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MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors - All Stories
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MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors - All Stories
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Apple Music Users Able to Gift a Month Subscription to a Friend
Apple is today sending out notifications to Apple Music subscribers that, when tapped, allows them to send a referral to friend to sign up for a free one-month subscription to Apple Music. According to Apple, the referrals for a free month of service can only be sent to people who do not already subscribe to Apple Music. The person who signs up for the free trial will see their subscription renew after a month, or one month after the standard free trial. That means people who have not used Apple Music before can get a total of four months of service for free, because Apple already offers a three month free trial for everyone. Those who have already used a three month trial and then canceled may be able to get an additional month through this referral link. Not all Apple Music users appear to be getting these notifications at this time, but we've seen multiple reports both from MacRumors readers and on Twitter. Apple has promoted Apple Music in similar ways in the past, offering free trial extensions to those who previously signed up for Apple Music.This article, "Apple Music Users Able to Gift a Month Subscription to a Friend" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Apple Acquires Voice App Startup PullString
Apple recently purchased PullString, a San Francisco startup that enables the design and publishing of voice apps through its PullString Converse platform, reports Axios. PullString could be used to improve the voice capabilities of Siri, Apple's personal voice assistant. On its website, PullString says that it can be used to "collaboratively design, prototype and publish voice applications for Amazon Alexa."At PullString, we strive to help people talk effortlessly with voice technology that surrounds us. Working at the intersection of creative expression and artificial intelligence, we provide agencies and enterprises with the leading solution to collaboratively design, prototype, and publish highly engaging voice applications for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IoT devices.According to Axios, PullString was founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives and when it was first started, was used to create interactive voice apps for toys. The company broadened its horizons over the years, though, following the introduction of products like Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. Apple has not officially confirmed the acquisition and details about the purchase price are not available.Tag: Apple acquisitionThis article, "Apple Acquires Voice App Startup PullString" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Apple to Release AirPods With New Coating and Black Color in the Spring
Apple is planning to release AirPods that feature a new surface coating, wireless charging, and a black color option, according to a report from Taiwanese Economic Daily News. Apple supplier Inventec has been manufacturing the new AirPods and is ready to ship them in the spring, perhaps alongside the AirPower, which is now in mass production. Black AirPods from Colorware Economic Daily Times says that the AirPods will be priced the same as the previous version, which was $159 in the United States, though curiously the site suggests the prior pricing was $199. The information shared by the Taiwanese publication matches up with rumors that we heard earlier this week from MySmartPrice. That rumor suggested both the AirPods and the Charging Case will be available in black and white, with the updated accessory to get a special matte coating that will "enhance grip." We still don't know exactly when the AirPods are going to be released. Apple is holding an event on March 25, but it will focus on services and not hardware. Apple could choose to release updated AirPods and perhaps the AirPower right around that time via press release rather than through a dedicated event.Related Roundup: AirPods 2Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)This article, "Apple to Release AirPods With New Coating and Black Color in the Spring" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Apple Shares Humorous 'Bokeh'd' Ad Highlighting iPhone Depth Control Feature
Apple today shared a new "Bokeh'd" video on its YouTube channel, which highlights the Depth Control feature on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. In the spot, a group of mothers are looking at photos, when one notices that her son has been blurred out in the background of an image. "Did you bokeh my child?" she asks, while the other mother attempts to explain that it was accidental. The mother who took the photograph uses Depth Control to show that she can remove the bokeh effect so that the blurred child is back in focus. From the video description:Depth Control on iPhone XS and iPhone XR lets you adjust the bokeh effect on backgrounds before or after you shoot. So you can turn a cute portrait of two kids into a stunning portrait of one kid.Introduced in the new 2018 iPhone lineup, Depth Control is designed to allow you to control the amount of blur in the background of your images. When taking a Portrait Mode image, you can adjust it before or after capturing it to change how much background blur is used. This feature is limited to the 2018 iPhone lineup and isn't available on older iPhones.Tag: Apple adsThis article, "Apple Shares Humorous 'Bokeh'd' Ad Highlighting iPhone Depth Control Feature" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Twitter Has Been Keeping Deleted DMs for Years
If you've deleted your DMs, they may be unavailable on your phone and on the web, but Twitter is still saving them, according to data from security researcher Karan Saini that was shared today by TechCrunch. Twitter also keeps direct messages and data sent to and from accounts that have either been deactivated or suspended, according to Saini, who discovered years-old messages in a file from an archive of data from an account that was no longer active. A bug in a now-deprecated API used to allow him to get direct messages even after a message was deleted by both sender and recipient. Twitter says that accounts that are deactivated and deleted are removed along with all of their data after 30 days, but TechCrunch found that's not the case.But, in our tests, we could recover direct messages from years ago -- including old messages that had since been lost to suspended or deleted accounts.Twitter lets you download all of the data associated with your account, even a suspended or deactivated account, which lets you see everything that the company is storing. Saini told TechCrunch this is a "functional bug" that lets people bypass Twitter mechanisms to prevent access to these kind of accounts, but as TechCrunch points out, it's also a reminder that delete doesn't mean delete when it comes to direct messages. Twitter told TechCrunch that it is "looking into this further to ensure we have considered the entire scope of the issue."Tag: TwitterThis article, "Twitter Has Been Keeping Deleted DMs for Years" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Study Finds iPhone XS Max Users Experience More Than Twice as Fast LTE Speeds as iPhone 5s Users on Average
iPhone XS Max users experience more than two times faster real-world LTE data speeds as iPhone 5s users on average in the United States, according to OpenSignal, although there are caveats to consider. OpenSignal says it measured speeds on hundreds of thousands of iPhones across the United States from October 26, 2018 to January 24, 2019 and found that iPhone XS Max users experienced an average LTE download speed of 21.7 Mbps compared to just 10.2 Mbps for iPhone 5s users. iPhone XS users saw an average LTE download speed of 17.6 Mbps, while iPhone 6 through iPhone 8 Plus users posted average LTE download speeds of between 15.6 Mbps and 17.1 Mbps, as measured by OpenSignal. OpenSignal attributes the faster data speeds on newer iPhones to improved modems and antenna designs in those devices, such as 4x4 MIMO support in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max compared to 2x2 MIMO on older iPhones, but the results are also likely influenced by socioeconomic factors. Someone who is still using an iPhone 5s in 2019 could be a price-conscious consumer who is unable to justify the cost of upgrading to a newer iPhone, for example, while relying on a discount carrier with inferior wireless coverage or capped data speeds compared to major carriers such as Verizon and AT&T. That said, while the results may be somewhat skewed, a newer iPhone should be able to achieve faster data speeds than an older iPhone, assuming it's connected to a cellular tower with the latest LTE equipment.Related Roundup: iPhone XSTags: LTE, OpenSignalBuyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Neutral)This article, "Study Finds iPhone XS Max Users Experience More Than Twice as Fast LTE Speeds as iPhone 5s Users on Average" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Luna Display Adapter for Turning Your iPad Into a Second Screen
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Astropad to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Luna Display adapter. The Luna Display is a handy little dongle that's designed to turn your iPad into a second screen for your Mac. You may be familiar with the Astropad software, which mirrors the Mac's display to an iPad, but the Luna Display extends the Mac's display to the iPad instead of mirroring it for full second screen functionality. Using Mini DisplayPort or USB-C, the Luna Display plugs right into your Mac and then works with the iPad using the Luna Display software for Mac and iPad. Setup takes just a few seconds and the device works over a Wi-Fi connection. At $80, the Luna Display is an affordable option for those who want a second portable display for the Mac that's perfect for use both at home and when on the go. The connection between the two devices is seamless with little to no lag depending on your connection. Luna Display works with any modern iPad, dating back to the iPad 2, along with the iPad mini and the iPad Pro. Newer iPads will perform better, of course, due to the faster hardware. You can also use the Luna Display with any 2012 or later Mac. We've even set up an iPad Pro as a display for a Mac mini using the Luna Display, as seen in our video below, and it worked well. You can buy the Luna Display from the Luna Display website, and we also have five of them to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win our giveaway, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected. a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest will run from today (February 15) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on February 22. The winners will be chosen randomly on February 22 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.Tag: giveawayThis article, "MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Luna Display Adapter for Turning Your iPad Into a Second Screen" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Classical Music on Apple Music: What's Wrong and How Apple Can Fix It
Last August, Apple Music was updated with a new section in Browse curated by Deutsche Grammophon, one of the biggest classical music labels in the world. While classical music fans welcomed the specific focus of the area, many of our readers quickly pointed out the numerous issues that remain for classical listeners on a daily basis within Apple Music, and the fact that they've been there since the launch of the service with seemingly no correction in sight. To help break down and highlight these problems, we reached out to a few experts in the classical music field, including professor Benjamin Charles, who wrote a blog post about his frustrations with streaming music services last October. We also spoke with Franz Rumiz, a classical music fan whose article "Why Apple Music fails with classical music" struck a chord with the community in early 2017. Frustrations with classical music streaming are nothing new, but as Charles tells us, this is a problem that affects nearly every streaming music service, including Apple Music rival Spotify. In an effort to find out exactly what's wrong with classical music on Apple Music -- and what steps could be taken to address these problems -- we asked Charles and Rumiz to detail the biggest issues with classical music on Apple Music. The Problems Classical music is treated as a single genre When you tap on "Genres" in Apple Music's Browse tab, you're treated with a list of over 30 styles of music, from Alternative and African Music to Christian, Electronic, K-Pop, and Metal. This is where classical music fans have to visit to find their favorite music, within the singular "Classical" genre section. For Charles, this is the first in a long line of problems. The section spans centuries, including all of the notable composers like Mozart (born 1756, died 1791), Maurice Ravel (b. 1875, d. 1937), and John Cage (b. 1912, d. 1992), but this grouping is frustrating for classical music aficionados, given how little these musicians have in common among one another.Charles: "...We’re treating around 300 years of music from various countries, forms, philosophies, and so on as one genre. As far as modern commercial music, we don’t group the past 50 years together: can you imagine how strange it would be to group LL Cool J, Metallica, and The Spice Girls together? These are all artists that were popular in the 90s; beyond that, they have virtually nothing in common. Grouping together Mozart, Ravel, and Cage makes even less sense." Rumiz: "The sorting of recordings follows the rules of pop & rock genre. For classical music this doesn’t fit at all, because you very often want to compare different recordings of the same pieces by the same composer with different soloists, orchestras and conductors. It is very complicated and sometimes impossible to sort and find recordings by these categories." Classical music wasn't designed to fit in modern album templates Streaming classical music on a service like Apple Music forces the expansive art form into a strict, boundary-ridden template. Because of this, numerous aspects of the music are truncated in a way that deflates their impact, particularly for anyone without existing knowledge of classical recordings. Charles says that one aspect of classical music that's mixed up in the shuffle is the listener's interest in a piece's composer versus its performer. While some artists, like Leonard Bernstein, both compose and perform their music, Charles questions how Apple Music determines the best recording for a piece of music: "Is a recording more significant because it is composed by Bach, or is it more significant because it is performed by Glenn Gould?" Further complicating matters, orchestral recordings introduce both the conductor and orchestra as contributors, essentially breaking any possibility for these pieces to be read and seen within the boundaries of a modern album format. With concerti, the soloist, composer, and orchestra also need credit. This results in albums with names like "Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26 - Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major, M.83; Gaspard de la nuit, M. 55," credited to "Martha Argerich, Berlin Philharmonic & Claudio Abbado." Not only is this far too much information to read clearly in Apple Music, but the app's basic UI functions fail to provide links to every credited artist, making further classical music discovery a frustrating endeavor. In the above example, the link for "Martha Argerich, Berlin Philharmonic & Claudio Abbado" directs listeners only to Martha Argerich's Apple Music profile page.Charles: "That is a lot more difficult to follow than The Wall by Pink Floyd. Clicking the performer’s name in this case links you to more Martha Argerich recordings—what if you’re curious to hear more of the Berlin Philharmonic or Claudio Abbado? (And I won’t even bother going into the complications that come with identifying an opera cast.) In short, classical music was not designed with the album format in mind. Some pieces are substantial enough that they could fill up an entire album (Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 comes to mind); some are even so long that they would exceed the length of a traditional album (Steve Reich’s Drumming comes to mind). Some are also less than a minute long (Bach Two Part Inventions come to mind)" On that note, Rumiz points out that classical music playlists are essentially nonsense. This is because each playlist takes in arias and overtures from various operas, completely disrupting the ordered way that classical music is intended to be listened to. This happens in playlists like Apple's "Essentials" for composers like Richard Wagner, and in mood playlists designed for studying or relaxing.Rumiz: "Again Apple offers something for their mainstream audience which doesn’t fit the genre. I don’t want to hear just one part of a symphony, I want to listen to the whole thing! The same applies to classical music radio." Siri isn't very helpful Because of these wordy titles, any voice-enabled features touted by Apple and found within Apple Music are much harder to use for classical music fans. As Charles bluntly puts it, "Can you imagine: 'Hey Siri, play the third movement of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 from the album Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26 - Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major, M.83; Gaspard de la nuit, M. 55 by Martha Argerich, Berlin Philharmonic & Claudio Abbado." In our tests, simply stating "Hey Siri, play Prokofiev's Piano Concerto" did lead to Siri playing the correct concerto in the correct order, but as with all things Siri, the command was not consistently reliable. The proclivity toward the use of foreign language titles for some pieces, and the acceptance of English versions of the same titles, also regularly stumps Siri. "Sometimes we use English titles, sometimes we use foreign language titles; 'The Rite of Spring' and 'Le Sacre du printemps' seem to be used equally to describe the same piece," Charles explains. There are breaks between each track Rumiz's biggest issue with classical on Apple Music is the breaks that happen between tracks in recordings (this frustration originally led Rumiz to write his Medium post on the topic). For any classical piece that is through-composed (music intended to be played from beginning to end in one continuous stream), Apple Music interrupts the fluidity of the piece by placing a break of ~1 second between each track. Rumiz does point out that Apple has removed these breaks from many recordings over the years, but it isn't solved for all recordings.Rumiz: "I find these breaks in the middle of a thrilling, highly emotional classical symphony to be annoying — they are destroying the concentration and pleasure of the listener." There is a large barrier to entry for new listeners This is Charles' biggest problem with classical on Apple Music. Although the browsing and playback experience can be awkward, the music professor ultimately notes that his background and education in the subject help him navigate Apple Music's less-than-stellar classical music selection with some ease. If you're on the other end of that spectrum, trying to get into the genre and navigating 300+ years of music on Apple Music, it's "effectively impossible." Charles is understandably disappointed in the lack of education and forethought put into classical selections on Apple Music. There are no program notes, select few pieces of biographical information, and no guidance when navigating among composers. Despite the music having thorough research readily available, Apple Music ditches all interconnections between notable composers in favor of static tabs of music lists. One of the few educational areas in Apple Music's classical section is buried at the very bottom of the page, and offers a quick overview of the genre's history. Listening to classical music often requires the listener to understand the work in context to get everything out of it. Without these tidbits of history, connective tissues between composers, and educational program notes, Apple Music fails this fan base.Charles: "So in short, classical music is left to an exclusive crowd of enthusiasts that already know what they are looking for. Apple prides itself on making devices and services with user interfaces that anyone can use, yet classical music remains locked in a vault for the select few that already know it inside and out." There's a lack of legitimacy As an extension of the previous grievance, Apple Music's Beethoven page lacks a link to the composer's spiritual successor, Brahms, but it does provide a link to an artist named "Chopin." Unfortunately, this is not the Polish composer, but a rapper who appeared on a hip-hop song named "Circumstance," which was released in 2018. "Even if it did link to the correct Chopin, there are far more relevant composers to link to," Charles points out. Furthermore, Apple populates composer pages with songs from albums and playlists that don't necessarily paint these artists in a respected light. Beethoven's "Top Songs" include songs from albums like "The World's Most Beautiful Wedding Music," "Classical Music for Power Pilates," and "Exam Study." While relevant to each of these activities, Apple's decision to push these results higher on the page above more reputed collections "sends strong signals of a lack of legitimacy in the classical music world," Charles argues. The Solutions Build better composer pages and offer more categories This would be feasible, since Apple just last year updated the artist pages across Apple Music with new profile picture designs, new featured albums, album reorganization, and a "play all" button. Although composers and their works are inherently more complex, Charles points out that some already have their own identification systems, including the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV) catalog for Bach and the Köchel (K) catalog for Mozart, which have the potential for streamlined integration into Apple Music. In the same vein, Rumiz says more categories would do wonders for expanding the ease-of-use of classical on Apple Music, by offering more complex categories like "soloist" and "conductor," instead of following the rules of pop and rock music where songs only have one artist. While this would be a big task for Apple, Rumiz notes that it will be "necessary if they want classical music fans to continue using Apple Music on the long run." Fix irrelevant recommendations In a simpler and easier solution, Charles hopes Apple can more intelligently guide users to important and noteworthy composers, pieces, and musicians, that actually have relevance to one another. No more erroneous "Chopin" pages and "Ode to Joy" recommendations found within Power Pilates playlists. Make it smarter and hire a human curator Overall, Charles is hoping for Apple to boost the intelligence of its classical music section on Apple Music. To start, he recommends Apple hire a musicologist whose job it would be to personally back the rejuvenation of the classical music features on the service. This would be just like most other sections of Apple Music, where algorithms are backed and double-checked by human editors, like Arjan Timmermans's role as Apple Music's "Head of Pop." This includes adding program notes that would enhance the listener's understanding of classical music, so that they're actually taking part in digesting and understanding the composition and not just passively listening. Charles explains the importance of knowing a piece's real-world history: "Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique is a great example: it features a story (loosely based on the composer's own life) of an artist obsessing with a love interest, taking opium, and murdering his beloved in a drug-induced trip. This sort of thing kind of changes how you hear a piece!"Charles: "Effectively, the service should offer somewhat of a university-style music appreciation course for the average listener." Acquire a company that does most of this already In a move that would make sense given Apple's history, Apple could also simply acquire a company that's doing most of these things already, and implement the technology within an update to Apple Music. Charles pointed me toward the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall [Direct iTunes Link], a classical music streaming service that has live and on-demand concerts (up to 40 each season), hundreds of archived recordings covering five decades, composer interviews, documentaries, artist portraits, and a family-friendly education program that dives into the history of each piece. While the Digital Concert Hall mostly lacks simple music streaming, if Apple made a deal with Berlin Philharmonic, the service's features would greatly boost classical music offerings on Apple Music. Rumiz doesn't recommend an outright acquisition, but he does point towards a company and service that is already leagues ahead of Apple in the classical music field: IDAGIO [Direct iTunes Link]. This service costs $9.99/month and focuses solely on classical music. While some important recordings are missing and require him to return to Apple Music or Spotify, Rumiz says that IDAGIO's usability and interface are far better than Apple Music, eliminating many of the frustrations classical fans have with streaming services. Boost the video offerings According to Rumiz, a well-organized and fully featured suite of classical video content "could be an important selling point" for a streaming service intent on gaining more classical fans. Apple has a few of these, offering background interviews with artists, but Rumiz points toward YouTube Music as the current leader in this category, since it offers full recordings of concerts and operas. The Future In the end, Apple -- and Spotify, Google, Amazon, etc. -- have a tricky battle ahead of them if and when they decide to address the issue of classical music on streaming services. "It doesn't seem to be a business priority [for Apple]," Charles admits, and in the current scheme of things, the company's focus on pop and hip-hop in Apple Music is logical from a financial standpoint. But that doesn't change the fact that there are millions of classical music fans willing and ready to pay the company that can get these things right. "This is a completely untapped market," Charles tells me. "One streaming service could completely own the classical music audience if it wanted to."Tags: Apple Music, classical musicThis article, "Classical Music on Apple Music: What's Wrong and How Apple Can Fix It" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Apple Extends iPhone XR and iPhone XS Trade-Up Promotion Until March 25 in China
In late November, Apple launched a limited time promotion that offers up to $100 in additional credit when trading in an iPhone 6 through iPhone 8 towards the purchase of a new iPhone XS or iPhone XR in the United States. Apple expanded the promotion to additional countries in late December. While no end date has been set in the United States, fine print on Apple's regional Chinese website reveals that the extra credit will be available through March 25, 2019 in China, an extension of the previous February 28 end date in Japan. March 25 happens to be the rumored date of Apple's next event, where it is expected to announce new subscription-based news and streaming video services — although March 25 in China is March 24 in the United States due to time zone differences. The promotion is available at Apple Stores in participating countries. It is also offered on Apple.com and with monthly payments in the United States. With the monthly payment option, customers can get a new iPhone XR for as low as $18.99 per month or a new iPhone XS for as low as $29.99 per month for 24 months. If paying in full, the iPhone XR and iPhone XS start at $449 and $699 respectively with the trade-in of an iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 8 in the United States. Apple has been heavily promoting iPhone XR and iPhone XS trade-ins with a prominent banner on the homepage of its website, store signage, App Store editorials, emails to older iPhone users, and more since the smartphones launched last year. In a letter to shareholders last month, Apple said it saw fewer iPhone upgrades than it anticipated last quarter, primarily due to greater than expected economic weakness in the Greater China region. Apple said making smartphone trade-ins at its stores easier is one step it is taking to improve results.Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XRTag: Apple trade-inBuyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Neutral), iPhone XR (Buy Now)This article, "Apple Extends iPhone XR and iPhone XS Trade-Up Promotion Until March 25 in China" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Samsung Leaks Upcoming AirPods Competitor 'Galaxy Buds'
Samsung has leaked its upcoming wearables lineup through its Galaxy Wearable app for Android ahead of its February 20 event. Image credit: SamCentralTech As spotted by Twitter account SamCentralTech, and reported by The Verge, the initial "pick your device" screen of the app reveals the names and marketing images for a new Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Fit fitness trackers, and Galaxy Buds. Galaxy Buds are the least known of the three products, serving as Samsung's latest AirPods competitor. They won't be Samsung's first pair of truly wireless earphones, succeeding the Gear IconX in 2016, but rumors suggest they'll be able to charge wirelessly on the back of the upcoming Galaxy S10. Image credit: The Verge As for the Galaxy Watch Active, the app reveals the bezel-less smartwatch will be available in a 40mm size in at least two colors. Samsung will be hosting a media event on Wednesday, February 20 at 11 a.m. Pacific Time at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, where it is widely expected to unveil a trio of new Galaxy S10 smartphones alongside these wearables.Tag: SamsungThis article, "Samsung Leaks Upcoming AirPods Competitor 'Galaxy Buds'" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Apple Releases 2018 Conflict Minerals Report, Remains 'Deeply Committed' to Responsible Sourcing
Apple today filed its 2018 Conflict Minerals Report with the SEC as part of its commitment to supplier responsibility. Apple said it remains "deeply committed" to upholding human rights across its global network of suppliers and "works to safeguard the well-being of people involved in its supply chain and to protect the places where materials are sourced." Apple commits to use minerals in its products that do not directly or indirectly finance armed conflict or benefit armed groups.As of December 31, 2018—for the fourth straight year—100 percent of identified smelters and refiners in Apple's supply chain for all applicable products manufactured during calendar year 2018 participated in an independent third-party conflict minerals audit ("Third Party Audit") program for columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, gold, wolframite, or their derivatives, which presently are limited to tantalum, tin, and tungsten (collectively, "3TG"). In 2018, Apple directed its suppliers to remove from its supply chain five smelters and refiners not willing to participate in, or complete, a Third Party Audit or that did not otherwise meet Apple's requirements on the responsible sourcing of minerals. Of the 253 smelters and refiners of 3TG determined to be in Apple's supply chain as of December 31, 2018, Apple found no reasonable basis for concluding that any such smelter or refiner sourced 3TG that directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups.In 2017, The Enough Project said Apple was the "clear leader" among companies around the world at developing efforts to source conflict-free minerals from suppliers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Tag: supplier responsibilityThis article, "Apple Releases 2018 Conflict Minerals Report, Remains 'Deeply Committed' to Responsible Sourcing" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Red iPhone XS and XS Max Rumored to Launch in China This Month, Again Dropping PRODUCT(RED) Branding
A red variant of the iPhone XS and XS Max could be launching in China sooner rather than later, if a social media rumor proves to be accurate. A Weibo post spotted by iPhoneHacks.com claims Apple will launch the red color models by the end of this month, in a bid to boost struggling iPhone sales in the region. The leaker, who claims to have received the tip from sources in Apple's supply chain, says that Apple will call the model "China Red," and not the PRODUCT(RED) branding that the company typically associates with the color. Apple globally launched a mid-cycle (PRODUCT)RED edition iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in March 2017 and a similar edition for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in April 2018, so the timing wouldn't be completely off. Apple already sells a (PRODUCT)RED variant of the iPhone XR. There's also precedent for Apple using a different name in China – the company dropped the PRODUCT(RED) branding in the country for both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models, instead promoting them simply as additional colorways. Apple has partnered with the (RED) Global Fund for nearly 13 years to sell a variety of red-colored devices and accessories. For each product sold, Apple makes an unspecified contribution to HIV/AIDS charity. However sex remains a controversial issue in China, where AIDS and HIV have been characterized in the past as a consequence of contact with the West. Despite the lack of any PRODUCT(RED) mention in China, Apple CEO Tim Cook assured MacRumors in a March 2017 email that the company upholds its charitable Global Fund donations commitment for every special edition red iPhone sold in every country in the world, with or without said branding. If there's any weight to today's rumor of a red iPhone XS and XS coming to China, it could potentially signal the early launch of PRODUCT(RED) versions for the rest of the world, although nothing is certain. Rumors last year of a mid-cycle PRODUCT(RED) edition of the iPhone X never transpired, for example. It's also worth noting that several Chinese mobile makers will be launching their 2019 flagship phones over the next couple of months, so Apple may be using new red iPhone models as a counterweight to new rival devices on the market.Tags: China, (PRODUCT)REDThis article, "Red iPhone XS and XS Max Rumored to Launch in China This Month, Again Dropping PRODUCT(RED) Branding" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Apple's Beats by Dre Brand Unveils New NBA Collection
Apple's Beats by Dre brand today unveiled a new NBA collection, with Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones available in six colorways representing the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, and Boston Celtics. Each pair of headphones is a different color with subtle same-color logo branding for each NBA team. Get closer to your music and show love for the team you rep with the Beats NBA Collection. These Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones, worn by some of your favorite players, feature your team's authentic colors and iconic logos. The final result is a collection designed just for the fans, honoring the spirit and emotion that makes up each of the six available team options.The NBA Collection Studio 3 Wireless Headphones are priced at $349 and offer the same features as all other Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones such as a W1 chip for pairing, 22 hours of battery life, Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling, and more. Apple announced a Beats by Dre partnership with the NBA back in September, which makes Beats by Dre the official headphone, wireless speaker, and audio partner of the NBA and sister associations WNBA, NBA G League, and USA Basketball. In addition to offering NBA-themed headphones for fans, Beats will also provide headphones for players and advertise during major events like the NBA All-Star, NBA Draft, international games, WNBA games, and more.Tags: Beats, NBA, Beats by DreThis article, "Apple's Beats by Dre Brand Unveils New NBA Collection" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Twitter Could Get Option for 'Clarifying' Tweets
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey today commented on the possibility of an edit button for tweets, suggesting Twitter is considering a feature that might let people go back and add clarifications or annotations to older tweets. As shared by Recode, Dorsey said that right now, there's "no credible way" for people to "go back and clarify" their older tweets, a problem that Twitter wants to solve."How do we enable people to quickly go back or to any tweet, whether it be years back or today, and show that original tweet -- kind of like a quote retweet, a retweet with comment -- and to add some context and some color on what they might have tweeted or what they might have meant. By doing so you might imagine that the original tweet then would not have the sort of engagement around it. Like you wouldn't be able to retweet the original tweet, for instance. You would just show the clarification, you would be able to retweet the clarification, so it always carries around with it that context. That's one approach. Not saying that we are going to launch that but those are the sorts of questions we are going to ask."Dorsey has been talking about adding some kind of edit feature to Twitter, something that most users on Twitter want, for months now, but no editing feature has materialized. The clarification feature mentioned here isn't the type of editing option for typos and errors that people are hoping for, but it could let users add clarifications to tweets that will be seen by everyone, unlike a quoted tweet. In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said that if the feature is created -- and it's not guaranteed -- that it would be tested with journalists and newsmakers, giving them a way to clear things up if something inaccurate or incomplete is tweeted.Tag: TwitterThis article, "Twitter Could Get Option for 'Clarifying' Tweets" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Battery Case Showdown: Apple's Smart Case vs. Mophie's Juice Pack Access
Right around the time that Apple debuted new Smart Battery cases designed for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, Mophie, a popular accessory maker, also introduced its Juice Pack Access battery cases for the new iPhones. In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with the Juice Pack Access to compare it to Apple's Smart Battery Case to see if it's a better option for those looking to extend their iPhone batteries. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The cases are similar in weight and thickness, and both cases have a hump design with an area where the battery inside the case protrudes. The Juice Pack Access is also made from a smooth plastic while the Smart Battery Case is silicone, so those who don't like silicone may prefer the plastic. Like the Smart Battery Case, the Juice Pack Access allows Lightning accessories to be used because it leaves the Lightning port unobstructed. Prior cases used the Lightning port to supply power to the iPhone, but the new model uses Qi wireless charging exclusively. The Juice Pack Access charges the iPhone at the 5W wireless charging speed, which is a bit slow. Apple's solution, meanwhile, builds an extra Lightning port into the Smart Battery Case because Apple has access to tighter integrations. The benefit there is Lightning support with faster charging, though with a battery case, charging speed isn't a huge factor since it's meant to be used throughout the day, but it can be important if you're putting the battery case on in a situation where your battery is already nearly drained. You can charge the Juice Pack Access wirelessly on a Qi charger or through an included USB-C port, though those who don't already have USB-C devices and cables may find that cumbersome. Apple's Smart Battery Case charges either wirelessly or through the Lightning port, which is more convenient. There's a 2,200mAh battery in the Juice Pack Access for iPhone XS Max and a 2,000mAh battery in the cases for the XR and XS, while Apple's Smart Battery Case offers more power thanks to two 1,369mAh batteries in the device. For example, Mophie says the iPhone XS Max paired with the Juice Pack offers 31 hours of talk time, 16 hours of internet use, and 18 hours of video playback. The iPhone XS Max with the Smart Battery Case offers a total of 37 hours of talk time, 20 hours of internet use, and 25 hours of video playback. In our testing, the Smart Battery Case lasted for a longer period of time than the Juice Pack, which is not surprising given that it offers a bit more power. The Smart Battery Case has the edge over Mophie's version when it comes to checking battery level. Because of the tight iOS integration, you can see your Smart Battery Case battery level on the Lock screen and in the Notification Center, with Apple offering exact charge numbers. There are four LEDs to indicate charge on the Juice Pack, but it's not nearly as granular. You also don't need to turn the Smart Battery Case on - it just works and is constantly supplying power to the iPhone when it's on the iPhone. You will need to make sure turn on the Juice Pack Access, which could be a benefit or a hassle depending on your perspective. Apple sells its Smart Battery Cases for the 2018 iPhones for $129 in Apple retail stores, third-party stores, and online. Mophie's Juice Pack Access, available from the Mophie website, is more affordable at $99, but it loses out on some bells and whistles you get with Apple's case. What do you think of the Juice Pack Access? Is the $29 savings worth it over Apple's Smart Battery Case? Let us know in the comments.This article, "Battery Case Showdown: Apple's Smart Case vs. Mophie's Juice Pack Access" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Apple Buys DataTiger, a UK Digital Marketing Startup
Apple recently purchased Data Tiger, a UK startup focused on digital marketing, reports Bloomberg. The acquisition, says Bloomberg, could improve Apple's digital marketing and make it "more relevant to customers." DataTiger's website is blank, but a LinkedIn page for the company says that it offers a set of tools that enable customers to build marketing software that "puts data to work." Using DataTiger is the fastest and easiest way to increase retention & monetisation. With our platform you can individually optimize the marketing flows for your customers in real-time across all channels. DataTiger can be used as an online tool, importing your data and set up user flows in minutes, with all of your data living in the cloud - or it can be fully customized in-house, building your own marketing solution via our APIs + open-source front-end components.Specifically, the site more accurately takes advantage of customer data to send relevant materials and advertisements to them. Apple appears to have made the purchase in December, and based on a regulatory filing discovered by Bloomberg, now controls Operatedata, DataTiger's legal name. A spokesperson has yet to confirm the acquisition, however.Tag: Apple acquisitionThis article, "Apple Buys DataTiger, a UK Digital Marketing Startup" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Apple to Announce TV Service at March 25 Event, But Launch is Months Off
While Apple is planning to preview its rumored streaming TV service at an event that's set to be held on March 25, a launch may not happen for several months. According to sources that spoke to Variety, Apple will announce the service in March, but it may not be available to customers until the summer, or as late as fall. Sources familiar with the plans say Apple's video service will be targeted for a launch in summer or fall rather than the April timing that has been the subject of media speculation. Apple has vowed to its high-caliber producing partners to mount marketing blitzes on behalf of the shows in addition to the service itself.Apple has more than two dozen original television shows in the works, many of which have already been cast. It's not clear if filming has started, but holding the launch of the service until at least some of the shows are available would make sense. Apple has not yet announced its March 25 event, but multiple rumors from well-respected sites have indicated that's the date when it will be held. The March 25 event will be focused on services, and Apple is not expected to debut new hardware even though there are multiple rumors of products getting a spring refresh. We could instead see devices like the AirPower, iPad mini 5, new AirPods, a seventh-generation iPad, and a seventh-generation iPod touch announced via press release given that these are all minor updates. Major stars that include Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, all of whom have roles in Apple shows, have been invited to attend the March event, which will also include an announcement of a new Apple News service. Variety's sources caution that specific plans for the event and how the video service will be introduced may be "in flux until the minutes Cook steps on the stage."Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12Tag: Apple's Hollywood ambitionsBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)This article, "Apple to Announce TV Service at March 25 Event, But Launch is Months Off" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Google's Planning a Cheaper Smartphone to Rival iPhone XR
Google is planning to unveil a cheaper smartphone as part of an aggressive effort to draw more users into the Google ecosystem and to better compete with Apple, according to a recent report from Nikkei. Google is said to be planning to exploit Apple's current pricing issues. Apple suffered poorer iPhone sales than expected during the holiday quarter, and one major factor was the high cost of iPhones around the world. Google's alleged low-cost smartphone, via Andro News Google's upcoming smartphone will be priced similarly to Apple's iPhone XR, which costs $749 for the entry-level model in the United States. Google is targeting customers looking for a more affordable smartphone option and customers in emerging markets where higher-priced smartphones don't sell well. Prior Google smartphones, such as the latest Pixel, have started at higher prices. The 2018 Pixel 3 released in October was priced starting at $799. Along with a new lower-cost smartphone, Google is planning on hardware that includes new smart speakers, wearables, and web cameras. Google has been planning its hardware push for years and has scooped up hundreds of hardware engineers and supply chain specialists from Apple. Google wants to use Google-branded hardware to push various Google services, a tactic that has been successful for Apple. Alleged photos of Google's lower-cost Pixel smartphone surfaced earlier this year, depicting a device that looks a lot like the Pixel 3 but with a plastic shell. Rumors have suggested the smartphone will feature 1 5.56-inch 2,220 x 1,080 LCD display instead of an OLED panel, along with a Snapdragon 670 processor, 32GB of storage, a headphone jack, 4GB of RAM, the same high-quality 12-megapixel camera that's in the Pixel 3, and a 2,915mAh battery. It's not entirely clear when Google will debut the new lower cost smartphone, but one solid guess is Google I/O, which will take place in May.Tag: GoogleThis article, "Google's Planning a Cheaper Smartphone to Rival iPhone XR" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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Deals Spotlight: Get $100 Off the AmpliFi HD Mesh Wi-Fi System Through New Upgrade Program
In the wake of Apple's decision to end its AirPort line of routers, many users continue to hunt for the best possible Wi-Fi networking solution. Ubiquiti Networks' AmpliFi routers have been some of the more popular mesh systems on the market in recent years, and this month the company is offering a notable $100 discount on its AmpliFi HD Mesh Wi-Fi System, as long as you're willing to go through a bit of a process to get it. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with AmpliFi. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. To take part in AmpliFi's new upgrade program, you'll have to take a picture of an existing, non-AmpliFi mesh Wi-Fi system and send it into the company with an explanation as to why you want to upgrade to AmpliFi. Once you do so, you can get the AmpliFi HD Mesh Wi-Fi System for $240.00, down from $340.00. There are four total ways you can do this, which we've outlined with specifics below: Email Send a message to social@ubnt.com Attach a picture of your current, non-AmpliFi mesh Wi-Fi system unplugged In the email, explain why you want to upgrade to AmpliFi Twitter/Instagram Post a photo of your current, non-AmpliFi mesh Wi-Fi system unplugged In the post, explain why you want to upgrade to AmpliFi Use the hashtag #AmpliFiUpgrade and tag @AmpliFiHome Facebook Post a photo of your current, non-AmpliFi mesh Wi-Fi system unplugged in the comments of this post Along with the photo, explain why you want to upgrade to AmpliFi After you complete one of these tasks, AmpliFi will get in touch with you through DM or email and provide you with an exclusive $100 discount code that you can use to buy the AmpliFi HD Mesh Wi-Fi System on AmpliFi.com. Note that this upgrade program discount code is only for the AmpliFi HD, and can not be used to purchase the AmpliFi HD Gamer's Edition, AmpliFi Instant System, or another product on AmpliFi's website. The AmpliFi HD Mesh Wi-Fi System comes with a router base station and two wireless super mesh points, which provide maximum Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home. AmpliFi does sell the HD Mesh Router on its own for $149.99 (without the mesh points), but that is not available in the upgrade program. In total, the AmpliFi HD System will be priced at $240.00 with the discount code, down from $340.00. As of writing, the AmpliFi HD is full-priced at all of the major retailers online, so this is currently the best discount on the router and definitely worth taking part in if you've been eyeing AmpliFi's products. AmpliFi could also be of interest to eero users who are reconsidering their purchases following Amazon's acquisition of the mesh company. We've had the chance to test out all three of AmpliFi's main consumer routers and came away impressed across the board, so be sure to check out our full review right here, and then find out more about AmpliFi on the company's website. Those interested should note that the AmpliFi upgrade program will close on February 28, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET.Tag: AmpliFiThis article, "Deals Spotlight: Get $100 Off the AmpliFi HD Mesh Wi-Fi System Through New Upgrade Program" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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$249 iPhone SE Temporarily Back in Stock on Apple's Clearance Site
For those who have been unable to take advantage of the $249 iPhone SE deal on Apple's U.S. clearance site, Apple again has a limited supply of the discounted 4-inch devices. You can purchase the 32GB iPhone SE in gold for $249 or the 128GB iPhone SE in space gray or silver for $299. Apple has been offering iPhone SE models on clearance since mid-January, but available stock often sells out quickly. Apple has done several restocks, however, giving those who prefer smaller devices one last chance to purchase a 4-inch iPhone on the cheap. Apple originally discontinued the iPhone SE in September 2018 when the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR were announced. Apple's iPhone lineup now starts with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus as its entry level devices. The iPhone SE, first announced in March 2016, was the last 4-inch smartphone that Apple offered, with the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models now the smallest that Apple officially sells in retail stores. With these clearance sales, Apple seems to be getting rid of remaining iPhone SE stock, and it's clear that available supply is dwindling. There are just three iPhone SE models that can be purchased on the site now, while earlier stock updates had more options. Those who want to get an iPhone SE should do so soon because it's not clear how many more restocks Apple will be offering.This article, "$249 iPhone SE Temporarily Back in Stock on Apple's Clearance Site" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
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