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Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mac News and Rumors



Last Build Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:46:15 PST

 



iMac Pro Available to Order December 14, Starting at $4,999

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:04:51 PST

Apple today announced the iMac Pro will be available to order on Thursday, December 14. Pricing starts at $4,999 in the United States.

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iMac Pro is a powerful, top-of-the-line workstation designed for professional users with demanding workflows, such as advanced video and graphics editing, virtual reality content creation, and real-time 3D rendering.

"iMac Pro is a huge step forward and there's never been anything like it," said John Ternus, Apple's VP of Hardware Engineering.

The all-in-one desktop computer has a 27-inch Retina 5K display within a sleek space gray enclosure. Apple also includes a space gray Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 in the box.

Apple said the iMac Pro is the fastest and most powerful Mac ever, at least until the modular Mac Pro is released.

The machine can be configured with up to an 18-core Intel Xeon processor, up to 4TB of SSD storage, up to 128GB of ECC RAM, and an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics processor with 16GB of HBM2 memory.

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The high-end performance is made possible by an all-new thermal design that delivers up to 80 percent more cooling capacity than a traditional iMac.

With four Thunderbolt 3 ports, the iMac Pro can drive two 5K displays or four 4K displays at 60Hz simultaneously. It also has a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB-A 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Other tech specs and features include a 1080p front camera, stereo speakers, four microphones, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Apple previewed the iMac Pro at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The news, together with the modular Mac Pro, helped alleviate some criticism that Apple was no longer focused on professional users.

Apple has yet to provide exact pricing details on a configuration-by-configuration basis.

Related Roundup: iMac Pro
Buyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Caution)

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Apple Shares New Ads Highlighting iPhone X Face ID and Portrait Lighting

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:13:16 PST

Apple this afternoon shared three new ads on its YouTube channel, all of which are quick clips that focus on select iPhone X features like Portrait Lighting and Face ID.

The first video, "Opens with a Glance," displays the iPhone X with the words "Introducing the most unforgettable magical password ever created. Your face," before showing off a series of faces to demonstrate how the iPhone X can be unlocked with facial recognition.

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A second video, "Adapts to Your Face," was previously available on Apple's Canadian YouTube channel. It's designed to highlight the machine learning techniques used to allow Face ID to adapt to beards, hats, sunglasses, and other facial changes.

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TahA4J952ww" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">

The third video, "Introducing Portrait Lighting," demonstrates the Portrait Lighting feature that's available on the iPhone X. Portrait lighting is designed to allow users to adjust the lighting in an image using depth mapping techniques, and it is also available on iPhone 8 Plus.

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vC7BAK_1NO8" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">

Today's iPhone X videos follow several iPhone X feature ads that Apple shared in late November. Those previous videos focused on Face ID and Animoji, demonstrating specific Face ID features like its ability to work in the dark and adapt to makeup.

Apple will use these short 15-second ads to show off iPhone X features on television, on the web, and on social networks like Instagram.


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American Express, Mastercard and Discover to Eliminate Signature Requirement for Purchases in April 2018

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:52:11 PST

American Express today announced plans to eliminate signature requirements when customers make credit or debit card purchases, joining both Mastercard and Discover. All three companies plan to stop asking customers to provide a signature when making a purchase in the United States and Canada starting in April of 2018. The change is designed to allow for a more consistent, streamlined, and speedy checkout experience for both merchants and cardholders. Credit and debit card companies have long required signatures for purchases as an added security measure, but with technology improvements that include contactless payments and the adoption of EMV chip technology, signatures are no longer a necessity."The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants," said Jaromir Divilek, Executive Vice President, Global Network Business, American Express. "Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud. In addition, the majority of American Express transactions today already do not require a signature at the point of sale as a result of previous policy changes we made to help our merchants."American Express has already phased out signature requirements for purchases under $50 in the United States, as have other credit card companies, and the complete elimination of the signature is a shift that consumers are likely to welcome. Doing away with signature requirements for credit and debit card transactions will also streamline the Apple Pay process in the United States when using a Mastercard, Discover, or American Express card. With Apple Pay, a signature can on occasion be required for purchases over $50 in the United States, a step that may be eliminated once the card changes are introduced. Apple Pay customers in other countries that have similar restrictions may also see them lifted when using American Express, but there are locations like Canada where contactless payments are not permitted for large purchases. In these situations, there will be no improvements to the Apple Pay process. While Mastercard and Discover have said the change applies to the United States and Canada, American Express plans to eliminate signature requirements globally on purchase transactions of all amounts. Merchants are, however, still able to collect signatures if required to do so by an applicable law in a particular jurisdiction.Related Roundup: Apple PayDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Seeds First Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 to Developers

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:21:16 PST

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update to developers, less than one week after releasing the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update, the second major update to the macOS High Sierra operating system.

The macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.

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It's not yet clear what improvements the third update to macOS High Sierra will bring, but it's likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

The previous macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update focused solely on security fixes and performance improvements, with no outward-facing changes introduced.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Apple Acquires Shazam and Says 'Exciting Plans' Are Ahead

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:01:43 PST

Apple today announced it has acquired music recognition service Shazam, marking the company's highest-profile purchase since it acquired headphone maker Beats for $3 billion in May 2014. Apple did not disclose financial terms this time, but when TechCrunch broke news of the acquisition plans last week, one of its sources said the deal could be worth around $400 million. Shazam was valued at $1 billion in January 2015. Apple confirmed the acquisition in a statement provided to MacRumors and several other media outlets today:We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it's used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today's agreement.Shazam issued the following statement:We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple. Shazam is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users and we can't imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users.Shazam is a popular service that can identify the name and lyrics of songs, music videos, TV shows, and more. The company has standalone iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch apps, while the service is also built into Siri on iOS 8 and later. Shazam is integrated with Apple Music, allowing subscribers to identify a song and then tap to play it directly via the streaming music service. Shazam also has an iMessage app for identifying and sharing songs in the Messages app. Shazam isn't just a big part of Apple. The service is built into Snapchat, allowing users to recognize, discover, and share music with friends. In the app, simply press and hold on the camera screen to identify a song with Shazam. In September 2016, Shazam announced that its mobile apps had been downloaded more than 1 billion times since launching. Shazam released its original iPhone app when the App Store launched in 2008. Shazam's machine learning algorithms used to identify audio clips, and its augmented reality feature that enables users to discover content based on pictures captured with its app, could be valuable technologies to Apple. Apple said it is not disclosing further details at this time, so we'll have to wait and see exactly how it uses Shazam's technologies and talent.Tag: ShazamDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Many Sprint Customers Unable to Use Wi-Fi Calling on iOS 11.2

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 07:46:36 PST

Sprint customers with an iPhone are widely reporting that Wi-Fi calling does not work after installing iOS 11.2 and carrier settings version 31.0. Hundreds of complaints have surfaced across the web, including the MacRumors discussion forums, Sprint and Apple Support Communities, Twitter, and Reddit, since the software update was released earlier this month. All models of the iPhone that support Wi-Fi calling appear to be affected, ranging from the iPhone 6 to iPhone 8 Plus, among others. It's unclear if the issue is due to iOS 11.2 or the updated carrier settings, which support features like Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile customers are not affected, suggesting this is a carrier-specific problem. Many affected customers have performed basic troubleshooting, such as resetting the iPhone's network settings or simply turning the device off and on again, but there doesn't appear to be a solution that works on iOS 11.2. As a temporary workaround, some users have downgraded to iOS 11.1.2 and found that Wi-Fi calling becomes functional again. MacRumors does not have an iPhone on the Sprint network in its possession, so we're unable to reproduce the issue. Sprint directed us towards Apple, which has not responded to multiple requests for comments over the past few days. Last week, a support representative on Sprint's website relayed that the carrier plans to apply a temporary fix across a limited number of Wi-Fi calling servers while evaluating a long-term solution to the apparent bug. After several days, however, Wi-Fi calling is only working intermittently at best for some customers. Apple also appears to be collecting data from affected customers who contact the company so that its engineers can investigate the matter, as it routinely does with any potential hardware or software issues. For those unaware, with Wi-Fi calling, you can make or receive a phone call if you have a Wi-Fi connection in an area with little or no cellular coverage. The feature can be enabled in Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling. Update: Sprint says it is "actively working to resolve this" issue. A company representative said Sprint will "implement some additional changes" on late December 11 to increase Wi-Fi calling capacity. "This should get us to the optimal performance that is expected," the employee wrote.Related Roundup: iOS 11Tags: Sprint, Wi-Fi callingDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Fake 'MyEtherWallet' App Rises to #3 Spot on the iOS App Store's Finance Charts [Updated]

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:31:58 PST

An unofficial iOS app for MyEtherWallet.com rose to the top of the App Store over the weekend, nabbing the third spot in the Finance category after being on the storefront for a little over a week (via TechCrunch). MyEtherWallet.com is a popular service made for storing cryptocurrencies but it doesn't have an official iOS app, so the company tweeted out a warning for users to not be fooled by the "MyEtherWallet" iOS app, as well as asking for Apple to remove it from the App Store.

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At the time of writing, MyEtherWallet still remains at #3 on the App Store's Finance chart. The app lists its developer as Nam Le, who has two other iOS apps -- "Panda Warrior: Kung Fu Awesomeness" and "Mr. Beard: Icehole Fishermans" -- and one Apple Watch app called "Wrist Count." MyEtherWallet costs $4.99 and its App Store page says that it allows users to anonymously manage their ethereum wallets, create wallets offline, and store wallet keys securely inside their iPhone.



Apple's TV app has been available in the United States since December of 2016. In September, Apple released the Apple TV app in Canada and Australia, and announced that it would be bringing the app to France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the U.K. by the end of the year.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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2018 iPhone X Successor Could Feature Up to 10% More Powerful Battery With New 1-Cell Design

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:34:11 PST

Next year's version of the iPhone X could feature up to 10 percent more battery power if Apple and LG Chem are able to deploy a one-cell design for the device's L-shaped battery, as opposed to the two-cell battery used in the iPhone X, according to a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that was obtained by MacRumors. Kuo says the more space efficient one-cell design would allow Apple to boost battery capacity from 2716 mAh in the iPhone X to somewhere between 2900 and 3000 mAh for next year's 5.8-inch iPhone. As he previously claimed, Kuo believes Apple will release three new iPhones with TrueDepth cameras next year: a larger 6.5-inch OLED model that can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus", a 5.8-inch OLED successor to the iPhone X, and a 6.1-inch LCD model. Today's report says that Apple is likely to use a two-cell battery design in the 6.5-inch model, but the larger size of the device will still allow it to have a capacity in the range of 3300 to 3400 mAh. Two new 2H18 iPhone models could adopt L-shaped battery (6.5” & 5.8” OLED models), with capacity upgraded for all models. In order to extend battery life, we believe it is necessary to expand battery capacity because all three new 2H18 models will be equipped with TrueDepth Camera, which consumes more power. We think Apple (US) is developing a 1-cell L-shaped battery in collaboration with LGC (KR). If the new battery enters mass production on time, the 5.8” OLED iPhone model will come with a battery with larger capacity (2,900-3,000mAh with higher RFPCB ASP $2.1-2.4). For the 6.1” LCD model, we expect Apple to keep the rectangular battery design to keep a better cost structure, and we expect capacity could be larger than those of the iPhone 8 series.Some observers were surprised to see a two-cell battery inside the iPhone X when it was opened up by iFixit just after its launch, but there are technical challenges involved in producing non-rectangular battery cells, challenges Apple was unable to overcome in time for the iPhone X. iPhone X battery from iFixit's teardown With device space at a premium and a number of power-hungry components like the TrueDepth camera, however, it's unsurprising that Apple and its supply chain partners are pushing forward to develop a one-cell design to provide more battery capacity within the same volume.Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi KuoDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple Fixed iOS 11.2 Vulnerability That Allowed Unauthorized Access to HomeKit Devices

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:42:20 PST

A HomeKit vulnerability in iOS 11.2 that allowed unauthorized access to HomeKit accessories that included smart locks has been fixed by Apple, the company told 9to5Mac in a statement today.

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"The issue affecting HomeKit users running iOS 11.2 has been fixed. The fix temporarily disables remote access to shared users, which will be restored in a software update early next week."
To patch the vulnerability, which was reportedly difficult to reproduce, Apple disabled remote access for shared users, something the company says will be reintroduced in a software update that's set to be released early next week.

Apple was able to address the vulnerability server side as it affected the HomeKit framework rather than individual HomeKit products. Though the vulnerability impacted all HomeKit devices, it is of particular interest to HomeKit users with smart locks and other HomeKit-enabled devices that allow access to the home, as someone able to exploit this kind of problem could gain entry to a dwelling without a physical key.

9to5Mac says that Apple was first informed about the security issue and other related HomeKit vulnerabilities in October. Some of the problems were addressed in iOS 11.2 and watchOS 4.2, while the rest were fixed server side. HomeKit setups with at least one connected iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2 and signed into a HomeKit user's iCloud account were impacted.

Since its launch in 2014, HomeKit has seen many major improvements and its adoption has grown steadily. A wide range of manufacturers have embraced HomeKit, and there are HomeKit lights, outlets, switches, thermostats, window coverings, fans, sensors, cameras, locks, and garage door openers.

August, Friday, Koogeek, Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale all make HomeKit-enabled smart locks that can be controlled via Siri voice commands and HomeKit apps.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: HomeKit

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iPhone Remains Flickr's Most Popular Camera in 2017 Ahead of Canon and Nikon

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 08:00:33 PST

As it does every year, Flickr today shared its 2017 Year in Review statistics highlighting various aspects of the photo-sharing community with lists including the Top 25 Photos of 2017, Top Devices, and Top Brands. For the Top Brands category, Apple has once again beaten out dedicated camera makers with iPhones being used by 54 percent of photographers uploading photos to Flickr this year, followed by Canon in second place (23 percent) and Nikon in third place (18 percent). Over the past few years, iPhones have been rising up Flickr's Year in Review rankings. In 2015 iPhones were used for 42 percent of the photos shared to Flickr, and then in 2016 Apple's smartphones retained the top spot again, with 47 percent. Apple first surpassed Nikon to become the second most popular camera brand on Flickr's 2014 rankings. The most popular iPhones used to capture photos shared on Flickr in 2017 were slightly older models: the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 5s. In total, iPhones accounted for 9 of the Top 10 Devices of 2017, with the Canon 5D Mark III representing the only non-Apple product on the list. The Top Device Types list has stayed the same over the years, but in 2017 smartphones have grown to account for 50 percent of photos uploaded to Flickr, up from 48 percent last year. DSLR came in second with 33 percent (up from 25 percent last year), followed by point and shoot with 12 percent (down from 21 percent), and then mirrorless at four percent (up from three percent). Flickr has posted quite a few lists of photos recapping the past year, including the overall Top 25 Photos of 2017, Top Portrait Photography, Top Nature & Wildlife Photography, Top Landscape Photography, and much more. Flickr today also announced new partnerships for its premium Flickr Pro membership, introducing perks from Adobe, Priime, and Portfoliobox into Pro. Those interested can read more about Flickr Pro here, and check out more of the best Flickr photos of the year here.Tag: FlickrDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple's Best of the App Store in 2017: Calm, Splitter Critters, Affinity Photo and The Witness

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 01:10:17 PST

Apple today published its annual Best of 2017 charts for the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBooks Store, highlighting the top media content and trends across 2017. Apple's App Store editors chose two standout games and two standout apps for the iPhone and the iPad as their best of 2017 picks. On the iPhone, meditation app Calm and popular game Splitter Critters won top honors, while photo editing app Affinity Photo and puzzle game The Witness took the top spots on iPad. - iPhone App of the Year: Calm - iPhone Game of the Year: Splitter Critters - iPad App of the Year: Affinity Photo - iPad Game of the Year: The Witness Apple shared apps that are part of the top Trends of the Year, which included augmented reality apps like IKEA Place and Very Hungry Caterpillar, meditation-style apps like Calm and Joyable, multiplayer games like Art of War: Red Tides and The Elder Scrolls: Legends, and modern storytelling apps like Hooked and Serial Box Publishing. Apple has also published the top apps for 2017 across multiple App Store charts. Top free iPhone apps included Bitmoji, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, while top paid iPhone apps included Facetune, HotSchedules, Tabs & Chords, Enlight, and the 7 Minute Workout Challenge. On iPhone, the top games included Super Mario Run, 8 Ball Pool, Ballz, Snake vs. Block, and Word Cookies. Top paid iPhone games included Heads Up!, Minecraft, Plague Inc., Bloons TD 5, and Monopoly. YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Chrome were the top free iPad apps, while Procreate, Notability, Toca Life: Hospital, Toca Life: Salon 3, and GoodNotes 4 were the top paid iPad apps. Super Mario Run, ROBLOX, Rolling Sky, Word Cookies, and Bowmasters were the top free iPad games, and Minecraft, Geometry Dash, Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, Bloons TD 5 HD, and the Escapists were the top paid iPad games. The full list of top iPad and iPhone apps and games, along with additional details on the top App Store content in 2017, is available through the App Store on an iOS device.Tag: App StoreDiscuss this article in our forums [...]



Apple's Rumored 2018 6.1-Inch Lower-Cost iPhone With LCD Display Could Feature Metal Back

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:20:48 PST

Apple will release three iPhones in 2018, including two OLED models and one LCD model that could feature a metal back like the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, reports Nikkei. Citing a source "privy to the company's product designs," Nikkei says the LCD model will feature a 6.1-inch display, while the two OLED models will measure in at 5.8 inches and either 6.2 or 6.3 inches. The LCD model with a metal back will "come in several colors," much like existing aluminum iPhones, and the body for the device could be manufactured by Casetek, a Pegatron subsidiary. Nikkei's information is in line with previous details shared by KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often has accurate insight into Apple's plans, though there is some variance in size predictions for the three devices. Kuo believes Apple will introduce three iPhones in 2018: an OLED model that measures in at 5.8 inches like the current iPhone X, an OLED model that measures in at 6.5 inches that will serve as a sort of "iPhone X Plus," and a 6.1-inch model that features an LCD display. Kuo's 2018 iPhone predictions Kuo has said that all three models will feature a full-screen edge-to-edge design and a TrueDepth camera system like the current iPhone X, but he made no mention of a different casing material. The current iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus all feature glass backs to support wireless charging. A 6.1-inch LCD model with a metal body presumably made of aluminum would not be able to work with wireless charging, and it is not clear if Apple is willing to take a step back and remove a new key feature from future iPhones. The 6.1-inch LCD model has thus far been described by Kuo as a lower-resolution model that will be more affordable than the two OLED models, with the aim of targeting the low-end and midrange markets. Since earlier this year, we've been hearing hints of a two device lineup next year, with Apple planning to introduce a larger-screened OLED iPhone to sell alongside a new 5.8-inch model, which seems like the next logical iteration of the iPhone X. The first rumor of a third device with an LCD display came from Kuo in November.Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)Discuss this article in our forums [...]