MacRumors

Subscribe to MacRumors feed
Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mac News and Rumors
Updated: 54 min 51 sec ago

Logitech Debuts New MX Vertical Ergonomic Mouse

3 hours 43 min ago
Logitech today announced the launch of the MX Vertical, the company's most advanced ergonomic mouse to date.

The MX Vertical, which was designed in collaboration with ergonomic experts, combines ergonomic design elements with MX mouse performance for a mouse that cuts down on forearm strain and wrist pressure without impacting productivity.


Up to 12 percent of computer users feel discomfort or pain on a daily basis according to a recent survey, and that's the consumer base Logitech is targeting with this product. Logitech tested dozens of prototypes and designs to come up with the ideal shape, weight, and glide that eases pain but doesn't impede mouse usage.

Logitech's MX Vertical Mouse features a 57 degree vertical angle, reducing muscular activity by up to 10 percent compared to a standard mouse. It puts the mouse into the same position you might use when shaking someone's hand, offering a thumb rest and a comfortable grip.


Logitech designed the mouse to fit a range of hand shapes and sizes, and there's a texturized rubber surface that provides an ideal amount of grip. A built-in 240mAh rechargeable battery provides up to four months of usage, and an included quick charge feature provides three hours of power with one minute of charging.

The mouse is highly customizable with an adjustable 4,000 DPI high-precision sensor, which allows for four times less hand movement compared to a standard mouse to reduce usage fatigue. A switch at the top of the mouse allows the cursor speed and accuracy to be easily adjusted from 400 DPI to 4,000 DPI, while Logitech software allows for further customization.

Easy-Switch functionality lets the mouse switch between two computers with no need to re-pair, and Logitech Flow software lets text, images, and files be copied and pasted between multiple machines with the MX Vertical.

Logitech's new MX Vertical Mouse is priced at $99.99 and will be available in retail stores starting in September. The mouse can be pre-ordered from the Logitech website starting today.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Confirms Removing as Many as 25,000 Illegal Gambling-Related Apps From App Store in China

6 hours 44 min ago
Apple today confirmed it has removed "many" illegal gambling apps, and developers distributing them, from its App Store in China.

The Wall Street Journal:"Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China," Apple said in a statement Monday. "We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store."Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said 25,000 apps have been removed as of Sunday—which would be less than two percent of the estimated 1.8 million apps on the App Store in the country—but Apple hasn't confirmed any numbers.

Apple began cracking down on gambling-related apps earlier this month, providing affected developers with the following explanation:In order to reduce fraudulent activity on the App Store and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity, we are no longer allowing gambling apps submitted by individual developers. The includes both real money gambling apps as well as apps that simulate a gambling experience.

As a result, this app has been removed from the App Store. While you can no longer distribute gambling apps from this account, you may continue to submit and distribute other types of apps to the App Store.Apple notes that verified accounts from incorporated business entities may still submit gambling apps for distribution on the App Store.

MacRumors reported on Apple's crackdown on gambling-related apps in the App Store earlier this month, noting that some apps that have been banned as a result appear to have very little to do with gambling at all. Most of the apps have been removed from the App Store not only in China, but around the world.

Apple's move follows the Chinese state media scrutinizing the company earlier this month for allowing illegal content like gambling apps and spam messages to be distributed freely through the App Store and iMessage. As for the latter, Apple is reportedly working with Chinese carriers to reduce iMessage spam.

This isn't the first time Apple has catered to Chinese government demands. Last July, for example, the company removed VPN apps from the App Store in China. Six months prior, Apple pulled the The New York Times app in China.

"We would rather not remove apps, but like we do in other countries, we follow the law where we do business," said Apple CEO Tim Cook last year.

All of this comes amid growing tensions between the United States and China over trade.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: App Store, China
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Store in Amsterdam Evacuated, Likely After iPad Battery Overheated

Sun, 08/19/2018 - 18:09
Dutch media is reporting that an Apple Store at Leidseplein in Amsterdam was briefly evacuated today, likely after an iPad battery overheated.

Image Credit: AS Media
At 2:20 p.m. local time on Sunday afternoon, the Amsterdam fire department tweeted that crews were on the scene. The tweet added that there was "no smoke" at the store, but "three people with breathing problems."

A spokesperson for the fire department said "there is probably a leaking battery pack," according to Dutch broadcaster AT5 and NH Nieuws. The incident was also reported by Dutch blog iCulture, which alerted us to the story.

Employees immediately placed the iPad in a container with sand, and the store was evacuated as a precaution, according to the reports. The three people who suffered breathing issues were treated on site by ambulance workers.

The breathing issues may have been prompted by chemical vapors or other irritating substances emanating from the iPad battery, according to the Amsterdam fire department, which aired out the store while it was evacuated.

Fortunately, there does not appear to have been any significant injuries or damage. At around 3:00 p.m. local time, employees and customers were allowed to re-enter the store as usual, according to the reports.

It's unclear if the iPad battery pack was an official part from Apple or an aftermarket replacement, or if the potential overheating was the result of improper handling during servicing by a Genius Bar technician.

Earlier this year, an Apple Store in Zurich was evacuated following a similar incident with an overheated iPhone battery.

All in all, these incidents are quite rare, but a very small percentage of lithium-ion batteries do pose a risk of overheating, swelling, and bursting open. Without additional details, it's hard to pinpoint the exact cause.

We'll update this article if Apple comments on the incident.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Discuss this article in our forums

Facebook Fights US Government Demand to Break Messenger Encryption in Criminal Case

Sat, 08/18/2018 - 12:36
Facebook is contesting a demand from the U.S. government that it break the encryption of its popular Messenger app so that law enforcement can listen in to a suspect's conversations as part of an ongoing investigation into the MS-13 gang.

The U.S. Department of Justice's demand is in relation to a case proceeding in a federal court in California that is currently under seal, so public files are unavailable. However, Reuters' sources said the judge in the case heard arguments on Tuesday on a government motion to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to carry out the surveillance request.

Facebook says it can only comply with the government's request if it rewrites the code relied upon by all its users to remove encryption or else hacks the government's current target, according to Reuters.

Legal experts differed over whether the government would likely be able to force Facebook to comply. However, if the government gets its way in the case, experts say the precedent could allow it to make similar arguments to force other tech companies to compromise their encrypted communications services.

Messaging platforms like Signal, Telegram, Facebook's WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage all use end-to-end encryption that prevents communications between sender and recipient from being accessed by anyone else, including the service providers.

Tech companies have pushed back against previous attempts by authorities to break encryption methods, such as the FBI's request that Apple help it hack into the iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December 2015 attacks in San Bernardino.

In February 2016, a U.S. federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI, but Apple opposed the order in an open letter penned by Tim Cook, who said the FBI's request would set a "dangerous precedent" with serious implications for the future of smartphone encryption.

Apple's dispute with the FBI ended on March 28, 2016 after the government found an alternate way to access the data on the iPhone with the help of a private contractor and withdrew the lawsuit.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, privacy, Encryption
Discuss this article in our forums

Motorola's New P30 Smartphone Blatantly Copies iPhone X

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 22:17
Motorola's latest P30 smartphone is making headlines this week, but not for an impressive feature set or a unique design. As it turns out, Motorola has opted to copy the design of the iPhone X, resulting in an Android smartphone that's nearly identical to Apple's flagship device.

The P30, which features a 6.2-inch display, is by far the most iPhone X-like Android smartphone that we've seen yet, with a frontal design that includes rounded corners, a notch that's similar to the iPhone X notch in size and shape, and an edge-to-edge design. There's a small bezel at the bottom, which is the only feature that distinguishes the P30 from the iPhone X.


At the back, the P30 features a dual-lens camera setup in a vertical orientation much like the iPhone X, and it replaces the Apple logo with a Motorola logo that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The colorful metallic body of the device is reminiscent of the Huawei P20, making the rear of the smartphone look like a P20/iPhone X hybrid.


Black and white versions look a little more like the iPhone X, and Motorola has even been marketing the device with iPhone-style wallpapers.


Motorola's P30 is available in China and isn't being distributed in the United States just yet, and while it has an iPhone X-style design, it is positioned as a mid-range device that's more affordable, perhaps attempting to lure customers who want the iPhone X look but aren't able to shell out $1,000.


Inside the Motorola P30, there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chip, 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3,000mAh battery. The two rear cameras feature 5 and 16-megapixel sensors while there's a 12-megapixel front-facing camera. Despite the notch, there's no front-facing facial recognition system.


As The Verge humorously pointed out, the P30 looks so similar to the iPhone X that when doing a Google image search based on the P30, Google guesses that it's an iPhone X.


Since the iPhone X launched last November, many Android smartphone makers have adopted the notched design to allow for maximum screen space to compete with the iPhone lineup. Smartphones from manufacturers that include LG, Leagoo, Huawei, OnePlus, Asus, Vivo, Oppo, and others have adopted the notch design. Even Google is set to copy the iPhone X's notch with the upcoming Google Pixel 3 XL, based on leaked images.

Apple is planning to unveil three additional smartphones that use the notch design introduced with the iPhone X, and we're just a few weeks away from their debut. Based on rumors, we can count on a second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X with an OLED display, a larger-screened 6.5-inch OLED iPhone that can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus," and a 6.1-inch device with an LCD display and a lower price tag.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
All three will feature an edge-to-edge display with a notch that houses a TrueDepth camera system, doing away with the Home button in the iPhone lineup. Apple is expected to introduce the new 2018 iPhone lineup right around the second week of September, perhaps on September 11 or September 12.

Tags: Motorola, Lenovo
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple's Upcoming Drama Based on Child Journalist Hilde Lysiak Gains Lead Actress

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 21:56
Child actress Brooklynn Prince has been cast in the lead role of Apple's upcoming drama series that's based on the life of young journalist Hilde Lysiak, reports Deadline.

Eight-year-old actress Prince is known for playing Moonee in "The Florida Project," and she is currently working with Angelina Jolie and Sam Rockwell on "The One and Only Ivan."


The upcoming TV show, which will be Prince's first, follows a young girl who moves from New York to the small lakeside town her father is from, where she unearths a murder case everyone else in the town had attempted to bury.

The show is based on real-life child journalist Hilde Lysiak's efforts to report on a murder in Selinsgrove, which led to her being the first on the scene to report it. Lysiak's paper, the Orange Street News, has since earned her national and international media attention.

Apple has ordered 10 episodes of the series, created and executive produced by Dana Fox and Dara Resnik. Fox is known for her work on "Ben and Kate," "How to Be Single," and "Couples Retreat," while Resnik has worked on "Castle," "Shooter," and Mistresses."

Apple has more than a dozen television shows in the works, with a full list available in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.

Several other shows are currently in the casting stages, including an unnamed space drama developed by Ronald D. Moore, a futuristic epic world-building drama called "See," and "Are You Sleeping," a drama based on a murder case reopened by a podcast.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12Tag: Apple's Hollywood ambitionsBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)
Discuss this article in our forums

Netflix Tests Video Promos Between TV Show Episodes

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 21:32
Netflix is testing a new feature that adds video promos in between episodes of TV shows, Netflix confirmed to TechCrunch this afternoon.

The promos Netflix is showing to some users include full-screen personalized videos with content recommendations similar to Netflix recommendations available elsewhere on Netflix.


According to TechCrunch, the promotional videos displace preview information for the next episode of a TV show, with title, description, and thumbnail no longer visible.

Many Netflix users on Reddit and Twitter who have the new video promos have been complaining about them, with multiple threats to cancel the service if Netflix does indeed introduce promotional videos.

TechCrunch says that this is not a feature that is rolling out to subscribers at this time, but is instead a test that Netflix is running to determine how to better promote content.

Still, a small percentage of Netflix's global audience is impacted by the test, which is ongoing.
At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch. A couple of years ago, we introduced video previews to the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster. Since then, we have been experimenting even more with video based on personalized recommendations for shows and movies on the service or coming shortly, and continue to learn from our members.

In this particular case, we are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster. It is important to note that a member is able to skip a video preview at anytime if they are not interested.While some users have said the ads are not skippable, it does appear that customers are able to continue on with an episode at any time, bypassing the promotional video, a feature that has been confirmed by Netflix.

Tag: Netflix
Discuss this article in our forums

Review: Logitech's $70 'POWERED' 7.5W Wireless Charging Stand Offers a Hassle-Free Upright Design

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 20:48
Logitech often works with Apple to introduce new accessories for Apple devices, and in early August, Logitech announced its latest product designed in collaboration with Apple, the new POWERED wireless charging stand for iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

POWERED is an upright charging stand able to charge a compatible iPhone in either horizontal or landscape orientation. Made from a thick, heavy plastic material with a rubber coating to add grip, the POWERED has a horizontal rectangular back supported by a sturdy, angled base that offers just the right amount of stability.


There are four feet on the base, and the same grippy material coats the bottom, so it stays secure on a desk when in use. The base is similar in size to your standard flat wireless charger, and because it's more of a square shape, it doesn't take up as much room on a desk or nightstand as a typical round wireless charger.

A small circular LED at the top of the POWERED lights up to let you know when an iPhone is in the correct position to charge, but a benefit to an upright charger is that it's almost impossible to put the iPhone in the wrong spot. With flat chargers, you sometimes need to shift the iPhone around to get the wireless coil in the charger lined up with the charging mechanism in the iPhone, but vertical stands like the POWERED eliminate that problem.


While the upright back of the charger looks like it might be adjustable due to the design, it's not. It holds the iPhone at a single angle that's tilted back slightly, which seems to be an ideal angle for glancing over at the time or watching a video. Because the sides of the base come up around the iPhone in a "U" shape, it always feels secure in the charger when it's in a vertical position.


The POWERED can also be used for charging in landscape orientation if you want to watch videos, which is handy, but it does feel less secure and prone to toppling over if bumped.

I used the POWERED with an iPhone X, but it's sized to work with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus too. With the iPhone X and iPhone 8, there's about a fourth of an inch of space at the sides, while the iPhone 8 Plus is a tighter fit.


Rumors suggest all three of Apple's upcoming 2018 iPhones will feature wireless charging, and this charging stand will work with them. The largest of the three devices (the 6.5-inch OLED) is similar in size to an iPhone 8 Plus, which means it will fit in the POWERED.


Design wise, the POWERED from Logitech is similar to Belkin's Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand, but it has a somewhat smaller bottom base and a rectangular back rather than a circular back. Both hold the iPhone securely and at an ideal angle for video watching, so choosing one over another is just a matter of picking your favorite design.


There is a built-in 1.5-meter cord installed in the POWERED, and Logitech includes a power adapter similar in size to an iPad power adapter. Designed specifically for Apple devices, POWERED offers the faster 7.5W charging available to Apple iPhones.


Depending on external factors like temperature, 7.5W charging isn't always much faster than 5W charging, but there's usually enough of a difference that it's worth choosing a 7.5W charger over a 5W charger.


To test the POWERED, I drained the battery of my iPhone X to 1 percent and then left it on the charger for an hour in airplane mode. In that time, it charged up to 36 percent, which is the same general charging level that I've seen with other 7.5W chargers using the same test. During the winter, I've seen charging speeds up to about 46 percent with 7.5W chargers, but in summertime temperatures in my office (74 to 75 degrees), ~35 to 40 percent is the norm.

Logitech calls the POWERED the first wireless charger "truly worthy of iPhone" presumably because of the hassle-free U-shaped vertical design, but as far as charging speed goes, it's equivalent to other 7.5W charging options.

Bottom Line
I have zero complaints about the POWERED from Logitech, aside from the price tag. It's a nice charger that has all of the features I could ask for: drop and go functionality that prevents me from having to hunt for the coil, portrait and landscape orientation so my iPhone can sit upright, 7.5W charging speeds, and a sturdy base.

Unfortunately, it's priced at $70, which is expensive and can be hard to justify when there are so many wireless charging options on Amazon that are in the $20 to $40 range.

The POWERED and the similar Belkin Boost Wireless Charging Stand are the best wireless charging accessories that I've used, though, and I do think it can be worth shelling out extra money to get a higher quality stand.

With many of the flat wireless charging pads, I have to shift my iPhone around to get it in just the right spot for charging. I've run into instances where I think the iPhone is charging and it's not, or it starts charging and then gets bumped and knocked out of the proper position, something that's impossible with the POWERED because the U-shaped cradle guides iPhone placement.

If you have similar issues with flat wireless chargers, the POWERED may be worth checking out because it solves a lot of the pain points that come with wireless charging.

How to Buy
Logitech's POWERED wireless charging stand can be purchased from the Logitech website or from Apple.com for $69.99.

Note: Logitech provided MacRumors with a POWERED wireless charging stand for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Logitech. When you click a Logitech link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: Logitech
Discuss this article in our forums

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 7.5W Wireless Car Charger From Choetech

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 20:06
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Choetech to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a 7.5W Wireless Car Charging Mount that can be used to charge an iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus in the car or at home.

Priced at $30, Choetech's Wireless Car Charging Mount features a grippy suction cup base that can attach to a car's dashboard or window, holding the iPhone at an ideal angle for viewing directions, listening to music, and more.


There are two expandable arms that can be adjusted to fit any iPhone or Android device (including in a case), while a rotating ball joint allows the smartphone to be placed in portrait or landscape orientation. An adjustable foot also holds the iPhone or another smartphone in the proper alignment for charging.

Faster 7.5W charging is supported using a QC 2.0 to 3.0 adapter, which is not included in the purchase price, with 5W charging available using other adapters. Depending on a car's USB power output, 7.5W charging may not be supported. A USB-C port at the bottom provides power with the included USB-C to USB-A cable.


As with all Choetech wireless chargers, the Wireless Car Charging Mount features overheating, over-current, and over-voltage protection.


We have 20 of the Choetech Wireless Car Charging Mounts to give away. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter 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, 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.

a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest will run from today (August 17) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on August 24. The winners will be chosen randomly on August 24 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
Discuss this article in our forums

Transit App Expands Real-Time Crowdsourced Data to 175 Cities

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 19:53
The developers of the Transit app this week announced the expansion of real-time crowdsourced data for buses, trains, streetcars, ferries, and so forth to 175 cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe.


Normally, the locations of public transportation vehicles are pulled from a transit agency's data feed, which can take anywhere from 10 seconds to five minutes to update. This can result in the app showing a bus approaching a certain stop, for example, when in reality it has already passed by—without you on it.

To solve this problem, the Transit app has turned to crowdsourced data from opted-in users of GO, its step-by-step navigation feature.

GO itself isn't new. The feature automatically tracks your transit vehicle, walking speed, and location in real time, notifying you exactly when to leave to catch your ride, and when to disembark. The feature can also reroute you and provide adjusted ETAs when unforeseen changes or delays arise.

Now, when users enable GO, they will also be helping others. Once a rider opts into GO on a bus or train, for example, the Transit app will start broadcasting the vehicle's real-time location, second-by-second, to riders down the line. In general, this greatly improves the location of a vehicle versus agency data.


This means you can watch your vehicle approach—in actual, second-by-second real-time—on the map, whenever someone on that vehicle is using GO.

The team behind Transit has been testing real-time crowdsourced data for nearly two years. Over that time, they've generated data for "millions of trips," starting in the Canadian cities of Montréal and Victoria. Other test regions have included New York City and Los Angeles. The tests are said to have "went well."

For those with privacy concerns, the Transit team ensures that your location is completely anonymous. Data is only shared with its servers while GO is active and you are actually on board the vehicle. As soon as you disembark, GO shuts off, and your vehicle's location stops being sent, according to the app's FAQ.

It's unclear if there's a way to continue using the GO navigation helper without opting in to the real-time crowdsourced data sharing aspect, so if you do not wish to participate, it may be best to keep the feature disabled entirely.

Transit also notes that the location sharing feature relies on extended GPS use, which can use up to five percent of battery life on a 20-minute ride, assuming the rider is actively using the device during the trip. In terms of data, though, Transit says GO uses only about 100 kilobytes on a 20-minute trip.

Despite this, the Transit team is hoping that many riders will opt into the feature. They've even added some gamification features to the app as an incentive. GO users will now see a smile face in the top-left corner of the map, for example, indicating how many nearby riders they are helping out.


The app also shows GO users how many nearby riders they've helped on a monthly basis, and provides a "helpfulness" rank compared to other GO users. Transit is hoping that a little bit of competition will motivative riders to participate.

Transit bills itself as a real-time urban travel companion. The app is especially popular in Canada, making navigation via public transit easier with real-time data, trip planning and comparisons, step-by-step navigation, service disruption notifications, departure and stop reminders, and much more.

Transit works with not only buses, commuter trains, and subways, but streetcars, ferries, ride-sharing, bike-sharing, scooter-sharing, and more. The app is free to download on the App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android.

Tags: Transit App, transit
Discuss this article in our forums

Beats 1's Zane Lowe Says Streaming Music Goes Beyond Apple: 'There is No League With One Team'

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 16:57
In a new interview today with The Los Angeles Times, Beats 1 host Zane Lowe discussed a few topics related to Apple Music's daily streaming radio show, including the company's rivals. Without directly referencing Spotify, Lowe explained the need for competition among streaming music platforms.

“This is a controversial statement: I don't ever want us to be the only streaming service on the block,” Lowe says. “There is no league with one team. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. But you're still in the game. Not to sound too holistic but I'm glad I'm in the game.” Still, when Spotify was brought up during the interview -- comparing Apple Music's 40 million paid subscribers to Spotify's 83 million paid subscribers -- Lowe said he doesn't look to Spotify when thinking about Beats 1. "We're the only voice in streaming," he mentioned, referring to the streaming radio show. "That's not cockiness. It's fact."

Beats 1 is a 24/7 streaming radio channel comprised of a collection of radio shows hosted by different DJs throughout the day, including Julie Adenuga, Ebro Darden, and Lowe. Guest and celebrity hosts also include Elton John, Charli XCX, Pharrell, and St. Vincent. Shows range from artist interviews, listing current popular tracks on Apple Music, and more.

In response to Beats 1's success on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube are now believed to be looking into beefing up their radio-style programming as well.
Other services, however, are starting to mirror the Beats 1 mode of radio-style programming. In June, Spotify announced the hiring of Dawn Ostroff as its new chief content officer. Formerly of Conde Nast Entertainment and the CW network, she’ll oversee production of shows, radio stations, podcasts and episodic programming. YouTube Music’s Lyor Cohen has also indicated a desire to move into Beats 1-style programming. Despite the apparent influence of Beats 1 in the market, The Los Angeles Times questioned Lowe directly regarding specific listener counts for the service's shows. Lowe dodged answering and stated that Beats 1 streams in "more than 100 countries," and doubled down on the service's ability to sell listeners new artists and ultimately convert them into paid Apple Music subscribers (anyone can listen to Beats 1 in the Apple Music app, but paid Apple Music subscribers get access to on-demand stations and shows).
Last year, head of content Larry Jackson said, “Beats 1 is the biggest radio station in the world.” Is it? Lowe sidesteps because to him the question is premature. He recalls advice given to him by Jimmy Iovine[...]

“Jimmy said to me at the beginning: be the thing that moves the needle.” For Lowe, that meant getting cozy with artists. Before when Lowe encouraged fans to buy artists' records, whether or not they did wouldn't affect his livelihood. “This directly affects my business. By that very nature we are in business together.” In regards to Jimmy Iovine, the former Apple Music head this month transitioned to a "consulting role" for the company's streaming music service. According to people familiar with the matter, this means that Iovine has stepped back from daily involvement with Apple Music so that he can spend more time with his family, while also support Apple Music and Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue "as needed." The transition from Beats' "edgy culture" to Apple's focus on "appealing to the masses" reportedly proved to be a challenge for Iovine.

Beats 1 launched alongside Apple Music on June 30, 2015, kicking off with a day full of tracks that preceded an interview Lowe hosted with Eminem, the debut of St. Vincent's "Mixtape Delivery Service", and more. A few months after launch, Beats 1 eventually began saving replays of recent shows so subscribers could revisit an episode they missed at any time.

During the two-year anniversary of Beats 1 in 2017, Lowe said that he's "never been more excited about where Beats 1 is at this moment, and this is just the beginning."

Tags: Zane Lowe, Apple Music, Beats 1
Discuss this article in our forums

Prince's Estate Launches 23 of His Albums and New Anthology on Apple Music and Other Streaming Services

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 15:26
Sony Legacy announced over the summer that it had obtained the rights to release the "bulk" of Prince's back catalog, namely the albums he debuted after he left Warner Bros. in the mid-nineties. Today, The Prince Estate digitally released 23 total Prince albums that first launched between 1995 and 2010 onto "all major streaming services," including Apple Music and Spotify.


As Variety points out, today's launch marks the first time that many of these albums will be available for listeners to stream and download. Along with the individual albums, The Prince Estate released a new album called "Anthology: 1995-2010," which curates a collection of 37 songs from this period in Prince's career.

The 23 Prince albums now available on Apple Music include:
  • The Gold Experience (1995) (“The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” greyed out, partial album streaming only; album unavailable for download)

  • Chaos and Disorder (1996)

  • Emancipation (1996)

  • Crystal Ball (1998)

  • The Truth (1998)

  • Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (1999)

  • Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic (2001)

  • The Rainbow Children (2001)

  • One Nite Alone… (2002)

  • One Nite Alone…Live! (2002)

  • One Nite Alone…Live – The Aftershow: It Ain’t Over (Up Late with Prince & The NPG) (2002)

  • Xpectation (2003)

  • N.E.W.S. (2003)

  • C-Note (2004)

  • Musicology (2004)

  • The Chocolate Invasion (Trax from the NPG Music Club: Volume 1) (2004)

  • The Slaughterhouse (Trax from the NPG Music Club: Volume 2) (2004)

  • 3121 (2006)

  • Planet Earth (2007)

  • Indigo Nights (2008)

  • LOtUSFLOW3R (2009)

  • MPLSoUND (2009)

  • 20Ten (2010)
To find the albums and anthology, visit the Browse tab on Apple Music and swipe through the carousel until Prince's "Featured Artist" spotlight card appears. In this section, subscribers can also pre-add the upcoming Prince album "Piano & a Microphone 1983," which will be a compilation of previously unreleased home recordings for tracks like "Purple Rain," "17 Days," and "International Lover." The album launches September 21.

Before today, many of Prince's classic albums were already available to stream on Apple Music, so now that his later work is on streaming services, fans have the chance to listen to most of the albums from the late singer's lifelong career.

There are still numerous Prince albums missing from streaming services, but a deal struck between Sony Legacy and The Prince Estate should see these missing albums appear to stream in the future. Unfortunately, it won't be until 2021 at the earliest, at which time Sony Legacy's distribution rights will expand to include 12 of Prince's non-soundtrack albums from 1978-1996.

Prince passed away in April 2016, and prior to that time he had pulled all of his music from every streaming service except Tidal in the summer of 2015.

Tag: Apple Music
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Says No Personal Data Was Compromised in Australian Teenager Hacking Incident

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 15:02
In a statement, Apple has confirmed that no personal data was compromised by a 16-year-old student from Melbourne, Australia who admitted to hacking into Apple's internal servers on multiple occasions over one year.

The Guardian:At Apple, we vigilantly protect our networks and have dedicated teams of information security professionals that work to detect and respond to threats.

In this case, our teams discovered the unauthorized access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement. We regard the data security of our users as one of our greatest responsibilities and want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised.Australian publication The Age reported that the teen downloaded some 90GB of confidential files, and accessed customer accounts, storing information in a folder on his computer named "hacky hack hack." It's unclear exactly what he downloaded during the series of network intrusions.

The student, who cannot be publicly named due to his age and notoriety in the hacking community, reportedly pleaded guilty to his actions in an Australian Children's Court this week, with sentencing deferred until next month. His lawyer later told police that the teen "dreamed of" working for Apple.

The teen reportedly had a method of accessing Apple's servers that "worked flawlessly" on multiple occasions—until he was caught.

The international investigation began when Apple detected the unauthorized access, contained it, and alerted the FBI. The allegations were passed on to the Australian Federal Police, which executed a search warrant on the teen's home last year, and found the software that had enabled the hacking on his laptop.

Tag: Apple security
Discuss this article in our forums

Google Planning to Launch Echo Show-Like Smart Speaker With Touch Screen Later This Year

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:35
Google entered the smart speaker market in 2016 with the introduction of Google Home, allowing users to speak to Google Assistant and control various smart home products, listen to music, get the news, and more. Eventually, Google added the Home Mini and Home Max to the lineup, introducing products that were direct competitors to the Amazon Echo Dot and Apple HomePod, respectively.

Looking forward, the next Google Home will be a smart speaker equipped with a touch display that should arrive in time for the holiday shopping season, according to sources speaking to Nikkei Asian Review. This means that the new device "is likely to be similar to the Amazon Echo Show," which includes a display so users can do things like watch videos, view photos, and hold video calls.

The Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant (left) and Amazon Echo Show (right)
Google's plan for the upcoming device is described as "aggressive":
"Google targets to ship some 3 million units for the first batch of the new model of smart speaker that comes with a screen," an industry source said. "It's an aggressive plan." Earlier in 2018, Google announced a new "Smart Display" platform with partners like Lenovo, JBL, and Sony. Through these partnerships, the Google Assistant can be placed in devices not directly built by Google, like the Lenovo Smart Display and upcoming JBL Link View and ThinQ View. The new product described in today's report would represent Google's own first-party entry into this market.

Google and Amazon butted heads following the launch of the Echo Show last year, when Google removed YouTube from any Amazon Echo device with a screen. Google said that Amazon was violating its terms of service, but in December 2017 a YouTube spokesperson explained that the removal was due to Amazon not carrying certain Google products. This grants the upcoming speaker-equipped Google Home a potential edge in the market as Nikkei points out that playing and browsing YouTube will likely be a major selling point.

For Apple, the company is sticking to smart speakers without full displays. Although the HomePod does include a small screen that provides a visual indicator for Siri and volume buttons, no information regarding the currently playing song or album selection is available. Currently, the main rumor for the next iteration of HomePod is that Apple is working on a low-cost version of the speaker.

Google typically holds a hardware event in October, so we should hear more about the upcoming Google Home speaker with a touch screen -- if it exists -- around that time.

Tags: Google, Google Assistant, Google Home
Discuss this article in our forums

How to Output Your Mac's Audio to Two Pairs of Headphones at the Same Time

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 13:42
Next time you're on a flight with someone and you both want to watch a video on your Mac without disturbing other passengers, try this convenient solution for sharing your Mac's audio among two pairs of headphones.


The method described below should work regardless of whether you're using one wired pair and one wireless pair of headphones, two pairs of Bluetooth headphones (i.e. two sets of AirPods), or even several pairs.

How to Output Mac Audio to Two Audio Devices

  1. Make sure that the headphones you want to use together are paired with your Mac over Bluetooth and/or connected via the headphone jack.

  2. Launch the Audio MIDI Setup app, located in Applications/Utilities.

  3. Click the plus (+) button at the lower left of the Audio Devices window and select Create Multi-Output Device.

  4. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) the Multi-Output Device in the list that you just created, and select Use This Device For Sound Output. (You can also opt to Play Alerts and Sound Effects Through This Device from the same menu.)

  5. Tick the sets of headphones that you want to use in the Audio Device list. (If one is a wired pair, tick Built-in Output.)

  6. Select a Master Device in the drop-down menu.

  7. Tick Drift Correction for the slave device in the Audio Device list.

  8. Launch System Preferences (select  -> System Preferences... from the menu bar) and open the Sound pane.

  9. Click the Output tab and choose the Multi-Output Device or "Aggregate device" in the list, and you should be good to go.

Discuss this article in our forums

'Entry-Level' 13-inch MacBook, Redesigned iPad Pros With Faster 18W USB-C Charger Coming in September, But no New iPad Mini

Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:05
Apple will launch its much-rumored "entry-level" MacBook in September, according to a report by DigiTimes outlining Apple's upcoming product launches. The website says the new MacBook will be priced at $1200, according to industry sources, and will be powered by 14-nanometer Kaby Lake CPU architecture, following delays to Intel's 10-nm rollout.


Earlier this year, DigiTimes said that Apple will release the first MacBook Air with a Retina display in the second half of 2018, and claimed that it will be a 13-inch model in a separate report. It also recently said Quanta will assemble new "inexpensive notebooks" for Apple in the fourth quarter. However, the idea of a $1200 MacBook Air leaves the question of a sub-$1000 MacBook offering wide open.

TrendForce believes Apple will release a new MacBook Air in September or October, while both Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman expect Apple to release a new entry-level notebook later this year. Whether that's a MacBook or a MacBook Air remains unclear, but Gurman expects at least one of them to have a $999 starting price.

Today's DigiTimes report also claims Apple will use the September event to announce the "launch schedule" for its wireless AirPower charger, costing in the region of $160-$190. Apple previewed its multi-device AirPower charging mat at its iPhone X event last September, and confirmed that it will be released at some point in 2018, but it has yet to reveal how much it will cost. An earlier rumor citing "industry insiders" has suggested a price point of around $149.

Apple is expected to announce two new iPad Pro models this September measuring in at 11 and 12.9-inches, featuring slimmer bezels and a TrueDepth camera with support for Face ID. DigiTimes claims the two redesigned iPad Pros will sit alongside Apple's 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini 4 to complete its tablet lineup, but notably the report also claims Apple has "no further plan" for the iPad mini 4.

Elsewhere in today's round-up, DigiTimes claims Apple's next-generation iPad Pro models will come with a newly designed 18-watt USB-C power adapter for faster charging. Apple is rumored to be including the more powerful charger with its new trio of iPhones coming this year, but this is the first time we've heard that it could also feature as part of Apple's iPad lineup. The adapter would presumably connect to the iPads with a Lightning to USB-C cable, also included in the box.

Apple's iPads have traditionally come with 10–12W adapters, so including the 18W USB-C power adapter would make sense as it would allow for faster charging without requiring users to purchase separate charging accessories at additional cost. Apple's current iPad Pro models already support fast charging using one of Apple's USB-C charge adapters paired with a Lightning cable. With this setup, a 2017 iPad Pro can be charged in half the time.

Lastly, today's DigiTimes report reiterates previous rumors surrounding Apple's new 2018 iPhone lineup, which is expected to include two OLED models measuring in at 5.8 and 6.5 inches, and a 6.1-inch lower-cost LCD model. All three will feature Face ID and edge-to-edge displays.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, iPad mini 4 (2015), 2018 iPhonesTags: digitimes.com, AirPowerBuyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Don't Buy), iPad Mini (Don't Buy)
Discuss this article in our forums

Twitter Explains API Changes to Employees as Limits for Third-Party Apps Go Live

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 20:10
Twitter's API changes went live today, disabling key features for third-party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific.

The new API removes timeline streaming, preventing third-party apps from refreshing timelines automatically, and it limits push notifications and other features. Twitter is also charging exorbitant fees for access to its new activity APIs, with access starting at $2,899 per month for up to 250 accounts.


All third-party Twitter apps are affected by these changes. Tapbots yesterday updated the Tweetbot for iOS app to cripple multiple features popular with Tweetbot users. Timeline streaming over Wi-Fi is no longer available, for example, which means Twitter timelines will now refresh more slowly.

Push notifications for Mentions and Direct Messages are delayed by several minutes, and push notifications for likes, retweets, follows, and quotes have been disabled entirely. The Activity and Stats tabs, which were reliant on now-deprecated activity APIs, have been removed from the app, and because the Apple Watch app was heavily dependent on Activity data, it too has been eliminated.

Similar changes were introduced in Twitterrific in July, and as of today, the Twitterrific app is no longer able to receive and display native notifications. Twitterrific's Today center widget and Apple Watch app relied on these features, and have been removed.

Twitterrific recommends Twitter users download the official Twitter app to receive their notifications, while using the Twitterrific app for everything else.

As the changes went live, Twitter today sent out a company-wide email to employees that starts out by acknowledging the huge impact that third-party Twitter clients have had on growing the Twitter service before pointing towards "technical and business constraints" that prevent it from continuing to offer the APIs necessary to keep these apps working as before.Today, we will be publishing a blog post about our priorities for investing in Twitter client experiences. I wanted to share some insight into how we reached these decisions and how we're thinking about 3rd party clients moving forward.

First, some history: 3rd party clients have had a notable impact on the Twitter service and the products we built. Independent developers built the first Twitter client for Mac and the first native app for iPhone. These clients pioneered product features we all know and love about Twitter such as mute, the pull-to-refresh gesture, and many more.

We love that developers build experiences on our APIs to push our service, technology, and the public conversation forward. We deeply respect the time, energy, and passion they've put into building amazing things using Twitter.

However, we haven't always done a good job of being straightforward with developers about the decisions we make regarding 3rd party clients. In 2011, we told developers (in an email) not to build apps that mimic the core Twitter experience. In 2012, we announced changes to our developer policies intended to make these limitations clearer by capping the number of users allowed for a 3rd party client. And, in the years following those announcements, we've told developers repeatedly that our roadmap for our APIs does not prioritize client use cases -- even as we've continued to maintain a couple specific APIs used heavily by these clients and quietly granted user cap exceptions to the clients that needed them.

It's time to make the hard decision to end support for these legacy APIs -- acknowledging that some aspects of these apps would be degraded as a result. Today, we are facing technical and business constraints we can't ignore. The User Streams and Site Streams APIs that serve core functions of many of these clients have been in a "beta" state for more than 9 years, and are built on a technology stack we no longer support. We're not changing our rules, or setting out to "kill" 3rd party clients; but we are killing, out of operational necessity, some of the legacy APIs that power some features of those clients. In addition, it hasn't been realistic for us to invest in building a totally new service to replace all of the functionality of these APIs, which are used by less than 1% of Twitter developers.

We've heard feedback from our customers about the pain this causes. We review #BreakingMyTwitter quite often and have spoken with many of the developers of major 3rd party clients to understand their needs and concerns. We're committed to understanding why people hire 3rd party clients over our own apps, and we're going to try to do better with communicating these changes honestly and clearly to developers.

We know we have a lot of work to do. This change is a hard, but important step forward. Thank you for working with us to get there.Twitter has continually said that just 1 percent of Twitter developers use its now-deprecated APIs, but as these changes seem to impact most of the major Twitter clients, it's not clear how the 1 percent figure is being calculated.

As TechCrunch points out, Twitter's email insists that the APIs were "legacy technology" that needed to be eliminated for "operational necessity," but it's Twitter, not an outside force, that has refused to maintain or redevelop the APIs third-party apps are using or transition existing apps over to the new API platform.

The sad thing is they did build a service to replace most of this, they just priced access to it so high that it might as well not exist. pic.twitter.com/ylfG6lHbQp

— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) August 16, 2018
Twitter has further explained its decision to remove the APIs in a blog post that says the "best Twitter experience" it can provide is through its own "owned and operated Twitter for iOS and Android apps, as well as desktop and mobile twitter.com."

Tags: Twitter, Tweetbot, Twitterrific
Discuss this article in our forums

Verizon Subscribers With Unlimited Plan Can Now Sign Up for Six Free Months of Apple Music

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 19:31
Verizon and Apple last week announced a partnership that provides six free months of Apple Music service to new and existing customers with a Verizon Unlimited plan, and as of today, Verizon customers can sign up for their free Apple Music subscriptions.

Verizon subscribers who have an unlimited plan can visit the Apple Music section on the Verizon website to begin the sign up process. Logging in with a Verizon subscriber account is required, and from there, customers will receive a text message with a link that needs to be opened on a mobile device.


For iPhone and Android users that already have the app installed, it will open it up with subscription options. If the app isn't already installed, the App Store or Google Play store will open with instructions to download the app.

Apple Music is available to all Verizon Unlimited subscribers, including Verizon Plan Unlimited, Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, and Above Unlimited. Customers who have one of Verizon's original Unlimited plans (from earlier this year) can also sign up, and there have been some reports from Reddit users that other Verizon subscribers have been presented with the offer.


Verizon customers who already subscribe to Apple Music can activate the free trial offer, but will be prompted to cancel their existing Apple Music subscriptions through Apple to avoid double billing.


Apple Music subscribers who recently renewed will want to wait for a few weeks to activate their Verizon trials to make sure to get the full six months of free service. Annual subscribers may be able to cancel via Apple and get a prorated refund.

Each individual Verizon line is able to sign up for a free Apple Music trial, but it does not work with the family plan. Customers with an existing Apple Music family plan will need to cancel it, with each person in the family signing up for the free Verizon trial separately. The same goes for current student plans -- cancel with Apple and resubscribe through Verizon to get the free six months.

It appears the Apple Music subscriptions will be billed through Verizon following the conclusion of the six month trial rather than through iTunes like a standard Apple Music subscription.


Customers who sign up for the six month free trial and who do not want to pay for a subscription afterwards can cancel at any time, including right after signing up. Access to Apple Music remains available for the full six month period after cancelling through Verizon.

Subscriptions redeemed today will expire in February 2019.

Tags: Verizon, Apple Music
Discuss this article in our forums

MoviePass Now Limiting Subscribers to a Choice of Six Movies Each Day

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 18:55
MoviePass today announced new restrictions for its ever-changing movie service, with the company now limiting its subscribers to a choice of what appears to be six to seven movies per day.

On the MoviePass site, MoviePass lists "This Week's Movies," a section described as a "full lineup of movie titles available on MoviePass in the coming days."


For this Friday, that includes Mile 22, Christopher Robin, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, We The Animals, Skate Kitchen, Juliet Naked, and Summer of 84. Noticeably missing is Crazy Rich Asians, which won't be available until Sunday, and some of the movies seem to be limited distribution films not available in all areas.

We want to share more details about our service moving forward as part of our commitment to keep you fully informed. Here’s a full lineup of movie titles available on MoviePass in the coming days: https://t.co/BE9St1gDfF pic.twitter.com/OFCR56fcGd

— MoviePass (@MoviePass) August 16, 2018
Several popular movies that have already been released are not included for Friday, such as Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Mamma Mia, and Ant-Man.

MoviePass in early August restructured its subscription model to allow customers to see three movies per month for the $9.95 monthly fee. Prior to that, MoviePass had announced that it would raise its base subscription price to $14.95 per month, and before that, it introduced peak pricing and restricted major film releases, all in an attempt to stop hemorrhaging money.


For now, MoviePass seems to have settled on the $9.95 per month plan for three movies a month, while also restricting the movies available to customers each day.

Tag: MoviePass
Discuss this article in our forums

Microsoft Office Experiencing Activation Issues on Mac and PC

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 17:21
Microsoft Office appears to be experiencing activation issues on both Mac and PC today, according to several user reports on Twitter. MacRumors also received emails from multiple readers affected.


At least some Office 365 subscribers who have attempted to use Word, Outlook, and other apps in the Microsoft Office suite have been prompted to reactivate their license, but the process fails to complete.

Affected users have encountered various errors while Office apps hang on "activating" or "looking for licenses," which eventually leads to a window that says "no license found," with seemingly no workaround.

Hi @Microsoft,

Is @Office365 having trouble with it's activation service right now? Just updated @Office for #macOS and it asked to be activated (again). Tried 3x over the past half-hour or so. pic.twitter.com/9VeLR0bVOC

— Henry Ferlauto (@HTFIII) August 16, 2018
The issue appears to be affecting not only individual users, but businesses and universities and with enterprise licenses.

We've reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update this article as soon as we hear anything back.

Tags: Microsoft, Microsoft Office
Discuss this article in our forums

The MacObserver