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Apple Increasing Focus on Augmented Reality Eyewear, Any Launch Still Over a Year Away

Apple is "stepping up" its augmented reality eyewear efforts, with an eventual goal of releasing a consumer-facing product, according to the Financial Times.
Apple first began to build a team to examine the feasibility of a head-worn device more than a year ago. Now, it is devoting more resources to its augmented-reality efforts, with the aim of taking it from a science project towards a consumer product, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.
Don't expect to be wearing a pair of Apple-branded augmented reality glasses in the near future, however, as the report said any potential launch remains at least a year away, or "perhaps much longer."

Bloomberg was first to report that Apple is exploring digital glasses that would connect wirelessly to iPhones and "show images and other information in the wearer's field of vision." The report said the digital glasses, which may use augmented reality, would not launch until 2018 at the earliest if at all.

One person who expects a sooner launch is tech evangelist Robert Scoble, who insists that Apple is working on a pair of "mixed reality" glasses that will debut alongside the 2017 iPhone lineup, according to his sources. He also said Apple and German company Carl Zeiss are working together on augmented reality optics.

Scoble's information has yet to be corroborated by other sources, so 2018 or later remains a more likely timeline at this point.

While a standalone product appears to remain far off, most analysts agree that Apple will start incorporating AR-related features into its existing products in the

Beats 1 is 'the Biggest Radio Station in the World', Says Apple Music

Apple Music executives Jimmy Iovine, Zane Lowe, Robert Kondrk, and Larry Jackson spoke to The Verge over the weekend about their work with the musician Drake and the success of Beats 1 radio station, which launched in tandem with the Apple Music app in 2015.

Republic Records told The Verge that Drake's new album More Life was streamed 300 million times worldwide in its first week on Apple Music. It has already eclipsed his previous album, Views, which was an Apple Music exclusive and streamed around 250 million times in its first week. More Life also streamed 89.9 million times during its first 24 hours, breaking single-day album streaming records for all music services.

The numbers for Drake's More Life are impressive in another way – the album is also available on Spotify, which has 100 million subscribers compared to Apple Music's 20 million. The Apple Music team puts the success of the release down to Drake's close collaboration with Beats 1 and his OVO Sound Radio show. The show has debuted several Drake records, including More Life on the most recent episode, which set the record for the most listened-to show.
"What we saw on Drake's radio show were TV numbers," Iovine told The Verge. "We learned so much from just building what Drake needed. He had the idea, we kind of just built and supported around him, and we've learned a lot from that, and the entire industry has learned a lot from that."
Jackson called Beats 1 "the biggest radio station in the world" and boasted that there wasn't another station in existence that has as many concurrent listeners,

(PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Plus Gets Black Front in New Part Swap Video

Apple's new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, released yesterday, feature a bright red aluminum casing that many are a fan of. Unfortunately, it comes equipped with a white front plate, much like the Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold iPhones, something that's been a point of criticism for people who think it would have looked better with a black front plate.

YouTuber Danny Winget recently tore apart a red iPhone 7 Plus and replaced its logic board and front plate with parts taken from a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus, giving us a glimpse at what an actual (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 Plus with a black front would have looked like.


Winget had to replace not only the front plate but also the logic board because if he swapped just the front portion of the device, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor would have been rendered unusable.

Apple ties the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to an iPhone's logic board and disables it for security reasons if any of the parts are swapped out. Therefore, most of the internal structure of the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone had to be replaced with parts from the Jet Black iPhone.

Purchasing an entire Jet Black iPhone 7 or 7 Plus for the purpose of creating a hybrid red/black iPhone 7 is probably out of the question for most people, but it's an interesting proof of concept.

This method essentially ruins the Jet Black iPhone 7 involved, making it a rather pricy project, and it destroys the waterproofing seal on the red iPhone.

It's also worth noting that this is a highly complicated process that essentially requires tearing apart two iPhones, melding them

Hands-On With Apple's New (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7

Apple's new (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus went on sale online and in retail stores around the world today, and after a short wait in line, we managed to get our hands on one of the new devices.

Made from a matte red aluminum, the red iPhone 7 is super pigmented and bright in real life, but aside from its snazzy new casing, it's identical to existing devices. Check out the video below for our detailed look at Apple's first red iPhone.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
The new red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can be purchased from the online Apple Store and in retail locations, where supplies seem to be plentiful. There were lines at many stores around the country, however, so it could potentially sell out.

Prices for the red iPhone 7 start at $749, with the device available in 128 and 256GB capacities. Pricing for the red iPhone 7 Plus starts at $869.

The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are available in the United States and dozens of other countries today, and by the end of March, the device will be available in more than 40 countries and

T-Mobile Rolls Out Tools to Help Customers Avoid Scam Phone Calls

T-Mobile today announced the launch of two new anti-scam features designed to cut down on scam phone calls, Scam ID and Scam Block.

Scam ID, as the name suggests, alerts customers when an incoming call is coming from a phone number known to be associated with a scam. Scam Block goes one step further, automatically blocking any calls identified as scams by Scam ID.

"Every year, three out of four people in the US get at least one scam call--and fraudsters cheat consumers out of more than half a billion dollars per year! It's insane - so we had to do something to protect our customers!" said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. "So the T-Mobile team designed a brilliant set of patent-pending technologies -- then built them directly into our network, so there's nothing customers have to do. No hoops to jump through, no app to download. Like most T-Mobile technologies, it just works."
Scam ID is powered by a global database that contains "tens of thousands" of known scammer numbers. T-Mobile updates the database in near real-time by analyzing every call that comes into its network with "behavioral heuristics" and "intelligent scam pattern detection." Every call is analyzed to identify and block scammers.

Both Scam ID and Scam Block are available on all devices on T-Mobile's network and will be included at no cost. The features are rolling out to customers starting today, and will be available to T-Mobile ONE customers first.

New T-Mobile ONE customers will automatically get Scam ID beginning on April 5, while other T-Mobile postpaid customers can

New 9.7-Inch iPad and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Now Available to Order

Apple has just begun accepting orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad and (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on its online store in the United States and dozens of other countries and regions around the world. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are also available for in-store pickup at select Apple Stores starting today.

The new 9.7-inch iPad is equipped with a faster Apple A9 chip and brighter Retina display compared to the iPad Air 2, which has been discontinued. It is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down.

The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2.

The new 9.7-inch iPad starts at $329 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi, making it the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold. Apple also offers a 128GB model with Wi-Fi for $429, while cellular-capable 32GB and 128GB models are available for $459 and $559 respectively in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.

The new 9.7-inch iPad is now available to order on Apple's website in dozens of countries around the world. The first online orders are estimated for delivery between March 31 and April 5 in the United States.

Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad will be available to purchase at select Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores starting next week in more than 20

Apple Store Down in Advance of (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and New 9.7-inch iPad Launch at 8:01 a.m. Pacific Time

Apple took down its online store early this morning as the company prepares to launch its special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in more than 40 countries and regions around the world.

Internet users attempting to access the store section of the U.S. site are being met with the familiar "We've got something special in store for you" placeholder, accompanied by a relaunch time of 8:01 a.m. Pacific Time, which is when Apple previously said it would officially be launching the new red colorway iPhone.

Today Apple is also launching a new lower priced 9.7-inch iPad to replace the iPad Air 2, as well as new storage tier options for the iPhone SE and the iPad mini 4.

The PRODUCT(RED) iPhone 7 will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for the same $749/$849 and $869/$969 prices as the equivalent iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models in standard colors. The anodized aluminum's vibrant red finish has a white Apple logo and white front bezels.

Apple's new tablet, which it is simply calling "iPad", is Apple's new entry-level model at the 9.7-inch size, starting at $329 for 32GB and $429 for 128GB. The device will be available in more than 20 countries and regions.

The new 32GB and 128GB storage capacities for the iPhone SE will cost $399 and $499 respectively, replacing the original 16GB ($399) and 64GB ($449) storage capacities. All other specs for the smaller profile handset remain the same.

The new 128GB model iPad mini 4 with Wi-Fi will start at $399, which was previously the price for the 32GB model with Wi-Fi, which has been

Apple Says WikiLeaks CIA Documents Are Old and Exploits Have Been Fixed

In response to a series of CIA documents leaked this morning that outline exploits the government used to gain access to Macs and iOS devices, Apple gave a statement to TechCrunch claiming that the documents are old and that the vulnerabilities outlined in the leak have long since been patched.

Apple says the iPhone vulnerability only affected the iPhone 3G and was fixed in 2009, while all Mac vulnerabilities were fixed in Macs launched after 2013.

We have preliminarily assessed the Wikileaks disclosures from this morning. Based on our initial analysis, the alleged iPhone vulnerability affected iPhone 3G only and was fixed in 2009 when iPhone 3GS was released. Additionally, our preliminary assessment shows the alleged Mac vulnerabilities were previously fixed in all Macs launched after 2013.

We have not negotiated with Wikileaks for any information. We have given them instructions to submit any information they wish through our normal process under our standard terms. Thus far, we have not received any information from them that isn't in the public domain. We are tireless defenders of our users' security and privacy, but we do not condone theft or coordinate with those that threaten to harm our users.
The new documents, part of an ongoing "Vault 7" leak focusing on the United States Central Intelligence Agency, were released by WikiLeaks this morning. Codenamed "Dark Matter," the documents primarily covered techniques for exploiting and accessing Macs through a peripheral device like a USB stick.

An iPhone exploit, called "Night Skies 1.2," was also featured,

'iPhone 8' Still Expected to Launch in September in Limited Quantities

Apple's widely rumored high-end iPhone with a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display will launch in September, although the majority of stock may not be available until later in the fourth quarter, according to the latest research from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O'Malley, and Jerry Zhang.

"iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor Balogh
The prediction suggests that Apple's tenth-anniversary iPhone, which has been variously dubbed the iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition, will still be available in limited quantities in September. However, shipping estimates could slip to several weeks out just minutes after pre-orders begin.


An excerpt from the Barclays research note obtained by MacRumors:
Suppliers generally had good things to say about the upcoming iPhone 8 launch (for our purposes iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Pro) as new features drive a more complicated manufacturing process and higher ASPs. We now believe that all three devices will feature wireless charging and will all be launched in the normal September timeframe, although the majority of iPhone Pro volumes may not be available until Q4.
Barclays contradicts a recent report that claimed the 5.8-inch iPhone will be announced alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, or the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but might not go on sale until much later.

By the sounds of it, availability of Apple's first iPhone

WikiLeaks Continues 'Vault 7' With New Documents Detailing Mac-Related CIA Exploits

WikiLeaks today continued its "Vault 7" series by leaking details concerning CIA-related programs that were built with the intent to infect iMac and MacBook devices. Today's "Dark Matter" installation of Vault 7 follows a few weeks after WikiLeaks debuted "Year Zero," which focused on exploits that the CIA created for iOS devices. In a response the same day that Year Zero came out, Apple said that many of the vulnerabilities in the leak were already patched.

Now, WikiLeaks is shedding light on Mac-related vulnerabilities and exploits, which the leakers claim "persists even if the operating system is re-installed." The project in question, created and spearheaded by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch, is called the "Sonic Screwdriver" and represents a mechanism that can deploy code from a peripheral device -- a USB stick, or the "screwdriver" -- while a Mac is booting up.

According to WikiLeaks, this allows an attacker "to boot its attack software" even if the Mac has a password enabled on sign-up. In the report, it's said that the CIA's own Sonic Screwdriver has been stored safely on a modified firmware version of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. Besides the Doctor Who-referencing exploit, Dark Matter points towards yet another bounty of CIA programs aimed at gathering information, infecting, or somehow crippling a Mac device.
"DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants.

Documents on

Apple Responds to Hack Threats, Says There Were No iCloud or Apple ID Breaches

In response to a ransom threat in which hackers are claiming to have access to more than 600 million iCloud accounts, Apple told Fortune there have been no breaches of its systems.

Instead, if the hackers do have access to iCloud accounts, Apple suggests previously compromised third-party services are at fault. From an Apple spokesperson:
There have not been any breaches in any of Apple's systems including iCloud and Apple ID," the spokesperson said. "The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.
Apple's response follows a report from Motherboard that suggests a group of hackers known as the "Turkish Crime Family" have claimed to have access to hundreds of millions of iCloud accounts.

The Turkish Crime Family has threatened to reset the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victims' Apple devices if Apple does not pay $150,000 in Bitcoin or Ethereum by April 7. If Apple does not pay in three days, the group plans to increase the amount of money it is asking for.

Originally the group was believed to have access to 300 million icloud.com, me.com, and mac.com email addresses, but that number later jumped to 627 million due to additional hackers allegedly stepping forward to provide account credentials. The hackers say at least 220 million of the login credentials are verified to work and do not have two-factor authentication enabled.

With Apple denying a breach, the iCloud account information has likely been obtained from major hacking incidents that have affected companies like Yahoo.

Apple Acquires Popular Automation App Workflow

Apple has acquired well-known and popular automation app Workflow, reports TechCrunch. The deal was reportedly finalized today for an unspecified sum.

Workflow, first released in 2014, is an automation tool that can essentially do anything. It allows users to create a variety of workflows to accomplish tasks like creating GIFs from a series of photos, pulling images from a web page, translating an article, posting photos to multiple social networks at once, calculating a tip, and tons more.

It is equipped with a built-in Gallery, which allows people to quickly find and use a wide range of automation tasks, and it can be used to create custom automations.

Apple is purchasing the Workflow app and the Workflow team, including Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, and Nick Frey, will be joining the company.
"We are thrilled to be joining Apple," said Weinstein in a statement. "We've worked closely with Apple from the very beginning, from kickstarting our company as students attending WWDC to developing and launching Workflow and seeing its amazing success on the App Store. We can't wait to take our work to the next level at Apple and contribute to products that touch people across the world.
Apple confirmed the acquisition of Workflow, which notably received an Apple Design Award in 2015 for its excellent accessibility features, likely one of the reasons behind the purchase.

Typically apps acquired from Apple disappear from the App Store, but Workflow will remain available and will be made free starting later today. The Gallery will continue to be updated on a regular