Bridging the Apple Community and Keeping Tabs on the Rumor Mill.

Author Archives rss

Mitchel Broussard

iPhone 11 Review Roundup: Improved Camera, Battery Life, and Performance Result in the iPhone for 'Just About Everybody'

The iPhone 11 is set to launch this Friday, September 20, and in advance of that release date the first reviews for the smartphone have begun appearing online. Apple has provided review units of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to media outlets, but this article will focus only on the iPhone 11 and you can check out our separate iPhone 11 Pro review roundup right here.


As the lower-cost device, the iPhone 11 lacks some of the hardware and software features of the Pro line, but numerous reviewers pointed out that the line between the 11 and the 11 Pro has blurred even more this year. In short, this will likely be the iPhone that is the best choice for most customers this season.

Wired echoed many of these sentiments, calling it the iPhone for “just about everybody” and applauding the smartphone’s camera upgrade, solid battery life, low cost, and the speed of the A13 Bionic processor. The site particularly appreciated Apple’s no-nonsense UI design for the camera app, pointing out how this improves the camera as a whole, even if it might not be as good as others on the market.

Image via Wired

It would be a stretch to say that the camera on the iPhone 11 has wowed me or has set a new standard that other phone makers will have to race to match. The iPhone 11 Pro, with its funky three-lens camera module on the back, is noticeably better. But one area where Apple deserves credit is in the overall packaging of its camera features and the design of the app’s interface.

Smartphones are now cluttered with so many features that it can be hard to figure out what’s what, which can actively discourage people from trying all the newfangled things. On many premium Android phones, for example, the wide-angle icon is a cluster of—trees? When you select the Pro mode on Samsung’s Galaxy Note10+, there are no fewer than 17 photo options available, some of which cut into the frame of the viewfinder.

Ultimately, Wired noted that the iPhone 11 is an impressive device but Apple hasn’t done anything innovative with the base model iPhone this year. The site pointed out last-generation LCD technology, the lack of an in-display fingerprint sensor, and other features, but still described the iPhone 11 as a “very good phone” that will have more than enough features to sway people to upgrade.

The Verge kicked off its review by stating simply, “the iPhone 11 is the phone most people who are upgrading to a new iPhone this year should get.” The site particularly liked the iPhone 11’s camera upgrade, including the ultra-wide lens and Night Mode. With the upgrades, The Verge said that the iPhone 11 goes so far as to make photos taken on the iPhone X “look downright bad.”

Image via The Verge

So, is it worth upgrading to the iPhone 11? If you’ve got an iPhone older than the XR and you’re looking to upgrade, I think the answer is yes. The camera is substantially improved, and you will get vastly better battery life than anything aside from a XR. That’s what most people care about, and Apple has really delivered here.

I’d only spend the extra money on the iPhone 11 Pro if you really care about the display. I don’t think you’re missing out on much by not having a telephoto camera lens, to be honest. I personally care quite a bit about displays, so I’m getting a Pro, but I think most people will be very happy with the iPhone 11.

Engadget discussed the display quality on the iPhone 11, pointing out that its LCD display is the same one found in last year’s iPhone XR. While this is a lower quality display compared to the OLED in the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, “in day-to-day use, the differences don’t matter,” according to the site.

Image via Chris Velazco/Engadget

Engadget also favors the 6.1-inch display size of the iPhone 11, calling it the sweet spot between the too-small 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro and large 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max. The site also commended the iPhone 11’s battery life, which lasted close to 17 hours on average.

In some ways, the iPhone 11 is subject to the same fundamental shortcomings as the XR: It has one less camera than Apple’s more-premium models, and its screen isn’t nearly as nice. To that, I say, “Big whoop.”

The one thought that stuck in my head during my testing was that the gulf in functionality between this phone and the Pros has become surprisingly narrow. There are advantages to splurging on the Pros, but after getting a feel for what the iPhone 11 is capable of, those benefits won’t always justify spending the extra $300. Like I said before, the iPhone 11 is the best new iPhone for most people, and it’s unquestionably the one I would buy for myself.

More iPhone 11 reviews can be found online: TechCrunch, Pocket-lint, The Wall Street Journal, CNET, and Tech Radar.

Related Roundup: iPhone 11
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone 11 (Buy Now)

This article, “iPhone 11 Review Roundup: Improved Camera, Battery Life, and Performance Result in the iPhone for ‘Just About Everybody’” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Charlie Hunnam Cast as Lead in Apple TV+ Series 'Shantaram'

Apple has cast actor Charlie Hunnam in its upcoming series “Shantaram,” which will air on Apple TV+ sometime after the service debuts this November (via Variety). The series is an adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts novel of the same name, the rights to which Apple acquired back in June 2018.

Image via Variety/Eric Charbonneau

The novel is based somewhat on Roberts’ real life, focusing on a character named Lin (Hunnam), who is a convict that flees from an Australian prison and hopes to get lost in the city of Bombay. In the city, Lin stumbles across an underworld of criminals while individuals from his life in prison hunt him down.

Apple won the rights to the book amid a competitive bidding war that was said to include multiple streaming companies. Previously, plans to adapt “Shantaram” included Joel Edgerton in the role as Lin for a feature film, but plans fell through, leading to the idea of a streaming TV series.

“American Hustle” screenwriter Eric Warren Singer will serve as the showrunner and executive producer of the new Apple series. Singer also worked on “The International”, “Only the Brave”, and wrote the script for the upcoming sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.” Hunnam is known for his roles in “Sons of Anarchy,” “Pacific Rim,” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.”

It’s not clear yet when “Shantaram” will premiere on Apple TV+, but since casting has just gotten underway and filming has not yet begun, it’s likely that we won’t see the show debut until mid-to-late 2020 at the earliest.

This article, “Charlie Hunnam Cast as Lead in Apple TV+ Series ‘Shantaram’” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

J.J. Abrams Declined Apple's $500 Million Offer Because it Would Have Restricted Bad Robot Productions to Apple TV+

A new article by The Hollywood Reporter today sheds light on why director/producer J.J. Abrams declined a big deal with Apple, which would have seen his Bad Robot production company become one of the main creators for exclusive content on Apple TV+.


According to sources, Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath wanted to be able to sell Bad Robot’s content to other outlets. Of course, Apple wanted the company to exclusively produce shows and movies that would only be made available on Apple TV+ and nowhere else. Ultimately, Abrams decided to stick with WarnerMedia, which offered far less than Apple.

Sources familiar with the deal say it is less about money and more about the larger opportunities that come with an established media giant like WarnerMedia. Abrams is said to have wanted a set number of guaranteed slots on Warner Bros.’ feature film release calendar, though it’s unclear if that was included in the new agreement. With Warners, Abrams has the ability to create new features that could see his new deal reach the billions if he’s able to create a successful franchise.

Now that Bad Robot remains under WarnerMedia, the company is able to create shows like “Lisey’s Story” and sell it out to other brands, including Apple. Abrams hopes to turn Bad Robot into a “consumer brand” in this way and get its content in front of as many people as possible, which would have been more difficult if it were locked behind the Apple TV+ exclusivity barrier.

Apple’s exclusivity deal (valued in the $500 million range), also would have restricted Abrams’ ability to work on outside projects under the Bad Robot umbrella for other studios, like his work on Star Trek for Paramount. Additionally, Bad Robot was concerned about Apple’s lack of a clear theatrical distribution model, which the company as of yet has not needed to dabble in.

There are a multitude of other reasons that appear to have ultimately convinced Abrams to remain at WarnerMedia. These include Apple’s lack of IP for him to adapt, his alleged disappointment in Apple’s March media event where it introduced Apple TV+, and a disagreement on the exact valuation of Bad Robot.

J.J. Abrams is still producing many shows on Apple TV+, including “Little Voice,” “My Glory Was I Had Such Friends,” and the adaptation of the Stephen King novel “Lisey’s Story.”

This article, “J.J. Abrams Declined Apple’s $500 Million Offer Because it Would Have Restricted Bad Robot Productions to Apple TV+” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

iPhone 11 vs. iPhone 11 Pro

Apple’s latest iPhones, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, are nearing their release dates on September 20. Apple is separating the new smartphones into its usual low-cost versus high-cost categories, with big differences between the two models coming do…

HomePod Gaining New 'Ambient Sounds' Siri Feature This Fall, Radio Station Support Launching September 30

Apple this week quietly updated the HomePod’s product page on Apple.com, including a few release dates for upcoming features (via 9to5Mac). HomePod will gain the ability to tune into live radio stations through Siri controls on September 30, after this feature was first announced at WWDC in June (and made available to some users in Germany this July).


Additional HomePod features, including multi-user support and music handoff, will not launch until “later this fall.” With iOS 13, Siri on HomePod can recognize the voices of different HomePod users, queuing up each person’s favorite music on the speaker. Handoff lets any media you have playing on your iPhone or iPad be handed off to the HomePod.

One new feature has also been added to the HomePod page on Apple.com, called “Ambient Sounds.” Apple says that you’ll be able to relax to sounds like ocean waves, forest birds, rainstorms, and more with this feature, also coming in the fall.


It sounds like the company is working on making ambient noise a big new feature of the HomePod, after being requested by users since the speaker launched in early 2018. Although Apple Music has a multitude of ambient noise playlists, this should make it even easier to start playing relaxing sounds on HomePod.

There have been numerous announcements from Apple this week thanks to the iPhone event yesterday, including the all new iPhone 11 family, the new 10.2-inch iPad, and Apple Watch Series 5.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer’s Guide: HomePod (Neutral)

This article, “HomePod Gaining New ‘Ambient Sounds’ Siri Feature This Fall, Radio Station Support Launching September 30” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Watch Series 5 Hands On: Always-On Display is Great, but Otherwise Not Much of an Upgrade

Apple today announced and launched pre-orders for the Apple Watch Series 5, which is the company’s latest wearable device. The new smartwatch features an always-on display, built-in compass, and more, and members of the media have begun sharing their o…

Apple Announces iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max With Triple-Lens Rear Camera and Midnight Green Color

Apple today revealed the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, its two top-of-the-line iPhone models for 2019. These new iPhones feature Super Retina XDR displays, A13 Bionic chips, and a new triple-camera system with Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cam…

Apple Announces Apple Watch Series 5 With Always-On Retina Display and New Titanium Case Option

Apple today announced the Apple Watch Series 5, alongside watchOS 6. Series 5 watches feature an always-on display, meaning you won’t have to rely on wrist raises to read the Apple Watch screen. There’s also a built-in compass and international emergen…

Apple TV+ Launching November 1 for $4.99 Per Month

Apple today announced that its streaming TV service, Apple TV+, will launch on November 1 for the price of $4.99 per month. The service will be available in over 100 countries and regions.

Launch shows include The Morning Show, Dickinson, See,…

Labor Day Deals: Save on Apple Products and Accessories from Pad & Quill, Nimble, Satechi, and More

Today is Labor Day in the United States, and a number of retailers have introduced deals on Apple products and related accessories. In this article we’ve rounded up some of the best Labor Day deals for Apple fans, including discounts on the Apple Watch…

Google Outlines iPhone Vulnerabilities That Let Malicious Websites Steal User Data for Years, Now Fixed

Google’s Project Zero published a blog post this week about a previous security threat wherein malicious websites quietly hacked into the victim’s iPhone. This small collection of hacked websites were used in what was described as “indiscriminate” atta…

Nike's New Shoes Support Siri Shortcuts and Apple Watch, Letting You Adjust Fit With Your Voice

Nike today announced the Nike Adapt Huarache shoe, which features the company’s “FitAdapt” technology that lets you adjust the fit of the shoe through Siri or your Apple Watch.


Similar to the Nike Adapt BB shoes from earlier this year, the new Huarache shoe includes a FitAdapt lacing system. Run from a midfoot motor, the system is controlled by the connected Nike app and tightens or loosens the shoe based on user control.

For the first time, these controls include speaking to Siri on your iPhone, or using the Apple Watch app. The shoe also offers preset modes for custom fits, and support for Siri Shortcuts for even easier control over the laces.


In a PR image of the Nike app, the company gives an example of a Siri Shortcut like “Hey Siri, release my shoes” as a way to loosen the fit of the Nike Adapt Huarache.

The new Huarache shoes are a continuation of the original line that debuted in 1991. The new sneakers will go on sale on September 13 at select retailers.

Tag: Nike+

This article, “Nike’s New Shoes Support Siri Shortcuts and Apple Watch, Letting You Adjust Fit With Your Voice” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Fitbit Debuts New Versa 2 Smartwatch and $10/Month 'Fitbit Premium' Service

Fitbit has announced the Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch, with an all-new design that shares a few similarities with the Apple Watch. Accompanying the watch is “Fitbit Premium,” a new health and fitness subscription service that costs $10 per month and offers guidance and coaching to reach your fitness goals.


The Versa 2 includes direct support for Amazon Alexa, which you can trigger by saying “Hey, Alexa” and then asking about the weather or any other smart assistant command phrase. There’s also direct support for Spotify, as well as notifications for call, calendar, and texts from your connected smartphone.

Otherwise, the Versa 2 supports NFC payments, includes a heart rate sensor, and has water resistance up to 50 meters. The new smartwatch will support Fitbit’s new Sleep Score feature, which factors in your daytime activities and sleep time to judge your overall sleep quality, as well as Smart Wake. This feature figures out the best time to wake you depending on your sleep habits.


For its subscription service, Fitbit Premium, Fitbit said it will provide a holistic view of your health that other health and fitness apps lack. This includes nine guided programs to help you get more sleep, wake up energized, increase your activity, manage nutrition, and create overall lasting healthy habits.

Programs include actionable coaching, daily tips and tricks, structured workout plans, relaxation tools, recipe suggestions, and educational content. Fitbit will launch additional activity, sleep and nutrition programs by the end of the year. The company plans to launch a one-to-one personal coaching service next year as well.

Fitbit Premium will debut in September and cost $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year. The Versa 2 is available for presale today for $199.95 and will launch on September 15.

Tag: Fitbit

This article, “Fitbit Debuts New Versa 2 Smartwatch and $10/Month ‘Fitbit Premium’ Service” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Shares First Full Trailer For 'The Morning Show'

After posting a brief teaser last week, Apple today shared the first official trailer for “The Morning Show” starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell.

The trailer provides the first glimpse at each character on the show, which centers around a struggle for power behind the scenes of a network news show.

Aniston plays one of the anchors of The Morning Show, while Carell plays a former anchor who was fired following accusations made against him on the show. The trailer also reveals that Witherspoon will play a reporter who begins rising up the ranks, potentially threatening Aniston’s job.

“The Morning Show” will launch this fall on Apple TV+, but Apple hasn’t yet provided a release date for its new streaming service. There are quite a few other shows that will be coming out on the platform, all of which we’ve rounded up here.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12, tvOS 13
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Don’t Buy)

This article, “Apple Shares First Full Trailer For ‘The Morning Show’” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Samsung Removes Ad Mocking iPhone's Lack of Headphone Jack After Following Suit With Galaxy Note 10

Samsung has spent years releasing ads that mock Apple’s decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone, a move that began with the iPhone 7 in 2016. Now that Samsung has removed the headphone jack from the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy Note 10, the company has quietly deleted these mocking ads from some of its YouTube channels.

From Samsung’s ad “Growing Up”

As discovered by Business Insider, the commercial “Growing Up” has now been removed from the main Samsung YouTube channel and the Samsung Mobile USA channel. The ad was released by Samsung in November 2017 as push back against the iPhone X and to promote the Galaxy Note 8, and similar anti-dongle ads released in 2018 have also disappeared this year. This can be seen in the dead links on our article for the “Ingenious” ads from July 2018.

The original “Growing Up” ad is still available on the Samsung Malaysia channel, however, and can be seen below. The ad depicts the life of a young man who finally decides to switch from Apple to Samsung, with one of the main points of contention being the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Samsung has historically used a mocking strategy when it comes to advertising its own products, taking to pointing out the downsides of its competition in an effort to sell Galaxy smartphones. The company has also made fun of iPhones for their speed, Apple’s Genius Bar, the Apple Pencil, and much more.

Samsung just announced the Note 10 and Note 10+ yesterday, including an AMOLED Cinematic Infinity Display (the Galaxy Note 10+ features the largest display yet in a Note device). The Cinematic Infinity Displays are nearly bezel free and include a small chin at the bottom and a single hole punch camera cutout. There is also an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face recognition, and — of course — no headphone jack.

Tag: Samsung

This article, “Samsung Removes Ad Mocking iPhone’s Lack of Headphone Jack After Following Suit With Galaxy Note 10” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Music Launches 'Digital Masters' Initiative Out of Old 'Mastered for iTunes' Program

Apple Music today announced a new initiative called the “Apple Digital Masters” program, which aims to combine all of its “Mastered for iTunes” songs into one streaming catalog (via Billboard).


According to Apple, it’s slowly been introducing Mastered for iTunes songs into Apple Music for some time. The company said that 75 percent of the Top 100 songs in the U.S. are Apple Digital Masters, and 71 percent of the Top 100 global songs are also part of the new program.

Apple began the Mastered for iTunes program in 2012, allowing engineers to optimize music for the digital download format by encoding from high-resolution masters. This placed the iTunes songs as close to possible as the original master recordings, and were designated specially as “Mastered for iTunes” in the store.

In Apple Music, Apple doesn’t designate whether a song is under its Digital Masters program or not. Still, for people who care about lossless audio, it’s a good sign that the company has formally acknowledged a plan to move forward with adding more high-quality audio tracks to Apple Music.

Numerous other streaming music services have lossless audio plans that are priced separately from the standard streaming tiers. Namely, Tidal offers a HiFi subscription for $19.99/month (compared to the base $9.99/month plan) that lets users stream lossless audio on demand.

This article, “Apple Music Launches ‘Digital Masters’ Initiative Out of Old ‘Mastered for iTunes’ Program” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Microsoft Contractors Found Listening to Some Audio Calls When Skype Translator Feature is Active

Microsoft contractors are listening to conversations between users on Skype who use its translation feature, according to Motherboard. This is done only if users are performing a translation function in Skype and not during any other typical Skype voic…

Amazon Prime Day Live Blog: Follow Along for the Best Deals

It’s the middle of July, which means it’s time for Amazon’s annual Prime Day shopping event, offering Amazon Prime customers the chance to save money on a vast array of items across the retailer’s online storefront.

Like we did last year, today we’v…

Apple Drops Prices on High-End Storage Upgrades for iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro

Alongside a refresh of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro this morning, Apple has also dropped the price on high-end storage upgrades across the Mac lineup. This includes the iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and even the soon-to-be-discontinued Mac …

Steve Jobs Criticized Tim Cook as 'Not a Product Person,' Says Biographer Walter Isaacson

“Steve Jobs” biographer Walter Isaacson was on Squawk Box this week, and in an interview he mentioned that he “softened” parts of the book when it came to certain Jobs quotes (via CNBC).


Particularly, Jobs was said to have criticized current Apple CEO Tim Cook for not being a “product person.” According to Isaacson, “Steve says how Tim Cook can do everything, and then he looked at me and said, ‘Tim’s not a product person.'”

Isaacson said that he wanted to soften certain things that he thought were too harsh in his biography of Steve Jobs. The book first launched in October 2011, just 19 days after Jobs died from pancreatic cancer.

“Sometimes when Steve was in pain … and he was angry, he would say more things that [Cook] was not a product person,” recalled Isaacson. “I felt I would put in the specific things that were relevant to the reader but not the complaints.”

Cook was also mentioned in a recent piece by The Wall Street Journal, which focused on Jony Ive, who reportedly became “dispirited” because of Cook’s lack of interest in the product development process. Ive announced that he will leave Apple later this year and start his own design studio, with Apple as one of its primary clients.

Isaacson has been critical of Apple as a whole in the past, believing in 2014 that Amazon and Google had overtaken Apple to become the most innovative technology companies of the modern day. At the time, he specifically referenced virtual assistants as a space where Apple needed improvement.

Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs went on to be the basis for Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay of the Danny Boyle-directed film “Steve Jobs.” The film was well received by critics, earning four Golden Globe Award nominations and two Academy Award nominations.

This article, “Steve Jobs Criticized Tim Cook as ‘Not a Product Person,’ Says Biographer Walter Isaacson” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Back to Top