Apple is opening its fifth retail store in South Korea this Friday, and the company has enlisted K-pop girl band NewJeans to woo the country's users, reports Bloomberg.
K-pop girl band NewJeans
The new store will be located in the central Gangnam district of Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, and in a promotional event on Wednesday, Apple set up a pop-up studio inside the new store where visitors could listen to an exclusive version of NewJean's hit song "OMG" recorded in spatial audio.
The marketing strategy of involving a K-pop band isn't new in South Korea – Samsung has a BTS edition of its Galaxy S20+ smartphone there – with such collaborations often going viral online.
As Bloomberg notes, the move is another signal that Apple is ramping up its post-pandemic offensive in the key Asian growth market. Apple Pay went live in South Korea earlier this month, and local media reports that there are plans in place to open a sixth store in Seoul this year. The capital would then have more Apple Stores than there are in Tokyo, Japan.
Apple Gangnam is Apple's first new retail store to open since Apple American Dream opened in New Jersey in December. Apple now has a retail team of nearly 800 on the ground in South Korea, according to Patrick Schuerpf, director of Apple's retail business in Asia.
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will use a new ultra-low energy microprocessor allowing certain features like the new capacitive solid-state buttons to remain functional even when the handset is powered off or the battery has run out, according to a source that shared details on the MacRumors forums.
CAD-based render of new solid-state buttons on iPhone 15 Pro models
The source of this rumor is the same forum member that shared accurate details about the Dynamic Island last year before the iPhone 14 Pro was officially launched, so there is good reason to believe that the following information is reliable.
According to the anonymous source, the new microprocessor will replace Apple's current super-low energy mode that allows an iPhone to be located via Find My after it has been powered off or for up to 24 hours if its battery has been depleted, and enables Apple Pay Express Mode to be used for up to five hours after the battery has run out.
The new chip will allegedly take over these existing Bluetooth LE/Ultra Wideband functions in addition to powering the solid-state buttons – including an "action" button that replaces the mute switch – when the phone is on, off, or the battery is depleted. The microprocessor will "immediately sense capacitive button presses, holds, and even detect their own version of 3D Touch with the new volume up/down button, action button, and power button, while the phone is dead or powered down," says the tipster.
The source also claims that the new low-energy capacitive features are currently being tested with and without Taptic Engine feedback while powered off, but not while the battery is dead, however "whether this tidbit makes it to production or not is highly uncertain but IS being tested," they added.
The source claims that their "man inside" Apple has seen two functional versions of the rumored new unified volume button in testing, including one where the volume goes up/down faster depending on the amount of force used when pressed, and another where the volume can be adjusted by swiping up and down on the button with a finger. They do not know which method will be adopted for the final release, but these features are enabled by software, so this functionality may well be user-customizable.
The anonymous tipster claims that their inside source is on the Apple development team, so they do not have additional information about the design of the new models unless the physical features require software development to complement them.
As per previous rumors, solid-state capacitive buttons are expected to be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro models, with the standard iPhone 15 models retaining the same traditional button mechanism as on the iPhone 14 series. The iPhone 15 Pro is also rumored to be gaining a software-customizable button in lieu of the mute switch, with a unified volume button or "rocker" replacing the separate up/down volume buttons. For everything else we know about the new iPhone 15 series, check out our dedicated roundups using the links below.
Autodesk today announced that the updated AutoCAD 2024 and AutoCad LT 2024 software for macOS is able to run natively on Apple silicon Macs for the first time.
Optimized for both Apple silicon Macs and Intel Macs, the updated AutoCAD software will bring performance improvements to those who have M1 and M2 series Macs. Autodesk says that the native Apple silicon support can increase performance by up to two times compared to the non-optimized 2023 software.
"AutoCAD for Mac 2024 and AutoCAD LT for Mac 2024 deliver incredible, new performance improvements with the ability to run AutoCAD natively on Apple silicon," says Dania El Hassan, Director of Product Management for AutoCAD, Autodesk. "It's exciting to see how customers can now take full advantage of the latest hardware and M-series chips for faster ways to work."
Eve Systems today announced the launch of its updated Matter-enabled Eve Energy smart plug, which is its first out-of-the-box Matter-compatible device. Eve previously released a beta firmware update to add Matter to some existing Eve accessories, but as of today, it is possible to buy the Eve Energy with Matter integration.
The Matter-equipped Eve Energy is available in North America, Europe, and the UK starting today. The Matter-enabled Eve Motion and Eve Door and Window are set to launch in stores on April 17.
April 17 is also the official launch date of Eve's Matter firmware update, which will be widely available for the first time. It has been available to those who signed up to beta test, but the public launch is coming in April. Existing Eve Energy, Eve Door and Window, and Eve Motion Sensor devices will be able to be upgraded to Matter through the Eve app for the iPhone and the iPad.
Matter is a new smart home standard that's being used by Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon, and others. It allows for interoperability between smart home platforms, so a Matter-enabled Eve Energy Smart Plug can, for example, be added to an Apple HomeKit setup and a Google Home setup at the same time so long as the appropriate Matter hubs are available.
With multi-platform support, Matter-enabled accessories can be controlled with iPhones and Android phones, something not possible with HomeKit alone.
While the standard Apple Studio Display comes with an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare, the nano-texture glass option scatters light to minimize glare even more. Apple says the option, which is normally a $300 upgrade over the standard glass, is ideal for spaces with bright lighting sources.
For more discounts, check out our Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories.
With the iOS 16.5 beta, Apple is working to improve Siri's functionality, and there is a new option to start a screen recording with the voice assistant. As noted by 9to5Mac, you can now say "Hey Siri, start a screen recording" to use the Screen Record feature.
Using this command will cause the iPhone's screen to be automatically video recorded until you tap in to turn it off or activate Siri and say "Stop the screen recording."
Note that the wording of the screen recording command needs to be fairly specific as something like "take a screen recording" results in a screenshot rather than the video recording function. Siri has been able to take a standard screenshot for quite some time, but the screen recording function is definitely new in this beta.
In prior versions of iOS, when you ask Siri to start a screen recording, the voice assistant does a web search or says you have no such app installed.
iOS 16.5 was provided to developers today and it should be coming to public beta testers later this week. Aside from the Siri screen recording feature, Apple has also added a Sports tab in the Apple News app. No other new additions have been found as of yet.
The iOS 16.5 beta that Apple seeded to developers today doesn't appear to have many features as of yet, but one change has been made to the Apple News app. To go along with its push into sports content, Apple has added a new Sports tab to the app.
Apple has positioned the Sports tab in Apple News right in the middle of the bottom navigation bar, putting it between Today and News+ on the left, and Audio and Following on the right. To make room for the Sports tab, Apple has combined the Following and Search tabs into one tab rather than making them separate actions.
The Sports tab facilitates the picking of favorite teams for personalized news, a feature that was already available in the prior version of Apple News without a dedicated tab.
A tab specifically for sports content comes as Apple is aiming to lure sports enthusiasts to its ecosystem and Apple TV+. Apple has inked deals with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer for exclusive content, and sports content has been more deeply integrated with the iPhone through features like Live Activities for following games in real time from the iPhone Lock Screen.
Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, with the betas available through the Software Update mechanism in System Settings.
There is no word yet on what's included in macOS Ventura 13.4, but we'll update this article if anything new is discovered.
Apple today seeded the first betas of upcoming iOS 16.5 and iPadOS 16.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming a day after the launch of iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4.
Registered developers can opt in to the betas by opening up the Settings app, going to Software Update, tapping on the "Beta Updates" option and toggling on the iOS 16 Developer Beta. Note that an Apple ID associated with a developer account is required to download and install the beta.
We don't yet know what's included in the betas, but Apple has delivered many of the promised features that were announced when iOS 16 was first unveiled. We are still waiting on the Apple Card Savings account and Apple Pay Later, a feature that Apple CEO Tim Cookrecently said was coming "soon."
When we learn what's included in the update, we'll share details.
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 16.5 update to developers for testing purposes, with the beta coming a day after the launch of tvOS 16.4.
Registered developers are able to download the tvOS 16.5 update by downloading a profile on the Apple TV using Xcode.
tvOS updates are usually minor, focusing on internal bug fixes and improvements rather than notable outward-facing changes. There is no word as of yet what's included in the tvOS 16.5 update, but we'll update this article if we find anything new.
Apple shares some information on tvOS releases in its tvOS support document, which is updated after each tvOS launch.
Though we don't often know what's new in tvOS during the beta testing process, we let MacRumors readers know when new updates are available so those who are developers can download it upon release.
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 9.5 update to developers for testing purposes, with the software update coming a day after the release of watchOS 9.4.
To install the watchOS 9.5 update, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center.
Once installed, watchOS 9.5 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software update. To update to new software, an Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery life, it has to be placed on the charger, and it will need to be in range of the iPhone it is paired with.
We don't know what's included in the watchOS 9.5 update as of now, but we'll update this article if anything notable is found in the beta.
The Aqara Video Doorbell G4 is the first HomeKit Secure Video smart doorbell that can operate via battery power alone, and comes as the first full-featured HomeKit Secure Video smart doorbell in many regions around the world.
Beyond HomeKit Secure Video, the Doorbell G4 offers a wide range of features and capabilities, including 1080p video recording, a 162-degree wide-angle lens, two-way audio communication, motion detection, night vision capabilities, weather resistance, support for microSD cards up to 512GB, and more.
Priced at $119.99, the Doorbell G4 comes with a chime repeater speaker, USB-A to USB-C cable, 20-degree wedge, Philips head screwdriver, six AA batteries, two wall screws and anchors, and two wedge screws.
The Aqara Video Doorbell G4 has a sleek and modern design with a Black or Space Gray-like "Shadow" finish. The large circle at the top of the doorbell contains the 1080p camera, an LED status light, a motion sensor that can detect movement within a five-meter range, and a microphone for two-way audio communication. The button at the bottom is illuminated by an LED around its edge and satisfyingly clicks when pressed. A small speaker for audio output and a sprung screw that releases the backplate are located on the sides.
Inside, there is space for six AA batteries, wires for continuous direct power, and a small button that triggers the anti-tamper alarm. The back of the doorbell is adhesive, meaning you can avoid damaging walls with screws if you are happy to rely on it, and has two screw holes for more secure attachment. You can also use the optional angled mounting bracket if you want to get a better framed image of anyone standing directly in front of your door.
The chime repeater module's design matches the Doorbell G4, adding an LED indicator, a microSD card slot, a USB-C port for charging, and a Menu bottom. Pressing this button toggles the bell noise on and off, while holding it down for longer can reset network settings, or reset to factory settings.
The doorbell is made of durable plastic and Aqara says that it has an IPX3 rating, which should mean that it can stand up to all but the most extreme weather conditions. That being said, I am not sure that the device would be able to withstand significant external force. While this isn't an issue for most installations, if it fell, I would not be surprised if it broke entirely. This lightweight construction is also evident with the chime, which lacks substantial internal components.
Moreover, if the chime did break and become unusable, purchasing a new one is not an option because the G4 and the chime are pre-paired. The chime links to HomeKit and the 2.4GHz frequency of your home Wi-Fi network, rather than the doorbell itself. The doorbell connects to a unique Wi-Fi frequency generated by the repeater, which can improve overall reliability.
The process of adding the Doorbell G4 to the Aqara app and HomeKit is essentially the same as with any other Aqara device. Since it's a WiFi device rather than a Zigbee child device, you do not need to connect it to a hub, meaning that the process is effectively the same as adding an Aqara hub or camera accessory.
After installing the six AA batteries and ensuring that the chime repeater is powered, you need to open the Aqara app and tap "Add Accessory." The app then guides you through the setup process, which is relatively straightforward. It will also update the device's firmware if necessary during this process.
You have the option of adding the Doorbell G4 to Apple's Home app and using HomeKit Secure video either by scanning the HomeKit code on the repeater or by following the setup process within the Aqara app. While the Home app has basic video recording options, the Aqara app provides a wide range of options. You can customize settings such as motion sensing, video resolution, the LED indicator, and more to meet your specific needs. Once the setup process is complete, you can use the Aqara Video Doorbell G4 with Apple HomeKit to monitor your door, receive notifications, and create automations.
The Doorbell G4 has a 16:9 field of view, so it may not capture things like packages left on a porch unless the it can be set back quite a bit. This may be an issue for some users who need a square view similar to many other video doorbell cameras. Even so, the 16:9 view is still good for capturing a wider view.
Notifications and integration with the Apple TV and HomePod work perfectly, sounding off a chime when pressed and immediately showing the video feed on a TV. Native Apple Home features like facial recognition, activity zones, automations, and motion detection also work very well, but Aqara discourages use of the motion sensor for an extended period if you plan to use battery power alone.
The doorbell's speaker is not particularly clear, but it serves its purpose and this is normal for products in this category. The repeater can get very loud and you can set your preferred volume in the Aqara app.
HomeKit Secure Video does not record all of the time, so if this is your planned use-case, you will need to use Aqara's app, which also enables additional facial recognition and local storage options. The Doorbell G4 will also support Matter when the specification for cameras is released.
Overall, the Aqara Smart Video Doorbell G4 is a richly featured smart doorbell with excellent HomeKit integration. The Home app, automations, facial recognition, and notifications work flawlessly with the doorbell. For those who want a smart doorbell but are hesitant to set up a wired connection, the G4 is also an ideal solution, especially as it is the only battery-operated HomeKit Security Video smart doorbell on the market.
Personally, I would have preferred the doorbell to have a more square field-of-view so that it can more easily capture deliveries that are left outside, rather than its 16:9 framing that can sometimes cut off the bottom of the frame compared to other smart doorbells. I also would have appreciated it if the doorbell was rechargeable via USB-C rather than using AA batteries, especially since the six AA batteries only last around four months.
With options for battery operations or wired power, multiple mounting possibilities, and dozens of software settings, the Aqara Video Doorbell G4 is surprisingly versatile. Its sleek design, seamless HomeKit Secure Video support, and reliable operation make the doorbell a great choice for anyone in the Apple ecosystem looking to monitor their front door.
Apple cancelled its planned AirPower accessory four years ago this week, but a similar solution is said to remain on the company's long-term roadmap.
Announced at the iPhone X event in 2017, AirPower was a wireless charging mat designed to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods case simultaneously, regardless of each device's position on the mat. Apple said the accessory would be available in 2018, but it never launched and was ultimately cancelled in a rare move by Apple.
"After much effort, we've concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project," said Apple's former hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio, in a statement shared on March 29, 2019. "We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward."
Apple never provided a specific reason for the cancellation, but it is believed that the overlapping charging coils inside the AirPower led to overheating.
In his newsletter last October, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said he still believes that an AirPower-like accessory will "eventually come to fruition," but it might be years away. In the meantime, the only multi-device charging mat sold by Apple is the MagSafe Duo Charger, which only works with two devices at once and has fixed charging positioning.
Apple today officially launched the much anticipated Apple Music Classical app on the iPhone, allowing Apple Music subscribers to download and access an app dedicated just to classical music. We went hands-on with the new app to give MacRumors readers a closer look.
Design wise, the app is similar to Apple Music, but it is entirely dedicated to classical titles. The Browse section, for example, is broken down into Composers, Genres, Periods, Conductors, Orchestras, Soloists, Choirs, and Ensembles, making it easier to discover the specific classical content that you're looking for.
A Listen Now section offers up New Releases, Spatial Audio content, and other recommendations in various genres, plus there is a dedicated Library for aggregating saved content. A search function makes it simple to find something specific.
All in all, the app will be familiar to Apple Music subscribers, and it is in fact very simple. Unfortunately, it is limited to the iPhone at the current time, with no Mac or iPad version available. It's also not available on CarPlay.
Have you tried Apple Music Classical? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Apple today announced that it will begin inviting "randomly selected users" to use a prerelease version of Apple Pay Later via the Wallet app and an email sent to their Apple ID. Apple Pay Later is available in the U.S. and requires iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4.
Apple Pay Later will be expanded to all eligible iPhone users over the age of 18 in the U.S. in the "coming months," according to Apple.
Announced at WWDC 2022 last June, Apple Pay Later is a "buy now, pay later" financing option that lets qualifying customers in the U.S. split a purchase made with Apple Pay into four equal payments over six weeks, with no interest or fees to pay. Users can apply for Apple Pay Later loans of $50 to $1,000 to be used towards online and in-app purchases made with Apple Pay on the iPhone and iPad, according to Apple.
iPhone users can apply for a loan in the Wallet app with no impact to their credit. After entering the amount they would like to borrow and agreeing to the Apple Pay Later terms, a soft credit check will be initiated during the application process. After a user is approved, Apple Pay Later will be available as an option when using Apple Pay.
Apple Pay Later is built into the Wallet app on the iPhone, allowing users to view, track, and manage loans in one place. Users can view upcoming payments on a calendar and choose to receive upcoming payment notifications via the Wallet app and email. Users must link a debit card as their loan repayment method, with credit cards not accepted.
Apple Pay Later credit assessment and lending is handled by Apple Financing LLC, a subsidiary of Apple. The service is based on the Mastercard Installments program, so merchants that accept Apple Pay do not need to do anything to implement it.
Following the launch of Apple Music Classical, the first TV ad for the classical music streaming service has been released. The 30-second video features pianist Alice Sara Ott and conductor Karina Canellakis performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1.
"Apple Music Classical is a dedicated app that is great for classical experts as well as anyone who is new to classical, with the largest classical music selection in the world, the very best search and browse capabilities, the most premium sound experience with Spatial Audio, and thousands of exclusive recordings," said Apple Music chief Oliver Schusser.
Apple Music Classical offers over five million classical music tracks and is included with a standard Apple Music subscription at no additional cost. The app is available for iPhones running iOS 15.4 or later, with no iPad version available and an Android app coming soon. For more details about the app, read our coverage from earlier today.
Sonos this week updated its iPhone and iPad app with support for Apple Music spatial audio playback on compatible Sonos speakers and sound bars, including the newly-released Era 300, the Arc and Arc SL, and the second-generation Beam.
Spatial audio simulates surround sound, making it seem like the audio is coming from all around you for a 360-degree listening experience. Apple Music offers thousands of songs in spatial audio, which are labeled with a Dolby Atmos badge in the Sonos app after updating to version 15.2, available now on the App Store.
Sonos launched new Era 300 and Era 100 speakers today with AirPlay 2 support for wirelessly streaming audio from Apple devices. The speakers were announced earlier this month, with more details and pricing outlined in our previous coverage.
Verizon has been the best place to find discounts on Apple's trio of MagSafe Chargers so far in 2023, and its deals are still around as we head into April. You'll find the year's best prices on the MagSafe Charger, MagSafe Duo Charger, and MagSafe Battery Pack, and you don't need to be a Verizon user to order these products from the retailer's website.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Verizon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Besides an occasional sale at Amazon, Verizon has been one of the only retailers to consistently discount all three of these accessories over the past few months. The MagSafe Duo Charger is at the best price we've ever tracked, while the MagSafe Battery Pack and regular MagSafe Charger are just a few dollars higher than their best-ever prices, so they're still solid deals.
Don't forget to check out Verizon's deal on AirPods as well, including a new all-time low price on the AirPods 3. Be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories.
Apple on March 27 released iOS 16.4, delivering 21 new emoji characters, support for Safari web push notifications, the return of the page-turning animation in the Books app, updates for the Podcasts app, and more.
Apple on March 27 released iOS 16.4, delivering 21 new emoji characters, support for Safari web push notifications, the return of the page-turning animation in the Books app, updates for the Podcasts app, and more.