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Report: 'AirPods Pro' to Launch End of October with New Design, New Noise-Canceling Feature and $260 Price Tag

Apple's rumored next-generation noise-canceling AirPods will launch at the end of this month with a new "Pro" moniker and a price tag of around $260, claims a new Chinese-language report this morning.


According to China Economic Daily, Apple's third-generation ‌AirPods‌ will adopt a new in-ear design to support the new noise-canceling feature and enhance the listening experience. The paper claims the "Pro" suffix, which Apple recently adopted for its most expensive iPhone 11 models, will help to differentiate the new wireless earbuds from Apple's existing ‌AirPods‌ and underscores the marketing rationale justifying the higher $260 price tag.

According to a separate report on Friday from the same Chinese-language financial media outlet, the ‌AirPods‌ Pro will also feature a new metal design that increases heat dissipation. Apple ‌AirPods‌ supplier Inventec is said to be cooperating with Chinese manufacturer Lixun to undertake the new orders.

In April, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said two new ‌AirPods‌ models would likely go into mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, with Luxshare, Goertek, and Amkor serving as primary suppliers.

Kuo also claimed one of the new ‌AirPods‌ models will feature an "all-new form factor design" and a "higher price" than the second-generation ‌AirPods‌, which cost $159 with a standard charging case and $199 with a wireless charging case. The other model is expected to be a more iterative update with the same pricing, although it's unclear what any new features would be.

Previously, the ‌AirPods‌ expected to launch later this year were thought to be the more iterative pair that Kuo refers to. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said he expects the higher-priced AirPods with water resistance and noise cancelation to launch as early as 2020. However, today's report suggests they could come sooner.

According to industry sources previously cited by DigiTimes, Apple's suppliers are gearing up to assemble the next-generation ‌AirPods‌ as early as October, suggesting an updated version of the earphones could arrive in time for the holiday shopping season.

In the beta version of iOS 13.2 there's an icon showing redesigned AirPods that appear to have rubber ear tips that would likely be needed as part of a noise cancelation feature. The image is contained in the Accessibility Settings folder, suggesting the new ‌AirPods‌ will contain a new accessibility feature such as being able to use them as hearing aids, or it could be related to existing Live Listen capabilities.

No specific date has been given for when the new ‌AirPods‌ could debut, but Apple has a number of rumored pending announcements that could point toward an October media event.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)
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Hands-On With Apple's New Beats Solo Pro Headphones

On Tuesday, Apple's Beats brand introduced the new Beats Solo Pro headphones, the company's first on-ear headphones with active noise cancellation. The new $300 headphones don't launch until October 30, but we've already had a chance to test them out so check out our video below for our early impressions.

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Starting with the unboxing experience, you'll find that the Beats Solo Pro headphones come with a new soft case covered in a nice felt-like material, as well as a few accessories such as a Lightning to USB-A cable for recharging the headphones. While USB-C rather than Lightning might have been a bit more universal, at least you can charge your headphones with the same cable you use for your iPhone.

The Solo Pro headphones come in six colors including Black, Gray, and Ivory, and then three colors from the "More Matte Collection" being promoted by Pharrell Williams: Light Blue, Dark Blue, and Red. We have the Dark Blue ones on hand, and they are made of a nice matte plastic with an inside metal adjustment band for durability and a premium feel.


Apple's new Beats Solo Pro automatically turn on and off when you unfold or fold them, so there's no power button on the headphones. Pairing via Bluetooth is a simple process, and thanks to the Apple H1 chip inside they can automatically pair with and switch between all devices tied to your iCloud account. The H1 also provides hands-free "Hey Siri" support.

While there's no power button, there are still a few controls located on the Solo Pro headphones, including playback controls on the right ear cup. Tapping above or below the Beats logo on the ear cup adjusts the volume, while tapping on the logo itself will play/pause or skip tracks.

On the bottom of the left ear cup is a button for toggling through three listening modes: Apple's proprietary "Pure ANC" noise cancellation mode that debuted on the Beats Studio3 headphones, a new Transparency mode that activates external microphones to draw in ambient sound, and an extended battery life mode where ANC and Transparency are turned off.


We really liked the new Transparency mode, as it will come in handy in lots of everyday situations where you need to hear a quick conversation or airplane announcement, for example, and don't want to take off your headphones.

Sound quality on the new Solo Pro headphones is solid, and it's about what you'd expect from a set of Beats cans. They sound a bit better than the Solo3 headphones and are right up there with the Studio lineup, although not quite as immersive due to the on-ear rather than over-ear style. The audio comes through warmly and with above-average low-end, which is typical for Beats headphones.


Battery life on the Solo Pro headphones is pegged at 22 hours with Pure ANC and Transparency turned on, and extends to 40 hours with those features turned off. A fast fuel charging feature will give you about three hours of listening time with a 10-minute charge. We haven't had time to thoroughly test these battery life specs yet, but they've traditionally been pretty accurate on other models.

So what do you think about the new Solo Pro headphones? Are you thinking about picking some up when they launch on October 30, or are there options you think you like better? Let us know in the comments.

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Apple Seeds Second Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.1 Update to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.1 update to developers, a little under a week after seeding the first beta and a week and a half after releasing macOS Catalina to the public.

The new ‌macOS Catalina‌ beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper software from the Developer Center.


The first update to ‌macOS Catalina‌ is minor in scale and appears to focus on performance improvements and fixes for bugs that weren't able to be addressed in the first version of Catalina. An interim supplemental update was released just two days ago with some other bug fixes that needed to be addressed before 10.15.1 was ready.

Apple's release notes for the first beta said that the update introduces support for the AMD Navi RDNA eGPU architecture and brings some changes to Photos.

You can now filter by Favorites, Edited, ‌‌Photos‌‌, Videos, or Keywords in the All ‌‌Photos‌‌ view, and you can choose View > Metadata > Titles to enable titles and filenames in the All ‌‌Photos‌‌ View.

‌macOS Catalina‌ is a major update that eliminates iTunes in favor of new Music, Podcasts, and TV apps, nixes support for 32-bit apps, adds a new Find My app, brings a new ‌Photos‌ interface, and includes multiple privacy enhancements and other app refinements.

For full details on what's new in ‌macOS Catalina‌, make sure to check out our macOS Catalina roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
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Samsung Admits Major Security Flaw in Galaxy S10 Under-Screen Fingerprint Sensor

A major flaw in Samsung's Galaxy S10 smartphone has been discovered that basically means any fingerprint can unlock the device with the help of a cheap screen protector.


According to the BBC, a British woman discovered the authentication flaw after she applied a cheap gel screen protector bought off eBay to her Galaxy S10.

She soon discovered that she was able to authenticate as the owner by pressing her left thumbprint against the phone's onscreen fingerprint sensor – the problem being that she hadn't registered her thumb with the device's biometric authenticaton system.

Her suspicions were confirmed when her husband was also able to unlock the phone by pressing either one of his thumbs on the screen's built-in sensor. The screen protector was then applied to another relative's Galaxy S10 and the same thing occurred.

Responding to the incident, Samsung said it was "aware of the case of S10's malfunctioning fingerprint recognition and will soon issue a software patch."

Previous reports have suggested that certain screen protectors are "incompatible" with Samsung's fingerprint sensor because they leave a small air gap that can interfere with the scanning. The sensor relies on ultrasound to detect the microscopic ridges that make every fingerprint unique.

The Galaxy S10 is the latest in Samsung's flagship S series, which is usually regarded as the iPhone's annual rival. The Korean company launched the phone in March and referred to its under-screen fingerprint authentication system as "revolutionary."

(Thanks, Chris!)

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iOS 13 Now Installed on 55% of iPhones Introduced in Last Four Years

Apple has posted the first stats for iOS 13 adoption since its launch on September 19th for iPhone.


Apple shared the statistics on the App Store Developers page which was updated today. Apple reports that ‌iOS 13‌ is installed on 55% of all iPhones introduced in the past four years, and 50% of all iPhone devices, as measured by App Store activity. The pace puts ‌iOS 13‌ approximately on par with iOS 12 adoption last year which hit 53% of active devices in a slightly shorter timeframe and a different device breakdown.

This year, Apple has broken down the stats between both ‌iOS 13‌ and iPadOS which were launched at different times this year. According to Apple, 41% of iPads from the past four years have upgraded to ‌iPadOS‌, while 33% of all active iPads are on ‌iPadOS‌.

Meanwhile, here on MacRumors, our analytics show an 84% ‌iOS 13‌ adoption by our visitors on the same day that Apple measured -- October 15th.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Apple Seeds Third Betas of iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today released the third betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.2 updates to developers, just under a week after seeding the second betas and three weeks after the release of iOS 13.1.

iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.2 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profiles have been installed.


iOS 13.2 introduces Deep Fusion for the cameras in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models. Deep Fusion is a new image processing system that uses the A13 Bionic and the Neural Engine. Deep Fusion takes advantage of machine learning techniques to do pixel-by-pixel processing of photos, optimizing for texture, details, and noise in each part of the image.

The feature is aimed at improving indoor photos and photos taken in medium lighting, and it's a feature that will automatically activate based on the lens being used and the light level in the room.

In the second beta, Apple added support for dozens of new emoji characters on iOS and ‌iPadOS‌. Orangutan, sloth, otter, skunk, and flamingo are the new animals included in the update, while new food items include garlic, onion, waffle, falafel, butter, oyster, maté, and ice cube.

Image via Emojipedia

New faces, gestures, and poses include yawning face, pinching hand, person kneeling, person standing, and new people holding hands options that are both gender and skin tone inclusive, plus accessibility-related emoji like deaf person, person in wheelchair, guide dog, and more. There are also tons of other emoji characters coming, outlined in our iOS 13.2 emoji article.

The update brings a promised privacy option that allows users to opt out of sharing their Siri and dictation audio recording with Apple, and it adds an option to delete ‌Siri‌ and dictation history. These settings provide users with more control over how their ‌Siri‌ recordings are used.


Apple has reintroduced the Announce Messages with ‌Siri‌ feature, which lets ‌Siri‌ read incoming messages without having to unlock the iPhone. The feature works with the second-generation AirPods and the Beats Pro.


The betas include new privacy settings for Apple's upcoming Research app, a new Transfer to HomePod toggle in the Settings app to turn on ‌HomePod‌ handoff, an updated volume bar in Control Center that displays ‌AirPods‌ and Beats icons, and an option to display multi-function HomeKit products as multiple tiles or a single tile.

Also included is an option to delete apps right from the Home screen, and on the ‌iPhone 11‌ and 11 Pro, an option to change video recording settings right from the Camera app.


Both betas of iOS 13.2 have also included hints of Apple's third-generation ‌AirPods‌, expected in 2020. The ‌AirPods‌ have a fresh look with a body that resembles the current ‌AirPods‌, but with rubber tips, likely for the rumored noise cancelation feature.

Additional details on what's new in iOS 13.2 can be found in our iOS 13.2 tidbits articles for beta one and beta two.

Update 1:03 p.m.: Apple has also seeded the new iOS and ‌‌‌iPadOS‌‌‌ 13.2 betas to its public beta testing group.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Quanta Reportedly Likely to Stop Assembling the Apple Watch in 2020 Due to Profit Concerns

Quanta Computer will likely stop taking assembly orders for the Apple Watch at some point in 2020 due to profit concerns, and may sell its manufacturing plant in Changshu, China dedicated to assembling the wearable device, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes.


The full DigiTimes story is not yet available, but a paywalled preview reads as follows:
Quanta may stop assembly for ‌Apple Watch‌ in 2020, say sources:
Quanta Computer is likely to stop taking assembly orders for the ‌Apple Watch‌ next year due to profit concerns, and may sell its Changshu plant in China dedicated to assembling the wearable device, according to industry sources.
Quanta has been the primary manufacturer of the ‌Apple Watch‌ since the original model was released in 2015, while Compal Electronics reportedly became a secondary supplier starting with Series 4 models last year.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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AnandTech Finds iPhone 11 Pro Has 50-60% Higher Sustained Graphics Performance Than iPhone XS

AnandTech today published its in-depth review of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, including a detailed overview of the processor and graphics performance gains of Apple's latest A13 Bionic chip.


Starting with CPU performance, AnandTech found the A13 chip is around 20 percent faster than the A12 chip in last year's iPhone models, consistent with Apple's advertised claims. However, to fully achieve that improvement, the site claims Apple had to increase the peak power consumption of the CPU cores:
In virtually all of the SPECint2006 tests, Apple has gone and increased the peak power draw of the A13 SoC; and so in many cases we're almost 1W above the A12. Here at peak performance it seems the power increase was greater than the performance increase, and that's why in almost all workloads the A13 ends up as less efficient than the A12.
In terms of efficiency at the A13 chip's peak performance state, AnandTech believes the higher power draw will likely result in both the chip and the iPhone being more sensitive to temperatures and prone to throttling.

Apple says the A13 chip is up to 30 percent more power efficient than the A12 chip overall, encompassing all levels of performance.

In terms of overall performance, AnandTech emphasized Apple's lead in the mobile chip space, noting that the A13 posts almost double the performance of the next best non-Apple chip. The site also found the A13 "essentially matched" the "best that AMD and Intel have to offer" for desktop CPUs, at least based on SPECint2006, a suite of CPU-intensive cross-platform integer benchmarks.

AnandTech was even more impressed with GPU performance, noting that while peak performance has improved by roughly 20 percent as advertised, the iPhone 11 Pro had 50 to 60 percent higher sustained performance scores than the iPhone XS based on the high-end GFXBench graphics benchmark:
Where the new chip really shines and exceeds Apple's own marketing claims is in the sustained performance and efficiency of the new GPU. Particularly the ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ models were able to showcase much improved long-term performance results, all while keeping thermals in check. The short version of it is that Apple has been able to knock it out of the park, delivering performance increases that we hadn't expected in what's essentially a mid-generation refresh on the chip manufacturing side of matters.
AnandTech is widely known for its coverage of components like CPUs and GPUs, so its iPhone reviews are highly regarded. AnandTech founder Anand Shimpi joined Apple's chipmaking team in 2014 and recently spoke about the A13 chip in an interview alongside Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller.

Full Review: The Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro & 11 Pro Max Review: Performance, Battery, & Camera Elevated by Andrei Frumusanu

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Apple and A24 Partnering for Film Adaptation of Jandy Nelson's Young Adult Novel 'The Sky is Everywhere'

Apple has set up its second partnership with film studio A24, this time for an adaptation of the young adult novel "The Sky is Everywhere" (via The Hollywood Reporter).

"The Sky is Everywhere" will be directed by Josephine Decker and the film will be written by the novel's author, Jandy Nelson. The book was published in 2010 and tells the story of a high schooler named Lennie Walker who is coping with the sudden death of her older sister.

Apple and A24 first announced a plan to produce the film "On the Rocks" with director Sofia Coppola earlier this year. "The Sky is Everywhere" will be the second project to come out of the agreement.

Apple and A24 have a multiyear agreement, and the two plan to produce a series of films for Apple TV+, so there will be more coming beyond "The Sky is Everywhere" and "On the Rocks."

A24 is an indie entertainment studio, most recently known for releasing films like "The Lighthouse," "Midsommar," "Mid90s," and "Eighth Grade."

‌Apple TV‌+ is set to launch in a few weeks on November 1, and the company has already begun premiering its shows at press events, starting with "For All Mankind."

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Apple Reportedly Renews 'For All Mankind' and Other Apple TV+ Shows for Second Seasons

Deadline reports that Apple has already greenlighted a second season of Apple TV+ space drama "For All Mankind," along with additional seasons for several other shows set to debut on its upcoming streaming video service.

The cast of "For All Mankind" celebrated the show's premiere on Tuesday

Renewing the shows early is said to be part of a strategy by Apple to queue up original content and ensure there's a steady pipeline of programming by avoiding lengthy hiatuses between seasons.

Apart from "The Morning Show", which was picked up on a two-season deal, Apple previously hasn't officially confirmed second seasons for any of the shows it's promoting ahead of the launch of ‌Apple TV‌+ on November 1.

Shows also reportedly renewed or in the process of being renewed for a second season include futuristic thriller "See," starring Jason Momoa, period comedy "Dickinson," which stars Hailee Steinfeld as poet Emily Dickinson, immigrant anthology comedy "Little America," and young detective drama "Home Before Dark."

Apple premiered "For All Mankind" on Tuesday at the Regency Village Theater in Westwood, California, where show stars Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones, Shantel VanSanten, Wrenn Schmidt and Jodi Balfour were in attendance. The show imagines a world in which the global space race never ended and the space program remained the cultural centerpiece of America's hopes and dreams.

The first three episodes of "For All Mankind" will be available to watch on ‌Apple TV‌+ on the day it launches, while new episodes will continue to roll out weekly, every Friday. Apple has launched a press site showcasing information on a number of movies and series coming to ‌‌Apple TV‌‌+, which will be priced at $4.99 per month for up to six family members.

The service will be available on the ‌Apple TV‌ app on iPhone, iPad, ‌Apple TV‌, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online via www.tv.apple.com. Customers who purchase any new iPhone, ‌iPad‌, ‌Apple TV‌, Mac or ‌iPod touch‌ starting September 10, 2019, are eligible for one year of ‌Apple TV‌+ for free.

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Apple Releases macOS Catalina Supplemental Update With Fixes for Installation, iCloud Login, and Game Center Bugs

Alongside iOS 13.1.3, Apple today also released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina, addressing several bugs from the initial public release version, including a problem with Setup Assistant hanging during Catalina installation.


The ‌macOS Catalina‌ Supplemental Update includes installation and reliability improvements, and is recommended for all users.

This update:
- Improves installation reliability of ‌macOS Catalina‌ on Macs with low disk space
- Fixes an issue that prevented Setup Assistant from completing during some installations
- Resolves an issue that prevents accepting iCloud Terms and Conditions when multiple ‌iCloud‌ accounts are logged in
- Improves the reliability of saving Game Center data when playing Apple Arcade games offline
Today's supplemental update comes ahead of macOS 10.15.1, which was seeded as an initial developer beta last Friday.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
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New Report Dives Into History of Apple TV+ As November 1 Launch Nears

With just over two weeks to go until the launch of Apple TV+, The Hollywood Reporter today shared a deep dive into the service's history. The new report reiterates that the majority of projects coming out of ‌Apple TV‌+ will reflect Apple's aspirational company brand -- a move that has led to behind-the-scenes drama for shows like Amazing Stories and the shelved Vital Signs.


Despite previous reports, ‌Apple TV‌+ will not solely focus on family-friendly content; as long as explicit content serves the story, Apple will approve of the project. Still, Apple is steering the platform to be headlined by its so-called aspirational brand identity, putting the brakes on an "edgy, high-concept" version of Amazing Stories in favor of one with an aspirational viewpoint told by Once Upon A Time's Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

In addition to the $1 billion annual content budget Apple allotted for ‌Apple TV‌+ (which Apple is believed to have overshot), the company is said to be offering every showrunner and series regular a free Apple product. According to today's report, Apple has dispatched representatives to ‌Apple TV‌+ show sets to "take orders" regarding which style of iPhone or iPad the crew would like.

As the launch nears, the behind-the-scenes of ‌Apple TV‌+ has been chaotic, according to multiple sources. Particularly, the company has struggled with arranging early critic and tastemaker screenings, which can help promote early buzz for launch shows like The Morning Show and See. According to one unnamed publicist, Apple is treating the TV+ rollout like a product launch and not a TV service launch, leading to some unrest.

One issue that numerous sources brought up was ‌Apple TV‌+'s lack of a large back catalog, which will look particularly troublesome for the company alongside Disney+ and its hundreds of hours of TV and movies dating back to the 1930's. As expected, analysts suggest Apple will acquire a content creator to address this issue in the future, suggesting such companies like MGM, Lionsgate, Sony, and A24.

Apple has also begun work on funding its own content through a new "Masters" internal production studio, the first project for which will be a follow-up to HBO's Brand of Brothers and The Pacific series called Masters of the Air. With its own studio, Apple will wholly own all of the shows and movies it creates, instead of having to work with other partners like Amblin Television.

You can read The Hollywood Reporter's full story here: "Inside Apple's Long, Bumpy Road to Hollywood"

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