Microsoft’s Cortana Assistant Now Available on iPad

Microsoft today updated its Cortana app for iOS with native iPad support. The design looks essentially the same as the iPhone version, but with an interface optimized for the larger 7.9-inch to 12.9-inch screen sizes of Apple’s tablets.


The release notes also mention that Cortana now opens 20 percent faster:

What’s new:
Introducing a brand-new Cortana for iPad design. Enjoy an exclusive layout and interface for your iPad.
Cortana now launches 20% faster! Enjoy a lightning-fast experience.

Like rivals Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, Cortana is a digital assistant that can set reminders, schedule calendar appointments, respond to queries, and provide other information through machine learning techniques.

Apple only allows third-party assistants to function within their apps, however, limiting their usefulness versus Siri on iPhone and iPad. For example, Cortana can’t be invoked with a voice command when an iOS device is locked.

Nevertheless, iPad users now have one more assistant to choose from alongside Siri and Alexa. Cortana is available for free on the App Store.

Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Apple Retail Stores in China to Accept Alipay Mobile Payments

Alipay, the mobile payment system offered by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, will soon be accepted in Apple retail stores across China, making it the first third-party mobile payment system to be accepted at brick-and-mortar Apple stores anywhere in the world (via Reuters).


The partnership with Apple was announced in a statement on Wednesday by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, which runs Alipay. Apple’s regional China website, iTunes Store, and App Store have accepted Alipay for over a year, but Apple has now agreed to accept Alipay payments across all of its 41 local retail stores in the country, where Apple Pay has thus far received a lukewarm reception.

Alipay is China’s most used mobile payment platform, but Alibaba is looking to keep one step ahead of Tencent Holdings’ rival digital payment system, which is integrated into hugely popular chat app WeChat.

Reports of discussions about a potential partnership between Apple and Alibaba date back to November 2014, when the idea of integrating Alibaba’s Alipay with Apple Pay was first considered as a more comprehensive mobile payments solution for the Chinese market.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Target Launches iTunes Digital Card Sale: Buy One, Get One 20% Off

Target this week has launched one of the first notable App Store and iTunes gift card discounts since the holidays, offering shoppers the chance to buy one iTunes card at regular price and get a second one for 20 percent off. While not as good as the straight 15 percent discounts for a single card we’ve seen over the past few months, this is one of the only iTunes card sales going on right now, so it could be a good opportunity to add some credit to your iTunes account.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

The offer is valid on $15, $25, $50, and $100 iTunes cards and will be delivered via email. The 20 percent discount will be applied to the lower priced item, so multiple price tiers can be added at once, and after two cards are placed in your cart you’ll notice the discount. Target noted that quantities are limited, but the sale is planned to last through Friday, February 16 at 11:59 p.m. PT. We’ve rounded up a few examples of the savings you can net with Target’s new offer below:

  • 2x $15 iTunes cards: $27, down from $30
  • 2x $25 iTunes cards: $45, down from $50
  • 2x $50 iTunes Cards: $90, down from $100

If you’re a Costco member, you have a chance to save a bit more money with discounts closer to the 15 percent savings seen in previous iTunes gift card sales. Costco’s members-only iTunes sale will end this Saturday, February 10.

In addition to the iTunes card sales, Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day might be worth checking out for anyone interested in saving money on an older, refurbished iMac. The timed deal has the 21.5-inch iMac from late 2013 (2.9GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD) priced at $699.99, down from $1,199.99. The iMac is sold by Woot through Amazon, and is said to show limited or no wear and include all original accessories.

If you’re looking for more information on the latest discounts, head over to our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Tag: Target

Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Apple Explains Why Power Management Features Were Introduced in January 2017 But Not Disclosed Until February 2017

iOS 10.2.1, introduced on January 23, 2017, has become one of Apple’s most infamous iOS updates as it marked the introduction of power management features that slow down older iPhones with degraded batteries.

Apple introduced the update, and designed the power management features, to fix unexpected shutdowns that were impacting iPhone 6 and 6s devices.


When iOS 10.2.1 was first released in January of 2017, Apple made no mention that it addressed unexpected shutdowns, and the company did not bring up the issue again until a month later, in February of 2017. On February 23, Apple explained that the iOS 10.2.1 introduced “improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns.”

In a recent inquiry, Senator John Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, asked Apple why there was a discrepancy between the time that the update was introduced and the time when Apple explained what was in the update, a question Apple answered today.

Apple says that iOS users were not immediately informed about the power management features in iOS 10.2.1 because it first needed to confirm that the update successfully solved the problem causing unexpected shutdowns. From Reuters‘ Stephen Nellis:

After gathering and analyzing data, we issued the iOS 10.2.1 software update in January 2017, for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE.

Then we looked at the diagnostic data made available by the update, and it indicated that the rate of unexpected shutdowns was greatly reduced for iPhone 6 and 6s owners. In February 2017, we updated our iOS 10.2.1 Read Me notes to let customers know the update “improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns.” We also provided a statement to several press outlets and said that we were seeing positive results from the software update.

Even after Apple provided details on iOS 10.2.1, customers did not know the full extent of how the power management features worked until December of 2017, which is why Apple has landed in hot water with customers and government officials around the world.

In addition to the inquiry from Senator Thule, Apple is also being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to determine whether Apple violated security laws “concerning its disclosures” when it launched the iOS 10.2.1 update.

Apple is facing dozens of lawsuits over the issue, and the company is also dealing with inquiries in countries that include China, Italy, South Korea, France, and Brazil.
Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

How to Disable Apple’s Performance Management Features in Older iPhones in the iOS 11.3 Beta

Starting with the second beta of iOS 11.3, Apple has introduced a new “Battery Health” feature that’s designed to provide you with more information about the state of your battery and whether or not it’s impacting device performance.


If your iPhone has a degraded battery that is leading to throttling issues, the “Battery Health” section will let you know about it, and it will provide an option to turn off performance management to put a stop to any throttling that’s going on.

There are, however, some nuances to this feature that you need to know about, which we’ll outline below.

When Installing iOS 11.3

When you first install the iOS 11.3 update, all performance management features that might have been enabled are automatically disabled. So when you first install the beta, you don’t need to do anything because performance management is turned off.

You will, however, need to watch out for an unexpected shutdown that turns your device off, because if this happens and you have a bad battery, performance management will be turned back on. More on this below.

Accessing Battery Health

You can check out the status of your battery in the new Battery Health section, which will tell you the maximum capacity of the battery in your iPhone and whether or not it’s running at peak performance capacity. Here’s how to get to it:

  1. Open up the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to “Battery” and tap it.
  3. Tap on “Battery Health.”

All the info you need to know about your battery is listed here. Maximum Capacity will let you know how your battery is performing overall, and it directly correlates to how long your iPhone will last on a single charge.

Peak Performance Capability will let you know if a degraded battery has resulted in performance slowdowns.

What it Looks Like When Your Device Running Normally

When your iPhone is running as normal, under the “Peak Performance Capability” section, it will say “Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance.”


You may still have somewhat degraded Maximum Battery capacity as this number slowly declines after charging cycles, but throttling does not kick in until the battery becomes severely degraded and can no longer offer enough power to support spikes in processor usage.

What it Looks Like if You Have a Bad Battery

If you have a bad battery, it will say “Your battery’s health is significantly degraded,” and it will let you know that an Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance.


It will also tell you if performance management features have been turned on, and it will provide an option to turn them off.

What Happens When You Have an Unexpected Shutdown

As mentioned above, all performance management features are disabled automatically upon installing iOS 11.3. If your device has a bad battery and it shuts down because of it, performance management will be automatically enabled.

If this happens, you will see the following message under “Peak Performance Capability” in Battery Health.

“This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to prevent this from happening again.”


If you have an unexpected shutdown AND your battery capacity is significantly degraded, you’ll see a slightly different message suggesting an immediate battery replacement.

How to Disable Performance Management if Your Battery is Bad

After experiencing an unexpected shutdown, performance management is turned on automatically on your iPhone. You will, however, see a small “Disable” option when this happens, and if you tap it, you’ll be given the option to disable performance management.


Disabling performance management will turn off any throttling that’s been applied, but it will leave your device vulnerable to future unexpected shutdowns.

You will not see the option to disable performance management until your device has experienced at least one unexpected shutdown, and once you disable it, there is no option to turn it on again.


If your iPhone shuts down again while performance management is disabled, though, performance management will automatically turn it on again.

This means you will need to turn performance management off again each time your device experiences an unexpected shutdown, as Apple believes slower performance is preferable to sudden losses of power.

How to Permanently Disable Performance Management

If you have a device with a bad battery that is experiencing unexpected shutdowns and is subjected to Apple’s performance management feature, the only permanent solution is to get a new battery.

Having your battery replaced will restore an older iPhone to full working order, with maximum capacity and performance capabilities.

Apple is offering $29 battery replacements for the iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018. Your battery does not need to be experiencing shutdowns to be replaced – you can also get a replacement for a battery that’s not operating at maximum capacity, no questions asked. You can get one $29 battery replacement per device.

Newer devices like the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X that have a high maximum capacity near 100% don’t need replacement, but at levels below 90%, it could be worth getting a new battery while Apple is still offering them at a discounted price. To get a battery replacement, contact Apple Support.

If you have AppleCare+ or are under your one-year device warranty and have a battery that’s below 80 percent, you won’t even need to pay the $29 fee — that’s considered a defective battery and Apple will replace it for free.

Devices Impacted by Performance Management

Performance management features have been installed on the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE. On other iPhones, like the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, you will be able to see readings for Maximum Capacity and Peak Performance Capability, but you won’t need to worry about throttling or unexpected shutdowns.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone X

Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Apple Seeds Second Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the first beta and two weeks after releasing macOS High Sierra 10.13.3.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.


macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren’t addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.3. The update includes support for some features that are also available in iOS 11.3, like Messages on iCloud, which uploads all of your iMessages to the cloud. It will also support Business Chat, a feature coming when iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 are released to the public.

The new macOS update also includes the smoke cloud wallpaper that was previously only available on the iMac Pro, and it introduces a warning when opening up a 32-bit app as part of an effort to phase them out.

In the future, Apple plans to phase out 32-bit Mac apps, just like it did with 32-bit iOS apps. Apple says macOS High Sierra is the last version of macOS that will support 32-bit apps without compromises.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X Batteries Less Impacted by Performance Management

Apple’s newest iPhones, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, use a “different performance management system” than older iPhones, which means any performance management features may be less noticeable on these devices.

Apple outlined the difference between its newer iPhones and older models in an updated support document covering the Battery Health features introduced in today’s iOS 11.3 beta. Apple says iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X use a more advanced hardware and software design that’s better able to estimate power needs and battery performance.

iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models use a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery’s power capability to maximize overall system performance. This allows a different performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown. As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Over time, the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will diminish in their capacity and peak performance and will eventually need to be replaced.

Though the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X may be less impacted by performance management features in the future, Apple says that the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will eventually diminish in capacity and need to be replaced for the iPhone to continue running at peak performance.

While Apple previously said that the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X do not have power management features installed at the current time, today’s updated support document gives us some insight into how these devices might be affected in the future.

Apple has implemented performance management features in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. As of iOS 11.3 beta 2, customers can check to see if their devices are impacted by processor slowdowns in a new “Battery Health” section of the Settings app.

Installing iOS 11.3 will turn off any current performance management features on older devices, and it will only be reimplemented if and when a device experiences an unexpected shutdown. Customers also have the option of turning off the feature even after an unexpected shutdown, but it will need to be disabled after each performance failure.

For devices that have degraded batteries that are causing performance issues, replacing the battery solves the problem. Apple is continuing to offer $29 battery replacements through the end of 2018.
Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Apple Watch Had Record Year With Estimated 18M Shipments in 2017, Topped Entire Swiss Watch Industry Last Quarter

Not only did the Apple Watch just have its best quarter ever in terms of sales, but it also had a record-breaking year overall, capped off by topping shipments from the entire Swiss watch industry combined last quarter.


Apple Watch shipments topped an all-time high of 18 million units in 2017, according to estimated data from research firm Canalys, an over 50 percent increase compared to the roughly 12 million units Apple shipped in 2016.

Canalys claims that 48 percent of the shipments were the latest Apple Watch Series 3 models, while 52 percent were Series 2 or older models. Among the Series 3 models, around 13 percent of customers opted for an LTE-enabled model, while 35 percent of people were satisfied with the Wi-Fi and GPS version.

The keyword is estimated, since Apple doesn’t actually reveal Apple Watch sales on a standalone basis. Instead, the device is grouped under Apple’s expanding “Other Products” category, alongside the Apple TV, Apple Watch, accessories like AirPods and Beats, and as of next quarter, the HomePod.

Apple analysts, who closely examine the “Other Products” revenue and other clues to estimate Apple Watch sales, each have similar totals. Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies estimates Apple Watch shipments totaled 17.4 million last year, while Horace Dediu of Asymco comes in at 17.7 million.


On an earnings call last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Apple Watch had its best quarter ever during the final three months of 2017, with over 50 percent growth in revenue and units sold for the fourth quarter in a row, and strong double-digit growth in every geographic segment that Apple tracks.

Cook added that sales of Apple Watch Series 3 models were also more than twice as high as Series 2 models in the year-ago quarter.

Interestingly, it appears that this growth has resulted in Apple Watch shipments coming in higher than all Swiss watch brands combined for the first time last quarter, according to IDC research director Francisco Jeronimo.‏ In other words, Apple is now the biggest watchmaker in the world.


The key takeaway here is that the Apple Watch continues to grow at an impressive rate as the device approaches its third anniversary in April. Apple Watch also remains the world’s most popular smartwatch by a significant margin, and is now even running the iconic Swiss watch industry a run at its money.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Tag: Canalys
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

HomePod Availability is Tightening Ahead of Friday’s Launch

HomePod supply is beginning to dwindle ahead of the speaker’s launch this Friday across the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.


Apple Store pickup is now unavailable for the HomePod in all three countries, following several days of launch day availability, while delivery estimates for online orders of the speaker in Space Gray and White have been pushed back to February 12 in both Australia and the United Kingdom.

HomePod orders placed today on Apple’s online store are still estimated for delivery on February 9 in the United States, when limited quantities of the speaker will be made available to walk-in customers at select Apple Stores and resellers, including Best Buy, John Lewis, Harvey Norman, Telstra, and EE.

Apple still lists most orders in the “Preparing for Shipment” stage, but that should soon change to “Shipped” as Friday draws closer. As noted in our forums, some customers have already been able to obtain a UPS tracking number.

HomePod sales will long be a subject of debate, as Apple’s delivery estimates only serve as anecdotal evidence of exact supply and demand. We’ll likely never know for certain, as the speaker will be grouped under “Other Products” in Apple’s earnings results alongside products like the Apple TV and Apple Watch.

The embargo for HomePod reviews has just lifted this morning, with articles from The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, CNET, TechCrunch, iMore, and others. We’ll have a more in depth roundup to share shortly.

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

Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

NYPD Rolls Out iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Handsets to Manhattan Officers, Replacing Windows Phones

The New York Police Department is making good on a promise made last year to dole out iPhone handsets to its officers, replacing around 36,000 Windows Phones as part of a new hardware upgrade strategy, reports the New York Daily News.

The NYPD has been rolling out hundreds of the phones since Christmas to Manhattan cops, who can choose between iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models. The platform switch comes at no cost to the police department because the handsets are filed as upgrades under the agency’s contract with AT&T.

Image via New York Daily News

“We’ve been giving out about 600 phones a day,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information and Technology Jessica Tisch. “We’re seeing a lot of excitement.”

Police in the Bronx and Staten Island have already received their new phones, with officers in the Queens and Brooklyn boroughs next in line to make the switch to iOS.

Armed with Apple’s smartphones, the NYPD has seen its response times to critical crimes in progress drop by 14 percent, according to Tisch. The iPhones also allow cops to get videos and surveillance pictures of wanted suspects within minutes of a crime.

“I truly feel like it’s the ultimate tool to have as a patrol cop,” said Police Officer Christopher Clampitt. “We get to the location a lot quicker,” he said. “By the time the dispatcher puts out the job (on the radio) we’re already there.”

Before the rollout, NYPD’s smartphones of choice were Nokia’s Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL, released in October 2014 and March 2015 respectively. The discontinued devices run Windows Phone 8.1, which Microsoft ended support for in July 2017 to focus on its newer Windows 10 Mobile platform and cloud-based services.

In October 2014, New York City officials announced plans to roll out handheld devices to every NYPD officer for the first time ever, along with tablets for every patrol car. The $160 million initiative was part of a plan to bring the department into the 21st century.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone 8 (Neutral)

Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories