How to Set Up and Use Accessibility Shortcut in iOS 11

accessibilityApple includes a raft of accessibility options in iOS 11 to meet the various needs of its users, allowing them to customize their iPhone and iPad interface in several helpful ways. To make these features quicker to access, Apple also includes an Accessibility Shortcut feature in iOS 11 that, once set up, can be invoked using a triple click of the Home button (or Side button on iPhone X).

This shortcut feature is ideal for users who could benefit from fast access to a customized menu of accessibility options. It's also a great solution if you just want a quick way to control a single accessibility mode, like Smart Invert for example, which remains the closest thing we have to an official "Dark Mode" in iOS 11. Here we'll show you how to set up Accessibility Shortcut for either use case.
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iPhone X Beats Samsung Galaxy S9 in Benchmarking Tests

Early evaluations of Samsung's new Galaxy S9 and S9+ have ranked the S9 display and the S9+ camera above the iPhone X, but when it comes to performance, the iPhone X is still the clear winner.

In benchmark testing of the Samsung Galaxy S9 equipped with an Exynos 9810 chip, the iPhone X, and the iPhone 7 conducted by AnandTech, the iPhone X's A11 chip won in every comparison test, and in most cases, the Galaxy S9 also lost out to the A10 included in the iPhone 7.


Samsung is using two separate chips in its new Galaxy devices: the Exynos 9810 and the Snapdragon 845 from Qualcomm. The Exynos 9810 chip outperforms the Snapdragon 845, but doesn't quite match Apple's A11 Bionic chip.

On a single-core GeekBench 4 test, for example, the Exynos 9810 saw integer and floating point scores of 3,724 and 3,440, respectively, well below the 4,630 and 3,958 scores earned by the A11 and under the 4,007 integer score earned by the A10.


On a WebXPRT test that measures HTML5 and JavaScript-based tasks, the iPhone X's A11 chip scored 352, beating the 178 score earned by the Exynos 9810 and the 291 score earned by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.


Simliar results were seen in a Speedometer 2.0 test, with the iPhone X (A11), iPhone 8 (A11), and iPhone 7 (A10) winning out over both of the processors used in Samsung's new devices.

AnandTech was testing a demo version of the Exynos-based Galaxy S9 and came to the conclusion that there was something wrong with the device given its poor scores on the latter two tests compared to the Snapdragon 845, but even had the Exynos 9810 shown performance on par with the Qualcomm chip, Apple's iPhones still offer better performance.

When it came to graphics performance, the iPhone X also came out on top, beating out both Samsung chip variants.


Full benchmarks on the new Samsung devices and AnandTech's conclusions about the Exynos 8910 chip can be read over on the AnandTech site, but it's clear that Samsung is still unable to match the performance Apple can eke out of its chips by controlling both the software and the chip design.

It's also worth noting that there's one other area where Samsung can't compete with Apple as of yet - facial recognition. As CNET points out, the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ continue to use a 2D facial and iris recognition system that can't compare to the security of Apple's 3D face scanning technology.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ use a 2D facial recognition system

The Galaxy S8, which used the same 2D feature, was able to be fooled by photos, and while the Galaxy S9 features iris technology that's "been enhanced" to recognize "unique iris patterns from greater distances" and to better withstand spoofing attempts, it's the same general system that was used in the previous-generation devices.

Because Samsung's facial recognition feature isn't as secure as Face ID, the South Korean company continues to pair it with fingerprint recognition, a biometric authentication method Apple is abandoning in favor of Face ID.

Apple's Face ID is a 3D system that uses a series of dots to map out a person's face. It can't be fooled by photographs.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Android smartphone makers are two and a half years behind Apple when it comes to facial recognition techniques, so it could be awhile before Samsung has a similar system that can replace fingerprint scanning.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tag: Samsung
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Apple Testifies on iPhone Throttling Before Canadian Parliamentary Committee

Apple's Canada division and Geekbench maker John Poole today testified before a House of Commons committee on industry, science, and technology in Canada to address the power management features Apple introduced in older iPhones in iOS 10.2.1, reports iMore.

Poole was on hand because back in late December, he used his Geekbench platform to confirm the link between degraded iPhone batteries in older iPhones and processor slowdowns, which Apple had not, at the time, clearly explained.


Apple Canada was there to answer questions and share facts about why Apple implemented the feature in the first place, a topic that's been previously covered in support documents and a letter to customers.

As part of Apple's testimony, Jacqueline Famulak, Apple Canada's Manager of Legal and Government Affairs, provided a lengthy statement that largely repeats prior statements Apple has offered in the United States.

Famulak reiterated that Apple would "never intentionally" shorten the life of an Apple product to drive customer upgrades, and she explained that Apple added power management features in iOS 10.2.1 to allow customers to continue to use iPhones with aging batteries. A portion of the statement shared by iMore:
First, Apple would never intentionally do anything to shorten the life of any Apple product or degrade the user experience in order to drive customer upgrades. Apple's entire philosophy and ethic is built around the goal of delivering cutting-edge devices that our customers love. Our motivation is always the user.

Second, Apple's actions related to performance of iPhones with older batteries were designed specifically to prevent some older models from unexpectedly shutting down under certain circumstances. And we communicated this publicly. Let me explain.

In order for a phone to function properly, the electronics must be able to draw power from the battery instantaneously. But, as lithium-ion batteries age, their ability to hold a charge diminishes, and their ability to provide power to the device decreases. Very cold temperatures can also negatively affect a battery's performance. A battery with a low state of charge may also cause the device to behave differently. These things are characteristics of battery chemistry that are common to lithium-ion batteries used in all smartphones, not just Apple's.

If power demands cannot be met, the iPhone is designed to shut down automatically in order to protect the device's electronics from low voltage.

We do not want our customers to experience interruptions in the use of their iPhones, whether that is making an emergency phone call, taking a picture, sharing a post, or watching the final minutes of a movie. To address the issue of unexpected shutdowns, we developed software that dynamically manages power usage when, and only when, an iPhone is facing the risk of an unexpected shutdown. This power management software helps keep iPhones on when they otherwise might turn off - it does this by balancing the demand for power with the available supply of power.

The sole purpose of the software update in this case was to help customers to continue to use older iPhones with aging batteries without shutdowns - not to drive them to buy newer devices.

Third, Apple regularly provides software updates for iPhone and our other devices. These software updates can include everything from new features, to bug fixes, to security updates. Whenever we issue a software update, we include a ReadMe note which has a description of the contents of the update for the customer to review prior to the software installation. In the case of iOS 10.2.1, we stated that it "improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone."
Famulak went on to explain that Apple is offering $35 battery replacements in Canada, down from $99 ($29 in the U.S., down from $79) and that iOS 11.3, coming this spring, will offer customers more information about the health of their iPhone's battery and allow the power management features to be turned off.

The House of Commons is aiming to make sure Canadian consumers are being treated fairly by Apple, and it's possible that the Competition Bureau in Canada, also at today's committee meeting, will launch an investigation. Apple will also be facing government inquiries in other countries, including the United States.

The full text of the statement Apple provided to the House of Commons committee can be read over at iMore.


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Quick Takes: Apple Celebrating Women’s Week, The Road to Swift 5, and New macOS 11 Concept

In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Thursday, March 1


Apple celebrating International Women's Day and Women's Week with in-store events: Apple Orchard Road in Singapore will be hosting Today at Apple sessions over the next week in celebration of women who inspire the community. Apple Marché Saint-Germain in France will be hosting a recruiting event on March 8, billed as an evening of inspiration, participation, and celebration.


Commentary: International Women's Day is observed on March 8 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Apple has honored the day in previous years with featured content in iTunes and Apple Music.

macOS 11 concept reimagines Apple's desktop operating system: Spanish graphic designer and University of Navarra student Álvaro Pabesion has shared a macOS 11 concept on Behance. The mockups visualize how Apple's desktop operating system could look with a simpler design.


Commentary: While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it's hard not to drool over the idea of a more systemwide dark mode and iTunes being easier to navigate. macOS last received a major redesign as part of OS X Yosemite in 2014.

"Apple Is Going to Be the First Trillion-Dollar Company": A bold headline from Bloomberg View columnist Barry Ritholtz, who believes Apple will achieve the milestone at some point this year. He considers share repurchases, continued investments from Warren Buffett, index buyers, and several new products being on the horizon as four factors key to Apple's continued upward momentum.

Commentary: Apple is certainly leading the race to a trillion dollar valuation, with a market capitalization hovering around the $900 billion mark. Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft are next closest, each with market caps approaching the $750 billion mark. AAPL is down nearly two percent today.

Apple outlines release process for Swift 4.2, introduces SwiftNIO: Apple has shared a blog post that describes the goals, release process, and estimated schedule for Swift 4.2. Apple has also introduced SwiftNIO at a conference in Tokyo, described as a low-level tool for building high-performance networking applications in Swift.


Commentary: A couple of notable items for developers who use Apple's open source programming language. Today is also the cutoff date for proposing ideas for Swift 5.0, expected to be released in late 2018.

For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.


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Concept Imagines Gold ‘iPhone X Plus’ Based on 2018 iPhone Rumors

Apple is working on three iPhones for 2018: one that's an upgraded version of the current iPhone X, one that's essentially an "iPhone X Plus" with a 6.5-inch OLED display, and one that's lower cost with with a 6.1-inch LCD screen.

The most recent 2018 iPhone rumors have suggested that the two OLED devices could be offered in a new gold color, with Apple returning to its traditional gold, silver, and space gray color lineup.


Taking this rumor into account, designer Lee Gunho has whipped up a quick concept video that demonstrates what a gold glass-backed 6.5-inch "iPhone X Plus" might look like.

The short concept video also incorporates a second rumor suggesting the largest 2018 iPhone might incorporate dual SIM functionality, which would make it easier for iPhone users to switch between carriers, a feature useful for traveling.

2018 promises to be an exciting year for the iPhone, and all three of the devices that Apple has in the works are rumored to feature the same general design as the iPhone X with an edge-to-edge display, a notch at the top for a TrueDepth camera system, and, of course, Face ID support.

For more on the 2018 iPhones, make sure to check out our 2018 iPhones roundup, which aggregates all of the rumors and information that we've heard so far to give a clear picture of what to expect this September.

Related Roundups: iPhone X, 2018 iPhones
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Deals: 10.5-inch iPad Pro at Walmart, Anker Gold Box Discounts, One-Day Sale at Twelve South, and More

Walmart today has the 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro (512GB, Wi-Fi only) on sale for $765.83, down from $949.00. This deal is the best available online for the latest 10.5-inch iPad Pro, compared to retailers like B&H Photo and Adorama, which are both offering the same model for $924.00. At the time of writing, only the Gold and Rose Gold options have received the discount, while the Silver and Space Gray colors are priced at $940 and above.

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

The tablets are shipped and sold by Walmart, and are available for free two-day shipping. Check out the sale prices below:
There are also a few one-day-only sales going on today worth noting. First is Anker's Gold Box Deal of the Day over at Amazon, which has savings of up to 35 percent off a pair of iPhone-compatible Qi charging mats, and a few USB Power Delivery hubs. As with all Amazon Gold Box sales, the discounts will expire around midnight tonight, so be sure to order anything you're interested in before tonight.

Second, Twelve South is making amends of sorts today, following a snafu with the accessory maker's checkout system yesterday that made it impossible for customers to purchase items for most of the day. As a thank you to customers for their patience during the technical difficulties, Twelve South is now offering 15 percent off your entire order for one day only with promo code "Oops2018" -- ending tonight, March 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET.


Twelve South has a store full of Apple-only products, and the discount can go towards anything from smaller items like the $29.99 PencilSnap for Apple Pencil (discounted to $25.49), bigger products like the $99.99 BookBook for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (discounted to $84.99), or any combination orders. All that you have to do is enter the promo code "Oops2018" and the discount will be applied to your order.

Lastly, Target has launched a new and unique offer for users interested in purchasing an App Store and iTunes Gift card. Through March 3, customers can get 10 percent more in iTunes credit when they buy an iTunes gift card (email delivery) at Target, and they'll see the bonus value added to their Apple ID "instantly" upon redeeming the gift card.


We've broken down each of the qualifying iTunes card tiers and the bonus amount you'll get in the list below. This deal isn't as good as the straight $10 or $15 discounts we've previously seen for iTunes cards, but if you're willing to spend on the $100 tier you can get an extra $10, making it the best offer here.
  • $15 iTunes gift card + 10 percent bonus = $16.50

  • $25 iTunes gift card + 10 percent bonus = $27.50

  • $50 iTunes gift card + 10 percent bonus = $55.00

  • $100 iTunes gift card + 10 percent bonus = $110.00
Head over to Target's website to purchase an iTunes gift card before Saturday, March 3 if you're interested. It's also worth noting that if you do make a purchase, you have until the following Saturday, March 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET, to redeem the iTunes gift card within your Apple ID account to receive the 10 percent bonus.

For more of the latest sales, be sure to read our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Logic Pro X Updated With Several Important Bug Fixes

Logic Pro X, Apple's software for professional audio editing, was today updated to version 10.4.1, with Apple introducing several important bug fixes to address issues discovered since the release of the major 10.4 update.


According to Apple's release notes, the update fixes an issue that could cause the app to quit when opening projects created with an earlier version of Logic Pro X, it ensures plug-in settings are properly installed, it prevents CPU usage spikes caused by ChromaVerb, and it fixes a few other bugs. Full release notes are below:
What's New
- Fixes an issue that could cause the app to quit when opening projects created in an earlier version
- Plug-in settings are properly installed for Step FX, Phat FX, ChromaVerb and the Vintage EQ collection
- Logic no longer quits unexpectedly when pressing play after automation has been copied to another track
- Resolves an issue where ChromaVerb could cause unexpected spikes in CPU usage
- Zoom key commands now work as expected in the Audio File Editor
- Control-clicking on a note in the Piano Roll Editor no longer causes other notes to deselect
Logic Pro X 10.4.1 comes a little over a month after the release of Logic Pro 10.4, a huge update that introduced a new Smart Tempo system, new plug-ins including ChromaVerb, Step FX, and Vintage EQ, additional drummers, and more than 800 new loops.

Logic Pro X can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $199.99. [Direct Link]


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Apple Watch Outsold All Competing Smartwatches Combined Last Year

Apple Watch continues to be the world's most popular smartwatch by a significant margin, according to analysts.

IDC estimates Apple Watch shipments totaled eight million units worldwide last quarter, which also makes it the best selling wearable device during that period.

The research firm says one in every five wearables shipped last quarter was an Apple Watch, on the strength of new Series 3 models launched in September.

By comparison, Fitbit reported sales of 5.4 million wearables last quarter, while Xiaomi shipped 4.9 million units over that time, according to IDC. An estimated 41 percent of smartwatch shipments came from smaller vendors grouped into an Others category.


The wearables market includes several inexpensive fitness trackers from the likes of Fitbit and Xiaomi, while the Apple Watch starts at $249 for Series 1 models, so it's really an apples to oranges comparison.

For that reason, MacRumors also reached out to IDC for data specific to smartwatches, which it defines as wearables that can run third-party apps natively.

The data shows that Apple Watch accounted for an estimated 61 percent of worldwide smartwatch shipments last quarter, with no single competitor coming anywhere close. Samsung's market share was just 8.4 percent, according to IDC, despite the quarter encompassing the lucrative holiday shopping season.


For perspective, the estimated 17.7 million Apple Watches shipped in 2017 was more than all competing smartwatches combined last year. Samsung, Garmin, Fossil, Chinese kids smartwatch maker Continental Wireless, and other vendors shipped an estimated 15.6 million smartwatches cumulatively last year.

"Consumer preferences have shifted to more sophisticated devices and towards well recognized brands," like the Apple Watch, said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst at IDC. "It's due to this that the wearables market has seen healthy double-digit growth in average selling prices since 2016."

Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Instead, it groups the wearable under its "Other Products" category, alongside Apple TVs, AirPods, Beats, iPods, accessories, and soon HomePods.

On an earnings call last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Apple Watch had its best quarter ever during the fourth quarter of 2017, with over 50 percent growth in revenue and units sold for the fourth quarter in a row, and strong double-digit growth in every geographic segment that Apple tracks.

Cook added that sales of Apple Watch Series 3 models were also more than twice as high as Series 2 models in the year-ago quarter.

Apple analysts, who closely examine Apple's earnings reports and other clues to estimate Apple Watch sales, have similar totals as IDC. Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies estimates Apple Watch shipments totaled 17.4 million last year, while Horace Dediu of Asymco comes in at 17.7 million.

Apple Watch shipments outpaced all Swiss watch brands combined for the first time last quarter, according to IDC's Francisco Jeronimo.‏ In other words, Apple is now the biggest watchmaker in the world.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Tag: IDC
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Detail Plans for ‘Next-Generation Mobile Authentication Platform’

Last September, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile announced a team-up with the mission of developing a mobile authentication solution for both businesses and consumers. One of the main reasons the carriers created the "Mobile Authentication Taskforce" was to help users who have to manage "dozens of difficult-to-remember passwords" for numerous apps.

Today at Mobile World Congress, the taskforce has revealed more details about its upcoming platform, and set a launch date for later in 2018. AT&T said the solution will create a cryptographically verified phone number and "unique profile" that's specific to the user's smartphone or tablet, strengthened by processing attributes such as a network verified mobile number, IP address, SIM card attributes, phone number tenure, phone account type, and more. The solution will only work with apps authorized by the taskforce, and at the consent of the user.


The companies' combined resources will further analyze data and activity patterns on a mobile network to predict, "with a high degree of certainty," whether the user is who they say they are.
Formed last year to develop a mobile authentication solution to help protect enterprises and consumers from identity theft, bank fraud, fraudulent purchases and data theft, the Mobile Authentication Taskforce has dedicated resources developing a highly secure and trusted multi-factor authentication platform powered by the carrier networks. The taskforce vision includes interoperability with GSMA's Mobile Connect technology.
To confirm a user's identity and allow them entry into their own secure data, the solution will also use machine learning, advanced analytics, and run a risk assessment engine with AI to confirm that all of this data matches -- or doesn't match -- the main user's identity. VentureBeat reported that the Mobile Authentication Taskforce's platform is expected to be "simpler and more secure" than current heavy-duty password and data protection solutions, like two-factor authentication.

According to the GSM Association, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, the solution will not only provide mobile device owners with an easier way to manage passwords, but also help to "decrease fraud and identity theft, and increase trust in online transactions." With the four largest U.S. network carriers working together, AT&T said that the taskforce will bring "significant capabilities and insights" to build a modern security and identity protection system.
“As mobile becomes the remote control for day-to-day life, mobile identity is key to making things simpler and more secure for consumers,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “The GSMA has been working with operators around the world to bring a consistent and interoperable, secure identity service and this taskforce will strengthen that effort by enabling a simple user experience quickly and conveniently in the US market.”
Ahead of the launch, registered developers will be able to submit to the taskforce and begin ensuring that their applications will be compatible with the new mobile authentication platform. This submission process itself will be highly secure as well, using "private and permissioned blockchain technology to help ensure application integrity."

Developers and other service providers will be able to sign up to participate as an application developer when the taskforce's website launches "later this year," and in the next few weeks internal trials of the system will begin.


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Galaxy S9+ Tops iPhone X as Best Smartphone Camera Ever in DxO’s Controversial Rankings

DxO today said Samsung's new Galaxy S9 Plus has the best smartphone camera it has ever tested. The device earned the highest-ever DxOMark score of 99, topping both the Google Pixel 2 and iPhone X, which scored 98 and 97 respectively.


In its review, DxO said the Galaxy S9 Plus camera lacks any "obvious weaknesses" and "performs very well across all photo and video test categories," which will make it a compelling choice for photography-minded smartphone users.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a smartphone without any real weaknesses in the camera department. In both still and video modes, it performs well across the board, delivering consistently good photo and video image quality in all light and shooting situations, thus earning itself our highest DxOMark Mobile score to date. Add one of the best smartphone zooms and a capable bokeh simulation mode to the mix, and the Galaxy S9 Plus is difficult to ignore for any photo-minded smartphone user. With the Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung is setting the pace for 2018. We'll see if the competition can follow suit.
While the Galaxy S9 Plus has a 12-megapixel dual-lens rear camera like the iPhone X, a key new feature is variable aperture, which means the lenses can adapt to various lighting conditions just as the human eye would, and automatically let in more light when it's dark and less when it's too bright.

In dim conditions, the rear camera uses a very fast f/1.5 aperture to maximize light capture, according to DxO. In brighter light, it switches to a slower f/2.4 aperture for optimized detail and sharpness.

DxO found the Galaxy S9 Plus produces "excellent results" in bright light and sunny conditions, with vivid colors, good exposures, and a very wide dynamic range. The autofocus wasn't the very fastest DxO has ever tested, but they said it's more than fast enough not to be an issue for any user.

Galaxy S9+

iPhone X

While the review crowned the Galaxy S9 Plus as an "excellent bright-light performer," DxO still experienced some "fairly minor issues" in those conditions. Some of its photos had "purple fringing on high-contrast edges" and "pretty noticeable" ringing halos, while others had "slight blue or pink color casts."

DxO said the Galaxy S9 Plus's performance in dimmer conditions is "equally impressive," yielding photos with "nice exposures with vivid color, accurate white balance, low noise, and good texture in low-light conditions."

The rear camera earned top marks in several other areas, including autofocus, zoom, flash, and bokeh, exposure, contrast, and color accuracy, so be sure to read the full-length review for more detailed analysis.

To determine scoring in its smartphone camera reviews, DxOMark said its engineers capture and evaluate over 1,500 test images and more than two hours of video, both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera's default settings. This article explains more about the methodology.

DxO's smartphone camera reviews are well known, but they've also attracted some criticism, since the overall quality of a camera is subjective. When comparing dynamic range on the Galaxy S9 Plus, Google Pixel 2, and iPhone X, for example, DxO itself said the results are "pretty much a question of personal preference."

For those interested, here is DxO's review of the iPhone X camera. But reviews from professional photographers like Austin Mann may be more valuable. Together, they provide good technical and real-world insight.


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