Apple last week removed all vaping-related apps from the App Store and updated App Store guidelines to prohibit apps that facilitate or encourage the use of vape-related devices.
Apple never allowed apps that sold vape cartridges, but it did allow apps that offered up vape-related news or provided controls for vape devices. Some companies, such as PAX, relied heavily on Apple's App Store to add technology to vaporizer devices and those companies are unhappy with Apple's recent ban.
PAX today penned a missive calling on Apple to rethink its decision as PAX creates several vaporizers that are designed to be controlled and customized through iOS and Android apps. The now-banned PAX Mobile app, for example, let PAX vaporizer users do things like adjust the vaporizer temperature, set parental controls, verify the authenticity of cartridges, and change the colors of the lights on the devices.
PAX says that while it respects Apple's leadership, it is concerned with Apple's ban because it prevents consumers in legal stages from "having access to important information and the ability to better control their cannabis experience."
Apple decided to ban all vaping-related apps after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,172 lung injury cases linked to e-cigarette or vape products containing vitamin E acetate, found primarily in products "informally" sourced from friends, family, or in-person or online dealers.
In a statement, Apple said that it agrees with the CDC's opinion that the spread of vaping devices is a "public health crisis and youth epidemic," which is why the apps were pulled.
We take great care to curate the App Store as a trusted place for customers, particularly youth, to download apps. We're constantly evaluating apps, and consulting the latest evidence, to determine risks to users' health and well-being.
Recently, experts ranging from the CDC to the American Heart Association have attributed a variety of lung injuries and fatalities to e-cigarette and vaping products, going so far as to call the spread of these devices a public health crisis and a youth epidemic.
We agree, and we've updated our App Store Review Guidelines to reflect that apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted. As of today, these apps are no longer available to download.
According to PAX, it aims to deliver technology to allow adults to make "educated, informed choices." The company cites its new PodID feature, which is designed to offer consumers "unprecedented access" to the information about what is in vape pods, including strain information, cannabinoid and terpene profiles, and access to state regulated test results, which could ultimately help vaporizer users avoid illicit and dangerous cartridges.
PAX says that it is hoping to work in partnership with Apple to reconsider the decision and make the PAX Mobile app available once again "in the interest of public health and safety."
Those who have already downloaded the PAX Mobile app on iOS can continue to use it for the time being, and it's still available on Android devices. PAX says that all PAX devices can be used without the app and temperature can be changed on the device alone.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Apple is looking for software engineers to build "the next generation of media apps for Windows" according to a new Apple job listing shared earlier today by Microsoft-focused site Neowin.
In macOS Catalina, Apple eliminated the iTunes app and replaced it with new Music, Podcasts, and TV apps, but similar changes were not made to Apple's iTunes for Windows app. Windows 10 users currently need to access services like Apple TV+ and Apple Music on the web, which is not ideal.
Apple's existing iTunes and iCloud apps are quite old and could benefit from being overhauled. The job listing suggests Apple may be aiming to introduce Windows apps that are similar to what's offered on Mac.
The Media Apps team is looking for a creative Senior Software Engineer to work on the next generation of media apps for Windows. You will help build innovative features that will delight millions of customers around the world.
You possess strong skills in the areas of application design, solid API design principles and have a strong understanding of customer and workflow issues. You have a history of shipping large volume consumer product successfully. You are a well-rounded developer who is not afraid to question assumptions. You have an excellent written and oral skills. You love collaborating under tight deadlines.
If you love music and you are passionate about writing code, and want to work with world-class engineering teams that ship to millions of users, the Media Apps team is the place for you.
The job listing says that experience with UWP is a "big plus," with UWP standing for Universal Windows Platform. With UWP support, Apple could create apps that would work on Xbox One and various Windows 10 platforms.
An Apple TV+ app built using the Universal Windows Platform would allow the service to be accessed on the Xbox One, expanding Apple TV+ to platforms beyond smart TVs, Apple devices, and set-top boxes.
Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro came out last week, and the new machine features a larger display, more maximum RAM, and higher maximum storage, all features designed for Apple's pro user base.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is using the same 9th-generation Intel processors that were used in the 15-inch MacBook Pro models released in May, but there's a new thermal architecture that Apple says boosts performance. We went hands-on with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro to test those claims, putting it through real world tests and benchmarks.
We tested the base 8-core model, which is the higher-end model priced at $2,799. It has a 2.3GHz Intel Core i9 processor (turbo boost up to 4.8GHz), an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 4GB GDDR6 memory, a 1TB SSD, and 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM.
Starting off with Geekbench 5 testing, the 16-inch MacBook Pro outshined the similarly specced 15-inch model that was released earlier this year when it came to multi-core performance.
The 16-inch machine earned a single core score of 989 and a multi-core score of 6733, while the 15-inch machine scored 972 in the single-core test and 5781 in the multi-core test. That's an increase of 16.5 percent, which is a decent performance boost considering these machines have the same processor.
There are even more significant gains with the new 5500M GPU. In an OpenCL test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored 30608, compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro's score of 17904, and in a Metal test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored a 29840 vs. the 15-inch MacBook Pro's score of 19065.
Combined, the updated GPU and the new thermal architecture of the 16-inch MacBook Pro have brought some notable performance improvements. Of course, benchmarks aren't reflective of real world usage, so we also did some testing of apps pro users might take advantage of.
In Final Cut Pro X, we exported a five minute 4K video while also running other apps at the same time to test export conditions under heavy RAM usage. The export took two minutes and 35 seconds, half the time of the video.
Conducting the same test in Premiere Pro (with apps like Safari and QuickTime running) the five minute video took three minutes and five seconds to export. These times are similar to what we see with a baseline 2017 iMac Pro.
We also tested Photoshop with multiple other apps open in the background, including Safari with a ton of tabs. The machine was using upwards of 70 percent of the 16GB RAM, but performance was solid with no issues. The fans kicked in of course, but that's to be expected.
It's worth noting that in these tests, the MacBook Pro got just as hot as other i9 MacBook Pros that experienced thermal issues in the past, but power and performance were not throttled per the Intel Power app.
All in all, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is performing well, and the updated thermal architecture has indeed had a significant positive effect on power management and thermal regulation. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is speedy, stable, and a solid option for the pro user base these machines are designed for.
What do you think of the 16-inch MacBook Pro's performance? Let us know in the comments.
During the talk, Cook did share some of the ways that Apple and Salesforce work together, but he also covered many of his favorite talking points on Apple's values, environmental efforts, privacy focus, and his memories of Steve Jobs.
On innovation, Cook said that many people confuse with innovation change, and Apple's focus on innovation is its secret.
So many people confuse innovation with change and they become convinced that innovation is just change, but we [Benioff and Cook] and our companies recognize that innovation is about making things better, not just changing them. That requires a depth of thought beyond change. That's Apple's secret.
Cook said that Apple's goal is to make the best products and enrich people's lives. "If we can't do both of those, we pass and go to the next thing," said Cook, explaining that Apple works on just a few things, but tries to do those well.
We've never set the objective to be first, we've always set an objective to be the best. We never set out to make the most, but to be the best. Make the best. That north star has helped guide us through the temptations of going for market share and other kinds of things. We just want to make the best products.
Cook then asked who in the audience owns an iPhone, and made a joke: "If you own an Android," he said, "We recycle those at the Apple Store."
The discussion turned to Steve Jobs, as Jobs unveiled multiple products at the venue where the Dreamforce event is taking place. "I can feel him and his presence whenever I come here," said Cook. "A lot of memories here."
When people think of Steve, they think about products. But I really think of the simple things that he did. Every day, he left the office before I did, but he would always stop by my office before he left and exchange notes on the day. It's the simple things like that - the friendship - that I hold. I remember him more than once rehearsing on the stage and sort of going way off script in a way that only he could do and making people laugh along the way.
Cook went on to discuss Apple's values, emphasizing the company's privacy efforts, DACA advocacy, use of 100 percent renewable energy, efforts to get its suppliers to also use renewable energy, and an "audacious goal" of using only recyclable materials. "We stretch ourselves well beyond what we're currently able do to and we want to leave the world better than we found it," said Cook. "That's very important to us.
The thing that we needed to do at Apple was keep innovating while staying true to our values. It's not simply enough to just innovate, we have to stay true to our values. We care deeply enough that we embed privacy in all of our products. [...]
We've doubled down on this many, many times. We've looked in the mirror hard because we want to be a steward of the earth. We didn't want to do the things you're legally required to do, we wanted to go way beyond that.
Cook said that Apple wants to be the "ripple in the pond" when it comes to taking on goals like improving the environment and advocating for equality and human rights. "We don't want to market, we want to do," he said. "We want to make a difference." He went on to say that Apple doesn't want other companies to copy Apple products, but Apple does want people to "copy us this way."
He also explained that the well-known "Think Different" slogan is still a major part of Apple's culture.
Think different is still embedded in Apple very deeply. We don't want to play the game as it's been designed for decades or centuries, we want to play a new game. People are so smart you can generally believe that you can do things in the same manner and you're not going to get a better result than people have gotten for decades - you have to come up with a new way of thinking.
Cook also unveiled his own personal purpose and what he believes people should strive for.
At some point, you recognize the reason we are all here is to help somebody else. That is the sole reason we are here. Once you get that in your head, as it turns out, life gets so much simpler. So much simpler. And that's how I view it.
Using that as a north star, you can make a lot of decisions that can be very complex, and you can make them pretty simple. That you're here in the service of other people. That it's not about you. I very much deeply believe that.
If you're a student or a teacher, you should know that Apple offers educational discounts on a variety of Apple products, along with cheaper Apple Music subscriptions and more.
This guide provides details on the educational benefits that you can get from Apple as a student or a teacher along with eligibility requirements.
Apple's Educational Site
Apple has an entire separate site that's dedicated to students and teachers who are interested in buying Apple products at a discount, with the products listed at their educational pricing.
The EDU store offers a discount on all Mac and all iPad models. With the EDU discount, for example, the entry-level MacBook Air is available for $999 instead of $1099, a discount of $100, and the iPad is available for $309 instead of $329.
Discounts available vary based on price point, but are right around the 10 percent mark. You'll see the biggest discounts on Apple's most expensive items, such as the iMac Pro, which is marked down by $400.
According to Apple's EDU sales policies in the United States, the following people are eligible to make a purchase from the EDU store:
Students attending a higher education institution, such as a university.
Faculty and staff of higher education institutions.
Any employee of a public or private K-12 institution in the United States, including school board members or appointed members (like PTA or PTO executives).
Parents who have a student attending a public or private higher education institution.
In reality, in the United States, there is no hard check for making a purchase from the educational store. There's no need to verify school attendance or place of employment, so technically, anyone can make a purchase from the EDU store.
Apple does, however, require customers to check a box that confirms they're a member of one of the defined groups and eligible to make a purchase, so there could potentially be consequences for those who are not, in fact, eligible and attempt to make a purchase.
Faculty, staff, and students making a qualified purchase from the EDU store can purchase the following discounted products each academic school year:
Apple offers educational discounts outside of the United States, and the method of verification varies by country.
In the UK, for example, enrollment must be verified using the UNiDAYS service or through Apple using a student ID or university acceptance letter. Not all countries require this level of verification, so it's best to look at the educational site for the country where you live.
Discounted Apple Music
Students who are enrolled in degree-granting colleges and universities can join Apple Music for $4.99 per month for up to 48 months in total.
Discounted Apple Music subscriptions are available in more than 80 countries.
Continuing an Apple Music subscription will require yearly verification through the UNiDAYS service. At the end of 48 months or when student status expires, a student Apple Music subscription will become an individual subscription at $9.99 per month.
Free Apple TV+ (Apple Music Required)
All students who have a verified student subscription to Apple Music will also get free access to Apple TV+, Apple's streaming television service.
Apple TV+ is normally priced at $4.99 per month. Student access can't be shared with Family Sharing and is for the student only. A list of countries where Apple TV+ is available can be found on Apple's website.
Students, teachers, and school faculty members can get a software bundle that includes all of Apple's pro apps for video and audio editing.
That includes Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4, and MainStage 3. Restrictions are the same as when making an iPad or Mac purchase through the EDU store in the United States.
Verification is not required in the U.S. to purchase the bundle, but it may be required in other countries.
Back to School Events
Apple holds Back to School promotions every year for multiple countries, with the promotion typically offering free Beats headphones with the purchase of a Mac or iPad.
The Back to School promotion usually takes place in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and multiple countries in Europe right around July, while Back to School Apple sales in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Brazil happen in January.
Have questions about Apple's educational discounts, notice something we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.
As it turns out, there is one more change. In an internal document to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, Apple indicates the 16-inch MacBook Pro includes a new "lid angle sensor" that presumably monitors the opening and closing of the notebook and the precise position of the lid.
MacRumors reached out to iFixit to investigate, leading them to uncover a small sensor facing the left-side hinge of the notebook. There is also a magnet embedded in the hinge itself, with an arrow indicating polarity. iFixit has updated its teardown with photos of the sensor, which we've shared below.
While previous-generation MacBook Pro models have a Hall effect sensor that determines when the lid is closed for sleep/wake purposes, the lid angle sensor in the 16-inch MacBook Pro appears to be more sophisticated.
Apple's service document does not provide any clues as to why the sensor was redesigned, but iFixit speculates that it could provide a clever way for Apple to track how often the lid was opened, closed, or adjusted in cases where the display or frayed flex cables need to be repaired — think "Flexgate."
The lid angle sensor could also be for an unannounced macOS feature, although again, this is merely speculation.
Of note, in the event of a display repair, Apple's service document indicates that technicians must calibrate both the display and the lid angle sensor in order for the repair to be considered complete. If we learn any additional information about the sensor, we will be sure to provide an update.
A security flaw in Android smartphones from companies like Google and Samsung allowed malicious apps to record video, take photos, and capture audio, uploading the content to a remote server sans user permission.
The vulnerability was discovered by security firm Checkmarx, and was highlighted today by Ars Technica. The flaw had the potential to leave high-value targets open to having their surroundings illicitly recorded by their smartphones.
Android is meant to prevent apps from accessing the camera and the microphone on a smartphone without user permission, but with this particular exploit, an app could use the camera and the microphone to capture video and audio without express user consent. All an app needed to do was get permission to access a device's storage, which is commonly granted as most apps ask for this.
To demonstrate how the flaw worked, Checkmarx created a proof-of-concept app that appeared to be a weather app on the surface but was scooping up copious amounts of data in the background.
The app was able to take pictures and record videos even when the phone's screen was off or the app was closed, as well as access location data from the photos. It was able to operate in stealth mode, eliminating the camera shutter sound, and it could also record two-way phone conversations. All of the data was able to be uploaded to a remote server.
When the exploit was used, the screen of the smartphone being attacked would display the camera when recording video or taking a photo, which would let affected users know what was going on. It could be used secretly when a smartphone display was out of sight or when a device was placed screen down, and there was a feature for using the proximity sensor to determine when a smartphone was facedown.
Google addressed the vulnerability in its Pixel phones through a camera update that was launched back in July, and Samsung has also fixed the vulnerability, though it's not known when. From Google:
"We appreciate Checkmarx bringing this to our attention and working with Google and Android partners to coordinate disclosure. The issue was addressed on impacted Google devices via a Play Store update to the Google Camera Application in July 2019. A patch has also been made available to all partners."
"Since being notified of this issue by Google, we have subsequently released patches to address all Samsung device models that may be affected. We value our partnership with the Android team that allowed us to identify and address this matter directly."
According to Checkmarx, Google has said that Android phones from other manufacturers could also be vulnerable, so there may still be some devices out there that are open to attack. Google has not disclosed specific makers and models.
Since this is an Android bug, Apple's iOS devices are not affected by the security flaw.
It's not known why apps were able to access the camera without user permission. In an email to Ars Technica, Checkmarx speculated that it could potentially be related to Google's decision to make the camera work with Google Assistant, a feature that other manufacturers may have also implemented.
Apple this fall partnered with 100cameras, a nonprofit organization that aims to teach photography to adolescents, providing participating students at DRW College Prep in Chicago with the new iPhone 11.
100cameras teaches the students how to use photography to tell their own stories about growing up in Chicago, using the iPhone 11 to capture photos. Angela Popplewell, 100cameras' co-founder, said that students were excited to use the new iPhone 11, and it was "incredible" seeing how they used the wide-angle and Portrait modes to "really capture their point of view."
"As the residents of a neighborhood in Chicago that is often overlooked, being given the new iPhone that had been released just a few weeks prior felt like a momentous opportunity," says Angela Popplewell, 100cameras' co-founder and CEO. Earlier this year, Popplewell, 100cameras' director of program operations Lydia Billings and the team started contemplating how their curriculum could be adapted to be more forward-thinking, relevant and accessible for young people in the US. ForPopplewell and her team, the new iPhone, with its built-in sophisticated camera features, was an important tool.
Apple's vice president of iPhone Worldwide Product Marketing Kaiann Drance said that it was "amazing" to collaborate with 100cameras on the project.
"It was amazing to collaborate with 100cameras and the talented and creative students at DRW," said Kaiann Drance, Apple's vice president of iPhone Worldwide Product Marketing. "The iPhone 11 camera with all its intuitive capabilities right there in your hand is such a powerful storytelling tool. To see the photos the students captured of the ways they see the world around them was truly inspiring."
Following each program, the photos that students have captured are sold through 100cameras with 100 percent of the proceeds going back to the local community partner organizations that 100cameras visits.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
In June 2018, Apple announced that its Maps app would be rebuilt "from the ground up" with more accurate details like grass and trees, pools, parking lots, exact building shapes, sports areas like baseball diamonds and basketball courts, and pedestrian pathways that are commonly walked but previously unmapped.
Apple Maps with revamped data in Western and Midwestern U.S. via Justin O'Beirne
The revamped Apple Maps experience first rolled out to Northern California during iOS 12 beta testing last year and has since extended to Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, parts of the Gulf Coast, and several Northeast states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.
The expansion continued this week, as Apple has finished its rollout of the improved maps in parts of the West and Midwest regions of the United States. This includes Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, and parts of Illinois and Indiana.
Justin O'Beirne has fantastic coverage of the Apple Maps revamp, noting that the improved maps now cover 27 states fully and another six states partially. In June, Apple said the improved maps would cover the entire United States by the end of 2019, followed by additional countries in 2020.
As usual, some users will see the revamped maps in their region sooner than others, so we wait until the rollout has extended more widely to report the news. If you do not see the improved data yet, give it some time.
(Thanks to Matt, Frank, Noah, Alan, and all others who tipped us!)
Apple today updated its "WWDC" app, changing the name to "Apple Developer" and announcing new year-round updates.
Apple says that the new Apple Developer app will provide "in-depth information from Apple experts all year round," with the app featuring developer news, videos, WWDC content, and more.
The Apple Developer app can also be used to enroll in the Apple Developer program on iPhone or iPad, though this functionality is currently limited to the United States. Membership is provided as an auto-renewable subscription, making it easier to keep a developer account active.
The Apple Developer app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. Those who had the WWDC app can install an update to get the new Apple Developer interface.
According to the media invitations, Apple will be honoring its "favorite apps and games of 2019." There is no word on just what that means, and as Apple has never held a similar event, we don't know what to expect. Apple does, however, always share its year-end favorite apps and games, during the first few days of December, so it sounds like this year, the content will be unveiled during a full event and awards ceremony.
Apple's best of the year content offerings highlight games, music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and more, with last year's announcement focusing on content that shaped entertainment and culture around the world.
It's not clear if any hardware will be introduced at the event, but it seems unlikely given the clear wording of the media invites. We're still expecting Apple to release the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR in December, so there could be a mention of an official launch date, but beyond that, no more hardware refreshes are rumored for this year.
Following a brief initial teardown of the 16-inch MacBook Pro on Friday, repair site iFixit today shared its full teardown of the new machine, giving us insights into the changes that Apple has made with the keyboard and other components.
The new MacBook Pro features the largest display that Apple has introduced in the MacBook line since the 17-inch MacBook Pro was discontinued, and it also features a brand new scissor keyboard called the Magic Keyboard, a new thermal architecture, and some other design tweaks.
When it comes to the keyboard, Apple has reverted to the same scissor switch mechanism used in older MacBook Pro models and the standalone Bluetooth Magic Keyboard for the iMac. It's slightly thinner than the prior scissor key design, but iFixit says the two scissor mechanisms look identical other than the thickness and some keys between the two keyboards are even interchangeable.
Scissor switches are more reliable than butterfly switches and are not prone to breaking from dust or other small particulates. In fact, iFixit says there's no dust-proofing membrane on these keys, suggesting Apple doesn't expect these keyboards to fail.
Aside from the new scissor switch mechanism, the keyboard looks quite similar to the keyboard from the prior MacBook Pro, though there is a separate physical Escape key, a separate Touch ID button, and an updated inverted "T" design for the arrow keys. Underneath, there's an Apple-designed rubber dome, a backlight assembly, and a black gasket for blocking out excess light.
The keyboard assembly is riveted down, which means the keyboard itself isn't more repairable than the butterfly keyboards, even though they're less prone to failure.
Apple added a new speaker system to the MacBook Pro, and there's a longer speaker enclosure with opposed woofers on the top and bottom, which are meant to cancel out each other's vibration. iFixit isn't sure why there's a longer enclosure, but speculates that it's to redirect sound to improve quality. The new three microphone array is also "beefier," but otherwise the same as what was found in the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Apple is using a 99.8Wh (11.36V, 8790mAh) battery in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is the largest capacity that's still allowed on planes by airlines. That's a 16.2Wh increase over the prior 15-inch MacBook Pro and the largest battery that's ever been used in a MacBook. To get the extra capacity into the new machine, Apple made each battery 0.8mm thicker.
Overall, the MacBook Pro earned a repairability score of 1 because the processor, RAM, and storage are soldered to the logic board, while the keyboard, battery, speakers, and Touch Bar are secured with glue and rivets.
iFixit's full teardown of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which has some additional information on the internal components of the machine, can be read on the iFixit website.
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