Editor at 9to5Mac + 9to5Google
Zac covers Apple news and product reviews for 9to5Mac, contributes to 9to5Google, and hosts the weekly 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast.
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Roughly three weeks after releasing the first developer preview of macOS Sierra at WWDC 2016, Apple has pushed macOS 10.12 beta 2 through the Mac App Store for testing. macOS Sierra brings Siri to the Mac for the first time. Some new features like Apple Pay for Safari and Auto Unlock haven’t been available for testing yet so today’s release will be interesting.
Apple released the first beta version of iOS 10 for developers to test last month at WWDC 2016. The public beta version won’t be ready until later in July and the release version is due out this fall, but registered developers can update to iOS 10 beta 2 starting today.
Yesterday the WSJ reported that sources indicate Apple is in ongoing exploratory talks to buy Jay Z’s Tidal music subscription business while carefully noting sources say talks may not lead to a deal. While Apple reportedly talking to Jay Z’s Tidal does not equal Apple actually buying Tidal (yet), the idea of Apple buying Tidal anytime soon and within two years of spending $3 billion on Beats in part to build its Apple Music streaming service comes as a surprise to many — not unlike the Beats episode…
If Apple versus FBI was the big story to start the year, then it looks like Apple versus Spotify will be the hot battle of the summer. Yesterday a letter surfaced in which Spotify accused Apple of being anticompetitive with its App Store policies and holding back a Spotify update in order to benefit Apple Music. This letter is likely what prompted Senator Elizabeth Warren’s negative remarks about Apple earlier this week.
Now Apple is pushing back and without mincing words. Apple’s top lawyer Bruce Sewell has issued a three-page response to Spotify (via Buzzfeed) in which he accuses Spotify of “resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service.”
Fitness tracking with the Apple Watch really kicked in for me a few months ago, and now I’m obsessed with filling the Activity rings and improving my health. So when I woke up Tuesday morning and discovered what looked like a small blotch of blue ink under the glass of my Apple Watch, I sort of freaked out. I have a Move streak going and just a few days left before the Perfect Month achievement in the Activity app kicks in, so I really didn’t want to go a day without my Apple Watch.
Apple Stores still don’t swap out Apple Watches on location even with AppleCare; unlike iPhones, every Apple Watch has to be mailed off for repair or replacement. Thanks to some helpful chat support and AppleCare+, however, I learned a few things and managed not to wreck my streak…
This week Benjamin and Zac discuss the latest iOS 10 design changes, the fate of Apple’s Thunderbolt Display, macOS Sierra review previews, and the latest iPhone 7 rumors. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.
Apple Pencil is fantastic as a digital stylus, but its minimal design creates the obvious question of “Where do I put the thing when I’m not using it?” for anyone that owns one. Belkin has a new solution that borrows from the traditional inkwell: Base for Apple Pencil. If you regularly use Apple Pencil with iPad Pro at your desk or want a nice solution for storing it when not in use, Base is worth checking out…
We’re anxiously awaiting iOS 10 beta 2 after just over two weeks with the initial beta version, but Apple has released a fourth beta for any iOS 9.3.3 update testers. Changes so far haven’t been noticeable as the update is likely focused on security enhancements and bug fix improvements.
Apple last released an iOS 9.3.3 beta eight days ago, suggesting its public release is imminent. For Apple TV developers, tvOS 9.2.2 beta 4 is also now available for anyone not already testing tvOS 10 beta. Apple’s OS X 10.11.6 beta 4 is also out today. All three software releases are available to developers and public beta testers.
With the iPhone 7 widely expected to be the first model without a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, many have wondered what headphones if any Apple will bundle with the next-gen hardware. The latest guess once again comes from Weibo (via iPhone7.nl) as we see two different photos showing the same set of Apple EarPod headphones with a Lightning connector end in place of the standard headphone connector.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is not happy with Tim Cook’s fundraiser for House Speaker Paul Ryan today. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Democratic Party leader commented when asked about the event this morning that the Apple CEO is being advised poorly:
“Poor Tim. What a nice guy he is, but somebody gave him bad advice,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said at the end of an animated 15-minute phone interview Monday evening. “He probably doesn’t think that much about politics.”
Politico reported the Cook political fundraiser last week, which benefits Paul Ryan as well as other Republican Party members seeking reelection in the House of Representatives.
Apple is making many of its services smarter in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra through the use of differential privacy which enables artificial intelligence to become smarter while still balancing privacy. Given Apple’s strong position on protecting user privacy, Recode requested more details on how the company’s use of differential privacy would work. Apple so far has resisted collecting a lot of user data that could make Siri, iCloud, and other services smarter.
Apple officially announced yesterday that its Thunderbolt Display is dead. The monitor was never updated to match the much thinner design of the current iMacs, it featured a MagSafe 1 connector and required a MagSafe 2 adapter, and its resolution was far inferior to Retina iMacs so it was no surprise to see it finally discontinued.
Apple typically replaces a discontinued product with a newer version, though, so yesterday’s move could be interpreted as a sign that the company is fully exiting the external display business. Not so fast, says one voice however…
Smart doorbells are an interesting category of connected appliances. There’s an undeniable cool factor in bringing your home to the Jetsons era when you add a video camera, mic, and speaker to your doorbell. I’ve been testing the August Doorbell Cam ($199), which replaces your existing doorbell and lets you see and communicate with visitors from your iPhone, and it’s not just the smart doorbell features that have interested me…