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Apple Reportedly Overhauling Its Software Development Process Following Buggy Release of iOS 13

Apple is overhauling the way it develops and tests iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS in hopes that the new approach will improve the quality of each software platform over the long term, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The report claims the new strategy is already being applied to development of iOS 14 ahead of its release next year. The shift comes after the buggy release of iOS 13, which has already received eight updates with bug fixes and delayed features in the last two months, which is more than usual over that time. The new process will see Apple implement "flags," allowing the company's software engineers to selectively enable or disable unfinished or buggy features in an isolated way to ensure that overall stability is not jeopardized. Flags are already commonly used by other tech companies like Google and Microsoft. Apple has also considered delaying some iOS 14 features until 2021, according to the report, as part of its efforts to ensure the update is more stable. Apple is believed to have taken a similar approach with iOS 12, delaying some features until ‌iOS 13‌, which contributed to iOS 12 being a rather stable update. The changes were reportedly announced at a recent meeting with employees led by Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi. In the meantime, Apple continues to test iOS 13.3, with a third beta released this week.

Bloomberg: Apple Considering Bundling Apple Music, TV+, and News+ as Early as 2020

Apple is considering bundling its subscription services as early as 2020, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple News+, according to Bloomberg. The report indicates that Apple has included a provision in its contract with Apple News+ publishers that permits Apple to bundle News+ with its other services if it desires. The monthly price of the bundle would presumably be lower than the cost of paying for each service separately in a bid to attract more subscribers. Apple Music and Apple News+ each cost $9.99 per month in the United States, while Apple TV+ is $4.99 per month. Apple is already experimenting with at least one services bundle. Last month, the company began offering free access to Apple TV+ to students who subscribe to Apple Music. The offer is available for a limited time only. The report goes on to cite "some media executives" who said the amount of money they have received from Apple News+ so far has been less than expected. On the other hand, some executives are pleased with the service so far, including Los Angeles Times executive editor Norm

New AR Sensor Coming to 2020 iPad Pro and iPhone Models, AR/VR Headset as Soon as 2021

Following a report from The Information this morning summarizing a recent internal Apple meeting that pegged the release of Apple's augmented reality headsets for the 2022–23 timeframe rather than the more aggressive 2020 window that has previously been rumored, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has shared additional information on the company's AR roadmap that will initially focus on the iPad and iPhone before the glasses come to fruition. "Apple Glasses" concept Gurman says Apple is working on "a range of augmented and virtual-reality devices" based around a new 3D sensor system, which will arrive first on a new iPad Pro slated for release in the first half of next year, and followed by the 2020 iPhones later in the year.A new ‌iPad Pro‌ for release as early as the first half of 2020 will feature a new module with two camera sensors, up from one on the current model, and a small hole for the 3-D system, letting people create three-dimensional reconstructions of rooms, objects and people. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant also plans to add the sensor to new high-end iPhones later in 2020, along with 5G networking capabilities, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products.Moving beyond existing devices, Apple is said to be targeting 2021 or 2022 for the release of a combination VR and AR headset focused on "gaming, watching video and virtual meetings." A lighter weight set of AR glasses could follow as soon as 2023. The 3D sensor system to be used in the upcoming is said to be a more advanced version of the current Face ID

Bloomberg: Apple Increasing Hiring for Team Working on New HomeKit Devices Beyond HomePod

Apple is ramping up hiring for a team working on new HomeKit-based devices and software, having posted at least 15 openings for engineering positions on the team in the last month, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The report claims the efforts are headed by Andreas Gal, the former CTO of Mozilla who joined Apple last year following the iPhone maker's acquisition of Silk Labs, an artificial intelligence startup that had created a privacy-focused security camera and smart home hub system. Details are vague, but one possibility is said to be new smart home devices beyond the HomePod speaker. Apple is also said to have explored creating a wide range of smart home accessories, such as modules for opening and closing windows, cabinets, and doors, but those efforts were reportedly put on

Bloomberg: Apple Targets 2020 for Release of AR Headset, Apple Watch Sleep Tracking, and Arm-Based Macs

Apple has targeted a 2020 release for its augmented reality headset, although the timeframe could be pushed back if the product needs more development, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Google Glasses The report claims the glasses are expected to wirelessly pair with an iPhone to display information such as messages, emails, and maps over the wearer's field of vision. It would also be possible to play games on the headset, with Apple reportedly considering having an App Store for the headset. Apple has a few other releases planned for later in 2020, the report adds, including Apple Watch models with sleep tracking and Macs with custom Apple-designed processors that are expected to be Arm-based.

Bloomberg: 2019 iPhones Will Have Centered Apple Logo on Back

2019 iPhones will feature a centered Apple logo on the back of the devices, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The centered logo will help users know where to place their Apple Watch or AirPods case to charge on the back of the upcoming iPhones, which are widely expected to have a new Qi-based device-to-device charging feature, similar to Wireless PowerShare on Samsung's latest Galaxy smartphones. Wireless PowerShare on Samsung's Galaxy S10 In late July, an alleged Foxconn worker claimed that there will be no "iPhone" branding on the back of the iPhone 11 models, and this certainly seems more likely in light of this centered Apple logo rumor. Taking both rumors into account, concept designer Ben Geskin has mocked up how the iPhone 11 models should look: 6 days! #iPhonePro pic.twitter.com/gFklIUWjIe— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) September 4, 2019 Gurman also reiterated that ‌iPhone 11‌ models will have more shatter-resistant glass and improved water resistance, the iPhone XR will come in a new green color, and that this year's ‌Apple Watch‌ refresh will be relatively minor, with a focus on new ceramic and titanium casing finishes and watchOS 6. We're just three days away from Apple's event at Steve Jobs Theater, which kicks off Tuesday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple will be live streaming the event via its website, the Apple Events app on Apple TV, and YouTube. MacRumors will have full coverage of the announcements as they unfold — stay

Bloomberg: Apple Planning iPhone With Both Face ID and Touch ID Under Display by 2021

Apple is developing an in-display fingerprint scanner for future iPhones, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu. The report claims Apple is considering including the in-display scanner in a 2020 iPhone if testing is successful, but adds there is a possibility the tech will not be ready until 2021. This lines up with a prediction from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who expects an iPhone with both Face ID and in-display Touch ID in 2021. The upcoming fingerprint reader would be embedded in the display, enabling users to unlock the ‌iPhone‌ by placing a finger almost anywhere on the screen, and it would complement rather than replace the existing Face ID system. This would give users the convenience of two biometric authentication options. Face ID and Touch ID each have their weaknesses, such as Face ID not working well when an ‌iPhone‌ is laying flat on a table, or ‌Touch ID‌ not playing friendly with wet fingers. With both systems, users would have the best of both worlds, using the authentication option that is better in a given situation. Several major Android smartphone makers have adopted in-screen fingerprint scanners over the past few years, including Samsung. Apple is also working on its first low-cost ‌iPhone‌ since the ‌iPhone‌ SE, which could launch as early as the first half of 2020, according to Bloomberg. As Nikkei reported earlier this week, the device is said to look similar to the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch display and a ‌Touch ID‌ home button. The iPhone 8 currently retails for $599 and up, while the ‌iPhone‌ SE

2019 iPhones Said to Have Improved Shatter Resistance, Multi-Angle Face ID That Works Flat on Tables

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu have shared expectations for Apple's fall product lineup and beyond, revealing new details plus existing rumors about upcoming iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, HomePod, and AirPods models. Starting with the iPhone, the report claims the widely rumored triple-lens rear camera system on the higher-end models will enable a larger field of view for capturing ultra-wide-angle photos and videos, in addition to improving low-light photos. New editing tools while recording video are also expected. The high-end iPhones will look nearly identical to the current models from the front, but at least some colors on the back will have a new matte finish, according to the report. Interestingly, he adds that the new iPhones should better withstand drops due to an unspecified "new shatter-resistance technology." The report claims a new multi-angle Face ID sensor that captures a wider field of view will enable users to unlock the next iPhones more easily, even when the devices are laying flat on a table for example. Other features outlined for 2019 iPhones include "dramatically enhanced" water resistance and faster A13 processors with a new co-processor known internally as "AMX" or "matrix." As for the next iPhone XR, the report corroborates rumors of it gaining a dual-lens rear camera and a new green color option. As for the iPad, the report claims both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be refreshed in 2019 with improved cameras and faster processors. The report also backs the rumor of a 10.2-inch iPad launching later this year.

Apple's Suppliers Aiming to Produce 75 Million New iPhones in Second Half of 2019

Apple's supply chain is currently aiming to produce components for up to 75 million iPhones in the second half of this year, roughly the same as in the same time period last year, according to Bloomberg. The production targets suggest Apple expects iPhone demand to stabilize this year after recent dips in unit sales largely offset by increases in average prices. 2019 ‌iPhone‌ dummy units Jeff Pu at GF Securities estimates that shipments of newly released iPhones will rise to 74 million in the second half, up about 7% from his estimate of 69 million last year, while TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecast that Apple would sell 75 million to 80 million new iPhones in the second half of 2018. This year’s volumes may signal stabilization after a year of uncertainty, though that’s a far cry from the double-digit growth numbers of years past.As Bloomberg notes, the fact that suppliers are planning for production of 75 million units doesn't mean Apple will sell that many, but suppliers are also reportedly capable of pushing output to 80 million units if demand calls for it. As always, Apple will assess demand following the launch of the new iPhones and adjust production accordingly. Apple has also stopped publicly reporting unit sales of iPhones and other products in its quarterly earnings releases, making it more difficult for analysts and others to track those numbers over time and requiring them to calculate unit sales based on reported revenue numbers and estimated average prices. We're expecting this year's new iPhones to look very similar to the current

Bloomberg: Apple Watch to Get Standalone App Store, iOS 13 Will Have All-New Sleep Mode, and More

Less than a month ahead of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has outlined his expectations for iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, and more, which we've summarized below. ‌iOS 13‌Dark Mode that can be toggled in Control Center A new systemwide Sleep Mode that can be toggled in Control Center to turn on Do Not Disturb, darken the Lock Screen, and mute all notifications. This is said to be tied to improvements to the Bedtime tab in the Clocks app. A revamped Messages app with a WhatsApp-like feature that enables users to set a profile picture and display name, and choose who sees it, and a dedicated menu for Animoji and Memoji stickers A revamped Maps app will make it easier to set frequent locations, like home or work addresses, and then navigate there. Improved grouping of frequent locations with ability to add photos. A revamped Reminders app with four default sections laid out in a grid: tasks to be done today, all tasks, scheduled tasks, and flagged tasks A revamped Books app with updated progress tracker and new rewards system A revamped Health app with an improved view of daily activity, more comprehensive menstrual cycle tracking, and more A revamped Mail app with ability to mute individual threads, block incoming email from certain contacts, and simpler folder management New default swipe-based keyboard option like SwiftKey New feature that will let users use their iPad as an external display for a Mac, complete with support for Apple Pencil, notifications, and more, as previously reported by 9to5Mac A combined Fin

Apple Reportedly Advised Technicians to Push iPhone Upgrades to Customers With Out-of-Warranty Devices

Last month, Apple lowered its revenue guidance for the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year by up to $9 billion due to fewer iPhone upgrades than it anticipated, primarily due to economic weakness in the Greater China region. A few months prior to the announcement, Apple began heavily promoting iPhone XR and iPhone XS trade-ins with a limited time promotion, prominent banner on its website, emails to older iPhone users, store signage, App Store editorials, and other uncharacteristically aggressive tactics aimed at boosting sales. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman previously reported that Apple reassigned some of its marketing staff to focus on bolstering sales of its latest ‌iPhone‌ lineup in late October, around the time the ‌iPhone XR‌ launched. The report cited an unnamed source who described the efforts as a "fire drill." In a report this week about Deirdre O'Brien succeeding Angela Ahrendts as Apple's retail chief, Gurman elaborated a bit more on Apple's tactics to promote its latest iPhones, claiming that the company advised its technicians to "push ‌iPhone‌ upgrades to consumers with out-of-warranty devices." Senior retail staff were also tasked with making sure other employees were suggesting upgrades, according to Gurman:In December, as Apple executives worried about demand, the company asked retail employees to promote the new iPhones using methods not seen before. Technicians were told to push ‌iPhone‌ upgrades to consumers with out-of-warranty devices. Senior sales staff had to make sure other retail workers were suggesting upgrades, and easels offering

Apple-Branded Over-Ear Headphones Said to Launch as Early as Second Half of 2019

Apple is planning its own over-ear headphones for as early as the second half of 2019, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Beats Solo3 Gurman briefly mentioned the more specific timeframe in a report claiming that Sonos is also developing a high-end pair of wireless, over-the-ear headphones that could be launched by next year. He previously said the Apple headphones could debut as early as this year, so the "second half" distinction is new. Gurman previously reported that the headphones will use Apple branding and be positioned as a higher-end alternative to the company's line of Beats headphones. He also said Apple originally intended to introduce the headphones by the end of 2018, but faced development challenges causing a delay. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to report about Apple's plans to release high-end over-ear headphones that are "as convenient as AirPods with better sound quality." They are also said to feature noise cancellation.

Apple to Wait Until at Least 2020 to Release 5G iPhones

Apple won't release an iPhone that can connect to 5G data networks until at least 2020, claims a new report out today. According to Bloomberg's sources, Apple is planning to delay its support for the next generation of high-speed mobile services coming in 2019, just as it did for previous generations. As with 3G and 4G, the two previous generations of mobile technology, Apple will wait as long as a year after the initial deployment of the new networks before its main product gets the capability to access them, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the company's plans.According to Bloomberg, Apple delayed support for previous mobile network upgrades because it accurately predicted that the first versions of rival smartphones would suffer from problems like poor coverage. However, 5G advocates argue that delaying support for the upcoming network upgrade is a bigger risk for Apple, since it represents a much bigger speed boost over previous generations, making the leap from 4G to 5G significant enough to become a major selling point for new devices. 5G advocates believe the danger for Apple is that it will be left behind by rivals like Samsung, who could exploit the delay and attract more consumers to its Galaxy smartphones, which are expected to support 5G networks next year. Likewise, Chinese mobile makers Oppo and Huawei have also signaled that they plan to offer 5G phones. Bloomberg suggests that Apple's decision to wait another year before supporting 5G could be related to the company's feud with Qualcomm, a leader in 5G-enabled

Bloomberg: Apple Considered 'iPhone Xs' Names for 2018 OLED iPhones, Weighed Dropping 'Plus' Branding

A new report out today by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu further confirms a bevy of rumors centering upon Apple's three 2018 iPhones. Expected to be revealed at an event in just a few weeks, the iPhones will all look visually similar to last year's iPhone X, but "boast a wider range of prices, features, and sizes to increase their appeal." According to people familiar with Apple's launch plans, some inside of the company have referred to this year's launch as an "S year," designated for years when its smartphones keep the same design of a previous generation but bump up internals and add new features. "The company is planning more significant changes for next year," the people said. One of the tidbits from today's report focuses on the naming scheme for this year's iPhone models, which appears to have caused somewhat of a "naming conundrum" within Apple. The company reportedly considered going with "iPhone Xs" for the OLED models, akin to the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6s, etc., but has "altered the name multiple times," so it's unclear what Apple finally landed on. We'll have to wait a few more weeks to know the official names of the 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.5-inch iPhones. The new iPhone lineup has presented Apple with a naming conundrum, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. The company will be selling three phones that look similar and all have Face ID. But the cheapest model will be larger than the mid-range version, potentially confusing consumers. While planning the new devices, Apple has altered the names multiple times. It has at least

Gurman: Apple Considered Removing Lightning Connector on iPhone X

As a side note in his report about technical challenges facing the AirPower, expected to be released by September, well-connected reporter Mark Gurman also noted that Apple considered removing wired charging from the iPhone X. From his Bloomberg News story:During the development of the iPhone X, Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely. That wasn't feasible at the time because wireless charging was still slower than traditional methods. Including a wireless charger with new iPhones would also significantly raise the price of the phones.Just to be absolutely clear, Gurman confirmed to me that this would have included removing the Lightning connector from the device. In fact, his report notes that Apple designers eventually hope to "remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone," although this is likely multiple years away. A few years ago, it was reported that Apple's design chief Jony Ive's end goal is for the iPhone to resemble a "single sheet of glass," while Apple has repeatedly expressed its ambitions to "create a wireless future," so the eventual removal of the Lightning connector should perhaps come as no surprise. Apple is already well on its way towards that wireless future, with products and technologies ranging from AirPods and AirPower to its W1 and W2 wireless chips. Apple also made the controversial decision to remove the headphone jack from iPhone 7 models a few years ago, pushing users towards wireless earphones. Still, removing the Lightning connector would certainly be another controversial decision, given it is

Gurman: Apple Aims to Release AirPower By September

Apple aims to release its multi-device AirPower charging mat "before or in September," after facing a handful of technical challenges with its hardware and software, according to well-connected reporter Mark Gurman. An excerpt from his Bloomberg News story:Apple didn't say when in 2018 it would release AirPower, but engineers hoped to launch the charger by June. The aim now is to put it on sale before or in September, according to one of the people. In recent months, some Apple engineers have ramped up testing of the device by using it as their charger at the office, another person said.Apple first previewed the AirPower alongside the iPhone X in September 2017. At the time, the company's marketing chief Phil Schiller said it would be available in 2018, as reflected on Apple's website. Pricing has not been disclosed. Gurman says Apple engineers initially hoped for a June launch, presumably at WWDC 2018, but noted the AirPower has been delayed due to technical challenges, including the potential for overheating, complex multi-device charging circuitry, and software bugs with the accessory's on-board firmware. AirPower is said to include a custom Apple chip running "a stripped down version of iOS" for power management and pairing with devices:The AirPower charger is also more advanced than the current competition because it includes a custom Apple chip running a stripped down version of the iOS mobile operating system to conduct on-device power management and pairing with devices. Apple engineers have also been working to squash bugs related to the on-board

Gurman: WWDC 2018 to Have Software Focus, New Macs, iPad Pros, and Larger-Screen Apple Watches Coming Later

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference commences on Monday with an opening keynote, where the company previews the next major versions of its software platforms, and usually shares some other announcements. Ahead of the keynote, Bloomberg's well-sourced Mark Gurman has outlined what he expects Apple to discuss on stage:A series of Digital Health tools in the Settings app on iOS 12 that will help users monitor how much time they spend using their devices and individual apps, helping to address concerns about smartphone addiction. ARKit 2, including a new mode that allows for a multiplayer mode in augmented reality games. Another mode is said to allow objects to be dropped into an area and virtually remain in place. Apple could reveal its reported plans to allow iOS apps to run on Macs as early as this year. The wording suggests it's not entirely clear if Apple plans to discuss the project at WWDC or later. Minor new features for snoozing notifications, tracking the stock market, making video calls, and sending Animojis via FaceTime.Overall, Gurman expects this year's software updates across iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS to be more "muted," with "bigger changes later," as Apple has decided to focus more on the quality and stability improvements this year, according to an internal meeting the company reportedly held earlier this year. Planned new iOS 12 features that have been shelved until 2019 are said to include a redesigned home screen with more information, an artificial intelligence upgrade to the Photos app, and new file-management tools for iPads.

Apple Expected to Launch Subscription News Service Within Next Year Following Texture Acquisition

Apple plans to offer a subscription-based news service within the next year, according to Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg News. Apple declined to comment on the report, as it has not announced the plans publicly. The service is said to be based on subscription-based digital magazine app Texture, which is expected to be integrated into the Apple News app on iPhone and iPad, pending approval of Apple's agreement to acquire the company. Texture provides unlimited access to over 200 digital magazines for $9.99 per month. Available magazine titles include People, Vogue, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Wired, Maxim, Men's Health, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, ESPN The Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. "We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users," said Apple's services chief Eddy Cue, on Apple acquiring Texture. The service would essentially be like Apple Music, which provides unlimited streaming of over 45 million songs for $9.99 per month, but for news and magazines. The revenue would help boost Apple's growing services division, including the App Store and iCloud, while a cut would also go to publishers. The premium tier would likely complement the existing ad-supported content available within the Apple News app, which is currently available in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom on iOS 9 and later. Apple previously offered a Newsstand app with digital magazines and newspapers, but subscriptions

Apple Planning iPhones With Touchless Gesture Controls and Curved Screens to Launch Within Three Years

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has a new report out this morning, claiming that Apple is working on future iPhone models that will incorporate "touchless gesture control" as well as curved screens. The company is said to be looking at how it can differentiate its flagship product in a smartphone market that's becoming increasingly saturated with devices. According to people with knowledge of Apple's plans, the touchless control feature is described as a hover-like gesture system that would let future iPhone owners navigate iOS "by moving their finger close to the screen without actually tapping it." This technology would be advanced enough to take into account the proximity of a finger to the screen and is predicted to still be around two years away, if Apple chooses to move forward with it. Gurman also compared Apple's gesture design to Samsung's Air Gestures in Android smartphones and Google's Project Soli. In comparison, Apple's future iPhone "would require gestures to be closer to the screen than with Project Soli," and be based on technology built in the display rather than some kind of motion sensor added to the iPhone's bezel, as it is with Air Gestures. Secondly, Apple is in the works on an iPhone display that curves inward "gradually from top to bottom," unlike Samsung's smartphones that curve down and away at the edges of the screen. Gurman's sources said that this major iPhone upgrade is around two to three years away. The company has been connected to curved display rumors in the past, and in October 2017 was said to be working with LG Display on an iPhone

Apple Plans to Ditch Intel and Use Custom Mac Chips Starting in 2020

Apple is planning to transition from Intel chips to its own custom made Mac chips as early as 2020, reports Bloomberg. Apple's initiative, reportedly code named "Kalamata," is part of an effort to make Macs, iPhones, and iPads work "more similarly and seamlessly together" according to unspecified sources that spoke to Bloomberg. Apple already designs its own A-series chips found in iPhones and iPads. The Mac chip plans are said to be in the early stages of development and the transition from Intel chips to Apple chips could involve multiple steps, starting with the "Marzipan" initiative coming in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 to allow developers to create a single app able to run on both iOS and macOS. With its own chips, Apple would not be forced to wait on new Intel chips before being able to release updated Macs, and the company could integrate new features on a faster schedule.The shift would also allow Cupertino, California-based Apple to more quickly bring new features to all of its products and differentiate them from the competition. Using its own main chips would make Apple the only major PC maker to use its own processors. Dell Technologies Inc., HP Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., and Asustek Computer Inc. use Intel chips. By using its own chips, Apple would be able to more tightly integrate new hardware and software, potentially resulting in systems with better battery life -- similar to iPads, which use Apple chips.Apple has already begun using custom designed T1 and T2 chips in its MacBook Pro and iMac Pro machines, and the company is said to be planning to