New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Seeds Seventh Beta of iOS 10.2 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the seventh beta of an upcoming iOS 10.2 update to developers and public beta testers, two days after seeding the sixth beta of iOS 10.2 and more than a month after releasing iOS 10.1, the first major update to iOS 10.

Registered developers can download the seventh beta of iOS 10.2 from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed.

iOS 10.2 introduces new emoji, such as clown face, drooling face, selfie, face palm, fox face, owl, shark, butterfly, avocado, pancakes, croissant, and more.

There are dozens of new Unicode 9 emoji, plus several profession emoji available in both male and female genders, such as firefighter, mechanic, lawyer, doctor, scientist, and more. Apple has also redesigned many existing emoji, adding more detail to make them look more realistic.

Along with new emoji, iOS 10.2 includes new wallpaper, new Music sorting options and buttons for Repeat and Shuffle, new "Celebrate" and "Send with Love" Screen Effects, an option for preserving camera settings, Single-Sign On support for watching live TV via apps, and the official "TV" app that was first introduced at Apple's October 27 event.

The TV app serves as an Apple-designed TV guide that aims to simplify the television watching experience and allow users to discover new TV shows and movies to watch.

The TV app is available on both iOS devices and the Apple TV (in the tvOS 10.1 beta), and in iOS 10.2, the "Videos" app has been replaced entirely with the new "TV" app, which will now serve as the iOS TV and movie hub.

Apple Believes MacBook Pro Graphics Issues May Be Fixed in Latest macOS 10.12.2 Beta

Last week, we reported an increasing number of early adopters experiencing concerning graphics issues on the new MacBook Pro.

All late 2016 MacBook Pro models appear to be affected, including standard 13-inch and 15-inch configurations with AMD Radeon Pro 450 or AMD Radeon Pro 455 graphics, but the issues appear to be most prevalent on the high-end 15-inch model with built-to-order AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics.

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar exhibiting graphics issues (jscooper22)
User complaints have continued to surface over the past five days, with new videos emerging showing the usual symptoms, ranging from brightly colored flickering and full-screen checkerboard patterns to screen tearing and visual artifacts. Affected systems sometimes become unresponsive or crash due to a kernel panic, requiring some new MacBook Pro users to perform a hard restart.

Separately, a number of users continue to report brief glitches during the boot up process on new MacBook Pro models, particularly along the bottom of the screen. It appears this issue is related to FileVault 2 startup disk encryption, as the glitches go away for many of these users once the feature is disabled.


Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge or comment on the graphics issues, but in a supposed email response to a MacRumors forum member, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi allegedly said he believes the problems have been resolved in the latest macOS Sierra 10.12.2 beta released on Monday. As a point of emphasis, this email response has not been verified.
Hi,

Thanks for your note!

'iPhone 7s' and 'iPhone 7s Plus' Said to Come in All-New Red Color, Lack New Design and Wireless Charging

Apple will release updated versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus next year, aptly called the "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus," according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

The report claims the smartphones will retain the same aluminum design as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with only internal changes, including the addition of a faster A11 chip.

The report added it is highly probable the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will come in an all-new red color alongside current Black, Jet Black, Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver options.

Multiple rumors suggest Apple plans to release three new iPhone models next year, including updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with traditional LCD displays and a larger premium model with an OLED display and glass casing, but reports have been conflicting about which features will be included on each model.

If this report is accurate, it could signify Apple's plans to release a completely overhauled glass-backed iPhone with a curved, bezel-free OLED display and wireless charging at the high end of its 2017 smartphone lineup, while making only incremental upgrades to its traditional 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones with LCD displays.

An earlier report from Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review said Apple plans to release three glass-backed iPhones next year, while it was said the 4.7-inch iPhone would get wireless charging, so there remains a lack of consensus among rumors—perhaps unsurprising given new iPhones are likely over nine months away.

Mac Otakara was first to report about Apple's plans to remove the headphone jack and add a new

HP Launches 4K ENVY Display With USB-C for New MacBook Pro

HP today launched its 27-inch ENVY display with 4K Ultra HD resolution and a built-in USB-C port for charging the new MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook, or most other USB-C devices at up to 60 watts over a single cable.

The IPS LED-backlit display features a clean design with a micro-edge bezel, matte black rear panel, and a thin aluminum stand. The base can be detached for VESA wall or arm mounting, but a bracket is not included.

The display has a 60Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync, designed to eliminate stuttering and tearing in games and videos by locking the refresh rate to the framerate of the graphics card.

Tech specs: • 27-inch IPS LED display with ultra-wide 178° angle viewing
• 4K Ultra HD resolution (3,840×2,160 pixels)
• 16:9 aspect ratio with 142 PPI
• 60Hz refresh rate
• 99% sRGB color gamut
• Typical brightness of 350 cd/m2
• Built-in ports: 1 USB-C, 1 DisplayPort 1.2, 1 HDMI 2.0, 1 HDMI 1.4
• USB-C Power Delivery up to 60 watts
• AMD FreeSync
• VESA mounting

Included in the box: • A/C power cable
• USB-C cable
• DisplayPort cable
• HDMI cable

HP's new ENVY 27 Display is available on HP.com and at select retailers in the United States for $499 starting today. The price point is about $200 cheaper than some competing USB-C displays, such as the LG 27UD88 and Lenovo ThinkVision X1, but features and connectivity vary.

One display that may be a better buy in the near term is LG's and Apple's new UltraFine 4K display. While it has a smaller 21.5-inch screen, the UltraFine has "Cinema" 4K resolution (4,096×2,304), built-in speakers,

iPhone Assembler Foxconn in Early Talks to Expand U.S. Operations

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is in preliminary stages to build a collection of assembly plants within the United States (via Reuters), potentially fulfilling President-elect Donald Trump's wish that Apple would move the majority of its manufacturing to the U.S. instead of overseas.

Foxconn decided to make a statement about its U.S. expansion after details of the move were picked up and shared by CNBC yesterday. The news alleged that Foxconn would be investing $7 billion into its U.S. expansion and aiming for the creation of 50,000 jobs within the country, all in the next four years. Foxconn simply stated that more details will come after its talks with "the relevant U.S. officials" are over.

Image via CNBC
"While the scope of the potential investment has not been determined, we will announce the details of any plans following the completion of direct discussions between our leadership and the relevant US officials," the Foxconn statement said.
In the meetings with Donald Trump, Japan's SoftBank also looked towards U.S. expansion and pledged $50 billion in its investment stateside, along with 50,000 new jobs of its own, "a move the U.S. President-elect claimed was a direct result of his election win." In a call made to Trump by Apple CEO Tim Cook, Trump mentioned to the CEO that one of his goals and future achievements would be to "get Apple to build a big plant in the United States," by offering the company incentives and "a very large tax cut" to do so.

Cook was said to have remained neutral on the subject by saying "I understand that" in response to

Fitbit Buyout Will See Pebble's Time 2 and Core Wearables Canceled, Refunds Issued

Late last month we reported that Fitbit was closing in on a deal to acquire smartwatch maker Pebble "for a small amount". Bloomberg has now revealed that the buyout will cost "less than $40 million" and exclusively concerns Pebble's software assets, which are being sought by Fitbit "in a bid to better compete with Apple", according to people familiar with the matter.

Yesterday's update on the details of the acquisition comes at a time when the wearables market as a whole appears to be facing increased uncertainty and significant profit hurdles. Earlier this week, in response to IDC market research claiming that Apple Watch's share of the wearables market had fallen to 5 percent, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Watch's sell-through rate had hit a new high. Cook was responding to data which suggested fitness trackers "reigned supreme" in the market, yet Fitbit has seen its own struggles, with the company's shares tumbling 30 percent after announcing mixed third-quarter results and weak guidance for its fourth quarter.

To improve its standing in the market, Fitbit reportedly wants to hire Pebble's software engineers and testers, and get hold of intellectual property including the Pebble OS, watch apps, and cloud services. The $40 million buyout sum does not include Pebble's debt and other obligations, product inventory or server equipment, all of which will be sold off separately, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous.

The news all but confirms the end of the road is in sight for Pebble's entire product line-up, including its most recent smartwatch

Apple Says 35% of U.S. Merchants Accept Apple Pay

While speaking at the Code Conference today in San Francisco, Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey announced that 35% of U.S. merchants now accept Apple Pay, reports The Verge. She said that only 4% of merchants accepted the payment option two years ago when it debuted.

Bailey says the new EMV chip cards are annoying customers and have helped drive adoption. "Once you figure out you have to chip, you wait a while, you wait awhile," she said before imitating the "BEEP" sound the chip reader makes when you can remove your card.

Apple won't be marketing Apple Pay to take advantage of the annoyance toward EMV chips, Bailey said, instead focusing on creating new partnerships with banks and merchants. "Knocking EMV is not necessarily the way to go," she said. "I think it's to increase acceptance and work with great partners."

The Cupertino company is also focusing on offering deals with retailers and banks. In November, Apple debuted exclusive holiday offers for those who use Apple Pay on the web. Promotions included one- or two-day free shipping with Adidas and 50% off a one-year subscription to The New York Times. Bailey notes that Apple has to work with partners for special offers because Apple doesn't collect transaction data, eliminating its ability to offer promotions by itself.

Bailey says that Apple is excited by the speed of the transition to contactless payments. However, Bailey says that the challenge for Apple is that they have to match the speed of the transition to EMV chip readers. Apple has to get retailers and merchants to adopt Apple Pay at

Apple's Best of the App Store in 2016:' Prisma' and 'Clash Royale' Win Top Honors

Apple today published its annual Best of 2016 charts for the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBooks Store, naming photo editing app "Prisma" as the iPhone App of the Year and "Clash Royale" as the iPhone game of the year.

Released in June of 2016, Prisma is designed to turn photographs into works of art using a range of different filters. Prisma garnered a lot of interest in 2016 and continually introduced new art filters.

Clash Royale, named Apple's best game, first came out in March of 2016. A card based game, Clash Royale encourages players to collect dozens of cards from the Clash of Clans universe and duel other players.

Apple also chose top apps and games for the iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, with all of the top picks listed below:

iPhone App of the Year: Prisma
iPhone Game of the Year: Clash Royale

iPad App of the Year: Sketchbook Motion
iPad Game of the Year: Severed

Apple TV App of the Year: Twitter
Apple TV Game of the Year: Riptide GP: Renegade

Apple Watch App of the Year: MySwimPro - Personal Swim Trainer
Apple Watch Game of the Year: Field Day

Mac App of the Year: Bear
Mac Game of the Year: Life is Strange

Apple has named face-shifting app "">MSQRD" as the runner up for best iPhone app, and swipe-based game "Reigns" as the runner up for best iPhone game, both of which are showcased alongside the winners in the main banner in the App Store.

Two new App Store sections, "10 Best Apps of the Year" and "10 Best Games of the Year" further break down the best apps chosen by Apple's editors, highlighting apps like Quartz, Vogue,

Apple Shares Tips for Taking 'Pro' Photos Using iPhone 7 Plus Portrait Mode

Apple today shared some tips to "Shoot like a Pro" with depth-of-field "Portrait" effect in the iPhone 7 Plus, highlighting a range of suggestions collected from professional photographers on its news site.

Tips include getting up close to a subject to bring out details, minimizing the background, putting the sun behind a subject, slightly underexposing, and using soft, diffused lighting.

The suggestions are sourced from fashion photographer JerSean Golatt, celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart, travel photographer Pei Ketron, and wedding photographer Benj Haisch, and are accompanied by photos shot on the iPhone 7 Plus.

For many years running, the iPhone has been the most popular camera on Flickr, which has encouraged Apple to make continual improvements to the camera equipment in its smartphones.

Along with dual cameras and the Portrait mode in the iPhone 7 Plus, both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus feature lens, sensor, stabilization, and image signal processor improvements that offer much improved performance compared to previous-generation devices, especially in low-light

Apple's Support Site Now Lets Customers Schedule Repairs at Apple Authorized Providers

Apple recently made a quiet update to its Apple Support site, introducing a new feature that allows customers to find and schedule repairs for iPhones, Macs, and iPads from Apple Authorized Service Providers.

When troubleshooting a product, choosing "Bring in for Repair" after going through Apple's support prompts now brings up all repair centers near a customer, including Apple's own retail stores and retail locations where customers can get repairs from Apple Authorized Service Providers.

In addition to including all nearby Apple Authorized Service Providers, the new repair site also lists availability, so customers can find the fastest repairs and get same-day service in many locations. There's even an option to book a repair right from the site.

Most of the time, getting a repair appointment at an Apple Store's Genius Bar requires a wait of several days to a week, while Apple Authorized Service Providers have much more open availability.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, local Apple Stores do not have repair appointments until next week, but third-party repair shops like Best Buy, Clickaway, Mobile Kangaroo, and Computercare have appointments today or tomorrow.

Apple Authorized Service Providers have been officially authorized by Apple to perform repairs on Apple devices. Both AppleCare repairs and out-of-warranty repair services are available, but many customers may not be aware of local options outside of an Apple Store.

Apple's new focus on third-party service providers may provide some much-needed relief for Apple retail stores that

Apple's Single Sign-On Service Now Live

Apple today officially launched Single Sign-on, the service designed to allow cable subscribers to sign in once with their cable credentials to gain access to all cable-restricted content in iOS and tvOS apps.

Single Sign-on is limited to the United States, and according to a support document, is available for the following providers: CenturyLink Prism, DirecTV, Dish, GVTC, GTA, Hawaiian Telcom, Hotwire, MetroCast, and Sling.

While Single Sign-on was introduced and tested in the tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 betas, the feature was remotely released today to all iOS 10 and tvOS 10 devices. Using Single Sign-on does not require one of the betas, and is instead immediately available to all iPhone and Apple TV users running iOS 10 or tvOS 10.

With Single Sign-on, customers with a supported provider will use the Settings options in iOS or tvOS to sign in with their cable credentials. From then on, when accessing a supported app that requires a cable subscription, the app will ask to use the saved sign-on credentials.

To get to Single Sign-on on iOS devices, open the Settings app and scroll down to "TV Providers." The process is the same on the Apple TV - open the Settings app and choose the TV Providers option to sign in.

Most cable channels and content providers offer individual apps on the Apple TV and iOS devices, but still require cable authentication before users can access content. Prior to Single Sign-on, customers were required to enter their credentials in each individual app, a frustrating and time-consuming process.

Single Sign-on will play a key part in

Chinese Consumer Group Complains of Spontaneous iPhone 6 Fires, but Apple Blames 'Physical Damage'

As Apple's iPhone 6s is facing scrutiny in China over a battery issue that causes unexpected shutdowns, a Chinese consumer group has complained of a separate problem with the iPhone 6 - spontaneous battery fires.

According to the The Wall Street Journal, the Shanghai Consumer Council says it received eight reports from Chinese users claiming their smartphones spontaneously caught on fire, but Apple inspected the devices and says "external physical damage" is to blame.

Apple said it analyzed the affected phones and found that the fires followed "external physical damage." The company encouraged customers with issues to visit an Apple store or contact company support.

"We appreciate that customers are more concerned than ever about the performance and safety of batteries in their mobile devices," Apple said in a statement.
Given that the iPhone 6 has been available since 2014 and there have been a limited number of report about device fires, Apple's physical damage explanation rings true. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which had a true faulty part leading to fires, reports from around the world started flooding in just weeks after the device was released.

Complaints from Chinese consumer groups over iPhone 6s battery problems led Apple to introduce a repair program for iPhone 6s devices that unexpectedly shut down, and Apple has gone out of its way in China to explain the issue and assure customers that it is not safety related.

Apple's repair program will see it providing new batteries to customers with iPhone 6s devices primarily manufactured between