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24
Sep

Alto’s Adventure Now Available on macOS


Developer Snowman today announced that its popular endless runner game for iOS, Alto’s Adventure, is now available on macOS computers. The developer says that the launch of the game on macOS was timed with the upcoming release of macOS Mojave and the new Mac App Store, which should arrive at around 10:00 a.m. PT later today.

You don’t need macOS Mojave to download Alto’s Adventure, however, since the game is out on the Mac App Store now for $9.99 [Direct Link]. The game follows Alto as he journeys across various environments on an endless snowboarding adventure, where players have to guide Alto and chain together combos using a one-trick button system.

Alto’s Adventure first launched for iOS in February 2015, and was followed up this year with a sequel called Alto’s Odyssey. The sequel is still an endless runner, but introduces new features, controls, and a new desert location. Snowman says there’s a good chance that Alto’s Odyssey will appear on macOS as well.

Tag: Alto’s Odyssey
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24
Sep

Apple Finalizes Shazam Acquisition, App Will Soon Become Ad-Free


Apple today announced it has completed its acquisition of music recognition service Shazam, after reaching a preliminary agreement in December. Apple says the Shazam app will soon become ad-free for all users.

Oliver Schusser, Vice President of Apple Music:

Apple and Shazam have a long history together. Shazam was one of the first apps available when we launched the App Store and has become a favorite app for music fans everywhere. With a shared love of music and innovation, we are thrilled to bring our teams together to provide users even more great ways to discover, experience and enjoy music.

Shazam is a popular service that can identify the names and lyrics of songs, music videos, TV shows, and more, simply by listening to and deciphering whatever is playing. Shazam has apps across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iMessage, and Mac, and has been built into Siri since iOS 8.

Apple announced its plans to acquire Shazam in a statement provided to MacRumors and other media outlets back in December:

We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it’s used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.

Shazam issued the following statement at that time:

We are excited to announce that Shazam has entered into an agreement to become part of Apple. Shazam is one of the highest rated apps in the world and loved by hundreds of millions of users and we can’t imagine a better home for Shazam to enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users.

Apple completed its acquisition of Shazam just a few weeks after European regulators approved of the merger. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but a report from TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden valued it around $400 million.

Shazam’s app was optimized for iOS 12 on Friday.

Tags: Apple acquisition, Shazam
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24
Sep

DisplayMate: iPhone XS Max Has Best Smartphone Display Ever


iPhone XS Max has the best smartphone display ever, according to display testing and calibration firm DisplayMate Technologies.

iPhone XS Max has a number of notable improvements over the original iPhone X, including higher peak brightness and better color accuracy, and matches or sets smartphone display records in a number of areas, according to Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies.

For example, DisplayMate says the iPhone XS Max has a peak full-screen brightness of up to 660 nits for the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts, which improves screen visibility in high ambient lighting conditions. By comparison, the iPhone X achieved a peak full-screen brightness of 634 nits in its year-ago tests.

DisplayMate measured the iPhone XS Max’s screen reflectance to be 4.7 percent, close to the lowest that it has ever measured for a smartphone. As a result of this high brightness and low reflectance, the iPhone XS Max has one of the best contrast ratings in high ambient light on any smartphone it has ever tested.

DisplayMate provides an extensive overview of the iPhone XS Max display, concluding that it is a “very impressive top tier smartphone display.”

Based on our extensive Lab Tests and Measurements the iPhone XS Max receives our DisplayMate Best Smartphone Display Award, earning DisplayMate’s highest ever A+ grade by providing considerably better display performance than other competing smartphones.

Of note, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max use the same display technologies.

DisplayMate’s iPhone XS Max OLED Display Technology Shoot-Out article is a worthwhile read for anyone looking for comprehensive analysis and testing of the iPhone XS Max display. DisplayMate has been a provider of display calibration software for consumers and technicians since 1991.

Related Roundup: iPhone XSTag: DisplayMate
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24
Sep

Apple Releases tvOS 12.0.1 Update for Fourth and Fifth-Generation Apple TV


Apple today released tvOS 12.0.1, a minor update for the tvOS operating system designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS 12.0.1 comes just one week after Apple released tvOS 12, the latest version of tvOS.

tvOS 12.0.1 can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System -> Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software updates turned on will be upgraded to tvOS 12.0.1 automatically.

It is not clear what features or bug fixes are included in tvOS 12.0.1, but given that it’s a minor 12.x.x update, it has likely been released to address issues discovered in the tvOS 12 update.

If we discover what’s new in tvOS 12.0.1, we’ll update this post with info, but Apple often provides little detail on tvOS updates.

tvOS 12.0.1 follows tvOS 12, an update that introduced support for higher-quality Dolby Atmos sound, zero sign-on, and new aerial screensavers created in collaboration with the International Space Station.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)
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24
Sep

Apple Releases macOS Mojave With Dark Mode, Stacks, Dynamic Desktop and More


Apple today released the newest version of its operating system for Macs, macOS Mojave, to the public. macOS Mojave is a free download that’s available today for anyone who has a compatible Mac, and it comes after 11 rounds of betas.

macOS Mojave can be downloaded from the Mac App Store, with a direct link to the download available here.

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macOS Mojave is a significant update to macOS, introducing a new systemwide Dark Mode, with Mojave users able to choose between a light theme or the new dark theme, which changes the color of the dock, menu bar, apps, and other elements.

Dark Mode is accompanied by Dynamic Desktops, aka wallpapers that subtly change throughout the day to mimic the progress of the sun across the sky outside.

In the afternoon, for example, the lighting of the Mojave Desert wallpaper is at its peak brightness and the image of the desert is depicted as it would be if you visited it in the daytime with well-lit sand dunes and a bright blue sky.


At night, the sky in the wallpaper shifts to darker blue to reflect that it’s now evening. The shift between daytime and nighttime happens gradually over the course of the day, so you’ll see subtle changes each time you look at your Mac’s display. It’s a neat new feature that can be enabled in the Desktop & Screensaver section of preferences.

macOS Mojave also includes Stacks, a new desktop organization system that keeps desktop files neat and organized to cut down on clutter. The Finder window has been enhanced with a new Gallery View for previewing larger versions of photos and documents, a Sidebar for easier navigation, a revamped Quick Look option for quick document editing, and Quick Actions, so you can do more in the Finder window than ever before.


Screenshots that you take on the Mac can now be edited using built-in Markup tools and a new management options that also allow for easy screen recording. Continuity camera, a useful new feature, allows you to import photos and document scans directly from an iPhone or iPad to the Mac.


The Apple News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos apps have been ported from iOS to macOS as part of a multiyear project Apple is working on to make it easier to bring iOS apps to Macs, and Apple has introduced several new privacy protections to keep your data safer than ever.


Apple is also making it harder for websites to track you with a range of new Safari tools, and it’s also easier to make and store secure, hard-to-guess passwords for each and every website.

Apple has added an entirely revamped Mac App Store to macOS Mojave that makes it easier to discover apps with a featured section and specific categories for games, creative apps, productivity apps, apps for developers, and more.


macOS Mojave was initially supposed to include a Group FaceTime feature that includes support for chatting with up to 32 people at one time, but it was removed in the macOS Mojave beta and will be introduced in a future Mojave update.


macOS Mojave drops support for many older Macs compared to macOS High Sierra and it is compatible primarily with machines manufactured in 2012 or later. A full list of Macs that can run Mojave is below:

  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013, plus mid 2010 and mid 2012 models with recommended Metal-capable GPU)

For more details on all of the features included in macOS Mojave, make sure to check out our macOS Mojave roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave
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24
Sep

Salesforce Partners With Apple, Will Release SDK for iOS Later This Year and Redesigned iOS App in Early 2019


Apple and Salesforce today announced that the two companies have reached a strategic partnership in customer relationship management.

Working with Apple, Salesforce has agreed to redesign its mobile app to take full advantage of iOS features like Face ID, Siri Shortcuts, 3D Touch, Apple Business Chat via iMessage, and more. The new app, slated for release by early 2019, will also better adhere to Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines.

Salesforce will also be releasing a new SDK for iOS by the end of 2018. Optimized for Apple’s programming language Swift, the native SDK will enable businesses and developers to build and deploy apps for iPhone and iPad on the Salesforce Lightning Platform, and distribute them through the App Store.

To support developer learning and career growth, Apple is launching a new Get Started with iOS App Development course on Trailhead, Salesforce’s free, web-based learning platform. The course, which will teach anyone how to build native iOS apps in Xcode with Swift, is available starting today.

Attendees of the Dreamforce 2018 convention can get an early look at the new Apple and Salesforce offerings in the Salesforce Campground, in the Moscone South Halls ABC, or the Trailhead Area in Moscone West Level 1.

Tag: Salesforce
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24
Sep

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora for $3.5 Billion


SiriusXM today announced that it will acquire Pandora for $3.5 billion in an all-stock transaction, creating “the world’s largest audio entertainment company,” according to Pandora’s press release on the news. The transaction has been unanimously approved by both the independent directors of Pandora and by the board of directors of SiriusXM, and is now expected to close in Q1 2019.

The companies explain that through the acquisition SiriusXM will use Pandora’s platform to “significantly expand” its presence beyond vehicles, and into the user’s home and smartphone devices. Still, it’s promised that there will be no immediate change in listener offerings after the acquisition is completed.

Both CEOs of SiriusXM and Pandora commented on the announcement:

Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of SiriusXM, said, “We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience, and have been impressed by Pandora’s strategic progress and stronger execution. We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies’ stockholders by combining our complementary businesses. The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM’s revenue streams with the U.S.’s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further. Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities. Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.”

Roger Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Pandora, said, “We’ve made tremendous progress in our efforts to lead in digital audio. Together with SiriusXM, we’re even better positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunities we see in audio entertainment, including growing our advertising business and expanding our subscription offerings. The powerful combination of SiriusXM’s content, position in the car, and premium subscription products, along with the biggest audio streaming service in the U.S., will create the world’s largest audio entertainment company. This transaction will deliver significant value to our stockholders and will allow them to participate in upside, given SiriusXM’s strong brand, financial resources and track record delivering results.”

Likewise, Pandora is expected to get a boost to in-car audio using SiriusXM’s relationships with the automotive industry. The companies are planning to release audio packages that combine the two services’ offerings, including SiriusXM’s radio stations and Pandora’s ad-supported and new subscription tiers.

Specifically, SiriusXM ensures that it will “support and strengthen” Pandora’s brand, and further enhance its existing Pandora Premium on-demand music streaming service. Pandora Premium will get new promotional campaigns for emerging and established artists, which will be personalized and targeted at relevant users based on their listening habits.

Pandora Premium was announced in late 2016 and then launched in the spring of 2017, allowing Pandora users to listen to music on-demand for the first time at a price of $9.99 per month. Similar to Apple Music and Spotify, Pandora Premium subscribers can create playlists, like/dislike tracks, browse personalized new music suggestions, and more.

Tags: Pandora, SiriusXM
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24
Sep

Kuo: iPhone XS Max Significantly Outselling iPhone XS, 256GB Most Popular, 512GB Subject to Serious Shortage


In a research note obtained by MacRumors today, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has provided launch-weekend takeaways for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4, all of which went on sale Friday.

Kuo says that iPhone XS Max demand is “better than expected,” with the 6.5-inch model outselling the iPhone XS by three to four times. He says the 256GB storage option is most popular, with the 512GB configuration subject to a “serious shortage” due to Samsung being the only reliable supplier.

We have determined that the demand for XS Max is better than expected (3–4 times that of XS). The gold and space-grey colors are significantly more popular than the silver. 256GB is the most popular, and 512GB is subject to a serious shortage because only Samsung can currently ship NAND Flash well. We are positive that XS Max shipments will grow steadily in 4Q18 thanks to demand from Asia market and the gift season.

The well-known analyst believes Apple Watch Series 4 demand is “much better than expected,” with supplies likely to remain tight until Compal begins mass production starting from November, as a secondary supplier alongside Quanta.

Apple Watch Series 4 demand is much better than expected. The capacity of the assembler Quanta is full already; therefore, the supply cannot improve significantly until second supplier Compal’s mass production for Apple Watch Series 4 starting from November. We have increased the Apple Watch shipment forecast in 2018 from 18mn to 18.5–19.5mn units.

Kuo believes the iPhone XR will be a hot seller, with more customers upgrading to that model than the iPhone 8 series spurred last year. He is also confident that the device’s display-related production bottleneck will “markedly improve” beginning in mid to late October. iPhone XR pre-orders begin October 19.

Kuo expressed similar opinions following the first weekend of iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4 pre-orders last week.

Related Roundup: iPhone XSTags: Ming-Chi Kuo, TF International Securities
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24
Sep

Apple Watch Series 4 Teardown: 4% More Battery Capacity, Hidden Barometric Sensor, and Streamlined Internals


iFixit has completed a teardown of the Apple Watch Series 4, providing a look inside a larger 44mm model with LTE.

Image Credit: iFixit
The repair experts believe that while the original Apple Watch was awkwardly layered together and used too much glue, the Series 4 lineup feels “much more thoughtfully laid out,” likening it to the iPhone 5.

Apple pundit John Gruber has compared this to the leap in design brought by the iPhone 4, and we might even go a bit further and call it an iPhone 5: a device that knows its priorities, and wants to look as elegant inside as out.

At first glance, the internal design of Series 4 models looks more or less the same as previous models, with the battery and Taptic Engine taking up most of the space. Dig deeper, however, and the changes become evident.

Image Credit: iFixit
Teardown highlights:

  • 291.8 mAh battery, which is 4% more capacity than the 279 mAh battery in 42mm-sized Apple Watch Series 3 models.
  • A thinner and longer Taptic Engine, but iFixit says it still takes up a lot of space that could have gone to a larger battery.
  • The barometric sensor may have been relocated to the speaker grille for access to the outside atmosphere. The sensor had its own dedicated hole beside the microphone on Apple Watch Series 3 models.
  • The new Apple S4 chip is secured only with screws, whereas the processor is also “fiercely glued” in previous Apple Watch models.
  • The golden ring is likely a streamlined antenna system, as iFixit says it has not seen the usual fiddly brackets or golden gaskets.
  • The entire rear casing pops off more easily.
  • The display is not only larger, but also thinner.

iFixit says the Apple Watch Series 4 is nearing iPhone levels of repairability, with the highly-glued display being the primary remaining obstacle. Beyond that, they say the battery is straightforward to replace.

Image Credit: iFixit
All in all, the Series 4 received a “solid” 6/10 on iFixit’s repairability scale, with 10 being the best possible score. That’s the same repairability score iFixit gave the iPhone XS and XS Max in its teardown of those devices.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5Tags: iFixit, teardownBuyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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24
Sep

Tim Cook Shares Photos Shot on iPhone XS by New Owners


Apple CEO Tim Cook marked the launch of the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max this weekend by tweeting out a series of photos that were all taken by Apple users on the new line of iPhones.

First was an image posted by photographer Erin Brooks, who captured her image using the iPhone XS and edited it in Adobe Lightroom on iOS.

Photo via Erin Brooks
Next was a photo shot on iPhone XS by Yuntao Lu at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. As a comparison, Lu managed to capture an image with a similar angle and lighting conditions on the iPhone 6s Plus one year prior.

Taken on iPhone XS (left) and iPhone 6s Plus (right), via Yuntao Lu
In the last tweet, lifestyle and travel photographer Andrew Kearns shared a series of photos that he took on a beach along the Oregon coastline using the iPhone XS. Kearns documented his photo shoot in a vlog shared on YouTube as well.

Photo via Andrew Kearns

Straight out of camera, no edits #iPhoneXS #ShotOniPhoneXS #shotoniphone pic.twitter.com/jaH7FreDW3

— Andrew Kearns (@andrewtkearns) September 22, 2018

Now that the iPhone XS and XS Max have been out for a few days, more and more photos captured using the new smartphones are being shared online. Prior to their release, photographer Austin Mann shared some of the first images taken on the iPhone XS, including images he captured on a trip to Zanzibar.

The iPhone XS and XS Max have a few improvements in their cameras compared to last year’s iPhone X, particularly including a new image signal processor that integrates with the Neural Engine to introduce Smart HDR. This feature allows photos to have more detail in their highlights and shadows, introducing images that are more sharp overall.

Along with a 32 percent larger wide-angle camera sensor and more sophisticated bokeh (which you can now control after you take a photo using the new Depth Control feature), iPhone XS and XS Max allow for some of the best photos taken via iPhone yet.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
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