Arnold Kim

Arnold is the Editorial Director of MacRumors and founded the site in 2000. He was also a practicing physician but gave it up in 2008 to focus on this website and other projects.



Faster 'NVM Express' SSD Interface Arrives on Retina MacBook and OS X 10.10.3

Apple has quietly introduced support for the next generation NVM Express (NVMe) interface to SSD Flash drives in their latest OS X 10.10.3 update as well as in the new Retina MacBook which was released on April 10th. System Report on new Retina MacBook The NVMe software interface replaces the AHCI software interface in Apple's previous notebooks, and offers improved latency and performance over the old protocol. Anandtech offers a good overview between the technologies:AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) dates back to 2004 and was designed with hard drives in mind. While that doesn't rule out SSDs, AHCI is more optimized for high latency rotating media than low latency non-volatile storage. As a result AHCI can't take full advantage of SSDs and since the future is in non-volatile storage (like NAND and MRAM), the industry had to develop a software interface that abolishes the limits of AHCI. The result is NVMe, short for Non-Volatile Memory Express. The new protocol is not to be confused with the underlying hardware that connects the SSD to Apple's notebooks. Apple has already upgraded the physical interface to the much faster PCIe connectors a number of years ago. Going into the future, NVMe will allow Apple's hardware to take further advantage of the performance of SSDs as well as improve battery life with less time spent transferring data. Intel expects NVMe to also be coming to tablets and phones in the near future. Thanks Jonathan

Apple Won't Allow Swapping of Bands at Apple Watch 'Try-On' Appointments

The Apple Watch will be available for in store previews and Try-On appointments starting on April 10th. The Apple Watch comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and band-types which can make the decision of how to pick a band and Apple Watch combination complicated. Apple has a number of recommended combinations highlighted on their online store, but also sells bands separately, allowing customers to potentially mix and match between the various Apple Watches and bands. Some combinations could yield a mix of materials that readers feared may not look natural together, such as an aluminum Apple Watch Sport and a stainless steel accented band. The stainless steel Apple Watch is the most cosmetically versatile but carries a $200 premium over the aluminum Apple Watch Sport. Apple, however, will not allow customers to try arbitrary mix and match options during their Apple Watch Try-On appointments, presumably in the interest of time and simplicity. According to retail training materials MacRumors received, Apple specifically states that they "will not size links or swap bands" at the Try-on table or Try-on cases. Try-on appointments for non-Edition Apple Watches are meant to last only 5-15 minutes. Apple will have 18 specific Apple Watch combinations on display at their Try-On tables and 10 specific combinations at their Try-On cases. Apple Watch pre-sales and try-on appointments start on April 10th, and the official launch of the Apple Watch is April

Apple Watch for Sale in Retail Stores by Reservation Only, No Walk-In Sales

As the Apple Watch launch approaches, details have been leaking out about how Apple will be handling sales of their new device. According to leaked Apple documentation, the company will not be selling the Apple Watch to walk-in customers at launch. Apple will begin offering online pre-sales of the Apple Watch starting on April 10th, with the first deliveries occurring on April 24th, the official Apple Watch launch date. During those two weeks, customers will be able to have hands-on "try-on" appointments at Apple retail stores in order to help make up their mind. However, according to training documents that MacRumors has received, Apple is not allowing any walk-in retail purchases for the Apple Watch at launch. Instead customers must make an online "Product Reservation" to hold a specific Apple Watch model at a retail store. This new "Product Reservation" system is used instead of Apple's "Personal Pickup" system for Apple Watches. Apple's retail training documents indicate that "If a customer walks in and wants to purchase a watch, offer the option to try on a watch. Then help them place an order online or through the Apple Store app." Apple seems to expect low inventory for the Apple Watches, and notes that "try-on" appointments also do not reserve a specific Apple Watch for purchase. Apple expects to eventually allow walk-in purchases, but not until the initial wave of demand has passed.

Apple Watch Diagnostic Port Spotted in Apple Promo Videos

Last week, we heard reports that a hidden "diagnostic port" was present on early Apple Watches currently in testing. The TechCrunch report indicated the port was being used for diagnostic purposes. The port has a 6-dot brass contact array inside the groove for the ‘bottom’ strap connector slot. Several sources have confirmed its existence and placement to me. It is very similar to the connector for the Lightning connector in iPhones, as that connector currently only uses 6 of its 8 available pins. Apple recently began opening up the Lightning port for use by third parties. A source says that this port is currently for diagnostic purposes only — but that there is nothing preventing it from being a connection port for future accessories.The port was spotted by our forum members in a number of the new Apple Watch promo videos that Apple released today. Matthew Panzarino, the original author of the report, confirmed today that the port still exists, but he remains uncertain if it will ship in the final version: Confirmed the 'diagnostic port' is still in the ᴡᴀᴛᴄʜ band channel. Don't know if it will ship that way or not.— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) March 9, 2015 The Apple Watch will begin shipping in April with pre-orders starting on April

Apple's Oscar Ad Shot Entirely on an iPad

Apple debuted a new iPad ad to air during tonight's Oscar's. Apple highlights the new ad on their website which features students at Los Angeles County High School, using the iPad to write, produce, shoot, score, and edit films. It features a voiceover from Martin Scorsese and is called "Make a film with iPad". Mashable reports that the ad itself was filmed entirely on an iPad Air 2. Apple created a special section in the App Store highlighting the various apps used by the students for their filmmaking.

Cyber Monday 2014: 25% off iTunes Gift Cards, Discounts on Macs, More

While most of the major discounts appeared on Black Friday, many retailers are continuing sales on what has been called Cyber Monday. There are still significant discounts on iTunes gift cards, Macs and accessories. iTunes Gift Cards 25% off Paypal Digital Gifts is once again selling $100 iTunes Gift Cards for $75 on eBay. Valid for U.S. iTunes accounts only. Mac Discounts B&H Photo has the most notable discounts remaining on a wide range of the latest Mac models: - Mac mini 1.4GHz 4GB/500GB - $449 ($50 off) - Mac mini 2.6GHz 8GB/1TB - $629 ($70 off) - 11.6" MacBook Air 4GB/128GB - $799 ($100 off) - 13.3" MacBook Air 4GB/128GB - $889 ($110 off) - 13.3" MacBook Air 4GB/256GB - $1059 ($150 off) - 13.3" MacBook Air 4GB/128GB - $889 ($100 off) - 13" Retina MacBook Pro, 8GB/256GB - $1349 ($150 off) - 15" Retina MacBook Pro, 16GB/256GB - $1749 ($250 off) - 15" Retina MacBook Pro 2.2/16GB/256GB - $1699 ($300 off) - Retina iMac 3.5GHz/8GB/1TB - $2299 ($170 off) - 3.5GHz Mac Pro - $3,499 ($500 off) iPhone Discount T-Mobile is offering a 64GB iPhone 6 for the price of a 16GB iPhone 6, a $100 discount. Online Retailers - Zagg - iOS accessories 25% off - Twelve South - 25% off BookBooks - Griffin Technology - iOS/Mac Accessories - 30% off - ProClip - Car mounts for mobile devices - 20% off with code 20THANKS - Optrix - $50 off PhotoProX + Monopod bundle with code cm50 MacRumors is an affiliate

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Now Available

As previously reported, Apple's iTunes Trailers website now features the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh film in the Star Wars series and is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the movie features actors like Andy Serkis, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong'o, and Oscar Issac, along with stars from the original films including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher. In addition to being featured by Apple, the teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be shown in a selection of theaters across the United States on Friday. The trailer was initially overwhelmed by traffic and should also appear on Apple TV, and through the iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS. The iTunes Movie Trailers app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Black Friday 2014: $100 iTunes Gift Cards for $75 (US Only)

Paypal Digital Gifts is offering $100 iTunes Gift Cards for $75 via eBay - a 25% discount, for Black Friday. The codes are delivered digitally to PayPal registered email addresses. The offer is only available to U.S. customers and expires tonight at midnight (Eastern). Black Friday sales kicked off last night and officially continue through today. Some sales may last the weekend. We've previously provided a comprehensive list of sales on Mac, iPhone, and iPad products.

iOS 8.1: 'Text Message Forwarding' Activation Requires iMessage Email Address

Earlier today, Apple released iOS 8.1 which introduced number of new features to iOS and Yosemite. One of the anticipated features was SMS Text Message Forwarding, which allows SMS messages received by your iPhone to be mirrored on your iPad or Mac running OS X Yosemite. Several of our forum members had difficulty activating the feature, as the required activation code would never appear on their Macs or iPads. MacRumors reader Michael wrote in with this solution which requires an email address to be activated in iMessage:...you need to have your email address turned on for iMessage on your iPhone in order to enable Text Message Forwarding. If you don't, the numeric access code will not appear on your iPad or Mac during the setup process. As soon as you enable your email address for iMessage (you only need to do this on your iPhone) the numeric access codes appear as expected. Once you have text message forwarding setup you can disable your email address again in iMessage as it seems to only be necessary for the numeric access code setup step, not the actual text message forwarding itself.MacRumors was able to verify this scenario and found that an email address does indeed have to be active on your iPhone for the activation message to properly be sent. In our testing, SMS messages were still received after the email address was removed from iMessage. The setting to add your email address to iMessage is under Settings -> Messages -> Send & Receive. Note, you may have to wait a few moments after adding an email address before the activation code will send.

iOS 8 Safari Supports Animated PNG Images

With the release of iOS 8, Safari has gained the ability to display Animated PNGs (APNGs). Originally proposed in 2004 as a replacement to animated GIF images, APNGs offers more color and transparency support over GIFs. The Animated Portable Network Graphics (APNG) file format is a non-standard extension to the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) specification. It allows for animated PNG files that work similarly to animated GIF files, while supporting 24-bit images and 8-bit transparency not available for GIFs. It also retains backward compatibility with non-animated PNG files.The APNG specification, however, was rejected by the PNG group in 2007, so support for the format has been rather limited. In fact, the format has been declared dead due to the lack of official adoption. Firefox was the only major browser that provided standard support for APNG, until iOS 8. The beach ball image in this article is animated when viewed in iOS 8 or Firefox. Edit: and OS X Yosemite. Thanks Parasprite

iPhone 6 Begins Shipping to Customers for Sept 19th Delivery

Apple began accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 6 on Friday, September 12th. The first of those orders are beginning to ship to customers. Verizon sent notices to customers today with tracking numbers for their early orders. Despite the early shipping, FedEx will hold shipments for simultaneous delivery on launch day -- Friday, September 19th. Despite the coordinated effort, some new iPhones may slip through and arrive a day early or so. Readers on our forums are tracking their shipments and order status in various threads: - The "I just bought/ordered/shipped/received my new iPhone 6/6 Plus" thread - iPhone 6 & 6 Plus Sprint Pre-Order Thread! - T-Mobile.com preorder thread - ATT Pre-order status - VZW Order Status Thread - UK iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Thread

'iPhone 6' Case Giveaway and Other Prizes from MacRumors

The iPhone 6 is expected to be announced on September 9th, 2014 with an Apple Media event. The actual launch will likely take place a couple of weeks later. Some of the first rumors of any new Apple iPhone seems to come from the case manufacturers. There's a huge financial incentive for case manufacturers to be early to market with case designs for a new iPhone. The first leaked schematics for the iPhone 6 were published in March, 2014 and the first cases based on the designs started appearing shortly thereafter. These case-design leaks aren't always correct, but this time there have been part leaks as well. Our iPhone 6 roundup goes into great detail about what we know so far. During our early iPhone 6 research, we obtained a batch of 200 rumored 4.7" iPhone 6 cases with our logo on it. We thought they might be useful on day one of iPhone 6 launch, or could simply serve as a MacRumors souvenir if the specs turn out to be not-quite-right. So, we're giving away 200 4.7" iPhone 6 cases to 200 of our mailing list members selected at random. To be clear, these cases might not even fit the real iPhone 6-- but that's part of the appeal. The case colors will be distributed at random, but possibilities include red, blue, grey, and frosted clear. We'll be giving out other prizes over time to our mailing list subscribers. Official rules are available here. For this initial prize, we have to limit it to U.S. mailing addresses only, due to the cost of shipping 200 items internationally. iPhone 6 case giveaway contest deadline is midnight (Eastern) on the

Aperture Replacement 'Photos' to Offer Image Search, Editing, Effects and Plugins

Last week, Apple announced that the company would be discontinuing their Aperture photo management software to focus development on the new Photos app that was introduced at WWDC. Details on Apple's new Photos app, however, remains scarce, leaving Aperture users with a lot of uncertainty. Ars Technica was able to get additional information from an Apple representative, who indicated that certain professional-grade features would be coming to the new Photos app: When asked about what Aperture-like features users can expect from the new Photos app, an Apple representative mentioned plans for professional-grade features such as image search, editing, effects, and most notably, third-party extensibility. Some of these editing features are already depicted in the screenshot that Apple released of Photos at the time of the announcement: Click for Full Size Screenshot The screenshot shows an adjustments panel with settings for Light (Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Brightness, Contrast, Blacks), Color (Saturation, Contrast, Cast), Black & White (Hue Strength, Neutral Boost, Photo Tone, Grain), Definition, Vignette, White Balance, and Levels. Apple has promised that existing Aperture users will be able to import their libraries into the new OS X Photos app. Photos is expected to be released early next

12-Inch MacBook Air to Begin Production in 3rd Quarter 2014

Digitimes reports that Apple's new 12" MacBook Air will enter mass production in the 3rd quarter of 2014. Quanta Computer is reportedly responsible for the assembly of the new machine which falls in between the 11" and 13" MacBook Air lines. Their sources have not heard of any changes to the existing 11" and 13" MacBook Air models. Digitimes' sources were able to confirm some small internal changes to the machine, but the new MacBook Air is said to look similar to the existing models:The 12-inch MacBook Air features some design changes such as the battery and the internal layout, while its industrial design will be similar to its existing counterparts using an unibody aluminum chassis, the sources detailed. Some market watchers expect the machine to feature a Retina display.First word of a 12" MacBook Air came from NPD DisplaySearch and analyst Ming Kuo in October, 2013. Kuo described the new machine as thinner than the existing MacBook Air and that it would incorporate a Retina Display. A Chinese forum post from a user who had previously leaked accurate information added that the 12" MacBook Air would feature a "new trackpad design" without a mechanical button and that the machine would have no fan. Previous rumors have predicted that the 12" MacBook Air will be announced between Q3 and Q4 2014, so approximately September/October of this year.

Next Generation iPad Mini Depicted with Touch ID

Apple.club.tw 曝光/">share an image of what appears to be models of the next generation iPhone, iPad Mini, and iPad Air. The iPhone 6 models have already been covered extensively, while we got the first glimpse of the purported iPad Air 2 just last week. The iPad Air 2 model was shown to depict Touch ID, changed speaker grille, and recessed volume buttons. The new image doesn't reveal any more details except the depiction of Touch ID on the new iPad mini. This year's iPads have been widely expected to gain Touch ID capabilities. Apple first introduced the Touch ID fingerprint scanning system with the iPhone 5S, and will be extending it to allow Apps to begin using it with iOS

Users Noticing Significant Improvements in Apple Maps Data with Quick Corrections

Apple's Maps has been the subject of a significant amount of criticism since its launch with iOS 6. Apple had replaced Google Maps data with their own map data which had comparably worse coverage, especially in international markets. There had been enough outcry that Apple CEO Tim Cook posted an open letter apologizing for Apple Maps. There had been hopes that the Apple Maps application would be improved with iOS 8 but internal politics were said to have delayed those plans. Still, Apple does seem to making efforts to improve their mapping data. In April, they started deploying notifications to let users know when problems had been fixed. Meanwhile, some users have recently noticed a significant improvement in POI (points of interest) data in their local Apple Maps. A discussion thread in MacRumors forums reports one user's experience. heyyoudvd writes:Over the past month, I've noticed a TON of changes. POI markers are being moved to their correct locations, names and information for POIs are being corrected, and tons of places are being added that simply weren't there before. I don't know if it's merely coincidence, but A LOT of these changes are the exact ones that I've been reporting to Apple. And I've noticed this happening on a weekly cycle. It seems like every Friday, a whole bunch of new changes are implemented in my neighborhood. All week, nothing happens, but then when I check on Friday/Saturday, I see that many of the suggestions that I had made during the week were suddenly implemented into the map, and its POIs suddenly look a whole lot better.

First Leaked Display Part from the 5.5-Inch iPhone 6

The first alleged parts from the larger 5.5" iPhone 6 have been shared by 9to5Mac. The image shows the front and back of an LCD backlight panel that measures ~14 centimeters or ~5.5 inches diagonally. The site claims this represents a part for the 5.5" iPhone 6 which has been rumored to be launching later this year. Apple is also expected to produce a 4.7" model as well. We've already seen some possible part leaks for the 4.7" model, but this is the first part leak for the 5.5" model. Reports had originally suggested the 5.5" model would be released after the initial 4.7" iPhone launch. More recently, however, we've heard that Apple may have solved whatever production challenges they ran into with the 5.5" model. Possible parts for the 4.7" iPhone 6 model that have leaked include the front panel, batteries, rear shell and chassis molds. Meanwhile, the same LCD backlight for the 4.7" model was photographed in May. For comparison: Alleged 4.7" iPhone LCD backlight The 4.7" and 5.5" backlights share a similar design with each other and with the iPhone 5S LCD backlight. The data connector between the 4.7" and 5.5" models do seem different,

Yosemite 'Handoff' Feature Likely Limited to Macs with Bluetooth LE

Over the weekend, we posted a story that Apple's Handoff feature was limited to Macs that support the Bluetooth 4.0/LE specification. Handoff/Continuity allows OS X and iOS device users to seamlessly transition between the two operating systems. However, there was some debate about the accuracy of that claim at the time, though now it seems almost certain to be true. Bluetooth 4.0 was was first introduced in the MacBook Air and Mac mini in Mid 2011. The feature has since made its way into later Mac releases, finally coming to every Mac as of the 2013 Mac Pro. Apfeleimer put together this nice graph showing which Macs support Bluetooth 4.0/LE. The full bars represent Macs that can run OS X Yosemite, while only Mac models in the green bar timeframes support the required Bluetooth protocol for Handoff. For iOS users, the iPad 2 is the only device that is capable of running iOS 8 but doesn't come with hardware support for Bluetooth LE. There was some uncertainty about this being an absolute requirement, though in the WWDC sessions, Apple clearly states that Handoff runs on Bluetooth LE technology. However, now with the release of Yosemite Developer Preview 2, Apple has added a new field for Continuity Support in the System Information. The new field falls under the Bluetooth category: Owners of late generation Macs seem to be showing Continuity support in line with the chart above, while older Mac owners are seeing Continuity support set to "No". It's not yet clear if adding a 3rd party Bluetooth 4.0 dongle will enable support on older Macs.

Skybox Can Predict iPhone Launch Using Satellite Imagery

The Wall Street Journal profiles one of Google's recent acquisitions which has implications on mapping, competitive intelligence and even privacy. Skybox Imaging is an intelligence company that by the year 2018 will be able to take satellite imaging to the next level: By the time its entire fleet of 24 satellites has launched in 2018, Skybox will be imaging the entire Earth at a resolution sufficient to capture, for example, real-time video of cars driving down the highway. And it will be doing it three times a day.The ability to take such frequent imaging will certainly aid Google's Maps product, but it also opens up a market for competitive intelligence. Skybox says they are already looking at Foxconn every week and are able to pinpoint the next iPhone release based on the density of trucks outside their manufacturing facilities. Google plans on initially using the technology to improve their Maps product, potentially providing more up-to-date satellite images, but Skybox executives have long term plans for offering their data to outside developers for a

OS X Yosemite Designed for Retina Screens?

Macworld's Jason Snell provides a nice hands-on writeup about Apple's new OS X Yosemite. Snell focuses on the user-experience from a long term Mac user, focusing on the visual and usability changes of Mac windows. He notes the increased use of transparency and the varying implementation of title bars in many applications: Overall, Snell feels that many of the design changes were done with Retina displays in mind: For a while now, I’ve thought that 2014 would be the year that Retina spreads across the Mac product line. After spending time with Yosemite on both Retina and non-Retina systems, I’m more confident than ever in that guess. Yosemite’s new design feels like it was built for Retina displays: Thin Helvetica Neue replaces the long-serving but chunky Lucida Grande as the system typeface. Apple first introduced Retina displays into the Mac line in with the Retina MacBook Pro in June, 2012. Since that time, Apple has been slow to extend Retina screens to the rest of their lineup. The MacBook Air seems likely to be the next Mac to deliver a Retina Display. Signs point to a 12" Retina model later this year, and there has already been early evidence in Yosemite of Retina iMacs in testing.