Pinball Game ‘INKS’ Available for Free as Apple’s App of the Week

Each week, Apple chooses an "App of the Week" to highlight in the App Store, making it free to download for seven days. This week's pick is pinball app INKS, which is normally priced at $2.99. INKS was first released in May of 2016 and has never been available for free before. INKS was also a 2016 Apple Design Award winner.

INKS is a modern interpretation of pinball, combining the fun of a pinball game with tactical skill-based challenges and art creation. As you play, the ball sends bursts of ink across the game board, so it's a different experience each time.


The game features more than 100 unique pinball tables to conquer, balanced gameplay, the ability to share high scores and favorite canvases, and, best of all, no in-app purchases. Apple's Editors' Notes:
Pinball meets paintball in this gorgeous Apple Design Award winner from the team behind Lumino City. Inks ditches the stressful not-so-fun parts of pinball, focusing instead on a breathtaking experience that's part puzzle-solving, part artistic explosions of color. We seriously want to frame our best levels--inks is that beautiful.
In a review, our sister site TouchArcade gave INKS four and a half stars and called it a "clever spin on one of the oldest concepts in electronic gaming" with superb level design and visuals.


INKS can be downloaded for free for the next seven days, and after that, a new App of the Week will be chosen. [Direct Link]


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Everything You Need to Know About the iPhone X’s Controversial Notch

Given the iPhone X's design was leaked months before it was unveiled, many people wondered how Apple would choose to approach the notch housing the device's new TrueDepth front camera and facial recognition system.


Now that the iPhone X is official, we know the answer. Apple's new human interface guidelines for the device advise developers to embrace the notch by ensuring the layout of their apps fill the entire screen.
Don't mask or call special attention to key display features. Don't attempt to hide the device's rounded corners, sensor housing, or indicator for accessing the Home screen by placing black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Don't use visual adornments like brackets, bezels, shapes, or instructional text to call special attention to these areas either.
In fewer words, Apple doesn't want developers to hide the notch or swipe indicator by placing black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Continue reading "Everything You Need to Know About the iPhone X’s Controversial Notch"

Here’s a Look at Discounted and Upcoming Qi Charging Pads for iPhone 8 and iPhone X

Apple on Tuesday announced the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, all of which will launch with inductive wireless charging support on Qi-compatible accessories. Since Apple's first-party "AirPower" mat won't be available to buy until 2018, new iPhone owners will be left to sift through the current market of Qi-compatible wireless charging pads, which is pretty large.

For this reason, we've rounded up a few Qi accessories that are currently discounted and that should work with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, most hitting below the $30 range. We've also included a few Qi charging pads that are confirmed iPhone 8/X compatible that accessory makers like Belkin and Mophie announced this week alongside Apple's big unveiling of each smartphone. Since virtually any Qi-supported charging pad should work with the new iPhones, buying decisions will come down to personal preferences of design, size, and color.

Qi Chargers Under $60





Choetech's T511 charging pad comes in blue and black, and includes a battery light indicator on the front side of the device to confirm that the inductive wireless charging connection has been made with the smartphone. The small pad measures at 3.6 inches on all sides, and is one of the most popular and inexpensive Qi pads currently on Amazon. The downside is that it doesn't come with a micro-USB cable, which you'll need to connect the pad to a wall outlet or USB port, priced at about $5-$10 on Amazon.


Aukey's wireless charger is slightly smaller than Choetech's with a 3.4-inch diameter across its circular footprint. It has a flashing LED to indicate when the smartphone sitting atop it is charging, and the USB power cable is included.


Anker's fast charging pad delivers 10 watts of power to smartphones, but will likely function like other 7.5W mats when used with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, since those devices are believed to reach only half (7.5W) of current Qi standards (15W). Anker's solution has non-disruptive LEDs surrounding the pad to indicate the smartphone's charge, a non-slip pad, and measures 3.4 inches on all sides.



Samsung even has a few Qi-compatible charing accessory options that should work with iPhone 8 and iPhone X, including a Fast Wireless Charging Pad (again note such fast charging features will be incompatible with iPhone devices). This one is available in black sapphire and white, includes an LED indicator halo, and is slightly more elevated in comparison to other Qi mats. You can find the same Samsung accessory for nearly 50 percent off from select Walmart resellers, as well.


Incipio has quite a few Qi chargers, two of which it lists as iPhone-compatible options: the Ghost Qi 3-Coil base and Ghost Qi 15W base. Both are priced at $59.99, with the standout differences related to the design and shape of each base. The 3-Coil is a rectangle measuring 5.37 inches by 2.73 inches, while the 15W is a simple 3.5-inch square. Both come in black, have the usual LED indicator lights, and provide audio cues when the charging begins and ends.

Upcoming Qi Chargers





Opening for orders this Friday, September 15, Belkin's BOOST UP Wireless Charging Pad has been specifically designed for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. Belkin said it worked closely with Apple when designing and optimizing the pad, and it'll provide charge to the iPhone through "most lightweight cases." The 7.5W pad has a battery indicator LED, non-slip surface, and AC adapter included. Belkin's accessory will be sold on Apple.com and in Apple stores as well.


Mophie was directly mentioned during Apple's keynote as an accessory maker coming out with support for the iPhone 8 and X's wireless charging features, with a device called the Mophie Wireless Charging Base. A pre-order date has not yet been confirmed, but we do know Mophie's solution provides the expected 7.5W of power to an iPhone when placed on its small, circular, and rubberized base. It'll also be available from Apple.

If you want to buy a Mophie Qi charging pad right now, the company's Charge Force Wireless Charging Base is a universal Qi solution with noted support for the upcoming iPhones, priced at $39.95 from B&H Photo.



Griffin's upcoming PowerBlock Wireless Qi Charging Pad provides 15W of power to compatible Qi devices when placed on its synthetic wool surface. Griffin notes compatibility with all of the new iPhones, but no release date has been confirmed.


RavPower has revealed a new Qi charging pad, confirming compatibility with Apple devices and coming sometime this fall. RavPower's base is a bit unique in comparison with other companies since it can both sit flat on a surface, or act as a sort of iPhone dock with an angled stand. The accessory maker said the product will be available in either a standalone charging pad or pad + stand bundle.

Public Qi Chargers




There will be multiple options for wirelessly charging your iPhone when you're out and about in public spaces, thanks to the confirmation of Apple support from a few inductive wireless charging companies. One is Aircharge, which confirmed that iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X owners will be able to use the company's own app to locate nearby public Aircharge locations, which amount to 5,000 around the world. These are in restaurants, cafes, shops, hotels, airports, and train stations.
"We're a long time partner of Apple via its MFi program and we're excited Qi wireless charging is now a standard feature in the new iPhone models. The inclusion of wireless charging from a major mobile phone and tech manufacturer like Apple will accelerate and drive widespread consumer awareness and mainstream adoption", said Steven Liquorish, founder and CEO of Aircharge.
Powermat made a similar announcement this week, confirming that owners of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X will be able to charge their smartphones on Powermats "around the world." Powermat locations support the Qi standard, and the company has a supported app so users can discover where the closest pad is to their location, including places like Starbucks and Samsung stores.

AirPower



Of course, Apple's own first-party solution for your home will arrive sometime next year. Apple's mat, unlike the ones mentioned above, will be able to support as many as three Qi devices, and Apple has shown an iPhone, Apple Watch Series 3, and AirPods all charging at once on AirPower. When one device is placed next to the iPhone X (or 8/8 Plus), they alert the iPhone, which displays a notification message on the lock screen confirming the presence of the Apple Watch/AirPods along with the battery level.

Although unconfirmed by Apple, Macworld has reported that all previous generations of the Apple Watch will work on AirPower, including Series 2 and Series 0 devices.

For more information on prices for current and upcoming Qi inductive wireless chargers -- which includes bedside tables and lamps from IKEA -- check out the MacRumors Deals Roundup.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X
Tags: wireless charging, Qi

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Upcoming ‘Modbook Pro X’ Converts 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro Into Tablet With Pen Support

Modbook, known for offering heavily modified pen-based Mac tablets, today introduced the Modbook Pro X, which converts Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar into a tablet.

The Modbook Pro X, which continues to run macOS High Sierra, takes the internal components of a standard MacBook Pro and melds them into a tablet-style aluminum airframe with a built-in flip-out presentation stand and an optional Keyboard Stand that converts it to laptop mode. An included Modbook MonoPro Mount, which doubles as a tripod screw mount, allows the Modbook Pro X to be positioned in portrait mode or in multiple landscape configurations.


In addition to moving the MacBook Pro components into a tablet enclosure, the Modbook Pro X adds pen support to the device's Retina display. Rotate, tilt, and pressure features are enabled, and the MacBook Pro Touch Bar is available directly under the pen-compatible display. The Touch Bar on the Modbook Pro X displays the same dynamic app controls as it does on the MacBook Pro, but it's in easier reach in the tablet form factor.


The Touch Bar is accompanied by a new multi-function Touchpad Remote that can be held in the hand to enable simultaneous secondary touch and gesture input alongside the pen. When used in the optional laptop mode with the Keyboard Stand, the Touchpad Remote nestles into the stand and serves as a multi-touch trackpad.


The base system for the Modbook Pro X is configurable with an up to 3.1GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, Intel Graphics 630, and up to a Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB memory. It supports three external Thunderbolt 3 ports and charges with the standard 87W power adapter. Up to three 4K displays or two 5K displays are supported.


The internal storage array of the Modbook Pro X uses up to 2TB of non-upgradeable onboard flash memory along with two additional upgradeable flash memory modules. A custom chipset allows the two modules to be configured as separate drives, one Mirrored Safe-Storage drive or a Combined Double Speed Drive. Two 2TB SSDs are supported in the extra flash modules for a total maximum of 6TB of SSD storage space - that's triple the capacity of a standard MacBook Pro.
"The new Modbook Pro X with Touch Bar is the culmination of the company's successful Kickstarter campaign, developed and designed in close cooperation with members of the creative Mac community that originally backed the project, and I believe it is now the most capable tablet ever created for the creative industries," said Andreas Haas, Modbook Inc.'s Chief Executive Officer and Lead Engineer.
Modbook plans to charge $4,898 for the Modbook Pro X, but customers who already own a compatible 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro will be able to order a We-Mod-Yours transformation service for $2,499.

Before launching the Modbook Pro X, Modbook is gathering investments through WeFunder. Following the close of the campaign, Modbook plans to begin accepting orders before shipping the Modbook Pro X in the United States in late winter.
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Apple’s Face ID Feature Works With Most Sunglasses, Can Be Quickly Disabled to Thwart Thieves

Apple's new Face ID facial recognition feature will work with most sunglasses, according to Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi.

"Most sunglasses let through enough IR light that Face ID can see your eyes even when the glasses appear to be opaque. It's really amazing!" Federighi said in an email to MacRumors reader Keith Krimbel (@yokeremote and @keithkrimbel on Twitter) who emailed the Apple exec with a list of questions this morning.


While Apple's Face ID coverage has specifically said the feature works with hats, scarves, beards, glasses, makeup, and other items that might obscure the face, sunglasses were not specifically mentioned. Federighi's answer clears up one of the last major unknowns about Face ID.

Krimbel also asked for details on what would prevent a thief from taking the iPhone X, pointing it at his face, and running off. In response, Federighi says there are two mitigations in place. "If you don't stare at the phone, it won't unlock," he wrote. "Also, if you grip the buttons on both sides of the phone when [you] hand it over, it will temporarily disable Face ID."

In addition to answering these questions, Federighi also commented on the now highly-publicized on-stage Face ID gaffe that saw the feature fail to recognize his face. According to Apple, the software failed because someone else had picked up the phone ahead of Federighi's demo. Federighi says it's not really an issue he had encountered before.
The bio-lockout that I experienced on stage would require several interacts by other people with your phone (where they woke up the phone). For those of us who have been living on the iPhone X over the last months this has never been a real problem (hence my shock when it happened to me on stage! :-)
The Face ID facial recognition feature is designed to replace Touch ID as the new de facto biometric authentication system. While it's limited to the iPhone X at this time, Apple has said it is the future of how we will unlock our smartphones.


For more on how Face ID scans your face, whether it can be fooled, how it works with Apple Pay, and the built-in privacy features, make sure to check out our Face ID post that covers all of the ins and outs of the new feature.
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Apple Releases macOS High Sierra Golden Master Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded a golden master (GM) candidate of macOS High Sierra to developers and public beta testers after nine rounds of betas. The golden master represents the final version of macOS High Sierra that will be released to the public on Monday, September 25, should no additional bugs be found.

The macOS High Sierra golden master can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air using the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.

macOS High Sierra is designed to build on features first introduced in the macOS Sierra update in 2016, focusing primarily on new storage, video, and graphics technology. The update brings a new Apple File System (APFS), High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), new HEIF image encoding, and an updated version of Metal with support for VR and external GPUs.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Multiple apps have been updated with new capabilities in macOS High Sierra. Photos features a new sidebar to make it easier to access editing tools and albums, and there are new filters and editing options like Curves and Selective Color.

Safari is gaining speed enhancements, an option to prevent autoplay videos, and a privacy feature aimed at cutting down on cross-site data tracking. Siri in macOS High Sierra has a new, more natural voice, and Spotlight offers flight status information. iCloud, FaceTime, Notes, and Mail also include useful new features.

Apple plans to release macOS High Sierra to the public on Monday, September 25. macOS High Sierra will run on all machines that are compatible with macOS Sierra.

For a complete overview of changes coming in macOS High Sierra, make sure to check out our macOS High Sierra roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Apple Watch Series 3: LTE Plan Prices on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Bell, EE, and Deutsche Telekom

Apple Watch Series 3 is available with built-in cellular capabilities, allowing you to make phone calls, send and receive text messages, stream music, get directions with Apple Maps, use Siri, and more without a paired iPhone.


The freedom comes at a cost, however, as Apple Watch Series 3 models with cellular are priced $70 higher than those with Wi-Fi and GPS only. Also, to access LTE, the watch must be added to your phone bill as an additional monthly charge.

Here's a breakdown of how much participating carriers plan to charge. Some carriers have yet to announce their plans.



Verizon


Verizon said it allow customers to add an Apple Watch to an eligible plan for $10 per month. Verizon will reportedly waive its $30 activation fee, and is offering the first three months of service for free. The watch and iPhone share the same phone number via Verizon's NumberShare feature.

AT&T


AT&T has announced that customers can add an Apple Watch to an eligible plan for $10 per month. AT&T is offering a $25 activation fee credit, and a $30 service credit for adding an Apple Watch, within three bills. The watch and iPhone share the same phone number via AT&T's NumberSync feature.

T-Mobile


T-Mobile has announced that customers can add an Apple Watch to a plan for $10 per month with AutoPay. T-Mobile will reportedly waive its $25 new SIM card kit fee, and is offering the first three months of service for free. The watch and iPhone share the same phone number via T-Mobile's DIGITS feature.

Sprint


Sprint has announced that customers can add an Apple Watch to an eligible plan for $10 per month. Sprint will also offer a special introductory three-month cellular plan trial. The carrier has yet to specify whether its activation fee of up to $30 per line will be waived as well, but it would seem likely.

Bell (Canada)


Bell has announced that customers will be able to add an Apple Watch to an eligible plan for $5 per month. There is a one-time $10 activation fee. Bell will also offer a special introductory three-month cellular plan trial. The watch and iPhone share the same phone number via Bell's NumberShare feature.

Bell will not support the Apple Watch's cellular capabilities in Manitoba or Saskatchewan due to the carrier's lack of VoLTE in those provinces.

EE (UK)


EE has announced that customers can add an Apple Watch to an eligible SIM only or pay monthly plan for £5 per month, with the watch and iPhone sharing the same phone number. The carrier hasn't confirmed if it will be offering an introductory three-month trial, or if there will be an activation fee.

Deutsche Telekom (Germany)


Deutsche Telekom has announced that customers can add an Apple Watch to an eligible plan for up to €4.95 per month, with the first six months free of charge. The watch and iPhone share the same phone number via Deutsche Telekom's MultiSIM feature. The carrier didn't specify if there is an activation fee.



Apple Watch Series 3 models will be available to order starting tomorrow, September 15, at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time. In-store availability begins September 22. LTE-enabled models start at $399 in the United States.


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Snapchat’s World Lens Filters Now Include Augmented Reality Bitmoji

Snapchat will now allow users to view their Bitmoji characters in augmented reality, through an addition to its previous "World Lens" feature. With the update, Bitmoji will be able to do yoga, skateboard, drink coffee, and more, all taking place in real-world surroundings in AR (via TechCrunch).

Image via TechCrunch

Similar to Snapchat's popular dancing hotdog character, the Bitmoji will anchor to a spot in the environment and allow the user to walk around the characters for multiple angles and photo/video moments. They will be able to grow larger and smaller by swiping up and down on the screen, and multiple animation options will be available for users to choose from. Some of these will last longer than ten seconds, meaning Snapchat's multi-snap feature will be needed to string longer clips together.

Snapchat was featured briefly during Apple's September 12 media event, where Craig Federighi demoed a few face filters in the social media app. On iPhone X and iOS 11, Snapchat's filters -- and other AR experiences like the new World Lens Bitmoji -- will be improved thanks to the advanced front-facing camera sensors of the iPhone X, and ARKit in iOS 11.


The AR Bitmoji feature is rolling out globally on iOS beginning today, with Android users planned to receive the update sometime in the future. To be able to use the Bitmoji in World Lenses, users will first have to download the Bitmoji app and create their own character.


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Apple Now Selling Refurbished 2017 MacBooks With Kaby Lake Processors

Apple has added its latest 12-inch MacBook, originally released in June 2017, to its refurbished store for the first time. All models feature Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors and faster graphics options.


A refurbished base model with a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor, 256GB flash storage, 8GB of RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 615 is available for $1,099 in the United States, reflecting savings of $200 off Apple's regular price of $1,299. Available colors include Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, and Space Gray.

The base model with a faster 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB flash storage, 8GB of RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 615 is available for $1,189 in the United States, reflecting savings of $210 off Apple's regular price of $1,399. Available colors include Gold, Rose Gold, and Space Gray.

The base model is also available with an upgraded 16GB of RAM for $1,269, or $230 off Apple's regular price of $1,499.

A refurbished higher-end model with a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 512GB flash storage, 8GB of RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 615 is available for $1,359 in the United States, reflecting savings of $240 off Apple's regular price of $1,599. Available colors include Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, and Space Gray.

The higher-end model is also available with an upgraded 16GB of RAM for $1,529, or $270 off Apple's regular price of $1,799.

Other built-to-order configurations are available for between $1,099 and $1,659 in the United States, including models with up to a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 512GB flash storage, 16GB of RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 615.

Apple says refurbished MacBook models are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged, including the manuals and cables included in the box. The notebooks are each given a new serial number and undergo a final quality assurance inspection prior to being added to Apple's refurbished store.

A refurbished MacBook comes with Apple's standard one-year warranty effective on the date the notebook is delivered. The warranty can be extended to three years from the original purchase date with AppleCare+ for Mac, which costs $249 for the the 12-inch MacBook in the United States.

Apple has also added refurbished 2017 MacBooks to its Canadian store, with prices ranging between $1,459 and $2,069.

Related: Guide to Buying Refurbished Apple Products

Related Roundup: MacBook
Tag: refurbished
Buyer's Guide: MacBook (Buy Now)

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AirPods Wireless Charging Case Rumored for December Launch at $69

During Tuesday's event, Apple revealed that the rumored new version of its AirPods headphones were not in fact the "AirPods 2," but simply a new inductive wireless charging case that users will be able to purchase as a replacement for their current charging cases. No release date or price was mentioned, but information reportedly sourced from Apple Switzerland (via MacPrime) [Google Translate] suggests a December launch date for the new AirPods wireless charging case, which will cost $69.


Apple's out-of-warranty fee to repair or replace the AirPods charging case is $69, so a similar price point for the wireless charging version does make some sense. The only design change made to the new charging case is the placement of the LED battery indicator light, which has migrated from the inside of the case to the outside on the front.

This way, when users place the case down on a Qi-compatible charging pad, they'll be able to see the battery level of the AirPods' case without needing to open the top. Apple will be launching its own Qi charging station -- called the AirPower mat -- sometime in 2018, but until then owners of the iPhone 8, iPhone X, and AirPods will need to purchase third-party charging pads.


In regards to the new AirPods wireless charging case, it's still unclear if Apple will offer a version that also includes the AirPods themselves at the typical $159 price tag. The original AirPods launched in December of 2016.

Tag: AirPods

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