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Reviews

Larry David sends up App Store review process in unaired WWDC14 video


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.

Keep up with everything Apple in the weekly AppleInsider Podcast — and get a fast news update from AppleInsider Daily. Just say, “Hey, Siri,” to your HomePod mini and ask for these podcasts, and our latest HomeKit Insider episode too.

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Hardware

No hardware debuts during WWDC 2021 keynote, says leaker


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.

Follow all the details of WWDC 2021 with the comprehensive AppleInsider coverage of the whole week-long event from June 7 through June 11, including details of all the new launches and updates.

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say, “Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider,” and you’ll get latest AppleInsider Podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini for “AppleInsider Daily” instead and you’ll hear a fast update direct from our news team. And, if you’re interested in Apple-centric home automation, say “Hey, Siri, play HomeKit Insider,” and you’ll be listening to our newest specialized podcast in moments.





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Gadgets

Jamf provides user-friendly device management for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV devices


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.



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Hardware

Supposed next-gen Apple TV remote turns out to be third-party hardware


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.



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News

Microsoft Is in Exclusive Talks to Acquire Discord


Microsoft Corp. is in advanced talks to acquire messaging platform Discord Inc. for $10 billion or more, according to people familiar with the matter, as the software giant seeks to deepen its consumer offerings.

Microsoft and Discord are in exclusive talks and could complete a deal next month, assuming the negotiations don’t fall apart, the people said.

Originally favored by gamers, San Francisco-based Discord offers voice, text and video chatting. The platform’s popularity has surged since the pandemic took hold as people stay home and connect online—as has that of other chat services, like Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp and Signal Messenger LLC. Discord has been considering an IPO.

Microsoft, which has a market value of more than $1.7 trillion, has been on the hunt for an acquisition that would help it reach more consumers. Last summer, it held talks to buy the popular video-sharing app TikTok amid a high-profile geopolitical standoff prompted by the Trump administration, before abandoning the effort.

VentureBeat reported this week that Discord was exploring a sale and had entered exclusive discussions with an unnamed suitor.



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Gadgets

Apple updates MagSafe support with medical device warning


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.



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Future

Dow Futures Are Softer Amid a Fed and Treasury Clash


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