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iOS 10 Now Installed on Nearly 80% of Active iOS Devices

Just over five months after iOS 10 was released to the public, the operating system is now installed on 79% of active iOS devices, according to the latest adoption data shared by Apple.

iOS 9 remains installed on 16% of active iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, while 5% of devices are running an earlier iOS version, as measured by the App Store on February 20.

iOS 10 adoption appears to be slightly outpacing iOS 9 adoption over the same time period. iOS 9 adoption briefly stalled at 77% of active devices last February.

iOS 10 could see further adoption when iOS 10.3, which is currently in beta for developers and public testers, is officially released. The software update's key new features include "Find My AirPods" and a switch to the all-new Apple File System (APFS).

iOS adoption continues to significantly outpace Android. Nougat, the latest version of Android, is installed on just 1.2% of active Android devices as of February 6, despite being released six months ago today. Android Lollipop, released in November 2014, is still installed on 32.9% of active devices.

Apple's control over both hardware and software gives it an advantage over the Android ecosystem, while Apple persistently notifies iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to update to the latest iOS version, including offering the option to have the software update install overnight while the device is plugged in.

Related Roundup: iOS 10

Apple Campus 2 Officially Named 'Apple Park', Set For Grand Opening in April

Apple today announced that Apple Campus 2 will be open and ready for employees to begin moving in this April, while also officially naming the site "Apple Park." Moving more than 12,000 employees to the site will take more than six months, the company said, and some smaller building construction and landscaping will continue into the summer.


In honor of the late CEO Steve Jobs -- who would have turned 62 on Friday, February 24 -- Apple announced that the theater at Apple Park will be named the "Steve Jobs Theater." The theater will be one of the buildings that opens later this year, and is situated at one of the highest point on the campus, overlooking the nearby meadows and the large, circular main building at Apple Park.
"Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved the most energy-efficient building of its kind in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy."
Apple's press release also covered a collection of other buildings at Apple Park, including a visitor's center that will include a full Apple Store and cafe, both of which will be open to the public. Apple worked in collaboration with Foster + Partners to build Apple Park, which occupies 175 acres and will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

The main building, which has been referred to as the "Spaceship" building, includes 17 megawatts of rooftop solar power, meaning Apple Park will be running one of the largest solar energy installations on the planet when it opens in April. Apple also takes pride in the Park's landscaping initiatives, which has resulted in the replacement of 5 million-square-feet of asphalt with various greeneries, as well as over 9,000 native and drought-resistant trees.

Construction on the campus began back in 2013 and was originally pegged for completion in late 2016 before construction delays pushed back its opening date. Throughout the years, coverage of the campus has been ongoing thanks to reliable drone videos that have showed up every month or so, giving Apple fans the chance to see major construction milestones like the first time the Spaceship building took shape, all the way up to the day that lights began turning on.

Check out more images and a video about Apple Park here.

Apple Purchases iCloud.Net Domain, Shuts Down 'iCloud Social Network' Site

Apple recently purchased the iCloud.net domain, one of the last major iCloud-related web addresses that wasn't in its possession, reports TechCrunch.

The iCloud.net domain, which now appears to be registered to Apple, was the home of the "iCloud Social Network," a dubious-looking social networking platform designed to allow people to share activities, pictures, music, videos, and other content.


It's not clear how many users iCloud.net had before Apple purchased the domain, but the site now states that the iCloud.net services will be shut down at the end of February 2017, and data will be destroyed in March. It has apparently existed since 2011, and in a blog post, the site's owner said "iCloud.net finished his mission, it is time for him to retire."

MacRumors received a tip suggesting Apple had purchased the domain for $1.5 million, but we have been unable to verify the information. The price Apple paid for iCloud.net is unknown and the company declined to comment on the purchase when contacted by TechCrunch.

Back in 2011, ahead of the launch of the iCloud service, Apple purchased the iCloud.com domain name from Swedish company Xcerion, shelling out approximately $5.2 million. Apple also possesses upwards of 100 iCloud domains, ranging from iCloud.us and iCloud.eu to iCloudApps.com and iCloudAds.com.

It's not clear why Apple waited more than five years to acquire the iCloud.net domain, and it likely was just done as a measure to make sure the company owned all of the iCloud-related domains, but TechCrunch speculates that the purchase may have been made due to ongoing work on a social networking app that Apple is rumored to have in development.

While the rumored app may not use iCloud branding, the existence of an Apple social network could have been confused with an iCloud.net social network, an ambiguity Apple may have wanted to resolve with the purchase of the iCloud.net domain.

Tag: iCloud

Data Plan Comparison: Unlimited Options From T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint

T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, the four major carriers in the United States, all offer unlimited data plan options as of last week, allowing customers to forget about traditional data caps.

With so many options now available for unlimited data, we thought we'd do an in-depth video comparing the plans offered by the four companies to figure out the best value based on price and coverage.

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Unsurprisingly, Sprint offers the lowest prices, but many people choose not to use Sprint because its LTE coverage is poorer than other carriers. Eliminating Sprint, T-Mobile offers the next best deal, while Verizon comes in third, and AT&T comes in at a distant fourth.

For a single individual, Sprint charges $50 for new customers (for a limited time -- it goes up to $60 next year). T-Mobile charges $70, Verizon charges $80, and AT&T charges $100, making it the most expensive unlimited plan of the four carriers for an individual user.

Prices even out a bit more with an increasing number of lines. At four lines, Sprint is charging $90 (new customers only -- and it's $160 next year), T-Mobile charges $160, and Verizon and AT&T both charge $180. Not all plans are equal though, especially in AT&T's case.

While Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer high-definition video streaming by default, AT&T limits video streaming to 480p unless customers specifically opt out. Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile all also offer 10GB of tethering data per line for connecting your Mac or iPad to your phone, but AT&T offers no mobile hotspot functionality with its unlimited plan.

T-Mobile offers the same video streaming and hotspot option that Verizon and Sprint do, but its prices are better than Verizon and aren't much more than Sprint, while offering a better network. T-Mobile is also the only network that offers fee-free data plans, so the price listed -- $70 -- is what you pay. T-Mobile doesn't charge activation fees, but other carriers do, which is something to take into account.

All networks will "deprioritize" (aka slow down) data after a certain amount of data is used per month. T-Mobile's limit is 28GB, while AT&T's is 22GB, Verizon's is 22GB, and Sprint's is 23GB. When these caps are hit, data speeds are slowed down.

On paper, T-Mobile seems to offer the best value for the price, but it's always worth taking a look at coverage maps and getting the opinion of other cellular users in your area before choosing a provider. There are also other benefits to look into, such as coverage abroad -- another area where T-Mobile leads the pack.

Some 2016 MacBook Pro Owners Experiencing Keyboard Problems

Apple's latest line of notebooks introduced an entirely revamped keyboard featuring flatter keys built using a second-generation butterfly mechanism, designed to optimize for stability while also maximizing travel. The butterfly mechanism was originally introduced in the ultra thin MacBook, but a newer version was implemented in the MacBook Pro.

There have been mixed opinions about the keyboard of the 2016 MacBook Pro due to its vastly different feel compared to previous-generation MacBook Pro models, and it appears the new butterfly mechanism may also be less reliable compared to older construction techniques.

A growing number of customers who have purchased a 2016 MacBook Pro are running into issues with the keyboard, including non-functional keys, strange high-pitched sounds on some keys, and keys with a non-uniform feel. There are dozens of threads both on MacRumors and on the Apple Support site.


One of the most significant issues appears to be keys that make different higher-pitched sounds than other keys in some cases, a problem that was caught on video by MacRumors user monstermac77. As is demonstrated, when the caps lock key is pressed, it makes a sound that's much different than the other keys on the keyboard.


According to monstermac77, the issue is only reproducible when the Mac is warm, a complaint that has been echoed by several other MacBook owners in the thread, suggesting heat plays a role in activating the problem. Some users are experiencing the overly-clicky sound without heat, though.
Within a few hours of using my Late 2016 MacBook Pro 15" with Touch Bar, I noticed some of my keys made a very high pitched click on-key-up (when I lifted my finger from the pressed down key). The affected keys: Caps Lock, left Option, and very occasionally: Delete, 'H', and 'C'.
The high-pitched clicking sound is irritating, but it isn't as serious as some of the other issues MacBook Pro owners have been having with the keyboard. In some cases, certain keys on the MacBook Pro miss clicks, enter double letters, or refuse to respond at all, a problem that we here at MacRumors have also experienced. MacRumors reader rroch describes the problem:
My 2016 15'' MacBook Pro arrived yesterday (as one of the first). 63 of the 64 keys work fine. But the i-key most of the time types the letter twice. I suggest you test out your keyboard thoroughly. With auto-correct it can be easy to think it works. However, my password contains the letter i, and I quickly became super frustrated not being able to get my password right (come to think about it, maybe that's why they added Touch ID, so you don't need the keyboard for passwords). So take a document, turn off auto-correct, and check all the keys. I found that the failure happens more frequently with a slight delay before releasing the key.
It's not clear what's causing the issue with the keys that suddenly become non-functional, but the butterfly mechanism is sensitive and can be interrupted by something as simple as a bit of dust. In our case, with the machine we had that was experiencing issues with a specific key, the problem cleared up on its own, but other MacBook owners have not been so lucky.

One other minor keyboard complaint is an inconsistent feel across keys, with some keys that feel spongier than others or that don't press down consistently. This seems to be related to a problem with the butterfly mechanism which some users report having fixed with a needle or other thin tool, but most people should not try that sort of repair at home.

While many of the complaints seem to be focused on the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, some users have also had problems with both the 13-inch model with a Touch Bar and the 13-inch model with no Touch Bar.

Customers who are experiencing keyboard problems should visit an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. In most cases, Apple is offering repairs and replacements for affected users, especially those who have verifiable hardware problems related to skipping keys, but some MacRumors readers have needed to go through several replacement machines to find a keyboard that doesn't experience issues.

Keyboard replacements are also not a simple matter on a machine as complex as the MacBook Pro, and users should expect repairs or replacements to take multiple days. According to reports from customers who have sought repairs, Apple is outright replacing most Touch Bar models while sending non-Touch Bar models out for repairs.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral)

Qualcomm's and Intel's Latest LTE Modems for Smartphones Exceed Gigabit Speeds

Ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, Qualcomm and Intel have separately announced the latest LTE modems for smartphones with theoretical download speeds exceeding so-called "Gigabit LTE," aka 1 Gbps. Apple sources LTE modems for iPhones from both chipmakers.


Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X20 modem is the first-announced modem to support Category 18 download speeds up to an ultra fast 1.2 Gbps, with Category 13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. That builds upon Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16, which has a peak download speed of 1 Gbps.

Qualcomm said the Snapdragon X20, built on a leading-edge 10nm FinFET process, supports more combinations of LTE carriers and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams. This "vastly expanded flexibility" will for more operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE in the future.

Qualcomm said the first products with the Snapdragon X20 modem are expected to be available in the first half of 2018.

Intel's new XMM 7560 modem [PDF] supports LTE Advanced Pro for up to Category 16 download speeds "exceeding" 1 Gbps, and Category 13 upload speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The XMM 7560 modem is Intel's fifth-generation LTE modem, and the first to be manufactured based on its 14nm process.

Intel said the XMM 7560 modem is expected to sample in the first half of this year and move into production soon afterward.

Both modems support 5x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO configurations, up to 256-QAM, and other technologies. Both chips also work with a number of cellular technologies, covering most LTE, CDMA, and GSM standards, meaning that equipped smartphones will be usable on most networks around the world.

Overall, Qualcomm appears to remain a step ahead of Intel, but it's a rather moot point for now given that Australian carrier Telstra currently has the only Gigabit LTE network in the world. There are also no Gigabit LTE-capable smartphones, although the first ones are expected to be announced at Mobile World Congress next week.

Nevertheless, the broader availability of Gigabit LTE is on the horizon. More smartphones will inevitably support the faster speeds in the future, while AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are all testing or plan to deploy Gigabit LTE this year in the United States, on the bigger path towards next-generation 5G networking.

But even then, it is important to remember these are just theoretical speeds. In the latest OpenSignal testing, based on aggregated data from nearly 170,000 smartphone users, average LTE download speeds at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile ranged between 8 Mbps and 17 Mbps—a far cry from 1 Gbps.

Apple could theoretically include the Snapdragon X20 or Intel XMM 7560 in a future iPhone, thereby making it a Gigabit LTE-capable smartphone, but it may elect to wait until more networks are up to speed.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X12 or Intel's XMM 7360 depending on the model. The X12 has a theoretical peak download speed of up to 600 Mbps, while the XMM 7360 reaches up to 450 Mbps. Qualcomm models were unsurprisingly found to be faster in subsequent testing.

Tags: Intel, Qualcomm, LTE

Apple Releases Third iOS 10.3 Public Beta to Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to public beta testers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the second public beta and one day after providing the third iOS 10.3 beta to developers.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 10.3 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on their iOS device.

Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to both iOS and macOS Sierra betas. Betas are not stable and include many bugs, so they should be installed on a secondary device.

ios-10-3-beta
As a major 10.x update, iOS 10.3 introduces a new "Find My AirPods" option to help users locate a lost AirPod. Located in the "Find My Friends" app, the Find My AirPods feature keeps track of the last known location where AirPods were connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth, and it allows the AirPods to play a sound to make finding them nearby easier.

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Along with a Find My AirPods feature, the update also includes a shift to Apple File System (APFS). First introduced in 2016, APFS is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and includes strong encryption and other important features.

Apple recommends all users make an iCloud backup before installing iOS 10.3, as the update will cause the iPhone's file system to switch over to Apple File System.

iOS 10.3 also introduces a tweaked app animation, a new Apple ID profile in the Settings app, a better breakdown on how iCloud storage is being used, SiriKit improvements, new iCloud analytics options, Verizon Wi-Fi calling on iCloud devices, 32-bit app alerts, and more. The third beta introduces an "App Compatibility" section in the Settings app, letting users see if they have outdated apps that won't work with future versions of iOS.

Related Roundup: iOS 10

New Touchscreen for 'Apple Watch Series 3' Said to Enter Production Later This Year

The tentatively named "Apple Watch Series 3" will feature a new glass-film touchscreen in place of the current touch-on-lens solution, with shipments to begin in the second half of this year, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes.

While it remains unclear if the switch to a film-based solution will have any obvious consumer-facing benefits, this is more interestingly the first rumor to surface about the supply chain ramping up for the next Apple Watch.

The timeline matches a Chinese report last month that claimed the third-generation Apple Watch will be unveiled in the third quarter of 2017 with battery life and performance improvements. The report said Series 3 models, to be manufactured by Quanta, will lack any significant hardware changes.

Few other details are known about the next Apple Watch models, which could feasibly launch alongside the "iPhone 8" in September.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources have claimed the Apple Watch could gain an LTE chip for cellular capabilities as early as 2017, while a supply chain report last year said Apple may switch from OLED to micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch in the second half of 2017 at the earliest.

Micro-LED displays have benefits such as thinness, lightness, improved color gamut, increased brightness, and higher resolutions. The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron.

Apple has filed patents for a number of ideas that could eventually be included in an Apple Watch, such as a heart rate identification system, modular bands, haptic feedback band, and a band with a built-in charger. More significant health and fitness features could be added pending further FDA approvals.

Ahead of Apple Watch Series 3 models, Apple is expected to introduce new bands at its rumored iPad Pro-focused event next month.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Tag: digitimes.com
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

iPhone 8 Said to Have 3GB of RAM and 64GB/256GB Storage Options

The widely rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will match the iPhone 7 Plus with 3GB of RAM and come in two storage options, 64GB and 256GB, according to Chinese research firm TrendForce.


The report, which outlines several already-rumored features, added that the so-called "iPhone 8" will not have a fully curved display due to production and drop test issues with 3D glass. Instead, the high-end device will adopt the same slightly curved 2.5D cover glass used since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014.

TrendForce said Apple will remove the Home button on the iPhone, as widely rumored, and integrate the related functions into the display. If that fact is accurate, it suggests rumored 3D facial recognition capabilities could supplement rather than fully replace Touch ID, which could be embedded into the display.

TrendForce itself expects the "iPhone 8" to incorporate 3D sensing technology that can be used for facial recognition and augmented reality features.

The research note said the 5.8-inch iPhone will be accompanied by updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with LCD displays. The 5.5-inch model will allegedly have the same 3GB of RAM as the iPhone 7 Plus, while the 4.7-inch model is said to have 2GB of RAM. Both models are expected to include up to 256GB of storage.

Rumors are generally shaping up to suggest the 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display will be a significant upgrade, but the model could cost upwards of $1,000 in the United States. Meanwhile, the new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models are expected to be iterative but less expensive upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Last year, TrendForce accurately predicted the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus would be available in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage capacities.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tag: TrendForce

iPhone 8 Will Include 'Revolutionary' Front Camera With 3D Sensing Abilities

The rumored "iPhone 8" with an edge-to-edge OLED display will gain a "revolutionary" front-facing camera system that consists of three modules that enable fully-featured 3D sensing capabilities, according to new predictions shared by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The upgraded camera system will be fueled by PrimeSense algorithms, which Apple acquired in 2013.


The three modules include an existing front camera module of current iPhones, an infrared transmitting module, and an infrared receiving module. Using these advancements, the camera will be able to find the location and depth of objects placed in front of it, with potential applications including facial and iris recognition.

The camera will function by merging the depth information captured by the IR transmitting and receiving modules with the traditional 2D images captured by the front camera. This not only could be used for the iPhone 8's long-rumored iris recognition feature, but even in some gaming applications -- and future AR/VR experiences -- where users could place their own 3D-scanned face in the game using a quick selfie.

Today's news of an overhaul to the front-facing camera of the iPhone 8 follows speculation surrounding the potential of Apple dropping Touch ID and instead focusing on either 3D facial recognition or iris scanning as the device's main security feature. JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall has stated that facial recognition could be a more secure alternative, and help increase Apple Pay adoption with retailers and financial institutions.

According to Kuo, this three-module front-facing camera system "will bring an innovative user experience" to the OLED iPhone 8, but for now it'll be reserved as exclusive to that model. "Future iPhones may come with a similar system for the rear camera," the analyst noted.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)

European Commission Made 'Fundamental Errors' in Irish Tax Ruling, Says Apple

Apple has claimed that the European Commission made "fundamental errors" when it ruled last year that the company owed Ireland 13 billion euros ($13.7 billion) in unpaid taxes plus interest.

Apple appealed the commission's decision in December, but on Monday the company published a piece in the Official Journal of the European Union detailing 14 pleas in law to support its action, according to The Irish Times.

The European Commission argues that Irish revenue commissioners gave Apple unfair advantage between 1991 and 2007 by allowing the company to move income from the European market through two "non-resident" head office subsidiaries based in Ireland.

Apple and the Irish government, which has also appealed the commission's decision, argue that the bulk of those profits are due in the U.S.
"The Commission made fundamental errors by failing to recognize that the applicants' profit-driving activities, in particular the development and commercialization of the intellectual property (Apple IP), were controlled and managed in the United States," Apple said, according to the Official Journal. "The profits from those activities are attributable to the United States, not Ireland."
Apple maintained that the commission had "failed to recognize that the Irish branches carried out only routine functions and were not involved in the development and commercialization of Apple IP, which drove profits".

Cupertino also said that the commission failed to conduct a diligent and impartial investigation, and "exceeded its competence" as it relates to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, by "attempting to redesign Ireland's corporate tax system".

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called the EC's ruling "total political crap" and described the lower end 0.005% tax rate Apple is accused of paying as a "false number". The Apple CEO believes that the decision will be reversed.

Appeals by Apple and the Irish government have been made to the European Union's General Court, where proceedings may take up to two years to complete, after which the case is likely to go all the way to the European Court of Justice.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Apple Shares Four New 'One Night on iPhone 7' Ads Shot in New York, Johannesburg, Shanghai and Tokyo

As part of its ongoing "Shot on iPhone" advertising campaign highlighting the iPhone's camera, Apple today uploaded four videos that belong to its new "One Night" series.

Each of the 15 second ads features a compilation of photos and videos captured on a single night in New York, Johannesburg, Shanghai, and Tokyo and set to music.









Designed to showcase the low-light capabilities of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, all of the photos and videos in the One Night campaign were taken on November 5, 2016 in different places around the world.

Last week, Apple uploaded a one minute compilation video featuring much of the same footage, but today's videos show more of the individual photos and videos taken in each different location.

Though only four locations are shown in the videos uploaded today, the One Night ad campaign features images and videos taken by 16 photographers across 15 cities on six continents. Apple is also using the photographs as part of a "One Night" print and billboard campaign that's being showcased in 25 countries around the world.

Update: Apple has also uploaded two new videos that are part of a separate ad campaign showcasing Portrait Mode in the iPhone 7 Plus. Each video offers a short tutorial on the benefits of Portrait Mode, showing how it's able to blur the background to put the focus on the person in the photograph.





Tag: Apple ads