Apple’s Upcoming Drama Starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon Hits Roadblock

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Apple has reportedly planned to invest as much as $ 4.2 billion, as pursuant with its ambitions of creating compelling original content for Apple TV and beyond. While details about the company’s many shows remain scant at this time, we know based on pervious reports that a wide range of original series including dramas, comedies, thrillers, […]
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Tim Cook will attend deposition as part of Apple’s ongoing battle with Qualcomm

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Tim Cook will attend a deposition on June 27 as part of Apple’s continuing legal battle with Qualcomm. Qualcomm’s lawsuit accuses Apple of lying to regulators in order to spur investigations into Qualcomm’s business. Apple previously filed a complaint over chip royalties. Qualcomm is currently being accused of using anticompetitive practices and abusing its position […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

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Apple’s highly anticipated Mac Pro won’t be released this year

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Mac Pro Release

For years, Apple let its relatively ancient trashcan Mac Pro languish on the sidelines without any updates. Indeed, Apple’s seeming ambivalence with respect to the Mac Pro led many to believe that Apple might axe the product altogether. In turn, a narrative claiming that Apple no longer cared about its demographic of pro users and creative professionals quickly emerged and began to take hold.

In an effort to assure the Mac faithful that Apple hasn’t forgotten about its pro users, Apple last year invited a handful of journalists down to Cupertino where a number of executives — including Phil Schiller — revealed that Apple was working on a brand new Mac Pro design.

“With regards to the Mac Pro,” Schiller explained at the time, “we are in the process of what we call ‘completely rethinking the Mac Pro’. We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.”

The news was music to many people’s ears, though Apple, in typical fashion, didn’t provide us with any sort of timeline as to when this new Mac Pro might see the light of day. Indeed, Schiller added that Apple’s Mac Pro team was instructed to come up with something truly great as opposed to focusing on coming up with a product as soon as possible in order to meet some arbitrary deadline.

Consequently, there’s been a bit of speculation as to when Apple’s new Mac Pro will hit store shelves, with some of the more optimistic users holding out for a launch sometime in 2018. Alas, it turns out that anyone eagerly anticipating a next-gen Mac Pro will have to wait until 2019 to see what Apple has been cooking up in its secretive lab.

Recently, Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch was invited to Apple’s new spaceship campus for an update on Apple’s “renewed pro product strategy.” There, Apple senior director of Mac hardware product marketing Tom Boger said that the highly anticipated machine will, in fact, ship sometime in 2019.

“We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product,” Boger told Panzarino. “It’s not something for this year.”

Interestingly enough, we also learn that Apple in recent years created a team focused solely on developing Pro level hardware and software.

Now, it’s a year later and Apple has created a team inside the building that houses its pro products group. It’s called the Pro Workflow Team and they haven’t talked about it publicly before today. The group is under John Ternus and works closely with the engineering organization.

Moreover, the Pro Workflow Team works closely with creative professionals to ensure that the company’s products more adequately suit the needs of the broader professional community.

“We’ve gone from just you know engineering Macs and software to actually engineering a workflow and really understanding from soup to nuts, every single stage of the process, where those bottlenecks are, where we can optimize that,” says Boger.

“We’re getting a much much much deeper understanding of our pro customers and their workflows and really understanding not only where the state of the art is today but where the state of the art is going and all of that is really informing the work that we’re doing on the Mac Pro and we’re working really really hard on it.”

The entire piece is well worth a read and can be viewed over here. Suffice it to say, Apple has certainly not forgotten about developers and creative professionals.

Apple – BGR

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Apple’s legal problems over battery slowdowns aren’t going away any time soon

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iPhone Slowdown Lawsuits

Apple has to face at least 61 lawsuits that were filed against the iPhone maker soon after the company acknowledged that it slowed iPhones down via software to prevent unexpected shutdowns caused by old batteries.

A report a few days ago said that all class actions may be merged into a single lawsuit in the near future. In the meantime, U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled that all iPhone slowdown lawsuits should be transferred to the U.S. District Court for Northern California.

Here’s an excerpt from the ruling:

These actions share factual questions arising from allegations that Apple included code in updates to its mobile operating system (iOS) that significantly reduced the performance of older-model iPhones. Plaintiffs also allege that Apple misrepresented the nature of the iOS updates and failed to adequately disclose to iPhone owners the impact the iOS updates would have on the performance of their iPhones.

Discovery regarding the engineering of the iPhone and the iOS updates likely will be technical and complex. Plaintiffs assert similar causes of action for false advertising, alleged unfair business practices, trespass to chattels, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. Moreover, plaintiffs bring these actions on behalf of overlapping putative classes of iPhone owners. Moreover, plaintiffs bring these actions on behalf of overlapping putative classes of iPhone owners. Centralization thus will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary

More than half of the lawsuits were already filed in the Northern District of California, MacRumors explains.

Apple first confirmed the intentional slow down of iPhones back in December, soon after a Redditor discovered that his iPhone’s speed returned to default after a battery replacement.

The company then introduced a cheaper battery replacement program as well as a new battery management setting that would let users disable throttling. All the while, Apple maintained the idea that it’s not slowing down devices to convince customers to replace older iPhones that may feel slower than before.

Apple – BGR

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Apple’s 60+ iPhone Slowdown Lawsuits Will Be Consolidated

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Apple is currently facing upwards of 61 class action lawsuits surrounding allegations (and the company’s own admission) that it willfully throttled the performance of certain older iPhone models in order to prevent those devices from “unexpectedly shutting down.” While the majority of those cases were filed by disgruntled iPhone users in the Northern District of […]
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Apple’s total number of apps in the App Store declined for the first time last year

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The App Store’s total number of apps available decreased in 2017 for the first time in the history of the marketplace, according to analytics company Appfigures. iOS apps in the App Store shrank to 2.1 million over the course of 2017, after beginning the year at 2.2 million.

The decline can be attributed in part to Apple’s decision back in 2016 to remove old apps that were no longer compatible with newer iPhones and apps that didn’t comply with recent review guidelines. Apps that were not built on 64-bit architecture were removed.

Image: Appfigures

To add to the graveyard of dead mobile software, Apple also removed virus-scanning apps, apps that were clones of other apps, and other low quality apps that were…

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Apple’s iPhone-Powered Virtual Reality Headset Is Still in the Works

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Apple is continuing to work on a virtual reality headset that would be powered by an iPhone, if a recent continuation patent is any indication. The continuation patent, which was published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, doubles-down on the idea of a headset accessory that would use an inserted iPhone as its […]
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Apple’s Tim Cook to be deposed June 27 as part of Qualcomm countersuit

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Article Image

Apple CEO Tim Cook will be deposed on June 27 as a part of a Qualcomm countersuit against the tech giant, accusing Apple of lying to regulators in order to spark government investigations.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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Apple’s Revamped Mac Pro to Launch in 2019

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Apple’s redesigned, modular Mac Pro aimed at professionals is set to launch in 2019, according to an update Apple recently provided to TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino, who took a trip to the company’s Cupertino campus.

The team responsible for revamping Apple’s pro product efforts was there to provide updated details both on the Mac Pro and how Apple is shaping it to meet the needs of real professional users.

Apple’s current Mac Pro

Employees in the meeting included John Ternus, VP of Hardware Engineering, Tom Boger, Senior Director of Mac Hardware Marketing, Jud Coplan, Director of video Apps Product Marketing, and Xander Soren, Director of Music Apps Product Marketing.

Panzarino was told in no uncertain terms that the Mac Pro will not be arriving before 2019 as the product is still in development. From Tom Boger:

“We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It’s not something for this year.” In addition to transparency for pro customers on an individual basis, there’s also a larger fiscal reasoning behind it.

Apple wants customers to know that the Mac Pro isn’t coming in 2018 so those who are planning to make a purchase decision for a pro machine like the iMac Pro won’t hold off in the hopes of a Mac Pro materializing later in the year.

In the time since Apple announced major changes for the next-generation Mac Pro last year, it has put together a “Pro Workflow Team” led by John Ternus, where employees who focus on pro-level products all work together.

Apple has also been hiring award-winning artists and technicians in an effort to understand the real workflows that creative professionals use to better tailor its products to them. The individuals shoot real projects and then use Apple’s hardware and software to find “sticking points that could cause frustration and friction” for pro users.

Apple’s Pro Workflow Team finds and addresses the issues that come up, even down to tiny details like tweaking a graphics driver, and it’s not just Apple’s products that benefit – the company’s employees are also working with third-party apps. From Tom Bogar, senior Mac marketing director:

“We’ve gone from just you know engineering Macs and software to actually engineering a workflow and really understanding from soup to nuts, every single stage of the process, where those bottlenecks are, where we can optimize that,” says Bogar.

The Pro Workflow team, in addition to improving current Apple products, is also an essential part of Mac Pro development. Their work is “definitely influencing” what Apple’s planning for, with Apple achieving a “much much much deeper understanding” of pro customers, their workflows, and their needs. This understanding is “really informing” the work Apple is doing on the Mac Pro,” according to Bogar.

No details were provided on the shape of the Mac Pro or the internal components that it might include, but Apple is still planning on a modular machine, as announced last year, so plans have not changed. Apple back then said that it was “completely rethinking” the Mac Pro, and that it is “by definition” a modular system. Apple at the time also said a pro display was in development alongside the new machine.

A modular Mac Pro concept from Curved.de

Panzarino says we’re not likely to hear any additional detail about the Mac Pro at WWDC in June, and that he expects Apple will keep quiet about the machine until next year.

Panzarino’s full piece on Apple’s efforts to tailor the Mac Pro and other pro-level products to meet professional needs, which goes into much greater detail, can be read over at TechCrunch.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer’s Guide: Mac Pro (Caution)

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Are Apple’s rumored new iPhone features Android ripoffs, or revolutionary?

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Apple Touchless Control

After three consecutive years of iterative iPhone updates that included almost no design changes, Apple in 2017 released a completely redesigned iPhone. No, I’m not talking about the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which recycle Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus designs for the fourth consecutive year. I’m talking about the iPhone X, which is a completely reimagining of the iPhone.

Now that the wheel has been reinvented, however, Apple is expected in 2018 to once again release iterative iPhone updates. Things will get a bit more interesting this year if Apple does indeed release two additional new iPhone models alongside its iPhone X successor, but all three phones are expected to feature the same design as the current-generation iPhone X. But if we look a bit further down the road, the company may be working on new iPhone models that are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before from Apple. I first discussed them on Wednesday, but I wanted to quickly revisit the topic following a wave of presumptive coverage from tech blogs.

Bloomberg on Wednesday reported that Apple’s iPhone engineers are working on some pretty interesting things that could hit the market in the not-too-distant future. As I covered yesterday, touchless gesture control features are reportedly being developed for upcoming iPhones, and Apple is supposedly even testing a new iPhone design that is curved instead of flat, like every iPhone that has been released so far.

Now, it’s important to acknowledge that those are the only two facts pertaining to Apple’s future plans that were included in that Bloomberg report (facts is italicized because the report cites only one anonymous source for each of those claims). Everything else was background, filler, or speculation, like the notion that Apple might be considering a curved iPhone design in order to “differentiate design” in a “crowded marketplace.” Coverage on other sites also included no additional facts, only speculation.

There’s nothing wrong with speculation, of course, but a narrative developed on many sites that seems like it could be way off base. The basic idea presented in posts like this one from my favorite blog Gizmodo (other than BGR, of course) is that Apple’s touchless gesture control and curved screens aren’t novel new ideas. Instead, they’re similar to things that were done on Android phones years ago.

This may be true. Apple may be cooking up pointless touchless gesture controls like we’ve seen on earlier smartphones. Apple might also be toying with curved phone designs merely to “differentiate” its phones in a “crowded marketplace.” Does that really sound like Apple, though? Does the company ever really do silly things like just to be different? Would Apple release a curved phone to differentiate itself after seeing that no one liked Samsung’s curved phone in 2013 or LG’s curved phones in 2014 and 2015? That sounds… unlikely.

What am I getting at here? In a word, chill. Until more light is shed on the internal projects at Apple that Bloomberg revealed, we have absolutely no idea why Apple is working on these new iPhone features, or how they’ll tie in with other new iPhone features. As I mentioned in yesterday’s coverage, these two features may actually be releated. Apple has been working for years on all sorts of exciting new tech, including displays with 3D holographic capabilities.

What if Apple is developing touchless gesture support in order to allow people to interact with objects that appear as though they’re floating in front of the screen? What if Apple is testing curved iPhone designs so that the sensors reading these touchless controls can detect gestures performed so close to the display? We don’t know, and we won’t know anytime soon. Until we get more information, however, let’s try not to jump to any conclusions.

Apple – BGR

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