Apple tapped actor, comedian and writer Larry David for what appears to be a promotional video created for a past Worldwide Developers Conference, though the short was never used.
Shared by Sam Henri-Ghoul in a tweet on Monday, the clip was reportedly set to air as Apple’s introduction to WWDC in 2014. The company typically pre-tapes a brief welcome video that is shown to conference participants, with the tradition morphing into a complete keynote experience as the conference transitioned online during the coronavirus pandemic.
While the entire video is not available, Henri-Ghoul posted a clip from the short film in which David plays the role of an “App Approval” specialist. His desk holds an iMac, a statue of the Empire State Building, and what looks to be green and red stamps for approving or denying apps.
David is seen talking to the developer of “Upset Pigeons,” chastising them for creating a “flagrant ripoff” of what is almost certainly “Angry Birds.” The comedian goes on a short rant about upset avians in apps.
Screenshots posted alongside the video reveal David starred in the short alongside JB Smoove, who appeared on David’s hit show “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel.
Henri-Ghoul previously collected classic Apple advertisements, unseen videos and other miscellany in an online repository called the Unofficial Apple Archive. The website was shut down last year after Apple filed a series of DMCA takedown notices.
Apple has come under fire for its App Store practices in the intervening years since David’s intro film was shot. Among antitrust complaints and grousing from developers over App Store commissions, the company’s online app storefront is under scrutiny for issues related to the review process. Of note, developer Kosta Eleftheriou has over the past months identified a number of scam apps that slipped past App Store reviewers.
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Apple may not use its WWDC 2021 keynote to make any hardware announcements, with a prominent leaker hinting that there won’t be any physical product launches.
While WWDC is known to be a software-centric event, concerned primarily with Apple’s operating systems and software changes, rumors always circulate about new hardware being revealed during the event. In the opinion of one well-known leaker, it seems that WWDC 2021 will be a software-only year.
Responding to a query on Twitter on whether there will be any hardware products shown at WWDC 2021 on Monday, leaker “@L0vetodream” responded in Chinese with the translated phrase “I feel no.”
While the Twitter account has amassed a following for high-accuracy leaks for Apple products, there is always a chance that the account is incorrect and Apple does show hardware. In a later tweet, they said “I was just talking about playing, I’m not reliable at all,” which immediately casts doubt on the initial “I feel no” tweet.
Apple has used the WWDC event to highlight hardware, but certainly not every event. On three occasions, for the “coke can” Mac Pro, the iMac Pro, and the 2019 Mac Pro, Apple teased the hardware, and shipped a profoundly limited quantity of the devices before the end of the year.
Rumors claimed that Apple could launch a 16-inch MacBook Pro refresh during the event, as well as the possibility of pushing forward with its Apple Silicon transition with a new chip. However, this is also during a time when the world is dealing with a chip shortage, which could cause problems for the production of new hardware.
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Apple’s iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6 launched this week, adding several new features to iPhones and iPad devices including new voice controls, expanded tracking functions for AirTags, Family Sharing options for Apple card payments, and, of course, tons of bug fixes.
Here’s a round-up of all the new features in iOS/iPadOS 14.6 and how to use them—and don’t forget you can install the software update under Settings > General > Software Update.
Unlock your screen with your voice
Users can unlock their iPhone’s screen with a voice command after restarting the device. The new accessibility feature is available for all users with voice commands enabled.To turn on voice controls:
Go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control.
Tap “Set up Voice Control.” iOS will download the necessary files in the background. When it’s done, you’ll see a mic icon on the screen indicating voice controls are turned on.
You can also view voice commands and modify or create your own under Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control > Customize Commands.
Apple Card Family Group spending features
An Apple Card can now be shared with up to five other accounts in your Family Sharing group. Users must be 13 years or older to use Apple Card payments. Along with the family sharing option, users can track expenses and set spending limits and other restrictions.
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You’ll find all the options in Settings > [username] > Family Sharing.
New AirTag tracking functions
Apple’s recently released AirTags have a couple of new features included in iOS/iPadOS 14.6, including:
Tapping an AirTag with an NFC-capable device (like your iPhone or iPad) shows a partial phone number of the AirTag’s owner.
“Lost mode” in the Find My app now lets you add an email instead of a phone number.
Other new features in iOS/iPadOS 14.6
Apple Music Losses Audio prep: Apple Music’s new Lossless Audio quality option won’t hit the app until sometime next month, but iOS 14.6 preemptively adds support for the audio format to all applicable iOS and iPadOS devices.
Paid content support for Apple Podcasts: Podcasts creators can now add optional paid content and subscriptions for their shows in the Apple Podcast app. This doesn’t affect free content.
Apple is about to give millions of iPhone users a choice: Allow Facebook and other apps running on Apple’s iOS platform to track your activity on your phone and online, or stop tracking altogether.
What will you choose?
Among the new features in Apple’s new iPhone software, iOS 14.5, is a major privacy update called App Tracking Transparency, which requires apps to request permission before gathering user or device data. Specifically, the update changes the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), a unique, random number assigned to each iPhone that allows advertisers and developers to track user behavior, including app usage and web browsing behavior. The IDFA is often used to personalize advertisements.
Apple is also releasing software updates for its other devices, including the iPad, Apple Watch, Mac computers and Apple TV. Apple is hosting an event on Tuesday where the company will announce product updates, and the software is expected to be available this week.
A spokesperson for Apple said the new privacy features were developed to “provide transparency and give users a choice if their data is tracked.” Apple requires all developers to adhere to the new policies, but will not require software makers to make the update immediately.
Why Facebook objects
Facebook, Google and other big tech firms are unhappy with the changes.
In December, Facebook placed a full-page ad in the New York Times that claimed the user-tracking changes in iOS 14.5 would adversely affect small businesses. “[T]he average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend,” the Facebook ad stated.
A spokesman for Facebook was unable to verify the claim of a 60% loss to small business, but shared a Facebook blog post and video that asserts the Apple update will force developers to enable in-app purchases to make up for lost revenue.
“It will force businesses to turn to subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue, meaning Apple will profit and many free services will have to start charging or exit the market,” the blog post said. Facebook has previously warned advertisers that its ad network could become “ineffective” on Apple’s products.
Google does not plan to make similar changes to its Android operating system.The mobile OS has a similar device identification advertising feature called GPS ADID that allows advertisers on Android to personalize ads. The current version of Android also asks for one-time user permissions that enables app access to a phone’s location, camera and microphone.
A spokesperson for the company, which is owned by Alphabet, told CBS News, “We’re always looking for ways to work with developers to raise the bar on privacy while enabling a healthy, ad-supported app ecosystem.”
A boon for privacy
The Google Chrome web browser will start limiting or removing data shared with third-party tracking cookies by early 2022, according to a company spokesperson. Instead of tracking individuals, Google plans to allow targeted ads to groups of users with similar interests, a move that it says is less invasive but which privacy advocates have criticized.
Apple’s update is “the most significant improvement in digital privacy in the history of the internet. And it will kneecap Facebook,” Jason Kint, a privacy advocate and CEO of the advertising trade association Digital Content Next, said in a tweet.
AdWeek, a trade publication for the advertising industry, recently surveyed a number of small business advertisers and reported that “nobody really knows” what to expect from the iOS changes.
Other experts are more positive. Apple’s policy is fair for both advertisers and consumers, said tech analyst Rene Ritchie. “It’s good for consumers. It’s not bad for advertisers. If we think of it in a consumer-centric way, [advertisers] have just had unfettered access to our data forever and it’s built up almost an entitlement to ownership of who we are and what we do online,” he told CBS News.
Ritchie said consumers have the right to keep private or to share mobile phone and browsing data. “This is our data. And it’s so valuable to [advertisers] that they’re willing to spend all this money, accumulating it and analyzing it, but we still own it,” he said.
Whether you have a small business or need large-scale enterprise management, Jamf provides comprehensive tools for Apple devices.
As businesses increase the number of Apple devices across their teams and enact bring-your-own-device policies, using a scalable management solution that works seamlessly with iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV is an invaluable tool. Jamf offers multiple products that can help streamline the IT process for companies with just a few Apple devices, or those running hundreds of Apple devices across multiple locations.
For teams just entering the device management world or companies with no dedicated IT department, Jamf can make potentially frustrating tasks like connecting new employee devices to their email account a one-click process. Once a device is enrolled in Jamf management, administrators can add Wi-Fi networks, VPNs, security protocols, and push enterprise applications to employees without ever touching their device.
Manage iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV with Jamf
I have been personally using Jamf Now for five years and have managed over 100 Apple devices from a single account.
Administrators and IT professionals alike can utilize zero-touch deployment with any Apple device. This allows any business to ship a new Apple product to an employee and the moment it powers on, the device is enrolled in Jamf and the set-up process begins automatically. Users will have access to all the business tools they need right away, and any needed applications will install on first start-up.
Companies can also utilize Jamf’s open enrollment feature that allows anyone in the company to enroll their device into management just by visiting a URL and inputting a password.
Once a device has been added to the Jamf platform, administrators can view information about that iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV such as the operating system that device is running, its serial number, storage capacity, whether or not a passcode has been set, and even push changes to that device remotely.
Administrators using Jamf Now can create Blueprints that save all the applications, security provisions, restrictions, and even wallpaper settings and then apply that Blueprint to any new device that’s added to the management platform.
Settings can be as granular as requiring an alphanumeric passcode, how many failed passcode attempts result in erasing the device, and a maximum auto-lock time. Jamf also gives businesses access to restrict Siri usage, iCloud services, or delay OS updates for a specific amount of time.
Even with these powerful management features, the end-user experience of all Jamf products remains fast and fluid. I have never had complaints from any user with a device being managed by Jamf.
Companies looking for increased security and workflow options should consider Jamf’s Apple Enterprise Management solution which combines their Jamf Connect, Jamf Pro and Jamf Protect products. These advanced solutions when used together automate the entire lifecycle of Apple in the enterprise including the ability to sign on with one set of cloud-identity credentials, device deployment and management, compliance monitoring, security from threats, and much more.
Jamf for education is also available
For small schools to large districts, Jamf also has solutions for education with the Jamf School platform. Unique features for parents and teachers allow management of devices in a classroom or home setting, including advanced iPadOS and tvOS management, and can be used in 1-to-1 iPad initiatives, or complete Mac labs.
To learn more about all of Jamf’s management solutions, click here.
Gazelle, a company that buys old iPhones, iPads, and Macs, has reinstated its device trade-in program after initially ending it in February.
Back in December, Gazelle announced plans to end its trade-in program in 2021, and said that it would shut down trade-in options on February 1, 2021. Gazelle stopped taking trade-ins at that time, but has since reversed course on the decision.
As of April 5, Gazelle is once again accepting online trade-ins for smartphones and tablets. In an email to customers that was also shared with The Verge, Gazelle said that trade-ins were reinstated after feedback from consumers.
Earlier this year, we announced that we will no longer be offering our trade-in option on Gazelle. After careful consideration, including feedback from customers like you, we have decided to keep Gazelle Trade-In going. Today, we are happy to say, ‘We’re back, baby!’ Gazelle Trade-In is a pioneer of the electronics trade-in space and we are happy to continue building on our legacy by offering a simple process and immediate payouts for those unwanted devices.
When initially announcing that its online trade-in program was ending, Gazelle said that it would instead focus on its in-store ecoATM kiosks, which are designed to offer instant cash for devices.
Gazelle operates more than 4,000 ecoATM units across the United States and has collected more than 25 million devices.
Recent reports claimed Apple is developing a new Apple TV remote dubbed “B519,” though that particular device appears to be third-party hardware designed for use by cable companies.
Earlier this week, 9to5Mac reported that Apple is working on a new Apple TV remote expected to launch with a next-generation set-top box later this year. A follow-up on Wednesday, however, reveals the device is in fact a remote designed by Universal Electronics.
Announced in November, the Apple TV accessory was developed and designed to serve cable, satellite, and MVPD companies offering Apple TV 4K as an alternative to the traditional cable box.
Eschewing the Siri Remote’s — controversially — minimalist design, the Universal Electronics hardware is a typical candy bar style remote with a multitude of buttons that flank a central control “wheel.” Dedicated buttons invoke Siri voice control and a programming guide.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple had a hand in designing the remote, though the tech giant’s participation was left unmentioned in a Universal Electronics press release announcing the device last year. The remote is reportedly referred to internally at Apple as “B519,” though that information is also in question.
Reliable reports from Bloomberg have indicated that Apple is indeed preparing a new remote control for a so-called “Apple TV 6” and code discovered in recent tvOS beta version backs up those claims. Last week, for example, code strings in the fourth tvOS 14.5 beta release replaced “Siri Remote” with “Apple TV Remote,” while a fifth beta today points to a remote that includes a center button.
Previous rumblings suggest the new remote will feature fresh capabilities like a device location system similar to Find My on iOS.
Apple has updated a support document warning iPhone users that MagSafe could potentially interfere with pacemakers, defibrillators, and other medical implants that could be affected by magnets.
The magnets within the iPhone 12 series and MagSafe accessories are meant to align the wireless charging coils, as well as to keep accessories affixed to the back of the iPhone itself. While the magnets may not be strong to cause noticeable issues for regular users, people with medical conditions requiring specialized equipment may encounter problems if their iPhone gets too close.
In an update to a support page about the magnets used for MagSafe, Apple added language that warns medical devices including implanted pacemakers and defibrillators “might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact.” Apple doesn’t explain what could happen in such cases, but the worst circumstance could be the deactivation of a medical device and a user’s potential death.
“To avoid any potential interactions with these devices, keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories a safe distance away from your device,” Apple suggests. The suggested distances are more than 6 inches normally, increased to more than 12 inches when performing wireless charging.
The text, spotted by MacRumors, further advises consulting with a physician and the device manufacturer for “specific guidelines” in relation to MagSafe. If users suspect an iPhone or MagSafe accessory is interfering with their medical device, Apple tells users to stop using the iPhone or accessory immediately.
The update follows after an article in the Heart Rhythm Journal from three doctors in Michigan who tested MagSafe’s effects on a patient’s implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. When the iPhone was brought near to the patient’s chest, the implant immediately ceased working normally.
There is no indication that the doctors’ findings influenced Apple into making the change to the support page.
Alongside picks for the top iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps and games of the year, Apple today shared charts featuring the Top Games of 2020 and the Top Apps of 2020, revealing the most popular free and paid apps and games during the year.
Among Us! was the top free game of 2020, followed by Call of Duty: Mobile, Roblox, and Subway Surfers. Ink Inc. Tattoo Drawing was the number four free app, while Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game earned the fifth spot. Mario Kart Tour also made the list, earning the 15th spot.
Minecraft was the top paid game of the year, followed by Plague Inc., Heads Up!, Monopoly, Bloons TD 6, Geometry Dash, and NBA 2K20. Many of these games are often at the top of the charts at the end of the year, with Minecraft and Plague Inc. long holding top spots.
Zoom was the top free app on iOS devices, followed by TikTok, Disney+, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Top paid apps included TouchRetouch for quickly removing clutter from photos, Procreate Pocket, Facetune, HotSchedules, and AutoSleep Sleep Tracker.
Apple has sections in the Today center of the App Store where all of these apps can be downloaded for those interested.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest, heaviest and most expensive version of Apple’s smartphone for 2020, a beast in every dimension.
The top-of-the-range iPhone costs from £1,099 and sits above the 12 Pro (£999), the 12 (£799) and 12 mini (£699).
The 12 Pro Max has the same fresh design as the rest of the iPhone 12 range: squared-off sides, all-screen front with slimmer bezels and a frosted glass back. It has the same drop-resistant “Ceramic Shield” technology covering the screen and the new MagSafe magnetic attachment system on the back for wireless chargers and accessories, but that’s where the physical similarities end.
The screen is stunning. Bright, crisp and almost tablet-like at that giant size. Watching HDR video is fantastic, and there is a good set of stereo speakers too.
Holding it usually requires two hands, much like its superphone competition. It is very wide and weighs 226g – 18g heavier than the Note 20 Ultra, 39g heavier than the smaller 12 Pro or a full 64g heavier than the regular iPhone 12.
Thanks to the hard edges I found gripping the 12 Pro Max significantly easier than its rounded and equally heavy predecessor the iPhone 11 Pro Max. I could use it one handed with a bit of finger gymnastics and suffered none of the hand pain I got from trying to grip the bar-of-soap-like 11 Pro Max.
Camera: triple 12MP rear cameras with lidar, 12MP front-facing camera
Connectivity: 5G, wifi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5, Lightning, ultra wideband and GPS
Water resistance: IP68 (6 metres for 30 mins)
Dimensions: 160.9 x 78.1 x 7.4mm
Top performance, 5G and two-day battery
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the same A14 Bionic processor as the regular 12, 12 Pro and iPad Air, and has 6GB of RAM with a starting storage of 128GB – double the iPhone 12’s 64GB. Performance is equally excellent all round: snappy, slick and fast to process photos, videos or when playing games. Speeds on 5G were similar, with slightly better reception than the iPhone 12 Pro and negligible impact on battery life.
Battery life is class leading at more than 48 hours between charges (eight hours longer than the iPhone 12) with the screen on for more than seven hours. The phone will last from 7am on day one until 7am on day three using 5G for about five hours, with the remainder spent on wifi.
It takes 30 minutes to charge the battery to 50%, 73 minutes to reach 90% but two hours 13 minutes for a full charge using a cable and a £19 Apple 20W USB-C power adaptor, or more than three hours with the MagSafe wireless charger.
Apple does not provide an expected lifespan for the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s battery – typically smartphone batteries last at least 500 cycles while maintaining at least 80% capacity – but it can be replaced for £69. An out-of-warranty service costs £566.44, which includes the screen. The iPhone 12 Pro Max was awarded six out of 10 for repairability by the specialist iFixit.
The 12 Pro Max uses 100% recycled tin in the solder of its main board, 99% recycled tungsten, 98% recycled rare earth elements and at least 35% recycled plastic in multiple other components. Apple is also using renewable energy for final assembly of the machine, and breaks down the phone’s environmental impact in its report.
It also offers trade-in and free recycling schemes, including for non-Apple products. The 12 Pro Max does not ship with headphones or a power adaptor, reducing its carbon footprint.
You can expect upwards of five years of software support including security fixes and iOS version updates, which is longer than any other manufacturer of smartphones.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the same selfie camera and ultrawide camera as the 12 and 12 Pro, which perform just as well, but different main and telephoto cameras on the back.
The telephoto camera has a longer 2.5x optical zoom, up from 2x. Any increase in reach is welcome, but it pales in comparison to the 4x/5x optical zooms of competitors. The lens is slightly slower than that on the 12 Pro, making it worse in poor light. But both smartphones switch to the more light-sensitive main camera in low-light anyway.
The main camera has the same 12-megapixel resolution but a 47% physically larger sensor, which collects up to 87% more light than its predecessor.
In good light it shoots photos that are indistinguishable from the 12 Pro: highly detailed with good colour accuracy and control of high-contrast scenes.
When the light level starts to drop around dusk the larger sensor captures far brighter, more detailed and less noisy images that are a marked improvement over other iPhones. The same holds true for indoor shots on dull winter days. The dedicated Night Mode is needed less frequently, too, and when it does engage it captures photos quicker than the regular 12 Pro.
The 12 Pro Max also has the same lidar (light detection and ranging) scanner on the back for Night Mode portraits and faster autofocus. The 12 Pro Max can shoot 4K video at 60 frames a second, and in Dolby Vision HDR too.
Overall, the 12 Pro Max has the best camera on any iPhone and has improved low-light performance over other iPhone 12 models. It also brings Apple up to par with top competitors, although the 2.5x optical zoom is still some way behind the best in the business.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max costs £1,099 for 128GB, £1,199 for 256GB or £1,399 for 512GB of storage.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the most feature-rich Apple smartphone this year, but comes at a significant price – both monetary and physically.
It sits firmly in the superphone bracket alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the OnePlus 8 Pro, so big that you may struggle to fit it in small pockets and will almost exclusively need two hands to use it.
You get a huge 6.7in screen, 48-hour-plus battery life, a significantly better camera and improved design and ergonomics over its predecessors. It is certainly not perfect and costs a lot, even if it is only £100 more than the smaller iPhone 12 Pro, but you are getting a lot of phone for the money.
If you can manage its sheer gargantuan size and cost, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is one hell of a superphone.
Pros: very long battery, top performance, improved low-light camera, longer optical zoom, portraits with night mode, water resistant, wireless charging, MagSafe, Face ID, fantastic screen, 5G, long software support.
Cons: no USB-C, need your own charger, enormous, super heavy, very expensive.