Over Half of Apple's Retail Stores in China Reopened Amid Ongoing Coronavirus Outbreak

Apple has now reopened 29 of its 42 retail locations in China, according to Apple's store websites in the country that were reviewed by Bloomberg. Many of Apple's stores in China have been shut down for the last few weeks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.


Most locations that have been reopened continue to operate on shortened hours, with some open for less than eight hours a day. Additional stores are expected to reopen as soon as this week, but there is no word on when all Apple Stores in China will be operational.

Apple last week said that its March quarter revenue will fall short of expectations because of constrained iPhone supplies worldwide and lower customer demand for Apple products in China caused by store closures.

The shuttered stores and limited hours have significantly reduced customer traffic, and though Apple's supplier factories in areas outside of the Hubei province have reopened, ramp up to full production on devices has been slower than expected.

According to a second report from Bloomberg, Apple's ‌iPhone‌ sales started dropping in January as the coronavirus spread. Numbers supplied by a UBS research note that includes official Chinese data suggests ‌iPhone‌ sales fell 28 percent compared to the prior month, which is a larger than normal decline for that time of the year.

February sales numbers are expected to be "far worse" due to supply and demand issues related to the outbreak.

Apple has said it is continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation and will provide additional information during its next quarterly earnings call in April.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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Five of the Best To-Do Apps for iOS

People lead busy lives, and keeping track of everything that needs to be done in a day can be tough, which is why there are an endless number of to-do and productivity apps on the App Store.

Apple offers a built-in Reminders app and a built-in Notes app, both of which can be useful, but most people who need a robust task tracking solution will want to look to a third-party app. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite to-do options with a range of capabilities.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Notion (Free)


Notion is an all-in-one productivity app that's perfect if you need an app that combines note taking and wiki creation with to-do list making. It has a simple color coordinated design, but it can actually be used to create neatly organized notes and lists with a hierarchy as complex or as simple as you need it to be.


Notion is cross platform so it works on Mac and iOS, plus it has robust search tools, supports real-time collaboration, offers easy editing and list rearranging, and works offline.

The app is free to use, but unlocking the full range of capabilities, including unlimited "Blocks" of data and more than 5MB in file uploads costs $4 per month.

TeuxDeux ($2.99/Month)


Despite the cringeworthy name, TeuxDeux is a solid to-do app if you need something that's simple, straightforward, and free from confusing bells and whistles. It is the most barebones of the to-do apps that we've tried out, and it's an ideal choice if you want a design that's close to writing down tasks on a piece of paper.


Though simple, TeuxDeux offers several features that are must haves for a to-do app, such as recurring tasks, tasks that roll over to the next day if unfinished, Markdown support, easy drag and drop gesture support, and the ability to use it on both the iPhone and the desktop.

TeuxDeux is a subscription-based app and it costs $2.99 per month or $24 for a year.

Things 3 ($9.99)


Things 3 is one of the most robust to-do apps on our list, and it's also one of the more popular to-do list options. There's a good reason for that - Cultured Code has included every feature you could ever possibly want in a task management app.


The design of the app is ultimately easy to use, but it can be overwhelming at first and it does take some time to get used to the full feature set. Luckily, there's a built-in tutorial to get you acquainted with Things 3.

You can create Projects to organize different tasks, Areas to split things between work and family responsibilities, or just add a simple to-do. An inbox with sections like Today, Upcoming, Anytime, and Sunday helps you keep track of what tasks need completing and when. Things 3 is the app to choose if you want to organize all aspects of your life.

Things 3 is one of the few to-do apps that's not subscription based, and it costs $9.99 to purchase. Things 3 is also available for Mac and iPad, though each app must be purchased individually.

Todoist (Free)


Todoist, like Things 3, is a well-known to-do and list making app. Different tasks can be organized into sections as needed, spitting up everything from work tasks to grocery lists. There's an inbox that shows you everything that needs to be done at a glance, plus sections for things that need to be done immediately and over the next week.


Todoist makes it easy to jot down a quick to-do using natural language in the app so you can get it out of your head, and it supports recurring dates and the option to assign tasks to others for collaborative projects. Personalized productivity trends are included, so you can make sure you're staying on task.

Todoist is free to download, but the premium feature that unlocks all functionality (such as reminders) costs $3.99 per month or $35.99 per year.

Any.Do (Free)


Any.do is another popular task management app that's been around for years. It has a simple interface that belies its complexity, with deep organizational options for managing daily to-dos, calendar tasks, projects, lists, and more.


It offers scheduled reminders, note taking capabilities, collaborative features, calendar integration, adding to-dos from email messages, simple drag and drop gestures, and more. Using the app requires an account, but it does support Sign in with Apple to make it easy, and with an account, the app can be used across all of your devices.

Any.do is free to use, but unlocking all features requires a premium plan priced at $9.99 per month for a one month subscription, $27 for a six month subscription, or $60 for a 12 month subscription.

A premium subscription unlocks color tags, location-based reminders, advanced recurring reminders, bigger file uploads, sharing capabilities, and more.

Conclusion


There are dozens if not hundreds of to-do apps on the ‌App Store‌, and it's impossible to test them all out. If you're looking for a new to-do app, it's worth checking out the options on our list, as these are apps that we've tried and found useful.

If we missed your favorite to-do app, make sure to let us know what it is in the comments.

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Apple Shares Detailed Technical Overviews of Pro Display XDR and Mac Pro

Apple today shared two new "Technical Overview" white papers that take an extensive look into the technology and feature set of the Pro Display XDR and the Mac Pro.


Available as PDFs, the Mac Pro overview and the Pro Display XDR overview (via 9to5Mac) walk through key features and components, with ultra detailed rundowns on every component. The ‌Mac Pro‌ overview highlights the lattice case, Intel Xeon W chip, GPUs, PCIe expansion slots, MPX module, I/O, T2 chip, SSD, and more.

Apple explains the reason for design choices made for the ‌Mac Pro‌, does a deep dive into performance, and lists technical specifications. Much of this information has previously been shared in product pages and marketing info provided by Apple, but this is the single most comprehensive source for ‌Mac Pro‌ info.

The Pro Display XDR white paper is similar, detailing display panel components, LED backlighting system, timing controller, display accuracy, reference modes, enclosure design mounting, and technical specifications.


This information has also been previously shared by Apple for the most part, but again, the white paper is a useful place to see it all in one place.

These are useful resources for those who are interested in learning more about the ‌Mac Pro‌ and the Pro Display XDR ahead of purchase, and can be found through these PDF links: Pro Display XDR and Mac Pro.

Related Roundups: Mac Pro, Apple Pro Display XDR
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Buy Now)
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Apple Retail Stores Celebrating Upcoming International Women's Day With Today at Apple Sessions

In celebration of International Women's Day, set to take place on March 8, Apple is hosting a series of "She Creates" workshops that will be held at Apple retail stores from March 1 to March 31.


According to Apple, there will be hands-on sessions that "explore new perspectives" using iPad, iPhone, and Mac, along with opportunities to share ideas with others and learn from inspiring female creators.

There will be sessions on creating AR experiences, learning product skills, and more, along with unique sessions at various Apple locations around the world.

At Apple Union Square in San Francisco, for example, there will be a live performance by indie electronica artist Ah-Mer-Ah-Su on March 17, while Apple Fifth Avenue will feature a March 11 music session with drummer Madame Gandhi, Apple Antara will host a photo session with award winning photographer Yvonne Venegas, and Apple Covent Garden will host a drawing session with The Other Box, celebrating people of color and underrepresented backgrounds in creative industries.

9to5Mac compiled a list that features all of the retail locations that will host notable special events.
Other local events can be found by visiting Apple's Today at Apple website, which lists events and store sessions by location. Last year, Apple held other celebrations for International Women's Day, such as a special Apple Watch Activity Challenge, so we could also see similar events this year.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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MacRumors is 20 Years Old Today

It's hard to believe, but today marks the 20th birthday of MacRumors, which was founded on February 24, 2000, with articles starting just a few days later.


While longtime readers may be familiar with the site's origins, there are plenty of others who are unaware that it began as a hobby while our founder Arnold Kim was a medical student, and it remained a side project for over eight years until he decided to give up medicine to focus on MacRumors as a full-time career. That backstory and additional perspective were shared in a July 2008 New York Times article.

MacRumors.com registered on January 24, 2000

I officially joined MacRumors on January, 1, 2009, but I had served as a volunteer forum staff member and occasional writer for several years prior and had been a regular reader almost since the site's debut. Over that time, I saw MacRumors grow from a niche aggregator of news about a beloved company looking to raise itself from the dead to the behemoth it is today, riding the wave of one hit product after another with the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and more.

MacRumors as it appeared in May 2000

Through the years, we've added additional writers, editors, and other staff members, with the team now numbering roughly a dozen dedicated folks who live and breathe Apple news and rumors.

We've covered plenty of major Apple news stories over the years, and here are just a few of the biggest ones:
And don't forget about the MacRumors Buyer's Guide, which has been providing at-a-glance buying recommendations based on Apple's product release schedules for 17 years now.

It's been a long ride, and we certainly couldn't have done it without our loyal readers and forum members. For two decades now, MacRumors has been known for its active and passionate community that has itself reached nearly a million registered members and over 27 million forum posts. If you're not a member, we invite you to register for our forums and add your voice to our community.

To all of you who have helped make MacRumors what it is today, thank you, and here's to another 20 years.

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Mac With Apple-Designed Arm Processor Coming in First Half of 2021

Apple's first Mac with a processor designed in house is set to be released during the first half of 2021, Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo said in a note to investors this morning that was obtained by MacRumors.


There are no other details provided about the new Mac that's in the works, but the detail confirms multiple past rumors that have suggested Apple is working on custom Arm-based processors designed in-house that would allow it to transition away from Intel. Over the years, Apple's product releases have been stymied by Intel chip delays, and with its own chips, Apple will not be tied to Intel chip release cycles.

Earlier information indicated Apple could begin using Arm-based chips as soon as 2020, but Kuo's note indicates a new Mac with an Apple-designed chip won't be released this year.

Apple is said to be moving to Arm-based chips in an effort to make Macs, iPhones, and iPads work together and run the same apps. Apple's iPhones and iPads already use Arm-based chip technology, and there are custom Apple-created T2 chips in the iMac Pro and recent MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and Mac Pro models.

Kuo's detail about an upcoming Mac with an Apple-designed chip is a tidbit mentioned briefly in a note that suggests 5-nanometer chip architecture will be the "core technology" in Apple's new products in the next 12 to 18 months.
We expect that Apple's new products in 12-18 months will adopt processors made by 5nm process, including the new 2H20 5G iPhone, new 2H20 iPad equipped with mini LED, and new 1H21 Mac equipped with the own-design processor. We think that iPhone 5G support, ‌iPad‌'s adoption of innovative mid-size panel technology, and Mac's first adoption of the own-design processor are all Apple's critical product and technology strategies. Given that the processor is the core component of new products, we believe that Apple had increased 5nm-related investments after the epidemic outbreak. Further, Apple occupying more resources of related suppliers will hinder competitors' developments.
The new Mac with Apple-designed chip, the 2020 ‌5G iPhone‌, and a high-end ‌iPad‌ with a mini LED display rumored for the second half of 2020 are said to use 5-nanometer chips. Chips built on a 5-nanometer node will be faster and more efficient than the A13 chips used in the most recent iPhones that are built on a 7-nanometer+ process.

Apple is said to have become "more aggressive" when it comes to research, development, and production for 5-nanometer chip technology, ramping up investments to reduce uncertainty caused by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China.

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U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Apple's Appeal in $440 Million VirnetX Patent Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear Apple's appeal of a $440 million judgment in one of the patent infringement cases brought by VirnetX a decade ago, reports Reuters.


VirnetX was originally awarded $302 million back in October 2016 in the dispute over VPN-related patents, but Apple appealed the ruling multiple times, and with interest and other costs tacked on, the judgment was later increased to $440 million.

Apple argued on appeal that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had canceled "key parts" of several of the patents involved in the case, but the courts rescinded that cancelation. Apple continued to appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court, but the court has opted not to intervene, leaving Apple on the hook for the $440 million judgment.

The case is one of two Apple has been embroiled in with VirnetX over the years. In the other case, VirnetX was initially awarded $502 million but the infringement ruling was partially overturned late last year and the case was sent back a lower court to determine a new amount for damages. Apple attempted to contest the validity of the remaining two patents at issue, but just two weeks ago, the court denied a rehearing on that aspect of the case.

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AirTags Said to Be 'Completely Waterproof' and Use Magnetic Charging Like Apple Watch

In a report touching on several topics today, Japanese site Mac Otakara claims that Apple's Tile-like "AirTags" item trackers will be "completely waterproof" and use similar magnetic wireless charging to that seen on the Apple Watch.

AirTag image found in iOS 13 build

Evidence of ‌AirTags‌ has been found in builds of ‌iOS 13‌ since last summer, and it appears the small item trackers will show up in the Find My app and enable users to locate misplaced items. With ultra wideband support found in the iPhone 11 lineup and augmented reality, it looks like ‌AirTags‌ could offer high precision and direct the user straight to an item, even pinpointing it within a room.

We're not sure when to expect ‌AirTags‌ to launch, but it looks like it may not be imminent yet, as noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said just last week that production isn't expected to ramp up until the second or third quarter, and today's report from Mac Otakara claims an announcement in the fall of this year, which would likely be alongside new iPhones in September.

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2020 iPhones May Support New Short Range Wi-Fi Standard

Apple's next iPhone series may support a new Wi-Fi standard known as IEEE 802.11ay, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.


802.11ay is the follow-up of IEEE 802.11ad, quadrupling the bandwidth and adding up to 4 streams of multiple transmission/reception. The new Wi-Fi spec, which uses the 60GHz spectrum, is still in the draft phase but is expected to be finalized by the end of 2020.

The translated report is quite difficult to decipher, but the blog calls the wireless standard "ultra-short range," which suggests it could be used to communicate between iPhones (i.e. AirDrop) and perhaps other Apple devices in close proximity.

Interestingly, a 2018 report claimed that Apple has been working on an AR/VR headset that would be untethered from either a computer or a smartphone and instead connect to a "dedicated box" using the 802.11ay wireless standard. The box was said to be powered by a custom 5-nanometer Apple processor similar to the custom chips that Apple will use in future Macs.

Connecting the two rumors is pure speculation at this point, but it's interesting to conceive of different scenarios where Apple uses the new Wi-Fi standard to enable next-generation wireless AR/VR experiences.

That said, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has claimed the company's AR roadmap will initially focus on the iPad and ‌iPhone‌ before any sort of headset comes to fruition.

In November, Gurman said Apple is working on "a range of augmented and virtual-reality devices" based around a new 3D sensor system, which will arrive first on a new iPad Pro slated for release in the first half of 2020, and followed by Apple's new iPhones later in the year.

Moving beyond existing devices, Apple is said to be targeting 2021 or 2022 for the release of a combination VR and AR headset focused on "gaming, watching video and virtual meetings."

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
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Innolux to Supply Mini-LED Panels for iPad Pro to Launch in Second Half of 2020

Taiwan-based Innolux has won orders to supply Apple with mini-LED panels for a new iPad Pro due to launch later this year, according to a new report today.


Taiwan's Economic Daily News reports that the panel maker has already sent samples to Apple and has now won orders with the tech giant to supply them in bulk for the tablet, said to be launching in the second half of the year.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that Apple plans to release four to six products with mini-LED displays over the next two to three years, including a high-end 12.9-inch ‌‌iPad Pro‌ set for launch in the third quarter of 2020‌.

Kuo has said the mini-LED displays will "significantly improve productivity and the entertainment experience," and will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including higher contrast ratio, higher brightness, and deeper blacks.

LG Display and General Interface Solution (GIS) will be the other significant benefactors of these mini-LED products, according to Kuo. Previous reports claim Apple has contracted for related components with Epistar, Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (TSMT), Zhen Ding Technology, and Flexium Interconnect.

Apple is widely rumored to refresh the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ in spring 2020. If it does, another new 12.9-inch model in fall 2020 would certainly be an early addition to the range.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
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Alleged 2020 iPad Pro Case Leaks Suggesting Square-Shaped Camera Setup

Mobile leaker Ben Geskin today shared images on Twitter purporting to be a case for the next-generation iPad Pro, which Apple is rumored to be launching sometime in the first half of this year.


There's a square cutout in the top corner of the case, suggesting the new ‌iPad Pro‌ might have a square-shaped camera setup modeled after the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. A hole for the microphone is visible on one side, and there are gaps for the standby button and USB-C port.

Aside from that, not much can be gleaned from the photos, and we have no way to verify if it's actually a case designed for the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌. The new ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models are said to feature the same dimensions as the 2018 ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models, and based on renders, the design will also be close to identical with the exception of a triple-lens camera.

There were some rumors indicating Apple would release new ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models in 2019, but that didn't happen, and current information from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple plans to release an ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ update during the first half of 2020, perhaps sometime in March.

We've already seen dummy models said to be of the new ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌ models, which featured a triple-lens camera, but those may not be entirely accurate when it comes to the camera design.

Kuo believes that the next ‌iPad Pro‌ update will come with upgraded Face ID, an A14X chip, and a rear-facing time-of-flight (ToF) camera system that would allow for 3D models to be captured using the ‌iPad Pro‌ and then edited with the Apple Pencil for an "all-new productivity experience."


The time-of-flight camera is expected to be a 2020 iPhone feature, so it's not entirely clear if Apple plans to put the time-of-flight functionality in the iPad as the company may first want to bring the feature to the ‌‌iPhone‌‌.

Apple's planned launch date for the ‌iPad Pro‌ could be pushed back due to production delays caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China, or if it launches on time, its supplies could be constrained.

Recent rumors indicate Apple is planning to hold an event on Tuesday, March 31, so if new ‌iPad‌ Pros are in the works for the first half of 2020 and aren't delayed, they could be announced at this event.

Kuo has also said that Apple plans to release an updated high-end 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ with a mini-LED display in the third quarter of 2020. If so, a new 12.9-inch model in fall 2020 would certainly be soon after.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
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Today Would Have Been Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs' 65th Birthday

Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, and had he not passed away in 2011 at the age of 56, today would have marked his 65th birthday. Jobs founded Apple alongside Steve Wozniak in 1976, and he was at the forefront of the personal computer revolution with machines like the Apple 1, Apple II, and the original Macintosh with its now-iconic name.


Jobs was ousted from Apple in 1985 after disagreements with then-CEO John Sculley, and after his departure, Apple struggled and was on the brink of failure. Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 after his company, NeXT, was acquired, and he proceeded to lead the company to the wild success that it enjoys today.

Many of Apple's most important products were developed under Jobs' leadership, including the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, the App Store, the MacBook, the iMac, and more. and his design philosophies and drive for perfection continue to shape Apple even nine years after his death.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has often said that Jobs' DNA - his taste, his thinking, his dedication to hard work, and his lust for innovation - will "always be the foundation of Apple."

Steve Jobs
There is not a single Apple product on the market that has not been influenced by Steve Jobs, and that even extends to many non-Apple products. Smartphones today look the way they do because Steve Jobs led the development of the all-screen no-keyboard ‌iPhone‌ in 2007.


Millions of lives have been improved by Apple devices, and Apple's iPhones, iPads, and Macs are some of the most popular products on the planet. Apple has more than 1.5 billion active devices around the world, which is astounding, and there are always new and exciting projects on the horizon.


New iPhones are released on a yearly basis, iPads are now as powerful as computers, Macs get better with each iteration, and Apple is working on intriguing future technology like AR/VR headsets and even a car.

As always, Apple fans around the world will celebrate Steve Jobs and all of his accomplishments today, and we can also expect to hear from Apple executives like ‌Tim Cook‌, who often honors Jobs on his birthday.

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