Apple Seeds Fourth OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan Beta to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan update to developers and public beta testers for testing purposes, one week after releasing the third OS X 10.11.6 beta and more than a month since the public release of OS X 10.11.5. OS X 10.11.6 has been in testing since May 23.

The fourth OS X 10.11.6 beta update can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.

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OS X 10.11.6, much like OS X 10.11.5 and the El Capitan updates that came before it, focuses mainly on performance improvements and bug fixes instead of obvious outward-facing changes. According to Apple's release notes for earlier betas, the update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of Macs.

No obvious changes or bug fixes were found in the first three betas, but we'll update this post should anything new be discovered in the fourth beta.

Apple has also started testing macOS Sierra, the next-generation Mac operating system set to be released this fall. macOS Sierra includes features like Siri integration, auto unlocking with the Apple Watch, Apple Pay for the web, a new storage optimization feature, and more.

Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan
Tag: OS X 10.11.6

Apple's Website Has Hidden Easter Egg to Celebrate Euro 2016

Apple quietly updated the "choose your country" selector on its website a few weeks ago in the United Kingdom and other European countries, adding Euro 2016 country groups and a bracket to celebrate the ongoing football tournament in France.

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Apple also temporarily added a handful of countries and regions that it does not have regional websites for, including Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Ukraine, and Wales, to ensure that the groups and bracket are filled out properly.

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The fun "easter egg" discovery is for the 2016 UEFA European Championship currently being held between June 10 and July 10 in France, where eight teams remain: Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Wales.

Tags: Apple, Europe

Apple to Announce Q3 2016 Earnings on July 26

Apple this evening updated its investor relations page to note that the earnings announcement for the third fiscal quarter (second calendar quarter) of 2016 will take place on Tuesday, July 26.

In Q2 2016, Apple saw its first year-over-year revenue decline since 2003 along with its first ever drop in iPhone sales, and that downward trend is expected to continue into the third quarter of the year.

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During its last earnings call, Apple's guidance included expected Q3 2016 revenue of $41 to $43 billion and gross margin between 37.5 and 38 percent.

The quarterly earnings statement will be released at 1:30 PM Pacific/4:30 PM Eastern, with a conference call to discuss the report taking place at 2:00 PM Pacific/5:00 PM Eastern. MacRumors will provide coverage of both the earnings release and conference call on July 26.

Review: Ten One Design's Clever 'Blockhead' Allows MacBook and iPad Chargers to Fit Behind Furniture

Created by Ten One Design, the Blockhead is a simple plug designed to rotate the orientation of the MacBook or iPad Power Adapter so it rests flush against a wall or power strip when it's plugged in.

There are, occasionally, some products that are so simple and intuitive that you look at them and wonder why they didn't already exist -- the Blockhead is one of those products. Made from blue plastic, the Blockhead replaces the snap-in plug portion of the official chargers for Apple's lineup of MacBooks and iPads.


There's not a lot to say about the design of the Blockhead. It's similar to the official AC wall adapter that can be snapped out of a MacBook or iPad Power Adapter, but its plugs are oriented in a different direction. Made of an attractive blue ABS plastic instead of white plastic, the Blockhead is otherwise functionally identical to Apple's own power adapter bits.

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a USB-C Hub From Plugable

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Plugable to give MacRumors readers a chance to win a thin, light USB-C hub that's perfect for when you need a small hub while on the go.

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The Plugable USBC-HUB3P can deliver power to a MacBook from the MacBook's included charger while also providing three USB ports that can be used with a range of accessories. It's made from a lightweight silver aluminum that matches well with Apple's aesthetic, and it is able to work with both 2015 and 2016 Retina MacBook models. Other USB-C systems, like the Chromebook Pixel 2, are also supported.

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Measuring in at 9.5 inches long, the USBC-HUB3P fits neatly into a purse or backpack. We gave it a try and while it isn't the most rugged USB-C hub we've seen, it's a good option for travel. With USB 3.0 support, it offers transfer rates of up to 5Gb/s, and it ships with an included 6-inch USB-C cable to plug into the MacBook.


Apple sells its own Digital AV Multiport Adapter for the MacBook, but it's priced at $79.99. For those who don't need an HDMI port or want more USB-A ports, Plugable's solution is more affordably priced at $32 and is available from Amazon.

Plugable is offering 50 of its hubs to MacRumors readers. 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.

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The contest will run from today (June 24) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on July 1. The winners will be chosen randomly on July 1 and will be contacted by email. The winners have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Tag: Plugable

Apple Releases Safari 10 Developer Beta for OS X Yosemite and El Capitan

safari-iconApple today released a developer beta of Safari 10 for OS X Yosemite and OS X El Capitan users, allowing those who don't yet wish to install macOS Sierra to test out the upcoming Safari update.

The Safari 10 beta for Yosemite and El Capitan can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center.

Safari 10 for Yosemite and El Capitan does not include all of the same features available in macOS Sierra, like Apple Pay on the web and Picture in Picture support, but a limited number of Safari 10 functions are available, as listed below:

- New Bookmarks sidebar, including double-click to focus in on a folder
- Redesigned Bookmarks and History views
- Site-specific zoom
- Improved AutoFill from your Contacts card
- Reader improvements
- HTML5 and legacy Plug-ins
- Allow reopening of recently closed tabs
- Back closing spawned tabs
- Improved ranking of Frequently Visited Sites
- Web Inspector Timelines Tab
- Debugging using Web Inspector

With OS X El Capitan, Safari 10 supports Safari Extensions and the development of Safari App Extensions, allowing developers to start creating extensions that will eventually be sold through the Mac App Store. Also unique to El Capitan is Spotlight suggestions for Top Hits.

Safari 10 is currently limited to developers, but will be available to public beta testers as part of macOS Sierra this July. The web browser will see an official public release this fall.

Tag: Safari

Apple Hires Sage Bionetworks President Stephen Friend for Health-Related Projects

ResearchKit iconSage Bionetworks president and co-founder Stephen Friend is joining Apple to work on health related projects, according to a press release Sage Bionetworks shared this morning (via Business Insider). Though not specified in the press release, Friend will likely be joining Apple to work on its CareKit and ResearchKit projects.

Friend connected with Apple through ResearchKit, which Sage has been involved in since before ResearchKit launched in 2015.

Sage Bionetworks designed and launched two of the first ResearchKit studies, including the mPower study on Parkinson's Disease and the Share the Journey study for breast cancer survivors. The company also developed and launched Bridge Server, software that provides back-end data collection and distribution for mobile health apps, which is used by other ResearchKit participants.
As stated by Dr. Friend, "Even though it has been exciting to watch a shift in how researchers work together and in how patients track their own disease, most exciting is how well Sage is now positioned to continue this quest to change how research is done and how people manage their health."
Prior to co-founding Sage Bionetworks, where he will stay on as chairman of the board, Friend, a noted cancer researcher, led oncology research at Merck & Co and served on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.

Since launching in 2015, ResearchKit studies have been conducted in many countries around the world, including Australia, Austria, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the US, and have covered issues like asthma, postpartum depression, and cardiovascular disease.

Following the success of its ResearchKit platform, Apple has expanded its healthcare efforts with the April launch of CareKit. While ResearchKit is designed to help researchers collect information from thousands of patients at one time to study diseases, CareKit allows developers to build apps that will let doctors better interface with patients.

Apple's Fifth Retail Store in Hong Kong Opens on June 30

Apple has announced that its fifth retail store in Hong Kong opens on Thursday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m. local time. The store will be located inside the New Town Plaza shopping mall at 18 Sha Tin Centre Street.

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The store will be open seven days a week between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time, providing customers in the northern Sha Tin District with access to the Genius Bar and other traditional store services.

As noted in our Apple Stores roundup, construction of the store is nearly completed. Apple Store, New Town Plaza will be the company's 46th retail store in Greater China and 484th retail store overall.

Apple's other Hong Kong locations include Canton Road, Causeway Bay, Festival Walk, and IFC Mall, the last of which expanded into a third floor in late 2015.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Tag: Hong Kong

Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 7 With Bug Fixes and Feature Tweaks

safaripreviewiconApple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced on March 30, 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into the release version of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 7 includes bug fixes and updates for JavaScript, CSS, Web APIs, Web Inspector, Media, and Rendering.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's goal with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can be run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while aimed at developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

Apple Seeds Third OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan Beta to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan update to developers and public beta testers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the second OS X 10.11.6 beta and more than a month after the public release of OS X 10.11.5. OS X 10.11.6 has been in testing since May 23.

The OS X 10.11.6 update can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.

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OS X 10.11.6, like OS X 10.11.5 and the El Capitan updates that came before it, focuses mainly on performance improvements and bug fixes rather than outward-facing changes. According to Apple's release notes, the update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of Macs.

No obvious changes or bug fixes were found in the first two betas, but we'll update this post should anything new be discovered in the third beta. Apple has also started testing macOS Sierra, the next-generation Mac operating system set to be released this fall.

Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan

Adobe Launches Creative Cloud Update With New Features for Photoshop CC, Premiere Pro CC, and More

Adobe today announced the launch of its latest Creative Cloud updates, bringing new tools and more "Adobe Magic" to a range of apps including Photoshop CC, After Effects CC, Premiere Pro CC, Illustrator CC, and more.

There are several new features available in Photoshop CC, including Content-Aware Crop, Face-Aware Liquify, and Match Font, plus a new workspace for selections and masking. Content-Aware Crop intelligently fills in the open areas when a canvas is expanded or rotated beyond the original image size, allowing for more options when editing an image to get the perfect crop or angle.

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Face-Aware Liquify automatically recognizes the different elements of a face when using the liquify tool, giving users direct control over facial features like eyes, nose, and mouth for making quick artistic changes. Match Font, the final major new feature in Photoshop CC, analyzes an image to determine what font was used, bringing it up in Photoshop if it's already installed and locating it in TypeKit if it isn't previously owned.

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Adobe Premiere CC includes new workflows for editing immersive VR and 360 video experiences with a "field of view" mode for working with spherical stitched video. It offers options for dynamically switching between monoscopic, stereoscopic, and anaglyph frame layouts, and there's a new workflow for editing while video and audio are still importing in the background.

After Effects CC features a new audio and video preview engine for smoother playback for cached frames plus new GPU-accelerated Gaussian Blur and Lumetri Color effects for faster rendering, while Animate CC includes enhanced brushes and improved web publishing and Illustrator CC features fast export of assets and artboards.

Adobe Stock is now able to integrate with Creative Cloud applications through a new One-Click Workflow that allows users to choose an image or video from the Adobe Stock website and open it in an app with a single click. There's also a one-click licensing feature to purchase images directly within Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

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Adobe is debuting a Premium Collection for Adobe Stock, featuring close to 100,000 high-quality images from artists and photographers, and beginning in July, Creative Cloud customers will be able to upload their own images to Adobe Stock.

Across all of Adobe's Creative Cloud, there are new read-only libraries so Creative Cloud Libraries can be shared with team members for viewing purposes without giving all users the option of changing or deleting content, and all nearly apps have gained dozens of minor tweaks, bug fixes, and feature improvements.
"We have two key goals with this release: saving our customers time and helping them jumpstart their creative engines," said Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Media at Adobe. "Every creative project starts with a blank page and ends with a vision coming to life. Today's release of Creative Cloud will help make that journey as fast and productive as possible. From deeper integration of Adobe Stock into the CC experience, to amazing new features like Content-Aware Crop in Adobe Photoshop, this release will expedite the creative process for millions of our customers."
Some of these features were previously announced by Adobe on the Adobe blog and at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show, but they're launching as part of today's Creative Cloud update and should be available shortly.

Adobe offers full Creative Cloud subscriptions for $49.99 per month, and those who have not subscribed can sign up for a 30-day free trial. Adobe also offers a $9.99 photography plan with access to Lightroom and Photoshop.

Supreme Court Ruling Supports Apple's Long-Running Fight Against Patent Trolls

Apple LogoThe Supreme Court yesterday made it a few steps easier for technology companies like Apple to challenge lawsuits from "patent assertion businesses," or patent trolls. The decision implemented part of a 2011 law that created "quicker and cheaper" avenues into contesting patents with the Patent Office, instead of having to delve into a lengthy court battle or face a federal judge (via The Wall Street Journal).

This way, companies like Apple -- who face patent trolls frequently -- could easily argue against unseemly patent lawsuits in far less time, and without spending as much money.

Speaking for the court system, Justice Stephen Breyer said that the new ruling in favor of the Patent Office approach will help "to protect the public" since it'll prevent potential patent trolls from claiming overly broad patents that "might discourage the use of the invention by a member of the public."
The 2011 law created quicker and cheaper procedures for contesting patents in front of the Patent Office instead of in front of a federal judge. But some argued the procedures overcompensated and made patents too vulnerable. That is because the Patent Office adopted challenger-friendly legal standards that were different than those used in courts.

The Supreme Court acknowledged the Patent Office rules depart from those used in court, but said the agency had taken a reasonable approach.
So far, cases emerging from the Patent Office are said to rule largely in favor of the individual or company contesting the patent. According to recent government data, a reported 80 percent of the trials completed so far through the Patent Office board have seen the cancellation of the patent in question.

Apple is nearly constantly in the news surrounding various lawsuits and litigation updates, a large sum of which are usually centered around companies that claim they are "absolutely not" a patent troll. The new ruling should help alleviate the headache and streamline the contesting process for some of these cases made against the company.