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Apple may not have held an event for its latest announcements, but it has certainly been an eventful morning in terms of rumored products launching. There’s also a lot left in the product pipeline that didn’t get announced (and would warrant an event). Here’s what we learned from today’s announcements:

For starters, we now know that Apple actually will pre-announce when the Apple Online Store is going down for several hours of ‘maintenance’ to update product pages. I was skeptical but optimistic yesterday. The mystery created hype like a small-scale Apple event, although anyone waiting for an iPad Pro 2 was disappointed.

Shortly before the store came back online, we saw the still rumored red iPhone teased by a Chinese retailer without confirmation one was coming today. Then came this year’s March iPhone announcement: Product RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 128GB and 256GB capacities.

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Last year it was the iPhone SE in 16GB and 64GB capacities that got revealed in March. This year the iPhone SE doubles in storage to 32GB and 128GB without any other changes.

The red iPhone was first rumored to be coming as a new iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus model later this fall, before later being rumored to be a mid-cycle iPhone 7 option alongside a 128GB GB iPhone SE.

Apple also announced six new iPhone case colors.

Then there are the iPad announcements. Apple discontinued the iPad mini 2 (which uses the same A7 chip as the iPhone 5s) and increased the storage for the iPad mini 4 to 128GB at the same $399 price (or $529 for cellular). That’s easy enough to follow.

The 9.7-inch iPad announcement requires reading a little closer to get. Simply called iPad, this new 9.7-inch iPad replaces the originally priced $499 iPad Air 2 and starts at $329 (or $309 with education pricing). It drops the Air name but returns to the first iPad Air dimensions which means it’s thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2.

iPad upgrade options include cellular for $459, 128GB for $429, or 128GB and cellular for $559.

The iPad Air 2 that it replaces in the lineup featured an A8X chip while the new iPad uses an A9 chip. For comparison, the iPad Pro models both use an A9X with better graphics performance (and both work with Apple Pencil and Smart Connector accessories unlike the new, cheaper iPad).

The year-old 9.7-inch iPad Pro and year-and-a-half-old 12.9-inch iPad Pro remain the flagship tablets in the lineup for now. An all-new 10.5-inch iPad and a spec-upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 are still rumored to be in the works. We’ll have to see which of the four device identifiers belong to the new budget iPad.

For now, the iPad lineup includes iPad mini 4, iPad, and iPad Pro in two sizes.

Apple Watch got updates in the form of new bands and default configurations. There’s a new Woven Nylon band style, Classic Buckle gets new colors and its second redesign, and Sport Band now includes three new colors.

Apple also sells Nike Sport Bands separately for the first time, and there are new colors in the collection. Along with these changes, Apple has reduced the options for which bands you can buy with new Apple Watches to only include Sport Band and Milanese Loop. All other bands including Classic Buckle and Link Bracelet are now sold separately.

Finally, Swift Playgrounds for iPad got multi-language support with five additional languages and other new features. Apple also unveiled a new video editing app coming soon called Clips to go along with the new iPhone announcements. Bloomberg reported that the new app was in development last year.

Clips doesn’t have a release date yet, but the fine print mentions that it requires iOS 10.3 which is still in beta:

Clips is compatible with iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation), iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, and iPod touch (6th generation) and requires iOS 10.3 or later.

Speaking of iOS 10.3, none of Apple’s software betas were released today. Current betas include iOS 10.3 with Find My AirPods, macOS 10.12.4 with Night Shift for Mac, tvOS 10.2 with SDK updates, and watchOS 3.2 with Theater Mode which should be ready any day now based on previous beta cycles.

And here’s the state of the Mac line:

13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar launched in October

11-inch MacBook Air discontinued, 13-inch MacBook Air still on sale with 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar also in the lineup since October

12-inch MacBook turns year old next month

iMacs rumored to be updated with USB-C and AMD graphics this year

No one remembers the last time the Mac Pro and Mac mini were updated but they’re still for sale

The one thing that is set in stone is WWDC 2023 which kicks off on June 5th in San Jose this year, where we’re expecting to see iOS 11, macOS 10.13, watchOS 4, and tvOS 11.

So ‘meh’ may be winning the plurality of our poll on today’s announcements (probably because flagship hardware wasn’t announced), but there are definitely a lot of new products from Apple today.

Last year it was the iPhone SE (mostly iPhone 6s specs in an iPhone 5s casing) and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro (similarly spec’d to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a better camera and True Tone Display) which marked tweaks to existing hardware. This year the spring tweaks are even more minor, but it’s a change in Apple’s product portfolio no less.

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Why Are People Still Waiting For Proprietary Linux Apps?

You often hear that Linux will only become mainstream when more proprietary software is ported to Linux. Like the two characters waiting for Godot, thousands of people are apparently waiting for the day Microsoft Office or Photoshop releases a Linux version and demolishes its free-licensed rivals. Against all reason, the expectation persists.

The truth is, proprietary ports are unlikely to happen. Commercial software developers have never figured out how to profit from Linux ports. Meanwhile, in their hesitation, countless free software equivalents have matured into serious competition, providing another reason the commercial shops to avoid the market. The only exceptions are high-end products like Maya, which can be written off as a business expense.

So why do people persist in the idea that Linux needs proprietary apps? A failure of imagination may be one reason. Thanks to Microsoft and Apple, software has been viewed as a commodity since the early 1980s, and alternative ways of thinking are inconceivable for many.

In fact, so far as the average user knows Linux at all, they are relying on long outdated myths. On the one hand, they expect Linux software to be hard to install and crude compared to proprietary applications, because that was the case twenty years ago, and they have no hands-on experience that might tell them things have changed.

On the other hand, they have heard the pro-Linux myths, such as the claim that Linux makes anti-virus software and defraggers unnecessary. Some may learn that such claims are exaggerations, but for most, the claims are so contrary to their experience of computing that they reject them without bothering to investigate. So far as many are concerned, if you run a computer, using anti- virus software is an inescapable necessity, and anyone who claims otherwise must be a liar or at best a naive enthusiast.

Conditioned to be consumers, average computer users know without the need of any experience that software you pay for is superior to software you download for free. They know, too, that software for sale in a store and software with a brand name is more trustworthy than software available on line or software they have never heard of. Admittedly, some free software like GIMP or LibreOffice has struggled to a limited brand recognition, but such successes are minor compared to well-branded software such as MS Word or Illustrator.

From such myths and expectations, it follows that an operating system (whatever exactly that is) without proprietary apps cannot possibly be worth any attention. It is like a no-name breakfast food in generic packaging, barely noticeable next to the big brands. By contrast, average users may curse Microsoft, or insist that Apple has gone downhill in recent years, but at least Microsoft and Apple are familiar.

Having users actually try free software rarely changes such attitudes. With low expectations, their explorations usually become self-fulfilling prophecies. If a feature has a different name in Photoshop than it has in Krita, instead of looking for a near-synonym, they are apt to conclude that the feature is missing. So, too, if the feature is in a different menu. If the feature is not immediately obvious, then they conclude that it does not exist — which is what they suspected all along.

For example, if they find that GIMP is unable to do four-color separations, few are willing to check whether Krita does. Chances are that they don’t know that Krita exists, or where to look for alternatives. Instead, their conclusion is likely to be that free software graphic programs on the whole cannot handle four color separations. Since their low expectations are fulfilled by this conclusion, they see no reason to test them.

Such attitudes are often reinforced by the assumption that the best tools are the industry standards. If the graphics industry depends on Photoshop, then clearly it must be the best tool for manipulating graphics. Explaining that GIMP or Krita may have features that Photoshop lacks is typically useless, because Photoshop is just as likely to have features that GIMP or Krita lacks. Nor can you argue that the free tools are suitable for professional work because you have used them that way; your personal example will probably be dismissed as a special case that does not affect the sweeping generalities.

Like Creationists arguing the non-existence of transitional forms, users sometimes have to resort to a feature as minor as a pre-defined keyboard shortcut to justify their position, but that hardly matters. Never mind that the free software allows users to define the shortcut for themselves — what matters is that the preconceived notions with which most users approach free software have been reinforced, no matter the degree of desperation or distortion involved.

That is why, these days, I rarely bother to argue against such a position. It would trying to pry open a close mind, and experience long ago taught me that such efforts only waste time.

What Is Apple Lossless Music And What Devices Are Supported?

With Apple Music and Spotify continuing to battle it out over the top streaming music spot, neither company is holding back on new features. Apple’s launch of Lossless and High-Res music ups the game for Apple Music customers who receive this jump in music quality without any additional price increases. This won’t impact the decision for some music listeners, but for many audiophiles, there is huge value in this additional experience. Let’s take a look at Apple Lossless music and how you can start listening. 

What Is Apple Music Lossless?

When you listen to streaming music, there’s a good chance the audio file has been compressed to help make the transmission to you more seamless. By doing so, each streaming service knows that a little bit of audio quality is sacrificed from the original recording value. In the case of lossless compression, all of the original data or the original audio file format is preserved. Said another way, this is Apple’s opportunity to completely embrace high-resolution audio. Using its proprietary “Apple Lossless Audio Codec,” ALAC for short, you will enjoy more detail with every song. 

Of course, Apple isn’t alone in this offering, as alternative services like TIDAL and Amazon Music HD have already begun to offer this service. Amazon beat Apple’s announcement by only a few days, while TIDAL has been offering high-res music for years. Separately, Apple’s biggest competitor, Spotify, has committed to its own lossless tier sometime later this year. One additional consideration is that any live radio on Apple Music – such as Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits or Apple Music Country – will not enable lossless nor will any music video. 

What Devices Support Lossless?

With the release of ALAC long after the release of the first few AirPods, there’s a big caveat, as AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max (even when wired) will not support lossless music. While each of the named devices supports Apple’s current AAC Bluetooth Codec, Bluetooth connections are not lossless, which is the biggest hurdle toward future AirPods working with this improved audio experience. The same goes for Beats wireless headphones. However, Apple has said that the AirPods Max can connect to Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless recordings with great audio quality. The analog-to-digital conversion takes place in the Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable, so any playback will not be truly lossless. 

Last but certainly not least, Apple has stated that support for lossless audio will be added to both the HomePod and HomePod Mini through a future software update. 

Do Not Forget Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos

While overshadowed during the Lossless announcement, Apple also announced that its entire music catalog will be available in Dolby Atmos which enables Spatial Audio. This means that when you listen to music on compatible headphones, you will feel as though the music is surrounding you. AirPods and Beats or any headphones with either the W1 or H1 chip will automatically have this functionality enabled. Speakers on any modern iPhone, iPad and Mac will also be compatible with a future software update. Third-party headphones will be able to turn on Dolby Atmos in the device settings through Bluetooth. 

Final Thoughts

For traditional music listeners who value their playlists more than music quality, the difference won’t be immediately apparent. For audiophiles or those who can truly discern between the different types of quality, this is a welcome addition to the Apple Music experience. That it won’t cost any extra is music to our ears.

David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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Apple Releases Macos 12.1 Rc, But Universal Control Is Still Missing

A week after seeding developers and public testers with macOS 12.1 beta 4, Apple has released the 12.1 RC ahead of a public launch. Notably, the macOS 12.1 release candidate doesn’t include support for the highly anticipated Universal Control feature.

The macOS 12.1 release candidate is appearing now via OTA for developers with build number 21C51. You can also download it from Apple’s Developer website if you’re not running the beta yet (full guide here).

With the first macOS 12.1 beta, we saw Apple bring back SharePlay support. However, Universal Control didn’t show up with any of 12.1 betas or with this RC build.

Apple previously said Universal Control would be coming “later this fall” but that deadline may end up being pushed back.

Here are the full release notes from Apple on the macOS 12.1 RC:

macOS Monterey 12.1 adds SharePlay, an entirely new way to have shared experiences with family and friends in FaceTime. This update also includes the Apple Music Voice Plan, new safety features for children and parents in Messages, redesigned Memories in Photos, and other features and bug fixes for your Mac.

SharePlay

SharePlay is a new way to share synchronized experiences in FaceTime with content from the Apple TV app, Apple Music, and other supported apps

Shared controls give everyone the ability to pause, play, rewind or fast forward

Smart volume automatically lowers the audio of a movie, TV show or song when you or your friends speak

Screen sharing lets everyone on a FaceTime call look at photos, browse the web, or help each other out

Apple Music Voice Plan

Apple Music Voice Plan is a new subscription tier that gives you access to all songs, playlists, and stations in Apple Music using Siri

Just Ask Siri suggests music based on your listening history and likes or dislikes

Play it Again lets you access a list of your recently played music

Photos

Memories has been redesigned with a new interactive interface, new animation and transition styles, and multiple image collages

New Memory types include additional international holidays, child-focused memories, trends over time, and improved pet memories

Messages

Communication safety setting gives parents the ability to enable warnings for children when they receive or send photos that contain nudity

Safety warnings contain helpful resources for children when they receive photos that contain nudity

Siri and Search

Expanded guidance in Siri, Spotlight and Safari Search to help children and parents stay safe online and get help with unsafe situations

Apple ID

Digital Legacy allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your iCloud account and personal information in the event of your death

TV App

Store tab lets you browse, buy, and rent movies and TV Shows all in one place

This release also includes the following enhancements for your Mac:

Hide My Email is available in the Mail app for iCloud+ subscribers to create unique, random email addresses

Stocks allows you to view the currency for a ticker and see year-to-date performance when viewing charts

Reminders and Notes now allow you to delete or rename tags

This release also includes bug fixes for your Mac:

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How To Fix “Imessage Waiting For Activation” Error On Iphone

Activating iMessage on Apple devices is usually a walk in the park. In fact, the activation happens automatically in the background with no input from the user. However, there are times when iMessage activation fails, thereby rendering the messaging service unusable.

When your Apple device can’t activate iMessage, you’ll find error messages like “Waiting for activation,” “Activation unsuccessful,” “An error occurred during activation,” etc. We highlight factors responsible for iMessage activation failure on iPhones and their respective fixes.

Table of Contents

1. Troubleshoot Your Internet Connection and Settings

An internet connection is an important prerequisite for activating and using iMessage on Apple devices. Your iPhone will display the “Waiting for activation” message if your Wi-Fi or cellular connection is slow or inoperative.

If you can’t visit web pages or use internet-dependent apps, your connection is most likely the problem. Restart your Wi-Fi router or contact your internet service provider to report the problem.

One more thing: Make sure the Settings app has access to your device’s internet connection, especially if you’re using cellular data.

Open your device’s Settings menu, select Cellular, locate Settings on the list of apps and ensure it’s toggled on.

Resetting your iPhone’s network settings to factory default could also restore internet connectivity, especially if other devices but yours can access the internet on the same Wi-Fi or cellular network.

Turn on your device’s cellular data or join a Wi-Fi network and see if that fixes the iMessage “Waiting for activation” error.

2. Check iMessage Server Status

You cannot activate or use iMessage on your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple devices if the server powering the messaging service is experiencing an issue. Visit the Apple System Status page and check if iMessage is working normally.

If the status indicator next to iMessage is green, iMessage’s servers are up and running.

A yellow indicator, on the other hand, denotes that iMessage is experiencing downtime. In this case, you could either wait until Apple fixes the problem or contact Apple Support to report the issue. 

3. Re-Enable iMessage

Turning off iMessage and setting up the messaging service from scratch can eliminate the “Waiting for activation” message.

Open the Settings app, select Messages, and toggle off iMessage. Wait for about 5 seconds and toggle the option back on.

Note that, depending on your region, your network carrier may charge a fee to activate iMessage each time you re-enable iMessage on your iPhone or iPad. Jump to the next troubleshooting solution if the iMessage status is still stuck on “Waiting for activation.”

4. Re-Enable FaceTime

Restarting FaceTime can force your iPhone or iPad to activate iMessage.

Go to Settings, select FaceTime, and toggle off FaceTime. Wait for 5-10 seconds and toggle the option back on in about 5 seconds.

5. Check Date, Time, and Location Settings

Incorrect date and time configurations will cause several Apple apps and services to malfunction. Some third-party apps (Google Maps, for example) that rely on the accuracy of your iPhone’s date and time settings may also stop working properly. Head to the settings menu and ensure your iPhone automatically sets time and date based on your current time zone.

Open the Settings app, go to General, select Date & Time, and toggle on Set Automatically.

The option to set time automatically might be grayed out if your iPhone or iPad has a Screen Time passcode. Go to your iPhone’s Screen Time settings, turn off the passcode, and return to the “Date & Time” settings menu to set your device’s time automatically.

We should also mention that not all cellular carriers allow users to set their device’s time automatically. Apple also notes that the “Set Automatically” option might not be available in all countries and regions. 

If your device’s date and time remain incorrect, check your iPhone’s settings and ensure your location is used to determine the accurate time zone.

Head to Settings and select Privacy.

Select Location Services.

Make sure Location Services is enabled. Afterward, scroll to the bottom of the page and select System Services.

Toggle on Setting Time Zone.

6. Restart Your Device

If you still can’t get iMessage to work on your iPhone or iPad due to the “Waiting for activation” error, perform a system reboot and check again.

Wait for your device to shut down completely and hold the Side or power button to power the device back on. Connect your device to the internet, head to the Messages settings menu, and check if iMessage is now active.

7. Update Your Device

iOS and iPadOS bugs are sometimes responsible for iMessage malfunctions. If your iPhone’s iMessage status is still stuck on “Waiting for activation,” installing the latest OS version could resolve the issue.

8. Sign Out of Apple ID

Therefore, we recommend backing up your iPhone before signing out your Apple ID account. That’ll allow you to easily restore data lost during the process.

Open Settings and select your Apple ID name.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Sign Out.

Enter your device’s password and tap Turn Off to continue.

Restart your device, reconnect your Apple ID account, and check if iMessage activates successfully.

9. Contact Your Cellular Carrier

iMessage activation may hit a brick wall if your network carrier is experiencing network downtime. Reach out to your cellular carrier’s customer support for assistance, or to confirm if there’s a disruption in mobile network services—particularly Short Message Service (SMS).

10. Contact Apple Support

If everything’s fine on your cellular carrier’s end, contact Apple Support to report the problem. Better yet, chat directly with an Apple Support representative from another iMessage-enabled device. You’ll get step-by-step instructions on how to fix the problem in real-time.

11. Wait It Out

Apple September 7 Event: Latest Rumors And What To Expect

Today, Apple will hold its traditional event. Although there are several products the company could be readying, two of them people are expecting the most: the iPhone 14 series and the Apple Watch Series 8. Here’s what Apple could announce at its “Far Out” September event.

iPhone 14 at the Apple September event

The iPhone 14 series will be the star of Apple’s “Far Out” September event. With four new models set to be introduced, expect a lot of hype from a new iPhone 14 Plus. Although the regular models won’t have much to differentiate from the current iPhone 13 generation, a bigger model will be a nice addition.

Expect great changes for the iPhone 14 Pro at the Apple September event, as reported by 9to5Mac. With a new design, a better processor, and huge improvements on the camera’s side, the iPhone 14 series will likely be one of the biggest Apple launches in years.

Latest rumors on the iPhone 14 models

In these past few weeks, 9to5Mac has reported that while there won’t be a price increase for the regular iPhone 14 models, Apple will likely raise iPhone 14 Pro prices by up to $100. In addition to that, a well-known iPhone case leaker shared identical silicon cases for the iPhone 14 line that Apple will likely announce alongside the new phones at its September Event, as you can learn more about it here.

Another leaker shared the iPhone colors he expects Apple to introduce in a few weeks from now:

iPhone 14: Green, Purple, Blue, Black, White, and Red. Pink is replaced with Purple, according to his sources;

iPhone 14 Pro: Green, Purple, Silver, Gold, and Graphite. He says purple takes the place of Sierra Blue.

In these past few days, 9to5Mac learned that the new, bigger iPhone 14 model will be called iPhone 14 Plus and the new hole-punch + pill on the iPhone 14 Pro will be, actually, a larger pill shape cutout, as you can learn more about it here.

Read more:

Three new Apple Watches are coming

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman has been reporting that Apple will introduce three new Apple Watch models in 2023, which he’s calling the most important update for the watch in years.

These watches could be unveiled at the Apple September Event. The Apple Watch Series 8 will get at least a new body temperature sensor and a better battery life. The Apple Watch SE will likely see a second generation while Apple is also readying a rugged “Pro” version of the current watch with a different design and premium finish for extreme sports.

Below, we gathered everything we know about these upcoming Apple Watches that will likely be unveiled during the Apple September event.

AirPods Pro 2 at the Apple September event

Apart from the iPhone 14 series and new Apple Watch models, Apple could introduce at its September event the new AirPods Pro 2. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says this is exactly what’s going to happen.

With a similar design to the current generation, 9to5Mac sources confirmed that the next AirPods Pro model – code-named B698 – will feature the next version of the H1 chip, Apple’s own audio processor. In addition, references for LC3 codec support on the AirPods Max beta firmware tease that AirPods Pro 2 could be the first to add Bluetooth 5.2 support.

This codec will bring more stability and efficiency to wireless earbuds. Not only that, but this new standard will help AirPods Pro 2 improve the sound quality for voice calls and songs with higher-bitrate support. Although low-energy Bluetooth and LC3 codec don’t promise “Lossless Bluetooth,” they will surely improve sound quality significantly.

Rumors currently expect it to be unveiled as soon as late this year and start being sold in 2023. The Apple September event could be the perfect timing for Apple to disclose to the public that it’s entering a new market.

For example, early this year, the company teased it’s working on a new Mac Pro without further details.

Are iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13 Ventura, watchOS 9, and tvOS 16 coming during the Apple September Event?

It depends. According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, iPadOS 16 has been delayed for at least a month, as Apple is aiming for an October release – alongside macOS 13 Ventura. During the Apple September Event, its CEO Tim Cook will likely announce the release date for iOS 16, watchOS 9, and tvOS 16.

You can learn more about these upcoming OSs in the guides below:

In his newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said Apple has new Mac minis and high-end MacBook Pros for later this year. 9to5Mac sources have confirmed that Apple is working on the tenth-generation base-model iPad and a new iPad Pro.

When will Apple hold its September event?

Apple will hold its iPhone 14 event on September 7, a Wednesday. The invitation teases an in-person event at the Steve Jobs Theater, although Bloomberg has reported a few weeks ago that Apple was already recording its keynote.

With an earlier announcement, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple wants to report a stronger Q3, in addition, to avoiding supply constraints, as you can learn more about it here.

The “Far Out” message could mean that the company is aiming at an astrophotography feature or even the long-awaited satellite communication support. We’ll know in less than two weeks.

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