Wednesday September 18, 2019 10:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Shazam, the song discovery app owned by Apple, was today updated to add Dark Mode support ahead of tomorrow's iOS 13 launch.
Following the update, Shazam will be displayed in Dark Mode whenever Dark Mode on an iPhone is enabled.
Shazam in Light Mode on left, Dark Mode on right
Today's Shazam update also allows users to long press on any track in the app to add it to a favorite streaming app or share it with friends. Swiping two fingers on a list of tracks will also now select them to allow them to be added to a playlist.
We know you're ready for iOS 13 - so is Shazam! Now you can Shazam in style with Dark Mode.
Long press on any track across the app to quickly add it to your favourite streaming app or share it with your friends. Want to quickly select a list of tracks to add to a playlist? Just place two fingers anywhere in a list of tracks and swipe down to multiselect
Apple purchased Shazam last September, and after the acquisition, removed all ads from the app and made it free. Shazam can be downloaded from the iOS App Store, though the song identification feature of the app is built right into the iPhone when asking Siri to identify a song. [Direct Link]
Wednesday September 18, 2019 10:09 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today seeded eleventh beta of an upcoming tvOS 13 update to developers and public beta testers, one week after seeding the tenth beta and more than two months after unveiling the tvOS 13 software at the Worldwide Developers Conference.
Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the new tvOS 13 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode.
tvOS 13 introduces an updated Home screen aimed at making it easier to discover new content. Apps are now able to play full-screen video previews on the Home screen, similar to Netflix.
Multi-user support is available for the first time, letting more than one profile exist on the Apple TV so each family member can have their own customized Apple TV interface with separate recommendations, music playlists, and Watch Now lists.
Switching between profiles can be done with the new Control Center, which offers up profiles, the time and date, search, a Now Playing widget, AirPlay controls, and a sleep option.
tvOS 13 gets the Apple TV ready for Apple Arcade, Apple's new gaming service that's coming to the Apple TV, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS later this year. Apple Arcade will offer unlimited access to more than 100 new and exclusive games, for one subscription fee.
As part of the Apple Arcade preparations, Apple has implemented support for the Xbox Wireless Bluetooth Controller and the PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller, both of which can be connected to an Apple TV over Bluetooth.
There are new under the sea themed screensavers created in partnership with the BBC Natural History Unit, which also created "Blue Planet." There's also a new Picture-in-Picture feature. Picture-in-Picture lets you continue to watch TV shows or movies while using a different app, adjusting settings, or otherwise navigating through the tvOS 13 operating system.
tvOS 13 is available to registered developers and public beta testers at this time and will see an official public launch this fall.
Facebook today announced a new set of Portal video chat devices, including one that is aimed to compete in the streaming TV market. This device is called the Portal TV, and it connects to a TV set with a standard HDMI cable and can stream content as well as enable video calls through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
According to Facebook, video calling is the primary feature of Portal TV, because there aren't many supported streaming apps announced as of today. Customers will be able to stream Amazon Prime Video, listen to Spotify, and download apps like Showtime, CBS All Access, Starz, Pluto TV, Red Bull TV, and Neverthink.
More apps are said to be coming soon, but Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and other popular platforms will not be on Portal TV at launch.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth said that the ability to video call friends and family on a TV-based device will make it unique in a crowded market. Bosworth went on to suggest that people will likely switch on alternative devices for their video streaming when they're done video calling on Portal TV.
Otherwise, Facebook is also launching updated Portal devices in two new sizes: an 8-inch "Portal Mini" and 10-inch regular "Portal." The new Portals have improved speakers, and a physical shutter so users can easily disable the camera and microphone.
Of course, with any news related to Facebook, the company has attempted to double down on privacy assurances. With the new Portal models, it said that users can opt out of the company accessing voice recordings collected by the Portal in their home. Facebook will transcribe some "Hey Portal" audio clips if users don't opt out of it, however.
Bloomberg posted a separate story about this earlier today, detailing how Facebook "paused human review of audio" in August, while it worked on a way to give customers more control over the feature. The default option will still be for Facebook to automatically collect and transcribe "Hey Portal" commands, so users will have to be aware of this and navigate into their settings to opt out.
The Portal TV will cost $149, the Portal Mini will cost $129, and the Portal will cost $179. The Portal Mini and Portal will launch October 15, while the Portal TV is set to launch on November 5.
Apple this week published environmental reports for the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, revealing that the Taptic Engine in all three devices is made of 100 percent recycled rare earth elements.
The Taptic Engine, which powers haptic feedback, represents around 25 percent of the total rare earth elements used in each iPhone.
"This is one of those happy coincidences where what is good for the planet is really good for business at the same time," Apple's environmental chief Lisa Jackson told Reuters. "One of the things we talk about a lot internally, just in general, is how much more resilient this makes our supply chain."
Amazon this week is discounting numerous Apple notebooks and tablets, offering new all-time-low prices in each instance. You can save as much as $400 in these sales, which relate to the 2019 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, and the 2018 iPad Pro and iPad.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
To start off, there's a unique coupon available for the 13-inch MacBook Pro this week on Amazon. The retailer has discounted the all-new 2019 MacBook Pro with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD to $1,599.99, down from $1,799.00, which in and of itself is an all-time-low price.
But, when you clip the on-page coupon to take an additional $200 off (totaling $400 off), you can get the computer for just $1,399.99, easily beating the prices found on Best Buy and B&H Photo.
This is the model that Apple updated in May 2019, with an eighth-generation Intel processor and new butterfly keyboard technology. Head to Amazon to check out the sale before it ends soon.
You can also save on the 11-inch iPad Pro from 2018 this week, with Amazon offering another all-time-low price. The 1TB Wi-Fi iPad Pro is available for $1,149.99, down from $1,349.00 ($200 off).
If you prefer the 12.9-inch model, Amazon has the 1TB 12.9-inch iPad Pro at $1,349.99, down from $1,549.00 ($200 off), which is another lowest-ever price. These are the iPad Pros that received a major design overhaul last fall, with slim bezels, Face ID, USB-C, and support for the Apple Pencil 2.
Lastly, you can save on the 32GB cellular 9.7-inch iPad, priced at $379.00, down from $459.00 ($80 off). As with every other sale today, this is the lowest price we've tracked among the major Apple resellers online.
This iPad comes with a 9.7-inch Retina display, A10 Fusion chip, Touch ID support, 8MP back camera and 1.2MP front camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and up to 10 hours of battery life.
For a limited time, this MacBook Air is priced at $899.97, down from $1,099.00. At nearly $200 off, this is the lowest price the new MacBook Air has ever reached, and stock appears to be tight. Amazon says that this model will be in stock on October 17, but it may ship sooner depending on supplies.
Apple updated the MacBook Air in July with a True Tone display, updated butterfly keyboard, and a more affordable price tag starting at $1,099 (down even lower today). This line also includes a Retina display, slim bezels, Touch ID, 8th-gen Intel chips, up to 16GB RAM, and up to a 1TB SSD.
Be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup for all of the latest Apple-related discounts and offers.
NBCUniversal today revealed that the name of its upcoming streaming television service is "Peacock," a reference to the company's logo. The service is still set to launch in April 2020, and NBC also provided more information on the content users will see at launch and beyond (via Vulture).
We knew that Peacock would be getting The Office to stream exclusively, but NBC today revealed that its service will also be the only place you can stream Parks and Recreation starting next fall. Parks and Rec is currently available on a multitude of streaming platforms, including Netflix and Hulu, but come fall 2020 it will be removed from those services.
“The name Peacock pays homage to the quality content that audiences have come to expect from NBCUniversal,” said Bonnie Hammer, who’s overseeing the service in her role as chairman of NBC’s direct-to-consumer and digital-enterprises division. And while there was nothing official in the release Tuesday, Hammer seemed to indicate Peacock will also have news and sports content. “Peacock will be the go-to place for both the timely and timeless — from can’t-miss Olympic moments and the 2020 election to classic fan favorites like The Office,” she said.
Peacock will also house exclusive original shows, including a reboot of Battlestar Galactica from the creator of Mr. Robot, a Saved by the Bell revival, a Punky Brewster revival, a spin-off of one of The Real Housewives shows, and a new comedy from Mike Schur, creator of The Good Place.
Former NBC shows on Peacock include: SNL, Cheers, 30 Rock, Frasier, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Superstore, Will & Grace, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. There will also be NBCUniversal properties from the USA and Bravo networks.
In terms of movies, NBC said that the service will have dozens of films from the NBCUniversal library, as well as new animated shows from DreamWorks Animation, and episodes of Downton Abbey. Additionally, there will be premium programming from Telemundo, featuring over 3,000 hours of content from the Spanish-language network.
The price hasn't yet been detailed, but NBC said Peacock will be supported by ads, and suggested that anyone who subscribes to a cable package (including OTT services like YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV) will be able to watch for free. Otherwise, there will be a standalone subscription price, but it's not clear if there will be an ad-free tier.
Essentially, Peacock will be NBC's answer to CBS All Access, which provides subscribers a back catalog of the network's classics and modern TV shows, along with all-new scripted series that are exclusive to the platform.
Streaming TV has become more and more fragmented over the years, with each company, broadcaster, and brand offering a service of its own. Apple is getting into the market itself this year with Apple TV+, which will launch this November for $4.99/month and offer a catalog of exclusive TV shows and films. For anyone who purchases an Apple device, the service will be free for an entire year.
Amazon today introduced a new tier of Amazon Music, called Amazon Music HD, which offers lossless versions of audio files for streaming or downloading. This tier will cost $14.99/month, or $12.99/month for Amazon Prime members (via The Verge).
Amazon is offering a catalog of over 50 million songs in "High Definition," which are songs with CD-quality bit depth of 16 bits and a 44.1kHz sample rate. Then, there are "millions" of songs in Ultra HD, meaning they have 24-bit and sample rates that range from 44.1kHz up to 192kHz.
All of these songs will be delivered in a lossless FLAC file format. Amazon is hoping that being the first of the so-called big three streaming music services (Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Spotify) to offer lossless streaming will win some converts. Tidal has always offered lossless streaming as one of its main selling points, but its price is $19.99/month, which Amazon is now undercutting.
Amazon’s VP of Music, Steve Boom says that “It’s a pretty big deal that one of the big three global streaming services is doing this — we’re the first one.” Amazon Music isn’t often in the conversation about music streaming competition, which usually ends up following a Spotify vs. Apple Music narrative. But Amazon considers itself in their company, and with the new HD offering it’s looking to differentiate itself and perhaps raise its profile.
Signify today announced a new device for its Philip Hue line of lights, debuting the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, designed to allow Hue users to sync their lights to their home entertainment systems.
The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is designed to connect between a television set and HDMI devices like the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, video game consoles, and Blu-Ray players with the purpose of syncing lights with TV shows, movies, games, and music.
Signify says the box will work with any HDMI device that you have to take your content "to the next level with surround lighting." You can connect up to four HDMI devices to the Sync Box, and swap between them as needed when watching TV, gaming, and more.
The Sync Box is able to automatically switch between each device depending on which one is in use, so there's no need to worry about fiddling with settings every time you use a different device.
The Sync Box is compatible with all color-capable Philips Hue light bulbs, fixtures, and light bars that are paired to a Hue bridge. Up to 10 color-capable lights can be synced to whatever content is being played.
"People love to escape the pressures of everyday life by getting lost in their entertainment," said Jasper Vervoort, Business Leader, Home Systems & Luminaires, Philips Hue at Signify. "We are proud to present the new Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box and give them a simple way to make that possible. Philips Hue users can now easily connect the color-capable lights in their room with their home entertainment systems, taking their movie- and TV-watching, listening and gaming experience to a completely new level."
There is a dedicated Philips Hue Mobile Sync app that works with the Sync Box, allowing users to control and personalize the lighting experience. Brightness, speed, and intensity of the lighting effects can all be tweaked, and there are options to configure the default settings to better suit your needs.
You can get the Philips Hue Play Sync Box for $229.99 starting in October, but it is available for pre-order from the Hue website today.
Apple is set to invest $1 billion in India as it gets ready to export its "Made in India" iPhones, according to a new report out today.
Times of India says Foxconn is the main investment partner in Apple's latest push in the country, with the Taiwanese assembler's factory in Chennai to be used to make Apple products for shipping to global markets. A previous report claimed as much as 70 to 80 percent of devices assembled by Foxconn in India are expected to be exported elsewhere.
The source said "testing is under way" for the products that have been made in India, and added that "Apple is also seeking clarity" on export incentives that the government currently offers.
In July it was reported that Wistron had recently begun exporting some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models from India to Europe, in a move intended to further cement India as one of the company's assembly and manufacturing hubs outside of China.
Back in August, India eased previous rules that forced foreign companies to source 30 percent of production locally, which had long blocked Apple from opening stores and selling devices directly to consumers in India. Before the change, Apple had to rely on third-party retailers to sell its devices.
However, according to industry watchers, Apple is said to be taking the long view and treating India "more as a production hub than a significant market" for device sales.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
The non-profit Wi-Fi Alliance today announced the release of the Wi-Fi 6 certification program, noting that devices with the Wi-Fi 6 Certified logo will meet the "highest standards for security and interoperability."
Wi-Fi 6, aka 802.11ax, delivers faster speeds, greater network capacity, improved power efficiency, lower latency, and connectivity improvements in areas with several Wi-Fi devices. Wi-Fi 6 devices also must support WPA3, the latest version of the Wi-Fi security protocol with improved cryptographic strength.
The upcoming iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max all support Wi-Fi 6, and the devices will likely be certified under this program soon. More information is available on the Wi-Fi Alliance website. CNET also has a good explainer.
MacRumors has partnered with Anker again this week to offer our readers a chance to save on nine accessories, including USB-C chargers, wireless chargers, Lightning cables, and portable battery packs.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Savings reach as much as 40 percent off the devices listed below, starting as low as $11.99 for Anker's own Lightning to USB-C power cable, which can be used to fast charge a compatible iPhone. All of the discount codes have been organized in our list, so be sure to browse the sale before the codes expire this Sunday, September 22.
New to Apple Watch Series 5 models is a built-in compass that allows users to see which way they are facing, complete with a new Compass app that displays heading, incline, latitude, longitude, and current elevation.
In fine print on its website, however, Apple has indicated that Apple Watch bands with magnets "may cause interference" with the compass. This includes the Milanese Loop, Modern Buckle, and Leather Loop. Sport Bands, Sport Loops, Link Bracelets, Nike, and Hermès bands do not contain magnets.
Magnetic interference can affect any compass, so this is not an Apple Watch issue, but something to keep note of while choosing a band.
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