Mac Rumors

Memorial Day Deals: Save on Apple Devices and Accessories from Twelve South, Mophie, Best Buy, and More

Sat, 25 May 2019 06:00:11 PDT
This Monday, May 27 is Memorial Day, a federal holiday in the United States that honors individuals who have died while serving in the Armed Forces. Marking the unofficial beginning of the summer, the holiday also comes with numerous shopping discounts and sales from many companies that sell Apple products and related accessories.

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.

Twelve South


At Twelve South you can save 25 percent site-wide on any purchase of $50 or more. Twelve South sells a large variety of products designed specifically for Apple devices, including popular MacBook cases like the BookBook, the HiRise Duet stand for iPhone and Apple Watch charging, and more.


This sale will last through Monday, May 27, so be sure to visit Twelve South this weekend to place your order.

Pad & Quill


Pad & Quill is offering up to 25 percent off all iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch accessories this weekend. The sale includes markdowns on iPad leather sleeves, iPhone cases, Apple Watch stands, travel organizers, Apple Pencil accessories, and more.


To see the discount, head to Pad & Quill's website, shop through the retailer's accessories, and enter the coupon code MemorialDay at checkout.

Best Buy


Best Buy has one of the bigger sales going on this weekend, discounting everything from refrigerators to the HomePod. Other Apple device savings include the MacBook Pro (up to $400 off), MacBook Air (up to $250 off), Apple Watch Series 4 ($50 off), various iPad models, and more.


Check out some of the sales below and then head to Best Buy to see the full collection before the event ends on Monday, May 27 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Best Buy is also offering free shipping for My Best Buy members.

Mophie


Popular battery accessory company Mophie has a new Memorial Day sale that provides up to 50 percent off Juice Pack iPhone cases, wireless charging mats, Powerstation battery packs, and more.


You'll be limited to ordering three items during the sale, which will last through Tuesday, May 28. Head to Mophie's website to browse the full sale.

Miscellaneous

  • Apple Pay - Get $1 tacos from the Taco Bell app through May 29

  • JBL - Up to 60 percent off speakers, headphones, and more

  • Newegg - Save on TVs, PCs, laptops, Nest devices, and more

  • Scosche - Save on Scosche's iPhone car mounts, Bluetooth speakers, and more

  • Speck - 30 percent off sitewide

  • StackSocial - Up to 60 percent off Mac software like PDF Expert and Adobe apps

  • Zagg - Up to 50 percent off sitewide
Our full Deals Roundup has more information on the latest Apple-related sales and discounts as we head into the summer season.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Apple Confirms ECG Functionality is Coming to Canada 'as Quickly as Possible'

Fri, 24 May 2019 16:34:49 PDT
Apple today told The Canadian Press that it is aiming to bring ECG functionality to Apple Watch Series 4 devices in Canada "as quickly as possible."

The news comes after Health Canada this month approved the ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch Series 4, clearing the way for the features to be released in the country.


Health Canada classified the Apple Watch Series 4 as a Class II medical device, which places it in the "low-to-medium risk" category alongside other products like contact lenses.

Apple launched the ECG app in the United States in December as part of watchOS 5.1.2. It expanded to 19 European countries and Hong Kong in March 2019, and five additional European countries last week.

The ECG app is designed to allow Apple Watch Series 4 readers to place a finger on the Digital Crown to get a single-lead ECG reading, which can detect atrial fibrillation, a condition that can be indicative of major health problems. Irregular heart rhythm notifications are a separate feature, meant to let users know if an unusual heart rhythm is detected so medical attention can be sought.


Apple did not provide specific timing on when we can expect ECG and irregular heart rate notifications to be available in Canada, but it could perhaps come in the watchOS 5.3 update, which is being beta tested right now, or it could be incorporated into watchOS 6, which will be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 3.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Tags: Canada, ECG
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Angela Ahrendts on Apple Retail Criticism: 'I Don't Read Any of it, and None of it is Based on Fact'

Fri, 24 May 2019 16:21:46 PDT
Former Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts today did an interview with Bloomberg, where she spoke about her time at Apple.

The opportunity to take the Apple Store experience "to the next level" and have a greater impact on surrounding communities was one of the reasons why Ahrendts joined Apple. She also cited programs like Today at Apple, designed to "help reskill the current generation," as factors in her decision to work for the Cupertino company.

Ahrendts said that looking back at her tenure, the redesign introduced at Apple retail stores around the world was one of her major successes, as were the Today at Apple classes.
Just as I was saying, I think that we were able to redesign the stores, and there are incredible flagships in the pipeline for the next four years. But they're not even stores, we call them town squares or gathering places because the entire community is welcome. [...]

I think the other thing we were just talking about - the in store experience we call Today at Apple and the fact that we were able to completely redefine and redraft some of the roles and create new positions for the teams and create a whole new zone in the store where they could now educate and come up with all the Today at Apple programs.
When asked about criticism of the changes that Apple put in place in its retail stores, Ahrendts said that she doesn't pay any attention to it. "I don't read any of it, and none of it is based on fact," she said. "It's everyone trying to find stories."

She went on to say that when she left Apple, customer retention rates were at an all-time high and loyalty scores hit historic highs. "I know the facts," said Ahrendts.

Ahrendts said that she has no regrets and there's nothing that she would have changed about her work, though she did wish she had moved faster. "We did a lot in five years, but I always challenge myself to move faster and do more," she said.

All in all, Ahrendts called her time at Apple "mission accomplished" because the company was able to reach the goals of its 5-year plan.
We had a five year plan, we executed that five year plan, and there is a tremendous amount in the pipeline that will only continue to make the impact on the communities that we wanted to make.
Ahrendts left Apple in mid-April and has since joined the board of Airbnb. Her role has been taken over by Deirdre O'Brien, now Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and People.

Ahrendts' full interview can be watched over on Bloomberg.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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iPhone XS Max vs. OnePlus 7 Pro

Fri, 24 May 2019 15:20:51 PDT
OnePlus earlier this month unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 7 Pro, which offers multiple attractive and unique features along with an affordable price tag.

MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera checked out the OnePlus 7 Pro when it first launched, but has spent some more time with it for an in-depth comparison that's been shared on our YouTube channel.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is priced starting at $669, making it significantly cheaper than the iPhone XS Max, which is priced starting at $1,099. Though cheaper, the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't sacrifice many features.

It has a 6.67-inch OLED display that's edge to edge with no bezels aside from a small chin at the bottom. Unlike the iPhone, there's no notch and no cutout for the front-facing camera, and that's because OnePlus has designed a pop out front camera that snaps up when you need to take a selfie.

There have been questions about how durable this pop up camera is, and the short answer is that even though we've spent a bit more time with it, we still don't know how it's going to hold up over time and when exposed to the elements, though it seems to be durable.

The OnePlus offers facial recognition, but as with all Android devices, it's not on par with the iPhone's Face ID. It's 2D image recognition, which means it can't be used for secure operations like making payments. That's fine, because with a pop up camera, it's easier to use the in-display fingerprint sensor.

In-display fingerprint sensors are convenient, but in this case, while it works okay, it's not as fast or as easy to use as Face ID.

The AMOLED display is high-quality and looks great, and there's no denying that no notch is superior to a notch. It does have curved edges at the side, which can make cases and screen protectors inconvenient, but there's the benefit of a 90Hz refresh rate. The iPhone XS Max has a flat display that's more practical, and still just as vivid, bright, and crisp.

When it comes to performance, these are modern smartphones that are equipped with high-end components and in day to day use, both are super quick and you're not going to notice much of a difference between them. The One Plus 7 Pro offers up to 12GB RAM while the iPhone XS Max has 4GB RAM, but Apple has always been better at memory management and thus there's not a discernible difference in performance.

There's a 4,000mAh battery in the OnePlus 7 Pro, but its battery life isn't really beating out the iPhone XS Max. It does win out when it comes to charging, though, because it has a fast charging feature that takes it from 0 to 100 percent in an hour.

The iPhone, of course, has fast charging, but the difference is the OnePlus 7 Pro ships with the power adapter needed to enable the quicker charging while the iPhone doesn't. The OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't have wireless charging though, which is one downside.

There's no water resistance rating on the OnePlus 7 Pro, while the iPhone XS Max has an IP68 rating, meaning it can hold up to submersion in water. OnePlus claims that water resistance certification for the OnePlus 7 Pro would have made each device $30 more expensive and that the smartphone is capable of being soaked in water, but you're going to have to take OnePlus' word for it.

When it comes to the camera, the iPhone XS Max wins. Even though the iPhone's camera is dual lens and not triple lens like the One Plus 7 Pro, the iPhone produces better images. OnePlus has never been known for camera quality, and the company has acknowledged there are issues with the 7 Pro camera. An update is in the works to address some customer complaints, but as is, the iPhone outperforms the OnePlus.

Specifically, highlights are overblown on the OnePlus compared to the iPhone, and the Portrait Mode just isn't as crisp. We did like the ultra wide-angle camera lens, which the iPhone is rumored to be getting in 2019.

The hardware may be similar in terms of ultimate performance between the two smartphones, but there's still a major difference in software, aka iOS vs. Android.

Even though there are pros and cons to both operating systems, most people who are deep into the iOS ecosystem and who prefer iOS devices aren't going to want to venture over into Android even though Android devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro can be much more affordable.

What do you think of the OnePlus 7 Pro? Is its feature set and lower price point worth leaving the Apple ecosystem? Let us know in the comments.


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Apple Acquired Tueo Health, a Startup Developing an Asthma Monitoring App

Fri, 24 May 2019 13:30:59 PDT
Apple in 2018 acquired Tueo Health, a startup working on an app to help parents monitor asthma symptoms in sleeping children, reports CNBC.

Tueo's CEO and COO, Brownwyn Harris and Anura Patil, changed their employers from Tueo to Apple in late 2018, which is perhaps when the acquisition was completed.


An Apple spokesperson declined to comment to CNBC on the acquisition, and it's not known how much Apple paid for the company. It's possible, given the lack of comment from Apple and the absence of the company's standard statement related to acquisitions, that it was an acquihire rather than a traditional acquisition.

Tueo had been working on a mobile app that was designed to pair with commercial breathing sensors to manage asthma symptoms in children. The app was meant to send alerts to parents if a child's breathing changed over the night.
We use commercially available sensors to monitor asthmatic children while they sleep. Our technology leverages the data from these sensors to create a personalized baseline for each child. Alerts are automatically sent to parents when there are deviations from their child's baseline. These alerts are interactive and informative - we provide contextual information and just-in-time education and support to help them better manage their child's asthma.
It's not known if Apple plans to incorporate some sort of related feature into a future product, but there have been rumors that the Apple Watch could include sleep monitoring capabilities in the future.


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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Mac, iPhone, or iPod Plush From Throwboy's Iconic Pillow Collection

Fri, 24 May 2019 11:02:56 PDT
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Throwboy to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a pillow from the Iconic Pillow Collection, which features plush, pillow versions of classic Apple products.

The Iconic Pillow Collection offers up five pillows that mimic the Apple II, released in 1977; the first Macintosh, released in 1984; the iMac G3, which was released in 1998; the iPod, released in 2001; and the iPhone, released in 2007.


Throwboy started out offering the Iconic Pillow Collection on Kickstarter, but now all of the pillows are available individually on the Throwboy website for $39.99.


All of the pillows have been carefully embroidered with details that ensure they look like their hardware counterparts. We have a review coming soon, but I can confirm that the stitching is on point and the quality is excellent.


The design details include a click wheel on the iPod along with ports at the bottom, a rainbow logo on the 1984 pillow (not an Apple logo because of trademark issues) and a floppy disk drive, speakers and disk drive for the iMac G3, a Home button and speaker for the iPhone, and a full keyboard and embroidered display for the Apple II.


Each pillow also uses the correct fabric colors for each machine. The Apple II and the Macintosh are a light beige color, while the iMac G3 is in white and aqua. The iPod is white with a gray click wheel, and the iPhone is silver and black like the original model.


Size wise, these are ideal for throw pillows for a couch or chair, making them a perfect decoration for Apple fans. Each pillow is soft, squishy, and comfortable, both to hold and hug and to lean against. The Mac versions of the pillows are larger than the iPod and the iPhone, though all work well as an alternative to a standard throw pillow on a couch.


We have 10 of the Iconic Pillows to give away to MacRumors readers, and each winner will be able to pick their favorite pillow. To enter to win our giveaway, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

Throwboy Giveaway
The contest will run from today (May 24) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 31. The winners will be chosen randomly on May 31 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.


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iOS 13 Concept Envisions Dark Mode, New Volume Indicator, iPad as Extended Display for Mac, and More

Fri, 24 May 2019 09:35:20 PDT
Just days ahead of WWDC 2019, freelance graphic designer Álvaro Pabesio has shared a new iOS 13 concept that envisions many features and changes rumored for the software update, including a long-awaited Dark Mode, a less obtrusive volume indicator, and the iPad serving as an extended display for the Mac.

Dark Mode can be toggled in Control Center and is applied systemwide for a darker appearance that is easier on the eyes. Several rumors suggest Dark Mode is coming to iOS 13, following in the footsteps of macOS Mojave.


The redesigned volume indicator concept is far less obtrusive than the current one, which has become the subject of memes. Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi recently suggested that a new volume indicator is finally on the horizon in an email to a customer and it looks like it is a lock for iOS 13.


The concept imagines several productivity improvements on the iPad, including a multi-tabbed Files app with a new sidebar and a rumored desktop extension feature that would enable the iPad to be used as a drawing tool for Mac apps.


Other redesigned apps include Reminders, Music, Mail, and Messages, many of which are in fact expected to receive makeovers in iOS 13.


Pabesio also envisions several other features that are not guaranteed for iOS 13, at least not exactly how he imagines them, including a redesigned Notification Center and Control Center, multi-user support on the iPad Pro with Face ID integration, and expandable folders in the iPad's dock.


Apple is widely expected to unveil iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13 at its WWDC 2019 opening keynote on June 3 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors will provide live coverage of Apple's annual developers conference.

Álvaro Pabesio's complete iOS 13 concept can be viewed on Behance.

Related Roundups: WWDC 2019, iOS 13

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Apple Releases iOS 12.3.1 With Fixes for Messages and VoLTE Bugs

Fri, 24 May 2019 09:23:50 PDT
A week and a half after releasing iOS 12.3 with a revamped TV app, Apple today released iOS 12.3.1, a bug fix update that isn't expected to include any significant new features.

The iOS 12.3.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.3.1 is free to download, but it may take some time to propagate to all iOS users.


According to Apple's release notes, iOS 12.3.1 addresses a handful of bugs related to the Messages app and VoLTE calls.
iOS 12.3.1 includes bug fixes for your iPhone and iPad. This update:

- Fixes an issue that could prevent making or receiving VoLTE calls
- Fixes issues in Messages that could cause messages from unknown senders to appear in your conversation list even though Filter Unknown Senders is enabled
- Fixes an issue that could prevent the Report Junk link from appearing in Messages threads from unknown senders
Apple did not offer a developer or public beta testing period for iOS 12.3.1, as is common for bug fix releases that are intended to address only a very few targeted areas and thus don't require significant feedback from users before public release.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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iFixit Finds 2019 MacBook Pro Keyboard Has 'Subtle' Changes to Membrane Cover and Switches

Fri, 24 May 2019 08:12:18 PDT
Apple surprised us with a MacBook Pro refresh earlier this week. 2019 models feature faster Intel processors with up to eight cores for the first time, as well as "new materials" added to the keyboard to hopefully reduce issues such as sticky and repeating keys that prompted Apple's worldwide repair program.


Apple didn't elaborate on the new materials, but the repair experts at iFixit have completed a teardown of the 2019 MacBook Pro and discovered a "subtle change" made to the silicone membrane covering the keyboard switches.

Whereas the membrane in the 2018 MacBook Pro is "semi-opaque" and "feels like silicone," iFixit says the cover in the 2019 model is "clearer and smooth to the touch." Based on infrared analysis, it appears the 2018 membrane was made with polyacetylene, while the 2019 covers uses polyamide, aka nylon.

iFixit also found that the metal dome over each key switch is "subtly different" as well. "It could be a new surface treatment, and/or a tweaked alloy, possibly to alleviate problems with durability, bounce-back, or other issues," they said.

2018 MacBook Pro parts on left, 2019 MacBook Pro parts on right in each image

Beyond the keyboard, the 2019 MacBook Pro has few changes, as this was merely a spec bump. The notebook still earns iFixit's lowest repairability score, as the processor, RAM, and flash storage remain soldered to the logic board, while the keyboard, battery, speakers, and Touch Bar are glued together.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

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2020 iPhones May Have Full-Screen Touch ID, New iPhone SE Based on iPhone 8 Also Possible Next Year

Fri, 24 May 2019 07:00:17 PDT
Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his associates today shared their expectations for both 2019 and 2020 model iPhones following their trip to Asia earlier this month, where they met with some suppliers within Apple's supply chain.

MacRumors render of 2019 iPhones with triple-lens rear cameras

Our summary of the research note, shared with MacRumors:Other rumors have suggested that 2019 iPhones will feature frosted glass casing, larger batteries, and a bilateral charging feature that allows users to charge AirPods or an Apple Watch by placing them on the back of the iPhone.

Apple will likely unveil its latest iPhones in September as usual at Steve Jobs Theater.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones

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Food Ordering Features Now Available in Google's Mobile Apps

Fri, 24 May 2019 03:56:18 PDT
Google has incorporated food ordering features into its mobile apps, allowing iOS and Android users to order food directly from a range of companies without having to install an additional app or visit a website.


The functionality is available across U.S. cities in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Assistant apps, and works through partnerships with existing delivery companies including DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery, Slice, and ChowNow.

In Google Search and Google Maps, there's a new "Order Online" button that appears when users search for a supported restaurant. Pressing the button lets you choose between pickup and delivery, and then select available food from the menu.

The feature works similarly in Google Assistant, which also supports reordering past selections. Users ask Google to order food from a specific restaurant, then they can choose a delivery service before selecting and paying for their order, all through the Google interface.

In addition to the partnerships mentioned above, Google plans to add support for Suppler and others in the future. As The Verge notes, major delivery services like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Grubhub, and Just Eat are currently not supported.


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Taiwan's Second Apple Retail Store Opening Soon in Xinyi District of Taipei

Fri, 24 May 2019 02:21:21 PDT
Apple has begun promoting the opening of its second retail store in Taiwan. Located right outside Taipei's Xinyi A13 shopping mall on a tree-lined plaza, the standalone construction had promotional graphics installed on its temporary hoarding overnight.


The logo on display is a play on the word "Taipei" in Mandarin, with the Apple logo inserted into the first character. The slogan on the facade says "Creativity starts here, Apple Xinyi A13."

From the outside, the building appears to be a single-story design, but likely conceals interior staircases leading down to an underground floor, with a thin carbon fiber roof held up by two stone pillars and a curved floor-to-ceiling glass facade, which would give it an affinity with Apple's existing store in Chicago, Illinois.

The adjacent Xinyi A13 shopping mall is still being constructed by the Far Eastern Group but is expected to open in September, so there's a chance the new Apple store will open to the public around the same time.

The new store is within 15 minutes' walking distance of Apple's first Taiwan store at Taipei 101 shopping mall in the Xinyi district, which opened in July 2017. Apple has reportedly confirmed that the opening of the new store won't affect the operation of Apple Taipei 101.

(Thanks, Andrew!)


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Apple Stops Signing iOS 12.2 Following Release of iOS 12.3

Thu, 23 May 2019 15:25:23 PDT
Following the release of iOS 12.3 on May 13, Apple has stopped signing iOS 12.2, the previous version of iOS that was available to consumers.

iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners who have upgraded to iOS 12.3 will no longer be able to downgrade to iOS 12.2.

iOS 12.3, available on all devices able to run iOS 12, was a major update that brought the revamped Apple TV app with new Channels feature.

Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order to encourage customers to keep their operating systems up to date.

iOS 12.3 is now the only version of iOS that can be installed on iPhones and iPads, but developers and public beta testers can download iOS 12.4, another major update that's currently being beta tested.


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New U.S. Apple Pay Promo Offers $1 Tacos From Taco Bell

Thu, 23 May 2019 15:19:41 PDT
Apple's latest Apple Pay promotion includes $1 tacos from Taco Bell when using Apple Pay to pay for an order in the Taco Bell app in the United States.

The new offer, which was highlighted in Apple Pay promotional emails sent out this afternoon, instructs users to redeem the discount through the Offers tab within the Taco Bell app.


Taco Bell is offering $1 tacos through May 29, with a total discount cap of $10. The $1 taco deal is valid for any crunchy or soft-seasoned beef taco per person. Beans can be swapped for beef, but no other product or ingredient upgrades can be added.

$1 tacos are only available through the Taco Bell app for pay ahead pickup orders when Apple Pay is used as the payment method. Delivery orders don't count, and the offer is redeemable one time and can't be combined with other offers.

The Apple Pay email also promotes other food apps that let you make orders ahead of time and use Apple Pay, including Jimmy John's Sandwiches, Panera Bread, and Ritual.


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U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Cut Down on Robocalling

Thu, 23 May 2019 13:56:25 PDT
The United States Senate today voted almost unanimously to approve an anti-robocalling bill that would cut down on the number of illegal robocalls that people receive.

The TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence), first introduced in January, increases penalties for robocalls, provides authorities with more time to act, promotes the adoption of call authentication and blocking tools, establishes an interagency group for exploring additional scam call deterrents, and clears the way for criminal prosecution of robocallers.


"This bipartisan, common-sense bill puts a bullseye on the scam artists and criminals who are making it difficult for many Americans to answer the phone with any bit of confidence about who's on the other end of the line," said Senator John Thune. "While this bill would make it easier for federal regulators to levy more substantial financial penalties on these bad actors, we take it one step further by working toward creating a credible threat of criminal prosecution - laying the ground work to put these people behind bars. It's not every day that you see over 80 senators from all corners of the country lend such strong support to a bill like this, but I believe it highlights the urgency of this matter. I want to thank Sen. Markey for all of his work, and we urge the House to take up the TRACED Act without delay."
If the TRACED Act passes, individuals or companies who flout telemarketing restrictions could receive fines of up to $10,000 per call, and the FCC would have up to three years to prosecute after a robocall is placed, up from one year.

It would also require voice service providers to adopt call authentication technologies, which would let cellular carriers verify that incoming calls are legitimate before even reaching consumer phones, and it requires the FCC to create rules to help protect consumers from receiving unwanted calls or texts.

Some carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile have already implemented limited protection features that are designed to cut down on scam calls, but it's a pervasive problem that has only been growing worse in recent years.

Last year, an estimated 30 percent of all phone calls were spam calls, a number that could grow to 42 percent of all calls this year.

The FCC last week proposed new tools that would clear the way for mobile phone companies to block robocalls by default, and last year, the FCC called on companies to adopt call authentication systems for eliminating spoofed phone numbers.

The TRACED Act will now head to the House for consideration, where it is also likely to see similar support.


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Snap Employees Have Used Internal Snapchat Tools to Spy on Users

Thu, 23 May 2019 13:28:31 PDT
Some employees of Snap have access to internal tools that allow them to access Snapchat user data and have in the past abused those tools to spy on Snapchat users, reports Motherboard.

According to two former employees, a current employee, and internal company emails, Snap employees have access to internal tools that let them access location information, saved snaps, phone numbers, and email addresses from users.

One of the tools, SnapLion, was designed to gather information on users in response to valid law enforcement requests. Snap's Spam and Abuse team has access to Snap Lion, as does a Customer Ops team and security staff. One former employee told Motherboard that SnapLion offers "the keys to the kingdom."

The SnapLion tool has legitimate purposes and is used for such within the company, but the two former Snap employees confirmed that it's also been used for illegitimate reasons, though information about specific incidents was not made available.
One of the former employees said that data access abuse occurred "a few times" at Snap. That source and another former employee specified the abuse was carried out by multiple individuals. A Snapchat email obtained by Motherboard also shows employees broadly discussing the issue of insider threats and access to data, and how they need to be combatted.

Motherboard was unable to verify exactly how the data abuse occurred, or what specific system or process the employees leveraged to access Snapchat user data.
A Snap spokesperson said that privacy is "paramount" at Snap, and that little user data is kept. What data is stored is protected by "robust policies" to limit the number of employees who have access. "Unauthorized access of any kind is a clear violation of the company's standards of business conduct and, if detected, results in immediate termination," the spokesperson told Motherboard.

Snap monitors who accesses user data, but the former employees say that the logging procedures aren't perfect, and that years ago, SnapLion did not have robust data protection tools to track what employees were doing. It's not clear if employees are still abusing internal tools, but Motherboard's investigation suggests it did happen in the past.
Snap said it limits internal access to tools to only those who require it, but SnapLion is no longer a tool purely intended to help law enforcement. It is now used more generally across the company. A former employee who worked with SnapLion said the tool is used for resetting passwords of hacked accounts and "other user administration."
Much of what's shared on Snapchat is ephemeral, with content disappearing after a short period of time. Users should be aware, however, that certain data is collected and stored by Snapchat, such as phone number, location data, message metadata (who a person spoke to and when), and some Snap content, such as Memories.

A full accounting of Motherboard's Snap investigation can be read over on Vice.


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New 8-Core MacBook Pro Offers Solid Performance Improvements According to Benchmark

Thu, 23 May 2019 11:13:17 PDT
The new high-end 8-core 15-inch MacBook Pro that was announced on Tuesday offers significant performance improvements over the previous high-end 6-core MacBook Pro from 2018, according to new benchmarks.

In a Geekbench benchmark uploaded this morning, the new MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz Core i9 chip earned a single-core score of 5879 and a multi-core score of 29184.


Comparatively, the high-end 2018 MacBook Pro has earned an average single-core score of 5348 and a multi-core score of 22620. Single-core speeds are up almost 10 percent, while multi-core scores are up an impressive 29 percent.

Apple has said that the new 8-core MacBook Pro can offer up to 40 percent faster performance than a 6-core MacBook Pro, and two times faster performance than a quad-core MacBook Pro.

The higher-end stock MacBook Pro features a 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, which can be upgraded to a 2.4GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor for $200, which is the version that's been benchmarked.

Apple's entry-level 15-inch machine features a 6-core 9th-generation processor, while all of the 13-inch MacBook Pro machines use quad-core 8th-generation processors.

The new MacBook Pro models can be ordered from the online Apple Store and will be in retail stores later this week or early next week.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

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Samsung Rumored to Supply OLED Displays for 16-Inch MacBook Pro and Future iPad Pros

Thu, 23 May 2019 09:04:55 PDT
Samsung is in talks with Apple about supplying OLED displays for a 16-inch MacBook Pro and future iPad Pro models, according to Korean site The Elec, which does not have a proven track record in terms of Apple rumors.


We first heard about a potential 16-inch to 16.5-inch MacBook Pro from well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said the notebook will launch at some point in 2019 with an "all-new design," but he did not comment on which display technology the notebook will use or share any other details.

Kuo later said Apple is planning to release a new 15-inch to 17-inch MacBook Pro with a mini-LED backlight in the first half of 2021. It is unclear if this will be a future iteration of the 16-inch MacBook Pro or exactly how Apple's plans will play out.


Kuo has also previously claimed that two new iPad Pro models will enter mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, but again, he has not commented on what display technology the tablets would use. He also expects a new iPad with a mini-LED backlight in late 2020 to early 2021.

Little else is known about the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro or new iPad Pro models at this time. Apple surprised us earlier this week with new 2019 MacBook Pro models, but the only changes are faster processors and a "new material" added to the keyboard for improved reliability — hopefully, at least.

Given this week's MacBook Pro refresh, it is reasonable to assume that Apple will not release the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro until at least the fall. Or, if the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been delayed internally, then perhaps it won't debut until an event next year such as WWDC 2020 in June. It is too early to say.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Pro

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New 'Source' Wireless Charger From Spansive Charges Four iPhones at Once Thanks to Unique Design

Thu, 23 May 2019 09:00:29 PDT
Spansive, a company developing new wireless charging technology, today announced the launch of the Spansive Source, a multi-phone wireless charging accessory that's designed for families.

The Spansive Source is able to charge up to four Qi-enabled devices at one time, using what the company calls "Drop-N-Charge" technology that doesn't require exact placement on the charging surface.


Spansive says the Source uses "software-designed induction to shape magnetic fields" to create a device that allows four smartphones (or other Qi-based devices) to charge at once using a three-dimensional charging field that can "sense where devices are located."


The charging technology also allows smartphones to charge "regardless of phone case," supporting PopSockets and other thicker cases. According to Spansive, the Source should work with almost all iPhone cases and popular accessories.

Along with space for wirelessly charging four smartphones using Qi-based wireless charging, there are an additional two USB-A ports on the Source for charging other accessories.


Unfortunately, the Source charges iPhones at a maximum of 5W, so the faster 7.5W charging specification is not supported. It does, however, connect to a home's WiFi setup, which allows it to receive over-the-air firmware updates.

Spansive says that software updates will bring improvements like faster charging speeds, better charging range, and compatibility with future devices.


You can get the Spansive Source in either white or charcoal colors, and it is priced at $189. It is available for purchase today from the Spansive website.


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Deals Spotlight: 2019 iPad Air Gets First Price Drop (Up to $40 Off)

Thu, 23 May 2019 07:07:15 PDT
Back in March, Apple launched the new 10.5-inch iPad Air with Touch ID, a headphone jack, A12 Bionic processor, support for the Apple Pencil, and compatibility with the Smart Keyboard. Today, B&H Photo and Amazon have kicked off the first sales for the 2019 iPad Air, discounting select configurations by up to $40.

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.

There are both Wi-Fi and cellular options in the sale, with prices beginning at $474. These discounts aren't particularly steep given how new the iPad Air is, but they are notable for being the first markdowns on the line since its launch in March.

2019 iPad Air Sale


More sales and bargains can be found in our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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