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Trump Prohibits Broadcom's Takeover of Qualcomm Due to National Security Concerns

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 23:13
United States President Donald Trump this afternoon issued an executive order blocking Broadcom from acquiring Qualcomm in a deal that would have been worth more than $117 billion, reports Bloomberg.

The president's order came following a recommendation from the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) in the United States, despite Broadcom's efforts to save the proposed transaction over the course of the last few weeks. U.S officials believed Broadcom's acquisition of Qualcomm, which has been under investigation by the CFIUS, could threaten national security.

The CFIUS previously said that a Broadcom acquisition of Qualcomm could undermine Qualcomm's leadership in 5G wireless technology, allowing China's Huawei to become the dominant 5G provider in the world. Broadcom, a Singapore-based company, promised not to sell Qualcomm 5G assets, announced plans to redomicile in the United States, and pledged to invest billions in the United States, but that did not ease regulators' concerns."There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Broadcom Ltd." by acquiring Qualcomm "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," Trump said in the order released Monday evening in Washington.Trump also said that "any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected directly or indirectly, is also prohibited."

Broadcom first made an offer to acquire Qualcomm for $70 per share in cash and stock back in November of 2017, marking the proposal of the "largest technology acquisition ever, which Qualcomm turned down.

Qualcomm also turned down subsequent offers of $121 billion and $117 billion, and had not agreed to the acquisition at the time that it was blocked by Trump. Broadcom had been attempting to add merger-friendly individuals to Qualcomm's board, but today's order makes it clear that no merger or acquisition between the two companies will be allowed.

Broadcom may intend to fight the order as earlier today, the company said in a statement that U.S. national security concerns are not a risk as "Broadcom never plans to acquire Qualcomm before it completes redomiciliation.

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: Qualcomm, Broadcom
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Mac App Store App 'Calendar 2' Mines Cryptocurrency by Default, but Feature is Being Removed

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 21:49
A Mac App Store app called Calendar 2 has been mining a digital coin known as Monero using customers' machines, and Apple took no action against the app despite knowing about it for at least 24 hours.

As Ars Technica points out, Calendar 2 is supposed to have an opt-in feature that allows users to choose to let the app mine cryptocurrency to unlock paid features that normally require an in-app purchase, but instead, it's been bugged and has been mining Monero by default.

Image via Ars Technica
Surprisingly enough, Apple has allowed the Calendar 2 app to remain available in the Mac App Store despite the fact that it openly embraces cryptocurrency mining. Ars Technica asked Apple if the app violated App Store policies, but did not receive a response, and more than 24 hours after Ars contacted Apple, the app remains available for purchase in the Mac App Store.

It's not clear if Apple has left the app in place because it approves of allowing cryptocurrency mining in the Mac App Store as a way to enable paid features or because Mac App Store apps often receive little attention from the company.

Regardless, because of the attention the feature has received from the media today, Qbix, the company behind Calendar 2, has decided to remove the feature from the app. Qbix founder Gregory Magarshak told Ars Technica that the currency miner's rollout had been complicated by bugs that prevented it from working as intended, with the miner running continuously even when not approved by the user. Other bugs caused it to use too much of a Mac's resources.

Magarshak originally said Qbix would update the app to fix the bugs, but he later told Ars that Qbix has decided to remove the miner in the app, so there will be no way to get free features via cryptocurrency mining going forward. From an email he sent to Ars Technica:We have decided to REMOVE the miner in the app. The next version will remove the option to get free features via mining. This is for three reasons:

1) The company which provided us the miner library did not disclose its source code, and it would take too long for them to fix the root cause of the CPU issue.

2) The rollout had a perfect storm of bugs which made it seem like our company *wanted* to mine crypto-currency without people's permission, and that goes against our whole ethos and vision for Qbix.

3) My own personal feeling that Proof of Work has a dangerous set of incentives which can lead to electricity waste on a global scale we've never seen before. We don't want to get sucked into this set of incentives, and hopefully our decision to ultimately remove the miner will set some sort of precedent for other apps as well.Even though the features are going to be removed from the Mac App Store app, it continues to be unclear how Apple feels about cryptocurrency mining within apps and if the company's apparent indifference on the issue is going to lead to additional Mac apps attempting to go this path to implement features in exchange for processing power.

Websites and malware have been sneakily mining for currency by taking advantage of unsupecting users, but Calendar 2's method of openly offering features in exchange for free mining is new to the Mac App Store.

Tag: Mac App Store
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Quick Takes: PGA TOUR Gets Augmented, Interview With HQ Trivia's $25,000 Winner, and More

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 21:31
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.

Monday, March 12
- PGA TOUR introduces augmented reality app: PGA TOUR AR uses Apple's ARKit platform on iOS 11 to project 3D models of featured holes on any flat surface. Fans will be able to select their favorite player on the golf course, compare shot trails from each round, and compare the shots of different players.

The first featured hole will be No. 6 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational starting March 15, while shot trails can be reviewed from the seventh hole of last month's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament. The end goal is for at least one hole to be featured at every tournament on the PGA TOUR schedule.

Commentary: PGA TOUR AR is free on the App Store for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and iPad Pro models. The app is somewhat rudimentary at launch, but an update later this year will enable fans to view 3D shot trails for selected players at live golf tournaments.

- Apple Bluewater re-opens Saturday, March 24, according to a photo shared yesterday by Joe White on Twitter: The store has been closed for nearly eight months to allow for renovations to be completed. Apple Bluewater is located in Greenhithe, Kent, on the edge of Greater London in England.

@Apple Bluewater re-opening March 24 after 9 month refurbishment.

— Joe White (@JoeWhiteLondon) March 11, 2018
- Canada to initiate mobile emergency alerts on April 6: iPhones and other LTE-enabled smartphones in Canada will receive emergency alerts from the government about life-threatening situations, such as tornadoes, flash floods, and child abductions, when necessary. On an iPhone, these will appear in the form of a push notification at no cost to the user. There is currently no way to opt out.

Commentary: This long-overdue feature, already in place in the United States, should greatly extend the visibility of emergency alerts beyond TV and radio in Canada. Test alerts, to be identified as such, are scheduled to begin in May.

Other Reading:
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
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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 4.3 to Developers

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 20:06
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 4.3 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and a three weeks after releasing watchOS 4.2.3, a minor update focusing on bug fixes.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software update.

To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it has to be placed on the charger, and it needs to be in range of the iPhone it's paired to.

watchOS 4.3 introduces support for Nightstand mode in portrait orientation, a feature that was previously only available when the watch was placed in landscape orientation. There's also a new charging animation when the Apple Watch is placed on the charger, a new app loading animation, your Activity data is now displayed on the Siri watch face, and the battery complication more accurately reports battery life.

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The watchOS 4.3 update also brings the return of a much-desired feature that allows music playing on the iPhone to be controlled using the Music app on the Apple Watch.

In prior versions of watchOS, starting with watchOS 4, the Music app could only be used to control music playing on the watch itself. With the tvOS 11.3 beta installed, there's also an option to control music playing on the Apple TV with the watch.

Apple plans to release watchOS 4.3 to the public in the spring, and until then, it will be limited to developers. Apple offers public betas of tvOS, iOS, and macOS, but watchOS betas are not available for public beta testers because there's no way to revert to an earlier version of watchOS once an update is installed.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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YouTube TV Price Increasing to $40 for New Subscribers Starting Tomorrow

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 20:03
The price for Google's YouTube TV subscription service will be increasing to $40 per month for new subscribers starting tomorrow, up from the current price of $35 per month.

Google first warned potential subscribers about the new pricing for YouTube TV in February, and today is the last day to sign up at the current $35 per month price point. Existing subscribers will continue to be able to pay $35 per month for the service.

Introduced in April of 2017, YouTube TV is a live streaming television service designed to compete with services like Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, DirecTV Now, and Playstation Vue.

YouTube TV provides subscribers with access to TV shows on more than 40 channels, with participating networks that include ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW, Disney, ESPN, FX, USA, and dozens more.

As of early February, YouTube TV launched an Apple TV app, making the subscription service available on all Apple devices. YouTube TV is available in a wide range of locations across the United States.

Related Roundup: Apple TVTags: YouTube, YouTube TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Apple Engineers to Discuss AR/VR, Display Technology at Display Week in May

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 19:51
Apple engineers are slated to join in on several discussions covering display technology and augmented/virtual reality at Display Week, which is set to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 22 to May 25.

Apple's Cheng Chen, a director of Display Optics and Platform Technologies, will kick off the event chairing a keynote session that covers three discussions: "OLED Leading to the New Experience of Display," "Reactive Displays: Unlocking Next-Generation VR/AR Visuals with Eye Tracking," and "Blue LEDs and Transformative Electronics for Developing Sustainable Smart Society," with speakers Deqiang Zhang (CEO of Visionox), Douglas Lanman (Director of Computational Imaging at Oculus Research), and Hiroshi Amano (Director of the Center for Integrated Research of Future Electronics), respectively.

Engineers from Apple will also chair and co-chair a range of discussion sessions, outlined below:

  • AR/VR I Display Systems

  • OLED Driving and Compensation

  • Micro-LED Epitaxial Semiconductor Materials & Manufacturing

  • Image Processing (Display Electronics)

  • Micro-LED Device Processing and Hetero-Integration

  • Novel OLEDs

  • Micro-LED System Integration and Applications

  • Capacitive-Touch Displays

  • Projection: Screen Technology

  • QD Electroluminescence I

  • Fingerprint Sensing and Optical Sensing Displays

  • Color Gamut

  • Enhancements to AR/VR

Apple engineers will also serve as moderators at two Monday seminars, including "SE-8: Artificial Intelligence: Image Recognition and Visual Understanding with Deep Learning Techniques" and "Quantum-Dot Displays: Advances and Outlook."

Apple has always been a notoriously secretive company, but over the course of the last several years, Apple has been loosening restrictions and allowing its engineers and researchers to publish papers and share their work in an effort to contribute to the research community. This decision also allows Apple to continue to attract top employees who might not otherwise join the company without being able to share their research.

The Display Week event is designed for and limited to professionals who are part of the display industry. It is hosted by the Society for Information Display and will be attended by many of the world's most prominent technology companies.
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Apple Orders New 'Central Park' Animated Comedy From 'Bob's Burgers' Creator

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 18:20
Apple has picked up its first animated TV series, a new show called "Central Park" developed by Loren Bouchard, well-known for popular cartoon "Bob's Burgers."

According to Variety, the animated series is a "musical comedy" written by Bouchard, Josh Gad, and Nora Smith. It's said to tell the story of how a family of caretakers who live in Central Park in New York City end up saving the park and the world.

Apple has ordered 26 episodes of the show in total, split into two 13-episode seasons. "Central Park" is produced by 20th Century Fox and stars Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Titus Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Daveed Diggs, and Kathryn Hahn.

This marks the 12th known television show that Apple has invested in so far.

Other TV shows Apple is working on include an untitled morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, an "Amazing Stories" reboot from Steven Spielberg, an untitled space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore, a series written by "La La Land" creator Damien Chazelle, a Kristen Wiig comedy series, See, an epic world-building drama, Home, a docuseries focusing on incredible homes, "Little America," an anthology series from "The Big Sick" creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, Swagger, a drama based on the early life and career of NBA star Kevin Durant, and a psychological thriller produced by M. Night Shyamalan.

Additional detail on all of Apple's TV projects can be found in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple TVTag: Apple's Hollywood ambitionsBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Apple Updates Made For iPhone Licensing Program With USB-C Ports, Lightning to 3.5mm Output Cable

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 18:08
Apple recently updated its Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) licensing program to include specifications for USB-C ports and a Lightning to 3.5mm output cable (via 9to5Mac).

With the new specifications, accessory makers will be able to include USB-C ports on MFi-certified charging accessories designed for the iOS and Mac, with those accessories able to use the USB-C cables that ship with new Macs.

Third-party MFi accessories that include Lightning ports are able to offer passthrough charging, but Apple's new specifications do not allow the USB-C port built into an accessory to be used for passthrough charging or syncing of an iOS device.

Apple's documentation suggests speakers and battery packs could benefit from the use of a USB-C port for charging purposes.

As for the Lightning to 3.5mm stereo output plug, it is designed to let users connect to a 3.5mm input using a Lightning port on an iOS device, something that was previously only possible with adapters.

Apple also recently revamped its Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod logos, introducing support for the San Francisco font and replacing device icons with standard Apple logos.

Tags: USB-C, MFi Program
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Apple Maps Now Displays Nearby Bike-Sharing Stations in 175 Cities

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 17:41
Apple Maps recently inked a deal with Ito World, which adds bike-sharing data to Apple Maps in more than 175 cities across 36 countries, reports TechCrunch.

The feature went live this morning, and Apple Maps users can now type "bike sharing" or a specific service name like GoBike into the search bar to get results for nearby bike sharing options.

Apple previously had some available bike-sharing data in a few cities in Apple Maps, but with the Ito World partnership, it's more widely available. Ito World has signed deals with dozens of companies to license bike sharing data.

Bike sharing information is somewhat limited at the current time, as all Apple Maps lists is the location of the bike sharing stop rather than information on available bikes or empty docks for dropping off a bike.

According to TechCrunch, Apple Maps supports a wide range of services like Citi Bike in New York City, Ford GoBike in San Francisco, Biketown in Portland, Santander Cycles in London, Bicing in Barcelona, BIXI in Montreal, and more.

Tag: Apple Maps
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iTunes Chief Eddy Cue: 'We're All In' on Original Content

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 17:26
Apple iTunes music chief Eddy Cue is at the SXSW conference today, where he sat down for an interview with CNN's Dylan Byers to discuss media, entertainment, and why curation matters.

The major announcement of the event was Apple's pending acquisition of magazine subscription service Texture, which will be integrated into Apple News, but Cue also shared some insight into Apple's original content plans, and much of what he said has been shared on Twitter.

Image via @JohanTrouve
According to Cue, Apple News is a unique service because it isn't focused on advertising, so it's not solely providing the news you want to read - it's also sharing news "you should be reading." Cue says Apple can do that because advertising isn't the focus. "We're not trying to get you to read so we can serve you more ads," he said. "We want to give you a bit of serendipity to see all of what's out there," he added.

On the topic of Apple's content plans, Cue said the company is "all in." "We're completely all in," he said. Apple isn't going to buy a company like Netflix or Disney, though, because the focus is not quantity, it's quality. "You need to have a great story," he said, while also teasing technology that will be a "surprise" to users.

Apple searched for the right people to run an original content team for two years before finding former Sony executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht. Cue says Apple was after someone who "really knew the business but was also willing to think about it differently." Since hiring Van Amburg and Erlicht last year, Apple has inked deals for more than 10 TV shows, many with high-profile actors, producers, and directors.

"We're making big investments," said Cue. "Money isn't an issue." Apple's original content team has grown to about 40 people over the course of the last year.

When asked about sports, Cue said that Apple wants to "augment the experience" rather than own sports content, doing things like sending out notifications when a game stats to enhance the viewing experience. "We think there's a huge opportunity," he said, referring to making sports watching a more interactive experience.

Cue also shared new details on Apple Music. The subscription service has grown to 38 million subscribers, with more than 8 million people using the trial service.

Cue commented on the HomePod, which went on sale in February. He said Apple is happy with the initial sales of the device, which is the "best musicologist there is." Cue said Apple is "very proud" of the device.

Echoing statements Apple CEO Tim Cook has made several times over the course of the past year, Cue said Apple is "very, very optimistic" that AR is going to be huge. It's going to be a mainstream product that everyone uses every day.

He declined to give specifics on the topic of AR hardware outside of the iPhone, though, citing a desire to continue working at Apple. "I've worked for Apple for almost 30 years and hope to work for Apple for another 20 years, so I'm not going to answer questions on future products," he said.

Related Roundup: Apple TVTags: Eddy Cue, Apple MusicBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of tvOS 11.3 to Developers

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 17:05
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming tvOS 11.3 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fourth beta and three weeks after releasing the tvOS 11.2.6 update.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the tvOS 11.3 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode and Apple Configurator.

Early tvOS 11.3 updates introduced support for AirPlay 2, allowing the Apple TV to be added to the Home app as part of a HomeKit setup and enabling multiple Apple TVs in separate rooms to play the same song, but that functionality was removed in tvOS 11.3 beta 3.

It is not yet clear if Apple plans to re-add AirPlay 2 features ahead of the release of tvOS 11.3, but it's a possibility because there are still several betas to go.

Other new features in tvOS 11.3 include enhancements to Match Content support, automatic frame rate switching on the fourth-generation Apple TV (a feature that was added to Apple TV 4K in a past tvOS update), and automatic mode switching for AirPlay video sessions.

Related Roundup: Apple TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 to Developers

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 17:05
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and three weeks after the release of a macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 Supplemental Update to address a bug that could cause apps to crash when receiving a character from the Indian language Telugu.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.3.

The update offers support for some features that are available in iOS 11.3, like Messages on iCloud, which uploads all of your iMessages to the cloud. It will also support Business Chat, a feature coming when iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 are released to the public, and it includes improved support for eGPUs.

The macOS 10.13.4 update also brings the smoke cloud wallpaper that was previously only available on the iMac Pro and it introduces a warning when opening up a 32-bit app as part of an effort to phase them out.

In the future, Apple plans to phase out 32-bit Mac apps, just like it did with 32-bit iOS apps. Apple says macOS High Sierra is the last version of macOS that will support 32-bit apps without compromises.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of iOS 11.3 to Developers

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 17:04
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.3 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fourth beta and three weeks after the release of iOS 11.2.6, an update that addressed a bug causing iPhones and iPads to crash when a character from the Indian language Telugu was rendered improperly.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 11.3 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

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iOS 11.3 is a major update that introduces a long list of new features, like Messages in iCloud for saving space and syncing messages across devices, and ARKit 1.5, a new version of ARKit able to more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces, recognize images, and place objects on vertical surfaces like walls.

There are four new Animoji on the iPhone X (dragon, bear, skull, and lion), and in the Health app, there's a new Health Records feature that aggregates all of your medical records in one easy-to-access place.

As of iOS 11.3 beta 2, the update includes a new "Battery Health" feature that's designed to provide iOS users with more information about their batteries.

Battery Health offers details on maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability, and for devices with degraded batteries, it provides information on if and when a device is being throttled with performance management features. It also provides a way for customers who do have a device with a degraded battery to turn off performance management all together.

By default, iOS 11.3 disables performance management on the iPhone, and the feature is only re-enabled once a device experiences an unexpected shutdown.

Early betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 included support for AirPlay 2 features, allowing audio to be played to multiple Apple TVs, but these features were removed in iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 beta 3.

Other features in iOS 11.3 include a "For You" section in Apple News that displays the top videos of the day, support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) for more accurate location when placing an emergency call in a supported country, more information about app size in the Updates tap in the App Store, software authentication for HomeKit, and a new Privacy screen and icon that will show up whenever Apple asks you for info.

The privacy screen is reflected in several new splash screens that pop up when you first open apps. The App Store also now lets you sort reviews by most helpful, most favorable, most critical, and most recent, a handy change for better finding the app info you're looking for.

Business Chat, which will let you interface with businesses like Wells Fargo, Delta, Hilton and Lowe's right in the Messages app is coming when iOS 11.3 is released, and improvements to Apple Music will bring better support for music videos.

iOS 11.3 will be released to the public in the spring. Spring kicks off on March 20, so the update will be in testing for at least another couple of weeks.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Alexa App on iPad Can Now Initiate Phone/Video Calls and Send Messages to Echo Devices

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 15:57
Amazon is now allowing users to make phone calls, video calls, and send messages from an iPad, Android, or Fire tablet to an Alexa-enabled Echo device. Previously, users had to activate calls or send messages using an Echo, so now it should be easier to communicate within Amazon's Alexa ecosystem (via Engadget). To receive calls, users need any device with the Alexa app installed or an Echo speaker.

The update also introduces Drop In support for the Alexa app on iPads and other tablets, meaning that iPad users can quickly send a message to someone near an Echo in a different room. Engadget noted that the new features are easiest to access on Amazon's own Fire HD 10 tablet, where Alexa is supported across the software, but iPad users will of course first have to open the Alexa iOS app to initiate calls and send messages.

Amazon's Alexa assistant has been in the news recently for scaring some users after creepily laughing for no apparent reason. Amazon has acknowledged the events and said it's working on a fix to roll out to affected users. Additionally, late last week Alexa gained a new "Follow-Up Mode," which lets the assistant respond to multiple questions in quick succession, without requiring the user to repeat the "Alexa" wake up command.

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

Tags: Amazon, Amazon Echo, Alexa
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Apple to Acquire Digital Magazine Service Texture

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 15:36
Apple today announced that it will acquire digital magazine service Texture. "We're excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world’s leading publishers," said Apple's services chief Eddy Cue. "We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users."iPhone and iPad users can download the Texture app and subscribe to unlimited access to over 200 of the world's most popular magazines for $6.99 per month as part of an ongoing sale. Magazines can be read on up to five devices per subscription, with the ability to download issues for offline reading.

Some of the magazines available include People, Vogue, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Wired, Maxim, Men's Health, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, ESPN The Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. New issues are available alongside a searchable archive of thousands of past issues.

More details to follow…

Tag: Apple acquisition
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Rihanna is Apple Music's Most Streamed Female Artist

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 13:48
Rihanna is the world's most streamed female recording artist on Apple Music, ahead of Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Ariana Grande.

Apple recently announced that the Barbadian singer has become the first female artist to surpass two billion streams worldwide on Apple Music, having achieved the milestone on International Women's Day last Thursday.

Work!@Rihanna sets new streaming record on #InternationalWomensDay. 2 billion streams worldwide and counting. 🔥🔥

— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) March 10, 2018
It's unclear if the count is limited to Rihanna's own songs or includes her features in songs by other artists like Drake, Eminem, and Jay-Z, but it's an impressive accomplishment either way on the heels of her 30th birthday.

Rihanna topped Apple Music's list of the top 20 most streamed female artists worldwide:
  1. Rihanna
  2. Taylor Swift
  3. Beyoncé
  4. Ariana Grande
  5. Adele
  6. Sia
  7. Lana Del Rey
  8. Selena Gomez
  9. SZA
  10. Lady Gaga
  11. Katy Perry
  12. Nicki Minaj
  13. Demi Lovato
  14. Halsey
  15. Fifth Harmony
  16. P!nk
  17. Kehlani
  18. Mariah Carey
  19. Little Mix
  20. Miley Cyrus
All eight of Rihanna's studio albums are available to stream on Apple Music, whereas some artists don't offer their complete discography on the service.

Tag: Apple Music
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Philips Hue Reveals First Products in Outdoor Lighting Range Coming This July

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 13:09
At CES in January, Philips announced that it was working on a line of Hue lights for outdoors, so that users could connect and control their lighting on a patio, balcony, or other environment outside. Today, the company has revealed the first set of Philips Hue outdoor range products that will be launching in the United States and Europe this July.

Philips noted that the outdoor products will be available in both the Philips Hue white and Philips Hue white and color ambiance ranges. The outdoor devices will be fully compatible with the Philips hue ecosystem and work "in the same way as the indoor range," Philips explained. Users will just have to connect their outdoor lights to their Philips Hue bridges, and the new lights will appear in the Hue app and Apple's Home app so that they can be controlled with taps and through Siri.

The new lights include the Philips Hue Lily, which can be used to highlight key features in a garden, and the Philips Hue Calla, which can be placed in the ground and light pathways through outdoor spaces. Philips said the new line is designed for outdoor weather conditions and each fixture is easy to install.
“Our customers are always looking for new ways to extend their smart lighting system and the new Philips Hue outdoor range takes it a huge step further,” said Sridhar Kumaraswamy, Business Leader Home Systems & Luminaires at Philips Lighting. “While Philips Hue bulbs and luminaires are available for every area inside your home, we wanted to traverse the threshold and offer connected luminaires designed for outside areas. The Philips Hue outdoor range enables you to make the most of your outside areas, be it creating the ideal ambiance to host a BBQ at the weekend or beautifying your garden.” In terms of price, the Philips Hue outdoor Lily base pack will cost $279.99/€299.99, including three lights and "all the accessories you need to get started." The Calla bollard base pack will be the cheaper option at $129.99/€139.99. There will also be a number of standalone lighting products in the white range, including Lucca, Tuar, Turaco, and Ludere, with prices starting at $49.99/€69.99.

The company didn't give any further information on the upcoming Hue app version 3.0 update for iOS and Android devices, expected for Q2 2018. At CES, Philips said the update will "enhance" existing features while also adding in new ones so that Hue lights can be activated "with even more ease."

Tag: Philips Hue
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Samsung Galaxy S9+ Teardown Reveals Components for Dual-Aperture Camera and 'Lower-Tech' AR Emoji

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:41
Over the weekend, iFixit shared its latest teardown, this one for Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S9+ smartphone. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will both launch this Friday, March 16 for around for $720 and $840, respectively, and some initial reviews took to comparing the devices to Apple's iPhone X.

iFixit did so as well in the new teardown, starting off by trying to get into the back of the S9+ to look at its rear-facing camera components. After applying heat, the iFixit team got into the smartphone and found its dual-aperture camera system, which the team described as one of the only significant hardware changes this year.

Images via iFixit
iFixit explained that the S9+ has a rear-facing camera that automatically adjusts its aperture for low light, and at f/1.5 it has the widest aperture of any phone. For normal photos, Samsung's new device still has a "more standard" f/2.4 aperture. In comparison, the iPhone X's dual 12 MP rear cameras include f/1.8 and f/2.4 apertures.
Standard camera lenses use at least five aperture blades to keep the aperture roughly circular throughout many f-stop adjustments. This Galaxy's aperture has just two rotating, ring-like blades for its single adjustment. After some trouble dislodging the rear fingerprint sensor, iFixit moved to focus on the battery within the S9+ and discovered a 3.85V, 3,500 mAh battery. As the iFixit team pointed out, the battery in the S9+ shares the same specs as those found in the S8+ last year, and in the Note7 in 2016. The iPhone X's battery teardown uncovered a 3.81V, 2,716 mAh battery in Apple's smartphone.

Eventually, the team got underneath the S9+ display and compared its front-facing camera components side-by-side with the iPhone X. iFixit noted that Samsung's AR Emoji are "lower-tech" compared to Apple's Animoji, mainly because the S9+ front-facing hardware -- composed of an iris scanner, camera, IR emitter, and proximity sensor -- are "pretty much exactly" the same as the tech from the Galaxy S8+.

Galaxy S9+ (left) and iPhone X (right)
Because of this, iFixit pointed out that it might have been a bit too soon for Samsung to debut its own animated emoji characters "without a hardware update to bring it up to speed." To further explain the distance between the technologies, the teardown team described Apple's Animoji as having Kinect-level tracking, while Samsung's emoji are more akin to Snapchat filters.

iFixit gave the Samsung Galaxy S9+ a repairability score of 4 out of 10, explaining that there are a few modular components while noting the chance for breakage if attempting to repair the display and rear glass panel. The iPhone X fared slightly better in its teardown with a 6 out of 10 score. To read more about the Galaxy S9+ and its teardown, visit iFixit's website.

Tags: Samsung, iFixit, teardown, Galaxy S9
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Apple Updates 'Made for iPhone, iPad, and iPod' Logos

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:31
Apple has updated its Made for iPhone, Made for iPad, and Made for iPod logos, and accessory makers have 90 days from when the change was announced in mid February to begin using them, according to ChargerLab.

Apple's new Made for iPhone, iPad, and iPod logos via ChargerLab
The new decals look similar, but they have Apple logos in place of iPhone, iPad, and iPod icons. Apple has also moved iPod from first to last in the list, as the iPhone and iPad have long overshadowed the portable media player. The new logos use Apple's San Francisco font, compared to Myriad Pro previously.

Apple's old Made for iPod, iPhone, and iPad logo
Made for iPhone, Made for iPad, and Made for iPod logos inform customers that an electronic accessory has been certified by the developer to meet Apple's performance standards. To use the logos, accessory makers must apply to be a MFi Program licensee, and receive approval from Apple.

MFi-licensed technologies include the Lightning connector, CarPlay, GymKit, HomeKit, game controllers, and hearing aids, among others. MFi Program certification is not required for accessories that only make use of standard Bluetooth profiles supported by iOS, or accessories that only use the 3.5mm headphone jack.

For customers, this isn't a significant change. But, next time you're shopping for Apple-certified accessories, be aware the logos will soon change on packaging. It doesn't appear the similar Made for Apple Watch decal has changed.

(Thanks, Nick!)

Tag: MFi Program
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WhatsApp Extends Time Limit for Deleting Sent Messages to Over an Hour

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 11:44
WhatsApp has quietly extended the time window in which users can delete a message they already sent to a person or group in the latest version of the popular messaging app.

First noticed by WABetaInfo and reported by The Verge, the change in v2.18.31 means users now have up to one hour, eight minutes, and 16 seconds to "delete for everyone" any message already sent over the platform, rather than the previous time limit of up to seven minutes.

It's not clear what prompted the specific limit change (other than the value being equal to 4096 seconds, or 2^12) and there's no mention of it in WhatsApp's support pages. Nevertheless, users now have a much longer time period in which to delete individual messages or entire chat threads either before or after they're read.

A new WhatsApp for iOS update (2.18.31) is available on AppStore.
It is a bug fixes update, but it has the new “Delete for everyone” limit, that’s 1 hour, 8 minutes and 16 seconds.

— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 8, 2018

The "delete for everyone" option was introduced last year, but WhatsApp still lacks a self-destructing message feature like the one found in Telegram, where users can set a countdown on a message in the device-specific secret chat mode. As soon as the time runs out, the message disappears from both devices.

Tag: WhatsApp
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