The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch.
For many users, third-party chargers would refuse to charge an Apple Watch Series 7 at all, and some others saw problems where the charger would appear to work normally, and then quit working after a few minutes.
Many of the reports focused on more affordable third-party chargers from Amazon, but there were also complaints about higher-end chargers from brands like Belkin. Some people even had charging issues with Apple's own Apple Watch charging pucks.
According to Apple's release notes for the watchOS 8.4 update, the software specifically fixes a bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work, suggesting the charging issues will come to an end when watchOS 8.4 sees a release.
Apple seeded the release candidate version today, and the release candidate represents the finished version of the software that will be provided to the public. We could see a watchOS 8.4 release as soon as next week.
Apple today shared a short film called "The Comeback," which has been released in celebration of Chinese New Year. Created by director Zhang Meng, the video kicks off the Year of the Tiger with the story of a father, a son, and a forgotten village with an "out-of-this-world dream."
The 23 minute film was shot using the latest iPhone (which is the iPhone 13 Pro) like all of the videos in Apple's ongoing "Shot on iPhone" series. Though filmed in Chinese, Apple has also added English subtitles for those who do not speak the language.
Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year, begins on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, and it is a major holiday in China and other countries. Apple previously shared a Chinese gift guide on its websites in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao that features iPhone 13 models, AirPods, and more.
Apple today announced a series order for a live-action Godzilla and the Titans TV series that's based on Legendary's Monsterverse franchise. The Monsterverse is a story universe that includes movies like "Godzilla," "Kong: Skull Island," and "Godzilla vs. Kong."
The untitled Monsterverse series will take place after the battle between Godzilla and the Titans leveled San Francisco.
Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco and the shocking new reality that monsters are real, the series explores one family's journey to uncover its buried secrets and a legacy linking them to the secret organization known as Monarch.
Apple's Godzilla TV series will be produced by Legendary Television with co-creator Chris Black serving as executive producer and showrunner. Black is known for his work on "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "Outcast."
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities.
The bug permits a website to spy on other websites that the user visits while Safari is open, and because some websites use user-specific identifiers in their IndexedDB database names, personal information can be gleaned about the user and their browsing habits.
Browsers that use Apple's WebKit engine are impacted, and that includes Safari 15 for Mac and Safari for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Some third-party browsers like Chrome are also affected on iOS and iPadOS 15, but the macOS Monterey 12.2, iOS 15.3, and iPadOS 15.3 updates fix the vulnerability.
FingerprintJS constructed a demo website to let users check to see whether they're impacted, and as 9to5Mac notes, after updating to the new software, the website detects no security holes.
The website is designed to tell users details about their Google accounts. On iOS 15.2.1 and macOS Monterey 12.1, we tested and the demo website was able to detect our Google account. After updating to the macOS Monterey 12.2 RC and the iOS 15.3 RC, the demo website no longer detects any data.
Apple earlier this week prepared a fix for the bug and uploaded it to the WebKit page on GitHub, so we knew that Apple was working to address the vulnerability in a timely manner. With the macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates now available, we could see these updates be made available to the public as soon as next week.
Apple today announced that Kristin Huguet Quayle has been appointed Apple's new vice president of worldwide corporate communications, with Huguet Quayle replacing former communications VP Stella Low.
In a statement, Apple said that Huguet Quayle has played an important role at Apple for over 15 years.
Kristin has played an instrumental role sharing Apple's story of incredible innovation and strong values for more than 15 years. With an extraordinary depth of experience and a long track record of principled leadership, Kristin is uniquely suited for her new role overseeing worldwide communications.
Huguet Quayle has been at Apple since 2005 and has been on Apple's communication team. She joined Apple when the company had fewer than 20,000 employees, and was responsible for leading communications during Apple's encryption fight with the FBI.
Prior to joining Apple, Huguet Quayle led PR for Sun Microsystems and worked at Burson Marsteller. Stella Low, who Huguet Quayle is replacing, was with Apple for under a year having been hired in May 2021. Prior to Low's hiring, the PR chief role has been empty since Steve Dowling departed Apple.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today approved the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which means it will now move on to the Senate floor for a vote, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The bill, which was first introduced over the summer, would require major changes to the App Store if passed in its current incarnation. It is designed to prevent "dominant platforms" from "abusing their gatekeeper power" by favoring their own products and services over those of competitors.
It would enable sideloading, a process by which iPhone and iPad users would be able to use alternate app stores or other means to install apps on their devices outside of the App Store. Earlier this week, Apple's Senior Director of Government Affairs Timothy Powderly said that implementing such a change would cause consumers to face "malware, ransomware, and scams."
Sideloading would "hurt competition and discourage innovation" by making it "much harder" to protect the privacy and security of personal devices in the United States, according to Apple.
Apple urged the Senate Judiciary Committee not to approve the act, but it will now advance. Several senators have suggested that they want to see changes implemented before voting in favor of the measure, so it could ultimately be toned down.
Senator Dianne Feinstein criticized the bill and said that it targets a "small number of specific companies," and Senator Alex Padilla said that it was difficult to "see the justification for a bill that regulates the behavior of only a handful of companies while allowing everyone else to continue engaging in that exact same behavior."
Other senators have complained that the bill in its current incarnation is not specific enough and could ultimately result in "collateral damage."
The bill is aimed specifically at Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, but amendments will see it also including large foreign-owned tech platforms like TikTok. The Senate Judiciary Committee will also soon hear additional bills that also target tech companies.
Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Epic Games today kicked off its appeal of the judge's decision in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit, filing an opening brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Both Apple and Epic Games have decided to appeal the original ruling as neither company was satisfied with the outcome. Epic Games wanted the court to force Apple to support third-party App Stores, which did not happen.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that the ruling wasn't a "win for developers or for consumers," and Epic Games confirmed that it planned to appeal shortly after the verdict was delivered. In the appeal, Epic Games asked whether Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers had made mistakes with some of her findings, including that Apple is not a monopolist.
In the filing, Epic Games again argues that Apple's App Store restrictions and fees are harming developers and consumers, calling the App Store unnecessary.
Absent these restrictions, iPhone users and app developers could use alternative app stores, and users could get apps directly from developers. Developers could procure payment mechanisms with additional features and lower costs for their apps. Epic wants to but cannot compete with Apple to fulfill that demand by providing an iPhone app store and in-app payment solution. Epic would charge developers much less than Apple's 30% commission, increasing innovation and reducing costs.
Apple prevents Epic and other potential competitors from offering those choices. That is why Epic brought this antitrust suit. The district court's factual findings make clear that Apple's conduct is precisely what the antitrust laws prohibit.
Epic Games argues that the court made an error when it found no Sherman Act violation against Apple, which would have painted Apple as a monopolist and would have likely resulted in a very different ruling.
The goal with the appeal is to get the judgment against Apple reversed, and much of the rest of the document goes over the original arguments from the initial lawsuit.
The district court's judgment on Epic's Sherman Act claims should be reversed and judgment of liability entered in Epic's favor with a remand to determine the appropriate injunctive remedy. The district court's judgment on Apple's breach of contract and declaratory judgment counterclaims should be reversed and judgment entered in Epic's favor
Epic's full opening brief can be read on Scribd for those who are interested in the company's anti-Apple arguments.
Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences. Apple has also released a macOS 11.6.3 release candidate version for Big Sur users.
We don't yet know what's included in macOS Monterey 12.2, and no new features were found in the first beta. We'll update this article should anything new come up in the second beta.
As of now, there's one major feature that Apple has yet to add to macOS Monterey -- Universal Control. Universal Control is designed to allow a single mouse and trackpad to be used with multiple Macs and iPads, and Apple has said it will be launching this spring.
iOS and iPadOS 15.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or an iPad.
There's no word yet on what's included in the iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 betas, suggesting that it likely focuses on under-the-hood improvements and bug fixes. The release notes for the update state that iOS 15.3 includes "bug fixes and security updates for your iPhone" with the software recommended for all users.
There are a few features that Apple has yet to implement, such as Universal Control and support for IDs in the Wallet app. Universal Control will let multiple Macs and iPads be controlled with the same keyboard and mouse, and Apple recently said that the feature will come out in the spring. There were no signs of Universal Control in the betas, so it looks like it will instead come in iPadOS 15.4.
Digital IDs in the Wallet app has been in the works since Apple introduced the feature at WWDC in June. Arizona, Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah are expected to be the first states to implement digital ID support, and Florida is also in talks to support the feature.
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming watchOS 8.4 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week after the launch of the first betas and over a month after the release of watchOS 8.3.
To install watchOS 8.4, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed, watchOS 8 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software update.
To update to new software, an Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it needs to be in range of the iPhone.
According to Apple's release notes, watchOS 8.4 fixes a bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work as expected. Since the launch of watchOS 8.3, Apple Watch users have been experiencing charging issues with some third-party Apple Watch chargers, so we can expect the watchOS 8.4 update to address this problem.
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming tvOS 15.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming one week after the second beta and over a month after the release of tvOS 15.2.
Developers can download the new tvOS 15.3 beta by downloading a profile onto the Apple TV using Xcode.
tvOS updates are often minor in scale, focusing on under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements rather than major outward-facing changes. We don't yet know what's included in the tvOS 15.3 update, but we'll update this article should anything new be found.
Though we don't often know what's new in tvOS during the beta testing process, we let MacRumors readers know when new updates are available so those who are developers can download it upon release.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April.
Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are likely to be unveiled, including a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the new iPad mini, a new iPhone SE with 5G, and two new Macs powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
New iPad Air
A fifth-generation iPad Air is in the works with features that will bring it to parity with the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G support for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.
The report said the new iPad Air will have the same overall design as the current model, including a single-lens rear camera. Released in October 2020, the current iPad Air features a 10.9-inch display with slim bezels, a Touch ID power button, and a USB-C port, with color options including Space Gray, Silver, Green, Rose Gold, and Sky Blue.
The report, citing reliable sources in China, claimed that the new iPad Air could be announced alongside the third-generation iPhone SE this spring.
Bigger changes to the iPhone SE are not expected until at least next year. Apple plans to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display in 2023 or 2024, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a very accurate source of display-related information for future Apple products.
Redesigned 27-Inch iMac
Apple is rumored to be planning a redesigned 27-inch iMac with a mini-LED display for release in the first half of 2022. The new 27-inch iMac is expected to support ProMotion, enabling a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother content and scrolling.
The new 27-inch iMac is rumored to be powered by the same M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that debuted in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro last year. The switch to Apple silicon should result in a thinner design similar to the 24-inch iMac.
High-End Mac Mini
Apple is also expected to release higher-end Mac mini models with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips this year, and while a specific timeframe has not been rumored, a March or April announcement would make sense alongside the new 27-inch iMac.
Apple already updated the Mac mini with the M1 chip in November 2020, but only for lower-end configurations, with higher-end models still using Intel processors.
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There are eight total accessories on sale in today's Gold Box, and they range from cables to power strips, MagSafe-compatible chargers, and high-capacity portable chargers. As with all Gold Box sales, the prices listed below will last only for one day, so be sure to browse the sale before the end of the day.
Apple patched two significant security vulnerabilities when it released iOS 15 that could have potentially exposed users' private Apple ID information and in-app search history to malicious third-party apps and allowed apps to override user Privacy preferences, Apple has revealed in a recent support document update.
With most iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS updates, Apple provides a list of security vulnerabilities patched in that update. Apple maintains a list of security fixes and occasionally updates them with new entries once an investigation of a specific security vulnerability is completed.
Released in September, iOS and iPadOS 15 introduced "additional sandbox restrictions on third-party applications" as a patch, and Apple credits developer Steve Troughton-Smith for assisting it in finding and patching the vulnerability.
Impact: A malicious application may be able to access some of the user's Apple ID information, or recent in-app search terms Description: An access issue was addressed with additional sandbox restrictions on third-party applications. CVE-2021-30898: Steven Troughton-Smith of High Caffeine Content (@stroughtonsmith) Entry added January 19, 2022
Apple does not offer any indication that this particular exploit was actively used in the wild.
In addition, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 also patched a security exploit that could allow a third-party app to bypass Privacy preferences. Apple does not provide any more information as to the specifics of the exploit and does not indicate it was actively used.
According to Apple, iOS 15 is installed on more than 72% of all iPhones released in the last four years, with iPadOS 15 adoption lower at 57%. Adoption of iOS 15 is considerably lower than iOS 14, which was installed on more than 80% of all iPhones released in the last four years. Even iOS 13 experienced faster adoption rates than iOS 15 as it was installed on 77% of iPhones by January of 2020.
With the newly disclosed security exploits patched in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, and iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, users are strongly encouraged to update to the latest iOS and iPadOS versions. The newest released versions are iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1, while Apple has seeded iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 betas to developers and public beta testers.
Apple in June said that it would give users a choice when iOS 15 launched as to whether they would wish to update to the newest version or continue to receive iOS 14 security updates. The latter option is no longer available, as Apple is now more aggressively pushing users to update to iOS 15, with users still running on iOS 14 no longer receiving standalone security updates.
Apple Music is the second most popular music streaming service globally, but remains far behind Spotify in its continuing quest for streaming dominance, according to new market research.
According to a new report by Midia Research, Apple Music subscribers made up 15% of all streaming service listeners in the global market in the second quarter of 2021, placing it in a distant second place behind Spotify.
Spotify remained the dominant service, commanding more than double that amount with 31% of the worldwide market share, although this represents a small drop from 33% in 2020. Amazon Music and Tencent Music both took a 13% market share, with YouTube Music making up 8% of subscriptions globally.
Spotify remains the DSP with the highest market share (31%), but this was down from 33% in Q2 2020 and 34% in Q2 2019. With Apple Music being a distant second with 15% market share, and Spotify adding more subscribers in the 12 months leading up to Q2 2021 than any other single DSP, there is no risk of Spotify losing its leading position anytime soon – but the erosion of its share is steady and persistent.
According to the report, Amazon Music again outperformed Spotify in terms of growth (25% versus 20%, respectively), however YouTube Music was the standout performer for the second successive year, growing by more than 50% in the 12 months leading up to the second quarter of 2021.
YouTube Music was the only service to increase its global market share during this the period, thanks to its popularity with Gen Z and younger Millennials, according to the report.
Google was once the laggard of the space, but the launch of YouTube Music has transformed its fortunes, growing by more than 50% in the 12 months leading up to Q2 2021. YouTube Music was the only Western DSP to increase global market share during this the period. YouTube Music particularly resonates among Gen Z and younger Millennials, which should have alarm bells ringing for Spotify, as their core base of Millennial subscribers from the 2010s in the West are now beginning to age.
Meanwhile, Apple continued to bolster its music streaming service in 2021 by adding support for Spatial Audio and Lossless audio at no extra cost to subscribers. The company also introduced a new subscription plan called Apple Music Voice that exclusively relies on Siri for music playback and user interaction.
The report notes that the global market for streaming music grew by 109.5 million by the end of Q2 2021 (around 26% year-on-year) and the total number of subscribers reached almost 524 million listeners.
Following the release of iOS 15.2.1 earlier in January, Apple has stopped signing iOS 15.2, the previously available version of iOS that saw a public release on December 13. With iOS 15.2 no longer being signed, it is not possible to downgrade to that version if you've already updated to iOS 15.2.1.
Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order to encourage customers to keep their operating systems up to date.
Illinois is the latest state to attempt to pass legislation that would prevent developers from being required to use Apple's in-app purchase options by allowing for alternate payment solutions within apps.
As outlined by Illinois news site WGEM, under the Freedom to Describe Directly Act, distribution platforms like the App Store and Google Play would not be able to force Illinois developers to use a "particular in-application payment system" as the exclusive mode for accepting payments, nor would they be able to retaliate against developers who opt to use an alternate payment option.
Illinois-based Basecamp CEO David Heinemeier-Hansson, who in 2020 was involved in a public dispute with Apple over email app "Hey," is one of the supporters of the new bill. When launched, the Hey app did not work without a subscription, but did not include an option to purchase a subscription in the app and instead opened straight to a login screen.
Apple did not believe that an app opening to a login was an ideal user experience and threatened to remove Hey from the App Store if a subscription option wasn't added. Hey ultimately got around the restriction by offering a free option that users could test when first installing the app.
Apple's chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer said that Arizona's bill was a "government mandate that Apple give away the App Store," and Apple's Chief Privacy Engineer Erik Neuenschwander said that the North Dakota's bill threatened to "destroy the iPhone as you know it."
The Arizona bill actually passed in the Arizona House of Representatives and the Arizona House Committee, but the Arizona Senate pulled the bill before it could be voted on. Arizona State Representative Regina Cobb said at the time that Apple and Google "hired almost every lobbyist in town" to kill the bill.
Illinois might not have much luck with its bill given Apple's efforts to fight against such legislation, but Apple has recently been required to allow alternate in-app payment systems in South Korea and the Netherlands. Apple is also facing federal legislation that would allow for alternate app stores and alternate payment methods, which the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hear soon.
In both the Netherlands and South Korea, Apple is still collecting a commission on transactions, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has made it clear that any alternate payment options in the U.S. would also see Apple implementing an alternate way of collecting fees.
"We would still have to come up with an alternate way of collecting our commission," Cook said during the Epic v. Apple trial. Cook explained that Apple would need to find a way to track sales, invoice them, and chase developers for money. "It seems like a process that doesn't need to exist," he said.
Following weeks of delays due to concerns from the aviation industry, Verizon and AT&T were today able to begin deploying C-Band 5G spectrum to improve the availability of 5G connectivity for users across the United States.
AT&T's C-Band spectrum is live in limited parts of eight metro areas that include Austin, Chicago, Dallas Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Orlando, and South Florida. AT&T is taking a careful approach to the rollout, but the carrier says that C-Band spectrum will "expand rapidly" as part of a ramp up in its "thoughtful and efficient deployment." iPhone users who have access to AT&T's C-Band network or previously existing mmWave connectivity will see a "5G+" indicator in the iPhone's cellular status bar.
As for Verizon, the company earlier this month announced plans to expand its 5G Ultra Wideband service to 1,700 cities later in January, and that expansion started today with the launch of C-Band spectrum. Verizon users on Reddit are sharing details on where Verizon's 5G connectivity has suddenly improved, noting the locations where C-Band connectivity is live. Verizon users will see a "5G UW" indicator.
There are reports from across the country, including Los Angeles, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Minneapolis, Rochester, and many other smaller cities. Verizon said that it expected the C-Band rollout to bring faster 5G speeds to more than 100 million people, but has not yet shared a C-Band coverage map.
AT&T's 5G+ and Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband are up to 10x faster than LTE speeds and can hit upwards of a gigabit per second.
Verizon and AT&T are both limiting their C-Band deployment in areas that are near airport runways to give airlines and the FAA more time to figure out whether there are issues with airplane altimeters.
Earlier this week, major U.S. airlines penned an urgent letter warning that the 5G rollout could cause a "catastrophic" crisis resulting in cancelled, delayed, and diverted flights.
The FAA has implemented buffer zones around 50 major airports with wireless transmitters close to runways, but for the time being, AT&T and Verizon will block off a two mile zone around affected airports to address concerns.
Airlines and the two carriers have expressed frustrations over the FAA's lack of action, as the agency has had years to prepare. C-Band spectrum went up for auction in late 2020, with Verizon paying $45 billion and AT&T paying $23 billion for access.
"We are frustrated by the FAA's inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it to do so in a timely manner," AT&T said in a statement.