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

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Seeds Second Beta of iOS 12 to Developers

Apple this morning seeded the second beta of the upcoming iOS 12 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the first beta following the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Registered developers can download the first iOS 12 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air after installing the proper certificate.


The iOS 12 update brings major changes to the iOS operating system, with Apple working from top to bottom to make iPhones and iPads, especially older models, faster and more responsive.

On the iPhone X, there are new Animoji characters along with "Memoji" customizable, personalized Animoji that can be used both in Messages and in FaceTime. Messages and FaceTime have also gained fun new camera effects, and Group FaceTime support allows for calls with up to 32 people.

Siri is smarter in iOS 12 with a new Shortcuts feature that lets you create custom automations using first and third-party apps that can be activated with Siri, and Apple built a comprehensive set of time management and monitoring tools into iOS 12 with Screen Time.

New Do Not Disturb options make turning off notifications and distractions easier than ever, with a new Do Not Disturb at Bedtime feature cutting down on nighttime interruptions.

Group Notifications make notifications easier to view and manage, while a new Instant Tuning feature lets you tweak your notification settings on a notification-by-notification basis.

Apple News has a new Browse feature, the Stocks app has been redesigned, iBooks has been overhauled with a new look and a new name

Smart Speaker Owners Aren't Yet Widely Using Them to Control Connected Home Devices

IHS Markit conducted a new survey in March and April 2018, asking 937 smart speaker owners various questions about the usage of their devices, spreading across the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Brazil. According to the findings that have been shared today, just six percent of smart speaker owners used their speakers to command smart home devices like lights, switches, and thermostats.

The speakers and assistants included in the survey were HomePod/Siri, Google Home/Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Bixby, and Amazon Echo/Alexa. The most popular category for smart speaker control for all speakers was asking about the weather and news, followed in descending order by: basic questions, music controls/discovery, sending a message and making a phone call, video controls/discovery, making a purchase, controlling smart home devices, and lastly a "none of these" category.

Despite the low usage rates for users interacting with smart home products through their speakers, IHS principal analyst Blake Kozak believes this will change in the near future.
“Controlling smart home devices by voice currently represents only a small fraction of total smart-speaker interactions,” said Blake Kozak, principal analyst, smart home, IHS Markit. “However, this category will continue to trend upward as more video-streaming devices come to rely on voice control, as security alarm systems adopt voice control to arm and disarm, and as more builders embed smart devices throughout new homes.”
Kozak believes that one area of potential smart home growth will come from

Tim Cook Visits Ireland as Apple Promotes Its Support of Over 1.7 Million Jobs in Europe

Apple CEO Tim Cook has arrived in Ireland, the latest destination on his European tour, which has included stops in Italy and the Netherlands.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach or Prime Minister of Ireland, tweeted that he had a "good meeting" with Cook in the capital of Dublin on Monday. It's unclear what was discussed, but it appears to have been a routine meeting.


Cook has since headed to Cork, where Apple's European headquarters are located. There, he will formally announce an expansion of its Hollyhill campus. Apple says a new building will provide space for an additional 1,400 employees. Since 2012, Apple says it has invested nearly €220 million to develop the facility.

Apple's campus in Cork
Apple, on its recently updated Job Creation page in Europe, says it is Cork's "largest private employer" and "proud" that many of its employees in the area have worked at the company for decades.

Apple's website notes that it "has been based in Cork for over 35 years and now directly employs 6,000 people throughout Ireland supporting all aspects of the business." The company also says its Irish team has "doubled in size over the last five years and includes over 80 different nationalities."

Apple says Cork is home to its "only wholly owned manufacturing facility in the world. It provides configure-to-order

macOS 'Quick Look' Bug Can Leak Encrypted Data Through Thumbnail Caches

A long-standing bug in macOS's Quick Look feature has the potential to expose sensitive user files like photo thumbnails and the text of documents, even on encrypted drives, according to security researchers.

Details on the Quick Look flaw were shared earlier this month by security researcher Wojciech Regula and over the weekend on security researcher Patrick Wardle's blog (via The Hacker News).

Image via Wojciech Regula
Quick Look in macOS is a convenient Finder feature that's designed to present a zoomed-in view when you press the space bar on a photo or document that's selected.

To provide this preview functionality, Quick Look creates an unencrypted thumbnail database where thumbnails of files are kept, with the database storing file previews from a Mac's storage and any attached USB drives whenever a folder is opened. These thumbnails, which provide previews of content on an encrypted drive, can be accessed by someone with the technical know how and there's no automatic cache clearing that deletes them. As Regula explains:
It means that all photos that you have previewed using space (or Quicklook cached them independently) are stored in that directory as a miniature and its path. They stay there even if you delete these files or if you have previewed them in encrypted HDD or TrueCrypt/VeraCrypt container.
This is an issue that's existed for at least eight years and concerns have been raised about it in the past, but Apple has made no changes in macOS to address it. "The fact that behavior is still present in the latest version of macOS, and (though potentially

Apple Seeds Third Beta of iOS 11.4.1 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 11.4.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the second beta and three weeks after releasing iOS 11.4, an update that introduced AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 11.4.1 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

No new features were discovered in the first two iOS 11.4.1 betas, suggesting it focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements to address issues discovered since the release of iOS 11.4.

We'll update this post should we discover any new features in the third iOS 11.4.1 beta, but we're not expecting major changes now that Apple has shifted its focus to iOS 12, which is also available to developers for beta testing purposes.

Update: The third beta of iOS 11.4.1 is also available for public beta testers.

Apple Camp Registration Now Open for Summer 2018 Programs

As it does every year, Apple today opened registration for its annual three-day "Apple Camp" event. At Apple Camp, kids between the ages of 8 and 12 can partake in hands-on projects at Apple retail locations by choosing one of three tracks and spending 90 minutes per day for three days "immersed in their chosen subject."

The three programs include "Coding with Sphero Robots", "Beat Making and Songwriting with GarageBand", and "Telling Stories with Clips." Apple broke down what each program is about on the registration page for Apple Camp:
Coding with Sphero Robots - In this three-day session for kids ages 8-12, we’ll introduce the fundamentals of coding using Sphero robots. Each day Campers will learn a new coding concept and practice problem-solving skills. They’ll partner up for fun activities to program their Sphero to change colors, create sounds, complete challenges, and more. Then they’ll apply their coding skills to design their own games.

Beat Making and Songwriting with GarageBand - In this three-day session, kids ages 8-12 will discover the magic of beat making and songwriting. They’ll start by exploring basic elements of song structure and how beats create the foundation of a song. Campers will get hands-on as they create music using Touch Instruments, add vocals, and fine-tune their creations with GarageBand on iPad. On day 3, they’ll share their songs with the group.

Telling Stories with Clips - Future filmmakers ages 8-12 will explore the creative process of telling stories using video, photos, and music. Campers will brainstorm and storyboard

U.S. Supreme Court to Review Whether Lawsuit Accusing Apple of App Store Monopoly Should Proceed

In 2011, a class action lawsuit filed against Apple accused the company of operating an illegal monopoly by not allowing iPhone users to download mobile apps outside of its own App Store, reducing consumer choice.

The antitrust case was eventually dismissed in 2013 by a U.S. district court in Northern California, due to errors in the complaint, leading to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit allowing it to proceed in 2017.

That decision led to Apple's petition for a writ of certiorari, which was granted today, meaning that the U.S. Supreme Court will now review the appeals court's decision to reinstate the case last year, according to Reuters.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of Apple, urging the Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit's decision, arguing that it misapplied precedent from Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois.

From the start, Apple has argued that it doesn't set prices for paid apps, and that charging a 30 percent commission on the distribution of paid apps and in-app purchases does not violate antitrust laws in the United States.

Apple will now hope the Supreme Court agrees that the case should be dismissed again. No date has been disclosed for the

iPhones on iOS 12 Will Automatically Share Precise Location Data During 911 Calls in United States

Apple today announced that, starting later this year with iOS 12, iPhones will automatically share precise location data with first responders during 911 calls in the United States, helping to reduce emergency response times.

The new functionality will be powered by RapidSOS's IP-based data pipeline, which will quickly and securely provide 911 call centers with Hybridized Emergency Location data, which is determined based on proximity to cell towers and Wi-Fi access points, and on-device data sources like assisted GPS.

Apple said the location data will only be used for emergency purposes, and only accessible to responding dispatch centers during 911 calls.

"Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal," said Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a prepared statement. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance."

The current 911 system, developed by AT&T in the 1960s, was intended for landline phones, which have fixed addresses. Apple notes that approximately 80 percent of 911 calls today come from mobile devices, however, and most dispatching systems can only obtain their estimated location based on cell towers.

RapidSOS's system, which will be integrated with existing software at 911 centers, should help solve this problem. The modern technology is part of a broader initiative known as Next Generation 911.

"911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice

HomePod Now Available to Order in Canada, France, and Germany

Nearly five months after the HomePod launched in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, Apple today expanded availability of the Siri-enabled speaker to customers in Canada, France, and Germany.

HomePod is available in white and space gray for $449 in Canada and €349 in Germany and France via Apple's online store and the Apple Store app for iPhone and iPad. It's also available at Apple's retail stores in each country, and at select authorized resellers, including Best Buy in Canada.

Apple recently pushed a software update to the HomePod that enables Siri to speak in French, German, and Canadian English. Apple's website notes that support for Canadian French is coming later this year.

The software update, paired with iOS 11.4, also introduced support for stereo sound and multi-room audio via AirPlay 2. It also enables users to check calendar appointments on the HomePod by asking Siri.

HomePods could already be used abroad in countries outside of the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, but Siri's language options were limited to American, Australian, and British dialects of English, and certain features like Siri's ability to read the news or play music charts were lacking.

While the HomePod has received rave reviews about its sound quality, critics believe the speaker has exposed Siri's shortcomings. Siri Shortcuts should help in that regard, enabling users to connect certain third-party apps to Siri to greatly streamline voice controls with app-specific actions.

In terms of what's next for HomePod, a few rumors have suggested that

Popular Mac Developer Slams Apple for 'Sad State of Macintosh Hardware'

Rogue Amoeba developer Quentin Carnicelli, who works on Mac software like Airfoil, Audio Hijack, Loopback, and Fission, this week penned a critique of Apple's Mac lineup and the company's recent lack of Mac updates, and that missive has been gaining some attention from Mac fans.

Using MacRumors' own Buyer's Guide, Carnicelli points out that it's been more than a year since any Mac, with the exception of the iMac Pro, has been updated.

It's been 375 days, for example, since the iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air machines were last updated, and it's been 437 days since the Mac Pro saw the price drop Apple implemented as it works on a Mac Pro replacement.

The Mac Pro has not seen a hardware update since December of 2013, more than 1600 days ago. Apple has promised its professional users that a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro system is in the works, but we thus far have no details on when it might see a release.

The Mac mini, Apple's most affordable desktop Mac, has gone 1338 days without an update, with the last refresh introduced in October of 2014. While Apple has made promises about a refreshed Mac Pro, no similar statement has been provided about a future Mac mini, aside from a comment from Apple CEO Tim Cook stating that the Mac mini continues to be important to Apple.

According to Carnicelli, the state of the Mac lineup is "deeply worrisome" to him as a person who works for a Mac-based software company. Customers are, he says, forced to choose between "purchasing new computers that are actually years old" or "holding out in the faint

Apple Hires High-Profile Senior Waymo Engineer for Self-Driving Car Project

Apple has hired Jaime Waydo, an autonomous vehicle expert who previously worked as a senior engineer at Google's Waymo, reports The Information. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the hiring, but declined to provide details on what she would be working on.

Waydo, who served as head of systems engineering at Waymo, was "instrumental," according to former colleagues that spoke to The Information. She was in charge of verifying the safety of Waymo's prototypes and provided input on when it was safe enough to launch on-the-road tests in Phoenix in 2016.

Prior to working at Waymo, Waydo was a senior engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for more than a decade, where she helped develop a rover vehicle that has driven on Mars.

The Information speculates that Apple's hiring of Waydo could indicate that it is making progress towards launching a prototype vehicle, but the report also says that the car project continues to suffer from a "lack of communication among teams."

Apple originally had ambitious self-driving vehicle plans that included a full autonomous vehicle, but those plans were scaled back and Apple shifted focus to autonomous driving software. Apple has been testing Lexus vehicles equipped with its autonomous driving software since April 2017.

In May, Apple signed a deal with Volkswagen to use Volkswagen vans for its on-campus shuttle program called "PAIL," which is designed to transport employees around its various campuses and office buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Volkswagens will be autonomous, powered by Apple's self-driving

Apple Teams Up With Oprah Winfrey to Create New TV Shows

Apple has formed a multi-year production partnership with Oprah Winfrey to create shows for a new video subscription service that is in the works, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Apple and Winfrey did not share details on the kind of content that she plans to create, but in a statement, Apple said it would team up with Winfrey to "create original programs."

Apple today announced a unique, multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey, the esteemed producer, actress, talk show host, philanthropist and CEO of OWN.

Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.

Winfrey's projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.
Apple has signed deals for dozens of original television shows, ranging from ranging from science fiction series "Amazing Stories" to podcast-based drama series "Are You Sleeping" to cartoon series "Central Park." A full list of Apple's TV shows can be found in our Apple TV roundup.

The first of Apple's television shows may debut as early as 2019 and while Apple has not clarified how the shows will be distributed, today's report from The Wall Street Journal suggests Apple is working on a streaming video service to deliver its