Guides

Black AirPods: What Happened?

Leading up to the launch of the newest AirPods, many held out hope for the launch of a black color option for Apple's popular wireless headphones. Black AirPods have been on the wishlist of many since the launch of the original AirPods. In fact, early mockups by designer Martin Hajek showed what they might look like back in 2016. The first actual word of Black AirPods came only in February from MySmartPrice which claimed to have heard from "trusted" sources that the new AirPods would come with better bass response, a matte finish, and come in both white and black colors. That report was later corroborated by an Economic Daily News report which also claimed a new surface coating, wireless charging, and a black color option. However, it may be that that report could have been sourced from the original MySmartPrice report. The problem is that the rumors were apparently wrong, and Apple didn't release a black option for the 2019 AirPods. Still Want Black AirPods? If you still want Black AirPods, there are third party options. The most well known is from a company called ColorWare. ColorWare offers custom colored AirPods. For a $40 premium, you can still get the Black AirPods that you want. The catch is you have to buy them through ColorWare. If you already own AirPods, you won't be able to get them colored by the company. Official Release If you want to wait for an official option, you'll have to wait until at least 2020. Even then, we aren't certain that Apple will offer a black color option for that model

March 2019 Apple Event: What to Expect

In an average year, Apple holds three to four events. There's usually a spring event in March, the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, a September event that's focused on iPhone and Apple Watch, and sometimes an October event if there are iPads or Macs expected in the fall. In this guide, we're keeping track of all of the Apple events that are on the horizon and what we're expecting to see at each one, so make sure to check back in regularly. March 25 Event Apple's first event of the year will take place on Monday, March 25. According to rumors, Apple plans to focus on services at this event, introducing both a new Apple News service and a TV service. Here's what we're expecting to see: Apple News Service Apple is working on a $9.99 per month subscription news service that would give Apple News users unlimited access to stories from paywalled sites like The Wall Street Journal. The service will also include a magazine element, similar to the service offered by Texture, the magazine app that Apple bought in 2018. Not all news sites are on board (WaPo and NYT won't join) yet because Apple wants 50 percent of all subscription revenue, but magazine publishers are embracing Apple's plan. The news content and the magazines will all be accessible for a single subscription fee, thought to be $9.99 per month. Streaming TV Service Apple is also working on a streaming TV service that will include the more than two dozen TV shows and movies that it has in the works, along with access to subscription content from other cable providers. Apple plans to allow

New AirPods vs. Old AirPods Comparison

Apple in March debuted second-generation AirPods, featuring several updates over the original massively popular wireless earbuds of the same name. So what's improved in the new AirPods compared to the older model, and what's stayed the same? Read on to find out. Price of New AirPods vs. Old AirPods Buying Apple's original AirPods was straightforward as they came with a single $159 price tag, but that's changed with the second-generation models. The new AirPods still start at the same price, but customers now have the option to buy the earbuds with a Wireless Charging Case for $199. Apple is also offering the Wireless Charging Case separately for $79, so if you already own first-generation AirPods you can buy the case and charge your earbuds using any Qi-compatible charging mat. The Wireless Charging Case still includes a Lightning port so you can charge your AirPods via cable if you prefer. Apple's new AirPods can be ordered on Apple's website and will be available in Apple Stores and resellers from March 26, 2019. Apple no longer lists first-generation AirPods on its website, but you should be able to find them elsewhere online at a lower price now that the new AirPods are available. Design of New AirPods vs. Old AirPods Apple's new AirPods look identical to the first-generation models, save for a single LED on the front of the Wireless Charging Case. This light simply tells you the charging status of the AirPods when you place them on a Qi-compatible charging mat. On the standard charging case, which came with the original AirPods, the LED was

2019 10.5-Inch iPad Air vs. 2017 10.5-Inch iPad Pro

Apple has launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air that can be viewed as a lower-priced successor to the second-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which has been discontinued. Below, we compare tech specs and features. Pricing is key, with the new iPad Air starting at $499 with Wi-Fi only and $629 with LTE connectivity in the United States. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro started at $649 with Wi-Fi and $779 with LTE connectivity until it was discontinued. Both have 64GB or 256GB of storage, but the new iPad Air lacks a 512GB option. Design wise, the iPads have a lot of similarities, including dimensions, thinness, and overall appearance. Both have a Touch ID home button, a headphone jack, and a Lightning connector, but the new iPad Air has only two speakers along the bottom, whereas the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has four speakers. The new iPad Air is available in Silver, Space Gray, and a newer Gold finish that essentially merges the previously separate Gold and Rose Gold finishes that were available for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. Both iPads feature a fully laminated Retina display with a resolution of 2224×1668 pixels and 264 PPI, True Tone, and support for the P3 wide color space, but the new 10.5-inch iPad Air has a 60Hz refresh rate while the 10.5-inch iPad Pro has a so-called ProMotion display with up to a 120Hz refresh rate. Processor wise, the new iPad Air sports Apple's A12 Bionic chip compared to a slower A10X Fusion chip in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The new iPad Air also has dedicated hardware called the "Neural Engine" that handles artificial intelligence and machine learning

Apple Music: Our Complete Guide

Apple Music is Apple's streaming music service, comparable to other similar streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Google Play Music, Tidal, and others. Apple Music boasts access to a total of 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. Apple Music integrates with your existing iCloud Music Library, so you can combine Apple Music songs with songs that you have previously purchased on iTunes all in one unified location. Apple Music's Unique Features All of the streaming services have differences, and with Apple Music, Apple has focused on human curation. While there are some algorithmically created playlists, a lot of the content highlighted on Apple Music is done by Apple Music editors. Apple offers regularly updated personalized playlists in a "For You" tab, including a favorites mix, a chill mix, a friends mix, and a new music mix, along with other playlist options that are updated on a daily basis. Apple Music also often has exclusive album releases, documentaries, and music videos that aren't available on other platforms as a way to lure subscribers. Beats 1, Apple Music's 24/7 live radio station, is also one of the service's most unique features. It features songs curated by DJs along with a multitude of special shows, sometimes created by artists. What's Included in a Subscription Unlimited access to Apple Music songs on demand Personalized algorithmic playlists Curated

Apple Music vs. Amazon Music Unlimited

Apple Music has become immensely popular since it launched in 2015, and now has over 56 million subscribers worldwide. So how does it stack up against ecommerce giant Amazon's rival premium streaming service in terms of features, music catalog, and cost? Keep reading to find out. Amazon actually has two music services, so before we go any further it's worth explaining the difference. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you already have access to Amazon Prime Music, as it's bundled in with the service. In fact, Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited are similar in many ways, so if you are a Prime member and you're interested in Amazon's standalone streaming service then it's worth getting to know Prime Music first. Both services share the same interface and apps, and offer similar features like the ability to download songs, albums and playlists for offline listening. The main difference between the two offerings is the number of songs you have access to. Amazon Prime Music has two million songs in its catalog, but paying the extra for Amazon Music Unlimited gets you access to 50 million songs, including the majority of new releases. Subscriptions and Plans An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other countries and territories. Membership means you can stream Apple's music catalog, download music and videos for offline listening, and get access to new releases and exclusives, as well as a back catalog of shows broadcast on Apple's Beats 1 radio station. The price you pay for an

Apple Music vs. Tidal

Apple Music and Tidal are well known for their exclusive releases and both streaming services have been around since 2015. In that time, Apple Music has become the most popular streaming service in the US, but Tidal has a dedicated subscriber base for a variety of reasons. Dubbed as the artists' music platform, Tidal is owned by Jay-Z and a variety of other successful music artists, and the company makes a point of paying artists more per stream than Apple Music. But is it a better service for the average listener? Read on to learn what both have to offer. Subscriptions and Plans An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other countries and territories. Membership means you can stream Apple's music catalog, download music and videos for offline listening, and get exclusive access to new releases and exclusives, as well as a back catalog of shows broadcast on Apple's Beats 1 radio station. Tidal also offers a $9.99 per month individual subscription, although again prices may vary in other regions. For the audiophiles out there, Tidal also offers a $19.99 per month individual subscription with lossless "High Fidelity" sound quality and high definition videos. Apple Music price plans An Apple Music student subscription costs $4.99 and requires you to sign up using your educational institution credentials. Tidal offers two student plans: $4.99 for the Premium service and $9.99 for the HiFi service. Note that students need to re-verify their eligibility every 12 months for both services.

Apple Music vs. Google Play Music

Need help deciding whether Apple or Google has the right music streaming service for you? Then keep reading. Apple Music launched in 2015 and was a relative latecomer to the streaming services market, but Apple's continual development of the platform has made it into one of the most popular choices for enjoying digital music. Google's music strategy on the other hand has been confusing in recent years, so before we dive in with a deeper look at the two streaming service rivals, here's a quick recap. Google Music Google launched its original Play Music streaming service in 2011. Like Apple Music, Play Music gives you access to a vast music library, music recommendations, radio stations, and offline listening, all for a monthly fee. In a unique contribution to the streaming services field, Google Play Music also lets all Google account holders (i.e. not just subscribers) upload up to 50,000 tracks from their existing music library to the cloud, for storage and online streaming. In May 2017, Google launched an on-demand ad-supported music streaming service called YouTube Music, shortly followed by YouTube Music Premium – a revamped version of its ad-free YouTube Red subscription service with a renewed focus on original programming. The rebranded service includes personalized playlists, intelligent search, support for background playback on mobile and music downloads for offline listening. It also offers access to remixes, covers and live versions that aren't available on other platforms. Initially Google said its new YouTube Music service would replace Google

Apple Music vs. Spotify

Apple Music and Spotify are the biggest players in the music streaming space -- and for good reason. Spotify essentially created the market as it exists today and has millions more users globally than any other service, but Apple Music is catching up, thanks to its deep integration in Apple's popular iOS ecosystem. Both Spotify and Apple Music offer as much music and related content as your ears could handle – including exclusive new releases from top artists – and all of it can be streamed ad-free (with Spotify's paid tier) or downloaded for offline play. So which is the best option for you? Keep reading as we pit the two services against each other. Subscriptions and Price Plans An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other countries and territories. Likewise, an individual Spotify subscription or "Premium" plan costs $9.99 per month, with some regional variations. In addition to its paid plan, Spotify also offers a free ad-supported service that allows users to shuffle-play songs, although premium features remain off limits. Both services offer student and family plans for $4.99 per month and $14.99 per month, respectively. Spotify's student offering currently includes additional access to an ad-supported Hulu TV plan and unlimited access to the SHOWTIME streaming service. Apple Music and Spotify family plans meanwhile are very similar. Up to six people can access the services using a personal account for each family member, with the exception that Apple Music members can also

High-Capacity USB-C Battery Pack Comparison and Review

A few years ago, it was difficult to find a USB-C battery pack capable of charging a MacBook at a speed of 30 or 45W, but with Apple and other companies increasingly embracing USB-C technology for everything from smartphones to laptops, high-powered USB-C battery packs have become more readily available. Higher-watt USB-C battery packs are ideal for fast charging iPhones and iPad Pros, providing power for MacBooks and MacBook Air models, and even charging up a MacBook Pro when charging speed isn't an issue. In this guide, I'll be comparing 27, 30, and 45W battery packs with capacities ranging from 19,000 mAh to 26,800 mAh from companies that include Mophie, Anker, RAVPower, Jackery, and ZMI to help MacRumors readers find the best USB-C battery pa$70re+ 26800 PD (30W) RAVPower 26800mAh PD Portable Charger (30W) Mophie Powerstation USB-C 3XL (45W) Jackery Supercharge 26800 PD Portable Charger (45W) Anker PowerCore 19000+ PD Portable Charger and USB-C Hub (27W) ZMI USB PD Backup Battery & Hub (45W) USB-C Battery Pack Basics All USB-C battery packs suitable for use with devices like the MacBook or MacBook Pro are large in size and generally just under or over a pound in weight. You're not going to want to stick one of these in your pockets, but they fit into a bag or a backpack. Each of the battery packs we tested are 45W or less, because there are no higher watt battery packs available on the market. They all come in at under 100Wh, which is the limit that you can take on a plane in your carry-on luggage (power banks like these can't go in checked

AirPods: Our Complete Guide to Apple's Wireless Earphones

First released in 2016, Apple's AirPods are widely regarded as one of the company's best products in recent years, with the AirPods offering great battery life, portability, simple charging, easy connectivity, and unparalleled Bluetooth range. AirPods are so popular that Apple still has trouble keeping them in stock at times, and two years after launch, it's not uncommon to see an abundance of AirPods out on the street, in movies, in TV shows, and everywhere else you look. If you're new to AirPods, considering buying a pair, or just want to pick up some new tips, this guide is for you. What are AirPods? AirPods are Apple's completely wire-free headphones, which look a bit like the Apple EarPods from older devices, but without the cables. AirPods have Apple-designed tech inside like a special wireless chip called the W1 or H1 (depending on version), an accelerometer for gestures, dual optical sensors, dual beamforming microphones for Siri and phone calls, and a second accelerometer for speech detection. AirPods come with the AirPods Charging Case, which is used for both charging and storage purposes so the AirPods don't get lost. The Charging Case is about the size of a container of dental floss, so it's easily pocketable. A Lightning port at the bottom lets the AirPods and the case be charged with the Lightning cables you already have on hand, and the Wireless Charging Case lets you charge with a Qi wireless charger. How many versions of AirPods are there? The AirPods were first introduced in December 2016, and were refreshed in March 2019, so there

Upcoming Apple Products Guide: Everything We Expect to See in 2019 and Beyond

The MacRumors guide to upcoming products is designed to provide an overview of everything that we're expecting to see from Apple, both in the near and more distant future. Dates listed are not always concrete, but are based on the most recent rumors and information that we have. We're updating the guide on a regular basis, so it will be the go to place to see every Apple product that's on the horizon at a glance. For more detail on the rumors we've heard about each upcoming item, make sure to click on the links to visit our roundups. Spring Multiple products are rumored for a spring launch, and while we don't know exactly when in spring these devices will debut, Apple has held an event in March for the last few years. This year, Apple is planning to host an event on March 25, but it's going to be focused on subscription services and therefore may not include hardware announcements. Instead, these updates could potentially be announced via press release right around the time of the event, though at least one source does say Apple could potentially unveil new products at the event itself.7th-generation iPad - Same design as 6th-generation iPad, but with an upgraded processor and a new 10.2-inch display size. Apple Pencil support, Touch ID, headphone jack, and other iPad features to remain. 7th-generation iPod touch - Little is known, but same design as 6th-generation iPod touch with no Face ID or Touch ID. iPhone-style bells and whistles not expected, as Apple will likely want to keep costs low, but it will have faster A-series processor. AirPower - Apple's

Five of the Best Camera Apps on iOS

There's nothing wrong with the stock Camera app that comes on every iPhone, but there are many third-party camera apps available in the App Store that add additional functionality, filters, and other effects that are worth checking out. For our latest YouTube video, we asked MacRumors readers for their favorite camera apps, and compiled a list of the best and most popular options. If you're looking to take your iPhone photography up a notch, make sure to check these out. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Halide Halide, priced at $5.99, was the top pick when we asked for preferred camera apps. More MacRumors readers chose it than any other camera app, which is no surprise because Halide offers a rich feature set. Halide offers up full manual controls for shutter speed, ISO, and white balance, along with a live histogram for perfecting exposure. The swipe-based interface is easy to use, and you can capture photos in RAW, JPG, TIFF, or HEIC formats. There are depth controls for newer iPhones, manual and autofocus tools, and for iPhone XR, there's a Depth Capture feature that works with pets, food, and other items, unlike the native Depth Control feature. Halide just added a new color histogram, which is a nifty option that lets you make sure you have the right exposure to preserve color detail and make colors pop. Halide has a new app coming out in the near future, so keep an eye out for that. ProCam 6 ProCam 6, priced at $5.99, was also a popular choice with MacRumors readers. ProCam offers full manual control options for shutter

What to Do If Your iPhone is Lost or Stolen

iPhones are lost and stolen every day, but luckily Apple has robust tools built into iOS that will keep your data safe and your device unusable if it's misplaced or snatched by a thief. With Find My iPhone, you can locate lost devices, disable them, and even fully erase them, but unless you've been in a situation where you've needed these services, you may not know exactly how they work, what they do, or what information someone can access when they have your device. This guide covers the ins and outs of losing your iPhone (or iPad), including settings that should be enabled beforehand for security purposes, how to use Apple's tools to look for your device, and what happens when it's in someone else's hands.

2018 MacBook Air's FaceTime HD Camera Quality Issue

After the 2018 MacBook Air launched, complaints began surfacing about the machine's 720p FaceTime HD camera, with users suggesting it was noticeably worse than the FaceTime cameras on other MacBook machines, including the 2018 MacBook Pro and the previous-generation MacBook Air. All 720p cameras are rather poor in quality compared to the FaceTime cameras that we get in iPhones and iPads, so we initially believed these complaints were coming from people who just expected more from a 2018 machine. Given the sheer volume of complaints, though, MacRumors decided to do some investigating and found that the 720p FaceTime HD camera in the 2018 MacBook Air does indeed appear to be worse than the FaceTime HD camera in some other models, specifically the 2015 MacBook Air. 2018 MacBook Air vs. older MacBook Air Compared to the 2015 MacBook Air, the FaceTime HD camera in the 2018 MacBook Air is noticeably worse. It's darker, grainier, and lower in quality. To be clear, neither camera is good because we're talking about 720p video here, but there is a visible difference in side by side photos. 2018 MacBook Air on left, 2015 MacBook Air on right Just got my new Macbook Air 2018 edition. Sadly I did not research enough and was badly surprised by the camera problems. For comparison Macbook Air 2013 vs Macbook Air 2018 photos in same indoor light. I really hope this is not the expected quality.@AppleSupport @MacRumors pic.twitter.com/hYsacjcogk— Boris Nikolai Konrad (@borisnkonrad) January 10, 2019 2018 MacBook Air vs. 2018 MacBook Pro The 2018 MacBook Air's

'Flexgate' Display Issues Affecting 2016 MacBook Pro and Later

Some 2016 and later MacBook Pro models appear to be displaying issues with uneven backlighting caused by a delicate and easy-to-break flex cable, which has been dubbed "flexgate." Impacted machines can feature uneven lighting at the bottom of the screen, which looks a bit like a "stage light" effect, and the display can eventually fail entirely. Image via MacRumors reader SourceSunToM What's the cause? According to repair site iFixit, which first highlighted the problem, 2016 and later MacBook Pro machines are using thin, fragile display flex cables that are prone to malfunctioning with repeated closing and opening of the MacBook Pro's display. The flex cables are loosely wrapped around the display controller board and when the MacBook's display is opened, the cables are pulled tighter, leading to tears and problems over time. Image via iFixit iFixit says the backlight cable is usually the one to break first, leading to backlighting issues and eventual display failure. Which models are affected? The issue can impact any 13 or 15-inch MacBook Pro model manufactured in 2016 and 2017 though it appears to be affecting Touch Bar models more frequently. 2018 models may also be impacted, but Apple did make flex cable changes to these machines that may solve the issue. Apple introduced a redesigned MacBook Pro in 2016, and this was the first to use the new flex cable. Older MacBook Pro models are not impacted because they use a more durable wire that was routed through the hinge instead of around it, mitigating the stress of repeated display openings. The

Five of the Best Email Apps on iOS

Email apps are a popular App Store category for one simple reason - almost all of us need to access email on our iPhones and iPads. While Apple has its own Mail app built into iOS devices, some people want a more feature rich experience. Luckily there are plenty of developers out there who are trying to create the perfect iOS inbox, but it's hard to sort through the dozens of email apps available. We dove into the App Store in our latest YouTube video and rounded up a handful of the best email apps we found. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Spike Spike, a free app, is a conversation-based email app that used to be called Hop. The app's aim is to turn emailing into more of a message like conversation, organizing the inbox into a chat-style window. Spike removes email headers, signatures, and more to make the emailing experience chat-like, and it prioritizes emails sent by people while filing newsletters and other automatic emails to other folders. Other features include a unified inbox, email grouping options, quick responses, a unified calendar, and snooze. Spike is unusual and not our first choice, but it's definitely unique and could be what some people are looking for. Polymail Polymail, also free, is more of a traditional email app. It has a sleek, clean interface with a useful comment and mention feature that's available on the desktop for teams. On iOS, Polymail offers useful features like quick tags, read later, and read receipts to let you know what someone has received and read your email. You can also get reminders

iPad Pro (2018) Bending Issue

Shortly after the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models were released, some MacRumors readers began complaining of noticeable bends in their tablets, with some of the bends appearing to be worse than others. The issue received little attention until The Verge published an article on the iPad Pro with word from an Apple spokesperson suggesting that the bending was a side effect of the manufacturing process and not, in fact, a defect. Image of slightly bent iPad Pro via the MacRumors forums Apple device bending raises major red flags with customers after the "Bendgate" issue that affected the iPhone 6 Plus, with those devices bending due to structural problems that were later solved, so iPad Pro owners were rightly confused and outraged over Apple's response. At the time, Apple's response suggested that customers would not be able to get replacements for some of the seriously bent iPads that had popped up in photos. Apple's VP of hardware engineering Dan Riccio sent out emails to a few concerned iPad Pro owners, and a MacRumors reader shared one of them. Riccio said that the iPad Pro meets or exceeds Apple's quality and precision standards and that its level of flatness would not shift during the lifetime of the product. He also said that the small variations would not affect the function of the device. An bend in an iPad Pro taken right out of the box, via the MacRumors forums Riccio's email did not mollify customers, and Apple was silent on the issue for several more weeks until publishing a support document that offered further explanation. Apple says that

Best Deal on AirPods

Apple first launched the AirPods in December 2016, allowing users to listen to audio streamed from their iPhone or other Bluetooth device without the hassle of untangling a mess of EarPods wires. AirPods were originally priced at $159.00, and since their launch they have routinely seen discounts to around $130 and lower in some instances. In this guide you'll find the best currently available price for AirPods at major Apple resellers including Adorama, Amazon, B&H Photo, Best Buy, and MacMall. Due to their popularity, AirPods go on sale at many other places, however, so we'll also track discounts at retailers like Microcenter, Costco, Walmart, and more. Best Deal The best deal on AirPods right now is at Costco, which is selling the Bluetooth in-ear headphones for $139.99, $20 off the original price. With $4.99 shipping and handling, the total will come to about $144.99 for the AirPods at Costco. We follow deals on AirPods and much more over in our full Deals Roundup, so head there for even more information on the latest bargains related to Apple products and accessories. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Apple Smart Battery Case Guide

Apple in January launched Smart Battery Cases designed for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR. The Smart Battery Cases are designed to add additional battery life to Apple's newest iPhones. Priced at $129, the Smart Battery Cases come in either black or white and are made from the same material as Apple's silicone cases. From our hands on article: How does it work? The Smart Battery Cases are similar in design to a silicone case but with an extra bump on the back that houses the battery pack. While attached to the iPhone, the Smart Battery Case functions like an external battery pack, providing additional power to the iPhone. A Lightning connector built into the case connects to the Lightning port in the iPhone, but Lightning access remains available due to an additional Lightning port in the case itself. When you have the Smart Battery Case on your iPhone, your iPhone will use all of the charge in the case before expending its own battery. What's the capacity? Each of the Smart Battery Cases features two 1,369mAh battery cells inside. Because there are two battery cells wired together, the cases run at a higher voltage that offers 10.1Wh of energy, making them higher capacity than previous battery cases introduced for iPhone 6s and 7.