Apple Seeds First Beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.5 to Developers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.5 update to developers, one day after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.4, which introduced Night Shift for the Mac. macOS Sierra 10.12.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. Apple's release notes don't often provide much insight into what's included in new beta software, so we don't yet know what features it might offer. As the update follows the release of 10.12.4, which was a major update, this one may focus primarily on bug fixes and other small improvements. The release notes accompanying the beta release say only that the "update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac." Should any new features be found in macOS Sierra 10.12.5, we'll update this post.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 28 March 2017 | 12:10 pm

Apple Seeds First Beta of iOS 10.3.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3.2 update to developers, just one day after introducing iOS 10.3, which included features like a new Find My AirPods feature and Apple File System. Registered developers can download the iOS 10.3.2 update from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. We don't yet know what features or improvements are coming in iOS 10.3.2 as Apple doesn't offer detailed release notes, but as a minor 10.x.x update, we can expect it to focus on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements rather than major new features. Apple does say the update fixes the new SiriKit car commands, which should now work as expected. Should anything new be found in the iOS 10.3.2 beta, we'll update this post.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 28 March 2017 | 11:58 am

Questionable Rumor Claims Siri iCloud Integration and Contextual Learning Coming in iOS 11

Siri is set to gain contextual learning abilities and deep integration with iMessage and iCloud in iOS 11, according to an unverified rumor shared by Israeli site The Verifier. Citing information "received directly from the development teams based in Israel and the U.S.", the site says Siri's AI codebase will receive a major update that will enable it to learn a user's usage habits, similar to abilities claimed by Samsung for its new virtual assistant Bixby. The upgrade is said to extend Siri's capabilities beyond its current limited command pool by stacking multiple queries and offering different actions depending on the context. For example, Siri's integration into iMessage means it will be able to offer suggestions relevant to the ongoing conversation, such as where to dine out, how to get there, and one-step Uber taxi booking. In addition, the claim is that Siri's integration with iCloud will enable it to identify meaningful connections between the various devices associated with an Apple ID account and offer practicable actions that crisscross Mac and iOS systems. Moreover, Apple will embed Siri deeper into the Apple TV and Apple Watch experience, with significant updates to tvOS and watchOS. Advanced Siri abilities are also said to extend to a "smart clock" feature, although no other details were given. The Verifier does not have an established track record for accurate rumors, making it unclear how reliable the information is, while the iMessage features described above can already be found in published Apple patents. Previously the site said that group FaceTime calls will be introduced in iOS 11, but so far we've been unable to corroborate the claim. Details of what's in store for iOS 11 have been scant in general, but it is expected to be released with new iPhones in the fall of 2017, while a preview of the new software could come at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 held in June.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Tag: Siri Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 28 March 2017 | 5:14 am

JavaScript-Based Safari Ransomware Exploit Patched in iOS 10.3

iOS 10.3, released to the public this morning, fixes a bug that allowed scammers to attempt to extort money from iOS users through a JavaScript pop-up in Safari. As explained by mobile security firm Lookout (via Ars Technica), the scammers targeted iOS users viewing pornographic material and abused JavaScript pop-ups to create an endless pop-up loop that essentially locked the browser if the user didn't know how to bypass it. Using "scareware" messages and posing as law enforcement, the scammers used the pop-ups to extort money in the form of iTunes gift cards from the victim, promising to unlock the browser for a sum of money.The scammers abused the handling of pop-ups in Mobile Safari in such a way that a person would be "locked" out from using Safari unless they paid a fee -- or knew they could simply clear Safari's cache (see next section). The attack was contained within the app sandbox of the Safari browser; no exploit code was used in this campaign, unlike an advanced attack like Pegasus that breaks out of the app sandbox to install malware on the device. The scammers registered domains and launched the attack from the domains they owned, such as police-pay[.]com, which the attackers apparently named with the intent of scaring users looking for certain types of material on the Internet into paying money.The endless pop-up issue could be fixed by clearing the Safari cache, but many users likely did not know they didn't need to shell out money to regain access to their browsers. Pop-up scams are no longer possible with iOS 10.3, as Apple has changed the way pop-up dialogs work. Pop-ups are now per-tab and no longer take over the entire Safari app.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 27 March 2017 | 11:27 pm

Analyst Suggests Third-Generation Apple Watch Will Include Cellular Connectivity

Based on supply chain analysis following a trip to Asia, Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Rolland (via Barron's) believes Apple's third-generation Apple Watch may introduce cellular connectivity, a feature that's been long rumored for the device. Specifically, Rolland suggests the 2017 Apple Watch will include a SIM card for LTE connectivity and that the next-generation device will be promoted alongside the AirPods. We understand a model of the next Apple watch will include a SIM card, and therefore is likely to support LTE. We understand some issues remain, including battery life and form factor size, but significant progress has been made. Apple may be employing VOIP and data across a CAT-M1 connection for superior battery life. Apple will tout interoperability with the company's AirPods (now on back order till May) to make and receive phone calls (perhaps a small win for Maxim with amps in each ear bud). Positive QCOM, MXIM.Apple has likely been working to add a cellular modem to the Apple Watch for several years, but has been unable to do so due to excessive battery drain. In early 2016, rumors suggested the second-generation Apple Watch would include cellular connectivity, but that didn't pan out. Mid-2016 rumors indicated Apple was researching low-power cellular chips for future versions of the Apple Watch, but was unable to make it work for the second-generation device, so the technology could potentially be ready for inclusion in a 2017 Apple Watch. The addition of standalone cellular connectivity would further untether the Apple Watch from the iPhone, a process that started with the introduction of GPS in the Apple Watch Series 2. With a cellular connection, Apple Watch owners would not need an iPhone nearby to do things like make phone calls and stream Apple Music content, but a separate data plan would likely be needed. Other Apple Watch 3 rumors have pointed towards a modest update that focuses mainly on under-the-hood hardware improvements to boost performance and battery life, and while we haven't heard much information on a third-generation device, a refresh could come alongside the iPhone 8 in September. Today's report from Rolland also touches on some previously mentioned 2017 rumors, suggesting all three rumored iPhone models will feature wireless charging capabilities and will be charged through pads manufactured by Pegatron and Foxconn. "There is some skepticism regarding charging efficiency," writes Rolland, "as it may take 3 hours to receive a full charge." While long-range contactless wireless charging was originally rumored to be included in the 2017 iPhone, later information has centered on inductive charging methods, which would require a separate charging mat or other similar charging device. The analyst also believes Apple will eliminate the Home button in the iPhone 8, but the Lightning port will stay. He suggests there has been "serious consideration" for removing the Lightning port in 2018, however. Rolland does not have an established track record for predicting Apple's product plans, but the information he's shared today is not outlandish and echoes past rumors. Still, cellular connectivity for the Apple Watch has been rumored multiple times in the past, so it's worth viewing today's note with some skepticism until additional information is available.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: Susquehanna Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 27 March 2017 | 5:55 pm

10.5-Inch iPad Pro Entering Limited Production, But Spring, WWDC, or Fall Launch Remains Unclear

Apple's manufacturing partners will begin limited production of the rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro this month, according to IHS Markit analyst Rhoda Alexander, who spoke with Forbes over the weekend. At this point, however, it remains unclear whether the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will be announced later this spring, at WWDC 2017 in June, or in the fall or later, as rumors are lacking consensus. Japanese blog Mac Otakara previously said Apple would unveil its new iPad Pro lineup at a March event, but that rumor failed to materialize. Instead, Apple last week announced a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad, 128GB iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands, and a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus through its Newsroom. The latest rumor from DigiTimes claims Apple is planning to unveil the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at an early April event to "mark the inauguration" of its new Apple Park campus, which opens to employees next month. While this timeline could be correct, it's unlikely Apple would have shared such specific plans with the supply chain. Alexander believes an April launch "still looks somewhat tentative," but she said "the necessary elements are starting to come together," so it's possible Apple could do a limited spring launch in the United States and select other countries, followed by a wider rollout as production ramps up. A person with sources within Apple's supply chain told MacRumors that they still expect the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to launch in the spring. The person requested full confidentiality due to the nature of their position.It looks like Apple is doing the releases in a staggered fashion. I still expect a 10-inch-range iPad sometime in the spring. The supply chain is pretty clear that it is coming, maybe as soon as April.A handful of Apple analysts that we spoke to reiterated that a fall launch is more likely, however, and if volume production has yet to begin, then a launch later this year rather than sooner is certainly a possibility. Apple pundit John Gruber made a good point last week about why it would make sense for Apple to wait until at least October to announce the 10.5-inch iPad Pro: to avoid spoiling the design of the much-rumored iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display, which is expected to be announced in September.I think the most likely explanation is that Apple is working on a new edge-to-edge design iPad with a 10.5-inch display, but that it’s a 2018 thing, not a 2017 thing. Or, at the very earliest, a late 2017 thing — something they could unveil in October. […] Among all the other aforementioned things that don’t make sense regarding the rumor that a 10.5-inch iPad is imminent is the idea that the new design language would debut on an iPad, not an iPhone.But just how much of a spoiler the 10.5-inch iPad Pro might be remains to be seen, as rumors are conflicting about whether the tablet will have an edge-to-edge display or simply a narrow bezel design. It is also uncertain if Apple will remove the Home button on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in line with the "iPhone 8." Back in August, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple would launch a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in "2017," and he generally shares accurate information, so there is a good chance the tablets are coming at some point this year. He also predicted the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad. Just a few weeks ago, mobile marketing firm Fiksu spotted four new iPad identifiers in its device data. As it turns out, these model identifiers are not for the new 9.7-inch iPad, suggesting that they could be for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Fiksu suggested the new iPad models could launch within a month, which would suggest a release by the end of April.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 27 March 2017 | 1:59 pm

Low-Cost iPad Not Among the New iPad Models Spotted in Device Logs Earlier This Month

Back in mid-March, mobile marketing company Fiksu spotted four new iPad identifiers in its device data, hinting at the imminent release of new hardware. We did indeed see a new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad introduced via press release on Tuesday, March 21, but as it turns out, the identifiers for the new 9.7-inch iPad don't match up with the iPads Fiksu saw, suggesting there could still be additional iPad models set to be released in the not-so-distant future. The new iPad's identifier is "iPad6,11" and "iPad6,12," with one number each for for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular models. Fiksu, meanwhile, saw the following identifiers in its device logs: - iPad7,1 - iPad7,2 - iPad7,3 - iPad7,4 These numbers could perhaps refer to new iPad Pro models in two sizes, 12.9-inch and either 9.7-inches or perhaps the new rumored 10.5-inch model. The identifiers Fiksu saw are similar to the existing identifiers for the current 9.7 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. - 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,7 - 12.9 inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,8 - 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,3 - 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,4 In the original report, Fiksu said the number of new iPad models in its data was steadily ramping up, and that in its experience, those increasing numbers indicate an "imminent" release. Fiksu suggested the new iPad models could launch within a month, which would put a release somewhere around mid-April. There has been a lot of confusion around iPad Pro launch timelines. Rumors originally suggested a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model, and perhaps a new 12.9-inch model would launch in the spring alongside the low-cost 9.7-inch model, but we only got the latter. It is now unclear when we will see new iPad Pro models. The release of a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad (and a new iPhone color and new Apple Watch bands) via press release seems to suggest we aren't going to see a spring event and thus no spring launch of new iPads, but it's not an impossibility. If a spring debut doesn't happen, we could potentially see a launch at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June or Apple could hold off on a launch until the fall, introducing iPads alongside new iPhones in September. At this point, Apple's iPad plans are murky at best, and we'll need to wait for more information to narrow down a release timeline.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 27 March 2017 | 1:19 pm

Apple's Lottery for 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference Tickets Kicks Off

Developers hoping to attend Apple's 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California can now apply for a chance to purchase a ticket, with Apple's lottery having kicked off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Tickets are priced at $1,599. Tickets will be doled out using a random selection process, implemented because in past years, tickets sold out within a matter of minutes. Approximately 5,000 attendees are expected at the conference, which will also be attended by Apple executives and more than 1,000 Apple engineers. The 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference will start on Monday, June 5, and will last through Friday, June 9. Apple announced the conference in mid-February this year, as it is the first that will be held outside of San Francisco in many years. In 2017, WWDC will take place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, which should be a welcome change for many developers as it is less expensive to secure accommodations. Apple says that it is working with the city of San Jose and local businesses to plan "very special experiences" around San Jose during the week of the conference, so this year's event promises to be unique. Along with the ticket lottery, Apple is now accepting WWDC scholarship applications for students and STEM organization members who don't have the funds to attend the conference. Scholarship applicants, who must be at least 13 years old, have a chance to earn both tickets and accommodations for the 2017 event. Apple is asking prospective scholarship attendees to share a visually interactive scene created in Swift Playgrounds that can be experienced in three minutes. Swift Playgrounds for iPad or Xcode on macOS must be used, and Apple will judge applications on technical accomplishment, creativity of ideas, and the content of written responses. Apple's ticket lottery will end on Friday, March 31 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, while Apple will take scholarship applications until Sunday, April 2 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Lottery winners are likely to be notified on April 3 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time as that is when Apple will begin charging credit cards. Developers and students who are not selected to purchase a ticket will be able to watch both the keynote event and sessions with engineers through the Apple Developer website and through the WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.Related Roundup: WWDC 2017 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 27 March 2017 | 12:11 pm

Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.4 With New Night Shift Mode

Apple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Sierra operating system that launched on September 20. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 has been in testing since January 24, with Apple having seeded eight betas ahead of its public release. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 is a free update for all customers who are running macOS Sierra. The update can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 brings iOS's Night Shift mode to the Mac for the first time. Night Shift, first introduced on iOS devices in iOS 9.3, is designed to gradually shift the display of a device from blue to a subtle yellow, cutting down on exposure to blue light. Blue light is believed to interrupt the circadian rhythm, disrupting sleep patterns. Night Shift is activated through the Displays section of System Preferences, where a setting to have it come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise is available. It can also be set to turn on and off at custom times. Night Shift can also be toggled on manually using the Notification Center or Siri. The 10.12.4 update focuses primarily on Night Shift, but the update also includes dictation support for Shanghainese, cricket score integration for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and new iCloud Analytics options. Update: Apple has also released a new 2017-001 security update for OS X Yosemite and OS X El Capitan.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 27 March 2017 | 12:01 pm

Apple Releases iOS 10.3 With Find My AirPods, APFS, App Store Review Tweaks and More

Apple today released iOS 10.3 to the public, marking the launch of the third major update to the iOS 10 operating system since it launched on September 13, 2016. iOS 10.3 has been in testing since January 24 and Apple seeded seven betas to developers and public beta testers before releasing the software. iOS 10.3 is available as a free over-the-air update for all iOS 10 users, and it can also be downloaded via iTunes. Xcode 8.3 with support for Swift 3.1, iOS 10.3, macOS Sierra 10.12.4, tvOS 10.2, and watchOS 3.2 is also available today. As a major 10.x update, iOS 10.3 includes both significant additions and more minor design tweaks and changes. The biggest new consuming-facing feature is "Find My AirPods," which has been added to the Find My iPhone function to help AirPods owners locate a lost earphone should one be misplaced. Find My AirPods can play a sound to help users find an AirPod misplaced nearby, and it also saves the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth, but it can't locate the AirPods when the iPhone isn't nearby nor can it locate the Charging Case. iOS 10.3 introduces a new Apple File System (APFS), which is installed when an iOS device is updated. APFS is optimized for flash/SSD storage and includes improved support for encryption. Other features include snapshots for freezing the state of a file system (better for backups), space sharing, and better space efficiency, all of which should result in a more stable platform. Customers updating to iOS 10.3 should first make a backup given that the update installs a new file system. Some App Store changes are coming in iOS 10.3, allowing developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. iOS users are also able to label reviews in the App Store as "Helpful" or "Not Helpful" for surfacing more relevant review content, and Apple plans to limit the number of times developers can ask for a review. The update even adds a master switch that lets customers turn off app review request prompts all together. Other new features in iOS 10.3 include a revamped open/close animation for apps, an Apple ID profile in Settings, a better breakdown of iCloud storage usage, warnings about outdated apps that may not work with future versions of iOS and could slow down devices, HomeKit support for programmable light switches, improvements to SiriKit (bill paying, bill status, and scheduling future rides), CarPlay interface improvements, and iCloud analytics options. Apple's complete release notes for the update are below:iOS 10.3 introduces new features including the ability to locate AirPods using Find my iPhone and more ways to use Siri with payment, ride booking and automaker apps. Find My iPhone - View the current or last known location of your AirPods - Play a sound on one or both AirPods to help you find them Siri - Support for paying and checking status of bills with payment apps - Support for scheduling with ride booking apps - Support for checking car fuel level, lock status, turning on lights and activating horn with automaker apps - Cricket sports scores and statistics for Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council CarPlay - Shortcuts in the status bar for easy access to last used apps - Apple Music Now Playing screen gives access to Up Next and the currently playing song’s album - Daily curated playlists and new music categories in Apple Music Other improvements and fixes - Rent once and watch your iTunes movies across your devices - New Settings unified view for your Apple ID account information, settings and devices - Hourly weather in Maps using 3D Touch on the displayed current temperature - Support for searching “parked car" in Maps - Calendar adds the ability to delete an unwanted invite and report it as junk - Home app support to trigger scenes using accessories with switches and buttons - Home app support for accessory battery level status - Podcasts support for 3D Touch and Today widget to access recently updated shows - Podcast shows or episodes are shareable to Messages with full playback support - Fixes an issue that could prevent Maps from displaying your current location after resetting Location & Privacy - VoiceOver stability improvements for Phone, Safari and MailRelated Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 27 March 2017 | 11:55 am

Apple Increasing Focus on Augmented Reality Eyewear, Any Launch Still Over a Year Away

Apple is "stepping up" its augmented reality eyewear efforts, with an eventual goal of releasing a consumer-facing product, according to the Financial Times.Apple first began to build a team to examine the feasibility of a head-worn device more than a year ago. Now, it is devoting more resources to its augmented-reality efforts, with the aim of taking it from a science project towards a consumer product, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.Don't expect to be wearing a pair of Apple-branded augmented reality glasses in the near future, however, as the report said any potential launch remains at least a year away, or "perhaps much longer." Bloomberg was first to report that Apple is exploring digital glasses that would connect wirelessly to iPhones and "show images and other information in the wearer's field of vision." The report said the digital glasses, which may use augmented reality, would not launch until 2018 at the earliest if at all. One person who expects a sooner launch is tech evangelist Robert Scoble, who insists that Apple is working on a pair of "mixed reality" glasses that will debut alongside the 2017 iPhone lineup, according to his sources. He also said Apple and German company Carl Zeiss are working together on augmented reality optics. Scoble's information has yet to be corroborated by other sources, so 2018 or later remains a more likely timeline at this point. While a standalone product appears to remain far off, most analysts agree that Apple will start incorporating AR-related features into its existing products in the near future. A future iPhone camera, for example, could be able to detect faces and apply Snapchat-like filters using augmented reality. Apple CEO Tim Cook has shown significant interest in augmented reality over the past few years, calling the technology everything from "profound" to a "big idea like the smartphone" in recent interviews. He also believes that augmented reality is essentially more important than virtual reality. Last year, Cook said that Apple continues to "invest a lot" in augmented reality, and the company has filed several patents related to the technology over the past decade, confirming its interest in the field. However, Apple routinely tests new products and technologies that are never publicly released. Apple's augmented reality efforts have been preceded by the Microsoft HoloLens, a cordless, self-contained Windows 10 holographic headset that mixes virtual reality with augmented reality. Microsoft began shipping the HoloLens Development Edition in March 2016 for $3,000 in the United States and Canada.Related Roundup: Apple VR Project Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 27 March 2017 | 9:56 am

Beats 1 is 'the Biggest Radio Station in the World', Says Apple Music

Apple Music executives Jimmy Iovine, Zane Lowe, Robert Kondrk, and Larry Jackson spoke to The Verge over the weekend about their work with the musician Drake and the success of Beats 1 radio station, which launched in tandem with the Apple Music app in 2015. Republic Records told The Verge that Drake's new album More Life was streamed 300 million times worldwide in its first week on Apple Music. It has already eclipsed his previous album, Views, which was an Apple Music exclusive and streamed around 250 million times in its first week. More Life also streamed 89.9 million times during its first 24 hours, breaking single-day album streaming records for all music services. The numbers for Drake's More Life are impressive in another way – the album is also available on Spotify, which has 100 million subscribers compared to Apple Music's 20 million. The Apple Music team puts the success of the release down to Drake's close collaboration with Beats 1 and his OVO Sound Radio show. The show has debuted several Drake records, including More Life on the most recent episode, which set the record for the most listened-to show. "What we saw on Drake's radio show were TV numbers," Iovine told The Verge. "We learned so much from just building what Drake needed. He had the idea, we kind of just built and supported around him, and we've learned a lot from that, and the entire industry has learned a lot from that."Jackson called Beats 1 "the biggest radio station in the world" and boasted that there wasn't another station in existence that has as many concurrent listeners, (although Apple declined to offer specific listener numbers). "If you rewind back to July of 2015, and those records that rolled out like 'Back to Back,' — 'Hotline Bling' debuted on OVO Sound Radio first, 'Charged Up' debuted there first — all these records debuted in a space that was really still new and nascent, and [Drake] made it his own. You can glance over it, but we created this idea that was really great for him, and he took advantage of it," Jackson said. "Drake and Oliver and [Drake's other co-manager] Future [The Prince] were the first to do this with us."Zane Lowe, head of Beats 1, said that what Drake had taught him in terms of the parameters of broadcasting was remarkable. "He knows what he's doing, and he knows his audience," said Lowe. "And he knows it's going to work when it's ready. The best thing that anyone — including myself — can do is get out of the way." Kondrk described the relationship between Apple Music and Beats 1 like an amusement park — once users are inside the Apple Music app to listen to Beats 1, he said it was "only natural you'll stay in it to stream the songs afterwards". "The music is debuting through OVO Sound Radio first, no one really ever leaves the amusement park, and that's why the numbers make sense," Kondrk says. "It's a new paradigm that we've really created here for someone like him to come in and be a genius and take full advantage of everything we have to offer."Speaking more generally, Iovine reiterated his belief that Apple Music can't become just a "utility" and that the company had to stay nimble, while working with artists like Drake was key to avoiding that distinction. "Two years ago, people would've thought we were crazy with what we were doing with Drake. And we are starting things with other people that in two years will look as interesting as this." You can read the full article over on The Verge.Tags: Apple Music, Drake, Beats 1 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 27 March 2017 | 5:45 am

(PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Plus Gets Black Front in New Part Swap Video

Apple's new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, released yesterday, feature a bright red aluminum casing that many are a fan of. Unfortunately, it comes equipped with a white front plate, much like the Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold iPhones, something that's been a point of criticism for people who think it would have looked better with a black front plate. YouTuber Danny Winget recently tore apart a red iPhone 7 Plus and replaced its logic board and front plate with parts taken from a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus, giving us a glimpse at what an actual (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Plus with a black front would have looked like. Winget had to replace not only the front plate but also the logic board because if he swapped just the front portion of the device, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor would have been rendered unusable. Apple ties the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to an iPhone's logic board and disables it for security reasons if any of the parts are swapped out. Therefore, most of the internal structure of the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone had to be replaced with parts from the Jet Black iPhone. Purchasing an entire Jet Black iPhone 7 or 7 Plus for the purpose of creating a hybrid red/black iPhone 7 is probably out of the question for most people, but it's an interesting proof of concept. This method essentially ruins the Jet Black iPhone 7 involved, making it a rather pricy project, and it destroys the waterproofing seal on the red iPhone. It's also worth noting that this is a highly complicated process that essentially requires tearing apart two iPhones, melding them together, and hoping nothing goes wrong, something that the average person won't want to attempt. For a closer look at the Special Edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone, make sure to check out our hands-on video. Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 25 March 2017 | 1:14 pm

Hands-On With Apple's New (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7

Apple's new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus went on sale online and in retail stores around the world today, and after a short wait in line, we managed to get our hands on one of the new devices. Made from a matte red aluminum, the red iPhone 7 is super pigmented and bright in real life, but aside from its snazzy new casing, it's identical to existing devices. Check out the video below for our detailed look at Apple's first red iPhone. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The new red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can be purchased from the online Apple Store and in retail locations, where supplies seem to be plentiful. There were lines at many stores around the country, however, so it could potentially sell out. Prices for the red iPhone 7 start at $749, with the device available in 128 and 256GB capacities. Pricing for the red iPhone 7 Plus starts at $869. The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are available in the United States and dozens of other countries today, and by the end of March, the device will be available in more than 40 countries and regions.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 24 March 2017 | 4:12 pm

T-Mobile Rolls Out Tools to Help Customers Avoid Scam Phone Calls

T-Mobile today announced the launch of two new anti-scam features designed to cut down on scam phone calls, Scam ID and Scam Block. Scam ID, as the name suggests, alerts customers when an incoming call is coming from a phone number known to be associated with a scam. Scam Block goes one step further, automatically blocking any calls identified as scams by Scam ID. "Every year, three out of four people in the US get at least one scam call--and fraudsters cheat consumers out of more than half a billion dollars per year! It's insane - so we had to do something to protect our customers!" said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. "So the T-Mobile team designed a brilliant set of patent-pending technologies -- then built them directly into our network, so there's nothing customers have to do. No hoops to jump through, no app to download. Like most T-Mobile technologies, it just works."Scam ID is powered by a global database that contains "tens of thousands" of known scammer numbers. T-Mobile updates the database in near real-time by analyzing every call that comes into its network with "behavioral heuristics" and "intelligent scam pattern detection." Every call is analyzed to identify and block scammers. Both Scam ID and Scam Block are available on all devices on T-Mobile's network and will be included at no cost. The features are rolling out to customers starting today, and will be available to T-Mobile ONE customers first. New T-Mobile ONE customers will automatically get Scam ID beginning on April 5, while other T-Mobile postpaid customers can enable the feature on that date by dialing #ONI# (#664#). To turn on Scam Block, customers can dial dial #ONB# (#662#). T-Mobile warns that enabling Scam Block could potentially cause customers not to receive legitimate calls, so caution should be used before turning it on. Once enabled, it can be turned off by dialing #OFB# (#632#).Tag: T-Mobile Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 24 March 2017 | 11:47 am

New 9.7-Inch iPad and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Now Available to Order

Apple has just begun accepting orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad and (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on its online store in the United States and dozens of other countries and regions around the world. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are also available for in-store pickup at select Apple Stores starting today. The new 9.7-inch iPad is equipped with a faster Apple A9 chip and brighter Retina display compared to the iPad Air 2, which has been discontinued. It is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down. The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2. The new 9.7-inch iPad starts at $329 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi, making it the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold. Apple also offers a 128GB model with Wi-Fi for $429, while cellular-capable 32GB and 128GB models are available for $459 and $559 respectively in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. The new 9.7-inch iPad is now available to order on Apple's website in dozens of countries around the world. The first online orders are estimated for delivery between March 31 and April 5 in the United States. Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad will be available to purchase at select Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores starting next week in more than 20 countries, such as the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Apple's special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models are also now available to order on Apple's website in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for $749/$849 and $869/$969 respectively. Initial orders are slated for delivery on Tuesday, March 28 in the United States. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones have a vibrant red finish complemented by a silver Apple logo and white front bezels. Apple said the models are in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), which gives customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund in support of HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. If you want a red iPhone today, try your local Apple Store. It’s in stock right now around the world. pic.twitter.com/hJt8o5sXF7— Joe Rossignol (@rsgnl) March 24, 2017 The special edition iPhone joins the current (PRODUCT)RED lineup, which is available to purchase year-round, including the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case, and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are available starting today at many Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores in the United States and dozens of other countries. Apple said the new models will begin shipping to customers by the end of March in the United States and more than 40 countries and regions.Related Roundups: iPad, iPhone 7 Tags: (PRODUCT)RED, Apple retail Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 24 March 2017 | 10:06 am

Apple Store Down in Advance of (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and New 9.7-inch iPad Launch at 8:01 a.m. Pacific Time

Apple took down its online store early this morning as the company prepares to launch its special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in more than 40 countries and regions around the world. Internet users attempting to access the store section of the U.S. site are being met with the familiar "We've got something special in store for you" placeholder, accompanied by a relaunch time of 8:01 a.m. Pacific Time, which is when Apple previously said it would officially be launching the new red colorway iPhone. Today Apple is also launching a new lower priced 9.7-inch iPad to replace the iPad Air 2, as well as new storage tier options for the iPhone SE and the iPad mini 4. The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for the same $749/$849 and $869/$969 prices as the equivalent iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models in standard colors. The anodized aluminum's vibrant red finish has a white Apple logo and white front bezels. Apple's new tablet, which it is simply calling "iPad", is Apple's new entry-level model at the 9.7-inch size, starting at $329 for 32GB and $429 for 128GB. The device will be available in more than 20 countries and regions. The new 32GB and 128GB storage capacities for the iPhone SE will cost $399 and $499 respectively, replacing the original 16GB ($399) and 64GB ($449) storage capacities. All other specs for the smaller profile handset remain the same. The new 128GB model iPad mini 4 with Wi-Fi will start at $399, which was previously the price for the 32GB model with Wi-Fi, which has been discontinued. A cellular model with 128GB of storage will also be available for $529. During Tuesday's announcement of the new products, Apple also launched new Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases in new colors. Despite the unusually early shuttering of the store, it's very unlikely that it relates to anything other than updates to the online ordering process to reflect the new products, but we'll keep readers updated as soon as we learn more. (Thanks, Andrea!)Related Roundups: iPad mini 4 (2015), iPhone 7, iPhone SE Tag: (PRODUCT)RED Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 24 March 2017 | 4:25 am

Apple Says WikiLeaks CIA Documents Are Old and Exploits Have Been Fixed

In response to a series of CIA documents leaked this morning that outline exploits the government used to gain access to Macs and iOS devices, Apple gave a statement to TechCrunch claiming that the documents are old and that the vulnerabilities outlined in the leak have long since been patched. Apple says the iPhone vulnerability only affected the iPhone 3G and was fixed in 2009, while all Mac vulnerabilities were fixed in Macs launched after 2013. We have preliminarily assessed the Wikileaks disclosures from this morning. Based on our initial analysis, the alleged iPhone vulnerability affected iPhone 3G only and was fixed in 2009 when iPhone 3GS was released. Additionally, our preliminary assessment shows the alleged Mac vulnerabilities were previously fixed in all Macs launched after 2013. We have not negotiated with Wikileaks for any information. We have given them instructions to submit any information they wish through our normal process under our standard terms. Thus far, we have not received any information from them that isn't in the public domain. We are tireless defenders of our users' security and privacy, but we do not condone theft or coordinate with those that threaten to harm our users.The new documents, part of an ongoing "Vault 7" leak focusing on the United States Central Intelligence Agency, were released by WikiLeaks this morning. Codenamed "Dark Matter," the documents primarily covered techniques for exploiting and accessing Macs through a peripheral device like a USB stick. An iPhone exploit, called "Night Skies 1.2," was also featured, adding to the range of "Year Zero" iPhone exploits that were shared by WikiLeaks last week. All of the Dark Matter and Year Zero documents can be found on WikiLeaks. Additional Apple-related hacks and exploits may surface as the Vault 7 series continues, and it will take time for security analysts and experts to determine the impact of the leaks. While Apple says all of the exploits have been patched, its results are preliminary. Should any remaining exploits be unaddressed, Apple will undoubtedly fix them quickly. 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.Tag: WikiLeaks Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 March 2017 | 8:54 pm

'iPhone 8' Still Expected to Launch in September in Limited Quantities

Apple's widely rumored high-end iPhone with a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display will launch in September, although the majority of stock may not be available until later in the fourth quarter, according to the latest research from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O'Malley, and Jerry Zhang. "iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor Balogh The prediction suggests that Apple's tenth-anniversary iPhone, which has been variously dubbed the iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition, will still be available in limited quantities in September. However, shipping estimates could slip to several weeks out just minutes after pre-orders begin. What do you think Apple's rumored "special edition" iPhone will be called? Tweet us your own ideas.— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) March 18, 2017 An excerpt from the Barclays research note obtained by MacRumors:Suppliers generally had good things to say about the upcoming iPhone 8 launch (for our purposes iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Pro) as new features drive a more complicated manufacturing process and higher ASPs. We now believe that all three devices will feature wireless charging and will all be launched in the normal September timeframe, although the majority of iPhone Pro volumes may not be available until Q4.Barclays contradicts a recent report that claimed the 5.8-inch iPhone will be announced alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, or the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but might not go on sale until much later. By the sounds of it, availability of Apple's first iPhone with an OLED display could be similar to the iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black, which was virtually nowhere to be found through the holiday shopping season last year. When an Apple Store or reseller happened to get a few Jet Black models in stock, they sold out almost instantly. The analysts, citing information from Apple's supply chain following a trip to Asia earlier this month, also reiterated their expectations for the 5.8-inch iPhone. Many of its predictions echo those already made by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at revealing Apple's plans. Barclays said the phone will feature a 5.8-inch display with 5.15 inches of usable screen, as Kuo said. It expects Touch ID to be embedded in the display, and the remaining space could be for virtual buttons. It believes the device will have wireless charging, but wireless charging accessories will be sold separately. It said the 5.8-inch iPhone's stacked logic board design will provide more space for a larger battery and other components, as Kuo previously said. Other features Barclays expects include a front-facing 3D sensor module, the same dual camera setup as the iPhone 7 Plus, and a film-based Force Touch solution.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: Barclays Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 March 2017 | 9:56 am

WikiLeaks Continues 'Vault 7' With New Documents Detailing Mac-Related CIA Exploits

WikiLeaks today continued its "Vault 7" series by leaking details concerning CIA-related programs that were built with the intent to infect iMac and MacBook devices. Today's "Dark Matter" installation of Vault 7 follows a few weeks after WikiLeaks debuted "Year Zero," which focused on exploits that the CIA created for iOS devices. In a response the same day that Year Zero came out, Apple said that many of the vulnerabilities in the leak were already patched. Now, WikiLeaks is shedding light on Mac-related vulnerabilities and exploits, which the leakers claim "persists even if the operating system is re-installed." The project in question, created and spearheaded by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch, is called the "Sonic Screwdriver" and represents a mechanism that can deploy code from a peripheral device -- a USB stick, or the "screwdriver" -- while a Mac is booting up. According to WikiLeaks, this allows an attacker "to boot its attack software" even if the Mac has a password enabled on sign-up. In the report, it's said that the CIA's own Sonic Screwdriver has been stored safely on a modified firmware version of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. Besides the Doctor Who-referencing exploit, Dark Matter points towards yet another bounty of CIA programs aimed at gathering information, infecting, or somehow crippling a Mac device. "DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants. Documents on the "Triton" MacOSX malware, its infector "Dark Mallet" and its EFI-persistent version "DerStake" are also included in this release. While the DerStake1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0. Dark Matter isn't exclusively Mac focused, however, and includes a few new iPhone exploits in the round-up as well. One is called "NightSkies 1.2" and is described as a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the iPhone that is designed to be physically installed on an iPhone directly within its manufacturing facility. This conspiracy-leaning exploit is said to date back to 2008 -- one year after the first iPhone debuted -- and suggests, according to WikiLeaks, that "the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008." While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise. The full list of the new Dark Matter documents can be found on WikiLeaks, and we're likely to see more Apple-related WikiLeaks as the Vault 7 series continues. As it was with Year Zero, it'll still take some time for security analysts and experts to determine the full impact of today's leaks. 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.Tag: WikiLeaks Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 March 2017 | 8:45 am