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Amazon's 48-Hour 'Prime Day' Event Takes Place July 15 and 16

For the last few years, Amazon has been hosting an epic Prime Day sale that offers up deals and discounts on a huge range of products.

This year, Prime Day is actually going to take place over two days, kicking off at midnight on July 15 and lasting through July 16. Last year's Prime Day ultimately lasted 36 hours, but 48 hours will be the longest Prime Day event to date.


Amazon has some Prime Day event previews on its website, and Prime Day itself will include discounts on everything from tech products to home products, clothing, toys, and more. Amazon is also highlighting products launching on Amazon on Prime Day, such as the Mophie Juice Pack Air.

When Prime Day kicks off, Amazon's website will be filled with lightning deals that kick off at different times over the course of the day, with the available products rotating over time. Lightning deals last for as long as stock lasts, and some of the better deals can go quick.

Last year, we did a live blog covering all of the best Apple-related deals available during Amazon's Prime Day, and we plan to do similar coverage this year so make sure to tune in to MacRumors on July 15 and 16 for help sorting through all of the sales.

Prime Day sales are designed for Amazon Prime members, and a Prime membership is required to get the deals. Prime Day discounts will be available to Amazon customers in the United States, UK, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Australia, Belgium, UAE, Austria, Spain, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

Tag: Amazon
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Apple to Expand Seattle Presence With 2,000 New Hires Over Next 5 Years

Apple is planning to expand in Seattle with an additional 2,000 new hires over the course of the next five years, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced in a statement today.

333 Dexter, where Apple is rumored to be expanding in Seattle

Apple has several offices in Seattle with teams working on iCloud, artificial intelligence, and Siri, and recent rumors suggested Apple was planning a major expansion, which has now been confirmed. From Durkan:
"These new jobs confirm what we already knew, we have the best talent and city anywhere. Apple's expanded footprint in Seattle is another example of the growing opportunity that exists for residents of Seattle and the economic powerhouse our City has become. Yet we know that as Seattle continues to grow, we must act urgently to address the pressures that follow - from tackling affordability to new affordable housing to increasing transit.

"By next year, an estimated 70% of jobs in Washington State will require some sort of post-secondary credential. It is my top priority that our kids growing up in Seattle today are prepared to fill the great engineering and computer science jobs that Apple announced today. That's why we created the Seattle Promise and the Opportunity Promise - so our youth are connected with resources and put on a path to the good paying jobs of Seattle's future."
Earlier this month, there were rumors that Apple was looking at leasing a large office complex in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. Apple is said to be planning to occupy a two-tower building at 333 Dexter Avenue, which offers around 630,000 square feet of office space and could accommodate 4,200 employees.

Apple in late 2018 said that it would establish a new site in Seattle, which could be the large office building mentioned in rumors.

Apple already operates a major Seattle engineering hub focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning, and in 2018, expanded its office space at Two Union Square in downtown Seattle.

Tag: Seattle
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Apple Providing watchOS 6 Beta to Select AppleSeed Members

Apple today started offering the watchOS 6 beta to select AppleSeed members, allowing some non-developers to test the software for the first time.

AppleSeed is a version of the public beta testing program that's invite only, making it more selective and limited than the open betas that are provided to all public beta testers. As AppleInsider notes, some AppleSeed members are now receiving invites for watchOS 6.

We are extending you an exclusive invitation to join the AppleSeed Program and to take part in shaping watchOS 6. As a participant, you'll get to test-drive pre-release software and provide your feedback.

Our program also includes a community discussion board, questionnaires, and a Feedback Assistant application that lets you report any quality and usability issues you find, directly to Apple. Help us improve the quality of our next release and join today.
There's no way to apply to be an AppleSeed member, so the watchOS 6 beta made available to AppleSeed participants will be limited in scale. Apple does not provide traditional watchOS public betas because there's no way to downgrade the software installed on the Apple Watch. Most people will need to wait for the fall release of watchOS 6 to give the software a try.

The watchOS 6 update brings a new App Store to the Apple Watch, so you can find and download new Apple Watch apps right on your wrist. Apple Watch apps are also no longer required to have an iPhone component, so developers can now create standalone Apple Watch apps.


There are quite a few new watch faces in watchOS 6, including Numerals Mono and Duo with huge numbers, Modular Compact, a Gradient watch face that shifts over the course of a day, a Solar Dial watch face that visualizes the sun in a 24 hour path around the dial, and the California watch face with a mix of standard numbers and Roman numerals.


watchOS 6 also includes new Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator apps, along with a new Noise app that warns you if you're exposed to sound that could damage your hearing and a new Cycle Tracking app for period tracking. Activity Trends, visible on the iPhone, is a new feature that lets you chart your fitness progress and make sure your fitness trends are improving.


New complications are available for wind speed, chance of rain, and the new Noise app, plus there's a Voice Memos complication for recording a memo quickly, a cellular strength complication, and a complication for the Calculator that opens up the app.

Siri can now provide full web search results right on the watch when asked a question, and for Mac users, the Apple Watch can now approve Mac security prompts.

For more on what's new in watchOS 6, which is going to launch this fall, make sure to check out our watchOS 6 roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
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Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 13 and iPadOS

Apple today released the first public betas of iOS 13 and iPadOS to its public beta testing group, giving non-developers a chance to test out the software ahead of its upcoming fall release.

The first public beta of iOS 13 corresponds to the second developer beta released last week. Apple originally said that the public beta would be coming in July, but has apparently decided to release it a few days early. Apple's public beta testing website is still down, so public beta testers will not be able to install the software until it's up.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 13 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on an iOS device.


Those who want to join the beta testing program can sign up on Apple's beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. Before installing a beta, make sure to create a full encrypted iTunes backup or an iCloud backup. It's best to install iOS 13 on a secondary device because beta software is not always stable and can include bugs.

iOS 13 is a major update to the iOS operating system that runs on the iPhone and the iPad, but this year, iOS 13 and iPadOS, the version of iOS 13 that runs on the iPad, are separate downloads as they've been split up.

iPadOS is identical to iOS 13 in almost every way, though there are some iPad-specific features such as new multitasking capabilities. For the most part, the two operating systems share the same features.

iOS 13 introduces a long list of new features. Dark Mode changes the entire look of the operating system, shifting it from light to dark, while an overhauled Photos app makes it easier to relive your memories with new Days, Months, and Years viewing options.

There's a new photo editing interface that makes it easier to edit photos than ever before, plus there are new tools to work with and options to edit the intensity of the built-in filters.

You can edit video right in the Photos app for the first time, and on the newest iPhones, there's a new High-Key Mono lighting effect and an option to adjust the intensity of Portrait Lightning effects.

There's a less obtrusive volume HUD, a new Find My app that combines Find My iPhone and Find My Friends and lets you track your devices even with they don't have an LTE or WiFi connection.

A Sign In with Apple feature (not yet active) gives you a convenient and data safe way to sign into apps and websites, providing an alternative to Facebook and Google sign in options.

Maps has a new street-level "Look Around" mode and a Collections feature for making lists of places, Reminders has been entirely overhauled to make it more functional, there's a profile feature in Messages along with new Memoji and Animoji stickers, and Siri has a new voice.

There are a ton of additional new features and changes coming in iOS 13, and for a full rundown of what you can expect, you should check out our iOS 13 roundup.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Apple Releases First Public Beta of macOS Catalina to Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Catalina update to its public beta testing group, giving non-developers a chance to try out the software ahead of its fall public release.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will be able to download the macOS Catalina beta through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper profile. Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.


Potential beta testers should make a full Time Machine backup before installing macOS Catalina, and it may not be wise to install it on a primary machine because betas can be unstable and often have many bugs.

macOS Catalina eliminates the iTunes app, which has been a key Mac feature since 2001. In Catalina, iTunes has been replaced by Music, Podcasts, and TV apps.

The new apps can do everything that iTunes can do, so Mac users aren't going to be losing any functionality, and device management capabilities are now handled by the Finder app.

macOS Catalina has a useful new Sidecar feature, designed to turn the iPad into a secondary display for the Mac. It can work as a traditional second display or with a mirroring feature. Apple Pencil support works with Sidecar, so you can turn your iPad into a drawing tablet using apps like Photoshop.

For those with an Apple Watch set up to unlock the Mac, there's now an option to approve security prompts in Catalina by tapping on the side button of the watch. Macs with a T2 chip in them also support Activation Lock, making them useless to thieves much as it does on the iPhone.

There's a new Find My app that lets you track your lost devices, and previously, this functionality was only available via iCloud on the Mac. There's even a new option to find your devices even when they're offline by leveraging Bluetooth connections to other nearby devices, something that's particularly handy on the Mac because it doesn't have a cellular connection.

Apple is expanding Screen Time to the Mac in Catalina, letting Apple users track their device usage across Mac, iOS, and iPad for a better overall picture of time spent using electronics.

For developers, a "Project Catalyst" feature lets apps designed for the iPad be ported over to the Mac with just a few clicks in Xcode and some minor tweaks. Apple's ultimate goal with Project Catalyst is to bring more apps to the Mac.

Photos has an updated interface that better highlights your best pictures, Safari includes a new start page with Siri Suggestions, Mail has a new feature for blocking emails and another new option for muting threads, and the Reminders app has been overhauled and is now more useful.

Before installing macOS Catalina, be aware that it does away with 32-bit app support, so some older apps may stop working.

For more on macOS Catalina, make sure to check out our macOS Catalina roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
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Apple Says Spotify Only Pays 15% Fee on About 0.5% of Subscribers in Response to App Store Complaint

Apple has filed a response to Spotify's anticompetitive complaint about the App Store in Europe, noting that Spotify pays Apple a 15 percent commission for only about 0.5 percent of its paying subscribers, according to CNET.


That figure equates to around 680,000 users who subscribed to Spotify through its iOS app, via Apple's in-app purchase system, between 2014 and 2016. This is because Apple only collects a 30 percent commission for the first year of a subscription, at which point the fee drops to 15 percent.

Apple's response comes three months after Spotify announced it had filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission over unfair App Store practices. Spotify took particular issue with Apple charging a 30 percent "tax" on App Store purchases, calling it "discriminatory":
Apple requires that certain apps pay a 30% fee for use of their in-app purchase system (IAP) – as is their prerogative. However, the reality is that the rules are not applied evenly across the board. Does Uber pay it? No. Deliveroo? No. Does Apple Music pay it? No. So Apple gives the advantage to its own services.
Apple only charges a commission on in-app purchases tied to digital goods, which is why apps like Uber and Deliveroo are exempt.

Apple also forbids Spotify and other developers from alerting users that they can sign up for a subscription or complete a purchase outside of its iOS app, and disallows Spotify from advertising deals to its customers in the app or by email, as these practices would circumvent Apple's in-app purchase system.

Apple has faced increasing scrutiny as of late over the way it runs its App Store. In response, Apple said the App Store "welcomes competition," noting that it was created to be "a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps" and "a great business opportunity for all developers."

Apple previously labeled Spotify's complaint as "misleading rhetoric" and claimed that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free."

European Commission regulators will now review Apple's response as part of its probe.

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Bill Gates Regrets Microsoft Losing to Android as Dominant Platform Beyond iPhone

At a recent event hosted by venture capital firm Village Global, highlighted by TechCrunch, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates lamented on losing to Android, calling it "one of the greatest mistakes of all time."

Skip to the 11:40 mark:


Transcript:
In the software world, it's very predictable for platforms. These are winner-take-all markets. The greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. Android is the standard phone platform — non-Apple phone platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win. It really is winner take all. If you're there with half as many apps, or 90 percent as many apps, you're on your way to complete doom. There's room for exactly one non-Apple operating system. […]

It's amazing to me having made one of the greatest mistakes of all time… our other assets, Windows, Office, are still very strong… we are a leading company. If we'd gotten that right, we'd be the leading company.
In fairness to Gates, it was Steve Ballmer who served as Microsoft's CEO between 2000 and 2014. Ballmer infamously laughed off the iPhone, but Apple had the last laugh, as Windows Phone failed to ever gain any significant market share among mobile operating systems and is ultimately being abandoned.


Gates added that there is room for exactly one non-Apple mobile operating system, which is certainly the case as of today. Together, Android and iOS have an estimated 99.9 percent market share, according to research firm Gartner, having squeezed out former heavyweights like BlackBerry and Nokia.


Simply put, Apple upended the industry when it launched the iPhone in 2007, and Microsoft failed to respond. Windows Phone could have been the commoditized mobile platform, as Windows is to Mac, but Android won the battle.

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16-Inch MacBook Pro Said to Launch in September With LCD and 3072x1920 Resolution

Apple plans to release a 16-inch MacBook Pro in September, according to Jeff Lin, an analyst at research firm IHS Markit.

MacRumors concept of 16-inch MacBook Pro display

Lin believes the 16-inch display will be an LCD supplied by LG Display, with a resolution of 3,072×1,920 pixels, as outlined in IHS's latest Emerging PC Market Tracker report, published Thursday and obtained by Forbes.

IHS Markit via Forbes

For comparison, the 15-inch MacBook Pro has a resolution of 2,880×1,800 pixels.
"We foresee that Apple will release a new product [at the] Sep'19 Apple event if there’s no unexpected development issue," Jeff Lin, Associate Director, Consumer Electronics at IHS Markit, said in an email, referring to the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Korean website The Elec recently reported that Samsung was in talks with Apple about supplying OLED displays for the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but if the IHS Markit report is accurate, the notebook will have a LCD instead.

16-inch MacBook Pro rumors began with well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Back in February, he said the notebook would launch at some point in 2019 with an "all-new design," but he did not comment on which display technology the notebook would use or share any other details.

As would be expected, Lin claims the 16-inch MacBook Pro will feature a newer processor. No other details are known.

IHS Markit has an entire team dedicated to display-related research, with close ties to the supply chain, so this rumor carries some weight. The research firm accurately revealed the original 10.5-inch iPad Pro's resolution nearly four months in advance and also saw LTPO coming to the Apple Watch.

Apple has never unveiled new Macs at its annual iPhone event in September, often waiting for October instead. Either way, it sounds increasingly likely that a 16-inch MacBook Pro is coming at some point this year.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tag: IHS
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)
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MacBook Air and Possibly 13-Inch MacBook Pro Without Touch Bar Said to Receive Processor Refresh in the Fall

Apple plans to refresh its MacBook Air lineup with faster processors in September, according to IHS Markit analyst Jeff Lin's latest Emerging PC Market Tracker report, published Thursday and shared by Forbes:
Apple is also expected to update the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and Retina MacBook Air with the new MacOS Catalina and new processors in September, according to Lin.
Forbes also cites Lin as saying the 13-inch MacBook Pro receiving a processor refresh in September as well, which likely refers to the base model without the Touch Bar, dubbed the "MacBook Escape" for its physical Esc key. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar just received a processor refresh in May.


The MacBook Air was last updated in October 2018, when it received a long-awaited Retina display, 8th-generation Intel Core processors, butterfly keyboard, larger trackpad, Touch ID, Thunderbolt 3 ports, new color options, and more.

Apple rarely refreshes any Macs in September, often waiting for October instead, but these would be fall updates either way. IHS has close ties to Apple's supply chain, having accurately revealed the original 10.5-inch iPad Pro's resolution nearly four months in advance and LTPO on the Apple Watch.

Lin also believes that Apple plans to release the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro in September. Again, this could end up being October too, but it sounds increasingly likely that the 16-inch MacBook Pro is coming this year.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Tag: IHS
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Apple Highlights iMessage Encryption, App Store Privacy, and iPhone Recycling in Trio of New Ads

Apple today shared three new ads on its YouTube channel in Australia, highlighting iMessage encryption, App Store privacy, and iPhone recycling, as part of its ongoing "That's iPhone" marketing campaign around the world.




Apple also shared a new Shot on iPhone XS video and a companion behind-the-scenes video on its main YouTube channel on Saturday:



The video was shot on the iPhone by Donghoon Jun and James Thornton of Incite, in collaboration with WET, and commissioned by Apple.

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Apple's Difficult App Store Decisions Determined by Executive Review Board Run by Phil Schiller

When Apple has to make a difficult decision regarding an app in the App Store, its fate is determined in a meeting of a group called the Executive Review Board or ERB, led by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller.

The detail was shared in a CNBC report on how the App Store works, which gives an inside look at Apple's App Store review team.


The Executive Review Board meets once per week and discusses controversial apps or iPhone apps that might be infringing on App Store guidelines, and it has the final word on whether an app can stay on the store or if it's going to be removed.

The ERB also creates the policies for Apple's Worldwide Developer Relations department, otherwise known as the App Review team that looks over every app submitted to the App Store. Last year, the ERB was the team that decided to ban the controversial Infowars app from the App Store for violating Apple's content policies.

Apple runs multiple App Review teams around the world, and according to CNBC, recently opened up new offices in Cork, Ireland and Shanghai, China. Over the course of the last few years, hiring for the team has ramped up.

People on the app review team are paid hourly, have employee badges, and receive healthcare, like any other Apple employee with Apple opting to use a full in-house team rather than relying on contractors. The main App Review team is based out of an office in Sunnyvale, California, which is close to Apple's Cupertino campuses.

According to CNBC, new hires start out on iPhone apps, but as reviewers gain more experience, are able to evaluate apps with in-app purchases and subscriptions as well as Apple TV and Apple Watch apps. Each reviewer claims a batch of apps using a web portal, then checks over the app using an iPad (or Apple Watch or Apple TV for those apps). The app is compared to Apple's App Store guidelines, and reviewers decide whether to accept, reject, or hold the app.

Reviewers are expected to get through 50 to 100 apps per day, and evaluating most apps takes a short amount of time. Number of apps reviewed per hour is tracked by Apple, and they're also evaluated on whether or not review decisions are later overturned.

When an app is rejected, developers can appeal to the App Review Board, which is separate from the Executive Review Board, to get the decision overturned. Several appeals may eventually send an app to the ERB, though. Most apps are rejected for common reasons, but edge cases or apps that are publicly sensitive go to Phil Schiller's ERB for more careful evaluation.

Apple doesn't give apps from major companies special treatment, according to CNBC, and all apps are required to go through the same exact review process.

For more on how the App Store review process works, make sure to check out CNBC's full report.

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Leaked Images Show Apple Card's Design in the Wild

Apple's upcoming Apple Card credit card is now being tested by both its corporate and retail employees ahead of a planned summer launch, and unsurprisingly, some images of the card have leaked out.

We already know what the Apple Card looks like thanks to Apple's promotional materials, but it's still interesting to see the design in person, with iMore sharing some photos provided by an Apple employee.


In person, the titanium card is as minimalist as it looks online, with the front featuring a simple embossed Apple logo, a chip, and a name, which in iMore's image, has been removed for privacy. There's no card number or expiration date included, nor is there a CVV on the back.

The Apple Card won't use a traditional card number, instead generating virtual card numbers and confirmation codes for purchases, which can be obtained from the Wallet app on the iPhone.

The back of the Apple Card is just as barren as the front, featuring embossed Goldman Sachs and Mastercard logos, along with a magstripe at the back. Goldman Sachs and Mastercard are Apple's Apple Card partners. For those curious, the Apple Card appears to weigh in at 14.75 grams.


Apple delivers the Apple Card in a plain white sleeve with an Apple logo on the front. The inside is multicolored, representing the different purchase categories that will be listed and colorized inside the Apple Wallet app when you make an Apple Card purchase.

According to iMore, Apple is approving people with a range of credit scores. A person with a credit rating between 600 and 700 was approved, though with a $1,000 credit limit. APRs range from 13.24 percent to 24.24 percent.

After applying for the card, it took the Apple employee iMore spoke to approximately one week to receive their Apple Card.

Apple is planning to launch the Apple Card in the summer, and employees testing the card are running the iOS 12.4 update, which is currently in beta. Apple has seeded four betas of iOS 12.4 so far, and it's probably not too far off from release.

It's not clear if the Apple Card release will be tied to the launch of iOS 12.4, but it's certainly a possibility, and suggests the Apple Card is coming in the near future.

For more information on the upcoming Apple Card, make sure to check out our full Apple Card guide.

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