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 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

Apple Pushes Automatic Mac Software Update to Remove Vulnerable Zoom Web Server

Earlier this week, a serious vulnerability with the Zoom video conferencing app for macOS was disclosed, with attackers potentially able to hijack users' webcams. The vulnerability was particularly notable because Zoom had installed a hidden web server on users' computers in order to allow for automatic answering of incoming calls, and that web server was not only the weak point that could be exploited, but it also was not removed upon deletion of the app. As a result, users who had previously deleted Zoom might not even realize they were vulnerable to this potential attack. After initially defending the decision to install a web server on users' machines to work around changes in Safari 12 that would have required users to click to accept incoming calls, Zoom later backtracked and released a patch to remove the web server from users' computers. Apple has now taken things one step further and pushed out a silent macOS update that removes the web server, reports TechCrunch. The update is deployed automatically, so users don't have to manually apply it in order for it to take effect.Although Zoom released a fixed app version on Tuesday, Apple said its actions will protect users both past and present from the undocumented web server vulnerability without affecting or hindering the functionality of the Zoom app itself. The update will now prompt users if they want to open the app, whereas before it would open automatically.Zoom told TechCrunch it was "happy to have worked with Apple on testing this update" and that it should resolve all issues with the web

Searchable Transcripts of WWDC 2019 Session Videos Now Available

Apple today announced that transcripts of all of its WWDC 2019 session videos are now available through the WWDC video page. Individual transcripts can be searched by keyword or phrase, and clicking on search results will jump you straight to the corresponding timestamps in the video, making it easy to find just what you're looking for and share those specific sections with timestamped links. Transcripts can also be downloaded in .txt format for local archival and search

AT&T Jumps to First Place in U.S. Mobile Speeds, but Verizon Still Most Consistent

Ookla, the company behind the popular Speedtest bandwidth measurement service, today released its 2019 Speedtest Mobile Performance Report, leveraging over 11.5 million speed tests from over 4 million unique devices to rank the network performance of the major U.S. carriers during the first half of 2019. Overall, Ookla found that the mean mobile download speed rose to 33.88 Mbps during the first half of the year, up 24 percent compared to the same period in 2018. That improvement allowed the U.S. to rise from 43rd to 40th in the global rankings of mobile download performance. Mean upload speeds rose 13 percent to 9.75 Mbps, which actually resulted in a drop of 21 spots to 94th in the global rankings. Looking at the four major U.S. carriers, AT&T came out on top in this year's survey with a Speed Score (a weighted rating of 90% download and 10% upload speeds) of 32.91, with T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint following behind. That marks a significant improvement for AT&T, which placed third in last year's survey.Delivering LTE service over seven licensed frequency bands and increasing the amount of seeded devices capable of four and five carrier aggregation has been paying off for AT&T. Over the past year, AT&T has managed to leapfrog the competition to produce the fastest download speeds across the country. AT&T’s addition of FirstNet spectrum meant a required maintenance visit to cell sites and the addition of brand new hardware at those locations. AT&T wisely used this opportunity to also upgrade the existing radio access infrastructure, including replacing the

Apple Releases Revised Version of iOS 13 and iPadOS Developer Beta 3

Alongside the second public beta versions of iOS 13 and iPadOS, Apple today also released a revised third beta version of the operating systems for developers. The reason for the new version isn't entirely clear, but the original third developer beta was not available for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus for some reason. Today's update, build 17A5522g, is only a very minor increment from the 17A5522f build of the original release, but Apple appears to be pushing it out for all devices, not just the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus that had not originally received it. Registered developers will need to download the profile for the ‌iOS 13‌ and ‌iPadOS‌ betas from Apple's Developer Center. The revised Beta 3 can be downloaded over-the-air once the proper profile has been

Apple Experiencing Issues With iCloud Services and Retail Store Systems [Resolved]

Apple today is experiencing problems with a host of iCloud-related services, as outlined on the company's system status page. Affected services include all of the basic iCloud services, as well as services like Find My Friends, ‌Find My‌ iPhone, Game Center, Photos, and Screen Time. The company says only that "some" users are affected, but social media reports suggest the outage is fairly widespread. Apple is also having problems with its retail store systems, with a number of users reporting that employees are unable to complete customer purchases or support requests. The awkward moment you go into the Apple store and they say every store in the world right now can’t sell anything. Systems down and they don’t know how long for. #FirstWorldProblems #Apple— Elliott Cantor (@ElliottCantor) July 4, 2019 Systems are down completely @apple store international plaza Tampa, Fl. Can’t even get my watch fixed— wakaidev (@wakaidev) July 4, 2019 Update: Apple Cash, Apple Pay card management, and Mail Drop are now also affected. Update 2: According to Apple's system status page, all issues have been

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