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.



Apple Seeking to Shift iPhone Production to Pegatron to Offset Chinese Qualcomm Ban

Apple is reportedly looking to shift production of older iPhones to Taiwanese supplier Pegatron in an effort to avoid losing billions in revenue as a result of its patent dispute with Qualcomm. Earlier this week, Qualcomm was granted an import ban on the iPhone 6s through iPhone X in China after the court found those devices violated two Qualcomm patents. However, according to documents seen by Nikkei Asian Review, smartphones produced by Pegatron are exempt from the ban because the Taiwanese supplier paid license fees for the contested software, whereas rival iPhone assemblers Foxconn and Wistron did not. One of the sources with direct knowledge of the situation said Apple had held initial discussions with Pegatron about whether the Taiwan-based company could take on more iPhone production to make up for the impact of the ban. No decision has yet been taken, however. [...] Taking into account a consumer shift to newer models, it is estimated that the order barring production of older iPhone models by Foxconn and Wistron could hit Apple's sales by some $5 billion in 2018 or 3% of total iPhone revenue. This could be halved to about $2.5 billion if Pegatron is exempted, two sources said. And if Apple later decides to ask Pegatron to step up production, the impact would be even less, the sources added.Apple has warned that upholding the iPhone ban would cause "truly irreparable harm" to Apple, other companies, and consumers if it is forced to withdraw its devices from the market. Late on Thursday, Apple said it will release a software update to iPhone

How to Disable Transparency Effects in macOS Mojave

In macOS, transparency – or more properly, translucency – is a visual effect many apps use to create a sense of depth by hinting at content residing in the background. An example of transparency is when content behind a window shows through in interface elements like menus and sidebars. It's evident in the screenshot above, for example, in which the colors of the desktop wallpaper bleed through the sidebar in the Photos app. A similar effect is sometimes used within app interface elements that are windowed, allowing window content to show through other elements like toolbars. An instance of this can be seen below, where the folders are visible through Finder's toolbar as if through frosted glass. Transparency enabled (left); transparency disabled The effect can look cool, but it can also be distracting if you're trying to focus on content, especially if you're editing photos. Fortunately, macOS lets you turn off transparency, but the way to do it isn't immediately obvious. The following steps show you how. How to Disable Transparency in macOS MojaveLaunch System Preferences from your Mac's Dock, from the Applications folder, or from the Apple menu bar ( -> System Preferences...). Select the Accessibility preference pane. In the sidebar, under Vision, click Display. Check the box next to Reduce transparency.

Apple TV DashBoard App 'DayView' Updated With HomeKit Support

Apple TV dashboard app DayView has received its first major update and a couple of much-requested features, courtesy of developer and former Apple intern Punya Chatterjee. For anyone unfamiliar with DayView, the app has similarities to the Today View on iPhone, in that it displays widgets that hook into useful online platforms and personal services, providing at-a-glance information in a unified dashboard. You can customize the dashboard wallpaper and select which widgets go where in the dashboard panels, plus they automatically refresh, so you could leave the app up on your TV screen during your morning routine, for example. Since we last looked at DayView, Chatterjee has implemented iCloud/Apple calendar support (the calendar widget can now read calendars that come in the standardized iCalendar format) and the Commute widget now has a transit option, which uses Apple Maps' estimates, just like for walking or driving. The big addition in version 1.2 of DayView however is support for HomeKit widgets, including Scenes, Accessories, and Camera. As this is a new feature, control over accessories is currently limited to toggling them on and off, likewise when triggering scenes. Meanwhile the camera widget lets you stream from any HomeKit cameras and you can select the widget to switch between them if you have multiple. Elsewhere in this update, Chatterjee has included an optional $2.99 in-app purchase for DayView Pro, which gets users additional premium features including the ability to add multiples of widgets (to view weather conditions for several

Apple Announces Plans to Build $1 Billion Campus in Austin, Texas

Apple on Thursday announced it will invest $1 billion to build a new campus in Austin, Texas. Located less than a mile from its existing facilities, the 133-acre campus will initially accommodate 5,000 additional employees, with the capacity to grow to 15,000, which would make Apple the largest private employer in Austin. One of Apple's existing facilities in North Austin "Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Talent, creativity and tomorrow's breakthrough ideas aren't limited by region or zip code, and, with this new expansion, we're redoubling our commitment to cultivating the high-tech sector and workforce nationwide."In its press release, Apple said jobs created at the campus would include a wide range of functions, including engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales, and customer support. At 6,200 people, Austin already represents the largest population of Apple employees outside Cupertino. "Apple is among the world's most innovative companies and an avid creator of jobs in Texas and across the country," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. "Their decision to expand operations in our state is a testament to the high-quality workforce and unmatched economic environment that Texas offers. I thank Apple for this tremendous investment in Texas, and I look forward to building upon our strong partnership to create an even brighter future for the Lone Star State."In addition to the new

Apple Offering Discounts on HomePod to Apple Music Subscribers

Apple this morning began offering promo codes to Apple Music subscribers that allow them to buy a HomePod at a discounted price for a limited time, in a holiday-themed promotion. As of writing, customers in the UK have received codes for £50 off a new HomePod, bringing the price down to £269, with the offer available until December 16. The discount is being offered via an email from Apple that includes a button-style link to 'Get Your Promo Code', which sends customers to the official Apple website with the promotional offer applied. HomePod brings out the best in Apple Music. To celebrate the holidays, we're giving only Apple Music subscribers £50 off HomePod now through December 16. Claim your special promo code now.The £50 discount narrowly beats the price of HomePod from John Lewis and Currys PC World, both of which are currently selling Apple's smart speaker for £279. As yet, it's not clear whether Apple intends to extend similar discounts to other regions, but we'll update this article as soon as we hear anything. (Thanks, Luke and Mark!)

iPhone Suppliers TSMC and Foxconn Report Strong November Revenue

Two of Apple's largest suppliers have reported healthy jumps in monthly revenue, suggesting fears of weak iPhone demand may be overblown (via Bloomberg). Asian firms TSMC and Foxconn (Hon Hai) both posted a 5.6 percent rise in November sales, reversing a recent trend of Apple suppliers reducing production or revenue outlooks to reflect lowering demand for Apple's smartphones. Foxconn posted NT$601.4 billion ($19.5 billion) in revenue, a record for the month of November, which puts the iPhone assembler on track for its fastest pace of annual growth in years. TSMC, maker of Apple's system-on-chips like the A12 processor, reported revenue of $3.1 billion, a lower figure than the previous month but still considered strong overall. Executives at the chipmaker have said they expect demand for premium devices to help offset lethargy in the crypto-mining market, which it has heavily invested in. Apple accounts for close to half of main iPhone-assembler Hon Hai's revenue and about a fifth of TSMC's, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The figures offer something of a riposte to the narrative that sales of Apple's iPhone XR and XS have been weaker than expected. For example, last week it was reported that Apple moved marketing staff off other projects to focus on bolstering sales of the latest iPhone lineup in late October. Apple's next earnings call is in January, when investors will get an idea of how the company did over the holiday season, although Apple recently stopped reporting real unit numbers for its major product categories, so investors will

DxOMark: iPhone XR is 'Best Single-Cam Smartphone We've Tested'

DxOMark today published the results of its in-depth analysis of the iPhone XR's single-lens rear camera. Apple's flagship smartphone achieved an overall score of 101 points, surpassing Google's Pixel 2 to make it the top-ranked single lens phone in the site's rankings. In its testing, DxOMark found the iPhone XR to offer "a very similar proposition for image quality as the flagship iPhone XS Max," across key photo attributes like exposure, color, detail, noise, and artifacts. Both devices also achieved the same overall score for video, but the dual lenses of the iPhone XS Max meant the XR fell behind on zoom and bokeh shots, although DxOMark noted that Apple had managed to improve the flash on the more affordable single-lens iPhone. Colored panels shot on iPhone XR The review adds that the iPhone XR has very good exposure and dynamic range in bright light and indoor conditions, while detail is well-preserved in all lighting conditions with "vivid and pleasant colors in most situations." Apple iPhone XR, HDR test scene The few cons the review noted included the visibility of fine grain luminance noise in indoor and low-light conditions, while video was criticized for instabilities in white balance when filming indoors. Apple iPhone XS Max, HDR test scene for comparison DxOMark concludes that the photographic capabilities of the iPhone XR are "broadly similar to those of the XS/XS Max" which should make the less-expensive model "desirable to many Apple enthusiasts looking to upgrade their smartphone." "Compared to the Google Pixel 2, which is the best

O2 and Ericsson Apologize After 4G Service Outage Affects Millions of Smartphones

Cellular network operator O2 on Friday said its data networks had been restored after millions of smartphones across the UK and Japan were taken offline yesterday (via BBC). A statement on its website said the 4G network was finally working again, after having been affected from about 05:30 GMT on Thursday. Earlier, mobile network equipment supplier Ericsson said that an expired certificate was the reason behind the outage, which also created problems in several other countries. Ericsson UK boss Marielle Lindgren said the "faulty software" that had caused the issues was being decommissioned. Both O2 and Ericsson issued a joint apology to millions of customers hit by the disruption. "I want to let our customers know how sorry I am for the impact our network data issue has had on them, and reassure them that our teams, together with Ericsson, are doing everything we can," said O2 boss Mark Evans. "We fully appreciate it's been a poor experience and we are really sorry." O2 is owned by Spain's Telefonica and has the UK's second-largest mobile network after British Telecom subsidiary EE. The company said voice calls were not affected by the problem, but some O2 customers said they could not make calls or send texts, despite having cellular reception. The outage also had knock-on effects for other services that use the O2 network, such as Transport for London's electronic timetable service at bus stops, which stopped working for most of

Australia Passes Controversial Encryption Bill Despite Opposition From Apple and Other Tech Companies

The Australian parliament on Thursday passed controversial encryption legislation that could result in tech companies being forced to give law enforcement access to encrypted customer messages. As we reported in October, Apple opposed the legislation in a seven-page letter to the Australian parliament, calling the encryption bill "dangerously ambiguous" and wide open to potential abuse by authorities. Advocates of the bill, officially titled "Assistance and Access Bill 2018," argue it is essential to national security because encrypted communications are used by terrorist groups and criminals to avoid detection. CNET provided a breakdown on the Australian bill and the three tiers of law enforcement and state agency assistance it covers: Technical assistance request: A notice to provide "voluntary assistance" to law enforcement for "safeguarding of national security and the enforcement of the law." Technical assistance notice: A notice requiring tech companies to offer decryption "they are already capable of providing that is reasonable, proportionate, practicable and technically feasible" where the company already has the "existing means" to decrypt communications (e.g. where messages aren't end-to-end encrypted). Technical capability notice: A notice issued by the attorney general, requiring tech companies to "build a new capability" to decrypt communications for law enforcement. The bill stipulates this can't include capabilities that "remove electronic protection, such as encryption."The Australian government insists that the laws don't provide a

How to Use Your iPad as a Second Screen for Your Mac

Duet Display is an app made by former Apple engineers that allows you to use your iPad as a second screen for your Mac. In this article, we'll explain how it works and the steps you need to follow to get things up and running. Duet Display is a great way to extend your Mac's desktop and can come in especially handy when you're working away from home and want to broaden your productivity space, but don't have the luxury of a dedicated external monitor. In earlier versions of macOS, the app was hampered by changes to Apple's operating system that caused its developers no end of problems, but the latest Duet update (v2.0.3.8+) released on December 5 appears to have resolved those issues thanks to the introduction of full hardware acceleration support. We are excited to announce a breakthrough. As of macOS 10.14.2+ & duet v2.0.3.8+, Duet Display is now fully hardware accelerated, making the fastest way to turn your iPad into a second display even faster. 100% free update at https://t.co/VxaXUTgXdb pic.twitter.com/FbbuqAGF1E— Duet Display (@duetdisplay) December 5, 2018 Duet Display is actually one of two apps best known for letting users leverage their iPad as a second screen for their Mac. The other is Luna Display ($79.99), but that app uses another implementation that requires two small dongles to ensure a consistent low-latency connection. Duet Display on the other hand is a pure software solution and a lot more affordable at $9.99, which is why we've chosen to cover it here. How to Use Your iPad as a Second Screen for Your MacLaunch the App Store on

Tropico Coming to iPad December 18, iPhone Version Confirmed for Release Next Year

Feral today announced a December 18 release date for the iPad version of Tropico, the popular strategic island city builder and humorous dictator sim, and also confirmed that an iPhone version is forthcoming sometime in 2019. Based on the acclaimed series originally published by Kalypso Media, Tropico for iPad has been redesigned and developed for mobile by Feral, and will be a premium game with no in-app purchases. Fully tailored to and optimized for tablet, Tropico features intuitive touch controls and an easy-to-navigate user interface that make it smooth and simple for players to lead this small but proud island nation into a glorious future, one tap at a time. Tropico will support fifth generation and sixth generation iPads, and all generations of Apple's iPad Pro models. The game requires iOS 12 and just under 3GB to install. Tropico costs $11.99 and is available to pre-order now from the App Store [Direct Link].

Next-Gen AirPods to Spark Intense Competition in Smart Earbuds Market Next Year

Continuing improvements to Apple's popular AirPods wireless earphones will trigger an intense round of ear-device innovation and competition in 2019 as tech companies look to other avenues for growth amid declining smartphone sales, according to respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note published today and obtained by MacRumors, Kuo predicted that AirPods, which are the most successful current Apple product, will rapidly grow in popularity next year when upgraded models appear, with many brands to follow Apple's steps with their own competing products. Kuo also laid out how he expects the in-ear devices to evolve over the coming years in the context of Apple's ecosystem. We believe that the AirPods are more than just earbuds for Apple and will become increasingly important in Apple's ecosystem for the following reasons. (1) They increase the switching costs for users to Android from the iOS ecosystem. (2) This is an important device for voice assistant/AI services because it can easily enable the voice assistant. (3) The ear is a perfect sensing area for detecting various health data. It may integrate with the Apple Watch to offer better health management in the future.For an idea of the potential health integrations Apple has in mind for future AirPods, a new patent awarded to Apple on Tuesday (spotted by 9to5Mac) shows AirPod-like devices performing heart rate monitoring and taking body temperature measurements. With smartphone shipments slowing, more brand vendors are said to be paying attention to wireless earbud sales as a way to generate growth in

How to Disable Autoplaying Videos in the YouTube App's Home Tab

Over the next few weeks, YouTube is rolling out a new feature for its mobile app called "Autoplay on Home," which automatically plays videos that appear on your Home tab. As you scroll through your Home feed, videos will begin to play on mute with captions auto-enabled. Google claims the previously Premium-only feature is a better way to experience new content on the go, and will help you "make more informed decisions about whether you want to watch a video," but not everyone is likely to agree, especially users who have a cellular data cap. Fortunately, YouTube has provided some options to customize the app's new default behavior, which we'll mention shortly. But first, here's how you can turn off Autoplay on Home completely. How to Disable Autoplay on Home in the YouTube AppLaunch the YouTube app on your iPhone. Tap your profile icon in the upper right of the screen. Tap Settings. Tap Autoplay. Tap the Autoplay on Home toggle to turn it off.In some circumstances, Autoplay on Home may be enabled only when you're using either Wi-Fi or cellular data. If you want to adjust this behavior, follow the steps above to bring you to YouTube's Autoplay settings, and you'll find options to Use on Wi-Fi and cellular data and Use only when connected to Wi-Fi.

How to Wake Up to a Weather Forecast on Your iPhone's Lock Screen

In iOS 12, Apple has included a somewhat hidden feature that lets you see the day's weather forecast on your iPhone's Lock Screen when you check it for the first time after waking up. The feature is part of Apple's Do Not Disturb at Bedtime mode, which prevents notifications from being displayed on your iPhone's Lock Screen when you're supposed to be sleeping. Many users don't realize you can get the weather forecast to show on the Lock Screen because of the odd way that Apple has implemented the feature. Regardless, here's how to get it working. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone. Tap Do Not Disturb. Make sure the Scheduled and Bedtime buttons are toggled on so that they're both green. You can also set your sleep and wake schedule here by adjusting the From and To times. Return to the main Settings screen and tap Privacy. Tap Location Services. Tap Weather in the list of apps. Under Allow Location Access, tap Always. Exit the Settings app.With that done, next time it's time to wake up and Bedtime Mode is scheduled to go off, your iPhone will display the usual "Good morning!" message along with the day's weather, including the current temperature, weather conditions, and forecast. To make the forecast vanish from your Lock Screen, simply tap Dismiss. To switch the temperature scale between Celsius and Fahrenheit, launch the Weather app and scroll to the bottom of the weather locations list, where you'll find the option to do so. It's worth noting that once you unlock your iPhone, the weather forecast will disappear for the rest of the

Apple to Wait Until at Least 2020 to Release 5G iPhones

Apple won't release an iPhone that can connect to 5G data networks until at least 2020, claims a new report out today. According to Bloomberg's sources, Apple is planning to delay its support for the next generation of high-speed mobile services coming in 2019, just as it did for previous generations. As with 3G and 4G, the two previous generations of mobile technology, Apple will wait as long as a year after the initial deployment of the new networks before its main product gets the capability to access them, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the company's plans.According to Bloomberg, Apple delayed support for previous mobile network upgrades because it accurately predicted that the first versions of rival smartphones would suffer from problems like poor coverage. However, 5G advocates argue that delaying support for the upcoming network upgrade is a bigger risk for Apple, since it represents a much bigger speed boost over previous generations, making the leap from 4G to 5G significant enough to become a major selling point for new devices. 5G advocates believe the danger for Apple is that it will be left behind by rivals like Samsung, who could exploit the delay and attract more consumers to its Galaxy smartphones, which are expected to support 5G networks next year. Likewise, Chinese mobile makers Oppo and Huawei have also signaled that they plan to offer 5G phones. Bloomberg suggests that Apple's decision to wait another year before supporting 5G could be related to the company's feud with Qualcomm, a leader in 5G-enabled

Reddit Client 'Apollo' Updated With Quick Switch Account Feature, Enhanced Subreddit Options, and More

Former Apple intern Christian Selig has released version 1.4 of Apollo, the popular Reddit client developed with Apple's iOS design guidelines in mind. The latest update introduces a raft of highly requested features, including quick switching accounts and new subreddit preferences to add to its existing plethora of options. For those who like to access multiple Reddit accounts through the Apollo app, the new quick switching feature can be activated by long-pressing the Accounts tab in the bottom tab bar. Over on the subreddit option front, it's now possible to use specific sorting, where Apollo can remember preferred sorting preferences on a per subreddit basis. In Selig's example, if users want one subreddit to always be sorted by "New", but another to always be sorted by "Best", now they can. There are also separate options for both subreddit posts and subreddit comments. In a similar fashion, it's now possible to have Apollo remember post size preferences on a per subreddit basis, so users could have some subreddits in compact mode and others in large mode. Elsewhere in 1.4, there's support for Reddit Silver, Gold, and Platinum tiered gifting system (Reddit's replacement for the previous Reddit Gold system) for gifting posts and comments. In addition, support has been added for more browsers including Firefox Focus, Brave, DuckDuckGo, and iCab Mobile, while users can now opt to have all tweets open in Tweetbot, Twitterrific, or the official Twitter app. Also of note, Apollo now shows if a comment has been edited, there's a new icon designed

Instagram Launches 'Close Friends' List for Sharing Stories

Instagram today announced the launch of a new Stories feature called "Close Friends" that allows you to share stories with a select group of people rather than all your followers. Starting today, you can make a close friends list on Stories and share with just the people you've added. Instagram Stories has become the place to express yourself and share everyday moments, but our community has grown and sometimes what you want to share isn't for everyone. With Close Friends, you have the flexibility to share more personal moments with a smaller group that you choose.The feature works through follower suggestions based on who you interact with most, or via a contact search, from which you can then build the list for sharing Stories with fewer people. You can find the list by going to your Instagram profile and tapping Close Friends in the side menu. When you go to share a Story, a new option appears to share it with only the people on your close friends list. It's worth noting that Close Friends is a private list, so other users can't see it in your profile or request to be added to it, so you can switch up your selection at any time without the risk of retaliatory unfriending. The only indication that your part of someone's Close Friends list is that you'll see a green badge when viewing stories shared to the list. There's also a green ring around the user's profile in the Stories tray. As TechCrunch notes, the feature plays on the idea of "Finstagrams," or fake Instagram accounts that teens sometimes create to share posts to select friends without having to

How to Get Unique Alerts for VIP Emails Received on Your Mac

In the last installment of our regular how-to series, we showed how you can set up an iOS device to get unique alerts when emails are received from your VIP contacts. In this article, we're going to show you how to do the same thing on your Mac. In the native Mail application in macOS, the standard way of ensuring you receive new message notifications from VIPs is to go into Mail's Preferences and select VIPs in the New message notifications dropdown list. Setting up VIP alerts this way is all well and good, but it prevents you from receiving notifications for all other messages coming into your inbox. A better solution would be to set up a rule in Mail that plays a specific sound or bounces the Dock icon when a message is received and the sender is in your VIP list. Here's how to do it. How to Get a Unique Alert for VIP Emails Launch the Mail app on your Mac. Select Preferences... from the Mail menu bar. Select the Rules tab. Click Add Rule. Give your rule a name in the Description field. For If, select Any. For the first condition, select Sender is VIP from the first dropdown list. Under Perform the following actions: select Play Sound from the first dropdown list. (Another option available here is Bounce Icon in Dock.) Under Perform the following actions: choose a sound to play from the second dropdown list. Click OK. Click Apply.With the rule set up, you'll now get a unique alert for every VIP mail you receive that you'll be able to distinguish from regular new message notifications as they come

Portrait Camera App 'Focos' Gains New iPad Interface With Apple Pencil and 2018 iPad Pro Support

Portrait Mode photo editor Focos received an update today that should pique the interest of iPad owners. We've highlighted the iPhone app in the past for its impressive granular aperture and bokeh adjustment tools, but the latest version builds on the existing feature set by adding more extensive support for iPads. With this latest 1.6 update, Focos brings a new, specially designed interface to iPad that's more convenient to use on the larger screens. In addition, Focos now includes support for taking portrait pictures on Apple's latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, while for owners of earlier iPad models, it's now possible to edit portrait pictures transferred from a dual-camera iPhone. Focos users are able to multiple-select and transfer portrait pictures from iPhone to iPad right from within the app for further editing. Focos also includes Apple Pencil support, making it possible to patch the depth map of a portrait photo more precisely using Apple's latest input device. Previously the Patch tool was an in-app purchase, but in this latest version it's now free to use, providing photographers with another reason to get the iPad version to edit their portrait pictures precisely. Focos is a free download for iPads and dual-lens iPhones from the App Store, although several pro features are behind a paywall. It costs $0.99 per month or $6.99 per year to unlock them, but there's also an $11.99 lifetime access purchase option. [Direct Link]

Apple Maps Now Provides Transit Directions Across Belgium

Following yesterday's Apple Pay launch in Belgium, Apple today updated its Maps app to include transit information across the country. Apple has yet to update its official list of locations for which Maps offers Transit data, but several tipsters contacted MacRumors to confirm the information is already live. The coverage includes train, tram, and bus routes in the main cities as well as other funicular connections around the country. Belgian connections to nearby connections abroad also feature in Apple's coverage. Google Maps has supported transit directions for several years now, but Apple Maps has been adding transit data since 2015 and is steadily catching up with detailed routing information. (Thanks Bernd and Noah!)