Apple Adds Two Chinese Manufacturers to MacBook Chassis Supply Chain

Apple has added two China-based manufacturers to its list of MacBook chassis suppliers in an effort to push down prices quoted by Taiwan-based makers, according to a new report today by DigiTimes.


China-based Shenzhen Everwin Precision Technology and AAC Technologies are said to have obtained Apple certification in 2017, and this year they began small-volume shipments of the metal-alloy chassis for Apple's notebook line-up.

Previous years saw Taiwan-based Catcher Technology, Foxconn Technology and Casetek Holdings dominate the supply of MacBook chassis, and Apple reportedly intends to continue relying on them because of their excellent manufacturing capabilities, but not before it has capitalized on the Chinese makers' lower production costs.

DigiTimes' sources indicate that for Taiwan makers, competition from China rivals will have more impact on their gross margins than on order volumes. To offset the impact, Taiwan companies have increasingly sought orders from Chinese brand vendors of high-end devices like laptops. Responding to the rumored potential of Chinese competition for Apple's business, for example, Catcher said its outlook for 2018 remained unchanged.

Apple is expected to release a new low-cost MacBook Air later this year that will be similar in design to the current MacBook Air, but with slimmer bezels around the display. Based on the latest rumor, the new machine will be a straight MacBook Air upgrade aimed at students and schools, with a lower price tag than MacBooks in the MacBook family.

It remains unclear how a new 13-inch Retina MacBook Air fits in with Apple's existing 12-inch Retina MacBook lineup, so the company's plans for its upcoming notebook range could still throw up a surprise or two.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

How to Share Files Stored in Your iCloud Drive

You can share files you've synced to iCloud with friends and colleagues who have an Apple ID using the step-by-step guide below. Whether you're sharing from a Mac or an iPhone, you'll be able to give people one-way access to the file, or allow them to modify the document if you're collaborating on a piece of work.

The sharing options you choose automatically sync across your devices, so you could, for example, share a file on Mac and change access permissions on your iPhone or on iCloud.com at a later time. The following steps assume Mac users are running macOS High Sierra or later and that iPhone or iPad owners are on iOS 11 or later.

How to Share iCloud Files From Your Mac


  1. Open a Finder window and locate the file in iCloud that you want to share. It could be in iCloud Drive or another folder that you sync to iCloud, such as Desktop or Documents.

  2. Click the file to highlight it.

  3. Click the Share button and select Add People from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, right-click (or Ctrl-click) the file and select Share -> Add People.

  4. Choose how you'd like to send your invitation to access the file. In our example, we're sharing a link via email. You can also click the chevron next to Share Options to control who can access the file (Only people you invite / Anyone with the link) and their permissions (Can make changes / View only).
  5. Click Share.

  6. Depending on how you chose to share the invitation, the relevant app will open containing a link to access the file. In our example, an email compose window appears, ready to add recipients and click Send.

How to Share iCloud files on iPhone and iPad


  1. Launch the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Locate the file in iCloud Drive that you want to share.

  3. Tap Select in the upper right of the screen.

  4. Tap the file to check it in the selection.

  5. Tap the Share icon in the lower left of the screen.

  6. Tap Add People in the second row of the Share Sheet.

  7. Tap the method you'd like to use to send your invitation. You can also optionally tap Share Options to control who can access the file (Only people you invite / Anyone with the link) and their permissions (Can make changes / View only).

  8. Depending on how you chose to share the invitation, the relevant app will open containing a link to access the file, ready for you to share.

How to Change Access Rights to a Shared iCloud File


Changing file sharing permissions via Mac or iOS is easy. Once you've shared an iCloud file, the Add People option you used in the above steps is replaced with a Show People option. Selecting this will display who has access to the file, including an option to Stop Sharing the file completely.


If you're on Mac, click the dotted icon next to a person's name to reveal options to change their permissions or Remove Access. If you're on iPhone or iPad, simply tap a person in the People list to access the same options.

Logitech Debuts New MX Vertical Ergonomic Mouse

Logitech today announced the launch of the MX Vertical, the company's most advanced ergonomic mouse to date.

The MX Vertical, which was designed in collaboration with ergonomic experts, combines ergonomic design elements with MX mouse performance for a mouse that cuts down on forearm strain and wrist pressure without impacting productivity.


Up to 12 percent of computer users feel discomfort or pain on a daily basis according to a recent survey, and that's the consumer base Logitech is targeting with this product. Logitech tested dozens of prototypes and designs to come up with the ideal shape, weight, and glide that eases pain but doesn't impede mouse usage.

Logitech's MX Vertical Mouse features a 57 degree vertical angle, reducing muscular activity by up to 10 percent compared to a standard mouse. It puts the mouse into the same position you might use when shaking someone's hand, offering a thumb rest and a comfortable grip.


Logitech designed the mouse to fit a range of hand shapes and sizes, and there's a texturized rubber surface that provides an ideal amount of grip. A built-in 240mAh rechargeable battery provides up to four months of usage, and an included quick charge feature provides three hours of power with one minute of charging.

The mouse is highly customizable with an adjustable 4,000 DPI high-precision sensor, which allows for four times less hand movement compared to a standard mouse to reduce usage fatigue. A switch at the top of the mouse allows the cursor speed and accuracy to be easily adjusted from 400 DPI to 4,000 DPI, while Logitech software allows for further customization.

Easy-Switch functionality lets the mouse switch between two computers with no need to re-pair, and Logitech Flow software lets text, images, and files be copied and pasted between multiple machines with the MX Vertical.

Logitech's new MX Vertical Mouse is priced at $99.99 and will be available in retail stores starting in September. The mouse can be pre-ordered from the Logitech website starting today.

How to Output Your Mac's Audio to Two Pairs of Headphones at the Same Time

Next time you're on a flight with someone and you both want to watch a video on your Mac without disturbing other passengers, try this convenient solution for sharing your Mac's audio among two pairs of headphones.


The method described below should work regardless of whether you're using one wired pair and one wireless pair of headphones, two pairs of Bluetooth headphones (i.e. two sets of AirPods), or even several pairs.

How to Output Mac Audio to Two Audio Devices


  1. Make sure that the headphones you want to use together are paired with your Mac over Bluetooth and/or connected via the headphone jack.

  2. Launch the Audio MIDI Setup app, located in Applications/Utilities.

  3. Click the plus (+) button at the lower left of the Audio Devices window and select Create Multi-Output Device.

  4. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) the Multi-Output Device in the list that you just created, and select Use This Device For Sound Output. (You can also opt to Play Alerts and Sound Effects Through This Device from the same menu.)

  5. Tick the sets of headphones that you want to use in the Audio Device list. (If one is a wired pair, tick Built-in Output.)

  6. Select a Master Device in the drop-down menu.

  7. Tick Drift Correction for the slave device in the Audio Device list.

  8. Launch System Preferences (select  -> System Preferences... from the menu bar) and open the Sound pane.

  9. Click the Output tab and choose the Multi-Output Device or "Aggregate device" in the list, and you should be good to go.

Microsoft Office Experiencing Activation Issues on Mac and PC [Fixed]

Microsoft Office appears to be experiencing activation issues on both Mac and PC today, according to several user reports on Twitter. MacRumors also received emails from multiple readers affected.


At least some Office 365 subscribers who have attempted to use Word, Outlook, and other apps in the Microsoft Office suite have been prompted to reactivate their license, but the process fails to complete.

Affected users have encountered various errors while Office apps hang on "activating" or "looking for licenses," which eventually leads to a window that says "no license found," with seemingly no workaround.


The issue appears to be affecting not only individual users, but businesses and universities and with enterprise licenses.

Update: A spokesperson for Microsoft says "our team has addressed the issue and is continuing to monitor to ensure complete resolution."

Melbourne Teen Pleads Guilty to Hacking Apple Servers and Accessing Customer Accounts [Updated]

A Melbourne schoolboy has pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple's secure network after the company notified authorities of the intrusion (via The Age).

The teen, who can't be named for legal reasons, appeared at an Australian Children's Court on Thursday facing allegations of hacking into Apple's servers on multiple occasions.

Details of the case are still sketchy, but the boy's hacking is said to have begun at the age of 16, and included downloading 90 gigabytes of secure files and accessing "authorized keys" that grant login access to users.

The boy is said to have attempted to hide his identity using a number of methods including "computerized tunnels", a system which had "worked flawlessly" until the teen was caught.

That chain of events began when Apple apparently detected the unauthorized access and blocked the source of the intrusions. It subsequently notified the FBI, which passed on the information to the Australian Federal Police, resulting in a warrant being executed at the family home last year.

Prosecutors said the raid turned up a "litany of hacking files" on a computer laptop and hard drive, as well as a mobile phone with an IP address that matched the source of the intrusions.

The boy's lawyer said the teen was a fan of the company and had "dreamed of" working for Apple. His lawyer also asked the magistrate's court not to disclose some of the details of the case because the boy is well-known in the hacking community and it could put him at risk.

The magistrate's court acknowledged the guilty plea, and the case has been adjourned until next month for sentencing.

Update 8/17: An Apple spokesperson has told Reuters that no customer data was compromised in the hack. "We ... want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised," the spokesman said.

Apple Offers Rare Look Inside Mesa, Arizona Data Center

Apple doesn't often allow people to visit its data centers, which are located across the country, but The Arizona Republic was recently given a tour of Apple's Mesa Arizona data center, formerly the site of GT Advanced.

The Mesa Arizona facility spans 1.3 million square feet, with long, sparse hallways equipped with servers. Apple calls the Mesa site its "global data command" center, which employs a "handful" of employees working in 10-hour shifts to oversee Apple's operations data. 150 employees total are employed at the data center.

Servers in the Mesa, Arizona data center, via The Arizona Republic
The facility is not recognizable as Apple's from the outside, surrounded by thick, dark walls draped in vines. A guard patrols the entrance to the parking lot.

Server halls contain dozens and dozens of rows of large, humming electronics. Booming fans sit above the servers in an effort to cool the technology.
While The Arizona Republic was provided with a tour and was allowed to take photos inside the data center, Apple "would not share many specifics about what happens inside the facility" due to security concerns.

The Mesa data center, and others like it, house data from Apple apps and services that include iMessage, Siri, and iCloud.

Apple announced plans in 2014 to repurpose the Mesa, Arizona plant where GT Advanced worked to develop sapphire glass for Apple products before filing for bankruptcy. Hundreds of GT Advanced employees were laid off when the company failed, with Apple at the time pledging to bring more jobs to the city.

The water-cooling system for the Mesa, Arizona data center, via The Arizona Republic

Not long after, Apple confirmed that it would transform the Mesa, Arizona plant into a "command center" for Apple's global data network. It has been operational since 2016, and Apple has been renovating and adding on since then. According to The Arizona Republic, the most recent addition, several new halls of servers, was completed in April.

The Arizona Republic's photos of the data center are worth checking out for anyone interested in Apple's data operations.

Apple's Share of Notebook Market Took a Hit Last Quarter Due to Lack of New MacBook and MacBook Pro

Apple recently reported sales of 3.72 million Macs in the third quarter, its fewest in any quarter since 2010. It was also the first time Apple sold fewer than four million Macs in any quarter since 2013.


For that reason, it should come as no surprise that Apple's share of the worldwide notebook market took a hit last quarter.

Taiwanese research firm TrendForce estimates that Apple accounted for 6.5 percent of notebook shipments worldwide in the third quarter, a considerable decline over its estimated 10 percent market share in the year-ago quarter.

The decline resulted in Apple dropping below Acer and ranking sixth among notebook vendors, in terms of global shipments, in the third quarter. The top five spots were held by HP at 26.2 percent, Lenovo at 20 percent, Dell at 19.6 percent, Acer at 8 percent, and ASUS at 7.4 percent, according to TrendForce.

It's important to note that Apple doesn't break down its Mac sales on a model-by-model basis in its earnings reports, so TrendForce's data is estimated, likely based in part on the average selling price of a Mac.


There's a pretty simple explanation for the decline in sales last quarter: nearly every product in the Mac lineup was outdated.

Both the 12-inch MacBook and iMac lines haven't been refreshed since June 2017, while the MacBook Air hasn't received any substantial updates since 2015. Likewise, the latest Mac mini is from October 2014, and the Mac Pro hasn't been updated since December 2013, but an all-new version is coming in 2019.

It certainly didn't help that Apple refreshed the MacBook Pro in mid July, nearly two weeks after the quarter ended. Apple's financial chief Luca Maestri highlighted this "difficult launch comparison" in the company's earnings call:
Our year-over-year sales performance was impacted by the different timing of the MacBook Pro launch…
Mac sales should rebound in the near future, however, as TrendForce expects Apple to release a new MacBook Air at the end of the third quarter, while respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the 12-inch MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini lines to be updated later this year—likely by the end of October.

Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 63 With Bug Fixes and Feature Improvements

safaripreviewiconApple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced over two years ago in March of 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 63 includes bug fixes and feature improvements for Dark Mode, Custom Elements, Media, Web Animations, Web API, Accessibility, Web Inspector, Internationalization API, WebGL 2, and SVG.

The new Safari Technology Preview update is available for both macOS High Sierra and macOS Mojave, the newest version of the Mac operating system that’s currently being beta tested by developers. Apple notes that Adobe Flash content does not load on macOS Mojave in Release 63.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store (or in System Preferences in Mojave) to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple’s aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

New Apple Store in Kyoto to Open on August 25

Apple's latest retail location is set to open in Kyoto, Japan at 10:00 a.m. local time on August 25, the company announced today on its Apple Japan YouTube site and on a new page for the upcoming store.


The new Kyoto store will be Apple's ninth retail store in Japan, and the first that's located in Kyoto. Apple has several other stores in Tokyo, along with locations in Osaka, Aichi, Miyagi, and Fukuoka.

As Japanese site Mac Otakara points out Apple has created a new wallpaper to celebrate the launch of the Kyoto store, which is available for download here.

Apple Kyoto is located on the first floor of the Kyoto Zero Gate building, facing the famous Shinjo Street. Kyoto Zero Game is located next to the Daimaru Kyoto department store and it is a new building that was finished in 2017.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

Hands-On With Apple's New Leather Sleeve for the 15-Inch MacBook Pro

When Apple introduced refreshed MacBook Pro models back in July, the company also debuted new Leather Sleeves that are designed to fit 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models.

In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with one of the new Leather Sleeves to see whether or not they're worth the $179 to $199 price tag.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Available in Midnight Blue, Saddle Brown, and Black, the Leather Sleeves are similar to the previously available Leather Sleeves for the 12-inch MacBook lineup. The colors match some of the colors of Apple's Leather iPhone case options.

Apple's Leather Sleeves are simple and no-frills, made from a high-quality European leather with careful stitching around the outer edges and an Apple logo front and center. Inside, there's a soft microfiber lining.

Four circles at the bottom of the sleeve match the feet of the MacBook Pro, so this is a sleeve that's only going to work with the 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models from 2016 and on.

When not in use, the Sleeve can be used as a little mat for your MacBook Pro, protecting it from the surface beneath. Unfortunately, there's no access to the USB-C port when the MacBook Pro is in the Sleeve, so it can't be used while charging.

All in all, the Leather Sleeve is going to offer up protection from scratches and bumps, but there's no drop protection here. Most people may want to go with a cheaper option, but at the $179 to $199 price point, Apple hasn't skimped on quality.

What do you think of Apple's Leather Sleeves for the MacBook Pro? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

Popular Newton Email App for iOS and Mac Shutting Down in September

Newton, a popular email service for iOS and Mac, is shutting down on September 25, the company's founder Rohit Nadhani announced today.

Newton is a subscription-based app that costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, a business model that did not end up being successful. Nadhani says that the company explored "various business models" but wasn't able to "successfully figure out profitability & growth over the long term."


According to Nadhani, the market for premium consumer mail apps is "not big enough" and faces competition from high-quality free apps from Google, Microsoft, and Apple. "We put up a hard and honest fight," wrote Nadhani. "But it was not enough to overcome the bundling and platform default advantages enjoyed by the large tech companies."

Starting today, Newton is disabling new sign-ups and will not be renewing monthly subscriptions. Customers who paid for an annual subscription will also be refunded on a pro-rata basis, with Newton to offer instructions on claiming a refund no later than September 18.

CloudMagic, Newton's parent company, will continue to operate and will be focusing on "new and innovative products."