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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New iPhones Access Location Info When Settings are Disabled Due to Ultra Wideband, Toggle Coming in Future Update

Earlier this week, security researcher Brian Krebs found that the new iPhone 11 Pro models access user location data even when all apps and system services on the iPhone are set to not request the data.

Krebs told Apple that he had found a possible privacy bug as this presumably should not happen, but Apple told him that there were no concerns and the ‌iPhone‌ was operating as designed. "It is expected behavior that the Location Services icon appears in the status bar when Location Services is enabled. The icon appears for system services that do not have a switch in Settings," Apple said.


Krebs came to the conclusion that Apple has certain system services that check for location regardless of whether the setting has been disabled individually for apps and system services, which, as it turns out, is accurate.

Apple today provided more context in a statement to TechCrunch, explaining that the new ‌iPhone‌ models that have a U1 ultra wideband chip are using location data to make sure they're not in restricted areas.

As Apple explains, there are some areas where ultra wideband technology is not allowed because of international regulations, so the ‌iPhone‌ must make sure it is not in these locations.
Ultra wideband technology is an industry standard technology and is subject to international regulatory requirements that require it to be turned off in certain locations. iOS uses Location Services to help determine if ‌iPhone‌ is in these prohibited locations in order to disable ultra wideband and comply with regulations.

The management of ultra wideband compliance and its use of location data is done entirely on the device and Apple is not collecting user location data.
Apple says that the location checks are done on device and no data about location is being sent to Apple's servers.

In the future, Apple plans to provide a dedicated toggle that will turn off the ultra wideband technology and thus disallow the background location tracking that's currently going on.

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Kuo: Apple to Launch Five iPhones in 2020, Including 5.4-Inch, Two 6.1-Inch, and 6.7-Inch Models With 5G

Apple plans to release five new iPhone models in 2020, according to the latest prediction from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo outlined his expectations for a so-called iPhone SE 2 with a 4.7-inch LCD display in the first half of 2020, followed by a higher-end all-OLED lineup consisting of 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch models in the second half of the year.


Kuo expects all four higher-end models to support 5G with a Qualcomm X55 modem, adding that availability of models with Sub-6G-only or Sub-6G-plus-mmWave types of 5G will vary by country.

Kuo expects the iPhone models with mmWave to be available in five markets, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom, while Apple may disable Sub-6G functionality in countries that do not offer 5G service or have a shallow 5G penetration rate to reduce production costs.

Four new high-end iPhones in 2020 lines up with a prediction shared by JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee on Wednesday.

The so-called iPhone SE 2 is expected to resemble the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch display with bezels and a Touch ID home button, but with a faster A13 chip and 3GB of RAM. The device will continue to have a single-lens rear camera, according to Kuo, like the original iPhone SE and the iPhone 8.

The four higher-end iPhones are expected to resemble the iPhone 4, including a new metal frame that will likely sport flatter edges.

All in all, we can expect the following iPhone lineup in 2020 if Kuo is accurate:
  • 4.7-inch iPhone SE 2: LCD display, single-lens rear camera, no 5G support
  • 5.4-inch iPhone 12: OLED display, dual-lens rear camera, 5G support
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12: OLED display, dual-lens rear camera, 5G support
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro: OLED display, triple-lens rear camera, 5G support
  • 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max: OLED display, triple-lens rear camera, 5G support
Also See: Kuo: Apple to Launch 'Completely Wireless' iPhone Without Lightning Connector and 'iPhone SE 2 Plus' With Touch ID Power Button in 2021

Related Roundups: iPhone SE 2, iPhone 12
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Kuo: Apple to Launch 'Completely Wireless' iPhone Without Lightning Connector and 'iPhone SE 2 Plus' With Touch ID Power Button in 2021

Apple plans to launch a high-end iPhone without a Lightning connector in the second half of 2021, according to a new prediction from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The device will supposedly offer a "completely wireless experience," suggesting that Apple is not switching to USB-C, but rather dropping the port entirely.


An excerpt from Kuo's research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors:
Apple will create more differentiation between the highest-end and high- end models. It will benefit the shipment of the highest-end model and iPhone ASP. Among new 2H21 iPhone models, we expect that the highest-end model would cancel the [Lightning] port and provide the completely wireless experience.
Earlier in 2021, Kuo expects Apple will launch a so-called "iPhone SE 2 Plus" with a full-screen design but no Face ID, resulting in only a small notch. Instead, Touch ID will be built into the power button, according to Kuo:
Apple will launch the iPhone SE2 Plus in 1H21. We predict that the display size will be 5.5 or 6.1-inch. This model will adopt a full-screen design. The notch area will be smaller because of no Face ID support. The Touch ID will be integrated with the power button, which is located on the side.
A report from JPMorgan analysts earlier this week said that Apple will be moving toward a biannual iPhone release cycle to help smooth out sales. Coupled with Kuo's report, it does look like Apple may be moving towards a trend of lower-end iPhones each spring and higher-end iPhones each fall.

Related Roundups: iPhone SE 2, iPhone 12
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Apple Begins Buying Aluminum Made With Carbon-Free Process, Plans to Use in Select Products

In May 2018, Apple announced that it had helped facilitate a collaboration between two of the world's largest aluminum producers, Alcoa and Rio Tinto, on a new carbon-free aluminum smelting process. Together, the companies formed a joint venture called Elysis, working to develop the patented technology further.


Today, Apple said it has now bought the first-ever commercial batch of carbon-free aluminum from Elysis, according to Reuters. The aluminum will be shipped from a Pittsburgh facility and used in unspecified Apple products. iPhones, iPads, Macs, and many other Apple products use aluminum.

"For more than 130 years, aluminum - a material common to so many products consumers use daily - has been produced the same way. That's about to change," said Apple's environmental chief Lisa Jackson.

Alcoa and Rio Tinto aim to commercialize and license the carbon-free smelting process beginning in 2024. If fully developed and implemented, it will eliminate direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional aluminum smelting process developed over 130 years ago, according to Apple.

Alcoa said it has been producing aluminum at its facility near Pittsburgh with the new process, to varying degrees, since 2009. The process resulted from decades of research and is described by Apple as the most significant innovation in the aluminum industry in more than a century.

Elysis also plans to manufacture the carbon-free aluminum at a CA$50 million research facility under construction in Saguenay, Quebec, which is slated to open in the second half of 2020, according to the report.

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Apple Card Beginning to Show Up on Credit Reports

Nearly four months after rolling out in the United States, the Apple Card is now beginning to appear on credit reports.


Goldman Sachs has confirmed that it is working with credit bureau TransUnion to begin reporting Apple Card information, informing cardholders that they will see full details on their credit report within the next five days. This includes the date the Apple Card account is opened, credit balance, payment status, and more.

In other words, like any other credit card, the way you use your Apple Card can now have an impact on your credit score.

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook opined that the Apple Card has been the "most successful launch of a credit card in the United states ever," although that was before allegations surfaced of gender bias during the approval process. Goldman Sachs has since offered to reevaluate credit limits.

To apply for an Apple Card, simply open the Wallet app on an iPhone running iOS 12.4 or later, tap the plus button in the top-right corner, and follow the on-screen steps. The process takes just a few minutes, and if approved, your digital Apple Card will be ready for purchases immediately.


Apple Card offers 3% cashback at a growing number of merchants, including Apple, Nike, Uber, Uber Eats, Walgreens, Duane Reade, and T-Mobile.

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Apple Attending NeurIPS 2019 Next Week, World's Largest Machine Learning Conference

Apple has announced that it will be attending the 33rd Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) in Vancouver, Canada from Sunday, December 8 through Saturday, December 14.


In a new entry to its Machine Learning Journal, Apple said its product teams are "engaged in state of the art research in machine hearing, speech recognition, natural language processing, machine translation, text-to-speech, and artificial intelligence, improving the lives of millions of customers every day."

Apple employees will be making a series of presentations at the conference. A schedule is provided in Apple's Machine Learning Journal.

Machine learning algorithms play a role in virtually every Apple product and service, ranging from Apple Maps and Apple News to Siri and the QuickType keyboard on iPhone and iPad. Apple has machine learning jobs available in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer vision, data science, and deep learning.

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Apple Pays $25 Million for Billie Eilish Documentary Headed for Apple TV+ Rather Than Apple Music

Apple has paid $25 million for the rights to a Billie Eilish documentary that will be shown on Apple TV+ and follows the 17-year-old singer-songwriter's life after the release of her debut album in March, reports The Hollywood Reporter.


According to the report, the film is directed by R J Cutler and produced in collaboration with Interscope Records, and covers moments between Eilish and her family, as well as behind-the-scenes peeks at public appearances. The project is expected to debut in 2020.

Notably, the film will reportedly be released on ‌Apple TV‌+ instead of Apple Music, which has previously been host to documentaries about musicians, like Taylor Swift's The 1989 World Tour (Live) and Ed Sheeran's Songwriter.

The decision could signal a broader shift in Apple's content plans so that all the company's original programming is released exclusively on its new TV+ video streaming service, rather than being divided across two platforms.

Earlier this year, Apple removed the TV & Movies category from the Browse section of the Music app and started linking out ‌Apple Music‌ programming from its TV app listings.

Apple Music-hosted video content, currently discoverable from the TV app

Apple already bundles ‌Apple TV‌+ with its ‌Apple Music‌ student plan, which costs $4.99 per month, so hosting all video content in the TV app would make sense. Apple is also considering bundling ‌Apple Music‌, ‌Apple TV‌+, and its Apple News+ subscription service as early as 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Eilish kicked off Wednesday's inaugural Apple Music Awards with a bespoke performance based on her debut album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The singer was also awarded ‌‌Apple Music‌‌'s Album of the Year as the most streamed album of 2019, and Songwriter of the Year, which went to both her and her brother FINNEAS.

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Watch Now: Apple Live Streaming First Ever Apple Music Awards With Billie Eilish Performance

Apple is kicking off its first ever Apple Music Awards show with a live stream that's set to start at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time or 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

The live stream can be watched through the Apple Music service on the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Mac. Apple's event is being held at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus, and will see Billie Eilish performing live. Earlier this week, Eilish invited fans to sign up to attend the show on Apple's campus.


Eilish's performance will celebrate Apple's music awards, with Apple having announced winners on Monday. Eilish was named Apple's Global Artist of the Year, as well as Songwriter of the Year with her brother Finneas.

Apple named Lizzo the Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and the Song of the Year was "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. Each winner is receiving an Apple-designed award featuring a custom silicon wafer suspended between a polished sheet of glass and an aluminum body.


Aside from Eilish's performance, there's no word on what to expect from the ‌Apple Music‌ Awards, so those interested should catch the show live.

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Qualcomm President: Priority Number One is Launching Apple's 5G iPhone as Fast as Possible

Apple and Qualcomm are working to launch a new 5G iPhone as fast as possible, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Tech Summit this week, reports PCMag.

The main goal of Qualcomm's renewed relationship with Apple is to get the iPhone launched on time, with rumors suggesting Apple's 5G iPhones are going to come in the fall of 2020. "Priority number one of this relationship with Apple is how to launch their phone as fast as we can. That's the priority," said Amon.


Given the need to get the phone out at the proper time, Amon said that while the first ‌5G iPhone‌ will use Qualcomm modems, it might not include all of Qualcomm's RF front end. An RF front-end includes the circuitry between components like the antenna and receiver and it is important for boosting signal from various networks.

As PCMag points out, Qualcomm has called its newest Snapdragon modem chip a "modem-RF system," suggesting that eking out the best signal requires Qualcomm-created RF front-end components.

Apple instead will likely use its own technology and components alongside Qualcomm's modems in its 2020 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, which is something that the company has also done in prior years, but Apple will need to use Qualcomm millimeter wave antenna modules as it manufactures the only components that work with Verizon and AT&T's 5G networks at this time.

Right now, rumors suggest all of Apple's iPhones coming in 2020 will use 5G, though one rumor yesterday indicated that not all iPhones may support both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, the two kinds of 5G technology that are in the works.

Higher-end devices may be able to take advantage of mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, while there's a possibility that Apple's more affordable devices will be limited to the sub-6GHz networks.

mmWave is the fastest 5G technology, but given its limited range, it's likely to be limited to major cities and urban areas. Sub-6GHz 5G is slower than mmWave 5G, but it will be able to be used in suburban and rural areas, and will still offer speeds faster than 4G LTE.

Apple and Qualcomm settled their long running legal dispute in April and inked a multi-year contract that will see Apple using Qualcomm modems in its devices going forward. Apple was forced to come to an agreement with Qualcomm after Intel was unable to meet Apple's modem needs.

Intel ultimately sold most of its smartphone modem business in July, and while Apple is working on its own modem chips, it will be reliant on Qualcomm in the near future. Given the late settlement between Apple and Qualcomm, the two have had to rush to get Qualcomm technology ready for 2020 iPhones.
"We re-engaged probably later than both of us would like, and I think we've been working together to try to get as much as possible done, and take as much possible advantage of what they've done before so that we can actually launch a phone on schedule with 5G," Amon said.
Amon went on to say that Qualcomm has a "multi-year agreement" with Apple. "We're setting no expectations on front end, especially because we engaged it very late," Amon explained. Overall, Amon said that he's "very happy" with the progress that's being made. "I expect that they're going to have a great device."

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
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BMW No Longer Charging Monthly Fee for CarPlay in Cars With Newest Software

BMW in early 2018 decided to begin offering BMW customers CarPlay access for a subscription fee rather than a one-time fee, requiring BMW owners to pay $80 per year to use ‌CarPlay‌ after the first year of owning a BMW vehicle.

No other car manufacturer that offers ‌CarPlay‌ charges a monthly fee, so this change was understandably unpopular with BMW customers. Prior to the subscription fee, BMW charged a one-time $300 upgrade fee.


Given the negative sentiment over the subscription charges, BMW is now changing its plans. According to a BMW spokesperson that spoke with British site AutoCar, BMW will now offer ‌CarPlay‌ for free for the lifetime of the car on all models that have the latest ConnectedDrive infotainment system installed.

Models that do not use the latest system, such as the i3 and the i8, will now require a one-time fee instead of the subscription access. Going forward, in vehicles with the new system, ‌CarPlay‌ will be available at no cost.

U.S. site Autoblog has confirmed that BMW is also making this change in the United States. "BMW is always looking to satisfy our customers' needs and this policy change is intended to provide BMW owners with a better ownership experience," a BMW spokesperson told Autoblog after being asked why the change was made.

It's not yet clear when BMW customers who already pay for a subscription will be able to stop paying for ‌CarPlay‌ access, nor is there word on whether BMW will be reimbursing customers who already paid for a longterm ‌CarPlay‌ subscription.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
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