Joe Rossignol

Joe joined MacRumors as an Editor in January 2015, based out of Toronto, Canada. He has been writing about Apple since 2008, with bylines at 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, and many other tech-focused publications.

Joe has been cited by major media outlets, including Bloomberg News, CBS, CNBC, CNN, NBC, Reuters, TechCrunch, and The Washington Post. Many of his headlines have been featured by tech news aggregator Techmeme.



Apple Tells Congress It Hasn't Been Profiting From Repairs in Response to Antitrust Probe

As part of an antitrust probe, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Apple in September with questions about its policies for the App Store, product repairs, and more. Apple has since responded, and while many of the responses are predictable, the letter reveals a few noteworthy details. For example, when asked to identify the total revenue that it has derived from repair services since 2009, Apple said "the costs of providing repair services has exceeded the revenue generated by repairs" in each year over that period. Apple also said it has invested "billions of dollars" in Apple Maps since the app was released in 2012. Apple is currently in the process of revamping its Maps app with much more detailed mapping data, with the improvements now available in 27 states fully and another six states partially. Apple defends many of its policies throughout the letter. For example, Apple says third-party web browsers on iOS devices must use its WebKit framework due to user privacy and security considerations. Apple gives a similar explanation for why third-party apps cannot be set as default on iOS devices. The full letter can be read here.

Apple Begins Production of New Mac Pro in Texas, But Distribution Possibly Limited to Americas

In addition to breaking ground on a new $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, Apple today announced that its new Mac Pro is now in production at a nearby facility in the city. The computer is set to launch in December. Notably, Apple says the Mac Pro units in production in Austin will soon ship to customers "across the Americas," suggesting that the Mac Pro units assembled in Texas will only be shipped to customers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other countries across North and South America. It is possible that Apple plans to assemble the Mac Pro in China for orders placed outside of the Americas, but the company has not commented. Apple and its manufacturing partners have invested over $200 million in the Mac Pro facility in Austin. The manufacturing plant is UL Zero Waste to Landfill Gold certified, and has been recognized by Austin Water for Excellence in Water Conservation and Excellence in Environmental Stewardship. The new Mac Pro contains hundreds of components from suppliers in 19 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. In a press release, Apple CEO Tim Cook said "building the Mac Pro, Apple's most powerful device ever, in Austin is both a point of pride and a testament to the enduring power of American ingenuity." The new Mac Pro will be the fastest Mac ever, with up to 28-core Intel Xeon processors, up to 1.5TB of ECC RAM, up to 8TB of SSD storage, and up to AMD

Apple Breaks Ground on New $1 Billion Campus in Austin, Texas, Expected to Open in 2022

Apple today announced that it has started construction of its new $1 billion, 133-acre campus in Austin, Texas as part of a commitment it made last year. Apple says the campus will initially house 5,000 employees, with the capacity to grow to 15,000, and is expected to open in 2022. In partnership with Austin-based Bartlett Tree Experts, Apple said it will plant thousands of trees spanning over 20 varieties native to Texas on the campus. Apple says landscaping will cover over 60 percent of the property, including a 50-acre nature and wildlife preserve that will be open to the public. The new campus in Austin, Texas is part of Apple's commitment to increase its investment in manufacturing, engineering, and other jobs across the United States. Apple says it is on track to contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy between 2018 and 2023 and hire an additional 20,000 employees over that time. Apple says it has grown to approximately 7,000 employees in Austin, more than a 50 percent increase in the past five years. Apple CEO Tim Cook:With the construction of our new campus in Austin now underway, Apple is deepening our close bond with the city and the talented and diverse workforce that calls it home. Responsible for 2.4 million American jobs and counting, Apple is eager to write our next chapter here and to keep contributing to America's innovation story.Cook is touring Apple's Austin operations with U.S. President Donald Trump today. Apple is also continuing its expansion in Boulder, Culver City, New York, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and

16-Inch MacBook Pro Features New 'Lid Angle Sensor'

Earlier this week, do-it-yourself repair website iFixit shared its full teardown of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, providing a closer look at its scissor switch keyboard, new thermal architecture, and other design tweaks. As it turns out, there is one more change. In an internal document to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, Apple indicates the 16-inch MacBook Pro includes a new "lid angle sensor" that presumably monitors the opening and closing of the notebook and the precise position of the lid. MacRumors reached out to iFixit to investigate, leading them to uncover a small sensor facing the left-side hinge of the notebook. There is also a magnet embedded in the hinge itself, with an arrow indicating polarity. iFixit has updated its teardown with photos of the sensor, which we've shared below. Photo: iFixit While previous-generation MacBook Pro models have a Hall effect sensor that determines when the lid is closed for sleep/wake purposes, the lid angle sensor in the 16-inch MacBook Pro appears to be more sophisticated. Apple's service document does not provide any clues as to why the sensor was redesigned, but iFixit speculates that it could provide a clever way for Apple to track how often the lid was opened, closed, or adjusted in cases where the display or frayed flex cables need to be repaired — think "Flexgate." Photo: iFixit The lid angle sensor could also be for an unannounced macOS feature, although again, this is merely speculation. Of note, in the event of a display repair, Apple's service document indicates that

Apple Maps Revamp Rolls Out Widely in Western and Midwestern United States

In June 2018, Apple announced that its Maps app would be rebuilt "from the ground up" with more accurate details like grass and trees, pools, parking lots, exact building shapes, sports areas like baseball diamonds and basketball courts, and pedestrian pathways that are commonly walked but previously unmapped. Apple Maps with revamped data in Western and Midwestern U.S. via Justin O'Beirne The revamped Apple Maps experience first rolled out to Northern California during iOS 12 beta testing last year and has since extended to Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, parts of the Gulf Coast, and several Northeast states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. The expansion continued this week, as Apple has finished its rollout of the improved maps in parts of the West and Midwest regions of the United States. This includes Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, and parts of Illinois and Indiana. Justin O'Beirne has fantastic coverage of the Apple Maps revamp, noting that the improved maps now cover 27 states fully and another six states partially. In June, Apple said the improved maps would cover the entire United States by the end of 2019, followed by additional countries in 2020. As usual, some users will see the revamped maps in their region sooner than others, so we wait until the rollout has extended more widely to report the news. If you do not see the improved data yet, give it some time. (Thanks to Matt, Frank, Noah, Alan, and all others who tipped us!)

Former Apple Employee Shares Incredible Story of Accidentally Stealing Steve Jobs' MacBook From His Office

On a recent episode of The Eavesdrop podcast with Hector Rodriguez, shared on Reddit, Apple's former vice president of mobile advertising Andy Miller shared an incredible story about accidentally stealing Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' laptop, mouse, and mouse pad during a heated meeting in Jobs' office. The story truly speaks for itself and begins at the 44 minute mark. Miller uses a few explicit words, so a fair warning that the video may be NSFW: Miller joined Apple upon selling his mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless to the iPhone maker for $275 million in late 2009, reporting directly to Jobs. Miller remained at Apple until late 2011 and later served as an executive at motion-controller startup Leap Motion between 2012 and

Apple Pay Now Available in Belarus, Citymapper Pass Adds Support in London

Apple Pay launched in Belarus today as the mobile payment service continues to expand across Eastern Europe. BPS Sberbank is the first bank in Belarus to roll out Apple Pay support for its Visa and Mastercard cards. To set up a card with ‌Apple Pay‌, open the Wallet app on a compatible iPhone and tap the plus button in the top-right corner. Once activated, Apple Pay can be used with an iPhone or Apple Watch to make purchases at stores that accept contactless payments, while many apps and websites also accept the service. In related news, the Citymapper Pass transit card can now be added to the Wallet app for use with Apple Pay. The card provides unlimited public transportation across the subway, bus, and rail in London for a weekly price. Citymapper plans to expand the card to other cities around the world in the future. Citymapper Pass now works with Apple Pay!#thinnerwallet pic.twitter.com/Uq9rhNVOKn— Citymapper (@Citymapper) November 19, 2019 Apple has fulfilled its promise of Apple Pay being available in more than 40 countries and regions by the end of

Apple Reiterates Commitment to FRAND Licensing of Standards-Essential Patents Following Intel Deal

In light of its acquisition of the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business earlier this year, including many cellular patents, Apple has shared a letter on its website to reiterate its stance on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory or FRAND licensing terms for standards-essential patents. Apple says it values intellectual property and recognizes the important role of developing industry standards, noting that its engineers participate in over 100 standard-setting organizations. Apple touts its own contributions to a wide range of standards, including, for example, cellular, Wi-Fi, and USB-C. Apple adds that it has "long sought to bring a balanced perspective to the promises and perils of standardization" and is committed to licensing its own cellular standards-essential patents on FRAND terms. Apple believes owners of standards-essential patents should make licenses available on FRAND terms to any and all interested parties that request a license, adding that standards-essential patent licensees should not be forced to take bundled or portfolio licenses as part of an agreement. There should also be an objective, reasonable royalty rate that applies equally to all standards-essential licensees, according to Apple. Following its agreement with Intel, Apple said it would hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Apple is widely expected to release its first 5G-enabled iPhones with Qualcomm modems in

13-Inch MacBook Pro With Scissor Keyboard Expected in First Half of 2020

Following the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple plans to release a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor switch keyboard in the first half of 2020, according to industry sources cited by hit-or-miss Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. A preview of the report was shared with paying subscribers. 16-inch MacBook Pro's new scissor switch keyboard via iFixit The report claims the display size will remain 13.3 inches, although given the source is DigiTimes, we would not completely rule out hopes of a larger 14-inch display. Wistron and Global Lighting Technologies are said to be among the suppliers of the keyboards for the smaller notebook. The new 16-inch MacBook Pro features a redesigned scissor switch keyboard, largely based on the standalone Magic Keyboard for the iMac. Given the tried-and-tested design, the keyboard should prove far more reliable than the troublesome butterfly keyboards used across the MacBook lineup in recent years. The 16-inch MacBook Pro also features a physical Esc key and an inverted-T arrow key layout. It is unclear if the 13-inch MacBook Pro will follow suit. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously predicted that Apple will transition its entire notebook lineup to scissor switch keyboards in 2020, including all MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. It would be hardly surprising if Apple completely moves past its butterfly keyboards, which have suffered from issues with sticky, repeating, or nonfunctional keys since their inception in 2016. Apple continues to offer free repairs to affected customers as part of its worldwide service program.

Apple CEO Tim Cook to Speak at Salesforce Conference Tomorrow

Apple CEO Tim Cook will join Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff for a fireside chat at the Dreamforce 2019 conference on Tuesday at approximately 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time at the Yerba Buena Theater. A live stream will be available. Apple and Salesforce formed a strategic partnership in 2018. Salesforce has since redesigned its customer relationship management app with support for the latest features on iPhone and iPad, including Siri Shortcuts and Face ID. The new Salesforce app is available in the App Store. Salesforce has also announced a Trailhead GO learning app with more than 700 modules covering business and tech skills. Trailhead GO is available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. Additional features, including support for Dark Mode and Sign in with Apple, are expected to be available later this year. Last, the two companies have announced a new Salesforce mobile SDK, optimized for Swift and iOS 13. The new SDK, coming later this year, will help developers to build and deploy native Salesforce apps for iPhone and

Germany Passes Law Forcing Apple to Open Up iPhone's NFC Chip to Apple Pay Rivals, But Loophole May Exist

A parliamentary committee in Germany on Wednesday passed an amendment to an anti-money laundering law that would force Apple to open up the NFC chip in iPhones to competing mobile payment providers, according to Reuters. The report claims the law is set to come into effect early next year. In a statement to Reuters, Apple said it was "surprised" about the sudden decision and expressed security concerns. "We are surprised at how suddenly this legislation was introduced," an Apple spokesperson said. "We fear that the draft law could be harmful to user friendliness, data protection and the security of financial information." As noted by German financial website Finanz-Szene, however, there appears to be a provision in the law that could allow Apple to keep the NFC chip locked down. Specifically, it appears that Apple might be able to argue that opening up the NFC chip would put the security of its customers at risk. A rough translation of the passage:Exceptionally, the system undertaking is not required to comply with paragraph 1 if there are reasonable grounds for refusal to make the provision available. These exist, in particular, if the system undertaking can demonstrate that the safety and integrity of the technical infrastructure services is specifically jeopardized by the provision of such facilities. The rejection must be reasonably justified.Earlier this month, the European Union's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager acknowledged that her department has received "many concerns" over Apple Pay and potential anticompetitive issues. Australia's big

16-Inch MacBook Pro Features Adjustable Refresh Rate Below 60Hz

As outlined in an Apple support document, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro features an adjustable refresh rate. For professional workflows such as video editing, for example, Apple notes that you can set the refresh rate of the display to match the frame rate of the video you are editing or viewing, with 47.95, 48, 50, 59.94, and 60 Hz options. This functionality is not available on previous MacBook Pro models. Apple says to choose a refresh rate that divides evenly into the frame rate of your content. For example, if the video you are viewing is 24 frames per second, select the 48 Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate can be adjusted under System Preferences > Displays. Press and hold the Option key and select the Scaled button and the refresh rate dropdown menu will appear. Apple recommends switching back to the default 60Hz refresh rate after viewing or editing the video content. The max refresh rate remains 60Hz. (Thanks, Chris Weaver!)

16-Inch MacBook Pro Available Today at Apple Stores in United States With Pickup Reservation

Apple today activated its in-store reserve and pickup system for the new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the United States. This system enables customers to purchase the 16-inch MacBook Pro on Apple.com in advance and select a 30-minute window to pick it up at an Apple Store. The tool can also be used to monitor inventory of the 16-inch MacBook Pro at Apple Stores based on city or ZIP code, with stock available at many locations today. To check if Apple Stores in your area have stock, head to the 16-inch MacBook Pro page on Apple's website, choose your desired configuration, select "check availability," and enter your city or ZIP code. Note that many custom configurations with upgraded RAM, storage, or graphics are not immediately available for pickup. If the 16-inch MacBook Pro model that you want is available at your Apple Store today, proceed with ordering and choose the "I'll pick it up" option during the checkout process. You can also choose to have someone else pick up the order. When you get to the Apple Store, let an employee know you have an order to pick up. Make sure to have a valid government-issued photo ID and your order number on hand. Apple also sometimes provides a QR code that can be added to the Wallet app for convenience and quicker check-in, but this is optional. Apple may also have 16-inch MacBook Pro stock available for walk-in customers at select stores, but inventory will likely be limited. For customers who ordered online, 16-inch MacBook Pro deliveries begin today. In addition to a larger display, the 16-inch MacBook Pro features a

Apple Removing Vaping-Related Apps From App Store Today Amid Public Health Concerns

Apple is removing all vaping-related apps from the App Store today, according to Axios, shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,172 lung injury cases linked to e-cigarette or vape products. In a statement issued to Axios, Apple said it agrees with expert opinions that vaping is a "public health crisis" and a "youth epidemic":We take great care to curate the App Store as a trusted place for customers, particularly youth, to download apps. We're constantly evaluating apps, and consulting the latest evidence, to determine risks to users' health and well-being. Recently, experts ranging from the CDC to the American Heart Association have attributed a variety of lung injuries and fatalities to e-cigarette and vaping products, going so far as to call the spread of these devices a public health crisis and a youth epidemic. We agree, and we've updated our App Store Review Guidelines to reflect that apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted. As of today, these apps are no longer available to download.Apple had already took a step in this direction in June, when it updated its App Store Review Guidelines to indicate that apps encouraging consumption of vape products are not permitted on the App Store. Vaping-related apps already installed on iOS devices will continue to function. Note: This discussion thread is located in our Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

AirFly Pro Launches at Apple Stores With Receiver Mode for AUX Ports, Headphone Splitting, and More

Twelve South today announced that its new AirFly Pro accessory is now available to purchase at Apple.com and Apple Stores worldwide. AirFly Pro Like the classic AirFly, the Pro version allows Bluetooth headphones like AirPods or Beats to work with 3.5mm headphone jacks. For example, on an airplane, you can plug the AirFly dongle into the headphone jack, pair AirPods with the AirFly via Bluetooth, and then listen to the in-flight entertainment system wirelessly. AirFly is also ideal for treadmills with headphone jacks for listening to a TV at a gym, and it is also compatible with the Nintendo Switch. What sets the AirFly Pro apart from the classic version is that it can turn any AUX port into a wireless audio receiver, useful for sending audio from an iPhone to a rental car, boat, or speaker without Bluetooth. AirFly Pro can also be paired with multiple Bluetooth headphones for shared listening. AirFly Pro has a built-in battery that is rated to last 16+ hours and recharges via USB-C. The dongle is available for $54.95 on Apple.com.

Trio of Friends Make Challenging Hike Across Catalina Island to Recreate the macOS Catalina Wallpaper

A few months ago, YouTuber and photographer Andrew Levitt teamed up with his friends Jacob Phillips and Taylor Gray on a one-week road trip to try to recreate all of Apple's default wallpapers included in macOS. Photo Credit: Jacob Phillips Just a few weeks after the video, Apple publicly released macOS Catalina, giving Levitt and his friends one more wallpaper to recreate. The task was more challenging this time, however, as the default ‌macOS Catalina‌ wallpaper showcases the remote, northern tip of Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California. To get there, Levitt and his friends took a ferry to Catalina Island and hiked over eight hours across the island, complete with camping gear and other supplies. The trio of friends eventually reached the tip of the island and, despite windy conditions, managed to capture a nearly identical version of the default ‌macOS Catalina‌ wallpaper with a drone. On the hike back to the ferry terminal, Levitt and his friends were stopped by a police officer and learned that hiking at night on Catalina Island is apparently forbidden. Fortunately, the police officer was kind and merely escorted them back to the other side of the island. All in all, a fascinating video. Here's the original video: Follow the creators on Instagram: Andrew Levitt, Jacob Phillips, and Taylor Gray.

Apple's Research App Launches With Heart, Women's Health, and Hearing Studies in United States

Apple today announced it has released its Research app with three studies related to heart and movement, women's health, and hearing. The app is designed to make it easier for iPhone users to contribute to medical research. iPhone users in the United States can download the free Research app from the App Store and enroll in the multi-year studies starting today. After enrolling in a study, participants using an iPhone or Apple Watch can contribute movement, heart rate, and noise level data captured during everyday activities. Apple first previewed its Research app and the first three studies back in September:- Apple Women's Health Study: In partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Apple has created the first long-term study of this scale focused on menstrual cycles and gynecological conditions. This study will inform screening and risk assessment of conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, osteoporosis, pregnancy and menopausal transition. - Apple Heart and Movement Study: Apple is partnering with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association on a comprehensive study of how heart rate and mobility signals — like walking pace and flights of stairs climbed — relate to hospitalizations, falls, heart health and quality of life in order to promote healthy movement and improved cardiovascular health. - Apple Hearing Study: Alongside the University of Michigan, Apple is examining factors that impact hearing health. The Apple Hearing

Bloomberg: Apple Considering Bundling Apple Music, TV+, and News+ as Early as 2020

Apple is considering bundling its subscription services as early as 2020, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple News+, according to Bloomberg. The report indicates that Apple has included a provision in its contract with Apple News+ publishers that permits Apple to bundle News+ with its other services if it desires. The monthly price of the bundle would presumably be lower than the cost of paying for each service separately in a bid to attract more subscribers. Apple Music and Apple News+ each cost $9.99 per month in the United States, while Apple TV+ is $4.99 per month. Apple is already experimenting with at least one services bundle. Last month, the company began offering free access to Apple TV+ to students who subscribe to Apple Music. The offer is available for a limited time only. The report goes on to cite "some media executives" who said the amount of money they have received from Apple News+ so far has been less than expected. On the other hand, some executives are pleased with the service so far, including Los Angeles Times executive editor Norm

Kuo: iPad Pro With Rear 3D Sensing and 'iPhone SE 2' on Track to Launch in First Half of 2020

Apple plans to release new iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing in the first half of 2020, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note with TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors, Kuo said the iPad Pro models will gain 3D sensing through the rear-facing camera system. Apple is expected to use a time-of-flight system, which measures the time that it takes for light to bounce off of objects in a room to generate a 3D map. The timeframe lines up with a recent report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who also said Apple plans to release iPad Pro models with rear 3D sensing as early as the first half of 2020. Gurman expects the iPad Pro models to feature dual rear cameras, up from a single lens, along with a new augmented reality sensor. Kuo also reiterated that Apple plans to release a so-called "iPhone SE 2" in the first half of 2020 too. He has previously said the device will be released by the end of the first quarter with similar features as the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch display and Touch ID, but with a faster A13 chip and 3GB of RAM. The low-cost iPhone will likely start around $399 with 64GB of storage, and come in Space Gray, Silver, and Red, according to Kuo. Kuo has made both the iPad Pro and low-cost iPhone predictions in the past, so this really only serves as an update that the plans are still on track for early next year. Apple often holds a media event in March, and it is certainly possible the new iPad Pro and low-cost iPhone could be announced then. It is worth noting that Kuo is likely just referring to the device as the

Phil Schiller Discusses 16-Inch MacBook Pro, Says Virtual Esc Key Was Number One Complaint About Touch Bar

Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller has spoken with CNET's Roger Cheng about the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, reflecting on the new Magic Keyboard, the Touch Bar, and many other aspects of the notebook. When asked about the redesigned scissor keyboard on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Schiller acknowledged that the butterfly keyboards on recent MacBook Pro models have received a "mixed reaction" due in part to "some quality issues" that could result in sticky, repeating, or nonfunctional keys. Schiller says Apple carefully considered customer feedback and found that many professional users wanted the MacBook Pro to have a similar keyboard as the standalone Magic Keyboard for the iMac:As you know, a number of years ago we started a new keyboard technology with this butterfly keyboard and began it with MacBook. It had some things it did really well, like creating a much more stable key platform. It felt more firm and flat under your finger -- some people really like that, but other people weren't really happy with that. We got sort of a mixed reaction. We had some quality issues we had to work on. Over the years we've been refining that keyboard design, and we're now on the third generation, and a lot of people are much happier with that as we've advanced and advanced it. As we started to investigate specifically what pro users most wanted, a lot of times they would say, "I want something like this Magic Keyboard, I love that keyboard."Another common request among professionals was to bring back a physical Esc key. Schiller said it was the "number one" complaint about