Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.4 update to developers, more than one month after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.2 and four months since the debut of the new macOS Sierra operating system. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 one day after Apple released macOS Sierra 10.12.3.

The first macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta is available for download through the Apple Developer Center or the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store. A public beta will likely be available for public beta testers later this week.

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We don’t yet know exactly what features, bug fixes, or changes will be introduced in the macOS Sierra 10.12.4 beta, but because it accompanies iOS 10.3, it could be a more significant update that focuses on changes beyond bug fixes. According to Apple, the update includes a new Night Shift mode that automatically shifts the display color to the warmer end of the spectrum after night.

It’s often more difficult to determine what changes are included in macOS updates compared to iOS updates, so we may not know the full extent of what’s new until the software is released to the public and accompanied by official release notes. We’ll update this post should any new changes be found in the first beta.

Related Roundup: macOS Sierra

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

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 10.2 update to developers for testing purposes, one month after releasing tvOS 10.1, the first major update to the tvOS 10 operating system. tvOS 10.2 comes a day after Apple released tvOS 10.1.1.

Designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV, the tvOS 10.2 beta can be obtained by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, downloading and installing the software from a registered developer account via iTunes or Apple Configurator.

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Given the tricky installation requirements, tvOS betas are limited to developers and will not be provided to the public.

We don’t yet know what’s included in tvOS 10.2, but as a 10.x update, it could potentially include new features and design changes above and beyond the standard bug fixes and performance improvements. We’ll update this post should any new features be discovered in the tvOS 10.2 update.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Don’t Buy)

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

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to developers, marking the third major update to the iOS 10 operating system that was released in September. The first iOS 10.3 beta comes more than a month after the release of iOS 10.2.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 10.3 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed.

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As a 10.x update, iOS 10.3 likely brings bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features to iOS 10. While we won’t know what’s in the update until developers begin discovering changes, it is rumored to include a new “Theatre” mode with a “popcorn-shaped” icon in the Control Center.

What the rumored Theatre mode does is unclear, but should it be included in iOS 10.3, we’ll find out its purpose soon enough. We’ll update this post with new features that are found in the update.

Related Roundup: iOS 10

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

The Pokémon Company today launched its newest game designed for iOS devices, debuting Pokémon Duel. Pokémon Duel is a strategy board game where the goal is to collect a range of different Amiibo-style Pokémon figures, each of which has unique abilities.

Six Pokémon figures are used to build a deck, and with a deck, players can compete with other gamers around the world in ranked League Matches.



According to the app’s description, the object of each game is to be the first player to get a figure to the other player’s goal, carefully choosing a route and using strategy to outmaneuver an opponent.

The rules are simple! The object is to be the first player to get one of your figures to your opponent’s goal. How will you get to the goal? You’ll need to carefully choose your route! In duels, you and your opponent take turns moving your figures. Set up a strategic formation and attack your opponent, or simply block their path–it’s all about tactics! Plan your strategy and defeat your opponents in this game of cat and mouse!

Pokémon Duel is compatible with iPhones and iPads running iOS 8 or higher. The game is free to play, but includes gems that can be purchased in-app to speed up and enhance gameplay.

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Pokémon Duel was previously available to iOS users in Japan, but is today expanding to the United States and other countries around the world.

Pokémon Duel can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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Reference source: MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Apple is preparing to begin seeding builds of iOS 10.3 to developers as soon as next month, according to Sonny Dickson, who has occasionally offered accurate information on Apple’s plans from supply chain sources and other contacts. Dickson says iOS 10.3 will include a new “Theatre” mode with a “popcorn-shaped” icon in the Control Center, although he does not explain what exactly this mode will entail.







The most recent significant iOS update was iOS 10.2, which was released to the public earlier this month and included a new TV app and a number of new and updated emoji, among other changes. A new iOS 10.2.1 update is currently in beta testing.

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Trend of visits to MacRumors from devices claiming to be running iOS 10.3


We’ve seen a steady increase in visits to MacRumors from devices claiming to be running iOS 10.3 over past several months with visits now numbering in the hundreds per day, suggesting a developer release could indeed be coming in the near future.

Apple has been rumored to be launching updated iPad models in the March or April timeframe, with the company reportedly developing some new iPad-specific software features such as improved Apple Pencil support to accompany the hardware updates. It’s possible iOS 10.3 could be the update that delivers these features, although it may not be apparent in the early stages of developer seeding if the new features are exclusive to unreleased hardware.

Tag: iOS 10.3

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

In a recent piece by The Wall Street Journal, hardware analyst Stephen Baker commented on the state of holiday sales figures for both Apple and Samsung. While many believed Apple would have it easy this season due to Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 crisis, Baker said that “Apple’s own lack of a wowing product this year” meant that woeful Note7 owners opted for other high-end Galaxy phones, and not the iPhone 7.

“Most of those who bought or wanted to buy a Note 7 opted for a different high-end Galaxy phone,” Mr. Baker said. “Samsung was able to fend off other Android competition, and Apple, too, thanks to Apple’s own lack of a wowing product this year.”

Apple decided to not release the first weekend sales numbers for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus back in September, because it felt the results were “no longer a representative metric” due to demand outweighing supply. Samsung officially halted sales of the Galaxy Note7 worldwide in early October, but another industry analyst, Chetan Sharma, continued Baker’s thread by commenting on the iPhone 7’s lack of “a compelling enough feature set,” which wasn’t enough to convince owners of potentially exploding Note7 devices to switch ecosystems.

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“Apple has the strongest ecosystem, with its hardware, software and app and content stores,” said consumer tech and mobile industry consultant Chetan Sharma. “IPhone users looking for an upgrade stick with Apple. But in a year when Samsung dropped the ball in a huge way,” he said, Apple “didn’t have a phone with a compelling enough feature set to lure Samsung owners away.”

Earlier this week, Yahoo-owned mobile analytics firm Flurry released data surrounding the top device activations by manufacturer between 12/19 and 12/25, confirming that Apple was again at the top of the list with 44 percent activations, while Samsung came in second at 21 percent. In comparison to the previous year, Apple dropped from 49 percent and Samsung climbed slightly from 19 percent.

Ultimately, the two analysts admitted that both Apple and Samsung “made mistakes this year that cost them growth.” Sharma said that “the timing couldn’t have been worse for Samsung and it couldn’t have been better for Apple. But the truth is neither company capitalized this year.”

In the first few days of December, financial firm Oppenheimer summed up the current negative cloud surrounding Apple — fueled by mixed-to-negative consumer reception and its first revenue decline since 2003 — and stated that the company could be heading into a “decade-long malaise” if it doesn’t turn things around.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tags: Samsung, Galaxy Note 7

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

AT&T today announced Call Protect, a complementary service aimed at protecting its users from automated phone calls, also referred to as robocalls. The service debuts five months after the U.S. Federal Communications asked wireless companies to offer free robocall blocking services.

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The service offers two solutions to stop robocalls. It can automatically block numbers suspected of fraud at the network level, preventing them from reaching your phone entirely, or it can deliver the call from a suspected number with a fraud warning on the display. The latter feature requires the user to be in an area with HD Voice support.

AT&T customers can activate the feature via their MyAT&T account or by downloading the AT&T Call Protect app. The app allows users to look at call details, receive spam warnings, block specific numbers and turn on and off Automatic Fraud Blocking.

The service requires an iOS or Android smartphone eligible for HD Voice. AT&T also warns that automatic blocking may block wanted phone calls, which means users would potentially have to manually whitelist certain numbers to make sure they aren’t blocked.

In August, it was reported that Apple was one of over 30 companies that joined the “Robocall Strike Force,” a join effort aimed at stopping robocalls. At the time, the FCC said that most of the complaints it receives are regarding robocalls. The U.S. has other measures in place to prevent robocalls, including companies having to ask permission before calling and allowing people to add their number to the FTC’s Do Not Call list.

AT&T Call Protect is available on the App Store for free [Direct Link]

Tag: AT&T

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

Apple’s special Black Friday shopping event is now live in the United States and Canada, offering customers free Apple Store gift cards worth up to $150 or CA$200 with the purchase of selected Apple products today only.

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The offers are available through Apple’s website and retail stores in both countries. Each customer is limited to two gift cards per product category. Refurbished products and educational store purchases do not qualify.

U.S. rebate amounts include:

Macs $150: iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (excluding late 2016 models)

iPad Pro $100

iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 $50

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus $50

iPhone SE $25

Apple Watch Series 1 $25

Apple TV $25

The one-day promotion is also ongoing in the United Kingdom (up to £120) and elsewhere in Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The event runs for a little longer in Australia and New Zealand, where Apple is offering gift cards worth up to AU$200 or NZ$215.

Apple’s offers are rather lackluster considering better Black Friday deals are available on select iPhones, iPads, and Macs from authorized resellers such as B&H Photo Video and MacMall. Moreover, many of Apple’s newest products such as the iPhone 7 and MacBook Pro with Touch Bar are not eligible for the gift card promotion.

Related Roundup: Black Friday
Tag: Apple retail

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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