Apple and Apple Employees Donated $100 Million to Various Charitable Causes in 2019

In a news story about an Apple employee who has started a barbershop for at-risk youth, Apple today said that between its own donations and employee donations, it donated more than $100 million to charitable causes in 2019.

Apple says that 21,000 Apple employees donated their time and donated $42 million to causes they care about. Combined with Apple's 1-for-1 donation match and $25 match per volunteer hour, the total amount donated climbed to over $100 million.


Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson said the company has a mission to "change the world for the better, and give back to the communities in which we live and work."
"Apple employees like Jaz embody this culture of giving every day, volunteering over a quarter of a million hours last year. We share a deep commitment to our local communities and doing what we can to cause more good."
Much of Apple's story focuses on Jaz Limos, an Apple Park Visitor Center manager in Cupertino who launched Saints of Steel, a nonprofit pop-up barber shop for at-risk youth and people looking for employment and housing.

Saints of Steel was largely funded by Apple. 80 percent of the donations for the first year came from Benevity, a corporate giving program used by Apple, and 74 percent of that donation was made by Apple.
In its first year, the organization was almost fully funded by volunteers and donations from Apple. "Our board, when we first started, was primarily made up of Apple employees who just jumped in and rolled up their sleeves," Limos says. "We saw the power of Benevity and the company match program, because it funded the majority of our ability to run this program."
More info on Saints of Steel and Apple's donations can be found in the full Apple Newsroom article on the topic.


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FBI Successfully Unlocks iPhone 11 Pro in Ohio, Casting Doubt on Claims it Needs Apple’s Help in Florida Mass Shooter Case

New questions have been raised about the FBI's latest request that Apple break its iPhone encryption, after Forbes uncovered a search warrant strongly indicating that federal agents already have tools that can access data on Apple's latest ‌iPhone‌ models.


The report says that FBI investigators in Ohio recently used the GrayKey hardware box to unlock an iPhone 11 Pro Max. The ‌iPhone‌ belonged to Baris Ali Koch, who was accused of helping his convicted brother flee the country by providing him with his own ID documents and lying to the police. He has now entered a plea agreement and is awaiting sentencing.

Koch's lawyer confirmed to Forbes that the ‌iPhone‌ was locked with a passcode when it got in the hands of the FBI and that the code was never revealed to law enforcement, nor was the defendant forced to use his face to unlock the phone via Face ID.

Created by a company named Grayshift, GrayKey is a portable gray box that has previously been used by law enforcement to crack the passcode on iPhones. Complete details on how the latest GrayKey works are not known, although Apple continually works to fix the kinds of exploits used by such devices.

Ohio FBI search warrant

Forbes has previously revealed a GrayKey brochure that showed it worked on older devices, and the two iPhones acquired by the FBI in the most recent Pensacola case are an ‌iPhone‌ 5 and an ‌iPhone‌ 7, which strongly suggests that investigators are already capable of unlocking them.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr have also weighed in on the latest ‌iPhone‌ encryption stalemate between Apple and the FBI, with both urging the tech giant to assist in unlocking the iPhones used by the Pensacola shooter.

Justice department officials claim to need access to the iPhones to see messages from encrypted apps like Signal or WhatsApp to find out if the shooter discussed his plans or had help. Apple says it has already provided law enforcement officials with information from Alshamrani's iCloud account, which amounts to all the data in its possession.

Statements by Apple suggest it is gearing up for a battle similar to the one it faced in 2016 in the San Bernardino shooter case, indicating the company has no plans to create a backdoor in its software, regardless of the U.S. government's motives. Apple has previously said that doing so would create "new and dangerous weaknesses" and that weakening security "makes no sense."

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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AirPods Pro 2C54 Firmware: Worse Noise Canceling, Improved Frequency Response and Bass Accuracy

On December 16th, Apple released a new firmware update for the AirPods Pro bumping the firmware from 2B588 to 2C54. After the updates, there were several anecdotal reports that the AirPods Pro noise cancelation may have been affected adversely by the update. Adding to the confusion is that Apple has since pulled the 2C54 update, so not everyone with AirPods Pro may have the latest update.

Users asked tech review site RTINGS.com to reevaluate their previous testing of the AirPods Pro with the new firmware to confirm any changes in the new firmware.


RTINGS published its findings today and does confirm that the 2C54 firmware objectively worsens the AirPods Pro active noise canceling feature:
Update 01/10/2020: After updating to Firmware 2C45, we retested the headphones and our results showed a fairly significant drop in isolation performance, primarily in the bass-range. This means that with ANC turned on, these headphones won't do nearly as good a job blocking out the low engine rumbles of planes or buses as they did before this update. This review reflects these changes.
The news is not all bad, however. In other areas of testing, the 2C54 Firmware appears to improve performance in frequency response and bass accuracy. Note: RTINGS incorrectly refers to the firmware as version 2C45, not 2C54.

Apple pulled the 2C54 firmware only days after its release, so it is presumably working on the issues described. You can tell what firmware version you have by going to Settings -> General -> About -> AirPods Pro.


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Upcoming Fall 2020 5.4-Inch iPhone Will Be Similar in Size to iPhone 8

Japanese site Mac Otakara today shared a somewhat confusing rumor about Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, suggesting the 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌ that Apple is working on will be sized similarly to the iPhone 8.

Citing Apple suppliers exhibiting at CES, Mac Otakara says that Apple "might be developing Face ID models beside Touch ID models as an updated version of ‌iPhone 8‌."


This confusingly seems to refer to the low-cost "iPhone SE 2" or ‌iPhone 8‌ successor Apple has in development, but a further mention of the 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌ with Face ID suggests that it actually refers to the higher-end 5.4-inch device rumored for the fall of 2020.
The body size returns to ‌iPhone‌ 7, and the receiver size is in between the iPhone 11 series and the iPhone XS series. The rear camera is much bigger compared to ‌iPhone 8‌, and the LED True Tone flash size returns to ‌iPhone‌ 7.

By employing TrueDepth camera, the verticle width of the active area size for the display expands and thus becomes 5.4-inch size, and the possibility of it being the model buzzed about increases.
Prior rumors have indicated that Apple is working on devices in multiple sizes for its flagship 2020 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, including a 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌, a 6.1-inch ‌iPhone‌ (or two devices in this size, based on one rumor), and a 6.7-inch ‌iPhone‌.

Mac Otakara says that the 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌ will have an ‌iPhone‌ 7 body size and a rear camera that's "much bigger compared to ‌iPhone 8‌." By using the TrueDepth camera system and eliminating the Home button, the display's active area measures in at 5.4 inches, though the device's size will be similar to the ‌iPhone 8‌.

The ‌iPhone 8‌ (and the ‌iPhone‌ 7) features a 4.7-inch display along with thick top and bottom bezels that provide room for the front-facing camera and the Home button. By eliminating the bezels, Apple can offer a larger display in a smaller body. The 5.4-inch ‌iPhone‌ will be the smallest ‌iPhone‌ Apple has offered since the 2017 ‌iPhone 8‌.

There are mixed ‌iPhone‌ rumors right now, but in a nutshell, it seems that Apple will release four to five new iPhones in 2020. The first will come in the spring of 2020 and will be an "‌iPhone SE 2‌" or ‌iPhone 8‌ successor is meant to be a low-cost ‌iPhone‌ with ‌Touch ID‌ and a single-lens camera. This ‌iPhone‌ won't have Face ID and will continue to have thick top and bottom bezels.

In the fall, Apple will introduce three or four new flagship iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and 6.7-inch size options, and these iPhones will feature edge-to-edge displays, 5G connectivity, multi-lens cameras, and more. Most rumors have suggested we can expect three iPhones in the fall of 2020, but a JPMorgan analyst recently said there could potentially be two 6.1-inch iPhones, though this has yet to be confirmed by another source.

Apple's 2020 fall lineup will be similar to the 2019 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, with iPhones available at multiple price points starting at around $700, while the rumored early 2020 ‌iPhone 8‌ successor could be priced as low as $399.


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Top 10 Most Discussed MacRumors Stories of 2019: AirPower Canceled, Apple Card Launches, and More

MacRumors published thousands of stories in 2019, as part of our continued coverage of the latest Apple news and rumors. Below, we look back at the top 10 most discussed stories of the year in our forums, with topics ranging from the AirPower mat being canceled to the launch of the Apple Card.


  1. Apple Officially Cancels AirPower (1,948 comments): At its iPhone X event in 2017, Apple previewed a new wireless charging mat called AirPower that would have been able to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods simultaneously, regardless of each device's position on the mat. Apple failed to release the mat in 2018 as promised, however, leading to relentless rumors and speculation. In March 2019, Apple's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio finally came out and said the AirPower was canceled due to the product's inability to meet its high standards.
  2. Apple Card Rolling Out Today to Limited Number of Customers (1,920 comments): After being previewed at its March 2019 event, Apple rolled out its all-new credit card to select users in the United States in the first week of August 2019, followed by a wider launch later in the month. Built into the Wallet app on an iPhone, the Apple Card features Apple Pay support, up to 3% daily cashback, color-coded spending summaries, zero fees beyond interest, and much more.
  3. Live 2019 iPhone Event Coverage: 'By Innovation Only' (1,855 comments): Live coverage of Apple's September 2019 event at Steve Jobs Theater, where the company unveiled the iPhone 11 lineup, Apple Watch Series 5 models, and 10.2-inch iPad.
  4. Live Apple Event Coverage: 'It's Show Time' (1,537 comments): Live coverage of Apple's March 2019 event at Steve Jobs Theater, where the company unveiled four new services: Apple News+, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Card.
  5. Live From WWDC 2019: Coverage of Apple's Keynote with iOS 13, macOS 10.15, and More (1,494 comments): Live coverage of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference from the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. Apple announced iOS 13, iPadOS, macOS Catalina, tvOS 13, and watchOS 6, in addition to previewing its new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
  6. AirPods Pro Launching on October 30 for $249 (1,173 comments): With a press release, Apple introduced higher-ends AirPods Pro with several improvements over regular AirPods, including active noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and water resistance.
  7. Spotify on Apple's Response to App Store Dispute: 'Every Monopolist Will Suggest They Have Done Nothing Wrong' (1,094 comments): Last year, Spotify filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe over unfair App Store practices. Apple labeled the complaint as "misleading rhetoric" and argued that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free." Spotify fired back, claiming that "every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong."
  8. Apple to Release Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR on December 10 (1,037 comments): Over two years after confirming that it was working on a new Mac Pro, Apple finally announced that the new Mac Pro and companion Pro Display XDR would be available to order starting December 10, 2019. Watch our hands-on video!
  9. Intel Expecting Apple to Transition to Custom Arm-Based Chips Starting in 2020 (1,007 comments): Apple is planning to ditch Intel processors and transition to custom Arm-based chips starting in 2020, according to Bloomberg. Axios then cited multiple unnamed sources within Intel who said the rumor is true.
  10. Apple Reveals All-New Mac Pro With Up to 28-Core Processor and 1.5TB of RAM, Starting at $5,999 (989 comments): After years of anticipation, Apple previewed its new Mac Pro at WWDC 2019 with up to 28-core Intel Xeon processors, 1.5TB of RAM, and 8TB of SSD storage. Base pricing of $5,999 was announced, but it was not until months later that maxed-out pricing of over $50,000 was revealed.
MacRumors will celebrate its 20th anniversary next month, having been founded on February 24, 2000. We look forward to another year of sharing the latest Apple news and rumors and we thank all of our readers for their support.


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Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler Inks Five-Year Apple TV+ Production Deal

Former HBO CEO and chairman Richard Plepler has signed a five year deal with Apple to produce content for Apple TV+, reports The New York Times.

Under the terms of the deal, Plepler's newly formed company, Eden Productions, will make TV shows, documentaries, and films exclusively for the ‌Apple TV‌+ streaming service.

Image via The New York Times

Plepler worked at HBO for 27 years before leaving in February 2019, eight months after AT&T became its owner, and under his leadership, HBO had hits like "Game of Thrones" and "Big Little Lies."

Rumors of talks between Plepler and Apple first surfaced in November, with Plepler making it clear at the time that he did not want to return to TV as an executive, but instead wanted to take on a new role as a producer.

In today's article from The New York Times, Plepler explained why he didn't want to continue working as a TV executive:
"It was instantaneously clear to me that I had a wonderful and very privileged run at HBO and I wasn't going to be able to duplicate that again," Mr. Plepler said in his first interview since leaving the network. "And I didn't want to try to duplicate that again. It felt very clear to me that I just wanted to do my own thing."
Plepler was drawn to Apple because he has been a "longtime admirer" of Eddy Cue, who runs Apple's software and services, including overseeing Apple's TV division. Cue got in touch right after Plepler left HBO and invited Plepler to "talk" when things settled after his departure.

According to Plepler, he had conversations with multiple people about his next step, but his only "serious" talks were with Apple. ‌Apple TV‌+ is new enough, said Plepler, that he felt he could "make a little contribution there."

Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, the two ‌Eddy Cue‌ hires who run Apple's TV business, will work with Plepler. Van Amburg said that he's looking forward to seeing Plepler "thrive" at Apple.

Along with Plepler, Apple has signed production deals with multiple companies, including A24, Imagine Documentaries, and Oprah Winfrey, plus it has established deals with producers and directors like Jason Katims, Alfonso Cuaron, and Justin Lin.


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What Do You Want to See From Apple in 2020?

In our What to Expect article that we shared yesterday, we covered everything that we're expecting to see from Apple based on current product rumors and historical release data.

New iPhones with 5G, OLED displays, and upgraded 3D triple-lens camera system with significant augmented reality improvements are in the works, Apple is working on updated Macs and iPads, and AirTags, an innovative new accessory for tracking lost devices, is on the horizon.


We could also see a lower-cost HomePod, new over-ear headphones, and there could perhaps be some surprises in store like an augmented reality headset or an ARM-based Mac, but those aren't sure bets for 2020 at this time. There are also some outlandish rumors, like folding iPhones and iPads, plus rumors about the Apple Car, virtual reality headsets, and other far off products continue to circulate.

We want to hear from the MacRumors community. What are you hoping to see Apple release in 2020?

Are there new features you're hoping Apple will bring in iOS 14 or macOS 10.16? New headphones? Updated Mac features? New additions to the iPhone lineup?

Let us know what you want to see in the comments, and make sure to check out our What to Expect article for a look at the current rumors. We'll learn more about Apple's 2020 product plans in the early months of the year, and as always, we'll be covering all Apple rumors in-depth here at MacRumors.

Our MacRumors forums are also a useful resource for discussing upcoming products and rumors, and with so many new products rumored for 2020, our forums are the place to be for discussions on what's coming.

Thank you to all of our readers and our forum members for making MacRumors the number one site for Apple news, rumors, and advice on the web. We wouldn't be here without you, and we look forward to another year of rumors in 2020. Happy New Year!


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Apple Now Selling Sonos One SL Wireless Speaker, AirPods Pro Cases

Apple in the last few days updated its online Apple Store with new products that include cases for the AirPods Pro and the Sonos One SL Wireless Speaker.

Apple is stocking the Incase AirPods Pro Case made from Incase's proprietary Woolenex material, with the case priced at $30.


Apple is also selling a new Catalyst Waterproof Case for the ‌AirPods Pro‌, which is also priced at $30 and is available in black. The Incase ‌AirPods Pro‌ case is shipping out in mid-January, while the Catalyst case will arrive to customers in late January. Apple retail stores will have the AirPods cases later in the month as well.

Alongside the two new ‌AirPods Pro‌ cases, Apple is also now offering the Sonos One SL Wireless Speaker in its online store. Apple previously had a partnership with Sonos and offered several Sonos speakers for sale, but there hasn't been a Sonos speaker in stock from Apple for quite some time.

The Sonos One SL Wireless Speaker features AirPlay 2 support, which allows it to work alongside other ‌AirPlay‌ 2 speakers like the HomePod.


Apple is selling the Sonos One SL Wireless Speaker for $180, but the Sonos website has the same speaker on sale for $30 off through Sunday, so the Sonos website is a better buy at the current time. Amazon is also offering the speaker at a $30 discount.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Sonos and Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.


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Apple to Donate Money to Support Fire Relief Efforts in Australia

Apple is donating funds to support fire fighting efforts in Australia, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Twitter yesterday.

For the last two months, bushfires have been burning across Australia due to one of the worst droughts in history and record-breaking heat waves. More than nine people have died and more than 800 homes have been destroyed. Koalas and other wildlife have also been impacted by the ongoing fires.

Firefighters helping a mother koala and her baby in Hawkesbury, New South Wales. Image via NSW RFS.

More than nine people have died and more than 800 homes have been destroyed. Koalas and other wildlife have also been impacted by the ongoing fires.


Australia has more than 1,500 firefighters working to extinguish fires threatening homes near Sydney. Half of the bushfires in Australia have been contained as of this week, but the country is facing another heat wave and there are severe fire danger ratings in South Australia.

Apple often provides donations during major disasters and most recently donated money to help fight the wildfires in California.


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FCC Says iPhone Didn’t Exceed Radiofrequency Radiation Safety Levels

iPhones from Apple and smartphones from Samsung did not violate FCC rules on maximum radiofrequency exposure levels, the FCC said today (via Bloomberg).

Back in August, an investigation launched by The Chicago Tribune suggested that some of Apple's iPhones were emitting radiofrequency radiation that exceeded federal safety limits.

The FCC's testing results for iPhone and other smartphones

The newspaper hired an accredited lab to test several smartphones, including Apple's iPhones, according to federal guidelines and found that some of Apple's iPhones violated federal guidelines.

Apple at the time disputed the results and said that the testing was inaccurate "due to the test setup not being in accordance with procedures necessary to properly assess the ‌‌iPhone‌‌ models."
"All ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ models, including ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ 7, are fully certified by the FCC and in every other country where ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ is sold," the statement said. "After careful review and subsequent validation of all ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ models tested in the (Tribune) report, we confirmed we are in compliance and meet all applicable ... exposure guidelines and limits."
In response to the investigation, the FCC promised to do its own testing of smartphones from Apple and Samsung, and the FCC's testing disagrees with the findings from The Chicago Tribune.

The FCC tested the ‌iPhone‌ 7, the ‌iPhone‌ X, and the iPhone XS using models that were purchased from the open market and those provided by Apple. No FCC test showed the results that The Chicago Tribune got from its independent testing.
All sample cell phones tested by the FCC Laboratory, both grantee-provided and FCC- purchased samples, produced maximum 1-g average SAR values less than the 1.6 W/kg limit specified in the FCC rules. Therefore, all tested sample devices comply with the FCC RF radiation exposure general population/uncontrolled limits for peak spatial-average SAR of 1.6 W/kg, averaged over any 1 gram of tissue as specified in 47 CFR Sn. 2.1093(d)(2), and these tests did not produce evidence of violations of any FCC rules regarding maximum RF exposure levels.
Full results from the testing can be seen in the document released today by the FCC. [PDF]

After The Chicago Tribune's report went live, law firm Fegan Scott launched its own investigation and last week said that its laboratory also found that iPhones exceeded the federal safety limits for radiofrequency radiation.

Fegan Scott filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming to use "actual use conditions" in its test, rather than "conditions set by manufacturers." The FCC modeled its testing after the testing done by The Chicago Tribune, evaluating the ‌iPhone‌ by using a fluid-filled head and body replica and testing RF absorption at the highest possible smartphone power levels.

The law firm did not provide details on its testing methods and it is not clear if the case will progress now that the FCC's research and testing has worked out in Apple's favor.


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