Eric Slivka

Eric is Editor in Chief of MacRumors, swimmer, and former biophysicist. Enjoys reading and chasing after two rambunctious boys when he's not playing with the latest gadgets.



Apple Pay Promo Offers $5 Off Instacart Grocery Delivery

Apple today sent out emails for a new Apple Pay promotion, offering a $5 discount on groceries when you spend $35 or more through Instacart. To get the discount, you'll need to use ‌Apple Pay‌ and shop in the Instacart app. The discount will be applied automatically during the checkout process and will be available until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on October 20, 2019. Apple says there may some restrictions on geographic availability and the offer can not be applied to alcohol products. Apple's promotion also provides links to other grocery delivery apps including ACME, Cub, Publix, Safeway, Shaw's, and Star Market. Instacart is a frequent partner on ‌Apple Pay‌ promos, having offered free delivery January 2018, February 2018, May 2018, and May 2019.

Hands-On With Apple's New Beats Solo Pro Headphones

On Tuesday, Apple's Beats brand introduced the new Beats Solo Pro headphones, the company's first on-ear headphones with active noise cancellation. The new $300 headphones don't launch until October 30, but we've already had a chance to test them out so check out our video below for our early impressions. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Starting with the unboxing experience, you'll find that the Beats Solo Pro headphones come with a new soft case covered in a nice felt-like material, as well as a few accessories such as a Lightning to USB-A cable for recharging the headphones. While USB-C rather than Lightning might have been a bit more universal, at least you can charge your headphones with the same cable you use for your iPhone. The Solo Pro headphones come in six colors including Black, Gray, and Ivory, and then three colors from the "More Matte Collection" being promoted by Pharrell Williams: Light Blue, Dark Blue, and Red. We have the Dark Blue ones on hand, and they are made of a nice matte plastic with an inside metal adjustment band for durability and a premium feel. Apple's new Beats Solo Pro automatically turn on and off when you unfold or fold them, so there's no power button on the headphones. Pairing via Bluetooth is a simple process, and thanks to the Apple H1 chip inside they can automatically pair with and switch between all devices tied to your iCloud account. The H1 also provides hands-free "Hey Siri" support. While there's no power button, there are still a few controls located on the Solo Pro headphones,

Apple Brings Its 'Transporter' App for Developers to the Mac App Store

Apple today announced that it has launched a new version of its Transporter app for developers on the Mac App Store. Transporter, which was previously available as a command-line tool, now lets developers drag and drop binaries for quick upload to App Store Connect and easily view details like progress, warnings, errors, and delivery history.Transporter is the simple and easy way to deliver content to Apple. Easily send apps, music, movies, TV shows, or books for distribution on the ‌App Store‌, Apple Music, Apple TV app, Apple Books, or iTunes Store. - Simply drag and drop your content into Transporter to get started. - Validate and upload multiple files simultaneously for fast delivery. - View delivery progress, including validation warnings, errors, and delivery logs, so you can quickly fix any issues. - See a history of past deliveries, including date and time. An ‌App Store‌ Connect, iTunes Connect, or encoding house account is required. Language support for Transporter includes Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and

Apple Releases macOS Catalina Supplemental Update With Fixes for Installation, iCloud Login, and Game Center Bugs

Alongside iOS 13.1.3, Apple today also released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina, addressing several bugs from the initial public release version, including a problem with Setup Assistant hanging during Catalina installation. The ‌macOS Catalina‌ Supplemental Update includes installation and reliability improvements, and is recommended for all users. 
 This update: - Improves installation reliability of ‌macOS Catalina‌ on Macs with low disk space - Fixes an issue that prevented Setup Assistant from completing during some installations - Resolves an issue that prevents accepting iCloud Terms and Conditions when multiple ‌iCloud‌ accounts are logged in - Improves the reliability of saving Game Center data when playing Apple Arcade games offlineToday's supplemental update comes ahead of macOS 10.15.1, which was seeded as an initial developer beta last

Persistent Kids Finding Loopholes in Apple's Screen Time Limits

Apple is currently engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with persistent kids looking to circumvent Screen Time restrictions, but the company has been receiving some criticism for not moving quickly enough to lock down some of the loopholes, reports The Washington Post. A few of the loopholes and ways for parents to shut them down are documented on the site Protect Young Eyes, while these and others are frequently shared by kids through various social channels.“These are not rocket science, backdoor, dark web sort of hacks,” says Chris McKenna, founder of the Internet safety group Protect Young Eyes. “It blows me away that Apple hasn’t thought through the fact that a persistent middle school boy or girl can bang around and find them.”Although Apple has been making tweaks and improvements to Screen Time since its launch, some of the loopholes kids have been using to work around Screen Time limits have gone unpatched. And while Apple declined to address specific issues related to Screen Time, the company noted that it's committed to improving the feature.Apple spokeswoman Michele Wyman, in an emailed statement, said the company is “committed to providing our users with powerful tools to manage their iOS devices and are always working to make them even better.” Wyman did not comment on specific bugs and workarounds in Screen Time or the speed with which Apple addresses them.Apple rolled out Screen Time last year as part of iOS 12, and brought it to the Mac just last week with the release of macOS Catalina

Jason Sudeikis Heads to Apple TV+ With New 'Ted Lasso' Comedy

Saturday Night Live alumnus Jason Sudeikis is bringing his "Ted Lasso" character to Apple's streaming service, reviving the role he debuted in 2013 for NBC Sports with its English Premier League coverage, according to Variety. Variety has learned that Apple TV Plus has given a series order to “Ted Lasso,” on which Sudeikis will star in addition to writing and executive producing. In the series, Sudeikis plays Lasso, an idealistic all-American football coach hired to manage an English football club despite having no soccer coaching experience at all.Apple TV+ launches November 1, although the Ted Lasso series clearly won't be ready to debut for some time. Just today, Apple launched a new press site showcasing information on a number of movies and series coming to ‌Apple TV‌+, which will be priced at $4.99 per month for up to six family members. Customers who purchase a new Apple device can, however, qualify for a free year of Apple

Apple Launches New Press Site With Details on Upcoming Apple TV+ Shows and Movies

Apple has launched a new press site for its upcoming Apple TV+ service, offering quick access to details on each of the movies and series coming to the service. Feature pages on each title include summaries, release dates, cast lists, trailers and photos, and press contacts. Apple is currently featuring 15 titles on the press page, eight of which will be launching on November 1 alongside the service's debut. Others will be following in later weeks, while some are still listed only as "coming soon." ‌Apple TV‌+ will be priced at $4.99 per month with a one-week free trial. Users who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, ‌Apple TV‌, iPod touch, or Mac on or after September 10 will qualify for a free one-year subscription. Up to six family members can share a single ‌Apple TV‌+ subscription through Family

Linksys Introduces 'Linksys Aware' Service for Sensing Motion Using Mesh Wi-Fi

Linksys today announced the launch of a new subscription service that lets you use some of the company's existing Velop mesh Wi-Fi router systems as motion-sensing security devices. Dubbed Linksys Aware, the technology is initially compatible only with the company's Velop Tri-Band AC2200 routers, but will be rolling out to some of the brand's other mesh Wi-Fi products in a phased rollout. Linksys Aware is able to sense motion in your house without the need to add cameras or other accessory devices, with the various mesh nodes detecting how movement in the vicinity affects Wi-Fi signals as the nodes communicate with each other. Users can customize the sensitivity level of the system to filter out pets of various sizes, for example, and once the motion threshold is exceeded you'll receive a notification on your phone. As the system doesn't involve a camera, there's no way to remotely check in on the detected motion to see what it is, but at least you'll be alerted if unexpected motion is detected in your home. Motion events are stored for 60 days, so you can check back to see a recent history by hour, day or week. Linksys Aware is free for the first 90 days, after which a subscription priced at $2.99 monthly or $24.99 annually will be required. A firmware update and App Store app update will be rolling out today to add support for the feature. With the discontinuation of its AirPort lineup of wireless routers, Apple has embraced Linksys as one of its primary third-party partners, selling several configurations of the Velop system online and in its

Tim Cook Remembers Steve Jobs on 8th Anniversary of His Death

Eight years ago today, Steve Jobs passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, one day after somewhat subdued Apple executives introduced the iPhone 4s at a media event on the company's Infinite Loop headquarters campus. As he traditionally does, Apple CEO Tim Cook today marked the anniversary of Jobs' death with a tweet, sharing a Jobs quote and a photo of him at the iconic cube at Apple's Fifth Avenue retail store in New York City. “The most precious resource we all have is time.” - SJ. Remembering you always. pic.twitter.com/nsUUiFzZnz— ‌Tim Cook‌ (@tim_cook) October 5, 2019 Apple continues to maintain its "Remembering Steve" page highlighting a few of the over one million submissions from people around the world who "shared their memories, thoughts, and feelings about

Apple Arcade Launches for macOS Catalina Beta Users

Apple today flipped the switch to launch Apple Arcade for users currently running the macOS Catalina beta, which itself was updated to the golden master version just yesterday. The launch of ‌Apple Arcade‌ on Mac will complete the rollout of Apple's subscription gaming service, with the service already up and running for all users on iOS, iPadOS, and Apple TV. While Apple touts ‌Apple Arcade‌ as having 100+ games overall, not every game is available on every platform and the Mac version of ‌Apple Arcade‌ currently offers about two dozen titles including Sayonara Wild Hearts, Operator 41, Big Time Sports, Card of Darkness, and more. ‌Apple Arcade‌ requires ‌macOS Catalina‌, and users currently running macOS Mojave are being presented with a "Welcome to ‌Apple Arcade‌ on Mac!" feature story in the Mac App Store. The feature outlines the ‌Apple Arcade‌ service and offers a "Check for Update" button, suggesting a public ‌macOS Catalina‌ launch may be imminent. ‌Apple Arcade‌ is priced at $4.99 per month across all platforms, with Family Sharing allowing up to six members of a single family to access the service at no additional charge. A one-month free trial is also

Apple Launches Repair Program for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Over Power Issues

Apple today launched a new repair program for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus devices that may fail to power on due to a faulty component. Affected devices were sold between October 2018 and August 2019, and users can check their serial numbers on Apple's support site to see if their devices are part of the affected batches. Customers with an eligible iPhone model can have their device repaired free of charge by Apple or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Affected customers can contact Apple support for a mail-in repair, visit an AASP, or visit an Apple retail store. Affected devices are covered for two years from the date of first retail sale of the unit. Repairs may be limited to the original country or region of

Apple Stops Signing Several Older iOS Versions Following Release of iOS 13.1.2

Following the release of iOS 13.1.2 on Monday, Apple has stopped signing several previous versions of iOS, preventing downgrades to these earlier versions. iOS versions no longer being signed include iOS 12.4.1, iOS 13.0, and iOS 13.1.1, while iOS 13.1 remains signed for the time being. iOS 13.1.2 was a bug fix release that quickly followed iOS 13.1.1, which primarily addressed issues with battery drain, Siri, and access permissions for third-party keyboards. iOS 12.4.1 was largely a jailbreak fix released by Apple in late August. Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order to encourage customers to keep their operating systems up to date. iOS 13.1.2 is now the current public version of iOS, but developers and public beta testers can download iOS 13.2, an upcoming update with features like the Deep Fusion image processing system for the new iPhone 11

Apple Reportedly Increasing iPhone 11 Lineup Production by Up to 10% Due to Strong Demand

Apple has asked suppliers to increase production of its new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro lineup by up to 10 percent, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The bump in production would add up to 8 million units to the current production plans as Apple seeks to meet stronger-than-expected demand. "This autumn is so far much busier than we expected," one source with direct knowledge of the situation said. "Previously, Apple was quite conservative about placing orders," which were less than for last year's new iPhone. "After the increase, prepared production volume for the ‌iPhone 11‌ series will be higher compared to last year," the source said.The report claims the ‌iPhone 11‌ and ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ are seeing the strongest demand, while Apple is actually revising orders for the iPhone 11 Pro Max down slightly as it seeks to balance production with demand. Nearly every year, stories circulate about Apple cutting production in the months following the launches of new iPhones, but it's frequently unclear whether production cuts are due to weaker-than-expected demand or simply anticipated scaling back following the initial rush of orders. Regardless, an increase in production this year appears to be a good sign for Apple. With the launch of three new iPhone models with improved cameras, Apple's iPhone lineup may be appealing to a broad array of customers ready to upgrade from older models, particularly with the ‌iPhone 11‌ starting at $699, which is $50 less than its iPhone XR predecessor. Those looking for an even more budget-friendly new iPhone may have some welcome news early

Apple's September 2019 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream [Update: Video Posted]

Apple's "By innovation only" media event will be kicking off at 10:00 am Pacific Time today, and as is tradition, some MacRumors readers who can't follow the event live are interested in avoiding all of the announcements and waiting until Apple posts the recorded video of the event so as to experience it without already knowing the outcome. For those individuals, we've posted this news story, which will be updated with a direct link to the presentation once it becomes available from Apple. No other news stories or announcements will be displayed alongside this story. Notably, Apple is streaming today's event live on YouTube for the first time, which means a replay should be available almost immediately after the event ends, and in fact, users should be able to watch the video from the beginning even while the event is still going on, at the risk of getting a brief glimpse of the in-progress feed upon first loading the video. Apple has also generally become quicker about making event videos available for replay on its own site over the past several years, and Apple-hosted videos are now frequently available within an hour of an event's conclusion. Users waiting for the video to be posted are welcome to gather in the thread associated with this news story, and we ask that those who follow the events refrain from making any posts about Apple's announcements in this thread. Update: The full keynote video is available on Apple's website as a direct link to the video file with no

Potential Benchmark for iPhone XR Successor Shows 4GB RAM, Moderate Performance Gains

A new Geekbench result posted this evening purportedly reveals performance data for the next-generation iPhone XR set to debut at next week's media event. The result, spotted by forum member EugW, lists a model number of "iPhone12,1" running iOS 13.1 with a motherboard identifier of N104AP. Back in May, Bloomberg reported that the next-generation ‌iPhone XR‌ was internally codenamed N104, while 9to5Mac reported in July that the device would carry the model number iPhone12,1. If legitimate, the result reveals a few details about the ‌iPhone XR‌ successor and its A13 chip. First, the result shows approximately 4 GB of RAM for the device, which would be an increase over the 3 GB found in the current ‌iPhone XR‌ and in line with predictions from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The iPhone XS and XS Max already include 4 GB of RAM, and there have not been any solid rumors suggesting their successors will see an increase. Moving on to the A13 itself, the result indicates it continues to include six cores, presumably in an identical setup compared to the A12 with two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. The A13's high-performance cores are shown running at 2.66 GHz in today's result, compared to 2.49 GHz in the A12, leading to an approximately 12–13 percent gain in single-core performance for the A13 with a score of 5415, compared to ">an average 4796 for the A12 in the ‌iPhone XR‌. Interestingly, the A13's multi-core score of 11294 is nearly identical to the A12's average score of 11192, although Geekbench's developer John Poole tells us there could be some

Apple's Suppliers Aiming to Produce 75 Million New iPhones in Second Half of 2019

Apple's supply chain is currently aiming to produce components for up to 75 million iPhones in the second half of this year, roughly the same as in the same time period last year, according to Bloomberg. The production targets suggest Apple expects iPhone demand to stabilize this year after recent dips in unit sales largely offset by increases in average prices. 2019 iPhone dummy units Jeff Pu at GF Securities estimates that shipments of newly released iPhones will rise to 74 million in the second half, up about 7% from his estimate of 69 million last year, while TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecast that Apple would sell 75 million to 80 million new iPhones in the second half of 2018. This year’s volumes may signal stabilization after a year of uncertainty, though that’s a far cry from the double-digit growth numbers of years past.As Bloomberg notes, the fact that suppliers are planning for production of 75 million units doesn't mean Apple will sell that many, but suppliers are also reportedly capable of pushing output to 80 million units if demand calls for it. As always, Apple will assess demand following the launch of the new iPhones and adjust production accordingly. Apple has also stopped publicly reporting unit sales of iPhones and other products in its quarterly earnings releases, making it more difficult for analysts and others to track those numbers over time and requiring them to calculate unit sales based on reported revenue numbers and estimated average prices. We're expecting this year's new iPhones to look very similar to the current lineup,

Facebook to Be Fined $5 Billion in Cambridge Analytica Privacy Scandal

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve a settlement with Facebook that will see the social media giant hit with a roughly $5 billion fine over the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, reports The Wall Street Journal. The matter has been moved to the Justice Department’s civil division and it is unclear how long it will take to finalize, the person said. Justice Department reviews are part of the FTC’s procedure but typically don’t change the outcome of an FTC decision. A settlement is expected to include other government restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy. The additional terms of the settlement couldn’t immediately be learned.The scandal revolved around data firm Cambridge Analytica, which improperly collected information on tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent to create targeted political advertisements during the 2016 campaign. The data collection came through an app called "This Is Your Digital Life," which requested that Facebook users complete a survey for academic use. In reality, the app's permissions allowed it to collect personal information on not just the Facebook users who took the survey but also their friends. Facebook revamped its privacy practices in the wake of the scandal, but the company still faced investigations by regulators over multiple security lapses and marked a significant moment in efforts to raise awareness about digital privacy. Apple CEO Tim Cook called the Cambridge Analytica situation "dire" and has on multiple occasions called for increased regulation to protect user

iPad Air vs. Microsoft's Surface Go: Which Is a Better Laptop Replacement?

Apple's iPad Air, which was resurrected in March as essentially a tweaked version of the previous 10.5-inch iPad Pro, offers a significant amount of utility at a solid $499 price point, but how does it compare to other competitors in the market? In his latest video, MacRumors videographer Dan compared the ‌iPad‌ Air to Microsoft's Surface Go to determine which one he liked better for on-the-go computing. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For this comparison, Dan decided to focus on using the ‌iPad‌ Air and the Surface Go as somewhat of a laptop replacement. The ‌iPad‌ Air starts at $499 while the Surface Go comes in at a $399 base price, but in an effort to look at these as potential laptop replacements Dan opted to consider the devices equipped with first-party keyboard accessories, which pushes the ‌iPad‌ Air up to $659 and the Surface Go to $529. In his video, Dan shares his impressions on the design and features of each, including important productivity accessories like respective keyboards and styluses. As potential laptop replacements, performance is really where the rubber meets the road, and Dan came away somewhat unimpressed with the Surface Go. He wanted to like its relatively full-fledged Windows 10 operating system, and it was fine for basic tasks like emails, web browsing, and document writing, but he found things bogging down a bit when trying to multitask. With the ‌iPad‌ Air, you don't really get a desktop-class operating system, at least for now, but it generally works very well when you need to multitask, switching easily

Research Firms Paint Contrasting Pictures of Apple's Mac Shipments in Q2 2019

Prominent research firms Gartner and IDC attempt to estimate shipments of computers around the world on a quarterly basis, and both firms today released their estimates for the second calendar quarter. Gartner's and IDC's estimates are just that — estimates – and with Apple no longer reporting unit sales of Macs and other products, we won't know how accurate these estimates end up being. But as revealed in today's releases, they can differ quite a bit. Gartner's Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q19 (Thousands of Units) Gartner says worldwide PC shipments were up 1.5 percent year-over-year, with Lenovo leading the way on strong growth and HP and Dell sitting in second and third places respectively. Apple registered in fourth place with an estimated 3.711 million Macs shipped, a 0.2 percent decline over the previous year, while Acer and Asus rounded out the top vendors on a global basis.“Worldwide PC shipments growth was driven by demand from the Windows 10 refresh in the business market in the second quarter of 2019. Desktop PC growth was strong, which offset a decline in mobile PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner. “Additionally, there are signs that the Intel CPU shortage is easing, which has been an ongoing impact to the market for the past 18 months. The shortage mainly impacted small and midsize vendors as large vendors took advantage and continued to grow, taking market share away from the smaller vendors that struggled to secure CPUs.”Turning to the U.S., the overall market saw a slight 0.4

Apple Temporarily Disables Walkie-Talkie App for Apple Watch Due to Eavesdropping Vulnerability

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch due to a bug that could allow users to eavesdrop on others, reports TechCrunch. The company issued a statement noting that it was just notified about the vulnerability and has temporarily disabled the Walkie-Talkie functionality while a fix is developed. The Walkie-Talkie app will remain installed on users' Apple Watches, but it will not be functional until the fix is deployed. Apple's statement:We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the ‌Apple Watch‌ and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.Walkie-Talkie debuted last fall in watchOS 5, and it allows users to easily communicate with each other via voice from their wrists using a push-to-talk function. As TechCrunch points out, the issue is reminiscent of a serious Group FaceTime bug discovered early this year that could allow callers to hear a user's audio without the call being accepted. In that scenario, Apple remotely disabled Group FaceTime once the issue