The rapidly increasing take-up of Apple’s Swift programming language was confirmed again yesterday with the publication of a survey that ranks the popularity of programming languages.

In the latest TIOBE Index, Swift was ranked 10th, up four places from March 2016. As CultofMac notes, the nine programming languages ranked above it are at least two decades old, so breaking into the top 10 is a feat more impressive than it sounds. Swift was only introduced by Apple in 2014, replacing Objective-C as an easier-to-learn language.



Apple has promoted Swift as ideal for kids who are keen to code, with its gentle learning curve demonstrated in Swift Playgrounds, an app that teaches children to code using the Swift language. Apple has been updating and refining Swift since its debut, and is set to unveil Swift 3.1 this spring.

The TIOBE Index is calculated using search engine data to approximate the popularity of programming languages within online coding communities. Earlier this year, a quarterly study revealed that Swift had become one of the most sought-after freelance developer skills among employers.

Tag: Swift

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Shares in Taiwanese iPhone assembler Foxconn have reached decade-year highs over growing optimism about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8, due to launch in 2017.

According to a new Bloomberg report, Hon Hai Precision Industry – better known as Foxconn – has gained 29 percent in the last year on high expectations for Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone, which has helped the company defy a flat mobile market.


Apple, which accounts for half the company’s revenue, played a pivotal role in the stock’s recent buoyancy. The U.S. company this month reported stronger-than-expected iPhone sales during the key holiday quarter.

While the iPhone 7, introduced in September, failed to convince as many existing customers to upgrade as its predecessor, it did attract new smartphone buyers. That bodes well for the iPhone slated for later this year.

Apple is expected to launch a radically redesigned iPhone this year. The phone is believed to include a glass body, wireless charging, and potentially an edge-to-edge OLED display that integrates a front-facing camera with facial recognition and touch sensors for fingerprint identification. Foxconn may also end up assembling upgraded (but standard) 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones alongside the redesigned handset.

Investors hope the iPhone 8 line-up will provide a boost to a stalling industry, with Foxconn reportedly grappling with the slowdown. According to an average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg, revenue is projected to slip about 3 percent in 2016, and net income will be down 13 percent. However, earnings growth could rebound to 12.2 percent this year.

In addition to the 10th anniversary iPhone boost, Foxconn is said to be considering building a $7 billion display-making facility in the U.S. Japanese company Sharp is reportedly “taking the lead” on the proposed U.S site and has set aside $1.8 billion to developing facilities for making OLED displays – the same technology Apple is expected to adopt in future iPhones.

Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 8 in the fall, with claims of a launch as early as this summer likely due to reports that Apple could ramp up production early in order to improve yield rates, work out manufacturing issues, and ensure better supplies for a September release.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tag: Foxconn

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Aspyr tonight announced the launch of Sid Meier’s Civilization VI for Mac, which is available just three days after its October 21 PC launch. Civilization VI for Mac is currently limited to Steam, but Aspyr plans to bring it to the Mac App Store in the near future.

The newest game in the Civilization series, Civilization VI builds on the gameplay mechanics introduced with Civilization V and was designed by the same team that made many of the Civilization V expansions.



Tweaks have been made to AI, diplomacy, unit behavior, city building through the addition of city unstacking and districts, the research system, and more. Some of the new features:
EXPANSIVE EMPIRES: See the marvels of your empire spread across the map like never before. Each city spans multiple tiles so you can custom build your cities to take full advantage of the local terrain.

ACTIVE RESEARCH: Unlock boosts that speed your civilization’s progress through history. To advance more quickly, use your units to actively explore, develop your environment, and discover new cultures.

DYNAMIC DIPLOMACY: Interactions with other civilizations change over the course of the game, from primitive first interactions where conflict is a fact of life, to late game alliances and negotiations.

COMBINED ARMS: Expanding on the “one unit per tile” design, support units can now be embedded with other units, like anti-tank support with infantry, or a warrior with settlers. Similar units can also be combined to form powerful “Corps” units.

ENHANCED MULTIPLAYER: In addition to traditional multiplayer modes, cooperate and compete with your friends in a wide variety of situations all designed to be easily completed in a single session.

Minimum system requirements for Civilization VI on Mac include an Intel Core i5 2.7GHz, processor, 6GB RAM, 15GB of storage space, and a Radeon HD 6790, Nvidia GeForce 775M, or Intel Iris Pro graphics card with 1GB VRam.

Civilization VI can be purchased on Steam for $59.99. A Digital Deluxe version is also available for $79.99.

Tags: Aspyr, Steam

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Apple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.1, the first update to the macOS Sierra operating system that first launched on September 20. macOS Sierra 10.12.1 has been in beta testing since September 21, with Apple seeding five betas before releasing the final version to the public.

macOS Sierra 10.12.1 is available for free to all customers who are running macOS Sierra. It can be downloaded from the Software Update function in the Mac App Store.

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macOS Sierra 10.12.1 features few outward-facing changes, instead focusing on bug fixes and improvements to address issues that have surfaced since the release of the operating system. It does include Photos support for the new iPhone 7 Plus Portrait feature introduced with iOS 10.1, and it also includes features designed for next-generation MacBook Pro models that are set to be released later this year. Here’s a full list of changes:

This update:

– Adds an automatic smart album in Photos for Depth Effect images taken on iPhone 7 Plus

– Improves the compatibility of Microsoft Office when using iCloud Desktop and Documents

– Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from updating when using a Microsoft Exchange account

– Fixes an issue that caused text to sometimes paste incorrectly when using Universal Clipboard

– Improves reliability of Auto Unlock with Apple Watch

– Improves security and stability in Safari

Apple has been on an accelerated timeline to get macOS Sierra 10.12.1 released, and it has likely already been sent to Apple’s supply chain partners to be installed on new machines. New MacBook Pro models could be ready to launch as soon as late October.

macOS Sierra is a major operating system update that introduces Siri support, cross device copy paste options, new storage optimization tools, auto unlocking with the Apple Watch, and more. For full details on the features that are new in macOS Sierra, make sure to check out our full macOS Sierra roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Sierra

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Facebook yesterday announced an update to its flagship app that lets users stream video from their iOS device directly to an Apple TV.

Now, when a video is selected in the app’s news feed or from the Saved tab, a small button appears in the top right corner which, when tapped, offers to send the video to an Apple TV on the same wireless network.

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If you’re streaming a Facebook Live video to your TV, you can see real-time reactions and comments on the screen, and you can join in the conversation yourself by reacting or commenting.

The new feature – which also supports Chromecast – continues to stream the video to the TV while allowing the user to browse other parts of Facebook on their iPhone or iPad.

Facebook is free download on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]

Tag: Facebook

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

mba_late_2010_iphone_4_obsoleteApple will add all iPhone 4 models, the late 2010 13-inch MacBook Air, third-generation AirPort Extreme, and mid 2009 AirPort Time Capsule to its vintage and obsolete products list starting October 31, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara.

Apple products on the vintage and obsolete list are no longer eligible for hardware service, beyond a few exceptions. Apple defines vintage products as those that have not been manufactured for more than five years but less than seven years ago, while obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than seven years ago. Each of the products added were released between 2009 and 2010.

The report specifically pertains to Apple’s vintage and obsolete products list in Japan, but the new additions will more than likely extend to the United States, Australia, Canada, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific and Europe regions.

Apple already obsoleted CDMA models of the iPhone 4 around the world last month, while the late 2010 MacBook Air joins the mid 2009 iMac, 2010 Mac mini, and mid 2010 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro among Apple’s recently obsoleted notebooks.

macOS Sierra remains compatible with the late 2010 MacBook Air, while the iPhone 4 cannot be updated beyond iOS 7.1.2. Read how to identify your MacBook Air model or how to identify your iPhone model.

The current MacBook Air has not been updated in 584 days. Refreshed models with USB-C ports are expected later this month at the earliest.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Air (Don’t Buy)

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Following confirmation that Samsung has discontinued the Galaxy Note 7 amid its well-publicized fire-catching problems, the company today gave the first indication of how much the move will cost it for the third quarter of 2016. In a report by Bloomberg, Samsung is said to have cut its third quarter operating profit by $2.3 billion and adjusted profit expectations from 7.8 trillion won ($6.9 billion) to 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion).

The company’s projection “effectively erases all the mobile business profit that analysts had been projecting,” with revenue expected to dive from 49 trillion won to 47 trillion won. On the wave of Samsung’s woes, Apple shares reached a record high this year, but Samsung had yet to divulge its potential quarterly loss. Analyst Greg Roh said that Samsung’s prediction accounts not only for defective units, but also “the inventories of Note 7s in the channel as well as the components they bought a few months back.”

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

“This is a huge cutback,” said Greg Roh, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities Co. “It means Samsung has reflected not only the sales loss from the shutdown but it also means it would bear the costs of the inventories of Note 7s in the channel as well as the components they bought a few months back.”

Samsung’s mobile division was projected to report operating income of 2.7 trillion won in the quarter, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. HMC’s Roh said the revised outlook probably erased that number. “We expected the mobile division to see about 2.6 trillion won previously but it will only see a mere 0.3 trillion won in the third quarter,” he said.

Samsung’s manufacturing division — which sees the output of semiconductors, glass panels, appliances, and other materials — is expected to keep the company profitable for the quarter.

As the recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones continues, the company has begun delivering fireproof shipping boxes to customers affected by the exploding smartphone (via TechCrunch). In one video shared by XDA Developers, the contents of the box are revealed to include three smaller boxes within the larger packaging and a static shield to place the Note 7 in.



The outside of the shipping container notes that it is “forbidden” to transport the contents of the box by aircraft, and can only be returned via ground shipment. Samsung’s return box contents also include plastic gloves, reportedly due to the surface of the fireproof layer inside the main package having the potential to irritate some people’s skin.

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Snapchat tonight has been updated with a new way for users to interact with other people’s stories, removing Auto Advance and replacing it with Story Playlists. Currently, when a user finishes watching another user’s story, the app automatically begins the next person’s story.

snapchat

On its blog, Snap acknowledges that Auto Advance “made it impossible to individually choose which story to watch.” Sometimes, Snap says, users only want to watch stories from a select few friends or families. Now when users watch a singular story it will not automatically advance to the next story. To create a Story Playlist users can click on the thumbnail of a stories to queue them into a playlist that will autoplay.

Additionally, Snapchat has been updated to “put friends first.” Snap has moved publisher content from news organizations from the top of the app to the bottom, below the updates of friends, family and celebrities a user may follow.

Snapchat is available for free in the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: Snapchat

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Gigastone recently announced its MFi-certified PhotoFast 4K Video Capture and Storage Kit is now available exclusively through Apple’s online storefront and at select Apple retail locations in the United States.

photofast-4k-video-kit

The kit includes a Lightning to microSD card reader, 64GB microSD card with U3 speeds, SD card adapter, and keychain leash, ideal for capturing 4K video and high-resolution images from an action camera or drone and saving or viewing the content immediately after on an iPhone or iPad.

The kit requires using an app, namely PhotoFast LIFE app, available for free on the App Store [Direct Link], as is always the case with external storage accessories. If needed, the MicroSD-to-SD adapter connects the reader to SD card slots on most MacBook Pro models for transferring 4K videos and photos to the desktop.

Gigastone’s PhotoFast 4K Video Capture and Storage Kit is $79.95 on Apple’s website.

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Mophie today announced a modular accessory line of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus cases that allow users to attach various peripherals via magnetic charge on the back of Apple’s smartphone. Shawn Dougherty, co-founder and President of Mophie, said the new “Hold Force” line offers “stylish, protective cases” with the advantage of extra battery life and spots for credit cards.

The first step in ordering a Hold Force case is choosing the 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch case size for the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. Users will also pick between 9 color options on each accessory that range from one solid color scheme, to a “wrap” option that has a line of color sitting between see-through plastic. Cases in both sizes sell for $39.95.

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The Hold Force Wallet


The second step guides users in picking out a magnetic accessory to stick on the back of the Hold Force case, which are right now limited to a wallet system and battery pack. The Hold Force Wallet is available only for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus at $19.95, and includes 2 credit card pockets that Mophie says “keeps your cash, credit cards and ID together with your phone in one spot” thanks to the new line’s secure magnetic attachments.



The Hold Force Folio offers three spots for credit cards and cash, along with a piece of material that flips and covers the front of the iPhone. Like the Wallet, the Folio is available for both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus for $19.95. The company noted that the magnetic attachments have no negative effects on credit cards while they are inside of the Hold Force system.

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The Hold Force Folio


Lastly, the Hold Force Powerstation Plus Mini can provide up to 12 hours of extra battery life for average smartphones, thanks to its integrated 4,000 mAh battery. The accessory’s basic charging system is focused on micro-USB, so an included Lightning adapter allows for support of recharging the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Mophie sells the Powerstation Plus Mini for $59.95.

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The Hold Force Powerstation Plus Mini


Those interested can purchase the new accessories from Mophie’s official website, as well as at Best Buy.

Tag: Mophie

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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories