Latest MacBook News

Subscribe to Latest MacBook News feed
Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mac News and Rumors
Updated: 38 min 25 sec ago

How to Customize Your Apple Watch Workout Metrics

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 10:50
The ability to view live metric data is one of the most important feedback functions of any Apple Watch fitness app. In this article, we're going to show how you can easily customize the metrics that the stock Workout app shows you when you raise your wrist during exercise.

Checking in on your progress during a workout is best achieved with a quick glance at your watch screen, so choosing which statistics are displayed is an important consideration if you want to minimize the amount of attention this requires. By default, Apple Watch displays things like duration, calories burned, heart rate, and distance, but you can choose to see only those that are important to you based on the type of workout you're doing. Keep reading to learn how it's done.

How to Customize Your Metrics for Different Workouts
The Workout app offers either a multiple metrics readout or a single metric view. The Multiple Metric view lets you choose up to five different metrics for individual workouts. The Single Metric option reduces this to one, however turning the Digital Crown in this mode lets you scroll through all available metrics for the current workout. Here's how to choose between and set up the two viewing modes.
  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Workout in the app list.
  3. Tap Workout View at the top of the menu.

  4. Tap either Single Metric or Multiple Metric.
  5. If you chose the Multiple Metric option you will see the list of individual workouts beneath. Tap a workout to customize its view.
  6. To remove a metric from the view, tap the red minus symbol next to it in the list. To add a metric, tap the green plus symbol. You can also drag metrics between the two lists and reorder them to suit using the horizontal bars along the right. Note that the order will be reflected in your Apple Watch's display.
Tip: When using the Multiple Metric view, turn the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to highlight a particular statistic on the screen for easier at-a-glance reading.

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

New Entry-Level Mac Notebook Expected to Adopt Retina Display, Likely Launch at WWDC in June

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 05:23
Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is expected to introduce a cheaper MacBook Air sometime during the second quarter of the year, and a few days later a second report backed up Kuo's claims with a claim of a price point starting at $799 or $899.

DigiTimes is now reporting that Apple is planning to launch a new 13.3-inch "entry-level MacBook" late in the second quarter of the year, which suggests an introduction at WWDC in June. While DigiTimes calls the notebook a "MacBook," it is unclear whether it would be part of the MacBook or MacBook Air line, but the entry-level nature of the machine and the MacBook's positioning at a similar 12-inch size suggests this new machine might be part of a refreshed MacBook Air family.

However the new entry-level machine is marketed, DigiTimes says the pricing will be the same as or slightly higher than the current MacBook Air, which starts at $999, and the machine will include a Retina display.The 13.3-inch a-Si panels for the new notebook feature the same resolution as Apple's 13.3-inch MacBook Pro at 2,560 by 1,600.

LG Display will begin supplying the panel in April with the new MacBook scheduled to enter mass production at the end of May or the beginning of June.The report claims that Apple is targeting shipments of six million units of the new notebook through the end of the year, although DigiTimes analysts believe four million is a more likely figure considering the estimated pricing.

In addition to the new MacBook Air or MacBook, DigiTimes says Apple is also preparing updated entry-level iPad models for release in the second quarter and new iPad Pro models for the second half of the year.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iPadTag: digitimes.comBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Neutral), MacBook Air (Caution), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral), MacBook (Caution), iPad (Don't Buy)
Discuss this article in our forums

Study Suggests AliveCor KardiaBand for Apple Watch Can Be Used With AI Algorithm to Detect High Potassium

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 12:30
AliveCor, the company that makes an FDA-approved EKG band for the Apple Watch called KardiaBand, teamed up with the Mayo Clinic for a new study that suggests an AliveCor EKG device paired with artificial intelligence technology can non-invasively detect high levels of potassium in the blood.

A second study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic also confirms the KardiaBand's ability to accurately detect atrial fibrillation.

AliveCor's KardiaBand
For the potassium study, AliveCor used more than 2 million EKGs from the Mayo Clinic from 1994 to 2017 paired with four million serum potassium values and data from an AliveCor smartphone EKG device to create an algorithm that can successfully detect hyperkalemia, aka high potassium, with a sensitivity range between 91 and 94 percent.

High potassium in the blood is a sign of several concerning health conditions, like congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes, and it can also be detected due to the medications used to treat these conditions. According to AliveCor, hyperkalemia is associated with "significant mortality and arrhythmic risk," but because it's typically asymptomatic, it often goes undetected.

Currently, the only way to test for high potassium levels is through a blood test, which AliveCor is aiming to change with the new non-invasive monitoring functionality.

AliveCor says that the AI technology used in the study could be commercialized through the KardiaBand for Apple Watch to allow patients to better monitor their health. Vic Gundotra, AliveCor CEO, said that the company is "on the path to change the way hyperkalemia can be detected" using products like the Apple Watch.

For the Cleveland Clinic study, cardiologists aimed to determine whether KardiaBand for Apple Watch could differentiate between atrial fibrillation and a normal heart rhythm. The researchers discovered that the KardiaBand was able to successfully detect Afib at an accuracy level comparable to physicians interpreting the same EKGs. The Kardia algorithm was able to correctly interpret atrial fibrillation with 93 percent sensitivity and 94 percent specificity. Sensitivity increased to 99 percent with a physician review of the KardiaBand recordings.

KardiaBand, which has been available since late last year, is available for purchase from AliveCor or from for $199. Using the KardiaBand also requires a subscription to the AliveCor premium service, priced at $99 per year.

AliveCor premium paired with the KardiaBand offers SmartRhythm notifications, unlimited EKG readings, detection of atrial fibrillation or normal sinus rhythm, and unlimited cloud history and reporting of all EKGs.

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

Amazon's Alexa Gains Follow-Up Mode for Back-to-Back Requests Without Repeating Wake Word

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 00:42
Amazon's Alexa personal assistant, built into dozens of different products, today gained a new "Follow-Up Mode" that's designed to allow users to ask multiple questions in succession without the need to repeat the "Alexa" wake up word.

As noted by CNET, Follow-Up Mode allows Alexa to continue to listen for five seconds after an initial response to see if you have an additional request.

During this five second listening period, the blue ring on an Alexa device will light up to indicate that Alexa is listening. Anything else you say during this time period will not require you to add "Alexa" into the statement to wake up the Alexa device. If you don't say anything else, your Alexa device will go back to sleep until the next time the "Alexa" wake word is uttered.

With Follow-Up Mode, Alexa cannot respond to multiple requests, like "Turn the lights on and set the thermostat to 70," but you can ask two requests in succession. Asking "Alexa, turn on the lights" and then stating "Set the thermostat to 70" after the first "OK" from Alexa works, however.

According to Amazon, Follow-Up Mode is designed to make sure Alexa only responds if a legitimate request is spoken rather than simple background noise. A conversation with Alexa can also be ended immediately by saying "Thank you" or "Stop" after an initial request, and Follow-Up Mode won't activate when listening to music, making a call, or listening to an audiobook.

The new Follow-Up Mode can be enabled in the Settings section of the Amazon Alexa app. Select a device and then scroll down to the new "Follow-Up Mode" toggle. Follow-Up Mode is available for all Amazon Echo devices and some third-party devices as well, but it is limited to US English at the current time.

The Alexa Follow-Up Mode, which seems like a useful new addition to Alexa, has no equivalent on Apple's devices like the HomePod at the current time. On Apple's speaker, you will need to activate it with a "Hey Siri" command before each request.

The addition of this new feature comes just a few days after Amazon implemented a fix for an issue that was causing Alexa-enabled devices to spontaneously laugh, creeping out some Alexa users. Amazon said the issue was caused by Alexa mistakenly hearing the phrase "Alexa, laugh," which has now been changed to "Alexa, can you laugh?" to prevent accidental Alexa activations.

Tags: Amazon, Alexa
Discuss this article in our forums

Netflix Tests New Gamification Feature for Children's Shows

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 23:50
Netflix is testing a new gamified streaming experience for children, the company confirmed in a statement provided to Variety this morning. The new feature lets kids collect "patches" for watching episodes of certain shows.

Netflix says the patches, which have been available for a few weeks for some users, are designed to allow for a more interactive experience for children.

Image from Twitter"We are testing a new feature on select kids titles that introduces collectible items for a more interactive experience and to expand the storytelling world for the show. We learn by testing and this feature may or may not become part of the Netflix experience."Netflix shows that are part of the test are marked with red locks for Netflix users who have been selected to be part of the test. Eligible shows include "A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Trolls," "Troll Hunters," Fuller House," and more.

At the current time, it does not appear that collecting patches unlocks any additional content or rewards on Netflix.

Netflix says that this feature is still in testing and that it might not become part of the Netflix experience if the testing proves unsuccessful or unpopular with users.

Tag: Netflix
Discuss this article in our forums

Quick Takes: Apple's Ecosystem Explained, Crumb-Resistant MacBook Keyboards, and More

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 23:25
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.

Friday, March 9
Apple's ecosystem explained: YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee explains why Apple's ecosystem of products and services is so strong. He also advises against becoming too locked into just one ecosystem.

Commentary: A good example of the strength of Apple's ecosystem is iMessage and its coveted blue message bubbles, which have essentially become a status symbol. As silly as it may sound, there are a countless number of tweets that mock green bubbles, which is the color Apple uses to display standard text messages.

AAPL sets all-time high closing price of $179.98: The previous record was $179.26, set on January 18, 2018. Apple's overall all-time high remains $180.62, set during intraday trading on February 28, 2018. AAPL has been on the rise since bottoming out at $150.24 on February 9 amid a wider stock market selloff.

Commentary: Apple shares have technically traded for higher prices, but today's record high factors in multiple stock splits, including a 7-for-1 split in 2014. Apple's market cap now hovers around the $915 billion mark.

Timing of Apple's rumored March event: Apple typically invites the media to its special events roughly 10 to 12 days beforehand, so if there is a March event on its agenda, then we'll likely hear about it soon.

Commentary: The big question is whether Apple will hold a media event or make its announcements via press releases as it did last year. Rumored products that could debut this month include a new iPhone SE, lower-priced 9.7-inch iPad and MacBook Air models, and the AirPower charging mat, along with iOS 11.3.

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
Discuss this article in our forums

Video Comparison: Samsung Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 21:39
Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S9 started last week, and the first S9 orders are set to arrive to customers on March 14. We managed to get our hands on a new Galaxy S9 ahead of the device's launch date, so we thought we'd compare Samsung's new flagship device to Apple's latest flagship device, the iPhone X.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
Design wise, the Galaxy S9 looks a lot like the Galaxy S8, with slim bezels at the top, sides, and bottom and a display that curves downward at the sides. It's taller and slimmer than the iPhone X, and with Samsung continuing to use a thicker top bezel, there's no notch. The Galaxy S9 has a 2960 x 1440 display, which DisplayMate says is better than the iPhone X's display.

With the Galaxy S9, Samsung uses multiple biometric methods, so there's a fingerprint sensor that's been relocated to the middle of the device's back underneath the rear camera, making it easier to reach. The iPhone X, of course, has fully embraced facial recognition, something Samsung hasn't been able to do because it's using an inferior 2D facial and iris recognition system that's not secure enough on its own.

A fingerprint sensor is, of course, an attractive offering for those who prefer fingerprint sensors to facial recognition, and offering multiple biometric methods provides consumers with choice. The Galaxy S9 also continues to offer a headphone jack, which Apple abandoned with the iPhone 7.

Samsung's Galaxy S9 is using variable aperture camera technology (with two cameras if you have an S9+), and it's putting out photos on par with the iPhone X (if not better), and to combat Animoji, Samsung has its own new AR Emoji, which are more realistic humanoid animated emojis that some have called creepy. We'll be looking into both AR Emoji and the Galaxy S9 and S9+ cameras in later videos, so make sure to visit MacRumors next week to check those features out in detail.

The Galaxy S9 runs Android 8.0 Oreo, with useful features like native multitasking and edge panel customization. Android is appealing to many because it's more customizable than iOS, but it can't match features like iMessage and Continuity, and these key differences are what draw people to the different operating systems and drive customer loyalty.

When it comes to performance, Samsung's Galaxy S9 doesn't quite measure up to the iPhone X in terms of benchmarks, but in day to day usage, the difference isn't noticeable. Both devices are responsive, fast, and offer the kind of performance you expect in an expensive flagship smartphone. It's worth noting, though, that Galaxy S9 pricing starts at $720 in the US, while pricing on the Galaxy S9+ starts at $840. That's a solid $280 to $160 price difference compared to the $999 price tag of the iPhone X, and lower price is often an edge that Android devices have over iOS devices.

With Samsung and Apple devices, deciding which one is "better" is often a matter of choosing your preferred features and your preferred operating system. Both of these smartphones are fast, modern, and highly capable devices and each one has its upsides and downsides.

We'll be further exploring similarities and differences between Samsung's new flagship smartphones and the iPhone X next week, but let us know what you think of the new Galaxy S9 in the comments below.

Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: Galaxy S9Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums

Dozens of Popular Apps Still Don't Natively Support iPhone X, But Updates Are Coming Soon

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 21:14
One of the minor disadvantages of buying an iPhone X early is having to wait for developers to update their apps with support for the smartphone's taller display. Many popular apps were updated within a few weeks after the device launched, but over four months later, there are still some notable omissions.

MacRumors recently asked our readers to share their favorite apps that have yet to be optimized for the iPhone X display. Then, we reached out to the developers of each app to ask them if and when they will release updates with iPhone X support. We've included comments from every company that responded below.

Apple did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
  • iMovie
  • iTunes Connect
  • iTunes Remote
  • Beats Pill+
  • AirPort Utility
  • Music Memos
Google did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
  • Google Authenticator
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Admin
  • Google Street View
  • Google Wifi
  • Google Cloud Console
  • Inbox by Gmail
  • Chrome Remote Desktop
  • Snapseed
Microsoft confirmed it is working on updating its remaining apps to be optimized for the iPhone X, but it did not provide a timeframe.
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop
  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  • Office 365 Admin
Banking and Finance
  • Chase — "We constantly evaluate changes in the market while listening to customer feedback and regularly update our mobile app based on that feedback. Watch for an update in the near future."
  • TD Canada — "The next release of the TD mobile app, expected later this month, will be optimized for the iPhone X display."
  • National Bank of Canada — "The app will be updated for iPhone X in the coming months."
  • HSBC
  • ANZ Australia
  • Barclaycard
Fast Food
  • Domino's — "It will be updated in one of our upcoming app updates. I don't have an exact date."
  • Pizza Hut — "Pizza Hut is currently developing numerous app enhancements, including optimizing the iPhone X display and other capabilities offered by the phone."
  • Taco Bell
Sports and Gaming
  • NBC Sports — "It will happen soon."
  • PGA TOUR — "We are updating our app on March 20 to support the new iPhone X format."
  • MLS
  • Steam
  • Hearthstone
  • Candy Crush Soda Saga
TV and Media
  • NPR News — "We will have an update for iPhone X for the NPR News app on April 2."
  • NPR One — "The update for NPR One will come later in the summer."
  • The Economist
  • IGN
  • TiVo
  • Cineplex
  • Amazon Alexa — "The Alexa app will be updated and optimized for iPhone X display in the coming weeks."
  • Linksys — "The update for the Linksys app for iPhone X will be rolling out in the next few days."
  • OpenVPN — "We are currently developing a new iOS app that will support iPhone X. It will tentatively be released end of April."
  • HipChat — "HipChat will not be updated for the iPhone X but Stride will be soon."
  • Harmony Control
Airlines and Travel
  • — "We will be releasing our update to better support iPhone X shortly."
  • Virgin Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Air France
  • myChevrolet
Apple recently announced that, starting April 2018, all new iOS apps submitted to the App Store, including universal apps, must support the iPhone X display. The rule doesn't apply to existing apps.

Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: App StoreBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums

Mario Comes to Google Maps in Celebration of Mario Day

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 19:47
Mario Day, which celebrates Nintendo's iconic plumber, takes place on Saturday, March 10. To celebrate Mario Day, Nintendo has teamed up with Google to bring Mario to Google Maps.

Starting today, "Mario Time" is available in Google Maps for Android and iOS devices. To enter Mario Time, tap on the yellow "?" icon that's available in the bottom right of the Google Maps app after updating the app to the latest version.

With Mario Time enabled, your Google Maps navigation arrow will turn into Mario driving a Mario Kart vehicle. Google says Mario will be a "constant companion" wherever you're driving this coming week. The new Mario icon will be visible in Google Maps on every route you take while using the app.

The new Google Maps update with Mario Time is rolling out to iOS and Android users today, and Mario will be available for the next seven days. Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Nintendo is also celebrating Mario Day with a 50 percent discount on Super Mario Run, which means unlocking the game via in-app purchase will cost you $4.99 instead of $9.99 through March 25. The new lower pricing for the in-app purchase will be available starting on March 10.

Super Mario Run can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Google Maps
Discuss this article in our forums

MacRumors Giveaway: Win an iPhone X Case From Krown

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 19:03
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Krown to give MacRumors readers a chance to win one of four slim iPhone cases made from unique materials.

Krown is an indie iPhone case manufacturer that offers cases for Apple's newer devices, including the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The company makes cases in four materials (prices for iPhone X): aluminum ($24.95), concrete ($39.95), an ultra thin plastic ($19.95), and marble ($49.95). All Krown cases with the exception of the aluminum model are compatible with wireless charging.

The Slim Aluminum Case is made from a brushed aluminum material that comes in blue, black, gold, or red. To protect the iPhone, there's a soft rubber material inside of the case, and it features a lightweight, minimal design with no unnecessary bulk.

Krown's Concrete iPhone Case is thicker than the aluminum case, but as far as cases go, it's still relatively slim. It's made from a concrete and resin material that's smooth to the touch, and inside, there's a soft rubber for drop protection. There are two shades of concrete available: dark with a black border and light with a white border.

The Ultra Thin iPhone Case is similar to other ultra thin cases on the market, measuring in at 0.012" thick. These kinds of cases often don't offer much in the way of drop protection, but they're the best way to preserve the slim design of the iPhone while also protecting it from scratches. Krown says its version, available in dark blue, black, red, and white, is designed to "feel invisible."

Krown's Marble iPhone Case is similar in design to the Concrete case, but instead of a concrete back, the outside of the cases is made from a thin layer of genuine marble that comes in black or white. Inside, there's the same soft rubber used in other cases, which offers protection for drops and bumps.

We have 15 Krown cases to give away to MacRumors readers, with winners able to choose case size and material. 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 (March 9) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on March 16. The winners will be chosen randomly on March 16 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Tag: giveaway
Discuss this article in our forums

eBay Launches Limited Time 20% Off Coupon: Get HomePod, Apple TV, and More Discounted

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 17:54
eBay today launched a pre-daylight savings coupon that takes 20 percent off "everything" on the online reseller's storefront, with a few exclusions including gift cards, coupons, coins and paper money, and real estate. Outside of these categories, you're free to apply the 20 percent off coupon to any other items today, including Apple products like the HomePod.

eBay explained that the coupon PSPRING20 is valid until 8 p.m. PST tonight, March 9, and it applies to the purchase price of eligible item/items, not including shipping, handling, and taxes. That purchase price has to be $25 or more, and the 20 percent discount will be capped at a value of $100. You'll need to be an eBay member with a registered address located in the United States or Canada to take advantage of the coupon as well.

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

If you meet the criteria, you can essentially shop in any category (barring exclusions) on eBay to find something that might interest you for the discount. Once you find the item you want and it exceeds $25, click "Buy it Now," and before you complete your order type in PSPRING20 in the "Gift cards, coupons, eBay Bucks" section of the checkout process and hit Apply.

For Apple-related items, the Daily Deals tech section is a good place to browse, and one notable savings compatible with the coupon today is a HomePod in brand new condition, sold by alldayzip. With the 20 percent discount applied and free shipping, the HomePod comes to $271.99, compared to its $350 price tag at all other major retailers. For some shopping ideas, we listed the HomePod and a few other Apple products and related accessories below:
As with any eBay reseller purchase, the savings come with the caveat of buying a device that might not be in brand new condition. Still, today's promo code is compatible across all of eBay, not just its Daily Deals section, so there are many brand new, new, or like new products that you could nab at a discounted price today.

Head over to eBay to shop, and if you're interested make sure to place your order by tonight at 8 p.m. PST. For more sales information, be sure to visit our Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple DealsTag: eBay
Discuss this article in our forums

Barclays Says AirPods Continue to Grow, HomePod Sales Have Been Underwhelming

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 15:31
Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his associates recently spent a week in Asia meeting with companies within Apple's supply chain, and today they shared research on iPhones, AirPods, and the HomePod gathered from their trip.

In terms of AirPods, the analysts expect Apple will continue to increase production of the wireless earphones. Barclays forecasts that AirPods shipments will likely approach 30 million units in 2018, within the ballpark of KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's estimate of 26-28 million units.

AirPods remain backordered on Apple's online store, with orders placed today estimated for delivery within 12 to 13 days in the United States and several other countries. The wireless earphones have been in short supply since December after availability briefly improved during the fall months.

The lengthy shipping estimates for AirPods suggests Apple may still be having difficulties manufacturing the wireless earphones, can't keep up with strong demand, or is dealing with some combination of those two factors.

Apple doesn't disclose AirPod sales, but chief executive Tim Cook said the company's total revenue from wearables was up almost 70 percent year over year. Apple's broad "Other Products" category, including AirPods, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, set a new all-time record with $5.5 billion in revenue last quarter.

In contrast with the popularity of AirPods, Barclays says HomePod sales have been "underwhelming" so far. The research note says Apple planned an initial production run of 6-7 million units, but it's unclear how many have sold.

Apple will soon release a wireless charging case for AirPods to be used with its upcoming AirPower charging mat. Beyond that, Bloomberg reported that Apple may release new AirPods with "Hey Siri" functionality as early as this year, and a subsequent pair with water resistance as early as next year.

Barclays also believes Apple will release a new pair of AirPods in early 2019, but it's unclear if they are referring to the pair with "Hey Siri" functionality or the subsequent water-resistant ones.

And for the HomePod, a relatively sketchy rumor out of China suggests Apple may release a smaller version of the speaker later this year for between $150 and $200 in the United States. No further details were provided.

The research note corroborates Apple's widely rumored plans to launch a new iPhone X, a so-called iPhone X Plus, and a lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone X-like device with some design compromises such as an LCD instead of OLED display, 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB, a single-lens rear camera, and no 3D Touch.

An excerpt from the research note, edited slightly for clarity:Looking ahead, we expect iPhone X production to cease entirely before this year's launches and now believe the 6.1" LCD model could be half or even more of the mix in the second half of 2018. The LCD version will likely be tiered between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X2 with cut down features; we expect it will have only 3GB RAM, a single rear camera, and lack 3D Touch, but still have the new form factor with Face ID. In terms of lower Bill of Materials, we note the LCD screen module costs less than half the cost of an OLED one. Further, we expect the iPhone X2 and a Plus-sized version to also be launched, likely with 4GB of RAM, and Intel to gain modem share this cycle. However, rear 3D-sensing doesn't happen until 2019 or later.The information about the new iPhones is entirely in line with research previously shared by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Related Roundups: HomePod, AirPodsTag: BarclaysBuyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now), AirPods (Caution)
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Earns Top Spot as 'Most Intimate Brand' for Millennials

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 15:08
MBLM this week published part of its Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, with the preliminary findings focusing on responses from millennials and other young age groups. MBLM surveyed 6,000 consumers and performed 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 total industries in the United States, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates in order to discover which brands had the deepest emotional connections with respondents.

For millennials (typically individuals in their early twenties to late thirties as of 2018), Apple earned the top spot as the most intimate brand in the U.S. In second place was Disney, followed by YouTube, Target, and Amazon. The top four spots last year for millennials were Disney in first, followed by Amazon, Netflix, and then Apple, so the company has climbed and beaten out a few well-known brands this year.

Image via PRNewsfoto/MBLM
MBLM said it was "surprised and pleased" to see YouTube climbing the rankings this year.
"We were surprised and pleased to see YouTube as an addition to the top three most intimate brands for millennials this year," stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. "We believe its rise is due to our culture's continued need for escape and the brand's immediate, diverse content, personalities and growing offerings in movies and live TV. YouTube is clearly an established ritual in the lives of many millennials today." A younger age group of individuals between 18 and 24 years old kept Apple as their most intimate brand, but listed Amazon in second, then YouTube, PlayStation, Starbucks, Nintendo, Google, Netflix, Coca Cola, and Walmart.

This is just a snapshot of the larger Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, which MBLM said it will be sharing next week, on March 13. Since Apple has earned the top spot in two important age groups, it's expected for the company to sit at number one for the overall rankings. For the 2017 list, Apple was MBLM's "top-ranked brand overall" and earned high marks in various categories like "can't live without" and frequency of use.

Tags: MBLM, Brand Intimacy
Discuss this article in our forums

Siri Co-Founder Suggests Apple is 'Looking for a Level of Perfection They Can't Get' With Assistant

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 14:08
Since Siri's introduction in the iPhone 4s in 2011, responses to Apple's AI assistant have often weighed towards the unfavorable side, most recently in several HomePod reviews that specified Siri as one of the biggest downsides of owning the speaker. This week, Siri creator, co-founder, and former board member Norman Winarsky added in his own commentary about the assistant's current state, saying that he didn't think this is where Siri would be at this point (via Quartz).

In 2008 Siri began as spin-off of SRI International, where Winarsky was the President, and eventually launched as an app for iOS in February 2010. Two months later Apple acquired Siri, and just over a year after that introduced it within the iPhone 4s, shutting down the standalone app shortly thereafter. Seven years later, Winarsky said that Siri's capabilities have fallen short of his earlier predictions for where he thought the assistant, and Apple's development, would end up.

Specifically, Winarsky's comments focus on what Siri's intention was "pre-Apple" versus where the assistant is today. According to the co-founder, Siri was originally meant to be incredibly intelligent in just a few key areas -- travel and entertainment -- and then "gradually extend to related areas" once it mastered each. Apple's acquisition pivoted Siri to an all-encompassing life assistant, and Winarsky said that this decision has likely led Apple to search "for a level of perfection they can't get."
But part of it is also likely because Apple chose to take Siri in a very different direction than the one its founders envisioned. Pre-Apple, Winarsky said, Siri was intended to launch specifically as a travel and entertainment concierge. Were you to arrive at an airport to discover a cancelled flight, for example, Siri would already be searching for an alternate route home by the time you pulled your phone from your pocket—and if none was available, would have a hotel room ready to book.

It would have a smaller remit, but it would learn it flawlessly, and then gradually extend to related areas. Apple launched Siri as an assistant that can help you in all areas of your life, a bigger challenge that will inevitably take longer to perfect, Winarsky said. [...] “These are hard problems and when you’re a company dealing with up to a billion people, the problems get harder yet,” Winarsky said. “They’re probably looking for a level of perfection they can’t get.” Last September, Apple VP of marketing Greg Joswiak commented on a few aspects of Siri's development, stating that Apple's aim from the beginning has been to make Siri a "get-s**t-done" machine. Joswiak did a series of interviews around the same time last September, after Siri leadership moved to Craig Federighi and before the assistant's six year birthday. In one, he discussed the claim that Siri development has been hindered by Apple's commitment to privacy, describing these reports as "a false narrative."

The original Siri Assistant iOS app
Winarsky didn't specifically comment on Apple's focus on privacy and how that could be a factor in Siri's development, but he did state that there's one simple factor absent from Siri today: "Surprise and delight is kind of missing right now."

Tag: Siri
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Reportedly Interested in Obama Series if Netflix Fails to Clinch Content Deal With Former President

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 11:52
Netflix is said to be in advanced negotiations with former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to produce a series of high-profile shows for the streaming service, with Apple said to be waiting in line if a deal between the two parties falls through.

The New York Times reports that Netflix is offering to pay the Obamas to produce the exclusive content, according to people familiar with the discussions, although it's unclear how much is on the table given the couple's lack of experience in the media business.

Image via Getty Images
However, rather than use the shows to respond to President Trump or conservative critics, Obama is reportedly interested in treating them as a platform for topics that dominated his presidency, such as health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, and climate change.Another program could feature Mrs. Obama on topics, like nutrition, that she championed in the White House. The former president and first lady could also lend their brand — and their endorsement — to documentaries or fictional programming on Netflix that align with their beliefs and values.

Several people familiar with the Netflix discussions said that executives from Apple and Amazon, which have their own streaming services, have also expressed interest in talking with Mr. Obama about content deals.The New York Times notes that Obama retains close ties to Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer. Sarandos is married to Nicole A. Avant, an activist who served as Obama's ambassador to the Bahamas. Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, was also close to Obama while he was president and an attendee at state dinners, according to the report.

Apple has been comparatively slow at securing original content for its television offering, but the company now has at least 10 television shows in the early stages of development, including an untitled morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon and an "Amazing Stories" reboot from Steven Spielberg.

Other shows on the tech giant's books include 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, and "Little America," an anthology series from "The Big Sick" creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon.

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.

Related Roundup: Apple TVTag: NetflixBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums

Fortnite Battle Royale for iPhone and iPad Coming Soon

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 10:55
Epic Games has announced that it plans to bring hugely popular multiplayer game Fortnite Battle Royale to iOS devices in the near future.

The acclaimed free-to-play title is coming to both iPhones and iPads and will be the "same 100-player game you know from PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac," with identical content and regular updates that match the console and PC versions.

In partnership with our friends at Sony, Fortnite Battle Royale will support Cross Play and Cross Progression between PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, iOS and eventually Android. This means players across devices can squad up with friends and play together.

We believe this is the future of games. The same game on all platforms. Console quality graphics and action. Play when you want, where you want.Starting Monday, March 12, interested gamers can sign up for an iOS Invite Event at the official Fortnite website. Email invites will be sent out to all signees, who will receive an email with a link to download the game from the App Store. People who receive invites from Epic will also get friend invite codes to share with others.

Participation requirements include an internet connection, iOS 11, and at least an iPhone 6S/SE, iPad mini 4, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, or iPad 2017. Invites operate on a first come, first serve basis, but Epic says it will be adding more players over the coming months.

Tags: Epic Games, Fortnite
Discuss this article in our forums

KGI: Samsung to Cancel Under-Display Fingerprint Sensor Plans for This Year's Galaxy Note 9

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 10:07
Samsung is unlikely to introduce an under-display fingerprint recognition feature in its 2018 flagship smartphone line-up, according to KGI Securities research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo had earlier predicted that the South Korean firm was planning to debut an under-screen fingerprint sensor in its Galaxy Note 9, due for release in the third quarter of this year, but Kuo now believes Samsung will cancel the feature because of technical issues. The following quote is taken from a KGI research note obtained by MacRumors and has been edited for clarity.
While we previously predicted that Samsung's new flagship Galaxy Note 9, due out in 3Q18, will come equipped with an under-display fingerprint recognition function, we now believe Samsung will cancel this feature on Note 9 because both ultrasonic (provided by Qualcomm) and optical (provided by Samsung LSI, Goodix, Egis, and Synaptics) solutions cannot meet Samsung's technical requirements.

According to Kuo's understanding of the technologies involved, under-display fingerprint solutions continue to have many technical issues surrounding the use of screen protectors as well as different environments affecting recognition rates and power consumption.

Previous reports suggested Samsung decided not to include a fingerprint scanner under the display of the recently launched Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones due to similar technical difficulties. The fingerprint scanner remains positioned on the back of each device, just like the previous Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ models. However, despite the ongoing problems, KGI remains "positive" on the outlook for under-display recognition in OLED panels and sees Samsung leading the way in this regard, although he doesn't expect mass-market adoption of the technology until the first quarter of 2019 at the earliest.
We recognize that under-display fingerprint recognition is key for full-screen designs, and we don't think that facial recognition can fully replace fingerprint recognition. For these reasons, we remain positive on this technology over the long term. Also, as under-display fingerprint recognition module has a unit price 4-6 times that of capacitive fingerprint recognition module (or higher), we think that once the former module goes into mass production, the contribution to suppliers' sales and profits will be significant.Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate Touch ID under the display on the iPhone X, or even on the side or back of the device, but Apple hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio has suggested it ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with the company's Face ID depth-sensing facial recognition. Indeed, Apple is said to be so confident in Face ID that it is expected to abandon Touch ID in favor of the TrueDepth system on all of its new iPhone and iPad models released in 2018.

Notwithstanding Samsung's longer-term aims, Kuo believes the launch of iPhone X late last year has tilted general interest in the mobile industry away from under-display fingerprint recognition, and towards camera-based 3D sensing technologies as the ideal user authentication solution. Inquiries by Android smartphone vendors into 3D-sensing technologies are said to have at least tripled since Apple unveiled its TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology.

Kuo went on to say he believes the next two to three years will see shipments of 3D sensor-equipped Android devices to exceed those with under-display fingerprint recognition by a factor of two or three or more. This will be mainly due to 3D-sensing's wider compatibility with LCD screens than under-display optical fingerprint recognition, which is exclusive to OLED panels.

Related Roundups: iPhone X, 2018 iPhonesTags: Samsung, KGI Securities, Ming-Chi KuoBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums

Android Continues to Have More Loyal Customers Than iOS

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 21:23
Android customers continue to be loyal to the Android operating system than iOS users are to the iOS operating system, according to new data shared today by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Android saw a 91 percent loyalty rate in 2017, compared to 86 percent for iOS, with loyalty rates for the two operating systems remaining largely steady since early 2016. Android loyalty has hovered at 89 to 91 percent since January 2016, while iOS loyalty has been between 85 and 88 percent.

Operating system loyalty for the year was measured by the percentage of customers that remained with each operating system when activating a new phone over the twelve months ending in December 2017. CIRP says its findings are based on quarterly surveys with a sample of 500 subjects each."Loyalty for both Android and iOS increased in 2015 and into 2016, when it leveled off for both operating systems," said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. "Loyalty is also as high as we've ever seen, really from 85-90% at any given point. With only two mobile operating systems at this point, it appears users now pick one, learn it, invest in apps and storage, and stick with it. Now, Apple and Google need to figure out how to sell products and services to these loyal customer bases."With the Android operating system, customers have access to a range of different smartphones that are all able to run Android, which may explain why it has a higher loyalty rate. Android devices are also typically more affordable than iOS devices, with a wider range of low-priced options available.

As CIRP points out, with fewer and fewer first-time smartphone buyers available, poaching customers from competing operating systems is becoming increasingly important. Apple regularly aims to lure Android users to iOS through trade-in options, videos, a Move to iOS app to make transitioning simple, and a "Switch" website dedicated to explaining all of the reasons why the iPhone is better than competing smartphones."We know Android has a larger base of users than iOS, and because of that larger base, the absolute number of users that switch to iOS from Android is as large or larger than the absolute number of users that switch to Android from iOS. Looking at absolute number of users in this way tends to support claims that iOS gains more former Android users, than Android does former iOS users."These loyalty rates are not equivalent to switcher rates, where iOS wins out. With a larger Android customer base, more customers are switching over to iOS devices on a regular basis. During earnings calls, Apple CEO Tim Cook always touts the high number of Android switchers Apple sees, with each quarter setting a new record.

Tags: CIRP, Android
Discuss this article in our forums

How to Create a Custom Ringtone Vibration on Your iPhone

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 20:43
You can create custom sounds and ringtones for alerts, texts, phone calls, and more on your iPhone, but did you know the same functionality exists for vibrations?

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
Instead of using the set vibration patterns Apple has available, you can create your own vibrations using simple touch gestures. Here's how:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Sounds & Haptics.

  3. Select Ringtone, Text Tone, or another alert option from the list.

  4. Choose "Vibration" from the very top of the screen.

  5. Scroll down to "Custom."

  6. Choose "Create New Vibration."

From here, you can use taps to create short vibrations and a press to create longer vibrations, varying the two to create a unique vibration pattern.

Choose "Play" to test out your vibration pattern, and choose "Save" to give it a name and save it. Custom vibrations are available for all of the different native alerts on your phone, including ringtones, text tone, voicemail, mail, sent mail, calendar alerts, reminder alerts, and AirDrop.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple's Dr. Dre Hosting Free Anderson .Paak Concert in London

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 18:31
Apple is sponsoring a London concert that will feature Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals, the company announced on its Apple Music Twitter account this morning.

The one-night-only concert, hosted by Apple Music exec Dr. Dre, will take place on March 13, 2018 at O2 Academy Brixton, one of London's most popular music venues.

Just announced!@DrDre presents: @AndersonPaak One Night Only in London.
Info on tix here:

— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) March 8, 2018
Tickets to the concert are free, and will be available starting on Friday, March 9 at 9:00 a.m. local time.

Anderson .Paak recently released his first new single since 2016, "Til It's Over." The song made its debut in Apple's new "Welcome Home" HomePod ad directed by Spike Jonze.

Tag: Apple Music
Discuss this article in our forums