lived.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales have quickly "run out of steam" in mainland China, despite being heavily discounted by online retailers, according to the South China Morning Post. And while the iPhone X could help Apple in the fourth quarter, its high price and supply constraints might inhibit the company's growth in China in the short term, according to Canalys.

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.

Tag: China
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iOS 11.2 Update Fixes 'I.T' Autocorrect Bug

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 08:54
iOS 11.2, which was released at midnight on Saturday, appears to fix an autocorrect bug that caused the word "it" to be autocorrected to "I.T" on earlier versions of iOS 11.

Not all users were affected, but those who were saw their keyboards offering up "I.T" as a predictive text suggestion and an automatic autocorrection when typing "it." Some people also saw the word "is" autocorrect to "I.S."

Image: Sean James via Twitter
The I.T. autocorrect problem has been around since iOS 11 first launched in September, but not every iPhone user experienced the issue. It appeared to be more limited in scope than a similar autocorrect bug that caused the letter "i" to autocorrect to "A[?]."

The "A[?]" bug was fixed in an iOS 11.1.1 update that was released to the public on November 9.

Reports on Twitter and reddit indicate that the iOS 11.2 update successfully fixes the I.T. autocorrect bug, so affected users should install it immediately.

iOS 11.2 also fixes several other bugs, including a major date-related bug causing crashing starting at 12:15 a.m. on December 2, and it introduces faster 7.5W wireless charging and Apple Pay Cash.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Apple Releases iOS 11.2 With Apple Pay Cash, Faster 7.5W Wireless Charging, Date Bug Fix and More [Updated]

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 08:13
Apple today released iOS 11.2, the second major update to the iOS 11 operating system available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iOS 11.2 comes a month after iOS 11.1, the first major update to iOS 11, and it follows several other smaller bug fix updates.

The iOS 11.2 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update. Eligible devices include the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch.

iOS 11.2, as a major 11.x update, brings several new features and important bug fixes. It introduces Apple Pay Cash, Apple's peer-to-peer payments service. Apple Pay Cash works through the Messages app and is designed to allow for quick person-to-person money transfers, like Square Cash or Venmo.

You can quickly and easily send and receive money through iMessage conversations with Apple Pay Cash. Cash is sent from a linked debit or credit card, while received cash is stored in an Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app and can be used for purchases or transferred to a bank account. For more on Apple Pay Cash, check out our how to.

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For the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus iOS 11.2 appears to introduce faster 7.5W wireless charging speeds through compatible Qi-based wireless charging accessories. At 7.5W charging speeds, the three new iPhones are able to charge faster wirelessly than with the standard 5W wired iPhone power adapter.

When it comes to the iPhone X interface, iOS 11.2 adds a small bar underneath the status bar icons located at the upper right side of the Lock screen, which is designed to make the location of the Control Center gesture more clear. On the iPhone X, Control Center is accessed by swiping down from the top of the device.

In Control Center on all devices, there are two new informational pop-ups that are displayed when using the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggles. These pop-ups explain that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are disabled temporarily rather than permanently when accessed from the Control Center.

iOS 11.2 introduces a new Sports section in the dedicated TV app, which offers up access to live sports games through integration with the ESPN app. The Sports app can be accessed through a new "Sports" tab at the bottom of the app, and it offers up custom content based on team preferences and current sports seasons.

There are multiple bug fixes in the update, including a fix for an animation bug in the Calculator app that caused some numbers and symbols to be ignored when entered in rapid succession. The update removes the animations from the calculator app so calculations can be done quickly with no need to pause between entering numbers to obtain the correct result.

The update also addresses a date bug that caused continual crashing in iOS 11.1.2 after December 2. The problem was linked to local notifications, and according to a support document, it is fixed in iOS 11.2.

Other new features in iOS 11.2 include redesigned camera emojis and other emoji tweaks, a new loading animation for Live Photos effects, and Live wallpapers for the iPhone X. For developers, the update introduces a new feature that allows them to offer new customers discounted introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions in the App Store. Full release notes for the update are available below:iOS 11.2 introduces Apple Pay Cash to send, request, and receive money from friends and family with Apple Pay. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

Apple Pay Cash (US Only)
Send, request, and receive money from friends and family with Apple Pay in Messages or by asking Siri

Other improvements and fixes
- Adds support for faster wireless charging on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X with compatible third-party accessories
- Introduces three new Live wallpapers for iPhone X
- Improves video camera stabilization
- Adds support in Podcasts to automatically advance to the next episode from the same show
- Adds support in HealthKit for downhill snow sports distance as a data type
- Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to appear to be checking for new messages even when a download is complete
- Fixes an issue that could cause cleared Mail notifications from Exchange accounts to reappear
- Improves stability in Calendar
- Resolves an issue where Settings could open to a blank screen
- Fixes an issue that could prevent swiping to Today View or Camera from the Lock Screen
- Addresses an issue that could prevent Music controls from displaying on the Lock Screen
- Fixes an issue that could cause app icons to be arranged incorrectly on the Home Screen
- Addresses an issue that could prevent users from deleting recent photos when iCloud storage is exceeded
- Addresses an issue where Find My iPhone sometimes wouldn’t display a map
- Fixes an issue in Messages where the keyboard could overlap the most recent message
- Fixes an issue in Calculator where typing numbers rapidly could lead to incorrect results
- Addressed an issue where the keyboard could respond slowly
- Adds support for real-time text (RTT) phone calls for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Improves VoiceOver stability in Messages, Settings, App Store, and Music
- Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from announcing incoming NotificationsFor more details on the iOS 11 operating system, make sure to check out our dedicated roundup.

Update: We're seeing several reports that Apple Pay Cash is not available in the release version of iOS 11.2. Given that this update was released at an unusual time, it may not be activated as of yet. It's likely we'll see Apple Pay Cash become available early next week.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Date Bug in iOS 11.1.2 Causing Crash Loop on iPhones as December 2 Hits

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 05:53
A date-related bug in iOS 11.1.2 appears to be causing iPhones and iPads to continually crash or respring when time-based local notifications are received after 12:15 a.m. on December 2, according to reports on Twitter and reddit.

The problem seems to be tied to local notifications received from apps that offer daily or repeat reminders. For example, meditation app Headspace, one of the affected apps, sends daily reminders to users to encourage them to take some time to meditate. Any app using local (as in not pushed from a remote server) notifications that repeat will cause a crash.

If you have an app that has local notification with repeating settings, it will crash iOS Springboard on Dec. 2 (Tomorrow!) Here is a reproducible app by @takayama

— Yoshimasa Niwa (@niw) December 2, 2017
On reddit, users have had some success fixing the issue by disabling notifications and turning off background app refresh, while Apple's support staff appears to be recommending a manual date change to a time before the problem occurred as a temporarily solution. Reinstalling apps and restarting does not fix the issue. The problem looks like it's limited to devices running iOS 11.1.2 -- devices on the current iOS 11.2 beta aren't affected.

Apple Stores in Australia, where it is late afternoon on December 2, are reportedly being inundated with support requests from customers who are experiencing the issue.

PSA from staff: if you have an iPhone, it will likely crash due to a date bug when date rolls over to 2 December, depending on time zone.

The temp fix is to manually set date/time to a date prior to 2 Dec. This will make some apps unusable due to date checks on server.

— J (@jeremybank) December 2, 2017
Apple will undoubtedly fix this problem quickly through an iOS update, but as people wake up on December 2 in the United States and other countries throughout the world, there's likely to be quite a lot of confusion when devices begin inexplicably respringing over and over again.

If you're experiencing continual crashing, the first thing to try is disabling notifications for apps that send regular reminders. It can, however, be difficult to tell which apps are responsible, so a secondary solution is to set the date on your iPhone to before December 2 as you await a fix from Apple.

If you aren't experiencing any crashes, there's no need to turn off notifications or adjust the date on your device.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Reigns: Her Majesty, Cat Quest, Animal Crossing, and Mobile Esports

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 02:40
As we barrel towards the climax of the holiday season, the pace of things happening in the iOS gaming world becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with. Getting good positioning on the App Store over the holiday iTunes Connect freeze has resulted in unbelievable rewards for developers, so it seems like everyone and their brother targets these few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make as large of a splash as possible.

Fighting for top positioning in our most anticipated games list is the sequel to Reigns, Reigns: Her Majesty. It's something I've mentioned here before, but we've finally got an early copy of the game and posted some first impressions. Basically, the game is exactly what we wanted: More Reigns with some fabulous quality of life improvements and additional variety added through a zodiac system, persistent items, and a bunch of other neat stuff.

Cat Quest is a cat-packed action RPG which we loved in our review. It's a real-deal premium game that feels delightfully out of place in the current App Store which has largely been overrun by super simple free games. Cat Quest is getting way better with additional updates, the latest of which hit this week. It comes at a great time where a lot of people have beaten the game and provides way more replay value through New Game+ modes. Our favorite is the new "Mew Game" mode which features modifiers like not being able to equip armor, and a bunch of other wild variety.

Things are heating up in our two favorite digital CCG's on the App Store: The Elder Scrolls: Legends and Hearthstone. Card games thrive on a constant cycle of new content, and these are no different. Elder Scrolls recently added a whole new card set titled Return to Clockwork City, which is based on the Clockwork City featured in The Elder Scrolls III Tribunal expansion. Meanwhile, in the world of Hearthstone, the dungeon crawling and treasure hunting expansion Kobolds & Catacombs is due out next week on December 7th. You have until then to buy the $49.99 pre-order pack to get 50 packs of cards and a fancy card back when the set launches.

While Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has been available for a while now, Nintendo isn't wasting any time when it comes to running events in the game. Currently, there's a holiday event running where you can unlock all sorts of holiday-centric stuff for your camp and camper. Potentially more interesting than that is the impact Pocket Camp is having on Animal Crossing: New Leaf sales on the Nintendo 3DS. In Japan, New Leaf has seen a 214% boost in sales, perfectly illustrating that Nintendo's strategy of bringing people into these core franchises on Nintendo hardware via giving them a taste on mobile is working quite well.

With the success of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds on Steam, it's not surprising to see the unbelievable amount of clones that have been hitting the App Store. What is surprising is the recent announcement that there's an official PUBG coming to mobile, backed by Chinese megacorp Tencent. Things get stranger from there, as a few days later it was announced that Tencent is also releasing a second PUBG mobile game. Seems odd, but, it seems like everything Tencent touches turns to gold so, who knows.

Last, but not least, is two different mobile esports events happening this weekend. I'm actually writing this from London right now, as I'm in town to attend the Clash Royale World Championships this Sunday. Clash Royale is an absurdly massive game, and I'm really curious to see what it looks like to be played in a competitive setting. On the other side of the pond is Amazon's Champions of Fire which is taking place this Saturday and Sunday in New York City (and tickets are free if you're local). Champions of Fire is in its second year, and features a variety of different casual games being played by popular YouTubers and streamers. Both are being streamed on Twitch, so click the above links for all those details.

Those seem to be some of the biggest stories of the week, cherry picking from a massive amount of new games and other associated mobile gaming news. If these are the things you're into, be sure to visit TouchArcade!

Tag: TouchArcade gaming roundup
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PSA: If You Upgrade to macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, You'll Need to Reinstall Apple's Root Security Fix

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 02:31
Mac owners who are still running macOS High Sierra 10.13 and who have already installed Apple's root security fix on that version of the operating system will need to install it once again upon upgrading to macOS 10.13.1, reports Wired.

Security researchers running a patched version of the original macOS High Sierra update, 10.13.0, told Wired that the root bug was reintroduced upon installing the macOS 10.13.1 update. After updating, they needed to install Apple's security patch again. Even that didn't fix the issue until their machines were rebooted.

Those who had not yet upgraded their operating system from the original version of High Sierra, 10.13.0, to the most recent version, 10.13.1, but had downloaded the patch, say the "root" bug reappears when they install the most recent macOS system update.

And worse, two of those Mac users say they've also tried re-installing Apple's security patch after that upgrade, only to find that the "root" problem still persists until they reboot their computer, with no warning that a reboot is necessary.The root fix, released on Wednesday for macOS High Sierra 10.13.0 and 10.13.1, addresses a serious vulnerability that was first discovered a day earlier on Tuesday. The bug enabled the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check, letting anyone bypass the security of an admin account with the username "root" and no password.

While the security update successfully fixes the issue, it appears Apple may not have releases a modified and patched version of macOS 10.13.1, so customers who installed the update on 10.13 might think they're protected upon updating to 10.13.1, but they're not. Instead, the bug is fully re-introduced.

Apple may fix this problem now that the oversight has been pointed out, but in the meantime, customers upgrading from macOS High Sierra 10.13 to 10.13.1 should make sure to download the security update a second time and restart to be certain the root vulnerability is patched.

This won't be an issue when the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update is released, as Apple patched the bug in the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 beta that was released this morning.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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Apple Shares New Short Holiday Ads Promoting Apple Watch Series 3

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 20:20
Apple is promoting the Apple Watch Series 3 as a holiday gift idea in a new series of ads shared this afternoon on its YouTube channel. Entitled "The Gift of Go," each of the four videos focuses on the Apple Watch Series 3 being used during a specific activity.

The ads focus on snowboarding, soccer, working out, and swimming, with each one showing off a different Apple Watch Series 3 feature. Soccer and snowboarding, for example, demonstrate phone calls over cellular and text messaging.

Workout highlights Apple Music, and Swim focuses on the Workout app. All of the ads share the same general style - a quick look at a feature that shifts to a multi-object view that then transforms into wrapping paper over an Apple Watch Series 3 box.

These videos are just about 15 seconds in length, which is the video length that Apple uses for social media ads on sites like Instagram.

All of the videos focus on the aluminum Apple Watch Series 3 models that have LTE capabilities, with the red Digital Crown clearly visible in each one.

While these are the first short videos featuring the Apple Watch Series 3 that Apple has shared, the company has been running several Apple Watch ads that debuted when the device was first announced in September.

Apple Watch Series 3 models are likely to be a popular holiday gift. Pricing on the Series 3 models with LTE begins at $399, while non-LTE models are priced at $329.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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iPhone X Models With Qualcomm Modem Still Have Faster LTE Speeds Than Those With Intel Modems

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 19:59
iPhone X models equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 modem get consistently better LTE speeds than versions with Intel's XMM7480 modem, according to wireless signal testing firm Cellular Insights.

For context, Cellular Insights used professional measurement equipment equipped with four Vivaldi antennas to simulate LTE performance at different distances from a cellular tower with the Qualcomm and Intel models.

Cellular Insights started with a LTE signal from a strong -85dBm, and gradually reduced the power level to simulate moving away from a cellular tower where signal is weaker, until the modems lost their cellular connectivity.

The testing, shared with PC Magazine, was based on performance on LTE Band 4, which is used by every major carrier in the United States except Sprint, as well as in Canada and parts of Latin America.

The results reveal that with only limited attenuation, or signal reduction in simple terms, the iPhone X with an Intel modem started to experience lower LTE download speeds than the iPhone X with a Qualcomm modem.While both modems started out with 195Mbps of download throughput on a 20MHz carrier, the Qualcomm difference appeared quickly, as the Intel modem dropped to 169Mbps at -87dBm. The Qualcomm modem took an additional -6dBm of attenuation to get to that speed.Cellular Insights said the difference is most noticeable in very weak signal conditions, in which the iPhone X with a Qualcomm modem experienced 67 percent faster LTE download speeds on average compared to the Intel model.At very weak signal strength, below -120dBm, the Qualcomm modem got speeds on average 67 percent faster than the Intel modem. The Intel modem finally died at -129dBm and the Qualcomm modem died at -130dBm, so we didn't find a lot of difference in when the modems finally gave out.iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models with Qualcomm modems also had faster LTE download speeds than their Intel counterparts last year, but Cellular Insights said the gap was narrower between iPhone X models.

PC Magazine speculated that Apple could be artificially crippling the Qualcomm modem to have similar performance as the Intel modem, given the controversy that arose with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last year.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 is a gigabit-class modem that supports 4x4 MIMO, for example, but the functionality is disabled in the iPhone X. The result is that both the Qualcomm and Intel versions of the iPhone X have a peak theoretical download speed of 600 Mbps in most countries.

All in all, what this all means is that customers who want to ensure they receive the absolute highest LTE speeds in areas with weaker signal reception should put some thought into which iPhone model they purchase.

Apple offers the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus in two models everywhere but Japan. The first is the Qualcomm-based model A1865, which works with CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint in the United States. The second is the Intel-based A1901, which works with GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile.

If you want the best possible LTE performance, purchasing the A1865 model is the best option. For now, this requires ordering the Verizon model if you want an unlocked device in the United States. In many other countries, and in the U.S. soon enough, Apple sells an unlocked SIM-free A1865 model.

Related Roundup: iPhone XTags: Intel, QualcommBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Beta 6 Fixes Root Password Vulnerability

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 19:33
The newest beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 fixes a major macOS High Sierra vulnerability that enabled the root superuser on a Mac with no password and no security check.

Apple on Wednesday released a security update to fix the problem on machines running the current release version of macOS High Sierra, 10.13.1, but the bug has remained in macOS 10.13.2 until today.

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Developers and public beta testers who are running macOS 10.13.2 should update to beta 6 right away to protect their Macs. MacRumors has confirmed that the vulnerability, which involved entering the username "root" with no password in the Users & Groups section of System Preferences, is no longer functional.

Entering "root" without a password in lieu of an administrator's username and password no longer unlocks a Mac.

When releasing the fix for macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, Apple apologized for the oversight and said it would audit its development processes to prevent something similar from happening in the future.

"We greatly regret this error and we apologize to all Mac users, both for releasing with this vulnerability and for the concern it has caused," read a statement from Apple provided to MacRumors.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 'Baxter' Storage Shelf for Your iMac

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 19:05
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Understands to give MacRumors readers a chance to win one of several "Baxter" storage solutions for the iMac.

Joe Baxter
Currently available through a Kickstarter project that launched this week, Baxter is a series of rear-mounted storage options designed to add more storage space to your iMac.

Nigel Baxter
There are several different Baxter configurations, each of which is made from a lightweight laminated birch wood and mounts to the back of an iMac. Every one of the Baxters is available with metallic paint, a walnut veneer, a stock image, or a custom print at varying price points. Configurations and starting price points are as follows:

  • Nigel Baxter ($45) - A single shelf for the rear of the iMac, able to hold a few accessories.

  • Shira Baxter ($45) - A six-shelf arrangement that's designed to hold hard drives or other small accessories.

  • Mary Baxter ($45) - Two wide shelves that can hold twice as much as the Nigel.

  • Joe Baxter ($55) - Two shelves like the Mary Baxter, with 8 cable wraps for keeping your cords organized.

  • Art Baxter ($75) - A customized backing for the iMac that does not include any shelves.

All of the Baxter prices listed above are entry level. Customization and walnut veneer are more expensive, but for those who have access to a laser machine or who are crafty, there are options to buy raw design files or a DIY kit at much lower prices. Design schematics can be purchased for as little as $2, while DIY kit pricing starts at $20.

Mary Baxter
Baxter storage solutions fit onto the back of iMacs with no tools or adjustments required, and they are compatible with both 21.5 and 27-inch iMac models. Understands says they've been manufactured to add stability to the Mac, so the weight of accessories should not be a problem.

Shira Baxter
Baxter storage solutions can be purchased right now from Kickstarter with an estimated ship date of January 2018, but we have 15 to give away to MacRumors readers. Winners can choose the configuration and color of their choice. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest will run from today (December 1) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on December 8. The winners will be chosen randomly on December 8 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Tag: giveaway
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Apple Seeds Sixth macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Beta to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 18:07
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update to developers, a few days after seeding the fifth beta and a month after releasing the macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 update.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 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 second major 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 10.13.1.

This update may fix a serious macOS vulnerability that enables the root superuser on a Mac with no password or additional security check. Apple released a patch for the bug in macOS 10.31.1, but the issue has not been fixed as of yet in macOS 10.3.2.

No significant new features were discovered in the first five betas of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, but we'll update this post should notable changes be found in the fifth beta.

Update: Today's macOs High Sierra 10.13.2 beta is also available for public beta testers.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of iOS 11.2 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 18:05
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2 update to developers, a few days after releasing the fifth iOS 11.2 beta, a month after releasing the first major iOS 11 update, iOS 11.1, and two weeks after releasing the iOS 11.1.2 update.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 11.2 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. Today's beta update may be the iOS 11.2 golden master, suggesting we could see the official release of iOS 11.2 soon.

iOS 11.2 introduces Apple Pay Cash, Apple's new peer-to-peer payments service. Apple Pay Cash works through the Messages app and is designed to allow for quick person-to-person money transfers. It's available as a dedicated iMessage app in Messages, with cash transferred through the app.

Cash can be sent from a linked debit or credit card, while received cash is stored in an Apple Pay Cash card in Wallet that can be used for purchases or sent to a bank account.

On the iPhone X, iOS 11.2 adds a small bar underneath the icons located at the upper right side of the device on the Lock screen, which is designed to make the location of the Control Center gesture more clear. On the iPhone X, Control Center is accessed by swiping down from the top of the device.

In Control Center on all devices, there are two new informational pop-ups that are displayed when using the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggles. These pop-ups explain that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are disabled temporarily rather than permanently when accessed from Control Center.

In iOS 11.2, there's support for faster 7.5W wireless charging for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. The faster speeds will be available when using third-party wireless chargers that support 7.5W charging or more.

The update also addresses an animation bug in the Calculator app that caused some numbers and symbols to be ignored when entered in rapid succession. The update removes the animations from the calculator app so calculations can be done quickly with no need to pause between entering numbers to obtain the correct result.

In addition to these bug fixes, iOS 11.2 introduces a new Now Playing option for controlling content on the Apple TV in Control Center, a dedicated Sports section in the TV app, redesigned camera emoji, a new loading animation for Live Photos effects, and new Live wallpapers for the iPhone X, plus it adds a feature that lets developers offer new customers discounted introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions on the App Store.

Update: Today's beta is also available for public beta testers.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Craig Federighi: Apple Focused on Single-User Face ID, Touch ID Was Never Intended for Multiple Users

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 16:06
Apple's current focus with Face ID is on single-user authentication, suggesting support for multiple faces won't be added in the near future, according to an alleged email from the company's software engineering chief Craig Federighi.

By comparison, Touch ID can store up to five fingerprints, and each of those fingerprints can belong to a different person. This allows a married couple, for example, to be able to securely authenticate a single iPhone.

In an email to a customer, however, Federighi appears to admit that Touch ID's multi-finger support has always been intended for a single iPhone owner to authenticate with a finger or thumb on both the left and right hand if desired.

Federighi added that Face ID could eventually authenticate multiple faces as the system evolves in the future, but his email makes it clear that Apple doesn't have any immediate plans to implement said functionality.

The user who shared this email on Reddit has a good reputation and history on the website, so we're inclined to believe it is authentic. However, we are still waiting to receive full headers of the email to verify its origins.

A screenshot of Craig Federighi's alleged email response to a customer
Apple says Face ID has a one in 1,000,000 chance of being spoofed, compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID, although the probability of a false match is higher among identical twins, siblings who look alike, and children.

Vietnamese security firm Bkav has also been able to spoof Face ID twice with 3D printed masks, but the steps involved are quite complex and this isn't something the average user should be very concerned about.

In practical, real-world usage, Face ID has proved to be very secure and reliable. But, at least for now, it appears that iPhone X owners won't be able to extend this convenience to their trusted family members or friends.

Tags: Touch ID, Craig Federighi, Face ID
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Spotify Launches Limited Time Holiday Offer: Get One Year of Premium for $99

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 15:37
Spotify today announced a new limited time holiday offer for new and existing Premium subscribers, allowing them to purchase a full year of the service for $99.00. The new price is $20 down from the $120 that users would pay by subscribing to the service on a month-by-month basis of $9.99 (via Engadget). The offer expires December 31, 2017, and after the 12 months is up Spotify will return users to their previous subscription billing at the then-current price.

The offer is only for new or existing individual plans (so Spotify Family plans are not eligible), can not be paid for with Spotify gift cards or prepaid cards, and will not be available to users who subscribe to Spotify through a third-party offer. Find more details about the yearly offer in Spotify's terms and conditions right here.

With Spotify's new offer, the company is matching Apple Music's $99.00 12 month subscription that users have been able to purchase for just over a year, effectively netting subscribers 12 months of music streaming for the price of 10. Spotify's deal doesn't come in the form of a physical card, but the company does offer retail cards with credit tiers that are used to pay for subscriptions before the credit card on an account is charged.

Visit our Deals Roundup for more sales and discounts going on this week.

Tag: Spotify
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