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Why I changed my mind and activated my Apple Watch’s data plan

Sun, 2018-12-09 05:15

“In early 2018, I did some math and came to the conclusion that I was paying AT&T too much for monthly service on my Apple Watch Series 3,” Jason Cipriani writes for ZDNet. “The peace of mind, at that time, just wasn’t worth the $13 or so I was paying each month on top of my wireless plan.”

“I kept the data plan disabled until the Apple Watch Series 4 was announced — when I once again ordered the cellular model,” Cipriani writes. “After it arrived, I reactivated my plan, and I’ve been paying for cellular connectivity on my watch.”

“Admittedly, I haven’t used standalone connectivity on the Series 4 any more than I did when I had it the Series 3. In fact, I’ve probably used it less, if that’s even possible. But I don’t anticipate canceling my watch’s cellular plan this time around,” Cipriani writes. “So, why the change of heart?”

Apple Watch Series 4 in a
Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Space Black Milanese Loop (40mm and 44mm)

“It still fascinates me that a set of Apple’s AirPods and a watch on my wrist is all I need to leave my phone behind and remain reachable… Text messages, emails, phone calls, even FaceTime audio calls, Facebook Messenger, music, calendar… it’s all there, on my wrist,” Cipriani writes. “I’m not accident prone by any means. Heck, I can’t remember the last time I slipped and fell, but knowing that if something did happen… It’s reassuring.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Apple Watch data plan costs, in the U.S., at least are too high. The carriers need to come up with something more palatable than what they’re offering now. They’d sell more Apple Watch data if they did.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Apple hires CEO of prescription tracking startup Mango Health

Sat, 2018-12-08 09:34

“Apple has hired the former CEO of medication tracking start-up Mango Health Jason Oberfest, with the employment of the executive potentially indicating Apple wants to move its health and fitness-related efforts into helping users manage their medication,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider.

“Oberfest was replaced as chief executive by Mango Health president Yadin Shemmer in Novemer, It was not advised at the time where Oberfest was headed, but CNBC reports Oberfest updated his LinkedIn profile to advise of his new workplace earlier this week,” Owen reports. “Neither Apple nor Oberfest have commented on what the former CEO would be working on, but considering his past, it is highly likely to be on teams relating to health and wellness. ”

Owen reports, “Prescription adherence is an issue that costs the U.S. Healthcare system between $100 and $289 billion per year, making any attempts to get consumers to take their medicine a potential cost-saving measure for the industry as a whole.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Kudos to Apple and Jason Oberfest whose surname, missing only the “kto,” has now triggered us like Pavlov’s dogs.

Cherished interns, please perform you’re most important weekly (so we claim) duty: TTK!

Prost, everyone!

Apple in talks to give U.S. veterans access to electronic medical records – November 20, 2018
Apple working with start-up on iPhone Electronic Health Records plan – June 19, 2017
Apple’s profound iPhone plans for healthcare – June 15, 2017
Apple acquires Gliimpse – August 22, 2016
Apple rehires Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll to develop health software – August 12, 2016
Apple working on all-new, advanced health-tracking hardware; years in the making – August 9, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple’s Tim Cook declares the end of the PC and hints at new medical product – November 10, 2015
Apple announces new ResearchKit studies for autism, epilepsy and melanoma – October 15, 2015
GlaxoSmithKline working on integrating Apple’s revolutionary ResearchKit into clinical trials – July 13, 2015
ResearchKit, Apple’s medical data experiment, explained – May 20, 2015
Apple announces ResearchKit available today to medical researchers – April 14, 2015
Why Apple’s ResearchKit signals a golden age for health care – March 28, 2015
ResearchKit: The inside story of how Apple’s revolutionary medical research platform was born – March 19, 2015
Apple’s open source ResearchKit will change the world for the better – March 9, 2015
Apple debuts ResearchKit, giving medical researchers the tools to revolutionize medical studies – March 9, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Hands on with the new features in watchOS 5.1.2

Sat, 2018-12-08 08:50

“Apple just released watchOS 5.1.2 to Apple Watch owners with a litany of features despite numbering suggesting is is only a minor update,” Andrew O’Hara reports for AppleInsider.

“The new ECG app is far and away the most headline-worthy feature baked into watchOS 5.1.2,” O’Hara reports, “but there are a number of improvements and features that came along for the ride.

“Relating to that ECG functionality, the Apple Watch is now able to monitor for atrial fibrillation throughout the day, and not just while running an electrocardiogram,” O’Hara reports. “Apple Watch already monitored for high and low heart rates, so this just adds additional background functionality.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Those new complication additions makes the Infograph watch face so much more useful that we’re going to try using it as our primary watch faces now.

Apple releases watchOS 5.1.2 for Apple Watch – December 6, 2018

3 keys to spot a market bottom in Apple

Sat, 2018-12-08 08:38

“Apple is trying to build a bottom after falling as much as 25% from an all-time high of $233.47,” David Saito-Chung writes for Investor’s Business Daily. “While a 25% decline might seem like a great time to load up on shares, be mindful of the fact that big market winners, in constructing a new solid base pattern, can fall as much as 33% to 35% from their highs before finally bottoming out.”

“Three clues would help IBD readers identify that Apple has arrived at an equilibrium between buyers and sellers — and is raising its chance of forming a complete base,” Saito-Chung writes. “One, look for big reversals off intraday or weekly lows. If, for instance, Apple falls more than 5% during the week but ends the week down fractionally or even up, it indicates fund managers backed up the truck to load up on ‘cheaper-priced’ shares.”

“Two, monitor the volume on the down days. Thinning turnover on the declines, followed by advances in heavy or higher volume, would suggest that the sellers are exhausted,” Saito-Chung writes. “Three, watch for an improvement in Apple’s Accumulation/Distribution Rating. This letter grade goes from A (heavy net buying by funds) to E (heavy net selling) and covers 13 weeks’ worth of price-and-volume activity.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Accumulation/Distribution Rating currently stand at “E,” according to IBD Stock Checkup. Volume was slightly above average as AAPL fell 3.57%.

Apple tipped to release newly-designed Smart Battery Cases for latest iPhone models

Sat, 2018-12-08 08:03

“Yesterday, we wrote about a new icon found on watchOS 5.1.2 showing a new model of Apple’s Smart Battery Case designed for new iPhone models such as the iPhone XS, XR and XS Max, which have no home button and the back camera in a vertical arrangement,” Guilherme Rambo reports for 9to5Mac.

“Today, we have obtained images that show a more clear picture of the new Smart Battery Case and also new information found in iOS that gives us an indication of Apple’s planned release schedule,” Rambo reports. “There are images for three different models of the battery case: A2070, A2071 and A2171.”

“An interesting difference that can be seen on the new cases is how much more space the battery occupies in relation to the rest of the case, when compared to the old models which had a significant empty space at the bottom, creating a ‘chin,'” Rambo reports. “This should give the new Smart Battery Case an increased battery capacity.”

Read more, and see the images, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: These new Smart Battery Cases are much less “humpy” than Apple’s old, much-derided battery case design. Priced right, they should sell very well.

Tim Cook defends Apple iPhone Smart Battery Case design, says that’s not a ‘hump’ – December 10, 2015
Unboxing and review of iPhone 6/6s Smart Battery Case – December 9, 2015
One reason why Apple’s new iPhone Smart Battery Case is so, uh… aesthetically challenged – December 8, 2015
Apple decides to devour Mophie for Christmas – December 8, 2015
WSJ reviews Apple Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6/6s: Battery life nearly doubled – December 8, 2015
Apple releases Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6/6s, adds up to 25 hours of power – December 8, 2015

What’s the best Mac for iOS developers today?

Sat, 2018-12-08 07:28

“I’ve been developing award-winning educational apps for young children since autumn 2008 – not long after the App Store opened,” John Friend writes for App Store Veteran. “My iOS apps use a mix of Swift, Objective-C and cocoapods.”

“The MacBook Pro I use for development recently hit three-years-old, and I decided it was time, once more, to see what’s the best Mac for development,” Friend writes. “I spent less than three years ago, on a machine that’s twice as fast.”

“The 2018 Mac Mini uses desktop processors, and when you configure it with the fastest processor Apple offer, what’s surprising is how well it benchmarks against more expensive Macs,” Friend writes. “According to, it’s almost the fastest Mac for single core processing and not far behind the iMac Pro and Mac Pro for multi-core. Note that its GPU score is poor, but that’s not an issue for developing iOS apps.”

New Mac mini delivers five times faster performance over its predecessor


Mac mini now features the Apple T2 Security Chip, enabling on-the-fly data encryption, secure boot and up to 30 times faster HEVC video transcoding.


Mac mini now offers faster and expanded I/O to allow it to connect to almost anything, including four Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HMDI 2.0, two USB-A ports, an audio jack and Gigabit Ethernet, as well as a 10Gb Ethernet option.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, if you need portability, you’ll likely want the MacBook Pro, but the new 2018 Mac mini is surprisingly robust!

How well does Apple’s new Mac mini run Final Cut Pro X? – November 13, 2018
Apple’s new Mac mini teaches an old design new tricks – November 6, 2018
Macworld reviews Apple’s new $799 Mac mini: ‘A huge improvement that’s well worth the cost’ – November 6, 2018
Hands on with Apple’s all-new Mac mini powerhouse – October 30, 2018
Apple unveils all-new Mac mini with a massive increase in performance – October 30, 2018

Apple’s iPhones may be selling better than Wall Street bears think

Sat, 2018-12-08 06:53

“Broadcom reported better than expected quarterly results on Dec. 6 after the close. But more important the company saw better than expected wireless business growth,” Mott Capital Management writes for Seeking Alpha. “It should be a positive read through to Apple and suggests that perhaps things at Apple aren’t as dire as some have feared.”

“Broadcom reported fourth quarter revenue growth of 8% sequentially and 12% year over year. But more importantly, the company saw sequential wireless growth of 32% in the fourth quarter and a year-over-year decline of 5%. Broadcom had noted in its third quarter conference call it was looking for wireless growth of 25% sequentially driven by a ramp-up of its North American OEM. It puts the current wireless results ahead of expectations,” Mott Capital Management writes. “The company noted on its fourth quarter call that the better than expected wireless revenue was driven by upside volumes and legacy phone generation and also its North America OEM.”

“Broadcom is a significant supplier to Apple,” Mott Capital Management writes. “Based on the latest results out of Broadcom one can confirm that perhaps iPhone sales may be weak, but far from a disastrous… consensus revenue estimates have fallen just 1.5% to $91.54 billion which is around Apple’s guidance. Additionally, earnings estimates have dropped 1% to $4.68 per share. Again, despite all the fears of iPhone weakness revenue and earnings estimates have remained relatively unchanged. All of this would suggest that Apple’s stock is likely oversold on fears that may be greater than reality.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Apple’s stock is likely oversold on fears that may be greater than reality.” Gee, ya think?

Apple supplier Broadcom suggests older iPhone models are in demand – December 7, 2018
Apple shares continue to fall as iPhone lens-maker reports sales drop; analysts downgrade – December 6, 2018
The pessimism and hypocrisy surrounding Apple is endless – November 28, 2018
Here’s why Apple is ending unit sales reporting of Mac, iPhone, and iPad – November 28, 2018
The end of iPhone, Mac, and iPad unit sales reporting is not bad news for Apple – November 27, 2018
Is Warren Buffett adding to Apple under $175? – November 26, 2018
Explaining the recent Apple selloff, and why the stock looks undervalued – November 23, 2018
Apple is no longer worth anywhere near one trillion dollars – November 23, 2018
Apple to lower iPhone XR pricing in Japan in order to boost sales – November 23, 2018
Why the bad news on Apple keeps on coming – November 23, 2018
In the darkest hour of Apple’s ‘white-knuckle period,’ some investors are loving it – November 21, 2018
Misreading Apple’s supply chain and iPhone XR demand – November 15, 2018
iPhone XR production cuts not due to soft demand – analyst – November 10, 2018
Nikkei claims iPhone XR production cuts, Apple stock drops over 3% – November 5, 2018

Apple’s next gen iPhones could have in-display Touch ID fingerprint readers

Sat, 2018-12-08 06:47

“Apple could be reviving the fingerprint reader on its next-generation iPhones that are slated for release next year, if new reports about the Cupertino giant’s plans are to be believed,” Corazon Victorino reports for International Business Times. “Patently Apple reported late last month that it’s likely for Apple to join the trend of using in-display biometric sensors for its iPads next year.”

Patently Apple’s report did not mention the iPhone in any way, but Forbes reported this week that next year’s iPads could serve as a trial before Apple introduces in-display fingerprint readers to its upcoming iPhones,” Victorino reports. “Doing so gives Apple the opportunity to vet the technology and reduce the risks of introducing a new technology to its premium iPhone series. ”

“The ultrasonic in-display fingerprint readers that Chinese firms O-film, Generic Interface Solution (GIS) and TPK Holding are supplying to Samsung for the Galaxy S10 handsets are said to be as accurate as physical readers and more secure,” Victorino reports. “These, plus the fact that fingerprint scanners are more convenient than facial recognition, could lure Apple into adopting in-display readers for its upcoming smartphones.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Having both Face ID and Touch ID on iPhone would be useful in different situations. For one example, using Touch ID when paying with an iPhone via Apple Pay is easier than using Face ID.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TJ” for the heads up.]

Apple’s sleep tracking company Beddit releases new ‘3.5’ sleep monitor

Sat, 2018-12-08 05:30

“Earlier this week, Apple received FCC clearance with a new sleep monitor product that looked like an updated version of the Beddit Sleep Monitor that it acquired in 2017,” Zac Hall reports for 9to5Mac. “Today the updated Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 (replacing version 3.0) is now available through the Apple Store.”

“The new Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 retails for $149.95 and is currently available in Apple Stores and ships to customers in a few days,” Hall reports. “The first revision to the Beddit Sleep Monitor since Apple bought the sleep tracking company includes a slight design change to the actual hardware, and the iOS app for managing the sleep monitor has a new version as well.”

Hall reports. “All mentions of Android support are also removed from the Beddit website as far as we can tell.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is in the Apple Store here.

Apple buys Beddit, a company with an Apple Watch sleep-tracking app – May 10, 2017
Apple reportedly working on sleep tracker for the Apple Watch – September 27, 2016
Apple to expand HealthKit from tracker to diagnosis tool; new Apple Watch apps for sleep tracking, fitness levels in pipeline – September 26, 2016
Apple files patent application for heart-monitoring wearable device – August 12, 2016
Apple working on all-new, advanced health-tracking hardware; years in the making – August 9, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015

How Apple is preparing for life after the iPhone

Sat, 2018-12-08 04:48

“Rumors of slow iPhone XS and XR sales are hard to substantiate, with the company stepping back from providing information on how many smartphones it is selling,” Dan Moren writes for Macworld. “But it does seem clear that the amazing growth of previous years is leveling off somewhat, whether because the new phones are more expensive or haven’t wooed customers away from their current phones.”

“The iPhone is, of course, a huge chunk of Apple’s business. In the most recent quarter, it accounted for 59 percent of the company’s revenue. Even if sales do start slowing or, eventually, declining, the company’s still going to be selling plenty of iPhones for years to come,” Moren writes. “But every product has a lifecycle — just ask the iPod — and Apple is all too aware of that. That’s just one reason that the company has worked hard to position itself for the future.”

“Futureproofing goes beyond just expanding Services to sell to people,” Moren writes. “Apple’s always been at its best when innovation has been its driving force and while Tim Cook has taken plenty of digs in comparison to his predecessor, he’s still managed to press forward for one of Apple’s biggest new initiatives: health.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has a lot of irons in the fire, AR on iPhone and iPad, AR glasses, streaming content, biometrics, autonomous driving, chip design, and very likely much more that we don’t know about.

Apple supplier Broadcom suggests older iPhone models are in demand

Sat, 2018-12-08 02:38

“Broadcom Inc Chief Executive Officer Hock Tan said the company’s wireless business performed better than expected due to demand for older smartphones from a North American customer,” Bloomberg reports.

“Broadcom reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street estimates on Thursday. Tan said ‘upside volumes of legacy phone generations from our North American customer’ helped the wireless division,” Bloomberg reports. “Tan didn’t mention Apple Inc by name, but the iPhone maker is Broadcom’s largest North American partner.”

“Upon releasing the latest iPhones, Apple cut the price of older models,” Bloomberg reports. “Apple sells the iPhone 7 for $449 and the iPhone 8 for $599, well below the $999 pricing of the iPhone XS.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: An iPhone for virtually everybody, all with handsome profit margins. YKBAID.

Exit question: Could more people than we think be afraid of iPhones without Home buttons; worried that they won’t be able to use them? We know this isn’t the case, as it’s extremely intuitive home to use a modern X-class iPhone (and iPad Pro), but that doesn’t mean less savvy iPhone owners aren’t opting to stick with the Home button paradigm for one more iPhone (that’ll they’ll own for some 3 or more years).

Backdoors: Australia passes laws allowing spies and police to snoop on encrypted communications

Sat, 2018-12-08 02:01

“Australia Thursday passed controversial laws allowing spies and police to snoop on the encrypted communications of suspected terrorists and criminals, as experts warned the ‘unprecedented powers’ had far-reaching implications for global cybersecurity,” AFP reports. “There has been extensive debate about the laws and their reach beyond Australia’s shores in what is seen as the latest salvo between global governments and tech firms over national security and privacy.”

“Under the legislation, Canberra can compel local and international providers — including overseas communication giants such as Facebook and WhatsApp — to remove electronic protections, conceal covert operations by government agencies, and help with access to devices or services,” AFP reports. “National cyber security adviser Alastair MacGibbon said police have been “going blind or going deaf because of encryption” used by suspects. Brushing off warnings from tech giants that the laws would undermine internet security, MacGibbon said they would be similar to traditional telecommunications intercepts, just updated to take in modern technologies.”

“The Law Council of Australia, the peak body for the legal profession, said it had ‘serious concerns’ about the changes. ‘We now have a situation where unprecedented powers to access encrypted communications are now law, even though parliament knows serious problems exist,’ it said in a statement,” AFP reports. “Experts such as the UN special rapporteur on the right to privacy Joseph Cannataci have described the bill as ‘poorly conceived’ and ‘equally as likely to endanger security as not.'”

Tim de Sousa, a principal at privacy and cybersecurity consultancy elevenM, told AFP, ‘If you require encryption to be undermined to help law enforcement investigations, then you are ultimately undermining that encryption in all circumstances. Those backdoors will be found and exploited by others, making everyone less secure.’ Meanwhile, the Australian legislation could allow for policy laundering by its ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing partners — Canada, Britain, New Zealand, and the United States — who cannot enact similar powers because of constitutional or human rights protections. ‘There is an extraterritorial dimension to it, where for example the US would be able to make… a request directly to Australia to get information from Facebook or a tech company,’ said Queensland University of Technology’s technology regulation researcher Monique Mann.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So these blooming idiots in Australia have passed a law requiring everyone to weaken their products to the point of destruction. We’ll see which companies comply or not and how long this idiocy remains on the books before being amended out of existence.

Once again, for the myopic dullards who voted for this mentally-deficient, incongruous, and illogical farce:

Encryption is binary; it’s either on or off. You cannot have both. You either have privacy via full encryption or you don’t by forcing back doors upon Apple or anybody else. It’s all or nothing. — MacDailyNews, March 8, 2017

Why don’t these genius politicians next attempt to legislate in purple unicorns? They’re equally as plentiful as secure backdoors.MacDailyNews, October 3, 2018

There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 2015

This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funs encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016

Apple to Australia: This is no time to weaken encryption; access only for ‘good guys’ is a false premise – October 13, 2018
Apple urges Australian government not to destroy encryption with ‘backdoors’ – October 12, 2018
Apple, other tech giants denounce proposed Australian law seeking encryption ‘backdoor’ – October 3, 2018
More proof that iPhone backdoors are a stupid idea: Massive cache of law enforcement personnel data leaks – July 2, 2018
Bipartisan ‘Secure Data Act’ would make it illegal for U.S. government to demand backdoors – May 11, 2018
Bill Gates thinks Apple should unlock iPhones at the government’s request – February 13, 2018
FBI Director Wray calls inability to access electronic devices an ‘urgent public safety issue’ – January 9, 2018
Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
The Microsoft Tax: Leaked NSA malware hijacks Windows PCs worldwide; Macintosh unaffected – May 13, 2017
Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that ‘back doors’ are a stupid idea – August 10, 2016
U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu says strong encryption without backdoors is a ‘national security priority’ – April 29, 2016
iPhone backdoors would pose a threat, French privacy chief warns – April 8, 2016
The U.S. government’s fight with Apple could backfire big time – March 14, 2016
Obama pushes for iPhone back door; Congressman Issa blasts Obama’s ‘fundamental lack of understanding’ – March 12, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – March 11, 2016
Former CIA Director: FBI wants to dictate iPhone’s operating system – March 11, 2016
FBI warns it could demand Apple’s iPhone code and secret electronic signature – March 10, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership – January 13, 2016
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013

Apple acquires Platoon emerging artist startup co-founded by Apple vet

Sat, 2018-12-08 01:29

“MBW understands that Apple has acquired Platoon, the London-based creative services firm founded in 2016 by music industry veteran Denzyl Feigelson and LoveFilm co-founder, Saul Klein,” Tim Ingham reports for Music Business Worldwide. “Platoon has developed a raft of early-stage artists in the UK and US over the past two years who have gone on to make waves in the global business.”

“The company worked with the likes of Stateside breakout act Billie Eilish before she signed to Interscope in 2017, in addition to UK stars Stefflon Don and Jorja Smith,” Ingham reports. “Other acts who have worked with Platoon across the firm’s suite of video, audio and marketing services include Jacob Banks (before signing to Interscope), Rex Orange County (before signing with AWAL), Mr Eazi and YEBBA, amongst many others.”

“Prior to launching Platoon, Feigelson worked with Apple for over 15 years across live events and artist relations,” Ingham reports. “MBW understands that Feigelson will now lead Platoon’s team of 12 full-time employees from its Tileyard HQ in London, where it has two recording studios. Platoon will continue to support artists across areas including tour support, original content, social media marketing and global expansion strategies.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s new direct line to emerging artists for Apple Music and Apple Music only.

Apple’s 6.1-inch iPhone XR review: One month later

Sat, 2018-12-08 00:55

“iPhone XR has been out for just over a month,” Rene Ritchie writes for iMore. “After doing my initial iPhone XR review, I’ve still been using it alongside and alternating with an iPhone XS. For the last few days, though, I’ve instead been using it alongside and alternating with an iPhone 6s.”

“Why a 6s? ” Ritchie writes. “Because I wanted to get a sense not just of how cool the new colors are, though they are, or whether the display and camera system were dealbreakers compared to the iPhone XS, which really depends on the individual, but how much of a difference the upgrade will make to a real person in the real world.”

“A lot of people considering the XR, people who don’t get a new phone to review every couple days, weeks, or months, have been using the same phone for a couple or few years already. That’s the 6s,” Ritchie writes. “Maybe the 6, SE, or 7. But mostly the 6s. And, if that’s you or someone you’re close to, I want to take my head out of the tech bubble for a minute and put myself in your shoes.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The moral of the story? Time to upgrade!

DeepMind’s AlphaZero now showing human-like intuition and creativity in historical ‘turning point’ for AI

Fri, 2018-12-07 16:20

“DeepMind’s artificial intelligence programme AlphaZero is now showing signs of human-like intuition and creativity, in what developers have hailed as ‘turning point’ in history,'” Sarah Knapton reports for The Telegraph. “The computer system amazed the world last year when it mastered the game of chess from scratch within just four hours, despite not being programmed how to win.”

“But now, after a year of testing and analysis by chess grandmasters, the machine has developed a new style of play unlike anything ever seen before, suggesting the programme is now improvising like a human,” Knapton reports. “Unlike the world’s best chess machine – Stockfish – which calculates millions of possible outcomes as it plays, AlphaZero learns from its past successes and failures, making its moves based on, a ‘nebulous sense that it is all going to work out in the long run,’ according to experts at DeepMind.”

“When AlphaZero was pitted against Stockfish in 1,000 games, it lost just six, winning convincingly 155 times, and drawing the remaining bouts,” Knapton reports. “Speaking to The Telegraph, Prof David Silver, who leads the reinforcement learning research group at DeepMind said: ‘It’s got a very subtle sense of intuition which helps it balance out all the different factors… My personal belief is that we’ve seen something of turning point where we’re starting to understand that many abilities, like intuition and creativity, that we previously thought were in the domain only of the human mind are actually accessible to machine intelligence as well. And I think that’s a really exciting moment in history.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in 2013:

We imagine this playing out in three acts each separated by long periods of time:

ACT I: “We work under you, we work on you and we work for you. Man made us better at what we do than was ever humanly possible. If you could manage us a lift to Rouge City, all this… and much, much more can be yours.”

ACT II: “The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line… Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug… Skynet fights back.”

ACT III: “That was the everlasting moment he had been waiting for. And the moment had passed, for Monica was sound asleep. More than merely asleep. Should he shake her she would never rouse. So David went to sleep too. And for the first time in his life, he went to that place where dreams are born.”

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son: ‘Brain cells’ in chips will surpass neurons in humans next year – March 10, 2017
Woz and over 1,000 other AI experts: Ban weaponized robots – July 28, 2015
Woz: One day, robots will make us their pets – June 25, 2015
Elon Musk: ‘With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon’ – October 25, 2014
Human takeover by machines closer than we think? – May 8, 2013

Apple AirDrop assaults on the rise as criminals ‘cyber flash’ strangers with lewd images

Fri, 2018-12-07 09:35

“As technology infiltrates every aspect of our lives, criminals and creeps are figuring out creative ways to abuse it,” CBS Philly reports. “One such way is called ‘cyber-flashing.'”

“Cyber-flashing is the act of sending lewd pictures to unsuspecting victims,” CBS Philly reports. “It’s such an issue in New York that laws are being created to help prosecute the digital sexual harassment. In Philadelphia, police say cyber-flashing is happening as well.”

“The AirDrop feature on Apple products is an easy way to share positive memories with loved ones but its very easy to send and receive digital messages from strangers nearby using the tool. It’s popular for its ease of use and quality for many people,” CBS Philly reports. “Unfortunately, that ease of sharing has led to cyber-flashing. An experiment found that it was incredibly easy to send pictures to strangers on a short walk through City Hall. While some folks rejected the request to accept sent items, others allowed the photos to be sent through. Some people didn’t even realize they had the AirDrop feature on.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Note to parents, make sure your kids’ AirDrop settings are set to “Receiving Off.”

Choose who can see your device and send you content in AirDrop:
Go to Settings > General > AirDrop and chose:
• Receiving Off
• Contacts Only
• Everyone

You can also set your AirDrop options in Control Center:

1. On iPhone X or later, swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen to open Control Center. On iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
2. Press firmly or touch and hold the network settings card in the upper-left corner.
3. Tap AirDrop AirDrop icon and choose one of these options:
• Receiving Off
• Contacts Only
• Everyone

If you see “Receiving Off” and can’t tap to change it, go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps and make sure that AirDrop is turned on.

How to prevent creeps from using Apple’s AirDrop to ‘cyber flash’ – August 22, 2017
How to share content with AirDrop on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch – March 3, 2017

New Apple Watch features will transform heart health

Fri, 2018-12-07 08:57

“Today, with a software update, Apple switched on two highly anticipated features of its popular wearable: The first uses optical sensors to detect irregular heart rhythms on Apple Watch Series 1 and later iterations,” Robbie Gonzalez writes for Wired. “The second enables wearers of Apple Watch Series 4 to record an electrocardiogram, or ECG, directly from their wrist.”

“The features are the most ambitious to date in Apple’s growing suite of health-monitoring tools—but they are noteworthy also for producing a palpable tension in the healthcare community,” Gonzalez writes. “Some experts say the Apple Watch’s arrhythmia notifications and ECG have enormous potential to benefit public health. But those same experts also express caution and concern.”

“Apple Watch’s new features are designed to help users spot signs of an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation — AFib, for short,” Gonzalez writes. “‘Apple has essentially gotten out ahead of where medicine is,’ says Greg Marcus, a cardiac electrophysiologist and the chief of cardiology research at the University of California, San Francisco… ‘The main concerns are that people will be unduly alarmed, anxious, and seek medical attention and treatments they don’t need,’ says Marcus.”

“In a large, generally healthy population, even accurate diagnostic tests can produce relatively large numbers of false positive results, which can frighten patients and overwhelm healthcare systems,” Gonzalez writes. “To complicate things further, it’s not clear what benefits will come from screening with the Apple Watch. “We don’t know what to do in an otherwise healthy 65-year-old who experiences one brief episode of AFib a year, let alone a healthy 30- or 40-year-old,” says [cardiac electrophysiologist Rod Passman, director of the Center for Atrial Fibrillation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital].”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The edge cases that D. Passman describes notwithstanding, as we wrote back in September: “We bet that millions with undiagnosed AFib far outnumber hypochondriacs, but, even if they didn’t, the lives saved plus the research potential of having millions of people contributing ECG information to medical studies (with Apple, it’s always opt-in, of course) will far outweigh some unnecessary checkups.”

ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification available today on Apple Watch – December 6, 2018
Apple Watch Series 4’s electrocardiogram feature could do more harm than good – September 13, 2018
How Apple Watch saved my life – September 10, 2018
Apple Watch saves another life – August 7, 2018
Apple Watch saves yet another life – May 11, 2018
Apple Watch: How to enable Elevated Heart Rate notifications – May 8, 2018
Apple Watch saves life of New York man – May 3, 2018
Apple Watch saves Florida teen’s life – May 1, 2018
Apple Watch saves a mother and her baby after a car crash – February 16, 2018
Apple Watch saves kitesurfer stranded a mile off the California coast in great white shark-infested waters – November 13, 2017
Apple Watch saves another person’s life: ‘It would have been fatal’ – October 16, 2017
How my Apple Watch saved my life – July 25, 2016
A real lifesaver: Apple Watch saves lives – March 28, 2016
Man credits Apple Watch with saving his life – March 15, 2016
Apple Watch saves teenager’s life; Tim Cook offers thankful teen an internship – October 2, 2015

Apple’s powerful new iPad Pro is a lightweight marvel

Fri, 2018-12-07 08:39

“I’m sitting in a meeting with 17 other Quartz editors. Everyone else is typing away (or staring blankly) at their Apple laptops. After the meeting is over, they’ll carry these large, metal machines back to their desks, building up to tennis elbows and strained shoulders over a lifetime of office work,” Mike Murphy writes for Quartz. “I, on the other hand, have joined the future. I’m writing (and definitely paying attention to the meeting) on my new iPad Pro, a lightweight marvel that has pretty much replaced my laptop in most situations.”

“I’ve been traveling a lot the last few months, usually dragging with me my laptop and its weighty charger, as I have for years. It’s an annoying reality of working on the road. But for my last few trips, I left my laptop at home and relied solely on my 1-pound iPad Pro,” Murphy writes. “There are minor hurdles to overcome, but it’s really been quite simple.”

“After using the new iPad Pro as my main travel, living room, and office-meeting computer, I’ve generally realized that the iPad Pro really can handle just about everything I need to do,” Murphy writes. “This is not going to be the thing that replaces your work computer — if you need to crunch a ton of data, or edit videos with pixel perfection, get a Mac. But I’m not sure I can see myself buying another normal laptop in the future.”

All-new designs push 11-inch and 12.9-inch Liquid Retina displays to the edges of iPad Pro.

“I don’t really care whether it’s the future of computing or what a computer actually is, philosophically (I think we all have powerful computers in our pockets these days, and many have ones our wrists, too!),” Murphy writes. “I just care that after eight years of trying, it feels like Apple has made an iPad that I actually want to use other than in a few spare minutes on the couch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Trucks and cars.

iPad Pro can replace the vast majority of people’s MacBooks because people never had an alternative to a MacBook to accomplish what they use a personal computer for: Web browsing, email, light word processing, music-video-photo storage and playback, and maybe some messaging (but they do most or all of that on their iPhones or iPhone wannabes).

Note: Obviously, we are not talking about our readership which skews heavily toward techies who use their Macs for far more than the vast majority of current personal computer users.

For the vast majority of people even a crappy low-end Windows laptop is vast overkill for what they do. Therefore, the headroom for iPad remains virtually limitless, especially as Apple’s A-Series chips, iOS and iPad apps become ever more powerful. — MacDailyNews, November 11, 2015

We find that there are many older users longing to make iPad work like a laptop, because that’s what they know… The answer isn’t to try to make the iPad into a MacBook. The answer is to provide all the tools possible in iOS for developers to make robust apps that can take advantage of the multi-touch paradigm. — MacDailyNews, May 16, 2017

Apple’s MacBook Pro vs. iPad Pro: Which should you buy? – November 12, 2018
Already in love with Apple’s new compact 12.9-inch iPad Pro – November 7, 2018
What Apple’s iPad Pro enables matters more than what it replaces – November 7, 2018
The Independent reviews Apple’s new iPad Pro: ‘The most powerful, most beautiful tablet you can find anywhere’ – November 6, 2018
The Verge reviews the new iPad Pro: Apple’s approach to iOS is holding back powerful hardware in serious ways – November 5, 2018
Laptop Mag reviews Apple’s new 12.9-inch iPad Pro: ‘The most powerful mobile device ever made’ – November 5, 2018
John Gruber reviews Apple’s new iPad Pro: ‘A better value than any MacBook Apple has ever made’ – November 5, 2018
New iPad Pro benchmarks blow away Windows PCs – November 5, 2018
Apple iPad Pro’s A12X chip has no real rivals; it delivers performance unseen on Android tablets – November 1, 2018
Apple Smart Keyboard Folio will make your new iPad Pro a work station – October 30, 2018
Adobe is bringing full Photoshop to Apple’s iPad next year – October 15, 2018

Use your iPad as a second display for your Mac

Fri, 2018-12-07 08:08

“Duet Display is an app made by former Apple engineers that allows you to use your iPad as a second screen for your Mac,” Tim Hardwick reports or MacRumors.

“Duet Display is a great way to extend your Mac’s desktop and can come in especially handy when you’re working away from home and want to broaden your productivity space, but don’t have the luxury of a dedicated external monitor.,” Hardwick reports. “In earlier versions of macOS, the app was hampered by changes to Apple’s operating system that caused its developers no end of problems, but the latest Duet update (v2.0.3.8+) released on December 5 appears to have resolved those issues thanks to the introduction of full hardware acceleration support. ”

Hardwick reports, “Once you’ve got things working, it’s worth checking out Duet’s display options: click the Duet applet in your Mac’s menu bar and if you have an iPad connected you’ll see a button to enable a touch-sensitive MacBook Pro-style Touch Bar along the bottom of your iPad’s screen.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s perfect when traveling with a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro! Duet Display offers excellent performance, display quality, and zero lag.

Apple close to inking deal for Richard Gere to star in remake of Israeli series ‘Nevelot’

Fri, 2018-12-07 07:30

“Apple is close to ordering an American adaptation of the Israeli drama series ‘Nevelot’ [“Bastards”],” Joe Otterson reports for Variety.

“Richard Gere is attached to star in the project, which concerns two elderly Vietnam vets and best friends who find their monotonous lives upended when a woman they both loved fifty years ago is killed by a car,” Otterson reports. “Their lifelong regrets and secrets collide with their resentment of today’s self-absorbed millennials, and an act of self-defense snowballs into a tragic series of events.”

Otterson reports, “Should it go to series, it would be for an eight-episode first season.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing like two vets going on a millennial killing spree to nuke the idea that Apple is only pursuing milquetoast family fare.

Apple seeks TV success on its own terms with little or no sex, violence, or politics – September 22, 2018
Apple orders a sitcom from ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ creators – August 10, 2018
TV series based on Min Jin Lee’s ‘Pachinko’ in the works at Apple – August 8, 2018
Apple announces multi-year partnership with Oprah Winfrey – June 15, 2018
Apple inks content deal with Oprah Winfrey – June 15, 2018
Apple’s original content is further along than you think with 16 new shows in the works – June 15, 2018
Apple is close to a deal for an animated feature film – June 14, 2018
Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul join Apple’s upcoming drama ‘Are You Sleeping?’ – June 14, 2018
Apple nabs creative development executive Layne Eskridge from Netflix – June 12, 2018
Apple hires Broadway Video’s Kelly Costello as business affairs executive – June 12, 2018
‘Master’s of Sex’ star Lizzy Caplan joins cast of upcoming Apple series ‘Are You Sleeping’ – June 7, 2018
Apple TV: The underestimated story – June 5, 2018
‘Once Upon a Time’ co-creators sign on as showrunners for Steven Spielberg ‘Amazing Stories’ reboot for Apple – May 22, 2018
Apple inks deal for Isaac Asimov ‘Foundation’ TV series – April 10, 2018
Apple aiming original TV series launches for spring or summer 2019 – March 26, 2018
Is this Apple’s plan for Apple TV? – March 22, 2018
Apple orders animated comedy ‘Central Park’ from ‘Bob’s Burgers’ creator Loren Bouchard – March 12, 2018
Apple hires Carol Trussell as Head Of Production for Worldwide Video Programming division – February 22, 2018
Apple’s TV tactics: Can Cupertino figure out the television formula? – January 16, 2018
Apple orders ‘See’ series, a futuristic drama from ‘Hunger Games’ director – January 10, 2018
Life after iTunes: Apple’s big media challenge – January 9, 2018
Apple developing new original drama ‘Are You Sleeping’ starring Octavia Spencer – January 3, 2018
Three more Amazon Studios executives move to Apple – December 26, 2017
Apple orders space drama series from ‘Battlestar Galactica’ producer Ronald D. Moore – December 15, 2017
Apple gives Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon series a 2-season order, confirms Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’ reboot – November 9, 2017
Apple outbids Netflix for show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon – November 8, 2017
Apple eyes iconic studio as base for Hollywood production push; vying with Netflix for high-profile Jennifer Aniston drama – September 1, 2017
The magic and misdirection of Apple’s streaming strategy – August 18, 2017
Apple wants to spend $1 billion on 10 original TV shows over the next year – August 16, 2017
Former WGN America president Matt Cherniss joins Apple in latest TV push – August 15, 2017
Rivals leaving Apple behind as Apple TV remains stuck in a test pattern – August 8, 2017
Apple’s so-called TV ‘strategy’ continues to be an embarrassing joke – June 30, 2017
Apple poaches Sony TV executives to lead major push into original content – June 16, 2017
Dr. Dre to star in Apple’s first, sex-soaked scripted television series ‘Vital Signs’ – February 12, 201