Husain Sumra

Husain is a Contributing Editor at MacRumors. When not covering Apple he's writing about movies, watching movies, planning Disneyland trips and dreaming of Back to the Future hover boards for all.



Apple Shares New 'Pairing,' 'Siri' and 'Notes' AirPods Ads

Apple today shared three ads highlighting the newly-released AirPods on its YouTube channel. Two of the ads are focused on AirPod features, like Siri and instant pairing, and star dancer Lil Buck while the third ad is centered on showcasing the device's design. In "Pairing," Lil Buck simply flips open the AirPods charging case and watches them instantly pair with his iPhone 7. He then proceeds to dance on the side of a car as the camera zooms in. Eventually, Apple's "Practically Magic" iPhone 7 slogan pops on screen. In "Siri," Lil Buck double taps an AirPod to activate Siri and then asks her to play a song. She does, and the man proceeds to dance on the street before dancing on the side of a wall. In the final ad, "Notes," the AirPods are used as musical notes on a black background playing the piano part of Marian Hill's "Down." The ad eventually cuts to a quick shot of an AirPod charging case opening and the AirPods pairing to an iPhone. All three ads feature the song "Down" from Marian Hill. They are the first set of ads for the AirPods, although all of them also make sure to include mentions of iPhone 7. "Pairing" and "Siri" are the only two that use iPhone 7's "Practically Magic" slogan. Apple also uploaded a new Apple Watch Series 2 ad to its YouTube channel called "Close Your Rings." The ad features three people exercising and trying to complete their daily move, exercise and stand goals, one of the more popular fitness features on the Apple Watch. Update: Apple has uploaded a fifth AirPods video, entitled "Stroll." The new video is the

New Video Pits iPhone Click Wheel Prototype Against Scott Forstall's Icon-Based iPhone Prototype

A couple days ago Sonny Dickson shared a look at one of two early prototypes for the original iPhone, the iPod Click Wheel-based OS that iPod "Godfather" Tony Fadell was working on. Tonight, Dickson has shared a video pitting Fadell's version against Scott Forstall's icon-based iPhone prototype, which went on to become the basis for iOS. Fadell's prototype was referred to as P1 while Forstall's prototype was referred to as P2. The two projects reportedly went head to head in 2005 when Steve Jobs pitted the two against each other. While the P1 used the click-wheel interface to navigate the OS, the P2 used a series of touch-based icons to move around the OS. Both P1 and P2 run a prototype OS Apple codenamed "Acorn OS" internally, though Dickson notes that P1 runs faster because it uses a slimmed down version of Acorn OS. Each prototype also sports a unique logo that pops up after the Acorn OS logo while it boots up. The P2 loads octopus whereas the P1 has the iPod classic logo. The P2 takes a significantly longer to load because it actually has a real OS, whereas the P1 takes much less time since the OS is slimmer. These P unit prototypes are so early in the development process that they rely on a custom process to be turned off, and can only be powered down during a certain step of the boot process.The video, and accompanying photos, provide both a look at the choice Steve Jobs and Apple employees faced as they were developing the iPhone and iOS 10 years ago and how Apple explores ideas. As Dickson notes, "P devices" are the first step of any project at Apple.

Russia Forces Apple to Remove LinkedIn From Russian App Store

Russian authorities have required Apple and Google to remove the LinkedIn app from the App Store and Google Play in Russia, reports The New York Times. The move comes a couple weeks after Russia blocked LinkedIn's website. The demand by Russian authorities to remove LinkedIn in Apple and Google app stores comes weeks after a court blocked the professional networking service for flouting local laws that require internet firms to store data on Russian citizens within the nation’s borders. Apple confirmed to The New York Times that it was asked to remove the app from the App Store about a month ago. The app, however, had already stopped functioning once LinkedIn's website was blocked in the country. LinkedIn, which has several million users in Russia, said it was "disappointed" by the news. The service was blocked in Russia because a court ruled in November that the company broke local laws that require Internet firms to store servers holding information on Russian accounts within the country. The New York Times notes that most American companies operate in Russia while violating the law, making the blocking of LinkedIn a rare occurrence. In late December, China required Apple to remove all apps from The New York Times for being in "violation of local regulations." The New York Times' website has been blocked in China since 2012. Countries like China, Russia and Turkey have blocked direct access to websites for years, but pressuring tech companies like Apple to also remove apps is a more recent trend, according to The New York Times. Note: Due to the political

Apple's Iconic Fifth Avenue Store Moving to Temporary Location on January 20 During Renovations

In June 2015 it was reported that Apple would renovate its iconic Fifth Avenue retail store, temporarily relocating its operations to the vacated FAO Schwarz toy store in the General Motors Building. A MacRumors reader spotted a new sign in front of the iconic store that reveals the relocation will happen on January 20. FAO Schwarz vacated its location in the General Motors Building in July 2015 due to the rising cost of rent. The space is just a couple feet away from the iconic glass cube, making the relocation largely seamless for frequent customers of the Fifth Avenue store. Apple's Fifth Avenue store and the former FAO Schwarz space, far right (Flickr) While the extent of the renovations at the Fifth Avenue store are unknown, the company has been expanding or relocating a number of its older stores to accommodate increased foot traffic. The Fifth Avenue location was last renovated in 2011, when larger, more seamless panes of glass were installed. The renovation was completed in November 2011. Ahead of the closure, the store will have reduced hours of 6:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on January 16-18. The location is usually open on a 24 hour, 365 day

Instagram Adds Support for Wide Color and Live Photos

At Apple's September 2016 special event, Instagram announced several new features for its app to take advantage of various iPhone capabilities. Today, co-founder Mike Krieger announced that two of the features, wide color support and Live Photos support, are rolling out to users. Instagram had to revise its photo filters to support the iPhone 7's new camera capabilities. The new photo filters will allow users with an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to see and capture a wider variety of hues in their photos. Live Photos support for Instagram Stories has also been implemented. This allows users to upload GIFs into their Instagram Stories without using the standalone Boomerang app. To upload a Live Photos to Instagram Stories, users just have to 3D Touch on the Live Photos they want to upload before they upload it. The other big feature Instagram announced in September, the ability to use the iPhone 7 Plus' telephoto lens for one-finger zoom, has not yet gone live. Neither wide color or Live Photos support for Instagram Stories require a user to update the app. Instagram is available in the App Store for free [Direct Link

CES 2017: Nvidia's 'GeForce Now' Cloud Service to Bring High-End PC Gaming to Mac

Tonight at its CES 2017 keynote event, Nvidia announced GeForce Now for Mac and PC, a cloud gaming service that allows low-end Mac and PC users to play high-end PC games. The service is similar to an identically-named service for Nvidia Shield users. Nvidia says that there are an estimated 1 billion PC users who have integrated GPUs that can't play games "to their full potential." GeForce Now allows those users to access a Pascal-powered PC in the cloud to play games to their full potential. In addition to letting users with low-end computers play high-end games, the service will become one of the few ways Mac users can play the latest AAA PC games. According to The Verge, Nvidia showed off the service by playing Rise of the Tomb Raider on an iMac. Rise of the Tomb Raider is not yet available for macOS. GeForce Now doesn't stream games from the cloud to a user's computer, similar to how Netflix streams movies to various devices, reports Engadget. GeForce Now is more like a high-end PC in the cloud that runs a user's games. Users will have to purchase their games from online distributors like Steam and Origin. Once they're purchased, they can use the power of GeForce's GRID servers to run them on their computers. The service will cost $25 for every 20 hours of play. Nvidia says the service will start rolling out in

CES 2017: Sleep Number Announces Self-Adjusting, Feet-Warming '360' Smart Bed

Today at CES Sleep Number announced the technological follow-up to its iPhone-connected "IT" smart bed from last year. The new bed is the Sleep Number 360, a self-adjusting smart bed that can warm your feet, adjust to your snoring and more. The bed, which uses Sleep Number's SleepIQ technology, has four new signature features. The bed can self-adjust throughout the night, matching the sleep movements of the sleeper. For instance, if someone switches from sleeping on their side to sleeping on their stomach, the bed will adjust comfort in real time. The bed can also sense when a sleeper is snoring and gently adjusts the sleeper so that they're in a position that will lessen snoring. Snore adjustment is temporary, and the feature only works with mild snoring in otherwise healthy adults, according to Sleep Number. The feature adjusts the bed based on the sleeper's sleeping position. For instance, if the snorer is on their back the bed will raise their head slightly. The 360 also comes foot-warming technology. Because the bed knows the sleeper's bedtime routine via the SleepIQ app, it can warm up the foot of the bed to be toasty when the sleeper is ready to go to sleep. The company claims that research shows that people fall asleep faster when their feet are warmer than normal. Finally, the bed has a smart alarm that'll deliver a wake-up call at the optimal moment. Sleepers can set an alarm window via the SleepIQ app, and the bed, within that window, will deliver an alarm when the sleeper is in their lightest sleep. The SleepIQ app can also connect the bed to

Kanex Announces GoPower Watch Stand and Mini Keychain Battery for Apple Watch

Kanex today announced two additional devices to its line of GoPower Apple Watch accessories: the GoPower Watch Stand and GoPower Watch Mini. The two new accessories join the GoPower Watch Portable Battery, which debuted this past August for $99.95. The magnetic GoPower Watch Stand charges and displays both 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch variations. There's also an additional USB port on the back of the stand that can simultaneously charge an iPhone or another iOS or USB device. The Watch Stand comes with a built-in inductive charging connector so users can leave their charging cable at home. The GoPower Watch Mini is an ultra-portable, cord-free "charging disc" that can power an Apple Watch on the go. It comes with 1,000 mAh of battery power, which Kanex says is enough to fully charge an Apple Watch once. Comparatively, the original GoPower Watch Portable Battery provides 4,000 mAh of power. The Mini comes with an LED battery level indicator and a Micro USB cable to recharge the battery when it's low. It also comes with a keychain ring so users can attach the Mini to their keychain. The GoPower Watch Stand and Mini will both be available in February 2017. The Stand is priced at $79.95 while the Mini is priced at

Rumor Says Apple Will Introduce New 5-Inch 'iPhone 7s' With Dual Vertical Cameras

Apple may introduce a new 5-inch iPhone model that sports a unique vertical dual-camera system that sits alongside the existing 4.7- and 5.5-inch models, according to Japanese blog Mac Okatara. The 5-inch model would act as the medium size in the 2017 lineup. The report, which comes from a Taiwanese supplier, says that the new models, dubbed the iPhone 7s, would be an updated version of the iPhone 7. The new 5-inch model, however, would rearrange the iPhone 7 Plus' dual camera into a vertical alignment rather than a horizontal one. Earlier this month, Mac Okatara reported that the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus would retain the aluminum design of the iPhone 7. However, the report said the new phones would come in an all-new red color. Multiple reports have stated that there will be three new iPhone models in 2017, including updated 4.7- and 5.5-inch models with LCD screens and a premium model with an OLED display and glass casing. The new report corroborates an earlier Nikkei report that said a new 5-inch iPhone would arrive in 2017. However, Nikkei reports that the three iPhone models in 2017 will have new glass-backed designs. In November, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it's likely the 2017 iPhones will switch to new glass casings to support wireless charging. While Mac Okatara was the first to report that Apple would replace the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and debut a new gloss black color, its track record is not perfect. In November, it reported the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus would get a new "Jet White" color that has not yet

B&H Photo Offering 15-Inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro With $200 Discount and Copy of Parallels 12

Just after the Christmas shopping period, B&H Photo is offering impressive deals on the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. B&H is offering $200 off with a free copy of Parallels 12, which is worth $79.95. 2.6 GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar - $2,199, down from $2,399 ($200 off) 2.7 GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar - $2,599, down from $2,799 ($200 off) B&H is also offering non-Touch Bar 13-inch MacBook Pros for $100 to $150 off. Those who purchase those models will also receive a free copy of Parallels 12. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with B&H Photo Video and may sometimes get paid if you click one of the above links and purchase a product or service.

Phil Schiller: Apple Working With Consumer Reports to Understand MacBook Pro Battery Test

Yesterday Consumer Reports revealed that Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro became the first MacBook to fail to achieve a recommendation due to inconsistent battery life. Apple SVP Phil Schiller today tweeted that the Cupertino company is working with Consumer Reports to understand the battery tests. "Working with [Consumer Reports] to understand their battery tests, " Schiller tweeted. "Results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data." Apple claims its internal testing has seen the new MacBook Pro providing up to 10 hours of battery life when watching iTunes movies or browsing the web. Working with CR to understand their battery tests. Results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data. https://t.co/IWtfsmBwpO— Philip Schiller (@pschiller) December 24, 2016 Consumer Reports' test has come under scrutiny since publication of the non-recommendation. The tests were conducted by opening a series of 10 web pages sequentially on Safari. This tests' inconsistency had the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar registering 16 hours, 12.75 hours and 3.75 hours of battery life. A 15-inch MacBook Pro ranged from 18.5 hours to 8 hours of battery life. When Consumer Reports tried the test with Chrome rather than Safari, it found consistently high battery life. "For this exercise, we ran two trials on each of the laptops, and found battery life to be consistently high on all six runs," the report said. Consumer Reports did not think it was enough data to draw a conclusion, though they also point out their test results only take default browsers into consideration.

Leaked Documents Reveal What Kind of Data Cellebrite Can Extract From iPhones

Israeli mobile software developer Cellebrite gained media attention earlier this year when rumors suggested the FBI recruited the company to unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's iPhone. While the FBI did not enlist Cellebrite's help, the company does have technology licensed by governments that can extract iPhone data. ZDNet has obtained documents that reveal the scope of this technology. The leaked files are "extraction reports," which are organized to allow investigators to easily see and analyze data from a phone. Extraction is conducted by plugging the phone into a Cellebrite UFED device. While the device is primarily for extracting information currently on the phone it can, in some cases, extract recently deleted items. The phone at the heart of ZDNet's extraction report was an non-passcode protected iPhone 5 running iOS 8. The first couple pages of the report include case numbers and unique identifying information for the device, including phone number, IMEI numbers and Apple ID. In these first pages, the report also divulges which plugins the software used to extract information from the device. These plugins can help the software extract data from QuickTime and iPhone backups. The report compiles geolocation data from every photo taken on the device and visualizes it on a map, allowing an investigator to easily see when and where a person was. Text messages are organized in chronological order, which makes it easier for investigators to track conversations. The wireless networks a device has connected to are also logged, including the MAC

AT&T Debuts 'Call Protect' Service to Protect Against Robocalls

AT&T today announced Call Protect, a complimentary service aimed at protecting its users from automated phone calls, also referred to as robocalls. The service debuts five months after the U.S. Federal Communications asked wireless companies to offer free robocall blocking services. The service offers two solutions to stop robocalls. It can automatically block numbers suspected of fraud at the network level, preventing them from reaching your phone entirely, or it can deliver the call from a suspected number with a fraud warning on the display. The latter feature requires the user to be in an area with HD Voice support. AT&T customers can activate the feature via their MyAT&T account or by downloading the AT&T Call Protect app. The app allows users to look at call details, receive spam warnings, block specific numbers and turn on and off Automatic Fraud Blocking. The service requires an iOS or Android smartphone eligible for HD Voice. AT&T also warns that automatic blocking may block wanted phone calls, which means users would potentially have to manually whitelist certain numbers to make sure they aren't blocked. In August, it was reported that Apple was one of over 30 companies that joined the "Robocall Strike Force," a join effort aimed at stopping robocalls. At the time, the FCC said that most of the complaints it receives are regarding robocalls. The U.S. has other measures in place to prevent robocalls, including companies having to ask permission before calling and allowing people to add their number to the FTC's Do Not Call list. AT&T Call Protect

Apple to Add Grade Crossings to Maps After Federal Recommendation

Apple will add grade crossings to Apple Maps after a safety recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), reports The New York Times. The recommendation comes after a two year investigation into an accident that occurred after a driver got his truck stuck on railroad tracks while following directions from Google Maps. Grade crossings are places where the road and railway lines are at the same level.  The case the NTSB cites in its recommendation is that of Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, who misinterpreted directions from Google Maps and wound up on a poorly marked grade crossing. His truck, which was hauling a trailer, got stuck on the tracks. While Sanchez-Ramirez was able to abandon his vehicle, a train struck it and resulted in the death of an engineer and injuries to 32 others. There were more than 200 fatalities at grade crossings last year in the U.S. Today, the NTSB issued a safety recommendation that Google and other map providers, like Apple, should add exact locations of more than 200,000 grade crossings to their mapping data. The Federal Railroad Administration has been lobbying Apple and other tech companies to add the data for the past 18 months. Apple and several other companies, like Google, Microsoft and MapQuest, have agreed to add the data but have not disclosed when they will integrate grade crossings into its mapping apps. The NTSB's recommendations are not binding, but they can used to pressure companies and lobby Congress to take action. Investigators believe lack of warning in Google Maps was one of several

Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘We Have Great Desktops in Our Roadmap'

In a post to an employee message board obtained by TechCrunch, Apple CEO Tim Cook assured employees that the company is still committed to the Mac and that "great desktops" are coming. Apple's desktop computers haven't seen an upgrade in at least 433 days. Some folks in the media have raised the question about whether we’re committed to desktops,” Cook wrote. “If there’s any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our roadmap. Nobody should worry about that.” Cook says that the desktop is "very strategic" to Apple because the performance desktops can provide is "really important" to a lot of people and "critical" for some people. He says the current iMac is the best desktop Apple's ever made and its 5K display is the best desktop display in the world. In regards to its future roadmap and how Apple employees can help push the company forward, Cook says that "you can rarely see precisely where you want to go from the beginning." Instead, Cook argues that "pulling strings" to see what's coming next is one of Apple's strengths, noting that the creation of Apple Watch led to the creation of ResearchKit, which lead to the creation of CareKit. Cook concludes the post by saying the company doesn't do things for a return on investment, it explores new things because it's exciting and might lead somewhere. The lack of refreshed Mac hardware can be attributed to a combination of Apple waiting on chipmakers and suppliers to ship their new products and the Cupertino Company's renewed focus on iPad. Apple's desktop Macs haven't

Evernote Will Not Implement Controversial New Privacy Policy

Evernote tonight announced that it no longer plans to implement a controversial new privacy policy that caused some Evernote users to threaten to stop using the service. The policy was scheduled to go into effect on January 23, 2017 and allowed Evernote employees to read users' notes. After receiving a lot of customer feedback expressing concerns about our upcoming Privacy Policy changes over the past few days, Evernote is reaffirming its commitment to keep privacy at the center of what we do. As a result, we will not implement the previously announced Privacy Policy changes that were scheduled to go into effect January 23, 2017.Evernote explained that the new privacy policy was intended to let employees read notes to make sure machine learning algorithms were working as intended. The privacy policy itself only states that employees could look at notes "for troubleshooting purposes or to maintain and improve the Service," wording that was criticized as too vague. The company attempted to clarify its statements earlier today with a note from CEO Chris O'Neill, promising that the company is still committed to user privacy and the "Three Laws of Data Protection." Instead of instituting the new policy, Evernote says it will revise its existing privacy policy to address concerns and "reinforce that [users'] data remains private by default." In regards to its machine learning algorithms, Evernote says employees will not read notes unless users opt-in to help the company "build a better product." Evernote CEO Chris O'Neill also issued a statement, saying the company

'Apple Support' App Launches in U.S. App Store

One month after debuting in the Netherlands, Apple's specialized Apple Support app has gone live in the U.S. App Store, reports TechCrunch. The app gives Apple users an easy way to get support for their devices on the go. The app is designed to mimic Apple's dedicated support website, providing a list of Apple devices owned by the user and giving them access to documentation for those devices. The app also allows users to schedule repairs in an Apple retail store or natively chat with Apple's support staff. Once they conclude their chat session, users can see their recent support history. The Apple Support app was first rumored last November, when Sonny Dickson debuted screenshots of the app early in its development. Apple Support is available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link

South Korea Considering Investigation of iPhone 6s Battery Shutdown Issue

South Korea's Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) said it is considering an investigation into whether some iPhone 6s devices experiencing unexpected battery shutdowns is a safety issue, according to The Korea Herald. "The agency is well aware of recent iPhone issues and is taking a close look at it," an unnamed KATS official told The Herald. While KATS hasn't officially launched an investigation, it wants to make sure the problem isn't like the Galaxy Note 7 battery issue, which caused devices to randomly catch fire and start smoking. The agency is currently in talks with Apple Korea about the issue. In November, Apple launched a repair program for iPhone 6s devices experiencing the unexpected shutdowns, saying that "a very small number of iPhone 6s devices" that were manufactured between September and October 2015 were affected. Apple said the problem was "not a safety issue." On its Chinese website, Apple said the shutdowns were caused by a manufacturing error where some batteries were overexposed to "controlled ambient air," causing them to degrade faster than normal. In addition to its repair program, Apple now lets you check your iPhone 6s serial number to see if you're eligible for a new

Google Drive Update Makes It Easier to Transfer iPhone Content to Android

Google Drive was updated today to make it easier for users to transfer their content from iOS devices to Android devices, Google announced. The company also published a new web page on the Android website detailing how it works. Once a user downloads Google Drive from the App Store, they can navigate toward the backup wizard by going to Menu > Settings > Backup in the app. From there, users can choose to sync select contacts, calendar events and photos or everything. Google recommends that users backup when their iPhone is connected to power and is on Wi-Fi, as backing up can take several hours. Additionally, the Google Drive app must stay open and the screen must stay on. When users sign into their Google account on their new Android device their content will automatically sync. Google has tried to make it easier for iPhone users to switch to Android in recent months, packing in a "Quick Switch Adapter" with the Pixel, which quickly transfers data directly from an iPhone to a Pixel phone. While the Quick Switch Adapter only works with the Pixel phone, the Google Drive method will also work with non-Pixel Android phones. iPhone users who want to switch to Android must turn off iMessage before they officially switch devices. Google Drive is available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Pandora Previews Apple Music and Spotify Competitor 'Premium'

Pandora previewed its long-awaited Apple Music and Spotify competitor today at a special event with select publications. The new service is called Pandora Premium, and will launch in early 2017 with a likely price of $9.99 per month, reports Engadget. The new app offers on-demand access to a large music library and looks a lot like Rdio. In November, Pandora announced that it had acquired "key assets" and employees from Rdio. Like other services, Pandora Premium will also allow users to save music offline and experience ad-free listening, reports The Verge. Pandora CEO Tim Westergen thinks the company has created the "first truly premium music service." For Pandora, a premium music service means a personal music service, and the company hopes to leverage its trove of listening data and the Music Genome Project to offer each customer a personalized music service. For instance, Pandora Premium features personalized search, which means each user will get different music results based on their listening history rather than overall popularity. The browse and new release sections of the app will also be personalized based on user taste. Smart playlists will allow users to easily add new songs with a touch of a button, and in some cases Pandora will automatically add songs for you. The app will also change color based on the album artwork of the song you're currently listening to, and every song you like will be added to a giant playlist made up of every song you've ever liked on Pandora. When a user has reached the end of a playlist or album, Pandora Premium will