iPhone XS Max vs. OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus earlier this month unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 7 Pro, which offers multiple attractive and unique features along with an affordable price tag.

MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera checked out the OnePlus 7 Pro when it first launched, but has spent some more time with it for an in-depth comparison that's been shared on our YouTube channel.

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The OnePlus 7 Pro is priced starting at $669, making it significantly cheaper than the iPhone XS Max, which is priced starting at $1,099. Though cheaper, the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't sacrifice many features.

It has a 6.67-inch OLED display that's edge to edge with no bezels aside from a small chin at the bottom. Unlike the iPhone, there's no notch and no cutout for the front-facing camera, and that's because OnePlus has designed a pop out front camera that snaps up when you need to take a selfie.

There have been questions about how durable this pop up camera is, and the short answer is that even though we've spent a bit more time with it, we still don't know how it's going to hold up over time and when exposed to the elements, though it seems to be durable.

The OnePlus offers facial recognition, but as with all Android devices, it's not on par with the iPhone's Face ID. It's 2D image recognition, which means it can't be used for secure operations like making payments. That's fine, because with a pop up camera, it's easier to use the in-display fingerprint sensor.

In-display fingerprint sensors are convenient, but in this case, while it works okay, it's not as fast or as easy to use as Face ID.

The AMOLED display is high-quality and looks great, and there's no denying that no notch is superior to a notch. It does have curved edges at the side, which can make cases and screen protectors inconvenient, but there's the benefit of a 90Hz refresh rate. The iPhone XS Max has a flat display that's more practical, and still just as vivid, bright, and crisp.

When it comes to performance, these are modern smartphones that are equipped with high-end components and in day to day use, both are super quick and you're not going to notice much of a difference between them. The One Plus 7 Pro offers up to 12GB RAM while the iPhone XS Max has 4GB RAM, but Apple has always been better at memory management and thus there's not a discernible difference in performance.

There's a 4,000mAh battery in the OnePlus 7 Pro, but its battery life isn't really beating out the iPhone XS Max. It does win out when it comes to charging, though, because it has a fast charging feature that takes it from 0 to 100 percent in an hour.

The iPhone, of course, has fast charging, but the difference is the OnePlus 7 Pro ships with the power adapter needed to enable the quicker charging while the iPhone doesn't. The OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't have wireless charging though, which is one downside.

There's no water resistance rating on the OnePlus 7 Pro, while the iPhone XS Max has an IP68 rating, meaning it can hold up to submersion in water. OnePlus claims that water resistance certification for the OnePlus 7 Pro would have made each device $30 more expensive and that the smartphone is capable of being soaked in water, but you're going to have to take OnePlus' word for it.

When it comes to the camera, the iPhone XS Max wins. Even though the iPhone's camera is dual lens and not triple lens like the One Plus 7 Pro, the iPhone produces better images. OnePlus has never been known for camera quality, and the company has acknowledged there are issues with the 7 Pro camera. An update is in the works to address some customer complaints, but as is, the iPhone outperforms the OnePlus.

Specifically, highlights are overblown on the OnePlus compared to the iPhone, and the Portrait Mode just isn't as crisp. We did like the ultra wide-angle camera lens, which the iPhone is rumored to be getting in 2019.

The hardware may be similar in terms of ultimate performance between the two smartphones, but there's still a major difference in software, aka iOS vs. Android.

Even though there are pros and cons to both operating systems, most people who are deep into the iOS ecosystem and who prefer iOS devices aren't going to want to venture over into Android even though Android devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro can be much more affordable.

What do you think of the OnePlus 7 Pro? Is its feature set and lower price point worth leaving the Apple ecosystem? Let us know in the comments.


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U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Cut Down on Robocalling

The United States Senate today voted almost unanimously to approve an anti-robocalling bill that would cut down on the number of illegal robocalls that people receive.

The TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence), first introduced in January, increases penalties for robocalls, provides authorities with more time to act, promotes the adoption of call authentication and blocking tools, establishes an interagency group for exploring additional scam call deterrents, and clears the way for criminal prosecution of robocallers.


"This bipartisan, common-sense bill puts a bullseye on the scam artists and criminals who are making it difficult for many Americans to answer the phone with any bit of confidence about who's on the other end of the line," said Senator John Thune. "While this bill would make it easier for federal regulators to levy more substantial financial penalties on these bad actors, we take it one step further by working toward creating a credible threat of criminal prosecution - laying the ground work to put these people behind bars. It's not every day that you see over 80 senators from all corners of the country lend such strong support to a bill like this, but I believe it highlights the urgency of this matter. I want to thank Sen. Markey for all of his work, and we urge the House to take up the TRACED Act without delay."
If the TRACED Act passes, individuals or companies who flout telemarketing restrictions could receive fines of up to $10,000 per call, and the FCC would have up to three years to prosecute after a robocall is placed, up from one year.

It would also require voice service providers to adopt call authentication technologies, which would let cellular carriers verify that incoming calls are legitimate before even reaching consumer phones, and it requires the FCC to create rules to help protect consumers from receiving unwanted calls or texts.

Some carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile have already implemented limited protection features that are designed to cut down on scam calls, but it's a pervasive problem that has only been growing worse in recent years.

Last year, an estimated 30 percent of all phone calls were spam calls, a number that could grow to 42 percent of all calls this year.

The FCC last week proposed new tools that would clear the way for mobile phone companies to block robocalls by default, and last year, the FCC called on companies to adopt call authentication systems for eliminating spoofed phone numbers.

The TRACED Act will now head to the House for consideration, where it is also likely to see similar support.


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Snap Employees Have Used Internal Snapchat Tools to Spy on Users

Some employees of Snap have access to internal tools that allow them to access Snapchat user data and have in the past abused those tools to spy on Snapchat users, reports Motherboard.

According to two former employees, a current employee, and internal company emails, Snap employees have access to internal tools that let them access location information, saved snaps, phone numbers, and email addresses from users.

One of the tools, SnapLion, was designed to gather information on users in response to valid law enforcement requests. Snap's Spam and Abuse team has access to Snap Lion, as does a Customer Ops team and security staff. One former employee told Motherboard that SnapLion offers "the keys to the kingdom."

The SnapLion tool has legitimate purposes and is used for such within the company, but the two former Snap employees confirmed that it's also been used for illegitimate reasons, though information about specific incidents was not made available.
One of the former employees said that data access abuse occurred "a few times" at Snap. That source and another former employee specified the abuse was carried out by multiple individuals. A Snapchat email obtained by Motherboard also shows employees broadly discussing the issue of insider threats and access to data, and how they need to be combatted.

Motherboard was unable to verify exactly how the data abuse occurred, or what specific system or process the employees leveraged to access Snapchat user data.
A Snap spokesperson said that privacy is "paramount" at Snap, and that little user data is kept. What data is stored is protected by "robust policies" to limit the number of employees who have access. "Unauthorized access of any kind is a clear violation of the company's standards of business conduct and, if detected, results in immediate termination," the spokesperson told Motherboard.

Snap monitors who accesses user data, but the former employees say that the logging procedures aren't perfect, and that years ago, SnapLion did not have robust data protection tools to track what employees were doing. It's not clear if employees are still abusing internal tools, but Motherboard's investigation suggests it did happen in the past.
Snap said it limits internal access to tools to only those who require it, but SnapLion is no longer a tool purely intended to help law enforcement. It is now used more generally across the company. A former employee who worked with SnapLion said the tool is used for resetting passwords of hacked accounts and "other user administration."
Much of what's shared on Snapchat is ephemeral, with content disappearing after a short period of time. Users should be aware, however, that certain data is collected and stored by Snapchat, such as phone number, location data, message metadata (who a person spoke to and when), and some Snap content, such as Memories.

A full accounting of Motherboard's Snap investigation can be read over on Vice.


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71% of College Students Prefer Macs Over PCs According to Jamf Survey

Students pursuing higher education prefer to use Macs over PCs, according to new data shared today by Apple device management company Jamf.

71 percent of students surveyed said they would either use a Mac or prefer to use a Mac if cost were not a consideration. At the current time, of those students, 40 percent use a Mac and 60 percent use a PC. 51 percent of current PC users would rather be using a Mac.


67 percent of students surveyed said they would choose or stay with an organization that offered a choice between Mac and PC. 78 percent of students said that it's important for employers to offer their employees a choice between PC and Mac.

Students who said they preferred Mac over PCs offered up several different reasons. 59 percent cited ease of use, 57 percent cited durability, and 49 cited synchronization over other devices. 64 percent said they "like the brand," while 60 percent preferred the style and design of the Mac.

Among those who said they preferred PCs, the only dominant factor in the decision was price.


43 percent of students using a PC said that the Mac provides the greatest value despite its higher price point, while 80 percent of Mac users said that the Mac offers a better value. 83 percent of students currently using a Mac said they want to continue using Macs in their workplaces.
"Employers are looking for top talent in a competitive job market. Providing workers with the tools they know and love is a key way to attract, retain and empower them to be their most productive," said Dean Hager, CEO, Jamf. "The next generation of job seekers wants their tech to just work so that they can focus on their job. They see Mac as more modern, intuitive and reliable - and would like to continue to use it as they launch their careers."
Jamf's survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne, is based on responses from 2,244 current college and university students across five countries.


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Man Who Tricked Apple into Replacing 1,500 Fake iPhones Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Counterfeit Goods

A Chinese man on Wednesday pleaded guilty in Oregon to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, after he managed to trick Apple into replacing hundreds of fake iPhones with authentic handsets through its warranty program (via Bloomberg).


Quan Jiang, 30, a former engineering student at a community college in Albany, Oregon, sent around 3,000 counterfeit devices to Apple, via one of the state's three Apple stores or online. Jiang used fake names and claimed the iPhones wouldn't turn on and should be replaced under warranty.

Apple replaced almost 1,500 of the fake handsets with authentic iPhones, each with an approximate resale value of $600 on the Chinese market, where counterfeit Apple products are a big problem.

Apple only realized something was afoot as early as June 30, 2017, when its legal counsel sent Jiang a "cease and desist" letter to an address in Corvallis where 150 of the warranty claims had originated.

Apple's lawyers said that's when the company knew he was importing counterfeit Apple products, according to comments made by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Thomas Duffy in a court document.
"Submission of an iPhone that will not power on is critical to perpetuating iPhone warranty fraud, as the phone will not be able to be immediately examined or repaired by Apple technicians, triggering the Apple iPhone replacement process as part of its product warranty policy," Duffy wrote, quoting Apple brand protection representative Adrian Punderson.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon, between January 2016 and February 2018, Jiang was the recipient of multiple packages containing as many as 20 to 30 inoperable, counterfeit iPhones from partners in Hong Kong.

After delivering the genuine replacements, Jiang's associate would pay Jiang's mother, who lives in China, who would then deposit the money into Jiang's bank account.

Apple is said to have rejected 1,576 warranty claims associated with Jiang, but the 1,493 claims that resulted in replacement iPhones being delivered by Apple represented an $895,000 loss to the company, according to court documents.

Jiang will be sentenced on August 28 and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $2 million fine or twice his proceeds, whichever is greater. Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Attorney's office will recommend a prison sentence of three years and at least $200,000 in restitution to Apple, under a plea agreement, provided Jiang also forfeits his 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 coupe.


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Apple Releases macOS Mojave 10.14.5 Supplemental Update for 2018 and 2019 15-Inch MacBook Pro

Apple today quietly released an updated version of macOS Mojave 10.14.5, which is designed for 15-inch MacBook Pro models that feature a T2 security chip, aka the 2018 and 2019 machines.

The new version of the software can be downloaded through the "Software Update" section of System Preferences on all compatible Macs.


According to Apple's release notes, the new software addresses a "firmware issue" impacting Macs with a T2 chip. Apple provided no additional detail, so we don't know what the specific firmware issue might be, but we may get more information when the security notes become available.
The MacBook Pro Supplemental Update addresses a firmware issue affecting 15-inch MacBook Pro computers with T2 Security Chip, and is recommended for all users.

For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
Apple released the macOS Mojave 10.14.5 update on May 13, adding AirPlay 2 support for sharing music, photos, videos, and more from the Mac to AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs from companies like Samsung, Vizio, LG, and Sony.

Minor Apple News+ interface changes were included, allowing users to follow a magazine directly from the catalog browsing view, and there were improvements to audio latency on 2018 machines.


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Seven Safari Tricks on iOS You Might Not Know

Safari on iOS has a surprising number of hidden tricks, letting you manipulate tabs, conduct page-specific searches, and more, and not all of these features are immediately obvious due to the gestures involved.

We've rounded up some useful must-know Safari tips that you might not be aware of or may have forgotten, so make sure to check out our video because we bet there's something here that's going to be new to you.

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  • Close All Tabs - Have hundreds of tabs open in Safari on your iPhone? You can close them all at once. Just long press right on the "Done" button in the tab view (which you can get to by pressing the little icon that looks like two squares) and you'll see an option to close all tabs.


  • Open Recently Closed Tabs - Accidentally closed a tab you didn't want to close? In the tab view, long press on the "+" button and it will bring up a list of tabs that you've closed recently so you can open it right back up.


  • Search Your Open Tabs - With tons of tabs, you might need to do some hunting around to find the specific tab you're looking for, but luckily, a built-in tab search feature makes this easier. Just scroll to the top of your tabs view (or tap the top of the screen to jump to the top) and you'll see a search bar for searching tabs.


  • Close Filtered Tabs - If you want to close some of your tabs while leaving the rest open, the search feature doubles as a filter. After doing a search in your tabs, long press on the "Cancel" button next to the search interface and you'll see an option to close only the tabs that match your search.


  • Find Text on Page - You know how you can use the Command + F feature on a Mac to find something specific on a page? There's a find feature in iOS too. With a website open, type in a search phrase in the search bar at the top and then scroll down to "On This Page" to search for that term on the website. Alternatively, you can open up the Share Sheet and locate the "Find on Page" button.


  • Close Tabs on Other Devices - If you have multiple devices and use iCloud along with the feature that syncs Safari information, you can close tabs on your Mac or your iPad right from your iPhone. To do it, open up the tab view (again, the little icon with two squares), scroll all the way to the bottom of your open tabs, and then you'll see an interface that lists open tabs on other devices.


  • Handoff Websites - If you're looking at a website on your iPhone and then want to open it up on your Mac, you can use Handoff, which is available on most modern Mac machines and iPhones. On the Mac, you'll see a little Safari icon on your dock with a small iPhone icon, just click on that and whatever you're looking at on your iPhone can be opened up right on your Mac. You can also open websites from device to device using the same cloud tab interface used for closing tabs on other devices.


Have other useful Safari tips that we didn't share here? Let us know in the comments and we may include them in a future tips and tricks video.


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Apple Named Cannes Lions’ 2019 Creative Marketer of the Year

Cannes Lions today announced that Apple has been named the Creative Marketer of the Year, marking the first time the Cupertino company has won the award.

Apple was named the Creative Marketer of the Year to honor its "world class creative communications and marketing initiatives."


Simon Cook, Managing Director of Cannes Lions, said that Apple is "highly deserving" of the Creative Marketer of the Year Award.
"The company's marketing and communications consistently showcases creative excellence. Apple Inc. has created a culture that drives marketing strategies that ensure that its customers are true ambassadors for Apple brands."
Apple's VP of Marketing Communications, Tor Myhren, said that Apple is "humbled" to receive the award, which will be collected by Myhren at the final Awards Show of the Cannes Festival on Friday, June 21.
"We are humbled to receive this prestigious award. Apple has always believed creative, passionate people can change the world for the better. We make tools for those people, and we make marketing for those people."
Apple in 2018 won the Entertainment Lion for Music Grand Prix for its "Welcome Home" HomePod ad directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA Twigs, and the Brand Experience & Activation Lion Grand Prix for its "Today at Apple" retail store experience.


Other companies that have won the award in the past include Google, Burger King, Samsung, Heineken, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Mars, IKEA, and Unilever.


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Hands-On With the OnePlus 7 Pro’s New Pop-Up Camera and Bezel-Free Display

OnePlus today unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 7 Pro, which offers an impressive feature set at a price that beats out flagship devices from other smartphone manufacturers, including Apple.

We were able to go hands-on with the OnePlus 7 Pro at the OnePlus event this morning, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a look at the bezel-free display and pop-up camera, both of which are great smartphone features.

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The OnePlus 7 Pro is all display, with a 6.67-inch OLED screen that takes up the entire front of the device. There are no camera cutouts or notches on the display at all, and that's because OnePlus is using a nifty little front-facing camera that pops out of the back of the phone when you want to use it.


It's a feature that's unique to the OnePlus device, and it allows for an edge-to-edge top-to-bottom bezel-free display without sacrificing the selfie camera. The little pop out camera seems rather durable, though we'll have to see how it holds up over time.

OnePlus uploaded a video demonstrating the camera opening and closing more than 300,000 times (it's 12 hours long!) and another video that demonstrated it lifting up a rock, so it certainly seems to be able to hold up to abuse.


Though it's got a 6.67-inch display, the OnePlus 7 Pro is similar in size to the iPhone XS Max, just because there's no bezels to deal with. The display does curve around the edges of the device, which some may not like, but it looks undeniably good.

OnePlus calls the display a "Fluid AMOLED" display because it has a 90Hz refresh rate, a concept similar to the 120Hz refresh rate on the iPad Pro models. That refresh rate is more noticeable on a smaller device, and scrolling through the OS is super smooth.


Aside from the standout display and the unique pop-up front-facing camera, the OnePlus 7 Pro has some pretty decent specs. There's a triple-lens camera with telephoto, wide-angle, and ultra wide-angle lenses, an under-display fingerprint sensor, a Snapdragon 855 chip, up to 12GB RAM, up to 256GB storage, a 4,000mAh battery, and a fast charging feature.

On the downside, the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't offer wireless charging like many other smartphones on the market, nor does it have an Ingress Protection rating for water resistance. And of course there's one other major downside for Apple fans -- it runs Android.


OnePlus is charging more for this year's flagship OnePlus smartphone, and the 7 Pro is priced starting at $669. That's still quite a bit cheaper than the iPhone XS and flagship smartphones from other companies like Samsung, even though it's using some pretty high-end hardware.

What do you think of the OnePlus 7 Pro and the pop-up selfie cam? Let us know in the comments. We'll be taking a closer look at the OnePlus 7 Pro and comparing it to the iPhone XS Max in a future video, so keep an eye out for that.


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New ‘ZombieLoad’ Vulnerability Affects Intel Chips Dating Back to 2011, Apple Released Patch in macOS 10.14.5 [Updated]

Security researchers have discovered a new set of vulnerabilities that affect Intel chips dating back to 2011, including the chips that have been used in Apple devices.

As outlined by TechCrunch, "ZombieLoad," as it's being called, consists of four bugs that can allow hackers to exploit the design flaws in the chips to steal sensitive information directly from the processor.


These vulnerabilities are as serious as the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that were discovered in early 2018 and take advantage of the same speculative execution process, which is designed to speed up data processing and performance.

A white paper shared by notable security researchers (including some who worked on Spectre and Meltdown) offers details on how ZombieLoad functions. [PDF]
While programs normally only see their own data, a malicious program can exploit the fill buffers to get hold of secrets currently processed by other running programs. These secrets can be user-level secrets, such as browser history, website content, user keys, and passwords, or system-level secrets, such as disk encryption keys.

The attack does not only work on personal computers but can also be exploited in the cloud.
ZombieLoad impacts almost every Intel computer dating back to 2011, but AMD and ARM chips are not affected. A demonstration of ZombieLoad was shared on YouTube, displaying how it works to see what you're doing on your computer. While spying on web browsing is demoed, it can also be used for other purposes like stealing passwords.


There have been no reports of hackers taking advantage of the ZombieLoad vulnerabilities at this time, and Intel has released microcode for vulnerable processors. Apple addressed the vulnerability in the macOS Mojave 10.14.5 update that was released yesterday and in security patches for older versions of macOS that were also released yesterday.
Apple has released security updates in macOS Mojave 10.14.5 to protect against speculative execution vulnerabilities in Intel CPUs.
The issues addressed by these security updates do not affect Apple iOS devices or Apple Watch.
Apple previously released security updates to defend against Spectre—a series of speculative execution vulnerabilities affecting devices with ARM-based and Intel CPUs. Intel has disclosed additional Spectre vulnerabilities, called Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS), that apply to desktop and notebook computers with Intel CPUs, including all modern Mac computers.
An Apple support document on the ZombieLoad vulnerability provides details for "full mitigation" protection that can be enabled for customers with computers at heightened risk or that run untrusted software on their Macs.

Full mitigation requires using the Terminal app to enable additional CPU instructions and disable hyper-threading processing technology, which is available for macOS Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra, but not on certain older machines. Apple says full mitigation could reduce performance by up to 40 percent, so most users will not want to enable it.

According to Intel, its microcode updates will have an impact on processor performance, but for the patch that Apple released in macOS Mojave 10.14.5, there was no measurable performance impact. Apple's fix prevents the exploitation of ZombieLoad vulnerabilities via JavaScript in Safari.
An Intel spokesperson told TechCrunch that most patched consumer devices could take a 3 percent performance hit at worst, and as much as 9 percent in a datacenter environment. But, the spokesperson said, it was unlikely to be noticeable in most scenarios.
As mentioned above, customers who enable Apple's full mitigation option will indeed see processor slowdowns because of the need to disable hyper-threading.

One of the researchers who discovered ZombieLoad, Daniel Gruss, told TechCrunch that ZombieLoad is easier to exploit than Spectre, but more difficult than Meltdown, and that it requires a specific set of skills, which means the average person doesn't need to worry.

Update: This article previously said that Apple would release a patch, but it has been updated to clarify that Apple addressed the issue in security updates made available to Mac owners yesterday. Customers running Mojave should update to macOS 10.14.5, while customers running older versions of macOS should install any available security updates.


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