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Apple Acquires Shazam and Says 'Exciting Plans' Are Ahead

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 17:01
Apple today announced it has acquired music recognition service Shazam, marking the company's highest-profile purchase since it acquired headphone maker Beats for a confirmed $3 billion in May 2014.

Apple did not disclose financial terms this time, but when TechCrunch broke news of the acquisition plans last week, one of its sources said the deal could be worth around $400 million. Shazam was valued at $1 billion in January 2015.


Apple confirmed the acquisition in a statement provided to MacRumors and several other media outlets today: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. Shazam has standalone iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch apps, while the service is also built into Siri on iOS 8 and later.

Shazam is integrated with Apple Music, allowing subscribers to identify a song and then tap to play it directly in the streaming music service. Shazam also has an iMessage app for identifying and sharing songs in the Messages app.

Shazam isn't just a big part of Apple. The service is built into Snapchat, allowing users to recognize, discover, and share music with friends. In the app, simply press and hold on the camera screen to identify a song with Shazam.

In September 2016, Shazam announced that its mobile apps had been downloaded more than 1 billion times since launching. Shazam released its original iPhone app when the App Store launched in 2008.

Shazam's machine learning algorithms used to identify audio clips, and its augmented reality feature that enables users to discover content based on pictures captured with its app, could be valuable technologies to Apple.

Tag: Shazam
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Best Buy Doorbuster Event Day 11: Save Up To $150 on 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:30
Today is Day 11 of Best Buy's ongoing 20 Days of Doorbusters event this December, offering customers new sales on a variety of products every day through December 20. Today is the second Apple-focused day of the event, after Day 2's sale on MacBook Pro, and now the retailer has between $100 and $150 off the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in a variety of storage capacities and colors.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Compared to Amazon, Adorama, and MacMall, Best Buy's limited-time sale on the iPad Pro is the best currently found among these retailers, while the prices are all being matched at B&H Photo. Check out the iPads on sale in the list below, and head over to Best Buy if you're interested as the sale will end tonight at midnight.

12.9-inch iPad Pro from Mid 2017
If you're looking for iPad protection, today's event also has up to 55 percent off select Targus cases for the 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch iPads. You can also get the UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker for $76.99, down from $199.99, but that price point is only available in the "Panther" color. Other color options are between $50 and $76 off the original price point.

Check out Best Buy's deals page for more products on sale during today's doorbusters, which also include savings of $550 on a Samsung Curved LED TV. Next up in the event will be deals on a wireless security camera (December 12), a smart HDTV (December 15), iPhone (December 17), and MacBook (December 19). We'll be covering Best Buy's ongoing event over in our Deals Roundup as well, so be sure to visit the roundup for more information on this sale and many more.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Apple to Donate $1 Million Towards Southern California Wildfire Recovery Efforts

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:14
Apple has announced that it will be donating $1 million to aid recovery and rebuilding efforts in Southern California following a series of devastating forest fires that have caused billions of dollars in damage.


"Our thoughts are with all those affected by the fires in Southern California, including our colleagues, friends and their families," an Apple spokesperson said, in a statement provided to KTLA reporter Rich DeMuro.

Apple is donating $1 million dollars to help with fire aid in Southern California #LAFires pic.twitter.com/BsUakLpTCv

— Rich DeMuro (@richdemuro) December 11, 2017
Apple also usually facilitates Red Cross donations from the public through iTunes in these situations, but it has yet to do so.
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Many Sprint Customers Unable to Use Wi-Fi Calling on iOS 11.2

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:46
Sprint customers with an iPhone are widely reporting that Wi-Fi calling does not work after installing iOS 11.2 and carrier settings version 31.0.


Hundreds of complaints have surfaced across the web, including the MacRumors discussion forums, Sprint and Apple Support Communities, Twitter, and Reddit, since the software update was released earlier this month.

All models of the iPhone that support Wi-Fi calling appear to be affected, ranging from the iPhone 6 to iPhone 8 Plus, among others.

It's unclear if the issue is due to iOS 11.2 or the updated carrier settings, which support features like Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile customers are not affected, suggesting this is a carrier-specific problem.

Many affected customers have performed basic troubleshooting, such as resetting the iPhone's network settings or simply turning the device off and on again, but there doesn't appear to be a solution that works on iOS 11.2.

As a temporary workaround, some users have downgraded to iOS 11.1.2 and found that Wi-Fi calling becomes functional again.

MacRumors does not have an iPhone on the Sprint network in its possession, so we're unable to reproduce the issue. Apple and Sprint have not responded to multiple requests for comments over the past few days.

Last week, a support representative on Sprint's website relayed that the carrier plans to apply a temporary fix across a limited number of Wi-Fi calling servers while evaluating a long-term solution to the apparent bug. After several days, however, Wi-Fi calling is only working intermittently at best for some customers.

Apple also appears to be collecting data from affected customers who contact the company so that its engineers can investigate the matter, as it routinely does with any potential hardware or software issues.

For those unaware, with Wi-Fi calling, you can make or receive a phone call if you have a Wi-Fi connection in an area with little or no cellular coverage. The feature can be enabled in Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling.

We'll update this article if we receive any additional information from Apple or Sprint about the issue and a potential fix.

Related Roundup: iOS 11Tags: Sprint, Wi-Fi calling
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Refreshed Five-Year Deal Between Verizon and NFL Allows for Mobile Streaming of Games on Any Carrier

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:21
Verizon and the NFL this morning announced that the carrier will no longer be the exclusive home for mobile streaming of NFL games in the United States, with anyone able to stream the games to their smartphone "regardless of mobile network" beginning next year.

The announcement comes within a new five-year deal struck between the two companies, which will see Verizon pay around $2 billion over a five-year period (via Recode).


The new deal begins January 2018 and will allow users on any U.S. wireless carrier to watch NFL games on their mobile device using the apps for Yahoo Sports, go90, and the NFL, with the company putting emphasis on Yahoo Sports as a premium destination for sports coverage.

This will start with the NFL playoffs next month, and then include national pre-season, regular season, playoff games, and the Super Bowl. Most of this coverage is described as "in-market" by Verizon, meaning that it will vary by your location and depend upon your local news channels' coverage of such events.
We’re making a commitment to fans for Verizon’s family of media properties to become the mobile destination for live sports,” said Lowell McAdam, Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications. “The NFL is a great partner for us and we are excited to take its premier content across a massive mobile scale so viewers can enjoy live football and other original NFL content where and how they want it. We believe that partnerships like this are a win for fans, but also for partners and advertisers looking for a mobile-first experience.” Verizon's previous deal with the NFL was priced at $1 billion over the course of four years and runs through the current season, so the two companies are doubling down on their partnership with the new, expanded agreement.

Verizon says that it will remain an official sponsor of the NFL, providing "unique experiences" at events like the Super Bowl for customers enrolled in its Verizon Up rewards program. The partnership will also see Verizon continue efforts to improve stadium technology at NFL games to "improve operations" and enhance experience for customers.

Tags: NFL, Verizon
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Fake 'MyEtherWallet' App Rises to #3 Spot on the iOS App Store's Finance Charts

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 14:31
An unofficial iOS app for MyEtherWallet.com rose to the top of the App Store over the weekend, nabbing the third spot in the Finance category after being on the storefront for a little over a week (via TechCrunch). MyEtherWallet.com is a popular service made for storing cryptocurrencies but it doesn't have an official iOS app, so the company tweeted out a warning for users to not be fooled by the "MyEtherWallet" iOS app, as well as asking for Apple to remove it from the App Store.


At the time of writing, MyEtherWallet still remains at #3 on the App Store's Finance chart. The app lists its developer as Nam Le, who has two other iOS apps -- "Panda Warrior: Kung Fu Awesomeness" and "Mr. Beard: Icehole Fishermans" -- and one Apple Watch app called "Wrist Count." MyEtherWallet costs $4.99 and its App Store page says that it allows users to anonymously manage their ethereum wallets, create wallets offline, and store wallet keys securely inside their iPhone.

This is NOT US. We have file reports and emailed and reported. Would appreciate the communities assistance in getting these scamtards out of our lives.

PS: We are #Foss4Lyfe https://t.co/SmI8cqNvxA

— MyEtherWallet.com (@myetherwallet) December 10, 2017
As the company's mission statement explains, MyEtherWallet.com is a "free, open-source, client-side interface for generating Ethereum wallets & more," so the fake app's $4.99 price tag raises legal questions in addition to the questions of how it got past Apple's app review process in the first place. Tracking service Apptopia told TechCrunch that the app's week-long existence on the App Store has seen around 3,000 downloads so far. Apple has yet to comment on the unofficial app's existence and if it will be allowed to remain on the App Store.

Apps for buying and selling cryptocurrency have become popular recently, with one called "Coinbase" -- this one official -- rising to become the #1 most downloaded free app in the United States iOS App Store last week. This happened after the price of bitcoin rose past $17,000 and saw a price jump of over 20 percent in one day. As the app climbed the App Store charts amid the bitcoin frenzy, Coinbase servers crashed for much of last Thursday, affecting both its website and the iOS app's performance.

Tag: App Store
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Apple Seeks to Block Shareholder Proposals on Environment and Human Rights Given Its Existing Focus on Those Issues

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:42
Apple is said to be "pushing back" on multiple shareholder proposals that deal with issues like Apple's greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and human rights, discovered in letters the Cupertino company sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission in November (via Reuters). At least four proposals were argued as relating to "ordinary business," with Apple further stating that they are "not necessary" due to the company's day-to-day focus on those issues.

Apple's letters state that this means the proposals can be left off of the proxy it is expected to publish in early 2018, ahead of its annual shareholders meeting where these proposals would be heard. Apple says these are areas it "routinely reviews" and therefore they do not represent "significant policy issues" that it classifies as requiring a shareholder vote.


Still, some activists argue that the move by Apple "could sharply restrict investor rights," with the company using a newly enacted guidance put in place by the SEC on November 1 in its attempt to block the proposals.
While companies routinely seek permission to skip shareholder proposals, Apple’s application of the new SEC guidance shows how it could be used to ignore many investor proposals by claiming boards routinely review those areas, said Sanford Lewis, a Massachusetts attorney representing Apple shareholders who had filed two of the resolutions.

Were the SEC to side with Apple, “this would be an incredibly dangerous precedent that would essentially say a great many proposals could be omitted,” Lewis said. Apple's letter is reported as specifically citing the new SEC guidance. Some of the four shareholder proposals include calls for Apple to establish a "human rights committee" that could focus on tackling topics like censorship within the company, as well as asking for further reporting by Apple on its ability to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental pledges.

Apple's letters to the SEC offered details as to why the shareholder proposals and resolutions are unnecessary. This included references to recent updates in its 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report, where the company pledged to end mining and switch to 100 percent recycled material for its products.
In the case of the measure on greenhouse gas emissions, filed by Jantz Management of Boston, for instance, Apple argues it already has taken many steps to improve the sustainability of its operations such as switching to greener materials and helping suppliers use more renewable energy. Apple's 2017 shareholders meeting was held on February 28, with that date being confirmed on January 6, so we'll likely know more about the 2018 meeting early in the new year.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: reuters.com, SEC
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Apple's Alleged Throttling of Older iPhones With Degraded Batteries Causes Controversy

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:33
A Reddit post has drawn a flurry of interest after an iPhone 6s owner reported that a battery replacement significantly increased the device's performance running iOS 11. The ensuing discussion thread, also picked up by readers in the MacRumors forum, has led to speculation that Apple intentionally slows down older phones to retain a full day's charge if the battery has degraded over time.

According to TeckFire, the author of the original Reddit post, their iPhone had been very slow after updating to iOS 11, especially compared to their brother's iPhone 6 Plus, so they decided to do some research with GeekBench and battery life apps, and ended up replacing the battery.

Geekbench scores for same iPhone 6s before and after battery drainWear level was somewhere around 20% on my old battery. I did a Geekbench score, and found I was getting 1466 Single and 2512 Multi. This did not change wether I had low power mode on or off. After changing my battery, I did another test to check if it was just a placebo. Nope. 2526 Single and 4456 Multi. From what I can tell, Apple slows down phones when their battery gets too low, so you can still have a full days charge. Just over a year ago, Apple launched a repair program for iPhone 6s owners after some users reported their devices were unexpectedly shutting down. Apple said the problem was down to a manufacturing issue affecting a "very small" number of iPhone 6s devices, and offered battery replacements free of charge to owners of devices within a limited serial number range.

Around two months later, Apple released iOS 10.2.1 and said the update resulted in an 80 percent reduction in unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6s and a 70 percent reduction on iPhone 6 devices. However, Apple explained this was about fixing a more widely reported issue caused by uneven power delivery from older batteries, and claimed it was separate from the manufacturing fault that had caused it to recall a select number of iPhone 6s devices.

This weekend's Reddit thread – running to over 500 comments as of writing – appears to have kicked off a wave of speculation about whether the two shutdown issues are in fact related, and that Apple's fix involves dynamically throttling the phone's maximum clock speed relative to the battery output voltage, to prevent them from drawing too much power and shutting down.

Reports that the performance of iPhone 6 series models can be improved by replacing the battery aren't entirely new, but the suggestion that Apple is intentionally throttling the performance of older devices, for whatever reason, is bound to cause controversy. We've contact Apple for comment or clarification. In the meantime, users interested in checking their phone's performance are also using the free CpuDasherX app to compare running clock speeds. Let us know your findings in the comments below. Lastly, it's worth noting that DIY iPhone battery replacements or repairs performed by a third party will void any Apple warranty still covering said devices.

Related Roundup: iOS 11Buyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now)
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You Can Now Get an iPhone X Delivered in Just a Few Days

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:04
iPhone X shipping estimates continue to improve on Apple's online store amid the busy holiday shopping season.


Apple's flagship smartphone is now available for delivery within two to four business days on average in the United States, meaning that online orders placed today will arrive at your doorstep by Wednesday to Friday.

The improved timeframe applies to most AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and SIM-free iPhone X models, while T-Mobile variants are estimated for delivery by December 19, or roughly six business days from today.

The same two to four day delivery estimate is quoted in several other countries where the iPhone X is sold, including Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Elsewhere, December 19 is a common estimate.

iPhone X inventory continues to improve at Apple retail stores around the world as well, with pickup available today in many locations.


Shortly after iPhone X pre-orders began on October 27, shipping estimates for the device extended to 5-6 weeks around the world, but Apple has been able to improve supply earlier than some anticipated.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the improved iPhone X shipping estimates are due to better-than-expected improvements in production, rather than a lack of demand for the new device.

All in all, if you are looking to purchase an iPhone X in time for Christmas, there is still some time on your side. If you're debating between buying an iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus, read our comparison guide.

Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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Google Home Mini's Latest Firmware Update Brings Back Some Disabled Touch Controls

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 13:13
Google's Home Mini smart speaker received an update on Friday that brings back some of the touch-based controls that the company had to disable shortly after its release back in October (via AndroidPolice).

Google was forced to turn off the built-in touch panel, which is designed to let users activate Google Assistant with a long press instead of a voice command, after a reviewer discovered that some of the devices were registering "phantom touch events".


The issue meant that some Minis were prone to recording conversations and sounds even when no "OK Google" voice command was spoken, immediately prompting privacy concerns. As a result, Google opted to disable the touch features completely, including single-tap functions that played and paused music, snoozed alarms, and ended phone calls.

Friday's v1.29 firmware update reinstates some of that single-tap functionality, but via a side long press instead. After installing the update, Google Home Mini owners will again be able to play/pause music, end phone calls, and silence alarms without speaking to the device. However, users still won't be able to trigger voice input, because the top long press functions remain disabled.

The software tweak is initially being rolled out in the preview firmware channel, which Home Mini owners can join via the Home app settings if they don't want to wait around for the automatic update.

Tags: Google, Google Assistant, Google Home
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Face ID in iPhone X vs. 'Face Unlock' Facial Recognition in OnePlus 5T

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 22:30
The iPhone X has been available for a little over a month now, which has given consumers time to adjust to the new biometric authentication method, Face ID. Face ID replaces Touch ID, unlocking the iPhone X via a face scan rather than a fingerprint.

In the video below, we decided to take a second look at Face ID after having spent some time with it to see how it measures up to Touch ID and how it compares to similar facial recognition options in devices like the OnePlus 5T.

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For the most part, Face ID works well and is at least as quick as Touch ID, but there are some undeniable pain points. When the iPhone X is held in landscape mode, like when you're in bed, Face ID often doesn't work. It can also have trouble when it's flat on a surface and can't get a good read on your face, and when you have sunglasses, a hat, or a scarf covering your face, it can be hit or miss at times.

These points of failure don't apply to some of the other smartphones that use facial recognition techniques. The OnePlus 5T, like devices with facial recognition from Samsung, uses multiple biometric systems with facial recognition paired with a fingerprint sensor.

Face ID is, however, in most ways superior to the facial recognition options used by competing devices, simply because it offers more security. Face ID is using 3D depth sensing with an infrared camera and a dot projector, while companies like OnePlus and Samsung are using 2D methods that rely solely on the front-facing device camera.

Without 3D depth mapping, the OnePlus 5T's Face Unlock feature can be faster than Face ID, but it doesn't work in low light, unlike Face ID, which can work in almost all lighting conditions. It's also more of a convenience feature than a security feature and it's not used for authenticating passwords or mobile payments.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Face ID is years ahead of similar facial recognition techniques from Android smartphone makers, and that's evident in the functionality divide between the OnePlus 5T and the iPhone X.

Still, some people are having trouble adjusting to Face ID and miss the convenience of certain Touch ID features, like being able to unlock the iPhone regardless of its position.

Love it or hate it, Face ID is here to stay. Rumors already suggest Face ID will roll out to the 2018 iPhones, and we're also hearing that Face ID will expand to additional devices like the iPad Pro in the future.

Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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Apple Shares 'Turi Create' Machine Learning Framework on Github

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 22:18
Apple this week shared a new machine learning framework called Turi Create on Github. According to Apple, Turi Create is designed to simplify the development of custom machine learning models.


Apple says Turi Create is easy to use, has a visual focus, is fast and scalable, and is flexible. Turi Create is designed to export models to Core ML for use in iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps. From the Turi Create Github repository:

  • Easy-to-use: Focus on tasks instead of algorithms

  • Visual: Built-in, streaming visualizations to explore your data

  • Flexible: Supports text, images, audio, video and sensor data

  • Fast and Scalable: Work with large datasets on a single machine

  • Ready To Deploy: Export models to Core ML for use in iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps


With Turi Create, for example, developers can quickly build a feature that allows their app to recognize specific objects in images. Doing so takes just a few lines of code.

Turi Create covers several common scenarios including recommender systems, image classification, image similarity, object detection, activity classifier, and text classifier.

Apple purchased this technology back in August of 2016 when it acquired machine learning and AI startup Turi.
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Apple May Acquire Music Recognition Service Shazam

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 20:58
Apple may be planning to acquire music recognition service Shazam, reports TechCrunch, which would be one of the most high-profile acquisitions Apple has made since it purchased Beats in 2014.

Shazam is a well-known music service that uses machine learning techniques to identify short audio clips from songs, television shows, and more. Shazam operates a standalone app for iOS, macOS, and watchOS, but also has a close relationship with Apple.


Since iOS 8, Shazam has been integrated into Siri, and it's what powers the feature that lets Siri identify songs that are playing aloud. If, for example, there's a specific song on television and you ask Siri "What song is this?" Siri uses Shazam to identify it.

Shazam is integrated with Apple Music, and Apple Music subscribers who Shazam a song can then tap to play it directly in Apple Music and can add it to a Shazam playlist. Shazam also has an augmented reality feature that allows you to find content based on pictures captured with the Shazam app.

One of TechCrunch's sources said the deal could be worth nine figures, while another says Apple may shell out somewhere around $401 million. Both numbers are lower than the $1.02 billion valuation Shazam received during its last funding round in 2015.

Apple and Shazam could sign a deal as soon as this week, with an announcement planned for Monday.

Tags: techcrunch.com, Shazam
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Apple Design Chief Jony Ive Retaking Direct Control of Design Team

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 20:51
Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive is once again taking over management of the design team at Apple according to changes made to Apple's official "Apple Leadership" website.

The site was updated this morning to remove the profiles of Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, who were managing the day-to-day operations at Apple while Ive oversaw all of Apple's design projects, and Bloomberg has confirmed that Ive is once again in direct control of the team as shared by Mark Gurman.

Ive first stepped back from day-to-day management of Apple's design teams in 2015, when he took on the role of "Chief Design Officer." Alan Dye and Richard Howarth were elevated to vice president positions at that time, with Howarth responsible for industrial design and Dye responsible for user interface design.

For the last several years, Ive has been overseeing the design work at Apple Park and at Apple retail stores around the world, which have undergone a transformation under the leadership of Angela Ahrendts. With Apple Park now complete and the retail store design largely established, Ive now has the time to return to his original managerial duties.

Tags: Jonathan Ive, Alan Dye, Richard Howarth
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Apple's Phil Schiller: Facial Recognition Techniques in Competing Smartphones 'All Stink'

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 20:10
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller recently sat down with Dutch website Bright.nl, where he covered topics like Face ID and augmented reality, which he's discussed several times in interviews over the past few months.

According to Schiller, one of Apple's goals with Face ID is to make security easy enough "that we all want to do it." Apple believes its implementation of Face ID is superior to the facial recognition techniques available in Android phones, which Schiller says "all stink."

"They don't work in all the ways we need Face ID to work. We're very aware that through the years the simple thing, this Home button, that started as the way you click to get to the Home screen, grew into doing so many things for us. We added Touch ID, it took you to the multitasking screen, paged Siri, activated Apple Pay. All through this one mechanical button.

So for Face ID we needed the best way we know of to enable us to easily unlock our device with our face, in a protected way with the Secure Enclave, and support all these other things. We had to solve all of that. Other things that people have tried with face haven't been anything like that. Face ID is a very unique implementation."Schiller reiterated Apple's Face ID privacy policies, pointing out that developers have no third-party access to Face ID data. As with Touch ID, the facial scan and data points used to unlock your iPhone are stored in the Secure Enclave on the iPhone X. Developers do have access to facial map data through the TrueDepth camera for AR effects, but Schiller says "that's different than Face ID."

According to Schiller, Apple spent a lot of time studying augmented and virtual reality and the ultimate benefit to users. Schiller, like Apple CEO Tim Cook, says VR is a "great solution for specific use cases" while AR has "incredible broad mainstream applications."

Schiller also had a little bit to say about the HomePod delay. HomePod was originally set to launch in December, but in November, Apple said it would be delayed until 2018. "We feel bad we aren't able to deliver HomePod for the holidays," said Schiller. "We're going to take the time to do it right and make sure it's great when it comes out."

Bright.nl asked Schiller if Apple's "Think Different" motto still applies to Apple today, and Schiller took the opportunity to highlight the AirPods, which are a product that have been lauded as one of Apple's best.They're really two separate computers that you put in your ear. That's quintessential Apple. We tapped into an eternal truth for Apple. It's about as core to the DNA of Apple as you can get. Think Different should stay very close to true for a long time."Phil Schiller's interview, which goes into more detail on Face ID and HomePod and delves deeper into Apple's core philosophies, can be read in its entirety over at Bright.nl.
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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Slate Color or Pilot LapDesk for Your MacBook From iSkelter

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 19:24
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with iSkelter to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win either a Pilot LapDesk or a Slate Color LapDesk, both of which are designed to be mobile workspaces that can hold an iPad, MacBook, iPhone, and more.

Priced at $100, the Pilot LapDesk is made from either a light bamboo or a darker walnut bamboo, and it's roomy enough to hold up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro while also providing additional workspace.


On one side of the Pilot LapDesk, there's a whiteboard and a cutout that can hold an iPhone or an iPad as big as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, while the middle area features a cutout for ventilation along with a grip to keep your MacBook secured on the surface. The other side of the Pilot has a built-in mousepad and a second slot to hold another iOS device.

The Pilot LapDesk, which can be configured with the whiteboard and mousepad on whichever side you prefer, is able to rest hands-free on the arm of a chair, on a lap, or on a bed.


iSkelter's Slate Color LapDesk, also priced at $100, is more compact than the Pilot LapDesk, but it's still able to hold a MacBook Pro up to 15 inches in size and a 12.9-inch iPad Pro or smaller.


Most of the Slate Color, which is made from a light wood with a colored accent area, features a series of ventilation holes to dissipate heat from your laptop. At the right side, there's a flat workspace for writing or using a mouse, which can be customized in walnut, blue, green, orange, or pink. The cutout across the top holds your iOS devices.


The Slate Color and Pilot LapDesks can be purchased from the iSkelter website, but we also have four to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win, 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, 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 (December 8) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on December 15. The winners will be chosen randomly on December 15 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Tags: iSkelter, giveaway
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Incipio and Incase Offering 15% Off Sitewide Sales on iPhone X Cases, Qi Mats, MacBook Sleeves, and More

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 19:01
Accessory makers Incipio and Incase are offering 15 percent off sales across each of their respective online storefronts, so if you're still on the hunt for holiday tech gifts this could be the right time to make a purchase. Incipio and Incase offer a variety of items, including iPhone X and iPhone 8 cases, wireless chargers, battery packs, MacBook bags and sleeves, Apple Watch bands, and more.

On both sites, enter the promo code AFF151 during checkout to apply the discount to your order. Incipio is offering free USPS shipping on all orders placed within the United States, and Incase has a similar holiday offer with free shipping and returns on all U.S. orders.

We've listed a few ideas below, all of which represent the best prices for each accessory when compared to retailers like Amazon. For many other accessories, Incipio's and Incase's Amazon stores typically have solid deals that could beat out the 15 percent off discount price, depending on the product.

Incipio
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

iPhone X Cases

Accessories

Incase

iPhone X Cases

Accessories

If you're planning on spending a lot on Apple accessories for the holidays, Pad & Quill has a deal going on through December 17 where you can get gift codes to use on the site after you first make a purchase of over $125. Specifically, purchases over $125 get a $25 special gift code; purchases over $250 get a $50 code; and purchases over $400 get a $100 code. Pad & Quill will automatically email a code to you if your order qualifies for the promotion, and all codes must be redeemed before January 31, 2018.

For those keeping track of ongoing iTunes gift card discounts, the latest is a $50 card for $42.50 over at Amazon. One card is available per customer, and they will be delivered via email -- simply enter the promo code ITUNES during the checkout process. Amazon had a similar deal yesterday, but that one was for the physical version of Apple's App Store & iTunes gift card.

For more on the latest sales, be sure to visit our Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Beats 1 Charity Auction Offers Behind the Scenes Studio Tour With Zane Lowe

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 18:40
Apple's Beats 1 Radio division is teaming up with auction site Charitybuzz to raise money for MusiCares through an auction that offers a behind-the-scenes tour of the Beats 1 studio in Los Angeles with Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe.

Described as a one-day internship, the auction provides one winner with a full day at Beats 1, as well as access to a few members of the Beats 1 team. In addition to spending time in studio with Zane Lowe, the auction winner will also get to attend a mentoring lunch with Beats 1 Global Operations Manager and LA Chapter Grammy Governer Julie Pilat.


Several other benefits are included as well, like a free pair of Studio3 headphones and the chance to play a song on the Beats 1 radio. A full list of benefits:- One (1) day at Apple Music's live station, Beats 1, which broadcasts to over 100 countries

- Time in studio with Zane Lowe during his flagship show, which broadcasts Mondays to Thursdays from 9-11am LA time.

- Music Business Mentoring lunch with Beats 1's Global Operations Manager & LA Chapter GRAMMY(R) Governor Julie Pilat.

- Attend a Music Meeting and discuss the Beats 1 List with the head of Beats 1's Music Team. You'll get to discover the most exciting new music in the world.

- Choose a song and play it, live on the radio, during Beats 1 Request.

- Hear your voice on Beats 1! Record a voiceover demo with their Production team.

- Go home and listen to Beats 1 with a pair of Beats Studio3 Headphones (colors may vary).The person who wins the auction must visit Beats 1 in LA before December 20, 2018. The auction is valid for one person and the winning bidder must personally utilize the award. Transportation and accommodations are not included in the purchase price.

You can hang @Beats1 for the day and support @MusiCares - check this out. https://t.co/r06pwvbNqm

— juliepilat (@juliepilat) December 7, 2017
Proceeds from the auction, which has an estimated value of $5,000, will go to MusiCares, a foundation run by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. MusiCares provides resources for musicians in times of need, helping them out in financial, medical, and personal emergencies.

Apple has worked with Charitybuzz many times in the past, auctioning off lunches with iTunes chief Eddy Cue and Apple CEO Tim Cook to raise money for charities that include the RFK Center, Autism Movement Therapy, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation.

Tags: Zane Lowe, Charitybuzz, Apple Music, Beats 1
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Skype, Tidal, VLC, Feedly and Other Apps Optimized for iPhone X

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 15:50
A handful of popular apps have been optimized for the iPhone X over the past few days. We've rounded up some of the notable ones below.


Each of these apps now support the iPhone X's new screen size, rather than having a letterboxed design with black bars at the top and bottom.
  • Skype
  • VLC
  • Tidal
  • Feedly
  • LINE
  • Viber
  • PlayStation Vue
  • Bank of America
If you have an iPhone X and use any of these apps, check the App Store's Updates tab to ensure you have the latest version installed.

Related Roundup: iPhone XTags: Skype, Bank of America, VLC, Tidal, Viber, FeedlyBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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Apple's 'TV' App Starts Showing Up for Users in the UK, France, and Germany

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 13:49
Apple's official TV app today started showing up for some fourth- and fifth-generation Apple TV owners in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, almost a year after Apple originally announced the service in the U.S.


The TV app is billed as an easy way to watch your favorite movies and TV shows in a single place. It offers a unified experience for accessing TV shows and movies across multiple video apps, and aims to help users discover new TV and movie content by offering recommendations based on what they've previously watched. The service syncs content in the cloud so users can pick up where they left off on other devices via the accompanying iOS TV app, which has also been appearing on devices across the pond.

More than 60 services are supported by the U.S. version of the TV app, but with the expansion to new countries, Apple is adding support for additional local content, such as ITV, Channel 5, and BBC iPlayer in the U.K.

#AppleTV app goes live in UK @cultofmac @MacRumors pic.twitter.com/6mLRexE3CH

— 🎄 Brian Saxmas 🎄 (@BrianKSaxon) December 8, 2017

it is available on my iphone in germany now! not showing up in ipad though.. pic.twitter.com/ER9nEfpdxM

— David Cox (@daviddarrencox) December 8, 2017
Apple's TV app has been available in the United States since December of 2016. In September, Apple released the Apple TV app in Canada and Australia, and announced that it would be bringing the app to France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the U.K. by the end of the year.

Related Roundup: Apple TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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