iOS 13: Everything We Know So Far

iOS 13 is expected to be announced at WWDC in just a few weeks. The leaks so far have suggested a number of new features: dark mode, iPad tweaks, new gestures, speed improvements, Live Photo improvements and a whole lot more. Read our full roundup for the latest rumors about iOS 13.

Powerbeats Pro Water Resistance Test: Find Out What Happens if You Drop Apple’s Newest Earbuds in the Toilet

Apple's new Powerbeats Pro earbuds feature a "reinforced design" for improved "sweat and water resistance" along with an official IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they should be able to hold up to a good amount of moisture.

Still, there were a lot of reports of the Powerbeats 3 failing due to sweat exposure, so we thought we'd test the liquid tolerance of the Powerbeats Pro with a series of water resistance tests.

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An IPX4 water resistance rating means that the Powerbeats Pro were able to withstand splashing water for at least 10 minutes, which is pretty decent because most people don't sweat buckets of water for an extended period of time.


We tested splashing water, jets of water, and even an extended dunk in water, and the Powerbeats Pro held up and worked well after every single test. Here's what we did:

- Test 1 - Simulated a drop in a kitchen sink with heavy splashes of water.
- Test 2 - Set the Powerbeats Pro in the shower for several minutes to simulate heavy rain.
- Test 3 - Dropped the Powerbeats Pro in the toilet, submerging them briefly.
- Test 4 - Dunked the Powerbeats Pro in a bowl of water for one minute.
- Test 5 - Dunked the PowerBeats Pro in a bowl of water for five minutes.
- Test 6 - Dunked the Powerbeats Pro in a bowl of water for 20 minutes.

After each water test, the sound coming from the Powerbeats Pro was muffled when we tested them, but once we got the water out, the earbuds were back to sounding normal.


The Powerbeats Pro survived all of our water tests. Nothing changed with the sound profile, the buttons continued to work, and charging was also fine. This suggests that the Powerbeats Pro do indeed have superior water resistance to the Powerbeats 3 and should hold up well to sweat.


We do not recommend showering with the Powerbeats Pro, using them in the rain, swimming with them, or otherwise exposing them to excessive moisture. Even when things are decently water resistant, the water resistance can wear down over time so it's going to be best to keep the Powerbeats Pro as dry as possible.


While the Powerbeats Pro did well in our tests, we've only continually exposed them to water and moisture for a couple of hours. We still don't know how they'll hold up to sweat over time, but right now, things are looking positive.


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Hands-on With Boss Audio’s Latest CarPlay Receiver (With Exclusive Deal for MacRumors Readers)

A couple of months ago, Boss Audio debuted its latest aftermarket CarPlay receiver, the BVCP9685A, offering a relatively low-cost way to add wired CarPlay (and Android Auto) to your existing vehicle.

The BVCP9685A is a double DIN unit with a 6.75-inch capacitive screen and a vertical strip of capacitive touch controls along the left side. With an external microphone and support for steering wheel controls and backup camera input when paired with proper auxiliary wiring, the BVCP9685A can integrate with much of the existing technology in your vehicle.


Boss Audio sent me a demo unit of the BVCP9685A to test out, and I've come away pretty impressed with its ability to deliver CarPlay functionality at a budget price point, which is currently even lower with an exclusive 5 percent discount code for MacRumors readers.


The BVCP9685A demo unit I received is a relatively self-contained package, hooked up to a standard AC power plug and a small external speaker. That makes it easy to test out the unit without needing to install it in a vehicle, which can be a bit tricky depending on your level of experience and the types of connections you need to make.


On the flip side, the demo unit doesn't give you the full experience, so this is more of a hands-on look than a complete review as I haven't been able to test its sound quality with a full car speaker setup, integration with steering wheel controls and rear camera, and some other features.

Overview


Boss's BVCP9685A offers a relatively clean look dominated by the large screen, although it does have a bit of a bottom bezel where there is some Boss branding and the model number. A strip to the left of the screen offers persistent access to capacitive mute, volume, Siri, and home buttons. The buttons are a little on the small side in a tradeoff with maximizing the size of the main screen.


The 6.75-inch, 800x480 screen is bright and fairly crisp, although it doesn't quite match the higher resolutions seen on some other more expensive systems. The touch buttons along the left side can be set to just about any color of the rainbow or allowed to cycle through a range of colors automatically, and separate color and brightness options can be set for day and night modes.


The main interface of the BVCP9685A consists of a set of tiles that offer access to the system's functions like radio, CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free calling, rear camera, and media player functions over Bluetooth, USB or an RCA AV connection on the rear of the unit. Small tiles also offer access to settings and an equalizer.

The overall look certainly isn't as polished as some infotainment systems, but if you're a CarPlay user you'll likely be spending much of your time in there anyway.

The radio app offers a large display of the current station and a couple of sets of forward and backward buttons to help navigate between stations on the dial and via presets. Other options let you switch between AM and FM, stereo and mono, local and distant station optimization, and more.


It's fairly easy to operate, although some of the options aren't necessarily intuitive such as the way tapping the option icons toggles indicators elsewhere on the display rather than simply changing a label on the icon itself. Tuning buttons also aren't explicitly labeled, although you'll quickly learn how they work once you start using them.


Playing media from an external device such as via Bluetooth is a similar affair, although I think the look of the media player screen is a bit better than the radio screen, with full track, artist, and album information as well as clear play/pause, track skip, and shuffle buttons along the bottom.

CarPlay


CarPlay and Android Auto require a wired connection on the BVCP9685A, which many users prefer considering they want to charge their phones while in the car, but for those who prefer wireless CarPlay that's starting to become more widely available in aftermarket units, you'll need to look elsewhere.


The BVCP9685A includes a pair of USB ports on short cables, one for CarPlay/Android Auto and one limited to charging and media playback, so you'll need to make sure you connect your Lightning cable to the right one. Once you're up and running with CarPlay, you'll find the usual experience with access to the default Apple apps, compatible third-party apps, and a dedicated Boss icon to take you out of CarPlay and back to the Boss system.


The screen is definitely smaller than some built-in infotainment systems that can go up to 8 inches or more, but within the limitations of the double DIN size standard, Boss has done a pretty good job of maximizing screen space. A few competitors have pushed their screen sizes to 7 inches by using skinny hardware buttons along the bottom of the unit, but Boss gets pretty close to that size while keeping buttons along the left where they're closest to the driver.

Overall, the CarPlay interface looks good on the BVCP9685A, with Maps being where you would most likely notice the difference compared to systems with larger screens, due to the mapping field of view and the various informational overlays. CarPlay is relatively responsive on the BVCP9685A, accurately registering taps and swipes.


In addition to the Boss icon on the CarPlay home screen, you can also use the main capacitive home/back button in the lower left corner of the BVCP9685A to jump out of CarPlay and over to the Boss system. That button can take you back into CarPlay, but only if it's the immediately previous screen you were on. If you switch over to the Boss system and then fiddle with radio settings, for example, you'll need to get back to the Boss home screen and then tap the CarPlay tile there to return to CarPlay.

Wrap-up


As an entry-level CarPlay receiver, the Boss BVCP9685A looks like a solid way to bring your iPhone to the dashboard in your existing vehicle. It doesn't include features seen on more (in some cases much more) expensive models like SiriusXM tuner support, a wireless microphone, a DVD/CD drive, or built-in navigation, but if what you primarily need is CarPlay you may not be interested in many of those missing features.

The BVCP9685A is currently priced at $239.99 on Amazon, but the exclusive MacRumors discount available through this link knocks $12.00 off of that through May 22. Boss is also currently offering a $35.00 on-page or in-cart coupon that is stackable with the MacRumors discount, bringing the final price down to just $192.99.

That's a fantastic price for a CarPlay aftermarket head unit, but do keep in mind when budgeting that depending on your install situation, you may need to pick up some extra equipment like wiring harnesses and perhaps pay for professional installation if you're not comfortable with cracking open your dashboard yourself.

Note: Boss provided MacRumors with a loaner demo unit of the BVCP9685A for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

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Some 2018 Lexus Vehicles Eligible for $199 Software Update to Add CarPlay Support

Lexus recently announced that it is bringing CarPlay to some older vehicles, following the launch of CarPlay in new 2019 Lexus vehicles last September.

CarPlay can be installed in the 2018 LS, LC, RC, RC F, and NX, and as pointed out by iPhone in Canada, the new CarPlay options are available in both the U.S. and Canada.


According to Lexus, 2018 and 2019 vehicles equipped with a Lexus Multimedia System can have an enhancement installed that adds CarPlay compatibility along with support for Alexa. A full list of eligible vehicles is below:

  • 2018 LS

  • 2018 LC

  • 2018 RC and RC F

  • 2018 NX

  • 2019 NX (produced before October 2018)

  • 2019 RC F (produced before October 2018)

  • 2019 ES, without factory navigation (purchased before October 2018)


Lexus says that it is "pleased" to offer the software enhancement for $199, and Lexus owners who are interested should contact their Lexus dealer for more information.

Lexus says that new software will be installed on the Lexus Multimedia System to add the CarPlay feature, and a Lexus dealer is required to install the update.

CarPlay is already available in select 2019 Lexus vehicles including the 2019 UX crossover and the 2019 Lexus ES.

Lexus and parent company Toyota were among some of the last major car manufacturers to introduce support for CarPlay, instead supporting the SmartDeviceLink platform from Ford and Livio.

The wide availability of CarPlay spurred Toyota to reverse course and support Apple's platform after all, and the first 2019 Toyota and Lexus vehicles with CarPlay were announced in early 2018.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

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Apple Park Decorated With Rainbow Colors in Celebration of Steve Jobs and Formal Opening of Campus

Apple Park is decorated with the colors of Apple's classic rainbow logo today in celebration of the formal opening of Apple's new headquarters, and as a tribute to its late co-founder Steve Jobs, who helped conceptualize the spaceship-like design of the main building on the campus prior to his death.

First and foremost, Apple has set up a stage with a rainbow arch within the inner circle of the main building, as we shared last week.


The rainbow colors can further be seen on some stairs and walkways at Apple Park, on coffee cups at the Caffè Macs employee cafeteria, and on some of Apple's shuttle buses. Apple employees have also received classic Apple rainbow logo pins with the message "thank you for being part of what makes Apple, Apple."





Apple's design chief Jony Ive reflected on the rainbow's significance in a recent interview:
There is the resonance with the rainbow logo that's been part of our identity for many years. The rainbow is also a positive and joyful expression of some of our inclusion values and I think that one of the primary reasons the idea resonated so immediately and so profoundly with us was the form -- the connection from an aesthetic design point of view. A semi-circle relates so beautifully and naturally to the form of the ring.
Rumors suggest that Lady Gaga will be making a special performance at Apple Park later today. The pop star has visited Apple before, having previously dropped by its Infinite Loop campus to visit Steve Jobs. Apple executive Eddy Cue recounted that experience in an interview with Steven Levy last year:
Lady Gaga once came in to visit Steve. I don't know exactly what she was wearing, but it looked like it was made out of, like, a Glad trash bag, and she had these huge heels and these gigantic glasses. I'm thinking, "This is going to be a disaster." But she sat down and started talking with Steve and she had all these great ideas.
Lady Gaga also performed at the iTunes Festival at the Roundhouse in London in 2013.

Apple employees began moving into Apple Park as early as the spring of 2017, but the process took many months, and some construction and landscaping also continued for quite some time. A recent drone video showed that the campus now looks lush and green, with hundreds of trees and a large central pond.


Lady Gaga's performance would in all likelihood be a private event for Apple employees.


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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Luna Display Adapter That Turns Your iPad Into a Second Screen for Your Mac

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Astropad to give MacRumors readers a chance to win a Luna Display adapter, a useful dongle that turns your iPad into a second screen for your Mac.

The Luna Display plugs right into your Mac using USB-C for modern Macs or Mini DisplayPort for older Macs, and then with the Luna Display software (available for Mac and iPad), it connects your iPad to your Mac using Wi-Fi.


From there, the Luna Display extends your Mac's display to the iPad, adding true second screen functionality. If you're familiar with Astropad, you'll know it's an app that mirrors the Mac's display to the iPad, but the Luna Display takes that further.


Priced at $80, the Luna Display is an affordable option for those who want a portable second display to use with their Macs.

Setting up the Luna Display takes just a few seconds, which makes it awesome for use both at home or when traveling. The connection between the two devices is seamless with little to no lag, as long your Wi-Fi speeds are decent.


You can use the Luna Display with any modern iPad, including the iPad 2 or later, all iPad mini models, all iPad Pro models, and all iPad Air models. All you need is iOS 9.1 or later. Performance is going to be faster on newer iPads, of course, but older ones work just fine.


As for Macs, the Luna adapter requires a 2011 machine running OS X 10.11 El Capitan at a minimum. For optimum performance, you'll need a 2012 MacBook Air or later, a 2012 MacBook Pro or later, a 2012 Mac mini or later, a 2012 iMac or later, and a 2013 Mac Pro or later.


You can buy the Luna Display from the Luna website, and we also have five of them to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win our giveaway, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, 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.

Luna Display Giveaway
The contest will run from today (May 17) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 24. The winners will be chosen randomly on May 24 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.


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Google Pixel 4 Leaks Suggest Punch-Hole Selfie Camera and Total Lack of Physical Buttons

Google may have only just announced its Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones, but rumors about this year's forthcoming Pixel 4 are already appearing, and the latest alleged leak suggests the search giant's redesigned handset will lack physical buttons.

MacRumors render of Pixel 4 based on leaks

This information has been shared by Jon Prosser's Front Page Tech YouTube channel, which last year was the source of several accurate details about the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL over a month before they launched, and also confirmed the Pixel 3a devices' existence before they were formally announced.

According to Prosser's source, the Pixel 4 will use capacitive touch areas on the sides of the aluminum handset in lieu of clickable physical power and volume buttons. Prosser suggests these touch-sensitive areas may use an extended version of Google's existing Active Edge technology currently found in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 that lets users squeeze their phone to launch Google Assistant or silence incoming calls and notifications.

In addition, Prosser's source corroborates other recent rumors, including the presence of punch-hole front cameras embedded in the display – akin to those seen in Samsung's Galaxy 10 Plus and other smartphones this year – and either an optical or ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor.

The rear of the device is expected to feature a new dual-lens camera setup including either a telephoto zoom or super-wide-angle sensor, and they may be aligned horizontally in the upper left corner of the handset rather than the more typical vertical orientation seen on other dual-lens smartphones.

The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are expected to be 4G LTE devices and will likely be announced during the second week of October – or just a few weeks after Apple is expected to launch its flagship successors to the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

(Via PhoneArena.com)


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Microsoft Reveals New Augmented Reality Mobile Game ‘Minecraft Earth’

Microsoft today announced "Minecraft Earth," a new game coming to iOS and Android in beta this summer that uses augmented reality to place virtual Minecraft blocks and characters into the real world. Similar to Pokémon Go, Minecraft World requires players to venture outside to collect resources for building and to see what their friends have created around the neighborhood.


Game director Torfi Olafsson described the mobile game as an adaptation of Minecraft, and not a direct translation. Minecraft Earth will feature well-known items like redstone and typical Minecraft water physics, but the controls have been revamped for the new AR experience.

According to Olafsson, the development team "covered the entire planet in Minecraft," meaning that places like lakes are locations you can fish and parks are great for chopping down trees for wood. Players will find "tapables" randomly placed around the world, which dispense building rewards and more, similar to Pokéstops in Pokémon Go.

Microsoft used maps based on OpenStreeMap data to place randomly generated "adventures" in the world. These can be peaceful interludes or dangerous risk-taking quests where you have the chance to lose your gear to Minecraft's many monsters.


Adventures are built for multiple people to play at once, and all players experience the same game on the exact same spot simultaneously, so they can fight the same monsters, break down the same structures, "and even stand in front of a friend to block them from physically killing a virtual sheep," reported The Verge.
I sat for around 10 minutes creating a Minecraft build where I could see blocks flying onto the structure from someone next to me. They could also see everything I was doing in real time, and we could build together block by block. I could, if I wanted to, also steal my friend’s blocks here to create my own mega building. That introduces an interesting social dynamic because, unlike most games, you’ll be physically next to the person you’re stealing from in the virtual world.

“In order to steal, you would have to look up and go, ‘Hmm, I’m going to take your blocks,’” says Saxs Persson, creative director of Minecraft. “Shenanigans will come from when people have different opinions about what needs to happen, or they band together and do something meaningful.”
Microsoft says that Minecraft Earth will launch in a closed beta this summer, but it's not clear how many players will gain access at that launch. Monetization also hasn't been finalized yet, but Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty said, "I have total confidence that the team will figure out what the right monetization is for the game." In the demo seen by reporters, a marketplace section was spotted where players will likely be able to buy various building items and avatar gear.


The Verge predicted that we might see more of Minecraft Earth at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in June. Demos for the game were showcased on the iPhone XS, and the site called Minecraft Earth "the best demonstration of augmented reality on an iPhone" it's ever seen. Apple usually showcases ARKit-related apps and software at WWDC, last year demonstrating ARKit 2 through the LEGO Playgrounds game.


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Apple Promotes Music-Making on Mac in New Ad

Apple today shared a new "Behind the Music" ad in the United Kingdom that promotes music-making on the Mac with portraits of artists.

"From bedroom studio to stadium tour, the British music scene is alive," the video description says. "See the emerging and the iconic, the graft and the glory, a glimpse behind the scenes and behind the music."


The ad is accompanied by a new page on Apple's website that says "Mac is the instrument of choice for musicians everywhere." The page highlights Apple's music software, including GarageBand, Logic Pro X, and MainStage 3.

The ad is part of Apple's larger "Behind the Mac" campaign launched last year.


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Apple’s U.S. iPhone User Base Sees Slowing Growth in Q1 2019

Apple's estimated U.S. iPhone installed base saw little growth in the first calendar quarter of (second fiscal quarter) of 2019, according to new data shared today by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).

As of March 30, 2019, the U.S. iPhone use base hit 193 million units, compared to 189 million units at the end of the December quarter, marking two percent growth quarter over quarter.


Apple's iPhone user base was at 173 million units at the end of the March 2018 quarter, for year over year growth of 12 percent, which is not bad, but not quite hitting the growth rates of prior years.

A year ago, the installed iPhone user base in the U.S. grew four percent quarter over quarter and 19 percent compared to the prior year, indicating a plateau iPhone user base.
"The US installed base of iPhones continues to plateau," said Josh Lowitz, CIRP Partner and Co-Founder. "Relative to the most recent quarters, and especially to the past two or three years, slowing unit sales and longer ownership periods means that the growth in the number of US iPhones has flattened considerably. Of course, 12% growth in a year, after years of much greater growth is still good. However, investors grew accustomed to quarterly growth of 5% or more, and annual growth of almost 20%. This continuing trend prompts investors to wonder if iPhone sales outside of the US will compensate, and places greater pressure on Apple's determination to sell other products and services to the installed base of iPhone owners."
CIRP's estimated U.S. iPhone installed base is based on estimated worldwide iPhone sales of 39 million, calculated from Apple's iPhone revenue and average iPhone selling price for the quarter ending in March 2019.

iPhone sales have slowed down, and in January, the decline in sales over the holiday period led Apple to make the rare move of lowering its expected revenue guidance. Apple also saw a dip in revenue in the second fiscal quarter (first calendar quarter) of 2019, bringing in $58 billion, compared to $61.1 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Apple has never provided a specific breakdown of the number of active devices in the United States, but earlier this year, the company said there were 1.4 billion active devices around the world. 900 million of those devices are iPhones.

Tag: CIRP

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