U.S. ITC Judge Says Apple Infringed on Qualcomm Patent, Import Ban Recommended

A U.S. International Trade Commission judge today ruled that Apple has infringed on a Qualcomm patent with its iPhones, and has recommended that a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order be issued against Apple.

According to the ruling, Apple violated claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 8,063,674, "multiple supply-voltage power-up/down detectors." Apple did not violate two other patents that were involved in the case, with the infringement limited to the '674 patent.



The judge has recommended an import ban on infringing iPhones, which would prevent them from being sold in the United States.

As CNET points out, this is not a final ruling, and will need to be approved by a panel of judges before it moves on to presidential review.

This is one of two patent infringement rulings expected from the ITC in the ongoing Qualcomm vs. Apple legal battle. Back in September, an initial ruling in a second case also found that Apple infringed on a Qualcomm patent related to power management technology.

The judge in that case recommended against an import ban because of "public interest factors."

Qualcomm wants the ITC to ban imports of AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models that use chips from Intel.

Qualcomm and Apple have been fighting in courts all over the world, and Qualcomm has successfully won import bans in China and Germany, which Apple has since skirted with software and hardware updates.

In the U.S., a jury recently found Apple guilty of infringing on three of Qualcomm's patents, recommending a fine of approximately $31 million in damages. Apple is appealing that ruling and the fight between the two companies is far from over.

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New AirPods Sound Quality Debated as Orders Begin to Arrive Around the World

Apple's new second-generation AirPods are beginning to arrive to customers around the world, and some early adopters have turned to the MacRumors forums and social media to share their first impressions of the earphones.

The new AirPods unboxed via Reddit user Lachlanhunt


The new AirPods have the same outward design as the original and remain available in white only. Apple continues to include a one-meter Lightning to USB-A cable in the box with all second-generation AirPods.

Hey Siri

Powered by a new H1 chip, the new AirPods support hands-free Siri, enabling users to change songs, make phone calls, adjust the volume, get directions, and more by saying "Hey Siri." Siri can still be activated by doubling tapping one of the AirPods if enabled in Settings > Bluetooth on an iOS device.

First impressions about the new Hey Siri functionality are mostly positive so far. MacRumors forum member Moxxham from Australia wrote that "Hey Siri seems to work really well," even with loud music playing in the background, while Reddit user Lachlanhunt found the feature "works reasonably well."

Sound Quality

First impressions about overall audio quality are both subjective and anecdotal, with conflicting opinions as to whether the new AirPods sound better than the original. Reports range from users not noticing any difference all the way to feeling like the new AirPods are a huge improvement for sound.



MacRumors forum member Kiky disagrees:

When listening to music, I could not make out any discernible difference between my AirPods 2 and my wife’s original AirPods. I bought the AirPods 2 mainly for the gym and casual wireless listening. They will replace my Jabra’s which have lousy latency issues and fatigue my ears after 30 mins or so.

At the very least, MacRumors reader Vladislav Kuznetsov and many others agree that features like Siri and FaceTime calls sound clearer:



On a related note, Apple recently seeded a 6.3.2 firmware update for the first-generation AirPods, and some users on MacRumors and Reddit are speculating that the update has led to improved audio quality and faster connection speeds on the first-generation AirPods. Evidence is anecdotal at this point.

Early adopters are also noticing that the new AirPods switch more quickly between devices like the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac they are connected. Apple says the H1 chip makes switching between sources up to two times faster.

As far as battery life is concerned, more time will be needed for a proper comparison between the new AirPods and the original pair.

Apple says the new AirPods get up to three hours of talk time per charge, compared to up to two hours with the previous generation. Other battery life stats remain the same, with up to five hours of listening time per charge and more than 24 hours of total battery life from extra charges stored in the case.



The new AirPods are available to order on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app with a wired charging case for $159, the same price as the original AirPods, and with a wireless charging case for $199. Apple says both options will be available at Apple Stores and select resellers starting this week.

MacRumors will be sharing our own second-generation AirPods hands-on video and impressions soon. Let us know your own first impressions in the comments section or by tweeting at us with a @MacRumors mention!

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

This article, "New AirPods Sound Quality Debated as Orders Begin to Arrive Around the World" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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AirPods 2 Now Available for In-Store Pickup

Apple's updated second-generation AirPods began arriving to customers around the world this morning, marking the official launch of the new earbuds.

The new AirPods have also made their way into stores and are available for in-store pickup. Many stores across the United States appear to have immediate availability of the AirPods, so if you want a set, you can pop into a retail location and get them today.


It's not clear how much available supply there is, but almost are stores are listing stock at the current time.

Retail stores are stocking the AirPods 2 with Wireless Charging Case ($199), AirPods 2 with standard Charging Case ($159), and the standalone Wireless Charging Case ($79) that adds wireless charging capabilities to your existing AirPods.

Apple's second-generation AirPods continue to be available solely in white, and there were no design changes introduced with the update. The AirPods are equipped with an updated H1 chip, which brings connectivity improvements. AirPods now connect more quickly to your devices, and swapping between devices is two times faster.

Bluetooth 5.0 is supported for improved range, and the new AirPods have a hands-free "Hey Siri" feature so you no longer need to activate Siri by tapping on one of the earbuds (though this option still exists).

The major new feature with the AirPods 2 is of course wireless charging, which, with the Wireless Charging Case allows the AirPods and case to be charged using any Qi-based wireless charging option. When the long-awaited and still missing AirPower is released, the new AirPods Wireless Charging Case will be required to charge AirPods with the accessory.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

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Roku CEO Talks About Apple TV+ Going Cross-Platform

Apple yesterday shared plans to bring its Apple TV app to multiple smart TVs and third-party set-top boxes, including the Amazon Fire TV and Roku. The TV app will house Apple TV+, Apple's upcoming streaming service for its original content when it launches later this year.

Following Apple's announcement, Roku CEO Anthony Wood spoke to CNBC about Apple's decision to expand access to the TV app, expressing excitement that the content will be available on Roku devices.



Wood believes that Apple is "well-positioned" to be successful in the TV streaming market, despite its competitiveness, due to the company's large user base.

There were not a lot of details announced, but I think they're well-positioned to be successful. They've got a lot of experience with subscription services, they're investing a lot of money in content, and they've got a great brand and lots of loyal customers.

Wood went on to say that while Apple is counting on its iOS and macOS devices to "jumpstart" Apple TV+, the importance of smart TVs should not be ignored.

When you have a TV streaming service, you know, obviously they're counting on jumpstarting that with all of their iPhone and iPad and Mac customers, but actually, smart TVs are the way that most streaming services - long form streaming services - are viewed by customers. That's where they spend most of their hours.

Roku, says Wood, is the leading streaming TV platform, and if Apple wants to be successful, Apple needs to be on Roku and other similar platforms.

For any kind of service like that to be successful, you want to be on the leading streaming TV platforms and Roku is the leading streaming TV platform. We're the leading distributor of streaming content in the U.S.

According to Wood, there are no real negatives to Apple entering the streaming market for Roku because Roku supports all streaming services to offer its customers choice. Roku isn't betting on any one company to come out ahead in the streaming market because Roku "works with everyone" and benefits from a large amount of content being available.

Apple TV+ will launch in the fall, but ahead of its debut, the newly revamped TV app will become available in May. Apple plans to bring the TV app to multiple third-party platforms, starting with Samsung Smart TVs. Later in the year, it will expand to Amazon Fire TV devices, Roku devices, and smart TVs from Sony, LG, and Vizio.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12
Tag: Roku
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

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Spotify will personalize some of its biggest playlists for users

Spotify isn't just reserving personalization for obvious playlists like Discover Weekly. The streaming giant is planning to personalize some of its other playlists based on your tastes. You won't get the exact same playlist as a friend, in other wo...

Apple News is Crashing for Some Users on iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4 [Fixed]

Following yesterday's release of iOS 12.2 and macOS 10.14.4, and the launch of the Apple News+ subscription service for magazines and newspapers, some users are reporting that the Apple News app is crashing on both platforms.



The issue has been noted by readers in the MacRumors forums and on social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit since early Tuesday. Apple appears to have informed some customers that it is aware of the problem and working on a fix, although its system status page does not yet reflect any issues.

There do not seem to be any workarounds that resolve the crashing for more than a few seconds, so affected users will likely have to wait on Apple for a fix, which developer Steve Troughton-Smith believes could arrive remotely.



The crashing is likely related to some kind of technical hiccup following the rollout of Apple News+ yesterday. The subscription service offers unlimited access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers for $9.99 per month in the United States and $12.99 per month in Canada within the Apple News app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Update: As noted by Rene Ritchie, Apple has fixed the crashing issue.

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Sony's premium RX0 II action cam has a flip-up screen and eye AF

Sony has announced a follow-up to its tiny rugged camera from 2017, the RX0, and it's just as tough and handy. The RX0 II has a 15.3-megapixel sensor and a Zeiss Tessar T 24mm F4 fixed wide-angle lens with a 20-cm minimum focus distance for scenic sh...

NBA’s Magic Leap app lets you watch basketball in augmented reality

Basketball fans can now experience the game in augmented reality. The NBA now has a mixed-reality app for the Magic Leap One headset that will allow for a wide range of immersive features. Fans with the mixed-reality headset can now view live NBA gam...

HTC's work-oriented Vive Focus Plus headset arrives mid-April for $799

If you're eager to don HTC's professional Vive Focus Plus headset, you won't have much longer to wait... although you will pay a hefty sum for the privilege. The company has announced that the Focus Plus will be available through the Vive website in...

'Doom Eternal' and other Bethesda games are coming to Steam

The rise of proprietary game launchers appears to be getting worse, but there's at least one company headed in the opposite direction. Bethesda has announced that its upcoming games will be available through Steam, including Doom Eternal, Rage 2, Wo...

The old 1080p Apple TV box is now 'Apple TV HD'

After today's event, Apple changed the name of its fourth-generation Apple TV to Apple TV HD. The 1080p device, first introduced in 2015, is still priced at $149 and now has a clear title that differentiates it from the Apple TV 4K -- a slightly newe...

Beats' answer to the latest AirPods found hiding in iOS code

It didn't take long to learn more about Beats' equivalent to the AirPods. The 9to5Mac team has discovered that iOS 12.2 includes imagery for the Powerbeats Pro, an all-wireless earbud set aimed more at the gym-going crowd. From a cursory glance, they...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's 'It's Show Time' Event in 6 Minutes

Apple today held its first ever services-centric event, where the company introduced several new and upcoming service products with no hardware announcements at all.

It took Apple almost two hours to introduce Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Card, and Apple TV+, but we've recapped the entire event in just six minutes for our readers who want a no-frills overview of everything Apple announced today.


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The only service that's available today, Apple News+, is designed to provide access to hundreds of magazines and a handful of paywalled news sources for $9.99 per month. Everyone on a Family Sharing plan can access Apple News+ for that $9.99 per month fee.

Apple Card is a new credit card Apple's offering in partnership with Goldman Sachs. Starting this summer, you can sign up for an Apple Card right on the iPhone and start using it immediately for Apple Pay purchases. You can make digital payments with Apple Pay using the card, but for non-Apple Pay payments, Apple is giving customers a slick titanium card with no visible credit card info like number and CVV (all of that info is in Wallet, though).

With Apple Card, you get 1% cash back for standard card purchases, 2% cash back for Apple Pay purchases, and 3% cash back for Apple purchases. Cash back is provided to you on a daily basis and you can use it for paying your balance, making purchases, or sending Apple Pay Cash in Messages. There are also unique budgeting and tracking tools for monitoring spending along with support via the Messages app. There are no fees, and Apple plans to offer low interest rates.

Apple Arcade is Apple's new cross-platform subscription gaming service that will provide access to more than 100 iOS games from publishers like Disney, Sega, LEGO, Cartoon Network, Konami, and more when it launches this fall in over 150 countries. Apple hasn't announced pricing, but an Apple Arcade subscription will include full access to all games with no additional in-app purchases necessary to unlock content.

Apple's final services announcement was Apple TV+, which will house all of the company's original TV content. Apple has more than a dozen original shows in the works from creators like Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, and Oprah. Pricing hasn't been announced because it's not launching till the fall, but Apple TV+ will be available in Apple's revamped TV app, coming in May.

The new TV app, which will be available on iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac (in the fall) and third-party Smart TVs from Sony, LG, Samsung, and Vizio, features better than ever recommendations built on machine learning and a new "Channels" option that will let you subscribe to and watch content from providers like Starz, Showtime, and HBO.

Below, we've rounded up all of our coverage from today's event if you missed it:Make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors because we'll have more coverage of Apple's new services including detailed guides coming this week.


This article, "Everything Apple Announced at Today's 'It's Show Time' Event in 6 Minutes" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Releases macOS Mojave 10.14.4 With Safari Automatic Dark Mode and Apple News+ Support

Apple today released macOS Mojave 10.14.4, the fourth update to the macOS Mojave operating system that first launched in September. macOS 10.14.4 comes more than two months after the release of macOS Mojave 10.14.3, a minor bug fix update.

macOS Mojave 10.14.4 can be downloaded by going to the "Software Update" section of System Preferences. The update is free for all Mac users who have a machine that supports it.


macOS Mojave 10.14.4 introduces support for the new Apple News+ subscription service that is designed to allow Apple News users to sign up for unlimited access to news and magazines for a monthly fee. The update also brings Apple News to Canada, allowing Canadian Mac users to access news stories in French, English, or both.

macOS Mojave 10.14.4 includes support for Safari AutoFill using Touch ID and it offers automatic dark mode themes in Safari. If you have Dark Mode enabled in Mojave, when you visit a website that has an option for a dark theme after installing the update, it will be activated automatically. Full release notes for the update are below:
The macOS Mojave 10.14.4 update adds support for Apple News+, includes bug fixes and improvements, improves the stability and reliability of your Mac, and is recommended for all users.

Apple News+
- Apple News+ is a new subscription service that extends to the Apple News experience with hundreds of magazines and top newspapers
- Our editors handpick top articles and magazine issues, and you also get personalized recommendations on the topics most interesting to you
- Automatic downloads make it easy to read magazine issues offline
- Apple News is now available in Canada, with a free experience that includes handpicked Top Stories, a personalized Today feed, and support for both English and French
- Apple News+ is available in the U.S. and Canada, with dozens of additional Canadian Magazines.

Safari
- Adds Dark Mode support for websites that support custom color schemes
- Streamlines website login when filling credentials with Password Autofill
- Allows push notification prompts only after interacting with a website
- Adds a warning when an insecure webpage is loaded
- Removes support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable; Intelligent Tracking Prevention now protects against cross-site tracking by default

iTunes
- Shows more editorial highlights on a single page in the Browse tab, making it easier to find new music, playlists, and more in Apple Music

AirPods

- Adds support for new AirPods (2nd Generation)

More
- Supports Air Quality index in Maps for US, UK, and India
- Improves the quality of audio recordings in Messages
- Supports real-time text (RTT for phone calls made through a nearby iPhone on Mac
- Provides enhanced support for external GPUs in Activity Monitor
- Fixes an App Store issue that may have prevented adoption of the latest versions of Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie, and GarageBand
- Improves the reliability of USB audio devices when used with the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini models introduced in 2018
- Corrects the default screen brightness for MacBook Air (Fall 2018)
- Fixes a graphics compatibility issue that may occur on some external displays connected to a Mac mini (2018)
- Resolves Wi-Fi connection issues that may occur after upgrading to macOS Mojave
- Fixes an issue where re-adding an Exchange account may cause it to disappear from Internet Accounts
- Fixes an issue where AOL passwords may be frequently requested in Mail
For additional details on macOS Mojave, make sure to check out our macOS Mojave roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave

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'Iron Man VR' puts you in the suit

During the State of Play event on Monday, PSVR players got their first look at the upcoming Iron Man game from Camouflaj, which is slated for release later this year.

PS4 exclusive 'Concrete Genie' is delayed again, this time to fall 2019

PixelOpus hasn't said much about Concrete Genie since its 2017 reveal and last year's gameplay clip, but the studio is nearly ready to show its hand... hopefully. The PS4 title is now slated to launch in fall 2019, or considerably later than the ear...

iOS 12.2 Suggests ECG App May Be Coming to UK and Other European Countries With watchOS 5.2

After installing iOS 12.2, some Apple Watch Series 4 owners in the UK are seeing new ECG screens that suggest ECG functionality will expand to the Apple Watch in the country when watchOS 5.2 is released.

MacRumors readers Sam and Chris have seen ECG setup screens in the Apple Watch and Health apps on the iPhone after installing iOS 12.2. The app is not, however, available on the Apple Watch in the UK right now because Apple hasn't yet released watchOS 5.2, which is likely required for the feature to work.


There's new documentation in the Health app in iOS 12.2 under ECG's "Instructions for Use" that also hints at upcoming support for the UK and other European countries:

  • For US Regions: The ECG app is available on Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS 5.1.2 or later, paired with iPhone 5s or later or iOS 12.1.1 or later.

  • For non-US regions: The ECG app is available on Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS 5.2 paired with iPhone 5s or iOS 12.2 or later.


There's also a new CE mark for the ECG feature in iOS 12.2 in the same document, which, as 9to5Mac points out, indicates that Apple may be planning to expand ECG functionality to all European Economic Area countries that use the CE certification mark.




It's not yet clear when Apple will launch watchOS 5.2, but with iOS 12.2 already available, it could be coming in the near future. Apple has not updated the list of countries where ECG features are available, but it could be changed once watchOS 5.2 sees a release.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Tag: ECG
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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AirPower Pictured on Retail Box for AirPods Wireless Charging Case

AirPower appears to be closer to launch than ever with Apple showing a diagram on the retail box of the newly launched AirPods Wireless Charging Case. The photo was sent to MacRumors this morning and appears shows Apple's long-delayed wireless charging mat referenced on the packaging of the new Wireless Charging Case for AirPods, which Apple announced last week. The image has since been verified with another report.


The back of the box clearly shows the distinct pill-shaped outline of the AirPower charging mat externally powered by what appears to be a USB-C or Lightning cable, indicating that the yet-to-be-released device can be used to charge AirPods using the wireless-compatible charging case.

Apple launched its new second-generation AirPods on Wednesday, and customers who ordered them on the same day are expecting deliveries between March 26-27. The new AirPods are available with a wired charging case for $159 or with a Wireless Charging Case for $199. Apple is also selling the Wireless Charging Case separately for $79, so that existing owners of first-generation AirPods can charge their earbuds wirelessly using Qi-compatible charging mats. The new AirPods will be available at Apple Stores and select resellers later this week.

Last week, MacRumors uncovered what appears to be a new Apple product image of the AirPower with an iPhone XS and the new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case on it. MacRumors has also uncovered evidence to suggest that Apple has secured the rights to the AirPower trademark in the United States.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple approved production of the AirPower earlier this year, and reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the AirPower will be released within the first half of 2019. According to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, Apple plans to release its long-awaited wireless charging mat AirPower in "late March."

AirPower is designed to charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8 and newer, Apple Watch Series 3 and newer, and AirPods when they are placed in the new optional wireless charging case.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

This article, "AirPower Pictured on Retail Box for AirPods Wireless Charging Case" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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AirPower Pictured on Retail Box for AirPods Wireless Charging Case

AirPower appears to be closer to launch than ever with Apple showing a diagram on the retail box of the newly launched AirPods Wireless Charging Case. The photo was sent to MacRumors this morning and appears shows Apple's long-delayed wireless charging mat referenced on the packaging of the new Wireless Charging Case for AirPods, which Apple announced last week. The image has since been verified with another report.


The back of the box clearly shows the distinct pill-shaped outline of the AirPower charging mat externally powered by what appears to be a USB-C or Lightning cable, indicating that the yet-to-be-released device can be used to charge AirPods using the wireless-compatible charging case.

Apple launched its new second-generation AirPods on Wednesday, and customers who ordered them on the same day are expecting deliveries between March 26-27. The new AirPods are available with a wired charging case for $159 or with a Wireless Charging Case for $199. Apple is also selling the Wireless Charging Case separately for $79, so that existing owners of first-generation AirPods can charge their earbuds wirelessly using Qi-compatible charging mats. The new AirPods will be available at Apple Stores and select resellers later this week.

Last week, MacRumors uncovered what appears to be a new Apple product image of the AirPower with an iPhone XS and the new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case on it. MacRumors has also uncovered evidence to suggest that Apple has secured the rights to the AirPower trademark in the United States.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple approved production of the AirPower earlier this year, and reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the AirPower will be released within the first half of 2019. According to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, Apple plans to release its long-awaited wireless charging mat AirPower in "late March."

AirPower is designed to charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8 and newer, Apple Watch Series 3 and newer, and AirPods when they are placed in the new optional wireless charging case.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

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'No Man's Sky VR' puts the universe on your headset for free

No Man's Sky studio Hello Games has rolled out a steady stream of updates to take its stargazing simulator from "cautionary indie tale" to "Best Ongoing Game award nominee" in just two years. No Man's Sky is a sprawling exploration of the universe an...