How to Secretly Open Texts If You Have Your Read Receipts On

We’ll be the first to say that being worried about someone knowing if you’ve read their message is a little ridiculous. Reading the message is the whole point of texting, and yet… we can also admit there are some strategic reasons why you’d want a message to appear unread. Many messaging services like WhatsApp,… Read more...

Trump’s China tariffs could drive up the price of the Apple Watch and Fitbit trackers

A new $200 billion round of tariffs on Chinese goods could have some broader implications for U.S.-based hardware companies. New government rulings on the Trump-imposed tariffs single out a couple of key devices buy name, including the Apple Watch, Fitbit trackers and Sonos speakers.

Products like smartphones have thus far been unimpacted by fees leading to product price spikes, but other electronics could potentially be hit, due to what Reuters deems “an obscure subheading of data transmission machines in the sprawling list of U.S. tariff codes.”

That’s among the 6,000+ codes cited by the White House’s proposed tariffs. That could mean upwards of a 10 percent tariff on popular products, including the Apple Watch, Fitbit Charge and Surge and the Sonos Play:3, Play:5 and SUB.

While Trump reportedly told Tim Cook that Chinese tariffs wouldn’t impact the iPhone, it seems the promise didn’t apply across the

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Dish is the first TV provider to offer support for Apple’s Business Chat

Dish today announced it’s becoming the first TV provider to offer customer support over Apple’s Business Chat. Launched earlier this year, Business Chat allows companies to communicate with their customers over iMessage in order to answer questions, provide customer service, or even enable purchases. In Dish’s case, the TV provider says its customers can use Business Chat to reach a live agent with their questions, make account changes, schedule an appointment, and more. They can even use their credit card in Business Chat to order a pay-per-view movie or sporting event, then watch it within minutes of confirming the purchase, Dish says. This feature takes advantage of Apple Pay, which lets you quickly make purchases using your stored payment information without having to leave the iMessage conversation. Business Chat is as secure as placing a call, where customers would have had to provide information to identify themselves as the account
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Some MacBook Pro users complain about throttling issues

The new MacBook Pro has a thermal issue. YouTuber Dave Lee found out that the top-performing MacBook Pro can’t operate at full speed for a long time because it gets too hot. According to him, a video export in Adobe Premiere Pro is taking longer on a brand new MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 CPU than on a 2017 MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i7 CPU (previous Intel generation). Sure, if you look at benchmarks, the new MacBook Pro destroys previous models, and even many iMacs. But Apple is throttling the speed of the CPU so that it doesn’t get too hot under heavy load. Apple Insider tested the performance of the new MacBook Pro with a Core i7 and Core i9 model. In both instances, the clock speed of the CPU started to drop drastically after a while. For the i9, the CPU dropped from 4.
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Apple reportedly confirms keyboard reliability fix in internal document

An internal Apple document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacGénération and MacRumors confirms that there’s a membrane under the keyboard to “prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism”. This is the first time Apple acknowledges that the third generation butterfly keyboard tries to fix unreliability issues. “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,” the internal document says. When Apple introduced the updated MacBook Pro, the company told everyone that the keyboard had been updated for quieter typing. But iFixit found out that the company actually added thin silicon barriers under each keycap. It’s clear that Apple didn’t want to publicly state that there is a reliability issue with its recent 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The company doesn’t want to fuel
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Apple releases third iOS 12 beta to everyone

Apple just released the third version of the iOS 12 beta as part of the public beta program. It means that everyone can now install a development build of iOS 12, the next major version of the operating system for iPhone and iPad. Don’t forget this is still a beta version. Things will crash, things won’t work. Don’t be surprised if you lose data in your Photos, Notes or Messages apps for instance. But if you have an iPhone or iPad that you don’t use every day, you can get a glimpse of the future of iOS right now. While the final version of iOS 12 should be released near the end of September, Apple is going to release beta versions every few weeks over the summer. Before installing the beta, don’t forget to back up your device to iCloud and/or your computer using iTunes. You can then head over
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Companies, like people, don’t change

Not a month goes by when we hear about another snafu or scandal about Facebook and Uber. And each time I wonder if they will change. It seems both these companies are genetically pre-programmed to obey what their DNA tells them — unfettered growth without consequences. And which makes me wonder, can companies change? Or the culture a company starts with becomes its defining characteristic. Here are my thoughts. Continue reading "Companies, like people, don’t change"

Apple’s iCloud user data in China is now handled by a state-owned mobile operator

If you’re an Apple customer living in China who didn’t already opt out of having your iCloud data stored locally, here’s a good reason to do so now. That information, the data belonging to China-based iCloud users which includes emails and text messages, is now being stored by a division of China Telecom, the state-owned telco. The operator’s Tianyi cloud storage business unit has taken the reins for iCloud China, according to a WeChat post from China Telecom. Apple separately confirmed the change to TechCrunch. Apple’s transition of the data from its own U.S.-based servers to local servers on Chinese soil has raised significant concern among observers who worry that the change will grant the Chinese government easier access to sensitive information. Before a switch announced earlier this year, all encryption keys for Chinese users were stored in the U.S. which meant authorities needed to go through the
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Sharecuts is creating a community for sharing Siri Shortcuts

With the upcoming release of iOS 12, Apple is introducing a new app called Shortcuts that will allow users to build custom voice commands for Siri that can be used to kick off a variety of actions in apps. While some apps will directly prompt users to add a Shortcut to Siri, the new Shortcuts app will offer more shortcut suggestions to try, plus the ability to create your own shortcuts and workflows. Now, there’s a new resource for shortcut fans, too – Sharecuts, a directory of shortcuts created and shared by the community. The site is still very much in the early stages. Plus, iOS 12 is still in beta testing itself, and the Shortcuts app can only be installed by developers who request access via an invite. But by the time iOS 12 releases to the public later this fall, Sharecuts’ directory will be filled out and a
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Apple’s App Store revenue nearly double that of Google Play in first half of 2018

Apple’s App Store continues to outpace Google Play on revenue. In the first half of the year, the App Store generated nearly double the revenue of Google Play on half the downloads, according to a new report from Sensor Tower out today. In terms of dollars and cents, that’s $22.6 billion in worldwide gross app revenue on the App Store versus $11.8 billion for Google Play – or, 1.9 times more spent on the App Store compared with what was spent on Google Play. This trend is not new. Apple’s iOS store has consistently generated more revenue than its Android counterpart for years due to a number of factors – including the fact that Android users historically have spent less on apps than iOS users, as well as the fact that there are other Android app stores consumer can shop – like the Amazon Appstore or Samsung
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Apple emoji will soon include people with curly hair, white hair and superpowers

In honor of World Emoji Day (yes, that’s a thing), Apple is previewing some of its upcoming emoji. Later this year, Apple’s emoji set will feature people with a variety of hairstyles and colors, including curly hair, red hair and white hair. What you’re about to see are simply Apple’s take on emoji that were previously approved by the Unicode Consortium’s emoji subcommittee.

Folks with curly hair, rejoice!

Let’s hear it for the redheads

 

Like white on rice

 

No hair? No problem

Other fun emoji include a freezing face, peacock, mango, lobster, nazar amulet, superheroes and kangaroo.

Back in March, Apple proposed new emojis to represent people with disabilities in Unicode’s next batch of emoji. Then in May, Unicode announced some of the draft candidates for its next emoji release in Q1 2019 to include some of Apple’s proposed emoji, which featured a guide dog, an ear with
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Living with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro

When reviewing hardware, it’s important to integrate it into your life as much as possible. If you can, swap it in for your existing devices for a few days or a week, to really get an idea of what it’s like to use it day to day. There are certain nuances you can only discover through this approach. Of course, that’s easier said than done in most cases. Switching between phones and computers every week isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds, especially when juggling multiple operating systems. As a MacBook Pro owner, however, this one was a fair bit easier. In fact, there’s very little changed here from an aesthetic standpoint, and beyond the quieter keyboard and Siri integration, there’s not a lot that’s immediately apparent in the 2018 MacBook Pro refresh for me. That’s because I’m not the target demographic for the update. I write words for a
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iFixit finds dust covers in latest MacBook Pro keyboard

Apple released a refreshed MacBook Pro this week and top among the new features is a tweaked keyboard. Apple says its quieter than the last version and in our tests, we agree. But iFixit found something else: thin, silicone barriers that could improve the keyboard’s reliability. This is big news. Users have long reported the butterfly switch keyboard found in MacBook Pros were less reliable than past models. There are countless reports of dust and lint and crumbs causing keys to stick or fail. Personally, I have not had any issues, but many at TechCrunch have. To date Apple has yet to issue a recall for the keyboard.. iFixit found a thin layer of rubberized material covering the new butterfly mechanism. The repair outlet also points to an Apple patent for this exact technology that’s designed to “prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress.” According to Apple, which held a big
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App Store At 10

Apple App Store 10th anniversary 07102018 big 1 gif large 2x Apple’s App Store turned 10. If you remember Walter Isaacson’s book on Steve Jobs, then you would remember Steve wasn’t a fan of the idea of an app store. An enthusiast community saw an opportunity, released a cracked iOS and an app store for independent apps. Very few developers were on board for the web apps, that Apple was pushing. Instead it was a bunch of renegades who thought App Store was needed. They called it iOS jailbreaking. By the way, our friend Ben Schachter of Macquarie Research points out that “99.9% of all apps in the App Store have earned less than $1 million,” and that ” In 2017 iPhone Apps were 84% of total sales,” with iPad getting the rest.   App store’s tenth anniversary is a timely reminder that enthusiasts — derisively labeled fanboys — help turn companies into cultural movements. Twitter, as it does a Continue reading "App Store At 10"

Television content creation in China

Content creation has seen immense growth in recent years, with a shift in focus from mainstream content providers such as traditional television studious to internet-era startups either seeking to expand their portfolios or seeking to increase premium user memberships through exclusive content introduction. In America, this scene has been predominately owned by Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, introducing critically acclaimed titles such as The Man in the High Castle, Orange Is the New Black and The Handmaid’s Tale, respectively, with many other industry giants scrambling to catch up (with Apple already signing a deal with Steven Spielberg to produce an Amazing Stories-reboot, Facebook spending as much as $1 billion on original content, Google announcing plans to potentially spend up to $3 million per drama episode and even Disney with their purported streaming service, among many others). Similarly, in China’s growing television industry, a select few, namely Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, continue to
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Apple could bundle TV, music and news in a single subscription

According to a report from The Information, Apple could choose to bundle all its media offerings into a single subscription. While Apple’s main media subscription product is currently Apple Music, it’s no secret that the company is investing in other areas. In particular, Apple has bought the distribution rights of many TV shows. But nobody knows how Apple plans to sell those TV shows. For instance, you could imagine paying a monthly fee to access Apple’s content in the TV app on your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. In addition to that, Apple acquired Texture back in March. Texture lets you download and read dozens of magazines with a single subscription. The company has partnered with Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. to access their catalog of magazines Texture is still available, but it’s clear that Apple has bigger plans. In addition to
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Disney Imagineering has created autonomous robot stunt doubles

For over 50 years, Disneyland and its sister parks have been a showcase for increasingly technically proficient versions of its “animatronic” characters. First pneumatic and hydraulic and more recently fully electronic — these figures create a feeling of life and emotion inside rides and attractions, in shows and, increasingly, in interactive ways throughout the parks. The machines they’re creating are becoming more active and mobile in order to better represent the wildly physical nature of the characters they portray within the expanding Disney universe. And a recent addition to the pantheon could change the way that characters move throughout the parks and influence how we think about mobile robots at large. I wrote recently about the new tack Disney was taking with self-contained characters that felt more flexible, interactive and, well, alive than ‘static’, pre-programmed animatronics. That has done a lot to add to the convincing nature of what is
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Apple buries the hatchet with Samsung but could tap LG displays

After years of legal procedures, Apple and Samsung have reached an agreement in the infamous patent case. Terms of the settlement were undisclosed. So is everything clear between Samsung and Apple? Not so fast, as Bloomberg reports that Apple wants to use OLED displays from LG to reduce its dependence on Samsung. You might remember that Apple first sued Samsung for copying the design of the iPhone with early Samsung Galaxy phones. The first trial led to an Apple victory. Samsung had to pay $1 billion. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office later invalidated one of Apple’s patents. It led to multiple retrials and appeals, and the Supreme Court even had to rule at some point. After many years, Samsung ended up owing $539 million to Apple. According to Reuters, Samsung has already paid $399 million. If you look closely at the original case, it feels like
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LiDAR startup Luminar hires former Fitbit and Apple execs

LiDAR company Luminar and its whiz founder Austin Russell burst onto the autonomous vehicle startup scene last April after operating for years in secrecy. Now, Luminar has nabbed two high-profile hires that signal its grander ambitions in the race to develop and deploy autonomous vehicles. Luminar announced Thursday it has hired Fitbit executive Bill Zerella as its chief financial officer and Tami Rosen as chief people officer. Both have years of experience in their respective arenas. Zerella was CFO of FitBit for four years. He has held the CFO position in various other companies, including wireless communications company Vocera, Force10 Networks, and telecom equipment firm Infinera. His specialty is helping burgeoning startups scale up in revenue as well as operationally to hit high-volumes hardware and software products. He has also helped companies navigate the path to an IPO. During his stint at Fitbit, Zerella led the largest consumer electronics IPO in history.
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Jury rules Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine owe $25M to early Beats collaborator

Beats Studio 3 wireless headphones

A Los Angeles jury has ruled that Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the founders of Apple-owned Beats Electronic, owe $25.25 million in royalties to an early collaborator who helped create the first model of Beats Studio headphones. Founded in 2008, Beats was acquired by Apple in 2014. The plaintiff, Steven Lamar, claims that he first proposed the concept behind the headphones to Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre (real name Andre Young) in early 2006 and continued working with the Beats founders until falling out with them later that year. This led to a settlement that Lamar claims stipulated he would receive royalties on all future releases in the Beats Studio line. Dre and Iovine argued, however, that they had fulfilled their end of the agreement by paying Lamar royalties for the original headphone model, which was released in 2008. The jury decided that under
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