Apple to Open Retail Store in London's Knightsbridge Estate

Apple has agreed to open a new 20,000-square-foot retail store in the heart of Knightsbridge, one of London's most luxurious shopping areas, according to local media.

Proposed development in Knightsbridge, London (Image via Chelsfield)

Citing property sources, The Evening Standard reports that Apple has signed a deal with Chelsfield, the property asset manager overseeing a makeover of The Knightsbridge Estate, to secure retail lettings between high-end department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

The transformation of The Estate as a whole is expected to deliver a mix of new "world-class" retail accommodation, including six flagship stores, 66,000 square feet of Grade A offices, 35 rental apartments around an internal courtyard garden, and a rooftop restaurant.

The landmark development is currently surrounded by a public artwork installation called "The Knights of Knightsbridge" to conceal construction.

Apple has five retail locations in the English capital, including flagship stores Regent Street and Covent Garden, which reopened late last year following a three-month renovation.

(Thanks, Tobias!)

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

PSA: Microsoft Outlook Breach Worse Than Expected, Hackers Could Read Emails of 6% of Affected Users

Microsoft has revealed that one of its support agent's credentials were compromised, enabling unauthorized parties to access information from a "limited subset" of users, including e-mail addresses, folder names, subject lines, and the names of recent recipients, between January 1 and March 28 of 2019.


It gets worse, unfortunately. In a statement issued to The Verge, Microsoft said that the unauthorized parties had access to the actual content of roughly six percent of affected email accounts, as exposed by Motherboard.

In an email to affected users shared by TechCrunch, Microsoft said it has now blocked this unauthorized access, disabled the passwords of compromised accounts, and increased detection and monitoring to further protect users. Microsoft recommends users change their passwords out of an abundance of caution.

The breach affected a "limited subset" of Microsoft-managed email accounts, including Outlook, MSN, and Hotmail email addresses. No enterprise customers are believed to be affected, according to TechCrunch.

Microsoft told affected users that it has no indication why the information was viewed or how it may have been used. The company has yet to reveal how it discovered the breach, how the support agent's credentials were compromised, or if the agent was a Microsoft employee, according to TechCrunch.

Deals: Save on 2017 iMac and MacBook Pro (Up to $400 Off), and Get HomePod for $280

New discounts on a variety of Apple products have hit some of the major retailers this week, including sales on HomePod and the older 2017 models of the iMac and MacBook Pro.

HomePod


For the HomePod, Costco is now providing its members a chance to save even further on the recently discounted smart speaker, priced at $279.99 in Costco retail stores, down from $299.00 on Apple's website and all other major retailers at the moment.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

You'll have to be a Costco member to purchase the HomePod, and if you opt for shipping a charge of $4.99 will be added onto the order. You can purchase the HomePod in both White and Space Gray from Costco, and it's unclear how long the discount will last.

iMac


For the iMac, both Amazon and B&H Photo are discounting select models of Apple's desktop computer from mid 2017. This includes the 21.5-inch and 27-inch models, with savings of as much as $400 off the computer. The prices listed below are the best available online for each respective model, and start as low as $1,099.00 for the 21.5-inch iMac.


Mid 2017 Retina iMacs
  • 21.5-inch iMac, 3.0 GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB - $1,099.00, down from $1,299.00 [Amazon / B&H]

  • 21.5-inch iMac, 3.4 GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion - $1,297.00, down from $1,499.00 [Amazon]

  • 27-inch iMac, 3.4 GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion - $1,593.00, down from $1,799.00 [Amazon]

  • 27-inch iMac, 3.5 GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion - $1,699.00, down from $1,999.00 [Amazon / B&H]

  • 27-inch iMac, 3.8 GHz, 8GB RAM, 2TB Fusion - $1,899.00, down from $2,299.00 [Amazon / B&H]

MacBook Pro


Amazon is also discounting the 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2017 by $200 (this is the model without a Touch Bar). There are two models on sale, the first of which has 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD priced at $1,099.99, down from $1,299.99.




The second MacBook Pro on sale has 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD for $1,299.99, down from $1,499.99. Although they lack a Touch Bar, these MacBook Pros include a Force Touch trackpad, up to 10 hours of battery life, and two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports.

If you're on the hunt for even more discounts and bargains, be sure to head over to our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple's Podcasts Get Overhauled Web Interface With Web Playback

Apple recently redid the web interface for Podcasts, providing new podcast webpages with a streamlined design that's easier to navigate and built-in web playback.

Each new page features a clear recap of each episode along with a "Play" button for playing an individual episode or all of the episodes in order directly from the web browser without the need to open up iTunes.


Clicking on an episode's name opens up a full page for the episode in question, so you can see complete details about what's included in each one before deciding to listen.

As 9to5Mac points out, the prior design for podcasts on the web was just a list of podcast episodes that opened up podcasts in iTunes with no web playback option available.

Apple is planning on introducing a standalone Podcasts app on the Mac when macOS 10.15 launches, so this new web look may be a precursor to the future launch of the dedicated Podcasts app.

Review: Seagate's New Backup Plus Slim and Backup Plus Portable Offer Lots of Storage at Low Prices

Seagate in January announced an updated lineup of its popular Backup Plus hard drives, debuting the Backup Plus Slim and the Backup Plus Portable, both of which are now available for purchase and are ideal for those who need lots of storage space at an affordable price.

The Backup Plus Slim and the Backup Plus Portable are your average, run of the mill hard drives. The Backup Plus Slim is the thinner of the two models as it has less storage space, measuring in at 4.5 inches by 3 inches with a thickness of just about half an inch.


The Backup Plus Portable is about the same size but it's close to an inch thick and about twice as heavy (eight ounces vs. four). Neither one of these drives takes up much space, so they're ideal for backup or other purposes and can be tucked away in a drawer afterwards.

Design wise, the two hard drives are made from a black plastic material with a brushed aluminum front plate. The test models I have are in silver, but these also come in black, a light blue color, and red.


The Backup Plus Slim offers 1TB or 2TB of storage, and the Backup Plus Portable is available with either 4TB or 5TB of storage space. Both are formatted to work with either Mac or Windows.

These hard drives are using standard USB-A cables to plug into a computer, which means that you're going to need a USB-A to USB-C adapter if you want to use them with one of Apple's modern Macs.


USB-C hard drives aren't much more expensive than these Seagate Backup hard drives, so it's maybe not even worth picking one of these up if you have a USB-C machine unless you're swapping files between computers and continue to have a Mac or Windows machine that uses USB-A. For older machines that still have USB-A ports, these hard drives will work well, and functionally, they're fine with an adapter on a USB-C machine.


There's nothing special about the transfer speeds of the Backup Plus Slim and Backup Plus Portable. Seagate says they can reach transfer speeds of 120MB/s, and in my tests on a 2016 MacBook Pro with USB-C, I even saw transfer speeds a little bit higher at about 130MB/s.

Backup Plus Portable on left, Backup Plus Slim on right

You're not going to want to use standard hard drives in situations where you need fast file transfer capabilities, but for things like backups where you have hours to let a backup take place, these drives work well.

Both hard drives come equipped with links to register them on Seagate's website, as well as options to download Seagate's Toolkit software for automatically syncing files between mirrored folders on the drive and on your Mac. You can use these with Windows and Mac machines right out of the box without the need to reformat.

Backup Plus Slim

Seagate sells these hard drives with a one-year Create plan for Mylio, photo organizing software that lets you upload photos to the cloud and access them on multiple devices, but after that year, it costs $50/year to use.

Backup Plus Portable

There's also free two month access to Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography plan, which costs $9.99/month to use after the trial period. Both Mylio and Creative Cloud are optional, so you don't need to sign up for them if you're not interested in those services.

Bottom Line


If you've made the swap over to USB-C and only have USB-C machines, Seagate's Backup Plus Portable and Backup Plus Slim probably aren't the best option for you, because you'll need a dongle.

If you still use USB-A machines or a mix of USB-C and USB-A, however, these hard drives are an affordable way to get a lot of storage for things like Time Machine backups, offloading photos, and more.

How to Buy


Seagate's Backup Plus Slim is available from Amazon, with 1TB of storage priced at $55 and 2TB of storage priced at $70. The Backup Plus Portable is also available from Amazon with 4TB of storage priced at $110 and 5TB of storage priced at $125.

Note: Seagate provided MacRumors with a Backup Plus Portable and Backup Plus Slim for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Tag: Seagate

Apple Releases Second Public Beta of macOS Mojave 10.14.5

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave 10.14.5 update to its public beta testing group, a day after seeding the beta to developers and a little over a week after releasing the first macOS Mojave 10.14.5 public beta.

The macOS Mojave update can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store after downloading the appropriate profile from Apple's beta testing website. Apple's beta testing site gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.


We don't yet know what improvements the macOS Mojave 10.14.5 update will bring, but it likely focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't able to be fixed in the macOS 10.14.4 update.

There were no notable features found in the first two developer betas of macOS Mojave 10.14.5.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave

Apple Providing Free Data Migration With a Mac Purchase or Repair

Apple is now offering data migration services for free when customers purchase a new Mac or need to have a Mac replaced for repair reasons. Prior to this month, data migration was priced at $99.


TidBITS heard about the policy change from a reader and was able to confirm it with an Apple Store Operations Specialist.
Beginning April 2, there will be no cost for Data Migrations with the purchase of a new Mac or Data Transfers with a repair.
As 9to5Mac points out, data migration was included as a feature in Apple's One to One program, which was shut down in 2015. One to One allowed customers to pay $99 when purchasing a new Mac to get a year's worth of instruction and help. When Apple ended One to One, data migration was still available as a one-time $99 service.

Going forward, Apple store employees will be able to help new Mac buyers move information from their old machine to their new machine. Apple also offers do-it-yourself migration software in the form of the Migration Assistant offered when setting up a new Mac.

Apple to Adopt Mini LED Display Tech in Future Macs and iPads [Updated]

Update: MacRumors has received Kuo's research note and it refers to a 31.6-inch monitor as we originally reported. DigiTimes incorrectly referred to this product as a 31.6-inch iMac. There is no mention of an iMac.



Apple will switch to mini LED backlighting for a raft of hardware coming over the next three years including a 31.6-inch iMac to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2019, reports DigiTimes this morning.

Apple will adopt mini LED backlighting for a 31.6-inch iMac to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2019, a 10- to 12-inch iPad to be unveiled in fourth-quarter 2020 or first-quarter 2021, and a 15- to 17-inch MacBook to be introduced in first-half 2021, according to a analyst Kuo Ming-chi at TF International Securities.
Today's DigiTimes report cites comments made by well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo to local media, a machine translation of which we covered on Monday. That report, which carried a warning of possible mistranslation, referred to a 31.6-inch 6K standalone display, but DigiTimes refers multiple times to an iMac with the same dimensions.

The report goes on to note that Apple is settling on mini LED technology for its wide color gamut, high contrast ratio, high dynamic range and local dimming.
The backlight unit (BLU) to be used in the 31.6-inch iMac will be made of about 500 LED chips of 600 microns in size, with Japan-based Nichia to supply the LEDs, Kuo said.

Strictly speaking, this is a quasi-mini LED BLU because the chip size is much larger than those of standard mini LEDs, according to industry sources. However, the use of such a BLU will give opportunities for the supply chain to improve mini LED production in cost and yield rate, the sources noted.
More than 10,000 mini LEDs will be needed for the "10- to 12-inch iPad," according to the report, and these LEDs will be made by Epistar. Meanwhile, LCD panels will come from LG Display and BLUs by Radiant Opto-Electronics, and all three companies will form parts of the supply chain for the mini LED-backlit MacBook.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

Notarization Required for Mac Apps Created With New Developer IDs Starting in macOS 10.14.5

Apple today released updated developer documentation letting developers know that as of macOS 10.14.5, all new software distributed with a new Developer ID must be notarized in order to run.

Apple plans to make notarization a default requirement for all software in the future.
Beginning in macOS 10.14.5, all new or updated kernel extensions and all software from developers new to distributing with Developer ID must be notarized in order to run. In a future version of macOS, notarization will be required by default for all software.
Notarization is a new concept introduced in macOS Mojave for apps distributed outside of the Mac App Store with the aim of protecting users from malicious Mac apps.

Mac app developers are encouraged to submit their apps to Apple to be notarized, and an Apple-notarized app includes a more streamlined Gatekeeper dialog to reassure users that an app is not known malware.

Apple provides trusted non Mac App Store developers with Developer IDs that are required to allow the Gatekeeper function on macOS to install non Mac App Store apps without extra warnings, but notarization takes it one step further.

With the new requirement in macOS 10.14.5, developers who are new to distributing Mac apps with a Developer ID will need to go through the notarization process for their apps to work on the Mac.

Apple late last year said that it would begin highlighting notarization status "more prominently" starting in spring 2019, and macOS 10.14.5 is apparently the update where that will begin happening.

The notarization process is designed for non Mac App Store apps and is not required for those that are submitted to the Mac App Store. More information on notarization can be found on Apple's developer site.

Apple Seeds Second Beta of macOS Mojave 10.14.5 Update to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave 10.14.5 update to developers for testing purposes, a week and a half after launching the first beta and two weeks after the launch of macOS Mojave 10.14.4.

The new macOS Mojave 10.14.5 beta can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after the proper profile has been installed from Apple's Developer Center.


It's not yet clear if there are new features in macOS Mojave 10.14.5, but it likely includes bug fixes and performance improvements to address issues that weren't able to be fixed in the macOS Mojave 10.14.4 update.

There were no major changes discovered in the first macOS Mojave 10.14.5 beta, but if we discover anything new in this beta, we'll update this post.

The prior update, macOS Mojave 10.14.4, brought the Apple News+ subscription service, expanded Apple News to Canada, and introduced a new automatic Safari Dark Mode feature for websites.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave

Vimeo for macOS Gains Automatic Video Uploading From Mac Desktop

Vimeo today updated its macOS app with automatic uploading, giving its users a way to quickly and securely back up and bulk upload video files directly to Vimeo.

To do this, Vimeo users on Mac can create a synced folder on the Mac desktop and drop files into the folder, which automatically uploads them to Vimeo. The company says that if the Mac ever disconnects from Wi-Fi, the upload will pick up where it left off once connection is restored.
Automatic uploading cuts a ton of unnecessary steps out of your process. No more opening up Vimeo in your browser and dragging your files in one by one. No more sitting next to the computer and watching as the status bar creeps forward. No more losing track of which videos have been added. With automatic uploading, you can drop files in a synced folder and get on with your life.
Vimeo first launched an app for macOS one year ago this week, aimed at creators who use Apple's Final Cut Pro video editing software. The macOS app allows creators to export ProRes videos, adjust privacy settings and descriptions of videos, access video links and embed codes, and receive notifications about video activity.


The Vimeo app for macOS is available to download on the Mac App Store for free [Direct Link].

Tag: Vimeo

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Now Available on Mac

Aspyr today announced that Call of Duty: Black Ops III is now available on Mac, complete with 64-bit and Metal support.


The same Black Ops III content for Windows is now available on Mac via the Steam store:
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer Starter Pack ($14.99): includes a multiplayer-only version of the game that has limited content.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies Chronicles Edition ($59.99): includes the full base game and the Zombies Chronicles content expansion with eight classic, fully-remastered Zombies maps.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies Deluxe Edition ($99.99): includes the full base game, Season Pass, and the Zombies Chronicles content expansion.
Black Ops III is already an older title in the popular first-person shooter franchise, first released in November 2015 for Xbox, PlayStation, and Windows. Three new Call of Duty games have launched since then, including Infinite Warfare in 2016, WWII in 2017, and Black Ops IIII last year.

System requirements include macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 or later, a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i5 processor or better, 8GB or RAM or more, at least 150GB of storage space, and a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM. Steam says Nvidia and Intel GPUs are not officially supported hardware for Black Ops III.

At the time of writing, we're not seeing the Multiplayer Starter Pack available for Mac, so the complete rollout may take a bit of time today.

Tag: Steam