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Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017 08:02:47 PDT

 



Apple Watch Series 3 Expected to Debut in Fall 2017, Boosting Manufacturing Partner Quanta's Revenue

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:27:09 PDT

Apple has sourced Quanta Computer as the primary manufacturer of the Apple Watch since the original wearable device began a production ramp-up in late 2014/early 2015 for its official launch in the spring of 2015. The supplier was again the sole source of Apple Watch manufacturing for the Series 2 models in 2016, and a new article out today by Chinese-language site Economic Daily News has echoed previous reports that stated Apple will yet again keep Quanta as its main Apple Watch supplier for the so-called "Apple Watch Series 3." The move is expected to lead Quanta into a "strong" second half of 2017, further cementing the next-generation Apple Watch's debut this upcoming fall (via DigiTimes). Additionally, Quanta's income towards the end of the year is poised to rise thanks to the manufacturer's supply of notebooks and servers, but the Apple Watch Series 3 is described as one of the company's biggest assets. Secondary to Quanta, EDN's report today cited market watchers who believe Compal will also be sourced as an Apple Watch supplier this year, but with a focus on older-generation models and not including Series 3. Quanta Computer is expected to enjoy a strong second-half 2017 thanks to rising demand for notebooks, growing server sales and the release of the next-generation Apple Watch, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report. Apple is reportedly planning to launch its third-generation Apple Watch in 2017 and the wearable is likely to help Quanta's Apple Watch product line turn profitable. Although Compal Electronics reportedly has joined the supply chain of the Apple Watch, the market watchers believe Apple is likely to let Compal mainly handle older-generation models, the paper added. While rumors leading into the fall of 2017 have largely focused on the iPhone 8, it is believed that Apple will launch an all-new Apple Watch device this year, perhaps at the same iPhone debut event expected in September. The company used that strategy last fall when it announced and launched the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 2 within the same September timeframe. Besides the expected new-generation bumps to processing speeds and a longer battery life, Apple Watch Series 3 has been rumored to include cellular connectivity so users could make phone calls, send iMessages, and stream Apple Music without needing to be tethered to their iPhone, with the caveat of an added data plan likely. The Series 3 device is also said to not include any major visual overhauls to the Apple Watch design, keeping the same case and band form factor that Apple has used since 2015.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4 Tags: digitimes.com, Economic Daily News, Quanta Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums [...]



What's New in iOS 11 Beta 4: Lock Screen and Notification Center Changes, New App Icons and More

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:54:17 PDT

Apple seeded the fourth beta of iOS 11 to developers this morning, bringing some of the most significant changes we've seen yet in an iOS 11 beta. A much-desired swipe feature for clearing Notifications on the Lock screen has been added, and there are also several visual tweaks to icons throughout the operating system. We've outlined all of the changes in both the video and the post below. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gXYY5DNfs_8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. - New icons - Apple has introduced new icons for the Contacts, Notes, and Reminders app. Some of the app icons may be bugged for some people, showing certain details, like bullets for Reminders, on the wrong side of the icon. This is because Apple inverts the icons for languages that read right to left instead of left to right, and it should be fixed in a later beta. There's also a new icon for Contacts in the Settings app, while the Notes and Reminders icons in Settings remain the same. - Notification Center - You can now swipe to the left on a Notification on the Lock screen to bring up options to clear it or view it. Tapping on view or tapping on the Notification itself also brings up a new screen that instructs you to use Touch ID to unlock your device to open the associated app. In addition to tapping on an icon or using the view option to open it, a Notification will also open if you slide to the right. A full slide to the left automatically clears a Notification without having to tap the clear button. - Settings (Capacity) - In the General section of the Settings app, when you choose "About," the Capacity listing now shows the total amount of storage a device possesses rather than the amount of storage available minus the size of iOS. - Settings (AirDrop) - In the Settings app under General, there's now a dedicated section for AirDrop that allows it to be toggled off, set to everyone, or limited to contacts. Previously, only the Control Center could be used to change these settings. - Settings (Accounts & Passwords) - In the Accounts & Passwords section of the Settings app, the key icon is now vertically oriented instead of displayed horizontally. - WiFi icon - The WiFi icon in the upper left hand of the display that shows when you're connected to a WiFi network has been slightly tweaked with thicker, more uniform lines. - App Store - There's now an option to pull downwards to refresh the App Store's Updates tab. iOS 11 beta 4 is currently limited to developers, but Apple will likely introduce the changes in a third public beta that we expect to see later this week.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Exchanging Some 2012 and Early 2013 MacBook Pros Needing Battery Service With Newer Models

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:15:02 PDT

After hundreds of charging cycles, a MacBook Pro's battery begins to lose its ability to hold a charge and should be replaced. Apple offers battery service free of charge with AppleCare+ coverage, or it charges an out-of-warranty fee of $199 in the United States, £199 in the UK, or $259 in Canada. Due to a severe constraint of top case assemblies with integrated batteries, however, Apple has informed its Genius Bar employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers it is currently unable to service the batteries of 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display models released in Mid 2012 and Early 2013. According to Apple's internal directive, obtained by MacRumors, top case assemblies with batteries for the aforementioned MacBook Pro models will remain severely constrained until September 15, 2017. The directive does not identify a reason for the shortage, which has been ongoing since at least March. As a temporary solution, Apple's directive says customers may choose to delay battery service until inventory becomes available, in exchange for Apple covering the cost of the repair. Alternatively, to avoid the delay, Apple's directive says customers may exchange the MacBook Pro for a functionally equivalent model. Given the affected MacBook Pro models were released between four and five years ago, however, an increasing number of customers have shared stories of Apple replacing their notebooks with significantly newer models. Reddit user NoTNoS, for example, said Apple exchanged his 2012 model 15-inch MacBook Pro for a 2017 model 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. He said the process took about 10 business days, and he was allowed to keep his old MacBook Pro during the wait. The only cost was the $199 battery service fee. Dozens of other MacBook Pro owners have shared similar experiences on Reddit, while only a handful of users have shared unsuccessful attempts. Many users appear to have received refurbished 2015 MacBook Pro models, but some others claim to have received even newer 2016 or 2017 models. In order to potentially qualify, you must have a Mid 2012 or Early 2013 model 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display. The policy doesn't apply to any 13-inch MacBook Pro, any Late 2011 or older MacBook Pro, any Late 2013 or newer MacBook Pro, any MacBook Pro without a Retina display, or any MacBook Air. Secondly, the MacBook Pro must be in need of battery service. To check, click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the macOS menu bar, and then click on About This Mac > System Report… > Power. Under the "Health Information" section, the condition should say "Service Battery" or an equivalent status. As a rule of thumb, the battery should typically have a full charge capacity below 80 percent, which can be estimated with a tool like coconutBattery. The battery's charge cycle count may also be a factor. Only Apple's diagnostic test will ultimately determine if the battery requires servicing. Since the process appears to differ on a case-by-case basis, each customer's mileage may vary. Apple could stop acknowledging this internal policy at any time, and not all employees may be aware it exists. There doesn't appear to be any regional limitations to the policy, with customers who successfully exchanged their MacBook Pro models residing in the United States, UK, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Australia, and other countries. It also doesn't appear to matter if the Mac is covered by AppleCare+ to qualify. Eligible customers that wish to press their luck may visit any Apple Store, or supposedly select Apple Authorized Service Providers. Booking a Genius Bar appointment through the Apple Support website is recommended.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now) Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of macOS High Sierra to Developers

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 10:01:37 PDT

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the third beta and more than a month after introducing the new software at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference.

The fourth beta of macOS High Sierra can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air using the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.

macOS High Sierra builds on features introduced in Sierra, focusing on new core storage, video, and graphics technology. It introduces a new Apple File System (APFS), High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), and an updated version of Metal with support for VR and external GPUs.

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Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Some apps are gaining new features in macOS High Sierra. The Photos app is being updated with a new sidebar that's designed to make it easier to access editing tools and albums, and there are new filters and editing options like Curves and Selective Color. Photos also supports external editing apps like Photoshop and Pixelmator, saving changes made in those apps, and it interfaces with new third-party printing services.

Safari is gaining speed enhancements, an option to end autoplay video, and a new feature that puts a stop to data tracking. Siri in macOS High Sierra has expanded music capabilities and a new, more natural voice, and Spotlight supports flight status information. There are also improvements to iCloud, FaceTime, Messages, and Notes.

macOS High Sierra is available for both registered developers and public beta testers and will see several updates ahead of its expected fall public release.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of iOS 11 to Developers

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:57:19 PDT

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of iOS 11 to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the third beta and more than a month after introducing the new update at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Registered developers can download the new iOS 11 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed. According to Apple's release notes, today's beta fixes some errors with VSCO, Pinterest, Citi Mobile, and Apple's personal assistant Siri, but introduces new known issues. Tapping the AirPlay button in videos that aren't full screen can cause some apps to crash, and FaceTime Live Photos is disabled by default and must be re-enabled. The call history list in the Recents tab does not update immediately in the beta, resulting in the second number in the list being dialed when the first is selected, and Cellular data for music downloads is included in WiFi Services instead of iTunes Accounts. As for visual changes, Notes, Reminders, and Contacts all have revamped icons. There's also now an option to swipe to the left on a Notification to clear it, and there's a new Touch ID screen when tapping on a Notification to open it up. iOS 11 introduces some significant design changes, including a customizable Control Center and a new Lock screen that's merged with the Notification Center. Peer-to-peer Apple Pay payments are being introduced in the Messages app, which is also gaining a new App Drawer, and there's a new Do Not Disturb feature that is designed to help drivers stay focused on the road. Siri, Photos, the Camera app, and more are also gaining new features and refinements. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oAsp2uchSJM" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ARKit for developers will result in a wide range of new augmented reality apps on iOS devices, while a Core ML SDK will allow apps to become a whole lot smarter. iOS 11 is also the biggest update ever for the iPad, with a new Dock that introduces much improved multitasking, a Files app for better managing files, improved Apple Pencil support, a revamped App Switcher, and a system-wide drag and drop feature. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oxoPHwqrpJs" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> iOS 11 is available for both registered developers and public beta testers and will see two more months of testing ahead of a prospective September release date alongside new iPhones. For full details on all of the new features included in iOS 11, make sure to check out our extensive iOS 11 roundup.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Discuss this article in our forums [...]



JCPenney Now Accepts Apple Pay Nationwide, Integrates With Own Credit Card and Loyalty Program

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 06:19:55 PDT

American department store chain JCPenney today announced it now accepts Apple Pay at all of its stores across the United States. The retailer said Apple Pay in the JCPenney app for iPhone and iPad is coming soon as well.

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JCPenney also said it will make its credit card available on Apple Pay, which enables customers to earn shopping points through its JCPenney Rewards loyalty program, directly in the Wallet app on iPhone.
JCPenney point-of-sale registers now process all Apple Pay supported credit and debit bank cards, including the Company's credit card and co-branded Mastercard, both issued by Synchrony Bank and available to use with Apple Pay. Customers simply add their JCPenney credit card as a payment option to Apple Pay using the Wallet or Apple Watch app on their iPhone. Plus, coming soon, customers with the JCPenney app on iPhone and iPad will have the option to complete their purchases using Apple Pay.
JCPenney started testing Apple Pay in the Dallas—Fort Worth area in late 2015. The retailer joins the likes of Kohl's and Walgreens with Apple Pay support for store-branded credit cards and customer loyalty programs.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: JCPenney

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Apple Teams Up With Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson for Siri Movie

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 13:45:10 PDT

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson today announced that he's teamed up with Apple for a movie that co-stars Apple's AI-based personal assistant, Siri.

According to the poster tweeted by Johnson, the movie is called "The ROCKxSIRI Dominate the Day." There are no details on how long the film is or what it's about, but it apparently debuts tomorrow on Apple's YouTube channel.

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Based on the image, it appears to feature car chases, space travel, an alien fight, and a concert performance. In a Facebook post, Johnson calls it the "biggest, coolest, craziest, dopest, most over the top, funnest" movie ever.
I partnered with #Apple to make the BIGGEST, COOLEST, CRAZIEST, DOPEST, MOST OVER THE TOP, FUNNEST (is that even a word?) movie ever.

And I have the greatest co-star of all time - #SIRI.

I make movies for the world to enjoy and we also made this one to motivate you to get out there and get the job done.

I want you to watch it, have fun with it and then go LIVE IT.
The film will premiere on Apple's YouTube channel on Monday, July 24, but it's not yet clear what time it will debut.

This is the second time Apple has teamed up with a partner to release a short film. Last month, Apple highlighted "Détour," a film French director Michel Gondry shot on the iPhone in partnership with Apple and in a decidedly more Apple style.

The project with Dwayne Johnson is unusual, but it comes at a time when Apple is preparing to release the Siri-based HomePod, so that may be why the company has decided to promote its personal assistant in a fun and unique way.

Update: The short movie is now live on Apple's YouTube channel and on Apple.com.

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Tag: Siri

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Latest Drone Footage Reveals Landscaping Progress in Apple Park's Inner Circle

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 05:59:00 PDT

Drone videographer Duncan Sinfield posted a new video on his YouTube channel today, offering a "late July" bird's eye view of Apple Park, the company's new headquarters in Cupertino, California.

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Sinfield's video reveals landscaping around the campus has picked up momentum in the last few weeks, with a large grove of trees in the inner circle of Apple Park being the clearest sign of progress.

When finished, Apple Park will be surrounded by some 9,000 trees. The landscaping is being overseen by an arborist personally chosen by the late Steve Jobs, who believed trees would be one of the most important parts of the Park and represent a microcosm of the old Silicon Valley, when there were said to be more fruit trees than engineers.

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Tantau Avenue, which runs along the east side of the campus, has been closed to vehicle traffic for much of July as Apple works rapidly to finish the Visitor's Center ahead of the official opening day. Apple started hiring employees last month for the Visitor Center, which will include an Apple Store and a public cafe.

Earlier this month we got a glimpse of Apple Park's Glendenning Barn, a historic landmark that the company carefully dismantled piece by piece and relocated to another part of the site, which was formerly a HP campus.


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Apple Stores Getting All-New 'Lead' and 'Schedule Planner' Positions

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:18:24 PDT

MacRumors has learned that Apple is introducing two all-new Apple Store positions named Lead and Schedule Planner. Apple today informed existing retail employees that applications open Monday, July 24, although it appears that select stores started interviewing candidates as early as a few weeks ago.

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Apple says the Lead position will give team members the chance to learn the ins and outs of running an Apple Store firsthand. The majority of a Lead's time will be spent as the Support Leader on the Floor, responsible for managing employee breaks and zoning in the store, and addressing customer concerns.

Support Leader on the Floor also entails communicating daily objectives, reinforcing store policies, and motivating team members by delivering feedback for career development, according to one employee's LinkedIn profile.

Apple says Leads will also support opening and closing, and perform a number of other administrative responsibilities, suggesting these employees could be key holders, count and balance cash, and be able to perform overrides when necessary. These have typically been duties carried out by the Store Manager.

It appears that Store Managers will continue to perform some of those responsibilities, in addition to HR and store development.

Meanwhile, working closely with Store Leaders, Apple says the majority of a Schedule Planner's time will be spent planning and creating the weekly schedule for the entire store. Schedule Planners will also identify trends and make resourcing recommendations to improve team and customer experiences.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Tag: Apple retail

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Verizon Throttling Netflix Traffic as Part of Temporary Video Optimization Test

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 11:01:10 PDT

Some Verizon Wireless users this week began noticing throttled streaming speeds when watching content from streaming services like Netflix and YouTube, and Verizon today confirmed to Ars Technica that it has indeed been throttling speeds as "part of a temporary test" of a "new video optimization system.""We've been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network," a Verizon spokesperson told Ars. "The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected."Reports of throttled speeds first surfaced on reddit earlier this week, after Verizon users noticed that Netflix's speed test site was returning streaming speeds limited to approximately 10Mb/s, while other speed test tools, like Ookla Speedtest, were returning normal results. Similar throttled speeds were also seen when using YouTube and the actual Netflix service. It wasn't clear what was going on until this morning, when Verizon told Ars Technica that it was conducting a temporary test of a new optimization system. According to Verizon, the optimization test did not impact actual quality of video, which is true in most cases, but some YouTube users noticed downgraded quality resolved through using a VPN. Other video services, including Verizon's own Go90 video service, are also impacted. With Netflix, the 10Mb/s limit doesn't impact Netflix video quality when watching on a mobile device, but it has the potential to be an issue when tethering and watching on a device that can stream Netflix's Ultra HD 25Mb/s video. According to Verizon, the video optimization limits are used regardless of whether a user is tethering.But will that actually harm your Netflix video? Probably not, as long as you're watching on your mobile device and not tethering. Netflix says its Ultra HD quality video can require 25Mbps but that's apparently just for non-mobile devices. For mobile devices, Netflix offers a few quality settings including "Unlimited," which it says "may use 1GB per 20 minutes or more depending on your device and network speeds."When Verizon introduced its unlimited streaming data plan in February of 2017, the company said it would not throttle video or manipulate data, and Verizon was noncommittal when asked by Ars Technica if the alleged "temporary test" marked a change in policy. "We deliver whatever the content provider gives us," the company said. "We're always looking for ways to optimize our network without impacting our customers' experience." As The Verge points out, what customers experienced appeared to be more of a hard cap than network optimization, raising some questions about Net Neutrality. Verizon says its testing should be completed shortly, after which speeds will presumably go back to normal.Tag: Verizon Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Appoints Deirdre O'Brien to New 'Vice President of People' Role

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:12:58 PDT

Apple today announced that it is promoting Deirdre O'Brien to a new head HR role, "vice president of People." O'Brien, who previously served as vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations, has been at Apple for nearly 30 years.

According to the news release, O'Brien will lead all HR functions, like talent development, recruiting, benefits, compensation, and business support, plus she'll oversee Apple University, where employees are trained. She will be reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

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"As long as I've been at Apple, Deirdre has been the glue that bonds our operations, sales, marketing and finance teams to deliver products to our customers," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Deirdre deeply understands Apple's unique culture and that people join Apple to do the best work of their lives. She is a superb leader and I'm thrilled she will be bringing her experience and talent to this critical role."
O'Brien first joined Apple in 1988 and has had a "key role" in each Apple hardware product launch over the past 20 years. She will start her new position as vice president of People in the fall.
"I love Apple and, like so many of my colleagues, I'm honored to have made it my life's work," said Deirdre. "I'm excited to begin this new chapter, supporting 120,000 incredibly talented people around the world who are motivated to do amazing things every day. It is a privilege to work among such a diverse and talented team, and to help them thrive here at Apple."
Apple has recently taken to announcing high profile hires and promotions on its news site, most recently sharing the hiring of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony Pictures executives who will lead Apple's original programming efforts, and the promotion of Isabel Ge Mahe to Managing Director of Greater China.
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Apple Has Spent Record $2.2 Million Lobbying Trump Administration Over Past Three Months

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:54:25 PDT

Apple spent an all-time high $2.2 million lobbying Donald Trump's federal government between April 1 and June 30, 2017, according to a disclosure form filed by the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Image: Drew Angerer—Getty Images That amount is by far the most Apple has ever spent on lobbying in a single quarter, eclipsing the previous record of nearly $1.4 million spent during Trump's first three months as President of the United States. Apple has now spent nearly $3.6 million on lobbying during the first six months of his term. The extra $800,000 that Apple spent between April 1 and June 30 of this year, compared to January 1 to March 31, is its largest ever quarter-over-quarter increase in lobbying expenses. Apple had never increased its lobbying spending by more than $330,000 from one quarter to the next before now. Apple's surge in spending is perhaps no surprise, as the company has disagreed with Trump on a number of fundamental issues, ranging from his temporary immigration ban to withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. "There are clearly areas where we're not nearly on the same page," said Tim Cook, Apple CEO, in a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. Nonetheless, Cook has showed a willingness to work with Trump so far. By comparison, Apple spent $1.12 million lobbying between April 1 and June 30 of 2016, the final year of Barack Obama's administration, meaning it has nearly doubled its spending in just one year. Apple spent around $730,000 during the first six months of Obama's presidency, according to 2009 disclosure forms. Apple continued to lobby the government about issues related to corporate tax reform, climate change, diversity in the workplace, green technology, patent reform, privacy, education, accessibility, music licensing, and regulation of mobile medical applications, according to the latest disclosure form. Apple has gradually increased its lobbying spending over the past decade. In 2007, the final year of George W. Bush's administration, the company spent $1.3 million, compared to nearly $4.7 million in 2016. Apple is well on pace to smash that record this year after spending $3.6 million in the first six months alone. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: Donald Trump, lobbying Discuss this article in our forums [...]



ARKit Roundup: Turn-by-Turn Directions, Precise Room Measurements, and Pac-Man

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:43:27 PDT

Since the announcement of Apple's new augmented reality developer platform at WWDC in June, developers have been sharing interesting new AR experiences on iOS devices, including practical applications like measuring tape apps and basic character model demos. Today, we've rounded up the newest examples of how ARKit could work in real-world scenarios, starting off with a maps addition that could bolster directions in Apple Maps. As with all ARKit demos, today's examples are not confirmed to be the final launch products for augmented reality apps coming down the line, but they are intriguing glimpses into what users can expect when the AR features debut on iOS 11 this fall. Images via @AndrewProjDent Shared by iOS developer Andrew Hart on Twitter, the first example of the AR-enhanced maps software overlays destinations on points of interest when looked at through the camera of your iPhone or iPad, giving an estimation of how far you are from each location. Burrowing deeper into getting directions to a specific location, Hart used ARKit and Apple developer framework Core Location -- which lets developers integrate the geographic location and orientation of a device directly into their software -- to create augmented reality turn-by-turn directions. Acquisitions of mapping companies and patent filings dating back to 2009 have long suggested that Apple is interested in adding AR features into Apple Maps, but the technology prior to ARKit has likely not been promising enough for such an implementation. ARKit + CoreLocation, part 2 pic.twitter.com/AyQiFyzlj3— Andrew Hart (@AndrewProjDent) July 21, 2017 To avoid future problems and to assuage customer fears, Samsung has implemented an 8-Point Battery Safety Check procedure that involves putting all batteries used in Samsung devices through "extreme testing, inside and out, followed by careful inspection by X-ray and the human eye." Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 will come just a few weeks before Apple is expected to introduce its highly anticipated iPhone 8, which is rumored to feature an edge-to-edge OLED display, a vertical dual-lens rear camera, a faster A11 processor, and a front-facing camera equipped with 3D sensors to enable AR and facial recognition features.Tags: Samsung, Galaxy Note 8 Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple May Replace Some Original Apple Watch Models in Need of Repair With Series 1 Models

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:42:42 PDT

(image) Apple today informed retail store employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers that some original first-generation Apple Watch models that require repairs can be replaced with Series 1 Apple Watch models.

The substitutions are limited to aluminum Apple Watch models in Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Rose Gold, and are only available in some countries, which were not specified in Apple's directive.
In some countries, Apple Watch Aluminum (1st generation) parts (in all colors) may be substituted with Apple Watch Aluminum (Series 1) parts. The parts substitution should now be working properly in MobileGenius and Repair Central.
Apple Watch Series 1 models, which were introduced alongside the Series 2 Apple Watch in September of 2016, are nearly identical to original Apple Watch models, with the exception of the processor. In Series 1 Apple Watch models, there's an upgraded dual-core S1P chip, which is similar to the S2 chip in the Series 2 but without GPS capabilities.

Original Apple Watch models are no longer covered by Apple's one-year warranty, but customers who purchased AppleCare for their watches are still eligible for no-cost repairs of manufacturing issues for two years from the date of purchase.


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Apple Updates 'Clips' Video App With Disney Characters, New Graphics Overlays

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:21:11 PDT

Apple today updated its video creation app Clips with a handful of new features, introducing new graphic overlay options and support for Disney and Pixar characters.

Clips, first released back in April, is designed to let users combine several video clips, images, and photos with voice-based titles, music, filters, and graphics to create videos that can be shared in Messages and via social networks.

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With today's update, Apple has added dozens of new graphic overlays and animated poster designs to enhance text-based additions that are added to videos. Posters range from glistening water to slow motion billowing smoke and 3D art.

Apple has also partnered with Disney to introduce animated overlays featuring classic Disney and Pixar characters. Animated overlays, which are akin to stickers, can be added to videos and photos. Available characters include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, along with those from both Toy Story and Inside Out.

Clips was released as a standalone app in April, but Apple has made it a default pre-installed app on new iOS devices, making it more readily available to customers.

The new update is available today from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: Clips

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Apple Reportedly Working With Chinese Manufacturer of Electric Vehicle Batteries

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:38:22 PDT

Apple is quietly working with Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited on automotive battery research and development, according to Shanghai-based Yicai Global. The report, citing unnamed sources, claims the two companies have signed a confidentiality agreement to work together on a "scheme" related to the field of batteries, but no specific details were provided. CATL was founded in 2011 as a spinoff of Amperex Technology Limited, a large supplier of batteries for iPhones and other Apple products. The company, based in Ningde, China, describes itself as a leader in lithium-ion battery research and development, including battery cells, materials, and recycling. CATL says it currently has more than 3,700 full-time R&D personnel from a number of well-known universities and laboratories around the world. CATL claims it has been the world's third largest manufacturer of hybrid and electric vehicle batteries for the past two consecutive years, behind Chinese rival BYD and Panasonic, which supplies Tesla with batteries. The company's lithium-ion batteries are used in both passenger vehicles and buses. The purpose of Apple's involvement with CATL remains unknown, as the iPhone maker reportedly abandoned plans for its own electric vehicle, at least temporarily, last year. Apple has instead emphasized its interest in autonomous technologies. "We're focusing on autonomous systems," said Tim Cook, Apple CEO, in an interview with Bloomberg Television's Emily Chang last month. "It's a core technology that we view as very important." In recent months, Apple has pivoted to an autonomous driving software platform being developed under the leadership of Bob Mansfield. Apple has been testing its self-driving software using a fleet of Lexus SUVs, which have been spotted on streets in California after Apple received a permit from the DMV. CATL plans to increase its battery output to 50 gigawatt hours by 2020, which could make it one of the industry's two largest manufacturers. The other, Tesla, expects total output from its Gigafactory in Nevada to reach at least 35 gigawatt hours, with the potential for up to 150 gigawatt hours, by 2020. The company's other goals by 2020 include significantly reducing battery costs, improving energy density, and increasing the speed of charging. Last year, it demonstrated a 4C fast-charging solution that takes only 15 minutes to charge a lithium-ion electric vehicle battery to the 90 percent level.Related Roundup: Apple Car Tags: China, CATL, yicaiglobal.com Discuss this article in our forums [...]



TSMC Rumored to Be Sole Supplier of A-Series iPhone Chips in 2018

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:24:53 PDT

Earlier this week, a report by The Korea Herald suggested that Samsung Electronics could be returning as a supplier for the so-called A12 chip in 2018's line of iPhones, after being removed from the A-series chip supply chain in 2016 and 2017, years in which Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company took on all of the orders. Now, industry observers reported upon by DigiTimes are predicting that TSMC is "still likely" to retain its title as the sole manufacturer of A-series chips in 2018. In today's report, TSMC's integrated fan-out wafer-level packaging technology -- which the supplier uses in its 7-nanometer FinFET chip fabrication -- is looked at as largely superior to any progress made by Samsung in the same field. Samsung is said to be "aggressively vying" for A-series orders from Apple ahead of 2018, but DigiTimes' sources state that even the company's close ties to OLED might not be enough for Apple to add Samsung as a secondary A-series supplier for the reported three iPhones launching in fall 2018. It is unlikely Samsung will be able to regain application processors orders for Apple's iPhone, as TSMC's in-house developed InFO wafer-level packaging will make the Taiwan-based foundry's 7nm FinFET technology more competitive than Samsung's, said the observers. Samsung has grabbed Apple's A9 chip orders for the new 9.7-inch iPads introduced earlier in 2017, the observers claimed. TSMC, which is already the sole supplier of Apple's 10nm A11 chips for the upcoming iPhones, will still likely obtain all of the next-generation A-series chip orders for Apple's 2018 series of iPhones with its 7nm FinFET process, the observers said. TSMC's innovation in backend packaging plays a key role in securing exclusive orders for Apple's processors for the upcoming iPhones, the observers noted. In Tuesday's report, it was rumored that Samsung Electronics co-CEO Kwon Oh-hyun already made a deal with Apple concerning 2018 iPhone chip production during a visit to Cupertino last month. Otherwise, The Korea Herald's report was light on details, with no clear indication on exactly how many orders Samsung might have gained from such a deal besides believing the company would "share some parts" of A-series chip production with TSMC. If Apple kept TSMC as the sole A-series manufacturer in 2018, it would mark the third year in a row that the supplier created iPhone chips alone, following the A10 in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the A11 in the upcoming "iPhone 8," "iPhone 7s," and "iPhone 7s Plus." Otherwise, a return to dual-sourced A-series chips in 2018 would be the first time Apple made that move since 2015, when both Samsung and TSMC supplied the A9 chip in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which frustrated some users when TSMC's technology was discovered to boast marginally better battery life.Tags: Samsung, TSMC, iPhone 9 Discuss this article in our forums [...]



Changes to iCloud Put Apple on Collision Course With Governments Seeking Access to Encrypted Messages

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 03:29:32 PDT

Apple has sent its top privacy executives to Australia twice in the past month to lobby government officials over proposed new laws that would require companies to provide access to encrypted messages. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Apple privacy advocates met with attorney general George Brandis and senior staff in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's office on Tuesday to discuss their concerns about the legal changes, which could compel tech companies to provide decryption keys to allow access to secure communications such as that provided by WhatsApp and iMessage. Apple has consistently argued against laws that would require tech companies to build so-called "back doors" into their software, claiming that such a move would weaken security for everyone and simply make terrorists and criminals turn to open-source encryption methods for their digital communications. While Apple's position is clear, the Turnbull government has yet to clarify exactly what it expects tech companies to give up as part of the proposals. A source familiar with the discussions said that the government explicitly said it did not want a back door into people's phones, nor to weaken encryption. However, given that encrypted services like WhatsApp and iMessage do not possess private keys that would enable them to decrypt messages, a back door would seem the only alternative. "If the government laid a subpoena to get iMessages, we can't provide it," CEO Tim Cook said in 2014. "It's encrypted and we don't have a key." As it happens, Cook's comment only applies to iMessages that aren't backed up to the cloud: Apple doesn't have access to messages sent between devices because they're end-to-end encrypted, but if iCloud Backup is enabled those messages are encrypted on Apple's servers using an encryption key that the company has access to and could potentially provide to authorities. However, Apple is moving in the same direction as WhatsApp and Telegram to make encryption keys entirely private. As announced at WWDC in June, macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 will synchronize iMessages across devices signed into the same account using iCloud and a new encryption method that ensures the keys stay out of Apple's hands. As senior VP of software Craig Federighi noted in interview with Daring Fireball's John Gruber, even if users store information in the cloud, "it's encrypted with keys that Apple doesn't have. And so they can put things in the cloud, they can pull stuff down from the cloud, so the cloud still serves as a conduit — and even ultimately a kind of a backup for them — but only they can read it." How this will play out in Apple's discussions with the Australian government – and indeed other governments in the "Five Eyes" intelligence sharing network seeking similar access to encrypted communications – is anything but clear. According to sources, Apple and the Turnbull government are taking a collaborative approach in the discussions, but previous statements by officials imply a tougher stance behind the scenes. Last week, Senator Brandis said the Australian government would work with companies such as Apple to facilitate greater access to secure communications, but warned that "we'll also ensure that the appropriate legal powers, if need be, as a last resort, coercive powers of the kind that recently were introduced into the United Kingdom under the Investigatory Powers Act... are available to Australian intelligence and law enforcement authorities as well". Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thr[...]



Steve Jobs Opera Premieres in Santa Fe This Saturday

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:54:17 PDT

An opera based on the life of late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs is set to open in Santa Fe, New Mexico this Saturday. Called The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, the opera will have its world premiere showing on July 22 at 8:30 p.m on the Santa Fe Opera's open-air summer stage. The opera has been in development since 2015, created by electronica DJ Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell. It tells the story of the Jobs and his struggle to balance life, family, and work, and is set to a live orchestra accompaniment, guitar, natural sounds, and expressive electronics, including Apple's own devices. Bates described one of the scenes to ABC News in an interview last week, highlighting the moment where Steve Jobs introduces the first iPhone before being exhausted by illness.At this moment in Mason Bates' opera "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs," a harrowing sound emerges from the orchestra pit, a crushing downward progression that's described in the score as an "electronic shutdown." "It's a combination of a stand-alone synthesizer with the actual sound on the old Macs of hard drives turning off -- and one in reverse booting up," Bates explained in an interview last week at the Santa Fe Opera, where his work will have its world premiere on Saturday. "That moment is the realization of his mortality, so I wanted to have that kind of shutdown sound," Bates said. "Even if you can't recognize it, it adds a little authenticity that the guy who is the subject of this opera is the creator of some of the devices we're hearing."The opera, which is approximately 90 minutes long, kicks off with a prologue in the garage of the Jobs family home in Los Altos, California, with Jobs father, Paul Jobs, gifting him a workbench. From there, it jumps to 2007, where Jobs unveils the first iPhone, and then shifts back and forth between 2007 and Jobs' early years developing Apple. Campbell and Bates, who say the opera does not vilify or glorify Jobs, aimed for a non-chronological timeline dictated by emotion and memory. It will feature Jobs and several supporting characters like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Chrisann Brennan, with each character highlighted through a unique series of sounds. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_IuI9z3LUIM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs has been financially backed by opera companies in San Francisco and Seattle, with guaranteed performances coming to both California and Washington in the future. Since his death in 2011, Steve Jobs' life has been the subject of myriad books, movies, and documentaries, including an Aaron Sorkin-penned Danny Boyle-directed feature film that debuted in 2015.Tag: Steve Jobs Discuss this article in our forums [...]