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Eric Slivka

Facebook to Be Fined $5 Billion in Cambridge Analytica Privacy Scandal

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve a settlement with Facebook that will see the social media giant hit with a roughly $5 billion fine over the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The matter h…

iPad Air vs. Microsoft's Surface Go: Which Is a Better Laptop Replacement?

Apple’s iPad Air, which was resurrected in March as essentially a tweaked version of the previous 10.5-inch iPad Pro, offers a significant amount of utility at a solid $499 price point, but how does it compare to other competitors in the market?

In his latest video, MacRumors videographer Dan compared the iPad Air to Microsoft’s Surface Go to determine which one he liked better for on-the-go computing.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

For this comparison, Dan decided to focus on using the iPad Air and the Surface Go as somewhat of a laptop replacement. The iPad Air starts at $499 while the Surface Go comes in at a $399 base price, but in an effort to look at these as potential laptop replacements Dan opted to consider the devices equipped with first-party keyboard accessories, which pushes the iPad Air up to $659 and the Surface Go to $529.

In his video, Dan shares his impressions on the design and features of each, including important productivity accessories like respective keyboards and styluses.

As potential laptop replacements, performance is really where the rubber meets the road, and Dan came away somewhat unimpressed with the Surface Go. He wanted to like its relatively full-fledged Windows 10 operating system, and it was fine for basic tasks like emails, web browsing, and document writing, but he found things bogging down a bit when trying to multitask.

With the iPad Air, you don’t really get a desktop-class operating system, at least for now, but it generally works very well when you need to multitask, switching easily among Safari, Messages, Notes, Mail, iWork and more with no performance issues. And with iPadOS 13 coming later this year, the iPad will become even more powerful.

So where do we come down on the iPad Air versus the Surface Go? It’s a challenging comparison considering they have some significant spec differences and everyone’s use case is different. Overall, Dan found the iPad Air to offer a more enjoyable user experience, although it’s not quite a laptop replacement. But neither is the Surface Go in his experience, and he wonders whether it isn’t better to just point someone toward a Chromebook or more traditional Windows notebook if they’re looking for a cheap laptop experience.

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

This article, “iPad Air vs. Microsoft’s Surface Go: Which Is a Better Laptop Replacement?” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Research Firms Paint Contrasting Pictures of Apple's Mac Shipments in Q2 2019

Prominent research firms Gartner and IDC attempt to estimate shipments of computers around the world on a quarterly basis, and both firms today released their estimates for the second calendar quarter.

Gartner’s and IDC’s estimates are just that — estimates – and with Apple no longer reporting unit sales of Macs and other products, we won’t know how accurate these estimates end up being. But as revealed in today’s releases, they can differ quite a bit.

Gartner’s Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q19 (Thousands of Units)

Gartner says worldwide PC shipments were up 1.5 percent year-over-year, with Lenovo leading the way on strong growth and HP and Dell sitting in second and third places respectively. Apple registered in fourth place with an estimated 3.711 million Macs shipped, a 0.2 percent decline over the previous year, while Acer and Asus rounded out the top vendors on a global basis.

“Worldwide PC shipments growth was driven by demand from the Windows 10 refresh in the business market in the second quarter of 2019. Desktop PC growth was strong, which offset a decline in mobile PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner.

“Additionally, there are signs that the Intel CPU shortage is easing, which has been an ongoing impact to the market for the past 18 months. The shortage mainly impacted small and midsize vendors as large vendors took advantage and continued to grow, taking market share away from the smaller vendors that struggled to secure CPUs.”

Turning to the U.S., the overall market saw a slight 0.4 percent decline compared to the second quarter of 2018, but Apple’s shipments dropped by an estimated 5.6 percent to 1.585 million. Apple maintained its fourth-place ranking in the U.S. behind HP, Dell, and Lenovo, and well ahead of Microsoft and Acer.

Gartner’s Preliminary U.S. Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q19 (Thousands of Units)

If accurate, Gartner’s estimates would put Apple with its lowest share of the U.S. PC market since the first quarter of 2014 and the lowest recorded on a global basis since Gartner started including Apple as a top global vendor in the third quarter of 2014.

Apple’s Market Share Trend: 1Q06–1Q19 (Gartner)

IDC’s estimates paint a much different picture, however, projecting worldwide PC shipment growth of 4.7 percent compared to the second quarter of 2018. IDC pegs Apple as having shipped 4.011 million Macs in the quarter for nearly 10 percent year-over-year growth.


IDC says Apple benefited from increased inventory levels due not only to the launch of new MacBook Pro models but also some proactive shipments into the distribution channels to guard against potential upcoming tariffs.

Tags: IDC, Gartner

This article, “Research Firms Paint Contrasting Pictures of Apple’s Mac Shipments in Q2 2019” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Temporarily Disables Walkie-Talkie App for Apple Watch Due to Eavesdropping Vulnerability

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch due to a bug that could allow users to eavesdrop on others, reports TechCrunch.

The company issued a statement noting that it was just notified about the vulnerability and has temporarily di…

Apple Pushes Automatic Mac Software Update to Remove Vulnerable Zoom Web Server

Earlier this week, a serious vulnerability with the Zoom video conferencing app for macOS was disclosed, with attackers potentially able to hijack users’ webcams.

The vulnerability was particularly notable because Zoom had installed a hidden web s…

AT&T Jumps to First Place in U.S. Mobile Speeds, but Verizon Still Most Consistent

Ookla, the company behind the popular Speedtest bandwidth measurement service, today released its 2019 Speedtest Mobile Performance Report, leveraging over 11.5 million speed tests from over 4 million unique devices to rank the network performance of t…

Apple Releases Revised Version of iOS 13 and iPadOS Developer Beta 3

Alongside the second public beta versions of iOS 13 and iPadOS, Apple today also released a revised third beta version of the operating systems for developers.

The reason for the new version isn’t entirely clear, but the original third developer b…

Apple Experiencing Issues With iCloud Services and Retail Store Systems

Apple today is experiencing problems with a host of iCloud-related services, as outlined on the company’s system status page. Affected services include all of the basic iCloud services, as well as services like Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, Game Cen…

Tim Cook Talks Privacy, Steve Jobs, and the 'Difference Between Preparation and Readiness' in Stanford Commencement Address

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered the commencement address at Stanford University today, sharing his thoughts on privacy, the need to always “be a builder,” and how the loss of Steve Jobs made him learn the “real, visceral difference between preparation and readiness.”

On the subject of privacy, Cook acknowledged that so many of our modern technological inventions have come out of Silicon Valley, but that recent years have seen “a less noble innovation: the belief that you can claim credit without accepting responsibility.”

Cook stressed the importance of not accepting that we must give up privacy in order to enjoy advances in technology, arguing that there’s much more at stake than just our data.

If we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated, sold, or even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data.

We lose the freedom to be human.

Think about what’s at stake. Everything you write, everything you say, every topic of curiosity, every stray thought, every impulsive purchase, every moment of frustration or weakness, every gripe or complaint, every secret shared in confidence.

In a world without digital privacy, even if you have done nothing wrong other than think differently, you begin to censor yourself. Not entirely at first. Just a little, bit by bit. To risk less, to hope less, to imagine less, to dare less, to create less, to try less, to talk less, to think less. The chilling effect of digital surveillance is profound, and it touches everything.

What a small, unimaginative world we would end up with. Not entirely at first. Just a little, bit by bit. Ironically, it’s the kind of environment that would have stopped Silicon Valley before it had even gotten started.

We deserve better. You deserve better.

Image credit: L.A. Cicero/Stanford University

Shifting focus to the aspirations of today’s graduates, Cook encouraged each of them to “be a builder,” regardless of their chosen occupation.

You don’t have to start from scratch to build something monumental. And, conversely, the best founders – the ones whose creations last and whose reputations grow rather than shrink with passing time – they spend most of their time building, piece by piece.

Builders are comfortable in the belief that their life’s work will one day be bigger than them – bigger than any one person. They’re mindful that its effects will span generations. That’s not an accident. In a way, it’s the whole point. […]

Graduates, being a builder is about believing that you cannot possibly be the greatest cause on this Earth, because you aren’t built to last. It’s about making peace with the fact that you won’t be there for the end of the story.

Finally, Cook turned his speech to the topic of Steve Jobs, who famously stood on the same stage 14 years ago to give the commencement address.

Cook related the story of his conviction that Jobs would recover from his cancer, even as he handed the reins of Apple over to Cook. Drawing from what he learned in those dark days, Cook emphasized that “your mentors may leave you prepared, but they can’t leave you ready.”

Calling it the “loneliest I’ve ever felt in my life,” Cook reflected on feeling the heavy expectations of those around him, noting that he eventually he realized he needed “be the best version” of himself and not let those around him and their expectations dictate his life.

Graduates, the fact is, when your time comes, and it will, you’ll never be ready.

But you’re not supposed to be. Find the hope in the unexpected. Find the courage in the challenge. Find your vision on the solitary road.

Don’t get distracted.

There are too many people who want credit without responsibility.

Too many who show up for the ribbon cutting without building anything worth a damn.

Be different. Leave something worthy.

And always remember that you can’t take it with you. You’re going to have to pass it on.

Today’s speech at Stanford was just one of several commenencement addresses Cook has given in recent years, including Tulane University just last month, as well as his graduate alma mater Duke University last year, MIT in 2017, George Washington University in 2015, and his undergraduate alma mater Auburn University in 2010.

This article, “Tim Cook Talks Privacy, Steve Jobs, and the ‘Difference Between Preparation and Readiness’ in Stanford Commencement Address” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Putting Finishing Touches on WWDC Decorations at McEnery Convention Center

The first WWDC 2019 events kick off in just two days with the early arrival of student scholars, and Apple is putting the finishing touches on decorations at and around the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.

Decorations on the convention cente…

What Will macOS 10.15 Be Called: Mammoth, Monterey, Rincon, Skyline, or Something Else?

Following Apple’s shift to California-themed names for its Mac operating systems with OS X Mavericks back in 2013, Apple appeared to take steps to protect a number of other California-related names by filing for trademarks under a series of shell compa…

Apple Releasing iOS 12.3.1 Today With Fixes for Messages and VoLTE Bugs

A week and a half after releasing iOS 12.3 with a revamped TV app, Apple today will be releasing iOS 12.3.1, a bug fix update that isn’t expected to include any significant new features.

According to Apple’s release notes, iOS 12.3.1 addresses a h…

Apple Stores Quietly Carrying New LG 23.7-Inch UltraFine Display

Over the past few months, supplies of the LG UltraFine 4K and 5K displays have dried up at Apple’s retail and online stores, leading to speculation on the future of Apple-approved displays beyond a rumored ultra high-end 6K display perhaps coming along…

Proposed Tariffs Could Lead to 14% Increase in U.S. iPhone Prices

While U.S. tariffs on Apple’s chargers and cases are already at 25 percent, the company’s main products like the iPhone have so far escaped the extra taxes. That may soon change, however, as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has begun the app…

Proposed Tariffs Could Lead to 14% Increase in U.S. iPhone Prices

While U.S. tariffs on Apple’s chargers and cases are already at 25 percent, the company’s main products like the iPhone have so far escaped the extra taxes. That may soon change, however, as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has begun the app…

iPhone XR Successor Could Replace Coral and Blue Options With Green and Lavender

Apple’s colorful iPhone XR lineup comes in a total of six colors, offering plenty of options for users to choose one that best suits their preferences. This year’s successor to the iPhone XR will similarly be available in six colors, but Mac Otakara s…

Apple Shares More Details on Parental Control App Crackdown

Following an email from Phil Schiller to a MacRumors reader yesterday addressing a report from The New York Times on Apple’s removal of a number of App Store apps focused on screen time monitoring and parental controls, Apple has issued a public statem…

Phil Schiller Lays Out Apple's Case for Cracking Down on Screen Time Monitoring Apps

Earlier today, a report from The New York Times highlighted Apple’s removal of a number of App Store apps that had allowed users to monitor usage of their devices or those used by their children. The report suggests that Apple’s move to pull the apps is related to having rolled out its own Screen Time feature in iOS 12 that competes in some ways with these apps, raising concerns over anticompetitive behavior.

Over the past year, Apple has removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most downloaded screen-time and parental-control apps, according to an analysis by The New York Times and Sensor Tower, an app-data firm. Apple has also clamped down on a number of lesser-known apps.

In some cases, Apple forced companies to remove features that allowed parents to control their children’s devices or that blocked children’s access to certain apps and adult content. In other cases, it simply pulled the apps from its App Store.

The report quotes several developers who had their apps removed, including one who says the removal came “out of the blue with no warning.” Apple is facing several complaints related to the moves, with a pair of developers filing with the European Union’s competition office and Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab filing an antitrust complaint in that country.

The New York Times shared a brief statement from an Apple spokeswoman saying that Apple treats “all apps the same,” including ones that compete with Apple’s own features like Screen Time. The spokeswoman stated that the affected apps “could gain too much information from users’ devices.”

After reading the article, MacRumors reader Zachary Robinson emailed Tim Cook to express concern over the situation, and earlier today he received a thorough response from Phil Schiller outlining that Apple’s removal of these apps is due to their use of Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology to monitor everything that happens on the user’s phone.

Schiller notes that MDM technology is intended for enterprise users to install on company-owned devices, giving them easy access to and control over those devices for management purposes. The alternative usage of MDM technology by third-party developers for screen time monitoring or parental controls raises significant privacy and security concerns, however, and Apple has moved to address those issues.

The full email from Schiller, which appears to be authentic based on our examination of the included headers:

Thank you for being a fan of Apple and for your email.

I would like to assure you that the App Store team has acted extremely responsibly in this matter, helping to protect our children from technologies that could be used to violate their privacy and security. After you learn of some of the facts I hope that you agree.

Unfortunately the New York Times article you reference did not share our complete statement, nor explain the risks to children had Apple not acted on their behalf. Apple has long supported providing apps on the App Store, that work like our ScreenTime feature, to help parents manage their children’s access to technology and we will continue to encourage development of these apps. There are many great apps for parents on the App Store, like “Moment – Balance Screen Time” by Moment Health and “Verizon Smart Family” by Verizon Wireless.

However, over the last year we became aware that some parental management apps were using a technology called Mobile Device Management or “MDM” and installing an MDM Profile as a method to limit and control use of these devices. MDM is a technology that gives one party access to and control over many devices, it was meant to be used by a company on it’s own mobile devices as a management tool, where that company has a right to all of the data and use of the devices. The MDM technology is not intended to enable a developer to have access to and control over consumers’ data and devices, but the apps we removed from the store did just that. No one, except you, should have unrestricted access to manage your child’s device, know their location, track their app use, control their mail accounts, web surfing, camera use, network access, and even remotely erase their devices. Further, security research has shown that there is risk that MDM profiles could be used as a technology for hacker attacks by assisting them in installing apps for malicious purposes on users’ devices.

When the App Store team investigated the use of MDM technology by some developers of apps for managing kids devices and learned the risk they create to user privacy and security, we asked these developers to stop using MDM technology in their apps. Protecting user privacy and security is paramount in the Apple ecosystem and we have important App Store guidelines to not allow apps that could pose a threat to consumers privacy and security. We will continue to provide features, like ScreenTime, designed to help parents manage their children’s access to technology and we will work with developers to offer many great apps on the App Store for these uses, using technologies that are safe and private for us and our children.

Thank you,

Phil

Apple’s dedication to privacy and security is well-known, so it’s unsurprising the company took steps to address concerns related to how these apps were monitoring device usage. But for some users who had come to prefer the capabilities of these apps such as cross-platform compatibility with Android devices in their households and more robust app controls, Apple’s Screen Time feature feels like a step backward.

This article, “Phil Schiller Lays Out Apple’s Case for Cracking Down on Screen Time Monitoring Apps” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Tim Cook Profiled in New Biography as 'The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level' [Author AMA Today]

Several years ago, Leander Kahney released a well-received biography of Jony Ive, outlining how the publicity-shy “genius behind Apple’s greatest products” came to play such a prominent role at Apple. Kahney painstakingly researched Ive’s background, interviewing numerous friends and acquaintances from various stages of his life to put together a portrait of Apple’s design guru.

Kahney has now returned with another biography of an Apple executive, and this time he has his sights focused on CEO Tim Cook. Like Ive, Cook is an intensely private person, but Kahney spoke with a number of friends and family members, as well as former coworkers and even a few current Apple executives to learn more about the leader who has had the gargantuan task of following Steve Jobs.

While Apple has had some considerable successes under Cook, some have been critical of the direction the company has taken under his leadership, whether it be product missteps, a perceived lack of innovation, or changes in the company’s focus. Kahney finds little to dislike about Cook’s tenure, however, as is made immediately clear by his book’s title: Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level.

Kahney centers his book around six values he argues “provide the foundation” for Cook’s leadership at Apple: accessibility, education, environment, inclusion and diversity, privacy and security, and supplier responsibility.

After a quick look at Cook’s 2011 elevation to the CEO position and the death of Steve Jobs, the book delves into Cook’s history, starting with his upbringing in Alabama and his time at IBM and Compaq.

The book then looks at his decision to join Apple upon the return of Jobs when the company was still on the brink of bankruptcy, and his operations prowess that saw Apple streamline and outsource its manufacturing, radically improving efficiency and allowing for the scale of growth Apple was to experience.

The bulk of the biography covers Cook’s time as Apple CEO, highlighting his transition into the role and some of the early major product announcements like iPhones, Apple Pay, the Apple Watch, and more. The book’s focus then turns to broader themes like Cook’s emphasis on the environment and sustainability, privacy and the fight with the FBI over creating a backdoor into iOS, and efforts at increasing diversity.

The book wraps up with a look at Apple Park and the company’s work on self-driving car technology, and ultimately asks whether Cook is the best CEO Apple has ever had. Analyst Horace Dediu believes that he is, arguing that Jobs was “always the head of product” and “never really a CEO.” That emphasis was needed when Apple was fighting for survival, but as Apple got back on its feet, Jobs largely turned over the day-to-day operation of the company to Cook, and Cook’s generalist perspective has been what the company needs now that it has matured.

While the book does highlight a few missteps along the way, The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level is overall a glowing portrait of Cook and the job he has done leading Apple. You can agree or disagree with that conclusion, but either way, it’s an interesting look at one of the most important figures in Apple’s history and a story that hasn’t really been told at length until now.

With material drawn from those who knew Cook in his early days, as well as current and former Apple executives like Lisa Jackson, Greg Joswiak, Deirdre O’Brien, and Bruce Sewell, Kahney does a good job of weaving new bits of information into parts of the narrative that are already well known.

If you’re interested in hearing more from Kahney about his book and the process of writing it, we’re going to be holding an “Ask Me Anything” session with him in our forums later today. Stop by our Apple, Inc and Tech Industry forum at 11:00 AM Pacific (2:00 PM Eastern) today, and Kahney will be available to answer your questions.

Penguin Books has also graciously agreed to offer ten copies of Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level as part of a giveaway. To enter to win, use the widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. By request of the publisher, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older are eligible to enter.

Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level

The contest will run from today (April 9) at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 16. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 16 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

For those interested in purchasing the book, it launches next Tuesday, April 16, but you can pre-order now through Amazon, Apple’s Book Store, and other outlets.

This article, “Tim Cook Profiled in New Biography as ‘The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level’ [Author AMA Today]” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Suppliers 'Gearing Up for Mass Production' of Updated iPad and AirPods

Companies in Apple’s supply chain are reportedly “gearing up for mass production” of updated iPad and AirPods models, according to Taiwanese site DigiTimes.

Flexible PCB firms Flexium Interconnect and Zhen Ding Technology are gearing up for mass production for Apple’s next-generation iPad devices, while Compeq Manufacturing and Unitech PCB supply rigid-flex boards for the forthcoming AirPods, according to industry sources.

The report says that both updates are expected to come at Apple’s March 25 event, although reliable sources have indicated the event will focus on Apple’s upcoming news and video services with no hardware announcements planned.

Minor hardware updates could come silently alongside the event or via press release around the same time, as DigiTimes‘s insights via the supply chain are likely limited to production timing rather than event specifics.

Hints of an updated low-cost iPad have been growing, with new iPad models appearing in a regulatory database back in January. Rumors have suggested the entry-level iPad could see its display grow from 9.7 inches to around 10.2 inches thanks to slimmer bezels, but we’re not expecting to see Face ID and removal of the home button with this update.

As for AirPods, we’ve been hearing about an imminent update for many months now, with Apple’s plans seemingly delayed as the company continues work on its AirPower charging mat. Updated AirPods would include a wireless charging case to work with the AirPower mat, as well as other upgrades including “Hey Siri” support and possibly new health monitoring features, a “grippy” texture, and maybe even a new black color option.

Related Roundups: iPad, AirPods 2

This article, “Apple Suppliers ‘Gearing Up for Mass Production’ of Updated iPad and AirPods” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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