Tim Hardwick

Tim is a Contributing Editor at MacRumors. He has been covering technology for a decade, but will write about anything that interests him, from philosophy of mind to his own brand of bad fiction. Originally from Liverpool, England, Tim can sometimes be found accessing a personal wi-fi hotspot from a ferry somewhere on the Mersey.



Apple Retail Store Logos Gain Green Leaves in Celebration of Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day, which takes place on Sunday, April 22, Apple has started tweaking the logos of some of its retail stores with green leaf accents, in a departure from the usual uniformly white design. Apple Orchard Road Store, Singapore (Images courtesy of Stanford Chong) For example, Singapore's Apple Orchard Road store has already been updated with the green logo, as Apple gears up for its annual Earth Day celebrations at multiple retail locations around the world. In typical fashion, Apple store staff are also encouraged to wear green shirts instead of their usual blue ones to promote the event. Apple may also be planning to hold a special Earth Day celebratory event at its Cupertino headquarters, as it has done in the past. Apple often uses Earth Day as a way to highlight its environmental efforts and reaffirm its commitment to recycling, renewable energy, and other initiatives. This year it is explicitly tying the event to its new GiveBack trade-in program, which offers customers credit and/or free recycling on old Apple devices, as well as a donation to Conservation International. On Thursday, Apple published its environmental report outlining all of the improvements and changes that were implemented throughout 2017 and early 2018 to lessen the company's overall environmental impact. In addition, Apple shared details on initiatives that support its goal of making its products using only recycled or renewable materials, and introduced a new iPhone disassembly robot named Daisy – an improved version of Liam, its first disassembly

Netflix Adds 30-Second Preview Videos to iOS App

Netflix today added a slew of 30-second video trailers to its iOS app, after limited testing of the feature since early March. Optimized for mobile, the trailers ape the look of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, appearing as circular icons on the app's main screen and playing back in a vertical format on iPhones. Netflix offered its rationale for the feature in a blog post on its website: Today, we are excited to introduce mobile previews (launching today on iOS and coming soon to Android) to the mobile experience. Mobile previews present members with a fun, simple, and easy way to learn about all the new content on Netflix -- and find something great to watch even faster. Years of testing has made it clear that video previews help our members browse less and discover new content more quickly. With the launch of mobile previews, we are bringing a video browse experience to your mobile phone in a fun and mobile-optimized way.While watching a trailer, users can tap to play the content being previewed, get more information on it, or add it to their Watch Later list. Tapping the video or swiping across it also skips to another trailer without having to return to the main screen. The company introduced video previews to its TV and web interface last year, but Netflix says around a fifth of all viewing occurs on mobile devices, which is why previews will be a permanent feature of the app going forward. Currently in the list are 75 custom-crop previews for both original and licensed content, with Netflix expected to add more in future. Netflix exceeded Wall Street

How to Apply Color Tags to Items in macOS Finder Using Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

In one of our previous macOS how-to guides, we explained how using tags can help you organize your files and folders and quickly locate them when they're needed. In this article, we're going to show you how to tag items in Finder using a simple custom keyboard shortcut, for even faster tagging. The first series of steps below shows you how to create a handy key shortcut to activate Finder's inline tagging menu. Once you've done that, we explain how you can use one or more custom shortcuts to directly apply specific color tags to selected items in a Finder window. This more powerful color tagging method requires creating a simple Automator service. If that sounds scary, don't worry – it's a simple process, and if you're a frequent user of tags then you'll find this quick recipe well worth the effort. Keep reading to learn how it's done. How to Create a Shortcut for Tagging Items in Finder Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu bar ( -> System Preferences...). Select the Keyboard preference pane. Click the Shortcuts tab. Select App Shortcuts in the left column and click the + button. Select Finder.app in the Application field. Type Tags... in the Menu Title field. Click inside the Keyboard Shortcut field and press your preferred key combination for activating the service. In our example, we've used Shift-Command-T. Click Add.Now your shortcut is set up, it's time to try it out. Open a Finder window and select an item (or several) for tagging. Hit your chosen key combination and you should see a tag menu pop up beneath the selected item(s),

Drafts 5 Overhauls Note-Taking App With New Themes, Editor Options and Action Features

A new version of Drafts, the simple note-taking app from Agile Tortoise, was released today. Drafts 5 stays faithful to its predecessor's primary goal of allowing users to quickly jot down text, thoughts, ideas, and notes, and builds on these functions by introducing a ground-up rewrite of the app with a raft of new features and customization options. Agile Tortoise has opted to release Drafts 5 as a standalone app, which means it doesn't replace Drafts 4, but installs alongside it, allowing users to migrate previous drafts, actions and keyboard customizations from the earlier app. Once they've done that, long-time users will find a raft of new interface theming options, like the ability to switch between light and dark modes, and granular control of a host of draft appearance settings in the new editor. These include the ability to adjust margins, line height, line numbering, auto-correct, smart quotes/dashes, and more. Drafts 5 also introduces new organization options with multiple tags, which can be used to filter the draft list and queries for all inbox, archived, and flagged drafts. A new Focus mode disables the automatic creation of new drafts after a specific time period, allowing users to continue adding to drafts long after they were first created. Siri integration is another new addition in this version, so users can add a note to Drafts by just using their voice. Elsewhere, there's enhanced support for inline syntax highlighting for several different types of markup, interactive to-dos, drag and drop support, multiple extended keyboards for

How to Export Your Passwords and Login Data From Google Chrome

In Chrome 66, rolling out now for Mac and iOS, Google has added a password export option to the web browser so that you can easily migrate your login details to another browser via a third-party password manager app. In this article, we'll show you how to export your passwords from Chrome on Mac and iOS. At the end of the process, you'll be left with a CSV file containing all your login credentials. Popular password managers like Enpass and 1Password accept CSV files for importing login data. Just be aware that the CSV file you export from Chrome is in plain text. That means your credentials could be read by anyone with access to it, so make sure you securely delete the file once you've imported the data into your password manager of choice.

Apple Registers Several New Unreleased iPhone Models in Eurasia Ahead of WWDC

French website Consomac has discovered a new Russian-language regulatory filing in the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) database pointing towards several unreleased iPhone models that Apple could be launching relatively soon. Versions of iPhone running iOS 11 are listed with the model numbers A1920, A1921, A1984, A2097, A2098, A2099, A2101, A2103, A2104, A2105 and A2106. None of the numbers correspond to Apple's existing smartphone lineup. The EEC filing, published on Tuesday, satisfies Russia's requirement for companies to register all products containing encryption and/or cryptographic tools. On February 19, the EEC revealed the existence of two new models of iPad, which proved to be the Wi-Fi and cellular versions of Apple's 9.7-inch iPad unveiled on March 27, so there's a decent chance the new model numbers identify iPhones tipped for a May or June launch. Several new models of MacBook were also registered with the EEC in May of last year, and those laptops were announced at WWDC 2017. Apple is rumored to be introducing three flagship iPhones in 2018: Two OLED models measuring in at 5.8 and 6.5 inches and a 6.1-inch lower-cost LCD model. All three will feature Face ID and edge-to-edge displays, but none are expected to arrive before the usual September timeframe when Apple's major annual iPhone event typically takes place. However, rumors suggest Apple will bring a new entry-level smartphone model to market similar to the iPhone SE that will support wireless charging and be released in time for summer 2018. Apple hasn't properly refreshed the

Things 3.5 Update Brings Layout and Tagging Tweaks, New Clipboard Features, and More

Popular to-do app Things received a "spit and polish" update today for both macOS and iOS. Version 3.5 of the software bundles in 29 features and improvements based on user feedback, including performance tweaks, tagging enhancements, and more. Collapsible areas in Things has been one of the most requested features, according to the developers, which is why Things 3.5 enables users with particularly long project lists to collapse or hide them using new chevron buttons alongside project titles. On iOS, users should be able to find and add tags more quickly, now that the tag window is searchable. App-wide tag searches have also been made more broad, so that if a user searches for a tag, they'll see not only items with that tag, but also items with the tag nested under them. Additionally, the "No Tag" filter has been reinstated, due to popular demand. Things 3.5 introduces some helpful copy/paste features for bringing content into the app, too. For example, if a user copies text from another app then switches to Things and pastes that text, a new to-do is automatically created containing the clipboard data. On top of that, several new to-dos are created when pasting multiple lines of text. The same thing works with Universal Clipboard, allowing you to copy some text on your Mac and paste it in Things on an iPhone to auto-create new to-dos. You can also drag text from another app into Things to achieve the same thing. Elsewhere, thanks to a new "update" command it's now possible to edit workflows that make use of the recently launched Things URLs feature

Google Chrome 66 Browser Adds Default Mute Autoplay Feature, Password Export, and More

Google is currently rolling out its Chrome 66 update to users of the web browser on Mac and iOS. The Mac version now mutes autoplaying content by default, while both desktop and mobile versions include a passwords export option, security improvements and new developer features. Mute autoplay was originally slated for Chrome 64, which introduced autoplay settings on a per-site basis, but the function got pushed back for unspecified reasons. However, Chrome 66 now rolls out the default behavior for all users, and feeds into Google's wider intention to make the media playback experience more consistent when users navigate the web. Going forward, web-hosted media can only automatically play if it has no audio, if the user interacted with the page during a previous browsing session, or if the user frequently plays media on the site. Similarly on mobile, media can only autoplay if the site was added to the Home Screen by the user. The new passwords export option was previously hidden in Chrome's backend flag menus, but Chrome 66 adds the option to the user-facing settings. That said, it's still not obvious how to generate the CSV file containing your login credentials, so we've published a separate how-to article that goes through the process step by step. As for enhancing security, Chrome 66 follows through on Google's plan to deprecate Symantec-issued certificates, after the company failed to comply with industry security standards. The decision to end its trust for Symantec certificates was made when certificates for example.com and variations of test.com escaped

B&O Announces 'Premium, Powerful, Portable' Beoplay P6 Wireless Speaker

Bang & Olufsen brand subsidiary B&O Play today announced the Beoplay P6, the latest offering in its range of portable wireless speakers. Designed by Cecilie Manz, the P6 shares a similar aesthetic to the Danish audio company's Beoplay A1 and P2, featuring a dust and splashproof anodized aluminum exterior with square speaker grilles on both sides, and a leather strap looped through one side for carrying. Across the curved top of the speaker is a strip of Beomaster 6000-inspired integrated flex buttons for controlling volume, playback, Bluetooth, accepting/rejecting calls, and invoking any voice assistant available on the connected device, such as Siri on iPhone. There's also a built-in omnidirectional mic for conference calling. The Bluetooth speaker weighs 1kg and measures 170 x 130 x 68mm, which makes this a slim unit when you consider it houses a 2600mAh rechargeable battery providing up to 16 hours of playing time at moderate listening levels. Charging time is said to be three hours over USB-C. The upright design is made to elevate the stereo output from three Class D amplifier channels delivering a total of 215 Watts, while Bang & Olufsen's True360 audio processing promises a uniform radiation of sound from the aluminum chassis. The Beoplay P6 costs $399/£349 and is available from April 23 in black and natural color options. The speaker comes with a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, while a USB-C to USB-C cable is an optional accessory. See the Beoplay website for

watchOS 4.3.1 Beta Hints at Future Support for Third-Party Apple Watch Faces

Apple may be considering allowing third-party developers to create custom Apple Watch faces, if a line of code discovered in the latest watchOS beta is anything to go by. Historically, Apple has resisted allowing third-party developers to create and release custom watch faces for Apple Watch, instead electing to add to its stock options for watch faces in successive iterations of the device's operating system, such as the Siri and kaleidoscope watch faces introduced in watchOS 4. However, a log message in watchOS 4.3.1 beta, unearthed by 9to5Mac, suggests Apple may be considering the possibility in a future version of Apple Watch software. As part of its NanoTimeKit framework which provides developer access to watch face components, the beta includes references to a currently inactive developer tools server that will likely allow communication with Xcode on macOS. Within this portion of code is a log message that reads: "This is where the 3rd party face config bundle generation would happen." Image via 9to5Mac Whether or not Apple decides to implement the missing feature for watchOS 5 or in a later version is unknown, but the mere mention of third-party face configuration will likely be cause for hope for anyone longing for additional personalization beyond the existing color-adjustable stock options, custom "Photo" watch face, and accompanying third-party watch complications. On the other hand, any such hope could prove misplaced given Apple's traditional reluctance to open up the most outward-facing aspects of its operating systems to third parties

Russia Bans Access to Telegram Encrypted Messenger Service [Updated]

A Russian law court has ordered that access to the Telegram encrypted messaging service should be blocked, according to Russian news agencies on Friday (via Reuters). The development follows last week's news that Russia's media regulator had filed legal proceedings to block the app in the country because the company refused to enable state security services to access users' messages. The Telegram platform allows people to communicate with each other using end-to-end encryption, meaning no-one – not even Telegram – has access to messages sent between users. The app has over 200 million users globally. They include Kremlin staff, who use Telegram to coordinate conference calls with Vladimir Putin's spokesman. Many government officials also use the messenger app to communicate with media, according to Reuters. When Reuters asked a person in the Russian government on how they would operate without access to Telegram, the person, who asked not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue, replied by sending a screenshot of his mobile phone with an open VPN app.Telegram becomes the second global network after LinkedIn to be blocked in Russia. In 2016, a court found LinkedIn guilty of violating a law that requires companies holding Russian citizens' data to store it on servers within Russia. Update 04/17: The Russian government has formally requested that Apple remove Telegram from its regional App Store in the country, reports Reuters. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics,

Firefox for iOS Updated With Automatic Tracking Protection and New iPad Features

Mozilla has updated Firefox for iOS with some notable changes, including new iPad features and default tracking protection in both regular and private browsing sessions. The additional privacy measure means users get automatic ad and content blocking when browsing unless they opt out, while those who want to selectively deploy Tracking Protection need only tap the menu button and slide the feature's toggle. On the iPad front, Mozilla has added the ability to re-order multiple open tabs to prioritize them. To do so, long-press a specific tab and drag it into the desired position. Meanwhile, in Split View, it's now possible to share and open links by dragging and dropping them to and from Firefox to any application, whether they're in an email or a tweet. Firefox has also implemented new keyboard shortcuts for standard navigation, as well as several improvements for easier tab tray navigation, like Command-Option-Tab to get to and from the all tabs view. Users seeking more details on the full range of keyboard shortcuts available in Firefox can check Mozilla's online guide. Firefox for iOS is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

How to Specify Your Activity Type in the Apple Watch Workout App

When you open the Apple Watch Workout app, the main screen by default offers you 10 quick-start workout types that you can use to track your exercise. These include Walking, Running, Cycling, Elliptical, Rower, Stair stepper, HIIT, Swimming, and Wheelchair. If you want to track a more specialized activity that isn't covered by these types, then you'll want to note the tenth option on the main screen, called Other. Selecting Other allows you to label your activity more accurately by choosing from over 60 pre-defined workout categories – you can find Apple's full list at the end of this article. The neat thing about using the Other option is that once you've recorded a workout and given it a custom label, that workout type will subsequently appear in the main Workout screen as a quick-start option for the next time you need it. How to Categorize an Activity in the Workout App Launch the stock Workout app on your Apple Watch. Using your watch's Crown, scroll down the list of activity types and tap the Other option to begin your workout, or tap the three circled dots at the upper right of the option's icon if you want to define a specific time or calorie goal before the workout starts. When you've completed the activity you want to track, swipe right on the metrics readout and tap End. Tap the grey Name Workout button near the top of the workout summary. Scroll through the alphabetical list and tap the category that best describes your workout. (Apple includes a convenient list of popular categories at the top.) With your activity now labeled, scroll down

How to Set Up Mail VIP Contacts in macOS, iOS 11, and iCloud Mail

In Apple Mail, finding email messages from certain contacts can be made easier by giving them a "VIP" status. Short for Very Important Person, VIPs are identified in your inbox by a star next to the person's name in any messages you receive from them. Messages from the same VIP are also displayed in their own folder in a special VIP smart mailbox that sits in Apple Mail's Favorites bar. You can assign up to 100 VIPs, and if you use iCloud Contacts, your VIPs are available on any other Apple devices signed in to the same account. Moreover, you can choose to be notified of emails only when the messages are from people in your VIPs list, thanks to Apple Mail's custom alerts feature. Keep reading to learn how to set up VIPs on macOS, iOS 11 (including Apple Watch), and iCloud Mail.

How to Use Tags to Organize Files and Folders in macOS

In macOS, tags provide you with an alternative way to organize your files and folders, and can make items in Finder easier to locate. To tag a file in Finder, simply right-click (or Ctrl-click) it and select one of the colored tags in the dropdown menu. Alternatively, click on Tags... in the same dropdown menu, type in a custom name for a tag, press Enter, and a new tag will be created automatically, ready to be applied again from the dropdown.

(PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 Plus Gets First Unboxing and Hands-on Video

Yesterday, Apple began taking pre-orders for new (PRODUCT)RED versions of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus ahead of the smartphones' official launch this Friday. Like it did with last year's (RED) iPhone 7, Apple has given YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) exclusive access to one of the phones ahead of launch to bring viewers the first obligatory unboxing and hands-on video of a 256GB iPhone 8 Plus. As expected, the handset comes in a familiar box containing Lightning cable, wired headphones, and standard wall plug, with the only addition being a small card detailing the (RED) brand's aim of raising funds for HIV/AIDS programs – for each (RED) product sold, Apple makes a contribution to The Global Fund, raising over $160 million to date. As for the handset itself, it has an anodized red aluminum band similar to last year's (RED) iPhone 7, but the glossy glass back to support wireless charging gives the iPhone 8 a deeper "Ferrari-like" candy red finish, as opposed to the matte look of the iPhone 7's brushed aluminum. The other big change is the fact that Apple has gone with smart-looking black bezels on the front of the device. That should please users who skipped the (RED) iPhone 7 because they disliked the white bezels that gave the handset a candy cane-style color combination. According to Brownlee, Apple wouldn't let on when asked whether it had a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone X planned. iMore's Rene Ritchie has suggested the current lack of one could be down to the manufacturing complexities involved in accurately coloring the iPhone X's stainless

IKEA Unveils Minimalist 'Eneby' Line of Bluetooth Speakers

Swedish furniture seller IKEA has unveiled the first in a new line of minimalist Bluetooth speakers from the company. Called Eneby, the Scandinavian-styled units come in 8-inch and 12-inch sizes, can be wall- or stand- mounted, and are made to fit in IKEA's Kallax and Eket storage systems. The plastic speakers come with a mesh polyester fabric front panel that can be removed to expose the drivers, and a knob on the front of the speaker controls power, bass, treble, or volume. A 3.5mm auxiliary output around the back lets you attach a wired device, while the smaller 8-inch speaker also features a carry handle and an optional battery pack for portability. Up to eight Bluetooth devices can be connected to a single Eneby speaker at a time, so there's no need to disconnect one user to make way for another. IKEA's Eneby 8-inch speaker costs $49 and is available in white, gray, or black, while the 12-inch model costs $89 and comes in black or white. The battery pack for the smaller speaker is sold separately for $20, and you can also buy black speaker stands for $10 each that fit both sizes. Last year, IKEA brought to market its own Apple HomeKit-compatible smart Lighting range of products called Trådfri. The range includes LED bulbs, a remote dimmer switch puck, a gateway kit, a motion sensor kit, and dimming

'Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration' Release Date and Mac Requirements Revealed

Back in February, Feral Interactive announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration would make its way onto macOS this spring. The title is a port of the 2016 PS4 game and the sequel to the series reboot Tomb Raider from 2013. In a follow-up announcement today, Feral revealed an April 12 release date for the title as well as pricing and the official system requirements that Mac owners will need in order to run the game at an acceptable performance. As well as AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards, Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration will support the following Intel integrated graphics cards: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 540, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 550, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650. Feral says the game will be supported on the following Macs: All 13-inch MacBook Pros released since 2016 All 15-inch MacBook Pros released since Late 2013 with a 2.3GHz processor or better All 21.5-inch iMacs released since Late 2017 All 27-inch iMacs released since Late 2013 (models with an Nvidia GT 755M graphics card are not officially supported)* All Mac Pros released since Late 2013 *Late 2012 models with a 2GB Nvidia 680MX graphics cards are also supported. Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration can be pre-ordered on the Feral Store for $59.99, which includes the base game and all the DLC ever released for it. It's also worth checking your Mac's hard disk space before purchasing the game: Customers who download it from the Mac App Store will need 37GB of available storage, while purchases from Steam will come in at

Saudi Prince Meets Tim Cook at Apple Park to Discuss Education and App Development Opportunities

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Tim Cook and other top Apple executives on Saturday at the company's new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino to discuss app development, education, and other partnership opportunities (via Saudi Press Agency). For the Saudi prince and his entourage of officials, the visit was part of a whirlwind tour that included stops to visit Virgin founder Richard Branson, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai, and Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz. According to the press release, the aim of the discussion with Apple executives was to talk about technological solutions for "enriching the Arabic educational content in the classroom" as well as the creation of an educational curriculum for Saudi schools. The meeting also covered the potential creation of job opportunities for Saudi youths who received their training at Apple's headquarters. The themes are broadly consistent with Apple's most recent focus on education at its Chicago event last month, where the company revealed its Everyone Can Create curriculum alongside its most affordable iPad with Apple Pencil support. Following the meeting, members of the official delegation received technology-led presentations on Apple's work in the areas of health and marketing, before visiting the Steve Jobs Theater to learn more about Apple's "modern voice applications", which is likely a reference to the Siri digital assistant. Apple is known to have been in discussions with Saudi Arabia to open its first retail store in the country as soon as 2019. State

Russia Moves to Ban Telegram Encrypted Messaging Platform

Russia appears to be following through on its threat last year to block access to the Telegram encrypted messaging platform. The BBC reports today that the Roskomnadzor media regulator has begun legal proceedings to block the app in the country, after Dubai-based Telegram refused to comply with requests that it hand over the encryption keys. Telegram was given a deadline of 4 April to hand over the keys, but the company has refused, explaining that the way the service is built means it has no access to them. Russia's main security agency, the FSB, wants the keys so it can read messages and prevent future terror attacks in the country. In its court filing, Roskomnadzor said the legal action was related to the FSB request and Telegram's non-compliance with its legal requirements as a "distributor of information".Telegram's lawyer, Pavel Chikov, called the Russian attempt to block the app "groundless" and said the FSB's demand to access users' chat logs was "unconstitutional, baseless, which cannot be fulfilled technically and legally". Telegram had a legal challenge to the demand dismissed in a Moscow court in March, but the platform creator Pavel Durov has said Telegram, which is widely used in Russia, will not "give up" the private data of its users. Threats to block Telegram unless it gives up private data of its users won't bear fruit. Telegram will stand for freedom and privacy.— Pavel Durov (@durov) 20 March 2018 Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion,