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What's New in macOS High Sierra: APFS, Metal 2, Photos Improvements, Safari Autoplay Blocking and More
Friday June 16, 2017 2:32 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple named its next-generation version of the Mac operating system High Sierra because it's designed to improve macOS Sierra through several major under-the-hood updates. While most of what's in High Sierra isn't outwardly visible, there are some refinements to existing features and apps like Safari, Photos, Siri, FaceTime, and more.
We went hands-on with the High Sierra beta to give MacRumors readers a quick idea of what changes and improvements to expect when the software comes out this fall. Check out the video below to see what's new.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
Some of the biggest app changes are in Photos, which has a persistent side bar, editing tools for Curves and Selective Color, new filters, options for editing Live Photos, new Memories categories, improved third-party app integration, and improvements to facial recognition, with the People album now synced across all of your devices.
Safari is gaining a new autoplay blocking feature for videos, Intelligent Tracking Prevention to protect your privacy, and options for customizing your browsing experience site-by-site, while Mail improvements mean your messages take up 35 percent less storage space.
Siri has a more natural voice, just like on iOS 11, and can answer more music-related queries. iCloud Drive file sharing has been added, and in High Sierra and iOS 11, all of your iMessage conversations are saved in iCloud, saving more storage space.
When installing High Sierra, it will convert to a new, more modern file system called Apple File System or APFS. APFS is safe, secure, and optimized for modern storage systems like solid stage drives. Features like native encryption, crash protection, and safe document saves are built in, plus it is ultra responsive and will bring performance enhancements to Mac.
APFS is accompanied by High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC) which introduces much better video compression compared to H.264 without sacrificing quality. The other major under-the-hood update is Metal 2, which will bring smoother animations to macOS and will provide developers with tools to create incredible apps and games.
Metal 2 includes support for machine learning, external GPUs, and VR content creation, with Apple even providing an external GPU development kit for developers so they can get their apps ready for eGPU support that's coming to consumers this fall. Apple is also working with Valve, Unity, and Unreal to bring VR creation tools to the Mac.
macOS High Sierra will run on all Macs that are capable of running macOS Sierra. For a more detailed overview of what's included in the update, make sure to check out our macOS High Sierra roundup.Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
22 comments
Charitybuzz Auctions Lunch With Eddy Cue at Apple's New Headquarters
Friday June 16, 2017 9:41 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Charitybuzz today launched an auction in which the winning bidder will have lunch with Apple's services chief Eddy Cue at the company's newly constructed Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezHere's your chance to have lunch with Eddy Cue at the stunning new 175-acre Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, CA, where you will learn more about Apple's industry-leading content stores and online services. This is a rare opportunity to see 鈥淎pple Park鈥 and engage in a one-on-one, in-depth conversation with one of the most innovative business minds of our generation.The auction has an estimated value of #36;50,000. Bids can be placed between now and June 28 at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time, in support of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to bring attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today's student-athletes. Cue is a longtime basketball and Golden State Warriors fan.
The private meet and greet will be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon date by June 30, 2018. The winning bidder must be at least 18 or older. The cost of the meal and gratuity is included, but travel and accommodations are not. The experience cannot be resold, re-auctioned, or transferred.
The lunch does not include a formal tour inside Apple Park facilities, and photography is not permitted, according to Charitybuzz.
Cue, who is officially Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, currently oversees the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Siri, Apple Maps, iCloud, and Apple's iWork and iLife suites of productivity apps.
Apple executives have participated in several Charitybuzz auctions over the years, with CEO Tim Cook most recently raising over #36;680,000 for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.Tags: Eddy Cue, Charitybuzz
55 comments
Hints of iPhone 8 Showing Up in Web Analytics
Friday June 16, 2017 8:57 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Back in February, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo laid out his expectations for the display resolution on the so-called "iPhone 8," a brand-new iPhone scheduled for release later this year that forgoes the traditional Home button and LCD screen in favor of an OLED display that fills essentially the entire front of the device.
Working from his expectations, we believe we are seeing increasing evidence of iPhone 8 devices visiting MacRumors. The numbers are unsurprisingly extremely low, but what we're seeing matches what we'd expect from Kuo's resolution claims. It has also become consistent enough that it's increasingly unlikely these data points are fakes or one-off blips in our analytics.
According to Kuo, the iPhone 8 will feature a 5.8-inch display, but with a strip along the bottom of the display reserved for a "function area." Details on exactly what the function area will be used for are unclear, but it will likely be some sort of dock-like area that could include fingerprint sensing, Home button functionality, and likely other dynamic icons and buttons for interacting with the device.
While Kuo says the overall 5.8-inch display will have a resolution of 1242 x 2800 pixels, he claims the active "display area" will measure 5.15 inches diagonally with a resolution of 1125 x 2436. That's likely the screen size that would be presented to Safari and other apps as the usable display space.
Ever since the release of the iPhone 4 in 2010, Apple's Retina displays have used pixel doubling or tripling to increase the sharpness of text and other elements shown on the screen. For example, the iPhone 7's display has a native resolution of 750 x 1334, but it presents itself as a device running at half of those numbers in each dimension, or 375 x 667. This logical resolution, known as points, keeps screen content at reasonable sizes but with four pixels making up each point, thus allowing for increased sharpness.
Apple's "Plus" sized iPhone displays with native resolutions of 1080 x 1920 are a bit more complicated, presenting themselves as devices running at 414 x 736 points but in "3x" mode so that a total of nine pixels would be used to make up a single point on the screen. This multiplication factor yields a rendered display resolution of 1242 x 2208, which is then scaled down to fit the actual 1080 x 1920 display.
Example from Apple's Human Interface Guidelines showing increasing sharpness of 10 x 10 point image at 1x, 2x, and 3x
Taking a look at Kuo's claimed resolution of 1125 x 2436 for the active display on the iPhone 8, this would neatly correspond to a 3x Retina display at 375 x 812 points, exactly the same width in points as the iPhone 7 but taller. (A 5.15-inch display area at an 1125 x 2436 ratio would actually be slightly narrower physically than the iPhone 7's display, so content would appear slightly smaller on the screen at around 174 points per inch rather than the 163 points per inch of the iPhone 7.)
With iPhone 8 models having been in testing for many months now and production likely to start ramping up soon, it's likely some of these devices are being used to browse the web, and every once in a while one of them may visit MacRumors. Checking into our analytics, we are indeed seeing some activity from devices reporting themselves as having displays of 375 x 812.
Visits to MacRumors from devices reporting themselves as iOS devices running at 375 x 812
Aside from a couple of visits last September, we didn't see substantial activity from devices reporting themselves with resolutions of 375 x 812 until March, and even then things were very sparse until late May when things began to pick up. Since June 1, we've been seeing anywhere between one and four visits from these devices nearly every day. All of them are also reporting themselves as running iOS 11.0, which is both unsurprising and reassuring, given that the iPhone 8 will undoubtedly ship with iOS 11 as its operating system in the fall.
A handful of the visits came from IP addresses controlled by Apple, but even those coming from other IPs are localized to Cupertino or nearby cities of Sunnyvale and San Francisco when such data is available.
The number of visits we've seen from these devices is extremely low, totaling roughly three dozen sessions. We do on occasion see strange resolutions being reported by devices in our analytics, but the regularity with which we're seeing this resolution pop up suggests that this is likely a real device.
The 375 x 812 resolution is also the only one we're currently seeing appear associated with iOS 11 devices that can't be explained by an existing product. We similarly saw devices reporting a resolution of 834 x 1132 over a period of months leading up to last week's launch of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which corresponded to the 1668 x 2224 Retina display that was rumored for and ultimately appeared on the device.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 8 and more traditional "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus" models around the usual September timeframe for iPhone updates, although rumors have suggested supplies of the iPhone 8 could be extremely tight for up to several months after the official debut.Related Roundup: iPhone 8
73 comments
Microsoft Executive Says iPad Pro Was Apple's Response to Surface
Friday June 16, 2017 8:19 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Microsoft executive Ryan Gavin this week suggested Apple released the iPad Pro in response to its Surface devices, per Business Insider.
"When Surface initially launched, everyone was skeptical, including them," said Gavin, general manager of Surface commercial devices at Microsoft. "And then they followed, and the iPad Pro is a clear example of that."
Microsoft positions the latest Surface Pro, released on Thursday, as a "best-in-class laptop" with the "versatility of a studio and tablet."
The new Surface Pro features Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors and up to 13.5 hours of battery life on a single charge. The tablet-notebook hybrid can be configured with up to a 1TB SSD, up to 16GB RAM, and up to Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics, with a USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, and Mini DisplayPort.
During a 2012 earnings call, when asked to comment on why the MacBook Air and iPad would not eventually converge, Apple CEO Tim Cook argued that combining the products would result in compromises.
"You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator but those won't be pleasing to the user," said Cook, a comment that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella poked fun at four years later, alluding to the iPad Pro.
"I mean, take even Surface," said Nadella, speaking to The Australian Financial Review. "Three years ago, the two-in-one as a form factor was questioned. Does anybody need one? And now guess what, even our competition has decided that it's not a refrigerator and a toaster but it's actually a two-in-one."
While the iPad and Mac remain two fundamentally different products, the iPad Pro is Apple's closest attempt at a two-in-one hybrid device.
Apple released the original iPad Pro with a large 12.9-inch display and Smart Keyboard in November 2015, over three years after Microsoft launched its first Surface tablet with a 10.6-inch display and detachable keyboard.
In contrast, the Surface was arguably Microsoft's response to the iPad as a whole. Apple's tablet launched in early 2010, and the Surface arrived in late 2012.
Cook has said the iPad Pro is a notebook or desktop computer replacement for "many, many people," adding that "they will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones."
As for Microsoft following Apple? "We don't really look at Apple," said Gavin.Tags: Microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Surface Pro
215 comments
Apple Hires Executives From Sony Pictures TV to Lead Push Into Original Programming
Friday June 16, 2017 5:47 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Apple today announced that television executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg will be joining the company to help craft its new slate of original video programming. The two will lead Apple's video programming efforts on a worldwide scale and report to senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue.
Image via Varietyem
Erlicht and Van Amburg are joining Apple from Sony Pictures Television, where they were presidents of the company since 2005 and helped produce shows like AMC's Breaking Bad
and Better Call Saul, Netflix's The Crown, Amazon's Sneaky Pete, and more.
Erlicht said that he and Van Amburg will attempt to create content of "unparalleled quality," matching Apple's success in its other product categories.
鈥淛amie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,鈥 said Eddy Cue, Apple鈥檚 senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. 鈥淲e have exciting plans in store for customers and can鈥檛 wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple 鈥 there is much more to come.鈥
鈥淚t will be an honor to be part of the Apple team,鈥 said Jamie Erlicht. 鈥淲e want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products 鈥 unparalleled quality.鈥
鈥淎pple has a relentless focus on delighting customers with their products,鈥 said Zack Van Amburg. 鈥淲e will bring that same intention to Apple鈥檚 programming and we could not be more excited about what lies ahead.鈥 The hiring announcement today represents Apple's latest move into establishing its presence in the original TV production space, and comes on the heels of the debut of the company's first show on Apple Music called Planet of the Apps. Later this summer, Apple Music will also debut Carpool Karaoke: The Series as its next streaming show.
In today's press release, Apple talked up the pair's history for creating diverse content -- from sitcom The Goldbergs to supernatural action comedy Preacher -- but no word was given on the specific kind of television that Erlicht and Van Amburg would be working on for Apple, or when any of the shows they produce might be coming out.
61 comments
Hands-On With watchOS 4: Siri Watch Face, Apple Pay, Activity Improvements, New Workouts and More
Thursday June 15, 2017 3:57 pm PDT by Juli Clover
This fall Apple plans to introduce an all new version of watchOS, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch. watchOS 4 is faster, more efficient, includes new tools for developers, and offers up some thoughtful interface refinements.
To get a glimpse of the new features you can expect to see on your Apple Watch when watchOS 4 launches this fall, check out our hands-on video.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
watchOS 4 brings a new Siri watch face that offers up dynamic, personalized information that changes based on the time of day. Siri can display weather info, calendar appointments, reminders, HomeKit controls, news alerts, and tons more, right on the watch face.
There's also a new Kaleidoscope watch face that turns any photo into a colorful animation, and Apple's adding a Toy Story face starring animated versions of Woody, Jessie, or Buzz Lightyear.
Apple's redesigned the Dock (accessed by pressing the side button) to be vertical instead of horizontal, and there's a new option to view all your apps in a list. There are also new complications and a new flashlight option in Control Center, which lights up the Apple Watch's display.
Apple wants to do more to motivate you to exercise in watchOS 4, so the Activity app will send alerts to let you know how close you are to completing a goal and what you need to do to reach it. There are also new animations to offer visual rewards and personalized monthly challenges based on your workout history.
The Workout app has a revamped interface that makes it easier to start a workout, and there's a new High Intensity Interval Training option, along with new options for the swim workout. Starting in the fall, watchOS 4 will let the Apple Watch interface with gym equipment for two-way real-time data exchange, and with a new Core Bluetooth API, the Apple Watch can connect directly to Bluetooth devices like glucose monitors.
Other features include a redesigned Music app, peer-to-peer Apple Pay payments in Messages, an option for composing emails right on your watch, and a new Apple News app.
Best of all, watchOS 4 apps load faster, are more responsive, and can do more because Apple is opening up more APIs to developers.
watchOS 4 will run on all Apple Watch models, including first-generation, Series 1, and Series 2. For a more detailed look at what to expect in the update, check out our watchOS 4 roundup.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
82 comments
Spotify Continues to Grow Faster Than Apple Music Thanks to Free Tier
Thursday June 15, 2017 9:13 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Spotify today announced it now has over 140 million subscribers worldwide, including users that only listen to the free ad-supported tier.
Spotify last said it had over 100 million subscribers in June 2016, so it has gained around 40 million listeners in one year to remain the world's largest streaming music service. Spotify didn't update its number of paying subscribers, which stood at over 50 million worldwide as of March 2017.
By comparison, Apple at its Worldwide Developers Conference last week announced that Apple Music now has 27 million paying subscribers, just weeks before the streaming music service turns two years old. Apple Music doesn't have a free tier, and Apple doesn't regularly disclose how many users are using the free trial.
Last year, Spotify vice president Jonathan Forster said Apple Music has helped, not hurt, their business by raising the popularity of streaming music services overall. He added that, at the time, Spotify was growing more quickly and adding more users since Apple Music launched, a trend that appears to be continuing.
"It's great that Apple is in the game," Forster told Reuters. "They are definitely raising the profile of streaming. It is hard to build an industry on your own."
While many artists remain critical about Spotify's free ad-supported tier, longtime holdout Taylor Swift reversed course last week and made her catalog of music available on most streaming music services. Swift's music was previously exclusive to Apple Music, only after Apple agreed to pay artists during its free trial period.
Spotify's revenue grew more than 50 percent, to #36;3.3 billion last year, according to the company's latest financial statement. The company has committed to spending more than #36;2 billion in payments to record labels over the next two years.Tags: Spotify, Apple Music
228 comments
Scott Forstall to Discuss Creation of iPhone at Computer History Museum Next Week
Thursday June 15, 2017 7:01 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California has announced that former iOS chief Scott Forstall will sit down with journalist John Markoff on June 20 for a fireside chat about how the iPhone came to be.
Forstall was Apple's Vice President of iOS from 2007 until 2012
Forstall will be talking publicly about Apple for the first time since he was reportedly ousted from the company in October 2012, following the botched launch of Apple Maps. Forstall has maintained a quiet presence since then, although he did announce he was co-producing the Broadway musical Fun Home in 2015.How did the iPhone come to be? The leader of the iPhone software team Scott Forstall sits down with Computer History Museum historian John Markoff to share his experience working with Steve Jobs on the secretive Apple iPhone project, codenamed "Project Purple."Forstall's fireside chat will be preceded by a panel discussion with a trio of engineers from the original iPhone development team, Nitin Ganatra, Scott Herz, and Hugo Fiennes, who will talk about their work on the transformative device.
The two-part event is part of the Computer History Museum's ongoing "iPhone 360" project this year that explores the story of the iPhone, from its prehistory, inception, and launch, to its evolution and impact.Coinciding with the 10th anniversary year of the iPhone launch in 2007, iPhone 360 includes integrated initiatives across the Computer History Museum to create new collections of artifacts and oral histories, scholarly research and insights, dynamic events, and educational content and curriculum."Putting Your Finger On It: Creating the iPhone" is scheduled for Tuesday between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Pacific Time at the museum's Exponential Center. Check-in begins at 6 p.m. Registration is available online.
June 20 also marks the release of the book The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant, in which Forstall is quoted. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller and former iPod chief Tony Fadell have both turned to Twitter in recent days to refute some of the book's contents.Tags: Scott Forstall, Computer History Museum
189 comments
Tim Cook Talks HomePod, AR, and How America is 'More Important Than Bloody Politics' in New Interview
Thursday June 15, 2017 5:22 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Bloomberg Businessweek sat down with Apple CEO Tim Cook last week to discuss a collection of topics related to Apple and the tech industry, including augmented reality, the legacy that Steve Jobs left behind, the HomePod, and the opinions he has following his work with U.S. President Donald Trump. Bloomberg Businessweek's full interview with Tim Cook will appear in the Sunday, June 19 edition of the magazine, but for now the site has shared a few interesting snippets from the talk.
One of the major talking points of the interview centered around the HomePod, Apple's new Siri-based speaker for the home that the company says will have a focus on high quality audio playback. When asked whether or not he thinks people will actually pay #36;349 for a HomePod, Cook pointed out the same question that gets brought up heading into the launch of every new Apple product.
Image via Bloomberg Businessweekem If you remember when the iPod was introduced, a lot of people said, 鈥淲hy would anybody pay #36;399 for an MP3 player?鈥 And when iPhone was announced, it was, 鈥淚s anybody gonna pay鈥濃攚hatever it was at that time鈥斺渇or an iPhone?鈥 The iPad went through the same thing. We have a pretty good track record of giving people something that they may not have known that they wanted.
When I was growing up, audio was No.鈥1 on the list of things that you had to have. You were jammin鈥 out on your stereo. Audio is still really important in all age groups, not just for kids. We鈥檙e hitting on something people will be delighted with. It鈥檚 gonna blow them away. It鈥檚 gonna rock the house. The main iOS topic covered in the new interview was augmented reality and its upcoming addition in iOS 11 thanks to ARKit. Cook said that he's so excited about the possibilities for the future of AR that he just wants to "yell out and scream," while admitting that there are limitations to the technology in its current state. But he thinks that those limitations are the building blocks of an "incredible runway" with a bright future, and said that, "When people begin to see what鈥檚 possible, it鈥檚 going to get them very excited鈥攍ike we are, like we鈥檝e been."
Bloomberg Businessweek asked how much time Cook spends thinking about his own legacy -- in the context of Steve Jobs -- to which Cook plainly stated, "None." Cook hopes that people simply remember him "as a good and decent man," and wants Jobs' DNA to remain the heart of the company for any future CEO over the next 100 years. Cook explained that while Apple as a whole will adjust and change with the times, this "Constitution" created through Jobs' beliefs and actions should be set in stone.
His ethos should drive that鈥攖he attention to detail, the care, the 颅simplicity, the focus on the user and the user experience, the focus on building the best, the focus that good isn鈥檛 good enough, that it has to be great, or in his words, 鈥渋nsanely great,鈥 that we should own the proprietary technology that we work with because that鈥檚 the only way you can control your future and control your quality and user experience.
And you should have the courage to walk away and be honest with yourself when you do something wrong, that you shouldn鈥檛 be so married to your position and your pride that you can鈥檛 say, 鈥淚鈥檓 changing directions.鈥 These kind of things, these guardrails, should be the basis for Apple a century from now.
It鈥檚 like the Constitution, which is the guide for the United States. It should not change. We should revere it. In essence, these principles that Steve learned over many years are the basis for Apple. It doesn鈥檛 mean the company hasn鈥檛 changed. The company鈥檚 going to change. It鈥檚 going to go into different product areas. It鈥檚 going to learn and adjust. Many things have changed in the company, even in the last six to seven years. But our 鈥淐onstitution鈥 shouldn鈥檛 change. It should remain the same. Cook was also directly asked about his experience working with President Donald Trump, including a tech summit late last year that saw a group of CEOs attending a meeting in Trump Tower to discuss trade, immigration, vocational education, and more. Ultimately, Cook admitted that he and Trump have "dramatically different" beliefs in most areas, and he argued that above all else, "America's more important than bloody politics."
I feel a great responsibility as an American, as a CEO, to try to influence things in areas where we have a level of expertise. I鈥檝e pushed hard on immigration. We clearly have a very different view on things in that area. I鈥檝e pushed on climate. We have a different view there. There are clearly areas where we鈥檙e not nearly on the same page.
We鈥檙e dramatically different. I hope there鈥檚 some areas where we鈥檙e not. His focus on jobs is good. So we鈥檒l see. Pulling out of the Paris climate accord was very disappointing. I felt a responsibility to do every single thing I could for it not to happen. I think it鈥檚 the wrong decision. If I see another opening on the Paris thing, I鈥檓 going to bring it up again.
At the end of the day, I鈥檓 not a person who鈥檚 going to walk away and say, 鈥淚f you don鈥檛 do what I want, I leave.鈥 I鈥檓 not on a council, so I don鈥檛 have those kind of decisions. But I care deeply about America. I want America to do well. America鈥檚 more important than bloody politics from my point of view. Rounding out the questions for the interview snippets posted today, Bloomberg Businessweek asked Cook to respond to critics who say Apple isn't innovating anymore. Cook answered with the long-time Apple argument that it's not about being first to a product category, it's about being the best in the category, while focusing on what particularly will elevate its users' lives: "It鈥檚 actually not about competing, from our point of view. It鈥檚 about thinking through for the Apple user what thing will improve their lives."
The rest of the interview includes Cook's comments on the enterprise market, Apple's #36;1 billion advanced manufacturing fund, and his opinions on a tax plan for repatriating the international earnings of U.S. companies. More topics are expected to be covered in the full interview on June 19.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Related Roundup: HomePod Tags: Tim Cook, bloomberg.com, Donald Trump, ARKit, augmented reality
130 comments
Mobile Roaming Charges Abolished in the EU
Thursday June 15, 2017 1:57 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
A new European Union law came into effect on Thursday that abolishes roaming charges for people using mobile phones abroad. The new rules mean that EU citizens traveling within the EU that call, text, and browse the internet on their mobile devices will be charged the same price they pay in their home country.
Previously, roaming charges were added to the cost of calls, SMS messages, and web browsing whenever mobile users in the EU traveled to another country and connected to another cellular network. The practice of charging consumers extra while they were abroad gained widespread notoriety because users often ended up having to pay extortionate fees for relatively moderate data usage.
"Each time a European citizen crossed an EU border, be it for holidays, work, studies or just for a day, they had to worry about using their mobile phones and a high phone bill from the roaming charges when they came home," said the European Commission in a statement. "The European Union is about bringing people together and making their lives easier. The end of roaming charges is a true European success story. Eliminating roaming charges is one of the greatest and most tangible successes of the EU," the statement added.The EU has been negotiating with mobile networks for nearly 10 years to come to an agreement regarding the legislation, following repeated warnings from networks that the law could mean higher tariffs at home. That outcome appears to have been avoided, however.
"The EU has managed to find the right balance between the end of roaming charges and the need to keep domestic mobile packages competitive and attractive," continued the statement. "Operators have had 2 years to prepare for the end of roaming charges, and we are confident that they will seize the opportunities the new rules bring to the benefit of their customers."
Despite the new law, consumer watchdog Which? told the BBC that mobile users need to be aware that if they exceed contract data allowances while traveling within the EU they will still be charged, just as they would be in their own country. Also, the law only applies to travelers, so calling another EU country from home will still incur additional charges.
Update: Some readers are reporting that mobile carriers in certain EU countries have already raised their plan prices, although it's still unclear if this is a direct result of the legislation that came into effect today.
Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: European Union, European Commission
218 comments
Apple Aiming to Make iPhone 'One-Stop Shop' for Medical Info
Wednesday June 14, 2017 6:50 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple wants the iPhone to serve as a comprehensive health repository for every iPhone user, keeping track of medical data like doctors visits, lab results, medications, and more, reports CNBC.
Apple is said to have a "secretive team" within its health unit that has been communicating with developers, hospitals, and other industry groups about storing clinical data on the iPhone. With all of their medical data at their fingertips, iPhone users would have a better overall picture of their health, which could also be readily shared with doctors.
Apple has been hiring developers familiar with protocols dictating the transfer of electronic health records and has talked with several health IT industry groups, including "The Argonaut Project," which promotes the adoption of open standards for health information, and "The Carin Alliance," a group aiming to give patients more control over their medical data. According to CNBC, Apple VP of software technology Bud Tribble has been working with the latter group.
Apple is also rumored to be looking at startups in the cloud hosting space for acquisitions that would fit into its health plan.Essentially, Apple would be trying to recreate what it did with music -- replacing CDs and scattered MP3s with a centralized management system in iTunes and the iPod -- in the similarly fragmented and complicated landscape for health data.
Such a move would represent a deviation in strategy from Apple's previous efforts in health care, the people said, which have focused on fitness and wellness.A centralized way to store all of a person's health data would allow the medical community to overcome existing barriers that prevent the transfer of patient information between medical providers. Hospitals and doctors offices often don't have a simple way to transfer patient information, and online medical portals are sometimes difficult to use with little info available to patients,
Apple already allows iPhone users to record medical data and health information gathered by the Apple Watch and other connected devices in the built-in Health app, and it has delved into health research with CareKit and ResearchKit, but based on these rumors, the company's goal is to expand its health efforts far further in the future.Tags: HealthKit, ResearchKit, Health Technologies
86 comments
Listen to Siri's More Natural Voice in iOS 11
Wednesday June 14, 2017 2:18 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Siri gets smarter in every new version of iOS, and iOS 11 is no exception. This year, Siri has been improved with advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, giving the personal assistant a much more natural, expressive voice.
As you'll hear in the video, Siri sounds more human, adopting better pronunciation and different inflection depending on what's being said. There are also a lot of other improvements, which are covered in our Siri video and in the post below.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
In iOS 11, Siri uses on-device learning across all of your devices to get a more complete picture of your interests, preferences, and routines. Because Siri now syncs across multiple devices, Siri learns more about you and your interactions with Siri are always the same regardless of whether you're using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
Siri can now do things like suggest a topic you might like in Apple News based on Safari browsing habits, or suggest a Calendar reminder for an appointment you've booked in Safari. Siri might also make QuickType word suggestions based on things you've recently viewed -- names of movies or places, for example.
Siri has built in translation capabilities in iOS 11 and can translate English to Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, plus with music enhancements implemented for HomePod, Siri can play music you like and offer up answers to music-related queries like "What song is this?" or "Who's the drummer in this band?" when you're listening to music.
You can even type to Siri using a new "Type to Siri" Accessibility option. This makes it easier to communicate with Siri when speaking isn't an option.
For more on Siri and the rest of the new features coming in iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup. Stay tuned to MacRumors, because we have more videos coming on iOS 11, watchOS 4, and macOS High Sierra.Related Roundup: iOS 11 Tag: Siri
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