Japan Display to Raise $517 Million to Supply Apple With LCDs for 2018 Low-Cost iPhone

Japan Display is planning to raise $517 million through third-party share allocations and asset sales so it will have the funds to supply LCD screens for new iPhones, reports Nikkei.

Last year, Japan Display lost business because of Apple's shift to OLED, so the company sought partnerships to begin producing OLED displays, but with Apple planning to continue to use LCDs for some devices, Japan Display is in need of working capital to purchase inventory and to begin production on the LCDs Apple now needs.


Rumors have suggested Apple is planning on introducing two OLED iPhones (5.8 and 6.5 inches) and one 6.1-inch LCD iPhone next year, with the LCD device to be positioned as a low-cost option alongside the two more expensive OLED devices.

With Japan Display again planning to invest in LCDs, it could be in trouble in the future should Apple opt to abandon LCD technology for OLED technology entirely, says Nikkei.
Expecting the U.S. tech company to keep shifting toward OLEDs, the supplier began exploring capital partnerships to obtain the massive funds necessary to invest in producing the advanced tech.

However, the iPhone X has proven a flop, and Apple appears to be sticking with LCDs for some models due out this fall, leaving Japan Display in need of working capital to secure inventory and production capacity to supply those screens.
Previous rumors have suggested Apple is interested in Japan Display's Full Active LCDs, which are said to match or exceed some of the advantages of OLED at a lower cost.

Full Active panels have a smaller bezel around the screen than traditional LCDs and they have enough flex that they can be used in curved or angled designs.

All three of Apple's rumored 2018 iPhones are expected to adopt full-screen designs with minimal bezels, much like the iPhone X. The Home button will be eliminated in each, with Apple adopting Face ID across its 2018 iPhone lineup.

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhones

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Five Interesting Mac Apps Worth Checking Out – March 2018

Apps designed for the Mac don't often receive as much attention as apps for iOS, so we've launched a monthly series that highlights useful, interesting Mac apps that are worth checking out.

This month's app selection, outlined in the video and the post below, includes apps for cleaning up apps on your Mac, finding new wallpaper, reading the news, and more.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.


  • OmniDiskSweeper (Free) - OmniDiskSweeper is a free app from the company behind OmniFocus. It's designed to show you all of the files that are installed on your Mac in size order, so you can find what's hogging space on your machine and delete it if so desired. OmniDiskSweeper doesn't discriminate against critical and non-critical files, though, so be careful when deleting stuff.


  • News Explorer ($9.99) - News Explorer is a simple newsreader app that supports RSS, JSON, Atom, and Twitter, with cloud-based synchronization available between your Mac and iOS devices. It offers a distraction-free interface with a built-in browser and a selection of themes for customization purposes. Offline news is supported, as are smart filters, reader view, built-in imaging viewing, and more. It's $9.99 in the Mac App Store, but you can get a free trial from the website.


  • Switchem ($9.99) - Switchem is designed to let you customize your workspace and manage your windows. You can group windows into different types, organize them into tiles and split-screen work views, and switch between open windows quickly.


  • Wallpaper Wizard 2 ($9.95) - Wallpaper Wizard 2 is, as the name suggests, an app where you can find wallpapers for your Mac. It offers a collection of more than 25,000 HD wallpapers in 4K quality that look great even on Apple's largest displays. New wallpapers are added on a monthly basis, and there's a feature that'll automatically switch your background if you want.


  • App Cleaner (Free) - App Cleaner is a minimal application that has one purpose -- it's designed to let you uninstall apps and all of their associated files. Just drag an app onto the App Cleaner interface and it'll find all of the hidden files so you can get rid of them.


Do you have favorite must-have Mac apps that we haven't highlighted yet? Let us know what they are in the comments and we might feature them in a future video. Many of this month's picks came from our forum members.

Make sure to also check out our February list, which covered apps like Unclutter, Dropzone 3, Bartender 3, and Magnet, and if you want some nifty iOS apps worth downloading, check out our separate iOS app list.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Apple Outlines Developer Tools Available for Complying With the EU’s New Data Regulation Rules

Apple today told developers that it is offering a set of tools to help them fulfill data requests made by users in the European Union or other places around the world to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that goes into effect in May.

Following the implementation of the GDPR developers will need to comply with customer requests for accessing, managing, restricting, and deleting data. To facilitate this, Apple says developers can let users manage data that's associated with an app and stored in iCloud by using native APIs and Web APIs.
You can let users manage data that's associated with your app and stored in iCloud by using native APIs and Web APIs.

Providing User Access to CloudKit Data
Give users access to the data stored by your app on their behalf.
When a user requests a copy of the data associated with their Apple ID, it includes only the data that Apple maintains directly, such as documents in iCloud Drive. Data stored in third-party CloudKit containers are not included in any export that Apple provides. Developers should provide their own method for users to get a copy of data stored in their CloudKit containers.

Responding to Requests to Delete Data
Provide options for users to delete their CloudKit data from your app.
Apple too will be implementing new features to comply with the new European regulations. Starting in Early May, the company will introduce an updated Apple ID website that will allow users to download all of their data stored with the company.

Apple also plans to allow customers to use the site to correct personal information, disable Apple ID accounts, and permanently delete an Apple ID. These tools will be available in Europe first before expanding to other areas of the world.


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Griffin’s PowerBlock Wireless Charging Pad Now Available for Purchase

Griffin has a new wireless charging accessory available for purchase as of today, the Griffin PowerBlock Wireless Charging Pad.

Designed for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and Android devices that support wireless charging, the PowerBlock Wireless Charging Pad offers up to 15W of charging power. Griffin says Qi-enabled devices will charge faster with the PowerBlock than with a standard 5W wireless charger.


While the PowerBlock supports up to 15W, the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus support a maximum of 7.5W of charging power. Griffin says the PowerBlock supports Samsung fast wireless charging, but it does not specifically mention faster 7.5W wireless charging on the iPhone. We've reached out to Griffin for clarification and will update this post when we hear back.

Like most wireless chargers, the PowerBlock is a simple square-shaped puck with a Qi-based wireless charging coil inside. It features a felt top to keep your iPhone in place while it's charging and looks stylish when it's not in use. LEDs on the device let you know when your iPhone is charging and when it's done.


At $60 the Griffin PowerBlock is comparable in price to options from Belkin and Mophie, but more expensive than other wireless charging options from companies like Anker and Ravpower.

We took a look at dozens of wireless chargers in our wireless charging guide, which is well worth checking out to see all of the available options.

Though the normal price of the PowerBlock Wireless Charging Pad is $59.99, customers can save 15 percent through April 2 by using the promo code WIRELESS when checking out.

We've got additional deals on other wireless charging pads available in our Deals roundup.

Tag: Griffin

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win Custom-Painted AirPods From BlackPods

For this week's giveaway, we've once again teamed up with BlackPods to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a AirPods that have been custom-painted in black or space gray. We've partnered with BlackPods to give away several sets of AirPods, and they're always our most popular giveaways.

If you haven't come across BlackPods before, the company takes a regular set of boring white AirPods and then paints them in one of three sleek, unique shades of black or gray using a proprietary painting system.


BlackPods uses a multi-phase painting process for a high-quality coating of paint that's not going to chip, fade, scuff, or otherwise get damaged from regular usage. Each set of BlackPods is completed by hand and given a rigorous inspection to ensure a flawless finish.


When BlackPods first launched, there were two colors -- the BlackPods Classic with a high-gloss finish and the BlackPods Stealth, with a matte satin finish -- but BlackPods this year introduced a stylish new Space Gray shade that has an iPhone-style metallic finish.


BlackPods cost $279 for the original high gloss finish or $299 for matte black or space gray, which is a $120+ premium over standard AirPods, but it's one of the only ways to get AirPods in a darker shade that better matches Apple's Space Gray iPhones.


If you already have AirPods, BlackPods has a service for the painting process alone. You can send in your AirPods and BlackPods will paint them for you. It takes about 10 days and it costs $99 to $119, with that price covering the cost of both the AirPods and the AirPods Charging Case.

BlackPods are repainted AirPods, so the full AirPods functionality remains intact, with a W1 chip for simple pairing, a long battery life, a built-in accelerometer for ear detection, iCloud support for device switching, and gesture support.


We have one set of BlackPods to give away to a MacRumors reader, with the winner able to choose a Stealth, Classic, or Space gray finish. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach winners and send prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (March 30) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 6. The winner will be chosen randomly on April 6 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.

Related Roundup: AirPods
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

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Apple Shares Recommended Graphics Cards and Chassis in New eGPU Support Document for macOS High Sierra 10.13.4

macOS 10.13.4, released to the public yesterday afternoon, introduces official support for eGPUs (external graphics processors) on Thunderbolt 3 Macs. Alongside the release, Apple has published a detailed support document that outlines how eGPU support works and provides graphic card and chassis recommendations for use with your Mac.

One or more eGPUs can be used with the 2016 MacBook Pro and later, the 2017 iMac and later, and the iMac Pro, so long as macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 is installed. Apple has added eGPU support for graphic-intensive operations like using VR headsets, 3D gaming, and developing VR apps.


Apple’s support document outlines all supported eGPU configurations, with Apple recommending only AMD Radeon cards. There are no supported Nvidia cards.

It’s also worth noting that Apple has eliminated support for some cards that were supported during the beta, such as the AMD RX 560.
It's important to use an eGPU with a recommended graphics card and Thunderbolt 3 chassis. And if you're using a MacBook Pro, the eGPU's Thunderbolt 3 chassis needs to provide sufficient power to run the graphics card while charging the computer.
Apple recommends AMD Polaris, Vega 56, and Vega 64 graphics cards, paired with a specific Thunderbolt 3 chassis. For the AMD Radeon RX 570, RX 580, and Radeon Pro WX 7100 cards (of which Apple recommends the Sapphire Pulse series and the AMD WX series), Apple recommends the following Thunderbolt 3 chassis:

  • OWC Mercury Helios FX3

  • PowerColor Devil Box

  • Sapphire Gear Box

  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W

  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W3

  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W3


For the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 cards, Apple recommends the Sapphire Vega 56 and the XFX Vega 56 with the OWC Mercury Helios FX, PowerColor Devil Box, Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W3, or Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W3.

The Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W3 is the only chassis recommended for AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, Vega Frontier Edition Air, and Radeon Pro WX 9100 graphics cards, while the only recommended all-in-one eGPU product is the Sonnet Radeon RX 570 eGFX Breakaway Puck.

For the MacBook Pro, eGPUs and accompanying TB3 chassis must be able to provide sufficient power to run the graphics card while also charging the computer. In the case of the 15-inch model, that means the chassis needs to support at least 85W of charging power.

Apple says eGPU support has been designed to accelerate Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL apps that benefit from more graphics power, and not all apps will support eGPU acceleration. Apple says eGPUs will work with most of the following types of apps:

  • Pro applications designed to utilize multiple GPUs

  • 3D games, when an external monitor is attached directly to the eGPU

  • VR applications, when the VR headset is attached directly to the eGPU

  • Pro applications and 3D games that accelerate the built-in display of an iMac or MacBook Pro. (This capability must be enabled by the application’s developer.)


Multiple eGPUs can be used together, but Apple recommends users connect eGPUs directly to the Mac instead of daisy-chaining them through another Thunderbolt device or hub.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 does not support eGPUs in Windows using Boot Camp, when the Mac is in macOS Recovery, or when system updates are being installed.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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New Documentary Series on The Chainsmokers Now Available on Apple Music

The Chainsmokers: Memories is a new short documentary series that's available on Apple Music starting today. There are six videos in total available to watch right now, each ranging in length from just over two minutes to five and a half minutes.


The videos in the series follow The Chainsmokers' Do Not Open worldwide arena tour and the rollout of singles like "Sick Boy," "You Owe Me," and "Everybody Hates Me," which are part of a new album coming in December of 2018.

While the first six episodes are available today and focus on the tour, Billboard says additional episodes could cover The Chainsmokers' Las Vegas residency at the XS Nightclub along with time spent in the studio.


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New Sixth-Generation iPad Now Available for In-Store Pickup at Apple Retail Stores

Apple's new sixth-generation iPad is available in Apple retail stores starting today, which means customers who are aiming to get one of the new tablets can check stock and arrange for an in-store pickup using Apple's online tools.

A stock check using the in-store pickup option suggests the new iPad is readily available at most Apple Stores in the United States, with plenty for walk-in customers who want to snag one of the affordable new tablets or check one out before purchasing.


Priced starting at $329, the iPad comes in 32GB and 128GB configurations, with both WiFi only and WiFi + Cellular options available. It's available in Silver, Space Gray, and a new shade of Gold.

Apple first announced the iPad at an event in Chicago on Tuesday and began taking orders for the device on that day.


The new iPad is Apple's first tablet aside from the iPad Pro to offer full support for the Apple Pencil, which makes it an attractive option for customers who want the functionality of the Apple Pencil without the iPad Pro's price tag.


It also comes equipped with an upgraded A10 Fusion processor, so it's a good deal faster than the fifth-generation iPad. While it does have a Retina display, compared to the iPad Pro, it is lacking several advanced display options like ProMotion technology, True Tone, wide color support, and more.

Customers who purchased an iPad earlier this week should be seeing deliveries soon, as the tablets have been shipped out and are set to be delivered starting today.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)

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China Catches Smugglers Using Drones to Transport $80M Worth of iPhones From Hong Kong to Mainland

A group of criminals in China were caught smuggling 500 million yuan ($79.8 million) worth of refurbished iPhones from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, using drones connected via cables to transport the smartphones. Reported by the Legal Daily (via Reuters), customs officers in Shenzhen caught the group and ceased its illegal actions, arresting 26 total suspects in the process.

Photo by Liu Youzhi/Southern Metropolis Daily via Reuters

The group was using drones to fly two 660-foot cables between Hong Kong and the mainland as a method of transporting the iPhones. They typically operated after midnight and into the morning hours, and "only needed seconds" to transport small bags that held 10 iPhones or more using the cable-connected drones. In one night, they could reach a quota of as many as 15,000 iPhones transported.

According to a news conference held by the customs officers, this marks "the first case found in China that drones were being used in cross-border smuggling crimes."
Shenzhen customs was quoted by the Legal Daily as saying it would closely monitor new types of smuggling with high-tech devices and enhance their capability with technical equipment, including drones and high-resolution monitors, to detect smuggling activity.
Drone regulations are said to be "an important task" for Chinese officials, with the government publishing a series of strict rules in 2017 after drones were found to be interfering with aircraft flight paths. Civilian drone owners are now required to register any drone "up to a certain weight" using their real names.

While using drones might be new, the act of individuals attempting to smuggle iPhones out of Hong Kong has certainly been around for years. In early 2015, a man tried to smuggle 94 iPhones into mainland China by strapping them onto his body and under his clothes. Smuggling operations pop up frequently because of higher import taxes, which cause the iPhones to be more expensive in the mainland than they are in Hong Kong.

Tag: China

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Twitter Introduces Easier Method for Sharing Specific Clips From Live Videos

Twitter this week updated its iOS and Android apps with a new feature called "Timestamps," which the company said will make it easier to share brief moments from longer live videos.

Previously, Twitter users had to direct their followers to specific time codes in a live video so that people knew which moment they were referring to. The Timestamps update is a direct response to that, according to product lead for Periscope Mike Folgner.


Now, when users tap the share sheet extension on a live video, Twitter displays a playback track that they can scrub through to find the exact moment they want their followers to watch. Then they can tap the "new tweet" button, type in any commentary on the video clip, and press "tweet." The clips can also be sent via direct message or copied and shared through a link.
So, we built Timestamps which lets anyone Tweet a live or replay video starting from the exact moment they want to discuss.

People have always used Twitter to talk about the things they experience. With Timestamps, now we can show rather than just tell everyone what’s happening.
People who see the tweet will be able to watch the specific moment shared within, and if the broadcast is still live they can skip forward in time by tapping "live." Folgner said the feature is available across all live videos, "whether from a professional content publisher or someone broadcasting from their phone."


Timestamps are available now on Twitter for iOS [Direct Link] and Android, Twitter.com, and Periscope.

Tag: Twitter

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