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Apple Picks Up New Docuseries Featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Spike Lee, Oprah and More

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 23:13
Apple has inked a deal for a docuseries called "Dear..." that profiles famous people using an "inventive and cinematic approach" that involves letters written by people whose lives the celebrities have touched, Apple announced today.

The 10-episode series, which is set to debut in the spring, will feature Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Spike Lee, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Yara Shahidi, Stevie Wonder, Aly Raisman, Misty Copeland, Big Bird, and more.

Image Credit: Getty Images, via The Hollywood Reporter
The show was inspired by Apple's "Dear Apple" marketing campaign, which saw Apple Watch users read letters sharing how the device has changed their lives. It was created by R.J. Cutler, known for "If I Stay, "The War Room," "American High," and "The September Issue."

Tags: Apple TV Shows, Apple TV Plus
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Latest iOS 13.3.1 Beta Includes Toggle for Disabling U1 Ultra Wideband Chip

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 23:01
The second beta of iOS 13.3.1, released earlier this month, includes a toggle for disabling the Ultra Wideband chip in the device.

Found by Twitter user Brandon Butch (via 9to5Mac), the toggle can be found by opening up the Settings app, selecting Privacy, choosing Location Services, selecting System Services, and then toggling off the "Networking & Wireless" option.


Disabling this feature warns that Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ultra Wideband performance will be affected.

Apple added this toggle in the beta after it was discovered that the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max continue to track user location even when location services toggles are disabled.

Apple said that this was expected behavior due to the Ultra Wideband chip and that the iPhone was operating as designed explaining that location data needed to be used because there are international regulatory requirements that mandate the U1 chip be disabled in certain locations.Ultra wideband technology is an industry standard technology and is subject to international regulatory requirements that require it to be turned off in certain locations. iOS uses Location Services to help determine if ‌‌iPhone‌‌ is in these prohibited locations in order to disable ultra wideband and comply with regulations.

The management of ultra wideband compliance and its use of location data is done entirely on the device and Apple is not collecting user location data.Apple at the time promised to add a toggle to allow customers to disable the U1 chip entirely, and that toggle will be available to everyone after the release of iOS 13.3.1.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Amazon Mysteriously Pulls All New Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 Listings

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 22:34
Amazon is no longer selling new versions of the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 models through its online store in the United States, with the listings disappearing earlier today.

There is no word on why Amazon has pulled ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 4 and Series 5 models, but these are the Apple Watches that feature ECG functionality. All models, capacities, and colors are missing from Amazon's storefront.


Amazon is continuing to list refurbished ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 4 and Series 5 models from third party sellers, but there are no new models available nor models available direct from Amazon. Attempting to visit a page that previously had a Series 4 or Series 5 ‌Apple Watch‌ listed results in an error message.

The ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 3 and other Apple products like iPads and Macs continue to be available from Amazon, so this issue is limited to newer ‌Apple Watch‌ models. Should we learn more about why Amazon has pulled Series 4 and Series 5 ‌Apple Watch‌ listings, we'll update this article.

Tag: Amazon
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Mac Catalyst App 'Asphalt 9: Legends' Now Available

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 20:49
Asphalt 9: Legends, a game that was ported to the Mac using Apple's Mac Catalyst tools, is now available for download from the Mac App Store.

The app was one of the titles that Apple promoted when macOS Catalina and Mac Catalyst technology were introduced at WWDC in June, but the app did not launch as expected when ‌macOS Catalina‌ became available.


At the time, Gameloft said that Asphalt 9: Legends had been slightly delayed in order to polish the experience, and after a wait of several months, the game has now launched.

Because this is a Mac Catalyst app, players who already have Asphalt 9: Legends on iPad or iPhone can pick up their game on the Mac and swap between devices when playing thanks to cross-platform saves.

The game supports Sign in with Apple for account creation (required to transfer between devices) and the content is the same as the content in Asphalt 9: Legends for iOS devices.

According to Gameloft, Asphalt 9: Legends will have content parity across devices going forward, so the Mac and iOS apps will be updated simultaneously.

Asphalt 9: Legends can be downloaded from the ‌Mac App Store‌ for free, though there are in-app purchases. [Direct Link]


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Apple Opening New Office in Munich, Germany

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 20:36
Apple is expanding its presence in Germany with plans to open a new office building in Munich, Germany, according to German news site Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Located in the "Karl" office building of the former Mahag site on Karlstrasse, the new office space is expected to house around 1,500 employees when it is completed in 2021.

A rendering of the Karl office building, designed by British architect David Chipperfield
Apple has rented the entire 30,000 square meter location, though declined to respond to questions about the upcoming office space.

Apple already operates the Bavarian Design Center in Munich, Germany, with 300 engineers that work on silicon chips and other technologies for Apple devices.


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MacRumors Giveaway: Win Custom-Painted AirPods Pro From ColorWare

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 20:09
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with ColorWare to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win custom-painted AirPods Pro, available in dozens of colors.

For those unfamiliar with ColorWare, it's a company that's been around for a long time, offering custom paint jobs and unique skins for a range of electronic devices, from consoles to earbuds.


AirPods Pro can be ordered from ColorWare in custom colors for a fee of $389 for just the ‌AirPods Pro‌ or $439 for the ‌AirPods Pro‌ and the Wireless Charging Case. It's pricy, but it's the only way to get ‌AirPods Pro‌ in a color other than white.


There are solid and metallic colors, with gloss and matte finishes available. Traditional black, gold, and silver colors are options, but there are also bright shades in every color of the rainbow. If you want ‌AirPods Pro‌ in blue, yellow, orange, green, teal, deep purple, pink, or one of dozens of other colors, ColorWare is the best option. You can even get them painted to match Apple's iPhones.


The ‌AirPods Pro‌ can be custom painted in the same color as the case, or you can order each AirPod Pro and the case in all different colors, so there are quite a few available color combinations to choose from.


ColorWare has been offering custom painted devices since 1998 and has perfected the painting process. ColorWare uses a coating process that includes a primer, an application of a proprietary color formula, and an X2 liquid plastic coating that protects the color. All ColorWare work is guaranteed for 12 months, and 24 months with the purchase of an additional warranty.


Since ColorWare is using ‌AirPods Pro‌ from Apple and painting them, the full ‌AirPods Pro‌ functionality remains intact. There's an H1 chip for quick and easy pairing, silicone tips for a tight in-ear fit, Adaptive EQ, and Active Noise Cancellation.


‌AirPods Pro‌ are a bit hard to get right now, so custom ‌AirPods Pro‌ purchases made now will arrive in early March. For those who don't need ‌AirPods Pro‌ and prefer standard AirPods, ColorWare also colorizes ‌AirPods‌ and the ‌AirPods‌ case.


We have a set of custom painted ‌AirPods Pro‌ and Wireless Charging Case to give away, with the winner to choose the color and finish of their choice.

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.

ColorWare
The contest will run from today (January 17) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on January 24. The winner will be chosen randomly on January 24 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.

Tag: giveaway
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Tile Decries Apple's iOS 13 Location Tracking Changes, Calls on Congress to 'Level the Playing Field'

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 19:17
Executives from PopSockets, Sonos, Basecamp, and Tile are attending a congressional hearing today to testify in an ongoing antitrust inquiry involving major tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook, reports The Washington Post.

The smaller companies are aiming to provide evidence that the tech giants have become too big and have practices in place that stifle competition and hurt sales. Tile in particular is gunning for Apple, claiming that Apple's iOS 13 Bluetooth and location tracking devices have hurt its business, and that Find My resembles Tile's own service.


Apple made sweeping changes in ‌iOS 13‌, rolling out the ‌Find My‌ app alongside privacy-oriented changes that make it harder for third-party app developers to track customers without their knowledge.

According to Tile, ‌Find My‌, which is designed to let users locate lost iOS and Mac devices, has a major advantage over competing products because location tracking for ‌Find My‌ is enabled by default, while Tile must obtain user permission for location access in "deep, hard-to-find smartphone settings" that also has to be reauthorized with regular follow-up reminders.

Some lawmakers see Apple's changes as an effort to gain an edge over rival companies, but Apple says the ‌iOS 13‌ updates are designed to improve user privacy and prevent app developers from using customer data without permission. "Apple has not built a business model around knowing a customer's location or the location of their device," Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz told The Washington Post.

Tile attorney Kirsten Daru said that Tile is "looking to Congress to level the playing field" because Apple's changes have caused a "confusing and frustrating experience for [Tile] users."

Sonos, PopSockets, and Basecamp are sharing similar complaints about Google, Facebook, and Amazon, and the information provided to lawmakers today has the potential to shape future state and federal probes.

Tile could soon be even more upset with Apple, as rumors suggest Apple is working on an "Apple Tags" product that can be attached to small items like wallets or keys to track them using the ‌Find My‌ app on the iPhone.

A mockup of what Apple Tags might look like
Apple Tags will directly compete with Tile's own trackers, and will be better integrated into the iOS operating system. Apple will also be able to offer more advanced tracking features, taking advantage of the ultra-wideband chip in the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌Find My‌ option that uses connected Apple products belonging to other people to locate devices even when they're offline.


For those interested, there is a live stream of the congressional hearing that can be watched on YouTube, with the video embedded above.

Tags: Tile, Apple Tags
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Apple TV+ Reaches Multi-Year Agreement With 'Veep' and 'Seinfeld' Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 18:15
Apple today announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with award-winning actress and producer Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who will develop new projects exclusively for Apple TV+ as both an executive producer and actress.


Louis-Dreyfus has broken records with multiple Emmys, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics Choice Awards for her work as an actress and producer, and is a recipient of the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. This marks her first-ever overall deal with a streaming service, according to Apple.

"I am thrilled about this new partnership with my friends at Apple," said Louis-Dreyfus. "Also, many thanks and kudos to my representatives for structuring the deal in such a way that I am paid in AirPods."

Louis-Dreyfus is best known for her long-running roles as Elaine Benes on the popular NBC sitcom "Seinfeld" and Selina Meyer on HBO's political satire comedy series "Veep." She has also appeared on NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

Apple's streaming TV service launched in November for $4.99 per month.

Tag: Apple TV Plus
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Meryl Streep to Narrate Animated Short Film About Earth Day for Apple TV+

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 17:24
Acclaimed actress Meryl Streep is set to narrate a forthcoming animated short film about Earth Day for Apple TV+.

Getty Images
In celebration of Earth Day, which falls on April 22, the 36-minute short will follow a curious seven-year-old who learns about the planet from his parents and visits a mysterious exhibit at the "Museum of Everything," according to Variety. The film is based on The New York Times bestselling book from Jeffers.

"Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth" will debut on Apple TV+ on April 17.

Tags: Apple TV Shows, Apple TV Plus
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Apple Arcade's New Game This Week is 'Kings of the Castle'

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 16:39
Speed to the rescue in Kings of the Castle, this week's addition to Apple Arcade across iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. The colorful, family-friendly speed runner game by Frosty Pop supports one to four players.


The game's description on the App Store:The dragon Zantorian locked Prince Rupert away in a castle tower on a dangerous and mysterious island. Lord Baldor dispatches the princess to investigate the hostile and unfamiliar territory and save the prince.

Playing as the princess, you must use your speed, courage, and savvy sense of direction to save the prince. Avoid traps, battle enemies, jump over obstacles, and collect gems along your journey to pay a ransom for the prince's safe return. But do it fast. The dragon is hungry!Apple Arcade launched in September. The subscription-based gaming service provides iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac users with access to over 100 games with no in-app purchases or ads for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

In a recent press release, Apple promised that its Arcade service will receive new games and expansions every month.

Tag: Apple Arcade
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Review: Zens Liberty Wireless Charger is a Solid AirPower Alternative With Room for Two Qi Devices and Apple Watch

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 15:31
It's been nearly one year since Apple cancelled the AirPower wireless charging mat, which would have allowed you to place your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods anywhere on the mat to wirelessly charge each device. In the subsequent months, numerous third-party companies have stepped forward in an attempt to reproduce this product, and now Zens has released its own take on an AirPower-like device: the Zens Liberty 16 Coils Wireless Charger.


Zens' charger features 16 overlapping charging coils, letting you place any two Qi-enabled devices anywhere on the mat to charge them. It supports a total output of 30W, Apple Fast Charge, a USB-A port for wired charging of a third device (or attaching the ‌Apple Watch‌ USB stick accessory), and a USB-C power adapter.


Zens sent me both the Liberty Fabric Edition and the Liberty Glass Edition, which are the same product with different finishes on the Qi surface of the mat. The Fabric Edition sports a woolen upholstery textile that's made of 90 percent wool, ensuring the back of your devices won't be scratched, while the Glass Edition has a see-through surface that showcases the 16 charging coils.


In terms of their design, I preferred the subtlety of the Fabric Edition over the Glass Edition, which stands out far more. Both Liberty Wireless Chargers have a rubberized outer shell and sturdy bases with large footprints (8.8 inches long x 5.3 inches wide). The textile on top of the Fabric Edition lends the device a luxurious feel and look, which is good given that these are high-end chargers that exceed $140.

Charging times across the board aligned with typical Qi wireless charging estimates. My iPhone 11 Pro Max was topped off at 100% consistently every night I used the Zens Liberty charger, and I never faced any mysterious disconnects or interruptions in my time with the accessory.


As with any wireless charger, charging times are not as fast as using a Lightning or USB-C cable, but Zens' accessory is perfect for trickle charging at your desk or overnight near your bed. Similarly, the USB Stick performed as expected for an ‌Apple Watch‌ charger, with performance on par with Apple's own Magnetic Charging Dock.

After a few days, the Zens Liberty charger quickly replaced my previous Belkin Qi mat next to my bed. Zens' promise of "freedom of placement" on the mat turned out to be entirely accurate, allowing me to throw down my ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ in nearly any orientation without having to worry about landing on the Qi "sweet spot," which is something I constantly fussed with on the Belkin charger.


The nearly 9-inch mat is large enough to hold two Max-sized iPhones, but I mainly used mine to charge up my ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ and AirPods Pro on the Qi base. While the Liberty charger doesn't quite meet the promise of AirPower's three-device Qi charging, what it provides for two devices is a reliable and frictionless wireless charging experience, with the added bonus of charging your ‌Apple Watch‌ with an accessory you can purchase separately.


This MFi certified ‌Apple Watch‌ USB Stick is a tiny dongle with an ‌Apple Watch‌ charging puck attached to the end, allowing you to charge your ‌Apple Watch‌ through any USB-A port. When connected to the Zens Liberty Wireless Charger on a special port at the back of the Qi mat area, the dongle turns into a little upright stand that can charge your ‌Apple Watch‌ in Nightstand Mode.

Bottom Line
The Zens Liberty Wireless Charger is a solid ‌AirPower‌ alternative that provides dependable wireless charging to any two Qi-compatible devices like the iPhone 11, ‌AirPods‌, and more.


Of course, the ability to freely place your devices anywhere on the mat and the high-quality design mean you'll pay a premium for the accessory.

How to Buy
The Liberty Fabric Edition costs $139.99 (€139.99), while the Glass Edition costs $179.99 (€179.99). Both models come with a three-year extended warranty. The Apple Watch USB Stick is available separately for $39.99 (€39.99).

Note: MacRumors received the Zens Liberty Fabric Edition, Zens Liberty Glass Edition, and Zens ‌Apple Watch‌ USB Stick for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received.

Tag: ZENS
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Robin ProLine Becomes First Doorbell to Support HomeKit Secure Video

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 15:07
Dutch company Robin Telecom today announced that its Robin ProLine doorbell is the first to support HomeKit Secure Video, allowing the camera to capture and store recordings securely in iCloud.


With help from an Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad set up as a home hub, the ProLine doorbell can intelligently detect when motion from a person, animal, or vehicle is captured and store a recording in iCloud. When activity is detected, users will instantly receive a push notification on their iPhone or iPad and can play video clips right from the Lock screen or in the Home app.

With end-to-end encryption, HomeKit Secure Video is billed as a safer option than storing recordings on the servers of third-party accessory makers. A demo of the feature from an Apple Store was recently shared by Zach Truskowski.


HomeKit Secure Video is only available to users that pay for 200GB or more of iCloud storage, starting at $2.99 per month. Users with the 200GB plan can store 10 days of recordings from one camera in iCloud at no extra cost, while those with a 2TB plan can store 10 days of recordings from up to five cameras. HomeKit Secure Video recordings do not count towards a user's iCloud storage usage.

To update the doorbell's firmware, update the Robin ProLine app to version 1.6.0 or later and tap on the gear icon in the ProLine accessory to open the Details page. Tap on "update firmware" followed by "start firmware update."

Priced at €599 in Europe, the Robin ProLine features 720p video recording, a 130-degree viewing angle, IP53-rated water and dust resistance, and a brushed aluminum finish available in space gray, silver, or black.

While several other HomeKit Secure Video doorbells have been announced, the Robin ProLine is the first to support the feature.

Tags: HomeKit, HomeKit Secure Video
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First Season of Critically Acclaimed Show 'Little America' Now Available to Stream on Apple TV+

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 12:35
The entire first season of "Little America," an immigrant anthology series created by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, is now available to stream on Apple TV+.


The show features eight half hour episodes that each focus on a different story, from a 12-year-old who has to run a Utah motel on his own after his parents are deported back to India, to a Nigerian grad student who becomes a cowboy.

Zachary Quinto, known for "Star Trek," stars in the fourth episode, and other cast members include Jearnest Corchado, John Ortiz, Angela Lin, Kai To, Sophia Xu, Shaun Toub, Shila Vosough Ommi, Eshan Inamdar, Priyanka Bose, and Conphidance.

Show creators Nanjiani and Gordon are best known for "The Big Sick," and each story in the series they've created is based on a real-life tale pulled from Epic Magazine.

Lee Eisenberg, known for his work on "The Office," is writing and executive producing the show alongside Nanjiani and Gordon. Eisenberg this week signed a multi-year content deal with Apple.

The series has received largely positive reviews from critics, who have called it the best ‌‌Apple TV‌‌+ show yet. "Little America" has already been renewed for season 2.

‌Apple TV‌+ is available through the ‌Apple TV‌ app on iPhone, iPad, ‌Apple TV‌, Mac, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and select smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio, as well as online at tv.apple.com. The streaming service costs $4.99 per month in the United States, with a seven-day free trial available.

Tags: Apple TV Shows, Apple TV Plus
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Facebook Shelves Controversial Plan to Insert Ads into WhatsApp

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 11:33
Facebook's controversial plan to sell ads in WhatsApp has been put on the back-burner, according to a new report today from The Wall Street Journal.

WhatsApp in recent months disbanded a team that had been established to find the best ways to integrate ads into the service, according to people familiar with the matter. The team's work was then deleted from WhatsApp's code, the people said.Plans to monetize WhatsApp were floated no longer after Facebook acquired the messaging service in February 2014 for $22 billion. WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum and Brian Acton continually pushed back against the plans, which were a factor that ultimately led both men to quit the company.

Prior to leaving, Koum and Acton changed WhatsApp's terms of service to explicitly forbid displaying ads in the app, which complicated Facebook's future efforts to do so, according to WSJ's sources.

Facebook has changed its platforms' terms of service in the past, but introducing ads on WhatsApp would have required a formal notification of users, creating a potential public-relations problem for Facebook.

Still, Facebook hasn't completely given up on inserting ads into WhatsApp, and reportedly plans to add them to the app's Status feature "at some point." Status allows users to create short-lived posts similar to Instagram's Stories.

However, for now the focus is said to be on developing money-making features that enable businesses to communicate with customers and better manage those interactions.

Before the acquisition, WhatsApp was initially a paid-for app and later transitioned to a $0.99 annual subscription service. Facebook made the service free after buying it and later unveiled its own revenue-generating plans for the platform, which has 1.5 billion users globally.

Tags: Facebook, WhatsApp
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Apple Pay Promo Offers 50% Off Game Play at Dave & Buster's

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 01:17
Apple today sent out emails notifying iPhone, iPad, and Mac users about the latest Apple Pay promo, which provides a 50 percent discount on gameplay at Dave & Buster's when loading a Power Card in the Dave & Buster's app using ‌Apple Pay‌.

Dave & Buster's is a food and gaming venue that has multiple locations across the United States. Customers can get a 50 percent discount on card purchases and refills through January 30.


Customers who want to take advantage of the deal must sign up for a Dave & Buster's Rewards account in the Dave & Buster's app to quality. The offer will be automatically applied for first-time customers when using ‌Apple Pay‌ within the app, but existing customers can also take advantage of the deal when reloading a card with ‌Apple Pay‌.

Apple also promotes Apple Arcade in its latest ‌Apple Pay‌ email, suggesting customers who enjoy games sign up for the $4.99 per month service.

Tag: Apple Pay promo
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Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - January 2020

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 23:16
Apps designed for the Mac often don't receive as much attention as apps designed for iPhones and iPads, so we have a series here at MacRumors that highlights useful and interesting Macs worth checking out.

This month's picks include apps for optimizing your Mac, learning keyboard shortcuts, searching cloud services, and watching streaming video.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

  • Sensei - ($29/Year) - Sensei is a new Mac app designed for Mac optimization, offering a clean interface and a range of tools for disk cleaning, battery health monitoring, GPU, CPU, and RAM monitoring, temperature monitoring, SSD Trim enabling, uninstalling apps, fan control, file deleting, and more. Sensei costs $29 per year or $59 for a lifetime license, but there is a free trial to test it out.

  • Mouseless ($15) - Mouseless is an app that helps you learn all of the keyboard shortcuts in your favorite apps, offering up short interactive training sessions that teach shortcuts and then reinforce the learning right away. It's a nifty little tool for anyone who wants to become more accustomed to app shortcuts.

  • Clew (Free) - Clew is a search app designed to let you search through all of your connected cloud accounts so you can find exactly what you're looking for and then share it quickly using drag and drop. Clew supports Dropbox, Google Drive, Github, and more.

  • Gooba (Free) - Gooba is a writing app and task manager that combines note taking, writing, and task management, so you can do things like write a document and then set a reminder for when to send it. It offers Markdown support, keyboard shortcuts, and cross platform compatibility so you can use it on a Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

  • Clicker ($5) - Clicker is a set of apps designed for streaming video services that include Netflix, Disney+, YouTube TV, and Hulu, which is the newest app of the bunch. Clicker lets you launch right from the dock and it offers picture-in-picture support, quick video pausing, full screen browsing, touch bar controls, and more. It's a useful app for accessing video services that are normally restricted to the browser on the Mac. All of the apps cost $5, but the Disney+ version is free.
If you have a favorite must-have Mac app that we haven't highlighted yet, let us know in the comments below and we might feature it in a future video. For more of our Mac app picks, make sure to check out our Mac app archives.

Tag: Essential Mac Apps
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NBC's Streaming Service 'Peacock' Launching in July With Three Subscription Tiers

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 22:54
NBC today announced that its upcoming Peacock streaming video service is set to launch in the United States on July 15.

The service, which will offer upwards 7,500 hours of programming including NBC shows and Universal movies, will features three subscription tiers.


NBC will offer an ad-supported tier that people can watch for free, and there will be two premium paid tiers that include live sports and early access to NBC's late night shows.

The $4.99 per month premium tier will include ads, while a $9.99 per month version will be available ad-free. Providing access to live sports will allow NBC to differentiate the Peacock service from Disney+, Netflix, and Apple TV+.

In addition to on-demand content and live sports, Peacock will include live breaking news coverage, same-day rebroadcasts, curated shorts, and access to "Dateline" and "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt." Premium subscribers will get exclusive access to additional TV shows and movies, for a total of 15,000 hours of content.

Peacock will also include original TV shows and films, such as Tina Fey's upcoming "Girls5Eva" and an adaptation of the classic Aldous Huxley novel "Brave New World."

Customers who already subscribe to Comcast and Cox can get free access to the premium with ads version of Peacock, or pay $5 per month for the ad-free version. Comcast X1 and Flex customers will get access to Peacock on April 15, months ahead of the July 15 launch date.

More details on Peacock are available through the investor webcast that NBC shared today and accompanying PDFs that list all of the movies and TV shows that will be accessible with Peacock.

Tags: NBC, Apple TV Plus, Peacock
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Apple Releasing 'The Banker' in Theaters in March Following Review of Abuse Accusations

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 20:42
Apple plans to release "The Banker," an original Apple TV+ movie starring Samuel L. Jackson, in theaters in March, reports Variety.

The movie was originally meant to premiere at the AFI Fest ahead of a December theatrical release, but Apple delayed its debut after "concerns" surrounding the film were brought to the company's attention.


Apple's hesitation came after a family member of one of the men represented in the film accused one of the film's executive producers (another family member) of abuse. Apple investigated the issue and has decided to release the movie. Apple's statement to Variety on the matter:We created Apple TV Plus as a home for stories that matter and believe 'The Banker,' inspired by the brave actions of Bernard Garrett Sr. and Joe Morris, two African American businessmen who brought about positive social change, is one of those stories.

We wanted to take the time to understand the situation at hand -- and after reviewing the information available to us, including documentation of the filmmakers' research, we've decided to make this important and enlightening film available to viewers."The Banker" is based on the true story of Bernard Garrett Sr. and Joe Morris, who devised a plan to help African Americans get access to real estate deals and bank loans during the 1960s. Along with Samuel L. Jackson, "The Banker" stars Anthony Mackie, Nicholas Hoult, and Nia Long.

Following a theatrical debut on March 6, the film will be released on ‌Apple TV‌+ on March 20.

Tags: Apple TV Shows, Apple TV Plus
This article, "Apple Releasing 'The Banker' in Theaters in March Following Review of Abuse Accusations" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple and Apple Employees Donated $100 Million to Various Charitable Causes in 2019

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 18:13
In a news story about an Apple employee who has started a barbershop for at-risk youth, Apple today said that between its own donations and employee donations, it donated more than $100 million to charitable causes in 2019.

Apple says that 21,000 Apple employees donated their time and donated $42 million to causes they care about. Combined with Apple's 1-for-1 donation match and $25 match per volunteer hour, the total amount donated climbed to over $100 million.


Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson said the company has a mission to "change the world for the better, and give back to the communities in which we live and work.""Apple employees like Jaz embody this culture of giving every day, volunteering over a quarter of a million hours last year. We share a deep commitment to our local communities and doing what we can to cause more good."Much of Apple's story focuses on Jaz Limos, an Apple Park Visitor Center manager in Cupertino who launched Saints of Steel, a nonprofit pop-up barber shop for at-risk youth and people looking for employment and housing.

Saints of Steel was largely funded by Apple. 80 percent of the donations for the first year came from Benevity, a corporate giving program used by Apple, and 74 percent of that donation was made by Apple.In its first year, the organization was almost fully funded by volunteers and donations from Apple. "Our board, when we first started, was primarily made up of Apple employees who just jumped in and rolled up their sleeves," Limos says. "We saw the power of Benevity and the company match program, because it funded the majority of our ability to run this program."More info on Saints of Steel and Apple's donations can be found in the full Apple Newsroom article on the topic.


This article, "Apple and Apple Employees Donated $100 Million to Various Charitable Causes in 2019" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Announces App Store Price Changes in Two Countries, Reminds Developers About New Tax in Singapore

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 17:49
Apple today announced that, in the next few days, prices of App Store apps and in-app purchases will decrease in Thailand and increase in Pakistan due to foreign exchange rate fluctuations.


Additionally, on January 1, 2020, a 7% sales tax for overseas digital services was introduced in Singapore. ‌App Store‌ developers based in Singapore who provide their GST number in ‌App Store‌ Connect will not have their proceeds affected, according to Apple. Otherwise, proceeds will be adjusted accordingly.

Tag: App Store
This article, "Apple Announces App Store Price Changes in Two Countries, Reminds Developers About New Tax in Singapore" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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