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Apple's iPadOS

Make your iPad more like a Mac. How to use Apple’s new iPadOS 14 features – CNET

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iPadOS 14 adds some Mac-like features to Apple’s tablet line. 


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There’s an argument to be made that the iPad is actually a computer, just not in the traditional sense. It easily switches from a flat slab of glass you can tap and sketch on with a fingertip or Apple Pencil, to a laptop-like device, complete with a keyboard and trackpad when you need to get work done. 

Apple’s iPadOS 14 adds plenty of new features to its tablet lineup, like new-look widgets and a more streamlined Siri, but there are also some tools that make the iPad more like a Mac than ever before. Here’s how to install iPadOS 14 on your iPad and how to use the new software tools. 

A new and improved Search tool

If you’ve ever used the Mac’s Spotlight tool to perform quick searches, then you’ll feel right at home with the new Search tool on iPad. (To trigger Spotlight on a Mac, press Command and the spacebar at the same time.)

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To be clear, Search has been available on the iPad, but prior to iPadOS 14, the interface took over the entire screen and the search results were somewhat limited. With the new Search tool, there’s now a small search bar that shows up — so it doesn’t gobble up the entire screen. 

The more streamlined bar looks a lot like Spotlight Search on the Mac. You activate it on the iPad by swiping down on the display from the home screen, or with the same CMD+spacebar keyboard shortcut as on the Mac. 

Search can be used to locate a ton of things: files and folders in the Files app, emails and messages, apps you installed or want to find in the App Store, music and podcasts. For example, you can activate Search while you’re composing an email to find a file you want to attach to your message. You can then drag-and-drop the file from the results directly into your email and attach it without moving between multiple apps. It’s awesome. 

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Search on iPadOS 14 is more powerful than it looks. 


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You can also perform what Apple calls Knowledge Search, which just means you can search for random stuff like, “How tall is Mount Everest?”, and the results will be shown directly in the Search bar. You can even enter a website’s address, say CNET.com, then press the Return key and Search will launch Safari to take you there. 

A fresh coat of paint that’s very Mac-like

As iPad apps are updated for iPadOS 14, you’ll begin to see them adopt a new design. Apple has added new iPad app layouts for developers to implement. The new design transitions iPad apps away from looking like bigger iPhone ($699 at Amazon) apps and more like Mac apps. 

For example, iPadOS 14 features an updated Music app, which has a new sidebar on the left side of the screen that houses buttons and links to various parts of the app — this replaces the tab-based navigation previously used in the Music app, and is currently used in the iPhone version. The Music app on the Mac has had this same design since its release last year, and has been refined in MacOS Big Sur

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The new sidebar design ditches the iPhone-like tabs along the bottom we’ve seen used for far too long. 


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You’ll also begin to see a new Toolbar icon in iPad apps that will reveal and hide various aspects of the interface. For instance, the Toolbar button can cause the sidebar to slide off the screen, then bring it back with a click, similar to the Hide button you see on the Mac in apps like Finder.  

Speaking of Finder, if you use a Mac, you are familiar with the buttons that line the top of a Finder window to do things like rearrange files or change the overall view. iPad apps can take a similar approach by adding a button, just like in Finder, along the top of the screen that’s used to change how the information you’re viewing is presented. 

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The new-look iPad apps are starting to look more and more like an app you’d find on a Mac. 


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Tapping on the pull-down button in the Files app, for example, will give you options to change the view for the files or folders you’re currently looking at. 

There’s surely more to be found in iPadOS 14 that furthers the transition of the iPad to a Mac, or is it the Mac to an iPad? I’m still trying to decide. If you have a favorite new iPad feature, let us know in the comments. We’ve also found new features you’ll love on your iPhone thanks to iOS 14, and three ways WatchOS 7 changes how you use your Apple Watch. But perhaps our favorite features in iOS 14 are the hidden features we’ve dug up

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Apple's Rules

Apple’s new rules for gaming services like xCloud or Stadia are a joke – Mashable

Apple says its new App Store guidelines open the doors for video game streaming services. These gaming platforms say the exact opposite.
Apple says its new App Store guidelines open the doors for video game streaming services. These gaming platforms say the exact opposite.

Image: Pallava Bagla/Corbis via Getty Images

By Matt Binder

The video game industry is none too pleased with Apple right now.

In an attempt to extend an olive branch to streaming game services that were previously barred from the App Store, Apple has announced a new set of guidelines allowing game streaming services like Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia on the platform for the first time.

Nice, right? Wrong. Many in the industry are up in arms over the new guidelines.

Apple’s old rules blocked these streaming apps from the App Store, which essentially means you can’t use them on iOS devices like the iPhone. In August, when Facebook launched its Facebook Games iOS app, the social media company voiced its displeasure at being unable to include, well, any games.

At the time, Apple explained that the company reviews app content before allowing it in the App Store. Being that these video game streaming services offer an ever-changing lineup of gaming titles, Apple’s position was these types of apps weren’t allowed in its App Store.

However, these streaming services are growing in popularity. So Apple has decided to update its guidelines and open the App Store doors to services like xCloud and Stadia. However – and here’s the deal breaker – according to the new rules, every game available on these services would need to submit to the App Store as a standalone app.

The guidelines seem to totally defeat the purpose of these services.

“This remains a bad experience for customers,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement provided to Mashable. “Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud.”

Microsoft has a point. Movie and music streaming services like Netflix and Spotify all have apps on the App Store. And those services have an always-updating catalog of multimedia content accessible directly from within the app. 

Imagine if Apple required that Netflix submit every film first for approval before offering it on the platform? It doesn’t make much sense for video games to be treated so much differently. At least one expert believes that Apple has its reasons.

“Either Apple fundamentally misunderstands how game streaming works or these guidelines are designed to be a coy play at ‘technically’ allowing those systems to function while ensuring that the requirements are so onerous that Microsoft, Google, and other up-and-comers simply don’t engage,” Michael Futter, co-founder of the consulting firm F-Squared and co-host of the Virtual Economy Podcast,” told Mashable. “Apple’s new guidelines around streaming communicate that the company has no interest in welcoming xCloud or Stadia to iOS.” 

Futter went on to question what this means for similar video game services like SteamLink. Valve’s streaming app allows users to access their library of PC games. This would seem to violate Apple’s new guidelines. 

The Cupertino-based tech giant already has a rocky relationship with the gaming industry.

One of the most popular video games, Fortnite, is currently MIA from the App Store due to a dispute over revenue share terms. The game’s developer, Epic Games, is involved in a legal battle with the iPhone-maker over Apple’s anti-competitive practices when it comes to the App Store.

It’s clear that Apple views the gaming industry as a money-maker, and that it wants a generous cut of anything that generates income from iOS availability. But industry experts like Futter think Apple is really blowing a major opportunity.

“Apple may have taken a baby step forward,” he explained. “But this reads more like a child’s demands than a real gesture toward embracing the non-mobile half of the approximately $150 billion gaming industry.”

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Apple's online-only

Apple’s next online-only launch will be Sept. 15 with Apple Watch, iPad on tap – CNET

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Apple’s event invite, which was sent to reporters, suggests the launch could be about the Apple Watch. 


Screenshot by Shara Tibken/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Apple has set the date for its next event. The company’s latest devices — which will likely include the sixth-generation Apple Watch and a new iPad — will be unveiled on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. PT. Like Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the event will be held entirely online amid continued concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Apple’s event will be streamed via its website.

Apple’s invite, posted on its website, included a variation on its logo, done in swirling blue lines that turns out to be a bit of AR trickery. When viewed on an iPhone, the Apple invite logo morphs into the event’s date: 9.15. The invite sent to reporters included another clue — the phrase “Time Flies.” That hints at the event focusing on the Apple Watch, the tech giant’s popular wearable, instead of the first 5G iPhone. 

Stay up-to-date on the latest news, reviews and advice on iPhones, iPads, Macs, services and software.

Apple typically holds a flashy product launch in September to show off its newest iPhones. The Apple Watch, iPad and other devices typically take a back seat to Apple’s key smartphone, and the company at times holds another event in October for its iPads and Macs. 

This time around, though, Apple likely will focus on its wearable and tablet for its Sept. 15 event. Apple has said its newest iPhones, which will sport super-fast 5G connectivity, will be delayed “by a few weeks” this year because of production issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s likely the new iPhones will arrive in October, and Apple will hold a new event at that time to focus on its phones. 

While the bulk of Apple’s revenue still comes from the iPhone, the company has been diversifying its operations. The Apple Watch was its first major new category under CEO Tim Cook, and since that time, it’s taken over the watch market. Instead of positioning the Apple Watch as a luxury item, Apple has shifted focus to emphasize health and fitness features built into the watch, elements that are particularly important to users as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last year, the Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry by a huge margin, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple shipped an estimated 31 million units in 2019, while all Swiss watch brands combined accounted for 21 million shipments, the research firm said.

At the same time, Apple’s iPads and Macs have been in high demand as consumers work and attend school at home during the pandemic. Thirteen out of the country’s 15 biggest school districts are holding virtual classes this fall, and devices for students have been facing steep shipping delays. Apple’s new iPad, likely a midrange iPad Air, could come with a larger display and Touch ID. It wouldn’t be as expensive as Apple’s high-end Pro lineup but would have a lot of the feel and performance of the pricier devices.


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This fall’s Apple product lineup is expected to touch off a wave of upgrade purchases, analysts say, with fans eyeing the iPhone’s rumored new 5G capabilities and its new boxier look, similar to that of the iPad Pro. Flashier rivals — such as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 2 5G, with its foldable display, or Microsoft’s Surface Duo, with two screens sandwiched together — offer new spins on the standard metal-and-glass smartphone construction. 

But perhaps the biggest standout of Apple’s product lineup in late 2020 may be its newest computer, which will be the first device powered by what the company calls Apple Silicon, or its own microprocessing chip

The company hasn’t shared many details about its newest computers, which will replace the Intel processors Apple’s relied on for 14 years with chips similar to the ones powering its iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. Apple said it’ll continue to sell Intel-powered computers for now, but it’s clear where the company is headed.

“Hardware and software is fundamental to everything we do,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said when announcing the effort this summer. “It will take Mac to the next level.”

It also appears there’s an augmented reality component to Apple’s event on Sept. 15, based on the interactive invitation. 

AR could provide Apple with a way to show people its new devices without having to be there in person. Tech companies have been trying to figure out the best way to hold virtual demo rooms, a key part of any product launch. Last week, Samsung released a gamified tour of a digital home with its new devices.

Apple has been pushing AR over the past several years. The most notable example is the popularity of the Pokemon Go game on its iPhones. The company also has been working on AR and VR goggles, but it’s unlikely to launch the device in September. 

Apple’s augmented reality aspirations have always been driven by apps and services, and education has been an AR goal on the iPad for years. An upgraded processor on an iPad Air could help enable Apple’s latest ARKit features, and a larger screen could take advantage of some of the bigger-canvas ideas that exist now on the iPad Pro. It’s unlikely that a new Air would have the Pro’s depth-sensing Lidar sensor, however.

CNET’s Scott Stein contributed to this report. 

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Apple's Understanding

Apple’s Understanding of Games Is So Narrow It’s Screwing Itself – Gizmodo

When most people think of Apple, video games aren’t the first thing to come to mind. Photo- or video-editing, of course, or some other type of creative work, but not gaming. That’s because of the way Apple designs and markets its products.

We’ve had the ability to play games on macOS and iOS for a long time, but until Apple Arcade debuted last year, macOS and iOS were simply platforms that developers designed their games to be played on. In the last year, we’ve begun to see how Apple’s exclusionary practices play out when it comes to what games and gaming platforms it will and won’t give access to its users. (This applies to non-gaming apps, too!) The gaming industry overall is slowing starting to move away from platform exclusivity, and yet Apple insists on keeping its walled garden too high to climb for even some of the biggest tech companies, firmly setting the course for an antitrust disaster.

Apple and Microsoft both started as computer companies, but the two tech giants took very different paths as they expanded and evolved over the decades. At the turn of the millennium, Microsoft jumped into the gaming arena when it released its Xbox in 2001, competing with consoles from Nintendo, Sony’s Playstation, and even the Sega Dreamcast, after the company already had a good hold on the PC gaming market. Apple went a different route, most notably with the iPhone in 2007. It wasn’t the first touchscreen phone ever (that honor goes to the LG Prada), but it paved the way for the mobile gaming boom. The iPhone and Android phones continue to be an integral part of the gaming landscape today, and companies like Microsoft and Google are braving new territory with cloud gaming. But Apple refuses to further its own legacy as we enter a new era of mobile gaming.

Regardless of how you feel about cloud gaming and its inherent limitations, being able to play a graphically demanding game like Metro Exodus on your phone is impressive. Through a mobile data connection or wifi, you connect to a remote data center where the game is stored. The game is streamed to your phone, your inputs are then sent back to the data center, and then whatever you told the game to do now appears on your screen. With a good connection, the lag is minimal, which means no more being limited to games like Candy Crush or other simple puzzle games you play with your fingertips. Gamers don’t need to own a PC, laptop, or even a console to play Cyberpunk 2077 when it comes out, thanks to Microsoft’s cloud gaming service Project xCloud.

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But Apple’s own App Store rules prevent iOS users from being able to play games like that on their iPhones or iPads. Apple will only approve a cloud gaming service for the App Store if the app connects to a “user-owned host device that is a personal computer or dedicated game console owned by the user, and both the host device and client must be connected on a local and LAN-based network.”

Google Stadia, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, and Microsoft’s xCloud all require their users to connect remotely to their servers, which are not user-owned, and all three of those platforms let their users play games over a mobile network. Google had to deactivate the ability for users to connect to Stadia’s servers so the app could be offered in the App Store. Nvidia and Microsoft just said, screw it—what’s the point of offering an iOS app if people can’t use it to play games on iOS?

Interestingly, Stadia and GeForce Now are compatible with macOS. Users just need the Chrome browser installed to play games via Stadia, and GeForce Now has its own macOS version of its launcher. So why all this hostility toward gaming on iOS? We can look toward Apple Arcade for some answers: It seems like Apple is keeping all major gaming competitors away from iOS because it wants to funnel users to its own gaming service. It’s about as logical as my parents refusing to let me watch The Simpsons as a kid, but allowing me to watch Ren and Stimpy. That’s the kind of move you take with children, not paying customers.

Apple Arcade is technically a digital storefront, but instead of buying games individually like you would on Steam, Epic, or Microsoft’s Xbox website, users pay $5 a month for access to 100+ games. They don’t own any of the games they play, so as long as they keep an active subscription they can continue to play them. (It’s sort of like renting games from Gamefly.) The problem with this model is that most gamers want to own the games thet play, not rent them, especially when it comes to bigger titles like Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Red Dead Redemption 2. They have a lot of replay value because of how much content is in them. To date I’ve put in nearly 200 hours into Skyrim, and that’s on the low end compared to others.

A lot of Apple Arcade games are available individually on Steam and Epic, but unless you own an Apple device, you won’t know which ones those are—unless you want to watch the thumbnail scroll on the website and jot down any title that looks interesting based on the art. But if you have an Apple device, take a look at all the games that are offered. A lot of them look geared toward children or are casual puzzle games. There are a few adventure games, like Beyond a Steel Sky, that seem more adult-oriented, but the vibe of the games offered is totally different than what Stadia or Microsoft offers. It seems like Apple wants to carefully curate its brand image in all aspects, even when it comes to the games or gaming services it offers in the App Store.

Apple has come under fire recently for the 30% revenue-share it requires of developers who offer premium apps or in-app purchases in the App Store. That includes games. But with xCloud and GeForce now, Apple can’t take a cut from the games available on those services because users purchase their games from Steam, Epic, or elsewhere. Microsoft, Google and Nvidia have made their xCloud, Stadia and GeForce Now apps available for free, with free tiers to play on the latter two—no way would iOS users pay for a game that Android and other device users can get for free.

It’s likely that Apple is taking a cut from Google, because iOS users can make in-app purchases from the Stadia app. Apple’s guidelines do allow for in-app purchases, but if the gaming service can be used across multiple devices, the same way Apple Arcade can, the developer must “not directly or indirectly target iOS users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase,” according to the guidelines. Stadia does not do that, but because of Apple’s rules on remote desktop clients, that excluded Stadia from being able to allow its users to play games on their iOS devices…but the app needs to be on the App Store because there is no other way for Stadia users to wirelessly sync the Stadia controller with their computer or Google Chromecast.

Convoluted revenue models aside, Apple doesn’t understand the gaming landscape, or the flexibility and accessibility that gamers want to have to play the latest and greatest. Apple sold 41 million iPhones worldwide in the first quarter of 2020, despite a global pandemic. That’s a lot of people who could be playing Stadia or Xbox games on their phone alongside Apple Arcade games.

When it comes to cross-platform interoperability, Microsoft and Google have always been more free than Apple. What works on a Samsung will work on an LG, and what works on an Asus will work on a Dell. That’s why they’re popular with gamers. Allowing cloud gaming services to offer streaming games on iOS would give Apple a chance to become more relevant in the gaming world, beyond the self-contained walls of Apple Arcade. Gaming has become more accessible than ever before, and Apple played a huge role in that with mobile gaming on the iPhone. Now it’s time to cut down the walled garden—or maybe just prune it a little bit—to give people even more

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Apple's macOS

Apple’s macOS 11 Big Sur marks the end of OS X, not the Mac – AppleInsider

Apple’s slickly produced WWDC20 keynote didn’t directly emphasize it, but the new macOS Big Sur that will ship to the public this fall is officially “macOS 11,” marking an end to the twenty-year progression of “Mac OS X” branding. But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the Mac.

Turn it up to 11

Apple’s first beta of macOS Big Sur was made available to developer program members with the version designation of “10.16,” which is what one might expect from the successor to last year’s Mac OS 10.15 Catalina. But Apple likes to switch things up and keep things interesting.

Big Sur beta

The Big Sur beta was originally called 10.16

In this case, the move to macOS 11 was a subtle reveal. Speaking from the hands-on area of the Steve Jobs Theater during the WWDC20 keynote, Apple’s head of software Craig Federighi showed screenshots that indicated the new release was finally pushing past the big “X” that has defined the Mac experience for 20 years.

Apple’s fresh 2020 update to its developer Human Interface Guidelines now consistently refers to Big Sur as “macOS 11,” rather than being another incremented version of the “Mac OS X” brand that first shipped as a public beta in 2000 and as an initial “Mac OS X 10.0” public release in 2001.

Across the last two decades, Apple has released major new versions of its modern OS for the Mac at regular intervals. Since 2016, it has deemphasized the Roman numeral “X,” shifting its marketing name to simply “macOS.” It has also increasingly capitalized on its annually changing “code name” assigned to each release — first big cats, then places in California — relegating the actual version number increasingly out of prominent view.

The move beyond “X” to 11 may seem concerningly ominous, but it really just reflects a series of moves Apple has made to better align its work on the Mac desktop with its mobile platforms. After 14 years of iOS releases, we are now getting a simple, streamlined annual version number for the Mac as well.

The Mac isn’t going away, it’s catching up

A number of observers have suggested that Apple is losing its interest in the Mac platform, and fear that Apple is making plans to replace its 35-year-old, conventional computing platform with, effectively, a scaled-up version of iPadOS. They cite developments such as Catalyst, which helps developers bring their existing OS code to the Mac, or the new move to Apple Silicon Macs, which will enable future hardware to run iOS software without any modification.

Some have pointed to the new UI refinements in Big Sur that look like a modern departure from the traditional Mac appearance with its squared panels, rigid alignments, and more dramatic contrasting of dark monochrome regions. The default Big Sur desktop in the first beta makes the new, updated appearance took particularly radical due to its use of intense colors (below). Is this the end of the beloved Macintosh? Is it becoming “just a big iPod touch”?

Big Sur beta desktop

Change the default wallpaper (above) to the photo of California’s Big Sur (top) and the whole thing looks less foreign and garish

I don’t think so. Instead, I think the changes Apple is making to the Mac are in the right direction, even if they do touch that part of the brain that incites fear and concern simply because things are new, different, and slightly less familiar. There are some transition issues and rough edges— like the brand new Battery panel that replaces the confusing old mess of “Energy Saver”— but this is the first developer beta. Things are still in flux and changes are being hammered out.

Big Sur Battery panel

Did Apple hire Google’s emoji team to draw up this weird condom battery?

Rather than being disgruntled that some things on the Mac are changing and — horrors! — reflecting the work Apple’s already done for iPadOS, it’s useful to look at things from the other direction. For years, the Mac has received less of Apple’s attention and resources simply because the market opportunities afforded by iPhones and iPad were vastly larger.

Over the last decade, the work needed to deliver leading smartphone and tablet technology was urgent, while the Mac mostly just needed refinements to keep it comfortably competitive with commodity PCs and netbooks. Three years ago, Apple was consumed with reinventing iPhone X, and since then it has focused on differentiating and radically enhancing its “new” iPadOS platform.

Back to the Mac

The new Big Sur borrows a series of familiar, functional improvements from Apple’s years of work that focused on iOS. One great example is the new Control Center, which brings the same clean, intuitive, configurable layout of quick settings to the Mac.

Control Center in Big Sur

Big Sur’s new iOS-inspired Control Center is beautiful and brilliant

One of Apple’s biggest efforts in last year’s macOS Catalina was to break up its monolithic iTunes into a series of modern, streamlined apps, reflecting how things worked under iOS. In our review of Catalina, one of the problems we noted was the increasing lack of visual and user interface consistency across its various bundled apps, a gap that kept growing as batches of new apps with their own fresh interface style erupted with each new release.

Certain older apps looked like they were stuck in different points of the past because they literally were. As Apple’s internal development tools kept changing over the years, some of the oldest code remained difficult to modernize or harmonize with the rest of the system.

Instead of spending the last couple years working to bring various old macOS components up to date with the Mojave appearance, Apple instead began charting out a much bolder and material leap: a jump to its own Apple Silicon at the lowest layer of the stack, as well as a radical new approach to building high-level appearance and behavior in the new Swift UI. In tandem, Apple also introduced Catalyst as a way to bring existing iOS code to the Mac.

All three represent huge investments in enhancing the Mac platform and preparing it for the future. They expand the library of software that Macs can run while transferring and adapting some of the tremendously valuable UI work already performed for mobile devices to desktop Mac systems tuned to handle larger and more complex tasks. These changes actually make the Mac more commercially relevant and a stronger platform.

Critics have fixated on niggling appearance issues in the initial Catalyst apps and worried that the cherished Mac look and feel was going away. The truth is: it is. The Mac is increasingly modernizing, leveraging new, more flexible code that supports features ranging from accessibility and internationalization to Dark Mode. Mac stalwarts might be tempted to blame the iPad or iOS, but the real force for change is Swift UI, Catalyst, Symbols, and other modern UI techniques and technology that simply appeared on iPad and iPhone first because they were receiving the most attention from Apple.

Apple Music Big Sur

Big Sur borrows tech from iOS, such as Symbols, to enhance the Mac and make it more consistent

It’s fine to critically examine the visual changes Apple is introducing in Big Sur, but consider evaluating these as inherently positive changes that are not yet finalized. The impact of Big Sur changes may seem more radical simply because they are more consistently applied across the entire macOS than in previous releases. That in itself indicates that rather than just being an arbitrary “new look” for new apps, the changes are a more fundamental rethinking of how to keep software modern and maintainable, and therefore more consistent.

At WWDC20, Apple has devoted a lot of work to show developers how they can leverage the latest tools, particularly Swift UI, to create clean app interfaces that are uncluttered, consistent, and intuitive to use, while also supporting modern functionality and being prepared to adapt to future OS features as they are delivered.

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Apple's walled

Apple’s walled garden just got higher on its iPhones, iPads and Macs – CNET

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Apple’s making changes to its iOS software to answer long-standing requests.


Angela Lang/CNET

The tech industry often refers to Apple’s ecosystem of devices as a “walled garden,” an idyllic world of tech where each of the company’s devices work together because Apple controls intricate details of how they work. In a few months, that wall will get a bit higher.

Sometime this fall, the tech giant will release iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and MacOS Big Sur, the software that powers its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers, respectively. The company has added new features to the software, which will be free to existing device owners, offering both convenience and an even greater pull to bring you even deeper into Apple’s world. 

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The “Sign In with Apple” feature, introduced a year ago, will more closely connect with apps to allow you to create accounts, sign up for new apps and log into existing apps using your Apple ID. Apple’s also got a virtual car keys feature that creates a digital key to unlock and start your car with just your phone. And if you want, you can share those car keys with friends through Apple’s encrypted iMessage service. 

Speaking of messages, that app has new features too, making group chats more appealing by offering threaded conversations as in Facebook and Slack, as well as the ability to grab someone’s attention by writing their name.

“Today, the world is counting on all of us and on the products and experiences that we create to move forward,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said Monday during the livestreamed keynote at his company’s Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC for short. “We have not stopped innovating, doing the work that will enrich people’s lives for years to come.”

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Apple’s efforts to tighten the connections among its services is nothing new, but the announcements the company made Monday bring that interoperability to a level users haven’t experienced before. Apple’s efforts to control the experience on its devices has helped it to build well-regarded software to power popular devices like the Mac computers, iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. But increasingly, you need to either go all-in on Apple devices, or risk missing out on many of the key benefits. 

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This could be your next car key.


Apple

At the same time, governments around the world have been questioning the ways the company wields that power, potentially shutting out rivals. The European Union has opened two investigations into how Apple treats outside developers. Apple also hasn’t made key popular technology, like the iMessage encrypted chat service, available to phones powered by Google’s Android software.

“Apple has always wanted to build this world that people want to live in,” said Bob O’Donnell, an analyst now at Technalysis Research. What’s unclear is whether Apple’s latest features are enough to convince people to commit to only Apple. 

The company did quietly open up two key elements of iOS, with the next version allowing you to change the default email and browser on your iPhone. Apple never mentioned the capability during the keynote, with the revelation coming in one of the presentation slides. 

The number of people who have iPhones, iPads and Mac computers is small, O’Donnell said, noting that many more people have an iPhone and a computer made by different company. But as Apple continues adding features that competitors have had for years, such as small apps known as widgets on its home screen, or threaded conversations in its messages app, more people might be wooed over to the company’s side.

“You do spend so much of your time with these devices,” he added.

Read more: iPhone’s radical new home screen changes aren’t on by default. What you need to know

Not just features

The biggest news out of Apple’s event Monday wasn’t the new features for its iPhones, but rather the changes coming to the company’s Mac computers. 

Apple said that starting in the fall, it will begin selling computers powered by chips with designs similar to those in the iPhone and iPad. These chips, the latest of which have names like A13 Bionic, initially appeared in the first iPads in 2010. Apple said its chips today are more than 100 times faster than those original chips.

Beyond that, by building its own chips for its computers, Apple is able to fine-tune its software even more to provide an optimal experience.

“Most important, this means that iOS and iPadOS applications will be able to run natively on MacOS in the future, making it easier for Apple’s 23 million developer partners to create applications across all Apple products,” Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a note to investors after the announcement Monday.

For consumers, this means the opportunity to bring some of the apps they already use on their iPhones onto Macs, giving them incentive to look at other Apple hardware. 

Mobile future

For years, industry watchers have wondered whether Apple would eventually marry its ultra-portable iPad tablet with the MacBook laptop. Apple has routinely dismissed the idea, despite positive reviews for Microsoft’s Surface laptops, which popularized the idea of a computer-tablet hybrid.

But with iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and MacOS Big Sur, Apple’s effectively married them anyway. By making its new Mac computers capable of running iPhone and iPad apps, few things are left separating the Mac from its mobile cousins. The Mac has more storage, and it’s designed to perform more advanced tasks like professional video editing and graphics design, but other than that, a touchscreen and some extra ports, they’re not that different anymore.

apple-macos-bigsur-dock-src6222src2src

Apple’s more tightly connecting its phones, computers and tablets.


Apple

Apple even made this point by rebuilding its Maps app on the Mac using its iPhone and iPad app as its base. The company did the same with its Messages app. “It’s a full-fledged Mac app that runs natively and is designed in a way that’s true to the Mac,” Apple software head Craig Federighi said during the company’s presentation.

For Apple, tying its devices even tighter together, and building that wall ever higher, is just the latest way to guarantee as good an experience as it can.

“From the very beginning, the Mac redefined the entire computer industry. The Mac has always been about innovation and boldly pushing things forward, embracing big changes to stay at the forefront of personal computing,” Cook said. “We haven’t stopped innovating.”

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Apple’s ‘drumroll begins’ for 5G iPhone 12 super-cycle, says analyst – AppleInsider

Investment bank Wedbush is predicting that the “iPhone 12” will launch at about the same time that the iPhone X did, and despite coronavirus challenges, 5G will induce a super-cycle for Apple in 2020 and 2021.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives says that Apple’s supply chain has normalized ahead of expectations after coronavirus snarled production earlier in 2020. Ives adds that the normalization puts “Cook & Co. back in the drivers seat to launch this 5G cycle in this typical September timeframe.”

Although there have been “previous reports speculating that the iPhone 12” will launch similarly to how the iPhone X rolled out, Ives now fully expects Apple to debut the lineup in late September and ship out in early October. That’s in-line with its usual timeframe, and Wedbush based its current forecast on recent supply chain checks.

As with past “iPhone 12” rumors, Ives is expecting Apple to launch four iPhone models with a mix of 4G and 5G compatibility across the lineup. At least one of those devices could sport a sub-$1,000 price tag despite 5G support.

On the 5G topic, Ives said that there will likely be both U.S. and non-U.S. versions of the 5G iPhone, with only some models sporting faster mmWave 5G support. The analyst added that Apple appears to have “ironed out” technology wrinkles with 5G, further corroborating that 2020’s pivotal launch will go over smoothly.

Beyond production issues, there have also been some hints that weakened demand could throw the late 2020 iPhone lineup off Apple’s usual schedule.

However, Ives expects Apple to be on the verge of entering a super-cycle due to 5G. Wedbush is estimating that 350 million of Apple’s current 950 million iPhones are in an upgrade window, and that lower price tags on some models could catalyze upgrades. That is driving the investment bank’s longer-term bullish thesis, despite the “dark COVID-19 backdrop and a soft macro.”

Wedbush’s supply chains checks agree with rumors that the “iPhone 12” will launch without EarPods in the box. Ives expects that to drive demand for AirPods, which are on a trajectory to sell 85 million units in 2020. That’s up from 65 million in 2019.

Going into WWDC 2020, Ives expects Apple to show off new operating systems like iOS 14, announce a move to ARM-based Mac chips, and drop “some breadcrumbs” about “Apple Glass” or other AR and wearable developments.

Wedbush’s 12-month Apple price target remains at $375 from a week prior. Apple’s stock is trading at $351.95 on Tuesday morning, up 2.67%.

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Apple’s latest iPad mini drops to $349 at Amazon – Engadget

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. If you buy something through one of the links on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission.

It’s now a little easier to get a small tablet that still packs a punch. Amazon is selling Apple’s current-generation iPad mini with 64GB of storage for $349, or $50 below the official price. You’ll get $50 off the price if you want 256GB of storage or LTE, too. This is close to the lowest price we’ve seen, and should make the iPad mini easier to justify versus the larger but slower 10.2-inch iPad.

Buy iPad mini (64GB WiFi) on Amazon – $349

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Apple's First

Apple’s First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display Will Become ‘Obsolete’ in 30 Days – MacRumors

If you are still hanging on to a Mid 2012 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and require a new battery or other repairs, be sure to book an appointment with a service provider as soon as possible.



In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as “obsolete” worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over eight years after its release. In a support document, Apple notes that obsolete products are no longer eligible for hardware service, with “no exceptions.”

Apple already classified the 2012 MacBook Pro as “vintage” in 2018, but it has still continued to service the notebook as part of a pilot program, subject to parts availability. With the 2012 MacBook Pro transitioning to “obsolete” status at the end of this month, it would appear that the notebook will no longer be eligible for any official repairs.

Of course, if you own a 2012 MacBook Pro, there is nothing stopping you from following one of iFixit’s many do-it-yourself repair guides. Independent repair shops are another avenue, although many do not use official Apple parts.

In addition to being the first MacBook Pro with a Retina display, the 2012 model had a much slimmer design compared to previous models, after Apple removed the built-in Ethernet port and optical disc drive for CDs/DVDs. It still had a wide array of I/O, however, including pairs of Thunderbolt and USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and an SD card slot.

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Apple's Review

Review: Apple’s entry-level 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro is yesterday’s tech for today’s prices – AppleInsider

Since the 2017 revision, the 13-inch MacBook Pro line has been a tale of two computers, and the 2020 refresh is no exception. But, there are some interesting “updates” in the new model, that puzzle us, and make us wonder why they were made.

For this review, we’re specifically looking at the entry-level 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro with an 8th Gen 1.4GHz Core i5 processor that can Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz (the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro can also be configured with an 8th Gen 1.7GHz quad-core Core i7 with a Turbo Boost speed of 4.5GHz). There is a giant difference between the MacBook Pro that has the eighth-generation Intel processor, versus the tenth generation. Enough of one, in fact, that they warrant a separate examination.

While we’ll be briefly discussing the higher-end models today, we’ll be reviewing the higher-end 10th generation model a bit later as there are sufficient differences.

Not the refresh that was expected

Many users had hoped to see Apple move to a 14-inch design for the smaller MacBook Pro, adopting a similar design aesthetic as Apple had for the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro that became the 16-inch. That hasn’t — yet — come to pass and instead we got another iteration on the existing MacBook Pro design.

The refresh still has the gorgeous P3 wide color gamut Retina display, two Thunderbolt three ports on the entry-level model we’re discussing here, a headphone jack, the contested Touch Bar, and the same 720p camera that has been maligned for years.

Many things, Apple chose not to update. Wi-Fi is still only 802.11ac and not Wi-Fi 6 that the iPhone first brought to Apple products. Most devices and routers don’t support Wi-Fi 6 at the moment but for a machine destined to last for at least six years, Wi-Fi 6 should be included. At least it has Bluetooth 5, though.

The exterior looks the same, though it did increase in weight from 3.02 pounds to 3.11 pounds and thickness from .59 inches to .61 inches. This has everything to do with the new keyboard.

The 13.3-inch refresh doesn’t belie a 14-inch redesign, it just isn’t here yet. Recent rumors point to early 2021 as the timeframe for the updated aesthetic.

Apple’s Magic Keyboard

Apple has updated the keyboard design. After several false starts, Apple’s kicked its butterfly switch mechanisms to the curb in favor of Apple’s latest version of a scissor-switch design.

The previous butterfly keyboard was divisive, to say the least, but it had few staunch advocates. Between it and the Touch Bar, we believe that Apple was trying to migrate users to a more iPad-like experience for typing on the Mac. It appears to have not gone that well.

We have spoken at some length on the updated Magic Keyboard again, and again. It still has a full millimeter of key travel. It still feels more responsive to type on and not all that different from the 16-inch MacBook Pro which also has Apple’s Magic Keyboard embedded into its aluminum body.

We truly do like the feel of the updated keyboard. While the extra key travel at times makes us feel like we are slightly slower than on the previous design that we’ve been hammering away on for nearly five years, it is an improvement. It isn’t enough to cause us to trip up while typing that often, and is enough to make the keys feel more responsive when depressed.

Aside from moving to the Magic Keyboard, other changes are also notable. Specifically, Apple has included a standalone physical escape key and also returned the inverted “T” design for the arrow keys. Depending on a user’s work, these may be more impactful than a shift from the previous-gen keyboard.

Upgraded internals

We’re just going to come out and say it — we’re not impressed with the lower-end of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. While the high-end 13-inch models were improved with the tenth-generation Intel processors, the entry-level units got stuck with the same eighth-generation chips as the 2019 models.

We see the impacts of this choice in performance. Our 1.4GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor model obviously scored the same as the 2019 model with the same chip. The entry 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019) scored 942 and 3913 on the Geekbench 5.1.1 single and multi-core tests while the 2020 model earned a 948 and a 4015.

In the Cinebench R20 benchmark, the fans barely spun up, not kicking in until two thirds through the test. They were audible, but not as loud as Apple’s laptop fans used to be. Monitoring with Intel Power Gadget, the 13-inch MacBook Pro was able to maintain its clock speed without unnecessarily throttling down. In the test it scored 1588 points.

There is a degree of variance in these tests. While the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro scores mildly higher, on average, they are identical for all intents and purposes.

Apple increased the storage capacities, thankfully. Doubling the capacities across the line. It now starts at 256GB and the low-end options can be upgraded to 2TB. Twice what they previously started at and were capped at. In terms of speed, we were averaging around 1250 megabytes per second for write speeds and 1600 megabytes per second for read speeds using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test.

For comparison, the 16-inch MacBook Pro at just about any capacity will peak at 3150 megabytes per second read speeds, and about 2900 megabytes per second write speeds. The 2020 MacBook Air delivers about 1250 megabytes per second read, and 1000 megabytes per second write.

Memory too is the same as last year, starting at 8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3. Graphics as well sticking around, relying on the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645.

Entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro versus high-end

This year, more than ever, there is a distinction between the entry-level units and the upper-level units. They are physically differentiated by the number of Thunderbolt 3 ports. The entry-level has two while the upper-end has four. As we’ve mentioned, we will review the higher-end machine soon, but to give you an idea of the differences, we wanted to touch on them quickly.

The high-end units have the aforementioned tenth generation Intel chips rather than the older eighth generation. They use faster 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory, start at 16GB, and can be updated to 32GB. Internal storage can be maxed out at 4TB.

Because of those tenth generation chips, the 2020 high-end model has better graphics than the 2019 refresh, and this 2020 low-end MacBook Pro. On the high end, a 6K display such as the Pro Display XDR can be driven, with this model only able to connect to a 5K external display.

Should you buy the entry-level 13-inch 2020 MacBook Pro?

This new 13-inch MacBook Pro for 2020 is… fine. It is, in a vacuum, a solid machine. But in the ladder that is Apple’s portable Mac lineup, it is an extra rung.

The newest MacBook Air is a more enticing option versus the 13-inch MacBook Pro at the low-end. It is cheaper, slimmer, and more portable. Not to mention, the MacBook Air has those updated tenth generation Intel processors that the entry-level MacBook Pro lacks.

Users who are dead-set on picking up an entry-level MacBook Pro are buying it for a few reasons. Compared to the Air, it is very slightly more capable and does come with the Touch Bar — but if the latter is a bonus varies very much user to user. Compared to the previous-gen MacBook Pro it also has beam-forming microphones, Dolby Atmos support on tiny speakers, as well as better value with the doubled internal storage capacities.

Those aren’t inherently bad reasons to buy the machine, but the MacBook Air is a better value overall, and the high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro has more to offer.

If we weren’t comparing this to the MacBook Air, if it existed in an ideal vacuum, we’d give this machine a four out of five for its design, feature set, and performance. But with the MacBook Air in such close proximity, occupying the same market segment, the entry-level Pro doesn’t warrant more than a 3.5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

New 2020 13″ MacBook Pro deals

Apple’s brand-new 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro is already on sale, with exclusive coupon discounts of up to $200 off, plus bonus savings on AppleCare.

If, after reading this 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro review, you want to pick up a system for yourself, check out the deals in the AppleInsider 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro Price Guide.

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