Mac Rumors

UK Ban on Sale of Locked Handsets to Come into Effect December 2021

Tue, 27 Oct 2020 02:32:48 PDT
British telecoms regulator Ofcom has confirmed it is to ban mobile phone operators from selling locked handsets in order to make switching networks easier for customers (via Sky News).


The watchdog says the current rules hurt some consumers because locked handsets can't be used on other mobile networks until the owner pays for them to be unlocked – usually around £10.

Ofcom, which first floated the idea in December last year, says the new rule will be implemented from December 2021 to make switching providers easier.

The new rule will target BT/EE, Tesco Mobile, and Vodafone, all of which sell locked handsets. O2, Sky, Three, and Virgin do not sell locked phones and won't be affected.

Ofcom said its research found the issue was putting more than a third of people off switching with their existing handset and potentially getting a better deal.

It also highlighted the difficulties experienced by many consumers who currently need to be sent a code to unlock their device, which is often time-consuming and can involve failed codes and a loss of service during the unlocking process.

"We know that lots of people can be put off from switching because their handset is locked," said Ofcom's connectivity director, Selina Chadha. "So we're banning mobile companies from selling locked phones, which will save people time, money and effort - and help them unlock better deals."
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iPhone 12 Lineup Enables Personal Hotspot Over Faster 5GHz Wi-Fi

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 19:00:05 PDT
As noted by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, and confirmed by Aaron Zollo, the iPhone 12 lineup introduces support for Personal Hotspot tethering over faster 5GHz Wi-Fi, compared to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi on previous iPhones.


Personal Hotspot over 5GHz Wi-Fi is enabled by default on all iPhone 12 models. In the Settings > Personal Hotspot menu on these devices, there is a new "Maximize Compatibility" toggle that reverts Personal Hotspot to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi when enabled, with Apple noting that this may reduce internet performance on devices that are connected to the hotspot.


The combination of iPhone 12 models supporting higher-speed 5G networks and 5GHz Wi-Fi's higher maximum throughput paves the way for faster Personal Hotspot, but testing will have to be done to confirm the exact speed improvements. Keep in mind that while 5GHz Wi-Fi is faster than 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, it has shorter range, so Personal Hotspot speeds will vary based on the distance of a tethered device to the iPhone.
Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

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Apple Raising App Store Prices in Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 16:28:19 PDT
Apple today announced that App Store prices are set to rise in several countries around the world due to taxes or changes in foreign exchange rates.


App and in-app purchase pricing is set to increase in Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa in the next few days.

Apple says the pricing reflects a new equalization levy of 2 percent in India and a new value-added tax of 10 percent in Indonesia for developers based outside of Indonesia.

Pricing on apps and in-app purchases is also set to be adjusted in Iceland and Albania to align with pricing used in other markets selling in U.S. dollars with value-added tax. An updated pricing chart is available on Apple's website. [PDF]
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MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 15:38:28 PDT
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum.


Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple does sell a new 20W power adapter alongside the MagSafe Charger, and as it turns out, that seems to be one of the the only charging options able to provide a full 15W of power to the new MagSafe charger at this time.

YouTuber Aaron Zollo of Zollotech tested several first and third-party power adapter options with the iPhone 12 Pro and a MagSafe charger using a meter to measure actual power output. Paired with the 20W power adapter that Apple offers, the MagSafe Charger successfully hit 15W, but no other chargers that he tested provided the same speeds.

The older 18W power adapter from Apple that was replaced by the 20W version was able to charge the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ using the MagSafe Charger at up to 13W, but the 96W Power Adapter and third-party power adapters that provide more than 20W were not able to exceed 10W when used with the MagSafe Charger. Below are the results from Zollo's tests:

  • Apple's 20W Power Adapter - 15W

  • Apple's 18W Power Adapter - 13W

  • Apple's 96W MacBook Pro Power Adapter - 10W

  • Anker 30W PowerPort Atom PD 1 = 7.5W to 10W

  • Aukey 65W Power Adapter - 8W to 9W

  • Pixel 4/5 Charger - 7.5W to 9W

  • Note 20 Ultra Charger - 6W to 7W


For maximum charging speeds with the MagSafe Charger and an ‌iPhone 12‌ or 12 Pro, Apple's 20W power adapter is required, and older power adapter options won't work as well. Third-party companies will need to come out with new chargers that use the particular power profile that Apple is using to provide the optimum amount of power before a third-party charger will be able to provide the full 15W with the MagSafe Charger.

Zollo's testing also revealed that Apple is using aggressive temperature control, so when the iPhone gets warm, the charging power tends to stay below 10W. The best speeds come from charging using the 20W power adapter without a case on the ‌iPhone‌ to better let heat dissipate.

Older iPhones, such as the 11 Pro Max and 8 Plus, charged at around 5W with the MagSafe Charger and Apple's 20W power adapter, which is in line with the testing results we saw last week. It's not worth buying a MagSafe Charger to use with a non ‌iPhone 12‌.

The same goes for Android phones. The MagSafe Charger technically supports Qi-based charging and can work with Android devices, but when paired with an Android smartphone, the MagSafe charger was outputting at 1.5W, which is slow enough that it's nearly useless.
Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

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Apple Shares New 'Make Movies Like the Movies' iPhone 12 Pro Ad Highlighting Dolby Vision Recording

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 12:50:38 PDT
Apple today shared a new ad that's meant to highlight the Dolby Vision HDR video capture, editing, and playback available on the new iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.


The video features a series of people using their ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ devices to capture video content with a variety of camera rigs and equipment to simulate different angles while getting creative, movie-like video shots. "The only camera to shoot in Dolby Vision," reads the video's tagline.

Both the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ and ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ Max support Dolby Vision HDR video recording at up to 60 frames per second, while the iPhone 12 and 12 mini support the feature at up to 30 frames per second.
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Microsoft Updates Office Apps for iPad With Mouse and Trackpad Support

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 12:11:10 PDT
Microsoft today announced that the Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps for iPad are receiving updates that will allow them to use the trackpad and mouse support in iPadOS.


The apps will feature a cursor that transforms into the tool that's needed depending on the context of what you're pointing to for easy cursor control, fluid navigation, and precise adjustments. Microsoft says that the trackpad experience will be familiar to those who have used Office on a Mac or PC.
And using a mouse or trackpad with ‌iPad‌ for common tasks like highlighting a passage of text in Word, selecting a range of cells in Excel, and moving and resizing graphics in PowerPoint are as simple and intuitive as ever. This experience will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever used Office on a Mac or a PC and helps make ‌iPad‌ even more versatile and capable for getting more work done.
Along with mouse and trackpad support, Microsoft is adding new start screens and a new ribbon of feature menus to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for a cleaner and more modern user experience.

According to Microsoft, many users have already started receiving the updates through a phased rollout, which will reach all users within a couple of weeks.
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YouTube for iOS Gaining New Gestures and Controls

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 09:32:59 PDT
Google is overhauling the YouTube app for iOS to add more intuitive gestures and control options, according to a new blog post on the YouTube site.


The AutoPlay button is being moved from below a video to the top of a video, so it's easier to turn off autoplay content if desired. Captions are also easier to get to right above the video screen, and YouTube said there are "snappier" controls that make actions faster.

Entering full screen mode can be done by swiping upwards on a video instead of having to tap the screen expansion icon at the bottom of the video, which makes it easier to get to full screen mode. A swipe down exits full screen mode and returns to the standard view.


Tapping on the timestamp will now toggle between the time left on a video and the time that has elapsed, so you can view the video length in your preferred way.

YouTube for iOS is getting suggested actions, which are designed to prompt users to do things like rotate a phone or play a video in VR when YouTube thinks a better viewing experience is available.

YouTube in May added video chapters, and now the feature has been expanded to include a list view that pops up when you tap or click on the chapter title. It includes a complete list of all chapters in the video and a preview thumbnail of content.

These features are rolling out to YouTube users on iOS starting today, with YouTube available from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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Link Previews in Popular Messaging Apps May Lead to Security Vulnerabilities

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 08:57:36 PDT
A new report by security researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk has revealed that link previews in messaging apps can lead to security and privacy issues on iOS and Android. Through link previews, Bakry and Mysk discovered that apps could leak IP addresses, expose links sent in end-to-end encrypted chats, download large files without users' consent, and copy private data.



Link previews offer a peek at content such as web pages or documents in many messaging apps. The feature allows users to see a short summary and preview image inline with the rest of the conversation without having to tap on the link.

Apps such as iMessage and WhatsApp ensure that the sender generates the preview, meaning that the receiver is protected from risk if the link is malicious. This is because the summary and preview image are created on the sender's device and sent as an attachment. The receiver's device will show the preview as it was transmitted from the sender without having to open the link. Apps that do not generate a link preview at all, such as TikTok and WeChat, are also unaffected.

The issue arises when the receiver generates the link preview, because the app will automatically open the link in the background to create the preview. This occurs before users even tap on the link, potentially exposing them to malicious content. Apps such as Reddit generate links in this way.

For example, a malicious actor could send a link to their own server. When the receiver's app automatically opens the link in the background, it would send the device's IP address to the server, revealing their location.

This approach can also cause issues if the link points to a large file, whereupon the app may attempt to download the whole file, draining battery life and hemorrhaging data plan limits.

Link previews can also be generated on an external server, and this is how many popular apps such as Discord, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Instagram, LinkedIn, Slack, Twitter, and Zoom work. In this case, the app will first send the link to an external server and ask it to generate a preview, and then the server will send the preview back to both the sender and receiver.

However, this may pose a security threat when the contents of the sent link are private. Using an external server allows these apps to potentially create unauthorized copies of private information and retain it for a period of time.

Although many of the apps had implemented a data limit on how much of any link content to download, the researchers discovered that Facebook Messenger and Instagram were particularly notable for downloading the entirety of any link's contents to its servers, regardless of size. When questioned about this behavior, Facebook reportedly said that it considers this to be "working as intended."

Copies kept on external servers could be subject to data breaches, which may be particularly concerning for users of business apps such as Zoom and Slack, and those who send links to sensitive private data.

The research offers an appreciation of how the same exact feature can work in different ways, and how these differences can have a significant impact on security and privacy. See the full report for more information.
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Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 08:42:39 PDT
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro.


While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a refresh in the near future. Apple did release a new high-end graphics option for the 16-inch MacBook Pro in June, but it still refers to all configurations of the notebook as 2019 models on its website.

Boot Camp release notes via Atharva Kale

Apple's release notes for Boot Camp version 6.1.13:
The Boot Camp 6.1.13 update improves the compatibility of your Mac when running Windows through Boot Camp.

This update:

- Improves audio recording quality when using the built-in microphone

- Fixes a stability issue that could occur during heavy CPU load on 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019 and 2020) and 13-inch MacBook Pro (2020)


Introduced in November 2019, the 16-inch MacBook Pro features slimmer bezels, a Magic Keyboard with a more reliable scissor mechanism, 9th-generation Intel Core processors, up to 64GB of RAM, up to 8TB of SSD storage, AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics, and upgraded speakers and microphones. Pricing starts at $2,399.

Rumors suggest that Apple may be planning to host another event on November 17 to introduce its first Mac with a custom Apple Silicon processor, but it is believed that this transition will begin at the lower end for notebooks, such as the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, or possibly even the return of an ultra-portable 12-inch MacBook.

(Thanks, Çağatay!)
Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

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Apple Shares Trailer for Apple TV+ Documentary 'Becoming You'

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 07:23:38 PDT
Apple has today shared a trailer for its new Apple TV+ documentary "Becoming You," which offers an insight into how children develop around the world.



The series, narrated by Academy Award winner Olivia Colman, features 100 children from ten countries around the world. Each episode examines how babies of all nationalities learn to think and speak in their native languages.

2,000 days. 100 children. The story of us. Peek into the first days of life in Becoming You, a globe-crossing, six-part docuseries narrated by Academy Award winner Olivia Colman.


Becoming You comes to ‌Apple TV‌+ on Friday, November 13.
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Apple Pay With Express Transit Mode Now Available in Chicago

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:45:38 PDT
The Chicago Transit Authority today announced that Ventra now supports Apple Pay with Express Transit mode, allowing the fare card to be added to the Wallet app on a compatible iPhone or Apple Watch for tap-and-go payment at train stations and on buses.


Express Transit mode allows users to pay for rides without having to wake or unlock their iPhone or Apple Watch, or open the Ventra app. The mode also bypasses the need to authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode. Users simply need to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless payment reader until a checkmark appears on the display.
With your Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch it's easier than ever to get around on CTA and Pace. Just tap your iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for rides using transit value or passes. No fumbling to grab a separate transit card, open apps or even wake your device — it's that easy!

And get the same features of a Ventra Card on your iPhone and Apple Watch, including the ability to load and manage transit value and CTA and Pace passes, autoload, pre-tax transit benefits from your employer, account management features in the Ventra app and more!
How to add a Ventra card to the Wallet app:
  • Open the Ventra app on your iPhone and tap the "Cards" tab

  • Select the Ventra card you want to add

  • Press the "Add to Apple Wallet" button and follow the on-screen instructions
Special fare program cards, such as RTA Reduced Fare, Student Ventra cards, or U-Pass cards, cannot be added to the Wallet app at this time. It is also not possible to add a Ventra card to the Wallet app on more than one device at a time, according to the CTA, which says to add the card only to the iPhone or Apple Watch you wish to use when you ride.

After adding an existing Ventra card to the Wallet app, the plastic version will no longer be functional and cannot be reloaded.

Apple Pay with Express Transit mode went live in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. earlier this year, with other supported U.S. cities including New York and Portland.

(Thanks, Anthony!)
Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Apple's 'Arbitrary' App Store Policies Stifle the Launch of Facebook's Cloud-Streamed Games

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:15:34 PDT
Facebook has today announced a new series of cloud-streamed games for its app and website, but the service will be unavailable in-app to iOS users due to Apple's App Store policies (via CNBC).



Facebook explained in its announcement that the games will not be spun off into a separate cloud gaming service, instead remaining within Facebook's app and website.

The first set of games available this week include "Asphalt 9: Legends" by Gameloft, "Mobile Legends: Adventure" by Moonton, "PGA TOUR Golf Shootout" by Concrete Software, Inc., "Solitaire: Arthur's Tale" by Qublix Games, and "WWE SuperCard" by 2K Games. "Dirt Bike Unchained" by Red Bull is set to be added in the coming weeks.

The company says that cloud-streaming games will bring cross-play to Facebook for the first time, as well as cloud-playable ads for interactive demos, intended to "blur the line between games and ads." The games will be coming to a redesigned "Destination for Play" on Facebook for resuming games and discovering new ones.

Facebook's cloud gaming solution is not comparable to subscription services such as Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, or Microsoft's xCloud, since the company has focused on versions of mobile games that are initially free to play, rather than AAA titles.

"We think this will expand very quickly because we're not charging up front and you don't need to have a controller," said Jason Rubin, Facebook's vice president of special gaming initiatives.


However, the new cloud-streamed games will not be available on iOS. Facebook says that this is due to Apple's "arbitrary" ‌App Store‌ policies.

Apple does not allow apps to act as third-party app stores, refusing apps that distribute software "in a store or store-like interface." Apple now says that apps can offer a subscription to multiple games, but only if each game can be approved by Apple and is offered in its own app.

Although Facebook could theoretically bring cloud gaming to iOS via the browser version of Facebook, the company has no plans to do so.

"We don't want people going to web Facebook 20 times a day. We have a great app," Rubin said. "We would have to use Apple's technology and browser on iOS, and that isn’t optimized to the benefit of cloud games," said Rubin.


When Facebook users make a micro-transaction in a cloud-streamed game in a browser, 30 percent of revenue will go to Facebook and 70 percent will go to the game developers. For purchases made on Android, Facebook will not take a cut, and instead, its 30 percent goes to Google.

"We would be willing to give the 30 percent to Apple, that is not what's holding us up," Rubin said. "What's holding us up is we're not allowed to do the things that we're doing on Android," Rubin explained.


The snipe at Apple appears to be the latest in an ongoing feud between the two companies. In August, Facebook was forced to remove the games feature from its Facebook Gaming app on iOS for violating ‌App Store‌ policies.

Facebook's cloud-streamed games will begin rolling out this week to users near a Facebook data center, achieving coverage in California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C., with further expansion expected in the coming months.
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iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 05:00:08 PDT
Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature a new Ceramic Shield screen that Apple says offers 4x better drop performance. To test that claim, Allstate Protection Plans put the two models through a range of breakability tests and recorded the results.


In a face down sidewalk drop test at six feet, the ‌iPhone 12‌ suffered small cracks and scuffed corners and edges, leaving sharp grooves in the metal. According to Allstate, this result was significantly better than both its predecessor, the iPhone 11, and the Samsung Galaxy S20.

As for the the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌, which is 25 grams heavier than the ‌iPhone 12‌, the handset cracked across the lower half of its Ceramic Shield screen but sustained no malfunctions or noticeable functional damage. While it fared slightly worse than the ‌iPhone 12‌, it also performed considerably better than the ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro in similar tests.

In a back down drop test in similar conditions, the ‌iPhone 12‌ corners and edges were scuffed but the rear panel survived "virtually unscathed," and the testers suggested its improved durability could be down to its flat-edge design. Meanwhile, the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ shattered when dropped on its back, resulting in loose glass and cracking on its wide camera. The damage was not catastrophic, however, and the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ seemed to work as normal after impact.

When dropped on their sides in similar conditions, both ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ suffered scuffing and sharp steel edges, especially along their corners, but both models were otherwise
unharmed. The testers summed up the findings with the following:
Through face-down, back-down, and side-down breakability drop tests, Allstate Protection Plans found that the Ceramic Shield front front is a huge improvement. Additionally, the flat side design appears to improve durability on both phones when dropped on their rear panels. That said, both phones were damaged when dropped on a sidewalk. Given their hefty repair costs, we encourage everyone to use a protective case and treat their new ‌iPhone 12‌ with the care you would give an expensive camera.
Apple charges $279 for screen repairs on ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ models. For all other damage, such as cracked rear glass, the repair fee is $449 for the ‌iPhone 12‌ and $549 for the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌. To obtain service, visit the Get Support page on Apple's website.

YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh previously conducted some tests on the ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌ using a force meter to compare its performance to the ‌‌iPhone 11‌‌. You can see the results of those here.

Keep in mind that these kinds of drop tests are not always going to see the same results, and can vary based on the angle that an ‌iPhone‌ happens to fall at, so it's always best to use caution with devices made of glass, whether or not they have a Ceramic Shield.
Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

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Bloomberg: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Third HomePod Model Also Possible

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 03:34:34 PDT
Apple plans to update its AirPods line next year with two new models including third-generation ‌AirPods‌ and second-generation AirPods Pro, according to a new report from Bloomberg.


The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on two new models: third-generation entry-level ‌AirPods‌ and the second version of the ‌AirPods Pro‌ earbuds, according to people familiar with the plans.

The models will join other new Apple audio devices like the HomePod mini and upcoming over-ear headphones.
Corroborating previous rumors regarding new ‌AirPods‌ models, the report claims the new entry-level ‌AirPods‌ will inherit a form factor design similar to ‌AirPods Pro‌, with a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips, but minus the higher end features of the latter earbuds such as noise cancelation. Apple is looking to improve the entry-level ‌AirPods‌' battery life, however.

As for the second version of ‌AirPods Pro‌, Apple aims to make the earbuds more compact by eliminating the short stem that currently sticks out from the bottom, and is said to be testing a design with "a more rounded shape that fills more of a user's a ear," which would make them more similar to Samsung's Galaxy Buds and similar rival designs from Amazon and Google.

According to the report, integrating the ‌AirPods Pro‌ features, antennas, and microphones into the smaller casing has proven "challenging" during development, which "could result in a less ambitious design when the product is finalized."

Apple has reportedly discussed launching the new low-end ‌AirPods‌ during the first half of next year and is also planning new wireless chips to power both models. Apple launched the original ‌AirPods‌ in 2016 for $159 and updated them with a wireless charging case in March 2019, while the ‌AirPods Pro‌ came out in October 2020 and cost $249.

Apple is also reportedly mulling a new model of HomePod that would sit in between the original ‌HomePod‌ and the recently announced ‌HomePod mini‌, claims the report.
Beyond the new ‌AirPods‌, Apple has also internally weighed a new ‌HomePod‌ that sits in size, price and sound quality between the original $299 ‌HomePod‌ and the $99 ‌HomePod mini‌. It's unclear if Apple will ultimately launch that product or just further cut the price of the higher-end version.
Apple unveiled the smaller $99 ‌HomePod mini‌ earlier this month, along with new smart Home features for the speakers, like Intercom.

The report also provides an update on where Apple's rumored "AirPods Studio" headphones are at. According to Bloomberg, Apple still plans to announce the high-end noise-canceling over-ear headphones but the product has faced several development challenges over the past two years, leading to multiple delays and a scaling back of functionality, including dropping the replaceable headband concept.
The headphones were due to go into production weeks ago, but that was pushed back due to problems with the headband, a person familiar with the matter said. That part was deemed too tight in some testing.

The company initially wanted to include large touch pads on the sides of the headphones, but reduced the size of those panels. Apple has also scaled back some of the interchangeable functionality of the headphones that were a hallmark of the initial concept. The latest version of the product is likely to lack a replaceable headband, but could still include interchangeable ear pads.
Previously rumored to be priced starting at $350, "‌‌AirPods Studio‌"‌ are expected to feature Active Noise Cancellation and a retro-style design that could involve both a premium model made from high quality materials and a sport-oriented model made from breathable, lighter weight materials.

As the report suggests, ‌‌AirPods Studio‌‌ will likely feature magnetic ear cups that can be swapped out for a customizable look, much like Apple Watch bands, and there could be additional features like ear detection so there's no right or left side when wearing the headphones.

Photos and a video clip said to depict the ‌AirPods Studio‌ surfaced in September, featuring headphones with large oblong ear cups and gray fabric padding at the top of the headband. The fabric of the ear cups and the headband appears to be similar to the mesh used for the ‌HomePod‌.

Rumors have suggested that Apple may be planning to hold a third fall event on November 17, which is said to be focused on Apple Silicon Macs, but could also see the debut of ‌AirPods Studio‌. The 2020 launch date isn't a sure thing though, as there's been some mixed information suggesting the ‌‌AirPods Studio‌‌ might not be ready for launch, so it's unclear just what's going to happen.
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Apple TV Remote App Inspired Steve Jobs to Make Original Siri Remote

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 02:51:37 PDT
Last week Apple removed the Apple TV Remote app from the App Store, given that the app's functionality has been baked into the Control Center on iPhone and iPad since iOS 11. Following the Remote app's discontinuation, a former Apple engineer took to Twitter to share some interesting details about the app's original development.


Alan Cannistraro writes that he began writing the app in 2006 before he even saw the first ‌iPhone‌ user interface, and instead used his own UI elements to begin with. The former designer explains that the Remote app was Apple's first production app that the ‌App Store‌ team used to "test their upload flow" to the Store, and while it only shipped with iTunes and ‌Apple TV‌ controls, early prototypes were a lot more functional.
While we shipped it only with iTunes and ‌Apple TV‌ control, my prototype also allowed me to turn on/off lights, TVs and Receivers (via an IR adaptor), and save and resume a room’s state as a "Scene".

A year later (2009) I had also built prototypes in Remote that would let your phone touchscreen be your mouse for your computer, and to interact with photos, applications (the original TouchBar) and screensavers on your Mac.

I was pitching a larger idea around device communication that never got off the ground (too early?). Predecessor to HomeKit & AirPlay. I had devices from Denon, Marantz, Sharp that spoke a protocol I designed so you could turn them on/off, change inputs and volume, tone, etc.
Another prototype Cannistraro designed in 2009 turned the ‌iPhone‌'s touchscreen surface into a computer mouse, and also offered a way for Mac users to "interact with photos, applications (the original TouchBar) and screensavers."

Cannistraro says he showed the app to then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who was so impressed with the way it let you control the ‌Apple TV‌ with swipes and gestures that he wanted the next hardware ‌Apple TV‌ remote to work similarly.
In 2010, I sat down with with Steve to show him how Remote controlled ‌Apple TV‌ with swipes, and he said, “our next ‌Apple TV‌ Remote should be this without a screen”. It took five years (lots of stuff paused when Steve died), but eventually Siri Remote came out and was just that.
On reflection, Cannistraro says he believes the "ultimate vision" for Remote still hasn't been realized, and that smart home control remains a "disjointed experience" on any ecosystem. "‌HomeKit‌ and Alexa are getting us closer," he says, "but there is still much to do to make the rooms we live in into elegant, ambient, intelligent experiences. Working on it."

You can check out Cannistraro's TV Remote app comments in full using this Thread reader link.
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Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sun, 25 Oct 2020 14:59:44 PDT
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times.



On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to maintain an unlawful monopoly.

In 2017, Apple updated an agreement to keep Google's search engine as the preselected option on Apple devices. The New York Times reports that Apple receives an estimated eight to 12 billion dollars per year in exchange for making Google the default search engine on its devices and services, including the iPhone and Siri. This is believed to be the single biggest payment Google makes to anyone, and it accounts for 14 to 21 percent of Apple's annual profits.

Prosecutors claim that the deal is representative of illegal tactics used to protect Google's monopoly and stifle competition. According to the Justice Department, almost one half of Google's search traffic now comes from Apple devices, and the prospect of losing the agreement has been described as "terrifying" and a "code red" scenario within the company. Google's search traffic is integral to its business model due to its system of ads.

Apple is likewise coming under fire for facilitating anticompetitive behavior by acquiescing to the deal and extracting more money with regular renegotiations. Although the two companies are competitors in Silicon Valley, the agreement is said to be part of "an unlikely union of rivals."

The Justice Department's complaint cites a senior Apple employee's remark from 2018 which said that "our vision is that we work as if we are one company."

The legal intervention poses a threat to a significant chunk of Apple's revenue, but it is a bigger danger for Google, which would seemingly have no way to replace the traffic it would lose. The New York Times speculates that such a breakup could push Apple to acquire or build its own search engine, which could in turn pose an even greater threat to Google.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News 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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iPhone 12 Upgrades Interfering With COVID-19 Contact-Tracing App Notifications, How to Fix

Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:40:43 PDT
Some iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro users in the UK have reported that their new devices are recieving an error message in the "NHS COVID-19" contact-tracing app, rendering it unusable (via BBC News).

'Unfortunately, You Can't Run This App'




Similar errors and issues have been reported in other regions contact tracing apps that also use Apple's Exposure Notification API. The error appears to occur when apps are transferred from an older iPhone using an iCloud Backup data transfer. To rectify the issue, UK users are being encouraged to do the following:


  1. Open Settings.

  2. Select Notifications.

  3. Tap on Exposure Notifications.

  4. Turn on the Allow Notifications option.



Users in other countries may simply have to re-launch their contact tracing app to re-enable the permission, or follow the same procedure above.

The issue seems to be caused by iOS not asking users to enable the Allow Notifications permission when transferring to a new device, and it is not clear that this needs to be done. Consequently, the contact-tracing app cannot enable the Bluetooth-based technology it requires to function correctly.

While simply deleting and reinstalling the app seems to resolve the issue, this is not recommended. A fresh install prompts the exposure notification to appear again, however, this method wipes all information previously gathered by the app, including all venues that users had checked in to, so it is not advisable unless the initial fix does not work.

To verify your history of exposure notification locations, go to Settings -> Exposure Notifications -> Exposure Logging Status -> Exposure Checks.

Matters have been confused further by the fact that the ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ have not yet been included in the NHS's list of compatible devices.

The ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ should in fact be capable of running England and Wales' contact-tracing software, which uses the Apple and Google Exposure Notification API. Around 18 million Brits have installed the NHS COVID-19 app so far.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News 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 Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

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Apple Shares New 'Dark Universe' Experimental Video Shot on iPhone 12 Pro

Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:21:39 PDT
Apple today shared a new video on its YouTube channel that features footage shot on the iPhone 12 Pro.

Apple says the two-minute video pushes the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌'s new Dolby Vision and low-light capabilities to the limit as an attempt to "capture darkness itself."


The video is also accompanied by a behind the scenes look at how it was made.


Watch other Shot on iPhone videos here.
Related Roundup: iPhone 12 Pro

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iFixit Shares Full iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Teardown Revealing Interchangeable Displays and Batteries

Sat, 24 Oct 2020 13:48:55 PDT
After live streaming a teardown of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro earlier this week, iFixit today provided a more in-depth teardown that goes through all of the components in the new devices, revealing several similarities between the two.


Early testing conducted by iFixit shows that the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro displays are interchangeable and can be swapped without issue, though the max brightness level of the two vary slightly. With just the displays and no other internals removed, the devices look almost identical.

Upon removing the camera shield of the iPhone 12, there appears to be a plastic spacer in place of the iPhone 12 Pro's telephoto lens and LiDAR Scanner.


It was confirmed that both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature the same 2,815mAh battery earlier this week, and iFixit was also able to corroborate this. Additionally, iFixit said the batteries of the two devices are interchangeable.

An X-ray courtesy of Creative Electron reveals the nearly identical L-shaped logic board, battery, and circular array of magnets, which introduce MagSafe support, in the two devices. A separate teardown of Apple's MagSafe charger shared by iFixit reveals a simple design with magnets and a charging coil encircling a small circuit board.


The ‌iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro earned a repairability score of 6 out of 10. iFixit said that many components are modular and are easy to replace, but the site bemoaned Apple's continued use of proprietary screws, the devices' increases in waterproofing that can complicate repairs, and the increased chance of breakage due to glass on the front and back of the two devices‌.


Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

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How to Use Apple's New Intercom Feature

Sat, 24 Oct 2020 12:48:58 PDT
Alongside the HomePod mini, Apple introduced a new Intercom feature that's designed to let Apple device owners communicate with one another throughout the home, sending messages to specific rooms, areas, or people.


Intercom works with the HomePod, ‌HomePod mini‌, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and even CarPlay, so you can dictate a voice message on any of your devices that you can have delivered to a single person in the family or all family members.

How to Set Up Intercom


After updating to ‌HomePod‌ software 14.1 and iOS 14.2, which is still in public beta testing at this time, Intercom can be set up in the Home app. Intercom works if you have a ‌HomePod‌ or another compatible device, and there is no dedicated interface on the ‌iPhone‌ for using Intercom outside of the Home app.

  1. Install HomePod 14.1 software.

  2. Open up the Home app.

  3. Tap on the little house icon in the upper left corner.

  4. Tap on "Home Settings."

  5. Scroll down to "Intercom" and tap it.

  6. Adjust your notification settings and select the people in the home who are able to use the Intercom feature.


Those who have remote access to your Home app can send or receive Intercom messages even when away from home, with those messages displaying as audio notifications on ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch.

Note that anyone who wants to be able to use Intercom will need to be added as a person with access to the home. This can be done by entering the Home Settings screen and tapping on "Invite People."

Intercom Requirements


Intercom works with the ‌HomePod‌ after installing the ‌HomePod‌ 14.1 update, and it is functional on the ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ after installing the iOS 14.2/iPadOS 14.2 updates. On Apple Watch, it appears to work with watchOS 7.1 and later.

There may be some Intercom features reserved for ‌HomePod‌ 14.2 as Intercom does not function seamlessly yet, so for the best possible Intercom results, make sure all of your devices have the most recent operating system updates that are available. Note that if two HomePods are set up in stereo mode, Intercom is not available.

How to Use Intercom to Send a Message to a HomePod


Intercom messages can be sent to the HomePods throughout a home using Siri on ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, Apple Watch, another ‌HomePod‌, and more. To send an Intercom message, just activate ‌Siri‌ on your ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, Apple Watch, ‌CarPlay‌, or ‌AirPods‌ and then say "Intercom" and your message.


So if you wanted to tell everyone that dinner is ready, just say "Intercom, dinner is ready" and the message "Dinner is ready" will be relayed to all of the HomePods in the Home.

Other commands like "Hey ‌Siri‌, tell everyone dinner is ready" also work as an alternative phrase for communicating through Intercom.


In the Home app on ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, there's also an option to tap on the small waveform in the upper right corner to record a message that's then sent to Intercom devices in the home.



How to Use Intercom to Send a Message From a HomePod to Another Device


You can use the ‌HomePod‌ to send a message to other HomePods in the home or to the devices that belong to members of the family.

It's as simple as activating ‌Siri‌, saying "Intercom" and then the message, with the message able to be sent to every person in the family regardless of who's at home. It will play on ‌HomePod‌ speakers in the house as well as on individual iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.

How to Send a Message to a Specific Room


If you have HomePods in separate rooms, you can direct a message to that room by activating ‌Siri‌ and then saying "Intercom [room name] [message]."


So for example if you wanted to tell everyone in the living room that dinner is ready, you would say "Hey ‌Siri‌, intercom living room dinner is ready."

Note that to use the room command, HomePods need to be correctly assigned to a room in the Home app. Assigning or changing a room can be done by following these steps:

  1. Open the Home app.

  2. Select the ‌HomePod‌ or ‌HomePod mini‌ from the device list.

  3. Long press on the ‌HomePod‌ icon.

  4. Tap on the gear icon at the bottom of the interface that pops up or scroll down forcefully.

  5. Tap on "Room."

  6. Select a room from the list of available rooms or tap "Create New."

  7. When done, close the interface by tapping the "X" at the top of the window.


How to Reply to an Intercom Message


If you receive an Intercom message in one room of the house and want to send a message back, you can activate ‌Siri‌ and then say "reply" along with your message.

So if you received an Intercom message that said "Dinner's ready," you can say "Hey ‌Siri‌ reply I'm on my way" to send a message right back.

Devices Compatible With Intercom


You can use iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and ‌AirPods‌ to send Intercom messages to the members of your household, and you can even send messages through ‌CarPlay‌ if you're driving.

Guide Feedback


Have questions about Intercom or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.
Related Roundups: HomePod, HomePod mini

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