Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits Alabama, Discusses MLK, Coding, and More in Student Symposium

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Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Alabama today to attend a banquet hosted by the Birmingham Metro Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), where he received the 2018 Human Rights Award for advocacy for equality and safety in the workplace. Cook is an Alabama native who grew up in Robertsdale and attended Auburn University.

The event was meant to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. King was the founding president of the SCLC in 1957.


Ahead of the banquet, Cook also spoke at a student symposium at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham focusing on civil rights, education, and innovation, and details of what he had to say were shared by Alabama news site AL.com.


On the topic of Martin Luther King Jr., Cook said his teachings “are timeless.” “If you listen to him today, you feel like he is speaking about today,” said Cook. He went on to explain that it’s important to reflect on the work done by King, and the ways we can continue his legacy.


As for students who attended the symposium, Cook encouraged them to “change the status quo” with a quote from Dr. King: “It’s not the behavior and the actions of evil people that we remember at the end, but the silence of the good people.” Cook said that’s a quote that has always resonated with him.

“It is a special time in your life,” he said. “This is a period of time where you can change the status quo. Now is the time to do it. The world needs you more than ever to not be silent.”

After Dr. King, the conversation shifted to coding. As Cook has said multiple times, he believes coding is an “essential language.” Apple’s Swift coding curriculum is rolling out in community colleges in Alabama as of today, and Cook’s trip also involved a stop at the Lawson State Community College.


Cook told students at the symposium that everyone in school should have “multiple years” of coding before graduating because it’s important to “understand the possibility of software” even for those who don’t plan to pursue a computer science-related job.

He also said that with students in the U.S. being pushed into four-year colleges, vocational paths have dried up, leading to the need for a rebalancing. Not everyone needs to attend a four-year college, he reportedly said, and focusing so much on four-year colleges has left us without enough people with the skills to build things.

Cook’s final words were to encourage students to fight for change. Young people are “not stuck with old dogmas” and don’t accept “it’s never been done before” or “it can’t be done,” he said. “This is a great beauty of being young,” he told students.

All of Cook’s comments and additional details on the symposium can be found over at AL.com.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your New Sixth-Generation iPad

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Apple last week announced and debuted an attractive new iPad option — a sixth-generation model with an affordable $329 price tag, an upgraded A10 Fusion processor, and support for the Apple Pencil, an accessory previously limited to the more expensive iPad Pro models.

For MacRumors readers who are upgrading to Apple’s stellar new tablet from an older model, we’ve put together a video and guide covering features, accessories, and tips for getting the most out of the sixth-generation iPad.

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Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil support is the major new feature in the sixth-generation iPad, and there are a ton of useful tricks you need to know if you’re new to the accessory.

Pairing

Pairing the Apple Pencil to the iPad is as simple as uncapping it and plugging the Lightning connector into the Lightning port on your iPad. You’ll see a popup that asks you to confirm to pair, and once you accept, the Apple Pencil is successfully connected to the iPad.

Charging and Battery

When you connect your Apple Pencil to your iPad, it’ll let you know the battery level. You can also check using widgets accessed by swiping to the right of the Home screen. Scroll down to the “Batteries” section where your iPad and its connected devices (including Apple Pencil) are listed.


Don’t see a battery widget? Tap on “Edit” at the bottom of the list and tap on the “+” icon next to the “Batteries” option.


The Apple Pencil’s battery lasts for approximately 12 hours, and it charges through the Lightning connector on the iPad or with any Lightning cable using an adapter that ships with the accessory.

If your battery is dead and you need your Apple Pencil in a hurry, just plug it in for 15 seconds. That’ll get you enough juice to use it for a half hour, so it’s never out of power when you need it.

Apple Pencil Capabilities

The Apple Pencil is a sophisticated device that does quite a lot when paired with the sixth-generation iPad. A new touch sensor in the iPad allows for the Apple Pencil to work, enabling a lag-free writing and drawing experience that’s identical to using the Apple Pencil on the more expensive iPad Pro.

Your iPad knows when you’re using your Apple Pencil and it blocks out other touch input. That means there’s built-in palm rejection, so feel free to rest your hand on the iPad while you write or sketch.


There are pressure and positioning sensors included in the Apple Pencil, which let it detect a range of forces to enable pressure-sensitive drawing and writing in supported apps. When you press lightly, you’ll get a thin line. Press harder, and you’ll get a thicker line.

On the same note, there are two tilt sensors that determine the orientation and angle of the Apple Pencil while you’re holding it, a feature that lets you add shading to drawings and sketches by using the side of the tip.

Replacing the Tip

The Apple Pencil has a replaceable tip, so when it wears down, you can swap in a new one. An extra tip comes with the Apple Pencil, and you can purchase an additional package of four from Apple for $19.99.


How often you’ll need to change the tip will depend on how much you’re using the Apple Pencil, but on average, a tip should last for multiple months to a year or more. To swap it out, turn the tip counterclockwise to unscrew it and then screw on a new one.

Apple Pencil Apps

The Apple Pencil is ideal for taking notes, writing, sketching, drawing, and other similar tasks on the iPad, and because it’s been around for several years now, there are tons of apps that offer full support for the Apple Pencil’s features. We’ve listed some of our favorites below:

  • GoodNotes 4 ($7.99) – GoodNotes 4 is a comprehensive note-taking app that offers a range of writing and sketching tools, along with OCR for searching through your written notes. You can also use it to annotate documents and PDFs with the Apple Pencil.
  • Notability ($9.99) – Notability is another app that offers all of the features you need for taking detailed, concise notes with the Apple Pencil. It’s simple, easy to use, and offers tons of writing and sketching tools, but it’s not quite as feature rich as GoodNotes 4.
  • PDF Expert ($9.99) – If you’re going to be editing and annotating a lot of PDFs, it may be worth investing in PDF expert.
  • Pigment (Free) – Pigment is a coloring book app that lets you color in intricate designs using the Apple Pencil. Kids love it, and it’s relaxing for adults too.
  • Affinity Photo ($19.99) – Affinity Photo is a lot like Photoshop – you can use it for drawing, sketching, editing photos, and more. It has full support for Apple Pencil, including pressure sensitivity and tilt. Use it to apply editing effects to photos or create paintings with its extensive brush library and brush tools.
  • Procreate ($9.99) – For sketching and drawing on the iPad, you won’t go wrong with Procreate, an app that many iPad artists prefer. Procreate supports high-definition canvases, offers tons of brushes, and has full support for Apple Pencil.

Tracing Through Paper

Want to digitize a drawing that’s on traditional paper? The Apple Pencil works through paper, so just place the sheet over the iPad’s display, where it will be illuminated by the screen, and then trace the design in your favorite sketching app.

Other Apple Pencil Tidbits

Apple Pencil support is built into apps throughout the iOS 11 operating system. Inline Apple Pencil drawings, for example, can be inserted into Notes and Mail, while a useful Instant Notes feature lets you tap your Apple Pencil on the display of the iPad to automatically open a new note in the Notes app without having to unlock the iPad or manually open the app.


If you use the the document scanner in the Notes app to scan a piece of paper, you can then sign it or annotate it with Apple Pencil. It’s a useful feature for documents that you need to sign and return to someone. You can also sign standard PDFs, either in the Mail app or right in the Files app.

With the sixth-generation iPad, Apple also added Apple Pencil support to all of its iWork apps, so you can use Apple Pencil with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. You can also use the Apple Pencil for drawing on and annotating screenshots and photos with Instant Markup, a feature available in the Photos app or whenever you take a screenshot (just tap on the screenshot icon in the lower left corner).


The Apple Pencil is, of course, designed for note taking and sketching, but you can also use it for navigation just like your finger.

Augmented Reality

The sixth-generation iPad includes an A10 Fusion chip, and while it’s not as speedy as the A10X Fusion in the iPad Pro, it’s still able to run any app or game in the App Store. Apple specifically said the more powerful A10 Fusion, which was first introduced in the iPhone 7, was added to the sixth-generation iPad to support augmented reality content.


There are now tons of augmented reality apps built using ARKit in the App Store, and you can download everything from Pokémon Go to apps that let you preview furniture to educational apps, all of which have AR content. In the iOS App Store, you’ll want to check out the specific AR categories in the apps and games sections.

iOS 11 on the iPad

iOS 11 introduced a whole slew of iPad-specific features that make using an iPad as a computer replacement a much more pleasing experience. The new sixth-generation iPad, with its A10 Fusion processor, supports all of these features.


A persistent dock, for example, houses all of your apps and makes it easier to use the built-in multitasking features for accessing two apps side by side. Using simple drag gestures that are easy to learn, you can use multiple apps in a variety of ways with Slide Over and Split View arrangements, as demoed in the video.


Picture-in-picture, another multitasking feature in iOS 11, lets you watch a video on YouTube or another source while continuing to use other apps, which is super handy, and drag and drop features make it simple to move files and content from one app to another.

Control Center has been merged with a useful new App Switcher, accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the iPad. With the App Switcher, you can access all Control Center options and quickly switch between open apps with just a tap.


You can find more detail on all of these iPad features in our iOS 11 roundup, which is complete with tons of how tos that are worth checking out for learning even more about iOS 11 and the new iPad.

Adding Accessories

While the new iPad supports the Apple Pencil, it doesn’t have a Smart Connector and there’s no option for a Smart Keyboard. Bluetooth keyboards are supported, though, and if you want to use your iPad for writing, coding, or other keyboard intensive tasks, it’s worth picking one up.


The sixth-generation iPad’s design is the same as the fifth-generation iPad’s design, so all existing iPad keyboards will work with the new model, and there are tons of options out there. Brydge, for example, makes a highly rated $99 iPad keyboard, and there are multiple options from Logitech, like the $99 Slim Folio. You can also use Apple’s own Magic Keyboard for a Mac-like typing experience.

Did you get a new iPad? Are there tips and tricks worth knowing that we haven’t covered here? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer’s Guide: iPad (Buy Now)

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Facebook Details Several Privacy Changes Coming in the Wake of Cambridge Analytica Scandal

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Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Shroepfer today wrote a blog post outlining several changes that are being made to Facebook APIs to limit the amount of data apps can collect from Facebook users.

Changes are being made to the Events, Groups, and Pages API to cut down on what apps can see. With the Events API, for example, apps will no longer be able to access attendees or posts on the event wall, and the Groups API will no longer provide member lists or names associated with posts or comments.


Facebook will also now need to approve third-party access to both Groups and Pages APIs, and, as mentioned previously, all apps that access information like check-ins, photos, posts, and videos. Apps will no longer be able to see religious or political views, relationship status, education, work history, and tons more, all of which was previously readily available.

It is also no longer possible to search for a person’s phone number or email address to locate them on Facebook. Facebook says “malicious actors” have used this feature to “scrape public profile information” using data pulled from search and account recovery options.

For Android users, Facebook had been collecting call and message logs to enable Messenger features. Facebook says it will delete all logs older than a year and will upload less data to its servers going forward.

Starting next Monday, Facebook will also introduce a link at the top of the News Feed to let all users see what apps are installed and what information has been shared with those apps to make it easy for less technically savvy users to remove apps.

The Facebook privacy changes come in the wake of the ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal, where Cambridge Analytica used personal data acquired from Facebook in an illicit manner by a third-party app to create targeted political advertisements during the 2016 election.


Originally, Facebook said Cambridge Analytica was able to collect data on 50 million Facebook users, but today, Facebook clarified that it actually had access to the Facebook data from up to 87 million people, with 70 million of those in the United States.

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Apple Music and iCloud Music Library Face Syncing Issues as Users Discover Temporary Fixes

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Apple Music and iCloud Music Library sometimes face slight delays when syncing your music between devices like a Mac and iPhone, but since the launch of iOS 11.3 reports about these delays have grown much more frequent. On the MacRumors forums, in Apple’s support communities, and throughout numerous Reddit posts, users have mentioned that when they add new music on their Mac or iPad, it no longer appears on their iPhone.

Some users have said that toggling iCloud Music Library on/off works to kickstart the sync and force a refresh of albums on their iPhone, but that has the potential to cause further problems like deleted music and the removal of some song downloads. Fortunately, one user on the Apple support communities website has shared a helpful temporary fix for the issue, which MacRumors has been able to successfully perform more than five times.

Creating a new, blank playlist works to refresh your Apple Music library

To manually refresh your iPhone’s music library, simply create a new, blank playlist by navigating to the Library tab in the iOS Music app, tap Playlists, tap New Playlist, and tap Done. Once the refresh is done, jump to the bottom of the Playlists page and 3D Touch to delete the empty playlist. Note that this will also update songs added and removed within playlists.

There is no fix for this, but there is a work around until Apple fixes this: just create a blank playlist on the iOS device. This forces a read/write with the library stored in iCloud, then all your changes will suddenly get pulled down. You have to do this every time, it’s essentially a manual refresh now.

Unfortunately, the reverse method doesn’t appear to work as consistently in iTunes on Mac, but desktop users also have another potential easy solution to refresh their library: simply rate a song by loving/disliking it. Afterwards, the Recently Added tab in iTunes should refresh with the addition or removal of content that you made on any other devices connected to the same iCloud account.

On both macOS and iOS, you can also add any other new song, album, or playlist to your library to manually refresh and force the content not syncing across devices to appear. Then, you can delete the new songs after everything else has been updated.

Multiple Apple Music subscribers have opened up support cases on the bug, and Apple support in most instances have said that it’s not a known issue. However, support staff told one user that they will start an investigation after he “rebooted, changed password, signed out of iCloud, switched iCloud music library off,” and more.

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iTunes 12.6.4 Released as Minor Update to Version With Built-In App Store

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Apple has updated its special enterprise-focused version of iTunes that still has a built-in App Store for those who need it.


Download links for iTunes 12.6.4.3 have been quietly made available in an Apple support document related to deploying iPhone and iPad apps in a business environment with iTunes on Mac or Windows PCs.

The update was prepared on March 20 and released on Tuesday, according to German blog iFun.de. The version doesn’t include new release notes, so it is likely a minor update with bug fixes and stability improvements.

Apple removed the App Store in iTunes 12.7 last September, but it released iTunes 12.6.3 shortly afterwards for business customers or anyone who might still need to use the desktop software to install iOS apps.

Those who have already downloaded iTunes 12.6.3 will likely not be prompted about the iTunes 12.6.4.3 update, so they’ll have to update manually by downloading and installing the new version from Apple’s support document.

iTunes 12.6.4.3 can be downloaded by anyone, including those who have already installed iTunes 12.7. If at any point users want to update to iTunes 12.7.4 or later, they can do so manually from the main iTunes download page.
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How to Cancel App Store and Apple Music Subscriptions

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Several TV and music services and other apps offer free trials through the App Store that automatically renew to become paid subscriptions after the trial period ends.

If you want to prevent an App Store subscription from running beyond the trial period or cancel a subscription you’re currently paying for, then read on. This article explains how to cancel any App Store subscription on iOS, Mac, and Apple TV.
Continue reading How to Cancel App Store and Apple Music Subscriptions

Apple Executives Receive Stock Worth Up to $22 Million as RSUs Vest

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Seven Apple executives this week received major stock awards after restricted stock units or RSUs awarded in 2014 and 2015 vested.

Apple issues RSUs to its executives as bonus compensation, with the restricted units vesting after a set period of time as long as the employee stays with the company.


Phil Schiller, Dan Riccio, Jeff Williams, and Eddy Cue all received 130,117 shares, worth more than $22 million at Apple’s current price per share. Luca Maestri, Angela Ahrendts, and Craig Federighi all received ~77,000 shares.

Shares received by each were originally awarded on March 3, 2014; October 17, 2014; and October 5, 2015, with Riccio, Williams, Cue, and Schiller receiving stock from all three dates and Maestri, Ahrendts, and Federighi receiving stock from the October awards. The March 2014 award has now fully vested for employees who received it, while employees who received the other two rewards will see additional shares vest on April 1, 2019 and April 1, 2020.

A portion of each award was withheld by Apple to satisfy tax withholding requirements on vesting of restricted stock units.

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Apple Shares New ‘Groceries’ Video Highlighting Apple Pay on iPhone X [Updated]

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Apple today shared a new “Groceries” ad that’s designed to highlight the ease of using Apple Pay with Face ID on the iPhone X.


In the short 12 second spot, which will likely be shown on TV, YouTube, and social media networks, a woman shopping for produce at the grocery store uses an iPhone X and Apple Pay to make her purchases.

The fruit she buys is then crafted into an elaborate sea scene with a shark made from watermelon, banana dolphins, watermelon waves, pineapple palm trees, and more.

Apple in recent weeks has shared several videos focusing on Apple Pay features on the iPhone X. “Fly Market,” published in late March, for example, featured a man dancing through an open air market making purchases with just a glance, while a second spot with the same actor demonstrated Apple Pay Cash.

Update: Apple has uploaded several additional short iPhone X videos, all of which feature Apple Pay on iPhone X. “Coffee” and “Kicks” highlight a traditional in-store Apple Pay purchases, while “Grooming” features an in-app Apple Pay purchase.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Neutral)

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Apple’s Upcoming Morning Show Drama Gets New Showrunner

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One of the TV shows Apple has in the works, a “morning show drama” starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, is getting a new showrunner, reports Variety.


The original showrunner and creator, Jay Carson, had planned to work with Apple on the series, but he has departed over creative differences. Kerry Ehrin, known for “Bates Motel,” is instead set to take over and is close to inking a deal with Apple.

Ehrin was the co-creator, executive producer, and showrunner of “Bates Motel.”

Apple has signed a deal for two seasons of the as-of-yet untitled morning show drama, each with 10 episodes. The show, based on the 2013 book “Top of the Morning” by Brian Stelter, takes a look inside the cutthroat world of morning television. Stelter’s book was based on the rivalry between NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Apple has multiple TV shows in the works, all of which are outlined in the original content section of our Apple TV roundup. Rumors have suggested the first of Apple’s TV shows could debut in 2019.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

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Apple Seeds First Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 to Developers

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Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 update to developers, just under one week after releasing the macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 update.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 beta can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed. The update does not appear to be listed in the Apple Developer Center at the current time, but it is available for developers who previously installed the macOS High Sierra beta profile.


It’s not yet clear what improvements the fifth major update to macOS High Sierra will bring, but it’s likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren’t addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4.

We are waiting on several features to come to macOS and iOS, including Messages on iCloud, a feature that was in the iOS 11.3 beta but later pulled. Messages on iCloud has been reintroduced in the iOS 11.4 beta and is likely in macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 as well.

The previous macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 update brought support for external graphics processors (eGPUs) along with Business Chat in Messages and several other bug fixes and smaller feature improvements.

We’ll update this post should any new features be discovered in macOS High Sierra 10.13.5.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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