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Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mac News and Rumors



Last Build Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 14:05:21 PST

 



iMac Pro Appears to Include A10 Fusion Chip for Always-On 'Hey Siri'

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 08:16:20 PST

According to some digging into Apple's "BridgeOS 2.0" code and macOS this weekend by Jonathan Levin, Steven Troughton-Smith, and Guilherme Rambo, the upcoming iMac Pro appears to feature an A10 Fusion chip with 512 MB of RAM. While the full functionality of the A10 chip isn't yet known, it appears the chip will enable support for "Hey Siri" functionality, potentially even when the iMac Pro is turned off.

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As noted by Troughton-Smith, the A10 will manage the booting process and security for the iMac Pro, and with hooks into system audio, he theorized that the chip might support always-on "Hey Siri."


Rumors of ARM-based chips being included in Macs have been circulating for some time, and with the T1 chip appearing in the MacBook Pro to drive the Touch Bar last year, the rumor began coming to fruition. The T1 was just the first step in the process, however, with Bloomberg reporting in February that a custom "T310" ARM-based Mac chip similar to the T1 could be included in future Macs and take on some additional functionality such as handling "Power Nap" low-power mode functionality.

In June, Pike's Universum reported that the upcoming iMac Pro will include a Secure Enclave, suggesting the machine would indeed include an ARM-based coprocessor as on the MacBook Pro.

Unveiled at WWDC in June, the iMac Pro is scheduled to launch next month, but Apple has yet to give a specific launch date for the high-end desktop that will start at $4999.

Related Roundup: iMac Pro

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Apple Park Visitor's Center Now Open to the Public

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:41:20 PST

The Visitor's Center at Apple's new Apple Park campus opened up to the public this morning, allowing Apple fans to visit the Cupertino location to check out the campus and purchase souvenirs and snacks.

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It features a cantilevered carbon fiber roof that was designed to look like it floats, along with staircases, stone walls, and terrazzo floors that match the aesthetic of the rest of the campus.

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Inside, there's a large 3D model of Apple Park that provides guests with information about the campus through an augmented reality experience provided through dedicated iPads.

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A store area offers a range of Apple products and accessories, including Apple Park-exclusive T-shirts, hats, postcards, baby onesies, playing cards, and tote bags. A cafe built into the Visitor's Center offers coffee, tea, and snacks.

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On the roof, there's a roof terrace that offers views of the main building and the landscaping, which includes more than 9,000 trees. While visitors can view the rest of Apple Park from the Visitor's Center, the other areas of the campus are off limits.

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The Apple Park Visitor's Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, it opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 6:00 p.m., and on Sundays, it opens at 11:00 a.m. and closes at 6:00 p.m.


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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of iOS 11.2 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:16:24 PST

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2 update to developers, four days after releasing the third iOS 11.2 beta, more than two weeks after releasing the first major iOS 11 update, iOS 11.1, and one day after the iOS 11.1.2 update. Registered developers can download the new iOS 11.2 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. iOS 11.2 introduces Apple Pay Cash, Apple's new peer-to-peer payments service. Apple Pay Cash works through the Messages app and is designed to allow for quick person-to-person money transfers. It's available as a dedicated iMessage app in Messages, with cash transferred through the app. Cash can be sent from a linked debit or credit card, while received cash is stored in an Apple Pay Cash card in Wallet that can be used for purchases or sent to a bank account. On the iPhone X, iOS 11.2 adds a small bar underneath the icons located at the upper right side of the device on the Lock screen, which is designed to make the location of the Control Center gesture more clear. On the iPhone X, Control Center is accessed by swiping down from the top of the device. In Control Center on all devices, there are two new informational pop-ups that are displayed when using the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggles. These pop-ups explain that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are disabled temporarily rather than permanently when accessed from Control Center. In iOS 11.2, there's support for faster 7.5W wireless charging for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. The faster speeds will be available when using third-party wireless chargers that support 7.5W charging or more. The update also addresses an animation bug in the Calculator app that caused some numbers and symbols to be ignored when entered in rapid succession. The update removes the animations from the calculator app so calculations can be done quickly with no need to pause between entering numbers to obtain the correct result. In addition to these bug fixes, iOS 11.2 introduces a new Now Playing option for controlling content on the Apple TV in Control Center, redesigned camera emoji, a new loading animation for Live Photos effects, and new Live wallpapers for the iPhone X, plus it adds a feature that lets developers offer new customers discounted introductory pricing for auto-renewable subscriptions on the App Store. Update: Apple has also seeded a new version of iOS 11.2 to public beta testers. Related Roundup: iOS 11Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Says HomePod is Delayed Until Early 2018

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:19:31 PST

(image) Apple today announced it has delayed the release of the HomePod until early 2018. The speaker was originally set to launch in December.

In a statement provided to MacRumors and other media outlets, Apple said it needs "a little more time" before the HomePod is ready.
We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers. We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.
Apple's definition of "early" in a year is generally January through April. Apple did not provide a specific reason for the delay.

Apple unveiled the HomePod at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. At the time, Apple said the speaker would launch in December for $349, starting in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

HomePod is the first Apple product delayed since the AirPods in October 2016. At the time, Apple also said it needed "a little more time" before the wireless headphones were ready. AirPods eventually launched in December 2016.

HomePod also serves as a "Hey Siri" assistant and HomeKit hub. The high-fidelity speaker is equipped with spatial awareness and Apple-engineered audio technology, including a seven‑tweeter array and high-excursion woofer, and is powered by Apple's A8 chip. A firmware leak reveals it likely has 1GB of RAM.

Related Roundup: HomePod

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KGI: Next Year's iPhone Models to Have Upgraded Intel and Qualcomm Modems Enabling Faster LTE Speeds

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:18:57 PST

Apple's next-generation iPhone models released in 2018 will feature Intel's XMM 7560 and Qualcomm's Snapdragon X20 modems, enabling faster LTE transmission speeds, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

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Image: KGI Securities

Kuo highlighted that both new chips support 4x4 MIMO technology, compared to only 2x2 MIMO in the latest iPhone models, which leads him to believe LTE transmission speeds will increase significantly in 2018 iPhones.

In his latest research note, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo predicted Intel will supply Apple with 70 to 80 percent or more of the baseband chips.
New baseband chips from Intel & Qualcomm will significantly boost transmission speed of new 2H18 iPhone models thanks to supporting 4x4 MIMO antenna design: We believe that 2H18 new iPhones will upgrade baseband chips from Intel’s XMM 7480 and Qualcomm's MDM 9655 in 2H17 to Intel’s XMM 7560 and Qualcomm's SDX 20. As both new chips support 4x4 MIMO technology, compared to only 2x2 MIMO in 2H17, we anticipate LTE transmission speeds will increase significantly. We believe Intel will supply Apple with 70-80% or more of required baseband chips.
Kuo also predicted that next year's iPhone models will feature dual-SIM dual standby (DSDS), with support for LTE+LTE connections, which allows two SIM cards to be active simultaneously using only one set of chips.
2H18 iPhone models won't only offer faster LTE transmission speed: We predict that at least one of the 2H18 new iPhone models will support dual-SIM dual standby (DSDS). Unlike existing DSDS phones, which commonly support LTE+3G connections, we believe next-generation iPhone models will support LTE+LTE connections, in a bid to enhance the user experience.
It's not entirely clear if the new iPhones would have a dual SIM card slot or if one of the SIM cards would be embedded into the device.


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Apple Extends Free Repairs of Anti-Reflective Coating on Select MacBook and MacBook Pro Models

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:01:31 PST

Apple has extended free repairs of anti-reflective coating issues for select MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Apple has authorized coverage within four years from the original purchase date of affected models, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers and later obtained by MacRumors. Eligible models, listed below, qualify for a free display replacement within the four-year coverage period. Check your receipt to determine the exact purchase date of your MacBook or MacBook Pro. • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2013) • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2013) • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2013) • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2013) • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014) • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2014) • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2015) • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2015) • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016) • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016) • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017) • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2015) • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2016) • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2017)Apple's document states that all 2012 MacBook Pro models are no longer eligible since they were discontinued over four years ago. Apple previously confirmed to us that this repair program continues to be handled internally rather than being publicly announced. Affected customers can schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store using the Apple Support app. Or, on the Get Support page, click Mac → Mac Notebooks → Hardware Issues → Display Issue and options should be presented to initiate a repair or contact Apple via phone, email, or online chat. Apple's support website will ask for your Mac's serial number, which can be found by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and clicking on About This Mac in the dropdown menu. We've learned that Apple has supposedly prohibited support advisors from mentioning details about the anti-reflective coating repair program in online chat sessions, so visiting an Apple Store may be required. If you contact Apple by phone, asking for your call to be escalated to a senior advisor may help. Affected customers can also visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their notebook is eligible for coverage. Apple's document states that these third-party repair shops can even replace displays with other damage free of charge so long as the anti-reflective coating issues are present. Apple's internal document also states that customers who already incurred out-of-warranty costs related to this issue continue to be eligible for a refund, which can be initiated by contacting Apple support directly. Apple first began this repair program in October 2015, and already extended it once, after some MacBook and MacBook Pro users experienced issues with the anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating on Retina displays. The damage appears to be caused by a variety of factors, including the pressure of the keyboard and trackpad on the display when closed, and the use of incorrect third-party cleaning solutions with microfiber cloths. Over 12,000 customers joined a Facebook group dedicated to the issue, and hundreds of others have claimed to be affected across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors forums, Twitter, Reddit, and other discussion platforms. The website Staingate.org contains a gallery of damaged displays.Related Roundup: MacBook ProTag: repair programBuyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums [...]



'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' Gets 4K Mention on iTunes, Suggesting Disney's 4K Holdout May Be Ending

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:58:17 PST

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has received a card on the iTunes Movies storefront that encourages users to watch the film in 4K HDR on the Apple TV 4K, suggesting that Disney's 4K video holdout on iTunes may end soon. The change comes after news in September that Disney would be the only major Hollywood studio not supporting 4K versions of its films on the iTunes Movies store, including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars movies.

Right now, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 appears under the "Now Available to Rent" section of iTunes with a new "Watch It in 4K" card, but when you tap through to the movie's page it's still listed as HD-only as of writing. As such, the mention could be an error, or the first hint at more Marvel and other Disney movies imminently gaining 4K iTunes support.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming is another Marvel Studios movie -- a studio which Disney owns -- that's in 4K HDR on iTunes, but it has been 4K since it released on the digital storefront in September due to the distribution rights of the film being owned by Sony, not Disney.

For now, it appears that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the only Disney-related film with a hint of having imminent 4K support on iTunes. Other newly released Disney films, including Cars 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, don't have mentions of 4K support anywhere on iTunes yet. Apple's 4K iTunes films are priced at the same point as HD versions -- $20 -- and if you previously owned the movie in HD, Apple automatically upgrades it to 4K HDR without requiring additional payment.

If Disney does begin a wider rollout of 4K support across its iTunes film catalogue, it will be joining 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros., and Universal Pictures in backing the 4K video format on Apple devices.

(Thanks @vash_maxwell!)

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tags: Disney, Marvel
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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Apple Working With Intel on 5G Hardware for Future iPhones

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:22:28 PST

Apple is "leaning heavily" towards choosing Intel's 5G modems for its future iPhones, according to Fast Company. Apple engineers are said to be already working with Intel on upcoming 5G technology. Apple's discussions with Qualcomm about 5G modems, meanwhile, have been described as "limited." Citing a source with knowledge of Apple's plans, Fast Company says that while Qualcomm 5G modems will offer more specialized carrier features, many of those features will not be adopted by carriers, leading Apple to believe Intel's hardware will be sufficient for future devices.The end game, multiple sources have said, is to build the Intel modem onto an integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC) that would also contain the CPU, GPU, and other iPhone components. The SoC would be co-designed by Intel and Apple and would be fabricated at an Intel facility.Intel reportedly has "multiple thousands" of people working on 5G technology in an effort to catch up with Qualcomm and win the contract from Apple. Intel this morning said that it had made "substantial advances" in its wireless product roadmap to accelerate the adoption of 5G. According to Intel, an end-to-end 5G call based on early 5G silicon has been completed successfully, which Intel says is a "key milestone in its development." Intel expects its first 5G chips to roll out in 2019, ahead of the wide rollout of 5G networks. T-Mobile just today said that it is planning to roll out its fifth-generation network across the United States by 2020, and most of the carriers in the United States are already experimenting with limited trials. 5G is expected to deliver speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than the average 4G connection, at a gigabit per second or higher, along with lower latency and other benefits. Rumors that Apple is considering Intel's 5G technology are in line with previous reports that have suggested Apple is considering eliminating Qualcomm chips from its 2018 iPhones and iPads. Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle since the beginning of the year, which has continued to escalate over the months. Apple believes Qualcomm charges unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with," while Qualcomm claims its technology is "at the heart of every iPhone." Apple and Apple suppliers have ceased paying royalties to Qualcomm amid the dispute, while Qualcomm has filed several patent infringement lawsuits against Apple and has asked for import/export bans in the United States and China.Related Roundup: iPhone XTags: Intel, Qualcomm, 5GBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple AirPods vs. Google Pixel Buds

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:06:44 PST

The Pixel Buds, Google's $159 headphones designed to compete with Apple's AirPods, finally launched this week so we thought we'd pit the two devices against one another to see how they measure up. While the AirPods are widely loved and have received mostly positive reviews from customers and media sites, things aren't looking quite as rosy for the Pixel Buds. In a lot of ways, the Pixel Buds don't measure up to the AirPods, and in the video below, we compare design, features, sound quality, comfort, and other metrics. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CvW3XCzZ9Sg" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allowfullscreen>Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pixel Buds and AirPods both cost $159 and are Bluetooth earphones designed for the Google and Apple ecosystems, respectively, but when it comes to design, they're quite a bit different. The AirPods are entirely wire-free, but the Pixel Buds have an adjustable cord that connects the two earpieces together. Each is stored in a case that provides extra battery. Both earphones support touch and tap gestures to do things like activate Siri or Google Assistant and control music playback, but each one has shortcomings. There's no volume control on the AirPods, meaning you need to use Siri or your connected device to adjust volume, and on the Pixel Buds, there's no gesture for switching tasks, so you need to use Google Assistant. By the way, when connected to an iPhone, Google Assistant functionality doesn't work. AirPods have a nifty feature that stops music playback when an AirPod is removed from the ear, and there's no equivalent feature on the Pixel Buds. The Pixel Buds do have a unique translation feature, but as it turns out, it requires Google Translate on a smartphone and isn't too much different from just using your phone for translation purposes. The W1 chip built into the AirPods allows them to be swapped seamlessly between Apple devices and is one of the best AirPods features, while the Pixel Buds aren't quite as convenient. On Android devices, you need to put the buds back in their case, hold the pair button, and then re-pair when you want to switch. At their price point, both the AirPods and the Pixel Buds offer relatively decent sound, but we did feel that the AirPods were better in this regard. The Pixel Buds sounded somewhat muddled, especially when using Spotify. Given some of the shortcomings of the Pixel Buds, the AirPods seem to have them beat, based on our own experience with the two products and a range of less than enthusiastic Pixel Bud reviews from media sites. And of course, as an Apple-centric site with employees that largely use iOS devices, MacRumors is partial to the AirPods. We may prefer the AirPods to the Pixel Buds, but as with our comparison between the iPhone X and the Google Pixel 2 XL, choosing between the AirPods and the Pixel Buds largely comes down to the ecosystem you're using. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, the AirPods are the obvious choice. If you don't have an iPhone or another Apple device, you're not going to get the benefits of the W1 chip, so it may be worth considering the Pixel Buds instead. And, of course, there's always the neither option -- there are hundreds of other Bluetooth headphones on the market.Tags: Google, AirPodsDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Shares New 'What's a Computer' Ad Focused on iPad Pro Features

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:19:39 PST

Apple today shared a new "What's a computer" iPad Pro ad on its YouTube channel, highlighting the myriad things an iPad Pro can do along with new iPad features introduced in iOS 11.

The video, set to the song "Go" by Louis The Child," shows off the iPad's versatility as a computer replacement, following a teen as she chats with friends, takes and edits photos, writes a paper, draws with the Apple Pencil, reads comics, and more while on the go.

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sQB2NjhJHvY" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">

Features and accessories covered in the video include split-screen multitasking, the iOS 11 dock, the iPad's camera capabilities, the Apple Pencil, the Smart Keyboard, and photo markup

At the end of the spot, the teen's mom asks her "What are you doing on your computer?" And she responds, "What's a computer?"

Apple has shared multiple iPad Pro ads in the past, positioning the device as a computer replacement. Most recently, Apple published several short tutorial videos designed to show off all of the new features introduced on iPad in iOS 11

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Apple Releases iOS 11.1.2 With Fix for Unresponsive iPhone X Display in Cold Temperatures

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:03:26 PST

Apple today released iOS 11.1.2, the seventh official update to the iOS 11 operating system. iOS 11.1.2 comes just one week after Apple released iOS 11.1.1, an update that addressed a pesky and widespread autocorrect bug.

The iOS 11.1.2 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update.

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The iOS 11.1.2 update addresses bugs and issues that have been discovered since the release of iOS 11.1.1. According to Apple's release notes, the update addresses a bug that caused some iPhone X displays to become temporarily unresponsive when exposed to cold temperatures.
iOS 11.1.2 includes bug fixes for your iPhone and iPad. This update:
- Fixes an issue where the iPhone X screen becomes temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid temperature drop
- Addresses an issue that could cause distortion in Live Photos and videos captured with iPhone X
- Fixes an issue that could cause your device to restart after receiving a long notification in Arabic
iOS 11.1.2 comes as Apple works on the iOS 11.2 update, which introduces Apple Pay Cash, support for faster 7.5W wireless charging on iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus, and several bug fixes and minor interface tweaks.

For more on iOS 11 and its updates, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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Jony Ive Says Holding Onto Features When There's a 'Better Way' is 'Path That Leads to Failure'

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:58:21 PST

After naming the iPhone X as one of the 25 Best Inventions of the Year, TIME sat down for an interview about the smartphone with Apple's design chief Jony Ive and hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio. Riccio believes the iPhone X paves the way for the next 10 years of smartphones, given its radical redesign with a nearly edge to edge display, no home button, and advanced cameras for facial recognition and augmented reality. "There were these extraordinarily complex problems that needed to be solved," said Ive. "Paying attention to what's happened historically actually helps give you some faith that you are going to find a solution." That history includes, in part, Apple removing the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 last year, parting ways with the built-in disc drive on the MacBook Pro after 2012, and ditching the floppy drive on the iMac G3 in 1998. "I actually think the path of holding onto features that have been effective, the path of holding onto those whatever the cost, is a path that leads to failure," said Ive. "And in the short term, it's the path that feels less risky and it's the path that feels more secure." Ive acknowledged that it's not always easy for Apple to move past a feature or technology when it believes there's a "better way," and it's easy to see his point given the controversy that each change has generated. Apple was criticized by a fair number of customers for removing the headphone jack on the iPhone last year, for example, and even competitors like Google and Samsung used it as an opportunity to poke fun at Apple. After time, however, many customers usually learn to adapt. Google even removed the headphone jack on the Pixel 2 this year. iPhone X is the most expensive iPhone ever, with a starting price of $999 in the United States, which Ive said is the "financial consequence" of "integrating the sheer amount of processing power into such a small device." "Our goal is always to provide what we think is the best product possible, not always the lowest cost," added Riccio. Despite being expensive, the iPhone X appears to be off to a successful start given sales estimates, and Apple's forecast for an all-time revenue record this quarter. Orders placed today are still backlogged by 2-3 weeks.Related Roundup: iPhone XTags: TIME, Dan Riccio, Jony IveBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums [...]



iPhone X Named One of the '25 Best Inventions of 2017' by TIME

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:37:01 PST

Apple's new flagship iPhone X is one of the best inventions of 2017, according to a new list of the top 25 inventions of the year published this morning by TIME magazine.

The smartphone, which launched on November 3, features some of the most radical design changes Apple has introduced in an iPhone since the first iteration of the device launched in 2007. It does away with the Home button, includes an entirely new user interface that embraces new gestures, brings impressive new camera technology, and introduces next-generation biometric authentication in the form of Face ID.

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Apple Design Chief Jony Ive says Apple was "looking to the future" with the decision to remove the Home button, and that holding onto features, even those that have been effective, "is a path that leads to failure." As for cost, Ive says packing those features and impressive processing power into the iPhone X has "financial consequence."

Dan Riccio, Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering, says the iPhone X is "something we really wanted to do since day one."

Based on estimates for demand, the iPhone X is a hit with consumers. It's received largely positive reviews, and despite some bugs and hiccups with a small number of issues, its launch has been a success.

The iPhone X is just one of 25 products that were named the best inventions of the year. Other items that were highlighted by TIME include the Jibo robot, Halo Top low calorie ice cream, the heated Ember mug that keeps coffee warm, a multi-directional elevator, 3D printed Adidas shoes, the Tesla Model 3, the DJI Spark, the Nintendo Switch, and fidget spinners.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Apple Ranked as 'Clear Leader' in its Efforts to Source Conflict-Free Minerals From Supply Chain

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 07:09:35 PST

Apple has been designated the "clear leader" in its methods of supporting a conflict-free minerals trade throughout its supply chain. The title was awarded to the company in a report published by the Enough Project, called the 2017 Conflict Minerals Company Rankings, in which Apple sits at the #1 spot. Rounding out the top 5 spots are Alphabet/Google at #2, HP at #3, Microsoft at #4, and Intel at #5. The new Conflict Minerals Company Rankings look at 20 of the world's largest companies in two of the industries that the Enough Project says "consume the most" tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold: consumer electronics and jewelry retail. These minerals are referred to as conflict minerals because they're most often related to being sourced within war-torn countries that mine the minerals with little to no respect for workers' rights. Chart via the Enough Project The Enough Project gathered these top 20 companies and awarded points to each based on the policies and practices that they enact regarding responsible mineral sourcing, with the lowest on the list designated as companies most in need of "considerable and urgent need for more action." In total, the companies were ranked based on four core categories: - Conducting Conflict Minerals Sourcing Due Diligence and Reporting - Developing a Conflict-Free Minerals Trade and Sourcing Conflict-Free Minerals from Congo, Particularly Gold - Supporting and Improving Livelihoods for Artisanal Mining Communities in Eastern Congo - Conflict-Free Minerals Advocacy In its full report, Apple is placed in the "Outstanding Company Efforts" section, which represents the companies "going above and beyond to get more directly at the heart of maintaining robust due diligence practices and sourcing conflict-free minerals from Congo." Specifically, Apple is the only company to receive full credits for identifying and following up with supply chain incidents reported to it by suppliers and other sources. Apple has "clearly demonstrated its commitment" to scouring for red flags related to these reports and taking action by dropping suppliers and others in its supply chain that turn out to be noncompliant with its standards. After developing its Risk Readiness Assessment program in order to help identify conflict minerals sourcing in its supply chain, among other risk-related sourcing factors, Apple partnered with the Responsible Business Alliance in order to make this program widely accessible to other companies. According to the Enough Project, this put Apple above and beyond all other companies ranked on the list. Apple not only has found better ways of addressing incidents within its own supply chain, but it has also helped develop shared centralized platforms for risk assessment that other companies can use. This extra effort contributes to the overall strengthening of conflict minerals supply chain due diligence. The Enough Project's report follow a separate study published by Amnesty International earlier this week, which described Apple as the industry leader in responsible cobalt sourcing. That report said Apple has taken "adequate" action in terms of sourcing conflict-free minerals, earning a top ranking alongside Samsung in the same category. Apple annually discusses this part of the supply chain in its Supplier Responsibility Reports, which typically come out around February and March. This year's report highlighted cobalt supplier audits in the Congo, its "highest ever" work hour compliance, and discussed the success of Apple's Supplier Education Program. These reports are intended to show the strides that Apple takes to improve the work lives of its device manufacturing employees, who work to create products including th[...]



iPhone X Shipping Estimates Improve to 2 to 3 Weeks in United States and Canada

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 10:56:20 PST

Shipping estimates for the iPhone X have improved to 2 to 3 weeks in the United States and Canada, up from the previous 3 to 4 week shipping estimates that have been available since early November.

The new 2 to 3 week shipping estimates for North America follow improved shipping estimates in countries across Europe and Asia Pacific.

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iPhone X models ordered today in the United States and Canada will now arrive well ahead of the holidays, in early December, making them available for holiday gifts.

Along with improving shipping estimates for devices purchased now from the online Apple Store, Apple has also been sending out iPhone X pre-orders more quickly than expected. Many MacRumors readers who had late November or December shipping estimates after ordering have already received their devices or are expecting them soon.

Apple retail stores are also receiving regular shipments and customers who check stock on Apple.com early in the morning and use stock-tracking tools like iStockNow have been able to make purchases with no wait time.

The iPhone X was in short supply at launch and pre-orders for the device sold out within just a few minutes, but Apple has been working hard to ramp up supply to get orders out to all customers over the holidays.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Apple Shares 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:42:22 PST

Apple today updated its website to add a holiday gift guide, recommending Apple products for people to purchase for friends and family this holiday season. This year's gift guide is bedecked with tiny people and Apple devices displaying holiday scenes. The flagship iPhone X, priced at starting $999, is front and center the gift guide, with Apple also highlighting the Apple Watch Series 3 models, the iPad Pro, the MacBook Pro, and the 4K Apple TV. Accessories for each product are listed below each item, with Apple recommending things like AirPods, iPhone X phone cases, Apple Watch bands, the Apple Pencil, Beats Studio3 headphones, and more. Several third party accessories are also shared on the page, including Sphero's R2-D2 robotic droid, a new DJI Mavic Pro in an exclusive Alpine White color, the Lifeprint Photo and Video Printer, Belkin's Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad, and the CliqueFie Selfie Stick. Even more accessories are highlighted in a separate "More Gifts" section, with Apple sharing suggestions on accessories at a range of price points and for several different ages. Every year, Apple offers an extended return period during the holidays, and as of today, the new return period is in effect. Most products and accessories purchased between November 15 and December 25, 2017, will be eligible for return until January 8, 2018 in countries that include the United States, Australia, the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Japan. Apple also offers free two-day shipping on all purchases. Apple will likely be offering a Black Friday sale on Friday, November 24, so if you're planning to buy an Apple product from Apple, it could be worthwhile to wait. Last year, Apple offered customers free Apple Store gift cards worth up to $150 with the purchase of select products.Tag: Apple gift guideDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



2018 iPad Pro Models Could Have Very Fast Octa-Core A11X Bionic Chip

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 06:52:23 PST

Apple's next-generation iPad Pro models released in 2018 will feature octa-core processors, based on Taiwanese supplier TSMC's improved 7nm manufacturing process, according to Chinese website MyDrivers. iPad Pro with slim bezels and no Home button rendered by Benjamin Geskin The report, citing sources within Apple's supply chain, claims the eight cores in the tentatively named A11X Bionic chip will include three high-performance "Monsoon" cores and five energy-efficient "Mistral" cores. Like the A11 Bionic chip in the latest iPhone models, which is built on a 10nm process, the A11X chip will reportedly feature TSMC's integrated fan-out wafer level packaging, or InFO WLP for short. The chip will also presumably include a next-generation M11 coprocessor and neural engine for artificial intelligence tasks, such as processing facial recognition given rumors about Face ID on 2018 iPad Pro models. The eight-core processor should unsurprisingly result in CPU performance improvements on next-generation iPad Pro models. Our own Chris Jenkins provided an in-depth look at the architecture of Apple's A11 Bionic chip. He also highlighted details about TSMC's improved 7nm process and advanced InFO packaging process for 2018. Apple's current 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models have an A10X Fusion chip based on TSMC's 10nm fabrication process. In addition to gaining Face ID, next-generation iPad Pro models are expected to have an iPhone X form factor with slimmer bezels and no Home button. However, the tablets will reportedly continue to have LCD displays due to yield rates. Related Roundup: iPad ProTags: TSMC, mydrivers.com, A11 chipBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Caution), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Strong Demand for MacBook Pro Increases Apple's Notebook Market Share in Last Quarter

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 05:28:28 PST

Apple continued to see strong worldwide sales across its MacBook line-up in the third quarter of 2017, according to new market research conducted by TrendForce. Apple's laptop sales once again exceeded ASUS to rank fourth in global notebook shipments, which overall saw a "remarkable" quarterly increase of 6.8 percent and a year-on-year increase of 0.9 percent, reaching 42.69 million units. Apple continued the strong shipments of 12-inch products in the second quarter, and focused on the new models of MacBook Pro in the third quarter, recording the third quarter shipments of 4.43 million units and an increase of 11.3%. It exceeded ASUS to rank the fourth in this third quarter.HP recorded a new high in its quarterly shipments, which increased by 17.6 percent, reaching a single-season shipment of 11 million units for the first time. HP is expected to achieve the annual goal of 40 million units, which will secure its first place in 2017 global notebook shipments ranking. Lenovo recovered somewhat from a poor first half of the year, recording 8.58 million units for third quarter shipments and a 6.5 percent quarterly growth. In the fourth quarter, it is estimated to have another 1 to 3 percent growth. Dell shipped 665 million units in the third quarter with a quarter-on-quarter increase of 1.4 percent, maintaining its third place in the rankings. ASUS and Acer ranked fifth and sixth, shipping 3.82 million and 3.31 million units respectively. During a recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple's Mac division set a new all-time revenue record of $25.8 billion for fiscal 2017. Apple sold 5.4 million Macs during the September quarter, up 10 percent over last year, and gained significant market share as the global market contracted by one percent, according to IDC's latest estimate. The performance was reportedly fueled by big demand for the MacBook Pro, said Cook, and Mac revenue grew 25 percent to a new September quarter record. "We had outstanding results all around the world in each of our geographic segments, growing Mac revenue by 20 percent or more," said Cook. "We were also very happy with the success of Mac in the education market, where customer purchases grew double digits year over year." Related Roundup: MacBook ProTag: TrendForceBuyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral)Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Embracing the Notch: How Are You Adapting to the Most Controversial iPhone X Design Decision?

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:44:58 PST

The "notch," or sensor housing on the iPhone X is the single most polarizing design decision Apple made when creating its new flagship smartphone. Some people hate the way the notch eats into the display, while others appreciate that extra bit of visible space.

Love it or hate it, the notch is here to stay until Apple finds a better way to integrate the TrueDepth camera system into its iPhone lineup. Luckily, while the notch can be disturbing at first, most people find it's easy to become accustomed to. In the video below, we explore the notch, how it affects day to day iPhone X usage, how apps are compensating, and some ways to hide it.

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Prior to the iPhone X's launch, the notch sparked a lot of discussion, much of it negative, but hate for the notch has died down as people have become used to Apple's design choice.

Apple's official policy is that developers and users should embrace the notch, and as apps have implemented designs that work around it, it's blended into the background and become less noticeable in day to day use.

There are still apps that have yet to adapt to the notch, but as optimizations continue, it'll disappear even further. Here at MacRumors, we've found that the notch isn't really bothersome at all.

One exception might be landscape mode, as it's more noticeable in that orientation when doing things like browsing Safari, watching YouTube videos, and playing games. Safari browsing is getting better, though, with a new Webkit API in iOS 11.2 that allows developers to design around the notch for a better full screen experience, and in the YouTube app, if you double tap on a video, it expands to a full screen mode that's easier to watch.

For those who absolutely hate the notch, there are a couple of new apps like Notcho, designed to edit wallpapers to add a black bar to the top, effectively hiding it on the Home and Lock screen. Notcho doesn't work within apps, though, and in our opinion, hiding the notch looks worse than accepting it.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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iPhone X Shipping Estimates Improve to 2 to 3 Weeks in Europe, US Could Be Next [Updated]

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 12:49:08 PST

Shipping estimates for the iPhone X have improved to 2 to 3 weeks across Europe, suggesting Apple's efforts to ramp up supply and production are starting to see some success. The 2 to 3 week shipping estimates are an improvement over the previous 3 to 4 week shipping estimates that have been available since early November. The new 2 to 3 week shipping estimates are available in all European countries where the device has launched, including the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and more. iPhones ordered today in these countries will arrive well ahead of the holidays, in early December. Other countries in North America and Asia Pacific still list 3 to 4 week shipping estimates, but the last time shipping estimates improved, we saw better estimates in Europe that then expanded to the United States. We expect to see U.S. shipping estimates drop soon. In addition to improving shipping estimates from devices purchased from the online Apple Store, we've also been hearing continual reports from MacRumors readers who have seen their pre-ordered iPhone X models shipping out much sooner than expected. Many who originally had December shipping estimates have already received their devices or are expecting them in November. Apple retail stores are also receiving regular shipments and customers who check stock on Apple.com early and use stock-tracking tools like iStockNow have been able to make purchases with no wait time. Back in early November, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple was working to ramp up iPhone X production week by week, with the aim of getting the new smartphone out to customers "as soon as possible." Ahead of the iPhone X launch, rumors suggested the device would be heavily constrained and in short supply until well into 2018, but given the improvements we're already seeing, supply/demand balance could be reached earlier than originally expected. Update: Shipping estimates have now improved to two to three weeks in Asia Pacific as well, which includes countries like Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and more.Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums [...]