When to Expect Apple’s Rumored October Event Based on Prior Years
With last month’s iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4 event in the rearview mirror, we can now turn our attention to Apple’s roadmap for the remainder of the 2018 calendar year. If rumors are any indication, we’ll likely be headed back to Cupertino this month for an October event.
iPad Pro with Face ID concept by Álvaro Pabesio
Apple has yet to announce any October event, to be clear, but it’s always fun to speculate about possible dates based on years prior. Apple has hosted an October event in six of the past eight years, with 2015 and 2017 the exceptions.
All but one of the October events have focused on the Mac, iPad, or both. The sole exception is the October 4, 2011 event, when Apple introduced the iPhone 4S with Siri. Apple didn’t host a September event in 2011, however, so the October 4 keynote can be viewed as a bit-late iPhone event that year.
2011 aside, October events have always fallen in the second half of the month, between October 16 and October 27. This year, there’s a good chance that any potential event would take place in the latter half of the month as well.
A big reason is that Google is hosting an event next Tuesday, October 9 in New York City, where it is expected to unveil its Pixel 3 smartphones. Apple typically hosts events on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, but all of those days next week would be in close proximity to Google’s event.
Apple certainly doesn’t need to play friendly with Google’s event, but it probably wouldn’t want to wreak travel havoc on the media, who would be forced to fly from New York to Cupertino, some 3,000 miles away, on a tight schedule.
So, in all likelihood, we’re looking at an event in the second or third full week of October, making the following dates possible:
- Tuesday, October 16 or Tuesday, October 23
- Wednesday, October 17 or Wednesday, October 24
- Thursday, October 18 or Thursday, October 25
Apple typically invites the media to its October events seven or eight days beforehand, so invites could go out as early as next Tuesday.
It’ll be interesting to see how the iPhone XR plays into the event. Apple already unveiled the colorful smartphone at its September event, but pre-orders don’t begin until Friday, October 19, followed by in-store availability on Friday, October 26.
One possibility is that Apple will host its event on Tuesday, October 16, and recap some of the iPhone XR’s features to rejuvenate hype ahead of pre-orders on Friday, October 19. Other new iPad Pro and Mac products announced could also be made available to pre-order and/or launch in stores that Friday.
But with many other products expected to be announced — more on that below — it’s uncertain if Apple would do that or have time to fit in the iPhone XR whatsoever. In that case, Apple could hold its event on Tuesday, October 23, but either way, new iPads and Macs could steal some of the iPhone XR’s thunder.
In any case, the October event is expected to mark the introduction of redesigned iPad Pro models with Face ID and slimmer display bezels. A range of new Macs are also expected, including an entry-level MacBook or MacBook Air of some kind, and refreshed iMac and Mac mini models.
Of course, Apple could choose to announce many of these products with press releases, but redesigned iPad Pro models, a long-awaited Mac mini refresh, and updates to other product lines seem like announcements worthy of some stage time.
There are a number of wild cards for the October event as well. For instance, Apple said its AirPower charging mat would be released in 2018, before removing all but one reference to it on its website last month. Apple hasn’t commented on the AirPower since, but perhaps it’s still coming, and maybe in October if so.
AirPower with optional AirPods wireless charging case
If the AirPower finally launches, there’s a good chance it would be accompanied by a new pair of AirPods with an optional wireless charging case, as Apple showed off last year. And while less likely, we can’t rule out a lower-priced HomePod or an updated Apple Pencil sharing some stage time later this month.
MacRumors will have more details on what to expect closer to the event, should one take place, along with our usual live coverage of any announcements.
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Apple Streamlines BeatsX Earphone Lineup and Drops Prices
Apple today revamped the BeatsX earphone lineup available from its online and retail stores, eliminating several colors and lowering the price.
The BeatsX Earphones are now available from Apple in black or silver, with all other colors, including space gray, gold, white, and blue, discontinued. Apple has also removed the Black/Red Defiant BeatsX collection.
Apple has also dropped the price of the BeatsX Earphones from $149.95 to $119.95, a discount of $30. Apple never offered competitive pricing on the BeatsX, which are often available at a deep discount from retailers like Best Buy.
Right now, for example, Best Buy is selling BeatsX in gray, blue, and black for $90, which is even lower than Apple’s current baseline price.
While a price drop could indicate an upcoming refresh of the Beats headphone lineup, prices may have been lowered in an effort to better match the BeatsX pricing available from other big box retailers.
Apple has not tweaked the pricing of other Beats headphones options including the Powerbeats3, the Studio3 Wireless, or the Solo3 wireless.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
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Easy on the Wi-Fi — wireless internet rebrand makes generations more obvious
New generations of Wi-Fi internet connectivity will have a simplification change in the nomenclature used to designate them. Such changes should make it easier for consumers to understand the speed and capabilities of various hardware devices, as well as for manufacturers and retailers to market said products.
Traditional Wi-Fi speeds and capabilities were designated by an alteration to the suffix of the connection’s name. Recent generations included 802.11n and 802.11ac. Starting with the next speed step in the Wi-Fi’s march toward ever-faster connections, its name will be simply Wi-Fi 6 — even if its internal name has been 802.11ax for some time.
“For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi,” said Edgar Figueroa, president, and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance. “[We are] excited to introduce Wi-Fi 6, and present a new naming scheme to help industry and Wi-Fi users easily understand the Wi-Fi generation support by their device or connection.”
Wi-Fi 6 will offer faster speeds for all devices on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums, with a raw throughput speed boost of as much as 37 percent. However, due to improvements in efficiency in the use of different channels and the various spectrums, it’s been suggested that throughput speeds of as much as 400 percent may be possible. It will also support an upgrade to MU-MIMO connectivity, being able to utilize it in the uplink, as well as downlink direction, and will provide much better speeds for networks with a large number of users, such as in public settings and retail outlets.
To designate that a product is capable of utilizing this new-generation of Wi-Fi connectivity, they will be able to sport “Wi-Fi Certified 6” labeling and marketing starting in 2019.
Although the marketing won’t change for older-generations of Wi-Fi products — which will still read, Wi-Fi Certified 802.11ac/n etc. — those generations will also be renamed in line with the new standard. Moving forward, 802.11ac will be known as Wi-Fi 5, and 802.11n will be known as Wi-Fi 4.
If you don’t want to wait for the new Wi-Fi 6 standard to debut next year, these are the best wireless routers you can buy today.
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Google chuckles at all the Pixel 3 leaks with crazy Pixel Mini mockup
“How mini is too mini?” That’s the question posed by Google through its official Made by Google Instagram account, where it has shown off a design concept of an outrageously mini Pixel phone that’s small enough to hang from your keychain. It appears that to Google, nothing is too small when it comes to the Pixel range. Does this mean we’re about to see a Google Pixel Mini phone on October 9?
No, it does not. Google is poking fun at the various rumors running around the internet regarding a so-called Pixel Ultra, a Pixel phone without a notch. The device has been spotted in marketing material, and a few anonymous leaks, for some time; but always either as a concept or a blurry, misidentified Pixel 2 XL. It’s unlikely to be a device ready for launch, if it’s even real at all, and Google’s reminding us to stay grounded.
View this post on Instagram
We’ve heard rumors of a mini Pixel. Which begs the question how “mini” is too mini? We have a feeling the next one will be a bit bigger than this. Tune in on 10/9 to see for yourself. #madebygoogle . . Doodle by Google hardware designer, @jac.bae.
A post shared by Made by Google (@madebygoogle) on Oct 2, 2018 at 7:02pm PDT
The photo shows four smartphone-shaped devices, the smallest one measuring about an inch in length, with a Post-it note saying, “This one?” alongside it. Above, and the best part of the image, is a sketch of the tiny phone attached to a keyring. Now try to imagine using a phone that’s barely bigger than the key to your house. There may have to be some rescaling to make Android usable here.
Again, we should point out that this picture is not-even-slightly real. Google’s comment on the Instagram post says, “We have a feeling the next one will be a bit bigger than this,” and almost regardless of the Pixel 3’s screen size, we imagine this is an accurate statement. It’s interesting not only as a fun gag, but also to see how Google is responding to the many leaks regarding the real Pixel 3 range.
Google’s new Pixel phones have attracted a lot more attention than in previous years, and that has shown up in the sheer amount, and detail, of the leaks. Provided they turn out to be accurate — and it seems like they will — Google has few surprises left for the day. Publishing a picture of an obviously ridiculous phone is an interesting comment on the fact.
If you’ve been avoiding the rumors, the 2018 Pixel 3 phones will be revealed at the Made by Google event on October 9, or you can have a good read of this article if you don’t mind the surprises being spoiled ahead of time.
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How to scan a QR code
Here’s the curious thing about QR codes: They went through a rush of popularity a number of years ago as smartphone cameras grew more advanced — it seemed as though every poster and package had a square QR code for a while there — but then they started losing popularity. The rise of NFC and better mobile websites simply made physical scanning feel a little obsolete. Now the squares are coming back in all new ways, as codes for everything from Spotify music to social WeChat shopping commands to donating money.
These new QR codes still work the same way: You find the square code, open up a scanning app, and let your phone scan the code to carry out the command. But since it may have been a long time since you tried using a QR code, you may not be sure how your current phone handles it. Let’s go over how to scan a QR code with an iPhone or an Android device.
How to scan a QR code on an iPhone
Step 1: Open up the camera app. Apple’s iPhones have built-in QR code scanning capabilities, so there’s no need to download a separate scanning app unless you really want to. Ever since iOS 12, there’s even a direct QR code reader in the Control Panel.
Step 2: Position your phone so that the QR code appears in the digital viewfinder. The camera app should automatically recognize the QR code. Of course, the right distance and angle can help: The QR code doesn’t need to fill the entire screen, but all four corners should be visible. If your camera is too angled the app may have trouble recognizing the code, so a straight on approach is best. Image stabilization technology helps a lot with the shakes, but try to avoid moving too much so the code square stays visible.
Step 3: Launch the code. Your iPhone will not automatically initiate the QR code activity. Instead, a notification bar will pop up at the top of the screen, showing that the QR has been understood, usually with a handy brief description of what the QR code will do – like opening a specific web page. If you believe that the QR code is safe, tap on the notification bar to launch the code activity.
How to scan a QR code on an Android phone
Step 1: Check to see if your Android phone supports QR code scanning. Not all Android phones come with this ability yet, so you may have to take some extra steps before scanning. Google Assistant can detect QR codes, simply long press on the Home icon or say “Ok, Google”, then tap the Google Lens icon at the bottom right. If you have a Samsung phone with Bixby capabilities, Bixby can also automatically detect QR codes. Otherwise, you may need to add an app. We suggest downloading the QR Code Reader, which is a simple and highly effective option (albeit one that comes with ads), or the slightly more complex i-nigma Barcode Scanner.
Step 2: Open your scanning app. Open up the app, whether it’s Bixby, QR Code Reader, Samsung Optical Reader, or whatever option is installed on your Android phone. These apps should have a “scanning” function you can choose immediately, or will open directly onto a scanning window via the camera.
Step 3: Position the QR code. Remember, the code’s corners should be fully visible in the scanning window, and the camera should be more or less directly above the code for it to work. Hold the phone steady while it identifies the code.
Step 4: Choose the correct option. The app should then provide a pop-up option to take an action based on the QR code. It may ask you if you want to navigate to a website, download something, or open an app you currently use. If you trust the source, believe that the QR code is safe, and understand what it will do, select the most appropriate option for you.
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Top 6 things to know about the LG Stylo 4
Check these out before buying the LG Stylo 4.
The LG Stylo series has been the company’s low-mid-range for the last few years, and the Stylo 4 is better than ever. Out of the box, you’re getting a good experience: a decently fast chipset, a good camera in most situations, and overall good software. But if that phone is on your shortlist of devices, there are some things to know before spending your money.
Here are six things to know about the LG Stylo 4!
- There’s no NFC
- There’s a USB-C port and a headphone jack
- There’s an Amazon Prime Exclusive version
- Still consider the T-Mobile version
- Don’t hold your breath on software updates
- The stylus is pretty capable
There’s no NFC
NFC payments are becoming more and more commonplace at retailers, but you’re not going to use them with the Stylo 4. NFC is one of the most common components that gets cut when a company is targeting a lower price range since each component inside translates to what the customer ends up paying. Google Pay can still be used to send money to friends or keep track of loyalty programs, just not for mobile payments.
More: Google Pay: Everything you need to know
There’s a USB-C port and a headphone jack
Another cost-cutting measure at this price range is to use the older Micro-USB port instead of USB-C, but fortunately, LG opted for the newer port. That means if you’ve bought a new laptop or Chromebook in the last couple of years, you should be able to use the same charger for both your phone and laptop.
Another potential cost-cutting idea that LG thankfully didn’t use is getting rid of the headphone jack. The 3.5mm port is here in all its glory, ready to be used with headphones new and old.
More: Best USB-C Portable Battery Power Packs in 2018
There’s an Amazon Prime Exclusive
LG and Amazon have teamed up for a few Prime Exclusive phones, and the Stylo 4 is another great option. The Prime version comes carrier unlocked, with compatibility with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the United States. There are seven Amazon apps installed out of the box, but these can be uninstalled, disabled or otherwise ignored. You’ll also be prompted to sign into your Amazon account when you set the phone up, but you can skip this.
Besides Amazon’s apps, this Prime Exclusive version also includes 3GB of RAM, instead of the 2GB that comes on the T-Mobile version of the phone. That means opening apps, switching between apps and just navigating around the interface is going to be faster on the Amazon version. But…
See at Amazon
Still consider the T-Mobile version
While the Amazon version will work with T-Mobile, Metro, Mint Mobile and others that use T-Mobile’s network, it’s missing a few antenna bands. That may be a big deal, or may not. But if you use one of those networks, consider getting the Stylo 4 straight from T-Mobile or Metro. The lower RAM will mean it’ll be a bit slower, but being able to use your phone, well, as a phone is likely more important.
See at T-Mobile
Don’t hold your breath on software updates
The Stylo 4 is currently running Android 8.1 Oreo, which is good, because the Stylo line hasn’t gotten regular software updates. The Stylo 3 is still running Android 7.0 Nougat, so there’s a good chance the Stylo 4 won’t ever be updated to get a slice of the Android 9 Pie.
More: Will my phone get Android Pie?
The stylus is pretty capable
A Galaxy Note this is not, but the stylus that comes in the Stylo 4 is useful on its own. When you pop the stylus out of the phone, you’ll see quick toggles for a quick memo, screen capture, GIF capture, and Pop Lens, a tool that lets you magnify portions of the screen. The pen isn’t going to allow for super fine detail like the Note’s S-Pen, but it’ll still be fun for coloring books apps. Finally, you can just use the stylus to navigate around the interface, and for ultra-fast glide typing on the keyboard.
What do you want to know?
What other questions do you have about the LG Stylo 4? Let us know down below!
More: Amazon Prime Exclusive Phones: Everything you need to know
Amazon announces the Fire TV Stick 4K and new Alexa Voice Remote
The product announcements weren’t done.
After refreshing nearly the whole Echo lineup, Amazon has now announced an all-new Fire TV Stick that now includes 4K streaming capabilities. In addition, the Fire TV Stick comes with a new version of the Alexa Voice Remote which allows you to power on your TV, control compatible AV equipment, switch inputs, tune to specific channels on a cable box, and more. While this is bundled with the new Fire TV Stick 4K, you’ll also be able to purchase it on its own for use with your existing Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV 4K. Amazon will also begin offering the Fire TV Cube bundled with the new remote for $120 on October 31.
As for the new streaming stick, Amazon has completely refreshed the internals in an effort to boost performance. It now has a quad core 1.7GHz processor which decreases load times and offers a faster interface and streaming experience. It’s also the first streaming stick with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. You still have access to all the channels and apps you love, like Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, and more, but now you’ll see more support for in-app voice control making its way to the platform. Amazon also has the Fire TV 4K pendant, which offers a different design that may work better for some TVs, depending on the location of the HDMI port.
Pre-orders are open now for the new Fire TV Stick 4K, and shipments will begin on October 31 in the U.S. and Canada, and November 14 in the UK It’s priced at $49.99, which is just $10 more than the current generation sells for. Amazon is also bundling the Fire TV Stick 4K and the new Echo Dot for just $79.99, which is $20 off, and the new Fire TV Stick 4K with Fire TV Recast (DVR) for $249.97, a $50 discount.
See at Amazon
Is the Galaxy Note 9 a future-proof smartphone?
In some ways, yes. In others, no.
If you’re looking to buy a new Android phone right now, the Galaxy Note 9 is one of your best bets. It’s got a large, beautiful display, insanely fast internals, a powerful camera package, and so much more.
Samsung packed just about everything they could into the Note 9, and with all of those specs and such a large price tag, we’ve noticed that a lot of our forum members are wondering whether or not this is a phone that can be considered future-proof and be able to last a few years down the road without losing complete relevancy.
That’s a topic that’s recently garnered a lot of conversation, and this is what some of our users are saying:
10-01-2018 02:30 PM
Its… a Note! Not just a. S9+ even.
I paid ~$1000 minus what I got on trade in.
I am happy not having splurged on top end. Which I wouldn’t really use or need. Not now. Not in 3 years.
So out of pocket was more like $US600. Not $1400+.
10-01-2018 02:36 PM
hardware wise, very. durability, ehh. the glass back and curved display are prone to breakage and the new gorilla glass is easily scratched.
there real issue being Samsung’s update policy. they release a new flagship with a year old operating system but brag about giving three major updates. basically, a phone that should have been released with P was released with O, and should get S will…
10-01-2018 04:05 PM
I bought the Note 9 on a similar rationale that you did. However as far as future proofing, devices with 5G will be released next year. Even though they will be available, I’m hoping to get a solid 2-3 years out of my Note while they work out the kinks in 5G.
The other question will be whether the snapdragon 845 processor and 8gb ram will be sufficient for future Android version releases….
10-01-2018 04:41 PM
I’m one of those that has to upgrade every two years, have been that way for about the last 4 phones. I think this may be the one that will see me through 2 years. unless something happens that radically shakes up the market, this phone has all i need. but knowing me….
What do you think? Is the Galaxy Note 9 future-proof?
Join the conversation in the forums!
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Firefox Focus web browser gets search suggestions and updated design
There are also under-the-hood changes to increase performance.
The Google Play Store is home to a lot of excellent web browsers, but if privacy is your main concern, Firefox Focus is one of the best options there is. To make the app even better, developer Mozilla is rolling out a heap of goodies in the latest update.
First thing’s first, you’ll find a revamped user interface that’s been optimized for Android 9 Pie. The highlights here include new icons within the browser, a customizable URL bar, and a vastly simplified layout for the settings.
On the functional side of things, this latest update also includes:
- Search suggestions to help you find your favorite websites more easily.
- Tips on the home page on how to get the most out of Focus.
- A brand-new GeckoView engine that promises “a faster and more secure browsing experience.”
Mozilla says the update is available in the Play Store now, so be sure to grab it if you don’t already have it.
Download: Firefox Focus (free)
Best Horror games for PlayStation 4
If you are anything like me, then sometimes you absolutely love to get the pants scared off of you. Unfortunately, not all horror games are created equal. There are loads of games which intend to give you the creeps but fall way short of the target. If you want some of the best scares available on the PlayStation 4, then read on.
Generally speaking, Until Dawn is not a perfect game. However, it is one of the best horror games I’ve ever had the pleasure to play. Supermassive Games does a great job of developing a creepy mood which just drips off the screen. Also, it’s always nice when a developer creates a decision-making mechanic that actually seems to have an impact on how the game plays out. It is this decision making which also adds to the replayability of the game. With a $20 price point, you get a ton of scares and gameplay for your dollar.
$20 at Playstation
No one can hear you scream
Holy macaroni, I loved this game. If you are a fan of Ridley Scott’s original Alien film, then you are going to love this. Developer, Creative Assembly managed to capture the mood and visual style of the first Alien film almost impeccably. From the moment the game started, I was giddy to be interacting with that world. On top of that, it is chock full of truly tense and frightening moments. The original Alien film was essentially a slasher film in space and that is exactly what Alien: Isolation feels like as you try to creep, hide, and run away from the alien which is after you
$25 at Amazon
The Evil Within 2
I wasn’t a huge fan of the first game in the series but I sure am glad that Tango Games took another swing at it with The Evil Within 2. If you’re on the hunt for a solid survival horror experience then this game is certainly worth your time. Despite the fact that there are moments where The Evil Within 2 seems to rehash to pretty well-trod tropes, they do a great job of building and cranking up tension when it’s needed.
$25 at Amazon
Classic horror reborn
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
The king is back! There were some moments in the previous decade where I was pretty certain that the Resident Evil franchise had lost every ounce of its creepy mojo and we would never see a great entry again. However, in 2017, Capcom dropped Resident Evil 7 in our collective laps. Not only is it a fantastic Resident Evil game, it may just be one of the best horror games of all time. With solid scares, a great mood, and pacing so tight you can bounce a quarter off of it, it is totally worth your time.
$35 at Amazon
Just like horror films, there are a lot of video games released in the genre but precious few shining gems. I often find myself disappointed when a horror game falls short, but when it’s done right it’s one of the best gaming experiences in the world.