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12
May

How to Use the macOS App Switcher to Open Files, Hide and Quit Apps, and Launch Exposé


Most long-time macOS users will be aware of the Application Switcher. It’s invoked using the Command+Tab keyboard shortcut, and lists all of the apps currently running on your Mac, enabling you to quickly switch between them.

In this article, we’ll run through the Mac App Switcher’s most basic functions, and then highlight some of our favorite lesser-known App Switcher tricks that you’re bound to find useful once you’re familiar with it.

Basic Functions of the Application Switcher

When you hold Command and press Tab, the App Switcher overlay appears above all other open windows on your desktop, and remains visible until you release the Command key. Letting go switches you to the last active application, prior to the one you were just using. As you might expect, repeating this action switches you back to the previous active app.


Repeatedly tapping Tab with the Command key held down cycles you through the list of apps in the App Switcher from left to right, while releasing Command takes you to the selected app. If you hold down Shift when tapping Tab, the selection moves right to left.

You can also press the right and left arrow keys to move the selection box forwards and backwards. A two-finger drag on a trackpad does the same thing, or you can use your mouse cursor to highlight an app in the list and then click to select it.

Invoke Exposé and Open Files From the App Switcher

If you press the up or down arrow keys with an icon highlighted in the App Switcher overlay, Exposé will be activated for the selected app, which causes all of its windows to fan out across the screen. (Pressing the 1 key achieves the same result.)


Open windows are shown front and center, while minimized windows appear along the bottom of the screen. You can use the arrow keys to switch between them and press Enter to open the one you want, or simply select one using your mouse cursor in the usual way.

An oft-overlooked function of the App Switcher is its ability to open files. Simply begin to drag a file from a Finder window, then invoke the App Switcher and drag the file onto the relevant app icon in the overlay. Let go of the file and it should open in the selected app.

Close and Hide Apps Via the App Switcher

Pressing the H key in the App Switcher hides all the windows of the selected app (pressing the H key again reveals them). Try cycling through the overlay with the Tab key and tap H as you go – it’s a neat way to quickly clear a space on a desktop cluttered with windows.

Lastly, highlighting an icon in the App Switcher and tapping Q has to be one of the fastest ways to individually quit open Mac apps, and probably qualifies as our favorite App Switcher trick.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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12
May

Apple Ditches Plans for $1 Billion Irish Data Center, Citing Approval Delays


Apple has ditched its plans to build a $1 billion data center in Ireland because of continual delays in the approval process chiefly brought about by planning appeals by local residents (via Reuters).

Apple had been trying to get its $1 billion data center in County Galway, Ireland built for over three years, but has experienced pushback from individuals and organizations highlighting environmental protection issues.

Those against Apple’s plans claimed a data center could have negative effects on local animal populations, while potential flooding concerns on a neighboring golf course were also raised. The planned site’s proximity to a local nuclear power plant was later used to bring up new objections to the site’s construction, despite the plant having been shut down for years.

In October 2017, Apple finally won approval for construction by the Irish High Court, after an appeal by two individuals against the decision was dismissed. However, the appellants decided to take their case to the country’s Supreme Court, and while that hearing was due to go ahead on Thursday, Apple appears to have already decided to give up its fight to get the go-ahead for the data center.

“Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data centre,” Apple said in a statement ahead of the Supreme Court heading on Thursday.

“While disappointing, this setback will not dampen our enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow,” the company said, citing plans to expand its European headquarters in County Cork where it employs over 6,000 people.

Apple’s decision to cancel its plans is a blow for the Irish government, which is seeking to boost the country’s economy through foreign investments. According to Reuters, the state is in the process of changing its planning laws to include data centers as “strategic infrastructure”, which would allow them to get through the planning process much more quickly in future.

“There is no disputing that Apple’s decision is very disappointing, particularly for Athenry and the West of Ireland,” Ireland’s Minister for Business and Enterprise Heather Humphreys said in a statement.

“The Government did everything it could to support this investment… These delays have, if nothing else, underlined our need to make the state’s planning and legal processes more efficient.”

Apple announced in July that it would spend $921 million on a second data center in Denmark run entirely on renewable energy. Apple said the new data center would begin operations in the second quarter of 2019 and would power its online services, including the likes of iMessage, Siri, Maps, and the App Store.

Tags: data center, Ireland
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12
May

Apple’s Budget iPhone X May Have Same Ultra-Bright, Low-Power LCD Technology as LG G7


Apple’s widely rumored 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID may use the same MLCD+ display technology as LG’s new G7 ThinQ smartphone, according to a BusinessKorea report today spotted by the blog Patently Apple.

BusinessKorea:

According to the smartphone industry on May 9, Apple is expected to load its next 6.1-inch iPhone model with an MLCD+ display which LG used in its G7 ThinQ smartphone. The MLCD+ display realizes a bright screen with less power consumption than the IPS LCD display.

Whereas a traditional LCD screen has three sub-pixels, forming a red, blue, and green stripe, MLCD+ screens have a fourth white sub-pixel for increased brightness, yet with lower power consumption than an IPS LCD panel. LG’s G7 has a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, for example, compared to between 625 nits and 804 nits on the iPhone X.


Like the OLED display on the iPhone X, MLCD+ screens can also display 100 percent of the wide DCI-P3 color gamut for improved color accuracy. The panel in the G7 is capable of 10-bit color depth, so if Apple used this technology, the 6.1-inch iPhone could be more compliant with some HDR standards.

Rumors suggest the 6.1-inch iPhone will essentially be a lower-priced iPhone X, achieved through some cost-cutting design compromises, including the lack of an OLED display. Based on this report, however, it sounds like the device could still have a better display than the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

The 6.1-inch iPhone will also have an aluminum frame rather than stainless steel, a single-lens rear camera, and may lack 3D Touch, according to former KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He predicted the device will be unveiled later this year with a starting price of between $700 and $800 in the United States.

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhonesTag: businesskorea.co.kr
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12
May

YouTube Introduces HDR Video Support on iPhone X


YouTube recently began rolling out support for high dynamic range video content on iPhone X, as noted by users on the MacRumors forums and Reddit. HDR videos provide a broader range of colors and luminance compared to sub-HDR content, and the format also supports quality video playback on a wide variety of screen sizes.

For iOS users, YouTube videos in HDR can be viewed on the iPhone X, but the feature does not yet appear to be working on the latest iPad Pro models. YouTube has many HDR-supported videos on its site, with dedicated channels like The HDR Channel providing videos for you to watch in HDR on iOS. To make sure of the quality of playback find a video to play, then tap anywhere on the video itself, tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the screen, tap “Quality,” and then make sure it reads 1080p60 HDR.

Apple debuted HDR support last year with the “Super Retina” display in the iPhone X, which became the first HDR OLED display incorporated into one of Apple’s smartphones. Apple also lists the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as supporting HDR, but the displays for these devices are not the same as the Super Retina display on iPhone X, so any HDR content played on the 8 or 8 Plus isn’t true HDR.

On the iTunes Movies Store on Apple TV 4K, select films also support 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Vision when paired with compatible 4K television sets. Although YouTube recently updated its Apple TV app and listed a few videos as “4K,” the app still has yet to support true 4K. When viewing details about a video, maximum available resolution is still listed as 1920 x 1080, while 4K resolution is 3840 x 2160.

Tag: YouTube
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12
May

FCC Sets End Date for Net Neutrality on June 11 as Democrats Lead Vote to Block Repeal


The Federal Communications Commission gave a notice today that states Net Neutrality rules will officially end in the United States on June 11, 2018 (via Reuters). The FCC voted 3-2 in favor of repealing the rules last December, a repeal that was then made official with an entry into the Federal Register in February.

Multi-state lawsuits soon popped up in efforts to block the rollback of Net Neutrality, and now more than a dozen Democratic senators have moved to force a vote on a proposal that would reinstate Net Neutrality protections. According to CNN, the vote is expected to pass the Senate, but will face an “uphill battle” in the Republican-majority House of Representatives, and “would likely be vetoed” by President Trump if it got that far.

Still, Democratic senator Ed Markey cited building momentum for the proposal, with the Senate’s vote expected to happen in the middle of next week.

“Our intent is to have it pass in the Senate, the momentum is building,” he said. “We expect there to be some considerable momentum coming out of the Senate and 160 will quickly grow towards the 218 that we need to have a vote over there as well.”

“When we pass this in the Senate, when we pass it in the House of Representatives, when it’s clear the electorate is at 86% favorable for this issue, that we would have a political firestorm throughout this country if President Trump announced that he was going to veto that said protections, replacing it with exactly nothing,” he said.

The repeal of Net Neutrality rules will allow internet service providers to block or slow down any website, service, or app they want to as long as they disclose any act of internet throttling to their customers. Those in favor of the repeal say the decision was made to restore broadband internet services as a “lightly-regulated” market.

On the other side, opponents argue that the repeal gives Verizon, Comcast, and other ISPs the free reign to essentially control the customer’s internet by dividing users into so-called “fast lanes” and “slow lanes.” Apple is one of the many companies against the repeal of Net Neutrality, stating last August that the ruling could “fundamentally alter the internet as we know it,” and if it passed it would be put in place to the detriment of consumers, competition, and innovation.

Many websites are issuing alerts about the upcoming Net Neutrality Senate vote by joining the The Red Alert for Net Neutrality project. On sites like Reddit, Tumblr, Etsy, GitHub, and more, visitors will be presented with a large red screen that urges users to contact their local lawmakers and voice their support of Net Neutrality.

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.

Tag: net neutrality
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12
May

Eddy Cue Selling His Gorgeous Vacation Home Near Lake Tahoe for $12 Million


Apple senior executive Eddy Cue, who oversees the company’s services and worldwide video programming divisions, is selling his beautiful and luxurious vacation home near Lake Tahoe, according to Realtor.com.

Images: Realtor.com
The report claims Cue recently placed the 7,900-square-foot home, located on a 1.7-acre property within a golf and ski community in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, on the market for $11.9 million. Cue reportedly purchased the land for $1.2 million in 2010, according to property records filed with Nevada County.



Photos of the home and surrounding landscape look equally as gorgeous. Here’s how Realtor.com describes the inside:

Completed in 2015, the retreat sits on 1.7 acres and has five bedrooms and six bathrooms. Glass walls line the back of the home, offering mountain views and easy access to patios and decks.

In addition to a living room with fireplace, open kitchen, and dining space, the home includes a rec room with a wet bar, a wine room, and a massive master suite with a sitting area, fireplace, and sliding doors that open to a patio.

The golf and ski community is about a four-hour drive from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, according to Apple Maps, which Cue oversees alongside Siri, iCloud, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and the iTunes Store.

Tag: Eddy Cue
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12
May

MacRumors Exclusive: Save Up to 30% on Anker’s iPhone X Cases, Lightning Cables, and Chargers


MacRumors has partnered with popular accessory maker Anker to offer our readers a set of exclusive promo codes, with savings of up to 30 percent on eight Anker products. These include two iPhone X cases, two Lightning cables, a 7.5-watt Qi-compatible charger, two USB wall outlets, and one surge protector.

All of Anker’s products are sold on Amazon, so if you’re interested in any of the accessories simply add one to your cart, proceed to the checkout screen, enter the relevant promo code into the Gift cards & promotional codes field, and then click “Apply.” As usual, Amazon Prime customers can get free two-day shipping on all orders.

Below you’ll find every Anker product offered in the sale, all of which will remain active through May 31, 2018. Note that only one code can be used per order, so if you’d like to order more than one type of item, you’ll need to place separate orders.

iPhone Cases
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

  • iPhone X Case Breeze Case – $5.59 with code RUMORS96, down from $7.99

  • iPhone X Silicone Case (Pink) – $8.39 with code RUMORS28, down from $11.99

Lightning Cables

  • PowerLine+ Lightning Cable (6ft, Black) – $11.89 with code RUMORS22, down from $16.99

  • PowerLine+ II Lightning Cable (3ft, Red) – $11.99 with code RUMORS52, down from $15.99

Chargers

  • 40W 4-Port USB Wall Charger with Foldable Plug, PowerPort 4 – $18.99 with code RUMORS24, down from $25.99

  • Dual-Port USB-C Charger, PowerPort II with Power Delivery – $25.19 with code RUMORS23, down from $29.99

  • Surge Protector PowerPort Strip with 12 Outlets, 3 USB Ports – $26.99 with code RUMORS27, down from $34.99

  • PowerWave 7.5W Fast Wireless Charger with QC 3.0 Charger – $39.99 with code RUMORS25, down from $49.99

Additionally, we have an exclusive promo code for a unique Choetech 7.5-watt wireless charger, which has a design of a panda on it. Anyone interested can pick up Choetech’s charger for $10.99 with the promo code MACRUM31, down from $19.99.


As a quick mention, PayPal Digital Gifts on eBay today is offering $50 App Store and iTunes Gift Cards for $42.50. The usual rules apply: you must be in the United States, have a PayPal account, and the gift card will be delivered to you through e-mail within 24 hours.

Visit our Deals Roundup for more of the latest sales and discounts going on this week.

Related Roundup: Apple DealsTag: Anker
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12
May

Apple Teaming Up With Goldman Sachs for Apple Pay-Branded Credit Card


Apple is teaming up with investment bank Goldman Sachs for the launch of a new joint credit card that would be placed under the Apple Pay branding. The card could launch as soon as early 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal.

At the same time, Apple would end its partnership with Barclays, which offered customers an Apple rewards program and financing deals through a Barclaycard Apple Rewards Visa. For the new Goldman partnership, which will replace the Barclaycard, the bank is set to offer in-store loans to Apple customers buying iPhones and other Apple products.

Other specifics of the deal are still being decided upon, people familiar with the matter said, mainly including the terms and benefits of the planned credit card, “including the perks for customers.” The Barclays/Apple card currently offers interest-free financing on Apple devices and points toward Apple gift cards.

Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are preparing to launch a new joint credit card, a move that would deepen the technology giant’s push into its customers’ wallets and mark the Wall Street firm’s first foray into plastic.

The planned card would carry the Apple Pay brand and could launch early next year, people familiar with the matter said.

Apple is believed to be adding more focus onto its growing services business, which Apple Pay is part of, and the Goldman Sachs partnership could be a way for the company to spread even more awareness of the digital wallet. In a report on Apple Pay adoption by Loup Ventures earlier this year, 16 percent of global iPhone owners were said to have activated Apple Pay. The researchers estimated widespread adoption for the service at 3-5 years from now, “given integration OS and iOS makes it the easiest to use digital wallet.”

Apple first debuted Apple Pay in the fall of 2014, and although many retailers joined in support of the platform it has faced push back from companies like Target and Walmart as each try to develop their own digital wallet service. Last spring, Apple said it wasn’t worried about the slow adoption of Apple Pay because it saw the mobile wallet as on track to soon become its customers’ “primary payment system.”

Related Roundup: Apple PayTags: Goldman Sachs, wsj.com
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12
May

Case Maker Olixar Expects iPhone SE 2 to Have a Notch, But Apparent Lack of Home Button and Face ID Cast Doubts


Apple’s second-generation iPhone SE could feature an iPhone X-esque design with a notch, if a sketchy rumor is to be believed, but Face ID is unlikely.

MacRumors has obtained renders and alleged dimensions of the new iPhone SE from case maker Olixar, via online accessories store Mobile Fun, that suggest the device’s notch will be approximately half as wide as the one on the iPhone X, almost certainly making it too slim to house facial recognition sensors.

Olixar’s render of new iPhone SE with its screen protector
It’s hard to imagine that Apple would include Face ID on the iPhone SE in the first place, without significantly raising the price. Including the feature on an iPhone that starts at just $349 would reduce Apple’s gross margins and almost certainly cannibalize sales of the iPhone X at $999 and up.

Olixar’s renders, which we’re told were “obtained from a reliable source” in China, also suggest the new iPhone SE will feature an iPhone X-esque display that stretches nearly edge to edge, surrounded by an aluminum shell with flat sides and chamfered edges, akin to the current model and iPhone 5s.

With an alleged length of 4.7 inches and width of 2.1 inches, the new iPhone SE would be slightly smaller than the current model, remaining suitable for one-handed usage but with a larger display thanks to the fuller-screen design.

Olixar’s technical drawing of new iPhone SE with alleged dimensions
The renders do not depict the bottom or back of the device, so it’s unclear if there will be a headphone jack or a glass rear shell for wireless charging. As expected, the device does appear to retain physical volume buttons and a mute switch on the side, and a physical power button on the top-right corner.

The biggest question mark is how authentication would work, given the lack of a home button and the unlikeliness of Face ID. Chinese company Vivo’s new X20 Plus UD became the first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor early this year, but Apple seems to have elected against that approach.


Overall, this rumor is a sketchy one, but Olixar is confident enough in its Chinese sources to already be accepting pre-orders for iPhone SE 2 screen protectors on Mobile Fun, so we are sharing in the interest of discussion.

Apple hasn’t truly updated the iPhone SE since it launched in March 2016, beyond doubling its available storage capacities, but rumors about an updated model have been contradictory in recent months. There are essentially two camps: one expecting a more iPhone X-like design, and another expecting a minor refresh.

Last month, for example, a video shared on Chinese social media website Sina Weibo showed what appears to be an unreleased iPhone SE with an iPhone 5s-like design, glass back, top and bottom bezels, Touch ID, and a headphone jack. However, it’s quite possible the device was a knockoff, as are common in China.

If there is a new iPhone SE, a few reports and regulatory filings suggest the device could be announced by WWDC 2018 in June.

Related Roundup: iPhone SETag: OlixarBuyer’s Guide: iPhone SE (Don’t Buy)
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12
May

Researchers Demonstrate Subliminal Smart Device Commands That Have Potential for Malicious Attacks


Researchers in the United States and China have been performing tests in an effort to demonstrate that “hidden” commands, or those undetectable to human ears, can reach AI assistants like Siri and force them to perform actions their owners never intended. The research was highlighted in a piece today by The New York Times, suggesting that these subliminal commands can dial phone numbers, open websites, and more potentially malicious actions if placed in the wrong hands.

A group of students from the University of California, Berkeley and Georgetown University published a research paper this month, stating that they could embed commands into music recordings or spoken text. When played near an Amazon Echo or Apple iPhone, a person would just hear the song or someone speaking, while Siri and Alexa “might hear an instruction to add something to your shopping list.” Or, more dangerous, unlock doors, wire money from your bank, and purchase items online.

The method by which the students were able to accomplish the hidden commands shouldn’t be a concern for the public at large, but one of the paper’s authors, Nicholas Carlini, believes malicious parties could already be making inroads with similar technology.

“We wanted to see if we could make it even more stealthy,” said Nicholas Carlini, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in computer security at U.C. Berkeley and one of the paper’s authors.

Mr. Carlini added that while there was no evidence that these techniques have left the lab, it may only be a matter of time before someone starts exploiting them. “My assumption is that the malicious people already employ people to do what I do,” he said.

Last year, researchers based at Princeton University and Zheijiang University in China performed similar tests, demonstrating that AI assistants could be activated through frequencies not heard by humans. In a technique dubbed “DolphinAttack,” the researchers built a transmitter to send the hidden command that dialed a specific phone number, while other tests took pictures and sent text messages. DolphinAttack is said to be limited in terms of range, however, since it “must be close to the receiving device.”

DolphinAttack could inject covert voice commands at 7 state-of-the-art speech recognition systems (e.g., Siri, Alexa) to activate always-on system and achieve various attacks, which include activating Siri to initiate a FaceTime call on iPhone, activating Google Now to switch the phone to the airplane mode, and even manipulating the navigation system in an Audi automobile.

In yet another set of research, a group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign proved this range limitation could be increased, showing off commands received from 25 feet away. For the most recent group of researchers from Berkeley, Carlini told The New York Times that he was “confident” his team would soon be able to deliver successful commands “against any smart device system on the market.” He said the group wants to prove to companies that this flaw is a potential problem, “and then hope that other people will say, ‘O.K. this is possible, now let’s try and fix it.’”

For security purposes, Apple is stringent with certain HomeKit-related Siri commands, locking them behind device passcodes whenever users have passcodes enabled. For example, if you want to unlock your front door with a connected smart lock, you can ask Siri to do so, but you’ll have to enter your passcode on an iPhone or iPad after issuing the command. The HomePod, on the other hand, purposefully lacks this functionality.

Tag: Siri
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