Category Archive for: Mac Rumors

Apple Autonomous Driving Training Program Confirms Self-Driving Software Platform

Apple has developed a training program to instruct employees on how to handle cars being used to test its autonomous driving software platform, according to documents obtained by Business Insider.

The company’s “Development Platform Specific Trainin…

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Gravitas iPhone Dock From Henge Docks

For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with Henge Docks to give MacRumors readers a chance to win a Gravitas dock for the iPhone or iPad.

Made from a heavy, sturdy metal alloy base, the Gravitas is designed for single-handed docking and undocking, but it’s also made to minimize the amount of space that it takes up on a desk.


It is made from an alloy that’s 265 percent denser than aluminum and it weighs in at 2.5 pounds, giving it enough stability to work with both the iPhone and the iPad. Due to the design, it’s compatible with thin cases, such as those made by Apple, but it won’t work with thicker Otterbox-style case options.

The Gravitas works with the iPhone 6, 6s, 7, and 7 Plus, along with multiple iPad models. It ships with a three-foot USB cable for charging and it also features a 3.5mm Stereo Audio Out port for listening to music.


Henge Docks normally charges $69 for the Gravitas, but we have four docks to offer to MacRumors readers for free. 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 winner and send the prize. 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 of age or older 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 (April 21) at 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time on April 28. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 28 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

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Apple Begins Notifying 2017 WWDC Scholarship Winners

Apple today began sending out emails to students and STEM organization members who have won a scholarship to attend the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, which will take place in San Jose, California from June 5 to June 9.

Scholarship winners receive free tickets to WWDC, a huge benefit as a ticket is normally priced at $1,599. Apple is also providing scholarship winners with free lodging this year, housing them at the San Jose State University dorms, located approximately 15 minutes away from the venue when walking.


To win a WWDC scholarship, students and STEM members were tasked with sharing a three-minute visually interactive scene created in Swift Playgrounds. Entries were judged on technical accomplishment, creativity of ideas, and content of written responses. Scholarship winners must accept the scholarship award by April 28.

Apple has also already selected WWDC ticket lottery winners and charged chosen developers the attendance fee.

Developers and students who were not selected to attend WWDC are able to watch both the keynote event and sessions with engineers through the Apple Developer website and the WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

(Thanks, Ian!)

Related Roundup: WWDC 2017

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Apple Hires Two Google Executives With Satellite Expertise

Apple has recently hired John Fenwick and Michael Trela, two Google satellite executives, reports Bloomberg. Fenwick led Google’s spacecraft operations, while Trela was head of satellite engineering.

Both Trela and Fenwick are reporting to Greg Duff…

iPhone 8 Shell Render Features Vertical Dual-Lens Camera, iPhone 5-Style Body

Multiple design renders of Apple’s much-rumored 5.8-inch OLED iPhone have surfaced over the course of the last two weeks, giving us our first look at what the device might look like.

Apple is testing multiple prototypes so we have seen several desig…

Apple Now Selling Refurbished 13-Inch MacBook Pro With Touch Bar

Apple has added select 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models to its refurbished store for the first time.


The base model with a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB flash storage, 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris Graphics 550 is available for $1,529 in the United States, reflecting savings of $270 off Apple’s regular price of $1,799. Available colors include both Silver and Space Gray.

The base model is also available with an upgraded 16GB of RAM for $1,699, or $300 off Apple’s regular price of $1,999.

The higher-end model with a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB flash storage, 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris Graphics 550 is available for $1,699 in the United States, reflecting savings of $300 off Apple’s regular price of $1,999. Available colors include both Silver and Space Gray.

The higher-end model is also available with an upgraded 16GB of RAM for $1,869, or $330 off Apple’s regular price of $2,199.

Other built-to-order configurations are available for between $1,949 and $2,459 in the United States, including models with up to a 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 1TB flash storage, and 16GB of RAM.

Apple has also made refurbished 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models available in Canada for between $290 and $350 off.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and 13-inch model with standard function keys were added to Apple’s refurbished store in March.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was originally released in October 2016.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tags: refurbished, Apple retail
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral)

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Santander Bank in U.S. Now Supports Apple Pay With MasterCard Branded Credit and Debit Cards

Santander Bank recently announced that it is launching Apple Pay support to its customers in the United States for the first time, allowing any MasterCard branded credit or debit card distributed by Santander to be added to Apple’s mobile wallet. After…

Apple Celebrates Children’s Day in Turkey With New Billboard and Ad Campaign Fueled By ‘Young Talents’

Apple CEO Tim Cook today tweeted out a message as a means of celebrating National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey, which will take place on April 23. Cook’s tweet includes a picture of a few billboards that are up in Turkey, which showcase photographs taken by “young talents” within the country in order to celebrate the national holiday.

Türkiye’de Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı’nı genç yeteneklerin çektiği müthiş fotoğraflarla kutluyoruz. #23Nisan #iPhoneileçekildi 🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/VUqrUjH92G

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 21, 2017

Additionally, over the past few days Apple has been uploading a few new videos to its Turkish YouTube channel, all celebrating Children’s Day as well. Using the “Shot on iPhone” campaign, each new ad includes a short video clip that has been taken by kids aged ten to eleven years old.

The newest video, uploaded yesterday, includes a slow-motion shot of seagulls.

The other Children’s Day Apple ads include Shot on iPhone videography with unexpected perspectives, animal close-ups, and more slow-motion shots.

The Shot on iPhone campaign has been running for years now, and Apple frequently uses the strategy to celebrate specific national holidays. Earlier in February, the company created a Carnival-specific video for its Brazilian YouTube channel to showcase “the diversity, variety and freedom of expression of Carnival.” Since the iPhone 7 launched, Apple’s ads have mostly focused on the improved photography capabilities of the smartphone.

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iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy S8 Cameras Compared as New Samsung Phones Go on Sale

Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones went on sale today in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Korea, as the company looks to rebound from last year’s Note7 debacle. Samsung will be encouraged by the record one million pre-orders it has already taken in Korea alone, while analysts are predicting global sales to reach at least 45 million units.

The 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch devices cost $725 and $825, respectively, which gets users an OLED screen that takes up 80 percent of the front of the handsets. Online reviews appeared earlier this week praising the phones’ Infinity Display, but several marked them down for the relocation of the fingerprint scanner to the rear of the devices, right alongside the camera lens.


The camera itself has received less coverage, as it’s actually the same 12MP dual pixel sensor as the one that appeared in last year’s Galaxy S7. However, Samsung has tweaked the software powering the f/1.7 lens in an attempt to improve image processing. To compare the results with those of the iPhone 7 Plus, Tom’s Guide posted a selection of side-by-side comparison shots taken with the two rival phones.

Overall, the Galaxy S8 came out on top, but only by a slight margin. Despite lackluster macro performance with the S8, both phones’ bright light results were said to be generally equal, but Samsung’s new device bested the iPhone 7 Plus in well-lit nighttime and low-light shots, offering “generally richer” colors, sharper subjects, and “significantly more detail” in indoor and outdoor tests.


Despite the higher megapixel count of the S8’s front-facing camera (8MP versus 7MP on the iPhone 7), Apple’s phone was deemed to take sharper selfie shots with richer colors, while the two phones were tied in 4K 30fps video tests, although the S8’s audio was said to be slightly cleaner.

Apple is thought to be testing a new dual-lens camera system similar to the iPhone 7 Plus for this year’s upcoming OLED iPhone, which will have a Samsung-made display. Rumors suggest the front-facing camera of the iPhone 8 will use a “revolutionary” 3D-sensing system capable of identifying the depth and location of subjects, which could be used for facial and iris recognition or in future augmented reality features.

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Overcast Podcast App Gains Standalone Apple Watch Playback Feature

As of today, third-party podcast app Overcast lets users sync downloaded pods to their Apple Watch for standalone playback.

The latest 3.1 update brings the much-requested feature to the popular podcast app, which was designed by Instapaper developer Marco Arment.


To take advantage of the new feature, users should access the Queue Menu (⁺≡) and select the Send to Watch option. Pending transfers should appear in the Downloads screen.

Overcast recently received a design overhaul to bring it up to speed with visual changes introduced in iOS 10. The latest update also includes a new dark app icon option for premium members (a $9.99 in-app purchase).


Overcast 3.1 is available as a free ad-supported app for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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WhatsApp Users Can Now Ask Siri to Read Out Their Latest Messages

WhatsApp users on iOS can now ask Siri to read to them their latest messages when they go handsfree, following the latest update to the chat app.

Version 2.17.2 brings the feature to users running at least iOS 10.3 on their devices, along with some…

Google Home Smart Speaker Now Supports Multiple Users

Google Home received a major update to its voice recognition system on Thursday that lets owners set up the smart speaker to recognize multiple account holders.

The software update means that up to six people can connect their Google account to one …

‘Cut the Rope: Magic’ Available for Free as Apple’s App of the Week

Puzzle game Cut the Rope: Magic has been named Apple’s App of the Week, and as a result, it will be available for free for the next seven days. Normally priced at $0.99, this is the first time Cut the Rope: Magic has been available for free since it was released in December of 2015.

Anyone who has played a game in the Cut the Rope series will be familiar with the gameplay mechanics in Cut the Rope: Magic, which involves solving puzzles and slicing ropes to get treats to Om Nom.


In this version of the game, Om Nom transforms into different magical characters as players progress through the levels, and there are new graphics, sound, and gameplay elements. On Nom can become a bird, baby, fish, mouse, spirit, and dragon, all of which have unique abilities for completing puzzles.

A magical mishap has accidentally teleported Om Nom to a mystical world filled with challenging puzzles for players of all ages. Can you use Om Nom’s new skills to solve an evil wizard’s tricks and traps? The latest installment of this globally popular entertainment franchise puts a fresh spin on Cut the Rope’s iconic physics-puzzle gameplay, introducing more than 160 all-new magic-themed levels across a richly imagined, colorful world.

Cut the Rope: Magic will be available for free until next Thursday, when a new App of the Week will be chosen. It can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]

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Apple Maps Hints at Transit Directions Expanding in United States, Australia, Canada, and Europe

Apple Maps has had a Transit tab since iOS 9, enabling iPhone users to navigate using buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.


At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

Newer additions include Atlanta, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Montréal, New Orleans, Portland, Pittsburgh, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C.

Now, there is evidence to suggest that Apple Maps will soon support transit directions in several other cities around the world.

MacRumors reader Bernd Keuning, who keeps close tabs on Apple Maps and has been a reliable tipster, believes that we might soon see transit directions enabled in the following cities and countries, as station outlines visible on the map in each area have increased significantly in the past few weeks:

  • Adelaide, Australia
  • Perth, Australia
  • German states of Hamburg, Bremen, Niedersachsen, and Schleswig-Holstein
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Madrid
  • The Netherlands
  • Paris
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Rome
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan

Keuning also expects Apple Maps to eventually support transit directions in the following cities in the United States and Canada, but it might take longer for the feature to expand to these areas, as only a single or handful of red station outlines have been added over the past few weeks in most of these locations:

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Orlando, FL
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Nashville, TN
  • Norfolk, VA
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Tucson, AZ

Apple Maps typically adds station outlines to a city shortly before expanding support for transit directions to the area. MacRumors has verified that each city listed above does have at least one station outline in Apple Maps.

Keuning believes that the first areas to support Transit in Apple Maps next could include Adelaide, including at least all services from Adelaide Metro and Great Southern Rail intercity service to Melbourne, and the Netherlands, including international trains to Brussel, Berlin, Frankfurt, and possibly Paris.

Google Maps has offered wider support for transit directions for quite some time, but it’s nice to see Apple Maps catching up with careful consideration.

A complete list of cities that support Transit in Apple Maps is available on the iOS Feature Availability page of Apple’s website.

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Intel Rumored to Debut Basin Falls Platform in May, Launch Coffee Lake Chips in August

Intel plans to move up the launch of its 14-nanometer Coffee Lake processors, introducing them in August of 2017 instead of January 2018. According to DigiTimes, the launch is being moved up because of “increasing competition from AMD’s Ryzen 7 and Ryz…

Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Didi Chuxing ‘May Help Traffic Jams Go the Way of the Flip Phone’

Didi Chuxing president Jean Liu has been named one of TIME’s 2017 most influential people, and Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an excerpt about her for the magazine.

In it, Cook calls Liu a “disrupter” for building a transportation platform that offers “convenience and flexibility” to millions of commuters. He lauds Didi Chuxing’s work on algorithms that improve traffic, saying the technology could eliminate traffic jams in the future.

She and her team are succeeding with innovative, big-data algorithms that aim both to improve the efficiency of Didi’s service and to ease the congestion on roadways. By analyzing commuter patterns the way oceanographers track the tides, Didi may help traffic jams go the way of the flip phone.

In over 400 cities across China, Jean has also built a company that is dedicated to serving the community around it. Guiding Didi to this higher purpose, and giving back to the places where it does business, she shares my belief that companies can and should measure themselves by more than just the bottom line.

Apple CEO Tim Cook met Jean Liu in 2016 after Apple invested $1 billion in the ride-sharing company. Following its investment, Apple was given a Didi Chuxing board seat, held by Adrian Perica, Apple’s head of mergers and acquisitions.

Apple’s Didi Chuxing investment provides Apple with access to data and expertise on both electric and autonomous car technology, a useful resource as Apple works to develop a self-driving car software platform.

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Apple Announces LivePhotosKit API for Embedding Live Photos in Websites

Apple today announced the launch of a new LivePhotosKit JavaScript-based API that’s designed to make it easy to embed Live Photos taken with Apple’s latest iPhones into websites.

This new JavaScript-based API makes it easy to embed Live Photos on yo…

OWC Debuts New Thunderbolt 3 Products: SSDs, PCIe Expansion Chassis, Six-Bay RAID, and External GPU

OWC has announced that it will be debuting a range of new Thunderbolt 3 products at the 2017 NAB Show this weekend in Las Vegas.

Envoy Pro EX with Thunderbolt 3

First up is the Envoy Pro EX with Thunderbolt 3, a pocket-sized, bus-powered SSD with desktop-class performance and speeds up to 40 Gb/s. Storage capacities will start at 240GB. As it remains a prototype, no release date was specified. OWC’s existing Envoy Pro EX with USB 3.0 starts at $199.99.

Mercury Helios 3

OWC’s new Mercury Helios 3 is a PCIe expansion chassis with a dedicated cooling fan and two Thunderbolt 3 ports with speeds up to 40 Gb/s. It can accommodate a half-length, full-height, double-width PCIe card. OWC said it will be available in the second quarter of 2017. Pricing was not disclosed.

Other products include the Helios FX external GPU powered by Thunderbolt 3, ThunderBay 6 six-bay RAID with Thunderbolt 3, and Mercury Viper portable Thunderbolt 3 SSD suitable for daisy chaining. OWC said the ThunderBay 6 is coming in late 2017, but no word on pricing or availability for the other products.


OWC’s previously announced Thunderbolt 3 Dock and DEC for the 2016 MacBook Pro will also be on display at the show.

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Apple and Nike Launch New Neutral-Toned ‘Apple Watch NikeLab’

Nike today announced that it has teamed up with Apple to create a new version of the Apple Watch Nike+, which pairs a Space Gray Apple Watch Series 2 aluminum case with a black and cream Nike band.

Called the Apple Watch NikeLab, the new device is limited edition and designed to be “the ultimate style companion” for those who love to run.

The limited edition, neutral-toned Apple Watch NikeLab maintains the beloved features of its predecessor: deep integration with the Nike+ Run Club app, exclusive Siri commands, GPS, a two-times-brighter display and water resistance to 50 meters*, all made possible by a powerful dual-core processor and watchOS 3. ​

Apple Watch NikeLab will be available starting on April 27 from Nike.com, at NikeLab locations, and at the Apple Tokyo pop-up store at the Isetan department store. It will not be sold in Apple Stores or from the Apple website, a first for an Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch NikeLab will likely be priced at $369 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm model, the same price as the rest of the Apple Watch Nike+ lineup.


Apple and Nike first teamed up in September of 2016 for the Nike+ Apple Watch that launched alongside Apple’s own set of Series 2 Apple Watch devices. Apple offers two Apple Watch Nike+ models in Silver and Space Gray aluminum along with standalone Apple Watch Nike+ bands.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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