Hands-On With the New tvOS 13 Update for Fourth and Fifth-Generation Apple TV

Apple in June unveiled new versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, but the TV update, tvOS 13, hasn't received much coverage, so we thought we'd go hands-on with the software so MacRumors readers know what to expect when tvOS 13 launches this fall.

tvOS updates are always more minor in scale than other software updates, but tvOS 13 brings a decent number of new features worth checking out.

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After installing tvOS 13, the first thing that's noticeable is a new Home screen. The updated Home screen does away with the top menu bar and the Watch Now screen that used to be front and center, replacing it with icons that include Apple TV, the App Store, iTunes movies, iTunes TV shows, and Apple Music.

Watch Now is now only accessible within the TV app rather than being available right when you turn the Apple TV on. Instead of displaying Watch Now content, highlighting the TV app on the Home screen offers up a "What to Watch" interface with content recommendations.


Highlighting the App Store brings up app recommendations, and the same is true for Movies and TV shows. The Apple Music icon shows "Today's Video Hits" with autoplay silent video.

Apps are able to play full-screen video previews right on the Home screen, which is similar to how content autoplays in Netflix when you're browsing through available TV shows and Movies.

tvOS 13 brings a new Picture-in-Picture mode, designed to let you watch TV shows or movies while you're navigating through the rest of the tvOS 13 operating system. Controls at the bottom of the picture-in-picture interface allow for returning to full screen, pausing content, and closing the picture-in-picture window.


Multiple users are supported in tvOS 13, so more than one profile is available on the Apple TV. Each member of the family can sign into their own Apple TV profiles to get customized Watch Now lists, content recommendations, and Apple Music playlists. Switching between profiles can be done through the new Control Center. The Control Center includes the time and date, easy access to search, a Now Playing widget, AirPlay controls, a sleep feature, and an option to switch between users.


There's a new Apple Music feature that displays scrolling lyrics synced in time with the music that's playing, and Apple has added a new Wireless Audio Sync option that uses the iPhone's microphone to calibrate audio synced to Apple TV, such as through a speaker system.

tvOS 13 gets the Apple TV ready for Apple Arcade, Apple's upcoming subscription gaming service. As part of Apple Arcade preparations, Apple has added support for the Xbox Wireless Bluetooth Controller and the PlayStation DualShock 4 Controller, allowing gaming controllers many people already have at home to be used with App Store games.

There are also new screensavers in tvOS 13, which were created by the BBC Natural History Unit, aka the team behind the "Blue Planet" series. These new screensavers showcase the deep ocean around the world, showing off under-the-sea creatures and scenes. The new screensavers don't appear to be active in the beta, but will be available when tvOS 13 launches.


Right now, tvOS 13 is available to both developers and public beta testers, and Apple is planning to launch it in the fall after a few months of beta testing to work out bugs and refine features.

For more on what's coming in tvOS 13, make sure to check out our tvOS 13 roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12, tvOS 13
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

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YouTube Adds ‘Don’t Recommend Channel’ and New Explore Tools for Finding Content

Google today announced several new features coming to YouTube, all of which are designed to give users more control over the kind of content that appears on the Homepage and in Up Next video suggestions.

For removing video suggestions from channels users are uninterested in, there's a new YouTube option called "Don't recommend channel." It's accessible by tapping on the three-dot menu next to a video on the homepage or Up Next. After tapping it, users will no longer see videos from the channel as suggested content.


The "Don't recommend channel" option will be available on mobile devices first before expanding to the desktop.

Along with an option to stop a channel from being recommended, YouTube is adding more detail on why certain videos have been recommended. There's a small box underneath recommended videos that lets YouTube users know why a video has been surfaced. The feature is available for iOS users today and will be coming to Android and desktop in the future.


YouTube is also gaining new tools to make it easier to explore topics and related videos, such as baking videos, or a favorite music genre. Options presented to YouTube users are based on existing personalized suggestions and can be found on the homepage when scrolling up or on Up Next when browsing. This feature is available for Android users currently and will be expanding to iOS and desktop in the future.


All of the new features are rolling out starting today, but could take some time to expand to all users.

Tag: YouTube

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Review: The AirUnleashed Wireless Charger Charges iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods All at Once

Apple wanted to make a wireless charger, the AirPower, that could charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once no matter where the devices were placed on the charger, but ultimately, the idea didn't work out and the AirPower was shelved.

That's led multiple companies to come out with AirPower-style charging accessories that are able to provide power to multiple devices at once, and the AirUnleashed is one such product.


Priced at $99, the AirUnleashed promises to charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at the same time with a single oval-shaped wireless charging mat. The catch is that the devices need to be placed in specific spots on the charger rather than anywhere.


Design wise, the AirUnleashed is a simple flat wireless charging mat with a suede-like microfiber coating. Two "+" icons let you know where to place the iPhone and the AirPods, while the indentation at towards the middle right lets you know where the watch needs to go.


The Apple Watch needs to be specifically placed in this spot because the Apple Watch uses a magnetic inductive charger (underneath the mat's surface) and is not able to charge via Qi wireless charging. The larger charging spot on the left side of the mat is designed for the iPhone, and the smaller charging spot is meant for AirPods.

The AirUnleashed has a design that's reminiscent of the AirPower. In fact, it straight up copies the AirPower's design, which would have been an issue had the AirPower ever launched. It's a fine design -- Apple came up with it after all -- and it doesn't take up too much room on a desk.

Flat charging like this is fine for the AirPods and the iPhone, but when it comes to the Apple Watch, it's not great with the loop-style bands. With my Sport Loop, for example, I can't use this charger without taking the band off or twisting it out of the way, which is a hassle compared to other watch charging options better suited to loop bands.


I didn't have issues getting any of my devices to charge, but aligning everything properly sometimes required more attention than I generally prefer to give to a wireless charger. I also imagine it could be finicky to use in the dark.

The charging coil on the on the left of the device is 7.5W, so it can charge your iPhone at full speeds, and the charging coil on the right is 5W, so it can charge the AirPods at full speed or an iPhone at a slower speed. The Apple Watch charger is 2W.

You'd probably expect the AirUnleashed to be able to charge all three devices at their maximum charging speeds at one time given that it's meant to be a three device charger, but there's a catch. The maximum wireless output of the AirUnleashed is 11.27W because of a 75 percent conversion rate, so with three devices on the charger, it's not going to charge them at the full power they're capable of receiving.


My iPhone X charged from 0 to 41 percent over the course of an hour when it was the only device on the charger, but with AirPods and an Apple Watch also charging at the same time, that dropped down to 37 percent over the course of an hour. It's not a huge difference, but this isn't going to be a charger you'll want to grab when in a time crunch.

The slower charging speed is fine over the course of a day if you've got it on your desk, or at night. If you have a Samsung phone or another device that can charge at 10W, the AirUnleashed's right side charger does support 10W charging, though the same caveats with charging speed and multiple devices apply. The AirUnleashed is unfortunately not great for charging two smartphones at once because of space constraints when the Apple Watch is charging and because of the speed limitations.


It's worth noting that the AirUnleashed needs to be powered with a QC 2.0 or higher charger with an output of 10W, which it does not ship with, so that's something you'll need to buy if you don't have one already.

Bottom Line


Despite the name, the AirUnleashed is no true AirPower alternative given the fact that devices need to be placed in specific spots for charging, but this kind of solution is the best multi-device charging option we're going to get since the AirPower failed.

I think $99 is a lot to pay for a 7.5W charger, a 5W charger, and an Apple Watch charger in a device that doesn't have the capabilities to charge all three products at maximum speeds at once, but for those who don't mind slightly slower charging, like the now-defunct AirPower's design, and want the convenience of having an all-in-one charging setup, the AirUnleashed may be an appealing wireless charging option.

How to Buy


The AirUnleashed can be purchased from the AirUnleashed website for $99.

Note: AirUnleashed provided MacRumors with an AirUnleashed Charger for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.


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Google Now Rolling Out Auto-Delete Controls for Location History

Google in May announced a new privacy-focused auto-delete option for automatically removing Location History and Web & App Activity after a set period of time, and the feature is now rolling out to Google users.

Google users who have these options enabled can choose to delete their information manually, every three months, or every 18 months. Opting in to auto-delete will allow Google to regularly clear out stored data at either the three or 18 month mark.


Prior to the implementation of the new feature, Google allowed Location History and Web & App Activity to be disabled or manually deleted, but there were no controls for regular deletion, which may encourage more people to use functions like Location History.

Location History tracks the locations that you've visited, while Web & App Activity tracks websites you've visited and apps that you've used. Google uses this information for recommendations and cross device syncing.

Auto-delete options for Location History are rolling out around the world starting today on iOS and Android, with the rollout expected to take a few weeks. Auto-delete options for Web & App Activity will be coming later.

Tag: Google

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Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 86 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

safaripreviewiconApple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced three years ago in March 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 86 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for JavaScript, Web Assembly, WebRTC, Web API, CSS, Security, Experimental Web Shading Language, WebGPU, and Web Inspector.

The new Safari Technology Preview update is available for both macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina, the newest version of the Mac operating system that was introduced at the June Worldwide Developers Conference.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple’s aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.


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Apple Hires ARM’s Lead CPU Architect Amid Rumors of ARM-Based Macs as Early as 2020

Multiple reports have indicated that Apple plans to transition to its own ARM-based processors in Macs starting as early as 2020, and the company recently made a significant hire that lends credence to that objective.


ARM's lead CPU and system architect Mike Filippo joined Apple last month, based out of the Austin, Texas area, according to his LinkedIn profile. Filippo led the development of several chips at ARM between 2009 and 2019, including the Cortex-A76, Cortex-A72, Cortex-A57, and upcoming 7nm+ and 5nm chips.

Filippo also served as Intel's lead CPU and system architect between 2004 and 2009, and he was a chip designer at AMD between 1996 and 2004, so he brings a wealth of chipmaking experience with him to Apple.


Filippo's profile still lists his ARM role as ongoing, but social media talk suggests that he has left the company.

Apple designing its own ARM-based processors for Macs would allow it to move away from Intel processors, which have frequently faced delays. In fact, sources within Intel reportedly confirmed to Axios that Apple does plan to transition to ARM-based processors in Macs starting next year.

Apple already designs its own A-series chips for the iPhone and the iPad, and it also designs the custom T2 security chip in recent Mac models, as part of its broader efforts to move to in-house components and chip designs. Apple has long been known for closely integrating its hardware and software.

Last year, Bloomberg reported that the transition to ARM-based processors is part of a multi-step process that will eventually allow developers to create one app with a single binary that runs across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple has already laid the groundwork for this with Project Catalyst.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tags: Intel, ARM
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

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Shopify Makes Apple Business Chat Available to Over 800,000 Merchants

Shopify today announced that Apple Business Chat is now available to all of its over 800,000 merchants around the world.


As noted by Engadget, some Shopify merchants are already using Business Chat, but now Apple and Shopify are rolling out the feature to all businesses who use the e-commerce platform, including those outside the United States.

Merchants can manage and respond to all Apple Business Chat customer conversations through Shopify Ping.

Apple Business Chat launched in iOS 11.3 in March 2018, enabling iPhone and iPad users to ask for information, schedule appointments, make purchases, and complete other customer service tasks directly in the Messages app. Business Chats must be initiated on an iPhone or iPad, but they can be continued on any iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch signed in to the same Apple ID.

Apple Business Chat is available in over a dozen countries and has been adopted by over 30 companies, such as The Home Depot, Lowe's, Hilton, Wells Fargo, DISH Network, Burberry, American Express, Sprint, and T-Mobile.


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Deals Spotlight: Save on Anker’s Lightning Cables, USB-C Hubs, and New Qi-Enabled Soundcore Wakey Alarm Clock

Anker is back this week with a new collection of sales and discount codes on many of its charging accessories, including the all-new Soundcore Wakey Alarm Clock. This device is a bedside alarm clock that has all of the usual features, like Bluetooth, alarm pre-sets, and a white noise mode, as well as a Qi-compatible landing mat on top for charging the latest iPhones.

Note: 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.

As to the rest of the items on sale, Anker is offering an array of Lightning cables, USB-C hubs, and portable chargers at a discount. Half of these accessories will require a promo code on Amazon to see the savings, while the other half are automatically discounted (or have an on-page coupon to clip). Check out all of these sales below:

Anker's Latest Discounts


Codes Required

No Codes Needed
Head to our full Deals Roundup for more information on this week's best sales.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Tag: Anker

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DisplayPort 2.0 Supports Up to Two 8K Displays or One 16K Display, Rollout Expected to Begin in Late 2020

VESA today announced the release of DisplayPort 2.0, the first major update to the standard since DisplayPort 1.4 in March 2016.


DisplayPort 2.0 has a max effective bandwidth of 77.4 Gbps, nearly triple that of DisplayPort 1.4, enabling support for displays with up to 16K resolution, higher refresh rates, HDR support at higher resolutions, improved support for multiple display configurations, and more.

The increased bandwidth is the result of VESA leveraging Thunderbolt 3's physical layer. DisplayPort 2.0 is the first standard to support 8K resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate with full-color 4:4:4 resolution and HDR-10 support.


DisplayPort 2.0 configuration examples via DisplayPort, USB-C, or Thunderbolt 3 ports, which will all support the new specification:
Single display resolutions
- One 16K (15360x8460) display @60Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
- One 10K (10240x4320) display @60Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

Dual display resolutions
- Two 8K (7680x4320) displays @120Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
- Two 4K (3840x2160) displays @144Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

Triple display resolutions
- Three 10K (10240x4320) displays @60Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
- Three 4K (3840x2160) displays @90Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (no compression)
DisplayPort 2.0 also supports VESA's new Panel Replay capability for improved power efficiency when connecting to high-resolution displays.

VESA has made the DisplayPort 2.0 specification available to manufacturers and expects the first products incorporating the standard to appear on the market by late 2020. DisplayPort 2.0 is backward compatible with previous versions of the standard and incorporates all of the key features of DisplayPort 1.4a.

DisplayPort 2.0 will certainly be beneficial to Apple's high-resolution products like the upcoming Pro Display XDR, and it will likely be supported on future Macs, but it is unclear when the company will adopt the standard.


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Apple News Launches Candidate Guide to the 2020 Democratic Debates

Apple today announced a Democratic presidential candidate guide for Apple News, offering users what it describes as "a timely, trusted and comprehensive look at the 20 individuals participating in the first Democratic debates."


Curated by a team of Apple News editors, the guide aims to be a one-stop shop for learning about each candidate and their policies, with information drawn from sources including ABC News, Axios, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Politico, The Hill, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, TIME, USA Today, Vox and others.
"The 2020 Democratic field is complex, and we want to offer Apple News readers a trusted place to learn more about candidates they're familiar with and those they may be hearing about for the first time," said Lauren Kern, editor-in-chief of Apple News. "The candidate guide in Apple News is a robust and reliable resource, connecting readers to valuable at-a-glance information and to great journalism from our partners."
The section will allow users to read about the candidates' biographies and experience, as well as notable moments and quotes, current positions on key issues, and videos, photos and recent coverage from a range of news sources.

In addition, Apple News will feature updates from the debate, with articles and video highlights from NBC News, including fact checking, reactions and key onstage moments and takeaways.

The Democratic debates are set to be hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo in Miami, Florida, on June 26 and 27. Apple says the candidate guide will feature in the Top Stories section of the News app on iPhone, iPad and Mac from today, with continuous updates throughout the primary campaign.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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