Monday March 9, 2020 7:44 pm PDT by Juli Clover

iOS 14 may include a new PencilKit feature that will allow you to handwrite text in any text input field using Apple Pencil, with the handwritten content then converted into standard text before it’s sent. So, for example, you might be able to tap into a Messages text field with the ‌Apple Pencil‌, hand write a message to someone, have it automatically converted to a more easily readable typewritten text, and then send it.



According to information obtained by MacRumors, the PencilKit feature appears to work with any text input field available in iOS, making it compatible with Messages, Notes, Reminders, Calendar, Mail, and more. A floating interface will pop up whenever a text field is tapped with the pencil, allowing for the written input.

Apple does not have a feature at this time that converts handwritten content into typed content, but the Notes app does have functionality that recognizes handwritten words and allows them to be searched.

It looks like third-party apps will also be able to access a PencilKit tool that will support some kind of new handwriting functionality, but the extent of it is unclear.

It is not known if this is a finalized feature that is going to make it into ‌iOS 14‌. Rumors have indicated Apple is taking a new approach to iOS development that will allow certain features to be toggled off and sidelined if they are not ready for launch in order to cut down on bugs.

Along with the handwriting-to-text feature, Apple also appears to be working on a shape-drawing function that supports a “Magic Fill” feature, allowing users to draw a general shape with the ‌Apple Pencil‌ that’s then filled in by iOS.

We’ll be sharing more details on what we can expect to see in ‌iOS 14‌, with our iOS 14 roundup serving as a hub for everything that’s been found so far.

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Camera Comparison: iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Friday March 6, 2020 9:54 am PST by Juli Clover

Earlier this week we picked up a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and did a feature overview to see if it’s worth $1,400, but we also thought we’d take a deeper look at Samsung’s newest smartphone to see how the cameras measure up to the cameras in Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Hardware Details
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra, like the iPhone, has a multi-lens rear camera setup. There’s a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera, and a DepthVision Camera for portrait shots.
For comparison’s sake, the iPhone is sporting a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera.
Portrait Mode
When it comes to Portrait mode photos, the Galaxy S20 Ultra wins out thanks to that depth sensor. There’s not a major difference, but the images coming from the S20 Ultra appear to be sharper and the edge detection is better. The iPhone does win out when it comes to dynamic range, and the S20 Ultra seems to have a bit of desaturation in some images, but overall, the S20 Ultra wins this category.
Standard Camera Tests
When it comes to standard photos using the three different lenses on each camera, we actually preferred the iPhone images for the most part because the iPhone offered more balanced color and better dynamic range, but with high-end smartphone cameras, a lot comes down to personal preference.
The S20 Ultra seems to be overexposing highlights in images with the sun and clouds, resulting in too

Apple Working on Six Mini-LED Products Including New 14.1-Inch MacBook Pro and Refreshed iMac Pro

Tuesday March 3, 2020 9:11 am PST by Juli Clover

Apple has six mini-LED products in the works that are set to debut in 2020 and 2021, and production is not expected to be delayed by the coronavirus, according to a new note to investors sent out this morning by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple is developing a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 27-inch iMac Pro, a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch MacBook Pro, a 10.2.-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch iPad mini. Kuo does not provide specific launch dates for the items with the exception of the iMac Pro, which he says will launch in the fourth quarter of 2020, and the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which he says will launch in 2020.The product research and development for mini LED remain unaffected by the COVID-19. The visibility for commercialization has even exceeded the expectations in our previous report. The trend for Apple’s development and promotion of mini LED are more identifiable in five years. We predict that Apple is currently developing six mini-LED-support products (vs. the previous report of only two products), including a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 27-inch iMac Pro in 4Q20, a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro (upgraded from 13.3-inch), a 16-inch MacBook Pro, a 10.2-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch iPad mini in 2020. Of particular interest in Kuo’s note is the mention of the 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, as this is the first indication that we’ve had that Apple is planning a new size for its smaller MacBook Pro offering. The 14.1-inch MacBook Pro will be sold alongside a refreshed 16-inch MacBook Pro. The mention of an iMac Pro is also notable as Apple has not refreshed its iMac Pro since it launched in 2017.

DigiTimes: Apple to Launch 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and MacBooks With Mini-LED Displays by End of 2020

Apple plans to launch a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and multiple notebook models with Mini-LED backlit displays by the end of 2020, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes.
This lines up with information shared earlier this week by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said Apple is developing six products with Mini-LED displays for release by the end of 2021, including new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 10.2-inch iPad, 7.9-inch iPad mini, 27-inch iMac Pro, 14-inch MacBook Pro, and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.
Kuo expects the new iMac Pro in particular to launch during the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple has not refreshed the iMac Pro since it was originally released in December 2017, so it is well overdue for an update.
DigiTimes claims that Apple will also adopt Mini-LED backlighting for “a few models of LCD monitors,” but it is unclear if that refers to the iMac/iMac Pro or standalone displays. Apple’s high-end Pro Display XDR uses 576 LEDs, but it is not a Mini-LED display. By comparison, the first iPad and MacBook models with Mini-LED backlighting are expected to have over 10,000 LEDs.
Kuo has previously said that Mini-LED backlit displays will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including good wide color gamut performance, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks.
Kuo has also said that Taiwan’s largest LED manufacturer Epistar will be one of Apple’s suppliers for those iPad and MacBook

OPPO Introduces the Apple Watch… Wait

Forgive us for getting confused in our headline.
Chinese smartphone maker OPPO today introduced its first smartwatch, the OPPO Watch, with a so-called “signature design” that just so happens to look virtually identical to the Apple Watch. “This might be the best-looking smart watch of the year,” said OPPO’s vice president of marketing Brian Shen.
The OPPO Watch uses OPPO’s custom Android-based operating system ColorOS and offers the functionality you would expect from a smartwatch, including notifications, fitness and heart rate tracking, contactless payments, music playback, breathing reminders, and so forth. It also has built-in eSIM-based cellular connectivity.
Unlike the Apple Watch, the OPPO Watch can monitor sleep quality, generating a sleep report of the user’s duration of deep sleep, light sleep, and awake time. MacRumors uncovered evidence of Apple testing sleep tracking on the Apple Watch last year and reports have indicated that the feature could be on deck for 2020.
OPPO Watch will be sold worldwide, with availability beginning in China on March 24. The 46mm version features a 1.91-inch AMOLED display with a 402×476 resolution for 326 pixels per inch. U.S. pricing remains to be

‘iPhone SE 2’ Said to Have Entered Final Production Verification Stage Ahead of Launch

Apple’s rumored lower-cost iPhone model recently entered the final phase of production verification at an assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes.
A paywalled preview of the report:New LCD iPhone enters final verification stage
Apple will soon introduce a new LCD iPhone series, dubbed tentatively SE2, which has recently entered the final phase of verification at an assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China, according to industry sources.Apple is widely expected to announce an entry-level iPhone dubbed “iPhone SE 2” or “iPhone 9” within the next few months. The device is expected to resemble the iPhone 8, with a 4.7-inch LCD screen and a Touch ID home button, but with a faster A13 chip and an increased 3GB of RAM. Pricing is estimated to start at around $399 with 64GB of storage in the United States.
Last month, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple still plans to release the iPhone in the first half of 2020. Multiple reports have indicated that Apple aims to announce the device by the end of March, but those plans may change due to the uncertainty of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak around the world.
With major tech conferences like Google I/O and Facebook F8 having been cancelled on a physical basis due to public health considerations, it sounds increasingly unlikely that Apple will host a March event as rumored. Apple could always announce the lower-cost iPhone and other products with press releases, while offering one-on-one briefings with the media in Cupertino and New York City.
Even if the

Santa Clara County Asks Apple, Google and Others to Cancel Large In-Person Meetings and Conferences

Thursday March 5, 2020 6:22 pm PST by Juli Clover

Santa Clara County, which includes cities like Cupertino, Palo Alto, Mountain View, and San Jose, today issued new health guidelines (via The Verge) recommending that companies minimize or cancel “large in-person meetings and conferences.”
The updated guidance comes as six new COVID-19 cases were found today, which means there are now at least 20 people in the county with known coronavirus infections.
Santa Clara County is hoping to reduce the spread of the virus in the Bay Area, and in addition to recommending against in-person conferences, has provided additional guidelines for employers: Suspend nonessential employee travel. Minimize the number of employees working within arm’s length of one another, including minimizing or canceling large in-person meetings and conferences. Urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits. Not require a doctor’s note for employees that are sick as healthcare offices may be very busy and unable to provide that documentation right away. Consider use of telecommuting options for appropriate employees. Consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time.
While Santa Clara County recommends postponing or canceling mass gatherings and large community events, it says if there’s no option to cancel, extra steps should be followed such as providing more physical space, encouraging sick people not to attend, frequent hand washing, and avoiding close contact with others.
Google and Facebook have already canceled

Top Stories: 14-Inch MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini Refreshes, and New AirPods on Horizon?

Rumors about upcoming Apple products are increasing as we head into March, even as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to cause uncertainty about the timing. An entry-level “iPhone SE 2” or “iPhone 9” is widely expected in the near future, and it looks like iPad Pro, iMac, and Mac mini updates may also be coming.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Looking out a bit further, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared his thoughts on products coming through the end of 2021 that will use Mini-LED display technology, including a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro. Check out our video above and our list below for more details on this week’s biggest news.
Apple Working on ‘Six’ Mini-LED Products Including New 14.1-Inch MacBook Pro and Refreshed iMac Pro
Apple is developing six products with Mini-LED displays for release by the end of 2021, including new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 10.2-inch iPad, 7.9-inch iPad mini, 27-inch iMac Pro, 14-inch MacBook Pro, and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo expects the new iMac Pro in particular to launch during the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple has not refreshed the iMac Pro since it was originally released in December 2017, so it is well overdue for an update.
Taiwanese publication DigiTimes echoed this information, reporting that Apple plans to launch a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro and multiple MacBook models with Mini-LED backlit displays by the end of 2020. Taiwanese LED manufacturer Epistar is expected to be one of Apple’s key suppliers.
Previously Reliable Leaker CoinX Suggests New iMac and Mac

Apple’s Upcoming 5G iPhone Could Be Delayed Due to Coronavirus

Apple’s hotly anticipated 5G iPhone could be delayed to due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report from Bank of America analysts quoted by Bloomberg. The analysts believe Apple’s 5G iPhone release could be delayed by a month this fall.
iPhone 12 Pro concept via EverythingApplePro In addition to delays of Apple’s “iPhone 12,” analysts also believe Apple’s rumored “iPhone 9” or “iPhone SE 2” release date could also be pushed back “a few months,” citing both supply chain issues and weaker demand for devices as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The release of new devices will “depend on how production ramps back up in April and May.”
Apple’s stock has fluctuated over the past few weeks amid fears of COVID-19. Since its record high of $327.85 on February 12, shares have fallen by as much as 13 percent.
Just a few weeks ago, Apple announced it will not meet its revenue goals for the March quarter due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic in China. Apple has said it is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide additional information on its quarterly earnings call in April.
The effects of COVID-19 have been changing each day, so it remains to be seen how much more of an impact the virus will have on Apple’s 2020

Limited iPad Pro Availability May Suggest Imminent Launch of New Models

Tuesday March 3, 2020 2:42 am PST by Tim Hardwick

iPad Pro models are currently showing limited availability at stores in major cities in the U.S., Australia and across Europe, Boomberg’s Mark Gurman reported today.
According to a review of Apple’s website that was conducted on Monday, the non-cellular 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 512GB storage is sold out at all Apple stores in the Los Angeles area, while the same model and other versions are also sold out at many stores in New York City.
Some Apple store employees said they started noticing reduced iPad Pro inventory in the last week. They asked not to be identified discussing private product information. Gurman’s report leads by speculating that the supply constraints may be a possible sign of the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on Apple’s manufacturing supply chain, but he also concedes that the shortages could be due to new incoming iPad Pro models. Apple sometimes slows the flow of product units coming into its various sales channels as the next-generation models approach launch.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to launch an upgraded iPad Pro during the first half of 2020, perhaps as early as this month, with Apple planning to release a next-generation model with a rear-facing time-of-flight (ToF) camera system supporting 3D sensing for immersive augmented reality experiences.
Recent rumors suggest Apple is planning to hold an event on Tuesday, March 31, so if new iPad Pros are in the works for the first half of 2020, they could well be announced at this event.
However, even if an announcement is imminent, it’s still possible the new iPad Pro model

Apple Reveals iPhone 11 Night Mode Photo Challenge Winners

Last month, Apple launched a Night Mode photo challenge, inviting customers around the world to share their best low-light photos captured with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Apple today revealed the six winning photos from thousands of submissions worldwide. The winning photos will be featured in a gallery on Apple.com, on Apple’s social media platforms, and on billboards globally. Apple said it will pay a licensing fee to the winning photographers for use of such photos in its marketing.
Konstantin Chalabov / Moscow, Russia / iPhone 11 Pro:
Andrei Manuilov / Moscow, Russia / iPhone 11 Pro Max:
Mitsun Soni / Mumbai, India / iPhone 11 Pro:
Rubén P. Bescós / Pamplona, Spain / iPhone 11 Pro Max:
Rustam Shagimordanov / Moscow, Russia / iPhone 11:
Yu “Eric” Zhang / Beijing, China / iPhone 11 Pro Max:
Apple’s panel of judges shared their thoughts on what made these photos stand out from the pack in the press release

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