Apple expected to unveil facial recognition feature for its Mac and iPads

Apple Inc on 30 October is expected to unveil updates to its Mac computers and iPads that include facial recognition features that have been available in the iPhone lineup at an event in Brooklyn.

Analysts expect a new versions of Apple’s iPad Pro, its higher-end tablet computer that competes with the Microsoft Surface, with thinner bezels and more screen space, along with the face unlock system found on Apple’s newer iPhones. They also expect updates to the firm’s Mac lineup such as redesigned MacBook Air, Apple’s $999 entry-level laptop.

Apple introduced new iPhones and Apple Watches last month, but the older product lines accounted for $45 billion in sales in the most recent fiscal quarter. In comparison, iPhones brought in revenue of $141.3 billion.

“They really wanted to show the world they haven’t forgotten about the iPad and the Mac,” said Mika Kitagawa, a senior principal research analyst at Gartner.

Macbook Pro.

Representational image.

Apple declined to comment.

In July when Apple reported its most recent quarter, the company had its worst quarter of Mac sales since 2010, with unit volumes down 13 percent year over year. And iPad unit sales were up only 1 percent versus a year earlier, and revenue for both was down 5 percent from the prior year.

But some of that dip in Mac sales was explained by timing  Apple waited to release new Macs until July when it had in previous years offered them in June. More broadly, Macs sales growth has outpaced the PC market and the iPad has been the most successful tablet in a market that simply turned out to be smaller than Apple hoped when it released the device in 2010.

While Apple has held prices down on some items like its entry-level iPads for schools, analyst do not expect it to do so with iPad Pros or Mac laptops. With Mac laptops in particular, consumers increasingly use phones or tablets for quick computing tasks and only reach for a full-fledged computer when they need extra horsepower. Apple is unlikely to cut corners to drop the price of its entry-level laptops, analysts said.

“With Apple, ‘cheap’ is always more expensive than everybody else,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. Apple is likely to pick a price where “you don’t feel like you’re breaking the bank, but you don’t feel like you’re compromising your experience.”


How to enable favicons in Safari on iOS 12 and macOS Mojave

In iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, Apple added support for Safari favicons. Having these little visual indicators on your tabs is a super handy feature for when you have a ton of tabs open at once, giving you a quick way to distinguish tabs. Follow along to learn how to enable Safari favicons in Apple’s new operating systems….

How to enable Safari favicons in iOS 12

Enabling Safari favicons on iPhone and iPad is fairly straightforward process, but do note that on iPhone, you’ll have to be in landscape mode to see Safari tabs.

  1. Head into Settings > Safari.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Show Tab Bar option.
  3. Tap that radio button to enable and you’re set.

enable safari favicons

How to enable Safari favicons in macOS Mojave

The process to enable Safari favicons on macOS is just as simple as iOS — but you’ll of course be finding your way into the Safari preferences directly through the Safari app rather than the iOS settings app.

  1. Open Safari
  2. With Safari selected, tap on Safari in the menu bar, and then Preferences.
  3. Click Tabs from the list, and then Show website icons in tabs.

enable safari favicons

Previously, favicon were limited to pinned tabs in Safari in macOS. Now, they’re available everywhere and are fantastic tools to easily distinguish tabs.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:


iOS 12.1 brings Group FaceTime and new emoji to iPhone and iPad

Depth Control in Camera Preview and Dual SIM Support Comes to iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR

A Group FaceTime screen with five people.
iOS 12.1 will be available Tuesday, October 30, bringing Group FaceTime and more than 70 new emoji to iPhone and iPad. FaceTime changed the way people communicate and share important moments, and now with Group FaceTime, it’s easy to chat with more people than ever before — from 2 to 32 people. iOS 12.1 also brings Depth Control in real-time preview and Dual SIM support to iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR customers.

Group FaceTime

With iOS 12.1, FaceTime is more fun and flexible, with simple ways to add another person, join an active FaceTime call, or use the same camera effects available in Messages to add stickers, filters or appear to friends and family as an Animoji or Memoji. When an invitation is received, people can choose to join using audio or video from iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Additional features coming to FaceTime:
  • Automatic detection of active speakers: FaceTime uses on-device intelligence to display the most prominent speakers on the call, automatically highlighting the current speaker by bringing them to the forefront. It automatically sizes each person’s image depending upon how active they are in the conversation, based on duration of speech, volume and even motion. Participants who are not active will appear at the bottom of the screen until they speak. A simple tap also brings a participant front and center.
  • Ringless notification: When calling more than one person, FaceTime displays a notification that lets you instantly join a call without being disruptive.
  • Messages integration: Group FaceTime is integrated into the Messages app, making it easy to start a Group FaceTime right from a group iMessage chat. If people in a conversation have already started a FaceTime session, Messages shows the active call in the conversation list and inside your conversations.
  • Private: All FaceTime conversations, both one-to-one and multi-person, are encrypted end to end so they remain private and viewable only by the participants.
A GIF featuring the new emoji featured in iOS 12.1.
More than 70 new emoji come to iPhone and iPad with iOS 12.1, including new characters with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, more emotive smiley faces and additional emoji representing animals, sports and food. New emoji will also be available on Apple Watch and Mac with a free software update.
Emoji are used by people all over the world to communicate and iOS 12.1 brings even more characters to the keyboard that better represent global users, including new emoji for moon cake, red gift envelope and nazar amulet. Sports fans will celebrate the addition of new emoji for softball and lacrosse, while outdoor adventurers will enjoy new characters for luggage, compass and a hiking boot. Beautifully designed characters for the llama, mosquito, kangaroo and lobster, and new food emoji, including a bagel, salt, cupcake, leafy greens and mango, are now available.
Depth Control allows users to dynamically adjust the depth of field both in real-time preview and post-capture.

Depth Control in Camera

Advanced depth segmentation in Portrait mode enables more sophisticated portraits with professional-level bokeh. With iOS 12.1, users can now dynamically adjust the depth of field in real-time preview in addition to post-capture, enabling more control to create portraits with a beautiful background blur. Portrait mode with Depth Control is also available on the TrueDepth camera for selfies, which includes Memoji and faster face tracking support for third-party ARKit apps.

Apple’s iOS 12.1 update brings an important fix for selfie enthusiasts

apple,apple iOS 12.1,apple iOS 12.1 update

Apple on Tuesday rolled out a new update to iOS 12 for iPhone and iPad users globally. iOS 12.1 comes with new features and bug fixes as well.

Apple announced the latest iteration to its mobile operating system last month. In addition to new features and UI, iOS 12 focuses on improving performance especially for older iPhones. Apple also rolled out ‘Screen Time’ with iOS 12 similar to Google’s ‘Digital well-being’.

How to download iOS 12.1

iOS 12 .1 is rolling out gradually to all users. You can check if your iPhone or iPad has received the update by going to Settings > General > Software Update. At the same time, you will get a prompt once the new update hits your device.

‘Beautygate’ fix

Apple’s new software will most importantly fix the ‘beautygate’problem faced by users in iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. Many users complained about the front 7MP camera having a beauty filter by default and with no option to disable it. The selfie camera would lighten one’s skin and smoothen out marks. Apple acknowledged the problem and promised a fix with the latest iOS 12 update.

Group FaceTime

iOS 12.1 will bring group FaceTime which supports up to 32 people simultaneously. Group FaceTime will automatically detect the most prominent speakers on call, and size each user’s photo depending on how actively they participate. Group FaceTime is integrated into the Messages app, making it easy to start a Group FaceTime right from a group iMessage chat.

“If people in a conversation have already started a FaceTime session, Messages shows the active call in the conversation list and inside your conversations,” said Apple.

New emoji

The new software update also brings over 70 new emoji to iPhones and iPads. The new emoji collection features new characters with red, gray and curly hair. There are new emoji for bald people as well. Apple will release this new set of emoji for Apple Watch and Mac through a software update.

iOS 12.1 brings over 70 new emoji to iPhones and iPads. (Apple)

Depth Control

iOS 12.1 also brings ‘Depth Control’ in Portrait Mode. Users will be able to adjust the depth effect in real-time while taking photos in ‘Portrait Mode’. Depth effect can be adjusted after taking the photo as well.

Dual SIM support

iPhone XS, XS Max and XR users will now be able to use dual SIMs on their devices. The secondary SIM on these iPhones is an eSIM. In India, Airtel and Reliance Jio are the exclusive carriers for eSIM on Apple devices.


Apple releasing iOS 12.1 tomorrow with Group FaceTime, new emoji, more

iOS 12.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be available tomorrow as a free software update. The first significant update to iOS 12 brings a variety of features including Group FaceTime, dual SIM support, real time Depth Control for Portrait mode, new emoji, and more. iOS 12.1 is also expected to address the “beauty-gate” issue that affected the front-facing camera on iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

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iOS 12.1

Group FaceTime

iOS 12 redesigns how FaceTime looks for audio and video calling with new effects like stickers, Memoji and Animoji, and filters. iOS 12.1 takes FaceTime to the next level with support for audio and video calling between up to 32 people.

FaceTime has previously been limited to video calls between just two users. The new user interface shows multiple video tiles for other people on the call, and the people actively talking remain in focus while others may be smaller or in the background.

Group FaceTime builds on iMessage and lets you easily join and leave video and audio calls without the call ending and restarting. Group video calling is supported on most recent iPhones, iPads, and Macs; some older iPhones and iPads that run iOS 12.1 and Apple Watches and HomePods are limited to group audio during Group FaceTime calls.


Dual SIM

Dual SIM support is new to iOS 12.1 and supported on the new iPhone XS, XR, and XS Max. Apple uses a physical SIM card for the primary phone number and an embedded eSIM for the second phone number. iOS also intelligently presents which phone number is being actively used and even shows both signal indicators Control Center.

In China, eSIM is unavailable so Apple offers versions of the latest iPhones with two physical SIM cards. Carrier support is required for Dual SIM to work. See our hands-on with how this feature works for more details.

Real time Depth Control

Portrait mode on new iPhones applies artificial blur to the background of subjects in photos to create the appearance of depth — something small cameras in smartphones can’t do on their own.

iPhone XS, XR, and XS Max let you edit the amount of blur applied after you take a Portrait mode photo using the Photos app. New to iOS 12.1 is the ability to adjust the amount of blur in a Portrait mode photo before you snap the photo. A new ‘f’ button appears in the top controls on the latest iPhones, then a dial appears that lets you apply more or less blur in the Portrait mode shot.

See our hands-on with Portrait mode on iPhone XS and real time Depth Control for more details.

iphone xs max depth

New emoji

iOS 12 added four new Animoji and the all-new customizable Memoji feature, but no new emoji. iOS 12.1 introduces several new emoji including red heads, bald people, iPhone X replacing iPhone 8, and many more characters.

watchOS 5.1, tvOS 12.1, macOS 10.14.1

Alongside iOS 12.1 tomorrow, we expect updates for Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac. These support the latest emoji characters, Group FaceTime audio and video calling where available, and more. watchOS 5.1 also includes fixes for layout issues on Apple Watch Series 4 and may include the new ECG app.


Apple iOS 12.1 Release, It’s The Big One

There was a lot to like in iOS 12 (including a lot of great secret features) but it also came with problems, including one embarrassing one which remains in iOS 12.0.1. Consequently, Apple AAPL -3.39% has now officially announced iOS 12.1 and it’s a big one…

In an official statement, Apple has confirmed iOS 12.1 will contain three major new features for iPhones and iPads as well as one crowd pleaser. It also contains some secrets Apple didn’t announce.

Apple iOS 12Apple

Here are the headliners:

Dual SIM – this is crucial to owners of the new iPhone XS (details), iPhone XS Max (details) and budget-friendly iPhone XR (details). It enables the phones to support a physical sim and eSIM simultaneously. This means owners can have home and work or home and travel numbers operating simultaneously. This feature was delayed when the new models launched.

Camera Depth Control – catching up with features added in both Samsung’s Galaxy range and Google’s new Pixel, this feature allows iPhones to adjust the depth of field (aka level of blur) in the background of Portrait shots. The early results look impressive.

New Emoji – another feature delayed from iOS 12, this brings over 70 new emoji to iPhone and iPad owners, including characters with red, gray, curly and even no hair. There are also new sports, animals and many of the most popular emojis have also been updated.


Group FaceTime in iOS 12.1Apple

Group FaceTime – will allow you to have video calls with up to a remarkable 32 people simultaneously. To avoid confusion, it will automatically highlight the current speaker and resize participant’s images depending on how active they are, ranking everything from speech duration and volume to physical motion.

One warning: Apple chose not to mention this, but Group FaceTime video calls will not be available on all iPhones and iPads. This is why.

There is also one notable hidden highlight: an end to the so-called BeautyGate. Apple quietly admitted its beautifying selfie camera problem last week and with iOS 12.1 users no longer look like they are made from plastic. Whether the option to re-enable this faux-beauty mode will be offered (some like it), remains to be seen.

When will Apple iOS 12.1 launch? No official timeframe was given, but I expect we will see tomorrow around 10 am Pacific Time with Apple also holding an event for new iPads as well.