New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Next iPhone Could Bring Dual Bluetooth Audio Connection Support

Apple's next iPhone could allow users to connect two pairs of Bluetooth headphones at the same time, claims a report this morning from Japanese tech blog Mac Otakara.


Citing an Asian supply chain source, the blog says the function will be similar to Samsung's Dual Audio Feature, which lets users play music or other audio from their Galaxy phone or tablet to two connected bluetooth devices.

In the same vein, an iPhone user could pair two sets of earphones – AirPods and Powerbeats Pro, for example – and share what they're listening to with a friend.

In another example, Mac Otakara suggests a usage scenario in which an iPhone could be connected to a car as well as wireless headphones, transmitting GPS directions to the in-car audio system and audio to the headphones.

Current iPhones can connect to multiple Bluetooth devices (and multiple speakers via AirPlay 2), but only one Bluetooth audio profile, so the ability to connect to two audio-based BT devices would certainly be a new, welcome addition to the feature set.

Samsung's dual audio feature is an implementation of Bluetooth 5.0 technology, suggesting Apple's function could be of similar origin. If that turned out to be the case, Apple could potentially bring the feature to iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS models via a software update.

When it comes to its original content, Mac Otakara is largely accurate, making it a widely trusted source for Apple product rumors. That said, the site doesn't have a perfect record and does share inaccurate info on occasion.
Apple is expected to debut refreshed iPhones in September 2019. Rumors suggest we'll see 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED iPhones equipped with triple lens cameras, along with a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone with a dual-lens camera. We don't yet know what Apple will call the new iPhones, but iPhone XI or iPhone 11 are possibilities for the iPhone XS successors.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones
Show Full Article

Memorial Day Deals: Save on Apple Devices and Accessories from Twelve South, Mophie, Best Buy, and More

This Monday, May 27 is Memorial Day, a federal holiday in the United States that honors individuals who have died while serving in the Armed Forces. Marking the unofficial beginning of the summer, the holiday also comes with numerous shopping discounts and sales from many companies that sell Apple products and related accessories.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Twelve South


At Twelve South you can save 25 percent site-wide on any purchase of $50 or more. Twelve South sells a large variety of products designed specifically for Apple devices, including popular MacBook cases like the BookBook, the HiRise Duet stand for iPhone and Apple Watch charging, and more.


This sale will last through Monday, May 27, so be sure to visit Twelve South this weekend to place your order.

Pad & Quill


Pad & Quill is offering up to 25 percent off all iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch accessories this weekend. The sale includes markdowns on iPad leather sleeves, iPhone cases, Apple Watch stands, travel organizers, Apple Pencil accessories, and more.


To see the discount, head to Pad & Quill's website, shop through the retailer's accessories, and enter the coupon code MemorialDay at checkout.

Best Buy


Best Buy has one of the bigger sales going on this weekend, discounting everything from refrigerators to the HomePod. Other Apple device savings include the MacBook Pro (up to $400 off), MacBook Air (up to $250 off), Apple Watch Series 4 ($50 off), various iPad models, and more.


Check out some of the sales below and then head to Best Buy to see the full collection before the event ends on Monday, May 27 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Best Buy is also offering free shipping for My Best Buy members.

Mophie


Popular battery accessory company Mophie has a new Memorial Day sale that provides up to 50 percent off Juice Pack iPhone cases, wireless charging mats, Powerstation battery packs, and more.


You'll be limited to ordering three items during the sale, which will last through Tuesday, May 28. Head to Mophie's website to browse the full sale.

Miscellaneous

  • Apple Pay - Get $1 tacos from the Taco Bell app through May 29
  • JBL - Up to 60 percent off speakers, headphones, and more
  • Newegg - Save on TVs, PCs, laptops, Nest devices, and more
  • Scosche - Save on Scosche's iPhone car mounts, Bluetooth speakers, and more
  • Speck - 30 percent off sitewide
  • StackSocial - Up to 60 percent off Mac software like PDF Expert and Adobe apps
  • Zagg - Up to 50 percent off sitewide
Our full Deals Roundup has more information on the latest Apple-related sales and discounts as we head into the summer season.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Show Full Article

Apple Confirms ECG Functionality is Coming to Canada 'as Quickly as Possible'

Apple today told The Canadian Press that it is aiming to bring ECG functionality to Apple Watch Series 4 devices in Canada "as quickly as possible."

The news comes after Health Canada this month approved the ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch Series 4, clearing the way for the features to be released in the country.


Health Canada classified the Apple Watch Series 4 as a Class II medical device, which places it in the "low-to-medium risk" category alongside other products like contact lenses.

Apple launched the ECG app in the United States in December as part of watchOS 5.1.2. It expanded to 19 European countries and Hong Kong in March 2019, and five additional European countries last week.

The ECG app is designed to allow Apple Watch Series 4 readers to place a finger on the Digital Crown to get a single-lead ECG reading, which can detect atrial fibrillation, a condition that can be indicative of major health problems. Irregular heart rhythm notifications are a separate feature, meant to let users know if an unusual heart rhythm is detected so medical attention can be sought.


Apple did not provide specific timing on when we can expect ECG and irregular heart rate notifications to be available in Canada, but it could perhaps come in the watchOS 5.3 update, which is being beta tested right now, or it could be incorporated into watchOS 6, which will be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 3.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Tags: Canada, ECG
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Show Full Article

Angela Ahrendts on Apple Retail Criticism: 'I Don't Read Any of it, and None of it is Based on Fact'

Former Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts today did an interview with Bloomberg, where she spoke about her time at Apple.

The opportunity to take the Apple Store experience "to the next level" and have a greater impact on surrounding communities was one of the reasons why Ahrendts joined Apple. She also cited programs like Today at Apple, designed to "help reskill the current generation," as factors in her decision to work for the Cupertino company.

Ahrendts said that looking back at her tenure, the redesign introduced at Apple retail stores around the world was one of her major successes, as were the Today at Apple classes.
Just as I was saying, I think that we were able to redesign the stores, and there are incredible flagships in the pipeline for the next four years. But they're not even stores, we call them town squares or gathering places because the entire community is welcome. [...]

I think the other thing we were just talking about - the in store experience we call Today at Apple and the fact that we were able to completely redefine and redraft some of the roles and create new positions for the teams and create a whole new zone in the store where they could now educate and come up with all the Today at Apple programs.
When asked about criticism of the changes that Apple put in place in its retail stores, Ahrendts said that she doesn't pay any attention to it. "I don't read any of it, and none of it is based on fact," she said. "It's everyone trying to find stories."

She went on to say that when she left Apple, customer retention rates were at an all-time high and loyalty scores hit historic highs. "I know the facts," said Ahrendts.

Ahrendts said that she has no regrets and there's nothing that she would have changed about her work, though she did wish she had moved faster. "We did a lot in five years, but I always challenge myself to move faster and do more," she said.

All in all, Ahrendts called her time at Apple "mission accomplished" because the company was able to reach the goals of its 5-year plan.
We had a five year plan, we executed that five year plan, and there is a tremendous amount in the pipeline that will only continue to make the impact on the communities that we wanted to make.
Ahrendts left Apple in mid-April and has since joined the board of Airbnb. Her role has been taken over by Deirdre O'Brien, now Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and People.

Ahrendts' full interview can be watched over on Bloomberg.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Show Full Article

iPhone XS Max vs. OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus earlier this month unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 7 Pro, which offers multiple attractive and unique features along with an affordable price tag.

MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera checked out the OnePlus 7 Pro when it first launched, but has spent some more time with it for an in-depth comparison that's been shared on our YouTube channel.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is priced starting at $669, making it significantly cheaper than the iPhone XS Max, which is priced starting at $1,099. Though cheaper, the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't sacrifice many features.

It has a 6.67-inch OLED display that's edge to edge with no bezels aside from a small chin at the bottom. Unlike the iPhone, there's no notch and no cutout for the front-facing camera, and that's because OnePlus has designed a pop out front camera that snaps up when you need to take a selfie.

There have been questions about how durable this pop up camera is, and the short answer is that even though we've spent a bit more time with it, we still don't know how it's going to hold up over time and when exposed to the elements, though it seems to be durable.

The OnePlus offers facial recognition, but as with all Android devices, it's not on par with the iPhone's Face ID. It's 2D image recognition, which means it can't be used for secure operations like making payments. That's fine, because with a pop up camera, it's easier to use the in-display fingerprint sensor.

In-display fingerprint sensors are convenient, but in this case, while it works okay, it's not as fast or as easy to use as Face ID.

The AMOLED display is high-quality and looks great, and there's no denying that no notch is superior to a notch. It does have curved edges at the side, which can make cases and screen protectors inconvenient, but there's the benefit of a 90Hz refresh rate. The iPhone XS Max has a flat display that's more practical, and still just as vivid, bright, and crisp.

When it comes to performance, these are modern smartphones that are equipped with high-end components and in day to day use, both are super quick and you're not going to notice much of a difference between them. The One Plus 7 Pro offers up to 12GB RAM while the iPhone XS Max has 4GB RAM, but Apple has always been better at memory management and thus there's not a discernible difference in performance.

There's a 4,000mAh battery in the OnePlus 7 Pro, but its battery life isn't really beating out the iPhone XS Max. It does win out when it comes to charging, though, because it has a fast charging feature that takes it from 0 to 100 percent in an hour.

The iPhone, of course, has fast charging, but the difference is the OnePlus 7 Pro ships with the power adapter needed to enable the quicker charging while the iPhone doesn't. The OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't have wireless charging though, which is one downside.

There's no water resistance rating on the OnePlus 7 Pro, while the iPhone XS Max has an IP68 rating, meaning it can hold up to submersion in water. OnePlus claims that water resistance certification for the OnePlus 7 Pro would have made each device $30 more expensive and that the smartphone is capable of being soaked in water, but you're going to have to take OnePlus' word for it.

When it comes to the camera, the iPhone XS Max wins. Even though the iPhone's camera is dual lens and not triple lens like the One Plus 7 Pro, the iPhone produces better images. OnePlus has never been known for camera quality, and the company has acknowledged there are issues with the 7 Pro camera. An update is in the works to address some customer complaints, but as is, the iPhone outperforms the OnePlus.

Specifically, highlights are overblown on the OnePlus compared to the iPhone, and the Portrait Mode just isn't as crisp. We did like the ultra wide-angle camera lens, which the iPhone is rumored to be getting in 2019.

The hardware may be similar in terms of ultimate performance between the two smartphones, but there's still a major difference in software, aka iOS vs. Android.

Even though there are pros and cons to both operating systems, most people who are deep into the iOS ecosystem and who prefer iOS devices aren't going to want to venture over into Android even though Android devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro can be much more affordable.

What do you think of the OnePlus 7 Pro? Is its feature set and lower price point worth leaving the Apple ecosystem? Let us know in the comments.

Show Full Article

Apple Acquired Tueo Health, a Startup Developing an Asthma Monitoring App

Apple in 2018 acquired Tueo Health, a startup working on an app to help parents monitor asthma symptoms in sleeping children, reports CNBC.

Tueo's CEO and COO, Brownwyn Harris and Anura Patil, changed their employers from Tueo to Apple in late 2018, which is perhaps when the acquisition was completed.


An Apple spokesperson declined to comment to CNBC on the acquisition, and it's not known how much Apple paid for the company. It's possible, given the lack of comment from Apple and the absence of the company's standard statement related to acquisitions, that it was an acquihire rather than a traditional acquisition.

Tueo had been working on a mobile app that was designed to pair with commercial breathing sensors to manage asthma symptoms in children. The app was meant to send alerts to parents if a child's breathing changed over the night.
We use commercially available sensors to monitor asthmatic children while they sleep. Our technology leverages the data from these sensors to create a personalized baseline for each child. Alerts are automatically sent to parents when there are deviations from their child's baseline. These alerts are interactive and informative - we provide contextual information and just-in-time education and support to help them better manage their child's asthma.
It's not known if Apple plans to incorporate some sort of related feature into a future product, but there have been rumors that the Apple Watch could include sleep monitoring capabilities in the future.

Show Full Article

Apple Releases iOS 12.3.1 With Fixes for Messages and VoLTE Bugs

A week and a half after releasing iOS 12.3 with a revamped TV app, Apple today released iOS 12.3.1, a bug fix update that isn't expected to include any significant new features.

The iOS 12.3.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.3.1 is free to download, but it may take some time to propagate to all iOS users.


According to Apple's release notes, iOS 12.3.1 addresses a handful of bugs related to the Messages app and VoLTE calls.
iOS 12.3.1 includes bug fixes for your iPhone and iPad. This update:

- Fixes an issue that could prevent making or receiving VoLTE calls
- Fixes issues in Messages that could cause messages from unknown senders to appear in your conversation list even though Filter Unknown Senders is enabled
- Fixes an issue that could prevent the Report Junk link from appearing in Messages threads from unknown senders
Apple did not offer a developer or public beta testing period for iOS 12.3.1, as is common for bug fix releases that are intended to address only a very few targeted areas and thus don't require significant feedback from users before public release.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
Show Full Article

iFixit Finds 2019 MacBook Pro Keyboard Has 'Subtle' Changes to Membrane Cover and Switches

Apple surprised us with a MacBook Pro refresh earlier this week. 2019 models feature faster Intel processors with up to eight cores for the first time, as well as "new materials" added to the keyboard to hopefully reduce issues such as sticky and repeating keys that prompted Apple's worldwide repair program.


Apple didn't elaborate on the new materials, but the repair experts at iFixit have completed a teardown of the 2019 MacBook Pro and discovered a "subtle change" made to the silicone membrane covering the keyboard switches.

Whereas the membrane in the 2018 MacBook Pro is "semi-opaque" and "feels like silicone," iFixit says the cover in the 2019 model is "clearer and smooth to the touch." Based on infrared analysis, it appears the 2018 membrane was made with polyacetylene, while the 2019 covers uses polyamide, aka nylon.

iFixit also found that the metal dome over each key switch is "subtly different" as well. "It could be a new surface treatment, and/or a tweaked alloy, possibly to alleviate problems with durability, bounce-back, or other issues," they said.

2018 MacBook Pro parts on left, 2019 MacBook Pro parts on right in each image

Beyond the keyboard, the 2019 MacBook Pro has few changes, as this was merely a spec bump. The notebook still earns iFixit's lowest repairability score, as the processor, RAM, and flash storage remain soldered to the logic board, while the keyboard, battery, speakers, and Touch Bar are glued together.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)
Show Full Article

2020 iPhones May Have Full-Screen Touch ID, New iPhone SE Based on iPhone 8 Also Possible Next Year

Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his associates today shared their expectations for both 2019 and 2020 model iPhones following their trip to Asia earlier this month, where they met with some suppliers within Apple's supply chain.

MacRumors render of 2019 iPhones with triple-lens rear cameras

Our summary of the research note, shared with MacRumors:Other rumors have suggested that 2019 iPhones will feature frosted glass casing, larger batteries, and a bilateral charging feature that allows users to charge AirPods or an Apple Watch by placing them on the back of the iPhone.

Apple will likely unveil its latest iPhones in September as usual at Steve Jobs Theater.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones
Show Full Article

Taiwan's Second Apple Retail Store Opening Soon in Xinyi District of Taipei

Apple has begun promoting the opening of its second retail store in Taiwan. Located right outside Taipei's Xinyi A13 shopping mall on a tree-lined plaza, the standalone construction had promotional graphics installed on its temporary hoarding overnight.


The logo on display is a play on the word "Taipei" in Mandarin, with the Apple logo inserted into the first character. The slogan on the facade says "Creativity starts here, Apple Xinyi A13."

From the outside, the building appears to be a single-story design, but likely conceals interior staircases leading down to an underground floor, with a thin carbon fiber roof held up by two stone pillars and a curved floor-to-ceiling glass facade, which would give it an affinity with Apple's existing store in Chicago, Illinois.

The adjacent Xinyi A13 shopping mall is still being constructed by the Far Eastern Group but is expected to open in September, so there's a chance the new Apple store will open to the public around the same time.

The new store is within 15 minutes' walking distance of Apple's first Taiwan store at Taipei 101 shopping mall in the Xinyi district, which opened in July 2017. Apple has reportedly confirmed that the opening of the new store won't affect the operation of Apple Taipei 101.

(Thanks, Andrew!)

Show Full Article

U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Cut Down on Robocalling

The United States Senate today voted almost unanimously to approve an anti-robocalling bill that would cut down on the number of illegal robocalls that people receive.

The TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence), first introduced in January, increases penalties for robocalls, provides authorities with more time to act, promotes the adoption of call authentication and blocking tools, establishes an interagency group for exploring additional scam call deterrents, and clears the way for criminal prosecution of robocallers.


"This bipartisan, common-sense bill puts a bullseye on the scam artists and criminals who are making it difficult for many Americans to answer the phone with any bit of confidence about who's on the other end of the line," said Senator John Thune. "While this bill would make it easier for federal regulators to levy more substantial financial penalties on these bad actors, we take it one step further by working toward creating a credible threat of criminal prosecution - laying the ground work to put these people behind bars. It's not every day that you see over 80 senators from all corners of the country lend such strong support to a bill like this, but I believe it highlights the urgency of this matter. I want to thank Sen. Markey for all of his work, and we urge the House to take up the TRACED Act without delay."
If the TRACED Act passes, individuals or companies who flout telemarketing restrictions could receive fines of up to $10,000 per call, and the FCC would have up to three years to prosecute after a robocall is placed, up from one year.

It would also require voice service providers to adopt call authentication technologies, which would let cellular carriers verify that incoming calls are legitimate before even reaching consumer phones, and it requires the FCC to create rules to help protect consumers from receiving unwanted calls or texts.

Some carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile have already implemented limited protection features that are designed to cut down on scam calls, but it's a pervasive problem that has only been growing worse in recent years.

Last year, an estimated 30 percent of all phone calls were spam calls, a number that could grow to 42 percent of all calls this year.

The FCC last week proposed new tools that would clear the way for mobile phone companies to block robocalls by default, and last year, the FCC called on companies to adopt call authentication systems for eliminating spoofed phone numbers.

The TRACED Act will now head to the House for consideration, where it is also likely to see similar support.

Show Full Article

Snap Employees Have Used Internal Snapchat Tools to Spy on Users

Some employees of Snap have access to internal tools that allow them to access Snapchat user data and have in the past abused those tools to spy on Snapchat users, reports Motherboard.

According to two former employees, a current employee, and internal company emails, Snap employees have access to internal tools that let them access location information, saved snaps, phone numbers, and email addresses from users.

One of the tools, SnapLion, was designed to gather information on users in response to valid law enforcement requests. Snap's Spam and Abuse team has access to Snap Lion, as does a Customer Ops team and security staff. One former employee told Motherboard that SnapLion offers "the keys to the kingdom."

The SnapLion tool has legitimate purposes and is used for such within the company, but the two former Snap employees confirmed that it's also been used for illegitimate reasons, though information about specific incidents was not made available.
One of the former employees said that data access abuse occurred "a few times" at Snap. That source and another former employee specified the abuse was carried out by multiple individuals. A Snapchat email obtained by Motherboard also shows employees broadly discussing the issue of insider threats and access to data, and how they need to be combatted.

Motherboard was unable to verify exactly how the data abuse occurred, or what specific system or process the employees leveraged to access Snapchat user data.
A Snap spokesperson said that privacy is "paramount" at Snap, and that little user data is kept. What data is stored is protected by "robust policies" to limit the number of employees who have access. "Unauthorized access of any kind is a clear violation of the company's standards of business conduct and, if detected, results in immediate termination," the spokesperson told Motherboard.

Snap monitors who accesses user data, but the former employees say that the logging procedures aren't perfect, and that years ago, SnapLion did not have robust data protection tools to track what employees were doing. It's not clear if employees are still abusing internal tools, but Motherboard's investigation suggests it did happen in the past.
Snap said it limits internal access to tools to only those who require it, but SnapLion is no longer a tool purely intended to help law enforcement. It is now used more generally across the company. A former employee who worked with SnapLion said the tool is used for resetting passwords of hacked accounts and "other user administration."
Much of what's shared on Snapchat is ephemeral, with content disappearing after a short period of time. Users should be aware, however, that certain data is collected and stored by Snapchat, such as phone number, location data, message metadata (who a person spoke to and when), and some Snap content, such as Memories.

A full accounting of Motherboard's Snap investigation can be read over on Vice.

Show Full Article