Apple’s Rainbow Logo May Return to Some New Products as Early as This Year

Apple may be planning to reintroduce its classic rainbow logo on some of its new products as early as this year, according to a well-connected MacRumors tipster, who in turn cites a corporate Apple employee in Cupertino.

MacRumors concept

We don't know which products might be involved, but the Mac would be a good candidate, as the multicolored Apple logo was used on the original Macintosh in 1984 and on many other Apple computers before and after it. iPhones and iPads could also be suitable — perhaps special editions along the lines of (PRODUCT)RED.

To be clear, this rumor could very well be untrue. We have elected to share it since it comes from a tipster who has longstanding connections to both Apple and related industries, but no other sources have shared similar information that we know of. And, even if true, the plans could certainly change.

MacRumors concept

Apple's rainbow or "six-color" logo made its debut on the Apple II computer in 1977 and was widely used until 1998, when it began to be phased out in favor of a monochrome Apple logo similar to the one used today.

Despite not officially using its rainbow logo in over 20 years, Apple has continued to embrace its colors over the years.

Apple Park was recently decorated with the colors of the rainbow logo in celebration of the formal opening of Apple's new headquarters, and as a tribute to Steve Jobs. The colors were splashed on stairs, walkways, coffee cups, and even a stage with a rainbow arch used for an employee-only Lady Gaga performance.



Apple's departing design chief Jony Ive recently reflected on the rainbow's significance:
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.
Again, we do not know if this rumor is true, but our tipster is reputable enough in our opinion for us to at least share what we have heard.


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Apple Store Website Goes Down [Update: Back Up]

Apple's Apple Store online site is currently down when attempting to make a purchase of an Apple device or accessory, but it's not quite clear why the site is unavailable.

Sometimes the Apple online store goes down due to an imminent product refresh, but at other times, the store becomes unavailable for routine maintenance purposes.


Apple last week introduced refreshed MacBook Air models and a new 13-inch entry-level MacBook Pro to coincide with this year's Back to School promotion, but there's no word on whether another new product is on the horizon.

Apple could potentially be planning an iPad refresh as five new iPad models recently popped up in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, which could be a new 7th-generation low-cost iPad, but it's not known when that device is set to launch. It may not be coming until later this year, and this could potentially be a situation where Apple is doing site maintenance.

We'll update this post with more info when the store comes back up.

Update: The Apple Store website is back up and there doesn't appear to be anything immediately new, suggesting this was a maintenance update.


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JP Morgan Analyst Expects up to Four New iPhone Models in 2020

JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee expects Apple to reignite its growth next year with the launch of four new iPhones featuring key selling points like OLED displays, 5G modem support, and new rearward-facing 3D sensing AR/VR capabilities.


As quoted by CNBC, JP Morgan's Monday report says it expects Apple to release three top-of-the-line OLED 5G iPhones in 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch sizes, two of which will feature advanced rear camera 3D sensing tech. In addition, analysts expect a fourth lower-cost model to be launched that's the same size as the iPhone 8 but without a 5G modem or OLED display.
"Our positive volume outlook for 2020 is driven by our current expectation for the launch of four iPhone models ... and more significant spec upgrades," Samik Chatterjee, an analyst at J.P. Morgan, wrote in the report.

[...]

"Our expectations include all three Sep-2020 iPhones (5.4"/6.1"/6.7" screen sizes) will adopt OLED displays and 5G baseband modems (with support for mmWave frequencies), and at least two of the three models adopting world facing 3D Sensing (Time of Flight) driving industry leading AR/VR capabilities which can be leveraged by custom built applications (including games)."
Apple's current iPhones have TrueDepth 3D-sensing cameras on the front, but the expectation is clearly that some of the 2020 iPhones will be equipped with similar cameras on the back. The report also says that Apple's lower-cost iPhone model will be aimed at "a much more 'value' category than it has been used to with its recent launches."

Some of the details in the report line up with previous predictions, notably from respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo has said Apple plans to release three new iPhones in the second half of 2020, including high-end 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch models with OLED displays and a lower-end 6.1-inch model, which he believes will also have an OLED display.

According to Kuo, the 5.4 and 6.7-inch iPhone options will support 5G speeds, while the lower-end 6.1-inch iPhone in 2020 will continue to work with LTE.

Bloomberg reported in January that Apple isplanning to add a laser-powered time-of-flight 3D rear camera that will result in significant improvements to AR experiences to its 2020 iPhones.

The camera is said to be able to scan areas up to 15 feet from the device. Apple's front-facing TrueDepth camera uses 3D technology but because it's infrared and not laser-powered, it only works at distances of 25 to 50 centimeters.

JP Morgan's Chatterjee says he expects the fresh line-up will help Apple sell 195 million iPhones in 2020, up from an estimated 180 million in 2019. Later this year, Apple is expected to release three new iPhones with triple-lens rear cameras, but without 5G connectivity.


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Moment Pro Camera App Gains Slow Shutter for Long Exposure Shots

Popular photography app Pro Camera from Moment is getting a major new feature today that's going to make it easier to capture long exposure shots.

The new Slow Shutter shooting mode provides manual long exposure controls for blurring parts of images, such as rushing water or cars driving by on a road. It can also be used to create an image without people, if, for example, you're taking a photo in an area that's often crowded but where people pass by frequently.


There's a simple interface that's designed to let you select the motion and the time, and there are options for motion blur or light trails. You can select a pre-determined time or use the Bulb setting to leave the shutter open as long as desired.

The Slow Shutter feature takes images in the background and then blends them together, and all photos are saved as Live Photos so you can use them as photos or short videos.


Moment is the company behind the popular Moment lenses that attach to an iPhone. The app is designed to be used with the Moment lenses, but it also works without them, serving as a standalone photography app with manual controls.

To celebrate the launch of the new feature, Moment is providing anyone who downloads the app with a 15 percent off code to be used in the Moment store.

Moment Pro Camera can be downloaded from the App Store for $5.99. [Direct Link]


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Regal Cinemas Planning to Launch Unlimited Movie Subscription Service

Regal Cinemas will soon launch an unlimited movie ticket subscription service in the United States, according to a new report from Deadline.

The service is set to launch in late July, and while the details are still being ironed out, it is expected to have three pricing tiers: $18, $21, and $24 per month. Each pricing tier will provide unlimited ticket subscriptions, and the pricing options are going to vary based on location. Regal has more than 500 theaters across the United States.

Those purchasing a top-priced tier will have access to any Regal Cinema (i.e., from Valencia, CA to 42nd Street in NYC), while the lowest tier gets access to about half of the chain's national footprint. If someone purchased a subscription at a low tier and ventures to an out-of-network Regal in a higher tier (like a major city), there's apt to be a surcharge (not final, but around $2-$3) on a gratis ticket.
Each tier also includes 10 percent off concessions and Regal may offer discounted pricing when purchasing a subscription for an entire year. What's not known is whether premium options like IMAX, Dolby 3D and others will be included in the monthly subscription price.

Regal's upcoming movie ticket subscription service will compete with AMC's Stubs A-List program, which costs between $19.95 and $23.95 per month depending on the state and provides access to three movies per week.

Movie ticket subscription options became popular when MoviePass launched its $9.95 per month unlimited ticket program, but that ultimately failed due to the low pricing. MoviePass is still around, but charges $20 per month and restricts access to some movies.


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iTunes Chief Eddy Cue: Apple Execs Don’t Make Notes on Apple TV+ Scripts

Following a recent interview with The Times, Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue sat down with GQ to share further thoughts on Apple Music and Apple TV+, Apple's upcoming streaming television service.

According to Cue, Apple plans to differentiate its streaming service by offering "the best shows," such as "For All Mankind," an upcoming space drama from Ronald D. Moore that explores what would have happened had the Soviet Union landed on the moon first and had the space race never ended.


Cue says that Apple worked with "the best people in the business" to create a show with a lot of attention to detail. "Like, we took the Houston control panel. We were able to get a lot of the original stuff. We didn't create fake ones," said Cue.

Contrary to some reports, Cue says that Apple executives have not been involved in script editing and have not had input on the Apple TV+ shows in an editorial capacity.
"I saw the comments that myself and Tim were writing notes on the scripts and whatever," says Cue. "There's never been one note passed from us on scripts, that I can assure you. We leave the folks [alone] who know they're doing."

"I can assure you that was 100 per cent false. He didn't say, 'Don't be so mean.' He didn't say anything about a script."
Cue says that Apple is aiming to create shows for everyone, from children to mature adults. "We're going to do a lot of different shows," he said. Apple will have television shows that aren't family friendly, such as "The Morning Show" with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.
"The Reese Witherspoon-Jennifer Aniston show [The Morning Show is a workplace drama set behind the scenes of breakfast TV]. It's a show about women in the workplace and some of the issues that happen to them are definitely not appropriate for you to watch with an eight-year-old."
As for the show that he's most excited about, Cue says that he can't wait for "Dickinson," a show about the life of poet Emily Dickinson that stars Hailee Steinfeld.

Cue also commented on the upcoming music lyric syncing feature in iOS 13, which scrolls through lyrics as a song plays.
"It just takes an inordinate amount of money to try to do this and to try to figure out how to do this the right way," says Cue. And while Apple is naturally starting with the most popular tracks, Cue says it doesn't intend to stop there. The plan is to add synced-up lyrics to every song in the Apple Music library.

"I honestly don't know the exact number of people who are working on it. In our ideal world it would be zero because we'd get them all from the labels. But we discovered that it wasn't going to work. In general it takes hundreds of people to do.
Cue's full interview can be read over at GQ, and for a rundown of all of the TV shows Apple has in the works, make sure to check out our guide. For details on how the Apple TV+ service will work, we have a guide for that too.


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Apple’s Project Catalyst Team Shares Thoughts on Limiting Compatibility to iPad Apps, Quality Concerns, and More

Apple in iOS 13 and macOS Catalina introduced Project Catalyst, designed to allow iOS developers to port their iPad apps over to the Mac with little effort, making it simpler for developers to design cross-platform apps.

Ars Technica recently spoke with some of the Apple team members responsible for creating and promoting Project Catalyst, and it's worth a read for those who are interested in the feature.


Apple decided to allow developers to port iPad apps instead of iPhone apps because it's a "more natural transition" bringing an app from an iPad to a Mac due to the closer display sizes. From Todd Benjamin, Apple's senior director of marketing for macOS:
Just design-wise, the difference between an iPad app and an iPhone app is that the iPad app has gone through a design iteration to take advantage of more screen space. And as you bring that app over to the Mac... you have something that's designed around that space that you can work with and that you can start from.
Ali Ozer, Apple's cocoa engineering manager, also said that choosing the iPad pre-empts user concerns about mobile ports spilling over to the desktop. "This is one way of making developers aware that an iPhone app in its current form might not be the right design," said Ozer.

Developers who have already used Project Catalyst have been able to port iPad versions of Twitter, TripIt, and Asphalt 9: Legends to the Mac. The developers that have worked with Project Catalyst told Ars that it was, on the whole, simple to use and "able to just work," as one Twitter developer said.

As for quality concerns, Apple's Catalyst team expects public reviews to be a major factor when it comes to ensuring Mac apps offer a rich, Mac-like experience. From Shaan Pruden, Apple's senior director of partner management and developer relations:
"Then we come down to customers' reaction and ratings and all of that kind of stuff. Which hopefully will drive the right behavior for a developer, which is to do the work and do it right and don't be lazy."
The full deep dive into Project Catalyst can be read over on the Ars Technica website, and it goes into detail on just how Project Catalyst functions, what developers think of the feature thus far, and it shares Apple's thoughts on SwiftUI.


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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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Intel to Auction Off Modem IP and Patents

Intel is planning to auction off its portfolio of patents related to cellular wireless connectivity, according to a new report from IAM.

Intel's upcoming auction follows the company's April decision to exit the 5G smartphone modem business. Intel stopped work on 5G modem technology after Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement and a supply agreement that will see Qualcomm providing 5G modem chips for future iPhones.

Intel 5G Modem
Multiple rumors have suggested Apple and Intel have held talks about Apple's potential purchase of Intel's German modem unit. The two were in talks as early as this month, with Intel planning to sell its modem business off in pieces.

Intel is aiming to sell off 8,500 assets from its patent portfolio, including 6,000 patents related to 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular standards and an additional 1,700 patents on wireless implementation technologies.

The auction that Intel has planned is separate from its efforts to sell its smartphone modem business, though IAM speculates that an interested buyer could potentially pick up both. It's also possible that a group of companies could band together to purchase the patents that are up for grabs.
It could be that Intel's decision to sell its portfolio is part of a strategy to drum up interest in the modem business as a whole. There is no indication yet that Intel has ruled out selling the patent assets to a non-practising entity, which might encourage a group of operating companies to band together to take the assets off the assertion market.
Should Apple purchase either Intel's patent business, Intel's patents, or both, it would give the Cupertino company a leg up in its own mobile chip development. Apple is working on creating its own line of modem chips to reduce reliance on suppliers like Qualcomm, but it will be several years yet before Apple's own chips are ready to be used in iPhones and other devices.


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