Mac Rumors

Apple in Talks to Offer Veterans Access to Electronic Medical Records on iPhone

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 15:38:00 PST
Apple is holding talks with the Department of Veterans Affairs about offering electronic health records to military veterans, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Apple already provides access to electronic medical records through the Health app on iOS devices for patients of participating hospitals and medical groups.


Under the terms of the discussions, Apple would expand the feature to veterans, creating special software tools that would allow the VA's estimated nine million veterans to transfer their records to the iPhone.

According to The Wall Street Journal, top VA officials and associates from Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club discussed the project in emails that were obtained by the newspaper. The emails suggest the Trump administration "wrestled early on with the project's goals."

Apple first introduced its Health Records feature in the United States in the iOS 11.3 update released in March. More than 100 medical providers and hospitals have signed up to partner with Apple, allowing iPhone users to access their health records on their iOS devices.

Simple access to health records across multiple medical providers allows patients and doctors alike to better track healthcare. Health Records displays information that includes allergies, vital signs, conditions, immunizations, medications, labs, and procedures.

Health records can be accessed in the Health app under the "Health Data" section. After choosing and authenticating with a provider, all relevant medical data is available through the Health app and is updated automatically following doctor visits.

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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Video: We Turned an iPad Pro Into a Mac Mini Display With the Luna Display Adapter

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 13:42:39 PST
Last week, the team behind the Luna Display adapter that's designed to turn the iPad into a second display for any Mac published an article outlining how the adapter was used to morph a current iPad Pro into a display for Apple's newest Mac mini.

The Mac mini ships sans display, which means if you have an iPad, it can be used as the Mac mini's sole display. We thought the idea was interesting, so we decided to try it out in our latest YouTube video.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

The Luna Display is a little adapter that plugs into the USB-C port on your Mac (for older Macs, there's a Mini DisplayPort version). So to use the iPad Pro as a Mac mini display, you need to plug the adapter into the Mac mini and then download the appropriate software.

There's Luna software for both the iPad and the Mac, which you'll need to download to get this setup working. For setup, you're going to need a separate external display for the Mac mini so you can get the software installed, but once it's set up, the iPad Pro can be used as the only display.

Because the iPad and the adapter in the Mac mini work via WiFi, you'll need a strong connection for seamless performance and a zero lag experience.

Once the iPad Pro is set up as the Mac mini's display, it's a neat example of what it's like to use a touchscreen with a Mac machine. You can display full Mac apps on the iPad Pro, from Photoshop to Final Cut Pro.

What's neat is that you can control apps on your Mac mini through the iPad using the Luna Display app and then swipe out of it to access all of your standard apps. Switching between the two is flawless.

The iPad Pro is, of course, a super expensive display for the Mac mini so this is only useful if you happen to have both of these devices. Buying an iPad Pro just to use as a Mac mini display probably isn't a good idea since you can get a bigger display at a cheaper price.

You can also use the Luna Display with other Macs to turn the iPad into a secondary display. If you want your own Luna Display, it's available for $79.

What do you think of the iPad Pro as a touch display for Mac mini? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, Mac mini

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First Benchmarks for MacBook Pro With New Radeon Pro Vega Graphics Surface

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 13:11:16 PST
Apple last week introduced new upgrade options for the high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro, allowing customers to add Radeon Pro Vega 16 and 20 graphics cards to the device for superior graphics performance.

Benchmarks for the 15-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the Radeon Pro Vega 20 option have been shared by a MacRumors reader, giving us an idea of the performance improvements over 15-inch MacBook Pro models with the standard Radeon Pro 560X graphics card that was previously the highest-end option available.


The machine, which includes a 2.6GHz Core i7 Intel processor, a Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics card, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD, earned an OpenCL score of 72799. Additional benchmarks found on Geekbench with a similar machine using an upgraded Core i9 processor demonstrated OpenCL scores of 75817, 76017, and 80002.

In a separate benchmark uploaded to Geekbench, the new high-end MacBook Pro with Core i9 processor also earned a Metal score of 73953.

Comparatively, machines with similar specs and Radeon Pro 560X graphics cards on Geekbench earned maximum OpenCL scores of right around 65000 and Metal scores of approximately 57000, suggesting much higher graphics performance with the new Radeon Pro Vega 20 card.

At the current time, benchmarks are only available for the higher-end Radeon Pro Vega 20 card, with no data available for the Radeon Pro Vega 16 card. CPU benchmarks on Geekbench between machines using the new cards and the existing cards are similar because there have been no changes to the CPU.

The new Radeon Pro Vega graphics cards can only be added to the high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro model, which starts at $2,799. The Radeon Pro Vega 16 costs an additional $250, while the Radeon Pro Vega 20 costs an additional $350.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral)

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Apple Debuts New 'Share Your Gifts' Holiday Ad

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 12:26:46 PST
Apple this afternoon shared one of its iconic holiday ads, many of which have won awards and accolades in the past. This year's video, entitled "Share Your Gifts," is a three minute animated spot featuring music by 16-year-old songwriter Billie Eilish.


The ad features music written by a girl who keeps her creations secret, until they're let out into the world by her dog and enjoyed by everyone around her. The "Share Your Gifts" theme encourages Mac and iPad users to share their creativity with others.

Apple has also shared a behind the scenes video that highlights the making of the "Share Your Gifts" ad spot.


Several additional videos from the behind the scenes of the "Share Your Gifts" ad delve into how the people who worked on the spot use their devices to create content.




Apple's ad features a new Billie Eilish song that's being debuted in the spot, called "Come Out and Play." The new song is available via iTunes and on Apple Music.


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Review: WaterField Designs' Time Travel Apple Watch Case Organizes Your Apple Watch Accessories

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 11:43:15 PST
WaterField Designs is a San Francisco-based company that makes a range of different cases and bags for Apple's product lineup, from the iPhone and iPad to Macs, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.

For Apple Watch, WaterField Designs has the Time Travel Case, which is designed to organize your Apple Watch accessories into one easy place for commuting and traveling so nothing gets misplaced or lost.


Made from either black leather or "cowboy" brown leather that's soft and supple to the touch, the Time Travel Case for the Apple Watch measures in at 7.5 inches long and 4.25 inches wide, and it's slim enough to tuck into the pocket of a purse or backpack.

It zips along the top and one of the sides and opens up into a u-shape so that you can get to the contents inside. The entire inside is lined with a soft material that will ensure nothing gets scratched, and there's padding at the sides to keep expensive watch bands safe.


At the right side of the pouch, there's a wide side pocket that's designed to hold Apple Watch bands, and I found that you can fit three to four inside comfortably, which is ideal if you want to bring a few extra bands along when traveling.

On the left side, there are two smaller pouches that can hold an Apple Watch charging puck with cable and your headphones or AirPods case. The larger left side pocket is perfect for cables, while the smaller pouch is the perfect size to house AirPods.


Between the two sides of the pouch, there's a middle section that can fit additional cables or accessories, or a device up to the size of an iPhone XS Max.

If desired, you can also put the Apple Watch either in this main middle pouch or in the left side pocket in place of a band when the Apple Watch is not in use, though some bulkier bands may not fit on the left side super well. My 38mm Apple Watch band with Sport Loop or Milanese Loop fit in either location.


At the outside, there's a diagonal pocket that's also perfectly sized to hold an iPhone, and it fits an iPhone XS Max in an Apple-designed case. A thicker case probably wouldn't work, but a naked iPhone certainly fits. Smaller devices like the iPhone X will also fit without falling out thanks to the grip of the leather.

The outside pocket features a large WaterField Designs logo, which is the only negative that I see to the design of the case. I'd prefer to have no visible logo, but it might not bother some people.


I was able to fit three Apple Watch bands, AirPods, an Apple Watch charging cable, a Lightning cable, an Apple Pencil, and my iPhone XS Max inside the Time Travel, with additional room available to stick something in the outside pocket, so it can hold a good amount of gear.

When packed full, though, it does expand to be about an inch and a half wide, but when limited to accessories instead of an iPhone, it's slimmer and easier to carry.


Bottom Line


Because of its higher price tag, the Time Travel Case for Apple Watch may not be for everyone, but it neatly organizes your extra Apple Watch bands and charging cable in a logical way, plus it has space for other accessories like an iPhone.


If you're looking for a high-quality storage pouch that will keep your Apple Watch gear and other bits and bobs organized in a way that cheaper pouches will not, the Time Travel Case is potentially worth checking out, and as a bonus, it will match well with other WaterField Designs gear.

How to Buy


The Time Travel Case for Apple Watch can be purchased from the WaterField Designs website for $59.

Note: WaterField Designs provided MacRumors with a Time Travel Case for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.


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AirPlay 2 and Dolby Atmos Help Apple Make Inroads as a Hub of Your Home Entertainment Ecosystem

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 11:11:28 PST
With the release of AirPlay 2 earlier this year and the follow-up addition of Dolby Atmos support for Apple TV with tvOS 12, there have been significant improvements in the home entertainment experience for Apple users.

While AirPlay 2 support initially launched for HomePod with other speaker and receiver brands to come, the rollout has taken a bit of a time, and in fact there are still only a few brands that support the standard. Sound United's Denon and Marantz brands were the first standalone receivers to gain AirPlay 2 support back in August, and I've had a chance to test out the setup using a Denon AVR-X3500H receiver.

Denon AVR-X3500H

For those unfamiliar with component home theater systems, the AV receiver acts as the center of your entire system, managing both audio and video to connect all of your various content sources to outputs like your television and speakers.

They've become increasingly packed with technology over time depending on how much you're willing to spend, offering support for such features as decoding various surround sound formats, driving an ever larger number of speakers, accepting direct wireless audio streaming via Bluetooth or AirPlay, connecting to Internet services via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, and more.

I've paired the Denon receiver with Focal's Sib Evo 5.1.2 system that includes Dolby Atmos support, giving me the opportunity to check out both of the recent technological additions to the Apple ecosystem for a quick overview.

Focal Sib Evo 5.1.2 speaker system with Cub Evo subwoofer

The Sib Evo 5.1.2 includes two front loudspeakers with upward-firing Dolby Atmos speaker drivers, three satellite speakers with one intended to be turned on its side and used as a center speaker, and a Cub Evo active subwoofer.


Denon's AVR-X3500H can handle eight HDMI inputs and up to three HDMI outputs. With support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X, all of the top surround sound formats are included. Add in AirPlay 2 and Alexa voice control, and you've got a powerful and flexible centerpiece for your home entertainment system.

AirPlay 2


If you're an Apple fan, you likely already have an Apple TV hooked up to your home entertainment system, so you can stream multi-room audio to the system via the Apple TV. But built-in support for AirPlay 2 on the AVR-X3500H and other Denon receivers gives you another option for direct delivery of audio to what in some cases may be the best speakers in your house.

Denon AVR-X3500H Wi-Fi and AirPlay setup

When you set up the Denon receiver for the first time, it walks you through a network setup process that can grab your Wi-Fi network details from an iOS device, getting your receiver online so that it can directly access content and serve as an AirPlay 2 destination. As is pretty typical for electronics like this, the on-screen setup process isn't particularly pretty, but it makes each step clear and relatively easy to navigate through using the receiver's remote.

Once you have the receiver online and set up for AirPlay 2, you'll see it pop up in your list of speakers in the music widget on your iOS device. With AirPlay 2, you can send synchronized audio to multiple speakers located throughout your home and control all of it right from your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or iTunes on Mac.

Denon receiver showing up in AirPlay 2 in iTunes for Mac, iOS Music widget, and iOS Home app

Setting up the receiver in the Home app lets you assign it to a room and zone, allowing it to integrate with other speakers in various areas around the house.

When sending audio to multiple speakers via AirPlay 2, you'll see several sliders for controlling volume, allowing you to control either individual speakers or the entire set. If you have different speakers set at different volume levels, adjusting the master volume slider will change the individual speaker volume levels proportionally.

Now Playing screen displayed when audio is being sent to Denon AVR-X3500H via AirPlay

You can use AirPlay 2 to route audio directly to an Apple TV hooked up to a home audio system, so I wouldn't run out and buy a whole new receiver just for AirPlay 2 support, but it's nice to have the extra option for direct AirPlay 2 streaming to a receiver if you don't have an Apple TV on that setup or just want to cut out the middleman and stream directly to your high-quality speakers.

Dolby Atmos


Dolby Atmos takes advantage of three-dimensional space to offer a more immersive sound experience for your home theater system, typically using either downward-firing speakers mounted in the ceiling or upward-firing speaker drivers to reflect sound off of the ceiling, and when combined with the rest of the traditional speakers in your system, you'll find sounds coming at you from all angles.

Focal's Sib Evo system uses upward-firing drivers built into the main front left and right speakers. The Atmos drivers use their own speaker wire connections and connect to their own terminals on the receiver, and the Denon manual walks you through exactly which terminals to use for which speakers, as a host of speaker configurations are supported.

Close-up of front speaker with upward-firing Dolby Atmos driver (left) and dual speaker wire connections on rear (right)

A key component of the Dolby Atmos experience is speaker calibration, which ensures that output from the receiver is properly adjusted for optimal sound quality. With different sizes and shapes of rooms, sound can bounce around in unpredictable ways, and it's important that your home audio system be configured for your unique environment. That's particularly true with the Dolby Atmos speakers, which in this setup will project sound upward and off the ceiling before hitting your ears. Everything needs to reach your ears at the proper time and in the proper balance, and calibration will make sure that happens.


Receivers like the Denon AVR-X3500H include a wired microphone to be used in the calibration process, and a setup wizard will walk you through the process of situating the microphone in as many as eight closely-spaced locations where the viewers will be sitting, and at each position the system will rotate one by one through each of the eight speakers in the Sib Evo 5.1.2 system, generating loud tones to be picked up by the microphone. Once each speaker has been assessed at each calibration location, the receiver will configure its output to optimize the sound field.

With tvOS 12, the Apple TV now supports Dolby Atmos, although content must be specifically made available in the format to support it. The number of Dolby Atmos titles on the iTunes Store is growing, but it's still a small portion of the overall library.

tvOS audio format settings

So if you've already got a Dolby Atmos system hooked up to your TV or are looking to add one (and they're getting even simpler and cheaper with more sound bar options available), make sure to keep an eye on your current titles to see if they get upgraded with Dolby Atmos and look for the Dolby Atmos icon when browsing the iTunes movie selections on your Apple TV.

Dolby Atmos icon on tvOS iTunes movie listings

For those titles that do include Dolby Atmos, you can definitely tell the difference. The soundscape is more encompassing and it really does feel like you're truly immersed in the movie.

Wrap-up


It's still early for AirPlay 2 and Dolby Atmos support in the Apple ecosystem, but they're setting the stage for making Apple's products a more important part of your home entertainment system. In this age where we have our portable devices on us at all times, it's nice to be able to directly beam audio all around our homes, including to what are in many cases the highest-quality audio systems we own hooked up to our TVs.

And for when we sit down in front of those TVs to watch movies, it's great to have the Apple ecosystem starting to support technologies like Dolby Atmos that improve the experience. Yes, support is still limited and it will take time for all studios to get on board and update much of their back catalogs, but the list of Atmos-compatible movies on the iTunes Store is getting longer and is rapidly becoming an expected feature for new releases.

There are plenty of Dolby Atmos-compatible home theater systems on the market already, whether they be component systems, theater-in-a-box systems, or sound bars, so there are lots of options if you're looking to upgrade your television experience.

AirPlay 2 support is rolling out to a number of wireless speakers, but support in separate receiver components remains rare, led by Sound United's Denon and Marantz brands.

Denon's AVR-X3500H carries an MSRP of $999, but can frequently be found discounted by as much as $200 at third-party retailers including those selling through Amazon.

Focal's Sib Evo 5.1.2 is priced at $1299 from a variety of retailers including Amazon sellers.

Note: Sound United loaned MacRumors the Denon receiver and Focal loaned MacRumors the Sib Evo 5.1.2 system to assist with this article. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.



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Jony Ive Remains 'Eager to Create' and 'Completely in Awe' About Creative Process

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 08:53:00 PST
Apple design chief Jony Ive, who was awarded the 2018 Stephen Hawking Fellowship in September, delivered the Stephen Hawking Fellowship Lecture at The Cambridge Union, the University of Cambridge's debate society, on Monday.

Jony Ive speaking at The Cambridge Union via Apple/The Independent

Ive spoke about a wide range of topics, reflecting on his career at Apple, technology, and design as a whole, according to The Independent. We've rounded up some of his comments from the speech below.

How using a Mac for the first time led Ive to find out more about Apple and ultimately join the company in 1992:
With the Mac, in 1988, I think I learned two things. Firstly, I could actually use it. I loved using it and it became a very powerful tool that helped me design and create. Secondly, and I think this is in some ways a rather embarrassing admission because this was at the end of four years of studying design, I realized that what you make represents who you are.

It stands testament to your values and your preoccupations, and using the Mac I sensed a clear and direct connection with the people who actually created the Macintosh. For the first time, I remember being moved by obvious humanity and care beyond just the functional imperative.
How the idea behind Multi-Touch was conceived around 2002 to 2003 and eventually led to the App Store in 2008:
This was a project that we came to describe as multi-touch. Some of you may remember the first time you experienced the interface. Perhaps it was on one of the first iPhones or later on an iPad. But multi-touch describes the ability to directly touch and interact with your content to be able to pinch to zoom an image or flick through a list with your fingers.

Importantly, it defined an opportunity to create applications with their own unique, very specific interface. So, not being generic but being specific inherently describes the application's function. We came to see that we could make applications purposeful, compelling and intuitive to use. And so, as the potential for a vast range of apps became clear, so did the idea for an app store.
Ive on how he remains "eager to create":
I remain completely in awe, completely enchanted by the creative process. I love the unpredictability and the surprise. The whole process is fabulously terrifying and so uncertain. But I love that on Monday, there's nothing. There is no idea, there is no conversation, the room is silent, there's certainly not a drawing. Prototypes are way in the future. On Monday, there is nothing, but on Wednesday, there is. No matter how partial, how tentative. Now, the problem is: which Wednesday?"
Ive on how there is a "fundamental conflict" between "curiosity and the resolve and focus that is necessary to solve problems":
Honestly, I can't think of two ways of working, two different ways of being, that are more polar. On one hand to be constantly questioning, loving surprises, consumed with curiosity and yet on the other hand having to be utterly driven and completely focused to solve apparently insurmountable problems, even if those solutions are without precedent or reference. And so, of course, this is where it becomes sort of ironic and teeters towards the utterly absurd.
More Coverage: Apple designer Jony Ive explains how 'teetering towards the absurd' helped him make the iPhone by David Phelan


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How to Use Your Mac's Media Keys to Adjust Speaker Volume on a DisplayPort, HDMI, or Thunderbolt Monitor

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 07:13:37 PST
If you connect your Mac to an external display, you may find that the Mac's on-screen and keyboard volume controls are disabled. That's because HDMI, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt connections carry a fixed volume digital audio signal, so the external device (in this case, a monitor) controls the sound level.


This can be frustrating if the volume controls on your external display are concealed in the bezel or buried in a fiddly on-screen menu. Fortunately, it is possible to re-enable your Mac's native volume controls and use them to adjust the sound level coming out of your monitor's speakers. The steps below show how it's done, although you will need administrator privileges to follow them.

  1. Download the free SoundFlower extension (v2.0b2) from Github.

  2. double-click the SoundFlower.dmg file to mount it.
  3. Hold down the Ctrl key and left-click the Soundflower.pkg file, then choose Open from the contextual menu.

  4. If you see a dialog asking if you're sure you want to open it, click Open. If you see a dialog saying the package can't be opened, click OK, open System Preferences' Security & Privacy pane, and in the General tab click Open Anyway.

  5. Let the Soundflower installer continue and enter your password if necessary.

  6. Next, download the SoundflowerBed utility (v2.0), mount the .dmg file, and drag the flower icon to your Applications folder.

  7. Launch the SoundflowerBed utility.

  8. Click the SoundflowerBed icon in the menubar and select DisplayPort, Thunderbolt or HDMI as the output in the (2ch) list.

  9. Click the volume icon in the menu bar and choose Soundflower(2ch). You can also make this selection in the Sound System Preference pane.
You should now be able to adjust the volume of the speakers in your HDMI or DisplayPort monitor using the native media controls on your Mac.
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'Shadow of the Tomb Raider' Coming to macOS in 2019

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 06:35:26 PST
Feral Interactive today announced that the third game in the rebooted Tomb Raider series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, will be coming to macOS and Linux computers in 2019. As usual with Feral's early announcements, no specific date was given for the game's release on macOS.


The game originally launched on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC in September 2018, published by Square Enix and developed by Eidos-Montréal. Shadow of the Tomb Raider picks up the story from the 2015 entry in the series, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and follows Lara Croft as she hunts for the legendary hidden city of Paititi in the jungles of South America, battling the Trinity organization and attempting to prevent a Mayan apocalypse.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider will follow Rise of the Tomb Raider's appearance on macOS earlier this spring, in the form of the "20 Year Celebration" edition of the game that included all DLC content. Feral announced Rise of the Tomb Raider would be coming to Mac in February and then launched it in April, so we should hear more about a specific launch date for Shadow of the Tomb Raider after the new year.


Feral also ported the original rebooted game, simply titled Tomb Raider, to macOS and Linux computers.


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Tumblr Removed From App Store Over Failure to Filter Out Child Pornography

Tue, 20 Nov 2018 03:23:56 PST
Apple removed Tumblr from the iOS App Store late last week because the Yahoo-owned social network failed to filter prohibited content, it emerged today.

The Tumblr app for iPhone and iPad went missing from the App Store on Friday, November 16. Shortly afterwards, Tumblr announced that it was "working to resolve an issue" with the app, but stopped short of explaining the problem.


It wasn't until Download.com approached Tumblr with sources claiming child pornography had been found on the service, that the social network issued a statement providing more information.

In its statement, Tumblr said that every image uploaded to the service is "scanned against an industry database of known child sexual abuse material," and images that are detected never reach the platform. However, a "routine audit" had revealed content that had not yet been included in the industry database, and Tumblr had acted "immediately" to remove it.

"Content safeguards are a challenging aspect of operating scaled platforms," it added. "We're continuously assessing further steps we can take to improve and there is no higher priority for our team."

This isn't the first time a popular app has been removed from the App Store for prohibited content. In February, Apple pulled encrypted messenger app Telegram from its store for violating Apple's iOS developer guidelines, which require all apps that host user-generated content include a method for filtering objectionable material from being posted.

When Telegram fell foul of Apple's guidelines, the app was back on the App Store within 24 hours. Tumblr said getting its app reinstated is its "top priority," yet it continues to be unavailable for iOS devices, although Android users can still download Tumblr via the Google Play Store.

(Via The Verge.)


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Apple to Hold Four Day Shopping Event Starting on Black Friday

Mon, 19 Nov 2018 14:03:16 PST
Apple in 2018 is planning to hold a four day "shopping" event that will presumably see Apple products available at a discount or with some kind of gift with purchase.

On Apple's website, there is a blank shopping event page that will presumably be populated with deals when Black Friday rolls around, and Apple today sent out teaser emails to customers letting them know about the upcoming sale.


Apple's shopping event will kick off on Friday, November 23 and it will last until Monday, November 26, aka Cyber Monday, another popular day for deals.

Last year, Apple held a similar shopping event that saw the company offering Apple Store gift cards worth up to $150 with the purchase of select devices including Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.

Apple's deals have historically not been quite as good as discounts available from third-party retailers, so if you're shopping for something specific on Black Friday, it's best to take a look at all of the available deals at each retailer before making a decision.

We'll have in-depth Black Friday coverage later this week, and to plan ahead, make sure to check out our Black Friday roundup where we're aggregating all of our Black Friday deals.

Related Roundup: Apple Black Friday

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Apple Highlights Five Reasons the iPad Pro Can Be Your Next Computer

Mon, 19 Nov 2018 12:15:15 PST
Apple today shared a new short video focused on the recently released 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, listing five reasons why the tablets can be your next computer.


Apple's list of reasons why the iPad Pro can replace a computer are as follows:

  1. It's more powerful than most computers.

  2. It's versatile. It's a scanner, camera, editing suite, notepad, cinema, music studio, book, and a computer.

  3. It goes anywhere thanks to LTE.

  4. It's as easy as this (with a focus on gestures).

  5. It's even better with Apple Pencil.
This is Apple's first ad for the new iPad Pro models, but it has long advertised the iPad Pro as an alternative to a computer. Apple uses the tagline "like a computer unlike any computer," in this ad, which is something new the company has been trying out.

Apple's 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models were first introduced in late October and shipped out in November. The new iPads feature edge-to-edge displays with Face ID and no Home button, powerful A12X processors with performance on par with many Mac notebooks, USB-C to connect to 4K monitors and USB-C accessories, and thinner bodies.

The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 for 64GB of storage, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $999, also for 64GB of storage.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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Review: Nimble's Wireless and Portable Chargers are Reliable and Beautifully Designed

Mon, 19 Nov 2018 09:38:27 PST
In late August, a new accessory brand called Nimble emerged from a trio of former Mophie employees, offering customers various charging devices that are all built and shipped with a focus on the environment and sustainability.


Led by Ross Howe (Nimble CEO), Jon Bradley (creative director), and Kevin Malinowski (brand marketing), Nimble's lineup of accessories remains modest two months in, focusing specifically on a collection of eight wireless chargers and portable chargers. Over that period of time I've had the chance to use all of Nimble's products, and while there are a few issues with the lineup, it's clear that quality over quantity takes precedence at Nimble.

Design


Specifically, Nimble sells four portable chargers, four wireless chargers, and three accessories, and a few of the same design elements emerge across the device lineup.


Nimble names the portable chargers by estimating about how long you'll be able to get battery out of them: a 3-Day (10,000 mAh, $49.95), 5-Day (13,000 mAh, $59.95), 8-Day (20,000 mAh, $69.95), and 10-Day (26,800 mAh, $99.95). Each of these includes a magnetic attachment for cable management, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and the 10-Day Portable Charger throws in an AC adapter brick.


For the wireless chargers, Nimble sells a Wireless Pad ($39.95), Wireless Dual Pad ($49.95), Wireless Stand ($49.95), and Wireless Travel Kit ($59.95). Individually, you can buy a Dual USB Wall Charger ($19.95), USB Wall Charger ($12.95), and USB-C Cable 2-Pack ($12.95-$17.95).


Each Nimble product is built in partnership with a supplier that uses recycled aluminum, plant-based bioplastics, organic hemp, and other naturally occurring materials to ensure that the company's production has less of an impact on the planet. When packaged, Nimble uses boxes made of 100 percent recycled scrap paper that has no harmful inks, plastics, or dyes.


In the end, Nimble's stance on reducing its carbon footprint has not negatively affected the design and feel of its products, and may have enhanced it in some ways. The portable chargers have a nice heft to them and feel solid in the hand, with a recycled aluminum housing that's bordered by Nimble's signature speckle TPE, which combine to create a product that feels satisfying and premium.

For the wireless chargers, Nimble uses a combination of sustainable fabric blends including organic hemp, recycled plastic bottles, and plant-based bioplastics. The effect is a fabric-covered wireless charger that feels soft to the touch, in both Light Grey and Charcoal Grey color options. Rubberized feet under each charger also ensure that they don't jostle around, and a white LED on the back alerts you to when your iPhone is successfully charging.

Light Grey and Charcoal Grey Wireless Dual Pads

Nimble's wireless chargers as of now are not formally Qi certified, because the company decided to focus on securing all of the proper CE and UL safety certifications for the launch. Still, Nimble tells me that they are all built exactly to Qi certification specs, and it intends to include Qi certification for wireless chargers starting in Q1 2019.

I'll get into the specific issues I had with certain devices in their relevant sections below, but overall I really liked Nimble's design choices for its first set of accessories. They're subtle products with small footprints and beautiful accents, and the wireless chargers in particular looked great anywhere I placed them in my apartment. Couple these quality builds with the company's carbon footprint reduction efforts and reasonable prices, and I can see Nimble starting to make a name for itself in the market.

Wireless Chargers



Wireless Travel Kit/Wireless Pad
Nimble's Wireless Travel Kit is essentially an oversized USB wall charger with the company's Wireless Pad magnetically attached, which turned out to be one of my favorite wireless iPhone chargers I've used yet.

This is mainly because the Wireless Pad's charging coil detection is great all-around, letting me place my iPhone X both parallel to the design of the pad itself and perpendicular, as well as multiple off-kilter arrangements in between those angles. This makes it great for bedside use in the dark, but a problem I had with many of Nimble's wireless chargers emerged frequently: the pad's LED is just too bright at night.

iPhone X is charging in all three placement scenarios pictured above

Sitting on my bedside table, the Wireless Pad's LED was bright enough to hit the wall behind the table and light it up, and during testing I had to use a stack of books to cover the light. Bright lights have prevented a handful of otherwise great wireless chargers from becoming permanent mainstays on my bedside table, and for now it looks like the same is true for Nimble's Wireless Pad.

As for the rest of the Wireless Travel Kit, the USB wall charger has a little compartment that holds the included USB-C to USB-A cable, and when opened it offers two USB-A ports so that you can charge multiple devices from a single destination while you're traveling. When you're ready to leave, you can stuff the cable back into the compartment and place the Wireless Pad over everything to close it.


The Wireless Travel Kit is easily Nimble's most creative accessory, but there are drawbacks to the design. For one, it takes some work to replace the 3.5 foot USB-C cable back into the cable management compartment, and once you do the magnets that fuse the Wireless Pad (essentially the cover) to the USB wall charger are not particularly powerful.


Weak magnets are a bit of an Achilles heel for Nimble's products, and in the two months I tested everything, the company updated a few of its devices with improved magnets following early user feedback. While this improved aspects of the portable chargers, I didn't really see any noticeable difference in magnet strength with the updated version of the Wireless Travel Kit. The update did fix an issue where a loud hissing noise would emit from the USB wall charger when it was in use.

In terms of charging, the USB wall charger has been a reliable charge source for numerous devices over the past few months, and the 7.5W Wireless Pad charged up my iPhone X from 29 percent to 100 percent in just under three hours.


When in use, the USB wall charger takes up the entirety of the outlet space, so you won't be able to use the other outlet. It's also a bit of a hassle to angle and plug USB-A cables into the ports found within the USB wall charger's cable management compartment, given the small amount of space. As you'll see with the rest of Nimble's accessories, despite these handful of gripes, I really loved the overall design, feel, and usefulness of the Wireless Travel Kit.

Wireless Dual Pad
Nimble's Wireless Dual Pad is essentially a longer version of the Wireless Pad that allows two devices to charge at once, but due to its LED placement and some poor coil charging detection, this accessory led to some of my biggest issues.


The first version I tried out poorly registered any iPhone I placed on the left side of the pad, while the right side performed as expected. Its LED (located on the rear of the mat, to the right of the USB-C port) also flashed sporadically for no reason any time it was plugged in, so Nimble sent me an updated version.

The new device has worked as expected for the past few weeks, charging two iPhones at the same time, each supported by Apple's 7.5W fast charging standard. I found it to be on par with the Wireless Pad, fueling up my iPhone X from 11 percent to 98 percent in three hours.


Unfortunately, the LED on this accessory matched the brightness of the one found on the Wireless Pad, so I ended up using it more often in the living room or kitchen.

Wireless Stand
If you prefer a vertical charging option, Nimble sells the Wireless Stand, which is essentially a slightly longer version of the Wireless Pad standing at an angle. In the middle of the back is a kick-out plastic stand and a small plastic nub, which you can push in to force this section out through the front of the stand.


This inch-long piece of plastic acts as the resting place for your iPhone while charging, and you could also kick the stand back in and push the plastic nub back through the device and use the Wireless Stand Charger as a horizontal charger as well.

I liked the Wireless Stand, and its travel-friendly structure makes sense given Nimble's proclivity toward compact designs, but I would have preferred a sturdier vertical charger. I've had the Wireless Stand in my kitchen since September, and on numerous occasions I placed my iPhone X too forcefully on the charger, causing it to collapse.


My iPhone never fell off the charger while it was in use, but I also never particularly liked that only an inch-long plastic bit was holding it up, one whose depth was just less than the thickness of the iPhone itself.


Given the Wireless Stand's small stature (my iPhone X sat about an inch higher when it was on), I wouldn't recommend the stand for an iPhone Plus or Max, but I did enjoy the added utility of the extra USB-A port. The stand was also the charger that caused my iPhone to become the most warm, but it was never to an extent that was alarming, and warm smartphone backs are typical of any wireless charger.

I found the same charging rates on the Wireless Stand as well: starting at 24 percent, my iPhone reached 100 percent in two and a half hours.

Portable Chargers


Nimble's portable chargers are essentially the same accessory with different battery capacities, and I've found them all to work similarly over the past few months. Because of this, I won't break down each one like I did with the wireless chargers, but instead give my overall impression of this category of Nimble's products.

I ended up using the 5-Day (13,000 mAh) and 10-Day (26,800 mAh) portable chargers the most, mainly because these are the two devices that include three total USB-A ports and one USB-C port for fast charging on compatible iPhones. Comparatively, the 3-Day and 8-Day portable charges have two USB-A ports with one fast charging USB-C port each.


I started by using the 10-Day as much as possible to put Nimble's biggest portable charger to the test, and while it didn't last for a full 10 days, I got a solid 6-7 days out of the device before it died. In this time, the 10-Day portable charger fueled up my iPhone X from below 10 percent to capacity about six times (in total it should fuel up an iPhone X/XS about nine times), my iPad mini 4 from below 10 percent to capacity once, and there were a handful of half-capacity charges sprinkled throughout.

For USB-C fast charging, Nimble's chargers meet the expected standards: they can fuel up an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, XS Max, or XR from 0 percent to 50 percent in about 30 minutes. Using Nimble's quartet of portable chargers paired with Apple's USB-C to Lightning cable (required for fast charging an iPhone), each battery pack fueled my iPhone X from around 1 percent to 50 percent in exactly 30 minutes. When fast charging is active, Nimble's side LED lights up orange, and otherwise a green light indicates regular charging.


USB-C fast charging is also the best pair for the Nintendo Switch and Nimble's portable chargers, because with regular USB-A charging the Switch will still drain as you play and can only be charged when it's sleeping. I used the 10-Day portable battery and my 12-inch MacBook's USB-C to USB-C cable to connect the Switch to Nimble's accessory, and began playing Super Mario Odyssey with the Switch at 3 percent battery life at around 11:00 a.m. in the morning. I played all day and the Switch managed to last into the evening with the help of Nimble, with the console charged to 100 percent at 4:45 p.m. that afternoon.

Graphically intense games on Switch last between 2-3 hours, so if you drain the console, use Nimble's 10-Day portable charger while you play, and drain it again, you can essentially get 12 hours of battery on the Switch without needing to re-dock it.


In terms of form factor and utility, the 5-Day portable charger has been my favorite to tote around so far. At just 4.5"x3" the device fits perfectly in my hand, and it takes up less space in my bag than the 8-Day and 10-Day chargers, while still providing a big enough 13,000 mAh battery to justify bringing it along. It's also the smallest one with the most USB-A ports at three, and the point before the portable chargers begin gaining noticeable weight (0.75 lbs for the 5-Day versus 1.03 lbs for the 8-Day).

The 5-Day Portable Charger

Each of these chargers includes a magnetic attachment made of Nimble's speckled TPE, and built to house the USB-C cable. It attaches to the bottom of the portable charger, and a notched flap allows you to save the cord with the charger. While I like Nimble's ongoing effort to promote organization and cable management, I again found its execution to be less than ideal.

The magnets on the attachment aren't very strong (although they improve in the updated accessory Nimble sent me), and the belt that holds the cable can be finicky to handle. I usually found it quicker to store Nimble's USB-C cable with the other cords in my backpack and forgo the built-in organization.


For normal charging, across Nimble's line of devices I tracked a full iPhone X charge from below 10 percent to 100 percent at a range between two to three hours. For example, the 8-Day Portable Charger fueled my iPhone from 8 percent at 6:50 pm to 100 percent at 9:25 pm. In another test, the 10-Day Portable Charger charged my iPhone from 10 percent at 4:30 pm to 100 percent at 6:46 pm. The 3-Day and 5-Day chargers fared similarly in their tests.


Although the magnets were poor, Nimble's portable chargers never failed where it mattered and they all worked consistently throughout my testing, without any faulty USB ports or spotty charge readings from any of the accessories.

Bottom Line


Nimble has a solid selection of accessories to offer its customers, who should be satisfied with their purchases despite a few disappointments in the well-intended cable management designs and other features.


The svelte wireless chargers are perfectly tailored to anyone who travels a lot or prefers chargers with small footprints, and the portable chargers come in enough sizes to provide reliable on-the-go charging for a smartphone, tablet, and more.

How to Buy


Nimble only sells its devices online in an effort to reduce the cost of the products, so you can find them all on Gonimble.com or on Amazon. The best place to buy them over the next two weeks will be on Nimble's own site, however, since the company has a big Thanksgiving and Cyber Week sale outlined for the holidays.

Nimble will begin by offering 30 percent off featured items on its online storefront and 20 percent off everything else in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Today, this means the entire website is 20 percent off, and the Wireless Dual Pad ($34.97, down from $49.95) and 8-Day Portable Charger ($48.97, down from $69.95) are both 30 percent off. To see what else will be featured in Nimble's holiday discounts, be sure to visit our Black Friday Roundup.

Nimble provided MacRumors with its lineup of products for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

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Satechi Launches New USB-C Wireless Charger for Qi-Based iPhones

Mon, 19 Nov 2018 08:00:48 PST
Satechi today announced the launch of a new Aluminum Type-C PD & QC Wireless Charger that's designed to charge iPhone and Android devices at their maximum wireless charging speeds.

For iPhones, that means the wireless charger will offer 7.5W charging speeds, while Android devices will charge at up to 10W.


Satechi's new wireless charger is a flat charger that's made from silver or space gray aluminum with a black mat at the top to keep the smartphone from shifting around while charging.

According to Satechi, the wireless charger has multiple safety features built in, including temperature protection and foreign object detection that will turn the charger off if unwanted metal objects or temperature spikes are detected.


An integrated LED light is included to let users know when a device is charging, and light color will vary based on charging speed.

Satechi's Aluminum Type-C PD & QC Wireless Charger can be purchased from the Satechi website or from Amazon for $44.99. A quick charge adapter is not included and will need to be purchased separately for maximum charging speeds.

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.

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Apple Maps Collecting Pedestrian Data Starting in California, Likely to Improve Walking Directions

Mon, 19 Nov 2018 07:26:24 PST
Last month, a person wearing an Apple Maps backpack with LiDAR equipment was spotted at the intersection of Stockton and Sutter streets in San Francisco, suggesting Apple now has employees collecting street-level data on foot.

Apple Maps employee with a LiDAR-equipped backpack via Dante Cesa

Apple has since confirmed that its Maps team will be collecting pedestrian data in California over the next month, starting with the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara, the last of which includes the likes of San Jose and Apple's hometown of Cupertino.

The pedestrian-based street-level data will likely be used to improve walking directions in Apple Maps, as part of Apple's plans to rebuild the app "from the ground up" with its own first-party data, starting in California.

"We wanted to take this to the next level," said Apple Maps chief Eddy Cue, in an interview with TechCrunch in June. "We have been working on trying to create what we hope is going to be the best map app in the world, taking it to the next step. That is building all of our own map data from the ground up."


As part of the revamp, Apple Maps will begin to feature pedestrian pathways that are commonly walked but previously unmapped. Apple Maps will also more accurately display foliage like grass and trees, buildings, parking lots, sports fields, and more, with many of these improvements already available in California in iOS 12.

Apple said the improvements will extend across the United States over the next year, but there is no timeline for a broader rollout. The ball is rolling internationally, as Apple Maps vehicles have surveyed parts of Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.


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Apple Reportedly Cuts iPhone XS and iPhone XR Production Orders Amid Lower-Than-Expected Demand

Mon, 19 Nov 2018 06:00:42 PST
In recent weeks, Apple slashed production orders for its latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR models due to "lower-than-expected demand," among other reasons, according to unnamed sources cited by The Wall Street Journal.


The report claims the production cuts have hit the iPhone XR hardest, with Apple said to have slashed its production plan for the device by "up to a third of the approximately 70 million units" it had asked some suppliers to produce between September and February, amounting to a reduction of up to 23.3 million units or so.

And in the past week, the report claims Apple told several suppliers that it cut its production plan again for the iPhone XR, as it battles a mature smartphone market and increasing competition from Chinese vendors like Huawei.

The production cuts are said to have "reignited frustration" among iPhone suppliers and "raised worries about Apple's ability to forecast demand."

We've heard this narrative before. Last year, a flurry of reports variously referred to the iPhone X as a "failure," "disappointment," and "flop." Another report said the iPhone X "did not live up to the hype." Yet, the iPhone X went on to become not only the top-selling iPhone at Apple, but in the entire world.

Apple also reported record-breaking iPhone revenue of $61.5 billion in the iPhone X launch quarter, so the device was anything but a flop.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has dismissed these kind of reports in the past. During an earnings call in January 2013, he noted that the company's supply chain is very complex and that conclusions shouldn't be drawn from singular data points:
Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant to our business. The supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for things. Yields can vary, supplier performance can vary. There is an inordinate long list of things that can make any single data point not a great proxy for what is going on.
Apple's financial chief Luca Maestri has also cautioned about trying to determine iPhone demand based on potentially misleading supply chain reports.

It is possible, however, that Apple is increasingly struggling to forecast iPhone demand. Today's report claims that Apple was "excessively optimistic" about its initial production forecast for the iPhone X, which it proceeded to slash "by some 20 million units" for the first three months of 2018.

Unfortunately, iPhone sales will be less transparent going forward, as Apple announced that it will no longer disclose iPhone unit sales in its earnings reports starting with the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year.

Justifying the move, Maestri said unit sales are "not particularly relevant for our company at this point," as they are "not necessarily representative of the underlying strength of our business." He added that Apple may provide qualitative commentary related to unit sales if the info is valuable to investors.

Apple will still disclose iPhone revenue on a quarterly basis, however, and any significant year-over-year decline in that amount would help indicate if iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR demand is truly lower than expected.

AAPL is down nearly 15 percent since Apple's earnings report on November 1.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR

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PayPal on eBay Discounts $100 App Store and iTunes Gift Cards to $85

Mon, 19 Nov 2018 05:30:20 PST
PayPal on eBay today is offering $100 App Store and iTunes gift cards for $85, marking the latest 15 percent discount on the cards and a good chance for those who have been waiting on a deal to get free iTunes credit. While the sale lasts, anyone with a PayPal account can take advantage of the deal, and you'll receive the code for the iTunes credit via email within a few hours after the purchase.

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

The gift card will be valid only on purchases made in the United States App and iTunes Stores. Like all iTunes gift card sales, this is a great opportunity to stock up on iTunes credit at a reduced price, which you can put towards third-party app subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu, iTunes movie rentals, iBooks purchases, and your Apple Music subscription. As the holidays approach, this is also a good time to stock up on gifts for friends, or store the credit in your own iTunes account for Apple's yearly movie discounts.

PayPal's iTunes gift card sales can last anywhere from a few hours to a day or two, so be sure to head over to the Digital Gifts eBay store and pick up your iTunes gift card while the discount lasts.

Since we're just four days out from Black Friday, it's also worth noting that more Black Friday sales have appeared at a few retailers, including an Early Access sale for My Best Buy members at Best Buy. This event has notable discounts on Beats headphones, Apple's iMac, Philips Hue lights, and more.


Best Buy also has the Apple Watch Series 3 for $50 off, but remember that Macy's and Target will have these models for as much as $80 off on Black Friday, so you should hold off for one of those sales if you're interested. Check out our full Black Friday Roundup for information on these discounts and more.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Tim Cook Discusses Apple's Google Search Engine Deal, User Privacy, and 'Inevitable' Tech Regulation

Mon, 19 Nov 2018 04:45:12 PST
Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared on HBO on Sunday in a pre-recorded interview with Axios, in which he discussed several issues including Apple's relationship with Google and the need for privacy regulations in the technology sector.

During the interview, which was conducted at Apple Park, Cook emphasized user privacy as a "core value" of Apple's that reaches way back to before smartphones had become a feature of people's daily lives.

It's not that it fits in with what we do, it's that this is a core value of ours. If you look back over time, we were talking about privacy well before iPhone, so we've always believed that privacy was at the core of our civil liberties. This is not a matter of privacy versus profits or privacy versus technical innovation. That's a false choice. What we've done is, your device has incredible intelligence about you, but I don't have to have all of that as a company.
Given Apple's policy on user data privacy, Cook was then asked by Axios reporters why he was comfortable taking billions of dollars from Google to make it Apple's default search engine. Cook responded to the question by highlighting the additional security and privacy measures that its Safari browser provides.
I think [Google's] search engine is the best. Look at what we've done with the controls we've built in. We have private web browsing, we have intelligent tracker prevention. What we've tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day. It's not a perfect thing – I'd be the first person to say that – but it goes a long way to helping.
Google paid Apple nearly $3 billion in 2017 to remain as the default search engine on iPhones and iPads, according to U.S. research and brokerage firm Bernstein. Apple's iOS devices are said to contribute about 50 percent to Google's mobile search revenue.

Elsewhere in the interview, Cook covered the issue of government regulation of user privacy, saying he was "not a big fan of regulation" but a "big believer" in the free market. "But we have to admit when the free market's not working, and it hasn't worked here," Cook admitted. "I think it's inevitable that there will be some level of regulation."

Cook has called for "well-crafted" government regulation in the past, most recently following the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the latter amassed data on 50 million Facebook users without their consent.

Cook was also asked by Axios whether he was concerned about the male-dominated culture in the tech industry. The Apple CEO said he thought Silicon Valley had been open and accepting to many different people from different walks of life, but that when it came to gender, the Valley had "missed it" and so had the technology industry in general.
"We spend a lot of time on this and we're constantly asking ourselves how we can improve more and listening to what our folks tell us, and I believe others are doing that too," Cook said. "I'm actually encouraged at this point that there will be a marked improvement over time."
Cook also revealed in interview that his daily routine involves rising just before 4:00 a.m. each morning, reading through user comments for an hour, and then heading to the gym for an hour, which helps him "keep stress at bay."

The full HBO interview has yet to be made available online, but we'll post a link in this article if and when it does.

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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How to Rebuild the Spotlight Index on Your Mac

Sat, 17 Nov 2018 10:25:24 PST
Apple has enhanced Spotlight search in macOS in recent years, with the addition of Spotlight Suggestions allowing it to tap into a variety of online data sources like weather and sports. Nevertheless, helping you find apps, documents and other files stored on your Mac is still what Spotlight does best.

That's not to say its core function is infallible, however. If Spotlight can't find files that you know exist on your Mac, or if it stops prioritizing results based on your earlier searches, then it's probably a sign that your system's search index is damaged somehow.

If you're experiencing odd behavior when using Spotlight, you should try rebuilding its search database index. There are Terminal commands that will do the job, but you can achieve the same result via the regular macOS user interface in just a few quick steps. Here's how.

  1. Select System Preferences... from the Apple () menu at the top left of your screen.

  2. Click the Spotlight pane.

  3. Click the Privacy tab.

  4. Click the Add (+) button.

  5. Select the folder or disk whose index you wish to re-build, then click Choose. Alternatively, drag the folder or disk into the list. We've chosen Documents in our example.

  6. In the same list, click the folder or disk that you just added and then click the Remove (-) button.

  7. Click the red traffic light button to close System Preferences.
Once you've completed these steps, Spotlight will begin reindexing the contents of the folder(s) or disk(s) you chose, which may take some time and a few processor cycles. Depending on which version of macOS you're running, you may see a rebuild progress indicator in Spotlight's menu bar item. With a bit of luck, your Spotlight problems will have been resolved once indexing is complete.

You can also perform a system-wide re-index of the Spotlight database, among many other optimizations, using Titanium Software's free Onyx utility, which is available for all recent versions of macOS.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave

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Walmart Overtakes Apple to Become Third Largest Online Retailer in U.S.

Sat, 17 Nov 2018 10:02:40 PST
Apple has ceded its position to Walmart as the third largest online retailer in the U.S., according to a new report out this week (via TechCrunch).

Research provider eMarketer Retail calculates that Walmart is set to capture 4 percent of all online retail spending in 2018, up from 3.3 percent the previous year, while Apple will claim a 3.9 percent share, up from 3.8 percent in 2017.


Walmart, which includes Sam's Club and Jet.com, will see its sales total $20.91 billion by the end of the year, thanks to a 39.4 percent increase in e-commerce. In contrast, Apple's online sales will grow by 18 percent this year, a slowdown attributed to declining domestic smartphone sales.
Importantly, Walmart has one of the fastest growing ecommerce businesses. This year, its online sales will grow 39.4%. Wayfair, an online-only retailer, beats it slightly with a 40.1% growth rate. Meanwhile, Apple will grow just over 18% this year—less than last year— as domestic sales for smartphones and other consumer electronic devices begin to slow down. Its ecommerce share will remain virtually unchanged at 3.9% this year.
Both companies still trail first-placed Amazon, which is set to command a whopping 48 percent share of all e-commerce sales, up from 43.1 percent the previous year. Amazon will take in more than $252.10 billion domestically this year, according to eMarketer. eBay meanwhile remains in second place, with a 7.2 percent share of all online retail sales, down from 7.6 percent.


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