Category Archives: Apple

Tim Cook: Apple won’t tolerate white supremacists, conspiracy theorists

Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on as the new iPhone X goes on sale at an Apple Store on November 3, 2017 in Palo Alto, California.

Enlarge / Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on as the new iPhone X goes on sale at an Apple Store on November 3, 2017 in Palo Alto, California. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple CEO Tim Cook further condemned white supremacists when he accepted an award from the Anti-Defamation League at an event in New York on Monday. The ADL honored Cook with its first ever Courage Against Hate Award, and the tech CEO took his time on the stage to address Apple’s stance against hate speech and what he thinks are tech companies’ responsibilities to customers.

“From the earliest days of iTunes, to Apple Music today, we have always prohibited music with a message of white supremacy,” Cook said. “Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. And as we showed this year, we won’t give a platform to violent conspiracy theorists on the App Store.”

He went on to say that tech companies shouldn’t be afraid to take the moral high-ground and stand up against hate speech and discrimination of all sorts.

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Apple will skip 5G in 2019, report says

The iPhone 8, the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone XS Max.

Enlarge / From left to right: the iPhone 8, the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone XS Max. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple will not introduce an iPhone capable of taking advantage of faster 5G cellular data networks in 2019, a report from Bloomberg says. Citing people familiar with Apple’s plans, the report specifies that Apple will wait until “at least 2020″ to make the move.

5G networks are expected to ramp up deployment in the US, China, and other Apple markets in 2019. 5G promises one of the biggest generational leaps in cellular data speeds yet, and Apple competitors like Samsung are likely to market 5G handsets next year to capitalize on it. Further, networks like Verizon want to lead users onto the new 5G networks as soon as possible because the technology is more efficient and will ensure that the companies can make higher profits while theoretically offering the most reliable service.

Investors and analysts might have reason to be concerned that Apple will miss a major marketing opportunity if it waits too long to adopt the new technology, the Bloomberg report suggests.

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iOS apps used Touch ID feature to trick users into paying hefty fees

Images displayed by the Fitness Balance app in Apple's App Store.

Enlarge / Images displayed by the Fitness Balance app in Apple’s App Store. (credit: Eset)

Apple’s App Store has given the boot to two highly rated apps that abused the iOS Touch ID feature in an attempt to swindle users out of sums of more than $100, users on Reddit reported over the weekend.

The offending “Fitness Balance app” and “Calories Tracker app” promised to calculate body mass index, monitor calorie intake, and provide other health-related services. With no advanced warning, according to Reddit posts here and here, the apps charged users fees of $99.99, $119, or 139 Euros, depending on the country of the user. Users who had a credit or debit card connected to their Apple account were immediately billed.

The scam worked by displaying a message as soon as the app was opened. It told users to scan their fingerprint to view a calorie tracker or receive another personal service. When users complied, the apps displayed a popup window that said they had been charged a fee. Less than two seconds later, the popup disappeared, but by then it was too late for many users. Anyone with a card linked to their Apple account was already charged.

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Apple Music will finally support Android tablets

There probably isn't a huge cross section of people who both subscribe to Apple Music and use Android tablets, but Apple has your back if you're part of that group. Listeners have learned that the latest beta of Apple Music for Android now includes…

Apple Music will reveal key Grammy nominations on December 7th

Apple's involvement in the Grammys dates back more than a decade. This year, however, its connection will be more conspicuous. The Recording Academy has revealed that Apple Music will stream Grammy nominations in "select categories" (read: the bett…

Apple published a surprising amount of detail about how the HomePod works

Image of a HomePod

Enlarge / Siri on Apple’s HomePod speaker. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Today, Apple published a long and informative blog post by its audio software engineering and speech teams about how they use machine learning to make Siri responsive on the HomePod, and it reveals a lot about why Apple has made machine learning such a focus of late.

The post discusses working in a far-field setting where users are calling on Siri from any number of locations around the room relative to the HomePod’s location. The premise is essentially that making Siri work on the HomePod is harder than on the iPhone for that reason. The device must compete with loud music playback from itself.

Apple addresses these issues with multiple microphones along with machine learning methods—specifically:

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Report: AirPods with wireless charging expected in early 2019

The first generation AirPods.

Enlarge / The first generation AirPods. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

The new year may bring updated AirPods sooner than we thought. A report by 9to5Mac cites noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s predictions that Apple may release a new model of its truly wireless earbuds with “wireless charging support” in the first quarter of 2019.

The upgrade may only refer to the AirPods’ charging case rather than the earbuds themselves. Kuo claims the upgraded case will have a new “rigid-flex board” internal component, redesigned hinges, and support for better thermal management. He also notes that these changes will make the case more expensive to produce, possibly leading to a higher price tag for the new product.

However, Kuo also suggests that the new AirPods themselves will have upgraded Bluetooth specs (possibly Bluetooth 5.0, no word on a new Apple-made, W-series chip). This may mean that Apple will debut an upgraded set of AirPods with internal improvements that comes with the new wireless charging case, but it may also make that wireless charging case available as an add-on for current AirPod owners.

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Apple may release AirPods with wireless charging in early 2019

When Apple effectively scrubbed all mention of its AirPower wireless charging mat when it didn't show up a year after its unveiling, that raised a question: would the wireless charging case for AirPods meet a similar fate? Not necessarily. Historic…

After Math: Let’s shake things up

As Anchorage, Alaska was being rocked by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake this week (which, as of the writing of this post, had thankfully only resulted in infrastructure damage and not any actual injuries), the tech industry was making major rumblings of…

Apple and Qualcomm face off in court on April 15th

Apple and Qualcomm have refused to budge in their fight over iPhone patent royalties, so they're headed to court. A federal judge in San Diego has scheduled the companies' trial for April 15th, 2019. Qualcomm had wanted a trial in February, but the…