Tim Hardwick

Tim is a Contributing Editor at MacRumors. His writing has appeared in over 30 newsstand print and online publications covering a range of topics. Originally from Liverpool, England, Tim can sometimes be found accessing a personal wi-fi hotspot on the Yorkshire Moors.



How to Change Apple TV+ Streaming Quality on iPhone and iPad

Apple TV+ has been praised for offering content in the highest streaming quality provided by any video streaming service. The only problem is that higher quality requires more bandwidth, and that isn't great news if you're watching on iPhone or iPad using a cellular connection and have a data cap to consider. Fortunately, you can change streaming quality settings for the Apple TV+ platform. Keep reading to learn how. How High is ‌Apple TV‌+ Streaming Quality? ‌Apple TV‌+ has the highest 4K streaming quality offered by a streaming service that supports 4K, according to tests conducted by FlatpanelsHD. For example, Apple original "See" is streamed at the highest bitrate on the platform, at an average of 29Mb/s video bitrate and a 41Mb/s peak. That's almost twice the video bitrate of a typical HD Blu-ray disc and around half of a typical UHD Blu-ray disc. By default, ‌Apple TV‌+ dynamically adjusts this bitrate based on the device that's being used, but always with a view to maximizing the quality. However, that behavior can be tempered by changing a single setting in iOS. Follow the steps below to do just that. How to Change ‌Apple TV‌+ Streaming Quality Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌. Tap TV. Tap iTunes Videos. Under Playback Quality, tap Wi-Fi or Mobile Data. Tap Good so that a tick appears alongside it.The data savings you can expect by changing this option will vary depending on the content you're watching, but in our tests we found that switching from Best Available to Good reduced streaming bandwidth by around 40 percent over

How to Clear the Cache on iPhone and iPad

If your iPhone or iPad storage space is dwindling at an alarming rate or your device feels like it's getting slower, then you could benefit from clearing the cache that apps use. Cached data includes all the files and images that are kept in your device's memory, which is meant to help apps avoid having to request the same data repeatedly and thereby keep things speedy – in theory. In fact, it's possible for an overzealous app to fill up your ‌iPhone‌'s cache to the point where overall performance takes a hit. So it's good practice to spring-clean the cache now and again to ensure your device isn't bogged down unnecessarily. Here's how. How to Clear ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ Cache The following steps clear all cookies and web data cached on your device by Safari, although AutoFill information remains unchanged. Note that when you clear Safari browsing history on a device running iOS 11 or higher, the same logs are cleared on any other devices signed into the same iCloud account. Open the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ and scroll down to Safari in the list. Scroll to the Privacy & Security section and tap the blue Clear History and Website Data option near the bottom of the menu. (Note that this setting might be grayed out if there's already no history to clear or if parental controls are set for websites.) Tap Clear History and Data in the popup pane to confirm. How to Clear ‌iPhone‌ Cache for Third-Party Apps The way to clear the cache used by third-party apps on your ‌iPhone‌ varies from app to app. For example, there's a cache reset option for Slack in the

Edison Mail Comes to Mac and iOS App Gains Smart Assistant Feature

Edison Software, makers of Edison Mail for iOS and Android, today debuted Edison Mail for desktop Macs. The developers say the app aims to eliminate common frustrations with desktop mail, all within a minimalist UI that's designed to save time managing emails. Edison Mail for Mac includes all of the features that make the mobile apps popular, including One-Click Unsubscribe for junk messages, Block Sender, Custom Snooze, Undo Send, and automatic Read Receipt Blocking to prevent advertisers from tracking your email actions. Email "power user" features are also built-in, including Dark Mode to reduce potential eye strain, Swipe Gestures to manage mail faster, and a Unified Inbox that makes Edison compatible with nearly all email providers to manage unlimited email accounts all in one place. Edison Mail for Mac supports use with Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, iCloud, and many other mail providers. Edison Mail for Mac also introduces new features that are designed to maximize mailbox efficiency for desktop users. New Keyboard Shortcuts are available in three settings — default Edison Mail shortcuts, shortcuts users are already familiar with from other mail providers, and the ability to create custom shortcuts. Elsewhere, Threading allows users to view all of their emails on the same subject together (even for non-Gmail accounts that don’t support Threading), while new Email Templates aim to simplify the task of sending repeated emails with the same content. Additionally, the ability to Search Settings allows users to find a setting item they're looking

Apple Pay Goes Live for Sparkasse and Commerzbank Customers in Germany

Apple Pay came to two additional big banks in Germany today, bringing the digital payment platform to millions more people in the country just over a year since it launched there. As of this morning, customers of both Sparkasse and Commerzbank can add their Visa and Mastercard credit cards to the Wallet app. The Sparkassen-Karte Basis debit card is also compatible, but support for the Sparkasse giro card is coming later, sometime in 2020. Apple's mobile payment system allows users to make contactless payments for goods and services in retail stores using their iPhone or Apple Watch. ‌Apple Pay‌ made its long-awaited debut in Germany back in December 2018 with multiple partners immediately jumping on board, but support from Sparkasse and Commerzebank was conspicuously absent on rollout day. The two banks previously said in June 2019 that ‌Apple Pay‌ support was coming later in the year. Das Warten hat ein Ende! Jetzt die neue Version unserer Banking App herunterladen, ‌Apple Pay‌ aktivieren und loslegen. #ApplePay Mehr Infos gibt’s hier >>> https://t.co/Gsl4jDrsl2 pic.twitter.com/aKhLexOhSJ— Commerzbank (@commerzbank) December 10, 2019 Apple CEO Tim Cook said in March that ‌Apple Pay‌ would be available in more than 40 countries and regions by the end of 2019. ‌Apple Pay‌ first launched in the United States in October 2014. You can view the full list of ‌Apple Pay‌ countries and regions on Apple's website. (Via Macerkopf.de)

Swiss Fiber TV Service 'Salt' Launches Alternative Apple TV 4K Remote Control for Frustrated Customers

Swiss telco Salt, which includes an Apple TV 4K in its domestic broadband TV bundle, has today launched an "alternative" bespoke ‌Apple TV‌ remote control for users of its 250+ channel television service. Costing just under 20 Swiss francs, the optional remote was reportedly developed in close collaboration with Apple, after a sizable section of Salt TV's customer base apparently complained about the poor usability of the Apple Remote that comes with every ‌Apple TV‌ 4K. Thanks to Apple's input, the alternative remote doesn't require any pairing with ‌Apple TV‌ and works out of the box. It includes directional arrows in place of the Siri Remote's glass Touch surface, a power button in addition to a Menu button, along with separate volume and channel rockers and traditional media playback buttons. There's no microphone button in evidence, presumably because ‌Siri‌ on ‌Apple TV‌ isn't officially available in Switzerland, and there's no numerical channel buttons because tvOS doesn't support the function. Otherwise, it resembles a standard TV remote that should be more amenable to Salt TV's users, who can also look forward to an updated Salt TV app interface on ‌Apple TV‌. It's unclear if this is a one-off ‌Apple TV‌ hardware collaboration between Apple and a regional third-party, although having said that, Apple recently made Microsoft and Sony controllers compatible with tvOS and iOS, so maybe this indicates a new trend. Either way, Apple has obviously listened to feedback and decided its ‌Siri‌ Remote isn't the most optimal design for enjoying multi-channel TV navigation

Procreate 5 for iPad Brings New Animation Assist, Brush Studio, Color Harmony, and More

Procreate 5 for iPad got its official release today, introducing a completely rebuilt graphics engine and several notable new features. Under the hood, the new Valkyrie graphics engine takes full advantage of Apple's Metal architecture and is designed to get maximum performance out of ‌iPad‌, utilizing new sophisticated shaders and running at 120fps on supported devices. On the feature front, an all-new Animation Assist toolset aims to make the creation of animatics, looping GIFs and storyboards an easier process for newcomers and more streamlined for experts. Meanwhile, the same applies to custom brush creation thanks to the powerful new Brush Studio, which allows finer control over every aspect of how brushes look, react and behave. Procreate 5's new Clone tool allows you to use any brush style to give a cloned area the look of that brush, or to lock the clone area in place to plaint with a multicolored brush based on your selection. The Color Panel can also now be detached and minimized into a new Mini Color Panel, for moving it out of areas that you want to work on. Elsewhere, new Color Dynamics offer tactile control of hue, saturation, brightness and more to a brush, through the tilt or pressure of the Apple Pencil. There are also 18 individual sliders to allow for more control. This version also includes new importable CMYK and RGB ICC profiles for print-based users, a new Photoshop Brush Import feature for using Photoshop brushes in the app, a new Color Harmony section in the Color Panel for easily picking complimentary colors, and a new 10-step

How to Install macOS Catalina on an Unsupported Mac

Each year that Apple releases a major new version of macOS, a few older Mac models that ran the previous version usually fail to make the new list of officially supported Macs. In the case of Catalina, the latest macOS version, the operating system doesn't work on models released before mid-2012 (and Mac Pros before late 2013). Apple's official list of Macs supporting macOS Catalina: MacBook (Early 2015 or newer) MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer) MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer) Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer) iMac (Late 2012 or newer) iMac Pro (2017) Mac Pro (Late 2013)To check if your Mac is compatible, open the Apple () menu in the upper left corner of your Mac's screen and select About This Mac. Look just below the OS X version number in the Overview tab – if the Mac model name is the same or a later model year than the one shown in the compatibility list above, your Mac is compatible with ‌macOS Catalina‌. What You Can Do if You Have an Unsupported Mac If your Mac is too old to make it onto the above list, Apple has decided that it lacks the hardware required to meet the demands of Catalina. But that doesn't mean there's no way that you can get it running. DosDude Catalina Patcher is a popular third-party tool that allows users to patch the MacOS Catalina installer on otherwise unsupported Macs. Of course, just because you can do this, doesn't mean you should, as there's a good chance that performance will be sub-optimal, while Catalina features may depend on modern Mac hardware (Sidecar, for example) and likely won't work at all.

Samsung Galaxy S11 Said to Boast 108-Megapixel Camera and 5x Telephoto Lens

Samsung aims to usurp Apple's iPhone camera supremacy next year with a massive overhaul to the cameras on its flagship phones, reports Bloomberg. Galaxy S11+ Render from @OnLeaks Its upcoming Galaxy S11 will sport a 108-megapixel sensor for the main camera -- versus the iPhone 11's 12 -- flanked by three more on the back of the device including an ultrawide-angle lens and 5x optical zoom, they said. The marquee device will also adopt a time-of-flight sensor for depth detection similar to one already in the Note 10+, a feature that can aid portrait photos and augmented-reality applications, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing specifications that haven’t been made public.The high-resolution sensor and 5x zoom camera will also feature in its second Galaxy Fold device, which is expected to be unveiled in February, around the same time as the launch of the Galaxy S11 launch, according to Bloomberg. Affiliate Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. developed the 5x zoom module, which went into production earlier this year. The arsenal of lenses planned for the rear of the S11 are said to be a key part of Samsung's bid to outshine Apple in next year's smartphone stakes, with 5G connectivity and foldable devices forming the other core pillars of its head-start hardware strategy. Apple's next generation of flagship smartphones aren't expected to arrive until several months later in the fall. Apple made major changes to the rear camera system in the 2019 ‌iPhone‌ lineup with the new triple-lens setup of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, and 2020 is expected to bring

Apple TV+ Content No Longer Playing in Dolby Vision HDR for Apple TV 4K Owners

We're hearing multiple reports worldwide from subscribers to Apple TV+, Apple's video streaming service, about the loss of support for watching shows in Dolby Vision HDR on ‌Apple TV‌ 4K set-top boxes connected to compatible 4K TVs. Over the past two weeks, more and more users have taken to the MacRumors forums, Twitter, Reddit and Apple's discussion pages to highlight the problem, which appears to be affecting not only new show episodes as they're made available, but existing episodes hosted on the service that previously worked in Dolby Vision HDR. For example, early episodes of "See," "The Morning Show" and "For All Mankind" are no longer being streamed in dynamic Dolby Vision HDR, but revert back to static HDR in HDR10 format on TVs that officially support Dolby Vision. The same goes for brand new episodes of these shows that were released today, despite the fact that they still carry the Dolby Vision HDR support label on the summary screens. Compared to static HDR10 which works uniformly across content, Dolby Vision HDR use dynamic image metadata that enables Dolby Vision-capable TVs to adapt the extended color gamut and increased contrast range of HDR on a scene-by-scene and even frame-by-frame basis. Losing the DV HDR support can result in scenes that look too dark, appear like a negative image, or have an odd tint to them. @UHD4k I don’t know if it’s just me but today on my ‌Apple TV‌ 4K when I watch an ‌Apple TV‌+ show (See and Morning show) it’s in HDR instead of Dolby vision. Used to work fine.Weird.— Djems (@Djems94) December 6, 2019 Some users have

Patent Describes Apple Watch Feature for Improving Treatment of Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

A newly unearthed patent reveals that Apple is exploring how a future Apple Watch could help doctors monitor the symptoms of Parkinson's patients. Spotted by AppleInsider, "Passive Tracking of Dyskinesia/Tremor Symptoms" describes the use of special sensors in a proposed ‌Apple Watch‌ medical feature and the reasoning behind it. "There are an estimated 600,000 to 1 million cases of Parkinson's Disease in the United States and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year," reads the filing, which goes on to describe the symptoms sufferers have to live with. "Symptoms of PD include... tremor and dyskinesia. Dyskinesia is an uncontrollable and involuntary movement that can resemble twitching, fidgeting, swaying or bobbing."The patent states that dyskinesia and tremors can occur when all of the other features of Parkinson's Disease are being managed through medication. Unfortunately, the dopamine replacement therapy can also cause more pronounced side effects, and doctors have to rely on in-clinic tests and patient reports to regulate their treatment effectively. "A patient's quality of life is largely dependent on how precisely clinicians titrate and schedule the patient's medications to minimize the patient's symptoms. This is a challenge for clinicians because each patient has a different combination of symptoms that can change and become more severe over time. Also, in any given day the symptoms may fluctuate based on medications, food intake, sleep, stress, exercise, etc."The feature uses motion sensors to monitor the wearer's movement and the data gathered is analyzed

Apple Pays $25 Million for Billie Eilish Documentary Headed for Apple TV+ Rather Than Apple Music

Apple has paid $25 million for the rights to a Billie Eilish documentary that will be shown on Apple TV+ and follows the 17-year-old singer-songwriter's life after the release of her debut album in March, reports The Hollywood Reporter. According to the report, the film is directed by R J Cutler and produced in collaboration with Interscope Records, and covers moments between Eilish and her family, as well as behind-the-scenes peeks at public appearances. The project is expected to debut in 2020. Notably, the film will reportedly be released on ‌Apple TV‌+ instead of Apple Music, which has previously been host to documentaries about musicians, like Taylor Swift's The 1989 World Tour (Live) and Ed Sheeran's Songwriter. The decision could signal a broader shift in Apple's content plans so that all the company's original programming is released exclusively on its new TV+ video streaming service, rather than being divided across two platforms. Earlier this year, Apple removed the TV & Movies category from the Browse section of the Music app and started linking out ‌Apple Music‌ programming from its TV app listings. Apple Music-hosted video content, currently discoverable from the TV app Apple already bundles ‌Apple TV‌+ with its ‌Apple Music‌ student plan, which costs $4.99 per month, so hosting all video content in the TV app would make sense. Apple is also considering bundling ‌Apple Music‌, ‌Apple TV‌+, and its Apple News+ subscription service as early as 2020, according to Bloomberg. Eilish kicked off Wednesday's inaugural ‌Apple Music‌ Awards with a bespoke

Nomad Launches Hydrophobic Leather 'Active Straps' for Apple Watch

Popular accessory company Nomad has released a new range of premium Apple Watch bands made from hydrophobic leather and designed for "heavy everyday use." The new Active Straps are water and sweat-resistant, and feature ventilation channels on the underside of the leather to ensure the bands remain comfortable and breathable during workouts. Nomad says the bands are "built for sport," but the look is more formal than sporty, and the bands can be rinsed with water after a workout so they're ready to wear for a night out. The new Active Strap ‌Apple Watch‌ bands are available in both black and mocha leather, and customers also have the option to choose between black hardware and silver hardware on the stainless steel accents. The Active Strap is available for 42mm and 44mm ‌Apple Watch‌ models, in one size that fits wrists ranging from 150mm to 210mm. The Active Strap costs $69.95 and can be ordered on Nomad's website from today. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Nomad. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

How to Share Media in Google Photos Using the App's New Direct Messaging Feature

Google Photos for iOS offers users several picture and video sharing options like live albums, shared libraries, and shared albums, and now Google has built a messaging service into its ‌Photos‌ app that makes it possible to share individual snaps and video clips as part of an ongoing conversation. Why Add a Messaging Service to a ‌Photos‌ App? Previously, sharing individual photos through the app was done by creating an album for the photo and sharing a link to it, but user feedback suggested to Google that this sharing option could be a simpler experience, so it's adding an option to share individual photos as part of an ongoing, private conversation. You can like photos or comment in the conversation, and you can save photos or videos to your own gallery. Google says the new messaging feature isn't designed to replace the chat apps you already use, but it hopes that by including an option, users will find sharing moments with friends and family easier than before. Here's how it works. How to Share Media in a Google ‌Photos‌ Chat Thread Launch the Google ‌Photos‌ app on your iPhone or iPad. Tap a picture in your library that you want to share. Tap the Share icon (the square with an arrow pointing out). Type in the name or email address of the person with whom you want to share the photo, or select a contact from the Share Sheet options. You can also start a group chat by adding as many people as you like. Type a message to accompany the photo, then tap Send. You can keep up with the chat thread that you just created via the Sharing tab. You can easily share

How to Enable Dark Mode in the Gmail iOS App

Since the release of iOS 13, Apple has included a system-wide Dark Mode option for iPhones and iPads, similar to the one it brought to the Mac in 2018 with the release of macOS Mojave. Many third-party app developers have since added support for Dark mode to their apps, although it has to be said that some popular apps have been quicker than others. On September 24, 2019, Google announced a new dark mode for its Gmail app, but rollout of the feature has been glacially slow. Fast forward to December, and the option still isn't showing up for all its users. You can follow the steps below to find out if it's available for you. Okay, But Why Should I Use ‌Dark Mode‌ in Gmail? The Dark theme in Gmail is designed to be easier on the eyes by providing less harsh display brightness in situations where ambient lighting is lower, while maintaining contrast and vibrancy. If you have an OLED iPhone, such as an ‌iPhone‌ X, iPhone XS, or iPhone 11 Pro, enabling ‌Dark Mode‌ can also conserve battery life, since black pixels in an OLED panel basically switch off and consume far less power. How to Enable ‌Dark Mode‌ in Gmail for iOS Launch the Gmail app on your ‌iPhone‌ or iPad. Tap the Menu icon (the three lines) in the top-left corner of the screen. Scroll down and tap Settings. Tap Theme. (If you don't see the option, try force-quitting and then relaunching the app.) Select Light, Dark, or System default. The latter option makes Gmail's theme default to your device's system settings, which is a useful option if you've set the appearance of iOS to change automatically

Apple Pay Now Available to Customers of Swedbank and Bank Austria [Updated]

Swedbank, one of the largest banks in Sweden, has today announced support for Apple Pay. "We want to be able to provide our customers a good range of digital and mobile services and ‌Apple Pay‌ is a sought-after service among our customers. We are pleased to now be able to broaden our mobile payment offer with yet another secure and smart alternative, which will provide lots of added value for our customers", said Lotta Lovén, Head of Digital Banking at Swedbank.Swedbank customers are now able to add their Mastercard credit cards and Maestro debit cards to the Wallet app by tapping the plus button in the top-right corner. ‌Apple Pay‌ can be used anywhere contactless payments are accepted with a compatible iPhone or Apple Watch. It is also accepted by select apps and websites. ‌Apple Pay‌ launched in Sweden in October 2017, and with Swedbank now on board, up to 4.1 million more customers can gain access to the service in the country. ‌Apple Pay‌ will be available in more than 40 countries and territories by the end of 2019, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Thanks to a tipster from Estonia!) Update: As noted by MacRumors reader Adam Perjesi, ‌Apple Pay‌ is also now available at Bank Austria and Raiffeisen Bank in

GIS and Epistar to Supply Display Components for Mini-LED 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Following on from yesterday, DigiTimes has provided additional details on several Taiwan-based supply chain makers said to be "poised" to receive orders for components that will be used in a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with mini-LED display that Apple plans to launch in 2020. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed earlier in the week that Apple plans to release four to six products with mini-LED displays over the next two to three years, including a high-end 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌. Kuo has said the mini-LED displays will "significantly improve productivity and the entertainment experience," and has previously said that mini-LED displays will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including higher contrast ratio, higher brightness, and deeper blacks. According to DigiTimes, the supply chain makers ready to receive orders for the components include Epistar, General Interface Solution (GIS), Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (TSMT), Zhen Ding Technology, and Flexium Interconnect. LED wafer and chip maker Epistar will compete for orders for mini LED chips from Apple through Te Opto, its joint venture with Japan-based Toyoda Gosei, the sources noted. Epistar will supply mini LED chips sized 200-micron x 200-micron and estimates that such an ‌iPad Pro‌ will use up to 10,000 mini LED chips, the sources indicated. For mini LED backlight units (BLUs), Apple originally chose Radiant Opto-Electronics but the company was conservative about investment in expanding production capacity, the sources

How to Use Spotify's Sleep Timer Feature on iPhone and iPad

Spotify added a Sleep Timer to its Android app earlier this year, and this week, it's making the feature available for Spotify users on iPhone and iPad. Keep reading to learn how to use the Sleep Timer and get a good night's sleep. What's the Spotify Sleep Timer For? Basically, the Sleep Timer feature is for anyone who goes to bed with Spotify playing on their iOS device and wants it to automatically stop playing after they've fallen asleep. It's a useful function to have if you don't want your ‌iPhone‌ playing through that carefully chosen playlist or podcast series when you're not awake to enjoy it. It can also help save your battery, and potentially your data allowance if you're streaming over cellular. How to Use the Spotify Sleep Timer Spotify is rolling out the feature via a software update, so make sure you've downloaded the latest version of the Spotify app from the App Store before following these steps. If you don't see the function in the Spotify app, check back later in the day, by which time the rollout will have hopefully reached you. Launch the Spotify app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌. Start playing your music or podcast of choice. Select the "now playing" screen so that the artwork and playback controls are front and center. If you're listening to music, tap the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen. If you're listening to a podcast, tap the little moon icon in the bottom-right corner. Scroll down and select Sleep Timer from the list of options that appear. Select a duration for your timer. There are six increments to choose from,

Apple Calls New Russian Smartphone Sales Legislation 'Equivalent to Jailbreaking'

Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed new legislation requiring all smartphones, computers, and smart TVs sold in the country to come pre-installed with Russian software, reports Reuters. Proponents of the law claim it will help Russian developers better compete with foreign tech firms. The legislation has also been pitched as a way of sparing consumers from having to download software after purchasing a new device. Electronic retailers have already criticized the law, which is due to come into force on July 1 next year, and say the legislation was adopted without consulting them. The law has also sparked fears that Russia could use the pre-installed apps as a way to spy on its citizens. It's still unclear how tech companies will react to the news, although Apple has previously threatened to pull out of the Russian market if a complete ban on selling its products without pre-installed apps was introduced, Russian media reported earlier this year. Responding to today's news of the law, an unnamed Apple source reportedly told the Kommersant business daily: "A mandate to add third-party applications to Apple's ecosystem would be equivalent to jailbreaking. It would pose a security threat, and the company cannot tolerate that kind of risk." According to The Moscow Times, the government will draw up a list of software which tech companies will need to pre-install, and a list of the devices covered by the law, expected to include computers, tablets and smart TVs alongside mobile phones. The Russian government has cracked down on internet freedoms in

Apple Music Award Design Features Apple's Custom Silicon Wafer

The inaugural Apple Music awards take place tomorrow at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, and in typical Apple fashion, the company has designed a series of unique vinyl-inspired awards to be presented to the winners. Each award features a polished sheet of glass and a machined and anodized aluminum body, between which is suspended Apple's custom 12-inch silicon wafer – the same chips that power the company's iPhones and iPads, and included in the commemorative design as a "symbolic gesture," says Apple. The wafers start as a perfect 12-inch disc of silicon with nanometer level flatness. Copper layers are deposited and patterned by ultraviolet lithography to create connections between billions of transistors. The result of this multi-month process, before it is sliced into hundreds of individual chips, is stunning and distinctive. In a symbolic gesture, the same chips which power the devices that put the world’s music at your fingertips sit at the very heart of the ‌Apple Music‌ Awards.The ‌Apple Music‌ Awards will kick off with a bespoke performance from Billie Eilish, whose full-length debut album WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? was the most played album on ‌Apple Music‌ this year. Eilish will be awarded ‌Apple Music‌'s Album of the Year as the most streamed album of 2019, with more than a billion streams on ‌Apple Music‌. Billie will also receive the award for Songwriter of the Year, which will go to both her and her brother FINNEAS. Also during the event, the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award will be presented to Lizzo, while the Song of the Year award

Sony Smart TV Software Update Brings AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Support to Select 2018 and 2019 Models

Sony has begun rolling out a software update for some of its smart TVs that enables AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit support, including its XBR Z9F and XBR A9F series of 4K and 4K OLED TVs. Earlier this year, Sony announced that ‌AirPlay‌ 2 and ‌HomeKit‌ support would come to some of its mid-range and high-end smart TVs by way of a software update. This Android 9 Pie update makes good on that promise, and also includes Dolby Atmos support. The update is available for the 2018 A9F and Z9F models as well as the 2019 A9G, Z9G, X950G, and X850G (55, 65, 75, 85-inch). TV tech site FlatpanelsHD notes that the 2018 A9F and Z9F models weren't listed as compatible models in Sony's original announcement, but they've since been included. ‌AirPlay‌ 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to compatible Sony smart TVs, complete with lock screen controls. ‌HomeKit‌ support will enable users to easily control the TVs using Siri voice commands or the Home app on ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and Mac. The software update is available in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. There's no word yet on the availability of the update in Europe and elsewhere, but presumably Sony plans to extend the staggered rollout beyond these regions. To update the Android-based software, you need to press the HELP button on the remote control and select "System software update." If you don't see the update, enable the "Automatically check for update" option, and a notification will appear on your TV when the update is available. Samsung, LG,