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Apple Watch Gets Over-the-Air Software Update Mechanism, But iPhone Still Required For Now

Apple appears to be in the process of decoupling the iPhone from the watchOS update process on the Apple Watch.


In the second beta of watchOS 6, the Apple Watch has gained its own over-the-air software update mechanism under Settings > General > Software Update. As on the iPhone, the mechanism checks for any available watchOS update and, if prompted, downloads the update directly to the Apple Watch.

As noted by Jeremy Horwitz, however, users still must review and accept the watchOS terms and conditions using an iPhone. Hopefully this is a temporary step that Apple removes before watchOS 6 is publicly released in September.


Updating an Apple Watch's software previously required using the Apple Watch app on an iPhone for the entire process.

This change is in line with the Apple Watch gradually becoming more independent from the iPhone. In 2017, for example, Apple Watch Series 3 models launched with cellular capabilities for making phone calls and more without an iPhone. And in watchOS 6, the Apple Watch received its own on-wrist App Store.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
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Nintendo's Dr. Mario World Game Launching on iOS on July 10

Nintendo's newest mobile game, Dr. Mario World, is set to launch on iOS and Android devices on Wednesday, July 10, Nintendo announced on Twitter this evening.

First announced in January, Dr. Mario World is based on the 1990 puzzle game Dr. Mario that tasked players with arranging different colored pills as they fell from the top of the screen to clear them from the game board and eliminate viruses.


Nintendo has launched a website for Dr. Mario World, complete with videos on the gameplay. Like the original game, Dr. Mario World is a match three, where the goal is to clear viruses from the board by making matches.

Players need to eliminate all of the viruses before running out of a set number of capsules. Scoring is based on how many capsules are left at the end of a level. Nintendo says there will be five worlds at launch, with more to be added in the future.


Dr. Mario World is a freemium game and there will be in-app purchases that allow you to continue to play the game after your stamina diminishes (though it also refills over time). Diamonds can be purchased for adding more capsules, replenishing the aforementioned stamina meter, and purchasing items.


Dr. Mario can be pre-ordered via the iOS App Store starting today. [Direct Link]

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Apple's Beddit Sleep Tracking Company Now Offering Beta for Testing New Features

Apple-owned Beddit recently launched a new beta testing program that's designed to allow those who own the new Beddit 3.5 device released in December to test new and upcoming features.

In a new "Beta Program" section of the Beddit website (via 9to5Mac), Beddit says it is launching a new customer beta program that will let customers contribute to "making the product even better."

Through the Beddit Beta Program, you will have early access to new versions of the Beddit app before the general public. Participants will share valuable feedback with Apple Inc. ("Apple") such as app use, app settings, sleep results, and other diagnostic information. We may also request additional feedback through surveys. More information about how this data will be shared with Apple will be explained in an informed consent form that you must complete before starting the program.
The beta program will provide early access to new versions of the Beddit app prior to when those updates are released. No specific details on what features might be tested were included.

Participants must own a Beddit Sleep Monitor (version 3.5), must be located in the United States and using Beddit only in the United States, and need to be at least 22 years old but not over 75 years old.

Participants must also agree to receive email communications from Apple "from time to time" about the Beddit Beta Program.

Beddit 3.5 owners can sign up for the beta on the website by clicking on the "Enroll Now" button to send an email to the Beddit support staff.

Apple released the updated Beddit 3.5 back in December. The new model received some criticism for doing away with features like an ambiguous "sleep score," but in our review, we found it to be much more accurate than the Beddit 3 sleep monitor.

The Beddit 3.5 marked the first new version of the device since Apple's 2017 acquisition of the company. It's not clear what Apple is doing with sleep data collected from the Beddit, but it could be used for developing a future sleep-related Apple product, such as sleep tracking capabilities for Apple Watch.

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Everything New in iOS 13 Beta 2: SMB Server Connectivity, Notes Checklists Changes, New Animoji Stickers and More

Apple this morning released the second iOS 13 beta for developers, addressing bugs, introducing new bugs, and adding and refining iOS 13 features.

There are no super exciting new changes in the second beta of iOS 13, but several features that were not functional in the first beta are now working. All of the changes we've found so far are below:

- SMB Server Connectivity - One of the new features in iOS 13 is an option in the Files app to connect to server using SMB. This feature wasn't working in the first beta, but is functional in beta 2, so iOS 13 users can do things like connect to a home NAS.


- APFS Drives in Files - APFS formatted drives are now supported by the Files app.

- Downtime - According to Apple's release notes, the Downtime feature in Screen Time now syncs to the Apple Watch.

- Safari Share Sheet - When sharing a webpage from the Safari Share Sheet, there are new options to share it as a PDF or a Web Archive. There's also an "Automatic" option that picks the most suitable format for each app or action.


- Notes Checklists - In iOS 13 beta 2, there's a new option to automatically move checked off items in a list to the bottom of the list. You can adjust this in settings or use the popup that comes up the first time you create a list after updating to beta 2.


- Maps Splash Screen - When opening up the Maps app for the first time there's a splash screen that lets you know all of the new features in the update.


- New Animoji Stickers - There are new Animoji stickers available in iOS 13 beta 2 that feature new poses.


- High-Key Mono Lighting - The new High-Key Mono Portrait Mode Lighting option is available in beta 2 on 2018 iPhones.

- Portrait Mode Lighting Slider - The slider that allows you to adjust the intensity of Portrait Mode lighting options is now available.

- HomePod and Apple TV Features - When opening up the Home app in beta 2, there's a new splash screen that lets you know about multi-user recognition on HomePod and profiles on Apple TV. You'll be instructed to set up Hey Siri if it's not activated already, and prompted to add your profile to Apple TV.


Voice Control - When the Voice Control Accessibility feature is turned on, there's a blue microphone icon at the top of the device to indicate that the iOS device is in Voice Control mode.

CarPlay - The Now Playing section of CarPlay features album art in beta 2.

There are a number of other known issues that developers should be aware of before installing the beta, all of which are available through the release notes provided with the software on the developer website.

We've heard reports that iOS 13 beta 2 and iPadOS beta 2 feel more stable than the original betas, but there are a number of remaining bugs and Apple still warns against installing the software on a main device.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 13 and iPadOS to Developers

Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 13 and iPadOS to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after first unveiling the new updates at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Registered developers will need to download the profile for the iOS 13 and iPadOS betas from Apple's Developer Center. Beta 2 can be downloaded over the air after the profile has been installed and the iPhone or iPad has been restarted.


Apple in 2019 split iOS 13 and iPadOS into two separate updates, one designed for iPhone and one designed for iPad. iPadOS is identical to iOS 13 in almost every way, though there are some iPad-specific features such as improved Apple Pencil support. For the most part, though, the two operating systems share the same features.

iOS 13 is a huge update with a long list of new features. There's a new systemwide Dark Mode that changes the entire look of the operating system from light to dark, from system elements to apps.


Apple overhauled the Photos app, introducing a new Photos tab that curates your entire Photos library and shows you a selection of highlights organized by day, month, or year, and there are revamped Photo editing tools.


For the first time, you can edit video right in the Photos app, cropping, rotating, applying filters, and adjusting lighting and color. There's a new High-Key Mono lighting effect, and for Portrait Lighting in general, intensity can be adjusted.

There's a less obtrusive volume HUD, a new Find My app that combines Find My iPhone and Find My Friends and lets you track your devices even with they don't have an LTE or WiFi connection.


A Sign In with Apple feature gives you a convenient and data safe way to sign into apps and websites, providing an alternative to Facebook and Google sign in options. Apple's even able to generate single-use randomized email addresses so you don't have to give your real info to apps and websites.


Maps has a new street-level "Look Around" mode and a Collections feature for making lists of places, Reminders has been entirely overhauled to make it more functional, there's a profile feature in Messages along with new Memoji and Animoji stickers, and Siri has a new voice.


CarPlay in iOS 13 has been overhauled with a new look, multiple sets of AirPods can be connected to the same phone so you can share music, Siri on HomePod can detect multiple voices for multi-user support, and HomePod also supports Handoff.


There are a ton of additional new features and changes coming in iOS 13, and for a full rundown of what you can expect, you should check out our iOS 13 roundup.

The beta testing period will allow Apple to work out bugs ahead of the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS, and it will let developers build iOS 13 and iPadOS features into their apps ahead of a public release coming this fall.

While the betas are limited to developers at the current time, Apple plans to make a public beta available in July.

Update: All of the new features in the second beta are listed in our What's New in iOS 13 Beta 2 article.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
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Apple Seeds Second Beta of macOS Catalina to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of macOS 10.15 Catalina for testing purposes, two weeks after the new Mac operating system update was first unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

The new macOS Catalina beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences. As with all new betas, you're not going to want to install macOS Catalina on a primary machine as it is early release software and could have major bugs.


macOS Catalina eliminates the iTunes app, splitting it into Music, Podcasts, and TV apps. The Apple Music and Apple Podcasts apps are available now, while the Apple TV app is coming later this year.

The new apps are similar in function to iTunes, but are split up by feature. iOS device management is still available on the Mac, but it's now done through Finder rather than iTunes.

With a new Sidecar feature, you can turn your iPad into a second display for your Mac with just the click of a button. The Apple Pencil works with Sidecar, so you can turn your iPad into a drawing tablet in apps like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Your Apple Watch can be used to approve security prompts in macOS Catalina, and Macs with a T2 chip support Activation Lock. There's a new Find My that brings the Find My Mac app to the Mac for the first time and even lets you track your devices when they're offline.

Screen Time is now available on the Mac as well as iOS devices, and Project Catalyst, a new Apple initiative, will let developers easily port their iPad apps over to the Mac.

There's a new Photos interface that surfaces your best photos organized by day, month, or year, there's a new start page in Safari, Mail has new tools for muting email threads and blocking senders, and the Reminders app has been overhauled.

32-bit apps no longer work in macOS Catalina, which is something to be aware of before installing the beta. Right now, Catalina is limited to developers, but Apple plans to release a public beta in July ahead of a fall public launch.

For more details on macOS Catalina, make sure to check out our macOS Catalina roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
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Walmart Now Offering Online Postpaid Smartphone Upgrades for AT&T Customers

Walmart today announced that its customers can now complete postpaid cell phone upgrades on the Walmart website for the first time, allowing Walmart to better compete with both carriers and retailers like Best Buy by offering online purchases.

Starting today, Walmart is offering postpaid cell phone upgrades for AT&T customers with a simple online upgrade process that Walmart says saves "up to an hour of time" when making a new phone purchase.


Customers on Walmart can select a carrier (limited to AT&T at this time but expanding to other carriers in the coming months), select a device, choose a payment plan from AT&T, receive the device with free two-day shipping, and then activate it following step-by-step activation instructions.

Walmart says that customers shopping for postpaid cell phones on the Walmart website will find the same low prices offered in stores, including up to $200 off Samsung and Apple devices.

Along with the new option to purchase AT&T smartphones from the Walmart website, Walmart today also announced plans to expand its wireless experts to 600 stores by the time the holidays roll around.

More than 3,000 Walmart stores will have dedicated experts in wireless to help customers upgrade their phones and activate new lines with major carriers.

To celebrate the expansion of its wireless expert initiative, Walmart is offering the iPhone X at a $300 discount when purchased on an installment plan, making the 64GB device $499. This offer is available in retail stores only.

Tag: Walmart
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Kuo on 2020 iPhones: 5.4-Inch and 6.7-Inch Models With 5G, 6.1-Inch Model With LTE, All With OLED Displays

Apple plans to release three new iPhones in the second half of 2020, including high-end 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models with OLED displays and a lower-end 6.1-inch model with an OLED display, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Those display sizes line up with a DigiTimes report from a few months ago.


In a research note obtained by MacRumors today, Kuo said the 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models will support 5G, while the 6.1-inch model will support up to LTE. Qualcomm is still expected to be Apple's primary supplier of 5G modems, with RF power amplifiers supplied by Broadcom as part of an agreement with Apple.

Excerpts from Kuo's research for TF International Securities:
We expect that the new 2H20 iPhone lines will include the high-end 6.7-inch and 5.4-inch OLED iPhone models and the low-end 6.1-inch OLED iPhone. The 6.7-inch and 5.4-inch OLED iPhone models will likely support 5G. We expect that the PA usage of each 5G iPhone will be 200% more than the current number for iPhone models. Sole suppliers, including Broadcom (designer) and Win-semi (manufacturer), are the significant winners in this case. […]

We believe that the content of Apple and Qualcomm's previous settlement includes Qualcomm's release of partly 5G baseband chip source code to Apple for Apple's development of own 5G PA/FEM.

Kuo believes that all new iPhones will support 5G starting in 2021. He also believes that Apple will have its own 5G modem ready by 2022 to 2023, which should reduce its dependance on Qualcomm.

The new 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch sizes suggest that Apple may be planning to shrink the size of the current 5.8-inch iPhone XS, a move that fans of smaller phones would certainly appreciate, while increasing the size of the current 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max. The iPhone XR would remain a 6.1-inch device.

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Apple Camp for Kids Returns This Summer, Registration Now Open

Update: Apple Camp registration is now open. This year's programs run between July 7 and August 3 in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and select European countries like Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, and Switzerland. Registration begins June 24 in additional countries, including the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.



Apple has announced that registration for its annual summer camp for kids opens June 17 in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.


At the camp, kids aged 8-12 will have the opportunity to explore music, coding, moviemaking, or art and design by participating in a variety of free 90-minute hands-on sessions at Apple Stores. As usual, Apple says all kids must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for the duration of their visits.

Last year's summer camp ran between July 9 and July 27, with sessions taking place on weekdays between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. local time. Multi-day programs included coding with Sphero robots, beat making and songwriting with GarageBand, and recording and editing short videos with Apple's Clips app for iPad.

For a potential sneak peek, we can look at Singapore, where Apple Camp has been renamed to Apple Summer Camp ahead of its kickoff next week. There, it looks like the programs will be familiar this year:
Creating Your Own Song with GarageBand
In this three-day session, kids aged 8–12 explore how to build their own song. They'll learn rhythm basics, practise making beats and experiment with Smart Instruments to create a melody in GarageBand for iPad. On the final day, Campers will celebrate their new skills by sharing their song with the group. Devices will be provided.

Designing Your Dream Park with iPad
In this three-day session, kids aged 8–12 learn design skills to imagine a park for their community. They'll go on a short walk to gather inspiration and take photos of materials, colours and textures. Then they'll sketch their ideas in the Procreate app using iPad with Apple Pencil to bring their design to life. On the final day, they'll present their park to the group. Devices will be provided.

Coding Fundamentals and Programming Robots
In this three-day session, kids aged 8–12 explore fun activities to learn how to code Sphero robots. They'll start with coding fundamentals like commands, loops and functions, then use blocks of code to create a program using the Sphero Edu app for iPad. On the final day, Campers will program lights, sounds and animations to tell their own story starring Sphero. Devices will be provided.

Directing Your Own Movie with Clips and iMovie
In this three-day session, kids aged 8–12 discover how to create fun video footage using iPad. They'll start with fundamentals of moviemaking like experimenting with camera shots in the Clips app and drawing ideas on storyboards in Keynote. On the final day, they'll apply their skills to make a captivating movie trailer using iMovie, and they'll celebrate their creations. Devices will be provided.
In previous years, kids who have attended Apple Camp have received a free t-shirt. Space is limited and usually fills up fast.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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Apple's Oscar-Winning Ambitions to be Spearheaded By Six Original Movies a Year, With a Budget up to $30 Million per Film

Apple plans to produce six small-budget movies a year with an eye toward stories that could win Academy Awards, according to The New York Post.


The Post's sources claim Apple wants to spend between $5-$30 million on each movie, and that it has already approached "elevated" directors and other film talent about bankrolling projects with Oscar-winning potential.
Apple is looking to spend $5 million to $30 million per project, sources said, adding that the company is being driven by Netflix’s recent spate of Oscar nominations and win for Best Foreign Film with "Roma" — legitimizing Netflix head Reed Hastings' standing in Hollywood.

"They are taking meetings and hiring," one agency source said of Apple, adding that the meetings are being generated by the company's original feature films unit, headed by Matt Dentler, formerly of iTunes Movies.
According to the report, Apple's search for six small-budget movies is not related to its multiyear agreement to make films with A23, the studio that produced the Oscar-winning "Moonlight."

Apple is working on dozens of original TV shows and movies with high-profile directors, producers, and actors, with all of that content set to be available through a new Apple TV+ app that's going to be released this fall. Check out our dedicated roundup to learn everything that we know so far about Apple's new streaming TV service.

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Data Extraction Company Cellebrite Touts New Software for Cracking iPhones and iPads Running up to iOS 12.3

Israel-based software developer Cellebrite, known for breaking into mobile devices like the iPhone to obtain sensitive data, has announced that it can now unlock any iOS device running up to iOS 12.3, which was released only a month ago.


The firm revealed the capability in a tweet posted late Friday advertising UFED Premium, the latest version of its Universal Forensic Extraction Device.

On its UFED web page, Cellebrite describes the tool's ability to glean forensic data from any iOS device dating back to iOS 7, as well as from Android devices made by Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Xiaomi.

The Israel firm describes UFED Premium as "the only on-premise solution for law enforcement agencies to unlock and extract crucial mobile phone evidence from all iOS and high-end Android devices."

If the claims are accurate, Cellebrite's tool will enable authorities to potentially crack the vast majority of smartphones currently available on the market. As Wired notes, no other law enforcement contractor has made such broad claims about a single product, at least not publicly.

Apple continually introduces improvements to the security of its operating systems in order to keep ahead of companies like Cellebrite that are always searching for flaws and vulnerabilities to exploit in order to access the data on locked iOS devices.

For example, in October 2018 Apple's successfully thwarted the "GrayKey" iPhone passcode hack, sold by Atlanta-based company Grayshift, which had also been in use by U.S. law enforcement.

Cellebrite first garnered significant attention in 2016, when it was believed the company was enlisted to help the FBI break into the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook after Apple refused to provide the FBI with tools to unlock the device.

The FBI did not use Cellebrite's services for that particular case, but several United States government agencies do regularly work with Cellebrite to unlock iOS devices.

According to Wired's sources, Grayshift has developed tools to unlock at least some versions of iOS 12. If true, the firm is still keeping its cards close to its chest, but probably not for much longer.

Even as Apple works to increase the security of its iOS devices, Cellebrite's brazen announcement suggests the cat-and-mouse game of exploiting vulnerabilities in mobile device software will only become more competitive, as rival companies attempt to grab a bigger share of the market.

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.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
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Germany Says iPhones Running iOS 13 Will Be Able to Read NFC Tags in National ID Cards and Passports

When iOS 13 arrives, iPhones will be able to read a wider range of Near Field Communication (NFC) tags, including the NFC tags often used in official documentation. Last week, The Verge reported that Japan had confirmed its national identity cards would support iPhone through a government-developed app, and now we're hearing that German authorities are also gearing up to make several forms of ID compatible with iPhone NFC interfaces.

Image via iphone-ticker.de

First spotted by tech blog iphone-ticker.de, Germany's interior ministry has announced that iOS 13 will soon allow Apple users to load national ID cards, residence permits, and biometric passports onto their iPhones. At the same time, the federal government's AusweisApp2 will be updated for iOS 13 to support the digital ID function.

In current and earlier versions of iOS, Apple has restricted the NFC reader in iPhones to Apple Pay. iOS 13 removes that technical limitation so that iPhones can scan more NFC chips, but developers must gain approval from Apple before their apps can implement the feature.

In another example of Apple opening up NFC access, the U.K. government recently confirmed that it had reached a deal with Apple to make its Brexit app for EU citizens' residency rights work on iPhones via the NFC chip. According to the German ministry, it and many other states have been in contact with Apple for a long time to negotiate NFC access, so users can expect other countries to announce official documentation support in the run-up to iOS 13's release in the fall.

(Thanks, Chris!)

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS
Tags: NFC, Germany
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