Mac Rumors

Apple's Phil Schiller Explains Why Valve's Steam Link App Was Rejected

Sat, 26 May 2018 13:54:26 PDT
Apple recently made the decision to reject Valve's Steam Link app after initially approving it, leading to many unhappy Steam customers who had been looking forward to the feature.

Apple has been silent on the issue despite several requests for comment, but today, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller explained the reason behind the rejection to a MacStories reader and other Apple customers on Reddit who emailed to ask Apple to reconsider. In the email, Schiller says the Valve app violates a number of guidelines and that Apple is working with the Valve team to rectify the issue.
We care deeply about bringing great games to all of our users on the App Store. We would love for Valve's games and services to be on iOS and AppleTV. Unfortunately, the review team found that Valve's Steam iOS app, as currently submitted, violates a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc.

We've discussed these issues with Valve and will continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and AppleTV in a way that complies with the store's guidelines. We put great effort into creating an App Store that provides the very best experience for everyone.

We have clear guidelines that all developers must follow in order to ensure the App Store is a safe place for all users and a fair opportunity for all developers.
The Steam Link app is designed to allow Steam users to play their Steam games on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV using either a 5GHz WiFi network or a wired Ethernet connection to a host PC or Mac. As our sister site TouchArcade said in a review of the app, it allows for "real" PC-like game experiences on Apple devices.

"I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead," wrote TouchArcade editor-in-chief Eli Hodapp.

As MacStories points out, we don't know the specifics of the guidelines the Steam Link app violates, but Apple has strict rules for features like filters for objectionable content, in-app purchases, loot boxes, and more. Steam Link, as a remote access app, does allow customers to purchase Steam games without standard in-app purchase methods, which is likely to be one of Apple's main qualms.

Valve first announced the Steam Link app on May 9 after initial approval from Apple, but Apple later said the preliminary approval had been a mistake and told Valve the app was not eligible for release due to "business conflicts." Valve's statement:
On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team.

Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we're clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.
Valve has not commented on what features might need to be tweaked or removed to earn Apple's approval, and it is not clear when we might see a modified version of the Steam Link app available for sale if Valve is able or willing to make the necessary changes to the Steam Link experience.


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iOS 12 to Allow iPhones to Unlock Doors Via NFC

Sat, 26 May 2018 09:56:07 PDT
Apple is expected to expand the NFC capabilities of its iPhones beyond mobile payments, allowing users to securely unlock doors equipped with the technology, according to The Information. The company is said to be planning to announce the new functionality "next month," suggesting it will come at WWDC as part of the iOS 12 unveiling.

The change to the near-field communication, or NFC, chip, which is expected to be announced next month, could pave the way for people to use iPhones for other security-sensitive interactions, from paying transit fares and opening car doors to verifying their identity in other ways.

Already, employees at Apple’s new campus in Cupertino, Calif., are using their iPhones to gain access to buildings and offices, suggesting that the technology has been deployed there, people familiar with the matter said.
The Information reported nearly four years ago that Apple was looking to expand NFC capabilities to building security and transit ticketing, working with its campus security vendor HID Global on the technology.

Today's report notes that while Bluetooth is already used to manage some smart locks using iPhones, NFC offers a more secure method for connections and authentication, an important consideration for companies and government agencies in particular.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
Tag: NFC

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watchOS 5 Wishlist: Features MacRumors Readers Want to See Introduced in the Next Apple Watch Software Update

Fri, 25 May 2018 14:12:11 PDT
The Worldwide Developers Conference is just about a week and a half away, and while we've heard some rumors on what we might see in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14, watchOS 5, the next-generation software update for the Apple Watch, remains a total mystery.

With no idea what to expect, we asked MacRumors readers what new features and tweaks they would most like to see in the watchOS 5 update.



  • Live step count complication - MacRumors reader Breezygirl would like to see Apple add a live step complication that lets you see how many steps you've completed at a glance, rather than just a complication that lets you know how close you've come to hitting your activity ring goal.


  • Third-party watch faces - Third-party watch faces are highly desired by most Apple Watch owners on the forums, but so far, Apple has kept the Apple Watch locked down to control the design and interface of the device. As MacRumors reader Relentless Power suggests, a watch face store that includes a variety of watch faces from third-party developers and companies would be great.


  • Activity app improvements - Right now, the Activity app requires you to hit your goals each and every day to keep a streak going, which can be difficult at times and allows for no rest. MacRumors reader SoYoung would like to be able to set rest days.


  • Workout app improvements - In the same vein, MacRumors reader Rbart is hoping for a better workout app for running that's closer in design to Strava with additional statistics, a complete history, best performances, and more. Honglong1976, meanwhile, would like to see automatic activity detection to alleviate the need to start a workout.


  • Podcasts for Apple Watch - Multiple MacRumors readers would like to see a dedicated Podcasts app on the Apple Watch for listening to podcasts on the wrist-worn device.


  • Off-wrist Notifications indicator - MacRumors reader Lennyvalentin would like to see the Apple Watch better able to keep track of incoming notifications even when off the wrist, with those notifications still showing up but with an indication to note that they were received while the Apple Watch was idle.


  • Proximity notifications - There's no way to set the Apple Watch to ping when it goes out of range of the iPhone, a feature MacRumors reader Justiny would like to see as a way to keep track of the iPhone and get a reminder if it's left behind.


  • Sleep tracking - This one is probably a long shot given that Apple suggests people charge their Apple Watches at night, but MacRumors readers would like to see native sleep tracking capabilities.


  • Always-on display - Given battery constraints, Apple has never implemented an always-on display for the Apple Watch, which is another highly desired feature. The Apple Watch display comes on when the wrist is raised, but it would be nice to have always-on access to the time as is possible with a traditional watch.


  • Better health analysis and suggestions - MacRumors reader Bluecoast would like to see Apple better take advantage of the health information it collects with the watch to add recommendations and coaching for those who are aiming to meet health goals, as well as deeper analysis.


Is there something you're hoping to see in watchOS 5 that didn't make it on our list? Make sure to let us know in the comments.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Shares Latest Transparency Report Outlining Government Data Requests From July 1 to December 31, 2017

Fri, 25 May 2018 12:24:55 PDT
Apple today released its latest transparency report outlining government data requests for the second half of 2017, covering the dates between July 1 and December 31 [PDF].

Apple's transparency reports are designed to provide customers with information on how many data-related requests it has received from law enforcement officials both in the United States and globally.

In the United States, Apple received 4,450 requests for 15,168 devices and provided data 80 percent of the time (in 3,548 cases). Worldwide, Apple received a total of 29,718 requests covering 309,362 devices and provided data 79 percent of the time (in 23,445 cases).

Apple received a similar number of requests in the United States and worldwide from July to December 2016, but the number of devices included in the total number of requests has doubled. Last year, Apple received 30,184 total requests covering 151,105 devices and complied with 72 percent of those requests.

Data requests cover a wide range of circumstances, from instances where law enforcement agencies are working on behalf of customers who have asked for help locating lost or stolen devices to issues with credit card fraud to criminal investigations.

In the United States, requests Apple receives can include subpoenas, court orders, search warrants, pen register/trap and trace orders, or wiretap orders.

While Apple attempts to be as transparent as possible in these reports, the government does not allow the company to release specific details on the number of National Security requests received, instead requiring a number range to be provided to customers. Apple uses the narrowest range permissible by law.

In the latest report, Apple says it received between 16,000 and 16,249 National Security Orders and provided data for 8,000 to 8,249 accounts. Apple did not report any declassified National Security letters. The number of National Security Orders Apple receives continues to grow and has more than doubled since the July-December 2016 report. Apple received a similar number of requests during the first half of 2017.


In addition to the total number of device requests and National Security Orders, Apple also shares information on a range of other categories like financial identifier requests, government account requests, account preservation requests, emergency requests, and more, all of which can be viewed directly in the transparency report.

Apple says that starting with its next report covering the second half of 2018, it will include details on when a government asks for an app to be removed from the App Store.

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.
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Apple Store in Atlantic City, New Jersey Shutting Down

Fri, 25 May 2018 12:07:54 PDT
Apple is closing its Apple Store located in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which will affect 52 employees who currently work at the store and will need to be relocated, reports Bloomberg.

Apple has filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the state of New Jersey signaling its intention to shutter the store. It's not clear exactly when the store will be closed, as the store's website does not yet list a closing date and Today at Apple sessions continue to be available.


It is rare for Apple to shutter stores completely, and in a statement, an Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg that the closure was due to a "sharp decline in tourism." "We have made the difficult decision not to extend our lease," said the spokesperson.

Apple says that all of the store's employees will be offered other jobs within Apple. "We look forward to serving our Greater Atlantic City customers through our southern New Jersey, Delaware Valley, and Greater Philadelphia area stores," read Apple's statement.

The last store that Apple closed was located in Simi Valley, California, which Apple shut down in September 2017 due to low sales and issues with customer traffic.

Update: Apple's store page for the Atlantic City location now notes that June 30 will be the final day of operation.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Recent Trademark Filings Hint at Possible Names for macOS 10.14 - Mojave, Sequoia, Ventura or Sonoma

Fri, 25 May 2018 11:32:46 PDT
A series of trademark applications Apple filed in Cambodia and the Philippines may point towards the name we can expect to see used for macOS 10.14, the next-generation version of macOS that Apple will unveil at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

In the two countries, using a presumed shell company, Apple has filed several new trademarks on a series of California landmark names that originally surfaced in 2014. In the Philippines, Apple has filed trademark applications for Mojave, Sequoia, Sonoma, and Ventura, while in Cambodia, Apple has filed a trademark for Mojave alone.


It is not clear why Apple is filing new trademarks for these names in these specific countries, but these new filings suggest one of these four names could be used for macOS 10.14. Given that Mojave is the name that was filed in both locations, it could be Apple's frontrunner.

Other California landmark names that were trademarked alongside these back in 2014 have not seen any new trademark filings by Apple, with trademarking activity limited to Mojave, Sequoia, Sonoma, and Ventura.

The Ipanah Valley in the Mojave Desert, via the National Park Service

With trademark filings, Apple is required to continually file extensions to hold on to a name because trademarks must be used. Apple has kept several of the names from its original 2014 filing active, including Rincon, Grizzly, Farallon, and Monterey. All of these names could also be used for future versions of macOS. Mojave, Sequoia, Sonoma, and Ventura are the only four names where Apple has filed new applications, however.

Other names from 2014 have been abandoned by Apple and are likely out of the running as future macOS titles. Diablo, for example, was marked abandoned by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in October of 2015, and Apple failed to renew several other names last fall that were marked abandoned this spring, including Redwood, Big Sur, Pacific, Miramar, Redtail, Condor, Tiburon, and Shasta. An additional two names, Mammoth and California, are suspended.

For the last several years, Apple has been using names related to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. We've had macOS 10.10 Yosemite, macOS 10.11 El Capitan, macOS 10.12 Sierra, and macOS 10.13 High Sierra, and with few other available names in that vein, Apple may be planning to move on to a new location at this time. California landmarks have been Apple's naming scheme of choice since the release of OS X Mavericks in 2013.

Mojave is a desert in California, while Sonoma and Ventura are cities, one located in Northern California and popular as a wine country destination, while the other is Southern California and famous for its surfing spots. Sequoia is meant to represent the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, located in the southern portion of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Sequoia National Park is home to giant sequoia trees.

Related Roundup: macOS 10.14

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Hundreds of Apple Screen Engineers and Execs Scoped Out New Tech at Display Week

Fri, 25 May 2018 11:04:42 PDT
Hundreds of Apple employees attended Display Week in Los Angeles, California this week to scout out new display technology that could be used in future products, reports Bloomberg.

Display Week is an event that's hosted by the Society for Information Display. It's aimed at connecting startups, influencers, innovators, technical experts, and others who are in the display field in some way.


All of the major display companies were on hand to show off new technology, such as high-resolution VR headset displays, ultra high-resolution OLEDs, sound-emitting panels, full-color E-ink technology, and more.

A total of 369 Apple employees were registered to attend display week, up from 280 in 2017. Apple sent far more employees to the event than other tech companies did. Amazon, for example, sent 25, while Google sent 40 and Oculus sent 23.

DisplayMate's Ray Soneira, known for evaluating smartphone displays, told Bloomberg that Apple is "making a statement" by sending so many engineers. "Apple is trying to show the display industry that they're a top-tier screen developer now, in addition to being a buyer," he said. Apple recently made its first foray into OLEDs for iPhones with the iPhone X, and its displays are consistently rated as some of the best by Soneira.

According to Bloomberg, some Apple engineers at the event "appeared particularly interested" in virtual-reality headsets developed by Japan Display, while others closely examined new high-resolution panels from Samsung and displays that are designed to work well when wet.

Several of the Apple engineers who attended Display Week joined in on discussions covering display technology and augmented and virtual reality, though no secrets about future Apple products were unveiled.
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MacRumors Giveaway: Win an Atlas Executive Athletic Holdall From WaterField Designs

Fri, 25 May 2018 10:00:45 PDT
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with WaterField Designs to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win the company's Atlas Executive Athletic Holdall, a bag that's ideal for everything from work to travel to the gym.


Priced at $429, the 22-liter Atlas Holdall is true to its name and can hold all of your gear and then some. In the main briefcase compartment, it features a padded laptop pocket that's able to hold up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro, plus there's a padded tablet pocket that will fit an iPad as big as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.


There are also two deep pockets that are designed to hold cables, cords, and other small accessories, while a document compartment holds notebooks, files, folders, and more. A zippered pocket at the front is able to hold keys, cards, wallet, your phone, and more for quick access, and there's a leather-wrapped handle for grip plus a removable suspension strap.


A separate workout compartment can hold workout clothes, a water bottle, a towel, and other workout gear. It can also hold extra clothes such as a change of clothes for work, and there's a collapsible shoe pocket for your gym shoes.


The Atlas Holdall is available in a black ballistic nylon or a brown waxed canvas material. While the black ballistic will hide wear and tear, the waxed canvas embraces it and will take on a unique look over time. Both colors are water resistant and feature leather accents and waterproof zippers.


We have one Atlas Executive Athletic Holdall to give away to a MacRumors reader. 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 giveaway
The contest will run from today (May 25) at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 1. The winner will be chosen randomly on June 1 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.


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Apple Discounts BeatsX, Powerbeats3, Solo3, and Studio3 Headphones in Limited Sale

Fri, 25 May 2018 09:33:10 PDT
Apple today launched the latest sale on Beats by Dre products, including markdowns on the BeatsX, Powerbeats3, Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, and Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones. Make sure you still shop around as other retailers are offering even better prices for some models and colors, which we've compared below.

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

Starting with the Solo3, the wireless headphones are now $239.95, down from $299.95 on Apple.com. Colors from both the Neighborhood Collection and basic launch shades are all available for the discount.

Comparatively, Best Buy has the the Solo3 headphones as low as $197.99 in Silver, and Walmart similarly offers select colors like Gold for $197.00.


Apple is also offering the high-end Beats Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones at a discount for $279.95, down from $349.95. While this is better than Best Buy's $309.99 sale price and matches B&H Photo's, Walmart beats all with a current price of $227.95 for the White, Red, Blue, and Matte Black colorways.


Next, Apple has the BeatsX Earphones for $119.95 in all colors, beaten by Best Buy with sale prices as low as $89.99 in Gray, White, and Blue. If you're willing to go the refurbished route, Best Buy also has the BeatsX for just $64.99 in a variety of colors.


Lastly, the Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones are marked down to $159.95 in Apple's sale, savings of $40 from the original price of $199.95. Best Buy again provides one of the lowest prices online, with the Powerbeats3 hitting $109.99 in Siren Red, Flash Blue, and Shock Yellow. Apple does beat Best Buy by $20 in some colors in the Neighborhood Collection, however.

Apple has offered these discounts a few times throughout the year, and the reduced prices are often only available for a short time. If you're looking for more information on discounts, be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 Models With LTE

Fri, 25 May 2018 08:57:04 PDT
Apple this week added refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 models with LTE to its online store for the first time in the United States.


A selection of 10 cellular-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 models have been made available for sale over the past two days, but as of writing, only one model remains in stock. More inventory should be added over time, so we recommend using the website Refurb Tracker if you are interested in a particular model.

The refurbished models are priced between $359 and $549, reflecting savings of 15 to 16 percent off the price of brand new models.

A cellular-enabled 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 with a silver aluminum case and fog-colored sport band is listed for $359, for example, which is $70 off the $429 price of an equivalent brand new model.

Apple Watch Series 3 models were first released in September 2017, but only non-cellular GPS models were available refurbished until now. Series 3 models feature a faster dual-core S3 processor, and an Apple-designed W2 chip that makes Wi-Fi up to 85 percent faster and up to 50 percent more power efficient.

Apple says all refurbished Apple Watch models are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged with a new box and all manuals and accessories, including a magnetic charging puck and a power adapter. In our view, Apple's refurbished products are generally indistinguishable from brand new ones.

Any refurbished Apple Watch comes with Apple's standard one-year warranty effective on the date the device is delivered. The warranty can be extended to up to two years from the original purchase date with AppleCare+ for Apple Watch, which covers accidental damage for a fee, at a cost of $49 in the United States.

Apple also began selling refurbished iMac Pro models earlier this week.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Commemorates Memorial Day With 'Remembrance Table' at Apple Park

Fri, 25 May 2018 08:02:25 PDT
This Monday, May 28 is Memorial Day in the United States, which commemorates individuals who died while serving in the armed forces. In an effort to honor the day, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared an image on Twitter this morning, explaining one way that the company will remember those we've lost in active military duty.



In Apple's latest campus, Apple Park, employees have set up what Cook describes as a "Remembrance Table," which he says "honors the men and women of our armed forces." The Remembrance Table has been set up in Caffè Macs at Apple Park, sitting among tables where Apple employees gather to eat their lunch and other meals.

For the federal holiday on Monday, Apple typically gives many of its corporate employees the day off, but some of its retail locations will remain open across the country. On Monday you'll be able to use Apple's Find a Store web tool to see if locations near you are open for the day.


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Twitter Testing Easy-to-Access Data Saver Toggle on iOS

Fri, 25 May 2018 07:09:45 PDT
Twitter is testing a new "Data saver" toggle on iOS devices, as one user shared on the social media platform this morning. For users in the test, the data saver setting is housed at the very bottom of the left-handed profile menu, which you can access by swiping left-to-right on your main Twitter timeline in the iOS app.

When toggled on, the mode prevents videos from autoplaying when scrolling through tweets, and lower-quality images load instead of automatically choosing high-quality images. The toggle affects all accounts linked within the iOS app on an iPhone or iPad, helping to reduce data usage on cellular connections and in turn preventing you from going over the allotted monthly data cap on your phone bill.

Data saver test (left) vs current Twitter app for iOS (right)


Tweets about the toggle span multiple countries since earlier in the spring, so it appears Twitter has been testing the dedicated mode for a few weeks now.

Twitter's iOS app currently lets you toggle off video autoplay and high-quality videos, or set them to load only on Wi-Fi, but the settings are stored in "Settings and privacy" > "Data usage." It appears that the social media company is testing out a way for data saver functionality to be more at-hand and quicker to access with one toggle on the app's frontend menu.

Twitter users also have the option of using Twitter Lite on iOS, Android, and other smartphones. Lite loads Twitter on the mobile web, outside of a dedicated app, and provides all of the main features of Twitter while reducing data usage and speeding up load times.

Some of the big social media apps offer similar data reduction settings in their iOS apps. In Facebook's "Videos and Photos" settings on the iPhone app, you can set videos to "Never Autoplay" and reduce the upload quality of photos and videos as well. Instagram has a "Use Less Data" toggle found within the gear icon on your user profile.

The mode has also extended to music streaming apps like Spotify, and on-demand video apps like Netflix. Streaming TV services are also beginning to allow users to download their favorite shows and movies to watch offline and avoid using their data to binge shows while traveling. Platforms that support this feature include Netflix, Showtime, Amazon, Starz, Epix, and soon Hulu.

For now, Twitter's data saver toggle is just a test, so it's unclear when or if the feature will launch for all users.

(Thanks, Ravi!)

Tag: Twitter

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Apple Says More Than 400 Vehicle Models Now Support CarPlay With Latest Being 2019 Subaru WRX

Fri, 25 May 2018 06:52:13 PDT
Apple today confirmed that over 400 vehicle models now support its CarPlay software platform in the United States.


While not reflected on Apple's list of available models yet, the latest vehicle with CarPlay is Subaru's new 2019 WRX, introduced on Thursday and available at dealerships across the United States this summer. Previous model years of the WRX did not have CarPlay, making this a new addition.

CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on all 2019 WRX models, accessible through Subaru's new Starlink infotainment system. The base trim, priced from $27,195, is equipped with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, while Premium and Limited trims have seven-inch touchscreens from $29,495 and $31,795 respectively.


Subaru's infotainment system also features Aha Radio, Pandora, hands-free phone calls and audio streaming via Bluetooth, AM/FM, a single-disc CD player, SiriusXM satellite radio compatibility, and a rear-view camera. Blind spot detection with lane change assist technology is available in higher trims.

Subaru's other vehicle models with CarPlay in the United States:
  • 2017-2018 Impreza
  • 2018 Outback
  • 2018 Crosstrek
  • 2019 Ascent
  • 2019 Forester
CarPlay mirrors several iPhone functions onto a vehicle's dashboard display, enabling drivers to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, listen to music, and more while staying focused on the road. The platform can be controlled via touchscreen, Siri voice commands, or steering wheel buttons.

Surveys suggest CarPlay is a highly desired feature with strong customer satisfaction. Most automakers currently support wired CarPlay, meaning the iPhone must be connected with a Lightning cable, but wireless CarPlay is available in select BMW models or via aftermarket receivers from Alpine and Pioneer.

With the recent additions of Toyota, Lexus, and Mazda, nearly every major automaker in the United States offers or will soon offer CarPlay.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Subaru

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Beats 'Decade Collection' Headphones Appear on Best Buy Website Ahead of WWDC

Fri, 25 May 2018 03:59:03 PDT
A special "Decade Collection" range of Beats Headphones are currently being promoted by online retail merchants ahead of scheduled availability on June 4, suggesting Apple will officially announce the collection during its keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference.


A new Beats "Decade Collection" page on the Best Buy website spotted by AppleInsider provides a thorough breakdown of the Beats By Dre 10th anniversary limited edition range, which has yet to appear in Apple's online product listings. Details about the new Beats models also went live on the website of New Zealand-based retailer Smiths City.


Beats was launched so people could hear music the way the artist intended. A decade later they're still changing the game. Styled in Defiant Black-Red in tribute to their bold beginnings and music's dynamic emotion, the Beats Decade Collection celebrates their first 10 years of innovation.
The collection showcases a "Defiant Black-Red" color scheme to existing products in the Beats lineup, including Studio3 Wireless, Solo3 Wireless, Powerbeats3 Wireless, BeatsX Wireless, and urBeats3. All the headphones are available to pre-order at the same price as their more typically styled equivalents.


A report last week claimed that Apple's rumored "low-priced" version of the HomePod will be placed under the Beats by Dre brand instead of the expected Apple branding - although it seems unlikely that Apple would combine the two brands into one product.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a set of high-end over-ear headphones that, like the company's HomePod and AirPods, will be Apple branded rather than Beats branded.


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How to Add an AirDrop Shortcut to Your Mac's Dock

Fri, 25 May 2018 02:10:24 PDT
Apple's AirDrop feature lets you wirelessly send and receive files between nearby Macs as well as to and from local iOS devices. It's usually accessed from the sidebar of an open Finder Window (or using the Command + Shift + R keyboard shortcut within Finder), but here we're going to share with you a trick that enables you to launch AirDrop straight from your Mac's Dock.

Having the AirDrop shortcut in your Dock will allow you to access it from any screen, regardless of the application you're using, and without having to open a Finder window first. Regular AirDrop users in particular should appreciate the convenience it provides.

How to Add AirDrop to Your Mac's Dock


  1. Open a Finder window or click the Desktop.
  2. In the Finder menu bar, select Go -> Go to Folder.

  3. Paste the following directory path into the dialog and press Enter: /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/Applications/

  4. The Contents/Applications folder within the Finder.app package will appear. Using your mouse, drag the AirDrop app to the desired location in your Dock.

  5. Close the Finder window.
Next time you want to open the AirDrop window to share something, simply click the app icon in your Mac's Dock. Note that you can also drag the iCloud Drive app from the Finder package in the same way, for quick one-click access to the files and folders in your cloud storage.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
Tag: AirDrop

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Apple Rejects Valve's Steam Link App Due to 'Business Conflicts'

Thu, 24 May 2018 16:33:02 PDT
It looks like Valve's planned Steam Link app for iOS devices isn't coming after all, because Apple has rejected the app due to "business conflicts."

In a statement, Valve said that Apple initially approved Steam Link for release on May 7, but ultimately decided to reject the app because of conflicts that had not been recognized by the original review team.
On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team.

Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we're clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.
Valve's appeals have not been successful at the current point in time, and the company is now hoping that media attention may spur Apple to change its mind.

The Steam Link app for iOS, which was announced on May 9, is designed to allow Steam users to play their Steam games on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV using either a 5GHz WiFi network or a wired Ethernet connection to a host PC or Mac.

Valve was planning to launch the Steam Link app this week, and Valve had worked to add Steam Link support for the Steam Controller and Made for iPhone controllers ahead of the app's debut.


Earlier this week, our sister site TouchArcade was able to go hands-on with the Steam Link app and said that it works so well that "it feels like there's some kind of actual wizardry powering it all." In what might have been a bit prescient, TouchArcade editor-in-chief Eli Hodapp said he was "dumbfounded" Apple was allowing it given how good the gaming experience was.
If you're the kind of person who is always hungry for "real" PC-like game experiences on your Apple device, but have been dismayed by the amount of junk on the App Store, you can basically delete everything else but the Steam Link app. I'm still dumbfounded by Apple apparently allowing this on their platform, as I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead.
As Valve says, there are many other remote access-style apps available in the App Store, so the reasoning behind Apple's decision is unclear. It is not known if Apple will ultimately end up reversing its position on the Steam Link app given the media attention, which has happened in the past, but we've reached out to the company for a comment.


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Samsung Ordered to Pay Apple $539 Million in iPhone Design Patent Retrial

Thu, 24 May 2018 15:12:07 PDT
The latest Samsung v. Apple trial wrapped up this afternoon after the jury decided that Samsung must pay Apple a total of $539 million for violating Apple's design patents with five android devices sold between 2010 and 2011, reports CNET.

A total of $533,316,606 was awarded to Apple for Samsung's violation of three design patents, while the remaining $5,325,050 was for Samsung's infringement on two of Apple's utility patents.


Samsung and Apple were back in court to redetermined damages after Samsung appealed to the Supreme Court and said that the original damages award, which was set at $399 million after several appeals, was a "disproportionate" sum for the design violation.

The Supreme Court ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals to redetermine the damages amount, leading to today's victory for Apple.

The core issue of the retrial was whether the damages should be based on the total value of the iPhone or if Samsung's fee should be based on just the elements of the iPhone that it copied.


Apple argued that its payment should be based on the full value of the iPhone, while Samsung argued that it should pay a lesser amount. They're seeking profits on the entire phone," argued Samsung lawyer John Quinn. "Apple's design patents do not cover the entire phone. They are entitled to profits only on [infringing] components, not the entire phone."

Apple asked the jury to award $1 billion in damages, while Samsung asked jurors to limit the damages to $28 million. Unfortunately for Samsung, the jury sided with Apple, and the new award is more than Samsung would have had to pay had the retrial not happened.

In a statement, Apple had this to say: "It is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. We're grateful to the jury for their service and pleased they agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.

Update: Samsung also gave a statement on the verdict: "Today's decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages. We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity."


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tvOS 12 Wishlist: Features MacRumors Readers Want to See Added to the Apple TV in 2018

Thu, 24 May 2018 14:10:17 PDT
At the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple will introduce new versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, and for those latter two updates, we have no idea what to expect.

Historically, Apple hasn't introduced major changes in its tvOS updates, but the operating system is still new and there could be some larger scale changes in the works for 2018. We've asked MacRumors readers what they'd most like to see in tvOS 12, and this is what they had to say.



  • Atmos support - Apple promised to add Dolby Atmos support to the Apple TV, and has yet to do so. tvOS 12 would be the ideal time to do so, and it's certainly a feature many MacRumors readers want.


  • Audio passthrough - Along those same lines, MacRumors readers would also like to see support for digital audio passthrough.


  • Picture-in-picture - A classic feature on a lot of television sets, picture-in-picture mode is not supported on the Apple TV. MacRumors reader Bbednarz would like to see picture-in-picture added for watching multiple shows, watching a show while using an app, and more.


  • Safari - Apple isn't likely to add Safari to the Apple TV to allow for web browsing, but it's still a feature at least one MacRumors reader would like to see available as an option.


  • Open screensavers - The Apple TV can only display screensavers that are sourced from Apple, but it would be nice to be able to add non-Apple screensaver options if desired.


  • tvOS App Store access via computer - MacRumors reader HobeSoundDarryl has a long wishlist for tvOS 12, including a suggestion for an option to browse through tvOS apps on a Mac or PC to make it easier to discover tvOS apps.


  • iCloud playlists for movies and TV shows - You can create playlists for Apple Music, and Leon1988 would like to see that same functionality made available for television shows and movies on the Apple TV.


  • Multi-user support - Each Apple TV is limited to a single iCloud and iTunes account, but multi-user support, as suggested by MacRumors reader The 12th Man, would make it easier for different family members to have access to their favorite apps and channels and suggestions through the TV app without having to mix content.


What do you want to see added to the Apple TV with tvOS 12? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to check out the full tvOS 12 wishlist thread.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

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Amazon's Alexa Recorded a Woman's Private Conversation and Sent it to a Contact

Thu, 24 May 2018 13:04:30 PDT
A woman in Portland recently had an alarming experience with her Alexa-enabled devices after a private conversation was recorded and sent to a random contact, according to a news report from Seattle's Kiro7 news.

The woman, Danielle, and her family had Amazon devices situated in each room for home control, and two weeks ago, one of those devices apparently recorded a conversation about hardwood floors and sent it to a person on their contact list. There are no details on how the recording was delivered to the contact.

But Danielle said two weeks ago their love for Alexa changed with an alarming phone call. "The person on the other line said, 'unplug your Alexa devices right now,'" she said. "'You're being hacked.'"

That person was one of her husband's employees, calling from Seattle.

"We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house," she said. "At first, my husband was, like, 'no you didn't!' And the (recipient of the message) said 'You sat there talking about hardwood floors.' And we said, 'oh gosh, you really did hear us.'"
Danielle confirmed that the recordings received by the contact were indeed conversations picked up by her Alexa device, and in no way was she informed that Alexa was sending the recording to a contact. She contacted Amazon and was told that the "device just guessed what we were saying." Amazon apologized and told her it would fix the issue.

Alexa has an option to send a message to a contact name using a voice recording, but Alexa is supposed to vocally confirm such requests and does not appear to have done so in this instance.

In a statement to the Kiro7, Amazon said that it "takes privacy very seriously" and that the event was an "extremely rare occurrence" that it is taking steps to prevent in the future.

This is not the first strange Alexa behavior that Amazon has had to deal with. Back in March, Alexa made headlines after multiple customers with Alexa-enabled devices reported hearing creepy, unsolicited laughter.


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Unprotected T-Mobile API Let Anyone Get Customer Data With Just a Phone Number

Thu, 24 May 2018 12:39:58 PDT
A security vulnerability in T-Mobile's website let anyone gain access to the personal details of any T-Mobile customer using just a phone number, reports ZDNet.

An internal T-Mobile employee tool, promotool.t-mobile.com, had a hidden API that provided T-Mobile customer data when a customer's cell phone number was added to the end of the web address. Data that was available included full name, address, billing account number, and for some customers, tax identification numbers.


Account data, such as service status and billing status was also included, but it does not appear that credit card numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information was compromised. ZDNet says that there were "references to account PINs used by customers as a security question" which could be used to hijack T-Mobile accounts.

The API was used by T-Mobile staff to look up customer data, but it was accessible to the public and not protected by a password. T-Mobile rectified the issue in early April after it was disclosed by security researcher Ryan Stevenson, who ultimately earned $1,000.

In a statement provided to ZDNet, T-Mobile says that it does not appear customer data was accessed using the API, but research suggests the API had been exposed since at least October 2017.
A T-Mobile spokesperson said: "The bug bounty program exists so that researchers can alert us to vulnerabilities, which is what happened here, and we support this type of responsible and coordinated disclosure." "The bug was patched as soon as possible and we have no evidence that any customer information was accessed," the spokesperson added.
This is not the first unprotected API issue that T-Mobile has faced. Last year, a similar bug also exposed customer data to hackers.

T-Mobile has more than 74 million customers, and had this most recent bug been exploited, a simple script could have provided hackers with access to data on millions of people.


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