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Apple Releases iOS 13.5: Must-Have Release With Possible Life-Saving Upgrades

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What’s in the update?

Face ID Update – the first potential life-saver

Many of us are wearing face masks at the moment and many more, probably, are going to do so. So, the brilliant Face ID facial recognition system is suddenly less effective (it’s not mask-recognition, after all). When the iPhone doesn’t recognize the face it sees, after a while it shows the passcode entry screen so you can tap in your passcode. The new update is designed so that “after a while” is replaced with “automatically and quickly”. 

I’ve seen people pulling down their face mask in crowded situations to get Face ID to work, which rather defeats the point of a mask at all. 

Apple has stressed that the new system does not make Face ID in any way less secure than before. The only difference is that the passcode option appears much quicker. Read about how to use this update in my colleague Kate O’Flaherty’s excellent how-to guide. 

MORE FROM FORBESNew Apple Watch Patent Reveals Super-Cool Future UpgradeBy David Phelan  

Apple Google COVID-19 API, which could also save lives

As you’ll know, Apple and Google have been working together in an unprecedented way to create a COVID-19 exposure notification system which will work on both Android and Apple phones. Both companies are updating their respective operating systems today to make it possible for apps to appear. 

In the last few minutes, Apple and Google released a joint comment:

“One of the most effective techniques that public health officials have used during outbreaks is called contact tracing. Through this approach, public health officials contact, test, treat and advise people who may have been exposed to an affected person. One new element of contact tracing is Exposure Notifications: using privacy-preserving digital technology to tell someone they may have been exposed to the virus. Exposure Notification has the specific goal of rapid notification, which is especially important to slowing the spread of the disease with a virus that can be spread asymptomatically.  

To help, Apple and Google cooperated to build Exposure Notifications technology that will enable apps created by public health agencies to work more accurately, reliably and effectively across both Android phones and iPhones. Over the last several weeks, our two companies have worked together, reaching out to public health officials scientists, privacy groups and government leaders all over the world to get their input and guidance. 

Starting today, our Exposure Notifications technology is available to public health agencies on both iOS and Android. What we’ve built is not an app — rather public health agencies will incorporate the API into their own apps that people install. Our technology is designed to make these apps work better. Each user gets to decide whether or not to opt-in to Exposure Notifications; the system does not collect or use location from the device; and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not to report that in the public health app. User adoption is key to success and we believe that these strong privacy protections are also the best way to encourage use of these apps. 

Today, this technology is in the hands of public health agencies across the world who will take the lead and we will continue to support their efforts.”

One thing that has changed since earlier beta versions of iOS 13.5 is that the API has been updated to make the exposure keys the phones generate randomly to increase privacy. Additionally, all metadata associated with Bluetooth traffic has been encrypted to increase privacy.

This update to iOS was essential if any public health authority is going to be able to deploy an app for COVID-19 tracing. 

Group FaceTime

A new option in the iOS and iPadOS (and indeed macOS0 versions of the group video call app allow users a way to control automatic prominence on Group FaceTime calls so video tiles do not suddenly change size when a participant speaks. When activated, the tiles still appear in the same asymmetric fashion and a user will simply tap on an individual tile to make it larger. 

This may not sound like that big of a change but in fact it will be helpful for users who are sensitive to motion and for anyone who wants to have more control what Group FaceTime is like.

Here’s the full changelog as supplied by Apple. 

iOS 13.5 speeds up access to the passcode field on devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask and introduces the Exposure Notification API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities. This update also introduces an option to control automatic prominence of video tiles on Group FaceTime calls and includes bug fixes and other improvements.

Face ID and Passcode

  • Simplified unlock process for devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask
  • Passcode field automatically presented after swiping up from the bottom of the Lock screen when you are wearing a face mask
  • Also works when authenticating with the App Store, Apple Books, Apple Pay, iTunes and other apps that support signing in with Face ID

Exposure Notification

  • Exposure Notification API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities

FaceTime

  • Option to control automatic prominence on Group FaceTime calls so video tiles do not change size when a participant speaks

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements.

  • Fixes an issue where users may see a black screen when trying to play streaming video from some websites
  • Addresses an issue in the share sheet where suggestions and actions may not load

Some features may not be available in all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

 

Apple updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard, double the storage, and faster performance

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Cupertino, California — Apple today updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the new Magic Keyboard for the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook and doubled the storage across all standard configurations, delivering even more value to the most popular MacBook Pro. The new lineup also offers 10th-generation processors for up to 80 percent faster graphics performance1 and makes 16GB of faster 3733MHz memory standard on select configurations. With powerful quad-core processors, the brilliant 13-inch Retina display, Touch Bar and Touch ID, immersive stereo speakers, all-day battery life, and the power of macOS, all in an incredibly portable design, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is available to order today, starting at $1,299, and $1,199 for education.2

“Whether you’re a college student, a developer, or a creative pro, the 13-inch MacBook Pro delivers powerful performance, a stunning Retina display, and all-day battery life in our most portable pro notebook. Today we’re adding the new Magic Keyboard, doubling the standard storage, and boosting performance, making the 13-inch MacBook Pro an even better value for our customers,” said Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing. “With these updates, our entire notebook lineup features the Magic Keyboard for the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook, offers twice the standard storage than before, and delivers even more performance.”The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro now features the new Magic Keyboard, first introduced on the 16-inch MacBook Pro and added to MacBook Air in March. Magic Keyboard features a redesigned scissor mechanism with 1mm of key travel for a comfortable and stable key feel, while the new inverted-“T” arrangement for the arrow keys makes them easier to find, whether users are navigating through spreadsheets or playing games. Magic Keyboard also features a physical Escape key, along with Touch Bar and Touch ID, for a keyboard that delivers the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook.

Customers love the superfast SSDs on MacBook Pro, with sequential read speeds of up to 3.0GB/s. The 13-inch MacBook Pro now comes with double the storage of the previous generation, with standard storage starting at 256GB all the way up to 1TB, so customers can store even more photos, videos, and files. And for pro users who need even more storage capacity for large photo libraries and video projects, the 13-inch MacBook Pro now offers up to a 4TB SSD.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro lineup now offers up to 10th-generation quad-core Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.1GHz. Customers who are upgrading from a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a dual-core processor will see up to 2.8 times faster performance. The integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics deliver up to 80 percent faster performance over the previous generation 13-inch MacBook Pro for 4K video editing, faster rendering, and smoother gameplay. The new graphics also enable users to connect to Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution.

16GB of faster 3733MHz memory is now offered as a standard configuration on select models, and for the first time on a 13-inch Mac notebook, customers can choose a 32GB memory option. With 32GB of memory, users will experience better performance while running multiple virtual machines and up to 50 percent faster performance when editing gigapixel images in Photoshop.

Read more here:

CleanMyMac X makes Mac App Store debut to assist with macOS maintenance, remove malware, and more

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There’s a lot to like about the Mac App Store for consumers and developers, but there’s also a lot to dislike as well. Due to sandboxing rules and limited options for upgrade pricing, some popular applications are still not available for purchase. Over time, Apple has been working to tweak the rules to allow popular apps to enter the App Store, though. In early 2019, we saw Microsoft Office come to the App Store with the option to purchase a subscription using in-app purchase. It’s clear Apple hasn’t given up on the Mac App Store, and today, another popular app is making its first appearance. MacPaw’s CleanMyMac X, one of the best macOS maintenance applications, is finally on the Mac App Store.

 

Before 2018, CleanMyMac was used on a “perpetual” license model and released major versions that existing customers could purchase at a discount — a model that wasn’t possible on the Mac App Store. In 2018, with the release of CleanMyMac X, MacPaw made it available as a one-year subscription in addition to its existing perpetual license. The new subscription model could also be implemented in the Mac App Store, which made it possible for MacPaw to bring CleanMyMac X to the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store version of CleanMyMac X has most of the features of the version available on direct purchase version with a few exceptions:

Multiple other modules have been revised to fit within App Store guidelines.

If you want those features, you’ll want to purchase the app directly or download as a part of a SetApp subscription.

‘Millions of users around the world already love CleanMyMac X for its functionality, ease of use, and exceptional design,’ said Oleksandr Kosovan, CEO, and founder of MacPaw. ‘By entering the Mac App Store, we are excited to make CleanMyMac X available to even more users through their favorite source of trusted and reliable software.’

Key features of CleanMyMac X’s Mac App Store version:

  • Smart Scan: All-in-one center for Mac analysis. It includes Cleanup, Protection, and Large & Old Files scanners that, with a single-click, help to remove junk, unnecessary files and malware.
  • Malware Removal: Checks the system for vulnerabilities and removes malware, adware, and other macOS-specific threats.
  • Uninstaller: Allows for bulk-deleting applications completely along with all traces of them. More information on the module can be found here.
  • Space Lens: Visualizes disk space and identifies files taking up a lot of disk storage.
  • CleanMyMac Assistant: An intelligent adviser that uses machine learning algorithms to provide personalized tips and suggestions for further optimization steps and reminds about regular cleanups.
  • Health Monitor: Real-time data on CPU, battery, network speed, etc.
  • Leading-edge design: An award-winning interface with flow-like animations.

I’ve been using CleanMyMac X since the original release to uninstall applications, free up hard drive space, and run maintenance tools. It can be purchased on the Mac App Store for a yearly subscription for $39.95.

2020 iPhone SE availability already slips to next month

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Apple began taking pre-orders for the second-generation iPhone SE on Friday, and in the U.S. already ran out out of its stock for release on launch day.

Orders placed placed earlier today will arrive on April 24. But the official Apple Store website indicates that orders for the new $399 iPhone placed now won’t arrive until May.

iPhone SE: A powerful new smartphone in a popular design

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Cupertino, California — Apple today announced the second-generation iPhone SE, a powerful new iPhone featuring a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, paired with Touch ID for industry-leading security. iPhone SE comes in a compact design, reinvented from the inside out, and is the most affordable iPhone. The new iPhone SE is powered by the Apple-designed A13 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone, to handle the most demanding tasks. iPhone SE also features the best single-camera system ever in an iPhone, which unlocks the benefits of computational photography including Portrait mode, and is designed to withstand the elements with dust and water resistance.
iPhone SE comes in three beautiful colors — black, white and (PRODUCT)RED — and will be available for pre-order beginning Friday, April 17, starting at just $399 (US).
“The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price; the new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it in every way — including our best-ever single-camera system for great photos and videos — while still being very affordable,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPhone SE features the industry-leading performance of A13 Bionic that enables great battery life, takes stunning Portrait mode and Smart HDR photos, shoots amazing videos with stereo audio, is great for games and super fast web surfing, and is built with the same industry-leading security features our customers expect. We can’t wait to get iPhone SE into customers’ hands.”

 

Popular Design with a 4.7-inch Display

iPhone SE features an aerospace-grade aluminum and durable glass design with an all-black front, and is available in black, white and (PRODUCT)RED. The rear glass finish includes a centered Apple logo and is made using a seven-layer color process for precise hue and opacity, delivering rich depth of color with a color-matched aluminum band. It is water- and dust-resistant with an IP67 rating for water resistance up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.1
The 4.7-inch Retina HD display with True Tone adjusts the white balance to match the ambient light for a more natural, paper-like viewing experience. The vibrant wide color gamut Retina HD display offers incredible color accuracy, and supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 playback. iPhone SE uses Haptic Touch for Quick Actions — such as animating Live Photos, previewing messages, rearranging apps and more — as well as contextual menus.
iPhone SE also features the familiar Home button designed with sapphire crystal to be durable and to protect the sensor, and a steel ring to detect a user’s fingerprint for Touch ID. Using Touch ID is an easy, private and secure alternative to entering a passcode to unlock iPhone, fill in passwords using iCloud Keychain, log in to apps, authorize App Store purchases, and make Apple Pay transactions.

A13 Bionic — The Fastest Chip in a Smartphone

Introduced with iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, A13 Bionic is the fastest chip ever in a smartphone and provides unparalleled performance for every task iPhone SE handles. Perfect for photography, gaming and augmented reality experiences, A13 Bionic makes every action feel fluid.
A13 Bionic was built with a focus on machine learning, with a dedicated 8-core Neural Engine capable of 5 trillion operations per second, two Machine Learning Accelerators on the CPU and a new Machine Learning Controller to balance performance and efficiency. Together, A13 Bionic and iOS 13 enable new intelligent apps that make use of machine learning and Core ML.
Built for efficiency, the A13 Bionic also enables great battery life for iPhone SE. iPhone SE is wireless-charging capable with Qi-certified chargers and also supports fast-charging, giving customers up to 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes.2Lightning-fast download speeds are available with Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit-class LTE.3Dual SIM with eSIM provides the flexibility for users to have two separate phone numbers on a single device while traveling abroad or for use as a business line.4

New Camera Experience Powered by A13 Bionic

iPhone SE features the best single-camera system ever in an iPhone with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture Wide camera, and uses the image signal processor and Neural Engine of A13 Bionic to unlock even more benefits of computational photography, including Portrait mode, all six Portrait Lighting effects and Depth Control.5 Using machine learning and monocular depth estimation, iPhone SE also takes stunning Portraits with the front camera. Next-generation Smart HDR comes to iPhone SE, intelligently re-lighting recognized subjects in a frame for more natural-looking images with stunning highlight and shadow details.
Videos are even more immersive with stereo audio recording and cinematic video stabilization on the front and rear cameras. The rear camera supports high-quality video capture at 4K up to 60fps, and extended dynamic range comes to iPhone SE for more highlight details up to 30fps. Customers can also take advantage of QuickTake video on the front and rear cameras, allowing video recording without switching out of Photo mode.
With advanced Camera and Photo features in iOS 13, native editing is even more comprehensive and intuitive through powerful tools that were once available only for photo editing.

Everything Apple has to Offer

iPhone SE gives customers access to Apple’s robust ecosystem of products, services and accessories. Users can take advantage of the almost 2 million apps on the App Store, including the best third-party apps and AR experiences, stay up to date on current events with Apple News, enjoy original series, movies and documentaries from the world’s greatest storytellers with Apple TV+, stream over 60 million songs from their favorite artists on Apple Music, make secure and private purchases with Apple Pay, and store photos, files and contacts on iCloud with the ability to access content on all of a customer’s Apple devices. With a Lightning connector, iPhone SE is also compatible with more than 25,000 Lightning accessories, including camera accessories, audio and speakers, docks, CarPlay and more.
iPhone SE is built with the same industry-leading security features that customers expect from Apple — protecting privacy and giving customers control of their information. For example, Touch ID and the Secure Enclave protect fingerprint data, Intelligent Tracking Prevention on Safari helps stop advertisers that follow users from site to site, Photos uses machine learning to organize photos on device and more.
iPhone SE with iOS 13 delivers a seamless experience with software and hardware integration unlike any other smartphone. iOS 13 features a dramatic look with Dark Mode, a more private way to sign in to apps and websites with Sign In with Apple, and an all-new Maps experience that delivers faster and more accurate navigation and beautiful street-level imagery with Look Around.
Pricing and Availability
  • iPhone SE will be available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models in black, white and (PRODUCT)RED starting at $399 (US). Customers can also get iPhone SE for $9.54 a month or $229 with trade-in from apple.com, in the Apple Store app and Apple Stores.6 iPhone SE is available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary).
  • iPhone SE is available to pre-order on apple.com and the Apple Store app beginning at 5 a.m. PDT on Friday, April 17, and will be available from Apple, Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers on Friday, April 24, in the US and more than 40 other countries and regions.
  • Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms including online (tv.apple.com), for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. Customers who purchase iPhone SE can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free.
  • Customers with questions about iPhone SE or which iPhone is right for them can contact a Specialist at 1-800-MY-APPLE or start a chat in Messages directly from the Apple Store app.
  • Anyone who purchases online from Apple will receive free no-contact home delivery and the option to trade in their current iPhone for credit toward the purchase of iPhone SE.8
  • Customers get 3 percent Daily Cash when they buy iPhone SE from Apple with Apple Card.
  • Customers can extend their limited warranty with AppleCare+ and AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss, and get 24/7 priority access to technical support.
  • A portion of proceeds for iPhone SE (PRODUCT)RED purchases will go directly to Global Fund’s newly established COVID-19 Response — providing funding to countries in need of PPE, diagnostics treatment, lab equipment, public safety communications, supply chain support and more — as well as HIV/AIDS grants that provide testing, counseling, treatment and prevention programs with a specific focus on eliminating transmission of the virus from mothers to their babies.



Apple plots 2020 roadmap with rumored 'flat' iPhone 12, smaller HomePod, new Macs

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As the world reels from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Apple is still moving ahead with an ambitious 2020 roadmap, even if we don’t get any in-person events to show them off. Among the new devices on the way, according to a report by Mark Gurman and Debby Wu of Bloomberg, are four new iPhones (not counting the upcoming iPhone SE), a HomePod mini, and Bluetooth Apple Tags trackers, along with MacBook Pro, Apple TV, iPads, and iMacs.

The next iPhone, which will presumably be called the iPhone 12, is shaping up to be a massive leap forward from the iPhone 11. According to Bloomberg, the handset will by “borrowing cues from the latest iPads as part of a major fall refresh that will see 5G added to as many as four new handset models.” That means a new lower-end model will be joining the line-up for the first time. Previous rumors have suggested that the new entry-level device will have a 5.4-inch display.

The “Pro” models will reportedly “have flat stainless steel edges instead of the current curved design as well as more sharply rounded corners like the iPad Pro.” In a world where most high-end phones are doubling-down on curved glass, Apple will reportedly ditch the 2.5D glass that adds a slight curve to the sides, like the iPhone 5s.

Bloomberg also confirms the report that the new high-end iPhone Pro will have “a screen slightly larger than the 6.5-inch panel on the iPhone 11 Pro Max,” rumored to top 6.7 inches. The flagship models will also receive the same LiDAR system that debuted on the recent iPad Pro refresh, along with “a significant upgrade to the processor with an emphasis on speeding up artificial intelligence and AR tasks.”

Gurman also says the new iPhones will have smaller notches.

In addition to the new iPhones, Apple is also reportedly preparing a new HomePod smart speaker “about half the size of the original while keeping a similar design.” Due in the second half of 2020, it will be positioned as an alternative to Google’s and Amazon’s inexpensive offerings. It’s unclear what the new price point of this new model will be, but Apple has reportedly been selling the original $299 HomePod to employees for $149.

Also due this year are the long-rumored Bluetooth accessory Apple Tags, as Bloomberg calls them. Similar to the Tile trackers, the “this, small, puck-shaped tags” will attach to objects via a keychain and will come bundled with an Apple-designed leather sleeve. Previous rumors have said the tags will use Apple’s ultra-wideband chip for calculating precise locations. Bloomberg notes that Apple Tags “will offer functionality much like gadgets already on the market.”

Finally, Apple has a slew of product updates on the way as well, including “a new version of the MacBook Pro, Apple TV, refreshed budget iPads and a new iMac.” Previous rumors have pegged the 13-inch MacBook Pro for a refresh with Apple’s new scissor keyboard and a larger screen, while the Apple TV hasn’t been updated in more than two and a half years.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details. 

Michael Simon covers all things mobile for PCWorld and Macworld. You can usually find him with his nose buried in a screen. The best way to yell at him is on Twitter.

Apple releases watchOS 6.2.1 with FaceTime Audio bug fixes

Apple has released watchOS 6.2.1 to the public today, bringing bug fixes and performance improvements specifically related to FaceTime. Today’s update for Apple Watch users comes following yesterday’s release of iOS 13.4.1 and iPadOS 13.4.1.

watchOS 6.2.1 includes a fix for a FaceTime Audio bug that affected Apple Watch users. Apple explains:

Fixes an issue where devices running watchOS 6.2 could not participate in FaceTime audio calls with devices running iOS 9.3.6 and earlier or OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 and earlier. 

Apple released watchOS 6.2 to the public last month, bringing ECG and irregular heart rhythm features to new countries as well as in-app purchase support. Check out our full coverage of that update here.

To update your Apple Watch to watchOS 6.2.1, you can open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap General then Software Update. You can also update directly from your Apple Watch by opening the Settings app and tapping General then Software Update.

Apple releases macOS 10.15.4 supplemental update with FaceTime and USB-C fixes

Apple has released a notable supplemental update to macOS Catalina 10.15.4 today. The update brings a FaceTime bug fix, MacBook Air 2020 improvements, and more.

 

Apple released macOS Catalina 10.15.4 to the public last week, brining support for iCloud Drive Folder Sharing, Apple Music, time-synced lyrics, and more. Since then, there have been some complaints from users about the stability of the update; and that’s what today’s supplement release aims to address.

Apple says today’s macOS Catalina 10.15.4 supplemental update includes a fix for a FaceTime bug, as well as an issue where you “may repeatedly receive a password prompt for an Office 365 account.” There are also fixes fro the 2020 MacBook Air and USB-C performance across all Mac models.

Here are the full release notes for today’s supplemental update to macOS 10.15.4, which Apple says “improves the stability and security of your Mac.”

  • Fixes an issue where Mac computers running macOS Catalina 10.15.4 could not participate in FaceTime calls with devices running iOS 9.3.6 and earlier or OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 and earlier
  • Resolves an issue where you may repeatedly receive a password prompt for an Office 365 account
  • Fixes an issue where MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020) may hang in Setup Assistant or when disconnecting and reconnecting a 4K or 5K external display
  • Resolves an issue where a USB-C port in your Mac may become unresponsive

You can update your Mac now via the System Preferences app

Apple releases iOS 13.4.1 and iPadOS 13.4.1 with FaceTime and Bluetooth bug fixes, more

Apple is releasing iOS 13.4.1 and iPadOS 13.4.1 to the public today. These updates follow the public release of iOS 13.4 last month and focus on bug fixes, performance improvements, and security enhancements.

 

Apple started beta testing iOS 13.4.5 last week, leaving many to wonder where iOS 13.4.1 was. The update is rolling out now to iPhone and iPad users. Here are the release notes:

  • Fixes an issue where devices running iOS 13.4 could not participate in FaceTime calls with devices running iOS 9.3.6 and earlier or OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 and earlier
  • Addresses a bug with the Settings app where choosing Bluetooth from the quick actions menu on the Home screen would fail

And for iPad users:

  • Fixes an issue where devices running iPadOS 13.4 could not participate in FaceTime calls with devices running iOS 9.3.6 and earlier or OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 and earlier
  • Addresses an issue on iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation) and iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation) where the flashlight may not turn on after tapping the Flashlight button in Control Center or on the Lock screen
  • Addresses a bug with the Settings app where choosing Bluetooth from the quick actions menu on the Home screen would fail

While Apple’s release notes don’t mention it, iOS 13.4.1 also could include a fix for a VPN vulnerability. As we’ve reported, a bug in iOS 13.3.1 and later prevents VPNs from encrypting traffic, but we’ve not yet confirmed if there is a fix in today’s update.

Notice any other major changes in today’s release of iOS 13.4.1? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, @9to5Mac. There are no updates to Mac, Apple Watch, or Apple TV today as of right now.

Apple updates iWork for Mac with iCloud Drive folder sharing, new themes, and more

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Apple is rolling out a round of updates today to the iWork collection of apps for Mac. These updates bring iCloud Drive folder sharing support and much more to Keynote, Pages, and Numbers for macOS.

Update: Apple is also now rolling out updates to KeynotePages, and Numbersfor iOS and iPadOS with these features as well as support for the upcoming Magic Keyboard.

 

All three applications now allow you to add a document to a shared iCloud Drive folder, thanks to the recent release of macOS Catalina 10.15.4. iCloud Drive folder sharing is a Dropbox-like feature that allows you to share a folder once, and have everyone be able to see the contents of that folder as they change.

Keynote is also adding support for new themes, PDF export with comments, and more. Here are the full release notes:

  • Add a Keynote presentation to a shared iCloud Drive folder to automatically start collaborating. Requires macOS 10.15.4.
  • Edit shared presentations while offline and your changes will upload when you’re back online.
  • Select from a variety of gorgeous new themes to help you get started.
  • Easily access your recently used themes in a redesigned theme chooser.
  • Print or export a PDF of your presentation with comments included.
  • Add a drop cap to make text stand out with a large, decorative first letter.
  • Enhance your presentations with a variety of new, editable shapes.
  • New “Keyboard” text build in and build out animation

In addition to iCloud Drive folder sharing, Numbers has also been updated with offline support for shared spreadsheets, support for more rows and columns “than ever before,” and more. The full release notes explain:

  • Create spreadsheets with more rows and columns than ever before.
  • Apply a color to the background of a sheet.
  • Add a Numbers spreadsheet to a shared iCloud Drive folder to automatically start collaborating. Requires macOS 10.15.4.
  • Edit shared spreadsheets while offline and your changes will upload when you’re back online.
  • Easily access your recently used templates in a redesigned template chooser.
  • Print or export a PDF of your spreadsheet with comments included.
  • Add a drop cap to text in a shape.
  • Enhance your spreadsheets with a variety of new, editable shapes.

Last but not least, Pages for Mac has also added new templates, new themes, and much more. There’s also support for adding a drop cap to make a paragraph stand out a bit more:

  • Select from a variety of gorgeous new templates to help you get started.
  • Add a Pages document to a shared iCloud Drive folder to automatically start collaborating. Requires macOS 10.15.4.
  • Add a drop cap to make a paragraph stand out with a large, decorative first letter.
  • Apply a color, gradient, or image to the background of any document.
  • Easily access your recently used templates in a redesigned template chooser.
  • Print or export a PDF of your document with comments included.
  • Edit shared documents while offline and your changes will upload when you’re back online.
  • Enhance your documents with a variety of new, editable shapes.

Apple has also teased that it has similar updates planned for the iWork suite of applications on iOS and iPadOS. As of right now, those updates have not been released, but we expect them to come sooner rather than later. Apple says it will update its iWork suite of productivity apps to take “full advantage of” iPadOS trackpad support “and open up a whole new way to work with documents on iPad.”

iPadOS 13.4 brings mouse and trackpad support

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Years after Apple's tablet first debuted, the iPad is finally like other computers in one important way: You can easily use it with a mouse or a trackpad. The 13.4 update that rolled out yesterday for iOS and iPadOS added that and a number of other new features, like support for third-party navigation apps in the CarPlay dashboard and revamped iCloud file sharing that will be a lot more useful.

Still, one of the biggest changes is in the browser. Safari for iOS, iPadOS and macOS now blocks all third-party cookies by default and is the first mainstream browser to do it. Google has announced it will do the same with Chrome, but not until 2022. The team calls this a "significant improvement for privacy since it removes any sense of exceptions or that "a little bit of cross-site tracking is allowed." I feel more secure already, and I use Android.

tvOS 13.4 and TV Software 7.5 updates for Apple TV now available

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Along with iOS 13.4watchOS 6.2, and macOS Catalina 10.15.4, Apple has today released tvOS 13.4 to the public. The company doesn’t mention any new notable changes, so it’s likely that this is a minor bug fix and stability improvements update.

 

tvOS 13.3, which was released last year, brought a new option that lets users bring back the “Up Next” queue to the Apple TV Home screen. However, we don’t know what has changed on tvOS 13.4, which probably indicates that it has no major new features.

tvOS 13.4 is available as an over-the-air update for Apple TV 4th generation and Apple TV 4K. To download, head to Settings > System > Software Update. Users who have automatic updates on should have their Apple TV updated soon.

For users of the third-generation Apple TV, Apple has also released the Apple TV Software 7.5 with general improvements, since this model has access to the Apple TV App and Apple TV+.

New MacBook Air unveiled with Magic Keyboard and twice the speed for just $999

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Meet the 2020 MacBook Air, a faster and more reliable successor. Starting at $999 (or $899 for schools), the updated Air packs the features we want, and finally gives apple a sub-$1,000 laptop.

2020 MacBook Air Specs

Starting Price: $999
Storage: 256GB and up
Screen: 13-inch Retina display
Processors: 10th Gen Intel CPUs, up to Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Memory: 8GB and up
Colors: Gold, Silver and Space Gray

The news comes via a press release, where Apple announced that the 2020 MacBook Air is available for online orders starting today (March 18), and will be in stores next week (though most Apple Stores are closed indefinitely). 

While we're happy to hear about performance boosts, the most important MacBook Air upgrade for many folks is the Magic Keyboard. Replacing the butterfly-switch keyboard that was controversial due to reliability concerns and shallow key depth, this new keyboard is similar to Apple's external Magic Keyboard. The keyboard uses  traditional scissor switches, and offers a feel that we called "a revelation compared to Apple’s highly criticized Butterfly keyboards," in our 16-inch MacBook Pro review.

2020 MacBook Air specs and performance

The 2020 MacBook Air's been upgraded to a 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor — a leap of 2 generations from the 8th Gen Core i5-8210Y CPU in the entry-level 2019 MacBook Air. It starts with a Core i3 chip, and you'll spend $100 more for the Core i5 processor or $250 extra to upgrade to the Core i7 CPU. Apple says it "delivers up to two times faster performance when compared to the previous generation."

We hope it's not a Y-series processor, as the 2019 MacBook Air was a bit underpowered compared to laptops with U-series Intel processors.

In terms of memory, the 2020 MacBook Air defaults to 8GB of RAM, and can be upgraded to 16GB for $200. 

The aforementioned 256GB of default SSD storage is great to see, but upgrades still cost a pretty penny. The 512GB SSD upgrade is $200 and the 1TB SSD is $400. If you've got deep pockets, consider the $800 2TB SSD for your 2020 MacBook Pro.

Just like last year's Air, the 2020 MacBook Air has 2 ThunderBolt 3 ports. This year's edition supports "up to a 6K external display," which Apple says is a first for MacBook Air.

Also, expect the same security as last year's MacBook Air, as this model has Apple's own T2 Chip, which enables "on-the-fly data encryption" and protects the information stored and used by the Touch ID security sensor used for unlocking the Air and paying via Apple Pay. 

2020 MacBook Air display

You're still getting a great screen, as the 2020 MacBook Air's 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina display measures 2560 x 1600 pixels. It's got True Tone technology for ambient light recognition as well.

I was hoping that Apple could possibly shed the bezels a bit, to give us 14 inches of screen in a 13-inch chassis, like it turned the 15-inch MacBook Pro into a 16-inch model. 

2020 MacBook Air battery life

Apple is promising strong battery life with claims of as much as "11 hours wireless web" browsing and up to "12 hours Apple TV app movie playback." 

We look forward to putting these claims to the test when we get the 2020 MacBook Air in our testing labs. 

 

Apple updates Mac Mini with more storage options

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Apple  today announced the Mac Mini will ship with more standard storage space. Starting at $799, the base model Mac Mini now ships with a 256GB SSD, up from 128GB previously. The CPU, GPU and system memory remains the same from the previous model.

This refresh is a slight but welcomed bump to Apple’s least expensive Mac. With the updated specs, the Mac Mini offers a bit more bang for the buck, but the specs still lag sorely behind similarly priced pre-packaged Windows PCs.

The $799 Mac Mini runs an Intel Core i3 CPU with a clock-speed of 3.6Ghz. It also sports an Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU and 8 GB of RAM. The $1,099 package ups the specs to a 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 CPU and a 512GB SSD hard drive.

Both of the new models ship on March 20. Apple Store pickup is currently unavailable as Apple closed all its stores outside of mainland China in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Apple unveils new iPad Pro with breakthrough LiDAR Scanner and brings trackpad support to iPadOS

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Cupertino, California — Apple today announced its most advanced iPad Pro. Now with the A12Z Bionic chip, iPad Pro is faster and more powerful than most Windows PC laptops. The new iPad Pro adds an Ultra Wide camera, studio-quality mics and a breakthrough LiDAR Scanner that delivers cutting-edge depth-sensing capabilities, opening up more pro workflows and supporting pro photo and video apps. The LiDAR Scanner, along with pro cameras, motion sensors, pro performance, pro audio, the stunning Liquid Retina display and powerful apps, extends the lead of iPad Pro as the world’s best device for augmented reality (AR). The new iPad Pro is available to order starting today on apple.com.

With iPadOS 13.4, Apple brings trackpad support to iPad, giving customers an all-new way to interact with their iPad. Rather than copying the experience from macOS, trackpad support has been completely reimagined for iPad. As users move their finger across the trackpad, the pointer elegantly transforms to highlight user interface elements. Multi-Touch gestures on the trackpad make it fast and easy to navigate the entire system without users ever lifting their hand.

Apple today also introduced the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. With a floating design with smooth angle adjustment, a backlit keyboard and trackpad, the Magic Keyboard delivers the best typing experience ever on iPad. The Magic Keyboard will be available for purchase in May.

“The new iPad Pro introduces advanced technologies never before available in mobile computing,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Combining the most advanced mobile display with powerful performance, pro cameras, pro audio, the breakthrough LiDAR Scanner and new Magic Keyboard with Trackpad, this is another huge leap forward for iPad. There’s no other device in the world like the new iPad Pro and we think our customers are going to love it.”

“We’re making iPad even more capable and versatile by bringing trackpad support to iPadOS,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We carefully considered the best way to integrate trackpad use into a touch-first environment while retaining everything our customers know and love about iPad. We’re thrilled to bring this new way of interacting with iPad to the millions of people using iPadOS today.”

Built for the most demanding tasks, like editing 4K video or designing 3D models, iPad Pro gets another performance boost with the new A12Z Bionic chip. The eight-core GPU in the A12Z Bionic, along with an enhanced thermal architecture and tuned performance controllers, gives iPad Pro the highest performance ever in an iPad. Combined with the eight-core CPU and the powerful Neural Engine, which enables next-generation apps, there’s no other chip that can offer the incredible performance found in the thin and light design of iPad Pro. With great battery life lasting up to 10 hours,1 faster Wi-Fi connectivity2 and gigabit-class LTE that’s 60 percent faster3 with support for more LTE bands than any other tablet, customers can stay productive and creative all day.

he edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display — in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes — is the world’s most advanced mobile display. Featuring P3 wide color support, it lets customers see photos, videos, apps and games in vivid, true-to-life detail. ProMotion technology automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120 Hz for ultra-smooth scrolling and responsiveness. And no matter where customers take iPad Pro or how they interact with it, True Tone, high brightness and an anti-reflective coating deliver the best viewing experience possible on any mobile device.

The Pro camera system on iPad Pro features a 12MP Wide camera for capturing stunning photos and 4K video, and now includes a 10MP Ultra Wide camera that zooms out two times to capture a much wider field of view. Adding a second camera doubles the photo and video possibilities, enabling different perspectives and multi-camera use — a game changer for creative pros.

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iOS 13.4 will be released on March 24, new Magic Keyboard with trackpad compatible with 2018 iPad Pro

Apple will release iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 on March 24, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. In addition to features like redesigned Mail toolbar and iCloud folder sharing, iPadOS 13.4 brings support for trackpad to the iPad platform for the first time.

This will obviously be a big selling point for the 2020 iPad Pro announced today, but the new Magic Keyboard with trackpad accessory is also backwards compatible with the 2018 iPad Pro. You can also connect an external Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse over Bluetooth, allowing iPad Air, iPad mini and even $329 iPad users to take advantage of the new cursor support in the OS.

 

The two sizes of Magic Keyboard will work with the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro respectively. The new keyboard/trackpad combo accessories are priced at $299 and $349.

Naturally, the 2020 iPad Pro will ship with the latest software as standard, although the Magic Keyboard cover doesn’t ship until sometime in May. 2018 iPad owners buying the new Magic Keyboard will have to wait until at least March 24 to update their operating system. That’s also when all other iPad owners can update and pair a Bluetooth trackpad or mouse.

With the new firmware, trackpad support for iPad becomes a system-level feature. The cursor appears as a floating circle that can highlight elements in the user interface, press buttons and assist with text selection. It’s sort of a hybrid between a typical mouse pointer seen on a desktop operating system and the focus engine system used in Apple TV, depending on what element is being hovered over.

iPads are getting native support for USB sticks

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Apple has announced that soon you’ll be able to plug thumb drives, external disk drives, and SD cards directly into your iPad. The functionality, which was announced onstage at WWDC 2019, will be particularly useful for photographs, allowing you to import photos into an app like Lightroom directly from your camera’s SD card without having to use a Siri Shortcut.

The functionality is coming with Apple’s new operating system for the iPad called iPadOS, which also includes an improved Files app that will make files easier to manage once they’re on the tablet. If you want to transfer it onward from the device, then iCloud has been updated with support for folder sharing. 

The iPad’s file management has been a key sticking point as Apple has transitioned its tablet toward becoming a laptop replacement. When we reviewed last year’s iPad Pro, for example, the only support it had for external storage was to import photos directly to the camera roll. Native support for external storage will go a long way in making the iPad feel like a genuine laptop replacement rather than just a capable tablet

Apple’s new iPadOS includes mouse support for iPads

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Apple is making a huge change to its new iPadOS, introducing mouse support for both USB and Bluetooth devices. iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith discovered the new mouse support in iPadOS today, and it reportedly works with USB mice, devices like Apple’s Magic Trackpad, and wireless Bluetooth mice.

Apple adding mouse support to iPadOS is significant, even though it’s an accessibility feature for now. Apple has implemented this support as an AssistiveTouch feature, and the cursor looks like a typical touch target you’d find in iOS. It’s designed to simulate a finger touch, so you can use a mouse to do this instead. Many iPad owners have been asking for some type of cursor support for years, and this could be the start of Apple supporting this more broadly across its new iPadOS.

Apple unveils macOS Catalina with iPad apps, new Apple Music app, and more

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The next version of macOS will be called Catalina. Apple officially unveiled the new update onstage at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) today. The biggest new feature for macOS 10.15 is the addition of iPad app support. The project was previously codenamed “Marzipan,” but it’s now called Catalyst. It’s a new way for developers to port their iPad apps over to the Mac. Developers will be able to use Xcode to target their iPad apps at macOS Catalina.


Twitter is planning to bring its iOS Twitter app to the Mac, and Atlassian is also bringing its Jira iPad app to macOS Catalina. It’s not clear how many developers will support this app porting initially, but Apple is certainly encouraging developers to bring their iPad apps to the Mac. Apple only showed 3 apps on stage today, though.

Apple is also introducing new Apple Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV apps in macOS Catalina, replacing the aging iTunes app. These apps work mostly as you’d expect. Podcasts gains local indexing support, and Apple Music looks a lot like iTunes without all the extra features. The Apple TV app has no sidebar, and it supports 4K HDR playback with HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos. 

If you were hoping to use your iPad on a Mac, then Apple is introducing a new Sidecar feature that lets you use your iPad as a secondary display. Popular third-party options like Luna or Duet Display have long supported this on macOS, but Apple is introducing this natively now. 


An iPad can now be used as an extended display for Mac, and you’ll even be able to use the Apple Pencil and iPad as a drawing tablet on supported Mac apps. Apps like Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Illustrator, and iWork will all fully support Sidecar, and it all runs wirelessly so it’s easy to use on the go if you want to combine a MacBook and an iPad as a secondary display.

Catalina also introduces a new way to control a Mac entirely with your voice. It’s designed as an accessibility feature, but you can use it to control macOS by just sitting back and speaking.

 

Alongside these bigger features, Apple is also combining its Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps into a single “Find My” app on iOS and macOS. An activation lock is also coming to Macs, so if your laptop gets stolen it’s useless. Even Photos is getting updated with a new browsing view, and Notes has a new gallery view. Reminders is also being improved with some design tweaks and updates.

This new 10.15 update comes a year after Apple unveiled macOS 10.14 Mojavewith a new dark mode, Apple News, and a redesigned App Store. macOS Catalina certainly has a lot more refinement, especially on the app side. If developers use Apple’s new Catalyst support to bring iPad apps to macOS Catalina, then this will be one of the most important macOS updates ever released.

Apple announces new sign-in tool to compete with Facebook and Google

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Today at WWDC, Apple introduced a new single sign-on (or SSO) tool called “Sign In with Apple,” designed to authenticate users to apps while sharing a minimum of personal data with third parties. It’s a direct competitor to simpler services offered by Facebook and Google, which were called out by name on stage, and part of Apple’s broader effort to brand itself as a privacy-conscious alternative to those companies. The new system will be available across apps as well as on the web.

As described onstage by Apple software chief Craig Federighi, users would encounter the service as a simple sign-in button, presented as an alternative to setting up a persistent username and password for a given service. But where Google and Facebook use those buttons to link you to your broader advertising profile, Apple’s service is designed to give the minimum necessary data.

The system won’t even share your email, instead directing each app to a different redirect email address operated by Apple. With a different redirect for each app, it would be far more difficult for third parties to correlate information by comparing emails. And when a user wants to cut ties with an app, breaking the redirect will sever the connection entirely.

It’s unclear how or if Apple plans to make money from the system. But simply presenting a new sign-on tool could present serious problems for Google and Facebook, which have often used SSO systems to bundle their own code and API calls into outside apps, gaining a wealth of ad-tracking data in the process. For anyone switching over, that data will largely rest with Apple, which will oversee the tool — but executives are betting you trust Apple with the data more than ad-funded companies like Google and Facebook.

It’s part of a broader push toward services from Apple, which came to a head at the Show Time event in March. That event saw new subscription services offered for TV, games and news, as well as the Apple Card in finance, a notable shift from the company’s traditional focus on hardware. In many of those cases, Apple has attempted to position itself as a “privacy provider,” a trustworthy alternative to its scandal-plagued competitors.

The iPad finally outgrows iOS

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As the iPad comes up on ten years since its introduction, the hardware has reached bold new heights but the software has been the limiting factor. Onstage at WWDC in San Jose, Apple announced that iPad’s software will now exist inside its own vertical OS.

iPadOS.

The new OS doesn’t look dramatically different from iOS 12, this actually might be the most low-key update that they’ve had in a while, but the name change undoubtedly makes it easier for Apple to introduce functionality to iPads that won’t exist in any capacity on the iPhone.

It’s all about focus and the fact that the company’s tablets are getting even more powerful than their macOS counterparts. It didn’t make a ton of sense for the iPad to be held back by the iPhone.

What’s new in iPadOS that you’ll get kind of excited about?

  • Chances are the best update is that desktop sites are now the default in Safari, hallelujah!!
  • You’ll be able to bring widgets to the home screen that are just a swipe away. You’ll also be able to fit more app icons on each screen.
  • Changes in iPadOS include an update to the Files app which will allow you share folders in iCloud drive, there’s a new column view and you’ll be able to grab files from USB-C flash drives.
  • You’ll be able to bring up multiple windows of the same app, which wasn’t previously possible and there are a lot of small interface changes that make it easier to multi-task with your larger screen real estate.
  • Apple Pencil latency is dropping from 20ms to 9ms, Apple is bringing a PencilKit developer API so that third-party app developers can integrate some new controls.

Again, these changes aren’t too wild, but the unshackling from the iPhone is really going to spell good things for tablet computing moving forward.

It’s honestly a little odd they chose this year to make this name change given how subtle many of the changes are, but for developers the changes are going to undoubtedly grow more important as the bifurcation of iOS and iPadOS allows them to bring more robust gestures and inter-app functionality to what they’re building.

A more independent Apple Watch can track periods, monitor sound

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Apple is bringing a number of new tools to the Apple Watch as part of watchOS 6, many of which will help the watch run more independently of the iPhone. The Watch will have its own App Store, a calculator with tip tools, an audiobooks app, and Apple's Voice Memos app, for more subtly recording audio (check local laws). It's also adding a pair of new health tools. Cycle Tracker adds tools for tracking periods and fertility -- tools that are also being added to the iOS Health app. A new Noise app uses the built-in microphone to measure environmental sound and warn you when the decibels are too high and could hurt your hearing. Apple says it does this by sampling audio and does not record anything.

iTunes is being replaced after 18 years

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As expected, Apple is replacing its once groundbreaking, often bemoaned audio and video app, iTunes. 

After 18 years, the app will be phased out and replaced with three separate apps that are familiar to iOS users: Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Podcasts. The iTunes Store app will still exist on iOS, and Apple says the store will also continue to exist on Macs as an entry in the Finder's sidebar. 

Apple's Craig Federighi had a sense of humor about user dissatisfaction with iTunes, joking, "Customers love iTunes and everything it can do."

Apple refreshes the iPod touch with the iPhone 7’s processor

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iPod touch fans, your day has finally come. Apple just announced an updated version of the iPod touch that bumps up the processor to an A10 Fusion chip (for reference, that’s the same one that’s found in the iPhone 7) along with a new 256GB storage option. 

It’s the first update to Apple’s iPod product since the sixth-generation iPod touch was released in July 2015. Aside from those two changes, it appears that Apple is leaving the rest of the iPod touch alone: it has the same bezeled 4-inch display, home button, and cameras. 

While today’s refresh announcement only brings the iPod touch in line with the iPhone 7 — the least-powerful iPhone that Apple currently sells — the A10 chip does provide enough firepower for a few new features, including Group FaceTime calls and Apple’s ARKit augmented reality apps, both of which were previously unavailable on the iPod touch. The company says that, compared to the older model, the updated version will offer up to two times faster CPU performance and up to three times faster graphics. 

Apple is highlighting its upcoming Apple Arcade gaming subscription service as a key part of the device, which is likely a reason for the spec boost: to make sure that the new iPod touch can still run all those games. It makes sense, given Apple’s recent focus on subscriptions as a new revenue source going forward. 

Is it a true next-generation iPod touch that some may have hoped for with the hardware and design of the latest iPhones? No. But the spec bump means it’ll run the next few versions of iOS without too many issues, and the recycled design will keep the price low, making it a good entry-level option. 

The updated iPod touch starts at $199 for the 32GB model, $299 for 128GB of storage, and $399 for the new 256GB option.

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Apple has canceled the AirPower product completely, citing difficulty meeting its own standards.

Matthew Panzarino

 

“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering in an emailed statement today.

After a delay of over a year since it was first announced in September of 2017, the AirPower charging mat has become something of a focal point for Apple’s recent habit of announcing envelope tickling products and not actually shipping them on time. The AirPods, famously, had a bit of a delay before becoming widely available, and were shipped in limited quantities before finally hitting their stride and becoming a genuine cultural moment.

AirPower, however, has had far more time to marinate in the soup of public opinion since it was announced. Along with recent MacBook keyboard troubles, this has functioned as a sort of flash point over discussion that something isn’t right with Apple’s hardware processes.

Everything I’ve personally heard (Apple is saying nothing officially) about the AirPower delay has been related to tough engineering problems related to the laws of physics. Specifically, I’ve heard that they ran too hot because the 3D charging coils in close proximity to one another required very, very cautious power management.

Obviously, it would do Apple very little good to release a charging mat that caused devices to overheat, perhaps even to the point of damage. So, it has canceled the project.

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Today we see updates for all your Apple devices — Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and even Apple Watch. 

 Almost all of Apple’s big announcements today were software-based — the titanium Apple Card and the new TV shows were the exceptions — but very few of those announcements will be available today, or even soon. In the U.S. and Canada, you’ll be able to  sign up for the new Apple News+ subscription today, but that’s about it.   

Let’s see what else is new.

iOS 12.2

 


The new iOS 12.2 is available now.
Photo: Cult of Mac 

 

There are a bunch of new additions to iOS 12.2, including adding Logitech Crayon support to the 2018 iPad Pro, which is petty wild. But in terms of today’s news and TV announcements, here are the highlights:

  • AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support for third-party TVs.
  • Support for Hey Siri with AirPods 2.
  • New Apple News+ app.
  • Apple Pay for transit in some U.S. cities.
  • Apple Card support, and new Apple Pay Cash interface.
  • Air Quality display in the Maps app.
  • Way better-sounding audio messages.
  • Four new Animoji.

macOS 10.14.4

  • Safari Autofill using Touch ID
  • Automatic dark mode activation in Safari (for websites that have dark themes available).

tvOS

  • Ask Siri to play specific media from an iPhone or iPad.

watchOS 5.2

  • New Hermès watch faces

Finally: real Photoshop on the iPad

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Adobe really wants you to know that the upcoming Photoshop CC for the iPad, which was announced today and is set to be released sometime in 2019, is “real Photoshop.”

The phrase “real Photoshop” came up several times during my week-long preview of an early version of the software giant’s long-awaited app. The underlying code is the same as desktop Photoshop, and although the interface has been rethought for the iPad, the same core tools line the edges of the screen.

But the biggest change of all is a total rethinking of the classic .psd file for the cloud, which will turn using Photoshop into something much more like Google Docs. Photoshop for the iPad is a big deal, but Cloud PSD is the change that will let Adobe bring Photoshop everywhere.

Bringing a program like Photoshop to the iPad is a monumental task. The project started 18 months ago when two Adobe engineers asked to carve out time to bring the Photoshop codebase to the iPad. “There was just a lot of doubt until what we call the “proof of life” moment,” says Scott Belsky, Adobe’s chief product officer. Senior director Pam Clark agrees: “We fully admit we were surprised when the engineers showed up, and it was quite powerful and smooth.” That “proof of life” product inspired the design team to start focusing on the app’s user experience, with each new build focusing on a different Photoshop workflow.

Read the full story here: 

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How Apple’s Safari browser will try to thwart data tracking

NEW YORK (AP) — New privacy features in Apple’s Safari browser seek to make it tougher for companies such as Facebook to track you.

Companies have long used cookies to remember your past visits. This can be helpful for saving sign-in details and preferences. But now they’re also being used to profile you in order to fine-tune advertising to your tastes and interests.

Cookie use goes beyond visiting a particular website. As other sites embed Facebook “like” and “share” buttons, for instance, Facebook’s servers are being pinged and can access your stored cookies. That means Facebook now knows you frequent celebrity gossip sites or read news with a certain political bent. Ads can be tailored to that.

Here’s how Safari is getting tougher in dealing with that.

NO MORE GRACE PERIOD

Safari used to wait 24 hours from your last visit to a service before blocking that service’s cookies on third-party sites. That effectively exempted Facebook, Google and other services that people visited daily. Now, Safari will either block the cookie automatically or prompt you for permission.

Apple says Safari will still be able to remember sign-in details and other preferences, though some websites have had to adjust their coding.

THWARTING FINGERPRINTING

Browsers typically reveal seemingly innocuous information about your device, such as the operating system used and fonts installed. Websites use this to make minor adjustments in formatting so that pages display properly.

Browsers have historically made a lot of information available, largely because it seemed harmless. Now it’s clear that all this data, taken together, can be used to uniquely identify you. Safari will now hide many of those specifics so that you will look no different from the rest.

It’s like a system that digitally blurs someone’s image, said Lance Cottrell, creator of the privacy service Anonymizer. “You can tell it’s a person and not a dog, but you can’t recognize a person’s face,” he said.

For instance, Safari will reveal only the fonts that ship with the machine, not any custom fonts installed.

MASKING WEB ADDRESSES

When visiting a website, the browser usually sends the web address for the page you were just on. This address can be quite detailed and reveal the specific product you were exploring at an e-commerce site, for instance.

Now, Safari will just pass on the main domain name for that site. So it would be just “Amazon.com” rather than the specific product page at Amazon.

CLOSING A LOOPHOLE

Some ad companies have sought to bypass restrictions on third-party cookies — that is, identifiers left by advertisers — by using a trick that routed them through a series of websites. That could make a third-party cookie look like it belonged to a site you’re visiting. Safari will now try to catch that.

The changes come Tuesday as part of the iOS 12 update for iPhones and iPads and a week later in the Mojave update for Mac computers.

Many of the safeguards will be limited to cookies that Apple deems to be trackers. That’s being done to reduce the likelihood of inadvertently blocking legitimate third-party cookies.

 

Forget your password for iCloud, iTunes, or the App Store? Here's how to reset your Apple ID

 

Here's how to reset your Apple ID How_to_reset_a_forgotten_Apple_ID_password.pdf

Tip of the Week

 

THERE ARE TIMES…
…when you’re working in Pages or Numbers on your iPad (or iPhone) and you just gotta draw something on the file. Now you can! Watch this -> Drawing in iOS and learn how
  
Last week Apple released new versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS. One of the significant updates in these versions, all version 4.0, is that you can use the Apple pencil now to draw directly in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. It works a little differently between the apps.
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Take Great Photo's With Your iPhone

Apple has an entire section dedicated to helping you take great photos with your iPhones. Each video tutorial is under a minute.

Click here to go to the Apple Video Site.  

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Apple offers battery replacement for some MacBooks after flaws reported

(Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Friday said component failure in a limited number of MacBook Pros has caused built-in battery to expand, adding, it will offer worldwide free replacement for such batteries. 

FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. store is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 16, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo 

Apple said the flaw, reported in some 13-inch Macbook Pros without touch bars, is not a safety issue. 

The affected units were manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017, Apple said on its support page, without giving the actual number of MacBooks affected. 

The iPhone maker previously came under scrutiny after it confirmed in December that software to deal with aging batteries in iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE models could slow down performance. The company later apologized and lowered the price of battery replacements for affected models to $29 from $79. 

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler

New iPad

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Nick's Tips & Tricks

Nick's Tips & Tricks Tips_and_Tricks_.pdf

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Photo Sharing by Nick Gruin

Slides form Nick Gruin's Photo Sharing Presentation. Photo_Sharing_.pdf

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How to shop at the Apple Certified Refurbished store online and save money

Want a new Apple device but don't want to shell out for a full-priced version? Consider a refurbished model instead.

Read the complete article here. How to shop at the Apple Certified Refurbished store online and save money 

How to set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID and iCloud account

It only takes a minute or two to set up.

ios10 icloud drive desktop sync
Apple

Related Video

How to create a mobile hotpsot with your iPhone or iPad (2:39)

If you aren’t using two-factor authentication to protect your Apple ID and iCloud account, you really should do it today. Hackers who claim to have millions of stolen iCloud credentials are demanding Apple pay a ransom or they’ll release them—and ZDNet obtained a sample set of credentials and determined they’re real.

But guess what? Using two-factor authentication should protect you completely. It’s easy to set up, so take a minute and do it now.

You used to be able to set up two-factor on the account settigs page at appleid.apple.com, but now this has to be done on a Mac or iOS device. (Apple ID users who don’t have a compatible device can still use an older two-step verification system—see below for more.)

iOS

Follow these steps on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch running iOS 9 or later. The iOS device must be protected with a passcode (Settings > Touch ID and Passcode).

two factor setup iphone 2IDG

Once you set up two-factor on an iOS device, you’ll see a code pop up when you try to log in to iCloud anywhere else. If you don’t see a pop-up or get a text message, you can cme back to this Settings > iCloud screen and tap Get Verification Code. (Click to enlarge.)

  1. Launch the Settings app, and go to iCloud. Obviously you need to be signed in with the account you want to protect with two-factor authentication
  2. Tap your Apple ID. It doesn’t really look like a button, but it is. Then tap Password & Security in the next menu.
  3. Tap Turn on two-factor authentication. You’ll see an explanation screen, and tap Continue.
  4. You may be asked to verify your identity by answering the security questions you set up when you created your Apple ID.
  5. Next, enter a phone number where you can receive a text message or a phone call with a two-factor code. You can also specify if you want a text or a call. Then you’ll get that text message or call, and enter the six-digit verification code on the next screen.
  6. That’s it! Two-factor is on, and this is your official Trusted Device. The next time you sign on to iCloud.com, or set up your iCloud account on a new device, you’ll have to first enter your username and password, and then be prompted to enter a code. That code will come in a pop-up on your trusted device, texted/phoned to the number you provided, or, you can come back to this screen and tap Get Verification Code.

Mac

Setting this up on a Mac is nearly the same steps as on an iOS device. The Mac must be running OS X 10.11, El Capitan.

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  1. Open System Preferences and select iCloud. Click the Account Details button, and sign in if prompted.
  2. In the Security tab, click the button labeled Turn on two-factor authentication. Read the message and click Continue.
  3. Verify your identity by answering your security questions.
  4. Enter a phone number you can use to receive verification codes, and choose if you want to get text messages or calls.
  5. Enter the code that’s sent you to right away to finish up.
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What if my device is too old?

If your Mac isn’t running El Capitan, or your iOS device isn’t running iOS 9, you can still use two-step verification, which is slightly different than two-factor authentication, mostly because it relies on a text message being sent to a phone number, while the newer “authentication” is baked more seamlessly into the OSes. Plus, the older verification method requires you to hold onto a Recovery Key in case you ever lose your password.

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Two-step verification always sends you a text message. With the newer two-factor authentication, you'll get this cool pop-up on nearby trusted devices signed in to the same iCloud account. 

You can read more about the differences from Apple as well as from our own Glenn Fleishman.

Apple still provides a way to enable two-step verification, by following this link, signing in, and following the instructions.

Susie is an Apple-obsessed writer and editor, thrill seeker, and burrito enthusiast.

The new Apple TV app is: TV

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Another new wrinkle for Apple TV, is the ability for Siri to tune into live video streaming apps, and control third-party apps. Live tune-in with Siri is available now, while single sign-on and the TV app will arrive through a software update in December.

Update: Now that the feature has been officially revealed, Netflix confirmed last night's rumor that it won't be included. According to a spokesperson that it is "evaluating the opportunity, so this could change in the future, but for now it looks like you won't find Stranger Things, Luke Cage or the new season of Black Mirror in Apple's refashioned TV guide.

Key Features Within the TV App Include:

• Watch Now: Watch Now is where viewers will see their collection of available shows and movies from iTunes® and apps. From Watch Now, viewers can then go to Up Next or Recommended to choose what to watch.

• Up Next: Users can enjoy the shows and movies they are currently watching, including recent iTunes rentals and purchases — all presented in the order they are most likely to watch first. For example, when viewers finish an episode, the next one will automatically appear at the start of the Up Next queue, as will any new episodes as they become available. At any time, users can simply ask Siri to continue watching a show and immediately pick up where they left off.

• Recommended: Viewers can explore a great selection of curated and trending shows and movies, including collections handpicked by Apple's curators, and dedicated categories and genres such as kids, sci-fi and comedy.

• Library: Viewers can access their entire collection of iTunes movies and TV shows that they have rented or purchased on iTunes.

• Store: If users are looking for something new, they can check out the Store to discover great new content across video services that they have not yet downloaded or are not yet subscribed to, along with the latest releases on iTunes.

New Apple TV (4th Gen) Unboxing, Setup & Tips - YouTube

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Want to have the Macswest calendar appear in your iCal calendar? Do the following.

Open iCal on your Mac, Click on Calendar then Subscribe. A window will open, copy and paste the following URL then click Subscribe. That’s all there is to it.

    http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/macswestscw%40gmail.com/public/basic.ics

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