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

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Working With Health Canada to Bring Apple Watch Series 4's ECG Functionality to Canadian Market

Apple says it is working with Health Canada to bring the Apple Watch Series 4's all-new ECG functionality to the Canadian market, according to MobileSyrup's Patrick O'Rourke. No timeframe was specified.


This likely means that Apple has submitted an application with Health Canada for clearance to sell the Apple Watch Series 4 with the ECG functionality enabled. Health Canada has similar requirements as the FDA in the United States for medical devices to be sold in the country.

In the meantime, Apple says the ECG functionality will be limited to the United States, where it has received clearance from the FDA. However, the ECG app for watchOS 5 won't be available until later this year.

Apple Watch Series 4 models include a new electrical sensor on the rear that's designed to take an electrocardiogram using Apple's ECG app, the built-in sensor, and the electrode built into the Digital Crown. This allows the Watch to display a single-channel ECG, similar to a Lead I ECG, according to the FDA.

To take an ECG reading from the Apple Watch, users will need to place a finger on the Digital Crown while wearing the watch. The reading is completed in 30 seconds, allowing users to determine whether their hearts are beating in a regular pattern or if there are signs of atrial fibrillation.

As a potentially life-saving feature, Apple surely wants the ECG functionality to be available in as many countries as possible, so it's likely the company is working with public health agencies in other countries too.

Via: iPhone in Canada

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Tags: Canada, ECG
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

iPhone XS Teardown Reveals New Single-Cell L-Shaped Battery

Dutch repair site FixjeiPhone today shared a teardown of the iPhone XS, providing us with our first look inside the 5.8-inch model.

A side-by-side comparison shot with the iPhone X reveals that the internal layout of the iPhone XS has not changed significantly, with the most obvious difference being a new single-cell L-shaped battery with a capacity of 2,658 mAh.


The battery was also L-shaped in the iPhone X, but it was a two-cell configuration, instead of a single lithium-ion battery pack.

While the iPhone XS's battery has around 2.2 percent less capacity than the 2,716 mAh battery in the iPhone X, Apple says the iPhone XS gets up to 30 minutes longer battery life than the iPhone X per charge cycle, presumably due to efficiency gains from the A12 Bionic chip and other components.

FixjeiPhone shared a photo of the iPhone XS almost completely disassembled, but it has not labeled any components or manufacturers.


Their video teardown, which can be watched with English subtitles on YouTube, indicates that the display is a bit harder to remove due to additional seals that help the iPhone XS achieve its improved IP68-rated water resistance.


Repair site iFixit should have more detailed iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max teardowns soon after the devices launch in stores tomorrow.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS

Apple Highlights Apple Watch Series 4 Reviews

Reviews for the new Apple Watch Series 4 models went live this morning ahead of Friday's launch, and in a new press release, Apple has highlighted reviews from several members of the media who were able to spend some hands on time with the new Apple Watches.

Apple shared key review passages from a variety websites focused on tech, health, fitness, fashion, and lifestyle, including The New York Times, Women's Health, USA Today, Hodinkee, Men's Journal, TechCrunch, Vogue, Refinery29, The Independent, Wareable, MobileSyrup, Best Health, The Straits Times, and Vogue Australia.


Women's Health, for example, said features in the Series 4 make it a powerful device for overall well being that could save your life one day.
"The new Apple Watch health and fitness features make it a powerful device for your overall well-being. That's because game-changing bells and whistles have elevated the Apple Watch Series 4 from an investment-worthy health accessory to a sleek and beautiful device that actually might save your life."
The New York Times said the new model, which can take an ECG reading, is "one of the most significant developments in wearable gadgets in years," while The Independent said the speed improvements and new health features are noticeable "at every level."
"The design is just gorgeous and the bright, vivid display with its narrow, curved bezels, looks sensational. The uptick in performance power is noticeable at every level and the increased health qualities and fitness monitoring are hugely welcome. If you've held back from getting an Apple Watch because you thought it wasn't quite there yet, well, it is now."
Apple, of course, only focused on pulling out positive commentary on the Apple Watch Series 4 models, but reviews for the device were largely positive. Some reviewers didn't think it offered enough to entice Series 3 owners to upgrade, but said that it's more than worthwhile for anyone upgrading from an earlier Apple Watch model.

Anyone who has been considering holding out on purchasing an Apple Watch due to a lack of features or slow performance should also consider checking out the Apple Watch Series 4, according to reviewers, because it is faster, more efficient, and more feature rich than previous models.

Apple's full list of review selections can be seen in the article shared via Apple Newsroom, and more reviews can be found in our review roundup, shared this morning.

The Apple Watch Series 4 will be available starting this Friday, September 21. Customers who pre-ordered a device last week will begin receiving their orders on that day, and those who were not able to secure a pre-order may be able to purchase an Apple Watch from a retail store on launch day.

At this point in time, new Apple Watch Series 4 orders will not begin shipping out until October.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

iOS 12 Installed on 10% of Devices 48 Hours After Launch

Apple's newest operating system, iOS 12, is installed on just over 10 percent of devices 48 hours after it launched according to data collected by analytics company Mixpanel. The data suggests customers are adopting iOS 12 at a slower rate than iOS 11 and iOS 10.

Last year, iOS 11 was installed on 10 percent of devices just 24 hours after launching, and in 2016, iOS 10 was installed on 14.45 percent of devices within 24 hours.


Customers may be reluctant to adopt a new operating system after all of the bugs and issues that were seen with iOS 11 software updates, but Apple made an effort to focus on the underlying code of iOS 12 and thus far, the update has been stable.

As should be no surprise, MacRumors readers are early iOS 12 adopters. Over 80 percent of readers queried so far have installed iOS 12 just two days after it launched. Follow us on Twitter and vote to let us know if you've upgraded to iOS 12.


iOS 12 is an update that brings significant speed and performance improvements to older devices, so most customers installing the software should see notable speed improvements over iOS 11 after updating.

On the iPhone 6 Plus, for example, apps launch up to 40 percent faster, while the keyboard can appear up to 50 percent faster. Opening the camera on the Lock screen to take a photo can be done 70 percent faster.

Apple has made animations smoother and more responsive across the operating system, so accessing Control Center, scrolling in apps, or swiping up when multitasking feels more fluid.

iOS 12 also includes optimizations for when the operating system is under load. Apps launch up to twice as fast under a heavy load, as does the Share Sheet.

With iOS 12 installed on 10 percent of devices, iOS 11 adoption has dipped to 82 percent and will continue to fall as more people adopt iOS 12. Installation could jump this weekend as some people wait until they have a free block of time to complete a major software update.

iOS 12 is a free download that's available for the iPhone 5s and later, iPad mini 2 and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch. In addition to noticeable and useful speed and performance improvements, the update introduces Screen Time for monitoring device usage, Memoji and new Animoji, ARKit 2.0, and a new Shortcuts app for creating customized automations. For more on what's new in iOS 12, make sure to check out our roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

iOS 12.1 Simulator Supports Virtualized 4K External Displays, Hinting at USB-C Port for iPad Pro

After installing the 12.1 beta, the iOS Simulator in Xcode appears to offer support for virtualized 4K external displays, according to developer Steven Troughton-Smith.

That's not a feature that's possible with existing iOS devices using a Lightning to HDMI adapter, which suggests it could be a new option targeted at upcoming iPad Pro models that are rumored to be getting USB-C ports instead of Lightning ports.


According to well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is well-connected to the Apple supply chain, Apple is planning to replace the Lightning port on the upcoming iPad Pro models with a new USB-C interface.

Apple has been transitioning to USB-C in its Mac lineup since 2016, but despite a rumor here and there, has not adopted USB-C ports for any devices in its mobile lineup. An iPad Pro with USB-C would bridge the gap between the Mac and the iPad, making Apple's pro-level tablet even more viable as a computer replacement.

Kuo believes the USB-C iPad Pro models will ship with an 18W power adapter with a USB-C port, which would enable faster charging.

We may not have to wait long for Apple to unveil new iPad Pro models. There are new iPad Pros and Macs in the works for fall, and in years when Apple has a lot of fall devices to unveil, it's held two events, one in September and one in October.

For that reason, we could soon hear news of an October event where new iPad Pro models and new Macs will be introduced.

Along with a USB-C port, new iPad Pro models are expected to have edge-to-edge LCD displays with a TrueDepth camera system for Face ID and no Home button.

Additional details on the upcoming iPad Pro models can be found in our iPad Pro roundup.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

HomePod Holds Estimated 70% Share of Growing $200+ Smart Speaker Market

While the HomePod did not rank among the top five smart speakers in worldwide shipments last quarter, it is dominating the premium end of the market, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.


Strategy Analytics claims the HomePod accounts for 70 percent of the small but growing $200-plus smart speaker market, topping competing products such as the Google Home Max and a variety of Sonos speakers.

Among smart speakers of any price, the HomePod accounted for just six percent of the market, as Strategy Analytics estimated last month. If accurate, the data shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as the top five best-selling smart speakers are all regularly priced between $49 and $129 in the United States.

By comparison, the HomePod is priced at $349 in the United States, although rumors have suggested Apple has considered releasing a lower-priced version, possibly in the form of a Siri-enabled Beats speaker.

The world's most-shipped smart speakers last quarter were the Google Home Mini, Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Echo, Chinese company Alibaba's Tmall Genie, and the Google Home, according to Strategy Analytics. As always, it's important to remember that shipments don't necessarily reflect sales to customers.


David Watkins, Director of Strategy Analytics' Smart Speaker Service:
Unsurprisingly, Amazon and Google models dominated the best-selling list of smart speakers in Q2 2018. The Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot accounted for a combined 38% of global shipments although they contributed just 17% towards the value of the market due to their low price.

Apple on the other hand has focused its smart speaker efforts at the premium end of the market, promoting the HomePod's audio prowess ahead of the device's voice control capabilities.
As noted by Watkins, Apple has marketed the HomePod's premium audio quality more than its Siri capabilities, as justification for its $349 price. Reviews do agree it sounds a lot better than offerings from Google and Amazon.


All in all, the smart speaker market is shaping up to be a lot like other product categories Apple operates in. Apple dominates the premium end of the smartphone market with the iPhone, for example, whereas Samsung and many other Android smartphone makers offer a variety of devices at a wide range of price points.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)

iPhone X Cases May Have Slightly Imperfect Fit on iPhone XS Due to New Camera Bump Dimensions

While the iPhone X and iPhone XS have identical overall dimensions, a new report suggests that iPhone X cases may have a slightly imperfect fit on the iPhone XS due to very slight changes to the camera bump dimensions.

iPhone X in Apple's new iPhone XS Leather Case

No, the camera bump is not any thicker, as Daring Fireball's John Gruber confirmed in his iPhones XS review on Wednesday. However, eagle-eyed Japanese blog Mac Otakara has discovered that the camera bump is ever so slightly longer and wider on the iPhone XS than the one on the iPhone X.

Head over to the translated report for specific numbers, but the gist is that the iPhone XS camera bump is up to a millimeter or two longer and wider than the one on the iPhone X, potentially affecting case compatibility.

We expect that most iPhone X cases will more or less fit the iPhone XS without issue, but Mac Otakara provided a photo of an iPhone X in Apple's new iPhone XS Leather Case, and you can see that it isn't quite a perfect fit. The camera bump should be flush with the opening in the case, and it's off just a bit.

In other words, the camera cutout on the iPhone XS Leather Case is a bit larger, to accomodate for the new iPhone XS camera bump dimensions. In reverse, the camera cutout on an iPhone X case may be a bit too small for the iPhone XS.

All in all, treat this as a warning that some iPhone X cases, especially ones with a very tight fit around the camera bump, might have an imperfect fit on the iPhone XS. It's not really a big deal, but something to keep in mind.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS

iPhone XS and XS Max Have 4GB of RAM, XR Has 3GB; XS Max and XR Have Larger 3,174 and 2,942 mAH Batteries

The battery capacities and RAM inside the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR have surfaced in regulatory filings Apple is required to submit to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.


China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, often shortened to TENAA, is sort of like the FCC of China. Apple has filed many products with the regulatory body over the years, as required, and there is a track record of them being factually accurate, so there's no reason to doubt these latest ones.

Chinese website MyDrivers was first to share the filings, but only provided screenshots. MacRumors uncovered direct links to the filings below.

The filings reveal that the iPhone XS has a 2,658 mAh battery, around 2.2 percent less capacity than the 2,716 mAh battery in the iPhone X that it replaces, despite both being 5.8-inch devices. Nevertheless, with continued performance and power optimizations, Apple's tech specs indicate that the iPhone XS gets up to 30 minutes longer battery life than the iPhone X per charge cycle.

As the largest iPhone ever, the iPhone XS Max naturally has the largest battery capacity of any iPhone ever at 3,174 mAh, according to the filings. That's roughly 16.8 percent larger than the battery in the iPhone X, and 19.4 percent larger than the battery in the iPhone XS. Apple's tech specs indicate that the iPhone XS Max lasts up to 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone X per charge cycle.

iPhone XS Max regulatory filing in China

Last, the iPhone XR is listed with a battery capacity of 2,942 mAh, roughly 8.3 percent larger than in the iPhone X, 10.6 percent larger than in the iPhone XS, and 7.3 percent smaller than in the iPhone XS Max.

Despite having a smaller battery than the iPhone XS Max, the iPhone XR has the longest battery life of any iPhone ever, according to Apple's tech specs. A big reason may be that the iPhone XR has a smaller 6.1-inch display with a lower resolution compared to the iPhone XS Max. Less pixels, less power consumption.

The filings also appear to confirm that the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max each have 4GB of RAM, while the iPhone XR has 3GB. That's exactly in line with information shared by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Taiwanese research firm TrendForce earlier this year, so the filings are very likely accurate. By comparison, the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus have 3GB of RAM, and the iPhone 8 has 2GB.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max launch this Friday, so it won't take long before iFixit teardowns and Geekbench benchmarks confirm these battery capacities and RAM for good measure. iPhone XR launches October 26.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR
Tag: TENAA
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)

Apple Watch Series 4 Reviews: Larger Screen is 'Incredibly Good', Upgrading From Series 0 or 1 a 'No Brainer'

The first reviews of the Apple Watch Series 4 have been published online today, just a couple of days before the new smartwatch is available in stores.

The Apple Watch Series 4 features a new design with a slimmer body, a 30 percent larger display, and electric sensors for taking ECG readings. Despite the larger displays, the Series 4 has a thinner, smaller case.


All Apple Watch Series 4 models feature a black ceramic and sapphire crystal backing, and the Digital Crown includes haptic feedback for what Apple says is a more mechanical, responsive feel. Inside, the Apple Watch features a faster, more efficient S4 chip that offers twice the speed.

With all that in mind, several reviewers have been trying out Apple's new smartwatch for five days, and most of them agree that while the Series 4 model is a great smartwatch, it "isn't the kind of refresh that justifies upgrading from the last generation," as TechCrunch's Brian Heater puts it.

Likewise, iMore's Rene Ritchie thinks Series 3 owners looking to vindicate the purchase will "have to really want the new capabilities, never mind the new design," although he thinks that upgrading from a Series 0 or Series 1 is a "no brainer" and Series 2 owners will also find the new model "compelling".

In terms of design and wearability, Heater found that the Series 4's larger, wider case was "not really noticeable unless you happen to have two side-by-side," although for those who have used an earlier model with any regularity, "the increase in surface area is pretty readily apparent."


The Verge's Dieter Bohn found that the difference between a 42mm Series 3 and the Series 4's 44mm size is "only subtly bigger" and "feels about the same." However, Wired's Scott Rosenfield found more of a difference when actually interacting with the device:
The watch still looks like a watch. But in practice, the larger screen feels as significant as going from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6. The rounded edges and thinner bezel give you substantially more screen space, which make it easier to read and tap.

That changed how I used the watch: I crammed in more complications on each watch face, and I found myself scrolling through texts, looking at heart rate and workout data, and even playing with the News and Photos apps in a way that I hadn't since the watch first launched.
TechCrunch's Heater took particular liking to the watch's new haptic Digital Crown, which "feels like turning a mechanical dial... And when there’s nothing on screen to move by spinning it, the feedback simply shuts off." iMore's Ritchie concurred, noting that "the new clicking absolutely feels more precise and more fun to use."


The new watch faces were also a hit with Ritchie, who called the new Infographic (analog) and Infographic Modular faces "informational escalations that manage to be denser without sacrificing legibility."
You can fill them with communications apps and contacts, if you're running around playing secret agent. You can fill them with world clocks and trackers if you're traveling. You can fill them with fitness features if you're off to a workout. Or you can mix and match to best suit your average activities.
Elsewhere, Wired's Rosenfield came away impressed by the accuracy of the watch's new optical heart-rate sensor as well as the automatic workout detection, while noting that "runners will love the new rolling mile measurement, cadence, and target pace notifications."

The improvement in the Series 4's speaker was also particularly noticeable. The Verge's Bohn called it "way louder," while iMore's Ritchie said "everything from Siri to calls now boom... I can make out conversation from a good dozen feet away."


Speed-wise, Wired's Rosenfield felt the Series 4 was generally faster than previous models, although not as big a jump as with past iterations:
In everyday life, the Series 4 does feel snappier, but it doesn't feel to me to be as significant as the jump from the Series 2 to Series 3. The exception: I found the initial watch pairing process to be much faster with the Series 4 than with prior models.
Despite the speed improvements, the reviewers agreed that general battery life is largely unchanged from the Series 3 – TechCrunch's Heater felt that most users would be able to get through a day's use without worrying about finding a charger.

Reviewers were unable to test the ECG feature, which won't be available until later this year. Likewise, when it came to Fall Detection, Apple advised against trying to trick the Apple Watch Series 4 into thinking they have accidentally fallen, although Wired's Rosenfield couldn't resist: "I tried to trigger a false warning by tripping onto a yoga mat, jumping on the bed, and flailing around while attempting to powerlift. No dice."

Summing up, The Verge's Bohn concludes: "The Apple Watch has earned its place as the best-selling watch" and is "at least an order of magnitude better than other smartwatches and fitness trackers."

Other publications have shared Apple Watch Series 4 reviews that are worth a read. We've rounded up some links below and will add more when we find them.
Apple Watch Series 4 will go on sale, and begin arriving to customers, this Friday.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Apple Highlights iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Reviews

Reviews for the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max went live this morning ahead of Friday's launch, and in a new press release, Apple has highlighted reviews from several members of the media who were able to spend some time with the new iPhones.

Apple shared key passages from sites that include Mashable, TechCrunch, Daring Fireball, The New York Times, Best Products, Hypebeast, Tom's Guide, Dailymail, TechRadar, Hardwarezone, Sydney Morning Herald, and photographer Austin Mann.


Daring Fireball's John Gruber, for example, praised the iPhone's custom silicon and software and its always-in-your-pocket convenience for photography.
"iPhones can't compete with big dedicated cameras in lens or sensor quality. It's not even close. The laws of physics prevent it. But those traditional camera companies can't compete with Apple in custom silicon or software, and their cameras can't compete with iPhones in terms of always-in-your-pocket convenience and always-on internet connectivity for sharing. In the long run, the smart money is to bet on silicon and software."
The New York Times praised the way Apple increased the iPhone XS Max's screen size without adding bulk or compromising usability, while Tom's Guide did some benchmarking on the A12 and declared the iPhone XS models the fastest iPhones available.
"[To transcode a 2-minute 4K video to 1080p,] iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max knocked it down further to 39 seconds. ... The Galaxy S9+ took 2 minutes and 32 seconds to complete the task, and that's the fastest we've seen from an Android phone. ... Based on our testing, the A12 Bionic processor inside the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max make these the fastest phones you can buy."
Apple, of course, focused on the positive elements in these reviews and while reviewers did generally offer praise for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, especially for the camera improvements and the larger screen size, most agreed that iPhone X users may not be tempted to upgrade just for a new processor and a better camera.

Apple's full list of review selections can be seen in the article shared via Apple Newsroom. More reviews can also be found in our review roundup, shared this morning.

Customers who pre-ordered an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max will be able to get their hands on the new devices starting on Friday, September 21, the official iPhone XS and XS Max launch date.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS

Code in iOS 12.1 Update Hints at Landscape Face ID Support for Upcoming iPad Pro Models

Code in the iOS 12.1 beta released this morning suggests Face ID has built-in support for landscape orientation, according to information shared by developer Steven Troughton-Smith.

A rendering of the upcoming iPad Pro said to be based on leaked CAD drawings

According to Troughton-Smith, landscape support for Face ID has likely been built into the update for upcoming iPad Pro models that are expected to offer Face ID.


Troughton-Smith says that landscape Face ID requires a different alignment for the front-facing sensors of the TrueDepth camera system, which is why it won't be available for iPhone models that have Face ID.


Previous iPad rumors have also suggested Apple would introduce Face ID support for landscape orientation specifically for the new iPad Pro models, because being able to unlock only in portrait mode would be inconvenient with a larger tablet form factor that's most often used in a horizontal orientation.

Right now, Face ID on the iPhone X and the new iPhone XS and XS Max devices works only in portrait mode, with the devices unable to recognize a face when held in landscape mode.

There has been some confusion over how Apple will implement Face ID in the iPad Pro models, though, as some rumors have pointed towards the inclusion of a new mystery port that's supposedly a Smart Connector located at the back of the device in leaked cases and CAD drawings.

A rendering of the upcoming iPad Pro said to be based on leaked CAD drawings

According to Japanese site Mac Otakara, which has somewhat of a mixed track record when it comes to rumors, the Smart Connector allegedly works with a new vertically oriented Smart Keyboard. Mac Otakara believes Face ID in the iPad Pro will work only in vertical orientation, but both today's information and prior hints of horizontal Face ID support suggest that's inaccurate.

Troughton-Smith shared a few other tidbits he found in the beta. There appears to be code to support an upcoming change to MFi game controllers that will offer up compatibility with clickable thumb sticks, and iOS 12.1 "seems to care a lot more about whether an external display is connected," which could be related to rumors of a switch from Lightning to USB-C.

Apple's iPad Pro models are rumored to feature edge-to-edge displays with no Home button, no headphone jack, and a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port. We're expecting Apple to introduce the new iPad Pros before the end of the year, perhaps at an upcoming event in October.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iOS 12

Apple Seeds First Beta of iOS 12.1 to Developers With Group FaceTime

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 12.1 update to developers, just one day after releasing iOS 12, a major new version of the iOS software.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.1 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


It's not clear what features might be included in the iOS 12.1 beta, but Apple removed the Group FaceTime feature from iOS 12 ahead of its launch and promised to introduce it in a future update, which could be iOS 12.1.

The update may also feature new emoji that are said to be in the works and coming in an iOS 12 update later this year.

We'll update this post with details on the new features that are included in iOS 12.1 once we've downloaded the software and have had time to check it out. Apple today also released a new beta version of Xcode, Xcode 10.1.

Update: The iOS 12.1 beta reintroduces support for Group FaceTime, a feature that was removed from iOS 12 ahead of its release. Apple needed more time to test Group FaceTime and said that it would be coming in a software update later this fall. Group FaceTime is designed to let you audio or video chat with up to 32 people at one time.

Related Roundup: iOS 12