Husain Sumra

Husain is a Contributing Editor at MacRumors. When not covering Apple he's writing about movies, watching movies, planning Disneyland trips and dreaming of Back to the Future hover boards for all.



Ticketmaster App Updated With Apple Music Integration to Track Concerts

Ticketmaster today updated its iOS app with Apple Music integration, allowing users to easily track upcoming concerts they might be interested in. The update makes Ticketmaster one of the few apps to take advantage of the Apple Music API. Once the update is downloaded, users can allow the app to scan their Apple Music library for their favorite artists. Users will then receive ticket alerts when those artists announce new concerts. If users enable notifications and location services, the app can also notify a user when and where they can watch an artist perform. Apple introduced the Apple Music API with iOS 9.3, and soon began promoting the API in April 2016. Two of the most well known apps to take advantage of the API are Nike and Shazam. Nike's Run Club app allows users to import Apple Music playlists while Shazam allows users to add identified songs to their library. Unlike Nike and Shazam's apps, which is focused on directly impacting someone's music library, the primary goal of Ticketmaster's utilization is to use Apple Music user data to improve its app experience. Ticketmaster for iOS is available in the App Store for free [Direct Link]

Apple Considering Adding China's BOE as OLED Supplier for 2018 iPhone

Apple is in discussions with China's BOE Technology Group to supply OLED screens for the 2018 iPhone, reports Bloomberg. The Cupertino company is looking for ways to shore up its OLED supplies as the iPhone transitions from LCD to OLED displays. Apple has been testing BOE's OLED displays for months, according to Bloomberg, but it isn't yet sure whether to add the company as a supplier. BOE is one of China's largest display makers, recently spending about $14.5 billion on two AMOLED factories. Talks are too early to allow BOE to contribute displays for Apple's 2017 OLED-based iPhone, known as the iPhone 8, but BOE is hoping to contribute to the 2018 iPhone supply. If Apple and BOE agree to a deal, the Chinese manufacturer will become Apple's first OLED supplier outside of South Korea and Japan. In November, it was reported that Apple's OLED suppliers, which include Samsung, LG, Sharp and Japan Display, would not be able to meet demand for the 2017 iPhone. The worldwide shortage of OLED displays is thought to be one of the reasons why Apple is limiting the feature to the high-end device, while the regular iPhone 7s and 7s Plus are said to feature LCD displays. One of BOE's new factories will open this summer while another will open a couple years later. When they're up to full capacity, BOE says they'll be able to produce 1.6 million square-meters of flexible glass substrates (surfaces that displays are carved out of) a month. Samsung will exclusively produce OLED displays for iPhones in 2017, with Apple opening up to LG, Sharp and Japan Display in

Pioneer's New 'Rayz' Lightning Earphones Come With Built-In iPhone-Charging Port

Pioneer today announced a pair of new smart Lightning earphones, the Rayz and Rayz Plus. The Plus model includes a built-in Lightning port that allows users to charge their phone while listening to music. Pioneer says it's the "first and only" Lightning headset with a built-in "charging node." While the regular Rayz do not include a Lightning port, both models use Avnera's LightX technology, which allows the headphones to "operate in modes that use the lowest power possible" from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Both models also come with six microphones that can enable several smart features, which can be activated by an accompanying app that will be released in the future. Smart Noise Cancellation scans the user's ear and environment to optimize the noise cancellation for that specific situation. Pioneer says the noise cancellation covers "everyday life," including commuting and school environments. The earphones also have HearThruä mode, which allow enough outside noise to keep users engaged with what's going on around them. Like Apple's AirPods, the Rayz also have sensors that stop and start the music when a user puts the earphones in or out of their ears. When not in a user's ears, the Rayz automatically enter low power mode to save battery power. The earphones also come with a one-button click to mute the mic during a call and a programmable smart button. The Rayz app allows users to customize the sound the earphones deliver as well as programming the smart button. In addition, Pioneer says the app will allow the earphones to gain additional features

Apple Planning to Fight Proposed 'Right to Repair' Legislation

Apple is preparing to fight proposed "Right to Repair" legislation proposed in the Nebraska state legislature, reports Motherboard. The legislation aims to make it easier for both customers and indie repair shops to repair electronics, similar to how car repair works. Nebraska is one of eight states considering such legislation. In addition to Nebraska, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Kansas and Massachusetts are working on similar bills. Last week, Illinois and Tennessee introduced laws in the same vein. Nebraska, thus far, is the only state to schedule a hearing for the proposed legislation. A source tells Motherboard that Apple will send either a representative, staffer or lobbyist to argue against the law at the hearing, which is scheduled for March 9 in Lincoln, Nebraska. One of the arguments Apple intends to put forth is that allowing customers to repair their own phones could result in lithium batteries catching fire. Apple has successfully lobbied against similar bills in the past. Last year, a bill headed through New York's state legislature was killed due to, in part, lobbying from Apple and IBM. A "Right to Repair" law would require Apple and other manufacturers to sell repair parts to consumers and independent repair shops and make diagnostic and service manuals available to the public. Currently, Apple runs the Apple Authorized Service Provider Program, which requires businesses to let Apple review their financial records, maintain high levels of customer service, establish a credit line with Apple, and promote

Eddy Cue Previews 'Planet of the Apps' at Code Conference: Non-Linear Viewing, Weekly Release, First Trailer and More

Eddy Cue, Apple's SVP of Internet Services, spoke at Code Conference tonight alongside Planet of the Apps producer Ben Silverman to preview the show and debut the first trailer from the program. Cue and Silverman also teased several unique aspects of the show, including a dedicated app that allows you to watch the show in a non-linear format. The format of the show is similar to that of fellow talent-based reality shows The Voice and Shark Tank. Aspiring app developers descend down an escalator while pitching four judges on their idea. By the time they get to the bottom, the judges must swipe left or right to demonstrate whether they're interested. If multiple judges swipe right on a contestant, the contestant gets to choose who they want to pair with. Once paired, the developer goes through an incubator period, getting advise from developers at big companies like Uber, until it's ready enough to pitch to Lightspeed Venture Partners for funding. Silverman and Cue say that the show will debut a new episode every week starting in the Spring, rather than dumping the entire season on a single date, as Netflix tends to do. The show will also have a dedicated app that'll allow viewers to watch the show in a non-linear format. Within the app, people will have the opportunity to pause the linear version of the show to access unused footage of specific developers. Apple wasn't the first choice for the show, according to Silverman. The project was initially shopped around to the big networks. The show drew major interest, but Will.I.Am brought up the show to Jimmy Iovine

Apple's WebKit Team Proposes W3C Community Group to Strive for More Powerful Graphics on the Web

Apple's WebKit team today proposed a new Community Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) focused on discussing the future of 3D graphics on the web. The goal of the group is to lead to development of a new Web API that would better prepare web browsers to take advantage of modern, and future, GPU technologies on a variety of platforms. On the WebKit blog, Apple's Dean Jackson says new software APIs "better reflect" modern GPUs, but that many of the major ones -- Direct3D 12 from Microsoft, Metal from Apple and Vulkan from Khronos Group -- aren't available on all platforms. While the success of the web requires common standards, Jackson argues, these platform-specific APIs make following a single API, like OpenGL, impossible in the future. Instead, Apple's WebKit team is proposing that a new standard is needed. The new standard needs to provide a "core set of required features," an API that can be implemented on a variety of platforms with different system technologies, sitting on top of technologies like Direct3D, Metal and Vulkan, and the security and safety required for the Web. While being a new open standard that's compatible with platform-specific technologies, Apple says the new standard must also be easy to to adopt, "expose the general-purpose computational functionality of modern GPUs," and work well with emerging standards like WebAssembly and WebVR. Apple's initial proposal, which it calls an experiment, is "WebGPU." Apple says WebGPU started out as a mapping of Metal to JavaScript, and some graphics programmers are calling the proposal

Apple Hires Amazon Fire TV Head to Spearhead Apple TV Business

Apple has hired Timothy D. Twerdahl, the general manager and director of Amazon's Fire TV business, to be the vice president in charge of Apple TV product marketing, reports Bloomberg. Twerdahl joined Apple earlier this month. Twerdahl has been in charge of Fire TV since 2013, overseeing two generations of the product and its rise as one of the more popular internet-connected set-top boxes. At Apple, Twerdahl will report to Greg Joswiak, VP of iOS and iPhone Product Marketing. The move will allow Pete Distad, the former head of Apple TV product marketing, to concentrate on helping Apple land content deals, which are headed by Eddy Cue. Before joining Apple in 2013, Distad was senior vice president of content distribution at Hulu. Having Distad join content negotiations is intended to shore up content for Apple TV, according to Bloomberg, as efforts to secure exclusive content deals for Apple TV have stalled in the past due to failed negotiations. With the fourth-generation Apple TV, Apple was originally aiming to provide a full a la carte television service that could replace traditional cable and satellite packages, similar to Sony's PlayStation Vue service. However, Apple unsurprisingly saw pushback from both content and cable companies after using negotiating tactics described as "assertive" and "hard-nosed," declining to back down from the terms the company wanted. Apple scaled back its TV ambitions in the past couple of years, though it considered both a slimmed-down subscription service and purchasing Time Warner. In addition to leading product

Lawsuit Alleges Apple Broke FaceTime on iOS 6 to Force iOS 7 Upgrades, Save Money

Christina Grace of California has filed a new class-action lawsuit that alleges Apple broke FaceTime in iOS 6 to force users to upgrade to iOS 7, reports AppleInsider. According to the lawsuit, Apple forced users to upgrade so it could avoid payments on a data deal with Akamai. The class action found its genesis in internal Apple documents and emails disclosed in the VirnetX patent infringement lawsuit, which eventually ended in Apple paying $302 million after a retrial. Apple used two connection methods when launching FaceTime in 2010: a peer-to-peer method that created a direct connection between two iPhones and a relay method that used data servers from Akamai. When Apple's peer-to-peer FaceTime technology was found to infringe on VirnetX's patents in 2012, Apple began to shift toward Akamai's servers to handle iPhone-to-iPhone connections. A year later, Apple was paying $50 million in fees to Akamai, according to testimony from the VirnetX trial. The class-action lawsuit, pointing to an internal email titled "Ways to Reduce Relay Usage," alleges that the growing fees were beginning to bother Apple executives. Apple eventually solved the problem by creating new peer-to-peer technology that would debut in iOS 7. The class-action lawsuit, however, alleges that Apple created a fake bug that caused a digital certificate to prematurely expire on April 16, 2014, breaking FaceTime on iOS 6. Breaking FaceTime on iOS 6, the lawsuit claims, would allow Apple to save money on users who did not upgrade to iOS 7. At the time, Apple recognized the bug, publishing a

Apple Supplier Wistron to Manufacture iPhones in India

Apple has agreed to a deal with the government of Indian state Karnataka to begin manufacturing iPhones in Bangalore, reports The Times of India. The Karnataka government announced that it had approved Apple's proposal to "commence initial manufacturing operations" in a press release. Apple's desire to open a manufacturing hub in India started after Prime Minister Narendra Modi began promoting his "Made in India" initiative. Apple manufacturing partner Wistron will make the iPhones in a new plant, reportedly beginning with the iPhone 8. Over the past couple of months, Apple and Indian officials began narrowing down possibilities to manufacture products locally. Last month, Apple finally chose a Karnataka-based facility over competing bids from other Indian states Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana. During negotiations, Apple was said to be seeking a number of tax and other incentives, including the possibility of long-term duty exemptions. The government said it's in discussions with Apple for other potential collaborations, but declined to say what they could be. The move is a major step for Apple as it looks to solidify its footing in the subcontinent so it can access India's customer

Apple Considering Legal Options Against Immigration Executive Order

Apple is considering legal action to pressure the Trump administration into rescinding its executive order on immigration, Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal in a new interview. The news comes days after Microsoft, Amazon and other companies pledged declarations of support for Washington state's legal fight against the executive order. The order, signed last Friday, suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, bans Syrian refugees for an indefinite amount of time and blocks citizens of 7 countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. On Saturday, Cook sent an email to all Apple employees saying that the order "is not a policy we support," and that Apple's HR, Legal and Security teams were contacting employees who were affected. Cook says hundreds of employees have been affected by the order and that he's been contacting "very, very senior people in the White House" to tell them that rescinding the order is not only important for Apple, but because the U.S.' strength comes from its immigrant background. “More than any country in the world, this country is strong because of our immigrant background and our capacity and ability as people to welcome people from all kinds of backgrounds. That’s what makes us special,” said Mr. Cook. “We ought to pause and really think deeply through that.”Numerous Apple employees have contacted Cook with "heart-wrenching stories" about how the ban will affect them, he says. One employee, according to the WSJ, is expecting a child and is afraid the future grandparents, which have Canadian and Iranian citizenship,

Prince's Music Reportedly Coming to Apple Music February 12

Prince's catalog of songs is headed to Apple Music and other streaming services, like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play and more, on February 12, reports the New York Post. Currently, Prince's songs are only available to stream on Tidal. It would be the first time in 19 months the singer's music would be available on that many streaming networks. Prince pulled his music from all streaming services except for Tidal 9 months before his death. Since his death, Prince's estate has been working on deals with various services to make his music available for streaming again. The music will go live on streaming services during the Grammys on February 12. The award show will feature a tribute to Prince featuring music artists Rihanna, Bruno Mars and The Weeknd. While the music that will become available on streaming services falls under the late artist's Warner Music contract, the Post says music from his secretive "vault" is also being

New Legislation Aims to Make it Easier for Customers, Indie Shops to Repair iPhones

Lawmakers in Nebraska, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts and Kansas have introduced legislation aiming to legalize "Right to Repair" rules for electronic devices, including Apple's iPhone, reports Motherboard. The laws would require manufacturers to sell replacement parts to independent repair shops and customers, and force them to make service and diagnostic manuals public. The bills are aimed at diluting the "authorized repair" model that most tech products subscribe to, making electronic device repair more similar to the car repair. The legislation is modeled after the Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act, which passed in Massachusetts in 2012. That law effectively became national legislation as auto manufacturers didn't want to bother dealing with different legislation in each state. The legislators behind the New York bill say that authorized repair shops result in "high repair prices and high overturn of electronic items." Additionally, many independent repair shops end up purchasing parts from Chinese grey markets or taking parts from recycled electronics to compete. This results in raids from the Department of Homeland Security as the independent shops end up unknowingly selling counterfeit parts. Apple currently runs the Apple Authorized Service Provider Program, which allows companies to obtain Apple-genuine parts, reimbursement for repairs covered by Apple's warranties, a performance-based bonus program, on-the-spot technical service, comprehensive repair information, inclusion on Apple's website and more. However, the program requires

Facebook Begins Testing Ads in Messenger App

Facebook today announced that it has begun testing ads in the Messenger app. The test will be limited to users in Australia and Thailand and will allow businesses to place ads on the Messenger home screen below favorite users and most recent conversations. The company says that "no one will see an ad in a conversation without clicking on an ad experience on the Messenger home screen or starting a conversation with a brand." Facebook assures that ads will not "originate" in conversations. Facebook says businesses have told the company that they're excited to use the Messenger platform to connect to its billion users, driving sales and building brand awareness. Currently, Facebook runs ads on its News Feed that, when clicked, take users into Messenger conversations with brands. This has helped person-to-business messaging grow popular, with Facebook saying over a billion messages are sent a month between people and businesses. Messenger users will have "complete control" over their experience, and will be able to either hide or report specific ads using a dropdown menu, similar to how users can report ads on their News Feed. Additionally, advertisers are not allowed to directly message users unless the user initiates the conversation. The test will only work for a "very small group" of people in Australia and Thailand, and Facebook says the company will take its time before it considers further

Apple Shares New 'Pairing,' 'Siri' and 'Notes' AirPods Ads

Apple today shared three ads highlighting the newly-released AirPods on its YouTube channel. Two of the ads are focused on AirPod features, like Siri and instant pairing, and star dancer Lil Buck while the third ad is centered on showcasing the device's design. In "Pairing," Lil Buck simply flips open the AirPods charging case and watches them instantly pair with his iPhone 7. He then proceeds to dance on the side of a car as the camera zooms in. Eventually, Apple's "Practically Magic" iPhone 7 slogan pops on screen. In "Siri," Lil Buck double taps an AirPod to activate Siri and then asks her to play a song. She does, and the man proceeds to dance on the street before dancing on the side of a wall. In the final ad, "Notes," the AirPods are used as musical notes on a black background playing the piano part of Marian Hill's "Down." The ad eventually cuts to a quick shot of an AirPod charging case opening and the AirPods pairing to an iPhone. All three ads feature the song "Down" from Marian Hill. They are the first set of ads for the AirPods, although all of them also make sure to include mentions of iPhone 7. "Pairing" and "Siri" are the only two that use iPhone 7's "Practically Magic" slogan. Apple also uploaded a new Apple Watch Series 2 ad to its YouTube channel called "Close Your Rings." The ad features three people exercising and trying to complete their daily move, exercise and stand goals, one of the more popular fitness features on the Apple Watch. Update: Apple has uploaded a fifth AirPods video, entitled "Stroll." The new video is the

New Video Pits iPhone Click Wheel Prototype Against Scott Forstall's Icon-Based iPhone Prototype

A couple days ago Sonny Dickson shared a look at one of two early prototypes for the original iPhone, the iPod Click Wheel-based OS that iPod "Godfather" Tony Fadell was working on. Tonight, Dickson has shared a video pitting Fadell's version against Scott Forstall's icon-based iPhone prototype, which went on to become the basis for iOS. Fadell's prototype was referred to as P1 while Forstall's prototype was referred to as P2. The two projects reportedly went head to head in 2005 when Steve Jobs pitted the two against each other. While the P1 used the click-wheel interface to navigate the OS, the P2 used a series of touch-based icons to move around the OS. Both P1 and P2 run a prototype OS Apple codenamed "Acorn OS" internally, though Dickson notes that P1 runs faster because it uses a slimmed down version of Acorn OS. Each prototype also sports a unique logo that pops up after the Acorn OS logo while it boots up. The P2 loads octopus whereas the P1 has the iPod classic logo. The P2 takes a significantly longer to load because it actually has a real OS, whereas the P1 takes much less time since the OS is slimmer. These P unit prototypes are so early in the development process that they rely on a custom process to be turned off, and can only be powered down during a certain step of the boot process.The video, and accompanying photos, provide both a look at the choice Steve Jobs and Apple employees faced as they were developing the iPhone and iOS 10 years ago and how Apple explores ideas. As Dickson notes, "P devices" are the first step of any project at Apple.

Russia Forces Apple to Remove LinkedIn From Russian App Store

Russian authorities have required Apple and Google to remove the LinkedIn app from the App Store and Google Play in Russia, reports The New York Times. The move comes a couple weeks after Russia blocked LinkedIn's website. The demand by Russian authorities to remove LinkedIn in Apple and Google app stores comes weeks after a court blocked the professional networking service for flouting local laws that require internet firms to store data on Russian citizens within the nation’s borders. Apple confirmed to The New York Times that it was asked to remove the app from the App Store about a month ago. The app, however, had already stopped functioning once LinkedIn's website was blocked in the country. LinkedIn, which has several million users in Russia, said it was "disappointed" by the news. The service was blocked in Russia because a court ruled in November that the company broke local laws that require Internet firms to store servers holding information on Russian accounts within the country. The New York Times notes that most American companies operate in Russia while violating the law, making the blocking of LinkedIn a rare occurrence. In late December, China required Apple to remove all apps from The New York Times for being in "violation of local regulations." The New York Times' website has been blocked in China since 2012. Countries like China, Russia and Turkey have blocked direct access to websites for years, but pressuring tech companies like Apple to also remove apps is a more recent trend, according to The New York Times. Note: Due to the political

Apple's Iconic Fifth Avenue Store Moving to Temporary Location on January 20 During Renovations

In June 2015 it was reported that Apple would renovate its iconic Fifth Avenue retail store, temporarily relocating its operations to the vacated FAO Schwarz toy store in the General Motors Building. A MacRumors reader spotted a new sign in front of the iconic store that reveals the relocation will happen on January 20. FAO Schwarz vacated its location in the General Motors Building in July 2015 due to the rising cost of rent. The space is just a couple feet away from the iconic glass cube, making the relocation largely seamless for frequent customers of the Fifth Avenue store. Apple's Fifth Avenue store and the former FAO Schwarz space, far right (Flickr) While the extent of the renovations at the Fifth Avenue store are unknown, the company has been expanding or relocating a number of its older stores to accommodate increased foot traffic. The Fifth Avenue location was last renovated in 2011, when larger, more seamless panes of glass were installed. The renovation was completed in November 2011. Ahead of the closure, the store will have reduced hours of 6:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on January 16-18. The location is usually open on a 24 hour, 365 day

Instagram Adds Support for Wide Color and Live Photos

At Apple's September 2016 special event, Instagram announced several new features for its app to take advantage of various iPhone capabilities. Today, co-founder Mike Krieger announced that two of the features, wide color support and Live Photos support, are rolling out to users. Instagram had to revise its photo filters to support the iPhone 7's new camera capabilities. The new photo filters will allow users with an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to see and capture a wider variety of hues in their photos. Live Photos support for Instagram Stories has also been implemented. This allows users to upload GIFs into their Instagram Stories without using the standalone Boomerang app. To upload a Live Photos to Instagram Stories, users just have to 3D Touch on the Live Photos they want to upload before they upload it. The other big feature Instagram announced in September, the ability to use the iPhone 7 Plus' telephoto lens for one-finger zoom, has not yet gone live. Neither wide color or Live Photos support for Instagram Stories require a user to update the app. Instagram is available in the App Store for free [Direct Link

CES 2017: Nvidia's 'GeForce Now' Cloud Service to Bring High-End PC Gaming to Mac

Tonight at its CES 2017 keynote event, Nvidia announced GeForce Now for Mac and PC, a cloud gaming service that allows low-end Mac and PC users to play high-end PC games. The service is similar to an identically-named service for Nvidia Shield users. Nvidia says that there are an estimated 1 billion PC users who have integrated GPUs that can't play games "to their full potential." GeForce Now allows those users to access a Pascal-powered PC in the cloud to play games to their full potential. In addition to letting users with low-end computers play high-end games, the service will become one of the few ways Mac users can play the latest AAA PC games. According to The Verge, Nvidia showed off the service by playing Rise of the Tomb Raider on an iMac. Rise of the Tomb Raider is not yet available for macOS. GeForce Now doesn't stream games from the cloud to a user's computer, similar to how Netflix streams movies to various devices, reports Engadget. GeForce Now is more like a high-end PC in the cloud that runs a user's games. Users will have to purchase their games from online distributors like Steam and Origin. Once they're purchased, they can use the power of GeForce's GRID servers to run them on their computers. The service will cost $25 for every 20 hours of play. Nvidia says the service will start rolling out in

CES 2017: Sleep Number Announces Self-Adjusting, Feet-Warming '360' Smart Bed

Today at CES Sleep Number announced the technological follow-up to its iPhone-connected "IT" smart bed from last year. The new bed is the Sleep Number 360, a self-adjusting smart bed that can warm your feet, adjust to your snoring and more. The bed, which uses Sleep Number's SleepIQ technology, has four new signature features. The bed can self-adjust throughout the night, matching the sleep movements of the sleeper. For instance, if someone switches from sleeping on their side to sleeping on their stomach, the bed will adjust comfort in real time. The bed can also sense when a sleeper is snoring and gently adjusts the sleeper so that they're in a position that will lessen snoring. Snore adjustment is temporary, and the feature only works with mild snoring in otherwise healthy adults, according to Sleep Number. The feature adjusts the bed based on the sleeper's sleeping position. For instance, if the snorer is on their back the bed will raise their head slightly. The 360 also comes foot-warming technology. Because the bed knows the sleeper's bedtime routine via the SleepIQ app, it can warm up the foot of the bed to be toasty when the sleeper is ready to go to sleep. The company claims that research shows that people fall asleep faster when their feet are warmer than normal. Finally, the bed has a smart alarm that'll deliver a wake-up call at the optimal moment. Sleepers can set an alarm window via the SleepIQ app, and the bed, within that window, will deliver an alarm when the sleeper is in their lightest sleep. The SleepIQ app can also connect the bed to