2020 iPhones Could Have Larger Batteries Due to Tweaked Circuitry

2020 iPhones may have a custom battery protection module that is nearly 50 percent smaller and thinner than the battery protection circuit in previous iPhones, according to industry sources cited by Korean website The Elec.

The smaller module could free up some internal space in iPhone 12 models, potentially paving the way for a slight increase in battery capacity.


The report claims the smaller module would be supplied by Korea's ITM Semiconductor.

A battery protection circuit helps to prevent over-charging and over-discharging. The new module from ITM Semiconductor combines the protection circuit with a MOSFET and PCB, eliminating the need for a holder case.

Source: ITM Semiconductor

In a separate report, The Elec claimed that ITM Semiconductor has already supplied the new modules to Samsung for the Galaxy S11.

Apple is expected to release four high-end iPhones in 2020, including one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch model. All four devices are expected to have OLED displays, 5G support, a new iPhone 4-like metal frame, up to 6GB of RAM, up to triple-lens rear cameras with 3D sensing, and more.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has the largest battery life of any iPhone ever, lasting up to five hours longer than the iPhone XS Max per charge.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
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Apple to Release Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR on December 10

Apple plans to release the new Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR on Tuesday, December 10, according to "Save the Date" emails that Apple began sending out to some customers this afternoon.


Apple in November confirmed that the ‌Mac Pro‌ and Pro Display XDR would come in December, but until now, the company had not provided a specific date. Apple's emails say orders will begin on December 10, so presumably shipments will begin soon after orders open up.

The new modular ‌Mac Pro‌ was first introduced in June at the WorldWide developers Conference, with the machine aimed at Apple's pro user base.

The ‌Mac Pro‌ was designed with a heavy focus on upgradeability and expansion, and it features a traditional PC shape with an Apple-esque stainless steel frame with a lattice pattern that maximizes airflow.

Internal specs include workstation-class Xeon processors with up to 28 cores, up to 1.5TB of high-performance memory, up to two Radeon Pro II Duo GPUs, and eight PCIe expansion slots, along with an Apple Afterburner accelerator card.

Pricing on the ‌Mac Pro‌ will start at $6,000, and will go up based on configuration. The base ‌Mac Pro‌ features an 8-core Xeon W chip.

Apple plans to sell the ‌Mac Pro‌ alongside the Pro Display XDR, a 6K display with a resolution of 6016 x 3384 and more than 20 million pixels. Pricing on the Pro Display XDR starts at $5,000, with an add-on stand priced at $999.

(Thanks, Ryan!)

Related Roundups: Mac Pro, Apple Pro Display XDR
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)
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Apple Investigating 16-Inch MacBook Pro Popping Sound Issue, Fix Planned in Future Software Updates

Apple is investigating a popping sound issue with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro and plans to make a fix available in future software updates, the company has indicated in an internal document obtained by MacRumors.


The memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers reads as follows:
If a customer hears a popping sound when playback is stopped on their MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

When using Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, QuickTime Player, Music, Movies, or other applications to play audio, users may hear a pop come from the speakers after playback has ended. Apple is investigating the issue. A fix is planned in future software updates. Do not set up service, or replace the user's computer, as this is a software-related issue.
Shortly following the launch of the 16-inch MacBook Pro last month, some customers began to voice concerns about the popping sound issue across the MacRumors forums, Apple Support Communities, Reddit, and elsewhere. The exact cause is unclear, but Apple confirms it is a software issue, not a hardware issue.


Apple seeded the fourth beta of macOS Catalina 10.15.2 to developers for testing today. It is unclear when the fix will be implemented.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, macOS Catalina
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)
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Apple's Most Devoted Fans Once Again Take Center Stage in a New Edition of 'The Cult of Mac'

Back in 2004, then-Wired editor Leander Kahney published The Cult of Mac, a photo-filled book containing an array of anecdotes about fans, collectors, and others with special connections to Apple and the Mac. While Kahney took the opportunity to add a chapter on the iPod when the book was published as a paperback edition a couple of years later, the book remains an interesting look at a time when Apple had only recently surfaced from its near-death experience of the 1990s.

As outlined by Kahney in The Cult of Mac, Apple may even have been saved by those devotees to the Mac, some of whom became an army of essentially unpaid evangelists seeking to convert over to Mac anyone and everyone who would listen. Some even went as far as to stake out CompUSA stores to educate or counteract clueless salespeople who only wanted to sell Windows machines and were uninterested in directing customers to the Mac section of the stores, while others shared their love for the Mac with the world through tattoos, stickers, vanity license plates, and more.

"The Cult of Mac" first edition (left) and new second edition (right)

Much has changed for Apple in the fifteen years since the original release of The Cult of Mac, with the iPhone launching Apple to its current position as a consumer electronics and lifestyle behemoth. No longer the underdog, Apple has attracted millions upon millions of loyal customers into its ever-expanding ecosystem of devices and services.

So now with 2020 right around the corner, Kahney has teamed up with David Pierini, a writer for Kahney's independent Cult of Mac site, to release a second edition of The Cult of Mac, another photo-heavy book that would fit right in on any Apple fan's coffee table. Rather than a revision or update of the original, the second edition of The Cult of Mac is more of a companion book, revisiting some of the same themes but introducing some new ones and sharing new anecdotes about some of Apple's biggest fans.

The coffee table nature of the second edition of The Cult of Mac is evident before you even open the cover, as the book itself is cleverly designed to resemble one of Apple's iconic MacBooks, wrapped in a silver plastic jacket with an Apple-shaped title logo on the "lid" of the book. There are even four black "feet" on the rear of the book to match those used on Apple's notebooks.


Opening the front cover of the book continues the theme, as it reveals a MacBook Pro keyboard and top case with the inside cover serving as a mock display, complete with an overlaid "macOS" app window on the transparent plastic jacket sharing an introductory description of the book. The next several pages of the book including the Table of Contents gradually shift orientation, encouraging the reader to reorient the book from the landscape mock computer into a traditional portrait orientation. It's all cleverly done and a fun way to dive into the book.


The book itself is an easy read, broken up into short chapters and sections with lots of photos and artistic design elements. The book is about 200 pages and I read it cover to cover in just a couple of hours thanks to the emphasis on visuals over text, but the layout makes it easy to just pick up the book and read a few pages here and there.


Following a brief introduction, the second edition of The Cult of Mac tackles "The Line Sitters," those who camped out for days ahead of a major product launch, sometimes in an effort to be first to get their hands on Apple's latest devices and other times just for publicity. Subsequent chapters look at the way Apple fans have paid tribute to Steve Jobs, collectors and museums dedicated to Apple's products, those in music and photography who have found inspiration from and utility in Apple's devices, and those who repurpose old Macs for products such as jewelry, aquariums, and more.

The book wraps up with a look at those dedicated Apple fans whose obsessions date back even further than the Mac to the Apple II family, as well as a quick trip around the world to look at fandom in several different countries, including an iPad magician in Germany, the Russian and Ukrainian luxury ‌iPhone‌ markets, and users in the Middle East who use special cases to carry multiple iPhones for work and personal use.


Overall, the second edition of The Cult of Mac is an enjoyable read which, like the original, treads some different ground compared to the many Apple-related biographies and histories that regularly hit the bookshelves, including Kahney's own biographies of Jony Ive and Tim Cook. It's also a contrasting type of coffee table book compared to product-focused ones like Apple's own "Designed in California."

The Cult of Mac, Second Edition debuts December 17, and it's available for pre-order now at Amazon in hardcover for $39.95, or if you don't have a need for the physical book you can pre-order the Kindle edition or Apple Books edition for $23.99.

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Law Firm Sues Apple and Samsung, Claiming Phones Exceed Radiofrequency Radiation Safety Levels

Chicago-based law firm Fegan Scott has levied a lawsuit against both Apple and Samsung, claiming that independent testing suggests the radiofrequency radiation levels in recent smartphones "far exceeded the federal limits" when used "as marketed by the manufacturers."

The basis for this lawsuit dates back to August, when The Chicago Tribune launched an investigation into the radiofrequency radiation levels output by popular smartphones.

RF Radiation Testing Results from a Chicago Times Investigation in August

The paper hired an accredited lab to test several smartphones according to federal guidelines, and found that some of Apple's iPhones are allegedly emitting radiofrequency radiation that exceeds safety limits.

Apple disputed the results and in a statement, said that the testing was inaccurate "due to the test setup not being in accordance with procedures necessary to properly assess the ‌iPhone‌ models."
"All ‌‌iPhone‌‌ models, including ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 7, are fully certified by the FCC and in every other country where ‌‌iPhone‌‌ is sold," the statement said. "After careful review and subsequent validation of all ‌‌iPhone‌‌ models tested in the (Tribune) report, we confirmed we are in compliance and meet all applicable ... exposure guidelines and limits."
At the time, the FCC said that it would launch its own investigation into the results, and a day after The Chicago Tribune published its findings, the Fegan Scott law firm pledged to launch its own investigation into the claims.

Fegan Scott enlisted an FCC-accredited laboratory to do its own testing of six smartphone models at distances ranging from zero to 10 millimeters to measure the radiofrequency radiation emitted when touching or in close proximity to the body.

The lab that did the testing claims that at two millimeters, the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 were "more than twice the federal exposure limit" and at zero millimeters, the ‌iPhone 8‌ was "five times more than the federal exposure limit."

After receiving the results, Fegan Scott has decided to launch an official lawsuit against both Apple and Samsung covering the ‌iPhone‌ 7 Plus, the ‌iPhone 8‌, the iPhone XR, the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S9, and the Galaxy S10. From attorney Beth Fegan:
"Apple and Samsung smartphones have changed the way we live. Adults, teenagers and children wake up to check their email or play games and do work or school exercises on their smartphones. They carry these devices in their pockets throughout the day and literally fall asleep with them in their beds."

"The manufacturers told consumers this was safe, so we knew it was important to test the RF radiation exposure and see if this was true. It is not true. The independent results confirm that RF radiation levels are well over the federal exposure limit, sometimes exceeding it by 500 percent, when phones are used in the way Apple and Samsung encourage us to. Consumers deserve to know the truth."
According to Fegan Scott, the testing conducted by the lab reflects "actual use conditions" rather than the "conditions set by manufacturers," which means the testing was likely not done in the same way that Apple does its own internal testing. Apple, for example, tests at 5mm, not 0mm and 2mm.

The Chicago Tribune's original testing was done in a manner to simulate the worst possible scenario, with the phone operating in low signal and full power to create the maximum radiofrequency radiation level. It's not clear how the law firm's testing was carried out.

There is no evidence that radiofrequency radiation levels above the federal limits have the potential to cause harm, so consumers should not be alarmed at this time. The FCC is doing its own independent testing and those results should provide more insight into the safety of smartphones.

Apple tells its customers worried about radiofrequency radiation exposure to use a hands-free option, and some past ‌iPhone‌ models have included recommended carrying distances. With the ‌iPhone‌ 4 and 4s, for example, Apple said the smartphones should be held at least 10mm away from the body, and there was a similar suggestion made for the ‌iPhone‌ 7.

The lawsuit is seeking damages from Apple as well as funds to pay for medical monitoring.

Tag: lawsuit
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Apple Holding Apple Park Open House for Cupertino Residents, Collecting Toys for Kids

Apple on December 14 is holding an open house event at Apple Park for Cupertino residents who live near the campus, and has been sending out invites via email to those who are eligible to attend.

The open house takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and requires attendees to RSVP by December 11. Apple says that it is supporting Toys for Tots, and asks those interested in participating to bring along a toy.

Image via Eddie Kuo

Potential attendees need to fill out a registration form and attendance is confirmed on a first come, first serve basis until capacity is reached.

Each household that receives an invitation can register up to four people in total, and households will be assigned a specific arrival time. Apple says that light snacks and beverages will be served, and the company recommends comfortable outdoor shoes.

Attendees will be able to take photos of exterior spaces at ‌Apple Park‌, but not interior spaces or inside buildings.

Apple has previously invited nearby Cupertino residents to visit its ‌Apple Park‌ campus when the ‌Apple Park‌ Visitor Center opened up in November 2017.

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iPhone SE 2 Might Actually Be Called the iPhone 9

The widely rumored "iPhone SE 2" might actually be named the iPhone 9, according to an "informed source" cited by Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

The report reiterates that the device will have a similar form factor as the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch display with bezels and a Touch ID home button, but with a faster A13 Bionic chip. 3GB of RAM is also expected. Like the original iPhone SE, the device is not expected to support 3D Touch.


iPhone 9 would certainly be a more fitting name for the device given it sounds like more of an iPhone 8 successor than an iPhone SE successor. With a 4.7-inch display, the new device would be larger than the original iPhone SE with a 4-inch display, disappointing those who prefer a smaller phone.

The lower-cost iPhone, whatever it ends up being named, will likely start around $399 with 64GB of storage, and come in Space Gray, Silver, and Red, according to reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Multiple reports have indicated the device will be released by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

The original iPhone SE was introduced at an Apple event in March 2016, so a March 2020 release is certainly possible for this next device.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2
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Apple Shares Reach New All-Time High, But Saudi Aramco to Overtake as World's Most Valuable Company

Apple shares crossed the $269 mark in intraday trading today, setting a new all-time high for the company.

However, oil giant Saudi Aramco is set to overtake Apple as the world's most valuable company based on market cap after raising $25.6 billion in the world's biggest initial public offering ever, according to Reuters. The shares are expected to begin trading on the Saudi stock market on December 11.


Saudi Aramco only offered a 1.5 percent stake in the company to public shareholders, so the $25.6 billion raised gives it an overall valuation of around $1.7 trillion, topping Apple's market cap of around $1.1 trillion.

Tag: AAPL
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'Truth Be Told' Starring Octavia Spencer and Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul Now Streaming on Apple TV+

The first three episodes of true-crime drama series "Truth Be Told" are now available to stream on Apple TV+.


New evidence compels true-crime podcaster Poppy Parnell, played by Octavia Spencer, to reopen a murder case that made her a media sensation. "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul plays the man she may have wrongfully put behind bars. The series is based on the novel "Are You Sleeping" by Kathleen Barber.

"Hala" was also released on Apple TV+ today. Written and directed by Minhal Baig, Apple says the film follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.

Apple has also released the eighth episodes of "The Morning Show," "See," and "For All Mankind," as well as the fourth episode of "Servant."

Apple TV+ is available through the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and select smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio, as well as online at tv.apple.com. The streaming service costs $4.99 per month in the United States, with a seven-day free trial available.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 13
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)
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Apple TV+ Content No Longer Playing in Dolby Vision HDR for Apple TV 4K Owners

We're hearing multiple reports worldwide from subscribers to Apple TV+, Apple's video streaming service, about the loss of support for watching shows in Dolby Vision HDR on ‌Apple TV‌ 4K set-top boxes connected to compatible 4K TVs.


Over the past two weeks, more and more users have taken to the MacRumors forums, Twitter, Reddit and Apple's discussion pages to highlight the problem, which appears to be affecting not only new show episodes as they're made available, but existing episodes hosted on the service that previously worked in Dolby Vision HDR.

For example, early episodes of "See," "The Morning Show" and "For All Mankind" are no longer being streamed in dynamic Dolby Vision HDR, but revert back to static HDR in HDR10 format on TVs that officially support Dolby Vision. The same goes for brand new episodes of these shows that were released today, despite the fact that they still carry the Dolby Vision HDR support label on the summary screens.

Compared to static HDR10 which works uniformly across content, Dolby Vision HDR use dynamic image metadata that enables Dolby Vision-capable TVs to adapt the extended color gamut and increased contrast range of HDR on a scene-by-scene and even frame-by-frame basis. Losing the DV HDR support can result in scenes that look too dark, appear like a negative image, or have an odd tint to them.


Some users have suggested that the affected episodes may still be encoded in Dolby Vision and it's actually a bug in ‌Apple TV‌'s Match Dynamic Range feature that's preventing the set-top box from outputting the source content correctly. However, it seems more likely that Apple has removed support from the source content while it resolves a problem streaming shows in Dolby Vision.

It's worth noting that the problem doesn't currently seem to affect all shows on ‌Apple TV‌+ for at least some users. There are scattered reports that "The Elephant Mother" documentary and Apple's "Dickinson" show still appear to be streaming in full Dolby Vision HDR, as do some kids shows like "Snoopy in Space."

We've contacted Apple for comment on the issue and will update this article if we learn anything more.

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Apple Seeds Fourth Betas of iOS 13.3 and iPadOS 13.3 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.3 updates to developers and public beta testers, two weeks after seeding third betas and over a month after the release of iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 with new emoji, Siri privacy controls, Deep Fusion for iPhone 11, and more.

iOS and ‌‌‌iPadOS‌‌‌ 13.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been installed.


iOS 13.3 introduces Communication Limits for Screen Time, a feature that Apple promised would be coming in an iOS 13 update. Communication Limits allow parents to control who their children are able to contact both during downtime and during Screen Time.

Communication Limits include FaceTime, Phone, and Messages, along with iCloud contacts. Calls to emergency numbers are always allowed and will turn off communication limits for 24 hours when placed.

The update features support for NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in Safari. That means physical security keys like the Lightning-equipped YubiKey can be used for more secure two-factor authentication in place of a software-based two-factor authentication option.

In the Keyboards section of the Settings app (under General), there's a new toggle that prevents Animoji and Memoji stickers from being displayed as an option on the Emoji Keyboard, and when editing a video, there's an option to save the edited version as a new clip rather than saving over the original. Apple has also tweaked the Apple Watch app icon, changing the color of the Digital Crown from black to gray.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Apple's Clips App Gains Support for Memoji and Animoji, Plus New Stickers

Apple today updated its Clips app designed for the iPhone and the iPad, introducing Animoji and Memoji support for the first time. With the Animoji and Memoji addition, video recordings can be made with the Animoji and Memoji characters.

Users can share personal video messages, slideshows, school projects and more, with Animoji and Memoji able to follow the movement of a user's face for "fun selfie videos" using the front-facing camera. Prior to now, Animoji and Memoji were limited to FaceTime and Messages.


Memoji created and customized in the Messages app will be integrated automatically into clips, and Animoji and Memoji video clips can be layered with existing Clips features like filters, animated text, and music.

For those unfamiliar with the Clips app, it's a video editing app that lets users combine video clips, images, and photos with voice-based titles, stickers, music, filters, and graphics to create unique videos that can be shared on social media.

Today's update also introduces new stickers featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, along with a new winter-themed poster. Using Animoji and Memoji in Clips requires a device with a TrueDepth camera.

Clips was last updated in April 2019 before today's major Animoji and Memoji addition. The app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Clips
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