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Last Build Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2016 01:06:12 PDT


Tim Cook: 'We Don't Buy' the Need to Give Up Privacy for AI

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 15:03:20 PDT

During today's fourth quarter 2016 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about Siri, artificial intelligence, home assistants vs. mobile assistants, and balancing AI with security, which led to some interesting new insights into Siri's popularity and Apple's privacy stance. According to Cook, Apple is now getting more than 2 billion Siri requests per week. "It's very large," he said, "and to the best of our knowledge, we've shipped more assistant enabled devices than anyone out there." He went on to highlight Apple's efforts to deliver a great Siri experience around the world. While most AI services are limited to the United States, Siri is available in many countries. "We put a lot of energy into that," Cook said. Cook also said that he believes there's more value in having a phone with a personal assistant built in, like Siri, than a home device. "We live in a mobile society," he said. "People are constantly moving from home to work and to other things they may be doing. And so the advantage of having an assistant on your phone is that it's with you all the time." He went on to say that there's still a market for a home assistant like the Amazon Echo, but that usage on a phone "will likely be much greater." On security, Cook said that Apple does not believe there's a need to compromise security for the sake of artificial intelligence.In terms of the balance of privacy and AI, this is a long conversation, but at a high level, this is a false tradeoff. People would like you to believe you have to give up privacy to have AI do something for you, but we don't buy that. It might take more work, it might take more thinking, but I don't think we should throw our privacy away. It's sort of like the age old argument between privacy and security. You should have both. You shouldn't have to make a choice.In the past, rumors have suggested that Apple's staunch dedication to privacy has held back the development of Siri. Apple is said to employ "policy czars" that make sure Apple services are not collecting customer data, something that has restricted the way Siri can be used. Apple has, however, made some important steps forward with Siri in recent years through the use of machine learning and a neural network, advancements Cook highlighted earlier in the call. Just this year, Apple was able to open up Siri to third-party developers, and the company is said to be hard at work on some major improvements that will allow Siri to do more and to be built into products like a rumored Echo-like smart home device.Tags: Siri, artificial intelligence Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Tim Cook Comments on Apple Car Rumors, Says There are Technologies That Will 'Revolutionize' Car Industry

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:41:49 PDT

(image) Apple held its fourth quarter 2016 earnings call this afternoon, where Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about the Apple Car by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Cook didn't comment on Apple's plans, of course, and said there's "nothing to announce today," but he did give some insight into how Apple approaches new technologies and new product categories and said the car space is "interesting" because of the potential for new technologies.
I can't speak about rumors, but as you know, we look for ways we can improve the experience and the customer's experience on different sets of products. We're always looking at new things and the car space is an area where it's clear there are a lot of technologies that will become available... or will be able to revolutionize the car experience. It's interesting from that point of view. But certainly nothing to announce today.
Cook was also questioned about Apple's R&D spending, which has accelerated in recent quarters and has sparked speculation that it's evidence a major car project is in the works. On the subject of R&D, Cook said Apple is "confidently investing in the future" and that's the reason for the increase in R&D spending.

Recent rumors have suggested Apple has refocused its car project. The company has shelved plans to build a an electric car for now, and is instead working to build a self-driving software platform.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

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Apple Reports 4Q 2016 Results: $9B Profit on $46.9B Revenue, 45.5M iPhones

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 13:39:38 PDT

Apple today announced financial results for the third calendar quarter and fourth fiscal quarter of 2016. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $46.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $9 billion, or $1.67 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $51.5 billion and net quarterly profit of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin for the quarter was 38 percent compared to 39.9 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 62 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an upcoming dividend payment of $0.57 per share, payable on November 10 to shareholders of record as of November 7. The company currently holds $237.6 billion in cash and marketable securities. For the quarter, Apple sold 45.5 million iPhones, down from 48 million in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales were down to 9.3 million from 9.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, and Mac sales fell to 4.9 million from 5.7 million. For the full fiscal year, Apple generated $215.6 billion in sales with $45.7 billion in net income, down from $233.7 billion in sales and $53.4 billion in net income for fiscal 2015. As predicted, 2016 marks the first full-year revenue decline for Apple since 2001.“Our strong September quarter results cap a very successful fiscal 2016 for Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2, as well as the incredible momentum of our Services business, where revenue grew 24 percent to set another all-time record.”Apple's guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 includes expected revenue of $76-78 billion and gross margin between 38 and 38.5 percent. Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q4 2016 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights. Conference Call and Q&A Highlights are available in reverse chronological order after the jump. 3:01 pm: The conference call has concluded. 2:59 pm: Maestri: "Let me give you some details on both a sequential and YoY basis -- because I think that's where there may be some disconnect over last year's margins. We had both 38% in the June and September quarters, and we're guiding slightly higher in the December quarter because of improved mix, but this will be partially offset by supply constraints and other factors. […] Last year, we had a patent infringement award for $548 million. […] I think it's very important for investors to understand that over the last two years, the U.S. dollar has appreciated 15% over a basket of foreign currencies. […] At some point the strong dollar becomes the new normal and we need to work with that. I think over the years we've made good tradeoffs and our gross margins have remained very stable over that time. 2:56 pm: Q: "Luca, I wanted to ask about the gross margin guidance. I think we were expecting something a little higher -- it's about 50 basis points lower. I'm just curious, is there something going on with pricing or mix going on there?" 2:55 pm: Cook: "I think it's important to look not only at per-capita income, but sort of look at the number of people who are or will move into the middle class of India over the next decade. The age of the population of India -- over 50% of the population is under 25. You have a very, very young population. The smartphone has not done as well in India [as in China], but one of the reasons is the infrastructure has not been there. But this year, and next year, there are enormous investments going into 4G networks. We are working hard to deliver that great experience for customers. I see a lot of factors moving in the right direction there. I think the government is a lot more focused on the infrastructure and creating jobs, which is fantastic, because you really need that. Will India will be as successful as China? India's popul[...]

Images of New MacBook Pro With Magic Toolbar Leaked in macOS Sierra 10.12.1

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:17:43 PDT

macOS Sierra 10.12.1, released yesterday, includes hidden Apple Pay images that depict the brand new MacBook Pro with an OLED touch panel that's set to be announced by Apple on Thursday, October 27. In addition to confirming that such a product is in the works, the images give us our first full look at the redesigned MacBook Pro ahead of its launch. An OLED touch panel is located on top of the keyboard, where the function keys would normally be placed, and it very clearly supports Touch ID, as it is seen used with Apple Pay. As has been rumored, the touch panel, which may be called the "Magic Toolbar," appears to be contextual, changing based on what's on the screen. In the images, Apple Pay dialog is depicted, asking a customer to confirm a purchase with a finger on the panel. It appears Touch ID is built into a nearly-invisible power button located next to the display. Aside from the OLED touch panel, the new MacBook Pro looks similar in design to the existing models. It looks like the 13-inch MacBook Pro is used in the images, suggesting the machine will gain speakers located at the side of the keyboard. Thickness can't be determined from the orientation of the MacBook Pro in the images, but rumors suggest the new machine is thinner and lighter weight than existing models. A redesigned hinge can be seen in the images, suggesting it is indeed quite a bit thinner. Also visible are much flatter keys, similar in design to the keys of the Retina MacBook, which use a new butterfly mechanism. Ports are not visible, but based on past part leaks, we're expecting four USB-C ports and a headphone jack, with the HDMI port, MagSafe port, and SD card slot being eliminated. Apple will announce the new MacBook Pro on Thursday, October 27 at 10:00 a.m. A new MacBook Air model is also expected, and new iMacs are a possibility. MacRumors will provide live coverage of the event both on and on the MacRumorsLive Twitter account. (Thanks, Richard!)Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Apple Has Dozens of Engineers Working on Car Operating System in Canada

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:08:23 PDT

At an Apple research and development facility in Kanata, Canada, Apple has two dozen former BlackBerry QNX employees helping develop a car operating system, reports Bloomberg. The operating system is described as the "software core" of a future car platform, similar to iOS or macOS Sierra. It would be the base used to power other software, such as a self-driving car program that's being developed by a separate Apple team or a rumored heads-up display feature.The autonomous software was only one of many features once planned to run on the car operating system. For example, Apple engineers envisioned a heads-up display showing apps such as maps that could be manipulated by the company's voice-based digital assistant Siri, according to a person familiar with the matter.The BlackBerry employees, who work with dozens of other software engineers at the Canadian location, formerly developed the BlackBerry QNX platform, which powers many in-car infotainment systems. Among those employees is Dan Dodge, who ran BlackBerry's automotive software division and developed QNX before he joined Apple in July. Dodge is said to have a key role overseeing the development of the software project. While the Canadian team is developing Apple's in-car software platform, several other "Project Titan" teams are working on other features. A self-driving platform simulation group, which includes VR expert Doug Bowman, has created simulators that use virtual reality to test Apple's self-driving software, for example. Over the course of the last few months, Apple's car project has shifted focus from building a vehicle to developing a self-driving car system. Apple is said to have shelved its car plans "for now," and is instead working on a software platform that could allow it to partner with existing carmakers or return to developing its own car in the future. Hundreds of employees on the car team have been reassigned, laid off, or have left the company since August, just a few months after longtime Apple executive Bob Mansfield took over the project. Apple has continued hiring for new software-related positions, however, and executives have given the automotive team until late 2017 to "prove the feasibility" of a self-driving car platform.Related Roundup: Apple Car Tag: Discuss this article in our forums [...]

What to Expect at Apple's 'Hello Again' Mac Event

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:50:50 PDT

Apple is planning to hold an event on Thursday, October 27, which will focus solely on giving the Mac lineup some much-needed attention. Many of Apple's Macs have gone more than a year without an update, like the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, while others, like the Mac mini and the Mac Pro, have gone several years without a refresh. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> This is Apple's first Mac-only event in years and the biggest Mac announcement since the Retina MacBook debuted in early 2015. MacBook Pros The MacBook Pro received a major redesign in 2012, and four years later, it's about to receive another complete overhaul. With a new body, radical new features, and revamped internals, the MacBook Pro is expected to be the headlining product of Apple's October 27 event. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has even called the MacBook Pro "the most significant upgrade ever undertaken by Apple." The MacBook Pro will continue to be available in 13 and 15-inch size options, but it will feature a thinner and lighter form factor than the current MacBook Pro, bringing it more in line with the 12-inch MacBook. The body of the machine will not be tapered like the MacBook Air or the Retina MacBook, but it is said to have shallower curves around the edges, a wider pressure-sensitive Force Touch trackpad, metal injection mold-made hinges, thin speaker grilles next to the keyboard, up to 2TB of storage space, and a flatter MacBook-style keyboard with more stable keys that use a butterfly mechanism and single LED backlighting. At the top of the keyboard, the physical function keys will be replaced with an OLED touch panel (perhaps called the "Magic Toolbar") with digital keys and buttons that are contextual, changing based on the application that's in use. A Touch ID fingerprint sensor is expected to be built into the touch panel, giving users a way to more quickly unlock their Macs. A small processor similar to the processor in the Apple Watch may be built into the panel, allowing it to run on a small amount of energy that won't heavily impact battery life. It's possible this will also include a secure enclave to protect Touch ID. Rumors suggest the MacBook Pro will continue to be available in the same resolutions as current-generation models (2560 x 1600 for the 13-inch and 2880 x 1800 for the 15-inch), but better display quality and energy efficiency are expected. Leaked images of the MacBook Pro casing sourced from a Chinese supplier suggest it will include just four USB-C ports and a headphone jack, doing away with the MagSafe port, USB-A ports, the HDMI port, and the SD card slot, so MacBook Pro buyers may need to invest in several adapters. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple or an Apple-approved third-party manufacturer will perhaps produce a USB-C MagSafe-like adapter with breakaway functionality to replace the MagSafe feature. Inside, the MacBook Pro is expected to include Intel's latest Skylake processors, and high-end 15-inch models are likely to feature AMD's Polaris graphics chips, able to offer "console-class GPU performance" with a low-power mobile architecture. Thunderbolt 3 and support for the 10Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen 2 specification are rumored for the machine, and drawing on improvements introduced with the MacBook, Apple is likely to use terraced battery technology for impressive MacBook-style battery life that outperforms existing MacBook Pro machines. Faster flash storage, an improved Retina display, and new color options for the body (Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, and Space Gray) are also strong possibilities. For more detail on the next-generation MacBook Pro, make sure to check out our MacBook Pro roundup. MacBook Air The 13-inch MacBook Air was updated with 8GB RAM earlier this year, and it looks like it's set to get another minor refresh. Rumors suggest[...]

New macOS Virtual Keyboard Layouts Confirm Rumors of MacBook Pro OLED Touch Bar

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:24:13 PDT

A collection of new assets within the system resources for the virtual keyboard on macOS 10.12.1 essentially confirms Apple will be releasing new notebooks that include a touch-based OLED bar in lieu of the physical function key row seen on all current Macs, as has been rumored for the upcoming MacBook Pro. On 10.12.0, the System Preferences assets for Apple's virtual keyboard - which lets users type on a Mac without a physical keyboard - include a number of different keyboard image files covering the physical key layouts used across Apple's product lineup, including full-height versus half-height function rows and different international layouts. Each file represents an image of macOS Sierra's virtual keyboard that mirrors the user's current physical keyboard layout, including a row across the top for function keys, Escape, and a power or eject key. In yesterday's 10.12.1 update to Sierra, a new set of assets was discovered by MacRumors reader Gabriel Lorin, revealing an updated physical keyboard layout coming for machines supporting the new operating system version. Three additional sets of layout files are included in system resources on macOS 10.12.1, with each image depicting a virtual keyboard that lacks the standard tactile row of function keys. The image files do not directly represent the OLED touch bar and its functionality, which will likely be managed using separate preferences, but the omission of the function row entirely in these new layouts leaves no other reasonable explanation beyond those key functionalities being moved to a separate location such as the rumored touch bar. The significantly redesigned MacBook Pro, which is expected to be at the forefront of Apple's Mac event on Thursday, has been expected to include an OLED touch bar for some time now, so today's discovery is just another piece in a long line of rumors and evidence leading up to Apple's announcement later in the week. The panel is rumored to include Touch ID so users can gain easy access to a locked MacBook and perhaps direct Apple Pay functionality, and the remainder of the OLED keys will change contextually depending on which app is active on the computer. Besides a 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple is believed to be launching a new 13-inch MacBook Air at the event, but recent reports suggest that users may have to wait until 2017 for a refresh to the iMac and a new standalone 5K display.Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, macOS Sierra Buyer's Guide: Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Apple Has Created 'Detailed Mockups' of iMessage for Android

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 08:34:05 PDT

Earlier in the year, rumors began swirling around the possibility Apple might launch a version of iMessage for Android smartphones due to the company's increased focus on services, "which means opening up certain avenues beyond its own iOS and OS X platforms." The original report pointed to a potential announcement at WWDC, which came and went with no such news, and an Apple executive later commented that keeping iMessage on iOS has the understandable advantage of helping sales for iPhones and iPads. In a larger piece today discussing the degree to which iMessage's "stickiness" is acting as the glue to help keep users loyal to iOS, Daring Fireball's John Gruber briefly outlined these previous rumors and provided further fuel to the flames. Gruber mentioned that he's "heard from little birdies" that a handful of "detailed mockups" of iMessage for Android have been shared around Apple. The user interface of the Android app is said to have gone through numerous designs, from one that looks identical to the version on iOS, to another that has a "pure Material Design," using Google's design language it developed a few years ago. Gruber still thinks iMessage on Android "might happen sooner or later," mainly because of iMessage's new monetized Messages App Store, which could net Apple increased income in its already profitable services category if it translated the app to Android.I’ve heard from little birdies that mockups of iMessage for Android have circulated within the company, with varying UI styles ranging from looking like the iOS Messages app to pure Material Design.Apple undoubtedly creates mockups for all types of products and services, the vast majority of which never make it to release, and it's unclear exactly how far along the iMessage for Android preliminary designs were at the time of their circulation through Apple, or when exactly that occurred. Still, Gruber notes that while an Android version of iMessage "may never see the light of day," even the existence of such mockups "strongly suggests that there's no 'of course not' to it." Apple currently distributes three apps on the Google Play store for Android, including Apple Music, Move to iOS for users who are transitioning from an Android smartphone to an iPhone, and Beats Pill, an app used to interact with a Beats Pill speaker. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said Apple Music is Apple's way of testing the water ahead of bringing additional Apple services to other platforms, so it's a possibility that iMessage could be one of those services.Tags:, Android, iMessage Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Apple Forecasted to Report First Full-Year Revenue Decline Since 2001

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 07:04:37 PDT

Apple will report its fiscal fourth quarter earnings results later today, and both the company and analysts project a year-over-year decline in iPhone sales and overall revenue for a third consecutive quarter. Apple will then have posted its first full-year revenue decline since 2001, with the decline expected to continue through the holiday quarter. Wall Street projects Apple will return to growth in 2017. Apple previously forecasted September quarter revenue of between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion, which would be up to 12 percent lower than the $51.5 billion in revenue it posted in the year-ago quarter. The consensus among analysts is around $47 billion in revenue, at the higher end of Apple's guidance, according to earnings estimates aggregated by Philip Elmer-DeWitt and Jim Edwards. Apple analyst Neil Cybart of Above Avalon has forecasted declining sales across Apple's entire core product lineup, including 43.7 million iPhones, 9.1 million iPads, 5 million Macs, and 1.9 million Apple Watch units. One continued bright spot for Apple is expected to be its services category, projected to rise 20% to $6.1 billion on the strength of the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, and AppleCare. Apple analyst Brian White of Drexel Hamilton continues to recommend AAPL stock to investors, noting that shares remain undervalued. His price targets remains $185, or nearly 57% higher than Apple's $117.86 price at the time this article was published. White believes Apple's "sales, profit and iPhone cycle have bottomed" and that iPhone 8 sales can drive another year of growth. Apple will report its fiscal fourth quarter earnings at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time, followed by a conference call to discuss the results at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors will be providing full coverage of Apple's earnings results alongside a live transcript of the call. Check back for the latest updates.Tags: earnings, AAPL, Above Avalon Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones Now Available From Apple With Early November Delivery

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 06:19:14 PDT

Earlier today, a few users on Reddit in countries outside of the United States noticed that the Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones have been made available to order from, outlining arrival windows of as early as next week for users in the areas, and subsequently they have also gone live on the U.S. store. The U.S. store currently shows delivery estimates of November 1–3, while the United Kingdom and France currently sit at November 2–9 on Apple's website and Australia is a few days later on November 4–8. Otherwise most countries, including Germany, Spain, Italy, and Sweden, all mention vague 1-2 week shipping estimates that fall within the window of the dates for other countries, without being specific. in Australia depicting a delivery window of November 4-8 When the new headphones were announced at Apple's September 7 iPhone event, the company mentioned that the Powerbeats3 and BeatsX would be coming sometime later in the year but didn't say when. The Powerbeats3 also appear to be featured prominently in next week's Target circular, supporting a wide online and retail rollout is imminent in the United States beyond Apple's own sales. For the BeatsX earphones, most versions of still say "coming this fall," while Apple's upcoming AirPods are listed as "available late October" for every country. (Thanks, Sai!) Update: This article has been updated to note that Apple has begun taking orders in the United States.Tag: Beats Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Xiaomi Unveils 'World's First' 6.4-inch Phone With Edgeless Display

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 04:02:13 PDT

Xiaomi surprised at its Beijing event today by announcing the Mi Mix, the "world's first edgeless display" phone, alongside the company's new Mi Note 2. Designed by French designer Philippe Starck, the Mi Mix is a 6.4-inch device that features a 2040x1080 pixel, 17:9 aspect ratio borderless display that takes up 91.3 percent of the front of the handset. The only significant bezel sits at the bottom of the screen, but it doesn't have a physical button, with all the controls existing onscreen. The all-ceramic phone uses a piezoelectric ceramic driver for the earpiece which uses the metal frame to generate sound, while the proximity sensor has been replaced by ultrasound. Both innovations are hidden under the display. The design also uses a mortise and tenon joint for attaching the display to the body, rather than glue or other adhesives. Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with 4GB RAM for the 128GB capacity model and 6GB RAM for the 256GB model, which also features gold trim, with 18K gold accents on the camera lens and fingerprint sensor on the back. The rear camera boasts a 16-megapixel resolution and 4K video, while the front camera is 5 megapixels. The phone is also said to have dual SIM connectivity and a 4,400mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support. #MiMIX Edgeless display (world’s 1st), 93% screen-body ratio, piezoelectric ceramic earpiece speaker, behind-display ultrasonic proc sensor— Hugo Barra (@hbarra) October 25, 2016 Depicting the Mi Mix in promotional videos reminiscent of the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Xiaomi called the device a "concept phone", and yet offered both a price and a release date. The 4GB/128GB model costs RMB 3,499 ($515) and the 6GB/256GB model is RMB 3,999 ($590), with both handsets set to launch on November 4th in China. The phone may give us some idea of what Apple's next phone could look like. Apple has a major iPhone redesign planned for 2017, with a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that includes an integrated Touch ID fingerprint sensor and front-facing camera. The handset is expected to lack bezels, meaning there will be no Home button. Jony Ive is said to have wanted to introduce an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass for several years, and 2017 may be the year that becomes possible.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: China, Xiaomi Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.1 With Bug Fixes, Features for Upcoming Macs

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:17:26 PDT

Apple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.1, the first update to the macOS Sierra operating system that first launched on September 20. macOS Sierra 10.12.1 has been in beta testing since September 21, with Apple seeding five betas before releasing the final version to the public. macOS Sierra 10.12.1 is available for free to all customers who are running macOS Sierra. It can be downloaded from the Software Update function in the Mac App Store. macOS Sierra 10.12.1 features few outward-facing changes, instead focusing on bug fixes and improvements to address issues that have surfaced since the release of the operating system. It does include Photos support for the new iPhone 7 Plus Portrait feature introduced with iOS 10.1, and it also includes features designed for next-generation MacBook Pro models that are set to be released later this year. Here's a full list of changes:This update: - Adds an automatic smart album in Photos for Depth Effect images taken on iPhone 7 Plus - Improves the compatibility of Microsoft Office when using iCloud Desktop and Documents - Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from updating when using a Microsoft Exchange account - Fixes an issue that caused text to sometimes paste incorrectly when using Universal Clipboard - Improves reliability of Auto Unlock with Apple Watch - Improves security and stability in SafariApple has been on an accelerated timeline to get macOS Sierra 10.12.1 released, and it has likely already been sent to Apple's supply chain partners to be installed on new machines. New MacBook Pro models could be ready to launch as soon as late October. macOS Sierra is a major operating system update that introduces Siri support, cross device copy paste options, new storage optimization tools, auto unlocking with the Apple Watch, and more. For full details on the features that are new in macOS Sierra, make sure to check out our full macOS Sierra roundup.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Apple Releases iOS 10.1 With New Portrait Mode for iPhone 7 Plus [Updated]

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:54:13 PDT

Apple today released iOS 10.1 to the public, marking the first major update to the iOS 10 operating system that launched on September 13. In testing since September 21, iOS 10.1 saw Apple release five betas to developers and public beta testers before its public debut. Today's iOS 10.1 update is available as a free over-the-air update for all iOS 10 users. It is the third update to iOS 10, following iOS 10.0.3, a minor bug fix update. iOS 10.1 introduces a new "Portrait" mode, designed to take advantage of the two cameras included in the iPhone 7 Plus, released in September. Portrait mode uses the wide-angle and telephoto lenses in the iPhone 7 Plus to create shallow depth of field portrait photos with blurred backgrounds. To achieve the blurred look, the image signal processor in the device uses the wide-angle camera to create a depth map while the telephoto captures an image, dissecting the different layers of the photo to decide what to blur with an artful "bokeh" effect. It works on people, pets, and objects, but it does require good lighting to achieve the proper results. src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The update also offers a long list of bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements to address many problems that have been uncovered since iOS 10 was released, and it also brings Transit directions to Japan for the first time. There have been some tweaks to the Messages app. It's now possible to play Bubble and Screen effects in Messages with Reduce Motion enabled, something that wasn't previously possible. There's also a new option to replay Bubble and Screen effects. A full list of changes is available below:Camera and Photos - Introduces Portrait Camera for iPhone 7 Plus that creates a depth effect that keeps your subject sharp while creating a beautifully blurred background (beta) - People names in the Photos app are saved in iCloud backups - Improved the display of wide color gamut photos in the grid views of the Photos app - Fixes an issue where opening the Camera app would show a blurred or flashing screen for some users - Fixes an issue that caused Photos to quit for some users when turning on iCloud Photo Library Maps - Transit support for every major train, subway, ferry, and national bus line, as well as local bus systems for Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya - Sign-based transit navigation including layouts of all underground structures and walkways that connect large transit stations - Transit fare comparison when viewing alternative transit routes Messages - New option to replay bubble and full screen effects - Messages effects can play with Reduce Motion enabled - Fixes an issue that could lead to contact names appearing incorrectly in Messages - Addresses an issue where Messages could open to a white screen - Addresses an issue that could prevent the report junk option from displaying with unknown senders - Fixes an issue where videos captured and sent in the Messages app could be missing audio Apple Watch - Adds distance and average pace to workout summaries in the Activity app for outdoor wheelchair run pace and outdoor wheelchair walk pace - Fixes issues that may have prevented Music playlists from syncing to Apple Watch - Addresses an issue that was preventing invitations and data to appear in Activity Sharing - Fixes an issue that was allowing Activity Sharing to update over cellular when manually disabled - Resolves an issue that was causing some third-party apps to crash when inputting text Other improvements and fixes - Improves Bluetooth connectivity with 3rd party accessories [...]

Apple Registers Three New Macs in Eurasia Ahead of Thursday's 'Hello Again' Event

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 07:53:41 PDT

Just three days before Apple's "Hello Again" event, where it is widely expected to announce new Macs, French website Consomac has discovered a new Russian-language regulatory filing, in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, that points towards at least three new models running macOS Sierra launching soon. The three new Macs, identified only with model numbers A1706, A1707, A1708, are likely to be new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros alongside a new 13-inch MacBook, which could be a refreshed Air model, based on previous reports. However, adding confusion to the mix is the consecutive sequence of the model numbers. The filing, published today, satisfies Russia's requirement for companies to register all products containing encryption and/or cryptographic tools. Over the weekend, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said he believes the highlight of Apple's event on Thursday will be a redesigned MacBook Pro in both 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, adopting an OLED touch bar and Touch ID sensor, USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, and the same butterfly keyboard design introduced on the MacBook in 2015. The all-new MacBook Pro is also expected to have faster Intel Skylake processors and faster graphics, possibly including the option of AMD "Polaris" graphics on higher-end models. Kuo said Apple will offer a new option of 2TB SSD storage, while it or a third-party supplier will release a MagSafe-like USB-C charging adapter. The new 13-inch MacBook, meanwhile, is likely to be a refreshed MacBook Air, which would align with other rumors claiming that only the 13-inch MacBook Air will be seeing an update with new USB-C ports. However, there is an outside chance the model could be a slightly larger version of the current 12-inch MacBook. The loosely translated filing refers to the Macs as "portable personal computers," effectively ruling out the iMac and Mac Pro.Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Don't Buy), Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Apple Sold 70% Fewer Apple Watches This Summer Compared to Last

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:53:22 PDT

The latest numbers from market research firm IDC reveal Apple Watch shipments totaled an estimated 1.1 million units in the third quarter, reflecting a three-month period between July and September, a sharp 71.6% decline compared to an estimated 3.9 million Apple Watch shipments last summer.

The decline can be at least partially attributed to the lack of an Apple Watch refresh until the final two weeks of the quarter, when the Apple Watch Series 2 and slightly updated first-generation models launched. The overall smartwatch market also declined an estimated 51.6% in the third quarter.

Apple still maintained its position as the overall leader of the worldwide smartwatch market with an estimated 41.3% market share, despite posting the second largest year-over-year decline among the leading vendors. Garmin finished in second with an estimated 20.5% market share following strong 342.2% growth.

Garmin's growing list of ConnectIQ-enabled smartwatches and the new fenix Chronos allowed it to leapfrog Samsung, which captured only 14.4% market share based on an estimated 400,000 smartwatch shipments, according to IDC. Lenovo and Pebble rounded off the top five with an estimated 100,000 shipments respectively.

Apple does not disclose Watch sales in its quarterly earning results, instead grouping the device under its "Other Products" category alongside the likes of iPods, Apple TVs, Beats, and accessories. The focus will now shift to the more important fourth quarter, encompassing the busy holiday shopping season.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Tag: IDC
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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The Original iPod Turns 15 Years Old

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:19:04 PDT

On Sunday, Apple's original iPod celebrated the 15th anniversary of its launch on October 23, 2001. The reveal of the iPod by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 2001 was preceded by the usual breadcrumb trail of mystery, rumors, and leaks, with most reports pointing to a new "breakthrough digital device" coming from the company later in the month. Apple even hinted itself that "it's not a Mac." Some speculation went against rumors that the device would be an MP3 player, even suggesting it could be "something more sophisticated such as a component for a home digital stereo system." Still, most reports pointed toward the impending launch of the "iPod," a device that would allow customers to ditch their cumbersome CD players and listen to thousands of songs from one device in their pocket. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> In the official keynote address, Jobs referred to the Mac as the focal point of the Apple customer's digital lifestyle, with the new iPod device as the ultra-portable, music-enabled addition to that lifestyle. The iPod launched for $399 with a 5GB hard drive that could hold up to 1,000 songs, a 10-hour battery life, a black and white LCD screen, came equipped with FireWire to enable a connection between it and iTunes on a Mac, and was the size of a deck of cards (2.4" wide, 4" tall, 3/4" thick). A few individuals who were part of the iPod's launch looked back at the device over the weekend, although Apple itself remained silent on the topic. In the first official promotional video for the iPod, a collection of Apple executives and musicians -- including Phil Schiller, Jony Ive, and Moby -- are seen discussing the creation and impact of the device. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Moby remembers "how magical it was," and remarks on how much has changed with the iPod, and its successor in the iPhone, in 15 years. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> “It’s a little disconcerting when I look back at the past, but the past still sounds like the future,” Moby says. “I remember when 2002 seemed like an unimaginably far time — like, really far away. Now it’s like a distant past.” Technology is, obviously, the perfect physical encapsulation of this: “Remember those multicolored clamshell laptops that Apple had?” he says. “Now they seem old and clunky, like a weird pair of sneakers. But at the time, they just represented the future. The same thing with the iPod, at the time it was so futuristic, and now it just seems like an adorable relic.” The first alternative iPod lineup, dubbed the iPod mini, debuted in 2004, followed by the iPod nano and iPod shuffle in 2005. The iPod touch was eventually introduced as a non-cellular counterpart to the company's iPhone, and became one of the longest-lasting iPod lines to date (six generations), tied with the classic line, but behind the iPod nano (seven generations). In 2016, Apple still manufactures and sells the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle, but the three devices have long been removed from the main toolbar navigation on its website, and are now located under "Music." The three current iPods on sale bear little resemblance to the original device's famous click wheel interface, which was mechanical in the first generation and touch-sensitive in subsequent lines. The last iPod with a click wheel, the iPod Classic, was discontinued by Apple in 2014 and marked the sixth generation of the device. The iPod began Apple's quest to make music a mainstay in its customers' lives by [...]

New MacBook Pro and 13-Inch 'MacBook' Coming Next Week, iMac and Display Not Ready Yet

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 11:04:49 PDT

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report outlining his expectations for next Thursday's "Hello Again" event where Apple is expected to make a number of Mac-related announcements. In line with long-standing rumors, Kuo believes the highlight of the event will be a redesigned MacBook Pro in both 13-inch and 15-inch sizes, adopting an OLED touch bar and Touch ID sensor, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, and the same butterfly keyboard design introduced on the MacBook in 2015. Kuo also adds several new tidbits to the rumor mix:Our new predictions also include: (1) Intel’s (US) Skylake processor; (2) the same panel resolution but better display quality and energy efficiency thanks to an oxide panel; (3) a new option of 2TB SSD storage capacity; (4) adoption of a similar processor as Apple Watch to control the OLED touch bar more energy-efficiently in the new MacBook Pro models; and (5) a Type-C & MagSafe-like adapter rolled out by Apple or a third-party supplier, given positive reviews for the MagSafe charging design.Beyond the MacBook Pro, Kuo says Apple will also be introducing a "13-inch MacBook," a claim he has shared previously. Rather than being a slightly larger version of the current 12-inch MacBook, however, this is likely to be a MacBook Air, which would align with other rumors claiming that only the 13-inch MacBook Air will be seeing an update with new USB-C ports. On the desktop side, rumors have indicated that Apple is working on updated iMac models with discrete AMD graphics options, as well as a new standalone external 5K display, but Kuo says those products will not be ready until the first half of next year. It is still possible, however, that Apple could announce them at next week's event.We also expect Apple to launch new iMacs (21.5-inch and 27-inch) and Cinema Display (27-inch) in mid- 1H17. We cannot say for certain whether Apple will announce the new iMacs and Cinema Display on October 27 as the shipping schedule is not imminent.Apple's event is being held at the company's Cupertino campus and kicks off at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Thursday. MacRumors will have full coverage both here on the site and on our @MacRumorsLive Twitter account, and Apple will be offering a live video stream of the event.Related Roundups: iMac, MacBook Air, Thunderbolt Display, MacBook Pro, Retina MacBook Tag: Ming-Chi Kuo Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy), MacBook Air (Don't Buy), Displays (Don't Buy), Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy), MacBook (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Apple 'Monitoring' AT&T's Potential Time Warner Acquisition

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:56:41 PDT

Amid rumors suggesting AT&T is considering purchasing Time Warner, the parent company of networks like CNN and HBO, The Wall Street Journal says Apple is keeping a close eye on the situation as it would have a major impact on the television industry and could potentially impact future television deals Apple might make with the two companies. Apple at one time was reportedly in talks with Time Warner about a potential streaming television deal and has been rumored to have been interested in purchasing Time Warner assets at one time, but negotiations stalled and the two companies are no longer holding talks. Apple Inc. a few months ago approached Time Warner Inc. about pursuing a combination, but the discussions didn't progress beyond a preliminary stage and none are currently under way, people familiar with the matter said Friday. [...] From Apple's end, executives under Chief Executive Tim Cook were involved in the earlier talks, and now Apple is monitoring the current situation, one of the people saidTime Warner owns a huge number of assets that could have serve as the foundation of a streaming television service should Apple have struck a deal with the company. Networks like CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, NBA TV, Cartoon Network, and Warner Bros. are all under Time Warner's umbrella, but with AT&T and Time Warner in "advanced talks" it seems unlikely Apple will do more than "monitor" the situation. A deal between AT&T and Time Warner could be finalized as early as this weekend, but The Wall Street Journal suggests "a host of other contenders" could offer deals for Time Warner, putting an end to the AT&T acquisition. Last year, Apple was pursuing a streaming television service that would allow it to offer a skinny bundle of channels from popular networks and cable companies for approximately $40 per month, but it wasn't able to establish the necessary deals and shelved its plans. Apple is instead leveraging the Apple TV set-top box as a platform that allows cable companies and other content providers to offer television shows and apps through an Apple-designed interface and user experience. Just this week, Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue said that television "needs to be reinvented" and called existing television interfaces "pretty brain dead."Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10 Tags: AT&T, Time Warner Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums [...]

Sonos Speakers Now Available on Apple Online Store Around the World

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:35:22 PDT

Following their addition to in the United States last month, Sonos speakers can now be purchased from Apple's website in several other countries.

Sonos Wi-Fi-connected PLAY:1 and PLAY:5 speakers are now available on Apple's online store in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Prices are set at $249 and $649 in Canada, $299 and $749 in Australia, £169 and £429 in the United Kingdom, and €229 and €579 in many other European countries. Prices may vary based on VAT and other regional taxes.

Apple is currently offering a free 3-month Apple Music gift card with the purchase of either speaker. The promotion is valid in the United States and all of the other aforementioned countries and runs until December 31.

Sonos speakers are also available at 468 physical Apple retail stores in the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In-store purchases likewise qualify for the free 3-month Apple Music gift card.

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AT&T in 'Advanced Talks' to Acquire CNN and HBO Parent Company Time Warner [Updated]

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 08:40:50 PDT

AT&T is in "advanced talks" to acquire media company Time Warner, and a deal could be finalized as early as this weekend, according to The Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg on Thursday said senior executives at AT&T and Time Warner met in recent weeks to discuss a possible merger, but it said the talks were informal at that stage.The talks toward what likely would be a cash-and-stock deal have come together quickly, are fluid, and still could fall through, according the people familiar with the matter. An agreement also could be delayed, they said.Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes has previously told investors he would entertain a sale of the media company, but only if it feels the price is right. In 2014, Bewkes and his board reportedly turned down an $85-a-share offer from 21st Century Fox, which valued Time Warner at more than $75 billion. AT&T, looking to add more content and original programming, would gain a number of valuable assets from Time Warner, including CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, NBA basketball, Cartoon Network and the Warner Bros. film and TV studio. Popular series airing on those networks include, among others, Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley. New York Post sources said Apple was a possible suitor to purchase Time Warner earlier this year, which Financial Times later said was an idea proposed by Apple's services chief Eddy Cue. The discussions reportedly never progressed beyond the preliminary stage, however, and did not involve Apple CEO Tim Cook or Bewkes. An acquisition would have provided Apple with content for its much-rumored streaming TV service, which it has reportedly placed on hold due to difficulties in negotiating deals. It was reported the Netflix-like service would have offered a skinny bundle of channels, including ABC, CBS, and FOX, as part of a monthly subscription. An AT&T-Time Warner acquisition would likely be closely examined by federal regulators. Update: AT&T has officially purchased Time Warner for $85.4 billion.Tags: AT&T, Time Warner Discuss this article in our forums [...]