Apple announced that it will be hosting a HomePod live event in its Support Communities on Wednesday, July 25, providing customers with an opportunity to ask Apple support representatives questions about the Siri-enabled speaker.
Specialists will be on hand between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Pacific Time, answering questions about a variety of topics in real time:
Discover how to make HomePod your own: use AirPlay 2, create a stereo pair, personalize your setup and settings, ask Siri, and more. During this live event, Apple HomePod Specialists will be available to help you get the most from your HomePod.
To participate in the event when it goes live, head to the HomePod Community on the Apple Support Communities, sign in to or create an Apple ID account, click Post > Discussion in the upper-right corner, and submit a question.
Specialists already monitor the Apple Support Communities, and occasionally answer questions, but this event should lead to faster answers.
Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar gets some pretty substantial improvements for 2018, with a beefier processor, faster GPU and new True Tone display. The upgrades bring the small form factor Pro on par with Dell's XPS 13, our all-time favorite Windows laptop. But which one is right for you?
New apps and updates to existing software are pushed to the App Store and other online marketplaces all the time, and there are simply too many of them to keep track of all changes. AppleInsider collects together some macOS and iOS app highlights from the last week that you should know about.
Sure. Why not? Heck why not give it two? Seems like two oughta do it. Three is not out of consideration. Four seems like a little much, but The Macalope would be willing to entertain serious arguments. Five is right out.
(What are we talking about?)
Google isn’t the only tech giant with anticompetitive practices.
"Love Notes to Newton," which premieres this week, looks at the rise and quick fall of Apple's John Sculley-era personal digital assistant, and talks to both the original Newton team plus the small fanbase of enthusiasts that still remain.
There’s been a lot of talk about the Core i9 processor in the new MacBook Pro, and not in a good way. YouTuber Dave Lee shared his experience with CPU throttling on the Core i9 MacBook Pro, and soon after others shared how they also similar performance hits.
In this video, I talk with Gordon Mah Ung, CPU expert for our sister publication, PCWorld. We talk about the CPU throttling, what could be causing it, and what does it mean for users and anyone thinking about buying a Core i9 laptop.
Regrettably, high-end benchmarking was not part of our review of the Core i9 MacBook Pro. So we’ve started to run several benchmarks for ourselves to see what happens when you push the laptop’s performance.
The first material discount on Apple's brand-new 2018 MacBook Pro has arrived, and it's available exclusively at AppleInsider. Save $50 on every 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar with coupon, plus no sales tax outside NY and NJ and no interest financing for 12 months.
In iOS 12, Apple has introduced new notification features, providing an expanded set of tools for monitoring and managing notifications in quicker and more intuitive ways.
There have been no changes to the way that Notifications work on the whole, but many of these features make it easier to clear notifications, determine which notifications you want, and make adjustments on the fly.
iPhone and iPad owners have been asking for the return of grouped notifications for years, and in iOS 12, Apple delivered.
Multiple notifications from the same app will be grouped together on the Lock screen of the iPhone, cutting down on clutter. You can tap a set of notifications from a particular app to expand them to see all of the notifications in the list.
You can tap on the "X" next to a notification group to clear all of those notifications at one time, or do the same thing with a swipe to the left.
In the Settings app, you can change the behavior of grouped notifications. Go to Settings > Notifications and tap on any app to see the "Notification Grouping" preferences. Tap that to choose "Automatic," "By App," or "Off" if you'd rather see all of the incoming notifications for a particular app like Messages.
Automatic sorts by app for the most part, but with this setting enabled, you might get two notification groups if you have email threads going with two different people in the Mail app, or multiple conversations in Messages, for example. Or different incoming Messages conversations.
By App will make sure all notifications from an app are in one stack, without the sorting that Automatic mode uses.
Instant Tuning is a feature that lets you manage a pesky notification right on the Lock screen, giving you the tools to turn notifications for that app off entirely or send notifications right to the Notification Center.
On any notification that's on the Lock screen or in the Notification Center when you swipe down, swipe left on a notification to see settings that include "Manage," "View," and "Clear All."
Select "Manage" from this list to see Instant Tuning options. Notifications set to "Deliver Quietly" will be visible in Notification Center, but you won't see them on the Lock screen, there will be no banner, and there won't be a badge.
To reverse this, tap on a notification from the muted app again, follow the same instructions, and choose "Deliver Prominently." Notification settings can also be changed in the Settings app, also accessible from the Instant Tuning popup. Turn Off, as the name suggests, turns off notifications for that app entirely.
You can also get to your Instant Tuning settings by 3D Touching or long pressing on any notification and selecting the three ellipses. For more details on using Instant Tuning, make sure to check out our detailed how to.
Note: In iOS 12, Apple will send you alerts asking you if you would like to continue receiving notifications from a particular app if you've been getting a lot of notifications and haven't been interacting with them. When this happens, the alert will feature a "Manage" section so you can access your Instant Tuning settings for that particular app.
Critical Alerts are a new type of opt-in notification in iOS 12 that can ignore your Do Not Disturb settings to send important must-see notifications.
These alerts are limited in scope and are available for medical and health related information, home security, and public safety. For example, a person who is diabetic might want to set critical alerts for a glucose monitor when blood sugar is low, so the notification will be delivered even if Do Not Disturb is turned on.
Critical alerts bypass Do Not Disturb and the ringer switch, and will always play a sound. They are meant to be disruptive and for that reason, are going to be highly limited to apps that need these kinds of immediate alerts.
Developers with apps appropriate for critical alerts will need to apply for an entitlement that needs to be approved by Apple. Users will be able to turn off critical alerts on a per app basis separately from other notifications.
Notification Count in Screen Time
Screen Time, Apple's new feature designed to provide you with the tools to monitor when and how you're using your iOS devices, keeps track of all of the notifications that apps are sending you, letting you know which apps are the noisiest.
This information can help you decide if you want to keep notifications turned on for a particular app, or if you might want to mute an app to cut down on interruptions.
You can get to this section of Screen Time by opening the Settings app, choosing Screen Time, selecting "All Devices," and then scrolling down to the bottom. You can see your notifications from the last 24 hours or the last 7 days.
In iOS 12, app developers can build notifications that are able to accept user input, so you can interact with notifications in new ways, doing more on the Lock screen without having to open up your iPhone.
With Instagram, as an example, if the app sends you a notification that a friend posted, you might be able to view the photo and then add a like all from the notification.
In this example, you can tap the heart to like the photo, something that wasn't possible in iOS 11.
Rich notifications were available in earlier versions of iOS, but Apple has removed the limits that previously restricted interactive touches.
What do you think of the changes to notifications in iOS 12? Are there other notification features you're hoping for in the future? Let us know in the comments.
Earlier this week, Apple released the fourth beta of macOS Mojave to developers, and the third beta to public beta testers. Unlike beta three, there were actually quite a few changes in this update, including a new dynamic desktop wallpaper.
Apple's reluctance to allow a spam-reporting iOS app from India's Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) onto the App Store may be bad news to its customers, after the regulator introduced a new policy that could force carriers to ban iPhones from their mobile networks if the app isn't accepted.
Samsung is continuing to attack the iPhone in its "Ingenious" ad campaign, introducing three more videos ridiculing Apple over the iPhone's removal of the headphone jack, not including a fast-charging adapter in the box, and its photographic abilities.
Apple Business Chat, which is customer service through iMessage, is expanding to a total of 10 new partners and technology platforms.
Apple on Friday announced that satellite TV provider DISH, concessions operator Aramark, hotel chain Four Seasons, food and gift producer Harry & David, and credit card company American Express are adopting the service.
DISH Network is deploying Business Chat to customers nationwide, to allow them to contact a live agent to ask questions, make account changes, and schedule an appointment. They can also use their credit card on file to order a pay-per-view movie or sporting event.
Four Seasons will enable guests to search for any Four Seasons property and instantly engage Four Seasons Chat, a multi-lingual chat service, helping guests to engage with Four Seasons teams anywhere, at any time, for any need.
Harry & David customers can chat with a gift concierge about a product or service, or ask any other questions they might have.
American Express is kicking off a pilot program for card members to get account information such as their balance, payment due dates, points balance, as well as ask for a card replacement, dispute a charge, get information about their card benefits, and more.
Apple also announced five new technology platforms supporting Business Chat, including Cisco, eGain, Kipsu, Lithium, and Quiq, that businesses can integrate with to handle routing of inbound communications and so forth.
Apple Business Chat also powered the official concierge service for Cannes Lions in June, with LivePerson.
Apple Business Chat launched in iOS 11.3 in March, enabling iPhone and iPad users to ask for information, schedule appointments, make purchases, and complete other customer service tasks directly in the Messages app.
Other companies using Business Chat include Apple itself, Discover, Hilton, The Home Depot, Lowe's, Marriott, Newegg, T-Mobile, Ameritrade, Wells Fargo, and 1-800-Flowers. Apple says it has seen "strong interest" in the service.
Business Chats must be initiated on an iPhone or iPad, but they can be continued on any other iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch signed into the same Apple ID. You can start a conversation by searching for a business in Maps, Safari, Siri, or Search and tapping on the Messages bubble where available.
Samsung has expanded upon its "Ingenius" ad campaign with three new videos titled Dongle, Fast Charger, and Camera.
In each of the videos, Samsung depicts an Apple Store employee having a conversation with a customer, attempting to justify the iPhone compared to the Galaxy S9, as it relates to the camera, dongles, and more.
In the first ad, a customer asks if he can use his wired headphones with the iPhone X, and the Genius informs him that he will need a dongle. The customer then inquires about charging at the same time, and the Genius says he'll need another dongle. The customer then says, "so, a double dongle."
For what it's worth, rumors suggest Apple will include a faster 18W charger in the box with its upcoming 2018 iPhones.
In the second ad, which has the same format, a customer asks if the iPhone X comes with a fast charger, like the Galaxy S9 does. The employee says no, informing her that she can purchase a Lightning to USB-C cable, along with a USB-C power adapter, for fast charging. The customer has a puzzled reaction.
The ads don't even try to hide the fact that it's supposed to be an Apple Store, and are a clear jab at "Geniuses." Samsung has repeatedlytried to mock Apple and the iPhone, though, so this is par for course for them.
BetterTouchTool is a venerable app that has always brought countless tools to any Mac with a trackpad. Add it to a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, though, and you could become a fan of that little OLED strip. AppleInsider checks it out.
Apple is putting an end to orders through its Photo Print Products service after Sept. 30. If you've been a regular user, here are some alternative digital services for making calendars and photo books.
Earlier this week, the repair experts at iFixit opened up the 2018 MacBook Pro, uncovering Intel's new JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller, introduced earlier this year as part of its "Titan Ridge" family.
MacRumors reached out to Apple for clarification. Here's what we learned:
The new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models support DisplayPort at High-Bit Rate 3 (HBR3), a signal standard of both DisplayPort 1.3 and DisplayPort 1.4. Apple says the dedicated Radeon Pro graphics can drive up to two 5K displays at 60Hz, each over a single stream.
The new 15-inch MacBook Pro theoretically supports DisplayPort 1.4, which Apple confirmed, but at least for now, it still can't drive an 8K display. It could be possible with VESA's lossless Display Stream Compression standard, perhaps, but it's unclear if this can be enabled down the road.
For now, then, the new 13-inch and 15-inch models have the same compatibility with external displays as the previous-generation MacBook Pro: up to two 5K displays or up to four 4K displays on the 15-inch model, and up to one 5K display or up to two 4K displays on the 13-inch model.
This week on the AppleInsider Podcast, Victor and Andrew discuss the new MacBook Pro, keyboards, and Mike joins us to talk about Siri, eGPU and the difficulties with ThunderBolt 3, USB-C, and the trouble with sorting cables that all look the same.
Despite assurances that the iPhone will not be impacted by U.S. import tariffs against Chinese goods, Apple may still be affected, with the Apple Watch listed alongside fitness trackers and other accessories assembled in the country under new proposals.
iCloud Photo Sharing lets you create albums from your images and videos and then share them to invited parties, or create a link that anyone can access. It’s a great way to leverage your existing photo libraries without having to set up sharing on other services.
However, Macworld reader Grace ran into one of the downsides: if you delete a shared album, there’s no way to restore it. MacOS and iOS warn you when you try to delete, noting that the shared album will be deleted from all your linked accounts and all of those with whom you shared photos. But once you confirm, poof! It’s gone.
Since the earliest days of iOS, Apple has kept tight control on its users’ relationship with apps. The very first iPhone, of course, only shipped with a dozen or so preinstalled software programs: you couldn’t add more, you couldn’t delete the ones you had.
Over the years, Apple has loosened those strictures a bit. First you could add new third-party apps. Later, developers were even able to create and sell software that competed with some of those default options. More recently, you’ve even been able to delete some of those built-in apps. (Adios, Stocks!)
But more than a few restrictions have remained nonetheless. Most obviously, the prohibition on installing software from anyplace other than the company’s own App Store. I don’t take particular issue with that; the prevalence of malware and security breaches these days means you can’t be too careful, and Apple’s approach has had proven merit.
The addition of the silicone membrane to the butterfly keyboard in the 2018 MacBook Pro may not be that effective in keeping the mechanism free from debris, after testing shows particles can still bypass the protection and cause issues with typing.
Following the release of the new 2018 MacBook Pro models, iFixit last week tore apart the 13-inch version and discovered the presence of a new silicone membrane underneath the keyboard's butterfly keys that Apple internal documents have since confirmed has been added to prevent dust and other small particulates from causing key failures.
To give us a better look at the new third-generation butterfly keyboard included in the new 2018 machines and how it works, iFixit has done a much deeper dive, exposing the keyboard to debris to test it out.
iFixit exposed the keyboard to a powdered paint additive that glows, allowing the site to track where and how dust accumulates. On the 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard, the dust settled at the edges of the membrane, leaving the butterfly mechanism of the keys protected. The same test was performed on the 2017 MacBook Pro keyboard, demonstrating less protection.
Lo and behold, the dust is safely sequestered at the edges of the membrane, leaving the mechanism fairly sheltered. The holes in the membrane allow the keycap clips to pass through, but are covered by the cap itself, blocking dust ingress. The previous-gen butterfly keys are far less protected, and are almost immediately flooded with our glowing granules.
With a combination of a lot of dust and aggressive typing, the dust did penetrate the membrane-covered key clips, hitting the top of the switch, suggesting that there's still a small potential for failure. iFixit was indeed able to cause the keyboard to fail by adding "a few poorly placed particles" of sand.
While the silicone membrane does not appear to be impenetrable, and there's no way to tell how the barrier will hold up over time as iFixit points out, it's still more protection than offered in earlier versions of the butterfly keyboard.
Following the dust test, iFixit did a more extensive teardown of the new keyboard, tearing it apart layer by layer. After a grueling experience pulling it apart, which explains why Apple has to replace the entire top case when installing a new keyboard, iFixit found that the silicone barrier is a single die-cut and molded sheet.
The keycaps on the keyboard have also been slightly redesigned, measuring in at 1.25mm thickness compared to 1.5mm thickness in the 2017 MacBook Pro, which iFixit suggests is to give the keys room to travel with the addition of the membrane.
The spacebar has been redesigned, with a keycap that easily separates from the butterfly mechanism, a departure from earlier models where the spacebar was more difficult to remove. All of the keys, spacebar included, were easier to remove and harder to ruin, in iFixit's testing.
Apple has not publicly confirmed that the new third-generation butterfly keyboard was introduced to enhance reliability and to cut down on the the key failures that were seen in 2016 and 2017 machines, though the company has informed Apple Authorized Service Providers that this is the case.
Instead, in its 2018 MacBook Pro marketing materials, Apple claims the new silicone barrier was added to introduce a quieter typing experience, an issue that few people seem to have had with the original keyboards.
Apple has changed its plans for its first Global Flagship store in Melbourne, Australia, revising the design of its Federation Square retail outlet from the pagoda-inspired structure to a much simpler design, following criticism from the public.
Apple today submitted revised blueprints for its planned Federation Square retail store location in Melbourne, Australia, according to the Federation Square website.
Apple first announced the new flagship store in December, set to be built at Federation Square, a shopping center, public square, and mixed-used space in the heart of Melbourne.
The new Federation Square design
The construction of the new store calls for the demolition of the well-known Yarra building, which has infuriated Melbourne residents and led to major protests suggesting the public space should not be given over to a corporation.
Melbourne's City Council in February backed a motion to lobby for a new store design due to both the backlash and the dissatisfaction with Apple's planned store design, which has been described as a "Pizza Hut pagoda."
Another angle of the new store design
The new design plan, created following a series of design workshops that included Federation Square Management, the Victorian Government, the Melbourne City Council, and Apple, features a building with a simpler, more streamlined look that better fits in with the Federation Square aesthetic.
The original Federation Square design proposed by Apple
The pagoda-style roof has been abandoned in favor of a flatter design that will house solar panels. The design offers 500 square meters of new public space, more outdoor shading, a better connection to the Yarra river, and plans for cultural events.
Apple's revamped design is part of a "broader reimagining" of Federation Square, which includes the new Digital Facade on the Transport Building and the new Melbourne Metro Train Station entrance.
According to Federation Square CEO Jonathan Tribe, the new store design is "consistent with Federations Square's Civic and Cultural Charter, which recognises Melbourne's pre-eminence as a centre for creativity and innovation." The Federation Square leadership expects the Apple Store to boost visitor numbers, bringing an additional two million people to Federation Square each year.
Current plans continue to call for the destruction of the Yarra building, so it's not clear if Melbourne residents will be satisfied with Apple's planned changes. At the very least, the new design is less intrusive, which could win acceptance from protestors.
In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors from multiple reliable sources, Apple has confirmed that the third-generation keyboard on 2018 MacBook Pro models is equipped with a "membrane" to "prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism."
Image Credit: iFixit
The relevant excerpt from Canadian and European versions of Apple's internal 2018 MacBook Pro Service Readiness Guide:
Keyboard and Keycaps
The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. The procedure for the space bar replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycap parts begin shipping.
While the U.S. version of this Service Readiness Guide does not mention the membrane, it contains a link to a separate internal document titled "Butterfly Mechanism Keycap Replacement MacBook Pro (2018)" that does:
Caution: The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. Be careful not to tear the membrane. A torn membrane will result in a top case replacement.
Publicly, Apple has only confirmed that 2018 MacBook Pro models feature an "improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing," but many suspected that the silicon membrane was actually to prevent "contaminant ingress," fancy speak for the crumbs from your sandwich that you ate at your desk for lunch.
Following years of anecdotal complaints from customers, and a few class action lawsuits, Apple initiated a worldwide service program last month, offering free repairs of 2015-and-later MacBook and 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro keyboards, which are equipped with low-profile butterfly switch mechanisms.
We've already reported about the service program in more detail, but the gist is that those particular MacBook and MacBook Pro models can experience issues with sticky, unresponsive, or inconsistently functioning keys when small particles like dust or crumbs get stuck underneath the shallower keycaps.
Apple has confirmed that the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is equipped with four full-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports.
2018 models ship with Intel's eighth-generation Core i5 or Core i7 processors, which both support up to 16 PCI Express lanes, providing enough bandwidth for maximum data transfer speeds up to 40Gb/s on all four Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Now, users have the freedom to plug higher-performance peripherals into any Thunderbolt 3 port they desire without compromise.
All three generations of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar have always had four full-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys has only two Thunderbolt 3 ports, both full speed.
Here's a problem that could cause a panic. Macworld reader Cil has been seeing seeing black squares in their photos at random locations and often in different places. It not only appeared on screen, which was bad enough, but when exporting to create a photo book, a black square appeared in one of those.
If you’re not familiar with Kelly’s work, don’t get incensed at the use of “Nasty Surprise.” For him it’s a tic, like the Comic Book Guy calling everything “Worst ever!” or Voldemort using “Avada Kedavra” all the time.
Apple Watch might have started as device wholly dependent on your phone, but it's transformed into one that can function all day on its own. However, just like your iPhone, you won't get the most out of your Apple Watch until you fill it up with apps. Here are 10 of our favorite paid apps you need to have on your Apple Watch.
Apple is finally providing proper podcasts support in watchOS 5, but if you want more than the basics, we recommend giving Outcast a look (and a listen). Designed specifically for Apple Watch (in fact, the companion iPhone app is merely instructions on how to use the Apple Watch app), its simple, elegant interface lets you stream all of your favorite shows with simple controls, excellent search, and playlist support. It's one of the few podcast apps that let you do more than merely stream the episode that's playing on your phone, and even with an official Podcasts app coming from Apple, we think Outcast is worth your buck.
Tom Gruber, who served as head of Siri's Advanced Development group and was one of Siri's original cofounders, has left Apple, reports The Information. His departure from the company was confirmed by an Apple spokesperson, who told The Information that he was retiring to pursue "personal interests in photography and ocean conservation."
Gruber created Siri alongside Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, releasing the original Siri as an app on the iOS App Store in 2010. Apple acquired Siri two months later, and Cheyer, Kittlaus, and Gruber all joined the company at that time.
Kittlaus left Apple in 2011 and Cheyer left in 2012, and the duo teamed up again to create Viv, a new artificial intelligence project that was acquired by Samsung in 2016. Samsung used Viv to create Bixby, its current AI assistant platform.
Gruber stayed on at Apple for several years after the other two Siri co-founders departed, but with his retirement, none of the original Siri creators are left at Apple.
Apple's Siri team is going through a leadership change at the moment with the May hiring of John Giannandrea, former head of Google's search and artificial intelligence unit.
Apple just last week updated its leadership page to add Giannandrea, who is now serving as Apple's chief of machine learning and AI strategy. Giannandrea is leading Apple's AI and machine learning teams, and Apple has combined its Core ML and Siri teams under him.
Prior to Giannandrea's hiring, Siri development was overseen by software engineering chief Craig Federighi, who took over from Eddy Cue in 2017. Apple has been facing increasing criticism over Siri's capabilities compared to other AI-based personal assistants in recent years, with many suggesting Siri has serious shortcomings compared to options from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.
Apple in iOS 12 introduced major improvements to Siri through a new Siri Shortcuts feature that's coming in iOS 12, which is designed to let users create multi-step tasks using both first and third-party apps that can be activated through Siri.
Along with Gruber, Apple's head of search, Vipul Ved Prakash, has also left the company, according to The Information. Prakash joined Apple when his company, Topsy, was acquired in 2013. His search team was also within the Siri group.
The Blackmagic eGPU is equipped with a Radeon Pro 580 GPU, which was first introduced by AMD in June 2017. It features 8GB VRAM, and it is the same graphics card used in the high-end 2017 iMac.
You can connect the Blackmagic eGPU to any Mac that includes support for Thunderbolt 3, which includes the 2016 and later MacBook Pro models and iMac models produced in 2017.
Design wise, the Blackmagic eGPU features a futuristic looking aluminum enclosure that fits well on a desktop. A thermal grille allows for efficient heat dissipation, letting the included fan run lower, so it's as quiet as 18db.
It includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports, 4 USB 3.1 ports for connecting accessories, an HDMI port, and 85W of power delivery, so it can also power a MacBook Pro when connected. It is the first eGPU that offers support for the LG UltraFine 5K display.
Unfortunately, the Blackmagic eGPU is not upgradeable, so you're not going to be able to swap out the included graphics card for an upgraded version in the future, which is one of the major downsides to the accessory.
Compared to the graphics cards available in the 2016 and later MacBook Pro models, the Blackmagic eGPU offers much faster performance for tasks like gaming, VR experiences, and graphics-intensive creative work like video editing, 3D graphics work, and more.
In Apple's testing, the Blackmagic eGPU was twice as fast at many tasks as the GPU in the 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro, and 6 to 7 times faster than the built-in GPU in the 13-inch 2018 MacBook Pro. In our own testing with a 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2016, the Blackmagic eGPU offered impressive speeds in OpenCL and Metal tests.
The Blackmagic eGPU is available exclusively from Apple for $699. There appears to be a bit of a backlog, and orders placed today won't deliver until August 9 at the earliest.
What do you think of the Blackmagic eGPU? Do you plan on buying one? Let us know in the comments.
Updated 07/18/18:Apple has released the fourth beta to the public, a day after it was released to developers.
Apple both sets trends and chases them, and iOS 12, unveiled Monday at the WWDC keynote, is no exception. With this release, Apple is focusing on performance improvements and enhancements, even for older devices. The company is also making important changes to augmented reality that will enable new experiences; improving Siri, FaceTime, and the Photos app to catch up to the competition; and adding new features like personalized Memoji and weekly reports about how you’re using your device.
iOS 12 will be a free update for all users this fall, and it’s supported by every device that runs iOS 11, all the way back to the iPhone 5s released in 2013. Here’s a rundown of the biggest improvements in iOS 12.
Corning this morning unveiled its next-generation Gorilla Glass product, Gorilla Glass 6, which it says offers "unprecedented protection against multiple drops" and better protection against drops from higher heights.
According to Corning, Gorilla Glass 6 is its most durable cover glass to date, made of a new material that's been engineered to stand up to more than one drop. The average person drops their smartphone seven times a year, making multi-drop durability a key feature Corning wanted to improve.
Devices using Gorilla Glass 6 were able to withstand 15 drops from one meter onto rough surfaces, which is up to two times better than Gorilla Glass 5, which Corning has been offering to its partners since 2016. Competitive glass compositions like soda lime and aluminosilicate, did not survive the first drop, says Corning.
"Gorilla Glass 6 is an entirely new glass composition that can be chemically strengthened to give it significantly higher levels of compression than is possible with Gorilla Glass 5. This enables Gorilla Glass 6 to be more resistant to damage," said Dr. Jaymin Amin, vice president of technology and product development, Corning Gorilla Glass and Corning Specialty Materials. "Moreover, with breaks during drops being a probabilistic event, the added compression helps increase, on average, the likelihood of survival through multiple drop events."
The higher durability of Corning's new Gorilla Glass product was engineered with all-glass smartphone designs in mind, like the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, offering optical clarity, touch sensitivity, scratch resistance, efficient wireless charging, and enhanced durability.
Gorilla Glass 6 is likely to make its way into future iPhones, and could even perhaps be included in the 2018 iPhone lineup, depending on when Corning provided details on the new product to Apple.
Corning has been a longtime Apple supplier, with Gorilla Glass used in devices across Apple's product lineup. In May of 2017, Corning even became the first benefactor of Apple's Advanced Manufacturing Fund, receiving $200 million for research and development and new glass processing equipment.
Corning says its Gorilla Glass 6 is being evaluated "by multiple customers" and the first smartphones and devices using Gorilla Glass 6 are expected to reach the market in the next several months.
Apple today seeded the third public beta of iOS 12 to public beta testers, giving non-developers a chance to test the software ahead of its upcoming fall release. The third iOS 12 public beta, which comes two weeks after the second public beta, corresponds to the fourth developer beta released yesterday.
Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 12 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on an iOS device.
Those who want to join the beta testing program can sign up on Apple's beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. Before installing a beta, make sure to create a full encrypted iTunes backup or an iCloud backup and be sure to install iOS 12 on a secondary device because beta software is not always stable and can include bugs.
The new iOS 12 beta in particular introduces new issues with Screen Time, the App Store, and Siri Shortcuts, according to Apple's release notes for the developer beta. Apps in the App Store might fail to download properly the first time, Screen Time data might not sync between devices, and Siri Shortcuts might not work properly on CarPlay and HomePod, as well as if a device is locked. The cellular status bar on the iPhone X can also be inaccurate.
iOS 12 brings Group FaceTime, local multiplayer shared AR experiences, new Animoji, and a Memoji feature that's designed to let you create a personalized Animoji that looks just like you.
Animoji, stickers, text, and more can be used in FaceTime and the Messages app, and there's a new Screen Time feature to help customers understand and manage the amount of time they're spending on their iOS devices. There are options to limit app time and Screen Time also includes comprehensive parental control tools.
New Do Not Disturb features make it easier to manage notifications, as do interactive notification options and notification grouping.
Siri has been improved in iOS 12 with Siri Shortcuts for creating time-saving automations, and Siri is also smarter and able to provide info on motorsports, food, and celebrities. Later in the year, Apple will launch a Shortcuts app so you can create your own shortcuts.
Under-the-hood improvements to iOS 12 will make everyday tasks on the iPhone and iPad faster and more responsive, with the camera launching up to 70 percent faster and the keyboard showing up to 50 percent faster.
iOS 12 also includes a rebuilt Maps app with a new Apple-designed Maps engine that's available in the San Francisco Bay Area at the current time. While limited to the San Francisco area at this time, the features will roll out to Northern California in the fall before expanding to additional locations across the United States in late 2018 and 2019.
The revamped Maps app displays foliage, pools, buildings, pedestrian pathways, and other map elements more accurately, and it brings improvements to traffic, real-time road conditions, construction, and more.
iOS 12 will be available to developers and public beta testers as a beta for the next two months to allow Apple to work out bugs and other issues ahead of a fall launch alongside new iPhones.
Update: In the third public beta (and fourth developer beta) the new Apple Maps app is now available for all of Northern California.
Rumors suggest Apple will bundle a faster 18-watt USB-C power adapter with its 2018 iPhones, but it might not be sold separately for a while.
Japanese blog Mac Otakara reports that Apple's suppliers are likely only able to manufacture enough chargers for inclusion with 2018 iPhones, suggesting that Apple may hold off on selling them as a standalone accessory until some point after the smartphones launch, although exactly when remains to be seen.
Earlier this month, photos of an alleged prototype of the new power adapter surfaced, revealing its slightly bulkier, rounder shaped plastic casing compared to the current 5W power adapter. The design in the photos is mostly consistent with CAD drawings and renders of the adapter that surfaced earlier this year.
The charger would connect to iPhones with a USB-C to Lightning cable, also expected to be included in the box. At 18W, it would be able to charge compatible iPhones at least twice as fast as the 5W adapter.
MacRumors tested the iPhone X with various third-party 18W wired chargers last year, for example, and found that the device reached a 79 percent charge after one hour. With a 5W charger, the iPhone X only reached a 39 percent charge in that time. We explained our methodology in detail in that article.
Apple sells its 5W power adapter, which has a USB-A port, for $19 as a standalone product in the United States. Discuss this article in our forums
Following in the footsteps of the latest iPhone and iPad Pro models, the new MacBook Pro features True Tone technology.
True Tone automatically adjusts the white balance of the MacBook Pro display to match the color temperature of the light around you, which, as Apple says, provides a more natural viewing experience. The feature is similar to Night Shift, but more dynamic, continuously adapting to the surrounding environment.
If you are standing in a dimly lit room with incandescent light bulbs, for example, the display would appear warmer and yellower. If you are standing outside on a cloudy day, the display would appear cooler and bluer.
True Tone on iPad Pro
We've received many questions about how True Tone is enabled on the new MacBook Pro, and we've sought out some answers from Apple.
Apple says the new MacBook Pro has a multi-channel ambient light sensor, next to the FaceTime HD camera, that can assess brightness as well as color temperature, adding that the display should be open to enable that functionality. Apple added that True Tone does not use the FaceTime HD camera for its operation.
Apple says the ambient light sensor in previous-generation MacBook Pro models can only assess brightness, suggesting that True Tone is not a feature that can be enabled on older machines through a future software update.
True Tone can help reduce eye strain, so it's a feature worth considering if you purchase the new MacBook Pro. It can be enabled or disabled in System Preferences under Displays, alongside options for Night Shift and auto-brightness.
True Tone can also be enabled on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the 2017 model 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Update: As we suspected, True Tone does not work on external displays when the connected MacBook Pro is in clamshell mode.
A few months ago, in an internal document obtained by MacRumors, Apple indicated the Mid 2012 model 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display would be classified as vintage or obsolete as of June 30, 2018, marking the notebook's end of hardware service eligibility at Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers.
In a notice distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, however, Apple says it "incorrectly classified" the notebook as vintage or obsolete on June 30, and revised the date to December 31, 2018.
The full-length internal document, obtained from multiple sources:
In a Service News article published in May 2018, the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) was incorrectly classified as vintage in the state of California (U.S.) and country of Turkey and obsolete worldwide (except for California and Turkey) on June 30, 2018.
Please note that the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) will not become vintage in California (U.S.) and Turkey and obsolete in all other countries until the end of December 2018.
Apple apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Apple considers a product to be vintage or obsolete, depending on the region, when at least five years have passed since the product was last manufactured. When this happens, Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers stop offering hardware service, like repairs, except in California and Turkey by law.
All in all, if you're still using this particular MacBook Pro, it turns out you still have a little under six months of hardware support remaining from the Genius Bar and certified repair shops. So, if you've been looking to get that battery replaced, or otherwise, it would be best to do so sooner rather than later.
Beyond that date, you're on your own. Fortunately, the repair experts at iFixit offer many do-it-yourself guides and replacement parts.
Since its introduction in 2016, the MacBook Pro as we know it today has produced mixed reactions from its users. People love the combination of size, weight, and performance. But there are legitimate issues that make people hesitate or even regret buying a MacBook Pro: keyboard problems, the need to find ways to work with its Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, a low RAM ceiling.
With the 2018 MacBook Pro, Apple has addressed some of those issues. And if you’re lamenting that I didn’t say all of those issues, well, there are some things that, in an effort to move towards a particular technological ideal, Apple won’t change. But as a whole, the 2018 MacBook Pro is a better laptop than its 2017 predecessor, and a vast improvement over the 2016 model.
Samsung's back to a familiar advertising tactic in its latest Galaxy S9 video - making fun of Apple. The new "Ingenius: Speed" ad shared this afternoon by Samsung pokes fun at the Genius Bar while touting Samsung's faster download speeds.
In the video, a customer at the "Ingenius" bar that resembles an Apple Store asks about the iPhone X's download speeds compared to the Galaxy S9's speeds, leaving the Apple retail employee unable to respond.
Customer: So the iPhone X doesn't have the fastest download speeds.
Genius: It is faster than the iPhone 8.
Customer: But the download speeds aren't faster than the Galaxy S9. I thought it was the "smartphone of the future."
Samsung's new video, and its Galaxy S9 website, are touting its LTE performance scores on Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence Data from February to April 2018. Ookla, for those unfamiliar, uses real-world user-submitted speed test results and aggregates LTE speeds from a variety of devices.
In Ookla's spring speed tests, the Galaxy S9, which is equipped with Qualcomm's X20 LTE chip, was 37 percent faster than the iPhone X and 43 percent faster than the iPhone 8, on average.
The iPhone X is equipped with either Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 or Intel's XMM7480 LTE chip, depending on model, which does indeed have lower theoretical maximum download speeds than the X20. While the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are faster than the current iPhones when it comes to download speeds, rumors suggest Apple is making improvements with its 2018 iPhone lineup.
Apple is planning to introduce improved antenna technology for faster connection speeds, along with dual-SIM dual standby functionality. Apple's new iPhones may use Intel's XMM 7560 and Qualcomm's X20 chips, both of which are faster than the LTE chips in the current iPhone X.
Apple's new 15-inch MacBook Pro can be upgraded to include a 6-core 2.9GHz Intel Core i9 processor that has demonstrated impressive performance, but one YouTuber is warning customers away from purchasing it with claims that the MacBook Pro chassis can't provide sufficient cooling for it to run at full speed.
Dave Lee this afternoon shared a new video on the Core i9 MacBook Pro he purchased, and according to his testing, the new machine is unable to maintain even its base clock speed after just a short time doing processor intensive work like video editing.
"This CPU is an unlocked, overclockable chip but all of that CPU potential is wasted inside this chassis -- or more so the thermal solution that's inside here," says Lee.
He goes on to share some Premiere Pro render times that suggest the new 2018 MacBook Pro with Core i9 chip underperforms compared to a 2017 model with a Core i7 chip. It took 39 minutes for the 2018 MacBook Pro to render a video that the older model was able to render in 35 minutes. Premiere Pro is not well-optimized for macOS, but the difference between the two MacBook Pro models is notable.
Lee ran the same test again with the 2018 MacBook Pro in the freezer, and in cooler temperatures, the i9 chip was able to offer outstanding performance, cutting that render time down to 27 minutes and beating out the 2017 MacBook Pro.
As Lee points out, thermal throttling is in no way unusual and it's seen in all manner of laptops and mobile devices from a range of manufacturers, but he says that "this degree" of thermal throttling is "unacceptable."
This kind of thermal throttling really affects the end user. It doesn't matter what you're using it for, like if you're a Final Cut user, or an Adobe Premiere user, or if you're using it for software development or calculations like fluid dynamics -- it doesn't matter what you're doing with your device. If you have any kind of extended computational work that uses the CPU -- that's probably why you're looking at these devices in the first place -- it's going to throttle. And that's unacceptable to me.
It's not clear if there's something wrong with the MacBook Pro with Core i9 chip that Lee received, because this kind of throttling is likely something Apple would have tested for and not something that other users have reported at this point.
Because this is just one data point, it's not enough information to reach a conclusion about the i9 chip available for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, but additional testing will certainly follow to shed more light on Lee's video. We have asked Apple for comment on Lee's findings, and will update this post if we hear back.
Update: Other reports of excessive i9 throttling have been trickling in from Reddit users who have purchased 15-inch MacBook Pros with the high-end chip. These threads are available here and here.
Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave update to its public beta testing group, a week and a half after seeding the second macOS Mojave public beta. Today's third public beta is the same as the fourth developer beta released yesterday, and makes macOS Mojave available for 2018 MacBook Pro models.
Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the macOS Mojave beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. Subsequent betas are installed in a different way, using the Software Update icon in System Preferences.
Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.
Potential beta testers should make a full Time Machine backup before installing macOS Mojave, and it should not be installed on a primary machine because betas are unstable and often have bugs.
macOS Mojave's main new feature is a systemwide Dark Mode, which gives Mac users a new way to view the operating system. A revamped Mac App Store makes it easier than ever to discover great apps, while Dynamic Desktops give you wallpapers that subtly change throughout the day.
An improved Finder window with Gallery View, Sidebar, Quick Look, and Quick Actions makes it easier to manipulate, edit, and organize your files, while Desktop Stacks organizes all of the files on your desktop.
The Apple News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos apps have made their way to the Mac in Mojave, and for the first time, you can use Siri on Mac to control HomeKit products. Group FaceTime, an iOS 12 feature, is also available in Mojave and lets you chat with up to 32 people at one time.
Apple is keeping your data safer than ever with new security and privacy improvements, and Safari in macOS Mojave makes it much harder to track you through share/like buttons and via your system configuration.
macOS Mojave is compatible with 2015 and newer MacBooks, 2012 and newer MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac models, the 2017 iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models from late 2013 and mid-2010 and mid-2012 models with Metal-capable GPUs.
Mojave will be available in a beta capacity for the next several months so Apple can work out bugs ahead of a fall release.
Maximum clock speeds for the new Amber Lake chips suggest significant improvement in processor speeds over the 7th-generation Kaby Lake processors. For comparison's sake, Turbo Boost topped out at 3.0GHz on the 1.2GHz entry-level processor, 3.2GHz on the mid-level 1.3GHz processor, and 3.6GHz on the 1.4GHz high-end chip option in the previous-generation machines.
All of the chips use Intel's UHD 620 integrated graphics and are expected to be released in the third quarter of 2018, with the timing perfect for a fall refresh of the 12-inch MacBook.
Dell's upcoming and as-of-yet-unannounced XPS 13 2-in-1 machine confirms the existence of the Core i5-8200Y and Core i7-8500Y processors, both of which are listed as processor options for the new device.
Intel first announced its upcoming Amber Lake chips at Computex, but thus far has not provided official info on the upcoming processors.
Rumors have not indicated when updates to the 12-inch MacBook will be available, but Apple could introduce refreshed machines alongside new iPhones in September, hold an event in October, or release them on a random date as it did with the recent MacBook Pro.
The recent launch of the MacBook Pro also hints at one new feature we could potentially be seeing in new 12-inch MacBook models aside from processor upgrades -- a third-generation butterfly keyboard.
2015 and later 12-inch MacBook models have suffered from the same issues with keyboard failures, so it would make sense for Apple to include an updated keyboard in those machines as well, if, as speculated, the "quieter" third-generation MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard's new silicone coverings do indeed prevent dust from infiltrating the keys.