Latest MacBook News

Subscribe to Latest MacBook News feed
Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mac News and Rumors
Updated: 37 min 28 sec ago

Samsung's Galaxy S10 Rumored to Feature 3D Facial Recognition Like Face ID on iPhone X

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:00
Israeli startup Mantis Vision is reportedly working with camera module firm Namuga to develop 3D sensing camera solutions for Samsung's tentatively named Galaxy S10, according to Korean news outlet The Bell.

The technology would pave the way for Samsung to implement a 3D facial recognition system on the Galaxy S10, similar to Face ID on the iPhone X. The new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, which officially launch tomorrow, still rely on a less secure 2D facial recognition system paired with an iris scanner.

Last year, videos surfaced that showed the same 2D solution on the Galaxy S8 could be unlocked by waving a photo of the registered user's face in front of the camera. Samsung even confirmed that its facial recognition solution cannot be used to authenticate access to Samsung Pay or its Secure Folder feature.

By comparison, Face ID uses a structured-light technique that projects a pattern of 30,000 laser dots onto a user's face and measures the distortion to generate an accurate 3D image for authentication. Face ID has been duped with sophisticated masks, but not with a simple photo of a person.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently opined that it would take Android smartphone makers up to two and a half years to catch up with Face ID. Apple released the iPhone X last November, while the Galaxy S10 will likely be released around March or April of 2019, a roughly one-and-a-half year span.

It's a given that Samsung will catch up with Face ID at some point, but it remains to be seen if its 3D facial recognition system can match the iPhone X's user experience. Around this time next year, we should find out.

Tags: Samsung,, Galaxy S10,
Discuss this article in our forums

Pocket Introduces Time Estimates for Articles and Videos in iOS App

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 12:06
The developers behind read-it-later service Pocket this week announced a new update for iOS and Android that will give users a simple but useful glimpse into how long each article will take them to read. After updating to version 6.6.16 on the iOS App Store, the Pocket app for iPhone and iPad will display time estimates "for every article and video" that has been saved.

The time estimates will be located below the titles of each saved piece of content, to the right of the URL. At launch, time estimates are available on devices set to English, but the Pocket team said that it plans to add support for more languages "in the near future." The developer is also working on introducing time estimates to Pocket for Web down the line.

You’ve told us that it would be helpful to know how long it takes to start and finish each item in your list, and now you can! When you open Pocket on your phone or tablet, you’ll see time estimates for every article and video you’ve saved, right below the title.

So the next time you have 3 minutes waiting for an appointment, 10 minutes on your commute, or are unwinding on the couch after a long day, open up Pocket and find a story that suits your moment.
Pocket is a service available across multiple platforms that lets users save any web page to revisit later, be it an article, video, recipe, shopping item, or other similar pieces of content. This way, users can save an article on Safari for iOS using the Share Sheet extension, and then look at it a few days later on the Mac app, even when they're offline.

Just over one year ago Pocket was acquired by Mozilla, and at the time Mozilla stated that the Pocket would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Mozilla Corporation and part of the Mozilla open source project. Mozilla said that Pocket's core employees and technology would help accelerate its Context Graph initiative, while promoting the discovery and accessibility of high quality web content.

One of Pocket's biggest rivals in the read-it-later app space is Instapaper, which itself was acquired by Pinterest in 2016.

Pocket is available for free on the iOS App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: Pocket
Discuss this article in our forums

Researchers Uncover macOS and Safari Exploits at Pwn2Own 2018

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 11:48
The eighteenth annual CanSecWest security conference is underway in downtown Vancouver, Canada, where researchers are competing in the 11th Pwn2Own computer hacking contest for over $2 million in prizes.

Day one results have already been published over at the Zero Day Initiative website, with a couple of successful Mac-related exploits already appearing in the list of achievements.

Image via Zero Day Initiative
Samuel Groß of phoenhex returned to Pwn2Own to successfully hack Apple's desktop Safari browser. Groß used a JIT optimization bug in Safari, a macOS logic bug, and a kernel overwrite to execute code to successfully exploit the browser, earning himself $65,000 and six points towards Master of Pwn. The exploit also caused a text-based message to appear on a MacBook Pro's Touch Bar.

The achievement harks back to Groß's similar success at last year's event, where he targeted Safari with an escalation to root on macOS that allowed him and Niklas Baumstark to scroll a message on a MacBook Pro Touch Bar, earning them $28,000.

Another Safari exploit at Pwn2Own 2018 was initiated by Richard Zhu, who managed to bypass iPhone 7 security protocols with the help of two Safari bugs at November's Pwn2Own mobile event. However, this time Zhu failed to get his exploit chain working within the allotted 30-minute time limit.

Richard Zhu at Pwn2Own 2018 (Image via ZDI)
Unfazed, Zhu returned to wow the crowd with a Microsoft Edge exploit that used two use-after-free (UAF) bugs in the browser and an integer overflow in the kernel to successfully run his code with elevated privileges. The dramatic effort against the ticking clock earned him $70,000 and seven points towards Master of Pwn.

Apple representatives have attended the Pwn2Own contest in the past, and affected parties are made aware of all security vulnerabilities discovered during the contest so that they can be patched in future software updates.

The participating teams earned a total of $162,000 in prizes on day one, and the event resulted in three Apple bugs, two Oracle bugs, and three Microsoft bugs. Pwn2Own day two begins today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific and will involve additional exploit attempts against macOS and Safari.

Tag: Pwn2Own
Discuss this article in our forums

European Regulators Set April 23 Deadline to Decide on Apple's Proposed Shazam Acquisition

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 11:41
The European Commission today announced it has set a provisional deadline of April 23 to decide on Apple's proposed acquisition of Shazam.

Last month, the regulatory body said it would consider whether Apple's purchase of the popular music identification service may lead to a significant adverse effect on competition in Europe, after Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden requested the deal be assessed under European Union merger law.

The European Commission didn't specify how the deal could hurt competition, but Shazam does have partnerships with European companies like Spotify that could be affected by the acquisition. However, it's standard for major acquisitions to be subject to review, so the deal will likely be approved without any scrutiny.

Apple announced its plans to acquire Shazam in December in a statement provided to MacRumors and other publications:We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it's used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today's agreement.Shazam is a popular service that can identify the name and lyrics of songs, music videos, TV shows, and more. It has apps across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and iMessage, while the service has been built into Siri since iOS 8. The app is also integrated with streaming music services like Apple Music and Spotify.

In addition to Shazam, Apple this week announced it plans to acquire digital magazine subscription service Texture to be integrated into Apple News.

Via: Reuters

Tags: European Commission, Shazam
Discuss this article in our forums

How to Set Up Medical ID on Your iPhone

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:51
Medical ID is a built-in feature of your iPhone's Health app that gives ambulance crews and other emergency first responders fast access to potentially life-saving information about any allergies or medical conditions you have, even if your iPhone is locked.

Even if you don't suffer from any health conditions, it's still worth enabling Medical ID, because it can also provide other vital information about you to emergency services, such as your blood type and who to contact in an emergency. This article shows you how to set up Medical ID in iOS 11.

How to Set Up Your Medical ID in iOS 11
  1. Launch the Health app on your iPhone. (If you're using an iPhone 6s or later, firmly press the Health app icon to jump straight to the Medical ID via 3D Touch and skip the next step.)

  2. Tap Medical ID at the bottom of the screen.
  3. If you're in the U.S., you can opt to register as an organ donor with Donate Life America by tapping the option at the bottom of the Medical ID screen. If you don't want to register, or you're outside the U.S., simply skip this step.
  4. Tap the Edit button at the top right of the screen.

  5. Under Emergency Access, toggle the Show When Locked switch to the On position. Make sure you perform this step, otherwise emergency services won't be able to access your Medical ID.
  6. Start adding information to your Medical ID card. Apart from your name and date of birth, the other types of information you can add in this section include medical conditions and medical notes, allergies and reactions, medications, blood type, organ donor status, weight, and height. (Note that information added to your Medical ID isn't included in your Health Data or shared with other apps.)
  7. Under Emergency Contacts, tap the green plus sign to add someone from your Contacts list. (You can add several people, but bear in mind that if you use the Emergency SOS feature on your iPhone's lock screen, all emergency contacts receive a message alerting them of the SOS and your location.)

  8. For each emergency contact you add, select an option from the list that best describes your relationship to that person, e.g. "father" or "doctor".
  9. Tap Done in the top right of the screen when you're finished.
If you decide against keeping a Medical ID record, the Edit mode includes a Delete Medical ID option at the very bottom of the screen.

Accessing Medical ID on a Locked iPhone 8 or Earlier
  1. Press the Home button on the iPhone to activate the passcode screen.
  2. Tap Emergency in the bottom left corner of the passcode screen.
  3. Tap Medical ID in the bottom left corner of the Emergency keypad screen.

Note: If the Apple handset doesn't have a Home button, swipe up with your finger from the bottom of the screen to trigger the passcode screen, or use the alternative method for accessing Medical ID below.

Accessing Medical ID on a Locked iPhone X or Later

  1. Simultaneously press and hold the Side (power) button on the right and the Volume Up button on the left of the handset.
  2. Swipe rightwards across the Medical ID slider.
You can also access the Medical ID on Apple Watch: Press and hold the side button and drag the Medical ID slider to the right.

Related Roundup: iOS 11Tag: health
Discuss this article in our forums

Documents Reveal 26 Million U.S. Viewers Tuned into Amazon Prime Video in Early 2017

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:45
Amazon's U.S. audience for all movie and TV show programming on Amazon Prime Video was about 26 million customers in early 2017, according to company documents seen by Reuters.

Amazon Prime Video is provided as a benefit to Amazon Prime members who subscribe to Amazon's $99 per year Prime service, and features thousands of TV shows and movies, along with original content produced by Amazon.

Amazon has never revealed figures for its total Prime Video audience, but the documents provide an insight into the success of Amazon's successful original programming strategy, which involves producing content to entice consumers into Prime membership and boost merchandise sales.

For example, the documents cover late 2014 to early 2017 and compare metrics for 19 shows exclusive to Amazon, including cost, viewership and the number of people they helped lure to Prime. Known as Prime Originals, the shows account for around a quarter of what analysts believe to be total Prime sign-ups over the same period.Video has grown to be one of Amazon’s biggest expenditures at $5 billion per year for original and licensed content, two people familiar with the matter said. The company has never disclosed how many subscribers it won as a result, making it hard for investors to evaluate its programming decisions.

The internal documents show what Amazon considers to be the financial logic of its strategy, and why the company is now making more commercial projects in addition to high-brow shows aimed at winning awards, the people said.According to the documents, season one of alternate history drama "The Man in the High Castle", which is based on Philip K Dick novel, had 8 million U.S. viewers as of early 2017. The program cost $72 million in production and marketing, and attracted 1.15 million new subscribers worldwide.

Amazon's accounting reveals that the show drew new Prime members at an average cost of $63 per subscriber. A Prime subscription costs $99, while Prime members often go on to buy more goods from Amazon than other consumers. The documents also reveal that Amazon drew over 5 million people globally into its Prime subscription membership by the beginning of the 2017.

Apple announced Amazon Prime for Apple TV last summer, but owners of the set-top box had to wait six months for the service to eventually drop. Amazon Prime Video supports Apple's centralized TV app, meaning users can use Siri Universal Search to find Amazon Prime Video content, and add it to their "Up Next" queue of shows and movies.

Tags: Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime
Discuss this article in our forums

Nest Now Shipping 'Hello' Smart Doorbell With Night-Vision Camera and Two-Way Audio

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:02
Nest has begun shipping the Hello, a smart doorbell that's capable of streaming 160 degree HD live video from your door directly to your phone.

First announced back in September, the $229 doorbell device can take a photo of a person standing on your doorstep before the bell is even rung, and also supports two-way audio so you can speak with them.

The doorbell features a 3-megapixel camera with infrared night vision and records 1,600 × 1,200 video at 30 frames per second. The Hello also has a 160-degree field of view, and is 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi compatible. It stores up to three hours of video out of the box, with additional storage available by taking up a Nest Aware subscription.

In addition to shipping Hello orders via its online store, Nest also announced it is now shipping the $249 Nest x Yale Lock, a tamper-proof deadbolt front door lock with touchpad that connects to the Nest app. The touchpad means owners can give people they trust a passcode instead of a key for entry, and the door it's attached to can be locked and unlocked wirelessly.

Lastly, Nest also revealed that it is now taking pre-orders for its new wireless external temperature sensors for the Nest Learning Thermostat and Thermostat E. Owners can add up to six of the battery-powered, inch-wide sensors, each of which cost $39, or $99 for a three-pack. Nest also says it plans to bundle its thermostats with the temperature sensors after they officially hit stores in April.

Nest products don't integrate with Apple's HomeKit setup, but are popular competing connected home solutions. See the Nest website for more details.

Tag: Nest
Discuss this article in our forums

Google Maps Adds 'Wheelchair Accessible' Routes to Transit Navigation in Several Cities

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 09:03
Google Maps today announced the availability of new "wheelchair accessible" routes in its transit navigation directions for several cities around the world, recognizing that using trains and buses can present challenges for people who use wheelchairs or have other mobility needs.
Information about which stations and routes are wheelchair friendly isn't always readily available or easy to find. To make public transit work for everyone, today we're introducing "wheelchair accessible" routes in transit navigation to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs.

To access the new "wheelchair accessible" routes in the Google Maps app, enter a desired destination, tap Directions, select the public transportation icon, and then tap Options. The new route type can be found under the Routes section.

After selecting the "wheelchair accessible" option, Maps' directions list routes that take mobility needs into consideration, such as if a transit station has accessible stops, platforms, entrances, and exits.

Google says the feature is rolling out across London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney, with other major metropolitan transit centers around the world to follow.

In addition to the new feature, Google has been updating its Street View imagery of transit stations and city centers to allow users to preview locations ahead of time. Google says it hopes the expanded coverage will make life easier not only for people who use wheelchairs, but also for anyone who's using crutches or pushing a stroller.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Google Maps
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Allegedly Suspends iPhone Production at Assembly Plant Over Use of Unauthorized Parts

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 08:24
Apple supplier Wistron has dismissed a report claiming operations at its China-based iPhone production plant have been suspended by Apple for alleged use of "unauthorized components".

Taiwan's Chinese-language Commercial Times reported on Thursday that Apple ordered Wistron to halt production of iPhone 8 Plus handsets at its plant in Kunshan, China for two weeks pending a probe into alleged use of water-proof components from a supplier not certified by Apple. Wistron penalized several high-level executives in an attempt to regain Apple's trust, according to the report.

In a morning filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange this morning, Wistron said it wouldn't comment on matters between specific clients and denied there had been a "two-week production suspension as reported", maintaining that operations remained "completely normal". Wistron shares dropped on the report by more than 5 percent during early TSE trading, before recovering to close at NT$26.50, down by NT$0.45.

Wistron provides Apple with a smaller portion of iPhone 8 Plus models compared to rival supplier Foxconn, which makes up to 80 percent of the handsets, although Wistron has recently emerged as Apple's principal iPhone manufacturer in India.

The Taiwanese firm has reportedly invested around $157 million to build a new assembly unit in the tech hub of Bengaluru, where it plans to manufacture iPhone SE and potentially iPhone 6s models for the Indian market.

(Via DigiTimes.)

Tag: Wistron
Discuss this article in our forums

Logitech Releases New G560 Gaming Speaker System With Lights That Sync to Games and Movies

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 07:01
Logitech's G brand today announced the launch of a new gaming speaker, the G560. While primarily designed for gaming PCs, the G560 Gaming Speaker has unique features that may also be appealing to Mac users.

The G560, which features two light-up speakers and a subwoofer, is the first of Logitech's gaming speaker systems to come equipped with Logitech G Lightsync, designed to synchronize light and sounds to gameplay, movies, music, and more for a more immersive experience.

With Lightsync support, the lights built into the speaker can light up while you're playing games that have implemented the Lightsync API to add ambiance to gameplay. Many game developers have added support for Lightsync and have custom chosen the colors that will be displayed during various aspects of the gameplay. Supported games include Dota 2, Final Fantasy XIV, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, and more.

Developer-supported Lightsync options are mainly for PCs, but Lightsync also works based solely on the colors on your display. Using the screen sampling tool in Logitech's Gaming Software for Mac, you can tie the lights to four different zones of your Mac's display, so while you're playing a game or watching a movie, the G560 lights will light up with colors that are linked to whatever colors are in the media you're using.

If you're watching a colorful movie, for example, the colors of the movie will be reflected through the G560's lights, and the same is true for when you're playing a game. If you're playing music, you can also set the lights to change in time with the beat of the music, and colors can be customized using Logitech's app. The lights support 16.8 million colors and several animation effects, and sound can be customized using a detailed equalizer tool.

According to Logitech, the G560 offers "amazing sound" with 240 Watts Peak/120 Watts RMS power, making it suitable for all kinds of media on PC and Mac. On PCs, it also includes DTS:X Ultra 1.0 support for precise positional audio.

Along with these features, the G560 supports Logitech's Easy-Switch technology, which allows you to connect several devices to the speaker at once and then switch between them. You can connect one USB device, one device through the 3.5mm input, and two Bluetooth devices at the same time. So, for example, you could connect your Mac, your iPhone, and your iPad to the speakers and then easily swap between them, allowing you to use the G560 with all of your devices.

Logitech's new G560 Gaming Speaker will be available for purchase from retailers around the world starting in April of 2018. It will be priced at $199.99, and it will be sold alongside the new $150 G513 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which also supports Lightsync.

Tag: Logitech
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Adds New 'Families' Section to its Website With Tips for Parents

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 00:53
In the wake of urging from investors to do more about smartphone addiction among children, Apple has added a new "Families" section to its website that outlines parental control tools and information that parents should be aware of.

The mini site is broken into several sections that highlight a range of kid-friendly features that Apple has put into place like app recommendations, in-app purchase controls, restrictions on apps that can be downloaded, internet limiting tools, Find My Friends, and more.

Apple highlights the Kids section of the App Store, for example, which the company says parents can use to find carefully curated content that's appropriate for children. The site provides links to tutorials for enabling Ask to Buy so parents can approve app downloads, and it lets parents know how to turn on restrictions to limit in-app purchases and which websites are available to children.

Another section of the site points out tools like Find My Friends for keeping track of a child's location, and recommends setting up group chat for the whole family in Messages.

Apple also provides details on Family Sharing, which is designed to let members of the same family share apps, music, books, iCloud storage, and more, and there's a section on tips for the whole family, with feature recommendations like Do Not Disturb While Driving, Bedtime, Medical ID, Night Shift, and Emergency SOS.

Apple also recommends products like the Apple Watch with LTE connectivity to "reach kids in an emergency" and to help the whole family stay fit, and there's a dedicated section on privacy controls. Parents who have children that use iOS devices will likely want to give the new site a look.

Apple has promised to introduce more robust parental control tools, and rumors have suggested the company will introduce the features in iOS 12. Apple is said to be planning to debut a Digital Health tool that will let parents know how much time their children have spent using iOS devices.
Discuss this article in our forums

Pedometer++ Developer Shares Data on Apple Watch Adoption Rates Across All Models

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 22:51
David Smith, the developer behind the popular Pedometer++ app for iPhone and Apple Watch, today shared some interesting user data that offers insight into Apple Watch adoption rates, and specifically, how quickly he's seen Apple Watch Series 3 adoption grow.

Smith looked at data collected from August 1, 2017 (a month before the debut of the Apple Watch Series 3) to March 14, 2018. During that time, he's seen rapid growth in the number of active Pedometer++ users who have an Apple Watch Series 3, and a steady decline in users who have an Apple Watch Series 0 or an Apple Watch Series 2, both of which are now discontinued.

Just under 35 percent of Pedometer++ users now have an Apple Watch Series 3, while around 24 percent have an Apple Watch Series 0, down from more than 40 percent in August of 2017.

According to Smith, he's been keeping a close eye on Apple Watch Series 0 usage rates because he's hoping that Apple will soon drop support for the original Apple Watch, which he describes as a "bit painful" to develop for.It is just slow and honestly a bit painful to develop for. Even basic things like deploying your application to the watch can take uncomfortably long amounts of time. In daily use the Series 0 is probably "good enough" for many customers, especially with the speed/stability improvements added in watchOS 4, but as a developer I can't wait until I no longer have to support it.By contrast, Smith says the new Apple Watch Series 3 is "a delight to work with" because it's fast, capable, and has LTE functionality that allows for new kinds applications. Smith is hoping watchOS 5 will drop support for the original Apple Watch, which is why he tracks falling Series 0 usage rates, but he does admit that the device is still adequate for many users who just need basic functionality.

When watchOS 5 launches, presumably this September, the original Apple Watch will be more than three years old, and Smith believes, that based on current trends, Series 0 usage could be as low as 15 to 20 percent in his Pedometer++ app, which presumably is reflective of overall usage rates.

For comparison's sake, Apple ended support for the original iPhone, released in 2007, in 2010 when the fourth-generation version of iOS was released. Support for the first-generation iPod touch, also released in 2007, ended with the same operating system update.

Apple ended support for the first-generation iPad, released in 2010, with the launch of iOS 6 in 2013.

Apple clearly has a history of ending support for first-generation devices after a few years, but it's not yet clear if the company will do the same for the original Apple Watch. Some of the original Apple Watch models, which were offered in 18-Karat gold, were priced at up to $17,000, so Apple could have unhappy customers when support for the device eventually ends.

For more of Smith's Apple Watch adoption analysis, make sure to check out his full blog post.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Discuss this article in our forums

Netflix Nixes Feature That Gave Patches to Kids for Watching TV

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 22:13
Netflix has decided to stop testing a new gamified TV streaming experience for children, which offered kids "patches" (aka stickers) for watching episodes of certain television shows.

Netflix started testing the feature in February, but it received widespread attention last week after the beta test was highlighted by various media sites. Given the negative attention Netflix received over the feature from parents concerned about their children watching too much TV, Netflix has decided not to move forward with development.

Image from Twitter
In a statement to BuzzFeed, Netflix said the testing for patches has ended and the feature will not be implemented."We've concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well - and what doesn't work well - for our members."During the beta testing period, there were several complaints about the feature from users who encountered it, with customers sharing their negative opinions on Twitter and other social networks. Netflix was accused of attempting to turn children into "binge watchers" through the patch program.

Hey @netflix! If this becomes a thing, my kids are not going to be allowed to watch Netflix any more. We don't need you to drive engagement for them to *watch more TV*.

— aprotim (@aprotim) March 12, 2018

@netflix hi. i have been a netflix subscriber for over ten years. i will cancel my subscription if patches stick around. i don't need you actively encouraging my child to waste time in front of the television.

— The Ape of God (@simiadei) March 12, 2018
Netflix was testing the feature with a small number of users, with patches provided for shows like "A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Trolls," "Troll Hunters," Fuller House," and more. Netflix said the feature was aimed at providing collectible items for a "more interactive experience" and to "expand the storytelling world for the show."

Users who were part of Netflix's test group will no longer be seeing patches when watching TV shows.

Tag: Netflix
Discuss this article in our forums

How to Quickly Delete Numbers in the Calculator App

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 21:56
There are a lot of hidden little tricks and tips for all of the native apps on the iPhone, including the Calculator app. If you're typing in numbers and make an accidental mistake, you don't need to start all the way over -- there's a simple gesture to delete a single number.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
To make the correction, simply swipe left or right on the numbers displayed at the top of the calculator to remove a single number at a time.

You can do a few other things with the Calculator app. To copy a sum that you've calculated, simply press a finger over the number displayed on the calculator until the "Copy" option pops up. And in case you've never turned your iPhone to landscape mode while using the Calculator app, give it a try. You'll see a lot more functions to work with.
Discuss this article in our forums

Quick Takes: 'Why Hasn't Samsung Ditched the Headphone Jack Yet?'

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 21:29
In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Wednesday, March 14
- Why hasn't Samsung ditched the headphone jack yet? Daring Fireball's John Gruber remains convinced that headphone jacks are going the way of the floppy drive, but he explains why Samsung might not be ready to ditch the 3.5mm port yet, as Apple did with the iPhone 7 a few years ago.Samsung is more of a "do what the customer is asking for" company; Apple is a "figure out what they’re going to want" company. Samsung’s customers aren't asking for the headphone jack to be dropped, so the path of least resistance is to just keep the jack. But looking at what's available on the market, a big problem facing Samsung (and the rest of the Android world) is that the USB-C headphone market is a mess — and expensive to boot. "No-name brand headphones at high prices" is a hard sell.Commentary: Apple arguably has an advantage in this space thanks to its custom W1 chip, which provides a quick and seamless connection between Apple devices and its wireless headphones like AirPods and BeatsX.

- Dutch bank hints that Apple Pay could launch in the Netherlands next week: Dutch mobile bank bunq was recently added to the list of Apple Pay participating banks in Italy. When contacted by the Dutch blog about the possibility of Apple Pay launching in the Netherlands, the bank said it could not share any details before a press conference it is holding March 20.

Commentary: During its earnings calls, Apple usually mentions a list of countries where Apple Pay is coming soon, and the Netherlands hasn't been one of them. If this rumor proves true, however, hopefully it signals a wider expansion of Apple Pay to other European countries like Germany and Poland.

- Amazon considered buying Texture before Apple deal: "Next Issue Media LLC, owner of Texture, hired investment bank Moelis & Co. in the past year to advise on a sale process, said the person."

Commentary: Amazon already operates a Texture-like service called Kindle Unlimited, which provides subscribers with access to over one million e-book titles, thousands of audiobooks, and select magazines on Kindle Fire, iOS, or Android smartphones and tablets for $9.99 per month.

- Apple details Intelligent Tracking Prevention 1.1: All partitioned cookies are treated as session cookies and are not persisted to disk. Domains with a pending purge will not be able to set new cookies and their existing cookies are not sent in requests. These updates are available in Safari 11.1 on iOS 11.3 beta and macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 beta, as well as in Safari Technology Preview.

Commentary: Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a Safari privacy feature which detects domains that have the ability to track the user cross-site and either partitions or purges the associated website data. The feature is designed to stop companies from invasively tracking customer web browsing habits across websites.

For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.

Tag: Quick Takes
Discuss this article in our forums

How to Set a Custom Lock Screen Message on Your Mac in Case It's Lost

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 20:21
You can set a custom message to appear on the lock screen of your Mac, which is super useful if you ever misplace or lose your Mac. It lets people see who the Mac belongs to as soon as it's opened up, and there's no question about ownership.

You will need an administrator account to create a lock screen message on your Mac, but it's super easy to do.

  1. Click on the "" icon in the menu bar.

  2. Select System Preferences.

  3. Choose Security & Privacy.

  4. Select the "General" tab.

  5. Click on the lock icon at the bottom of the window.

  6. Enter your admin name and password.

  7. Choose "Set Lock Message..."

  8. Enter your desired message.
It's useful to add contact details here, like your email address and phone number or the email address and phone number of someone who can easily get in touch with you in an emergency situation.

What the lock screen message looks like when your Mac is locked.
If you misplace or Mac or have it stolen, this puts your contact information front and center as soon as your Mac is opened up, so whoever has it can see who it belongs to even before you activate Lost Mode using iCloud. It's also potentially useful in an emergency if someone needs to know who you are and how to get in contact with a loved one.

I'm personally always paranoid about losing my MacBook or having it taken at some location like an airport security lane, so this is a nice way to have instantly identifiable info readily available.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Promotes iMac Pro as 'Most Powerful Mac Ever' With Series of Short Films

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 19:48
To demonstrate how the iMac Pro is the most powerful Mac ever, Apple recently invited a group of filmmakers, CG artists, and graphics designers to create a series of short films using its advanced technologies.

The artists include creative director Erin Sarofsky, motion graphics designer Esteban Diácono, 3D artist Luigi Honorat, director and designer Michelle Dougherty, design and motion studio ManvsMachine, and an integrated collective of designers, artists, and storytellers from production company Buck.

From concept development through final preparations for render, Apple says the iMac Pro was at the center of the creative work. The fine print does note that additional equipment was used for final rendering of 3D content.

Each film is accompanied by a behind-the-scenes video showing how the iMac Pro fit into the creative process, alongside a list of software tools used and testimonials about how great the iMac Pro is. Apple hasn't shared the films on its YouTube channel yet, so it's unclear if they'll double as TV ads.

iMac Pro was described as "blazingly fast" in an early review. Based on benchmarks, the mid-range model with a 10-core 3.0GHz Intel Xeon processor is up to 45 percent faster than the high-end 2013 Mac Pro. The 10-core iMac Pro is also up to 93 percent faster than the latest top-of-the-line 27-inch 5K iMac.

Watch the Films: "iMac Pro: The most powerful Mac ever. Pushed to the limits."

Related Roundup: iMac ProBuyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums

Reddit's iOS App to Feature Native Promoted Posts Beginning March 19

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 18:41
Starting next week, the official Reddit app for iOS will begin displaying native in-app promoted posts to Reddit users, according to an email Reddit sent out to advertisers on Wednesday and shared by Marketing Land.

Promoted posts in the Reddit app will look similar to standard Reddit posts, with upvotes, downvotes, and comment threads. Comments were not possible with Reddit's previous mobile ad offerings for advertisers, and will provide users with a way to give feedback on ads.

The promoted posts will have a "Promoted" tag at the top of the post in the main Reddit news feed, but will otherwise look like regular Reddit posts.

Advertisers will be able to target Reddit users by interests, subreddit, location, device, and time of day.

According to Reddit, its mobile apps for iOS and Android are the most popular way Reddit users access Reddit content on their mobile devices. The Reddit apps account for 41 percent of time spent on Reddit across all platforms.

Native promoted posts will begin rolling out on iOS on Monday, March 19, and will expand to Android in the coming weeks.

Tag: Reddit
Discuss this article in our forums

Twitter Experimenting With Curated News Timelines, Planning Camera-First Feature

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 18:24
Twitter is working on several new features for its social networking platform, according to reports shared today by CNBC and BuzzFeed.

Twitter is experimenting with algorithmically curated timelines for major news events that will be shown to Twitter users at the top of their main Twitter feeds, a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed this morning. The feature is an extension of "Happening Now," which has previously only highlighted sports-related tweets.

Image via BuzzFeed
On Wednesday, Twitter began surfacing curated tweets surrounding major news events, including the congressional special election in Pennsylvania and the death of Stephen Hawking. Tweets included those from both news organizations and people who are not news professionals."People come to Twitter to see and talk about what's happening. We're working on ways to make it easier for everyone to find relevant news and the surrounding conversation so they can stay informed about what matters to them," Twitter product VP Keith Coleman told BuzzFeed News in a statement.Twitter plans to promote curated timelines at the top of the main feed using a banner, and when the banner is tapped, it will bring up Twitter's curated timeline of the event. Currently, a small number of iOS and Android users are able to see the new timeline feature.

Separately, CNBC says Twitter is working on a "camera-first" feature that's designed to put more emphasis on video and images. The new functionality combines location-based photos and videos with Twitter Moments around notable events, with companies able to sponsor events or put ads between tweets.

CNBC says the feature is similar to aggregated location-based story snaps in Snapchat, which are displayed in the Discover tab.

It's not clear when Twitter plans to launch its camera-first feature, and it's still possible that it could be changed drastically or abandoned entirely. Sources who spoke to CNBC believed the feature was in the early stages of development, and Twitter declined to comment.

Tag: Twitter
Discuss this article in our forums

Former Apple Employees Reflect on Siri's 'Squandered Lead' Over Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 16:21
The Information has published an in-depth look at how Siri has transitioned from one of Apple's most promising technologies into a "major problem" for the company. The article includes interviews with a dozen former Apple employees who worked on the various teams responsible for the virtual assistant.

The report claims that many of the employees acknowledged for the first time that Apple rushed Siri to be included in the iPhone 4s before the technology was fully ready, resulting in several internal debates over whether to continue patching up the half-baked product or start from scratch.Siri's various teams morphed into an unwieldy apparatus that engaged in petty turf battles and heated arguments over what an ideal version of Siri should be—a quick and accurate information fetcher or a conversant and intuitive assistant capable of complex tasks.The team working on Siri was overseen by Apple's then iOS chief Scott Forstall, but his attention was reportedly divided by other major projects, including the upcoming launch of Apple Maps. As a result, Forstall enlisted Richard Williamson, who was also managing the Apple Maps project, to head up the Siri team.

According to the report, several former employees said Williamson made a number of decisions that the rest of the Siri team disagreed with, including a plan to improve the assistant's capabilities only once a year.

Williamson, in an emailed response to the report, wrote that it's "completely untrue" that he decided Siri shouldn't be improved continuously.He said decisions concerning "technical leadership of the software and server infrastructure" were made by employees below his level, while he was responsible for getting the team on track.

"After launch, Siri was a disaster," Mr. Williamson wrote. "It was slow, when it worked at all. The software was riddled with serious bugs. Those problems lie entirely with the original Siri team, certainly not me."Forstall and Williamson were both fired by Apple in 2012 following the botched launch of Apple Maps on iOS 6. The former employees interviewed said they lamented losing Forstall, who "believed in what they were doing."

Another interesting tidbit is that the Siri team apparently didn't even learn about the HomePod until 2015. Last year, Bloomberg News reported that Apple had developed several speaker prototypes dating back to 2012, but the Siri team presumably didn't know due to Apple's culture of secrecy.In a sign of how unprepared Apple was to deal with a rivalry, two Siri team members told The Information that their team didn't even learn about Apple’s HomePod project until 2015—after Amazon unveiled the Echo in late 2014. One of Apple’s original plans was to launch its speaker without Siri included, according to a source.The report says that Siri is the main reason the HomePod has "underperformed," and said Siri's capabilities "remain limited compared to the competition," including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.The most notable failure in Siri's evolution is that it still lacks the third-party developer ecosystem considered the key element of the original Siri vision. Apple finally launched SiriKit in 2016 after years of setting aside the project and shifting resources away to other areas. […]

But SiriKit has yet to fulfill its promise. So far it includes just 10 activities—Apple calls them "intent domains"—such as payments, booking rides, setting up to-do lists and looking at photos. Several senior engineers who worked on SiriKit have left Apple or moved off the project.Some former employees interviewed noted that "while Apple has tried to remake itself as a services company, its core is still product design."

Apple responded to today's report with a statement noting Siri is "the world's most popular voice assistant" and touted "significant advances" to the assistant's performance, scalability, and reliability."We have made significant advances in Siri performance, scalability and reliability and have applied the latest machine learning techniques to create a more natural voice and more proactive features," Apple wrote in its statement. "We continue to invest deeply in machine learning and artificial intelligence to continually improve the quality of answers Siri provides and the breadth of questions Siri can respond to."The full-length article is a worthwhile read for those interested in learning more about Siri's internal struggles and shortcomings.

The Information: The Seven-Year Itch: How Apple's Marriage to Siri Turned Sour

Tags: Siri,
Discuss this article in our forums