Juli Clover

Juli is an Editor at MacRumors, photographer, voracious reader, cinephile, video game enthusiast, and cat owner. She can be reached at juli@macrumors.com or on Twitter.



Nintendo Debuts New 'Fire: Emblem Heroes' Smartphone Game, Coming Soon to iOS Devices

Nintendo today officially announced Fire Emblem: Heroes, its next planned mobile game launching on iOS and Android devices in the near future. Positioned as a tactical roleplaying game in the Fire Emblem universe, Fire Emblem: Heroes will allow players to level up popular characters from the series and engage in strategic battles. According to Nintendo, the game features a new, original storyline focusing on two warring kingdoms coming together in a bitter clash. Players take on the role of summoners, calling various historic Fire Emblem characters into epic fights. Each battle map is an 8x6 square designed to fit on a smartphone's screen, where players will engage in tactical fights with multiple allies and enemies on the battlefield. Simple controls are included, such as dragging an ally onto an enemy to attack, and a battle victory is achieved when every enemy on a given map is defeated. Nintendo says that despite the simple controls, Fire Emblem fans will find the battle intensity they've come to expect from the series. Nintendo plans to make Fire Emblem: Heroes free-to-play, with optional in-app purchases. Fire Emblem: Heroes will be available on the Google Play store starting on February 2. Nintendo did not announce a specific release date for iOS devices, saying only that the game will be "available soon." Back in 2015, Nintendo promised to release five smartphone games by March of 2017. The company originally said its Fire Emblem game, along with a new game in the Animal Crossing series, would be released in the fall of 2016, but Nintendo did

Second-Generation Apple Pencil Rumored for March of 2017

Apple may be planning to introduce a second-generation Apple Pencil this year, according to rumors out of the Asian supply chain. The new Apple Pencil could be unveiled at an event rumored to take place in March, where it would be shown off along with the next-generation iPad Pro. Prospective features for a second-generation Apple Pencil aren't known, but a previous report from Bloomberg has suggested Apple is considering new iPad capabilities that would let the Apple Pencil to work in a larger range of apps, which could be introduced alongside the new accessory. There's also been some speculation that Apple could build in functionality outlined in several patents, including new antenna technology and a magnet that would allow the Apple Pencil to attach to an iPad's body when not in use. While we don't yet have any concrete detail on what could potentially be included in a second-generation Apple Pencil, given the major changes expected to be introduced to the iPad Pro lineup, it makes some sense for Apple to unveil an updated pencil accessory. Rumors suggest Apple will introduce a new iPad Pro model somewhere around 10 inches with an almost bezel-free design. Though the rumored iPad will use a larger 10-inch+ display, it's said to be the same size as the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Features like Touch ID would reportedly be built into the display, much like the rumored iPhone 8, and it is expected to include improved display technology and an upgraded A10X

iPhone 8 May Include Facial and Gesture Recognition

The next-generation iPhone 8, set to debut this September, could include facial or gesture recognition technology, according to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri (via AppleInsider). The facial recognition capabilities could be powered by a laser sensor and an infrared sensor located near the front-facing camera. We've previously heard rumors suggesting the iPhone 8 could include advanced biometric features like facial recognition or iris scanning, both from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chu Kuo and from details sourced from the Asian supply chain. With facial recognition, Apple could replace the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone or augment its functionality with a two-factor verification system for sensitive information. In this scenario, unlocking the iPhone would require users to scan their faces, something that would increase security on iOS devices. Facial recognition could also power other features on the phone, like augmented reality camera functions, and while gesture recognition is a new rumor, it could allow users to control their devices with simple gestures for doing things like turning volume up or down. Capabilities like gesture control and facial recognition are also some of the first steps towards a rich augmented reality experience, something Apple is rumored to be working on. Arcuri also reiterates several rumors we've previously heard. He believes Apple will launch a total of three iPhones, the standard 4.7 and 5.5-inch models and a new higher-end 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display. The 5.8-inch iPhone, he says, will

Apple's Logic Pro X for Mac and GarageBand for iOS Receive Major Updates

Apple today announced major updates for music creation software GarageBand and professional editing software Logic Pro X, introducing a number of new features for its music-related apps. GarageBand version 2.2 for iOS devices includes the Alchemy creative synthesizer that was added to Logic Pro X in 2015, along with a new sound browser to make it easier for users to find instruments and specific sounds. Alchemy includes more than 150 Apple-designed patches from a variety of genres ranging from EDM and Hip Hop to Rock and Pop. Using Alchemy's Transform Pad, GarageBand users can now create "expressive synth performances." A redesigned Audio Recorder lets users add one-tap vocal effects to recordings and use features like pitch correction, distortion, and delay, while an interactive graphic Visual EQ and other advanced audio processing tools have been added for professional users. Logic Pro X for Mac has been updated to version 10.3, introducing new features, a refreshed interface, and Touch Bar support, allowing the Touch Bar on the 2016 MacBook Pro to be used for music editing. The Touch Bar features quick access to navigation tools and Smart Controls, plus it can be used for playing and recording instruments using a piano keyboard or drum pads. A new Track Alternatives feature lets users create and switch between different playlists of regions and edits, and Selection-based Processing lets users apply Logic or third-party plug-ins onto one or more audio region. With iOS integration, Logic Pro X users can also add new tracks to Logic sessions from

iOS 10.2's New 'TV' App Doesn't Work With Some Videos Ripped From DVDs

In iOS 10.2, released on December 12, Apple introduced the new "TV" app, which serves as an Apple-designed TV guide that aims to simplify the television watching experience and help users discover new TV and movie content. In the United States, the TV app replaces the standard "Videos" app and serves as a television hub on iOS devices, but it appears the new app doesn't work well with content that's been ripped from DVDs. According to an ongoing discussion on Apple's Support Communities that dates back to December, some customers who have videos ripped from DVDs are no longer able to view them in the TV app. The same videos previously worked fine in the now-replaced Videos app. A user who is having issues describes the problem:Prior to iOS 10.2 I was able to view video I had ripped on the Videos app in iOS. The process I used was to rip the video and then import them into iTunes. Then I synced my iPhone with iTunes and my movies were download and viewed using the Videos app. iOS 10.2 no longer includes the Video app and the new TV app will not allow me to watch these ripped videos. Does someone have a solution or am I simply missing something?Other iPhone users have been unable to sync home videos and other content to their devices with the current version of iTunes, receiving a message that movies or TV shows can't be synced because the Videos app is not installed. Some users have been able to get around the problem with already-transferred videos by using the TV widget on their iOS devices, which apparently causes the TV app to display the ripped videos

FTC Targeting Qualcomm for Forcing Apple to Use its Modems [Updated]

The United States Federal Trade Commission today filed a complaint against Qualcomm, accusing the company of violating the FTC Act by using anticompetitive tactics to remain the dominant supplier of baseband processors (aka LTE chips) for smartphones. According to the FTC, Qualcomm uses its position and its portfolio of patents to impose "onerous and anticompetitive supply and licensing terms on cell phone manufacturers," negatively impacting its competitors. The complaint specifically addresses a deal with Apple in which Qualcomm required Apple to exclusively use its modems from 2011 to 2016 in exchange for lower patent royalties.Qualcomm precluded Apple from sourcing baseband processors from Qualcomm's competitors from 2011 to 2016. Qualcomm recognized that any competitor that won Apple's business would become stronger, and used exclusivity to prevent Apple from working with and improving the effectiveness of Qualcomm's competitors.Up until 2016, Apple only used Qualcomm modems in its line of iPhones, deviating from the norm with the iPhone 7. Both Intel and Qualcomm modems were adopted for the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, leading to some compatibility and performance discrepancies. Qualcomm is also accused of refusing to license its standard-essential patents to competing suppliers and implementing a "no license, no chips" tax policy where it supplies its baseband processors only when manufacturers agree to Qualcomm's preferred licensing terms, causing smartphone makers to pay higher royalties to Qualcomm when a competitor's modem chips are used. The

Verizon Cracking Down on Customers Still Using Faulty Galaxy Note 7 Devices

Though Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 has been discontinued for several months because of battery issues, there are still "thousands" of Verizon customers who are continuing to use the devices against the company's advice. To put a stop to the rogue Note 7 users, Verizon tells Fortune that it's prepared to take more extreme steps to disable the devices. Verizon has already issued a carrier update that stops the Galaxy Note 7 from working, but some customers have been able to avoid installing it. Verizon plans to make it so calls placed on remaining Galaxy Note 7 devices will only connect to the company's customer service representatives, with the exception of 911 calls. Verizon is also considering charging customers who continue to use the Note 7 for the full retail price of the device, as it has sent out refunds."In spite of our best efforts, there are still customers using the recalled phones who have not returned or exchanged their Note 7 to the point of purchase," a Verizon spokeswoman tells Fortune. "The recalled Note 7s pose a safety risk to our customers and those around them."Verizon customers who return a Note 7 device to the company continue to be eligible for a $100 bill credit and no upgrade fee as an incentive to choose a new smartphone. Samsung has not officially announced the results of an internal investigation it conducted on the Galaxy Note 7, but company sources yesterday told Reuters that Samsung has concluded the battery was the reason behind the fires. Samsung was able to replicate the fires during its investigation, though the cause was not able

Vine Transitions into 'Vine Camera' as Original Service Shuts Down

As promised, Twitter today discontinued the original Vine app and service, transitioning it into a new "Vine Camera" app designed to allow users to make six-second looping videos that can be saved to the iPhone's camera roll or shared directly on Twitter. Videos posted to Twitter from the Vine Camera app will loop like they did in the standard Vine app, but aside from allowing users to capture and edit looping video, no other Vine features remain. Existing Vine videos can be downloaded from the Vine website, and all Vines will continue to be available on the Vine.co website, though no new content can be uploaded. Twitter first announced plans to shut down Vine in October of 2016. The company entertained multiple purchase offers for Vine but then decided to maintain a simpler version of the app that's now known as Vine Camera. Today‚Äôs app update, the Vine Camera, lets you keep making Vines & posting them to Twitter, where they now loop! 🎥— Vine (@vine) January 17, 2017 The Vine Camera app, which has a new icon, can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link

AT&T Shuts Down 2G Network and Ends Cellular Connectivity for Original iPhone

AT&T yesterday announced that its 2G wireless network was officially shut down on January 1, 2017, following four years of planning for its discontinuation. As The Verge points out, the end of the 2G network means the original first-generation iPhone (also known as the iPhone 2G) will no longer receive cellular service from the AT&T network, effectively shutting it down. Few people appear to have been using the original iPhone as there were no complaints from iPhone owners two weeks ago when the network was shuttered, but going forward, customers who keep the device as part of a collection will only be able to use it on WiFi. Originally released in June of 2007 and discontinued in 2008, the first iPhone was made obsolete by Apple back in 2013, and it has not received software updates since the 2009 release of iPhone OS 3, later renamed iOS 3. While the end of the 2G network seems to have had little impact on iPhone owners, it did manage to cause significant issues for the San Francisco Muni bus and train system. NextMuni, used to predict arrival times of buses and trains, ran on AT&T's 2G network. Muni vehicles without upgraded systems installed don't show up on NextMuni, a problem that the San Francisco transit agency believes could take weeks to solve. According to AT&T, shutting down its 2G network frees up valuable spectrum for future network technologies, including 5G. AT&T says the spectrum will be repurposed for

Apple Releases Supplemental Security Update for OS X El Capitan

Apple today released a new version of OS X El Capitan Security Update 2016-003, fixing an additional kernel issue that could cause Macs running the operating system to freeze up and become unresponsive. The 2016-003 Security Update for OS X El Capitan was originally released on December 13 alongside macOS Sierra 10.12.2, but was today reissued with the fix. Customers who have not downloaded the security update at all will get the new version when updating their machines, while customers who previously installed the security fix will receive a supplemental update to address the freezing problem.The OS X El Capitan Security Update 2016-003 Supplemental Update fixes a kernel issue that may cause your Mac to occasionally become unresponsive.Mac users who are still running OS X El Capitan can download the update through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store, and direct download links are also available (Standard Update/Supplemental Update). The original 2016-003 update fixed a number of security vulnerabilities in the OS X El Capitan operating

Apple's Bozoma Saint John on Apple Music: 'We're Developing Something Very Special'

Apple Music executives Larry Jackson, Bozoma Saint John, and Zane Lowe sat down for an interview with Complex, where they discussed Apple Music's performance over the last eighteen months and where the streaming service is going to go in the future. According to the trio, Apple Music has evolved and is continuing to evolve, with Apple now focusing heavily on pop culture and expanding beyond music into TV and movies. Image via Complex "Every day something is changing or moving or evolving for people who love music and entertainment," said Lowe. "We're all still working it out, and even when you don't have the answer, it's still a privilege to be in the conversation." Saint John, meanwhile, described Apple Music as a "living, breathing brand." When discussing the topic of the music industry, Saint John went on to share what she hopes Apple Music will look like five or 10 years in the future. According to Saint John, Apple is "developing something very special."We're developing something very special and we just want people to pay attention to it. My five-year vision is that I want every single person on the planet to be engaged on Apple Music. I truly believe we've created something very, very special. I don't think anyone else can do this. I will scream from the mountain top until everyone knows. Can I add one thing, too? This is a love fest right now, but I also feel like our conflict makes us better, too. There's plenty of times where I have screamed at Larry. And though he has not screamed back, I have felt his frustration.As we've learned over the last few

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Case or Sleeve for Your MacBook From WaterField Designs

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with WaterField Designs to offer MacBook and MacBook Pro users a chance to win a Syde MacBook Case or a Maxwell Sleeve for their notebooks. Available for the MacBook, the 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro, the Syde MacBook Case is priced at $159 and is a simple, slim bag that can hold a MacBook and a few other accessories. Made from either black ballistic nylon or a brown waxed canvas, the bag has a simple magnetic closure so it's easy to get a MacBook in and out. A padded neoprene sleeve keeps the MacBook safe from bumps and scratches and a leather front pocket holds a charger and other odds and ends. A leather handle is included, as is a strap, and there's also a rear pocket for holding documents. The Maxwell Sleeve is also available for the 12-inch MacBook and the two new MacBook Pro models, plus there's an iPad Pro version for Apple's 12.9-inch tablet. Priced at $99 to $119, the Maxwell Sleeve is available in a water-repellant Nanotex-coated material, waxed canvas, or ballistic nylon, and it comes in several different colors (kelly, crimson, slate, cobalt, black ballistic, and waxed canvas, a brown shade). Like the Syde, the Maxwell uses a simple noiseless magnetic closure and offers padded protection for the MacBook, plus it can be ordered in vertical or horizontal orientation. It doesn't have additional pockets or straps (but you can get one if you want), so it's ideal for sticking into another bag or backpack. We're giving away one Syde and one Maxwell, with winners to choose

Universal Search Bar Coming Soon to Snapchat's iOS App

Snapchat was today updated with an improved universal search feature that makes it easier for users to find friends, groups, stories, and other content on the social network, reports TechCrunch. The new universal search bar is located at the top of the Snapchat app, making it accessible when browsing, sharing a photo, and more, an improvement over the previous search features that were split up across the app. According to Snapchat, the search bar interface change is designed for speed, allowing users to find content quickly.With the new search bar, you can jump to your own profile by tapping your Bitmoji on the left. If you tap a friend's auto-suggest card or search result, you'll start a chat with them, or you can tap their Story thumbnail to instantly start watching it full screen. Tapping and holding on someone's card shows their mini profile. Beyond accounts, you can find specific daily editions of Discover channels or particular Our Stories by searching for their titles.Snapchat is also planning to allow all of its users to submit video clips to "Our Story," which employees use to create content focused on events and locations. Universal search capabilities are launching today for some Android users, and will be rolling out to all iOS and Android users in the near

Apple Increases Maximum tvOS App Size to 4GB

Apple today announced that the size limit of a tvOS app bundle has increased from 200MB to 4GB, allowing developers to include more media in their app submissions for a "complete, rich user experience upon installation." Previously, tvOS apps were limited in size to 200MB, but were allowed to download additional resources after being installed. This led to short initial installation times, but caused customers to have to wait for content to download after installing an app. Apple is also allows tvOS apps to use On-Demand Resources to host up to 20GB of additional content on the App Store. Apple recommends app developers use On-Demand Resources to enable faster downloads. On-Demand Resources allow apps to do things like download the first couple of levels of a game and update as a user progresses, deleting content that's no longer

Consumer Reports Reverses Course, Recommends MacBook Pro Following New Testing After Apple Bug Fix

Consumer Reports is out with an updated report on the 2016 MacBook Pro, and following retesting, the magazine is now recommending Apple's latest notebooks. In the new test, conducted running a beta version of macOS that fixes the Safari-related bug that caused erratic battery life in the original test, all three MacBook Pro models "performed well." The 13-inch model without a Touch Bar had an average battery life of 18.75 hours, the 13-inch model with a Touch Bar lasted for 15.25 hours on average, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar had an average battery life of 17.25 hours.Now that we've factored in the new battery-life measurements, the laptops' overall scores have risen, and all three machines now fall well within the recommended range in Consumer Reports ratings.Consumer Reports originally denied the 2016 MacBook Pro a purchase recommendation in late December due to extreme battery life variance that didn't match up with Apple's 10 hour battery life claim. Apple worked with Consumer Reports to figure out why the magazine encountered battery life issues, which led to the discovery of an obscure Safari caching bug. Consumer Reports used a developer setting to turn off Safari caching, triggering an "obscure and intermittent bug reloading icons" that drained excessive battery. The bug, fixed by Apple in macOS Sierra 10.12.3 beta 3, is not one the average user will encounter as most people don't turn off the Safari caching option, but it's something done in all Consumer Reports tests to ensure uniform testing conditions. A fix for the issue will be

Court Rules Apple Can be Sued for Monopolizing iPhone App Market

A U.S. Appeals Court today ruled that App Store customers can move forward with a lawsuit claiming Apple created an illegal app monopoly because it did not allow users to purchase iPhone apps outside of the App Store, reports Reuters. The decision reverses a 2013 ruling that dismissed the lawsuit, originally filed in 2012. The case, Pepper et al v. Apple Inc., alleges that by not letting users purchase apps from third-party sources, there was no price competition, leading to higher app prices. When the lawsuit was originally filed, Apple requested that it be dismissed because developers, not Apple, set prices for App Store apps. Apple simply provides the platform developers use to sell apps to customers. According to today's ruling, because iPhone users purchase the apps directly from Apple, they have the right to file a lawsuit against the company. An attorney for the plaintiffs in the case told Reuters that the aim of the lawsuit is to allow people to shop for iPhone apps wherever they want, an outcome that's unlikely due to security implications.But if the challenge ultimately succeeds, "the obvious solution is to compel Apple to let people shop for applications wherever they want, which would open the market and help lower prices," Mark C. Rifkin, an attorney with Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz representing the group of iPhone users, told Reuters in an interview. "The other alternative is for Apple to pay people damages for the higher than competitive prices they've had to pay historically because Apple has utilized its monopoly."The Appeals Court

Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of iOS 10.2.1 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.2.1 update to developers and public beta testers, a few days after seeding the third iOS 10.2.1 beta and a month after releasing iOS 10.2, the second major update to the iOS 10 operating system. Registered developers can download the fourth iOS 10.2.1 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed. It isn't yet known what features are included in iOS 10.2.1, but as a minor 10.2.x update, it appears to focus on bug fixes and performance improvements rather than major outward-facing changes. No new features were discovered in the first three iOS 10.2.1 betas, but we'll update this post if any changes are found in the fourth beta. iOS 10.2.1 follows the release of iOS 10.2, a significant update that brought Unicode 9 emoji, a new TV app, Messages Screen Effects, Music improvements, and a whole slew of bug

Adobe's Research Team Experimenting With Voice-Based AI, Digital Face Painting

Adobe this week published three videos on YouTube, sharing details on what its research team is working on for inclusion in future Adobe products like Photoshop. A voice-based AI assistant like Siri is Adobe's most interesting project, which Adobe says is the first step towards a voice-based interface that would let Adobe users search and edit images in unique ways. According to Adobe, its team is working to combine voice interaction with "a deep understanding" of creative workflows. In its current incarnation, the speech recognition system can accept natural language instructions or image editing, directly on a device or through a cloud-based Natural Language understanding service. Adobe is also working on a new digital face painting application that would allow users to paint on a still image of a person, using blending and rotating tools to paint on all sides of the face. A real-time paint simulation engine makes there the paint blends in with the image with the proper lighting. The final project shared by the research team is an interactive sculpting tool for Photoshop, which allows an artist to use familiar Photoshop tools to sculpt 3D objects. There's no word on if or when these projects will make their way into Adobe's software, but Adobe pushes updates to its Creative Cloud projects on a regular basis and unveils major new features each

Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.3 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available Too]

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.3 update to developers, a few days after seeding the third 10.12.3 beta and more than a month after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.2, the second update to the macOS Sierra operating system. The macOS Sierra 10.12.3 update is available for download through the Apple Developer Center or through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store. According to Apple's release notes, the 10.12.3 update "improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac." No specific changes, bug fixes, or feature additions were discovered in the first three betas, but we'll update this post should any new features be found in the fourth beta. With bug fixes, it's often hard to determine exactly what's included in an update until Apple supplies detailed release notes with a release. We do, however, know that this update fixes a Safari bug that caused battery life problems during the MacBook Pro testing conducted by Consumer Reports. Available since September, macOS Sierra is the latest Mac operating system. It includes Siri support, Apple Pay for the web, Universal Clipboard, Apple Watch auto unlocking, improved iCloud Drive integration, Picture-in-Picture multitasking, and dozens of smaller features that can be found in our macOS Sierra roundup. Update: The fourth macOS Sierra 10.12.3 beta is also available for public beta

A 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Could Match the 12.9-Inch Model's Resolution and the iPad Mini's Pixel Density

Apple is rumored to be working on a new iPad Pro that adopts an edge-to-edge display, and while it's said to be somewhere around 10 inches, there are a lot of mixed rumors about the specific size of the tablet. Studio Neat designer Dan Provost yesterday wrote a post on Medium (via Daring Fireball) making the case for a 10.5-inch iPad. His math is solid and his argument makes sense, framing all of the iPad Pro rumors in a new light. When introducing the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2015, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller explained that Apple settled on that size because the width of the tablet matched the height of the existing 9.7-inch iPad. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro, he said, was similar to having two 9.7-inch iPads side-by-side. A 9.7-inch iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch piece of paper over it, via Provost Provost takes this concept and applies it to the iPad mini. The width of a 10.5-inch iPad would match the height of the iPad mini screen, and furthermore, a 10.5-inch iPad would use the same resolution as the 12.9-inch model, with the same pixel density as the iPad mini. The math works out perfectly. This new 10.5" iPad would have the exact same resolution as the 12.9" iPad Pro (2732 x 2048), but the same pixel density of the iPad mini (326 ppi instead of 264 ppi). Crunch the numbers, do a little Pythagorean Theorem, and you end up with a screen 10.5" diagonal (10.47" to be precise, but none of Apple's stated screen sizes are exact). In terms of physcial dimensions, the width of this 10.5" screen would be exactly the same as the height of the iPad mini screen.Existing