iMac Pro Compared to 5K iMac and MacBook Pro

MacRumors videographer Dan recently got his hands on the new 8-core iMac Pro, and he decided to compare it to his other machines, a 2015 5K iMac and a 2016 MacBook Pro to see how it measures up when it comes to his everyday video editing workload.

In the video below, Dan takes a look at how well the iMac Pro performs on tasks like editing video, exporting video, and reading and writing data. If you're wondering whether the entry-level iMac Pro is worth the $5,000 price tag when you've already got hardware on hand like an iMac or a MacBook Pro, this video is worth checking out because it might help you make a decision.

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Dan compared the entry-level 8-core iMac Pro with a 3.2GHz Intel Xeon W processor to a late 2015 iMac with a 3.2GHz 6th-generation Intel processor, 24GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive, and AMD Radeon M390 graphics card and a late 2016 MacBook Pro with a 2.7GHz 6th-generation Intel processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and AMD Radeon Pro 455 graphics card.

Unsurprisingly, the iMac Pro was much faster when it came to benchmarks and performance tasks, and compared to the iMac and the MacBook Pro, the overall experience is smoother due to the sheer power of the processor and the GPU. It's ultra quick when editing video, even with multiple system intensive apps open, and it's quiet as a mouse with no loud fans.

The 5K iMac did win out slightly on video exporting time over the iMac Pro, but the iMac Pro wasn't far behind and it came out on top in all other tests.

Pricing on the iMac Pro starts at $4,999 for the entry-level 8-core model with 32GB 2666 MHz ECC RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics card, but goes up to $13,199 depending on the upgrades you choose. Even at $4,999 it's a couple thousand dollars more expensive than an iMac or a MacBook Pro, but it has the potential to be fully worth the asking price if you do system intensive creative work like video editing.

For more details on the iMac Pro, make sure to check out our iMac Pro roundup.
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How to Add a Quick Drawing or Sketch to an Email in the Mail App in iOS 11

In iOS 11, Apple introduced a new feature that lets you add a quick drawing or sketch to an email message right within the Mail app. It's a simple, easy-to-access feature, but it's a little bit hidden, so you might not know that it exists.


Here's how you can get to the built-in drawing tools in the Mail app on an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open up the Mail app.

  2. Compose a new email or reply to an existing email.

  3. In the body of the email, tap to bring up the options menu.

  4. Tap the arrow at the right of the options menu twice.

  5. Select "Insert Drawing."

That's all there is to it. Once you've selected "Insert Drawing," you'll be taken to a blank screen with a variety of simple drawing tools like a pen, pencil, marker, and eraser, along with a selection of colors to use.

Create your drawing using the provided tools, and when finished, tap the "Done" button and it'll be inserted right into the body of your email.
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Apple Plans $350 Billion Boost to U.S. Economy Over 5 Years, 20,000 New Jobs, and a New Campus

Apple today highlighted its plan to to bolster the U.S. economy through job creation, existing investments, and new investments, with the company on target to contribute $55 billion to the economy in 2018 and $350 billion over the course of the next five years.

Along with its $350 billion contribution through direct employment, investment with domestic suppliers, and the App Store economy, Apple will increase its Advanced Manufacturing Fund from $1 billion to $5 billion.


The Advanced Manufacturing Fund is designed to create jobs in the United States through investments in Apple suppliers. Apple has already invested $200 million in Corning, maker of Gorilla Glass, and $390 million in Finisar, a supplier that makes vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) components found in the iPhone X's True Depth camera.
"Apple is a success story that could only have happened in America, and we are proud to build on our long history of support for the US economy," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We believe deeply in the power of American ingenuity, and we are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness. We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible."
Apple plans to repatriate much of its overseas profits and expects to pay taxes of $38 billion when doing so, which Apple says is likely to be the largest payment of this kind ever made. That tax payment, combined with its U.S. investments and planned capital expenditures, will account for $75 billion of its projected $350 billion contribution.

Apple will be paying 15.5 percent in taxes to repatriate its overseas cash, suggesting the company plans to repatriate approximately $245 billion, or nearly all of its foreign money.

Apple will create 20,000 new jobs and spend $30 billion hiring new employees at its existing campus and opening a new campus. Apple has a new campus in the works that will "initially house technical support for customers." Its location will be announced later in the year.

More than $10 billion of Apple's planned capital expenditures will be investments in data centers across the United States, with Apple breaking ground on a new facility in Reno, Nevada starting today.

Apple's final plan to bolster the economy is through education. The company will expand its current coding initiatives that are designed to help people learn how to create iOS apps using Swift and it will increase funding for ConnectED to help students in "historically underserved communities" learn coding skills.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Malicious Link Texted to Mac and iOS Devices Can Cause Freezes and Resprings

A link that exploits a bug in iOS and Mac devices was shared on Twitter this afternoon, and if you receive this link through the Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can freeze up or respring, and the Messages app can become unusable.

The link, which goes to a Github page, breaks the Messages app and causes problems on both iOS devices and Macs. Simply receiving the link results in issues, likely due to the Messages feature that lets you preview web links. We tested the bad link and while we saw few resprings, it did reliably cause the Messages app to freeze entirely.


The only solution appears to be to quit out of the Messages app and then delete the entire offending conversation to restore full functionality.

These kinds of Message-based bugs have surfaced several times in the past, with text strings, videos, and more crashing the Messages app in the past. Such bugs are not serious, but they can be highly irritating when abused as a prank.

It's best not to send the link to friends, because it can cause the sending device to freeze up and crash as well. If your device is affected, quit the Messages app on Mac or iOS, open it back up, and immediately delete the entire message thread.

On Mac, you'll need to swipe right on the trackpad or right click on to the person's name to delete the conversation, while on iOS, you'll need to swipe to the right on a person's name to bring up the delete option.

Blocking the domain using Parental Restrictions may prevent the link from affecting your iOS devices. You can turn on Restrictions on iPhone or iPad by going to Settings --> Restrictions --> Websites and adding "GitHub.io" to the "Never Allow" list.
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WeChat Users Again Allowed to Send Tips After Apple and Tencent Reach Deal

Apple and Tencent, the company that owns the popular WeChat messaging app, have reached a deal that will let WeChat users resume sending in-app tips to content creators, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Apple first asked Chinese social networking apps to disable tipping functionality back in May 2017 as it violated App Store rules. Tipping, Apple said, was a form of in-app purchase that should be subjected to the same fees as other in-app purchases.


In June, Apple officially updated its App Store Review Guidelines and began allowing tipping, but as an in-app purchase, ensuring the company received its full 30 percent cut. Another tweak was made in September, however, officially allowing Apple users to send monetary gifts to other users without Apple taking a cut.

Tencent initially refused to reimplement tipping as an in-app purchase because in WeChat, tipping is a free service provided to customers to build engagement, with Tencent receiving no portion of the money.

Tipping will soon resume in WeChat, though, as WeChat creator Allen Zhang said on Monday that the company had reached an accord with Apple. Details are scarce, but Zhang said WeChat will tweak its platform so tips are paid to individual content creators.
"In the past, companies like Apple might have had a difficult time understanding China-specific features," Mr. Zhang said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Tencent. "We now all share a mutual understanding and we'll soon bring back the "tip" function."
With little detail available on the deal established between Tencent and Apple, it's not clear if Apple will be receiving a cut of tips sent between WeChat users, but the tipping feature should soon be returning to the app.
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Apple’s Tim Cook and More Than 100 CEOs Urge Congress to Protect Dreamers

Apple's Tim Cook on Wednesday joined over 100 other CEOs in urging the U.S. Congress to pass a bill to protect young immigrants before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expires. For those unfamiliar with the program, DACA gives about 800,000 illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. at age 16 or younger work permits and protection from deportation by two-year deferral. Many of those protected by DACA have been in the United States for most of their lives.

In an open letter to House and Senate leaders, the group called on lawmakers to introduce legislation supporting so-called Dreamers by Friday, which is the deadline for Congress to pass a bill for government funding to avert a shutdown. The DACA program actually expires on March 5, but the CEO signatories say the government needs time to implement a new program before that deadline.
"We write to urge Congress to act immediately and pass a permanent bipartisan legislative solution to enable Dreamers who are currently living, working, and contributing to our communities to continue doing so," the letter reads. "The imminent termination of the DACA program is creating an impending crisis for workforces across the country."
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam were additional signatories of the letter, which cited a CATO Institute study that found ending the DACA program could cause a $215 billion decline in the gross domestic product.
"In addition to causing a tremendous upheaval in the lives of DACA employees, failure to act in time will lead to businesses losing valuable talent, cause disruptions in the workforce, and will result in significant costs," the group wrote. "While delay or inaction will cause significant negative impact to businesses, hundreds of thousands of deserving young people across the country are counting on you to work in a bipartisan way to pass permanent legislative protection for Dreamers without further delay."
Tim Cook has been consistent in his support for a legislative solution to protect those affected by the end of the DACA program. Following U.S. President Donald Trump's September announcement that DACA would be phased out over six months, Cook sent an email to employees saying Apple would try to help Congress find a solution and would be working with impacted Apple employees to provide support, including access to immigration experts. Apple employs 250 "Dreamers", Cook previously revealed in a tweet.

In December, Cook teamed up with Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch to write an opinion piece in The Washington Post about DACA, asking Congress to work quickly to come up with a solution before the end of the year. That never happened, and the government's stance on the issue now appears to be mired in confusion.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction ordering the Trump administration to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis while legal challenges to the president's decision go forward.

In another development this week, concerns grew among hardliners after Trump met with lawmakers during a freewheeling televised session, in which he signaled he was open to compromise and seemed to express support for a number of legislative options to legalize Dreamers.

Indeed, the president appeared to suggest that the details of a legislative solution didn't matter to him, telling congressional leaders that he would approve whatever they sent him. "I will be signing it," Trump said towards the end of the meeting. "I'm not going to say, 'Oh, gee, I want this or I want that.' I'll be signing it."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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U.S. Government Official Questions Apple Over iPhone Battery Slowdowns

Just two days after it emerged a French consumer fraud group is investigating Apple over its handling of battery-related performance issues on iPhones, Apple is now facing questions from government officials in its own country over the controversy.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Senator John Thune (R–S.D.), chairman of the Commerce Committee, has sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking a series of questions about how the company decided to throttle processing performance in iPhones with older batteries.

In a letter to Chief Executive Tim Cook, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Thune asked how Apple has tracked customer complaints of processing performance, and if Apple has explored offering rebates to customers who paid full price for a battery replacement before the company offered discounted rates last month.
In the letter, Thune went on to note that Apple's decision to offer battery replacements at a reduced price had prompted further criticism from customers who believe that Apple should have offered the replacements for free.

In addition to the senator's letter, Wednesday's WSJ report included official confirmation from the Paris prosecutor's office that it is overseeing an investigation into Apple's "alleged deception" that is being conducted by French consumer fraud group DGCCRF, which is part of the country's economy ministry.

The investigation – which could lead to preliminary charges or be dropped – follows Apple's admission that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Apple introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1 after complaints of unexpected shutdowns in the iPhone 6s, but the company didn't make it clear to consumers that it was due to battery deterioration, nor did Apple inform customers that it could cause occasional performance slowdowns.

Despite Apple's apology and its efforts to correct the issue, in addition to the French inquiry, the company is now facing more than two dozen lawsuits accusing it of intentionally slowing down older iPhones and failing to disclose the changes that it introduced in iOS 10.2.1. One of those lawsuits also stems from France, filed by French consumer group "HOP", which translates to "Stop Planned Obsolescence".
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Investors Urge Apple to Do More to Protect Children From Smartphone Addiction

Apple should do more to reduce growing smartphone addiction among children, said two major investors on Monday (via USA Today). In an open letter to the tech giant, New York-based Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System wrote of their increasing concern about the effects of mobile devices and social media on youngsters, urging Apple to offer more tools and choices to help prevent harm.

"There is a developing consensus around the world including Silicon Valley that the potential long-term consequences of new technologies need to be factored in at the outset, and no company can outsource that responsibility to an app designer, or more accurately to hundreds of app designers."
The letter cited several studies revealing the negative effects of smartphones and social media on children's mental and physical health. For example, one study found that 67 percent of over 2,300 teachers surveyed believe that the number of students who are negatively distracted by gadgets in the classroom is growing, while 75 percent say students' ability to focus on educational tasks has decreased. 

In another study, eighth graders who are heavy users of social media were shown to have a 27 percent higher risk of depression, compared to children who exceed the average time spent playing sports, socializing with friends, or doing homework, all of whom have a much lower risk.  

To counter the threat, the investors – who collectively control $2 billion worth of Apple shares – suggested that Apple set up an expert committee including child development specialists and make its information more available to researchers. The letter also proposed enhancing iOS and associated apps to give parents and guardians more resources to protect their children's wellbeing.
This is a complex issue and we hope that this is the start of a constructive and well-informed dialogue," said the partners. "As one of the most innovative companies in the history of technology, Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do."

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Apple Joins Alliance for Open Media to Pursue Better Video Compression

Apple recently joined the Alliance for Open Media as a founding member, according to an updated member list first noticed by CNET.

The Alliance for Open Media, according to its website, was formed to "define and develop media codecs, media formats, and related technologies to address marketplace demand for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web."


The Alliance is developing a royalty-free video codec known as AOMedia Video 1 (AV1), which is designed to compress video before it's stored or sent over a network. Apple's move to join the Alliance for Open Media is notable because implementing such technology requires it to be widely supported, and Apple was one of the only major companies not participating.

AV1 continues to be a work in progress, with the Alliance for Open Media planning to release the first version of in the near future. Mozilla supports an early version of AV1 and has said that it reduces file sizes by 25 to 35 percent compared to HEVC, which Apple implemented support for in macOS High Sierra and iOS 11.

Other members of the Alliance for Open Media include Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, ARM, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Hulu, NVIDIA, and more.
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Apple Confirms ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Vulnerabilities Impact All Macs and iOS Devices, Some Fixes Already Released

Apple today confirmed that it has addressed the recent "Meltdown" vulnerability in previously released iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 updates, with additional fixes coming to Safari in the near future to defend against the "Spectre" vulnerability.


Apple has also confirmed that the two vulnerabilities affect all Mac and iOS devices. The company's full statement, available through a new support document covering Meltdown and Spectre, is below:
Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems.

All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time. Since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, we recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store.

Apple has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to help defend against Meltdown. Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown. In the coming days we plan to release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre. We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
Apple's statement does not make it clear if these vulnerabilities have been addressed in older versions of iOS and Mac, but for Macs, there were security updates for older versions of macOS released alongside macOS 10.13.2, so it's possible fixes are already available for Sierra and Yosemite.

News of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities first came to light this week, but Intel and major operating system vendors like Apple, Linux, and Microsoft have known about the issue for several months and worked to prepare a fix before the security flaws were publicly shared.

Spectre and Meltdown are serious vulnerabilities that take advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU. As these use hardware-based flaws, operating system manufacturers are required to implement software workarounds. These software workarounds can impact processor performance, but Intel has insisted every day users will not see serious slowdowns. Apple also says that no measurable impact has been detected.

Apple released mitigations for Meltdown in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2. watchOS did not require mitigation. Our testing with public benchmarks has shown that the changes in the December 2017 updates resulted in no measurable reduction in the performance of macOS and iOS as measured by the GeekBench 4 benchmark, or in common Web browsing benchmarks such as Speedometer, JetStream, and ARES-6.
The Meltdown vulnerability allows a malicious program to access data from the memory of running apps, providing passwords, emails, documents, photos, and more. Meltdown can be exploited to read the entire physical memory of a target machine, and it can be done through something as simple as a website. The vulnerability is particularly problematic for cloud-based services.

Spectre, which breaks the isolation between different applications, impacts all modern Intel, ARM, and AMD processors, and it is more difficult to mitigate than Meltdown.
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