Apple to Open Office In ‘Futuristic’ Vancouver Tower

Apple is planning to open an office in highly desired location in Vancouver, Canada reports Bloomberg. The company has leased space in a 24-story office building at 400 West Georgia owned by Westbank, where companies like Deloitte and IWG plc's Spaces co-working unit will also be housed.

400 West Georgia has a unique design that featuring stacked stainless steel cubes interspaced with greenery and arranged around a central concrete core. The design was reportedly inspired by a Japanese paper lantern.


The office, which is still under development and is scheduled to be completed in spring 2020, will use glass floors that will overlook the city. Apple is planning to occupy two floors of the 24 floor building.


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Apple Renews ‘Carpool Karaoke’ for a Third Season

Apple is renewing its "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" show for a third season, Apple announced on YouTube today via James Corden's YouTube channel. The new season is already in production and will feature an episode with the cast of hit Netflix show "Stranger Things."

First launched in 2017, "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" is based on the "Carpool Karaoke" segment made popular by late night talk show host James Corden.


Apple's version of the show pairs up celebrities, musicians, athletes, and more, putting them in a car together to sing popular songs.

Last season featured pairings like Jason Sudeikis and the Muppets, Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg, Weird Al paired and Andy Samberg, Nick Offerman and his wife Megan Mullally, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, and more.

While "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" was initially developed as a way to promote Apple Music, Apple has been making the episodes available for free through the TV app. Previously, it was limited to Apple Music subscribers.

The second season of "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" began airing in October 2018, so third season episodes could come this fall.


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Apple Highlights Upcoming 2019 Emoji in Celebration of World Emoji Day

In celebration of World Emoji Day tomorrow, Apple has shared details on new emoji that are coming to iOS devices this fall following the Unicode 12 emoji release.

Unicode 12 brings 59 new emoji characters, 75 with gender variations, and 230 total emojis when gender variations and different skin tones are counted.



Orangutan, sloth, otter, skunk, and flamingo are the new animals included in the update, while new food items include garlic, onion, waffle, falafel, butter, oyster, beverage box, maté, and ice cube.

New faces, gestures, and poses include yawning face, pinching hand, person kneeling, person standing, and new people holding hands options that are both gender and skin tone inclusive.

To celebrate World Emoji Day, Apple is previewing a selection of new emoji coming this fall, revealing the newest designs that bring even more diversity to the keyboard, alongside fun and exciting additions to popular categories of food, animals, activities and smiley faces.

In a major update to the Holding Hands emoji typically used to represent couples and relationships, users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender, to personalize the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations.

Several new accessibility-related emojis are included, such as ear with hearing aid, deaf person, mechanical arm/leg, person with cane, person in wheelchair, guide dog, wheelchair (manual and motorized), and probing cane.

Following Apple’s proposal to the Unicode Consortium last year to introduce more disability-themed emoji, a new guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg will be available in the emoji keyboard. Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard.

Other miscellaneous emoji include Hindu Temple, auto rickshaw, parachute, ringed planet, diving mask, yo-yo, kite, safety vest, sari, one-piece swimsuit, briefs, shorts, ballet shoes, banjo, diya lamp, axe, drop of blood, bandage, stethoscope, chair, razor, white heart, and circles and squares in various new colors.



A full list of the emoji included in Unicode 12 are listed on the Emojipedia site.

Last year, Apple released new emoji in an iOS 12.1 update released in October, and the launch of new 2019 emoji could follow a similar timeline. New emoji won’t be included in iOS 13 at launch, but could come in one of the first major updates to the new operating system.

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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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Fall 1989 Catalog for Steve Jobs’ NeXT Company Uploaded to Archive.org

An interesting piece of technology history was highlighted by The Verge over the weekend that may be of interest to Apple users both young and old.

Amateur computer historian Kevin Savetz recently scanned the Fall 1989 issue of the NeXT catalog and uploaded the files to Archive.org. That makes the entire 138-page book available for perusal online, offering an intriguing glimpse into NeXT's software, user interface, peripherals, and more.


For those unfamiliar with the history, NeXT was the company that Steve Jobs founded in 1985 shortly after he was fired by Apple, along with a handful of co-workers. The company specialized in designing high-powered computer workstations for the higher education and business markets.

NeXT lasted until 1997, when Jobs was rehired at Apple. Apple purchased the company for $429 million (equivalent to $670 million in 2018) and 1.5 million shares of Apple stock.



Estimates suggest NeXT shipped about 50,000 computers in total, so sales were limited. However, the legacy of the NeXTSTEP OS and development environment proved to be highly influential, and eventually became the basis for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.


Savetz told The Verge that the catalog was "part of a large lot of old computers that I bought from a local computer refurb/recycling organization. I had never seen a catalog like it, and couldn’t find much reference to it online, so it was an easy choice to scan it."


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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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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 to Announce Q3 2019 Earnings on July 30

Apple today updated its website to announce that it will share its earnings results for the third fiscal quarter (second calendar quarter) of 2019 on Tuesday, July 30.

Apple's third quarter earnings results will give us a look at how well the iPhone and other products are doing mid-year following some price drops and promotions in various countries around the world.


Apple's guidance for the third fiscal quarter includes expected revenue of $52.5-54.5 billion and gross margin between 37 and 38 percent.

Apple's quarterly earnings statement will be released at 1:30 p.m. Pacific/4:30 p.m. Eastern, with a conference call to discuss the report taking place at 2:00 p.m. Pacific/5:00 p.m. Eastern. MacRumors will provide coverage of both the earnings release and conference call on July 30.


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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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