CBS drama series "All Rise" will return May 4 with a virtual episode recorded using FaceTime, Zoom and other video conferencing apps, a reflection of the daily lives of those who are working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many television shows and movies have paused filming at the current time as people practice social distancing, which has delayed new movies and television content. One CBS drama series, "All Rise," has a unique solution, though, and plans to film in actors' homes.
"All Rise" will use programs like FaceTime, WebEX, and Zoom, along with "other available social media and online technology," according to TVLine. The episode, which will focus on current events, will feature footage recorded by each of the series regulars within their homes, with the judge virtually presiding over a bench trial in an episode that mirrors current events.
"It's a unique chance for our All Rise family to band together - in our different homes, even cities - to tell a story about resilience, justice and the power of community," executive producer Greg Spottiswood said in a statement.
Virtual footage will be shot in each of the series regular's homes, with VFX added in post production to create the necessary backgrounds. A cinematographer operating solo from a vehicle will capture exterior footage representing "the desolate environment that currently exists on the streets and in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles."
The episode is set to air on Monday, May 4, and if it goes well, we could see other TV studios adopting similar techniques using software and hardware from Apple and other technology companies to create content remotely.
Apple is planning to acquire California-based virtual reality company NextVR in a deal said to be worth $100 million, 9to5Mac reported over the weekend.
NextVR is a company that melds virtual reality with sports, music, and entertainment, offering VR experiences for watching live events on VR headsets from PlayStation, HTC, Oculus, Google, Microsoft, and other manufacturers.
NextVR has established partnerships with the NBA, Wimbledon, Fox Sports, the WWE and more, according to the NextVR website. NextVR also has more than 40 patents, some of which are related to upscaling video streaming that may be of interest to Apple.
The Orange County, California company has been struggling in recent years, failing to secure Series C funding in 2019, leading to a 40 percent staff reduction.
Though Apple has not yet closed the acquisition or confirmed its plans to purchase NextVR, 9to5Mac says that a shell company formed this year that's believed to be Apple is hiring most of the engineers from NextVR. Employees at NextVR have also reportedly been told that they'll need to relocate from Southern California to Cupertino.
For the last several years, rumors have indicated that Apple is exploring multiple augmented, virtual, and mixed reality headset options, and has some kind of AR/VR headset project in the works.
A smart glasses concept
Most of the rumors have coalesced around augmented reality "smart glasses" that would work as an iPhone accessory, but there have also been rumors of work on a much more powerful VR headset that would feature an 8K display for each eye and that would be untethered from a computer or a smartphone.
Apple appears to be working on more than one AR/VR project, but it's difficult to tell as there have undoubtedly been many prototype designs. Current rumors suggest an AR/VR headset could be released as early as 2021.
More than ever before, Apple's iPad Pro and MacBook Air are competitors as hardware and software advances. AppleInsider pits them against one another to highlight the biggest differences to see which is the better buy.
WWDC may be in limbo due to the coronavirus outbreak, but that’s not stopping the release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Apple is hard at work on the next update for the iPhone and iPad, and details are starting to leak ahead of the big reveal. Here is everything we know so far.
Update 04/06/20: The latest rumor concerns the wallpaper selection menu and a new system for placing movable widgets on the iPhone or iPad home screen.
iOS14 and iPadOS 14: Widgets and wallpaper settings
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has what are claimed to be images of the iOS 14 wallpaper management screens. They show a new “collections” menu that users can populate with their own photos and some “home screen appearance” options that let you change the way your home screen image looks—making it darker, giving it a gradient, etc.
Reports about what will be in the 2020 iPhones are hitting the wire. We’ve compiled the most notable ones here, but take these with a big grain of salt. Even if these reports are accurate representations of what suppliers are saying, or come from moles within Apple itself, the company’s plans can and do change. There’s still plenty of time before the design and features have to be totally set in stone.
Update 04/06/20: A new leaked image, supposedly from an early build of iOS 14, shows what is purported to be the camera array for the iPhone 12.
The MacBook Pro is Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop. It offers top-notch performance for demanding users who need processing power and are willing to spend top dollar for it. Learn more about the MacBook Pro by reading about its main features below.
Editor’s note: Updated 4/6/20 with a report that a upgraded 13-inch MacBook Pro could ship in May 2020.
The latest rumor about the MacBook Pro: New 13-inch model coming in May?
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro was released in November 2019, replacing the 15-inch model with a larger screen and other updates. The 13-inch model wasn't updated at that time, and the model that Apple is selling now was originally released in July 2019, so it's due for an update.
The crashing issue appears to be most prominent when users attempt to make large file transfers. In a forum post, SoftRAID described the issue as a bug and said that it is working with Apple engineers on a fix for macOS 10.15.5, or a workaround.
SoftRAID said the issue extends to Apple-formatted disks:
There is a serious issue with 10.15.4.
It shows up in different scenarios, even on Apple disks but is more likely when there are lots of IO threads. We think it is a threading issue. So while SoftRAID volumes are hit the hardest (its now hard to copy more than 30GB of data at a time), all systems are impacted by this.
In our bug report to Apple, we used a method to reproduce the problem with ONLY Apple formatted disks. Takes longer to reproduce, but that is more likely to get a faster fix to the user base.
Other users on macOS 10.15.4 have experienced crashes after waking their Mac from sleep, with affected systems suffering a kernel panic and rebooting to the Apple logo, according to comments shared on the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, Reddit, and Twitter.
After updating to macOS 10.15.4, users may also experience continuous spinning up and spinning down of connected hard drives when a Mac is supposed to be asleep, which could result in damage to the drive, according to Jeremy Horwitz.
We've reached out to Apple for comment and we will provide an update if we hear back.
My MacBook Pro 16” has been experiencing random restarts due to a kernel panic since I updated macOS to 10.15.4. Is anyone else having similar issues?! 😩 @AppleSupport
Apple Watch inventory may be scarce at some retailers, but the deals aren't stopping this April. Shoppers can grab cash savings on Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 4 devices, with discounts of up to $200 off. Accessories are also on sale with exclusive coupon savings.
If you've been stuck at home with plenty of free time lately, there's probably an app for that. Finding things to do online while social distancing doesn't cost that much money, and it can even be free.
To start this week, Amazon has introduced a new sale that discounts a handful of Apple Watch Series 5 models to notable low prices. In the sale, prices start at just $349.00 for 40mm GPS models with aluminum cases, and similar $50 off discounts can be found for over a dozen Series 5 models.
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.
There are many more cellular models on sale than those with only GPS support. For the GPS + Cellular edition of the Apple Watch Series 5, sale prices start at $449.00 for the 40mm Silver Aluminum Case with a White Sport Band, and also include models with Stainless Steel Cases and the Milanese Loop.
Some of the Apple Watch Series 5 models on sale today are facing shipping delays, but most are available to ship today and could arrive by the weekend. Be sure to head to Amazon to browse the full range of its Apple Watch Series 5 discounts before they expire.
Further references to Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone have appeared online, one on a Chinese e-commerce website and another on Verizon's smartphone trade-in page.
Spotted by tech blog MySmartPrice, Chinese retailer JD.com has published a placeholder for Apple's so-called "iPhone 9" that includes a teaser image of a veiled smartphone, but other than that it lacks any particularly revealing specifications. On that basis, it could just as easily be the site's expectation that Apple's new low-cost iPhone is on the way based on circulating rumors.
The other reference to "iPhone 9" was highlighted by leaker Jon Prosser in amongst a list of smartphones eligible for Verizon's trade-in plan on the cellular provider's website.
We're covering these references merely for completion, since Apple's new low-cost phone is expected imminently, although it's apparently going to recycle the iPhone SE name used for Apple's previous dedicated budget phone.
Last week, a product listing for a Belkin screen protector on Apple's online store was updated to reflect compatibility with not only the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, but also the "iPhone SE."
That product listing didn't reveal any further details about the device, which was previously dubbed the iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9, beyond supporting rumors that it will have a 4.7-inch display. The device is also expected to have an A13 chip, 3GB of RAM, and 64GB to 256GB of storage, with pricing estimated to start around $399 in the United States.
One rumor last week suggested the phone could be launched as soon as April 3. The date proved to be wide of the mark, but it doesn't preclude the possibility that we could see the device announced by Apple any day now.
While we’re all waiting for the first tracker to emerge with Wear OS support and Google Assistant integration, Fitbit isn’t resting on its laurels. Barely 18 months after the debut of the redesigned Charge 3, Fitbit has launched the Charge 4, bringing new chips, new features, and a new color. Here’s how it compares to last year’s model:
Display and design
To the untrained eye, the Charge 4 is a carbon copy of the Charge 3, but when you put them side by side, you’ll notice a few slight differences. The Charge 4 seems a lot larger on paper, but the tapered design gives it a very similar feel to the Charge 3.
Content-blocking Safari extensions let you select what kinds of items you want websites to load. Popular blockers prevent third-party tracking links, auto-play video, known malicious content, and a number of other undesirable elements. However, most blockers also let you block specific categories of ads or all ads.
Many websites depend on advertising, and the rise of ad blockers has had the concomitant effect of reducing ad revenue to those sites. (I’d argue that loading content from 70-plus ad networks and tracking systems, as some sites I visit do and allowing any advertiser without prior vetting to display ads, may have driven people to use blocking technology, but that’s a policy discussion.)
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards in the second quarter of 2020. As predicted, Apple launched its new MacBook Air last month with the new keyboard, so that only leaves the 13-inch MacBook Pro, given that the 16-inch MacBook Pro was released just five months ago.
As noted by Prosser, Apple could launch a new size for its smaller MacBook Pro offering, with any refresh potentially seeing a display bump to a 14-inch screen. Kuo has referred to a 14-inch model in the past, but it's not clear that this size would feature in any impending refresh. The new 14-inch model would likely replace the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which would be discontinued.
The current 13-inch MacBook Pro still uses butterfly keyboards that can suffer from issues such as sticky or unresponsive keys after prolonged use, which prompted Apple to initiate a free repair program worldwide in 2018. Apple solved the problem by reverting back to a scissor mechanism with the new Magic Keyboard on the 16-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Air.
Beyond the keyboard, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is expected to get an upgraded processor in the form of one of Intel's 10th-generation Ice Lake chips, built using a 10-nanometer architecture.
Prosser has shared accurate Google leaks in the past, but he has only recently starting sharing Apple rumors, so his track record is limited. If his latest information proves to be accurate, then Apple's entire notebook lineup will have scissor keyboards by the end of next month.
The MacBook Air is again available with an i7 processor. We've benchmarked the base 2020 MacBook Air with i3 processor, and the high-end quad-core i7 MacBook Air to see how much of a performance difference there -- and to see if the i7 is worth the higher price tag.
Apps with sign-in functionality, including The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and more, have continued to adopt Apple's secure Sign in with Apple feature ahead of a deadline of June 30. The deadline for these apps to support the feature was recently extended from April 30.
Sign in with Apple, first introduced in iOS 13, allows users to create accounts for apps and websites using an Apple ID. It also lets users to select specific data he or she would like to share with an app and even allows users to mask their email addresses.
The feature has been largely welcomed as a more secure alternative to similar sign-in services since it authenticates the user with Face ID or Touch ID and doesn't send personal information to app and website developers.
Apple users, it’s been a big week for Sign In With Apple. Apps like Medium, IFTTT, NYTimes, Strava, Ritual, Freshii, Fiverr and dozens more now offering the privacy of Apple’s anonymous sign in method. I was able to drop Facebook logins entirely. No more tracking me Zuckerberg!
Apple has sourced over 20 million face masks it aims to donate to governments to fight the spread of COVID-19, with the iPhone maker also working on designing and producing face shields for use by front-line medical workers.
The "iPhone 12 Pro" may update the layout of its rear camera, an image leak suggests, with the addition of LiDAR to the back of the iPhone prompting a repositioning of lenses within the square camera bump.
Apple CEO Tim Cook today shared a video message with an update on the company's response to the ongoing pandemic.
Cook said Apple has now sourced over 20 million masks that it is in the process of donating to healthcare professionals around the world. Apple is working with governments to ensure that the masks are donated to the places of greatest need.
Cook added that Apple's design, engineering, operations, and packaging teams are working with suppliers to design, produce, and ship face shields for medical workers. Apple plans to donate one million face shields by the end of this week, followed by an additional one million per week. Cook said the face shields take less than two minutes to assemble.
The adjustable face shields can be packed flat, allowing 100 to fit in each box. Shipments will initially go to medical facilities in the United States, but Apple plans to expand distribution globally at a later date.
Apple recently delivered its first batch of face shields to Kaiser medical facilities in the Santa Clara Valley and said feedback was very positive.
Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers. pic.twitter.com/3xRqNgMThX
The launch of the iPhone 12 may be very much in limbo due to the effects of the coronavirus, but that’s probably not the only handset Apple is launching in 2020. According to a flood of well-sourced leaks and reports, a new entry-level phone that resurrects the beloved iPhone SE is due to arrive very soon.
Update 4/5:This article has been updated with new reports and rumors.
Here’s everything we know about the new budget iPhone:
After rumors initially pegged the name of Apple’s new phone as the iPhone SE 2 and then the iPhone 9, it now appears that it will simply be called the iPhone SE. According to “a tip from a highly trusted reader,” 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple will be recycling the same name it used for the 4-inch phone, much like it did with the new iPad Air last year. (If you don't believe it, The Verge found a since-deleted Apple Store reference to an iPhone SE/8/7 case from Belkin.) On internal documents and technical sheets 9to5Mac says it will be referred to as the “2020 version,” but for marketing purposes, it’s just iPhone SE.
Maybe 2019 was practice for Apple, as it is now used to releasing new products via a press release. That's what it had to do in March 2020 as the whole world self-isolated, and Apple Stores closed their doors.
Apple is looking to expand its augmented reality and virtual reality teams and patent hoard even more, with a rumored acquisition of California VR firm NextVR on the cards that may be worth $100 million.
iOS 14 could offer home screen widgets and wallpaper customizations for the first time, according to 9to5Mac and Twitter user DongleBookPro.
Apple is reportedly working to implement widgets that can be moved freely around like icons on the iPhone and iPad homescreen for the very first time. The feature is reportedly codenamed "Avocado" and no other details are available. It was also mentioned that Apple is still working on implementing the feature and it may be scrapped.
In addition to home screen widgets, Twitter user DongleBookPro shared allegedly leaked screenshots of new wallpaper settings and customization options coming in iOS 14. The leaked screenshots reveal a new "Collections" menu that users can populate with their own photos. The new "iOS 13" column hints that Apple will not be removing wallpapers first introduced in iOS 13. It also appears Apple will be grouping similar wallpapers together in a more pleasant arrangement, as users will now be able to scroll left to right instead of top to bottom.
The screenshot also mentions new "Home Screen Appearance" options which will allow users to alter the appearance of their current wallpaper. It appears users will now be able to select dark, dim, blurred, and normal versions of a wallpaper.
Logitech has expanded its Powered lineup with the new 3-in-1 dock as well as a standalone pad. Whether you need to just charge your iPhone or your phone, AirPods, and Apple Watch, Logitech has you covered.
Bargain hunters this weekend can find rock bottom prices on a variety of Apple devices, from 2018 MacBook Pros to closeout Mac mini and iPad electronics at Amazon-owned Woot. Plus, Amazon itself is discounting Apple Watches to as low as $189.
EPIX is currently offering free access to its catalog of movies and TV shows through the Apple TV Channels feature in the TV app, and many additional services are also offering extended free trials.
Upon navigating to the Apple TV app, users will notice that EPIX is listed under the "My Channels" section. Rather than offering an extended trial where users must first sign up, EPIX is currently providing completely free access with no subscription needed until May 2nd.
In addition to the free content from EPIX, many other Apple TV Channel options have extended free trials available for new subscribers, such as ShowTime, A&E, Smithsonian, and more. Showtime, for example, is currently offering an extended one-month free trial before its $10.99/month subscription fee.
Apple TV Channels are available through the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Macs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and select smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio.
We've been hearing rumors about a second-generation iPhone SE for quite some time, but this past week, Apple themselves revealed the name on their online store. Want to know more? Here are all the rumors about the new low-cost iPhone in once place.
With the calendar rolling over to April this week, we yet again saw several leaks and rumors, most notably including Apple itself leaking some references to a pair of long-rumored products: a new budget iPhone SE and AirTags item trackers.
Apple also acquired popular weather app Dark Sky, while Amazon's Prime Video app now allows users to bypass Apple's in-app purchase system and rent or buy movies directly from Amazon.
Check out our roundup below and the video above for details on these stories and more!
New Low-Cost 'iPhone SE' Could Launch Soon
We've been hearing about a new low-cost iPhone for almost exactly a year now, and it looks like it may finally be ready to launch, with new details suggesting a launch is imminent. The new phone will apparently recycle the iPhone SE name used for Apple's previous dedicated budget phone, but this version will look nearly identical to the iPhone 8 but with upgraded internals.
The new iPhone SE will reportedly be available in white, black, and red and come in 64, 128 and 256 GB capacities. Apple itself even briefly leaked some confirmation on the new device's name, updating the name of an existing Belkin screen protector for the iPhone 7 and 8 to include a reference to the SE in its online store.
The video was inconspicuously titled "how to erase your iPhone," but on a settings screen for the Find My app, AirTags were clearly mentioned in fine print that indicates "offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular."
MacRumors uncovered evidence of AirTags within iOS 13 code last year. The item trackers will compete with Tile, helping users keep track of their personal belongings, such as their keys, wallets, and backpacks.
Apple will be ending Dark Sky support on Android and Wear OS on July 1, 2020. Dark Sky's API will also stop working at the end of 2021, which will impact other popular weather apps like CARROT Weather that use Dark Sky as a data source.
Apple Lets Amazon Prime Video App Offer In-App Purchases on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV
While this would appear to violate Apple's App Store rules that require all content purchased in apps to go through Apple's in-app purchase system and result in Apple taking a cut of the revenue, Apple says that Amazon Prime is now part of an existing program for a small handful of "premium" video apps, which allows them to use their own payment methods instead of in-app purchases.
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.
Apple AirPods deals are going on now, with cash savings on both AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro models (the latter hitting a record low price). A top seller, AirPods are a great accessory when working from home thanks to seamless pairing with a Mac, iPad or iPhone -- all in a compact, wireless package.
Apple has not announced an upgrade to the 16-inch MacBook Pro released late last year. But when it does sometime down the road, it’s likely to include the new CPU that Intel just announced. The “10th Gen Intel Core-H Series,” as it is officially named (or “Comet Lake-H” as the hardware enthusiasts call it) will offer clock speeds over 5GHz.
Intel calls it the “world’s fastest mobile processor” and it’s the latest salvo in a growing battle between Intel and AMD in the laptop market. Apple has stuck with Intel chips for years and, assuming that continues, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is likely to get an upgrade to these processors later this year. Here’s what you can expect.
Catalina is here and if you decide to upgrade to the new macOS, you need to do a bit more than usual to prepare your Mac. You need to make sure your apps are 64-bit versions. If your app is a 32-bit version, it will not work.
Apple actually started to warn people about the change with macOS 10.13 High Sierra. If you launch a 32-bit app in High Sierra, an alert pops up to tell you that your app needs to be updated. The alert appears only once in High Sierra, and in Mojave, it appears every 30 days.
Global online music streaming subscriptions were up 32 percent year-over-year in 2019, hitting 358 million subscribers, according to new estimates shared today by Counterpoint Research.
Spotify was the market leader with a 31 percent share of total revenue and a 35 percent share of total paid subscriptions, while Apple Music earned the second place slot with a 24 percent share of total revenues in the industry and a 19 percent share of the total paid subscriptions. Apple Music's subscription base grew an estimated 36 percent year-over-year.
Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and Tencent Music all trailed both Apple Music and Spotify.
"Spotify maintained its top spot with the help of promotional activities like free Spotify Premium for three months, price cuts, customized campaigns like Spotify and a focus on exclusive content. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google have started focusing on music streaming and have sufficient cash at their disposal to give stiff competition to Spotify. Apple Music is making improvements in its app like the introduction of night mode, curated playlists to target a group, etc. Similarly, Amazon Music has been trying lossless music and is creating its own niche where it competes with Tidal."
More than 80 percent of total streaming music revenue came from paid subscriptions, while the rest came from advertisements and partnerships with brands and telcos.
Counterpoint Research believes that online streaming music subscriptions will grow more than 25 percent year-over-year to exceed 450 million subscriptions by the end of 2020.
Apple last shared specific Apple Music subscriber numbers in June 2019, announcing that the service had reached 60 million paid subscribers. That number is likely quite a bit higher now, but Apple has not shared new official subscriber totals in 2020.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the commencement address at Ohio State University's virtual commencement event that's set to take place on May 3, Ohio State President Michael Drake announced today.
The event, which will be live streamed, will kick off at noon local time, with 12,000 diplomas to be awarded virtually to students. The broadcast will include Cook's commencement speech, musical performances, and with Drake and university officials in traditional commencement regalia at Ohio Stadium, which will be empty of students.
"I am delighted to welcome Tim Cook as our spring commencement speaker," Drake said. "We are grateful for Mr. Cook's participation in this important tradition and know his unique insights will guide Buckeyes as they continue to innovate the future."
Ohio State has an ongoing relationship with Apple and in 2017, established an education and research partnership with Apple through the university's Digital Flagship initiative, which features an iOS design library and provides students with opportunities to learn coding skills.
Apple has purchased artificial intelligence startup Voysis with the aim of improving Siri, reports Bloomberg. Voysis offers a platform that allows digital voice assistants to better understand natural language.
The company worked to improve voice assistants in online shopping apps, allowing software to better interpret requests from users. The website, which is now defunct, said that the technology used client databases with AI tools that deeply understand the specifics of products, services, and vocabulary to make the user experience "easier, faster and more intuitive."
The Voysis platform allowed customers to hone in on search requests with simple phrases like "I need a new LED TV" or "Just show me the 4K ones." Voysis said that shoppers could use voice to find what they're looking for 3x faster than typing using these kind of requests.
Bloomberg speculates that Apple could use Voysis' technology to improve Siri's understanding of natural language, or offer the Voysis platform to developers to improve how Siri works with apps.
Apple confirmed the acquisition to Bloomberg with its standard acquisition statement: "[Apple] buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
Apple has acquired multiple AI startups over the course of the last five years, such as Xnor.ai, Turi, VocalIQ, Perceptio, Emotient, and more, to improve Siri and other AI-based offerings.
Updated 4/03/20: Updated with the latest news and predictions about Apple events this year.
Apple doesn’t often participate in big industry-wide events like CES or E3. The most valuable company in the world holds its own events, thank you very much. Several times a year, Apple invites the press and industry professionals out to a theater to hear all about its latest products and services. Apple calls these “Special Events,” and streams them online to its millions of fans.
There’s also WWDC, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, a multi-day event in the middle of the year focused on sessions for developers, helping them make the most out of the latest Apple tools and products. It kicks off with a big keynote that serves to announce new products (typically the latest versions of iOS and macOS, as well as a few hardware products).
Four U.S. senators, Bob Menendez, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal, on Friday sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook expressing concern over "the safety and security of Americans' private health data" in regard to the recently released COVID-10 website and app, reports Bloomberg.
The senators questioned Cook about Apple's data-sharing practices and safeguards, and whether the COVID-19 app complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). They also want details on Apple's agreements with federal or state governments for the development of the app.
When announcing the app and the website, which Apple developed with the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and FEMA, Apple said that any data users provide on the COVID-19 website or app is not shared with Apple, the CDC, or any other government agency, as specified on the COVID-19 website. What little information Apple does collect, such as how people use the site, is used for bug fixes.
Apple is not collecting your answers from the screening tool. To help improve the site, Apple collects some information about how you use it. The information collected will not personally identify you.
Apple also does not require users to sign in to use the app and the data is not associated with a user's Apple ID, nor does it ask for any personally identifiable information.
Consistent with Apple's strong dedication to user privacy, the COVID-19 app and website were built to keep all user data private and secure. The tools do not require a sign-in or association with a user's Apple ID, and users' individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.
Apple debuted the COVID-19 website and app on March 27. It serves as a screening tool where users can answer questions about symptoms, exposure risk, and more, to receive CDC recommendations on the next steps they should take, such as social distancing or obtaining a test.
Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News 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.
Apple is offering employees significant discounts on products that include the HomePod and Beats headphones, according to details on the deals shared by MacGeneration and 9to5Mac.
Apple is said to be clearing stock of Beats headphones and HomePods, providing them to employees through an internal deals program. The HomePod is available at a 50 percent discount, dropping the price to $149.50, while Beats are also available at a reduced price.
There's no confirmed word on why Apple is offering HomePods and Beats headphones to employees at a discount, but in the case of the HomePod, there are rumors that Apple is working on a new lower-cost model that could come out at some point this year.
Apple may also simply have excess HomePod and Beats stock due to reduced sales or a miscalculation in production.
Apple has offered similar deep discounts on products to employees a few times in the past, and provides smaller discounts on all of its products for employees who want to make a purchase through an employee store.
Update: An employee has shared additional information on discounts with MacRumors. Along with the HomePod and Beats headphones, Apple employees can also buy Apple Watch Series 4 Hermès at prices starting at $749, and Apple Watch bands at a major discount, with some Sport Loops and Sport Bands available for just $19.60.
Multiple refurbished Mac options are further discounted for employees, and the discounted Beats lineup includes the Solo Pro, Studio3 Wireless, BeatsX, Powerbeats Pro, and more. The Beats headphones are discounted by up to 40 percent.
For this week's giveaway, we've once again teamed up with Astro to give MacRumors readers a chance to win a Luna Display adapter that's able to transform an iPad or an extra Mac into a secondary display for a main machine.
The tiny Luna Display adapter plugs into your Mac through a USB-C port (newer Macs) or a Mini DisplayPort (older Macs) and then when paired with the Luna Display software, it connects an iPad or another Mac to your primary Mac using WiFi, giving new life to old iPads and Macs.
When connected, the Luna Display extends the Mac's display to the secondary Mac or the iPad so the device can be used as a second screen, something that's especially useful these days with many people working from home with makeshift office setups.
Priced at $80, the Luna Display sets itself apart from Apple's built-in Sidecar functionality with Mac-to-Mac support, something Sidecar doesn't do. Luna Display also works with older iPads, making it a more versatile option.
With Mac-to-Mac mode, the primary Mac needs macOS El Capitan or later, while the secondary Mac needs to be running macOS Mountain Lion or later, so this feature works with some machines that are quite a bit older.
In Mac-to-Mac mode, Luna Display provides full keyboard, trackpad, and mouse support on both of the Macs, with more info available from the Luna Display website.
Luna Display also works with almost all modern iPads, with expanded support over what's available using Apple's Sidecar. Luna Display is compatible with the iPad 2 or later, all iPad mini models, all iPad Pro models, and all iPad Air models, with iOS 9.1 or later as the only requirement. Performance is faster on newer iPads, but older models work well too.
The Luna Display can be purchased from the Luna Display website, and we have five of them to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win our giveaway, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumorsFacebook page.
Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.
The contest will run from today (April 3) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 10. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 10 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.
On the 10th anniversary of the iPad launching in stores, Agile Partners co-founder Jack Ivers has shared an interesting story about how his company managed to get in Apple's good graces and ultimately gain access to prototype iPads.
The story begins in 2008, when Agile Partners released GuitarToolkit as one of the first iPhone apps on the App Store. The app used the iPhone's microphone to detect musical notes in an incoming audio stream to see the real-time pitch of a guitar string. Apple has long had an interest in music, so the app quickly caught its eye.
In 2009, Apple covertly reached out to Agile Partners about featuring GuitarToolkit in a worldwide advertising campaign:
We began receiving calls that went as follows:
Apple: We need you to internationalize GuitarToolkit for the following languages: Japanese, simplified Chinese, German, French, and Spanish. By next week please.
Agile: Ummm ... why?
Apple: Sign this NDA.
Agile: Here you go. So tell us more.
Apple: We're considering featuring GuitarToolkit in an advertising campaign, but no promises. Will you do the internationalization?
Apple was asking us to jump, and it didn't take too much reflection to respond, "how high?" GuitarToolkit ended up being featured in a series of worldwide print and TV campaigns, including one that appeared on the back cover of many of the most prestigious magazines in the U.S. and around the world.
GuitarToolkit ended up being featured on the back cover of many popular magazines:
Then, in February 2010, just days after Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPad, an Apple executive reached out to Agile Partners requesting a quick conversation about something "important." After signing a very strict NDA, Agile Partners ended up being invited to Apple's headquarters to develop an iPad version of their GuitarToolkit app.
Agile Partners was provided with access to prototype iPads to develop its app and, unsurprisingly, they were located in a "locked, nondescript, unlabeled room on the second or third floor on the building that housed the Infinite Loop cafeteria."
The room had blackout curtains hanging inside the door so that, even when the door was open, you couldn't see inside. The room had three or four sturdy industrial tables, each with an iPad prototype chained to it. Each iPad was completely encased in what appeared to be Kevlar, with just the screen and home button exposed. Almost none of the industrial design was visible – bezels, back, edges, even the iPad's thickness, were all obscured by the bulky case.
Each table also had a Mac with a special Xcode that could build to the iPad. We spent the day tweaking app settings for the new screen dimensions, getting past beta glitches, and finally successfully building TabToolkit on the prototype iPads.
Apple is planting its own flag in the streaming wars with Apple TV+, its in-house streaming service that features only original programming—no reruns of hit TV shows or last year’s blockbuster movies.
The company is said to be spending several billion dollars a year on original programming. That’s a lot of TV! Apple is attracting some of the best talent in TV and film production, including huge stars and directors, and locking down the television and movie rights to best-selling books.
Though the service is relatively new and has few shows available, there’s a lot in the works. This is a list of all its content for it that we know of so far, along with details about prominent stars, directors, producers, and release dates.
Apple's AirPods Pro have returned to their low price of $234.98 on Amazon, down from $249.00. At about $14 off, this remains the lowest price we've ever tracked for a brand new model of the AirPods Pro among the major Apple resellers online.
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.
This sale on the AirPods Pro typically comes around every few weeks on Amazon, and due to low stock it never lasts long. This could be exacerbated by current shipping delays, but as of writing Amazon notes that shoppers can expect the AirPods Pro to arrive between April 7 and April 16. If you've been waiting to purchase a pair, be sure to visit Amazon soon.
During Apple Arcade’s announcement, though, Apple gave the impression that all Apple Arcade games would work with gamepads (in part because the service will eventually also come to macOS and tvOS), but it turns out that’s not entirely true. Some games have interfaces solely designed for touchscreens—at least on iPhone and iPad.
The latest version of macOS, Catalina, has a lot of quirks (to put it nicely). One crops up in Photos when you’re working with manually created albums—those are albums into which you choose which images and videos appear, as opposed to smart albums, which rely on search criteria.
In Mojave and earlier versions of macOS, you could select one or more images in the album and either right-click to Delete X Images or use the menu item Image > Delete X Images. When confirmed, that would remove the images from your Photos library, as opposed to Image > Remove X Photos from Album, which removed the media from being part of the album being viewed, but left the photo or movie in your main library.
One of the defining characteristics of Apple’s ecosystem over the last decade has been its carefully curated nature—what critics refer to as the “walled garden.” The idea being, essentially, that if you don’t like the way Apple runs its extremely popular platforms, you can take a hike.
Over time, Apple has loosened and even removed some of its restrictions, sometimes officially and other times merely tacitly. But many have still remained in place, and while there are definitely advantages to the way that the Cupertino-based company does things, there are also places where perhaps the company could stand to relax a bit more.
Case in point: This week, some users noticed that they could now rent and purchase movies and TV shows directly in the Amazon Prime iOS app, without having to resort to an arcane work-around. Apple confirmed that this is an “established program”—despite it being the first time it seems to have been publicly acknowledged—that exists with certain high level partners, including Amazon, Canal+, and Altice One. (A deep dive by John Gruber at Daring Fireball lays out all the Byzantine ways that this deal works.) Is this a limited, targeted exception? Or perhaps a crack in Apple’s formidable armor?
After first being introduced as the “Wastebasket” in 1982 with the Lisa, Apple forever cemented the concept in the hearts of personal computer users by porting it onto the Macintosh two years later. Renamed as simply Trash, this unassuming file directory has helped users with file deletion for nearly four decades.
But for such an important feature, relatively little has changed over the years—most notably, a Finder preference introduced with macOS Sierra gives the option of automatically deleting Trash after 30 days. Should that not go quite far enough, there’s now a third-party app to answer the call.
Semibits’s theBin can be configured to automatically take over managing your Trash. Instead of temporarily moving files to the invisible .Trashes folder in macOS, theBin intervenes, migrating unwanted content to its own storage space where the app can handle such files more efficiently.
Apple does a lot to help us find misplaced iPhones, Apple Watches, and iPads, and rumors strongly suggest that Apple is currently working on a Tile-like device that will allow us to find other items as well. Here’s everything we know so far.
The latest rumor: AirTags referenced in Apple support video
Apple isn’t trying too hard to hide the existence of AirTags. In April of 2020, Apple uploaded a support video to its YouTube account showing how to erase an iPhone. At roughly the 1:43 mark in the video—which has since been pulled—Apple shows how to turn off Find My iPhone, and in doing so revealed a toggle for turning off the feature “Enable Offline Finding.” In the feature’s own words, “Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular.” The video was originally spotted by Appleosophy.