iPhone X Shipping Estimates Improve to Under One Week in United States

Shipping estimates for the iPhone X continue to improve, and in the United States, iPhone X models ordered today will arrive in just about a week.

Apple's online store in the U.S. is currently listing a delivery date of December 8 for all new iPhone X orders, meaning iPhone X orders will need to ship out in just a matter of days to meet that estimate.


The new under a week shipping estimates follow improved 1 to 2 week shipping estimates that were introduced on November 22.

iPhone X shipping estimates have also improved in Canada and multiple countries in Europe, while estimates are beginning to improve in Asia Pacific countries. The Canadian online store lists a shipping estimate of five business days, for example, while European stores list delivery dates of December 11. In Australia, New Zealand, and other countries, shipping estimates range from several days to two weeks.

Over the course of the last month, Apple has been significantly ramping up production in order to meet demand for the iPhone X, and as a result, we've seen shipping estimates that have improved drastically since the iPhone X first launched.

Following the October 27 pre-orders for the iPhone X, shipping estimates were as high as 5 to 6 weeks, but Apple has been able to improve supply earlier than expected. Initial rumors suggested the iPhone X would be heavily constrained and in short supply until well into the new year, but given the improvements we're seeing, Apple will likely reach supply/demand balance in the near future.

In addition to improving stock for online orders, Apple has also been shipping out iPhone X pre-orders more quickly than expected. Customers who initially had December order dates have been receiving their devices throughout November, and Apple retail stores have also been receiving regular shipments.

Back at the beginning of November, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple was working to ramp up iPhone X production week by week to get the new smartphone out to customers "as soon as possible."

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the improved iPhone X shipping estimates are indeed due to better-than-expected improvements in production rather than a lack of demand for the new device.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Qualcomm Seeks Import Ban on AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 8 and iPhone X Models

Qualcomm today announced that it has filed three new patent infringement claims against Apple, accusing the Cupertino company of violating a total of 16 Qualcomm patents with its most recent iPhones, including the iPhone X.

Most of the patents in question cover technologies like carrier aggregation, memory designs, and power management features that are designed help to reduce battery usage, but in one claim, Qualcomm says Apple is using a depth-based image enhancement technique for Portrait mode that violates a Qualcomm patent.


Qualcomm is also filing a new complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) concerning five of the patents, and it is asking the ITC to ban imports of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models that use chips from Intel, aka AT&T and T-Mobile devices in the United States.

The complaint with the ITC follows a previous filing in July that saw Qualcomm ask for an import ban on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models equipped with Intel modem chips, along with some iPad models. Qualcomm has not asked for a ban on iPhones that use Qualcomm LTE chips, with the reasoning that a more limited exclusion order is more likely to be granted.

In the lawsuit, Qualcomm once again says its inventions form the "very core" of "modern mobile communication," and that without Qualcomm technology, Apple products "would lose much of their consumer appeal."

Qualcomm is seeking damages in an amount to be proven at trial, a permanent injunction against Apple, and attorneys fees.

Qualcomm's latest filing follows a countersuit from Apple that was filed earlier this week. Apple claims that Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips infringe on "at least" eight battery life patents owned by Apple.

The legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm kicked off in January of this year, and it has escalated rapidly over the course of the last several months. It is not clear if the ITC will agree to investigate the claims Qualcomm has made against Apple, but this will be a legal battle that spans several years, so Apple devices are in no danger of being banned anytime soon.


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Nintendo Launches First Holiday Event in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Nintendo last week launched its newest iOS game, a mobile version of Animal Crossing called Pocket Camp, and it's already being updated with new content in the form of a special holiday event.

Typical Animal Crossing games feature special events that take place on a regular basis, and it appears Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is no exception. The new Christmas-themed event will allow players to earn limited-time clothing items and craft holiday-themed furniture.


To get the holiday items, players need to fulfill timed goals and complete quests for visiting animals to earn candy canes, so the holiday gameplay is essentially identical to standard gameplay, but with the ability to earn special items.

It takes a lot of candy canes to unlock items, but Nintendo's event will last from November 29 to December 25.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Rolling Out on Apple Music

After three weeks of retail and digital download exclusivity, Taylor Swift's latest album -- "Reputation" -- has started rolling out on Apple Music and Spotify in Australia and other countries, where it is already December 1, suggesting it will come to the U.S., Europe, and other countries as December 1 rolls around.

Swift had previously debuted four singles from Reputation on Apple Music, including Look What You Made Me Do, ...Ready For It?, Gorgeous, and Call It What You Want, but she kept the full 15-track album off of Apple Music and other services for the past three weeks.


Besides the previously-released singles, there were a few behind-the-scenes videos about the making of Reputation's music videos that were exclusive to Apple Music released a few weeks ago. With the launch, all of this content will be streamable on Apple Music on December 1. In the United States, we can likely expect to see "Reputation" available on Apple Music starting at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time.


Swift and Apple have had a somewhat rocky relationship, with the artist in 2015 penning an open letter to Apple Music about the service's initial stance on refusing to pay royalties to artists during the three-month free trial period. Swift opposed this aspect of Apple Music, so she decided to keep her 2014 album "1989" off of Apple Music at the time.

Soon after the letter was publicized, Apple reversed course and began paying artists during this period of time when new subscribers are on the free trial of Apple Music. This eventually led to a closer relationship between Swift and Apple, with her music debuting on the service along with the launch of a series of Apple Music ads starring Swift that debuted throughout the spring of 2016.


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Google Maps Updated With Support for iPhone X

Google today updated its Google Maps app with official support for the iPhone X, introducing an improved layout on Apple's newest flagship phone.

The Google Maps app displays full screen on the iPhone X's taller display, with a search bar located at the top of the app and directions and information provided at the bottom of the app. The layout of the app makes the menu button at the top left difficult to access with one hand, but it looks better than it did before.


Along with iPhone X support, the new app also includes unspecified bug fixes.
What's New in Version 4.41
Thanks for using Google Maps! This release brings support for iPhone X in addition to bug fixes that improve our product to help you discover new places and navigate to them. Get the latest version for all of the available Google Maps features.
Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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Privacy Advocates and Devs Raise Concerns About Third-Party App Access to TrueDepth Camera

Apple goes into great detail about the security of the Face ID facial recognition system built into the iPhone X in a security white paper and a support document, but relatively little has been said about the access that developers have to facial data captured by the TrueDepth camera, which has led privacy advocates and developers to express concerns about what apps can glean about you from your face.

A new piece from The Washington Post that includes commentary from both privacy experts and Apple itself explores the data third-party apps can access, echoing concerns previously brought up earlier this month.


Apps have no access to the facial map that Face ID uses to unlock your device, but developers are able to use the TrueDepth camera to scan a user's face for the purpose of creating more realistic augmented reality apps. As described by Apple:
Using the TrueDepth camera, your app can detect the position, topology, and expression of the user's face, all with high accuracy and in real time, making it easy to apply live selfie effects or use facial expressions to drive a 3D character.
Apps are able to see a full 3D face map along with a "live read-out" of 52 micro-movements in the eyelids, mouth, and other features. MeasureKit, a free app developed by Rinat Khanov, has a face mesh tool built in that displays the facial data the TrueDepth camera can capture along with a list of the facial expressions it tracks.


Apple has a privacy policy that's been in place since before the iPhone X launched requiring apps that use the TrueDepth camera to have a privacy policy, secure user consent option, and a clear outline of what data is being collected and how it's used, but The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler worries about the future implications of the TrueDepth camera, where such facial data could perhaps be used to determine gender, race, sexuality, or track facial expressions to determine medical conditions like depression.

"We take privacy and security very seriously," Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said. "This commitment is reflected in the strong protections we have built around Face ID data--protecting it with the Secure Enclave in iPhone X--as well as many other technical safeguards we have built into iOS."

Khanov, the developer behind the aforementioned MeasureKit app, says Apple's policies may not be enough. Khanov didn't initially have a privacy policy in place in his app, and it was approved anyway. Apple said it was an oversight and asked Khanov to implement a privacy policy right away.
"There were no additional terms or contracts. The app review process is quite regular as well--or at least it appears to be, on our end," Khanov said. When I noticed his app didn't have a privacy policy, Khanov said Apple didn't require it because he wasn't taking face data off the phone.
As Fowler points out, apps that are using the TrueDepth camera are not currently providing enough information to customers. The popup to access the TrueDepth camera is the same generic popup that is required for the standard front and rear-facing cameras, and it does not mention that additional data is being collected.

Whether Apple will put stricter policies in place remains to be seen, as does how this kind of facial recognition data will be used in the future, but customers should be made aware of what's being provided to app developers. For those concerned, it's worth downloading the MeasureKit app or a similar app to see what's potentially being collected when an app accesses the camera on your iPhone X.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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SiriusXM Radio Now Works With Apple CarPlay

SiriusXM subscribers will be pleased to know that the iOS app was today updated with support for CarPlay, allowing the music service to be used with Apple's in-car platform.

With CarPlay integration, the SiriusXM app will show up directly within the CarPlay interface, allowing for easier access to the SiriusXM app while in the car.
What's New in Version 4.2.0
- We now support Apple CarPlay! Connect your phone in your car and tune to channels, on demand episodes, favorites, and more right from your built-in display.
- Swipe to tune channels up and down
SiriusXM is a service that allows customers to stream radio online or in the car, offering 150+ streaming music channels along with news, sports, and talk radio. SiriusXM is natively supported by many in-car infotainment systems, and it is priced starting at $10.99 per month.

There are, however, a range of different packages offering access to different content at higher price points. The All Access package, for example, costs $20.99 per month and offers all sports channels.

The SiriusXM app is required on an iOS device for it to work with CarPlay. The app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Related Roundup: CarPlay

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Apple Watch Market Share Declined Over Summer as Rumors Swirled About Series 3 Models With LTE

Apple Watch was the world's most popular smartwatch by a significant margin last quarter, but its market share declined over the summer, according to data shared with MacRumors by research firm IDC.


Whereas the Apple Watch represented just under half of all smartwatches shipped in the second quarter with 49.6 percent market share, the device had an estimated 41 percent market share in the third quarter. In other words, four out of every 10 smartwatches shipped last quarter were Apple Watches.

Apple Watch shipments totaled an estimated 2.7 million units in the July-September period, down from 3.4 million units in the prior quarter.

Worldwide smartwatch shipments in Q3 2017 via IDC. Units reflected in millions.

Apple Watch shipments were likely affected by seasonality, as the summer is traditionally a slower sales period for Apple. Also, some customers may have delayed their purchase given consistent rumors about Apple Watch Series 3 models with cellular capabilities launching in September, as did happen.

Samsung finished runner-up to the Apple Watch with an estimated 700,000 shipments, also down slightly from the prior quarter.

Garmin took third place with 600,000 shipments, unchanged from the prior quarter. Fossil and Continental Wireless, which makes kids smartwatches in China, tied for fourth place with shipments of 500,000 smartwatches respectively. All other smartwatch makers shipped 1.7 million units combined in the quarter.

IDC's data shared with MacRumors is based exclusively on smartwatches, which it defines as watches that can run third-party apps on the device itself.

In the broader wearables market, which includes many low-priced fitness trackers, IDC estimates the Apple Watch captured 10.3 percent market share last quarter. Fitbit and Chinese vendor Xiaomi tied for the lead in that category last quarter with an estimated 13.7 percent market share each.

Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Instead, it groups the wearable under its "Other Products" category, alongside Apple TV, AirPods, Beats, iPods, and other accessories.

On a conference call early this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook did reveal that Apple Watch sales were up 50 percent in the quarter year over year. Apple reported revenue of $3.2 billion from its "Other Products" category, up 36 percent year over year.
Moving on now to Apple Watch, with unit growth of over 50 percent for the third consecutive quarter, it continues to be the best selling and most loved smartwatch in the world. We began shipping Apple Watch Series 3 just six weeks ago, and customers love the new freedom of cellular. The ability to go for a run with just your Apple Watch, or go for a quick errand without your phone, while staying connected, is a game changer. Now more than ever, Apple Watch is the ultimate device for healthy life, and is already making a big difference in our customers' lives.
Apple today announced that Apple Watch users in the United States can participate in a heart study aimed at identifying irregular heart rhythms.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Tag: IDC
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Microsoft Edge Browser for iPhone Launches on App Store

Microsoft Edge for iPhone was officially released on the App Store today following nearly two months of public beta testing.



The alternative web browser will primarily appeal to iPhone users that use a Windows PC instead of a Mac thanks to a “Continue on PC” feature that can push a website from the mobile to desktop version of the browser.

Microsoft Edge for iPhone also syncs your favorites, passwords, and reading list across your devices. Other features include an all-in-one Hub View, built-in QR code reader, voice search, and private browsing mode.

Bing, Google, and Yahoo can be set as the default search engine in Microsoft Edge for iPhone, which has a similar design as the desktop version. The mobile version doesn’t have Microsoft’s Cortana assistant or built-in ad blocking.

On iOS, Microsoft is using Apple’s WebKit engine, as required for all third-party browsers on the platform. From a compatibility perspective, Microsoft said Edge for iOS should match the version of Safari that is currently available for iPhone.

Keep in mind that, like other third-party web browsers, Microsoft Edge cannot be enabled as the default browser on iPhone.

Microsoft Edge for iPhone is rolling out on the App Store [Direct Link] now for iOS 9 and later. It’s also available for Android smartphones on Google Play. Microsoft said iPad support will be added in the future.

The app appears to be available in the United States and United Kingdom only at this time. The browser has yet to be optimized for the iPhone X.

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Apple Watch Owners Can Participate in Apple Heart Study to Identify Irregular Heart Rhythms

Apple today announced it has launched a ResearchKit-based Apple Heart Study app, which uses the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor to collect data on irregular heart rhythms and notify users who may be experiencing atrial fibrillation.


As part of the study, if an irregular heart rhythm is identified, participants will receive a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a free consultation with a study doctor and an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch for additional monitoring.
"Every week we receive incredible customer letters about how Apple Watch has affected their lives, including learning that they have AFib. These stories inspire us and we're determined to do more to help people understand their health," said Jeff Williams, Apple's COO. "Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science."
To calculate heart rate and rhythm, the Apple Watch's sensor uses green LED lights flashing hundreds of times per second and light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist.

Apple is partnering with Stanford University's School of Medicine to perform the research.
"Through the Apple Heart Study, Stanford Medicine faculty will explore how technology like Apple Watch's heart rate sensor can help usher in a new era of proactive health care central to our Precision Health approach," said Lloyd Minor, Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine. "We're excited to work with Apple on this breakthrough heart study."
While heart arrhythmias aren't always symptoms of a serious disease, atrial fibrillation is a leading cause of stroke, which can lead to death. Many people don't experience symptoms, so it often goes undiagnosed.

The Apple Heart Study is rolling out on the App Store in the United States today to customers who are 22 years or older and have an Apple Watch Series 1 or later. The app itself requires an iPhone running iOS 11 or later.

Apple says the study is not intended for people who already have atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter during the enrolment process.

This announcement follows news that AliveCor has received FDA approval to sell its medical-grade Kardia Band for Apple Watch, which can detect abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation, in the United States.


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