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.



Tim Cook Talks Privacy, Steve Jobs, and the 'Difference Between Preparation and Readiness' in Stanford Commencement Address

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered the commencement address at Stanford University today, sharing his thoughts on privacy, the need to always "be a builder," and how the loss of Steve Jobs made him learn the "real, visceral difference between preparation and readiness." On the subject of privacy, Cook acknowledged that so many of our modern technological inventions have come out of Silicon Valley, but that recent years have seen "a less noble innovation: the belief that you can claim credit without accepting responsibility." Cook stressed the importance of not accepting that we must give up privacy in order to enjoy advances in technology, arguing that there's much more at stake than just our data.If we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated, sold, or even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data. We lose the freedom to be human. Think about what’s at stake. Everything you write, everything you say, every topic of curiosity, every stray thought, every impulsive purchase, every moment of frustration or weakness, every gripe or complaint, every secret shared in confidence. In a world without digital privacy, even if you have done nothing wrong other than think differently, you begin to censor yourself. Not entirely at first. Just a little, bit by bit. To risk less, to hope less, to imagine less, to dare less, to create less, to try less, to talk less, to think less. The chilling effect of digital surveillance is profound, and it touches everything. What a small, unimaginative world we would

WWDC 2019 Spoiler-Free Video Stream [Update: Video Posted]

Apple's WWDC keynote 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. Apple has become quicker about making event videos available for replay over the past several years, and 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

Apple Putting Finishing Touches on WWDC Decorations at McEnery Convention Center

The first WWDC 2019 events kick off in just two days with the early arrival of student scholars, and Apple is putting the finishing touches on decorations at and around the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. Decorations on the convention center, light poles, and public transit stops all carry the same neon theme on dark blue as seen on other WWDC materials, with the front entrance area of the convention center covered in a huge sheet displaying a robot emoji with all sorts of icons exploding out of the top of it and the "Dub Dub" nickname sometimes used for WWDC. Photos from earlier in the assembly process hint at the possibility of some sort of lighting behind the sheet, so we'll have to wait and see what it looks like at night. The main event of WWDC 2019 kicks off on Monday at 10:00 am Pacific Time with the traditional keynote, and we'll have full coverage here on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account. Update 8:51 PM: As shared on Twitter by Lucas Wagner, the "Dub Dub" graphic on the facade of the McEnery Convention Center has now been lit. It’s lit. pic.twitter.com/aGHJ3KAeMX— Lucas Wagner (@lucaswazowski) June 1, 2019

Review: 2019 Subaru Forester Pairs CarPlay With a Great Multi-Display Infotainment System

Subaru is experiencing growing popularity in the U.S., developing a strong reputation based on emphasizing safety, all-wheel drive operation, and technology. The redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester is no exception, offering standard all-wheel drive, a roomier cabin, and new DriverFocus technology that uses facial recognition and monitoring to not only save your driver presets but alert you if it detects drowsy or distracted driving. The 2019 Forester includes Subaru's STARLINK infotainment system with standard CarPlay support, with lower-level models coming with a 6.5-inch screen while higher-level trims are upgraded to an 8-inch screen. I've had a chance to spend some time with a top-of-the-line 2019 Forester Touring in Horizon Blue Pearl, so read on for details about how all of the technology comes together for iPhone users. STARLINK Infotainment Subaru's STARLINK Infotainment systems offer all of the functionality you'd expect, starting with AM/FM radio with HD support, SiriusXM, USB and Bluetooth media device support, hands-free phone connectivity, and a CD player. All trims also include support for CarPlay, Android Auto, and app integration with Pandora and Aha. They also support cloud apps like Yelp, iHeartRadio, Magellan, TomTom, and more. Subaru's STARLINK home screen The base, Premium, and Sport trims all come with a 6.5-inch display, although the Sport trim can be upgraded to the larger 8-inch display. The Limited trim gets the 8-inch display standard with an optional upgrade to embedded navigation from TomTom, while the Touring trim gets the

Supermarket Chain Publix Says It's Rolling Out Apple Pay Support All Stores [Update: No]

Florida-based supermarket chain Publix, which has over 1200 stores throughout the southeastern United States, has announced (via Reddit) that it is rolling out support for Apple Pay to all of its stores "within the coming weeks." The news comes via Publix's Twitter account yesterday, responding to a customer who asked about the lack of support for Apple's mobile payments system. Good Morning. Our stores are currently rolling out this technology to all of our stores. If your store does not currently accept Apple Pay it should within the coming weeks. ≈ Monique— Publix (@Publix) May 29, 2019 Not all of Publix's Twitter support agents appear to have been briefed on the news, however, as just in the past few hours other responses to customers have simply offered to "share your suggestion" with the customer service or payments team. There have been scattered reports of Publix testing Apple Pay in a few stores for a while now, but it looks like a full rollout is finally underway. Update 8:00 PM: In a follow-up Tweet, Publix now says its initial response was "incorrect." Publix is actually rolling out its own Publix Pay

Apple Releases AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.9.1

Apple today released AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.9.1 for AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11ac support. According to a support document, the update addresses a number of security issues on the affected models. The models covered by the update are the last generations of the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule, which were discontinued by Apple just over a year ago, although Apple continued to sell through its remaining stock for several more months.

What Will macOS 10.15 Be Called: Mammoth, Monterey, Rincon, Skyline, or Something Else?

Following Apple's shift to California-themed names for its Mac operating systems with OS X Mavericks back in 2013, Apple appeared to take steps to protect a number of other California-related names by filing for trademarks under a series of shell companies intended to mask the true identity of the applicant. All told, we identified 19 trademarks that were applied for under six different companies that all appeared to be Apple shell companies. Several of these names, including Yosemite, Sierra, and Mojave, have been used by Apple, while others have yet to be put to use. Over the years, the trademark review process has played out for all of these applications, with most being subject to some form of back-and-forth between the applicants and examiners involving various approvals, denials, and suspensions. Even for approvals, however, owners are required to submit proof of the trademarks being used in commerce. This Statement of Use can be submitted up to 36 months after trademark approval, as long as the applicant regularly requests successive 6-month extensions to the original 6-month submission period. With over five years having passed since the trademarks were applied for, many have now been abandoned, either at some point during the review process or through failure to provide proof of commercial use following approval. In fact, of the original 19 names that were included in the trademark applications, all but four of them have been either used by Apple or abandoned, with the remaining live applications being Mammoth, Monterey, Rincon, and Skyline. Perhaps

Apple Releases iOS 12.3.1 With Fixes for Messages and VoLTE Bugs

A week and a half after releasing iOS 12.3 with a revamped TV app, Apple today released iOS 12.3.1, a bug fix update that isn't expected to include any significant new features. The iOS 12.3.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.3.1 is free to download, but it may take some time to propagate to all iOS users. According to Apple's release notes, iOS 12.3.1 addresses a handful of bugs related to the Messages app and VoLTE calls.iOS 12.3.1 includes bug fixes for your iPhone and iPad. This update: - Fixes an issue that could prevent making or receiving VoLTE calls - Fixes issues in Messages that could cause messages from unknown senders to appear in your conversation list even though Filter Unknown Senders is enabled - Fixes an issue that could prevent the Report Junk link from appearing in Messages threads from unknown sendersApple did not offer a developer or public beta testing period for iOS 12.3.1, as is common for bug fix releases that are intended to address only a very few targeted areas and thus don't require significant feedback from users before public

Apple Stores Quietly Carrying New LG 23.7-Inch UltraFine Display

Over the past few months, supplies of the LG UltraFine 4K and 5K displays have dried up at Apple's retail and online stores, leading to speculation on the future of Apple-approved displays beyond a rumored ultra high-end 6K display perhaps coming alongside a revamped Mac Pro later this year. As shared by TidBITS, however, Apple retail stores are now quietly carrying a new $700 23.7-inch UltraFine display from LG. TidBITS' Julio Ojeda-Zapata was able to locate the new display in two different Apple retail stores, but it is not currently listed in the company's online store.To my surprise, an employee told me I should consider forgoing the 21.5-inch model. Why? “Because we have a larger LG display for the same price.” Laid out for me on the floor were boxes for the two monitors—including the 23.7-inch version that had seemingly come from nowhere.At 23.7 inches, the new UltraFine display sits between the original 21.5-inch 4K and 27-inch 5K display, but there is some confusion over the resolution of the display. Ojeda-Zapata claims that it only offers a resolution of 3360x1890, which would not reasonably allow it to serve as a Retina-quality display, but a user manual (PDF) for the display indicates that its native resolution is in fact 3840x2160. That's still less than that 4096x2304 resolution of the smaller 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K, but it would at least qualify as an Ultra HD resolution that is typically marketed as being 4K. Ojeda-Zapata purchased the new display and shares a brief overview of it, noting that it carries the same design as the previous UltraFine

Hands-on With Boss Audio's Latest CarPlay Receiver (With Exclusive Deal for MacRumors Readers)

A couple of months ago, Boss Audio debuted its latest aftermarket CarPlay receiver, the BVCP9685A, offering a relatively low-cost way to add wired CarPlay (and Android Auto) to your existing vehicle. The BVCP9685A is a double DIN unit with a 6.75-inch capacitive screen and a vertical strip of capacitive touch controls along the left side. With an external microphone and support for steering wheel controls and backup camera input when paired with proper auxiliary wiring, the BVCP9685A can integrate with much of the existing technology in your vehicle. Boss Audio sent me a demo unit of the BVCP9685A to test out, and I've come away pretty impressed with its ability to deliver CarPlay functionality at a budget price point, which is currently even lower with an exclusive 5 percent discount code for MacRumors readers. The BVCP9685A demo unit I received is a relatively self-contained package, hooked up to a standard AC power plug and a small external speaker. That makes it easy to test out the unit without needing to install it in a vehicle, which can be a bit tricky depending on your level of experience and the types of connections you need to make. On the flip side, the demo unit doesn't give you the full experience, so this is more of a hands-on look than a complete review as I haven't been able to test its sound quality with a full car speaker setup, integration with steering wheel controls and rear camera, and some other features. Overview Boss's BVCP9685A offers a relatively clean look dominated by the large screen, although it does have a bit of a

Proposed Tariffs Could Lead to 14% Increase in U.S. iPhone Prices

While U.S. tariffs on Apple's chargers and cases are already at 25 percent, the company's main products like the iPhone have so far escaped the extra taxes. That may soon change, however, as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has begun the approval process to subject an additional $300 billion in Chinese-made products, including iPhones, to tariffs that could go into effect in late June. The proposed tariffs are largely a bargaining chip and could end up being avoided if deals can be struck between the Trump administration and the Chinese government, but if the tariffs were to take effect, their impact on Apple's business would be substantial. Analysts cited by CNBC outline Apple's options, with J.P. Morgan estimating that the tariffs would be equivalent an estimated 14 percent increase in the retail price of an iPhone XS, pushing the cost from $999 to $1,142.“We estimate a price increase of around 14% is required to absorb the impact of a 25% tariff, keeping margin dollars for all players in the supply chain constant,” J.P. Morgan said in a note to clients Tuesday.There are a variety of ways that impact could be handled, including price increases for consumers, Apple absorbing the tariffs, suppliers helping absorb the tariffs by cutting the prices they charge Apple, or some combination of those possibilities. Looking further down the road, some have suggested Apple could move iPhone production out of China in order to avoid tariffs, either to other countries in the region or to the United States. Such a move would require massive investment and take a

iPhone XR Successor Could Replace Coral and Blue Options With Green and Lavender

Apple's colorful iPhone XR lineup comes in a total of six colors, offering plenty of options for users to choose one that best suits their preferences. This year's successor to the iPhone XR will similarly be available in six colors, but Mac Otakara says Apple will be tweaking a couple of the options. Mac Otakara's examples of expected 2019 iPhone XR colors According to the report, the 2019 iPhone XR will be available in new Green and Lavender colors, which will replace the current Coral and Blue colors. The other current colors of White, Black, Yellow, and (PRODUCT)RED will continue to be offered on the next-generation models. Mac Otakara also claims to have some information on cases for the next-generation iPhone XS and XS Max models, indicating that silicone cases for the new models will likely come in White, Black, (PRODUCT)RED, and shades similar to the current Spearmint and Mellow Yellow cases, as well as one that's close to the current Lilac leather

Apple Shares More Details on Parental Control App Crackdown

Following an email from Phil Schiller to a MacRumors reader yesterday addressing a report from The New York Times on Apple's removal of a number of App Store apps focused on screen time monitoring and parental controls, Apple has issued a public statement sharing additional perspective on the situation. The statement, entitled "The facts about parental control apps," is very similar in its details to the email from Schiller, highlighting how Apple "became aware" over the last year that these apps were using Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology to monitor all of the activity occurring on the user's device or devices used by their family members. MDM technology is intended for enterprise users to manage their company-owned devices, and Apple says the use of MDM by consumer-focused apps carries privacy and security concerns that resulted in Apple addressing the situation in its App Store review guidelines in mid-2017. Apple says that it notified developers of apps affected by its crackdown on this disallowed usage of MDM, giving them 30 days to modify their apps before pulling them from the App Store.Parents shouldn’t have to trade their fears of their children’s device usage for risks to privacy and security, and the App Store should not be a platform to force this choice. No one, except you, should have unrestricted access to manage your child’s device. When we found out about these guideline violations, we communicated these violations to the app developers, giving them 30 days to submit an updated app to avoid availability interruption in the App

Phil Schiller Lays Out Apple's Case for Cracking Down on Screen Time Monitoring Apps

Earlier today, a report from The New York Times highlighted Apple's removal of a number of App Store apps that had allowed users to monitor usage of their devices or those used by their children. The report suggests that Apple's move to pull the apps is related to having rolled out its own Screen Time feature in iOS 12 that competes in some ways with these apps, raising concerns over anticompetitive behavior. Over the past year, Apple has removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most downloaded screen-time and parental-control apps, according to an analysis by The New York Times and Sensor Tower, an app-data firm. Apple has also clamped down on a number of lesser-known apps. In some cases, Apple forced companies to remove features that allowed parents to control their children’s devices or that blocked children’s access to certain apps and adult content. In other cases, it simply pulled the apps from its App Store.The report quotes several developers who had their apps removed, including one who says the removal came "out of the blue with no warning." Apple is facing several complaints related to the moves, with a pair of developers filing with the European Union's competition office and Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab filing an antitrust complaint in that country. The New York Times shared a brief statement from an Apple spokeswoman saying that Apple treats "all apps the same," including ones that compete with Apple's own features like Screen Time. The spokeswoman stated that the affected apps "could gain too much information from users' devices."

Apple Spending $30 Million Per Month on Amazon Cloud Services

While Apple has built out a significant network of data centers to support iCloud and other services, it still relies on other companies to help support those services. According to CNBC, Apple has a multiyear agreement with Amazon Web Services that sees Apple paying Amazon $30 million per month. In a February job posting, Apple said it was looking for someone who could “lead and architect our growing AWS footprint.” Indeed, that expenditure is on track to expand. At the end of March, Apple’s spending was on track to average more than $30 million per month in the first quarter of 2019. That would be more than 10 percent higher than a year earlier, according to two people familiar with the spending.The report's sources indicate that Apple's current agreement with Amazon involves a commitment to spend at least $1.5 billion on AWS over five years, making Apple one of the top customers for Amazon's rapidly growing AWS business. Apple is of course continuing to invest heavily in its own cloud infrastructure, revealing last December as part of its new Austin campus announcement that it planned to spend $10 billion over five years on U.S. data centers, including $4.5 billion by the end of

Tim Cook Profiled in New Biography as 'The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level'

Several years ago, Leander Kahney released a well-received biography of Jony Ive, outlining how the publicity-shy "genius behind Apple's greatest products" came to play such a prominent role at Apple. Kahney painstakingly researched Ive's background, interviewing numerous friends and acquaintances from various stages of his life to put together a portrait of Apple's design guru. Kahney has now returned with another biography of an Apple executive, and this time he has his sights focused on CEO Tim Cook. Like Ive, Cook is an intensely private person, but Kahney spoke with a number of friends and family members, as well as former coworkers and even a few current Apple executives to learn more about the leader who has had the gargantuan task of following Steve Jobs. While Apple has had some considerable successes under Cook, some have been critical of the direction the company has taken under his leadership, whether it be product missteps, a perceived lack of innovation, or changes in the company's focus. Kahney finds little to dislike about Cook's tenure, however, as is made immediately clear by his book's title: Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level. Kahney centers his book around six values he argues "provide the foundation" for Cook's leadership at Apple: accessibility, education, environment, inclusion and diversity, privacy and security, and supplier responsibility. After a quick look at Cook's 2011 elevation to the CEO position and the death of Steve Jobs, the book delves into Cook's history, starting with his upbringing in Alabama and his

Review: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Gets a Boost From CarPlay Even on Lower-Level Trims

Volkswagen's Jetta compact sedan, a mainstay of the German automaker's lineup for 40 years, received a significant redesign for the 2019 model year, bringing a new platform, fresh new design, technology upgrades, and more. The Jetta is popular with car buyers looking for a cost-efficient daily commute vehicle, and the new Jetta starts at a little under $19,000 but can rise to around $27,500 if you opt for the high-end SEL Premium trim.. I spent some time testing out a relatively modestly specced 2019 Jetta SE, which is the second lowest of the five available trims and starts at just over $22,000 before any additional options. VW offers three different infotainment systems across the Jetta trims, starting with the 6.5-inch Composition Color system on the S, SE, and R-Line trims and moving up to an 8-inch Composition Media system on the SEL trim that adds features like voice control, CD player, and premium Beats Audio in addition to the larger screen. On the top-level SEL Premium trim, you'll find that same 8-inch screen but with what VW calls its Discover Media system that includes built-in navigation. As an SE trim, my test vehicle came with the 6.5-inch Composition Color system, which gave me an opportunity to see what a buyer with a relatively modest budget can expect to experience in a Jetta. Composition Color On its own, the Composition Color system is pretty basic. It includes AM/FM radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity for media sources, Bluetooth phone support, and some vehicle efficiency data. Main FM radio screen on Composition Color

Cardhop's Intuitive Contacts Management Comes to iOS

A year and a half ago, Flexibits branched out from its popular calendar app Fantastical to debut Cardhop, an intuitive contacts management app for macOS. Cardhop took Apple's Contacts to the next level, offering a smart input field that intelligently parses the text you're typing and figures out what you want to do. Customizable quick actions let you easily perform tasks related to your contacts, such as placing a phone call, sending an email, or contacting on Skype. Flexibits is now bringing the power of Cardhop to iOS, today launching a universal iPhone and iPad app that offers many of the same features found in the macOS version. The intelligent natural language input is here, automatically detecting whether you're trying to search, add, or edit a contact based on what you've typed. While Cardhop's contact cards will look very familiar to those who are used to Apple's native Contacts app, Cardhop's enhanced abilities make it much easier to manage and use the information stored on those cards. Cardhop for iOS makes it easy to edit your contacts, as all you have to do is tap and hold on the piece of information you're looking to update. As on macOS, there are customizable action keys that give you one-tap access to whatever functions you're most interested in, and those action keys live right above your keyboard at all times. Cardhop for iOS offers a choice of dark and light themes, as well as a combination theme that shows your lists and results in a dark color and individual contact cards in a light color. Siri Shortcuts are also supported in Cardhop,

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

Apple's "It's show time" media event will be kicking off at 10:00 AM Pacific / 1:00 PM Eastern today, and 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. Apple has become quicker about making event videos available for replay over the past several years, and 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 in the thread about Apple's announcements. Update: The full event video is now available on Apple's website.

Apple Suppliers 'Gearing Up for Mass Production' of Updated iPad and AirPods

Companies in Apple's supply chain are reportedly "gearing up for mass production" of updated iPad and AirPods models, according to Taiwanese site DigiTimes. Flexible PCB firms Flexium Interconnect and Zhen Ding Technology are gearing up for mass production for Apple's next-generation iPad devices, while Compeq Manufacturing and Unitech PCB supply rigid-flex boards for the forthcoming AirPods, according to industry sources.The report says that both updates are expected to come at Apple's March 25 event, although reliable sources have indicated the event will focus on Apple's upcoming news and video services with no hardware announcements planned. Minor hardware updates could come silently alongside the event or via press release around the same time, as DigiTimes's insights via the supply chain are likely limited to production timing rather than event specifics. Hints of an updated low-cost iPad have been growing, with new iPad models appearing in a regulatory database back in January. Rumors have suggested the entry-level iPad could see its display grow from 9.7 inches to around 10.2 inches thanks to slimmer bezels, but we're not expecting to see Face ID and removal of the home button with this update. As for AirPods, we've been hearing about an imminent update for many months now, with Apple's plans seemingly delayed as the company continues work on its AirPower charging mat. Updated AirPods would include a wireless charging case to work with the AirPower mat, as well as other upgrades including "Hey Siri" support and possibly new health monitoring features, a