Expanded Apple Store in Toronto’s Fairview Mall Now Open

As expected, Apple today opened a new 10,287 square-foot store in the Fairview Mall in Toronto, Canada. The updated store is located next to the former location, but it is nearly twice the size.

Fairview Mall Apple Store photo via 9to5Mac and Ronald Quitoriano

The new retail location is the second Apple Store in Toronto with Apple's modern retail design elements, which include large rotating glass doors, a Forum and video wall for Today at Apple sessions, and wooden shelves along the walls for accessories.

With the store opening, Apple is now offering Today at Apple sessions that customers can sign up for either on the store's website or through the Apple Store app.


Apple has been working on revamping its chain of retail stores with updated designs since 2015. Just a few months ago, Apple opened another Toronto store located at the Eaton Centre.


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Apple Sends Care Packages to Employees Stranded in China’s Wenzhou City and Hubei Province by Coronavirus

Apple has sent gift packages that include an iPad, face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and more, to its employees stranded in Wenzhou and Hubei due to the coronavirus, according to details shared on Chinese social network Weibo.


While over half of Apple Stores have reopened on shortened hours in China, many retail, corporate, and manufacturing staff remain at home. Families who have received the care packages are said to be "moved" by Apple's efforts.

A letter enclosed in each parcel says that the iPads are provided for children's online learning or to help pass the time during the "prolonged stay at home."
Dear Colleagues in Hubei and Wenzhou,

We hope this note finds you heathy and well. Since the last communication with you, we understand that you are all staying strong in this challenging time. We understand the difficulties you are facing and would like to provide our best support to you and your families. Hubei and the city of Wuhan have been hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, which has now claimed 2,835 lives in China.

We are sending our best wishes to you, on behalf of the entire Apple Team, together with another CareKit for you and your families. In the kit, you will find comfort items and an ‌iPad‌ which can be used to facilitate children's online learning or help pass the time during the prolonged stay at home.

In addition, a series of counselling and consultation services have been prepared especially for you to help you through this time.
At Apple's annual shareholder meeting on February 26, CEO Tim Cook commented on the prioritization of employee health and safety amidst the challenges of the outbreak. Last month he outlined plans to donate to coronavirus relief efforts in China, and in February, when Apple announced that it would not reach its March revenue goals, Cook said the company was more than doubling its donation.

Apple's stock price has seen major fluctuations in recent days due to coronavirus causing uncertainty in the global markets.


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Top Stories: iPad Keyboard With Trackpad in 2020, Arm-Based Mac in 2021?, MacRumors Turns 20

Apple appears to have a bunch of new products ready to launch in the near future, led by the long-rumored iPad Pro, which is now looking like it may come alongside a new Smart Keyboard that even includes a trackpad.

Powerbeats4 earphones also appear to be imminent, while Target has a ton of new placeholder listings in its inventory system that may point toward updates for a lot of other Apple products.

MacRumors as it appeared in May 2000

Read on for all of the details on those stories and more, and celebrate the 20th birthday of MacRumors!

New AirPods, Apple TV, iPod Touch, and Apple Watch Band Placeholders Listed in Target Inventory System


Just days before March, a common month for new Apple product releases, new AirPods, Apple TV, iPod touch, and Apple Watch band placeholders have appeared in U.S. retailer Target's inventory system. The listings could represent upcoming Apple products or be entirely speculative.


A report last week claimed that Apple is aiming to host a special event on Tuesday, March 31, with rumors suggesting that the company may introduce a new lower-cost "iPhone 9" and refreshed iPad Pro models sporting a triple-lens rear camera system with 3D sensing. We've also heard rumors about new AirPods and Apple TV models.

Apple's plans may change due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, but CEO Tim Cook this week said he feels that "China is getting the coronavirus under control."

Apple's Rumored Powerbeats4 Receive FCC Approval


Another product release on Apple's horizon appears to be Powerbeats4 wireless earphones, which received FCC approval this week ahead of their launch.


While an Apple event in March is certainly a possibility, the Powerbeats4 will likely be announced within the coming days or weeks via press release.

"Powerbeats4" should be an upgraded version of Powerbeats3 with an Apple-designed H1 chip for hands-free "Hey Siri" voice commands and "Announce Messages with Siri." Apple already released Powerbeats Pro with "Hey Siri" support for $249 last year.

Apple Said to Release iPad Pro Smart Keyboard With Trackpad in 2020


Apple is planning to release an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in trackpad later this year, according to a report from The Information this week.


Last month, a separate report claimed that Apple is working on an iPad keyboard with backlit keys and scissor switches, so those features could also be part of this new Smart Keyboard with a trackpad.

Mac With Apple-Designed Arm Processor Expected in First Half of 2021


Apple's first Mac with a processor designed in house is set to be released during the first half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


There are no other details provided, but multiple rumors in the past have suggested that Apple is working on custom Arm-based processors that would allow it to transition away from its current supplier Intel.

AirTags Said to Be 'Completely Waterproof' and Use Magnetic Charging Like Apple Watch


Apple's rumored Tile-like "AirTags" item trackers will be "completely waterproof" and use similar magnetic wireless charging to that seen on the Apple Watch, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.


MacRumors uncovered evidence of Apple working on item tracking tags in iOS 13 code last year, including an unreleased "Items" tab in the Find My app and a potential "AirTag" name for the tags, which would attach to everyday belongings like keys and backpacks for tracking purposes.

The tags will support Ultra Wideband and launch in the first half of 2020, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Ultra Wideband support would allow for more precise location accuracy than Wi-Fi or Bluetooth LE.

MacRumors is 20 Years Old This Week


Monday marked the 20th anniversary of MacRumors!


While longtime readers may be familiar with the site's origins, there are plenty of others who are unaware that it began as a hobby while our founder Arnold Kim was a medical student, and it remained a side project for over eight years until he decided to give up medicine to focus on MacRumors as a full-time career.

Kim reflected on the site's beginnings in a 2008 article in The New York Times.

MacRumors Newsletter


Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!


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March Game Developers Conference Postponed Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) that was set to take place from March 16 to March 20 in San Francisco, has been postponed until "later in the summer," event organizers announced today.

After close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world, we've made the difficult decision to postpone the Game Developers Conference this March.

Having spent the past year preparing for the show with our advisory boards, speakers, exhibitors, and event partners, we're genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time .

We want to thank all our customers and partners for their support, open discussions and encouragement. As everyone has been reminding us, great things happen when the community comes together and connects at GDC. For this reason, we fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer. We will be working with our partners to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks.
GDC is the latest event to be canceled due to concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus, and the announcement comes after many major companies had dropped out of the event. Sony, EA, Microsoft, Blizzard, Unity, and Epic had all said they would not attend.

GDC is one of the biggest gaming conferences in the world, last year attracting approximately 27,000 attendees. The event takes place every spring at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.

All paid registrants who signed up to attend GDC will receive a full refund within four to six weeks. Presentations from conference speakers and awards recipients that would have been given at GDC will be made available for free online. Some of the GDC 2020 talks, the Independent Games Festival, and the Game Developers Choice Awards will be streamed on Twitch on March 16 to March 20.

The postponement of GDC comes just a day after Facebook announced that its F8 developer conference has been canceled. F8, which was set to take place on May 5 and 6, was going to be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, which is the same venue Apple uses for WWDC.

WWDC typically takes place in June, with this year's dates likely to be right around June 8 to June 12. Given that Facebook has canceled its May event, it's possible that Apple is considering a similar move. Other major upcoming events in California that are still happening as of this time include E3 in June and Google's I/O conference, set to take place in May.

Earlier this year, Mobile World Congress, a major trade show that takes place in Spain, was canceled, and multiple other events have been shuttered due to coronavirus concerns. The Geneva International Auto Show was canceled today, as were Baselworld and the Geneva watch show, both of which focus on watches.

Several Disney parks, including Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland Tokyo Disneyland, and Tokyo DisneySea are also closed.

GDC's postponement announcement was released just after health officials in California confirmed a second case of community spread COVID-19 in the United States caught by a 65-year-old woman who had not traveled and who had not come in close contact with anyone who had the virus.

The second instance of community spread COVID-19 was found in Santa Clara County, which is where Apple's campuses in Cupertino, California are located. The first case of unknown origin, announced earlier this week, was found in Solano County in Northern California.


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U.S. Carriers Facing $200M in Fines for Selling Customer Location Data

As expected, the United States Federal Communications Commission today proposed fines against the four major wireless carriers in the United States for improperly sharing and selling real-time customer location information without taking "reasonable measures" to protect against unauthorized access to the data.


In a statement [PDF] released today, the FCC says that T-Mobile should pay the most, while Sprint should pay the least. T-Mobile faces a proposed fine of more than $91 million, while the FCC wants AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to pay over $51 million, $48 million, and $12 million in fines, respectively.

The fines vary based on the length of time that each carrier sold access to its customer location information without safeguards and the number of entities to which each carrier sold access.

Along with the proposed fines, the statement from the FCC admonishes the four carriers for disclosing customer location data without authorization to third-party entities.
"American consumers take their wireless phones with them wherever they go. And information about a wireless customer's location is highly personal and sensitive. The FCC has long had clear rules on the books requiring all phone companies to protect their customers' personal information. And since 2007, these companies have been on notice that they must take reasonable precautions to safeguard this data and that the FCC will take strong enforcement action if they don't. Today, we do just that," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "This FCC will not tolerate phone companies putting Americans' privacy at risk."
All four of the major U.S. carriers sold customer geolocation information to data aggregators like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies then reselling the data to third-party location-based service providers. The data was ultimately provided to law enforcement officials, bounty hunters, bail bondsman, and more.

The FCC says that though exact practices varied, each carrier relied heavily on contract-based assurances that the location-based services providers they worked with would get consent from the customer before accessing the customer's location information, which did not happen.

Carriers had "several commonsense options to impose reasonable safeguards," but ultimately "failed to take the reasonable steps needed to protect customers from unreasonable risk of unauthorized disclosure."

The fines proposed by the FCC today are not final and each carrier will be provided with an opportunity to respond and provide evidence and legal arguments before final fines are imposed.


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Disney World Returns Fully Working iPhone 11 to Family Weeks After Device Sank to Bottom of Seven Seas Lagoon

A family from Montana has both Apple and Disney to thank for ensuring their recent vacation ended magically after all.

In early October, parents Lisa and Jacob Troyer took their daughter Sophie on a weeklong trip to Disney World to "fulfill a little girl's dream." While there, they took in the Florida sun, went on rides, met Halloween-themed Disney characters, and had all of the fun that one could possibly imagine.

From left to right: Jacob, Sophie, and Lisa Troyer

One not so fun moment came on the final evening of the trip. After attending Mickey Mouse's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom and waiting for a ferryboat to depart the park, Lisa's brand new iPhone 11 fell out of her bag and landed right into the Seven Seas Lagoon, a small body of water in front of Magic Kingdom where Disney operates water-based transportation.

With the iPhone sinking to the bottom of the lake and it being late at night, Lisa believed the chances of getting the device back would be slim.

"I was upset to have lost my phone, and the pictures I had taken that evening of Disney's Halloween party, which had been the main event for our trip," said Lisa. "Our six-year-old daughter was particularly devastated, as pictures of her and Jack Skellington would never materialize; instead, they sat at the bottom of a lagoon."

Seven Seas Lagoon

The next day, Lisa provided her contact information to a Disney World employee, who informed her that the resort had a team of scuba divers that retrieved lost goods every so often. Lisa's hopes remained low, and upon returning to Montana, she purchased a new phone and her family moved on with life as usual.

Almost two months later, Lisa received some missed calls from the Orlando area. Figuring it was a telemarketer, she ignored them. Then came a call from her father-in-law, who let her know that Disney had found her iPhone.

Lisa says the Disney employee mailed the phone to her and, despite being submerged for quite some time, she found the device to be completely functional. "I was able to retrieve all of the pictures from our Disney Halloween night, and besides some sand in my case and a little algae on the cover, the phone seems no worse for the wear," she said, noting that the device was only protected by a thin silicone case.

Lisa's recovered iPhone 11

Impressed with the iPhone 11's water resistance, Lisa wrote about her experience in an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who thanked her for sharing the story. Her husband Jacob then relayed the story to MacRumors.

Lisa says her husband has always been "a very devoted Apple product user," revealing that one of the very first gifts he bought for her was the original iPad. She had purchased an iPhone 11 just a few days before traveling to Disney World, and thanks to its water resistance, her family now has photos that will last a lifetime.

Related Roundup: iPhone 11
Tag: Disney
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 11 (Neutral)

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Apple Disables Clearview AI’s Developer Account After Violating Enterprise Certificate Rules

Apple has disabled the developer account of New York City-based facial recognition startup Clearview AI and provided the company with 14 days to respond for violating the rules of its enterprise program, according to BuzzFeed News.

As part of the program, Apple issues enterprise certificates to large organizations to deploy select apps to their employees for internal use only, but the report claims that Clearview AI was distributing its facial recognition app to more than 2,200 public and private entities, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, Macy's, Walmart, and the NBA. This scheme allowed customers to download the app outside of the App Store by installing the certificate on their device.


Clearview AI's website says that it "searches the open web" for "publicly available images," helping law enforcement agencies to "identify perpetrators and victims of crimes" and to "exonerate the innocent."

Earlier this week, Clearview AI revealed that an intruder "gained unauthorized access" to its list of clients, according to The Daily Beast. The New York Times profiled the controversial company last month, claiming it has "a database of more than three billion images" scraped from platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

Apple took similar action against Facebook and Google last year after each company was found to be using enterprise certificates to distribute consumer-facing apps, but the certificates were later restored, presumably after Facebook and Google agreed to use them strictly for internal-use apps only as required.


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Hands-On With Cases Designed for 2020 iPad Pro Models

Apple is working on updated 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that are set to be released in the first half of 2020, perhaps as soon as March if rumors of a March 31 event are accurate.

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Prior to the release of new devices, case makers often scramble to be the first to have cases ready, and there are already ‌iPad Pro‌ cases designed for new models available from Amazon. We picked up a couple of the cases and thought we'd check them out to see what they reveal about the upcoming ‌iPad Pro‌ refresh.


The cases are from Amazon seller Dux Ducis, with options available for both the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, both of which are expected to be refreshed this year.

Size wise, these cases fit the current 11 and 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models, because we're not expecting any changes to the general design of the ‌iPad Pro‌. Dimensions and thickness are expected to remain the same with the new models.

There is, however, a square-shaped camera cutout that is meant to accommodate the triple-lens camera that's rumored for the updated ‌iPad Pro‌ models. Triple-lens cameras were first introduced in the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, and are also rumored for Apple's refreshed ‌iPad Pro‌ lineup.


Most people aren't using their iPads for serious photography so we have seen questions about why a tablet would need a triple-lens camera system, but rumors suggest this is a 3D time-of-flight camera system that uses a laser to capture depth information about the world around you.

A time-of-flight camera system measures the time it takes for a laser to get from the camera to the subject in each point of an image, creating a 3D map of the surrounding area. This has interesting implications for augmented reality capabilities, and in a past note, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested the ‌iPad Pro‌ would be able to capture 3D models that could then be edited with the Apple Pencil for an "all-new productivity experience."


This technology is also expected to be introduced in the 2020 iPhones, and it's interesting that rumors indicate new camera functionality is coming to the iPad ahead of when it comes to the iPhone.

Aside from the square-shaped camera cutout, the ‌iPad Pro‌ cases are pretty much identical to cases you can get for current ‌iPad Pro‌ models. A dummy model of the new ‌iPad Pro‌ that we got last year does fit into the new case perfectly.


Along with these cases from Amazon, major manufacturers like Pad & Quill have also started offering cases for the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, which is a hint that a device launch is likely coming quite soon.

Other than the new camera system, updated ‌iPad Pro‌ models are also expected to feature upgraded processors, and later this year, additional high-end models could come out with features like a mini-LED display and 5G connectivity.

Current rumors suggest that Apple is planning to hold an event on March 31, but it is unclear if coronavirus concerns might impact Apple's plans as there are rumors of production delays and potential issues with large gatherings as many companies have been canceling events in recent weeks.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Leather Folio or Sleeve for the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro From Woolnut

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Woolnut to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win either a Leather Folio or Leather Sleeve designed to fit the 13-inch MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.


Priced at 112.50 euros, the Leather Folio for Apple's 13-inch MacBook options is made from a soft, rich full-grain leather sourced from Scandinavia. As with all quality leather, over time, the Folio will develop a unique patina. Woolnut says that it sources REACH-approved leather that is chosen for its protective softness.


The minimalist Leather Folio from Woolnut is available in green, black, or cognac, and while Woolnut is a Swedish company, its products ship out worldwide.


Inside the Leather Folio, there is a soft 100 percent natural wool felt sourced from Germany that's designed to protect the laptop from minor drops and dings, plus there are also leather pockets inside to house necessities like an iPhone, passport, and credit cards.


The design allows the MacBook to be placed inside vertically, leaving the charging port at one of the sides accessible for charging purposes. A premium zipper along the side and the top of the Folio closes to protect the MacBook when traveling, and makes it easy to get to the MacBook when you need to use it. When not in use for travel purposes, the Leather Sleeve can be used as a pad underneath a MacBook.


Woolnut's Leather Sleeve for the ‌MacBook Air‌ and ‌MacBook Pro‌ is similar to the Leather Folio, but it features a simpler design with a single opening at the top and no zipper.


Priced at 72.50 euros, the Leather Sleeve can also be purchased in green, cognac, or black, and it uses the same high-quality leather as the Folio. Inside, there's a 100 percent natural gray wool felt that offers protection and padding, and the design is thin enough that it's ideal for slipping into a bag or backpack.


Three winners will receive a 13-inch Folio for the ‌MacBook Air‌ or ‌MacBook Pro‌, while two winners will receive a 13-inch Leather Sleeve also able to accommodate a 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ or ‌MacBook Air‌. Winners will be able to pick the Folio or Sleeve color of their choice.

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.

Woolnut
The contest will run from today (February 28) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on March 6. The winners will be chosen randomly on March 6 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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Apple CEO Tim Cook Talks Long-Term Coronavirus Impact in New Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Birmingham, Alabama yesterday, and while there, he did an interview with Fox Business. Portions of the interview where Cook discussed the coronavirus were shared yesterday, but now the entire 10 minute interview has been released.


Expanding on his comments about the coronavirus, Cook says that things are progressing as expected in terms of "bringing things back," but it will take some time. "By and large, I think this is a temporary condition, not a long-term kind of thing. Apple is fundamentally strong, and that's how I see it," Cook said.

Cook said that he's not sure whether the coronavirus will continue to have an impact on Apple's sales beyond the March quarter. "We're still in February and there's reason for optimism, but we'll see," he said. Focus has shifted from China to South Korea and Italy, and Cook said he believes it's important to see "what happens there and whether something new comes out of that."

On the topic of stock fluctuations due to the coronavirus, Cook had this to say:
I don't really focus on the short term in relation to the market. I think for me, and the way we run the company, we work towards the long-term and I see no long-term difference between what was happening four weeks ago versus what's happening today.

The market takes time to recognize that and so forth. It's going to do what it's going to do, and I'm the last person to be able to predict it. For me, yeah, I look through that. Look through the noise and concentrate on the future. And the future looks very bright.

Cook was asked whether Apple is working to move more of its supply chain outside of China, and Cook said, as he often does, that Apple devices have components from around the world. In China specifically, Cook said Apple focuses on the resilience of the supply chain, not the disaster itself.
The question for us after we get on the other side will be 'Was the resilience there or not, and do we need to make some changes?' My perspective sitting here today is that if there are changes, you're talking about adjusting some knobs, not some kind of wholesale fundamental change.
Cook also talked about how he manages his relationship with Donald Trump and whether his efforts to engage with the Trump campaign have caused employee backlash.
I try to do what I say and say what I do. My perspective is engagement is always best because just standing on the sideline and yelling doesn't accomplish anything but polarization.

I want to suit up and play a role, and if I disagree on something I want to try and influence it. If I agree on something, I want to try to amplify and figure out some way I can be a great citizen of the country. That is my perspective on things and the way we try to lead the company.
Cook touched on a few other topics of discussion, such as Apple's plans to open retail stores in India and Apple's focus on policy. The full interview can be watched over on Fox Business.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News 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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