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.



Gardena Smart System Gains Apple HomeKit Support

The Gardena Smart System is now compatible with Apple's HomeKit, thanks to the availability of a software update that brings HomeKit integration to Gardena devices like the Smart Water Control, Smart Irrigation Control, Smart Sensor, and Smart Power. Originally announced at CES 2019, the update pushed out today should automatically apply to existing Gardena Smart System owners, enabling their systems to work with the Apple Home app and Siri voice commands. If your Gardena Smart System gateway hasn't yet received the update, you can manually trigger it via the Gardena Smart System App. The individual components (sockets, sensors, and so on) can also be manually updated with the new HomeKit firmware via the app. Gardena's Smart System products include watering sets for hedges and bushes on balconies, irrigation controls for controlling multiple irrigation zones, a control set for managing water usage, a water controller for automatic irrigation, sensors for measuring soil moisture and other parameters, and a smart power adapter. (Via Macerkopf.de)

Apple Exploring Flexible Display Designs for Future Apple Watch

Apple this week was awarded a patent for a potential Apple Watch design featuring a flexible microLED display that integrates with and encompasses almost the entire watch band. Titled "Display Module and System Applications" and published by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Apple's patent explores several designs that could one day make it into a future Apple Watch. In the patent, Apple foresees a watch with a flexible display substrate that includes a front side and an underlying second side. An array of microLEDs contact the wiring layer on the front side, while the second side is in communication with multiple electrical driver circuit chips. In one embodiment, a plurality of interconnects extend throughout the substrate and integrate the two layers of the display area, which is surrounded by a bevel width of less than 1mm. The patent also describes a contact ledge area that is wider than the bevelled surface of the display substrate. In this design, the MicroLED and input area of the display substrate extends beyond the watch face and ramifies out into the smartwatch band, transforming the band into an extended display area with touch-sensitive capacity. In a further embodiment, the flexible display substrate includes a first display area for the watch face and a second display area extending to the watch band. In this incarnation, a computer-readable medium receives instructions that dictate the design for both the watch and at least some of the band. Smartwatch concept drawings showings MicroLED and circuit chips Interest in

Red iPhone XS and XS Max Rumored to Launch in China This Month, Again Dropping PRODUCT(RED) Branding

A red variant of the iPhone XS and XS Max could be launching in China sooner rather than later, if a social media rumor proves to be accurate. A Weibo post spotted by iPhoneHacks.com claims Apple will launch the red color models by the end of this month, in a bid to boost struggling iPhone sales in the region. The leaker, who claims to have received the tip from sources in Apple's supply chain, says that Apple will call the model "China Red," and not the PRODUCT(RED) branding that the company typically associates with the color. Apple globally launched a mid-cycle (PRODUCT)RED edition iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in March 2017 and a similar edition for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in April 2018, so the timing wouldn't be completely off. Apple already sells a (PRODUCT)RED variant of the iPhone XR. There's also precedent for Apple using a different name in China – the company dropped the PRODUCT(RED) branding in the country for both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models, instead promoting them simply as additional colorways. Apple has partnered with the (RED) Global Fund for nearly 13 years to sell a variety of red-colored devices and accessories. For each product sold, Apple makes an unspecified contribution to HIV/AIDS charity. However sex remains a controversial issue in China, where AIDS and HIV have been characterized in the past as a consequence of contact with the West. Despite the lack of any PRODUCT(RED) mention in China, Apple CEO Tim Cook assured MacRumors in a March 2017 email that the company upholds its charitable Global Fund donations

How to Turn on Automatic Downloads for Songs in Apple Music

Normally when you add songs or albums from the Apple Music catalog to your library and then play them back, the tracks are streamed to your device or computer. This avoids using up local storage, but it also has a major drawback –- the content becomes unavailable if you don't have an active internet or cellular connection. Fortunately, you can avoid this situation altogether by enabling Automatic Downloads. With this option turned on, Apple Music content automatically downloads to your device or computer when you add it to your Library. Enabling Automatic Downloads on iPhone and iPad Launch the Settings app on your iOS device. Tap Music in the apps list. Turn on the toggle switch next to Automatic Downloads. Enabling Automatic Downloads on Your Computer Launch iTunes. On Mac, choose iTunes -> Preferences from the menu bar. On Windows, choose Edit -> Preferences from the iTunes window menu bar. Click the Downloads tab, and under Automatic Downloads, check the box next to Music. Click OK.Note that you can download and access the same content on up to 10 devices for as long as your Apple Music subscription is active.

How to Turn On iCloud Music Library for Apple Music

If you're an Apple Music subscriber, you can add and download songs, albums, playlist, and video content from the Apple Music catalog to your personal music library. And if you turn on iCloud Music Library on your devices, the Apple Music content in your library will be synced across all of them as long as they're signed in to your Apple ID. The following steps show you how to enable iCloud Music Library on iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC. Turn on iCloud Music Library on iOS Devices Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Tap Music in the apps list. Tap the iCloud Music Library toggle to enable it. If you already have music stored on your iOS device, you'll be asked if you want to keep it. If you choose to Keep Music, the music is added to your iCloud Music Library. If you choose Delete and Replace, the music on your device is removed and replaced with the content in your iCloud Music Library. If you choose Merge, any songs on your device that have a match in the Apple Music Catalog will become available on your other devices. Turn on iCloud Music Library on Mac or PC Launch iTunes on your Mac or PC. On Mac, select iTunes -> Preferences from the menu bar. On PC, select Edit -> Preferences from the iTunes window menu bar. In the General tab, check the box next to iCloud Music Library to enable it. Click OK.Once iCloud Music Library is enabled on iOS devices, the Mac, or the PC, any Apple TV or Android devices you own will also be able to access iCloud Music Library automatically.

How to Sync Albums and Playlists From Apple Music to Your Apple Watch

If you're an Apple Music subscriber and own an Apple Watch, you can sync albums and playlists from the Apple Music catalog to your Apple Watch for offline listening. Once you've added or downloaded Apple Music content to your music library, it becomes available to upload to your Apple Watch, which has 2GB of local music storage. This means you can connect Bluetooth headphones to your Apple Watch and listen to Apple Music tracks without having your iPhone in range. Here's how it's done. Take off your Apple Watch and place it on its charger. On your iPhone, launch the Watch app. Tap the My Watch tab. Tap Music in the app list. Under Automatically Add, tap the toggle switches next to any of Apple Music's personalized mixes to add them to or remove them from your Apple Watch. Under Playlists & Albums, tap Add Music..., then select the playlists and/or albums from your music library to upload to your Apple Watch.Keep your Apple Watch connected to its charger while you wait for the songs to upload and don't remove it until the progress bar completes at the top of your iPhone's screen. Note that you can remove any albums or playlists you've added to Apple Watch by tapping Edit in the upper right corner of the same

Apple to Sell Modified iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany to Skirt Sales Ban

Apple today confirmed rumors that it will start selling modified iPhone models in its German stores to comply with a patent infringement lawsuit Qualcomm won against the company in December. The California-based company said it had "no choice" but to replace Intel chips in the iPhone models with chips from Qualcomm in order to allow them to be sold again in the country. "Qualcomm is attempting to use injunctions against our products to try to get Apple to succumb to their extortionist demands. In many cases they are using patents they purchased or that have nothing to do with their cellular technology to harass Apple and other industry players," an Apple spokesperson said. "To ensure all iPhone models can again be available to customers in Germany, we have no choice but to stop using Intel chips and ship our phones with Qualcomm chips in Germany. Qualcomm is working to eliminate competition by any means they can, harming consumers and stifling industry innovation along the way."Sources in German retail hinted last week that Apple was working on new versions of the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus with updated modem hardware that does not violate the injunction levied against it in Germany that resulted in a sales ban on the devices. Mobile chip supplier Qualcomm sued Apple in Germany alleging that some older iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models violated Qualcomm patents related to so-called "envelope tracking," which helps mobile phones save battery power while sending and receiving wireless signals. The German court sided with Qualcomm and demanded Apple stop selling

How to Set Up Apple Music

One of the best things about Apple Music is its ability to tailor the service to your interests and likes using suggestions and curated playlists. Here's how it works. The first time you launch the iOS Music app you should see a message asking if you want to subscribe to Apple Music. If you've previously dismissed the prompt, tap the For You tab at the bottom of the screen to sign up for the streaming service. iTunes users can find the same For You tab near the top of the iTunes window. Selecting Favorite Artists and Genres After you've followed the initial subscription process, the first thing you'll want to do is select the music genres you're interested in. You'll be presented with a series of bubbles on the screen representing different genres. Tap or click the ones you like and double-tap the ones you love. You can also press and hold on a genre if you don't like it. Tap the reset button to start again if you make a mistake. Once you've finished, you'll be asked to perform the same selection for your favorite artists. It's worth noting that the longer you spend choosing your favorites on these setup screens, the better Apple Music will be at personalizing the service for you as soon as you start using it. You won't get access to the bubble screens again, so if you want instant and accurate suggestions, it may be worth taking your time interacting with them. But don't get too hung up on your selection –- Apple continues to tailor the service to your tastes as you continue to use it. For more information, see check out How to Customize Apple

How to Sign Up for an Apple Music Student Plan

Apple Music is Apple's streaming music service, similar to rival streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Google Play Music, Tidal, and others. Apple Music give you access to 50 million songs. Content can be streamed or downloaded for offline play, and there are also song and genre-based radio stations available along with the curated Beats 1 radio station. With a subscription to Apple Music, you can access these songs, radio stations and playlists in the iOS Music app. You can also access your music from other devices signed in to Apple Music using the same Apple ID. A standard Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, but if you're a qualifying student you can subscribe at the discounted rate of $4.99 per month (student plan prices may show slight variations in other regions and territories). When you join Apple Music as a student, a student validation service called UNiDAYS confirms that you're enrolled in a degree-granting university or college. How to Sign Up to Apple Music Launch the Music app on your iPhone, iPad, or open iTunes on your Mac or PC. You should see an offer to subscribe to Apple Music when you first open the Music app on your iOS device. If you don't, tap For You at the bottom of the screen. In iTunes on Mac or PC, click the For You tab at the top of the iTunes window. Tap or click the three-month trial offer. Note that Apple typically offers one trial per person. Select a College Student or University Student subscription. Tap or click Verify Eligibility. Enter your academic (.edu)

How to Sign Up for an Apple Music Family Plan

Apple Music is Apple's streaming music service, similar to rival streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Google Play Music, Tidal, and others. Apple Music give you access to 50 million songs. Content can be streamed or downloaded for offline play, and there are also song and genre-based radio stations available along with the curated Beats 1 radio station. With a family subscription to Apple Music, up to six family members get unlimited access to the entire Apple Music catalog, music recommendations tailored to their personal music tastes, and access to their own iCloud Music Library, allowing them to listen to their music on all of their devices. With iCloud Family Sharing, family members are also able to share their iTunes purchases. An Apple Music family subscription costs $14.99 per month in the United States, with potentially slight price variations in other regions and territories. How to Sign Up to Apple Music Launch the Music app on your iPhone, iPad, or open iTunes on your Mac or PC. You should see an offer to subscribe to Apple Music when you first open the Music app on your iOS device. If you don't, tap For You at the bottom of the screen. In iTunes on Mac or PC, click the For You tab at the top of the iTunes window. Tap or click the three-month trial offer. Note that Apple typically offers one trial per person. Select a Family subscription. Tap or click Use Use Existing Apple ID, then enter your Apple ID and password. If you don't have one, tap or click Create New Apple ID and follow the steps to do so. You may be

How to Sign Up for Apple Music

Apple Music is Apple's streaming music service, similar to rival streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Google Play Music, Tidal, and others. Apple Music give you access to 50 million songs. Content can be streamed or downloaded for offline play, and there are also song and genre-based radio stations available along with the curated Beats 1 radio station. With a subscription to Apple Music, you can access these songs, radio stations and playlists in the iOS Music app. You can also access your music from other devices signed in to Apple Music using the same Apple ID. A standard Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other regions and territories. How to Sign Up to Apple Music Launch the Music app on your iPhone, iPad, or open iTunes on your Mac or PC. You should see an offer to subscribe to Apple Music when you first open the Music app on your iOS device. If you don't, tap For You at the bottom of the screen. In iTunes on Mac or PC, click the For You tab at the top of the iTunes window. Tap or click the three-month trial offer. Note that Apple typically offers one trial per person. Select an individual subscription. Tap or click Use Use Existing Apple ID, then enter your Apple ID and password. If you don't have one, tap or click Create New Apple ID and follow the steps to do so. You may be asked to validate your billing information. Add a valid payment method if required and select Join.Apple Music membership automatically renews, but you can cancel renewal at any time

Apple Offering $70 Off Beats Studio3 'Skyline' Wireless Headphones Collection

Apple is offering a special $70 promotional discount on its "Skyline Collection" of Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones on its online store. The Skyline Studio 3 Wireless Headphones come in Crystal Blue, Desert Sand, Midnight Black, and Shadow Grey. All of the colors feature gold accents with a gold beats logo and gold band. The collection was originally launched online in October for $349.99, but Apple is currently offering them for $279.99 online and via Apple Store pickup, presumably for a limited time. Studio 3 Wireless Headphones feature Apple's Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling technology, designed to block external noise when listening. They're also equipped with an Apple W1 chip, designed to make it easy to switch between devices when listening. The power efficiency of the chip also means the headphones last for 22 hours on one charge.

Apple Watch Leads in Rapidly Growing Smartwatch Market, Report Says

Apple Watch is the "clear market leader" in the burgeoning U.S. smartwatch market, according to a new report from consumer research firm The NPD Group. Market data shows U.S. smartwatch sales showed strong growth in the 12 months ending November 2018 when compared to the same timeframe a year ago. Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit made up 88 percent of smartwatch unit sales in that time. The report found dollar sales of the devices were up 51 percent, amounting to nearly $5 billion in sales, while unit sales experienced a 61 percent increase, indicating an impressive acceleration in demand for the wearables. "Over the last 18 months smartwatch sales gained strong momentum, proving the naysayers, who didn't think the category could achieve mainstream acceptance, had potentially judged too soon," said Weston Henderek, director, industry analyst for NPD Connected Intelligence. "The ability to be truly connected via built-in LTE without the need to have a smartphone nearby proved to be a tipping point for consumers, as they now recognize the value in being able to complete a wide range of tasks on the device including receiving notifications, messaging, accessing smart home controls, and more."According to the report, 16 percent of U.S. adults now own a smartwatch, which is up from 12 percent in December of 2017. Interest from the younger 18-34 age demographic is said to be responsible for the overall growth in the smartwatch market, but NPD analysts expect Apple Watch will continue to entice older consumers thanks to health features like Fall Detection and ECG and greater

Sketchy Rumor Claims AirPods 2, AirPower and New iPads to Launch on March 29

Apple plans to hold a product event in the second half of March where it will officially announce second-generation AirPods, the AirPower wireless charging pad, a new affordable iPad and the so-called "iPad mini 5", according to the latest rumor. The claim comes courtesy of Greek tech news site iphonehellas.gr [Google Translate], which says it has received "exclusive information" from "a reliable source through Apple's production chain in China" that pre-orders for the AirPods 2, AirPower, and new iPads will start on Friday, March 22 with shipping and in-store sales to begin a week later on Friday, 29 March. In a separate post to Slashleaks, the same author of the iPhoneHellas rumor claims the Apple special event will take place sometime between March 11 and March 20. Apple has held a number of special events in March in recent years, with the last one taking place in 2018 on March 29, when it announced a low-cost iPad 9.7-inch with Apple Pencil support. The earliest Apple event in the month of March took place way back in 2011 on March 2, so there's plenty of room for maneuver. iPhoneHellas goes back several years and has occasionally offered correct information on iOS releases ahead of their launch, although that's not necessarily any indicator of the accuracy of this latest rumor, so at this point we'd advise taking it with at least a pinch of salt. Rumors have long suggested Apple is planning to introduce second-generation AirPods with an improved wireless chip that will enable voice-activated "Hey Siri" functionality. A recent rumor from DigiTimes

How to Troubleshoot Problems with AirPods

If your AirPods aren't working as you'd expect, there are a few steps you can take that will resolve most problems. The first thing to do is try resetting your AirPods. Resetting AirPods Put both AirPods in their charging case. Locate the button on the back of the case, near the bottom. It's flush with the case and the same color as it, so you might need to feel about for it. Open the charging case lid. Press and hold the button on the back of the case for at least 15 seconds. The case's internal light between the AirPods will flash white and then amber, indicating the AirPods have been reset. Open the case near your iOS device to re-run the pairing process. Patchy Audio Problems If you're having issues with patchy sound or static in the earpieces, consider whether you've wandered too far from your audio source. Apple's wireless earphones can happily stream across about 100 feet, but if there are obstacles in the way such as walls, this range can be reduced dramatically. Other electrical devices like microwaves and Wi-Fi routers can cause interference and detract from your AirPods' wireless performances, so take a good look around your environment for anything similar. Automatic Ear Detection Issues AirPods are equipped with proximity sensors that sense when you put them in your ears and take them out, which plays and pauses the audio source, respectively. If this isn't working for you as described, you might want to check that you have the feature enabled. Launch the Settings app on your iOS device and tap Bluetooth, then tap the circled "i"

How to Answer a Phone Call on AirPods

Apple AirPods feature integrated touch controls and include beamforming microphones in each earpiece, which means you can answer incoming calls when you're wearing them and carry on a handsfree conversation. You can also hang up the call with your AirPods when the conversation is over. Here's how it works. When you hear a ringing tone indicating an incoming call, simply double tap the outside of either AirPod to answer it. When you're finished, the action is the same -– just double tap an AirPod to hang up the call. That's all there is to it, though you may also want to enable a setting to have your AirPods announce who is calling. Instructions are available here

How to Update Your AirPods

Apple occasionally releases firmware updates for its AirPods wireless headphones that can include performance improvements, feature tweaks and bug fixes. If you're having a particular issue with your AirPods, or if you just want to make sure they're up to date with the latest software, then follow the steps below. Connect the AirPods charging case to a power source using the included Lightning to USB cable. Insert your AirPods in their case if they aren't already. Move the case near to the iOS device that the AirPods have been paired with and make sure it has an internet connection. And that's all there is to it. Any available software updates should pop up on your iPhone. If you're having trouble updating your AirPods, make sure the charging case is fully charged. You can also try resetting the AirPods. To check the version of the firmware that you have installed to make sure it's up to date, follow these steps: Launch the Settings app on your iOS device. Tap General. Tap About. Tap AirPods. Check the numbers shown beside Firmware Version.Firmware updates for the AirPods don't come out very often, and the latest version is

How to Find Your AirPods Serial Number and Check Your Firmware

If you've recently updated your AirPods or are thinking of doing so, you can follow the steps below to check the current firmware version your wireless earphones are running. Apple will occasionally send AirPods firmware updates over the air, though the software should install automatically. This method will also enable you to check the AirPods' unique serial number, which you'll need if you ever want to replace a lost or faulty AirPod. Make sure your AirPods are charged and connect them to your iPhone or iPad in the usual way. Launch the Settings app on your iOS device. Tap General. Tap About. Tap AirPods. Check the numbers shown beside the Firmware Version and Serial Number entries.Note that you can also find your AirPods serial number printed in small type on the inside of the charging case lid, just above the left

Lose an AirPod? What You Can Do

Apple's AirPods generally do a great job of staying in your ears, even during a run or workout. Of course, that doesn't mean you won't ever lose one or even both earbuds –- especially if you forget to put them back in their charging case when not in use. In the how to below, we'll go over your options in case one of your AirPods go missing. Use Just One AirPod If you don't want to shell out the cash for another AirPod when you've lost one, your AirPods won't be entirely useless. Apple has designed the AirPods so you can use just one at a time. A single AirPod functions just like two AirPods, so as long as you have one AirPod and the Charging Case, you can listen to music, podcasts, and more. Get a New AirPod From Apple If you've had no luck using Apple's Find My iPhone app to locate a lost AirPod (or AirPods), or if you have a faulty AirPod, it might be time to consider ordering a replacement from Apple. Apple doesn't offer AppleCare+ for AirPods, and instead provides a standard one-year warranty that's included with all Apple products. If your AirPods need service during that one year period, all work will be covered for free. After the one-year warranty has expired, Apple charges a $69 fee for out-of-warranty service repairs, as described on its iPhone Service Pricing page. If your AirPods lose battery capacity, battery service is free during the one-year warranty period or $49 out of warranty. Apple charges $69 for a replacement AirPod or charging case, regardless of whether or not the AirPods are under warranty. The pricing in Apple's support

You Can Tap Your Ear to Activate Your AirPods

Apple's AirPods feature accelerometers and other hardware that allow them to respond to a double tap, and these gestures can be customized to your liking. What many users don't realize however is that you don't actually have to tap directly on either of your AirPods to use these double tap gestures. Next time you want to activate a gesture control, try tapping softly on the back of your ear instead, a method that many seasoned AirPods users have come to prefer for using the tap gestures. It's a little less audibly jarring and you'll find it works just as well as a tap on the AirPod itself.