Mac Rumors

Apple Celebrates Groundbreaking of New Reno Warehouse With Visit From Apple CEO Tim Cook

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:39:01 PST
Apple today started construction on a new warehouse in downtown Reno, Nevada, with the site visited this afternoon by Apple CEO Tim Cook, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, reports the Reno Gazette-Journal.

In a speech given at the groundbreaking of the warehouse, which is located near the company's Reno data center, Cook said the data center is a key component in the ecosystem that provides billions of iMessages, photos, and FaceTime calls to customers around the world each day.

"We've invested $1.6 billion in the region today and over the course of the next six years, we intend to invest an additional $1 billion," said Cook.
"Reno plays an incredibly important role in the products and services that we provide our customers worldwide. Without the data center here, none of this would be possible."
Apple's presence in Reno kicked off in 2012 with the construction of its data center. As part of that deal Apple was required to build a facility in the downtown Reno tourism improvement district, hence the warehouse.

Apple plans to use the upcoming Reno, Nevada warehouse to move equipment to the data center, which Apple allowed the Reno Gazette-Journal to tour today following Cook's speech.

Image via the Reno Gazette-Journal

The site shared nearly 50 photos captured from inside the data center, filled with racks and racks of the servers that power Apple services. The images provide glimpses at Apple's server setup, cabling, cooling operations, cleaning rooms, and more.


Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Apple Paying Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston $1.25M Per Episode for Upcoming Morning Show Drama

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:51:25 PST
Apple is paying Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston "upward of $1.25 million" a piece for each episode of their upcoming morning talk show drama series, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The show, which is based on Brian Stelter's non-fiction book "Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV" explores the drama-filled lives of the men and women who star on morning talk shows.


Witherspoon and Aniston's $1.25 million salary per episode includes fees for executive producing and points on the show's backend, as both are serving as executive producers on the series. Apple has already ordered 20 episodes of the show, split into two seasons.

Witherspoon's high salary on Apple's new television show drove up the price of her salary on the second season of HBO's "Little Big Lies," for which she will receive $1 million per episode.

One Hollywood agent told The Hollywood Reporter that if HBO matches Apple's price, "it inflates the whole ecosystem of TV actor salaries." HBO programming president Casey Bloys wasn't as concerned, though.
"It's not a shock to anybody that having a second season of an ongoing series is easier to have with those deals in place," HBO programming president Casey Bloys tells THR. "Every outlet has to make their own decisions about economics that make sense for them. I'm not going to shake my fist and say, 'Darn it, Apple!' If that's what made sense for them for that show, God bless."
In addition to the morning show drama, Apple is working on two other TV shows with Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine production company with Witherspoon serving a executive producer. One is "Are You Sleeping," a psychological thriller starring Octavia Spencer, while the other is an untitled comedy series starring Kristen Wiig.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Apple Plans $350 Billion Boost to U.S. Economy Over 5 Years, 20,000 New Jobs, and a New Campus [Updated]

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:28:43 PST
Apple today highlighted its plan to to bolster the U.S. economy through job creation, existing investments, and new investments, with the company on target to contribute $55 billion to the economy in 2018 and $350 billion over the course of the next five years.

Along with its $350 billion contribution through direct employment, investment with domestic suppliers, and the App Store economy, Apple will increase its Advanced Manufacturing Fund from $1 billion to $5 billion.


The Advanced Manufacturing Fund is designed to create jobs in the United States through investments in Apple suppliers. Apple has already invested $200 million in Corning, maker of Gorilla Glass, and $390 million in Finisar, a supplier that makes vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) components found in the iPhone X's True Depth camera.
"Apple is a success story that could only have happened in America, and we are proud to build on our long history of support for the US economy," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We believe deeply in the power of American ingenuity, and we are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness. We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible."
Apple plans to repatriate much of its overseas profits and expects to pay taxes of $38 billion when doing so, which Apple says is likely to be the largest payment of this kind ever made. That tax payment, combined with its U.S. investments and planned capital expenditures, will account for $75 billion of its projected $350 billion contribution.

Apple will be paying 15.5 percent in taxes to repatriate its overseas cash, suggesting the company plans to repatriate approximately $245 billion, or nearly all of its foreign money.

Apple will create 20,000 new jobs and spend $30 billion hiring new employees at its existing campus and opening a new campus. Apple has a new campus in the works that will "initially house technical support for customers." Its location will be announced later in the year.

More than $10 billion of Apple's planned capital expenditures will be investments in data centers across the United States, with Apple breaking ground on a new facility in Reno, Nevada starting today.

Apple's final plan to bolster the economy is through education. The company will expand its current coding initiatives that are designed to help people learn how to create iOS apps using Swift and it will increase funding for ConnectED to help students in "historically underserved communities" learn coding skills.

Update: Apple today also told employees that it will issue a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units following the introduction of the new U.S. tax law. Stock grants will be issued to most employees below a director level worldwide "in the coming months."

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.
Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of tvOS 11.2.5 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:08:55 PST
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming tvOS 11.2.5 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fifth beta and more than a month after the release of tvOS 11.2.1, an update that introduced a fix for a HomeKit vulnerability.

Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the new tvOS 11.2.5 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode.


We don't yet know what features or changes might be included in the tvOS 11.2.5 update, but it likely focuses primarily on bug fixes and performance improvements rather than major outward-facing changes.

There were no outward-facing changes discovered in the first five developer betas, but we'll update this post should new features be found in the sixth beta.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of iOS 11.2.5 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:08:42 PST
Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.2.5 update to developers, one week after seeding the fifth beta and a little over a week after releasing iOS 11.2.2, an update designed to mitigate a serious hardware-based vulnerability called "Spectre."

Registered developers can download the iOS 11.2.5 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


iOS 11.2.5 introduces a new feature that lets Siri play daily news podcasts when queried about the current news. Siri will offer up news from The Washington Post by default, but you can also choose to switch to Fox News, CNN, or NPR.

The new audio news feature, which appears to have been developed for use with Apple's upcoming HomePod speaker, is invoked when using Hey Siri or asking Siri about the news when using CarPlay or with headphones connected - essentially any situation where you're not looking at the display of an iOS device. If you activate Siri using the side button or Home button of a device, standard Apple news headlines are provided instead of the audio-based news highlights. This new feature is also available on devices running iOS 11.2.2 as of this week.

It's not clear what other new features, if any, will be included in the iOS 11.2.5 beta. We didn't discover other noticeable outward-facing changes in the first five iOS 11.2.5 betas, so it's possible this update focuses mainly on bug fixes and security improvements aside from the Siri news update.

If that's the case, we may not know the extent of what's in the update until it sees a public release. Apple is supposed to be releasing an iCloud Messages feature that was pulled from the iOS 11 release, but there has been no indication of when we can expect iCloud Messages to be reintroduced.

Should new features be discovered in the sixth beta of iOS 11.2.5, we'll update this post.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Apple Orders Comedy Series Starring Kristen Wiig

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:46:46 PST
Apple has placed an order for a 10-episode half-hour comedy show starring Kristen Wiig, reports Variety. The show is said to be based on the upcoming "You Think It, I'll Say It" short story collection by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Curtis Sittenfeld's book features 10 stories that "upend assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided," according to its description on Amazon. It was created by Colleen McGuinness, who worked on "30 Rock," "Mercy," and "About a Boy."

Image via Esquire

The television show will be Wiig's first regular role since leaving "Saturday Night Live" in 2012. Over the course of the last few years, Wiig has focused heavily on movies, starring in "Bridesmaids," "The Martian," and "Ghostbusters."

Wiig will serve as an executive producer on the comedy alongside Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter, with author Sittenfeld serving as a consulting producer.

The new Kristen Wiig comedy is the third show Apple is working on alongside Reese Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine company. Witherspoon herself will star in an upcoming morning show drama alongside Jennifer Aniston, and she's also executive producing "Are You Sleeping," a psychological thriller starring Octavia Spencer.

Other TV shows in the works at Apple include Steven Spielberg sci-fi series "Amazing Stories," an untitled space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, known for "Battlestar Galactica," "Home," a docuseries that will look at extraordinary houses, and "See," an epic world-building drama set in the future.

Apple is also said to be in a bidding war for a new sci-fi drama series penned by J.J. Abrams.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Design Ethicist Imagines How Apple Could Help Combat Tech Addiction in Future iOS Updates

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:11:48 PST
A little over one week after Apple investors urged the company to do more to protect children from smartphone addiction, a new column by The New York Times writer Farhad Manjoo has looked into potential ideas that Apple could implement in a future iOS update to curb addiction for all users, including kids.

Manjoo spoke with Tristan Harris, former design ethicist for Google and owner of Time Well Spent -- an organization that works to improve technology's impact on society -- and Harris offered a few suggestions for ways Apple could help combat smartphone addiction. While Harris's ideas are not confirmations for features coming to iOS in 2018 and beyond, it is an interesting glimpse into potential solutions Apple might implement if it decides to tackle this issue down the line.


To start, he suggested a way for Apple to offer feedback on the iOS devices that customers use, imagining a weekly report that would include the time spent within apps in a sort of ranking system. Users could then set prompts for future weeks that would pop up when their time spent in a specific app is reaching their set limit.
Imagine if, once a week, your phone gave you a report on how you spent your time, similar to how your activity tracker tells you how sedentary you were last week. It could also needle you: “Farhad, you spent half your week scrolling through Twitter. Do you really feel proud of that?” It could offer to help: “If I notice you spending too much time on Snapchat next week, would you like me to remind you?”
Harris then focused on notifications, which have long been an area that iOS users have asked to be updated. The new idea was for more granular, "priority level" notifications that Apple would require to be placed on every app. Harris explained there would be three levels for "heavy users, regular users and lite, or Zen," and then Apple would have to pen the rules for which notifications would go to each level.

So, for example, if someone chose the medium "regular" level, a DM from a friend on Instagram would appear on the lock screen. But at the same time, something less important -- like when Instagram sends out a reminder to view a friend's Story -- would be prevented from appearing. "And then Apple could say, by default, everyone is in the middle level — and instantly it could save a ton of users a ton of energy in dealing with this," Harris explained.

If Apple implemented similar features, Manjoo pointed out that it could set a precedent for the industry as a whole.
Every tech company needs a presence on the iPhone or iPad; this means that Apple can set the rules for everyone. With a single update to its operating system and its app store, Apple could curb some of the worst excesses in how apps monitor and notify you to keep you hooked (as it has done, for instance, by allowing ad blockers in its mobile devices). And because other smartphone makers tend to copy Apple’s best inventions, whatever it did to curb our dependence on our phones would be widely emulated.
Following the investors' open letter last week, Apple stated that it thinks about its products' impact on users, and it takes this responsibility "very seriously." With a larger spotlight being shined on the issue, Harris said that now is Apple's "time to step up" and really get behind anti-addiction features for its devices. Harris went on to say that in regards to this problem, Apple "may be our only hope."


Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

HomePod Should Launch 'Soon' as Inventec Begins Shipments to Apple

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 06:19:40 PST
HomePod supplier Inventec has begun shipping the smart speaker to Apple, with an initial shipment "of about 1 million units," according to industry sources speaking with the Taipei Times. Apple is said to have sent out a shipment notice to companies in the HomePod supply chain in early January, and now that the first supplier has answered the notice one source stated that HomePod should be launching "soon."

As the first batch of HomePods makes its way to Apple, a release date for the delayed smart speaker has yet to be confirmed by the company, although it did state HomePod will debut in "early 2018." Traditionally, Apple’s definition of "early" is January through April.


Inventec's revenue from the HomePod is expected to be "limited" this quarter due to the low quantity initial shipment. This falls in line with Inventec's own statement from last August, when it warned that supplies for HomePod might be limited at launch, similar to most Apple product launches. Following the launch, HomePod shipments for all of 2018 are expected to grow to between 10 million and 12 million units.
“The Taiwanese company has begun HomePod shipments. However, revenue contribution from the product to Inventec is expected to be limited this quarter, as the initial shipment is not large,” a source in HomePod’s supply chain told the Taipei Times by telephone on condition of anonymity.
Industry sources said that Inventec and second HomePod supplier Foxconn will fulfill an even half of these orders. Furthermore, the HomePod's delay was said to be caused by "fine-tuning of software and hardware integration."

When it does launch, HomePod will be Apple's first entry into the smart speaker market, currently dominated by Amazon Echo and Google Home. During its unveiling of the product, Apple said that HomePod is more music-focused than its rivals with high-quality sound and microphone technology, spatial awareness, touch controls, and more, all powered by an A8 chip.

Related Roundup: HomePod

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

BMW Plans to Turn CarPlay Into Subscription-Based Service Next Year

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 05:35:15 PST
BMW plans to offer CarPlay as a subscription-based service beginning next year, rather than charge a one-time fee, reports The Verge.


The automaker will charge $80 per year for access to CarPlay starting next year, with no fee during the first year of ownership of a new BMW, according to Don Smith, technology product manager for BMW North America.

BMW currently charges a $300 upgrade fee to drivers who want CarPlay, available in its 2017 model year and newer vehicles.

Smith believes switching to a subscription-based pricing system will provide BMW owners with more flexibility. "This allows the customer to switch devices," he said, while mentioning Android as a specific example.

BMW doesn't currently support Android Auto, although Smith said Google Assistant is coming to new BMW models later in 2018.

Smith also argued that the annual fee could actually work out to be cheaper for somebody with an average length lease, as the total cost after four years after the free first year of access would be $240, cheaper than the one-time $300 charge.

Of course, those who don't trade in their BMW once every four years can expect the CarPlay subscription fees to add up significantly over the long term. All the while, many other automakers now offer CarPlay as a standard feature.

BMW may ultimately decide against this idea if it receives enough negative feedback from customers, but we'll have to wait and see.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: BMW

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Apple Earns Sixth Place on 'Top 100 Global Technology Leaders' List

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 05:25:15 PST
Thomson Reuters today published its first "Top 100 Global Technology Leaders" list, designed to pinpoint and celebrate "the industry's most operationally sound and financially successful organizations." The list's top five companies are Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, IBM, and Alphabet.

Apple sits in sixth place, followed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, SAP, Texas Instruments, and Accenture. Thomson Reuters explained that it assessed each company using a 28-data-point algorithm to "objectively identify organizations with the fortitude for the future in today's complex business environment."


Specifically, each company saw its performance in eight categories measured before being ranked: Financial, Management and Investor Confidence, Risk and Resilience, Legal Compliance, Innovation, People and Social Responsibility, Environmental Impact, and Reputation.
"Tech companies operate at warp speed confronting competitive, regulatory, legal, financial, supply chain and myriad other business challenges. Oftentimes, their financial success overshadows their operational integrity, making it difficult to identify those organizations with true longevity for the future," said Alex Paladino, global managing director of the Thomson Reuters Technology Practice Group. "With the Top 100 Global Tech Leaders, we've identified the unique data points that embody technology-industry leadership in the 21st century; congratulations to the companies that made the list."
Outside of the top 10, companies like Amazon, Facebook, Mastercard, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Pegatron made it onto the list. These remaining 90 companies on the list are not ranked, but were measured and added based on the same 28-factor algorithm as the top 10. The entire list was restricted to companies that have at least $1 billion in annual revenue as well.

The full report goes into greater detail and breaks down how each individual category was researched for the companies. For example, the number of granted patents that are issued each year factored into Innovation, and an overall news sentiment and global media score measured a company's Reputation. For Legal Compliance, Thomson Reuters measured the amount of litigation where the company was a defendant "in the areas of employment/labor, intellectual property, commercial law and contracts, civil rights, and unfair competition."

The researchers didn't go into Apple's performance statistics for each of the eight categories, but they did provide a few tidbits about the overall rankings. In total, 45 percent of the 100 companies are headquartered in the United States, followed by Japan and Taiwan tied in second place with 13 companies each, and then India with five. In terms of continents, North America led with 47 companies, Asia followed closely with 38, Europe had 14, and Australia had one (stock transfer company Computershare).

Apple topped a few lists over the past year, including Interbrand's "2017 Best Global Brands," Fortune's "World's Most Admired Companies," and climbing to become the World's Most Profitable Company on the Fortune Global 500 list. Conversely, in December Apple dropped to 84th on Glassdoor's annual list of the best companies to work for in the United States, after earning the 10th spot on the same list years prior in 2012.


Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Apple Suppliers Anxious Over Lower-Than-Expected iPhone 8 Orders Going into 2018

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:58 PST
iPhone suppliers are said to be preparing for low orders from Apple in the first quarter of 2018 because of a combination of seasonal factors and anxiety over reports of slower-than-expected sales of Apple's latest smartphone line-up.

According to DigiTimes' sources in the supply chain, several component suppliers are bracing themselves for low order visibility for the full range of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models.

Component orders for iPhone devices will come 15-30% less than expected for the first quarter due mostly to seasonal factors, but some sources argued that the slower-than-expected sales of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have dragged down the momentum for the iPhone X.
The report highlights signs of declining order visibility for Apple's flagship phones that appeared as early as the fourth quarter of 2017, which is said to have led some suppliers to plan for temporary halts in production during the month of February.

Another influencing factor on the decision is the weeklong Lunar New Year holidays, which significantly reduce capacity utilization rates, according to the same sources.

Several upstream suppliers are reportedly cognizant of the need to control their inventory levels to offset the possible impact of low orders, including those for memory chips, camera modules, 3D sensing modules, PCBs and IC backend service firms.

Reports remain conflicted about actual iPhone X sales since the smartphone was launched in September. Recent OS data from Kantar Worldpanel indicated "stellar" performance of the iPhone X in multiple markets around the world during November, amid an overall "mixed performance" for iOS devices from September to November 2017.

However, in December 2017, sources in the semiconductor packaging and testing service industry claimed that pre-orders for the iPhone X were not as strong as expected in some markets. Numerous reports in recent weeks have weighed in on the topic of sales, with many analysts predicting weakened demand in Q1 2018 now that early adopters have received their iPhone X.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Nomad Launches New 4-Port Wireless Charging Hub With Support for Fast Charging

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:00:31 PST
Nomad today announced the launch of its new Wireless Charging Hub, which is designed to be the ultimate desktop hub for iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus users.

The top of the Hub is a wireless charging pad that offers up to 7.5W of wireless charging power for Apple's glass-backed iPhones, and underneath, there are four additional ports.


Three are USB-A ports meant for charging all kinds of devices, and one is a USB-C port that offers 15W of power for fast charging the iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus with a USB-C to Lightning cable.

Ahead of the launch of the Wireless Charging Hub, I was able to spend some hands-on time with it. The hub a bit larger than the average wireless charger, but it doesn't take up too much space on my desk. The top, where the wireless charging coil is located, is covered with a rubber material that's designed to add a bit of grip to prevent the iPhone from sliding off from vibrations and bumps.


Five LEDs on the top of the hub let you know exactly what's plugged in and what's still charging. LEDs are green when charging has been completed and orange while power is still being delivered to one of your devices. There's an ambient light sensor that dims the LEDs in a dark room, which is a nice feature.

With support for 7.5W wireless charging, the hub offers the faster wireless charging speeds that were introduced with iOS 11.2, and if you need a lot of juice in a pinch, you can use the USB-C port to fast charge Apple's latest iPhones. USB-C fast charging with a USB-C to Lightning cable can charge your iPhone from 0 to 50 percent in a half an hour.


This is a 15W USB-C port (3A x 5V), so while it's suitable for your iPhone and other USB-C smartphones or devices, it's not enough power for a MacBook or MacBook Pro. Three other 2.1A USB-A ports are included so you can charge up all of your devices and accessories at once. The hub itself is powered by an adapter that plugs into the wall.


One thing to note -- the Wireless Charging Hub does not come with cables and it does not feature any built-in cable hiding mechanism, which is a negative. If you're using this on a desktop, you're probably going to want to purchase smaller Lightning cables to use with it, because it was a huge mess of cables on my desk with the 1m and 0.5m Apple cables.

Nomad recommends its 0.3m Universal Cables with micro-USB, USB-C, and USB-A, but I don't think most people are going to want to pay $30 per cable. Luckily, Amazon has options for affordable shorter iPhone cables that will work well on the desktop. Unfortunately, there are no Apple certified USB-C to Lightning cables that are shorter in length, so you'll need to use the standard 0.5m cable.


When paired with the appropriate cables, the Wireless Charging Hub is a convenient desktop charging accessory. If your iPhone just needs a bit of a top up, it's easy to plunk it down on the wireless charging pad, and if you need more power in a hurry, it's great having an easily accessible USB-C fast charging port.

This isn't a cheap accessory at $80, and you're going to want to make sure you have shorter cables if you want a neat and organized desktop, which can add an additional cost, but it does offer unmatched versatility and convenience if you don't mind the price tag.

You can purchase the new Wireless Charging Hub from Nomad's website for $79.95.

Note: Nomad provided MacRumors with a Wireless Charging Hub for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. This post contains affiliate links and MacRumors may earn commissions on purchases made using those links.

Tag: Nomad

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Experimental Feature Pushes Google's Arts & Culture App to the Top of the Free Apps Chart

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:31:19 PST
Google's Arts & Culture app rocketed to the top of the free app charts over the weekend after one of its experimental interactive features went viral.

Better known for its relatively staid virtual history exhibitions and digitized artworks, the app's sudden popularity is down to the addition of an option near the bottom of its scrolling interface which asks users, "Is your portrait in a museum?"

On tapping the button, the app asks for access to the device's camera and then prompts the user to take a selfie. Their picture is then compared against thousands of digitized artworks in Google's historical database using facial recognition technology, after which a series of closest matches are returned.


The find-your-art-lookalike feature, which was actually added to the app in a December update with little fanfare, apparently drew interest only recently after some users and celebrities began sharing their results on social media.

The option only appears to be available to U.S. users at the moment, but if you'd like to give it a go, you can download the free Google Arts & Culture app from the App Store.

Tag: Google

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Apple's iPhone 7 Plus Was China's Second Best-Selling Smartphone in 2017

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 02:11:25 PST
Apple's iPhone 7 Plus was the second best-selling smartphone in China last year and outperformed iPhone 7 sales by some margin, according to new market research, suggesting price is not the only concern amongst Chinese consumers.

Low-cost smartphones have dominated the Chinese market in recent years, while high-end devices from companies like Apple typically see low sales numbers in the country. But a report from Counterpoint Research reveals Apple's 5.5-inch device reached second place with a 2.8 percent market share overall, while Oppo's similarly sized R9S ended 2017 as the market leader with a 3 percent share. In third and fourth place the Vivo X9 and Oppo A57 took 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent of the market, respectively, while Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone 7 sat in fifth with 2.4 percent, suggesting the smaller form factor display dampened interest amongst consumers.

Apple was the only foreign brand in China's 2017 market top 10, according to the research, thanks to the success of its iPhone 7 series. An uptick in sales in the second half of the year was reportedly due to the implementation of price cuts, which increased Apple's competitiveness against lower-cost local brands. For example, an iPhone 7 Plus with 128GB storage received a 16 percent price cut, putting it around the $900 mark.

The big winner though was Oppo, whose product and pricing strategies were most in sync with the demands of the Chinese market, enabling it to end the year with three different models in the top 10. In terms of product strategy, Oppo focused on selfie and social media features, both of which are popular with Chinese consumers in the high-volume middle-tier market, where smartphones cost between $200 and $400.


According to the report, higher replacement demand and a bigger dependence on mobile apps has spurred fierce competition in China, which is home to the world's biggest smartphone market in terms of sales volume. Apple fared well, however, managing to ship an estimated 11 million iPhones overall in the third quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, according to separate research conducted by Canalys.

The strong growth, buoyed by the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, put an end to six consecutive quarters of declining iPhone sales in the region. Data isn't yet available for the fourth quarter, when the iPhone X launched in China, although the model's high price and supply constraints likely inhibited growth in the short term, despite excitement around all-display/bezel-free phones.

Apple was the fifth largest smartphone maker in China in Q3 2017, behind local brands Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi, according to Canalys data.

Tag: China

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Malicious Link Texted to Mac and iOS Devices Can Cause Freezes and Resprings

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:16:42 PST
A link that exploits a bug in iOS and Mac devices was shared on Twitter this afternoon, and if you receive this link through the Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can freeze up or respring, and the Messages app can become unusable.

The link, which goes to a Github page, breaks the Messages app and causes problems on both iOS devices and Macs. Simply receiving the link results in issues, likely due to the Messages feature that lets you preview web links. We tested the bad link and while we saw few resprings, it did reliably cause the Messages app to freeze entirely.


The only solution appears to be to quit out of the Messages app and then delete the entire offending conversation to restore full functionality.

These kinds of Message-based bugs have surfaced several times in the past, with text strings, videos, and more crashing the Messages app in the past. Such bugs are not serious, but they can be highly irritating when abused as a prank.

It's best not to send the link to friends, because it can cause the sending device to freeze up and crash as well. If your device is affected, quit the Messages app on Mac or iOS, open it back up, and immediately delete the entire message thread.

On Mac, you'll need to swipe right on the trackpad or right click on to the person's name to delete the conversation, while on iOS, you'll need to swipe to the right on a person's name to bring up the delete option.


Blocking the domain using Parental Restrictions may prevent the link from affecting your iOS devices. You can turn on Restrictions on iPhone or iPad by going to Settings <-->> General <-->> Restrictions <-->> Websites <-->> Limit Adult Content and adding "GitHub.io" to the "Never Allow" list.
Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

>>>>

High School Student Interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:28:43 PST
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently took the time out of his busy schedule to do an interview with high school student Rebecca Kahn, and her account of the interview was shared today by the National Center for Women & Information Technology as part of a new "Innovator to Innovator" series to celebrate the upcoming 2018 Aspirations in Computing Awards.

Kahn says that she first emailed Cook when tasked with interviewing a person of interest in technology during her computer class at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina. She wasn't expecting a response, but Cook read her email and agreed to do the interview with her.

Kahn and Cook discussed several topics that are regular favorites of Cook's, including the importance of learning to code at a young age, advocating for more women in tech leadership roles, and the importance for companies to treat everybody with "dignity and respect."

Cook told Kahn that his aim in life is to "work for some higher purpose" that he sees as his "North Star," a goal that has influenced his time at Apple.
Apple is "all about doing just a few things, but the few things that we do, we want to make the very best in the world. Because we believe those make a much larger difference in the world than if we were to focus on just making the most."

While he openly admits to his failures, Tim also optimistically regards them as lessons to avoid repeating. Whenever he feels discouraged, he tells himself to "keep your eye on your North Star, and keep moving" because the "worst thing to do would be to fail and quit. Failure is just temporary, but quitting lasts forever."
Kahn's full account of her interview with Cook, which covers more thoughts from Cook and her impression of the Apple CEO is available on the Aspirations in Computing site.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology plans to share additional conversations that Apple executives have had with Aspirations in Computing community members in future additions to the "Innovator to Innovator" series.

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.


Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

New Siri Podcast News Feature Begins Rolling Out in iOS 11.2.2

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:59:44 PST
A new feature that allows Siri to provide audio-based news updates appears to be rolling out to iOS users, allowing iPhone and iPad users to get audio news updates via the Podcasts app when asking Siri for current news info.

The new audio news feature has been previously seen in the iOS 11.2.5 beta, but until recently it was not available on devices running the current version of iOS. In our testing, the new Siri feature is now accessible on devices running iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.2 (the current version of iOS) and iOS 11.2.5.


When you ask Siri about the news of the day via Hey Siri or another hands-free method, the personal assistant will provide Podcast news from NPR by default in the United States. You can, however, ask Siri to switch to news from Fox News, CNN, or The Washington Post.

In other countries, local news podcasts will be played instead. In the UK, for example, Siri will offer up audio news from BBC, Sky News, or LBC.

The audio news feature, which appears to have been developed primarily for Apple's upcoming HomePod speaker, is invoked when using "Hey Siri" or asking Siri about the news when using CarPlay or headphones. It's essentially designed for situations where you're not looking at your iPhone or iPad's display.

If you activate Siri using the Side or Home button of a device and ask about the news, Siri will instead provide standard text-based news headlines instead of audio news.

The Siri podcast news feature appears to be available on devices running iOS 11 at least as of today, and in our testing, it is confirmed to be working in the United States and the UK.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Apple in Bidding War for J.J. Abrams Sci-Fi Drama

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:25:24 PST
Apple and HBO are embroiled in a bidding war for a new sci-fi drama television series penned by J.J. Abrams, reports Variety.

Little is known about the series at this time, but it's said to deal with a "world's battle against a monstrous, oppressive force," and it marks the first television series Abrams has written since "Fringe" in 2008.


Most recently, Abrams wrote "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and he is working on the upcoming and as of yet untitled "Star Wars: Episode IX." In the past, Abrams has worked on shows that include "Lost," "Felicity," and "Alias."

Abrams would serve as executive producer on the sci-fi series, alongside Ben Stephenson, head of TV for Abrams' Bad Robot Productions. The series would be produced by Warner Bros. Television, and while Variety says Apple and HBO are the top bidders at this time, the studio is open to other bidders.

Apple already has two other sci-fi shows in the works, including a revival of 1985 Steven Spielberg sci-fi series "Amazing Stories" and an untitled space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, known for "Battlestar Galactica."

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

New York Attorney General Leads Filing of Multi-State Lawsuit to Block Rollback of Net Neutrality

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:09:06 PST
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this afternoon announced that he and 22 other Attorneys General have teamed up to file a lawsuit aiming to stop the Federal Communications Commission's planned rollback of net neutrality.

The multi-state lawsuit [PDF] asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the FCC's repeal order, calling it arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion that violates federal law.


"An open internet - and the free exchange of ideas it allows - is critical to our democratic process," Schneiderman said in a statement on his website. "The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers - allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online. This would be a disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet."

The FCC has not filed its new rules with the Federal Register, so the repeal is not yet final, but the lawsuit has been filed out of "an abundance of caution" and to "preserve the right to be included in the judicial lottery procedure." It's essentially the states' way of establishing the first step towards a full challenge of the FCC's decision.


The lawsuit is backed by Attorneys General of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

In related net neutrality news, 50 senators have now endorsed a legislative measure to override the FCC's net neutrality repeal, reports The Washington Post. With one additional Republican vote, a Senate resolution of disapproval will be able to be passed, but it will still need to make it to the House and be signed by President Trump.

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.


Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article

Review: Ten One Design's Mountie+ Turns Your iPad Into a Second Screen Attached to Your Mac

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:38:54 PST
Ten One Design's new Mountie+ is an update to its existing Mountie, a device that's designed to allow you to attach an iPad or iPhone to your laptop for use as a second display. The Mountie+, which I've been using for the last few weeks, was created for Apple's larger 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad models.

With the Mountie+, I can attach an iPad to the left side, right side, or top of my MacBook Pro using a simple double clamp mechanism. Made from plastic, one side of the clamp buckles onto my MacBook Pro, while the other side is meant to hold the iPad. I had to take my iPad Pro's Smart Cover off to use Mountie+, but it will work with slim cases attached.


The clamp works using soft pieces of grippy rubber to grasp both the display of the MacBook Pro and the iPad Pro, and there are different sized rubber inserts to fit different devices. The grip is super tight and fitted to both devices, so the iPad Pro is going absolutely nowhere while in the Mountie+. There is absolutely no slippage, and even when I pull on my iPad with a good amount of force, it does not budge.


The first Mountie+ I had actually gripped my MacBook Pro too tight and caused visible distortion to the display even with the correct inserts. I was concerned about long term damage, so Ten One Design sent a replacement. The second Mountie+ had no issues with fit and did not cause prolonged screen distortion when I clamped it shut.


For the record, if you have one that fits a little tight like I did, Ten One Design will swap it out for you. To be honest, I'm still mildly concerned about the pressure the mount exerts on my MacBook Pro, but the original Mountie has been around for quite awhile and it's not an issue that's been raised, so it appears to be safe.

For my setup, the Mountie+ worked right out of the box, but some people may need to make component swaps. In that situation, I think it's a little unclear how the Mountie+ works and which components are needed -- I felt like Ten One Design needed to include clearer instructions. It's not immediately clear which side of the clamp goes where, nor how you're supposed to position it.


Here's how it works: Open up the buckles on the Mountie+, put the thinner side on the MacBook Pro with the smaller tabs facing the display side, and then put the thicker side on the iPad Pro. Line everything up and then close the buckle to clamp it all down tight.

Fit wise, the Mountie+ cuts into the display of my MacBook Pro and blocks a small bit of the display, and the same goes for my iPad. It's distracting at first, but I positioned it in an area where there's nothing that I need to see (my dock), so it's less bothersome.


It's absolutely something to be aware of, though, if you have a 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro with the slimmer bezels. On older models, there's no obstruction because the bezels of the device are thicker. I can charge an iPad while it's attached to my MacBook Pro because the Mountie+ leaves the Lightning port accessible.


I primarily tested the Mountie+ with my 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which I positioned in portrait mode to the right of my display where I could access it easily with my right hand for touch gestures. I used the iPad for things like Twitter, watching videos, and keeping an eye on the news while I worked during the day, and it was super handy to have an extra display right there within eye view.


If you pair this with screen mirroring software like Duet Display, it can serve as a full secondary display for your Mac. Though I had mine in portrait mode on the right side, the Mountie+ can be used anywhere on the MacBook and with your iPad in portrait or landscape orientation.


I did use the Mountie+ with my 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but it felt too heavy and unstable. Even with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro attached to my MacBook Pro, I was worried about its top heaviness and the extra weight pressure on the hinge of my machine. Ten One Design recommends making sure heavier tablets paired with lighter laptops are positioned with the bottom of the tablet resting on a desk, which does help take the pressure off of the MacBook.

Mounting the 10.5-inch iPad Pro on the left and right sides of my MacBook Pro worked well, but on the top, it was too much weight and I couldn't reliably keep it stable. You could use the Mountie+ at the top of the display with a smaller iPad like the iPad mini, or an iPhone, but it doesn't work well with a top-mounted iPad Pro.


While I liked having my iPad Pro positioned right next to my MacBook Pro, I did find myself wishing there was a way to tilt it towards myself just a bit for a better viewing angle, but that's not really something that's possible. It mounts straight to the side and since the clamps are straight, there's no adjustment possible.

Bottom Line


The Mountie+ is an interesting solution for adding a secondary display to your MacBook Pro using equipment you've already got on hand. It works with all of Apple's laptops and all recent iPad models (iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, etc), and because it has several rubber pad options for different fits, it also works with non-Apple devices.

I don't recommend the Mountie+ for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro unless you're going to be using it on a flat surface, but it works well with the 10.5-inch models on down. I do wish there was an option to tilt the iPad to get a better viewing angle, but that's a minor complaint.

I think the Mountie+ will be of particular interest to those who already use the iPad as a secondary screen with software like Duet Display, but it's also handy if you want to do things like keep an eye on your Twitter feed or watch YouTube videos while using your Mac for other purposes.

Because I've only had an opportunity to use the Mountie+ for a few weeks, I don't personally know if it's going to have any longterm effect on the hinge or the display of a MacBook, but Mountie's website suggests it should not be a problem because the weight of the device is evenly distributed along the length of the Mountie+ to avoid subjecting the hinges to undue stress. Still, I'd recommend using with caution, i.e., don't leave your iPad attached to your MacBook Pro all the time.

At $35, it's not overly expensive and it's a neat little accessory to have on hand whenever you need a second display in a pinch.

How to Buy


Mountie+ can be purchased from the Ten One Design website or Amazon.com for $34.95.

Note: Ten One Design provided MacRumors with a Mountie+ for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.
Discuss this article in our forums

Direct Link to Article