A more accessible future: AirPods, hearing aids, and the audio technology to make it possible

Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly stated his belief that technology should be accessible to everyone. For decades, Apple products have shipped with accessibility features, proof that these values are deeply rooted in the company. Apple even launched a dedicated accessibility website in 2016, showcasing the stories of several individuals and how their lives have benefited from accessible products.

One branch of accessibility that’s received an increasing amount of attention is hearing. While iOS has supported hearing aids in some capacity for years, deep integration with the iPhone first became possible when Apple expanded its Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing program to cover hearing devices. Advancements in Bluetooth Low Energy technology in concert with a proprietary audio transmission protocol have been essential in enabling a steady stream of iPhone-compatible hearing aids and cochlear implants to be released.

At the same time, Apple developed an audio product of its own – AirPods. The wireless headphones include advanced low energy technology themselves, powered by the Apple-designed W1 chip. Between the company’s work in both accessibility and audio, Apple finds itself in a unique position to dramatically transform the market of hearing augmentation.

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Facebook will demote spam posts that beg for attention

Facebook has confirmed plans to demote posts that beg for comments, likes, and shares. It will use machine learning to fight the “engagement bait.” The move, which will happen this week, will impact pages as well as people, so you’ll see fewer spam posts in your news feed. Facebook knows we all hate posts that […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Amazon Prime Video app reportedly set all-time tvOS record for early downloads

If ever a tvOS app was likely to prove a hit, it was Amazon Prime Video. Apple TV owners have had a very long time to wait for it to arrive on the platform, Apple promised it in more than one event, and when it finally did land, Apple heavily promoted it.

So it would be no great surprise if one claim being made for the app were to prove correct …

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Apple Now Offering Next-Day iPhone X Delivery in United States and UK

iPhone X shipping estimates continue to improve, with the flagship smartphone now available with free next-day delivery from Apple’s online store if ordered by 3:00 p.m. local time today in the United States.



Apple quotes delivery by tomorrow for all iPhone X models except the silver SIM-free version with 64GB of storage, which is estimated for delivery within 2-4 days. This means every iPhone X is still a last-minute gift option.

Apple is also offering next-day delivery of all iPhone X models on its online store in the United Kingdom, and in some other countries, shipping estimates are short enough that delivery before Christmas may still be possible.

With next-day delivery now available, it would appear that Apple has achieved supply-demand balance of the iPhone X, at least for now.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said improved iPhone X shipping estimates are the result of better-than-expected production, rather than weak demand. He originally predicted the iPhone X would likely remain in short supply until 2018.

Just hours after iPhone X pre-orders began in late October, Apple issued a statement to MacRumors indicating that customer demand was “off the charts.”

We’ll have to wait until Apple releases its next quarterly earnings results to analyze just how well the iPhone X has sold, but Apple’s revenue guidance of $84-$87 billion suggests the smartphone’s sales will be very strong.

iPhone X shipping estimates were initially pushed back to 5-6 weeks, but gradually shortened to just a few days by last week.

Apple always offers free next-day delivery of in-stock iPhone models, and it has extended the deal to all in-stock items ordered from its online store by 3 p.m. local time on Friday, December 22 in the United States.

Less-expensive gift ideas for an Apple fan available by Christmas include the Apple TV 4K, BeatsX, an official Apple-branded iPhone case, Apple Watch bands, or simply a physical or emailed Apple Store or Apple Music gift card.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Stolen ‘Cuphead’ game gets past App Review accompanied by faked developer website, appears to be one of many

Cuphead was a smash-hit game this year, with Studio MDHR releasing on Windows and Xbox. This morning, Cuphead appeared on the App Store with recognizable app icon, screenshots and branding. Except it is all fake. Whilst the game is actually somewhat playable, it is a stolen port of the desktop game and should not be downloaded. Update: The game is no longer available in the App Store.

The criminal who published it to the App Store also made a fake website as the support link, to confuse App Review in believing the game was legitimate. The game has yet to be pulled from the App Store, and sadly appears to be one of many cases from the same unscrupulous person.

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Beware the App Store’s Cuphead scam

Retro-style run-and-gun game Cuphead has landed in the App Store. Unfortunately, it’s not legit! One of the Xbox’s best games, the retro-inspired Cuphead arrived on consoles back in September, and immediately became a massive hit — thanks to its combination of addictive gameplay and vintage 1930s-style graphics. Sadly, you’ll have to wait to play the […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Amazon Says Prime Video Had Most First-Week Downloads of Any Apple TV App Ever

Amazon’s long-awaited Prime Video app for Apple TV had the most first-week downloads of any app in the history of the tvOS App Store.



“Prime Video has been a hit with Apple TV customers around the world — it had the most first-week downloads of any app in the history of tvOS,” an Amazon spokesperson reportedly told BestAppleTV.com.

Amazon and Apple haven’t disclosed any actual download numbers, nor do we know the previous record or the app that achieved it. The tvOS App Store launched alongside the release of the fourth-generation Apple TV in October 2015, and thousands of apps are now available to download on the platform.

Amazon Prime Video launched on the tvOS App Store for the fourth-generation and fifth-generation Apple TV earlier this month, and it was also automatically made available on the non-tvOS third-generation Apple TV.

Similar to the Prime Video app on other platforms, the Apple TV version enables Amazon Prime subscribers to watch Amazon Prime exclusive TV series, and a collection of movies, including some titles in 4K HDR. Prime Video for tvOS supports both the Apple TV’s universal search functionality and Apple’s TV app.

Amazon achieved this accomplishment despite some criticism about the Prime Video app having a poorly designed interface. Apple reporters John Gruber and Rene Ritchie, for example, have both said Prime Video is the worst tvOS app they’ve ever seen, echoing a sentiment shared by some users on Twitter.

Nevertheless, given Prime Video is a popular service and was already available on so many other platforms, many Apple TV owners are likely happy that at least some kind of app is finally available on tvOS.

BestAppleTV.com is run by Brad Gibson, who has previously worked for Apple-related publications such as MacUser, MacFormat, MacNN, The Mac Observer, MacCentral, and Macworld, some of which have shut down. We haven’t confirmed the accuracy of Amazon’s statement with Apple or Amazon.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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US Apple Online Store now offers next-day delivery on all iPhone X models

Well over a month since the phone’s debut, Apple appears to have finally caught up to the demand for the new iPhone X. All models in the US Apple Online Store are now listed as truly in stock; new iPhone X orders will deliver tomorrow.

The combination of strong demand for the new $999+ phone and production difficulties has meant the iPhone X has been supply constrained since launch.

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‘Rainbrow’ game uses the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera to monitor player’s eyebrow movements

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A new game made specifically for the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera is available to download from the App Store, with ‘Rainbrow’ using the sensor array as a game controller by monitoring the user’s eyebrows in one of the more novel applications of the imaging hardware.