Mac Rumors

Subscribe to Mac Rumors feed
Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mac News and Rumors
Updated: 1 hour 26 min ago

Apple Adds New 'Families' Section to its Website With Tips for Parents

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 00:53
In the wake of urging from investors to do more about smartphone addiction among children, Apple has added a new "Families" section to its website that outlines parental control tools and information that parents should be aware of.

The mini site is broken into several sections that highlight a range of kid-friendly features that Apple has put into place like app recommendations, in-app purchase controls, restrictions on apps that can be downloaded, internet limiting tools, Find My Friends, and more.

Apple highlights the Kids section of the App Store, for example, which the company says parents can use to find carefully curated content that's appropriate for children. The site provides links to tutorials for enabling Ask to Buy so parents can approve app downloads, and it lets parents know how to turn on restrictions to limit in-app purchases and which websites are available to children.

Another section of the site points out tools like Find My Friends for keeping track of a child's location, and recommends setting up group chat for the whole family in Messages.

Apple also provides details on Family Sharing, which is designed to let members of the same family share apps, music, books, iCloud storage, and more, and there's a section on tips for the whole family, with feature recommendations like Do Not Disturb While Driving, Bedtime, Medical ID, Night Shift, and Emergency SOS.

Apple also recommends products like the Apple Watch with LTE connectivity to "reach kids in an emergency" and to help the whole family stay fit, and there's a dedicated section on privacy controls. Parents who have children that use iOS devices will likely want to give the new site a look.

Apple has promised to introduce more robust parental control tools, and rumors have suggested the company will introduce the features in iOS 12. Apple is said to be planning to debut a Digital Health tool that will let parents know how much time their children have spent using iOS devices.
Discuss this article in our forums

Pedometer++ Developer Shares Data on Apple Watch Adoption Rates Across All Models

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 22:51
David Smith, the developer behind the popular Pedometer++ app for iPhone and Apple Watch, today shared some interesting user data that offers insight into Apple Watch adoption rates, and specifically, how quickly he's seen Apple Watch Series 3 adoption grow.

Smith looked at data collected from August 1, 2017 (a month before the debut of the Apple Watch Series 3) to March 14, 2018. During that time, he's seen rapid growth in the number of active Pedometer++ users who have an Apple Watch Series 3, and a steady decline in users who have an Apple Watch Series 0 or an Apple Watch Series 2, both of which are now discontinued.

Just under 35 percent of Pedometer++ users now have an Apple Watch Series 3, while around 24 percent have an Apple Watch Series 0, down from more than 40 percent in August of 2017.

According to Smith, he's been keeping a close eye on Apple Watch Series 0 usage rates because he's hoping that Apple will soon drop support for the original Apple Watch, which he describes as a "bit painful" to develop for.It is just slow and honestly a bit painful to develop for. Even basic things like deploying your application to the watch can take uncomfortably long amounts of time. In daily use the Series 0 is probably "good enough" for many customers, especially with the speed/stability improvements added in watchOS 4, but as a developer I can't wait until I no longer have to support it.By contrast, Smith says the new Apple Watch Series 3 is "a delight to work with" because it's fast, capable, and has LTE functionality that allows for new kinds applications. Smith is hoping watchOS 5 will drop support for the original Apple Watch, which is why he tracks falling Series 0 usage rates, but he does admit that the device is still adequate for many users who just need basic functionality.

When watchOS 5 launches, presumably this September, the original Apple Watch will be more than three years old, and Smith believes, that based on current trends, Series 0 usage could be as low as 15 to 20 percent in his Pedometer++ app, which presumably is reflective of overall usage rates.

For comparison's sake, Apple ended support for the original iPhone, released in 2007, in 2010 when the fourth-generation version of iOS was released. Support for the first-generation iPod touch, also released in 2007, ended with the same operating system update.

Apple ended support for the first-generation iPad, released in 2010, with the launch of iOS 6 in 2013.

Apple clearly has a history of ending support for first-generation devices after a few years, but it's not yet clear if the company will do the same for the original Apple Watch. Some of the original Apple Watch models, which were offered in 18-Karat gold, were priced at up to $17,000, so Apple could have unhappy customers when support for the device eventually ends.

For more of Smith's Apple Watch adoption analysis, make sure to check out his full blog post.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Discuss this article in our forums

Netflix Nixes Feature That Gave Patches to Kids for Watching TV

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 22:13
Netflix has decided to stop testing a new gamified TV streaming experience for children, which offered kids "patches" (aka stickers) for watching episodes of certain television shows.

Netflix started testing the feature in February, but it received widespread attention last week after the beta test was highlighted by various media sites. Given the negative attention Netflix received over the feature from parents concerned about their children watching too much TV, Netflix has decided not to move forward with development.

Image from Twitter
In a statement to BuzzFeed, Netflix said the testing for patches has ended and the feature will not be implemented."We've concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well - and what doesn't work well - for our members."During the beta testing period, there were several complaints about the feature from users who encountered it, with customers sharing their negative opinions on Twitter and other social networks. Netflix was accused of attempting to turn children into "binge watchers" through the patch program.

Hey @netflix! If this becomes a thing, my kids are not going to be allowed to watch Netflix any more. We don't need you to drive engagement for them to *watch more TV*.

— aprotim (@aprotim) March 12, 2018

@netflix hi. i have been a netflix subscriber for over ten years. i will cancel my subscription if patches stick around. i don't need you actively encouraging my child to waste time in front of the television.

— The Ape of God (@simiadei) March 12, 2018
Netflix was testing the feature with a small number of users, with patches provided for shows like "A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Trolls," "Troll Hunters," Fuller House," and more. Netflix said the feature was aimed at providing collectible items for a "more interactive experience" and to "expand the storytelling world for the show."

Users who were part of Netflix's test group will no longer be seeing patches when watching TV shows.

Tag: Netflix
Discuss this article in our forums

How to Quickly Delete Numbers in the Calculator App

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 21:56
There are a lot of hidden little tricks and tips for all of the native apps on the iPhone, including the Calculator app. If you're typing in numbers and make an accidental mistake, you don't need to start all the way over -- there's a simple gesture to delete a single number.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
To make the correction, simply swipe left or right on the numbers displayed at the top of the calculator to remove a single number at a time.

You can do a few other things with the Calculator app. To copy a sum that you've calculated, simply press a finger over the number displayed on the calculator until the "Copy" option pops up. And in case you've never turned your iPhone to landscape mode while using the Calculator app, give it a try. You'll see a lot more functions to work with.
Discuss this article in our forums

Quick Takes: 'Why Hasn't Samsung Ditched the Headphone Jack Yet?'

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 21:29
In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Wednesday, March 14
- Why hasn't Samsung ditched the headphone jack yet? Daring Fireball's John Gruber remains convinced that headphone jacks are going the way of the floppy drive, but he explains why Samsung might not be ready to ditch the 3.5mm port yet, as Apple did with the iPhone 7 a few years ago.Samsung is more of a "do what the customer is asking for" company; Apple is a "figure out what they’re going to want" company. Samsung’s customers aren't asking for the headphone jack to be dropped, so the path of least resistance is to just keep the jack. But looking at what's available on the market, a big problem facing Samsung (and the rest of the Android world) is that the USB-C headphone market is a mess — and expensive to boot. "No-name brand headphones at high prices" is a hard sell.Commentary: Apple arguably has an advantage in this space thanks to its custom W1 chip, which provides a quick and seamless connection between Apple devices and its wireless headphones like AirPods and BeatsX.

- Dutch bank hints that Apple Pay could launch in the Netherlands next week: Dutch mobile bank bunq was recently added to the list of Apple Pay participating banks in Italy. When contacted by the Dutch blog about the possibility of Apple Pay launching in the Netherlands, the bank said it could not share any details before a press conference it is holding March 20.

Commentary: During its earnings calls, Apple usually mentions a list of countries where Apple Pay is coming soon, and the Netherlands hasn't been one of them. If this rumor proves true, however, hopefully it signals a wider expansion of Apple Pay to other European countries like Germany and Poland.

- Amazon considered buying Texture before Apple deal: "Next Issue Media LLC, owner of Texture, hired investment bank Moelis & Co. in the past year to advise on a sale process, said the person."

Commentary: Amazon already operates a Texture-like service called Kindle Unlimited, which provides subscribers with access to over one million e-book titles, thousands of audiobooks, and select magazines on Kindle Fire, iOS, or Android smartphones and tablets for $9.99 per month.

- Apple details Intelligent Tracking Prevention 1.1: All partitioned cookies are treated as session cookies and are not persisted to disk. Domains with a pending purge will not be able to set new cookies and their existing cookies are not sent in requests. These updates are available in Safari 11.1 on iOS 11.3 beta and macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 beta, as well as in Safari Technology Preview.

Commentary: Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a Safari privacy feature which detects domains that have the ability to track the user cross-site and either partitions or purges the associated website data. The feature is designed to stop companies from invasively tracking customer web browsing habits across websites.

For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.

Tag: Quick Takes
Discuss this article in our forums

How to Set a Custom Lock Screen Message on Your Mac in Case It's Lost

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 20:21
You can set a custom message to appear on the lock screen of your Mac, which is super useful if you ever misplace or lose your Mac. It lets people see who the Mac belongs to as soon as it's opened up, and there's no question about ownership.

You will need an administrator account to create a lock screen message on your Mac, but it's super easy to do.

  1. Click on the "" icon in the menu bar.

  2. Select System Preferences.

  3. Choose Security & Privacy.

  4. Select the "General" tab.

  5. Click on the lock icon at the bottom of the window.

  6. Enter your admin name and password.

  7. Choose "Set Lock Message..."

  8. Enter your desired message.
It's useful to add contact details here, like your email address and phone number or the email address and phone number of someone who can easily get in touch with you in an emergency situation.

What the lock screen message looks like when your Mac is locked.
If you misplace or Mac or have it stolen, this puts your contact information front and center as soon as your Mac is opened up, so whoever has it can see who it belongs to even before you activate Lost Mode using iCloud. It's also potentially useful in an emergency if someone needs to know who you are and how to get in contact with a loved one.

I'm personally always paranoid about losing my MacBook or having it taken at some location like an airport security lane, so this is a nice way to have instantly identifiable info readily available.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Promotes iMac Pro as 'Most Powerful Mac Ever' With Series of Short Films

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 19:48
To demonstrate how the iMac Pro is the most powerful Mac ever, Apple recently invited a group of filmmakers, CG artists, and graphics designers to create a series of short films using its advanced technologies.

The artists include creative director Erin Sarofsky, motion graphics designer Esteban Diácono, 3D artist Luigi Honorat, director and designer Michelle Dougherty, design and motion studio ManvsMachine, and an integrated collective of designers, artists, and storytellers from production company Buck.

From concept development through final preparations for render, Apple says the iMac Pro was at the center of the creative work. The fine print does note that additional equipment was used for final rendering of 3D content.

Each film is accompanied by a behind-the-scenes video showing how the iMac Pro fit into the creative process, alongside a list of software tools used and testimonials about how great the iMac Pro is. Apple hasn't shared the films on its YouTube channel yet, so it's unclear if they'll double as TV ads.

iMac Pro was described as "blazingly fast" in an early review. Based on benchmarks, the mid-range model with a 10-core 3.0GHz Intel Xeon processor is up to 45 percent faster than the high-end 2013 Mac Pro. The 10-core iMac Pro is also up to 93 percent faster than the latest top-of-the-line 27-inch 5K iMac.

Watch the Films: "iMac Pro: The most powerful Mac ever. Pushed to the limits."

Related Roundup: iMac ProBuyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums

Reddit's iOS App to Feature Native Promoted Posts Beginning March 19

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 18:41
Starting next week, the official Reddit app for iOS will begin displaying native in-app promoted posts to Reddit users, according to an email Reddit sent out to advertisers on Wednesday and shared by Marketing Land.

Promoted posts in the Reddit app will look similar to standard Reddit posts, with upvotes, downvotes, and comment threads. Comments were not possible with Reddit's previous mobile ad offerings for advertisers, and will provide users with a way to give feedback on ads.

The promoted posts will have a "Promoted" tag at the top of the post in the main Reddit news feed, but will otherwise look like regular Reddit posts.

Advertisers will be able to target Reddit users by interests, subreddit, location, device, and time of day.

According to Reddit, its mobile apps for iOS and Android are the most popular way Reddit users access Reddit content on their mobile devices. The Reddit apps account for 41 percent of time spent on Reddit across all platforms.

Native promoted posts will begin rolling out on iOS on Monday, March 19, and will expand to Android in the coming weeks.

Tag: Reddit
Discuss this article in our forums

Twitter Experimenting With Curated News Timelines, Planning Camera-First Feature

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 18:24
Twitter is working on several new features for its social networking platform, according to reports shared today by CNBC and BuzzFeed.

Twitter is experimenting with algorithmically curated timelines for major news events that will be shown to Twitter users at the top of their main Twitter feeds, a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed this morning. The feature is an extension of "Happening Now," which has previously only highlighted sports-related tweets.

Image via BuzzFeed
On Wednesday, Twitter began surfacing curated tweets surrounding major news events, including the congressional special election in Pennsylvania and the death of Stephen Hawking. Tweets included those from both news organizations and people who are not news professionals."People come to Twitter to see and talk about what's happening. We're working on ways to make it easier for everyone to find relevant news and the surrounding conversation so they can stay informed about what matters to them," Twitter product VP Keith Coleman told BuzzFeed News in a statement.Twitter plans to promote curated timelines at the top of the main feed using a banner, and when the banner is tapped, it will bring up Twitter's curated timeline of the event. Currently, a small number of iOS and Android users are able to see the new timeline feature.

Separately, CNBC says Twitter is working on a "camera-first" feature that's designed to put more emphasis on video and images. The new functionality combines location-based photos and videos with Twitter Moments around notable events, with companies able to sponsor events or put ads between tweets.

CNBC says the feature is similar to aggregated location-based story snaps in Snapchat, which are displayed in the Discover tab.

It's not clear when Twitter plans to launch its camera-first feature, and it's still possible that it could be changed drastically or abandoned entirely. Sources who spoke to CNBC believed the feature was in the early stages of development, and Twitter declined to comment.

Tag: Twitter
Discuss this article in our forums

Former Apple Employees Reflect on Siri's 'Squandered Lead' Over Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 16:21
The Information has published an in-depth look at how Siri has transitioned from one of Apple's most promising technologies into a "major problem" for the company. The article includes interviews with a dozen former Apple employees who worked on the various teams responsible for the virtual assistant.

The report claims that many of the employees acknowledged for the first time that Apple rushed Siri to be included in the iPhone 4s before the technology was fully ready, resulting in several internal debates over whether to continue patching up the half-baked product or start from scratch.Siri's various teams morphed into an unwieldy apparatus that engaged in petty turf battles and heated arguments over what an ideal version of Siri should be—a quick and accurate information fetcher or a conversant and intuitive assistant capable of complex tasks.The team working on Siri was overseen by Apple's then iOS chief Scott Forstall, but his attention was reportedly divided by other major projects, including the upcoming launch of Apple Maps. As a result, Forstall enlisted Richard Williamson, who was also managing the Apple Maps project, to head up the Siri team.

According to the report, several former employees said Williamson made a number of decisions that the rest of the Siri team disagreed with, including a plan to improve the assistant's capabilities only once a year.

Williamson, in an emailed response to the report, wrote that it's "completely untrue" that he decided Siri shouldn't be improved continuously.He said decisions concerning "technical leadership of the software and server infrastructure" were made by employees below his level, while he was responsible for getting the team on track.

"After launch, Siri was a disaster," Mr. Williamson wrote. "It was slow, when it worked at all. The software was riddled with serious bugs. Those problems lie entirely with the original Siri team, certainly not me."Forstall and Williamson were both fired by Apple in 2012 following the botched launch of Apple Maps on iOS 6. The former employees interviewed said they lamented losing Forstall, who "believed in what they were doing."

Another interesting tidbit is that the Siri team apparently didn't even learn about the HomePod until 2015. Last year, Bloomberg News reported that Apple had developed several speaker prototypes dating back to 2012, but the Siri team presumably didn't know due to Apple's culture of secrecy.In a sign of how unprepared Apple was to deal with a rivalry, two Siri team members told The Information that their team didn't even learn about Apple’s HomePod project until 2015—after Amazon unveiled the Echo in late 2014. One of Apple’s original plans was to launch its speaker without Siri included, according to a source.The report says that Siri is the main reason the HomePod has "underperformed," and said Siri's capabilities "remain limited compared to the competition," including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.The most notable failure in Siri's evolution is that it still lacks the third-party developer ecosystem considered the key element of the original Siri vision. Apple finally launched SiriKit in 2016 after years of setting aside the project and shifting resources away to other areas. […]

But SiriKit has yet to fulfill its promise. So far it includes just 10 activities—Apple calls them "intent domains"—such as payments, booking rides, setting up to-do lists and looking at photos. Several senior engineers who worked on SiriKit have left Apple or moved off the project.Some former employees interviewed noted that "while Apple has tried to remake itself as a services company, its core is still product design."

Apple responded to today's report with a statement noting Siri is "the world's most popular voice assistant" and touted "significant advances" to the assistant's performance, scalability, and reliability."We have made significant advances in Siri performance, scalability and reliability and have applied the latest machine learning techniques to create a more natural voice and more proactive features," Apple wrote in its statement. "We continue to invest deeply in machine learning and artificial intelligence to continually improve the quality of answers Siri provides and the breadth of questions Siri can respond to."The full-length article is a worthwhile read for those interested in learning more about Siri's internal struggles and shortcomings.

The Information: The Seven-Year Itch: How Apple's Marriage to Siri Turned Sour

Tags: Siri,
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple CEO Tim Cook Commemorates the Life of Stephen Hawking

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 14:26
Apple CEO Tim Cook has commemorated the life of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who died early Wednesday at the age of 76. "We will always be inspired by his life and ideas," he said on Twitter.

Stephen Hawking via REX/Shutterstock

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” -Stephen Hawking. We will always be inspired by his life and ideas. RIP.

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 14, 2018
Hawking was a renowned scientist, cosmologist, astronomer, and mathematician. He authored several books, including his best-selling 1988 classic A Brief History of Time, which has sold more than 10 million copies.

Hawking was diagnosed with the degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, at the age of 21. He was given just a few years to live, but battled the illness for more than five decades.

Tag: Tim Cook
Discuss this article in our forums

'Life is Strange: Before the Storm' Coming to Mac This Spring

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 12:44
macOS and Linux video game publisher Feral Interactive today announced its latest port will be Life is Strange: Before the Storm. The prequel adventure game was originally developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix on console and Windows PC beginning in August 2017, and will now hit Mac and Linux computers in the spring.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm takes place three years before the original Life is Strange, and lets players control sixteen-year-old Chloe Price. The prequel unfolds over the course of three episodes (and one bonus episode), centering on Chloe's relationship with schoolmate Rachel Amber in gameplay that mainly focuses on player choice in branching dialog paths.
“With its tough yet vulnerable protagonist, Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a poignant evocation of teenage life,” said David Stephen, Managing Director of Feral Interactive. “The atmospheric soundtrack, sharp writing and captivating story combine to create an engrossing and moving game, and we very are excited for macOS and Linux players to experience it.” As usual, Feral Interactive didn't confirm pricing or system requirements in this initial announcement, but more information will come out closer to release. The company did state that if players want access to the bonus episode "Farewell," they'll have to opt for a "Deluxe Edition" version of the game -- which is said to come with other additional content as well.

The original Life is Strange launched on macOS in the summer of 2016 and on iOS in December 2017. On iPhone and iPad, Life is Strange was one of the first games to use the App Store's pre-order feature.

Tag: Mac App Store
Discuss this article in our forums

France Suing Apple and Google for Taking Advantage of Developers With 'Abusive Commercial Practices'

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 12:10
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire today announced that the country will be taking legal action against Apple and Google for "abusive commercial practices." Specifically, Le Maire said that the tech companies are taking advantage of French developers with these practices and that the fines from such a legal action could be in the "millions of euros" (via Bloomberg and Reuters).

Speaking on RTL radio, Le Maire said that he has recently become aware of practices performed by Apple and Google, where the companies "unilaterally" impose their prices and tweak other contractural terms with app developers to their liking. After discovering this, Le Maire led the ministry's fraud office into an investigation and found that between 2015 and 2017 there were "significant imbalances" in the relationships between Apple/Google and developers who sold apps on their stores.
“I learned that when developers develop their applications, and sell to Google and Apple, their prices are imposed, Google and Apple take all their data, Google and Apple can unilaterally rewrite their contracts,” Le Maire said on RTL radio. “All that is unacceptable and it’s not the economy that we want. They can’t treat our startups and developers the way they do.” Le Maire went on to state that despite their power, Apple and Google "should not be able to treat" French startups and developers "the way they currently do." The legal action will take place in the Paris commercial court.

Le Maire also mentioned that he expects the European Union to officially close the tax loopholes benefiting Apple and other tech companies -- Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. -- by the start of 2019.

The loopholes are said to have allowed Apple to "minimize taxes and grab market share" at the expense of Europe-based companies. France's crackdown on these loopholes accelerated during a meeting of European Union officials last September, which now appears to be on track to end by early next year.

Tag: France
Discuss this article in our forums

Overcast for iOS Updated With Smart Resume Feature and 24-Hour Auto-Delete Option

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 10:56
Overcast for iOS reached version 4.1 today, adding a handful of noteworthy features to the popular third-party podcast player.

First up is Smart Resume, which aims to reduce the impact of playback interruptions. With the new feature enabled, podcast playback jumps back a few seconds after the podcast has been paused, to help remind the listener where they left off in the conversation.

Smart Resume, which is on by default, also intelligently adjusts playback so that it resumes in the silences between spoken words wherever possible. Users can control the feature from Overcast's Nitpicky Details menu.

Also new in v4.1, Overcast can now be set to auto-delete podcasts 24 hours after playback is completed. Previously, episodes could be auto-deleted either immediately after listening or not at all, but now users can leave a day-long delay before their removal, and the threshold for deletion will be paused during extended offline periods such as long-haul flights.

Elsewhere, passwords for private podcast feeds can now be entered into the Add URL screen (rather than via HTTP Basic Auth) and a number of bug fixes have been implemented, which should result in less download fails and playback stalls, and no glitches when resuming playback after quitting in the background, amongst other improvements.

Lastly, iPhone rotation support has been removed from Overcast 4.1, due to the function's extremely low usage coupled with the burden of peculiarities that comes with coding in support for iPhone X displays.

Overcast 4.1 is available as a free ad-supported app for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tags: Overcast, Marco Arment
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Did Pull Calendar App That Mined Cryptocurrency From Mac App Store, Citing Excessive Use of Device Resources

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 00:29
Yesterday, it was discovered that a Mac App Store app called Calendar 2 had implemented a cryptocurrency mining feature that users could elect to use to unlock in-app features rather than paying cash, raising questions about whether Apple planned to allow such apps in the Mac App Store.

Calendar 2 was mining a digital coin known as Monero, and initially, Apple was slow to respond to questions from Ars Technica about whether or not such a feature was permissible, resulting in the app staying in the Mac App Store for a good 24 hours after Apple knew of its existence. Shortly after widespread media reports about the cryptocurrency mining feature circulated the app disappeared from the Mac App Store, but at the time, it was not clear if it was Apple that removed the app or the app's developer.

As it turns out, the app was indeed pulled by Apple. According to Greg Magarshak, CEO of Qbix, the company behind the Calendar 2 app, Apple removed the app from the Mac App Store for violating rule 2.4.2, which states that apps should not put an unnecessary strain on device resources.Design your app to use power efficiently. Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources.The Calendar 2 app was supposed to be using currency mining as an opt-in feature, but it was riddled with bugs causing the mining feature to use excessive resources and run regardless of whether or not users opted in, which is what drew so much attention to it. Just before the app was pulled from the Mac App Store by Apple, Magarshak promised to remove the feature from future versions of Calendar 2 because of these issues.

As of today, the Calendar 2 app is back in the Mac App Store. Magarshak said on Twitter that he worked with Apple to get a new version of the app released that has no mining features. As an apology for the snafu, all Calendar 2 users, new and old, will be provided with upgraded features for free for a year following the app's next update. Calendar 2 uses should update immediately as the older version of the app continues to include the miner.

1st of all lets give credit where due: an hour after we updated Ars about removing the mining feature, Apple removed our app citing 2.4.2 &worked w us to put it back on the store. New release has NO mining and we are giving all old&new Calendar users ALL features free for a YEAR.

— Qbix Apps (@QbixApps) March 13, 2018
Magarshak tells MacRumors that Calendar 2 brought in approximately $2,000 from mining Monero, and the company says the funds will be used "towards improving features for our users going forward."

Though the cryptocurrency mining feature made it past Apple's review team and into the Mac App Store, it appears that based on Apple's response and the rule violation cited, Apple will not be letting Mac App Store apps use background cryptocurrency mining as a way to unlock premium features within apps.

Tag: Mac App Store
Discuss this article in our forums

Quick Takes: Tim Cook at Capitol Hill, Apple Hires Events Director From Golden State Warriors, and More

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 21:34
In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Tuesday, March 13
- Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Capitol Hill: Cook was spotted in the U.S. Capitol with senators Mark Warner (Democrat-Virginia) and Richard Burr (Republican-North Carolina). He reportedly had lunch with Warner.

SPOTTED in the US Capitol: Senate Intel Cmte Chair @SenatorBurr, @MarkWarner & Apple CEO @tim_cook (Warner is getting lunch with Cook in the Senate dining room):

— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) March 13, 2018
Commentary: The report doesn't mention what was discussed, but it is fairly routine for Cook to make visits to Washington D.C. given his position. Warner is known to be a tech-savvy senator with concerns about cybersecurity.

- Apple hires Golden State Warriors executive as events director: Apple has hired Gail Hunter, who was vice president of public affairs and event management of the NBA's Golden State Warriors team. Hunter will serve as Apple's director of events effective March 19, according to the team.

Commentary: Hunter will join Apple just under three months prior to its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the company's largest event of the year. The report doesn't mention what her responsibilities will be.

- Apple supplier Wistron secures land to build new site in southern India: The contract manufacturer has received approval to build a new facility roughly 40 miles from Bengaluru, in the Indian state of Karnataka.

Commentary: Wistron will likely use its new facility to expand its iPhone SE assembly work. India charges a 20 percent duty on imported smartphones to encourage companies to manufacture products within the country.

- Apple expands rollout of Apple Music for Artists, a dashboard that provides artists with insights about how often their music is played and purchased, listener demographics, and more. A few thousand artists were invited to test the beta in January, and now additional artists can reserve a spot.

Commentary: Apple has also refreshed the look of its Apple Music and iTunes Store badges for artists and affiliate partners, shortly after updating its Made for iPhone, iPad, and iPod logos for certified accessories.

For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.

Tags: Tim Cook, Quick Takes
Discuss this article in our forums

Amazon Recalling 260,000 'AmazonBasics' Power Banks Due to Overheating Risk

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 20:00
If you've purchased an Amazon-branded power bank from Amazon recently, you should be aware of a recall that Amazon issued today due to reports of overheating. Amazon has received 53 reports about defective power banks that have, in a few cases, led to chemical burns and property damage.

Affected AmazonBasics models that are part of the recall are listed here: 16,100 mAh; 10,000 mAh; 5,600 mAh; 2,000 mAh with micro USB cable; 3,000 mAh and 3,000 mAh with USB micro cable. All impacted units are rubberized or metallic power banks with the AmazonBasics logo printed on the front of the unit.

These Amazon-branded power banks are affordable options that many Apple customers users may have purchased to charge their iPhones and iPads.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which shared details on the recall, consumers should immediately unplug any recalled power banks and contact Amazon for details on how to return them for a full refund.

Amazon is sending out emails to all customers who might have purchased one of the faulty power banks.

Tag: Amazon
Discuss this article in our forums

Samsung's AR Emoji on Galaxy S9 vs. Apple's Animoji on iPhone X

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 19:21
With its new Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung debuted AR Emoji, a feature that mimics Animoji, the animated emoji characters that Apple introduced alongside the iPhone X.

In our latest YouTube video, we compared Samsung's new AR Emoji on the Galaxy S9 to Apple's Animoji on the iPhone X to check out the similarities and differences between the two features.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
Apple's Animoji are enabled through the TrueDepth camera system, which is Apple's 3D facial recognition feature that maps out a user's facial features. The TrueDepth camera analyzes more than 50 muscle movements in different areas of the face for Animoji, detecting movement of the eyebrows, cheeks, chin, eyes, jaw, lips, eyes, and mouth to create super realistic representations of facial expressions.

Samsung's AR Emoji, while similar to Animoji, don't have the same kind of underlying technology powering them, so the facial expressions AR Emoji can replicate are far more rudimentary. While Animoji on the iPhone X can mimic subtle expressions, on the Galaxy S9, AR Emoji have trouble with anything that isn't exaggerated, better recognizing movements like a blink or an open mouth than something more subtle like a wink or an angry face.

There are a limited number of Animoji available, though, and that's where Samsung has Apple beat. There are more AR Emoji character options to work with, and in fact, you can even create a custom Bitmoji-style character modeled after your own face.

Characters can be customized with unique facial features, clothing, skin tone, and more, plus your recordings with AR Emoji aren't limited to 10 seconds -- you can record for as long as you want. You can also add stickers, and there are Bitmoji-like pre-made GIFs to send to people.

All in all, AR Emoji seems to have more in common with Snapchat than with Animoji. Those aforementioned stickers are similar to the Snapchat filters that let you add sunglasses, cute animal faces, and more to your own face and can't be compared to anything offered natively by Apple.

It's worth noting that third-party apps like Snapchat on iPhone X can also take advantage of the TrueDepth camera for filters that better fit the face, while on Samsung devices, Snapchat filters and AR Emoji stickers look much less natural.

As is typical, Samsung wins out in customizability, but Apple has the edge when it comes to the underlying technology. What do you think of AR Emoji compared to Animoji? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: iPhone XTags: Samsung, Animoji, Galaxy S9Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Announces WWDC 2018 Kicks Off on June 4 in San Jose, Registration Now Open for Developers

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 17:07
Apple today announced that its 29th annual Worldwide Developers Conference will kick off on Monday, June 4 and will last through Friday, June 8 with the conference to be held once again at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

Developers can register to attend starting today, and Apple says registration will be open until Thursday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. As is typical, Apple will be selecting WWDC attendees using a lottery system due to the popularity of the conference.

Tickets will be priced at $1,599, and only developers who win Apple's ticket lottery will be able to purchase a WWDC ticket. To enter the lottery, developers must have been a member of the Apple Developer Program or the Apple Developer Enterprise Program as of March 13, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Developers who are chosen through the WWDC ticket lottery will be notified by March 23 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Apple also plans to make up to 350 WWDC Student Scholarships available this year for students and members of STEM organizations. Scholarships provide a free WWDC ticket, free lodging, and free one year membership to the Apple Developer Program.

Scholarship submissions will open on Monday, March 26, 2018, and students will be asked to build an interactive scene in Swift playground that can be experienced within three minutes.

Apple uses its Worldwide Developers Conference to introduce new software, to debut new hardware products, and to network with thousands of developers from all over the world. This year, Apple is expected to introduce iOS 12, macOS 10.13.4, tvOS 12, watchOS 5, and new software for the HomePod.

Apple will hold a keynote event on Monday, June 4, where we will get our first glimpse at new software products and perhaps some new hardware. Rumors suggest Apple could use the event to introduce new lower-cost MacBook Air models and refreshed iPad Pro models equipped with Face ID.

Last year was the first year that Apple held its Worldwide Developers Conference at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California rather than at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and it appears the new location will be used for the foreseeable future.

Apple says that developers who are not chosen to attend the conference and "Apple enthusiasts everywhere" will be able to live stream the conference through the Apple Developer website or through the dedicated WWDC app for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

Those who are not picked for WWDC are also able to attend alternate events throughout San Jose during the week of WWDC, such as AltConf, which was announced this morning. Tickets to AltConf, which allows developers to mingle and provides a venue for watching the keynote and other WWDC events, are free. AltConf will take place from June 4 to June 7.

Related Roundup: WWDC 2018
Discuss this article in our forums

YouTube for iOS Gains New Dark Mode

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 16:32
YouTube is adding a new dark theme to its iOS app, which is rolling out to iOS users starting today, reports The Verge.

The new theme, once available, can be activated by tapping on your account icon, selecting settings, and choosing "dark theme" to turn it on. Dark theme will invert many of the colors of the YouTube AI, replacing the traditional white background with a black background.

Image via Redditor amievengabereal
YouTube introduced a hidden dark mode feature for the desktop starting last year, and since then, the feature has been one of the most requested for its mobile apps.

The dark theme for mobile devices has been in testing for the last few months and it has been previously available to a small number of YouTube users.

You may not see the new dark theme available as an option right away, but it should be rolling out to all iOS users over the course of the day. YouTube also says a dark mode is coming to Android in the near future.

YouTube is a free download for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]

Tag: YouTube
Discuss this article in our forums