Apple Says Third-Party iPhone Screen Repairs No Longer Fully Void Your Warranty

iPhones that have undergone any third-party screen repair now qualify for warranty coverage, as long as the issue being fixed does not relate to the display itself, according to an internal memo distributed by Apple today. MacRumors confirmed the memo's authenticity with multiple sources. Previously, an iPhone with a third-party display was not eligible for any authorized repairs under warranty. When a customer with an iPhone that has a third-party display seeks a repair for a non-display issue, Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers have been advised to inspect the device for any fraud or tampering, and then swap out the device or replace the broken part based on Apple's in-warranty pricing. iPhones with third-party displays must still be within their warranty coverage period, whether it be Apple's standard 1-year manufacturer's warranty or extended AppleCare coverage, in order for warranty service to be honored. If the iPhone is out of warranty, or the repair involves a display-related issue, customers will be offered the option to pay Apple's flat rate out-of-warranty pricing. If a customer declines this out-of-warranty pricing, then Apple Authorized Service Providers are instructed to decline service altogether. If the presence of any third-party part causes the repair to be unsuccessful or breaks the iPhone, Apple said customers will be required to pay the out-of-warranty cost to replace the third-party part, or the entire device if necessary, in order to resolve the issue that the iPhone was initially brought in for. If a customer wants to pay for an Apple genuine display to replace their third-party display, Apple Authorized Service Providers have been instructed to quote the typical out-of-warranty price for a new display. Apple said AppleCare+ will not cover third-party display or battery repairs. Apple Authorized Service Providers are still instructed to decline service for any iPhone with a functional failure related to a third-party aluminum enclosure, logic board, battery, Lightning connector, headphone jack, volume buttons, mute switch, sleep/wake button, and certain microphones. MacRumors has confirmed that the policy applies to repairs in the United States and Canada, while other regions are likely included.Tags: warranty, AASP Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 24 February 2017 | 3:35 pm

Apple Extended its MacBook Pro Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program

If you purchased a 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro with Retina display and have experienced issues with the anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating, Apple will repair the notebook free of charge. Apple will replace Retina displays on eligible models purchased as far back as June 2012 until October 16, 2017, or within three years of the original date of purchase, whichever is longer. The program was extended to provide affected customers with a longer window of time to get their notebook serviced. The program has not been publicly announced, but Apple confirmed to MacRumors that repairs continue to be handled internally through AppleCare. Apple does not plan to announce the program publicly at this time, unlike its iPhone 6s battery replacement program and over a dozen others listed on its website. We recommend affected customers schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store or contact Apple support by phone, online chat, or email. Click on "get help" on this page, and then select Mac > Mac notebooks > Hardware Issues > Display Issue and support options should be presented to you. Apple's support website will ask for your Mac's serial number, which can be found by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and clicking on About This Mac in the dropdown menu. Affected customers can also visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their notebook is eligible for coverage. If you have already incurred out-of-warranty costs related to this issue, you may be eligible for a refund, which can be initiated by contacting Apple support directly. MacRumors revealed the repair program's existence in October 2015 following over two years of online complaints from thousands of customers within our discussion forums, on the Apple Support Communities, and elsewhere. A website called Staingate contains a gallery of MacBook Pro models with seemingly damaged anti-reflective coating, revealing that the blemishes can extend across the entire screen in extreme cases. Meanwhile, a Facebook group related to the issue has nearly 9,000 members and continues to see regular activity.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Tags: repair program, anti-reflective coating Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 24 February 2017 | 9:41 am

Steve Jobs Would Have Been 62 Today While MacRumors Turns 17

Steve Jobs, born on February 24, 1955, would have celebrated his 62nd birthday today. The late Apple co-founder, who passed away on October 5, 2011 following a lengthy battle with cancer, is remembered not only as a visionary and marketing genius, but also as a friend, father, and husband. Jobs, who co-founded Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, introduced three of Apple's most iconic products in its history: the Macintosh in 1984, and after a twelve-year absence from the company, the iPod in 2001 and iPhone in 2007. His iconic career had its fair share of highs and lows. In 1985, following a power struggle with then-CEO John Sculley, Jobs resigned from Apple. He went on to found NeXT later that year, and while its hardware business was largely unsuccessful, Apple acquired the company in 1997 to use its NeXTSTEP operating system as the foundation of Mac OS X. Jobs would become Apple CEO again later that year and guide it from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s to become the world's most valuable company just two months prior to his death. His legacy lives on at Apple, which recently said the theater on its new Apple Park campus will be named after him. Remembering Steve, whose words and ideals will always inspire us. “There is no reason not to follow your heart.” pic.twitter.com/MihKSnbYiQ— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) February 24, 2017 Apple CEO Tim Cook:“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved the most energy-efficient building of its kind in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”Coincidentally, today also marks the 17th anniversary of MacRumors.com, founded by Arnold Kim on February 24, 2000 during his fourth year of medical school. Kim stopped practicing medicine in 2008 to focus on this website full time, and the community now reaches millions of Apple fans around the world. As always, we express our gratitude to our readers, forum members, contributors, volunteers, sponsors, and all those who allow us to continue sharing the latest Apple news and rumors.Tag: Steve Jobs Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 24 February 2017 | 6:56 am

10.5-Inch and 12.9-Inch iPads May Not Ship Until May or June

The 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads that Apple is expected to debut at a March event aren't expected to ship until May or June, supply chain sources tell DigiTimes. An entry-level 9.7-inch iPad, however, is expected to ship within close proximity of the March event. In January, DigiTimes reported that the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads were expected to enter mass production in the Q2 of 2017 while the 9.7-inch iPad would enter mass production in Q1 2017. The potential release dates partly line up with a recent report from Mac Otakara, which said the 10.5-inch iPad may not be ready to ship until May. However, that report said the three other iPad models rumored to debut at the March event, new 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPads, are expected to ship in March. 12.9-inch iPad shipments have been drying up around the world in recent weeks, slipping to shipping estimates of 2-3 weeks in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Japan. While increasing shipping times are a sign of an impending refresh, in this case it seems to be a supply issue. During Apple's latest earning call, CEO Tim Cook said that the company underestimated iPad demand in the past quarter and had an issue with one of its suppliers. Cook said the issue would probably not be resolved this quarter, likely leading to shriveling 12.9-inch iPad stock. Similarly, the supply issue could keep the refreshed 12.9-inch iPad from shipping before May. The new 10.5-inch model is expected to be the flagship model in Apple's new iPad lineup, sporting an edge-to-edge display on the same footprint as the current 9.7-inch iPad. Alongside new iPads at a March event, Apple is also expected to debut a 128 GB iPhone SE and red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus color variations.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tag: digitimes.com Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 February 2017 | 11:26 pm

Apple Says iOS 10.2.1 Update Has Significantly Reduced Unexpected iPhone 6 and 6s Shutdowns [Updated]

For the last several months, iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, and 6s Plus users have been dealing with a problem that causes their devices to unexpectedly shut down, an issue that Apple now says it has successfully addressed in the latest iOS 10.2.1 update, released to the public on January 23. In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Apple says that the iOS 10.2.1 update has resulted in an 80 percent reduction of unexpected shutdowns on the iPhone 6s and a 70 percent reduction of unexpected shutdowns on the iPhone 6. With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone. iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50% of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we've received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we're seeing a more than 80% reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70% reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down. We also added the ability for the phone to restart without needing to connect to power, if a user still encounters an unexpected shutdown. It is important to note that these unexpected shutdowns are not a safety issue, but we understand it can be an inconvenience and wanted to fix the issue as quickly as possible. If a customer has any issues with their device they can contact AppleCare.According to Apple, the shutdown issue that is solved by the iOS 10.2.1 update is separate from the problem that caused it to recall a select number of iPhone 6s devices. In that case, Apple said some batteries had been overexposed to "controlled ambient air" during the manufacturing process, resulting in the need for a physical battery replacement. That there are multiple issues causing iPhone shutdowns explains why many iPhone 6 users also complained of problems after the iPhone 6s recall, and why the iPhone 6s issue seemed more widespread than Apple suggested in the recall program. There were even rumors that Apple was planning an iPhone 6 battery exchange program, something Apple quickly refuted. The shutdowns solved by iOS 10.2.1 are reportedly caused by uneven power delivery from older batteries, which can trigger an emergency shutdown on an iPhone. Apple has tweaked its power management system to reduce shutdowns, but some users may occasionally still have problems, so Apple has also created a way to auto-restart without needing to connect to power. The auto-restart feature is available on the iPhone 6 and 6s in iOS 10.2.1 and will be added to the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus in iOS 10.3. A new battery info screen will also be added to iOS 10.2.1 in the next few days, letting customers who need to replace their battery know that it's not functioning as expected. The warning, which will be in the Battery section of the Settings app, will only be displayed to customers who need new batteries. When iOS 10.2.1 was released, Apple did not include a mention of a fix for the iPhone 6 and 6s in its release notes, giving it time to quietly collect data on the shutdown issue before making an official announcement. Customers who are experiencing shutdowns on their iPhone 6 or 6s devices should upgrade to iOS 10.2.1 if they have not done so already. Update: Apple has posted a support document outlining the new battery notice that's available in the Settings app. It will only show up if a battery needs servicing.Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iOS 10 Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 February 2017 | 6:20 pm

Harman Could Bring Wireless CarPlay to Audi, VW, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, and Other Automakers

Harman today announced that it has achieved the first-ever implementation of wireless CarPlay in vehicles. It said its infotainment system is currently being deployed for a luxury German automaker, which more than likely refers to BMW, the only automaker that currently supports wireless CarPlay as a built-in feature. A number of BMW models have supported wireless CarPlay since late last year, and Harman's announcement comes just as the 2017 BMW 5 Series with wireless CarPlay hits the streets in the United States. Harman did not disclose plans to roll out wireless CarPlay to other automakers, but it has business relationships with several vehicle manufacturers, including Volkswagen Group, Daimler, and FCA, so it is plausible that wireless CarPlay could expand to brands such as Audi, VW, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep in the future. Harman provided the following statement to MacRumors:HARMAN is the renowned Tier 1 supplier of infotainment systems to global automakers. Our customers include Audi/VW, Daimler, BMW, Chrysler/FCA, and many others. HARMAN has pioneered the introduction of many Apple features in the past into car – iPod out, CarPlay, etc – as well as other "smart apps" such as Android Auto and Baidu CarLife, for automakers across the world.Volkswagen actually wanted to demonstrate wireless CarPlay at CES 2016, but it said Apple blocked them from doing so for undisclosed reasons. Due to confidentiality agreements, it is likely we will have to wait for each of these automakers to announce wireless CarPlay individually, but Harman and BMW have proven that it can be accomplished. Apple introduced wireless CarPlay support in iOS 9, but the majority of current systems require connecting an iPhone to the vehicle with a Lightning to USB cable. Harman's system is the first to enable wireless implementation, with the iPhone connecting via Bluetooth and data transferring via Wi-Fi. Last month, Alpine introduced the first aftermarket system with wireless CarPlay for do-it-yourself installations. The iLX-107 features a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with LED backlighting, and it begins shipping this month for a suggested price of $900. Some resellers may offer it for cheaper as seen with other Alpine receivers. CarPlay is available in over 200 vehicle models around the world, enabling drivers to make and receive calls, access text messages, play music, get directions, check traffic conditions, and more with Siri voice commands and on-screen controls. CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or newer.Related Roundup: CarPlay Tag: HARMAN Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 February 2017 | 1:55 pm

iPhone 8 With Longer Battery Life Said to Entice Those With Older iPhones to Upgrade

Apple's rumored iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will have longer battery life, which will drive customers with older iPhone models to upgrade at an accelerated rate, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. Huberty also expects the high-end iPhone to have a significant form factor change with wireless charging, 3D sensors, and more advanced AI software capabilities, which are all features that have been previously rumored. An excerpt from Huberty's research note obtained by MacRumors:In addition to more modest updates to current iPhone SKUs, we expect Apple to launch a higher priced device with AMOLED display that allows for a curved form factor and longer battery life, wireless charging technology, 3D sensors, and more advanced AI software capabilities. While we see accelerated upgrades for Apple's highest end users in all regions, our work suggests China users are especially sensitive to new technology and form factor changes.Her research note said a larger base of customers that own at least a two year old iPhone, particularly in China, has resulted in "pent-up demand" for the significantly redesigned "iPhone 8," and this "supercycle" will help drive sales growth alongside modestly updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models. Morgan Stanley raised its Apple stock price target to $154 accordingly. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the "iPhone 8" will have a stacked logic board design that provides room for a larger 2,700 mAh L-shaped battery. As such, while the "iPhone 8" is expected to have a 4.7-inch form factor, Kuo said it will have comparable battery life to a 5.5-inch Plus model. For comparison, iPhone 7 has a 1,960 mAh battery and iPhone 7 Plus has a 2,900 mAh battery.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: Katy Huberty, Morgan Stanley, battery life Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 February 2017 | 12:26 pm

Apple Expanding Seattle Hub Working on AI and Machine Learning

Apple will expand its presence in downtown Seattle, where it has a growing team working on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, according to GeekWire. The report claims Apple will expand into additional floors in Two Union Square, and this will allow its Turi team to move into the building and provide space for future employees.“We’re trying to find the best people who are excited about AI and machine learning — excited about research and thinking long term but also bringing those ideas into products that impact and delight our customers,” said computer scientist Carlos Guestrin, Apple director of machine learning. “The bar is high, but we’re going to be hiring as quickly as we can find people that meet our high bar, which is exciting.”Apple's director of machine learning Carlos Guestrin, who founded Turi and is a University of Washington professor, said the Seattle team collaborates "extensively" with groups at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, including working on new AI features for upcoming Apple products and services. Guestrin said AI, for example, will enable the iPhone to be more understanding and predictive in the future:“But what’s going to make a major difference in the future, in addition to those things, for me to be emotionally connected to this device, is the intelligence that it has — how much it understands me, how much it can predict what I need and what I want, and how valuable it is at being a companion to me,” he said. “AI is going to be at the core of that, and we’re going to be some of the people who help with that, here in Seattle, but of course there will be tons of groups in Cupertino doing amazing things with that, too.”Guestrin said Apple is doing long-term research in Seattle, looking ahead "three to 10 years," while also focusing on the near term by developing new features for upcoming Apple products."We work on the whole spectrum," he said. "It's not just about doing research, but it's about the technology transfer and how that gets embedded into experiences that customers love."Today, the University of Washington will reportedly announce a new $1 million endowed professorship in AI and machine learning, which is said to have been made possible by Apple's acquisition of Turi last year. The endowment is named after Guestrin, and it will allow the university to attract more top talent in the field. Last month, Apple became a member of the Partnership on AI, a non-profit organization established "to study and formulate best practices, to advance the public's understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society". A recent report, which referenced Turi, said Apple is working on "enhanced" Siri capabilities for next-generation iPhones.Tags: Seattle, Apple real estate, machine learning, artificial intelligence, Turi Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 February 2017 | 10:47 am

Apple Has at Least Five Different Groups Working on Wireless Charging Ahead of iPhone 8

Apple is widely expected to launch its first iPhone with wireless charging capabilities later this year, but rumors remain conflicting about whether the feature will be based on inductive technology, which would require a charging pad or puck, or a truly wireless long-range charging solution. Apple recently joined the Wireless Power Consortium, a group of over 200 companies backing the Qi wireless charging standard, perhaps signaling that it is leaning towards an inductive solution. After all, the Apple Watch uses Qi, albeit a tweaked version that only works with Apple's own charger. Qi, pronounced "chee," is capable of scaling from less than 1 watt to more than 2,000 watts of power, making the standard more than adequate enough for charging any smartphone. Its backing members include Samsung, LG, HTC, Qualcomm, Dell, Canon, Sony, Huawei, Apple supplier Luxshare, and others. Apple is known to test many different technologies behind closed doors, some of which never see the light of day. Reuters today, citing "a person with knowledge of the matter," said there are still "at least five different groups" working on wireless charging technology within the company ahead of new iPhones. Just three months ago, Apple was said to have more than 10 different iPhone prototypes under development, so it could be experimenting with different charging solutions for future devices; however, with iPhone 8 production expected to begin relatively soon, Apple has likely already finalized the hardware. Apple will reportedly begin production of its upcoming iPhones as early as next quarter, so the first part leaks will likely begin to surface over the next few months, which should give us a better idea of what to expect. Apple is rumored to launch a 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display, alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, in September. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said all three iPhones will feature wireless charging, while some reports have said only the OLED model will be capable.Tags: wireless charging, reuters.com Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 February 2017 | 9:02 am

New iPhone Patent Suggests Touch ID May Live on in a Different Form

One of the more contentious iPhone 8 rumors we've seen recently is the claim that with the removal of the Home button, Apple will ditch its Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology and replace it with another form of bio-recognition hardware. While several possible alternatives have been put forward – such as iris scanning, facial recognition, and even a combination of technologies – each has its pros and cons, while it's still far from clear how Apple would implement them in a purportedly bezel-free OLED handset. On the other hand, it's possible that Apple plans to retain a fingerprint identification system in the context of a wider technology which doesn't rely on Touch ID as it is currently understood. A new Apple patent application published on Thursday and discovered by AppleInsider offers a case in point. The patent is called "Acoustic imaging system architecture" and describes a method by which a conventional capacitive sensor like Touch ID is replaced by an array of acoustic transducers laid out beneath an iPhone display or in its protective housing. Some embodiments describe the transducers as capable of generating acoustic waves, or pulses, which propagate through different substrates, including an iPhone's coverglass. A sensing mode then monitors reflections, attenuations, and diffractions in the sound waves caused by a foreign body – such as a finger – coming into contact with the responsive substrate. According to the filing, the ridges in a fingerprint create an identifiable acoustic impedance mismatch. The resulting scan data is transmitted as electric signals which subsequently inform an onboard image resolver to enable it to create a two-dimensional map of the surface. Similar to existing biometric security technology, the digital map is then compared against a database to authenticate the user. Crucially, the system is capable of being configured to scan for particular body parts like a user's ear or a skin pattern, in order to determine how the device is being held. Depending on the implementation, the acoustic imaging system might also replace an iPhone's proximity sensors. Additionally, the design of the acoustic system allows it to be installed almost anywhere in a device chassis, including directly under the display, around the screen's perimeter or bezel, around buttons and in other, non-input areas like a rear chassis. It's not known if the system just described will find its way into an upcoming iPhone, but the patent suggests Apple may be working on sensor technology capable of various feats, with fingerprint identification being just one of them. Alternatively, one could envision a scenario in which Apple considers its implementation of fingerprint recognition different enough to warrant a subtle re-definition of Touch ID – as when "Force Touch" on the MacBook became "3D Touch" on the iPhone, for instance. Indeed, at this early stage in the iPhone 8 rumor mill, uncertainty surrounding the future of Touch ID could be down to misconstrued information or confusion over a semantic quibble. Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tags: patent, Touch ID Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 February 2017 | 5:42 am

Apple Speaks Out Against Trump Order to Rescind Protections for Transgender Students

Apple tonight spoke out on U.S. President Donald Trump's move to rescind Obama administration protections for transgender students, providing a statement to Axios. The protections had allowed transgender students to use bathrooms that corresponded to their gender identity. The Cupertino company reiterated its commitment to equality, saying that everyone deserves a chance to be free from stigma and discrimination. "Apple believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination. We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals. We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections."This isn't the first time Apple has spoken out against the actions of the Trump administration. In late January, CEO Tim Cook said that the immigration executive order was not a policy that Apple supported. Apple made its HR, legal and security teams available to employees who were affected and eventually joined nearly 100 firms filing a legal brief against the order. Under Cook, Apple has had a history of speaking out in favor of equality. In March 2015, Cook spoke out against Indiana's controversial "Religious Freedom" law, which allowed business owners to turn away LGBTQ customers by citing "religious freedom." Cook also called on Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto the bill. Additionally, in 2013 both Cook and Apple came out in support of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and released a statement of support after the Supreme Court gay marriage ruling. 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.Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 23 February 2017 | 12:09 am

ColorWare is Now Selling Apple's AirPods in 58 Colors if You're Willing to Pay $289

ColorWare, a company that custom paints Apple products, today announced that it is now accepting orders for Apple's AirPods, which can be purchased from the site in range of different colors. For $289, a $130 premium over the $159 price of the AirPods, ColorWare will paint them in one of 58 different shades, from solids to metallics in every color of the rainbow. A deep glossy black is also an option, giving customers who have been wanting a "Jet Black" set of AirPods a way to get it. Each AirPod can be painted in a different shade, and for an extra $30, ColorWare will also paint the AirPod Charging Case. Along with a custom color, users can also choose a matte or gloss finish, for a set of AirPods that are totally unique. To paint various products, ColorWare fully disassembles them and carefully custom paints each individual component. On its Twitter account, ColorWare says developing a process for the AirPods was "FAR from easy." It was FAR from easy, but we made it happen! AirPods now come in your choice of 58 colors: https://t.co/9ukve4qGKe #WeDidIt pic.twitter.com/suvrPPoazy— ColorWare (@ColorWare) February 22, 2017 The total price for a fully customized set of AirPods plus case is $319, which is about double the price of a plain white set of AirPods purchased from Apple. In addition to shelling out quite a bit of money for a custom set, those who order AirPods from ColorWare will also need to wait for approximately six weeks for their order to arrive. ColorWare often lets customers send in their own devices to be painted, but this isn't currently an option with the AirPods. Because $319 is a lot of money to shell out for an accessory, ColorWare does offer paint samples so users can test colors out before placing an order. Each set of three paint samples costs $15. All ColorWare work is guaranteed for 12 months, and 24 months with the purchase of an additional warranty. Returns are available for the first 30 days but are subject to a 25 percent restocking fee. ColorWare paints a range of devices, from iMacs and MacBooks to Apple accessories like the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Mouse 2. The company also paints other accessories, like game consoles and headphones (including Beats), plus it offers a range of skins for products like the MacBook and iPhone.Tags: AirPods, ColorWare Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 22 February 2017 | 5:02 pm

iOS 10 Now Installed on Nearly 80% of Active iOS Devices

Just over five months after iOS 10 was released to the public, the operating system is now installed on 79% of active iOS devices, according to the latest adoption data shared by Apple. iOS 9 remains installed on 16% of active iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, while 5% of devices are running an earlier iOS version, as measured by the App Store on February 20. iOS 10 adoption appears to be slightly outpacing iOS 9 adoption over the same time period. iOS 9 adoption briefly stalled at 77% of active devices last February. iOS 10 could see further adoption when iOS 10.3, which is currently in beta for developers and public testers, is officially released. The software update's key new features include "Find My AirPods" and a switch to the all-new Apple File System (APFS). iOS adoption continues to significantly outpace Android. Nougat, the latest version of Android, is installed on just 1.2% of active Android devices as of February 6, despite being released six months ago today. Android Lollipop, released in November 2014, is still installed on 32.9% of active devices. Apple's control over both hardware and software gives it an advantage over the Android ecosystem, while Apple persistently notifies iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to update to the latest iOS version, including offering the option to have the software update install overnight while the device is plugged in.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 22 February 2017 | 9:18 am

Apple Campus 2 Officially Named 'Apple Park', Set For Grand Opening in April

Apple today announced that Apple Campus 2 will be open and ready for employees to begin moving in this April, while also officially naming the site "Apple Park." Moving more than 12,000 employees to the site will take more than six months, the company said, and some smaller building construction and landscaping will continue into the summer. In honor of the late CEO Steve Jobs -- who would have turned 62 on Friday, February 24 -- Apple announced that the theater at Apple Park will be named the "Steve Jobs Theater." The theater will be one of the buildings that opens later this year, and is situated at one of the highest point on the campus, overlooking the nearby meadows and the large, circular main building at Apple Park. "Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved the most energy-efficient building of its kind in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy." Apple's press release also covered a collection of other buildings at Apple Park, including a visitor's center that will include a full Apple Store and cafe, both of which will be open to the public. Apple worked in collaboration with Foster + Partners to build Apple Park, which occupies 175 acres and will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The main building, which has been referred to as the "Spaceship" building, includes 17 megawatts of rooftop solar power, meaning Apple Park will be running one of the largest solar energy installations on the planet when it opens in April. Apple also takes pride in the Park's landscaping initiatives, which has resulted in the replacement of 5 million-square-feet of asphalt with various greeneries, as well as over 9,000 native and drought-resistant trees. Construction on the campus began back in 2013 and was originally pegged for completion in late 2016 before construction delays pushed back its opening date. Throughout the years, coverage of the campus has been ongoing thanks to reliable drone videos that have showed up every month or so, giving Apple fans the chance to see major construction milestones like the first time the Spaceship building took shape, all the way up to the day that lights began turning on. Check out more images and a video about Apple Park here.Tag: Apple Park Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 22 February 2017 | 7:08 am

Apple Purchases iCloud.Net Domain, Shuts Down 'iCloud Social Network' Site

Apple recently purchased the iCloud.net domain, one of the last major iCloud-related web addresses that wasn't in its possession, reports TechCrunch. The iCloud.net domain, which now appears to be registered to Apple, was the home of the "iCloud Social Network," a dubious-looking social networking platform designed to allow people to share activities, pictures, music, videos, and other content. It's not clear how many users iCloud.net had before Apple purchased the domain, but the site now states that the iCloud.net services will be shut down at the end of February 2017, and data will be destroyed in March. It has apparently existed since 2011, and in a blog post, the site's owner said "iCloud.net finished his mission, it is time for him to retire." MacRumors received a tip suggesting Apple had purchased the domain for $1.5 million, but we have been unable to verify the information. The price Apple paid for iCloud.net is unknown and the company declined to comment on the purchase when contacted by TechCrunch. Back in 2011, ahead of the launch of the iCloud service, Apple purchased the iCloud.com domain name from Swedish company Xcerion, shelling out approximately $5.2 million. Apple also possesses upwards of 100 iCloud domains, ranging from iCloud.us and iCloud.eu to iCloudApps.com and iCloudAds.com. It's not clear why Apple waited more than five years to acquire the iCloud.net domain, and it likely was just done as a measure to make sure the company owned all of the iCloud-related domains, but TechCrunch speculates that the purchase may have been made due to ongoing work on a social networking app that Apple is rumored to have in development. While the rumored app may not use iCloud branding, the existence of an Apple social network could have been confused with an iCloud.net social network, an ambiguity Apple may have wanted to resolve with the purchase of the iCloud.net domain.Tag: iCloud Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 21 February 2017 | 7:11 pm

Data Plan Comparison: Unlimited Options From T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint

T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, the four major carriers in the United States, all offer unlimited data plan options as of last week, allowing customers to forget about traditional data caps. With so many options now available for unlimited data, we thought we'd do an in-depth video comparing the plans offered by the four companies to figure out the best value based on price and coverage. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos Unsurprisingly, Sprint offers the lowest prices, but many people choose not to use Sprint because its LTE coverage is poorer than other carriers. Eliminating Sprint, T-Mobile offers the next best deal, while Verizon comes in third, and AT&T comes in at a distant fourth. For a single individual, Sprint charges $50 for new customers (for a limited time -- it goes up to $60 next year). T-Mobile charges $70, Verizon charges $80, and AT&T charges $100, making it the most expensive unlimited plan of the four carriers for an individual user. Prices even out a bit more with an increasing number of lines. At four lines, Sprint is charging $90 (new customers only -- and it's $160 next year), T-Mobile charges $160, and Verizon and AT&T both charge $180. Not all plans are equal though, especially in AT&T's case. While Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer high-definition video streaming by default, AT&T limits video streaming to 480p unless customers specifically opt out. Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile all also offer 10GB of tethering data per line for connecting your Mac or iPad to your phone, but AT&T offers no mobile hotspot functionality with its unlimited plan. T-Mobile offers the same video streaming and hotspot option that Verizon and Sprint do, but its prices are better than Verizon and aren't much more than Sprint, while offering a better network. T-Mobile is also the only network that offers fee-free data plans, so the price listed -- $70 -- is what you pay. T-Mobile doesn't charge activation fees, but other carriers do, which is something to take into account. All networks will "deprioritize" (aka slow down) data after a certain amount of data is used per month. T-Mobile's limit is 28GB, while AT&T's is 22GB, Verizon's is 22GB, and Sprint's is 23GB. When these caps are hit, data speeds are slowed down. On paper, T-Mobile seems to offer the best value for the price, but it's always worth taking a look at coverage maps and getting the opinion of other cellular users in your area before choosing a provider. There are also other benefits to look into, such as coverage abroad -- another area where T-Mobile leads the pack.Tags: Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 21 February 2017 | 5:24 pm

Some 2016 MacBook Pro Owners Experiencing Keyboard Problems

Apple's latest line of notebooks introduced an entirely revamped keyboard featuring flatter keys built using a second-generation butterfly mechanism, designed to optimize for stability while also maximizing travel. The butterfly mechanism was originally introduced in the ultra thin MacBook, but a newer version was implemented in the MacBook Pro. There have been mixed opinions about the keyboard of the 2016 MacBook Pro due to its vastly different feel compared to previous-generation MacBook Pro models, and it appears the new butterfly mechanism may also be less reliable compared to older construction techniques. A growing number of customers who have purchased a 2016 MacBook Pro are running into issues with the keyboard, including non-functional keys, strange high-pitched sounds on some keys, and keys with a non-uniform feel. There are dozens of threads both on MacRumors and on the Apple Support site. One of the most significant issues appears to be keys that make different higher-pitched sounds than other keys in some cases, a problem that was caught on video by MacRumors user monstermac77. As is demonstrated, when the caps lock key is pressed, it makes a sound that's much different than the other keys on the keyboard. According to monstermac77, the issue is only reproducible when the Mac is warm, a complaint that has been echoed by several other MacBook owners in the thread, suggesting heat plays a role in activating the problem. Some users are experiencing the overly-clicky sound without heat, though.Within a few hours of using my Late 2016 MacBook Pro 15" with Touch Bar, I noticed some of my keys made a very high pitched click on-key-up (when I lifted my finger from the pressed down key). The affected keys: Caps Lock, left Option, and very occasionally: Delete, 'H', and 'C'.The high-pitched clicking sound is irritating, but it isn't as serious as some of the other issues MacBook Pro owners have been having with the keyboard. In some cases, certain keys on the MacBook Pro miss clicks, enter double letters, or refuse to respond at all, a problem that we here at MacRumors have also experienced. MacRumors reader rroch describes the problem:My 2016 15'' MacBook Pro arrived yesterday (as one of the first). 63 of the 64 keys work fine. But the i-key most of the time types the letter twice. I suggest you test out your keyboard thoroughly. With auto-correct it can be easy to think it works. However, my password contains the letter i, and I quickly became super frustrated not being able to get my password right (come to think about it, maybe that's why they added Touch ID, so you don't need the keyboard for passwords). So take a document, turn off auto-correct, and check all the keys. I found that the failure happens more frequently with a slight delay before releasing the key.It's not clear what's causing the issue with the keys that suddenly become non-functional, but the butterfly mechanism is sensitive and can be interrupted by something as simple as a bit of dust. In our case, with the machine we had that was experiencing issues with a specific key, the problem cleared up on its own, but other MacBook owners have not been so lucky. One other minor keyboard complaint is an inconsistent feel across keys, with some keys that feel spongier than others or that don't press down consistently. This seems to be related to a problem with the butterfly mechanism which some users report having fixed with a needle or other thin tool, but most people should not try that sort of repair at home. While many of the complaints seem to be focused on the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, some users have also had problems with both the 13-inch model with a Touch Bar and the 13-inch model with no Touch Bar. Customers who are experiencing keyboard problems should visit an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. In most cases, Apple is offering repairs and replacements for affected users, especially those who have verifiable hardware problems related to skipping keys, but some MacRumors readers have needed to go through several replacement machines to find a keyboard that doesn't experience issues. Keyboard replacements are also not a simple matter on a machine as complex as the MacBook Pro, and users should expect repairs or replacements to take multiple days. According to reports from customers who have sought repairs, Apple is outright replacing most Touch Bar models while sending non-Touch Bar models out for repairs.Related Roundup: MacBook Pro Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 21 February 2017 | 2:09 pm

Qualcomm's and Intel's Latest LTE Modems for Smartphones Exceed Gigabit Speeds

Ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, Qualcomm and Intel have separately announced the latest LTE modems for smartphones with theoretical download speeds exceeding so-called "Gigabit LTE," aka 1 Gbps. Apple sources LTE modems for iPhones from both chipmakers. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X20 modem is the first-announced modem to support Category 18 download speeds up to an ultra fast 1.2 Gbps, with Category 13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. That builds upon Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16, which has a peak download speed of 1 Gbps. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon X20, built on a leading-edge 10nm FinFET process, supports more combinations of LTE carriers and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams. This "vastly expanded flexibility" will for more operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE in the future. Qualcomm said the first products with the Snapdragon X20 modem are expected to be available in the first half of 2018. Intel's new XMM 7560 modem [PDF] supports LTE Advanced Pro for up to Category 16 download speeds "exceeding" 1 Gbps, and Category 13 upload speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The XMM 7560 modem is Intel's fifth-generation LTE modem, and the first to be manufactured based on its 14nm process. Intel said the XMM 7560 modem is expected to sample in the first half of this year and move into production soon afterward. Both modems support 5x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO configurations, up to 256-QAM, and other technologies. Both chips also work with a number of cellular technologies, covering most LTE, CDMA, and GSM standards, meaning that equipped smartphones will be usable on most networks around the world. Overall, Qualcomm appears to remain a step ahead of Intel, but it's a rather moot point for now given that Australian carrier Telstra currently has the only Gigabit LTE network in the world. There are also no Gigabit LTE-capable smartphones, although the first ones are expected to be announced at Mobile World Congress next week. Nevertheless, the broader availability of Gigabit LTE is on the horizon. More smartphones will inevitably support the faster speeds in the future, while AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are all testing or plan to deploy Gigabit LTE this year in the United States, on the bigger path towards next-generation 5G networking. But even then, it is important to remember these are just theoretical speeds. In the latest OpenSignal testing, based on aggregated data from nearly 170,000 smartphone users, average LTE download speeds at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile ranged between 8 Mbps and 17 Mbps—a far cry from 1 Gbps. Apple could theoretically include the Snapdragon X20 or Intel XMM 7560 in a future iPhone, thereby making it a Gigabit LTE-capable smartphone, but it may elect to wait until more networks are up to speed. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X12 or Intel's XMM 7360 depending on the model. The X12 has a theoretical peak download speed of up to 600 Mbps, while the XMM 7360 reaches up to 450 Mbps. Qualcomm models were unsurprisingly found to be faster in subsequent testing.Tags: Intel, Qualcomm, LTE Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 21 February 2017 | 1:29 pm

Apple Releases Third iOS 10.3 Public Beta to Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to public beta testers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the second public beta and one day after providing the third iOS 10.3 beta to developers. Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 10.3 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on their iOS device. Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to both iOS and macOS Sierra betas. Betas are not stable and include many bugs, so they should be installed on a secondary device. As a major 10.x update, iOS 10.3 introduces a new "Find My AirPods" option to help users locate a lost AirPod. Located in the "Find My Friends" app, the Find My AirPods feature keeps track of the last known location where AirPods were connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth, and it allows the AirPods to play a sound to make finding them nearby easier. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Along with a Find My AirPods feature, the update also includes a shift to Apple File System (APFS). First introduced in 2016, APFS is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and includes strong encryption and other important features. Apple recommends all users make an iCloud backup before installing iOS 10.3, as the update will cause the iPhone's file system to switch over to Apple File System. iOS 10.3 also introduces a tweaked app animation, a new Apple ID profile in the Settings app, a better breakdown on how iCloud storage is being used, SiriKit improvements, new iCloud analytics options, Verizon Wi-Fi calling on iCloud devices, 32-bit app alerts, and more. The third beta introduces an "App Compatibility" section in the Settings app, letting users see if they have outdated apps that won't work with future versions of iOS.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 21 February 2017 | 12:13 pm

New Touchscreen for 'Apple Watch Series 3' Said to Enter Production Later This Year

The tentatively named "Apple Watch Series 3" will feature a new glass-film touchscreen in place of the current touch-on-lens solution, with shipments to begin in the second half of this year, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes. While it remains unclear if the switch to a film-based solution will have any obvious consumer-facing benefits, this is more interestingly the first rumor to surface about the supply chain ramping up for the next Apple Watch. The timeline matches a Chinese report last month that claimed the third-generation Apple Watch will be unveiled in the third quarter of 2017 with battery life and performance improvements. The report said Series 3 models, to be manufactured by Quanta, will lack any significant hardware changes. Few other details are known about the next Apple Watch models, which could feasibly launch alongside the "iPhone 8" in September. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources have claimed the Apple Watch could gain an LTE chip for cellular capabilities as early as 2017, while a supply chain report last year said Apple may switch from OLED to micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch in the second half of 2017 at the earliest. Micro-LED displays have benefits such as thinness, lightness, improved color gamut, increased brightness, and higher resolutions. The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron. Apple has filed patents for a number of ideas that could eventually be included in an Apple Watch, such as a heart rate identification system, modular bands, haptic feedback band, and a band with a built-in charger. More significant health and fitness features could be added pending further FDA approvals. Ahead of Apple Watch Series 3 models, Apple is expected to introduce new bands at its rumored iPad Pro-focused event next month.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3 Tag: digitimes.com Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

Posted on: 21 February 2017 | 9:51 am