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Apple Donating Over 20 Million Masks to Healthcare Professionals, Producing Face Shields With Suppliers

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 23:51
Apple CEO Tim Cook today shared a video message with an update on the company's response to the ongoing pandemic.

Cook said Apple has now sourced over 20 million masks that it is in the process of donating to healthcare professionals around the world. Apple is working with governments to ensure that the masks are donated to the places of greatest need.

Cook added that Apple's design, engineering, operations, and packaging teams are working with suppliers to design, produce, and ship face shields for medical workers. Apple plans to donate one million face shields by the end of this week, followed by an additional one million per week. Cook said the face shields take less than two minutes to assemble.

Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers.

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 5, 2020
The face shields can be packed flat, allowing 100 to fit in each box. Shipments will initially go to hospitals and other places of need in the United States, but Apple plans to expand distribution globally eventually.

Apple recently delivered its first batch of face shields to Kaiser medical facilities in the Santa Clara Valley and said results are positive.
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iOS 14 Could Offer Home Screen Widgets, Wallpaper Customizations

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 00:30
iOS 14 could offer home screen widgets and wallpaper customizations for the first time, according to 9to5Mac and Twitter user DongleBookPro.

Apple is reportedly working to implement widgets that can be moved freely around like icons on the iPhone and iPad homescreen for the very first time. The feature is reportedly codenamed "Avocado" and no other details are available. It was also mentioned that Apple is still working on implementing the feature and it may be scrapped.

In addition to home screen widgets, Twitter user DongleBookPro shared allegedly leaked screenshots of new wallpaper settings and customization options coming in ‌iOS 14‌. The leaked screenshots reveal a new "Collections" menu that users can populate with their own photos. The new "iOS 13" column hints that Apple will not be removing wallpapers first introduced in ‌iOS 13‌. It also appears Apple will be grouping similar wallpapers together in a more pleasant arrangement, as users will now be able to scroll left to right instead of top to bottom.

Hey @EveryApplePro, @MaxWinebach said you like wallpapers

— Dongle (@DongleBookPro) April 4, 2020

The screenshot also mentions new "Home Screen Appearance" options which will allow users to alter the appearance of their current wallpaper. It appears users will now be able to select dark, dim, blurred, and normal versions of a wallpaper.

Apple is expected to announce ‌iOS 14‌ at its WWDC 2020 event this June which will be held online.Related Roundup: iOS 14
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EPIX Available for Free Through Apple TV Channels Until May 2, No Subscription Required

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 18:28
EPIX is currently offering free access to its catalog of movies and TV shows through the Apple TV Channels feature in the TV app, and many additional services are also offering extended free trials.

Upon navigating to the ‌Apple TV‌ app, users will notice that EPIX is listed under the "My Channels" section. Rather than offering an extended trial where users must first sign up, EPIX is currently providing completely free access with no subscription needed until May 2nd.

In addition to the free content from EPIX, many other ‌Apple TV‌ Channel options have extended free trials available for new subscribers, such as ShowTime, A&E, Smithsonian, and more. Showtime, for example, is currently offering an extended one-month free trial before its $10.99/month subscription fee.

‌‌Apple TV‌ Channels are available through the ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ app on iPhone, iPad, ‌‌Apple TV‌‌, Macs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and select smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 13Tag: Apple TV channelBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)
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The New iPhone SE: Rumored to be coming soon

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 17:10
We've been hearing rumors about a second-generation iPhone SE for quite some time, but this past week, Apple themselves revealed the name on their online store. Want to know more? Here are all the rumors about the new low-cost ‌iPhone‌ in once place.

Read More: iPhone SE roundup.

Top Stories: Apple Leaks iPhone SE and AirTags, Apple Buys Dark Sky, and More

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 15:00
With the calendar rolling over to April this week, we yet again saw several leaks and rumors, most notably including Apple itself leaking some references to a pair of long-rumored products: a new budget iPhone SE and AirTags item trackers.

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Apple also acquired popular weather app Dark Sky, while Amazon's Prime Video app now allows users to bypass Apple's in-app purchase system and rent or buy movies directly from Amazon.

Check out our roundup below and the video above for details on these stories and more!

New Low-Cost 'iPhone SE' Could Launch Soon
We've been hearing about a new low-cost iPhone for almost exactly a year now, and it looks like it may finally be ready to launch, with new details suggesting a launch is imminent. The new phone will apparently recycle the iPhone SE name used for Apple's previous dedicated budget phone, but this version will look nearly identical to the iPhone 8 but with upgraded internals.

iPhone 8
The new iPhone SE will reportedly be available in white, black, and red and come in 64, 128 and 256 GB capacities. Apple itself even briefly leaked some confirmation on the new device's name, updating the name of an existing Belkin screen protector for the iPhone 7 and 8 to include a reference to the SE in its online store.

AirTags Leaked in New Apple Video
Whoops! Apple on Thursday referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a support video uploaded to YouTube.

The video was inconspicuously titled "how to erase your iPhone," but on a settings screen for the Find My app, AirTags were clearly mentioned in fine print that indicates "offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular."

MacRumors uncovered evidence of AirTags within iOS 13 code last year. The item trackers will compete with Tile, helping users keep track of their personal belongings, such as their keys, wallets, and backpacks.

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky
Well, this was unexpected.

The popular iPhone and iPad weather app Dark Sky this week announced that it has been acquired by Apple. There will be no changes to the app, and it will remain available for purchase in the ‌App Store‌.

Apple will be ending Dark Sky support on Android and Wear OS on July 1, 2020. Dark Sky's API will also stop working at the end of 2021, which will impact other popular weather apps like CARROT Weather that use Dark Sky as a data source.

Apple Lets Amazon Prime Video App Offer In-App Purchases on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV
The Amazon Prime Video apps for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV now allow customers to purchase and rent movies and TV shows within the app, with Apple allowing Amazon to use its own payment system, skirting the traditional in-app purchase screens.

While this would appear to violate Apple's App Store rules that require all content purchased in apps to go through Apple's in-app purchase system and result in Apple taking a cut of the revenue, Apple says that Amazon Prime is now part of an existing program for a small handful of "premium" video apps, which allows them to use their own payment methods instead of in-app purchases.

MacRumors Newsletter
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!
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Apple Music Was Second Biggest Global Music Streaming Service in 2019

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 02:38
Global online music streaming subscriptions were up 32 percent year-over-year in 2019, hitting 358 million subscribers, according to new estimates shared today by Counterpoint Research.

Spotify was the market leader with a 31 percent share of total revenue and a 35 percent share of total paid subscriptions, while Apple Music earned the second place slot with a 24 percent share of total revenues in the industry and a 19 percent share of the total paid subscriptions. ‌Apple Music‌'s subscription base grew an estimated 36 percent year-over-year.

Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and Tencent Music all trailed both ‌Apple Music‌ and Spotify."Spotify maintained its top spot with the help of promotional activities like free Spotify Premium for three months, price cuts, customized campaigns like Spotify and a focus on exclusive content. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google have started focusing on music streaming and have sufficient cash at their disposal to give stiff competition to Spotify. ‌Apple Music‌ is making improvements in its app like the introduction of night mode, curated playlists to target a group, etc. Similarly, Amazon Music has been trying lossless music and is creating its own niche where it competes with Tidal."More than 80 percent of total streaming music revenue came from paid subscriptions, while the rest came from advertisements and partnerships with brands and telcos.

Counterpoint Research believes that online streaming music subscriptions will grow more than 25 percent year-over-year to exceed 450 million subscriptions by the end of 2020.

Apple last shared specific ‌Apple Music‌ subscriber numbers in June 2019, announcing that the service had reached 60 million paid subscribers. That number is likely quite a bit higher now, but Apple has not shared new official subscriber totals in 2020.Tags: Spotify, Apple Music
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Apple CEO Tim Cook to Deliver Virtual Commencement Address for Ohio State University Students

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 01:15
Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the commencement address at Ohio State University's virtual commencement event that's set to take place on May 3, Ohio State President Michael Drake announced today.

The event, which will be live streamed, will kick off at noon local time, with 12,000 diplomas to be awarded virtually to students. The broadcast will include Cook's commencement speech, musical performances, and with Drake and university officials in traditional commencement regalia at Ohio Stadium, which will be empty of students."I am delighted to welcome ‌Tim Cook‌ as our spring commencement speaker," Drake said. "We are grateful for Mr. Cook's participation in this important tradition and know his unique insights will guide Buckeyes as they continue to innovate the future."Ohio State has an ongoing relationship with Apple and in 2017, established an education and research partnership with Apple through the university's Digital Flagship initiative, which features an iOS design library and provides students with opportunities to learn coding skills.

Cook often attends commencement events at universities to inspire and motivate students. He has spoken at Stanford, Tulane, MIT, George Washington University, Auburn University, and more.

(Thanks, Joe!)Tag: Tim Cook
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Apple Acquires AI Startup Voysis to Improve Siri

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 23:55
Apple has purchased artificial intelligence startup Voysis with the aim of improving Siri, reports Bloomberg. Voysis offers a platform that allows digital voice assistants to better understand natural language.

The company worked to improve voice assistants in online shopping apps, allowing software to better interpret requests from users. The website, which is now defunct, said that the technology used client databases with AI tools that deeply understand the specifics of products, services, and vocabulary to make the user experience "easier, faster and more intuitive."

The Voysis platform allowed customers to hone in on search requests with simple phrases like "I need a new LED TV" or "Just show me the 4K ones." Voysis said that shoppers could use voice to find what they're looking for 3x faster than typing using these kind of requests.

Bloomberg speculates that Apple could use Voysis' technology to improve ‌Siri‌'s understanding of natural language, or offer the Voysis platform to developers to improve how ‌Siri‌ works with apps.

Apple confirmed the acquisition to Bloomberg with its standard acquisition statement: "[Apple] buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Apple has acquired multiple AI startups over the course of the last five years, such as, Turi, VocalIQ, Perceptio, Emotient, and more, to improve ‌Siri‌ and other AI-based offerings. Tags: Siri, Apple acquisition, artificial intelligence
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U.S. Senators Question Apple CEO Tim Cook About COVID-19 App Privacy

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 20:50
Four U.S. senators, Bob Menendez, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal, on Friday sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook expressing concern over "the safety and security of Americans' private health data" in regard to the recently released COVID-10 website and app, reports Bloomberg.

The senators questioned Cook about Apple's data-sharing practices and safeguards, and whether the COVID-19 app complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). They also want details on Apple's agreements with federal or state governments for the development of the app.

When announcing the app and the website, which Apple developed with the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and FEMA, Apple said that any data users provide on the COVID-19 website or app is not shared with Apple, the CDC, or any other government agency, as specified on the COVID-19 website. What little information Apple does collect, such as how people use the site, is used for bug fixes. Apple is not collecting your answers from the screening tool. To help improve the site, Apple collects some information about how you use it. The information collected will not personally identify you.Apple also does not require users to sign in to use the app and the data is not associated with a user's Apple ID, nor does it ask for any personally identifiable information.Consistent with Apple's strong dedication to user privacy, the COVID-19 app and website were built to keep all user data private and secure. The tools do not require a sign-in or association with a user's ‌Apple ID‌, and users' individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.Apple debuted the COVID-19 website and app on March 27. It serves as a screening tool where users can answer questions about symptoms, exposure risk, and more, to receive CDC recommendations on the next steps they should take, such as social distancing or obtaining a test.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: COVID-19 Coronavirus
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Apple Offers Employees Deep Discounts on HomePod and Beats Headphones

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 20:14
Apple is offering employees significant discounts on products that include the HomePod and Beats headphones, according to details on the deals shared by MacGeneration and 9to5Mac.

Apple is said to be clearing stock of Beats headphones and HomePods, providing them to employees through an internal deals program. The ‌HomePod‌ is available at a 50 percent discount, dropping the price to $149.50, while Beats are also available at a reduced price.

There's no confirmed word on why Apple is offering HomePods and Beats headphones to employees at a discount, but in the case of the ‌HomePod‌, there are rumors that Apple is working on a new lower-cost model that could come out at some point this year.

Apple may also simply have excess ‌HomePod‌ and Beats stock due to reduced sales or a miscalculation in production.

Apple has offered similar deep discounts on products to employees a few times in the past, and provides smaller discounts on all of its products for employees who want to make a purchase through an employee store.Related Roundup: HomePodBuyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)
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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Luna Display Adapter for Converting an iPad or Mac Into a Second Screen

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 20:01
For this week's giveaway, we've once again teamed up with Astro to give MacRumors readers a chance to win a Luna Display adapter that's able to transform an iPad or an extra Mac into a secondary display for a main machine.

The tiny Luna Display adapter plugs into your Mac through a USB-C port (newer Macs) or a Mini DisplayPort (older Macs) and then when paired with the Luna Display software, it connects an ‌iPad‌ or another Mac to your primary Mac using WiFi, giving new life to old iPads and Macs.

When connected, the Luna Display extends the Mac's display to the secondary Mac or the ‌iPad‌ so the device can be used as a second screen, something that's especially useful these days with many people working from home with makeshift office setups.

Priced at $80, the Luna Display sets itself apart from Apple's built-in Sidecar functionality with Mac-to-Mac support, something ‌Sidecar‌ doesn't do. Luna Display also works with older iPads, making it a more versatile option.

With Mac-to-Mac mode, the primary Mac needs macOS El Capitan or later, while the secondary Mac needs to be running macOS Mountain Lion or later, so this feature works with some machines that are quite a bit older.

For the best performance, the main Mac should be a 2012 MacBook Air or later, a 2012 MacBook Pro or later, a 2012 Mac mini or later, a 2012 iMac or later, or a 2013 Mac Pro or later.

In Mac-to-Mac mode, Luna Display provides full keyboard, trackpad, and mouse support on both of the Macs, with more info available from the Luna Display website.

Luna Display also works with almost all modern iPads, with expanded support over what's available using Apple's ‌Sidecar‌. Luna Display is compatible with the ‌iPad‌ 2 or later, all ‌iPad‌ mini models, all iPad Pro models, and all ‌iPad‌ Air models, with iOS 9.1 or later as the only requirement. Performance is faster on newer iPads, but older models work well too.

The Luna Display can be purchased from the Luna Display website, and we have five of them to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win our ‌giveaway‌, use the 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.

Luna Display Giveaway
The contest will run from today (April 3) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 10. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 10 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.Tag: giveaway
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iPad Launched 10 Years Ago Today, App Developer Reflects on Getting Access to a Top-Secret Prototype

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 19:53
On the 10th anniversary of the iPad launching in stores, Agile Partners co-founder Jack Ivers has shared an interesting story about how his company managed to get in Apple's good graces and ultimately gain access to prototype iPads.

The story begins in 2008, when Agile Partners released GuitarToolkit as one of the first iPhone apps on the App Store. The app used the iPhone's microphone to detect musical notes in an incoming audio stream to see the real-time pitch of a guitar string. Apple has long had an interest in music, so the app quickly caught its eye.

In 2009, Apple covertly reached out to Agile Partners about featuring GuitarToolkit in a worldwide advertising campaign:We began receiving calls that went as follows:

Apple: We need you to internationalize GuitarToolkit for the following languages: Japanese, simplified Chinese, German, French, and Spanish. By next week please.

Agile: Ummm ... why?

Apple: Sign this NDA.

Agile: Here you go. So tell us more.

Apple: We're considering featuring GuitarToolkit in an advertising campaign, but no promises. Will you do the internationalization?

Apple was asking us to jump, and it didn't take too much reflection to respond, "how high?" GuitarToolkit ended up being featured in a series of worldwide print and TV campaigns, including one that appeared on the back cover of many of the most prestigious magazines in the U.S. and around the world.GuitarToolkit ended up being featured on the back cover of many popular magazines:

Then, in February 2010, just days after Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPad, an Apple executive reached out to Agile Partners requesting a quick conversation about something "important." After signing a very strict NDA, Agile Partners ended up being invited to Apple's headquarters to develop an iPad version of their GuitarToolkit app.

Agile Partners was provided with access to prototype iPads to develop its app and, unsurprisingly, they were located in a "locked, nondescript, unlabeled room on the second or third floor on the building that housed the Infinite Loop cafeteria."The room had blackout curtains hanging inside the door so that, even when the door was open, you couldn't see inside. The room had three or four sturdy industrial tables, each with an iPad prototype chained to it. Each iPad was completely encased in what appeared to be Kevlar, with just the screen and home button exposed. Almost none of the industrial design was visible – bezels, back, edges, even the iPad's thickness, were all obscured by the bulky case.

Each table also had a Mac with a special Xcode that could build to the iPad. We spent the day tweaking app settings for the new screen dimensions, getting past beta glitches, and finally successfully building TabToolkit on the prototype iPads.Agile Partners eventually became VIP attendees at WWDC 2010, where its iPad app received an Apple Design Award.
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Deals: AirPods Pro Are Available to Ship Today at $234.98 on Amazon

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:29
Apple's AirPods Pro have returned to their low price of $234.98 on Amazon, down from $249.00. At about $14 off, this remains the lowest price we've ever tracked for a brand new model of the AirPods Pro among the major Apple resellers online.

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

This sale on the AirPods Pro typically comes around every few weeks on Amazon, and due to low stock it never lasts long. This could be exacerbated by current shipping delays, but as of writing Amazon notes that shoppers can expect the AirPods Pro to arrive between April 7 and April 16. If you've been waiting to purchase a pair, be sure to visit Amazon soon.

$14 OFFAirPods Pro for $234.98

Head to our full Best Deals guide for AirPods to shop for even more discounts on Apple's wireless headphones.Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Apple Card's Base APR Lowered to 10.99% for Some Cardholders

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 17:40
Following two interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve in March, the Apple Card's base APR has now decreased from 12.49 percent to 10.99 percent for some cardholders, including MacRumors reader Zed and others on Reddit.

This is at least the third time that the Apple Card's APR range has been lowered since the credit card launched in August 2019.

Due to current affairs, Apple recently launched a customer assistance program that allows Apple Card holders to skip their March and April payments without incurring interest charges. To enroll in the program, read Apple's support document.

Key features of the Apple Card include color-coded spending summaries in the Wallet app, no fees beyond any applicable interest, and up to three percent daily cashback.

To apply for an ‌Apple Card‌, simply open the Wallet app on an iPhone running iOS 12.4 or later, tap the plus button in the top-right corner, and follow the on-screen steps. The process takes just a few minutes, and if approved, your digital ‌Apple Card‌ will be ready for purchases immediately. A physical titanium-based Apple Card is also available for use at retail stores that do not accept contactless payments.Tag: Apple Card
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Deals: Refurbished Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi Routers Discounted by Up to 50% at Woot Today Only, Starting at $175

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 17:23
Woot today began a new flash sale on Netgear Orbi Mesh Routers, offering up to 50 percent discounts on two Orbi systems in refurbished condition. Both routers come with a 90 day warranty from Netgear.

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

To start, there's the Netgear RBK43 Orbi Wi-Fi Router with one router and two satellites for $174.99, compared to an original price of $349.99. This sale is also below Amazon's refurbished price of $219.99 in renewed condition. Orbi's tri-band router covers up to 6,000 square feet by placing each satellite at different locations around your house.

Orbi Mesh Router (Refurb) for $174.99

There's also the Netgear RBK53 Orbi Ultra-Performance Router for $229.99, compared to a price of $279.99 in renewed condition at Amazon. This system can provide solid Wi-Fi coverage across homes up to 7,500 square feet, and includes one router and two satellites.

Both Orbi mesh router systems at Woot are being sold in "factory reconditioned" condition, meaning they were returned, inspected, and restored to full working order. Amazon Prime customers can get free standard shipping on each router, but delivery dates may be slightly delayed.

Head to Woot to browse even more items on sale, today including markdowns on surge protectors.Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Roleplaying Game 'Legend of the Skyfish 2' Launches on Apple Arcade

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 17:14
"Legend of the Skyfish 2" is this week's addition to Apple Arcade on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV:A hundred years have passed since the hero known as Little Red Hook ended the reign of terror of Skyfish, the Lord of the Deep Seas… and now the peace that civilization struggled so much to build is in danger again.

As the last Red Hook guardians, you and your master must use the atypical tool of your clan – the Combat Fishing Pole – as both a weapon and a grappling hook to face the rising threat.

Unveil an exciting story as you journey in a world full of intriguing characters and devious traps. Explore gorgeous landscapes and mysterious dungeons while defeating mutant abyssal creatures."Legend of the Skyfish 2" is available on the App Store with an Apple Arcade subscription. The 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.

Legend of Skyfish 2 is here—the Red Hook adventures continue with new obstacles and abyssal creatures

Play it on #AppleArcade today:

— Apple Arcade (@AppleArcade) April 3, 2020 Tag: Apple Arcade
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Deals: Powerbeats Pro Return to $200 at Multiple Retailers ($50 Off, Lowest Price)

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 15:44
New sales on a variety of Beats headphones have appeared this morning, headlined by a return of the lowest-ever price on the Powerbeats Pro at $199.95, down from $249.99. This sale has popped up at numerous retailers today, including Amazon, B&H Photo, Target, and more.

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.

Even Apple is discounting the Powerbeats Pro today, and across all retailers every color is on sale: Navy, Moss, Ivory, and Black. We've seen this sale recur over the past year since the Powerbeats Pro launched, and it's a perfect opportunity to purchase the headphones if you've been waiting for a discount.

$50 OFFPowerbeats Pro for $199.95

Similar to the Powerbeats Pro, the Solo Pro is on sale across numerous retailers, priced at $249.99, down from $299.99. You can find this sale at Apple, Amazon, B&H Photo, Target, and more. You'll find every color on sale here as well: Black, Gray, Ivory, Dark Blue, Light Blue, and Red.

Best Buy is also discounting these headphones during its 1-day sale today, which also includes the Powerbeats3 Wireless Headphones for $89.99, down from $199.99; and the Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones at $199.99, down from $349.99. Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Apple Paid Hacker $75,000 for Uncovering Zero-Day Camera Exploits in Safari

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 12:58
Apple paid out $75,000 to a hacker for identifying multiple zero-day vulnerabilities in its software, some of which could be used to hijack the camera on a MacBook or an iPhone, according to Forbes.

A zero-day vulnerability refers to a security hole in software that is unknown to the software developer and the public, although it may already be known by attackers who are quietly exploiting it.

Security researcher Ryan Pickren reportedly discovered the vulnerabilities in Safari after he decided to "hammer the browser with obscure corner cases" until it started showing weird behavior.

The bug hunter found seven exploits in all. The vulnerabilities involved the way that Safari parsed Uniform Resource Identifiers, managed web origins and initialized secure contexts, and three of them allowed him to get access to the camera by tricking the user to visit a malicious website.
"A bug like this shows why users should never feel totally confident that their camera is secure," Pickren said, "regardless of operating system or manufacturer."Pickren reported his research through Apple's Bug Bounty Program in December 2019. Apple validated all seven bugs immediately and shipped a fix for the camera kill chain a few weeks later. The camera exploit was patched with in Safari 13.0.5, released January 28. The remaining zero-day vulnerabilities, which Apple judged to be less severe, were patched in Safari 13.1, released on March 24.

Apple opened its bug bounty program to all security researchers in December 2019. Prior to that, Apple's bug bounty program was invitation-based and non-iOS devices were not included. Apple also increased the maximum size of the bounty from $200,000 per exploit to $1 million depending on the nature of the security flaw.

When submitting reports, researchers must include a detailed description of the issue, an explanation of the state of the system when the exploit works, and enough information for Apple to reliably reproduce the issue.

This year, Apple plans to provide vetted and trusted security researchers and hackers with "dev" iPhones, or special iPhones that provide deeper access to the underlying software and operating system that will make it easier for vulnerabilities to be discovered.

These iPhones are being provided as part of Apple's forthcoming iOS Security Research Device Program, which aims to encourage additional security researchers to disclose vulnerabilities, ultimately leading to more secure devices for consumers.Tags: exploit, Safari, bug bounty
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Apple News Currently Down for Some Users

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 12:02
Apple News appears to be running into problems this morning, with social media chatter indicating the service is down for many users.

Apple's System Status page isn't reporting issues with its News service, but launching the iOS app and tapping the Today tab is throwing up a "Feed Unavailable" message for many users. However, other sections of the app do appear to be functioning.

MacRumors was able to replicate the behavior on iPhone and iPad, but the service appears to be working when accessed through the macOS app, at least in the United Kingdom.

According to Downdetector, the problem is mainly being reported by users in the United States and the United Kingdom. We'll update this article when the situation changes.

Apple News is having issues since 10:48 AM BST. RT if it's down for you as well #applenewsdown

— DowndetectorUK (@DowndetectorUK) April 3, 2020 Tag: Apple News
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2020 iPad Pro Includes Microphone Hardware Disconnect Security Feature

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 11:13
Apple has added an anti-eavesdropping feature to the 2020 iPad Pro that ensures the microphone hardware is disabled when a case is attached to the iPad and closed.

The security feature was first introduced in 2018 in MacBook models using Apple's T2 security chip, which includes a hardware microphone disconnect feature that disables the mics when the notebook's lid is closed.

As spotted by 9to5Mac, an updated version of Apple's Platform Security document makes clear that the anti-eavesdropping is also available on all 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models when using an MFI-compliant case.
‌iPad‌ models beginning in 2020 also feature the hardware microphone disconnect. When an MFI compliant case (including those sold by Apple) is attached to the ‌iPad‌ and closed, the microphone is disconnected in hardware, preventing microphone audio data being made available to any software—even with root or kernel privileges in iPadOS or in case the firmware is compromised.Apple updated the 11-inch and 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models last month with a faster A12Z Bionic chip, a new 10MP Ultra Wide camera to complement the traditional 12MP camera, and a LiDAR depth scanner for improved augmented reality experiences.

For some 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ owners at least, these updates are relatively modest, but the new security features outlined in Apple's documentation may be enough to tempt more privacy-conscious users. Related Roundup: iPad ProBuyer's Guide: 11" iPad Pro (Buy Now), 12.9" iPad Pro (Buy Now)
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