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AirPower and New AirPods Said to Ship in First Half of 2019, New iPod Touch With Faster Processor Also Expected

Apple's long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat and a new version of AirPods with wireless charging support and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity will start shipping in the first half of 2019, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


Kuo also expects a new iPod touch with a faster processor to launch in 2019.

While there's been a flurry of recent rumors about the AirPower and 2nd generation AirPods, there have also been conflicting reports on the possible launch dates for the two products. One recent report specifically placed the launch of the new AirPods in the fall of 2019. We were skeptical about that report at the time, and now Kuo gives another reason to believe that the new AirPods and AirPower will be shipping in the first half of this year.

Related Roundups: iPod touch, AirPods 2
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Two New iPad Pro Models, 10.2-Inch iPad, and iPad Mini 5 Said to Launch in 2019

In a thorough research note outlining Apple's plans for 2019, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo describes his outlook for the next iPad lineup. According to Kuo, Apple plans to release two new iPad Pro models, a 10.2-inch iPad, and a refreshed iPad mini, each equipped with an upgraded processor, later this year.


Rumors of a refreshed iPad mini ("iPad mini 5") have been consistent over the past few months. Apple in January registered seven new iPad models with the Eurasian Economic Commission, and at least some of these are believed to be the iPad mini. The others may be a new version of the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.

According to Kuo, the 9.7-inch iPad will be bumped up to 10.2 inches in 2019. No other details on the "two new iPad Pros" are given, but a release would likely be later in 2019 given their relatively recent updates.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad Pro, iPad
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Kuo: 2019 iPhones Can Wirelessly Charge Other Devices, Feature Frosted Glass and Larger Batteries, and More

In a thorough research note outlining Apple's plans for 2019, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo describes his outlook for the next iPhone lineup. According to Kuo, the 2019 iPhone lineup will mirror that of the current lineup, including 6.5-inch and 5.8-inch OLED models as well as a 6.1-inch LCD model.


As for changes to expect in 2019, Kuo says the iPhone XR successor may be upgraded to 4GB of RAM, while all models will include frosted glass casing, larger batteries, the ability to wirelessly charge other devices, and new technology for indoor positioning and navigation.
The new 5.8" OLED may support DSDS, and the new 6.1" LCD may be upgraded to 4GB. All of part of the new models’ main upgrades include Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) for indoor positioning and navigation, frosted glass casing, bilateral wireless charging for charging other devices, upgraded Face ID (with a higher power flood illumination), larger batteries, and triple camera feature (wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide lens).
Kuo also says all three models will include Lightning connectors rather than USB-C and have the same notch area as current models, contradicting other rumors of smaller notches.



Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones
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Apple Said to Release 31.6-Inch 6K Display With Mini LED-Like Backlight Design in 2019

Apple will release a 31.6-inch 6K display with a Mini LED-like backlight design in 2019, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who detailed his expectations for Apple's 2019 roadmap in a research note obtained by MacRumors.



Apple left the display market back in 2016 with the discontinuation of the outdated Thunderbolt Display. Apple did, however, say they were working on a new screen alongside the new Mac Pro. Apple's Phil Schiller said in 2017:
With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call "completely rethinking the Mac Pro." We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.

As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.
Kuo describes the new monitor as a "6k3k" display.

Related Roundups: Mac Pro, Apple Displays
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)
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16-Inch MacBook Pro With All-New Design Expected in 2019, 13-Inch Model May Gain 32GB RAM

Apple will release a new MacBook Pro with a 16-inch to 16.5-inch display and an all-new design in 2019, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


Tonight, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note looking at Apple's releases in 2019. MacRumors has obtained a copy of the report and perhaps the most exciting prediction for Mac users is the revelation that Apple is working on a 16"-16.5" MacBook Pro. Unfortunately the report provides few details beyond that it is an "all-new" design, suggesting Apple is revamping their current MacBook Pro design.

A 16"-16.5" screen would be the largest screen Apple has provided on a MacBook Pro since the discontinuation of the 17" MacBook Pro in 2012. Close followers of Apple's MacBook Pro refresh cycle have been expecting Apple to continue with the current design until at least 2020. The MacBook Pro last saw a redesign only two and half years ago.

Kuo also says Apple may add a 32GB RAM option to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, without providing further details.

More Predictions from Kuo:

- AirPower and New AirPods Said to Ship in First Half of 2019, New iPod Touch With Faster Processor Also Expected
- Two New iPad Pro Models, 10.2-Inch iPad, and iPad Mini 5 Said to Launch in 2019
- 2019 iPhones Can Wirelessly Charge Other Devices, Feature Frosted Glass and Larger Batteries, and More
- Apple Said to Release 31.6-Inch 6K Display With Mini LED-Like Backlight Design in 2019

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Caution)
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Apple Hires Ex-Microsoft Exec to Revamp Smart Home Business

CNBC reports that Apple has hired ex-Microsoft exec and former CEO of a smart lock company to revamp Apple's home initiatives.
Hiring Jadallah is the latest signal that Apple plans to get serious about its own efforts in the home. Recently, the company acquired a start-up called Pullstring, a start-up that specializes in voice-enabled toys. That purchase could help the smartphone maker become the center of a connected living room.
Apple has been making movement into the home space for years, with the introduction of HomeKit as well as the HomePod which is powered by Siri. HomePod, however, has lagged behind its competitors despite making steady improvements. Apple's latest hire as well as recent acquisition of a voice technology company seems to indicate that they are refocusing their efforts.


Sam Jadallah's Linkedin page

Jadallah was most recently CEO of failed smart lock company Otto. Otto was described as a "luxury smart lock":
With Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios packed inside the surprisingly compact design, Otto promises to let you or anyone you choose inside with just a touch whenever it senses an authorized phone within range.
That company ultimately failed, but it appears that Jadallah will be applying that knowledge forward at Apple.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)
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Apple Music Users Able to Gift a Month Subscription to a Friend

Apple is today sending out notifications to Apple Music subscribers that, when tapped, allows them to send a referral to friend to sign up for a free one-month subscription to Apple Music.

According to Apple, the referrals for a free month of service can only be sent to people who do not already subscribe to Apple Music.


The person who signs up for the free trial will see their subscription renew after a month, or one month after the standard free trial.

That means people who have not used Apple Music before can get a total of four months of service for free, because Apple already offers a three month free trial for everyone.

Those who have already used a three month trial and then canceled may be able to get an additional month through this referral link.

Not all Apple Music users appear to be getting these notifications at this time, but we've seen multiple reports both from MacRumors readers and on Twitter.

Apple has promoted Apple Music in similar ways in the past, offering free trial extensions to those who previously signed up for Apple Music.

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Apple Acquires Voice App Startup PullString

Apple recently purchased PullString, a San Francisco startup that enables the design and publishing of voice apps through its PullString Converse platform, reports Axios.

PullString could be used to improve the voice capabilities of Siri, Apple's personal voice assistant.


On its website, PullString says that it can be used to "collaboratively design, prototype and publish voice applications for Amazon Alexa."
At PullString, we strive to help people talk effortlessly with voice technology that surrounds us. Working at the intersection of creative expression and artificial intelligence, we provide agencies and enterprises with the leading solution to collaboratively design, prototype, and publish highly engaging voice applications for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IoT devices.
According to Axios, PullString was founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives and when it was first started, was used to create interactive voice apps for toys.

The company broadened its horizons over the years, though, following the introduction of products like Amazon Echo and Google Assistant.

Apple has not officially confirmed the acquisition and details about the purchase price are not available.

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Apple to Release AirPods With New Coating and Black Color in the Spring

Apple is planning to release AirPods that feature a new surface coating, wireless charging, and a black color option, according to a report from Taiwanese Economic Daily News.

Apple supplier Inventec has been manufacturing the new AirPods and is ready to ship them in the spring, perhaps alongside the AirPower, which is now in mass production.

Black AirPods from Colorware

Economic Daily Times says that the AirPods will be priced the same as the previous version, which was $159 in the United States, though curiously the site suggests the prior pricing was $199.

The information shared by the Taiwanese publication matches up with rumors that we heard earlier this week from MySmartPrice.

That rumor suggested both the AirPods and the Charging Case will be available in black and white, with the updated accessory to get a special matte coating that will "enhance grip."

We still don't know exactly when the AirPods are going to be released. Apple is holding an event on March 25, but it will focus on services and not hardware.

Apple could choose to release updated AirPods and perhaps the AirPower right around that time via press release rather than through a dedicated event.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)
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Apple Shares Humorous 'Bokeh'd' Ad Highlighting iPhone Depth Control Feature

Apple today shared a new "Bokeh'd" video on its YouTube channel, which highlights the Depth Control feature on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.

In the spot, a group of mothers are looking at photos, when one notices that her son has been blurred out in the background of an image. "Did you bokeh my child?" she asks, while the other mother attempts to explain that it was accidental.


The mother who took the photograph uses Depth Control to show that she can remove the bokeh effect so that the blurred child is back in focus. From the video description:
Depth Control on iPhone XS and iPhone XR lets you adjust the bokeh effect on backgrounds before or after you shoot. So you can turn a cute portrait of two kids into a stunning portrait of one kid.
Introduced in the new 2018 iPhone lineup, Depth Control is designed to allow you to control the amount of blur in the background of your images. When taking a Portrait Mode image, you can adjust it before or after capturing it to change how much background blur is used.

This feature is limited to the 2018 iPhone lineup and isn't available on older iPhones.

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Twitter Has Been Keeping Deleted DMs for Years

If you've deleted your DMs, they may be unavailable on your phone and on the web, but Twitter is still saving them, according to data from security researcher Karan Saini that was shared today by TechCrunch.

Twitter also keeps direct messages and data sent to and from accounts that have either been deactivated or suspended, according to Saini, who discovered years-old messages in a file from an archive of data from an account that was no longer active.

A bug in a now-deprecated API used to allow him to get direct messages even after a message was deleted by both sender and recipient.

Twitter says that accounts that are deactivated and deleted are removed along with all of their data after 30 days, but TechCrunch found that's not the case.
But, in our tests, we could recover direct messages from years ago -- including old messages that had since been lost to suspended or deleted accounts.
Twitter lets you download all of the data associated with your account, even a suspended or deactivated account, which lets you see everything that the company is storing.

Saini told TechCrunch this is a "functional bug" that lets people bypass Twitter mechanisms to prevent access to these kind of accounts, but as TechCrunch points out, it's also a reminder that delete doesn't mean delete when it comes to direct messages.

Twitter told TechCrunch that it is "looking into this further to ensure we have considered the entire scope of the issue."

Tag: Twitter
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Study Finds iPhone XS Max Users Experience More Than Twice as Fast LTE Speeds as iPhone 5s Users on Average

iPhone XS Max users experience more than two times faster real-world LTE data speeds as iPhone 5s users on average in the United States, according to OpenSignal, although there are caveats to consider.


OpenSignal says it measured speeds on hundreds of thousands of iPhones across the United States from October 26, 2018 to January 24, 2019 and found that iPhone XS Max users experienced an average LTE download speed of 21.7 Mbps compared to just 10.2 Mbps for iPhone 5s users.

iPhone XS users saw an average LTE download speed of 17.6 Mbps, while iPhone 6 through iPhone 8 Plus users posted average LTE download speeds of between 15.6 Mbps and 17.1 Mbps, as measured by OpenSignal.


OpenSignal attributes the faster data speeds on newer iPhones to improved modems and antenna designs in those devices, such as 4x4 MIMO support in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max compared to 2x2 MIMO on older iPhones, but the results are also likely influenced by socioeconomic factors.

Someone who is still using an iPhone 5s in 2019 could be a price-conscious consumer who is unable to justify the cost of upgrading to a newer iPhone, for example, while relying on a discount carrier with inferior wireless coverage or capped data speeds compared to major carriers such as Verizon and AT&T.

That said, while the results may be somewhat skewed, a newer iPhone should be able to achieve faster data speeds than an older iPhone, assuming it's connected to a cellular tower with the latest LTE equipment.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Neutral)
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