Mac Rumors

Subscribe to Mac Rumors feed
Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mac News and Rumors
Updated: 1 hour 5 min ago

Apple Orders 'Home' Docuseries Featuring Extraordinary Houses

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 18:32
Apple has inked a deal for yet another television show, this time a docuseries called "Home," reports Variety.

The series will offer a "never-before-seen look inside the world's most extraordinary homes" while also delving into the imaginations of the visionaries who dreamed them up and built them. Based on the show's description, it sounds a little bit like MTV's "Cribs" but with more of a design and architecture focus.

Apple has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of the "Home" docuseries, which is produced by Matt Tynauer and Corey Reese of Altimeter Films.

"Home" is the first documentary-style series that Apple has ordered thus far under the leadership of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony executives Apple brought on last June to run a new video content division within the company.

Apple is working on several other shows in addition to "Home," including a revival of 1985 Steven Spielberg sci-fi series "Amazing Stories," an untitled space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, known for "Battlestar Galactica," an untitled "morning show drama" starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and "Are You Sleeping," a psychological thriller starring Octavia Spencer that focuses on a podcast that reopens a murder case.

It's not yet clear when the first of Apple's original TV shows will premiere, but it's possible at least one series will debut later in 2018.

Related Roundup: Apple TVTag: Apple's Hollywood ambitionsBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums

MacRumors Giveaway: Win Custom-Painted Space Gray AirPods From BlackPods

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 18:00
For this week's giveaway, we've once again teamed up with BlackPods to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a pair of AirPods that have been custom-painted black or space gray to better match darker devices.

We've given away black AirPods in the past, but this time around, BlackPods has an all new BlackPods Aero in a metallic space gray finish that's a nice alternative to the standard white AirPods that Apple offers.


If you haven't seen BlackPods before, the company takes a standard pair of Apple's AirPods and then paints them using a proprietary coating system.


There's a three-phase finishing process for a high-quality coating of paint that's designed not to chip, fade, scuff, or wear off during usage. Each pair of BlackPods is completed by hand and then given a rigorous inspection to make sure the finish is flawless.

BlackPods offers several finish options -- the BlackPods Classic with a high-gloss black coating, the BlackPods Stealth with a matte satin coating, and the new BlackPods Aero Space Gray with a lighter gray metallic coating.


BlackPods Classic are priced at $279, while the BlackPods Stealth and the BlackPods Aero Space Gray are priced at $299. That's a $120 to $140 premium over Apple's standard AirPods, but BlackPods is offering one of the only methods to get a unique black or gray finish for your AirPods.


In addition to selling completed sets of painted AirPods, BlackPods also has a service that allows customers to send in their previously purchased AirPods for customization at a lower price. The process costs between $99 and $119 and it takes approximately 10 days to complete. The service includes the painting of both AirPods and the AirPods charging case.

Since BlackPods are simply re-painted AirPods, the full AirPods functionality remains intact, with a W1 chip for simple paring with all of your devices, a long battery life, an accelerometer for ear detection, and gesture support.

We have a set of BlackPods to give away to a MacRumors reader, with the winner able to choose a Stealth, Classic, or Aero finish. 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 (January 5) at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on January 12. The winners will be chosen randomly on January 12 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Tags: giveaway, AirPods
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Now Faces 23+ Lawsuits for 'Purposefully' or 'Secretly' Slowing Down Older iPhones

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 17:18
Apple now faces over two dozen lawsuits around the world that either accuse the company of intentionally slowing down older iPhones, or at least of failing to disclose power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1.


The lawsuits include 23 class action complaints in the United States, with the latest two filed on Thursday by Marc Honigman and Lauri Sullivan-Stefanou in New York and Ohio respectively, according to electronic court records reviewed by MacRumors. Apple is also being sued in Israel and France.

An excerpt from Sullivan-Stefanou's complaint:Unbeknownst to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6s owners, Apple inserted code into iOS 10.2.1 that deliberately slowed down the processing performance of these phones by linking each phone's processing performance with its battery health. Absent the code inserted by Apple, the reduced battery capacity of these phones would not have negatively affected processing performance.Many of the lawsuits demand Apple compensate all iPhone users who have experienced slowdowns, offer free battery replacements, refund customers who purchased brand new iPhones to regain maximum performance, and add info to iOS explaining how replacing an iPhone's battery can prevent slowdowns.

The legal action comes after Apple's revelation it may at times dynamically manage the maximum performance of some older iPhone models with chemically aged batteries in order to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down, an issue that can be made worse by cold temperatures or a low charge.

Apple never mentioned the power management changes, which it calls a feature, when it released iOS 10.2.1 nearly a year ago. A month after the software update became available, Apple still only vaguely mentioned that it made "improvements" that resulted in a significant reduction in unexpected shutdowns.

Apple only revealed exactly what the so-called "improvements" were after Primate Labs founder John Poole visualized that some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 devices suddenly had lower benchmark scores starting with iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 11.2 respectively despite operating at maximum performance on previous versions.

Poole's analysis was in response to a Reddit user who claimed his iPhone 6s was significantly faster after replacing the device's battery. The discussion generated over 1,000 comments, and reinforced an opinion held by some that Apple purposefully slows down older iPhones so customers buy newer ones.

Honigman's complaint, edited very slightly for clarity, echoes this opinion:Apple's intentional degradation of the iPhone's performance through the release of iOS impacted the usability of the device. Effectively, Apple has forced the obsolescence of iPhones by secretly diminishing their performance. Thus, Apple's admission has confirmed what iPhone users have long suspected – i.e., that Apple deliberately degrades the performance of older iPhone models through iOS updates to encourage users to buy new iPhones.Apple has since issued an apology for its lack of communication, and it has reduced the price of battery replacements to $29 for iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018. Apple has also promised to release an iOS update early this year that will give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery.

Keep in mind that Apple is not permanently or persistently slowing down older iPhones. Even if your iPhone is affected, the performance limitations only happen intermittently, and only when the device is completing demanding tasks.

We recently answered many frequently asked questions about Apple's power management process, which can't be disabled, but can be avoided by replacing your iPhone's battery if necessary. Read our guide on how to get an iPhone's battery replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone SETag: lawsuitBuyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone SE (Don't Buy)
Discuss this article in our forums

Japanese Company Develops Mobile Payment System That Scans Your Palm Using Smartphone Camera

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 14:20
Following authentication processes like thumbprint scanning, facial recognition, and QR code entry, a company in Japan this week has shown off a smartphone-based payment system that uses your unique palm print to confirm transactions (via Nikkei). Japanese credit card company JCB created the system in conjunction with Tokyo company Universal Robots, with a trial run aimed at company employees beginning next month.

This isn't the first time palm scanning technology has been used for mobile payments, with U.S. companies Biyo and Keyo each launching their own versions of similar systems recently, although on a small scale. Those technologies require merchants to purchase special terminals that include palm-scanning cameras so that customers can pay with a hand wave at their stores, but JCB's system only needs a smartphone camera and requires no specialized equipment.

Image via Nikkei Customers would be able to leave wallets and phones in their pockets with a palm-based payment system, developed by credit card company JCB, that merchants could use with just an everyday smartphone camera.

After users register by snapping a picture of their palm from a smartphone camera, merchants or stores could scan customers' palms by smartphone to match them against registered data. With no specialized equipment needed, it would be easier for stores to incorporate the system, unlike a previous dalliance by JCB into palm-based payment that required a special terminal. JCB's system works by identifying registrants' hands based on the surface of their palms and the "distribution of veins underneath." Users register by taking a picture of their palm from an app on their smartphone and associating it with any supported payment information. Then, when at an appropriate store the merchant can scan the customer's palm using a smartphone camera and the system will match the received data against registered data. This way, users wouldn't even need to take out their own smartphone during the payment process.

JCB hopes the technology not only evolves into a widely used payment system, but also potentially "eliminates the need for cards and other forms of identification." The employee test is being enacted with the goal of exposing any security problems with the system, "such as fraudulent registrations or uses," as well as ensuring accuracy of the system. It's said to misidentify users "only once in 100 billion times."

While palm scanning technology hasn't been widely adopted, thumbprint and face scanning have become normal interactions for users around the world when paying for items with their smartphones, particularly on iOS devices. Apple's Apple Pay began with Touch ID on iPhone 5s in 2013 and eventually came to MacBook Pro in 2016. With the launch of the iPhone X users are now paying for products with Face ID, which quickly scans their faces to confirm identity and then authenticates the purchase after being tapped to a compatible NFC terminal. Touch ID and Face ID can also both be used within apps.

Tag: Japan
Discuss this article in our forums

Amazon Readies Bid for English Premier League Soccer Streaming Rights

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 11:59
Amazon could be preparing to bid next month for the rights to stream English Premier League soccer matches, if a report by Bloomberg this morning is anything to go by.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the digital giant sees the English Premier League as a huge opportunity to draw more people to its Prime membership service in the U.K. and convert occasional customers into more loyal shoppers.


Amazon has already bought video streaming rights for live sport including tennis and the National Football League, but the Premier League remains Europe's most prized live sports broadcast asset and with a growing audience in the U.S., fits in perfectly with Amazon's broader strategy to bring more sports content to its global customers.

The e-commerce giant recently tied up a deal to produce a documentary series with Manchester City, the current Premier League leaders, which previously increased speculation that it might next pursue live soccer rights. Currently Sky and BT Sport share the rights to the EPL, following an auction in 2015 that saw the broadcasters splash £5.1 billion ($6.9 billion) between them for three seasons.

The next auction in February will see seven packages being offered by the Premier League, varying from 32 matches to 20 matches each. Amazon could bid for one of the smaller packages for broadcasting in the U.K., according to Bloomberg. Auctions for streaming rights in other markets are usually held separately. Both Amazon and the Premier League declined to comment.

Back in September, Apple revealed its own aspirations for offering more live sports through Apple TV 4K, with a new sports section on the device and in the new TV app offering integration with channels like ESPN. But despite sports generally being seen as a big selling point for any set-top-box device, Apple's offerings in the TV category remain skewed towards American audiences.

However, if Amazon chose to offer sports through its Prime Video app on Apple TV, it's theoretically possible that U.K. owners of Apple's set-top box could one day stream EPL matches to the device.

Tags: Amazon, United Kingdom, Amazon Prime
Discuss this article in our forums

Camera+ App Update Adds Ability to Transfer Applied Edits Between Images

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 10:15
Camera+ received an update on Friday that brings a handful of welcome UI and workflow improvements, while fixing a number of issues reported by users of the popular long-running photo app for iPhone and iPad.

Although the latest v10.10.12 update of Camera+ focuses on enhancing reliability, there are a couple of notable additions to its feature set that are worth highlighting, the ability to copy and paste edits between images on the Lightbox being one of them.


To transfer complex applied edits to another photo, select the image on the Lightbox, long-tap the edit button, and then select Copy Edits. With your adjustments in the memory, simply select your target photo, long-tap Edit, and then select Paste Edits to apply them.

Compatible edits will be automatically applied to images with no issues, but it's worth noting that things like Portrait mode will only make the jump if the destination photo was originally captured with depth information, which Camera+ has supported since October.

Meanwhile, long-time users of Camera+ may have noticed that the badge indicating the color space of a photo on the Info summary screen was missing for HEIF and TIFF formats. That's no longer the case, with wider color space tags like DCI/P3 now displaying on the relevant images.


Additionally, users who like to shoot in RAW will be happy to learn that Camera+ now correctly honors the preference for saving the DNG representation independently of the JPEG/HEIF asset when exporting to Camera Roll, although bear in mind that the in-app Lightbox always uses the combined representation.

Elsewhere, the editing screen has been improved for iPhone X displays, while a couple of blips when sharing to the Files app or WhatsApp have been ironed out. The update also includes optimized memory usage on iPhone 6 devices, especially when shooting TIFF and macro, while a handful of crashes have also been fixed.

Camera+ costs $2.99 for iPhone and $4.99 for iPad, and can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: photography
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Joins Alliance for Open Media to Pursue Better Video Compression

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 01:30
Apple recently joined the Alliance for Open Media as a founding member, according to an updated member list first noticed by CNET.

The Alliance for Open Media, according to its website, was formed to "define and develop media codecs, media formats, and related technologies to address marketplace demand for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web."


The Alliance is developing a royalty-free video codec known as AOMedia Video 1 (AV1), which is designed to compress video before it's stored or sent over a network. Apple's move to join the Alliance for Open Media is notable because implementing such technology requires it to be widely supported, and Apple was one of the only major companies not participating.

AV1 continues to be a work in progress, with the Alliance for Open Media planning to release the first version of in the near future. Mozilla supports an early version of AV1 and has said that it reduces file sizes by 25 to 35 percent compared to HEVC, which Apple implemented support for in macOS High Sierra and iOS 11.

Other members of the Alliance for Open Media include Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, ARM, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Hulu, NVIDIA, and more.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Confirms 'Meltdown' and 'Spectre' Vulnerabilities Impact All Macs and iOS Devices, Some Fixes Already Released

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 00:18
Apple today confirmed that it has addressed the recent "Meltdown" vulnerability in previously released iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 updates, with additional fixes coming to Safari in the near future to defend against the "Spectre" vulnerability.


Apple has also confirmed that the two vulnerabilities affect all Mac and iOS devices. The company's full statement, available through a new support document covering Meltdown and Spectre, is below:Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems.

All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time. Since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, we recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store.

Apple has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to help defend against Meltdown. Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown. In the coming days we plan to release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre. We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
Apple's statement does not make it clear if these vulnerabilities have been addressed in older versions of iOS and Mac, but for Macs, there were security updates for older versions of macOS released alongside macOS 10.13.2, so it's possible fixes are already available for Sierra and El Capitan.

News of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities first came to light this week, but Intel and major operating system vendors like Apple, Linux, and Microsoft have known about the issue for several months and worked to prepare a fix before the security flaws were publicly shared.

Spectre and Meltdown are serious vulnerabilities that take advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU. As these use hardware-based flaws, operating system manufacturers are required to implement software workarounds. These software workarounds can impact processor performance, but Intel has insisted every day users will not see serious slowdowns. Apple also says that no measurable impact has been detected in macOS and iOS.Apple released mitigations for Meltdown in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2. watchOS did not require mitigation. Our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2017 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS as measured by the GeekBench 4 benchmark, or in common Web browsing benchmarks such as Speedometer, JetStream, and ARES-6.The Meltdown vulnerability allows a malicious program to read kernel memory, accessing data like passwords, emails, documents, photos, and more. Meltdown can be exploited to read the entire physical memory of a target machine. The vulnerability is particularly problematic for cloud-based services.

Spectre, which covers two exploitation techniques, breaks the isolation between different applications. Apple says that while the Spectre vulnerability is difficult to exploit, it can be done using JavaScript in a web browser. Apple plans to release Safari updates for macOS and iOS to prevent Spectre-based exploits.

As with the Meltdown vulnerability, Apple says the upcoming Safari mitigations will have "no measurable impact" on Speedometer and ARES-6 tests, and an impat of less than 2.5% on the JetStream benchmark.

Apple says it will continue to test further mitigations for Spectre and will release them in future versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
Discuss this article in our forums

Jimmy Iovine Allegedly Planning to Leave Apple in August

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 22:34
Apple Music exec Jimmy Iovine, who works alongside Dr. Dre, Eddy Cue, Robert Kondrk, Trent Reznor and other prominent executives is planning to leave Apple in August, reports Billboard.

The rumor about Iovine's alleged departure from Apple first surfaced on music rumor site Hits Daily Double, but Billboard says its sources have confirmed the news. According to Billboard, Iovine's exit will be timed with the vesting of stock he acquired when first joining Apple.

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

Iovine does not have an official title at Apple, but he has been heavily involved in with Apple Music since its 2015 launch and has negotiated many of the streaming deals for the service.

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

Should Iovine leave Apple, it's not clear if he would be replaced, nor what his plans are after departing the company.

Tags: Jimmy Iovine, Apple Music
Discuss this article in our forums

Intel Says New Software Updates Make Computers 'Immune' to Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 21:46
Intel today announced that the firmware updates and software patches that are being released for its CPUs render Intel-based computer systems "immune" to both the Spectre and Meltdown exploits that were widely publicized this week.Intel has developed and is rapidly issuing updates for all types of Intel-based computer systems -- including personal computers and servers -- that render those systems immune from both exploits (referred to as "Spectre" and "Meltdown") reported by Google Project Zero. Intel and its partners have made significant progress in deploying updates as both software patches and firmware updates.Intel says updates have been issued for the majority of Intel processor products introduced within the past five years, and by the end of next week, more than 90 percent of processor products from the last five years will be patched.

For Mac users, Apple has already addressed some of the vulnerabilities in the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update, and further updates will come in macOS High Sierra 10.13.3. To make sure you're protected as a Mac user, install all of the latest operating system updates and firmware patches. As always, it's also worth avoiding suspicious programs, websites, and links.

Intel today also reiterated that the updates that are being released for Mac, PC, and Linux machines should not significantly impact day to day usage and should, for the most part, be unnoticeable. That seems to be true of the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update, as there have been no reports of slowdowns from Mac users.Intel continues to believe that the performance impact of these updates is highly workload-dependent and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time. While on some discrete workloads the performance impact from the software updates may initially be higher, additional post-deployment identification, testing and improvement of the software updates should mitigate that impact.While hints of an Intel CPU design flaw and security vulnerability surfaced on Tuesday, it wasn't until Wednesday that full details were shared on the Meltdown and Spectre exploits, which take advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU.

Meltdown impacts Intel CPUs, allowing a malicious program to access data from the memory of running apps, providing passwords, emails, documents, photos, and more. Meltdown can be exploited to read the entire physical memory of a target machine, and it can be done through something as simple as a website. The vulnerability is particularly problematic for cloud-based services.

Spectre, which breaks the isolation between different applications, is a wider hardware-based problem impacting all modern Intel, ARM, and AMD processors. Spectre is harder to exploit than Meltdown, but it is also harder to mitigate.

While patches are going out that appear to prevent the current known Meltdown and Spectre exploits, these speculative execution vulnerabilities will continue to be a problem for years to come, according to security researchers. Similar vulnerabilities will surface, and while performance impacts from software-based workarounds are minor, they're still present.

Paul Kocher, one of the security researchers who helped discover the flaws, told The New York Times that this will be a "festering problem over hardware life cycles." "It's not going to change tomorrow or the day after," he said. "It's going to take awhile."

Tag: Intel
Discuss this article in our forums

App Store Sees Record-Breaking $300 Million in Purchases on New Year's Day

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 21:25
The App Store had a record-breaking holiday season according to a new press release issued by Apple this afternoon. During the week starting on Christmas Eve, a record number of customers made App Store purchases, spending more than $890 million in that seven-day period.

On New Year's Day 2018 alone, customers made $300 million in purchases. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said the company is "thrilled" with the reaction to the revamped App Store that was introduced as part of iOS 11.

"We are thrilled with the reaction to the new App Store and to see so many customers discovering and enjoying new apps and games," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We want to thank all of the creative app developers who have made these great apps and helped to change people's lives. In 2017 alone, iOS developers earned $26.5 billion -- more than a 30 percent increase over 2016."According to Apple, popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go topped the App Store charts on December 21 after new AR features were introduced. Apple says there are close to 2,000 ARKit-enabled apps on the App Store, with popular titles including CSR Racing 2, Stack AR, Kings of Pool, Amazon, Wayfair, Night Sky, Pitu, and Snapchat.

Apple's ARKit mention comes following a report that has suggested interest in ARKit apps is waning. App Store data shared yesterday by Apptopia suggests developers have been releasing fewer ARKit-compatible apps over the course of the last two months.

Apple in iOS 11 introduced a new App Store that separates apps and games into distinct categories for improved app discovery. The redesigned App Store also features a "Today" section that's updated on a daily basis with new and popular apps and games.

Tag: App Store
Discuss this article in our forums

Spotify Now Has 70 Million Paid Subscribers

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 20:17
Spotify today announced on Twitter (in a now-deleted tweet) that it has hit a new milestone, with the streaming music service reaching a total of 70 million paid subscribers.

Over the course of the last six months, Spotify's paid subscriber base has grown by 10 million customers, up from 60 million in late July. When adding in customers who listen to the free ad-supported Spotify tier, the service has more than 140 million subscribers worldwide.


Comparatively, Apple Music has upwards of 30 million paying subscribers. Apple last shared Apple Music metrics in late September, when Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine said the service had "well over" 30 million subscribers. Since it's been three months since we last heard an update, Apple's current subscriber number is likely closer to 35 million subscribers, based on past growth rates.

In September of 2016, Apple Music had 17 million subscribers, so growth has nearly doubled over the course of the past year, but that hasn't stopped Spotify from continuing to grow at a rapid pace as well.

Apple Music subscriptions start at $9.99 per month following a free trial (with lower prices available for students), while Spotify continues to offer both a free tier and an upgraded on-demand listening tier also priced at $9.99 per month.

Spotify's new 70 million subscriber milestone comes following a recent confidential IPO filing with Securities and Exchange Commission. Spotify plans to go public through a direct listing, forgoing the traditional initial public offering. Without a traditional IPO, there will be no predetermined price for Spotify shares when it goes public.

Spotify is also currently facing a copyright lawsuit for allegedly using thousands of songs from artists like Tom Petty, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, and the Doors without a license from publisher Wixen Music.
Discuss this article in our forums

How to Open a Recently Closed Tab in Safari on Your iOS Device

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 19:30
Accidentally close a browser tab in Safari on iOS and want to open it back up? There's a simple gesture for that, which you may not know about.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
All you have to do is open up the tab view in Safari and long press on the "+" icon to get a look at all of the tabs that you've recently closed.

Even if you're aware of the gesture, it's worth a reminder that this feature exists in case someone gets ahold of your phone and checks your browser. Even if you've closed out a tab, it's still going to be visible in Safari, unless you were using a private browser window or have cleared your browsing history.

Want to close your Safari tabs all in one go? That's another hidden feature available in Safari. Make sure to check out our accompanying how to for instructions.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple's iPad Pro vs. Google's Pixelbook

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 18:03
Back in October, Google released the Google Pixelbook, a portable laptop/tablet hybrid machine that runs Chrome OS. We got our hands on one of the Pixelbooks from Google, and we decided to pit it against the iPad Pro, Apple's tablet that's powerful enough to serve as a PC replacement.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
Priced starting at $999, the Pixelbook is more expensive than even the largest iPad Pro. Apple charges $649 for the entry-level 10.5-inch iPad Pro and $799 for the entry-level 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

For $999, the Pixelbook comes equipped with a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD, with all of the components upgradeable for a higher price tag. It has a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, putting it on par with Apple's larger iPad Pro, and it offers 10 hours of battery life.

The Pixelbook is just as portable as the iPad Pro, and it has the benefit of a 2-in-1 design with a 360-degree rotating hinge, which means it can be used as a traditional laptop or folded back for use as a tablet, complete with accompanying pen. As a laptop, the Pixelbook is on par with other ultraportable notebooks, but as a tablet, its keyboard is adding some extra thickness you won't see on the iPad Pro.

Though convertibility is a nice feature and wins out over the traditional tablet form factor, Google can't quite compete with Apple when it comes to software and performance due to issues with some unoptimized Android apps running on the Pixelbook. The iPad Pro's A10X Fusion chip is incredibly speedy, and optimizations like Metal 2 mean apps run super fast and super smooth on Apple's tablet.

The Pixelbook isn't slow by any means, and ChromeOS does offer increased security much like iOS, but the Pixelbook's high price tag, operating system limitations, and size are tough to swallow compared to the lower-priced and just-as-capable iPad Pro.

Related Roundup: iPad ProTag: GoogleBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Neutral), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral)
Discuss this article in our forums

Canalys Predicts 2018 Will Be 'Defining Year' for Smart Speaker Growth

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 17:35
A new report posted today by Canalys predicts that 2018 will be "the defining year" for smart speaker adoption, with the global market expected to grow to 56.3 million shipments by the end of the year, up from just over 30 million in 2017 (via TechCrunch).

Canalys predicts that Amazon and Google will remain in the lead with Echo and Home speakers, respectively. In addition to existing products, Apple's HomePod will be one of multiple new entries in the market to help smart speaker consumer adoption grow this year.


Canalys research analyst Lucio Chen said that smart speaker uptake has "grown faster than any other consumer technology" the group has recently encountered, including augmented reality, virtual reality, and wearables.
“2018 will be the defining year for smart speaker adoption,” said Canalys Research Analyst Lucio Chen. “Smart speaker uptake has grown faster than any other consumer technology we’ve recently encountered, such as AR, VR or even wearables. While 2017 has been a banner year for smart speakers in terms of hardware sales, especially for Google and Amazon, smart speakers in 2018 will move beyond hardware, with strategic attempts to monetize the growing installed base in the US and beyond.

The possibilities to do this are endless, be it discreet advertising, content subscription bundles, premium services or enterprise solutions. The technology is still in transition, and increased investments from multiple players of the ecosystem will fuel growth.”
On a country-by-country basis, the United States is believed to remain "the single most important market" for smart speakers in 2018, with shipments predicted to reach 38.4 million units. China is then marked as a distant second place with 4.4 million units. Looking further into the future, Canalys mentioned that the U.S. will hold its top spot in the global smart speaker market through 2020.

Canalys wrote that smart speaker adoption has accelerated on a global scale due to "successful upgrades" to existing products, and potential for smart home integration.
“Vendors have begun offering successful upgrades to their latest models, and a key element driving this stickiness are the smart home partnerships. Alexa’s multiple smart home integrations, Google’s partnership with Nest and Apple’s HomeKit initiatives will continue to excite consumers of the smart speaker and fuel sales in 2018.” The HomePod will be Apple's entry into the smart speaker market, allowing users to use voice commands to control HomeKit devices, play Apple Music, ask Siri questions, and more. The device was previously set to launch in December 2017, but in November Apple decided to delay the speaker's debut to early 2018. Since that delay we haven't heard any mention of when the HomePod might launch, but the company's definition of "early" is generally January through April.

Related Roundup: HomePodTag: Canalys
Discuss this article in our forums

TiVo Reveals 'Next-Gen Platform' to Combine Cable and Streaming Content Across Multiple Devices

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 16:36
TiVo this morning announced a new "Next-Gen Platform" that aims to combine content from cable tv, streaming, DVR, and on-demand all in one place (via Engadget). The enterprise announcement is aimed at operators who might partner with TiVo on the platform, so the official launch of such a service is likely a ways off.

Image via Engadget
When it does launch, the Next-Gen Platform will deliver all of a user's content to "managed" set-top boxes powered by Linux and Android TV, as well as "unmanaged" devices like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. The OS-agnostic approach will let users access shows and movies from both cable providers and streaming services -- Netflix is used specifically in promo images -- on Apple TV, iPhone, MacBook, and more.

This means that TiVo's platform isn't a new cord-cutting service of its own, but something that cable and streaming operators will have to choose to integrate into their existing services for customers to gain access.
TiVo’s Next-Gen Platform allows providers to deliver content to customers where they want to watch it, whether on managed set-top-boxes, such as Linux and Android TV; unmanaged bring-your-own devices, such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire; as well as mobile and web. Our Next-Gen Platform gives operators rapid agility for faster time to market and scalability, while subscribers enjoy a greater level of personalization across content sources and devices. Specifically, operators will be able to integrate the platform on managed set-top boxes with TiVo for Linux and TiVo for Android TV. The company said this cloud-powered software will offer TiVo's personalized recommendations, voice commands, and the Next-Gen Platform's main hook of integration across other devices for a multi-screen experience.


The other parts of the platform include TiVo for Streamers and TiVo for Mobile, which will be apps that offer the same features and experience as the set-top boxes, but delivered to Apple TV, Fire TV, iPhone, Android, and more. For the smartphone app, TiVo said that it will be able to "support multiple use cases," from a standalone, cloud-enabled Internet Protocol television (IPTV) app separate from the user's set-top box, as well as a hybrid app that could be more of a companion experience to TiVo's big-screen apps.

TiVo argues that the Next-Gen Platform will "help operators reduce churn, drive customer engagement, stay ahead of the competition and own the customer experience," but at this time no partners have been confirmed to support the future service. With CES starting next week on January 9, more information about TiVo's new platform is expected to be coming soon.

Tag: TiVo
Discuss this article in our forums

Flagship Apple Store Possibly Still Planned at Yonge-Bloor in Toronto

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 16:16
Canada's most populous city may eventually be home to a flagship Apple retail store at one of its busiest intersections.

A render of what The One will look like upon completion
MacRumors has learned that Apple has been labeled in a planning document for The One, a massive 82-floor condominium under construction at the corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street in Toronto. The architecture firm behind the project, Foster + Partners, has partnered with Apple on numerous occasions.

The One's architectural plan
The plans outline a proposed triple-height, 19,000-square-foot retail store with space for a riser to the ceiling, suggesting the store could have a cantilevered balcony like Apple's flagship Union Square location in San Francisco. The store's large glass entrance would open up to the sidewalk facing Yonge Street.

Apple Union Square in San Francisco
While the blueprints were submitted to the City of Toronto in March 2016, eagle-eyed MacRumors reader and Toronto resident Pedro Marques noticed the document has been updated, and it appears Apple was labeled at a later date.

Apple has yet to announce any plans to open a flagship store in Toronto, but rumors about the company setting up shop at Yonge and Bloor date back to at least 2012. The planning document is the first concrete evidence we've seen beyond subtle hints from builder Mizrahi Developments.

Apple would be one of several retailers at the base of the condominium, and the store could also have an entrance in Toronto's PATH, a series of underground hallways that connect downtown offices, stores, and subway stations.

Despite being mentioned in the planning document, there is no guarantee that Apple has finalized a lease to occupy The One. A few years ago, an anonymous tipster informed MacRumors that Apple was considering pulling out of the project given delays, pushback from some local residents, and other issues.

Toronto has four existing Apple retail stores at Eaton Centre, Fairview Mall, Sherway Gardens, and Yorkdale, but all of them are within shopping malls, and only one is located in the downtown core.

A large, street-facing Apple store has been long desired in Toronto, and within a few years, it may finally be a reality.

Related Roundup: Apple StoresTag: Canada
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Pay Promo Offers Free Delivery From Instacart Through January 10

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 15:04
Apple has launched a new Apple Pay promotion running through Wednesday, January 10 and centering upon grocery delivery app Instacart. With the promo, you can get free delivery on Instacart orders of $35 or more when using Apple Pay to checkout, and no promo code is needed.

The fine print for the new offer notes that free delivery will be subject to availability in certain areas, and service fees and taxes still apply to your order. If your area supports the promotion, you can save $5.99 or more on an Instacart order, with delivery fees starting at that price point and increasing when factoring in the size and time of your order.


In the same email announcement, Apple also highlighted restaurants that support Apple Pay, like Panera Bread, Jamba Juice, and Whole Foods. Additionally, the company mentioned a few food planning and delivery apps that might help users maintain their healthy eating New Year's resolutions, like Thrive Market, Blue Apron, and Plated.

The Instacart email promotion follows previous Apple Pay offers launched over the past few months, including one for Fandango in December and another for Postmates in November.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Discuss this article in our forums

Developer Use of Apple's ARKit Framework Has Slowed Since September Launch

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 14:19
Apple's ARKit augmented reality framework has seen only modest adoption from developers since it was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference, while growth has seen a steady decline since its official launch, according to App Store data gathered by Apptopia.

ARKit enables iPhones and iPads running iOS 11 to superimpose computer-generated graphics over the real world, allowing developers to take their apps beyond the screen and into the user's environment.

By using the built-in camera, processors, and motion sensors found in iOS devices, virtual content appears on top of real-world scenes, and users don't need any special equipment to enjoy them because ARKit does the heavy lifting.


But despite initial excitement over the technology and a general consensus that Apple has improved upon existing AR solutions like Google Tango by making ARKit simpler to use, take-up by iOS developers saw a steady decline in the second half of 2017.

In ARKit's launch month of September, developers released approximately 300 ARKit-related apps, while October saw an additional 200 or so enter the App Store, according to third-party data provider Apptopia. However, in November the number of ARKit-based apps fell to about 156, before recovering somewhat to around 160 in December. Overall, ARKit is said to have been used in about 825 of the over 3 million apps in the App Store since its debut.


As it stands, Apptopia reckons 30 percent of ARKit-using iOS apps fall into the games category, 13.2 percent are entertainment, and 7.5 percent are photo and video apps. Meanwhile, 11.9 percent are utilities, 7.8 percent are educational, and 5.2 percent are lifestyle apps, with the remaining 24.2 percent coming under the Other category.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed his belief on several occasions that a big future lies ahead for augmented reality. In fact, Cook has said that he's so excited about the possibilities for the future of AR that he just wants to "yell out and scream", while admitting that there are limitations to the technology in its current state.

At the same time, Cook believes that those limitations are the building blocks of an "incredible runway" with a bright future, and that "when people begin to see what's possible, it's going to get them very excited—like we are, like we've been".

For a look at some of the first apps that implemented ARKit, check out this round-up.

Tag: ARKit
Discuss this article in our forums

AT&T Announces Plans to Launch Mobile 5G in a Dozen U.S. Markets by Late 2018

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 14:11
Following an expansion of its 5G tests to multiple cities around the United States -- including Minneapolis in time for Super Bowl LII -- AT&T this week announced that it expects to be the first U.S. company to launch mobile 5G services in a "dozen markets" by late 2018. The carrier said that it's "moving fast" to fulfill this promise, but hasn't yet specified which new cities could be reached by the 5G service or how fast the speeds will be.

AT&T pointed towards an announcement made last month by international wireless standards body the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, in which the Project confirmed that the global mobile industry is ready to begin "full-scale development of 5G NR (new radio) for large-scale trials and commercial deployments as early as in 2019."


AT&T explained that hardware, chipset, and device manufacturers can now start development on 5G technologies, and AT&T can provide mobile 5G services sooner "without compromising its long-term vision." This means that the new network will be a true 5G service, unlike AT&T's previous "5G Evolution" technology that was essentially a rebranded version of LTE.
“5G will change the way we live, work and enjoy entertainment,” said Melissa Arnoldi, president, AT&T Technology and Operations. “We’re moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for consumers and businesses. With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video and more.” AT&T's 5G deployment will be aimed at consumers, and the carrier expects to trial 5G technology with businesses as well. In this release, AT&T boasted faster speeds and "much lower latency" on users' smartphones as the selling point of the 5G technology. In addition to boosting connectivity speeds on smartphones, the company mentioned that it expects future 5G technologies to allow driverless vehicles to make better real-time decisions, enabling the cars to see around corners, through other vehicles, and at longer distances.

To take advantage of 5G features, users will need compatible smartphones, which right now include devices like the LG V30, Moto Z2 Force Edition, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active. These smartphones can take advantage of ultra-fast LTE Advanced features including 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, 4x4 Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output, 3-way carrier aggregation, and other 5G-related upgrades, to provide faster network speeds.

It's believed that Apple is looking to prepare future iPhone and iPad models for 5G technologies, following an application submission to the FCC last year, but the exact purpose of Apple's test remains unclear.

AT&T is also continuing to work on other wireless technology areas, including LTE, 5G Evolution, LTE-M for low-power wide-area coverage, Fixed Wireless Internet, Fixed 5G and AirGig, Fiber, and G.fast. AT&T rival carriers have also joined in on testing 5G technology, with Sprint saying its own wide-scale 5G network will launch by 2019, and T-Mobile aiming for nationwide 5G coverage by 2020.

Tags: AT&T, 5G
Discuss this article in our forums

Pages