iOS 11.3 Beta to Get Throttling Kill Switch in February as Apple Trials ‘Reserve a Battery’ System in Canada

Following a report that the United States government is investigating Apple's power management function that slows down some older iPhone models, Apple issued a statement on late Tuesday confirming that it has "received questions from some government agencies" and is "responding to them."

In the statement, Apple also confirmed the timing of its promised power management toggle, allowing customers with an iPhone 6 through iPhone 7 Plus to disable the function: it will be rolling out in a future iOS 11.3 beta version in February. The software update will be publicly released later this spring.

Apple's full statement was shared by Axios earlier today:
About a year ago, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on certain iPhones with older batteries. We know that iPhones have become an important part of the daily lives of our customers and our intention was to improve the customer experience.

We sought to further improve the customer experience in December by announcing a significant discount on replacement batteries for certain iPhones. We also announced that we began developing a new iOS feature to show battery health and which would recommend when the user should consider replacing their battery. These actions were taken to further assist our customers and help extend the life of their iPhones. In addition, users will be able to see if the power management feature is being used to prevent unexpected shutdowns, and turn if off if they so choose. These features will be included in a developer release next month and a user release this Spring.

As we told our customers in December, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love. Making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them.
Apple's power management function can also be sidestepped by replacing an iPhone's battery if necessary. We've previously outlined steps on how to initiate this process at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

In related news, Apple recently added a "Reserve a Battery" option to its support website in Canada. This system, not available elsewhere yet, allows customers with an iPhone 6 or newer to reserve a battery online and have Apple contact them when a battery is available at their preferred Apple Store.

This system can be found by signing into your Apple ID on Apple's Get Support page and selecting Battery, Power, and Charging → Battery Replacement → Reserve a Battery. An anonymous tipster told us that Canada is a trial country, suggesting Apple may choose to expand this reservation system to other regions.

Apple promises to contact customers within three to five days to let them know when their battery replacement can be completed. Its support website currently quotes an estimated two to four week wait in Canada.

MacRumors previously obtained an internal Apple memo that stated iPhone 6 Plus replacement batteries were in short supply and unavailable until late March or early April around the world. Apple's internal document quoted a shorter wait of "approximately two weeks" for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus batteries.

Apple said batteries for all other eligible iPhones were expected to be available "without extended delays" in most countries.

In addition to probes from the United States government, over 50 class action complaints have been filed against Apple since it fully disclosed the power management changes it made in iOS 10.2.1, nearly a year after the update was released. Apple apologized for its lack of communication in a letter to customers.

Related Roundup: iOS 11

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Tim Cook Makes First Trip to Canada as Apple CEO With Surprise Visit to Toronto

Tim Cook made his first appearance in Canada today as the head of Apple with an unannounced visit to Toronto today.

Just before noon local time, Cook made a surprise visit to the company's retail store at the Eaton Centre shopping mall, reports The Globe and Mail. Cook was pictured alongside young students attending an Apple Field Trip, an in-store initiative that introduces kids to coding, podcasting, and other creative skills.

Cook's stop in Toronto follows a trip to Harlow College near London, England on Friday, in line with Apple's announcement that its Everyone Can Code initiative has recently expanded to 70 colleges and universities across Europe. Last week, Cook also visited Reno, where Apple broke ground on a new data center.

Cook has served as Apple's CEO since August 24, 2011, after the late Steve Jobs resigned from the position for a final time.

Via: iPhone in Canada

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Flagship Apple Store Possibly Still Planned at Yonge-Bloor in Toronto

Canada's most populous city may eventually be home to a flagship Apple retail store at one of its busiest intersections.

A render of what The One will look like upon completion

MacRumors has learned that Apple has been labeled in a planning document for The One, a massive 82-floor condominium under construction at the corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street in Toronto. The architecture firm behind the project, Foster + Partners, has partnered with Apple on numerous occasions.

The One's architectural plan

The plans outline a proposed triple-height, 19,000-square-foot retail store with space for a riser to the ceiling, suggesting the store could have a cantilevered balcony like Apple's flagship Union Square location in San Francisco. The store's large glass entrance would open up to the sidewalk facing Yonge Street.

Apple Union Square in San Francisco

While the blueprints were submitted to the City of Toronto in March 2016, eagle-eyed MacRumors reader and Toronto resident Pedro Marques noticed the document has been updated, and it appears Apple was labeled at a later date.

Apple has yet to announce any plans to open a flagship store in Toronto, but rumors about the company setting up shop at Yonge and Bloor date back to at least 2012. The planning document is the first concrete evidence we've seen beyond subtle hints from builder Mizrahi Developments.

Apple would be one of several retailers at the base of the condominium, and the store could also have an entrance in Toronto's PATH, a series of underground hallways that connect downtown offices, stores, and subway stations.

Despite being mentioned in the planning document, there is no guarantee that Apple has finalized a lease to occupy The One. A few years ago, an anonymous tipster informed MacRumors that Apple was considering pulling out of the project given delays, pushback from some local residents, and other issues.

Toronto has four existing Apple retail stores at Eaton Centre, Fairview Mall, Sherway Gardens, and Yorkdale, but all of them are within shopping malls, and only one is located in the downtown core.

A large, street-facing Apple store has been long desired in Toronto, and within a few years, it may finally be a reality.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Tag: Canada

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Lyft to Launch in Toronto Next Month as Uber Competitor Expands to First City Outside of United States

Lyft today announced that it will launch its ride-hailing service in Toronto next month as its first market outside of the United States.

Riders in Canada's largest city—and nearby Hamilton, Ontario—will be able to hail Lyft or Lyft Plus vehicles that hold up to four or six passengers respectively, as well as fancier Lyft Premiere, Lyft Lux, or Lyft Lux SUV rides.

Lyft hasn't disclosed passenger rates, payouts to drivers, or any other specific details ahead of the December expansion.

Lyft's biggest competitors in Toronto will be Uber, which launched in the city over five years ago, and traditional Beck Taxi cabs. The city also operates the TTC subway system and a network of streetcars and buses.

Beck Taxi, which has already heavily protested Uber, naturally isn't happy about Lyft's arrival. "It's another reason to encourage cars to cruise the streets of our city — many of them who come from outside it — who otherwise wouldn't be there," said the company's operations manager Kristine Hubbard.

In an interview with the Toronto Star, Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer said he expects Toronto will likely become one of the ride-sharing company's top five markets overall in North America.
We see it as a world-class city. It will likely become one of our top five markets overall. We expect that to happen, and we see it as a city that really shares the values that we have at Lyft — focusing on people taking care of people, treating people well, treating people with mutual respect and promoting both inclusion and diversity.
Zimmer said 50,000 people in Toronto downloaded the Lyft app this year despite the service not being available in the city. He also subtly suggested that Lyft will be a fresh alternative to the scandal-clad Uber.

Lyft's app can already be downloaded from the App Store [Direct Link] in Canada for iPhone and Apple Watch.

Tags: Canada, Lyft

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Apple’s ‘TV’ App Showing Up for Canadian and Australian Users Ahead of iOS 11 and tvOS 11 Launch

Ahead of tomorrow's launch of iOS 11 and tvOS 11, the "TV" app has begun showing up for some Canadian and Australian users on iOS devices and the fourth-generation Apple TV.

While the TV app appears to be rolling to users in Canada and Australia starting tonight, it is not yet available for all users, nor is it functional. MacRumors reader John, who is from Australia, said the TV app has shown up on his fourth-generation Apple TV but isn't loading content as of yet.

Apple last Tuesday announced that the TV app would expand to Australia and Canada "later this month," but did not specify exactly when it would be released. Presumably, the app will become functional tomorrow after iOS 11 and tvOS 11 become available to the public.

The TV app, which has been available in the United States since December of 2016, is designed to provide a centralized way to access all of the different television channels and content available through dedicated apps from major networks like HBO, CBS, NBC, FOX, and more.

The TV app allows users to play TV shows and movies with a single click, and it syncs content across devices so it's always possible to pick up a TV show or movie being watched on one device on another device. Apple has also introduced content recommendations to help users discover new TV shows and movies to watch.

More than 60 services are supported by the TV app, but with the expansion to new countries, Apple plans to add support for additional local content

Later this year, Apple plans to expand the TV app to France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the UK.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Tags: Australia, Canada
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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Apple Maps Transit Directions Now Available in Edmonton, Alberta

Apple Maps has been updated with comprehensive transit data in Edmonton, Alberta, enabling iPhone users in Canada's fifth most populous city to navigate with public transportation, including buses and trains.

Apple Maps can provide routes for both Edmonton Transit System (ETS) buses and Edmonton Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains throughout the Edmonton area, including to and from the Edmonton International Airport.

Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times. Apple Maps also provides detailed advisories about service interruptions and other changes.

At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

For a regularly updated list of cities with Apple Maps transit, visit the iOS Feature Availability page on Apple's website.

(Thanks, Josh!)

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Apple Accepting Red Cross Donations to Aid British Columbia Wildfire Relief Efforts

Apple is accepting donations to the Canadian Red Cross through iTunes to help people affected by ongoing wildfires in British Columbia.

iTunes users in Canada can donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $200 via their iTunes balance or a linked credit card. Apple will transfer 100 percent of the proceeds to the Canadian Red Cross, which is providing relief efforts for the wildfires. British Columbia declared a provincial state of emergency in July.

As of August 6, the BC Wildfire Service said 132 wildfires were currently burning in the province, with a total of 900 wildfires since April 1. As of August 9, over 3,600 personnel were working to fight the fires, which have forced some residents to evacuate due to dangerous conditions, including poor air quality.

Apple routinely accepts Red Cross donations through iTunes for natural disasters, including wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta last year.

Via: iPhone in Canada

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You Can Now Order Ahead at Tim Hortons Using Your iPhone With Apple Pay

Canadian coffee and donut chain Tim Hortons today launched a revamped app that enables customers to order and pay ahead of time with Apple Pay. Customers can also add a credit card or TimCard manually and pay by scanning an in-app barcode.

The app enables customers to choose their preferred Tim Hortons location and pick-up method. Payment is completed within the app, so customers can grab their orders to go at the counter or drive-thru, or dine in at the restaurant.

The minimum reload amount in the Tim Hortons app is set at the default of $10, but can be set at increments of $10, $25, $50, or $100, in both Canadian or U.S. dollars. Tim Horton's app FAQ outlines more details.

Tim Hortons locations will have new "Mobile Pickup" signage displayed at counters to inform customers where to pick up their mobile orders, enabling them to skip the line, according to the blog iPhone in Canada.

The new Tim Hortons app replaces the company's old TimmyMe app with limited TimCard barcode functionality. Tim Hortons says customers can seamlessly transfer their TimmyMe funds for use in the new app.

Restaurants offering the ability to order and pay ahead on a smartphone is hardly a new concept, but it's nice to see Canada's largest quick service chain, with over 3,800 locations across the country, get on board.

The new Tim Hortons app is available now for free on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone users in Canada and the United States.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: Canada, Tim Hortons

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Apple Maps Transit Directions Now Available in Calgary

Apple Maps has been updated with comprehensive transit data in Calgary, Alberta, enabling iPhone users in the Canadian city to navigate with public transportation, including the CTrain light rail system and buses.

Apple Maps enabled transit routing in Calgary just in time for the 2017 Calgary Stampede, which runs between July 7 and July 16.

Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times.

At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

Newer additions include Atlanta, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Madrid, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Montréal, New Orleans, Paris, Portland, Pittsburgh, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, and Singapore.

For a complete list of cities with Apple Maps transit directions, visit the iOS Feature Availability page on Apple's website.

(Thanks, Bernd!)

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Apple Shares ‘Portrait of Canada’ as Latest Ad in ‘Shot on iPhone’ Campaign

Apple today shared a new video called "A Portrait of Canada" on its YouTube channel for Canada. The 30-second ad is part of Apple's ongoing "Shot on iPhone" campaign, with an emphasis on Portrait Mode on iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple highlighted the video on its Canadian website, describing it as "a portrait of Canada's inclusive spirit shot on iPhone, brought to life by three Canadian artists as well as Canadians across the country."

The ad showcases photos by Caitlin Cronenberg and other Canadians in locations across the country, ranging from Toronto to the Canadian Rockies.

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