AirPods 2 could come sometime in March… or September. Sigh.

In 2016, Apple deleted the 3.5mm headphone jack. Those jerks. But Apple also introduced AirPods. Making them magnificent jerks.

Essentially EarPods with the cords cut off and the stems and buds crammed full of sensors and custom silicon, they looked goofy, they cost more than what you found in dollar stores, and they took longer than expected to hit the market.

But when they finally did, and people got a taste of the freedom that came from no longer having strings to hold them down, we went from the usual self-proclaimed techsperts poking fun at them to to AirPods being heralded as one of the best products to come from Apple in years.

That was 2016 though. So, what can we expect from AirPods in 2019?

Rather watch than read? Hit play on the video above and subscribe for more.

February 16, 2019: AirPods 2 could be coming soon… in textured black!

Another day, another rumor about next-generation AirPods enterting production.

From Taiwan’s Economic Daily:

In terms of design…

In 2016, Apple deleted the 3.5mm headphone jack. Those jerks. But Apple also introduced AirPods. Making them magnificent jerks.

Essentially EarPods with the cords cut off and the stems and buds crammed full of sensors and custom silicon, they looked goofy, they cost more than what you found in dollar stores, and they took longer than expected to hit the market.

But when they finally did, and people got a taste of the freedom that came from no longer having strings to hold them down, we went from the usual self-proclaimed techsperts poking fun at them to to AirPods being heralded as one of the best products to come from Apple in years.

That was 2016 though. So, what can we expect from AirPods in 2019?

Rather watch than read? Hit play on the video above and subscribe for more.

February 16, 2019: AirPods 2 could be coming soon... in textured black!

Another day, another rumor about next-generation AirPods enterting production.

From Taiwan's Economic Daily:

In terms of design, compared with the previous generation of wireless Bluetooth headsets, the new AirPods will adopt a new surface coating design, and the charging box will adopt the same technology to maintain the integration of the two. In addition, the new AirPods will also add black for consumers to choose, so that the headset is available in both black and white.

Can Product RED be far behind?

February 12, 2019: AirPods 2 could come sometime in March... maybe

Schrödinger's AirPods rumors today leave us both expecting and not expecting AirPods 2 as soon as next month. Or this fall. It's obviously complicated.

From iPhoneHellas.gr:

According to exclusive information we received from a reliable source through Apple's production chain in China, the upgraded Airpods 2 , AirPower and the new iPad (2019) will be available from Friday, March 29th !

If Apple holds a spring event the week of March 26th, orders could certainly start on March 29. But let's just wait on those invitations first.

So, maybe let's just wait until the event first as well.

February 11, 2019: AirPods 2 could come in texture black — wait, what?

From MySmartPrice:

According to our source, Apple AirPods 2 will look largely identical to the current AirPods from the outside. However, Apple has made some changes on the inside to allow for more impressive bass response. For improved grip, the upcoming wireless earphones may come with a new coating on top, similar to the one Google uses for its Pixel smartphones.

As some previous leaks had claimed, the AirPods 2 will include more sensors compared to its predecessor. Some rumors suggest these new sensors on the AirPods 2 will be used for the new health features, including heart rate monitoring. In terms of battery life, AirPods are likely to be more or less similar to the original AirPods, as the battery size is said to be identical. Apple will be offering the AirPods 2 in two colors: Black and White. While the original AirPods were launched at $159 in the US, the AirPods 2 are expected to be priced around $200 (INR 14,250 approx.).

I'd love AirPods in black, even if it's a departure from Apple's usual "use white, and white only, because it becomes iconic" strategy that we've seen since the first days of iPods.

January 24, 2019: AirPods 2 'Hey, Siri' set up hidden in iOS 12.2 beta

Gui Rambo has a way of finding anything and everything hidden inside Apple's betas. Today, that includes the "Hey, Siri" setup screens in iOS 12.2 beta 1.

From 9to5Mac:

One of those changes, which is currently hidden from public view, is the addition of a new setup screen that's used when configuring AirPods. This new setup screen clearly states that the user will be able to talk to Siri with AirPods or iPhone by saying "Hey, Siri".

If Apple has already built out the software, the hardware shouldn't be too far behind.

January 23, 2019: AirPods 2, with health sensors, rumored to be coming soon

From the randomly accurate Digitimes:

In terms of wireless headsets, Apple is set to release AirPods 2 sometime in the first half of 2019, and the new wireless earbuds with discrete designs to carry health monitoring functions are expected to receive enthusiastic market responses.

If AirPods become the new Apple Watch, what will the Apple Watch become?

AirPods 2: The rumors

Back on September 9, 2017, just a year after the introduction of the first AirPods, Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted a an image he found in a leaked version of the iOS 11 gold master.

They looked almost exactly the same except for one small but important details: The LED status light was on the outside. It didn't make much sense back then, but it would in just a few days…

At the September 2017 event, Apple not only announced inductive charging for the then-new iPhone 8 and iPhone X, but also for AirPower — see my previous video, linked in the description below — and AirPods courtesy of a new case with… wait for it… the light moved to the outside.

Apple didn't say whether or not new AirPods would come with the new, inductive charging case, but did say the case would be available separately for existing AirPod owners who wanted to upgrade.

MacRumors citing "information reportedly sourced from Apple Switzerland" suggested we'd see the new charging case that December and it would cost $69.

December rolled around with no new AirPods in sight. Then, Kuo Ming-Chi, (via MacRumors, he of the supply chain exfiltration fame, added rumors of new AirPods, not just the new case.

upgraded AirPods in 2H18

Kuo said one internal change on the second-generation AirPods will include a "smaller quartz component," but he didn't provide any further details about new outward-facing features or improvements to expect.

Mark Gurman, writing for Bloomberg on February 22, 2018:

The model coming as early as this year will let people summon Apple's Siri digital assistant without physically tapping the headphones by saying "Hey Siri." The function will work similarly to how a user activates Siri on an iPhone or a HomePod speaker hands-free. The headphones, internally known as B288, will include an upgraded Apple-designed wireless chip for managing Bluetooth connections. The first AirPods include a chip known as the W1, and Apple released the W2 with the Apple Watch last year.

A subsequent model for as early as next year is planned to be water resistant, they added, asking not to be identified discussing private product plans.

The idea for the water-resistant model is for the headphones to survive splashes of water and rain, the people said.

Gurman and Bloomberg returned to AirPods on June 26:

The Cupertino, California-based company is working on new AirPods with noise-cancellation and water resistance, the people said. Apple is trying to increase the range that AirPods can work away from an iPhone or iPad, one of the people said. You won't be swimming in them though: The water resistance is mainly to protect against rain and perspiration, the people said.

The company has also internally discussed adding biometric sensors to future AirPods, like a heart-rate monitor, to expand its health-related hardware offerings beyond the Apple Watch, another person said. The current AirPods will be refreshed later this year with a new chip and support for hands-free Siri activation, Bloomberg News reported.

Gurman also added rumors of an expanded product line:

There are over-ear headphones coming from Apple, too. Those will compete with pricey models from Bose Corp. and Sennheiser. They will use Apple branding and be a higher-end alternative to the company's Beats line. Apple originally intended to introduce the headphones by the end of 2018, but has faced development challenges, and is now targeting a launch as early as next year, the people said.

By September of 2018, pretty much everyone seemed to expect the long-awaited inductive charging case at the very least, if not updated AirPods as well, to show up at Apple's annual iPhone event.

Ming-Chi Kuo, via MacRumors:

Kuo still expects Apple's long-awaited AirPower charging mat and new AirPods to be released by the end of the year.

Mark Gurman, on Twitter

But, of course, that was not to be.

Kuo Ming-Chi on December 2, via MacRumors:

We attribute AirPods' dramatic growth (14–16mn, 26–28mn, 50–55mn, 70–80mn and 100–110mn units in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively) to 1) the upgraded model with wireless charging support to benefit shipments to launch in 1Q19, 2) the all-new design model to boost replacement demand to launch in 1Q20, 3) an innovative user experience, and 4) high integration with iOS and Mac products. In summary, AirPods is Apple's most popular accessory ever, and it currently has the best growth momentum among Apple products.

And again on December 5, also via MacRumors

We believe that the AirPods are more than just earbuds for Apple and will become increasingly important in Apple's ecosystem for the following reasons. (1) They increase the switching costs for users to Android from the iOS ecosystem. (2) This is an important device for voice assistant/AI services because it can easily enable the voice assistant. (3) The ear is a perfect sensing area for detecting various health data. It may integrate with the Apple Watch to offer better health management in the future.

Also on December 5, MySmartPrice noticed updated AirPods model numbers in the Bluetooth database:

The upcoming wireless earphones have already received Bluetooth SIG Certification, confirming that they will support Bluetooth version 5.0. Moreover, they are expected to offer several biometric 'Wellness' features as well. It is also expected that the earphones will offer hands-free access to Siri.

AirPods 2: The potential

Beyond the inductive charging case that Apple has already announced and we'll presumably see sometime in the New Year, there are a few features that really stand out when it comes to making AirPods really next gen.

Liquid ingress protection, which usually gets simplified to water resistance but in this case really needs to cover everything from rain to sweat, would not only prevent AirPods from being damaged due to weather but due to all the hardcore workouts they often get put through every day. Those don't often kill AirPods immediately but will over time.

More sophisticated controls are also high on many people's lists. Apple has already added different options for the accelerometer tap on existing AirPods, and let you split the the controls so tapping one AirPod can do something different than tapping the other.

You can't control volume yet, though. But, if Apple could add a capacitive layer to the circumference, similar to what was just added to Apple Pencil 2 to switch tools, then maybe you could swipe up to increase and swipe down to decrease volume, and it would be one less reason to reach for your Watch or iPhone any more.

The ability to fit more and varied ears has also come up often. Even though Jony Ive and his team found a way to fit most ears, most of the time, that still leaves some people out. And, at the scale of Apple products, even a small percentage translates into a lot.

My own ears have been mangled by a decade of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, so while the left one fits perfectly, the right one is always a little looser. I don't know if Apple could tweak the shape or the material to hit an even wider range of people, or if it could go to or offer an in-ear alternative for those who really need it, but something. Because AirPods really should be for everyone.

The accessibility benefits alone, from guided walking to full on audio augmented reality are going to demand it soon anyway. Especially if AirPods get into computational 3D audio, so sound can be placed in space, both for mundane things like directions and tours and spectacular things like gaming and entertainment.

Also, of course, color. Especially in the age of iPhone XR where blue, red, yellow, and coral are the new black. Apple seems to think white is iconic when it comes to its audio accessories, going all the way back to the original iPod, but as any Watch lover will tell you, we now live in an age of technology-as-fashion and white isn't always going to be right, certainly not for everyone and absolutely not all of the time.

Maybe higher-end AirPods in silver and space gray, and new entry-level AirPods in all the XR colors?

On-board Hey Siri. You always have to be cautious when it comes to tiny batteries and always-on features, but moving the trigger word from the iPhone's A-series to the AirPods W-series would likely boost performance enough to warrant it.

Over time, maybe the connection to Siri servers could move as well. That way, like Apple Watch, any time AirPods detect a Wi-Fi network they already know via iPhone, they could just send the query immediately. Of course, that kind of connectivity also opens AirPods up to on-device Apple Music, Podcasts, and Audio Books streaming, like Apple Watch.

The batteries are profoundly smaller, so the feature will likely take commensurately longer, but as much as Apple Watch has been called the real next-generation iPod, it's actually AirPods that'll eventually be best suited to that roll.

Basically, near-field versions of the far-field HomePod. Tiny computational audio buds for your ears.

AirPods 2: To be continued...

Apple sold the original AirPods for as close to cost as it could at introduction, giving up on its traditional hefty margins in order to help popularize the technology.

"What? They were too dumb expensive!" I can already imagine a lot of you rage typing into the comments. Well, no. The W1 chip, the sensors, and just getting so much tech into so small a package was "too dumb expensive".

That's why I think a range of AirPods from entry-level to higher end will eventually make sense, including the new over-the-ear headphones Apple is also rumored to be working on, and that I'm not quite so sure will be sold anywhere near cost.

But that's the topic for another day...

AirDrop not working? Here’s how to troubleshoot!

How do you troubleshoot AirDrop if it’s not working on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac? Here are some fixes you can try!

AirDrop lets you wirelessly beam almost anything from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to any other recent Apple device. It uses Bluetooth 4.x for power-efficient broadcast and discovery, and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi for speedy transfer. The entire process isn’t just simple, it’s incredibly secure… when it works. If you’re having trouble, though, it can be maddening. Luckily, there are a few things you can try to get it working!

Adjust AirDrop

AirDrop has three levels: Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone. Contacts Only is the most complex of the three, since it has to verify who knows who. If you’re in a pinch, you can switch to Everyone and try again. You can also turn it off and on again.

Launch Settings from your Home screen
Tap on General.

Tap on AirDrop.

If you’re trying to use AirDrop from an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to your Mac, but your Mac isn’t showing up, here’…

How do you troubleshoot AirDrop if it's not working on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac? Here are some fixes you can try!

AirDrop lets you wirelessly beam almost anything from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to any other recent Apple device. It uses Bluetooth 4.x for power-efficient broadcast and discovery, and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi for speedy transfer. The entire process isn't just simple, it's incredibly secure... when it works. If you're having trouble, though, it can be maddening. Luckily, there are a few things you can try to get it working!

Adjust AirDrop

AirDrop has three levels: Off, Contacts Only, and Everyone. Contacts Only is the most complex of the three, since it has to verify who knows who. If you're in a pinch, you can switch to Everyone and try again. You can also turn it off and on again.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on AirDrop.

If you're trying to use AirDrop from an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to your Mac, but your Mac isn't showing up, here's something else to try:

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Click on AirDrop in the sidebar.

You can also toggle between Everyone, Contacts, and No One right from there, as described in the step above.

That puts your Mac in an AirDrop-ready state as well and can help in detection. If it doesn't, keep reading!

Toggle radios

If toggling AirDrop itself doesn't get things going, you can escalate to the radios.

On iPhone or iPad:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi and then toggle it off and back on.
  3. Tap Bluetooth and then toggle it off and back on.

Note: Control Center no longer turns Wi-Fi or Bluetooth completely off. It simply stops the current connection but leaves things like AirPods, Apple Pencil, and Apple Watch available.

On Mac:

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Dock or via Spotlight.
  2. Click on Network, then on Turn Wi-Fi Off, then turn Wi-Fi back on.
  3. click on Bluetooth, then on Turn Bluetooth Off, then turn Bluetooth back on.

Note: If you have the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons on the right of your Menubar, you can click on those to toggle them faster.

Alternatively, you can turn Airplane Mode on and then back off to toggle all the radios all at once.

Once you're done, try connecting again. If it works, great. If not, keep reading.

Hard reset

The next thing to try is a hard reset. Make all the "reboot Windows" jokes you want but it's a cliche for a reason!

For iPad (except iPad Pro 2018) and older iPhones with mechanical Home buttons (iPhone 6s and earlier):

  1. Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side (iPhone 6s or iPhone 6) or top (all other iPhones, iPods, and iPads) of your device.
  2. While continuing to hold the On/Off button, press and hold the Home button on the front of your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
  3. Hold both buttons as the screen turns off, and keep holding them until the screen turns back on and displays the Apple logo.

For iPhone 7:

  1. Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side
  2. While continuing to hold the On/Off button, press and hold the volume down button on the left side of your iPhone.
  3. Hold both buttons as the screen turns off, and keep holding them until the screen turns back on and displays the Apple logo.

For iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and iPad Pro (2018):

  1. Quickly click and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Quickly click and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Press and hold the sleep/wake button.
  4. Keep holding down the Side button, even after the Shut Down screen shows up. (iOS 11.2 and later.)

On the Mac:

  1. Click on the  icon at the far left of the Menubar.
  2. Click on Restart.

Once you've rebooted, try connecting it in again. If it works, you're good. If not, go on to the next step.

Update!

Apple's Bluetooth stack—the set of software that controls your device's radio—isn't without its occasional quirks. Sometimes, new versions of iOS introduce compatibility problems; other times, they fix them. If you're having Bluetooth connectivity problems, you're better off updating than not. If it's already broken, the update is your chance for a fix.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Software Update.
  4. If there's an update available, tap to install it.

Once you're done updating, try to use AirDrop again. If it works, awesome. If not, there's even more to try!

Reset networks

Resetting can be a huge pain, but if something has gone wrong with the way your iPhone or iPad connects to other devices, it might just be necessary.

  1. Launch the Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Reset at the bottom.
  4. Tap on Reset Network Settings.
  5. Enter your Passcode, if prompted.
  6. Tap Reset Network Settings to confirm.

Once this is complete, you'll have to reconnect to every Wi-Fi and Bluetooth device you own or use; once you're done, check AirDrop again. If it works, it was all worth it. If not, let's keep going.

Contact Apple

Sometimes a problem really is a problem. Like any electronics, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios and the various connections to them can have problems. If you have AppleCare+, don't walk, run to your local Apple Store to get it looked at.

Updated February 2019: Updated for iPhone XS and iPad Pro (2018).

Pokemon Go Events: Valentine’s Day, Shiny Meltan, Community Day, and more!

Pokemon GoValentine’s Day, Shiny Meltan, Community Day, and more!

Pokémon Go is intended to get you out and about, both on your own and with family and friends. One of the ways Pokémon Go tries to bolster activity is with events. Some of the events get splashy announcements and coincide with big public holidays. Others are quieter and more regular. Here’s what’s happened already and what’s coming up next.

Pokemon Go Valentine’s Day Event until February 21

Gather up Poké Balls and turn on Adventure Sync—the Pokémon GO Valentine’s Day Celebration features Pokémon that are pink! Beginning February 13 at 1 p.m. PST, Pokémon such as Clefairy, Hoppip, and Luvdisc will appear more frequently in the wild. Check out more details below:

Date + Time

Feb. 13, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8) to
Feb. 21, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8)
Features

Pink Pokémon such as Clefairy, Hoppip, and Luvdisc will appear more…

Pokemon GoValentine's Day, Shiny Meltan, Community Day, and more!

Pokémon Go is intended to get you out and about, both on your own and with family and friends. One of the ways Pokémon Go tries to bolster activity is with events. Some of the events get splashy announcements and coincide with big public holidays. Others are quieter and more regular. Here's what's happened already and what's coming up next.

Pokemon Go Valentine's Day Event until February 21

Gather up Poké Balls and turn on Adventure Sync—the Pokémon GO Valentine's Day Celebration features Pokémon that are pink! Beginning February 13 at 1 p.m. PST, Pokémon such as Clefairy, Hoppip, and Luvdisc will appear more frequently in the wild. Check out more details below:

Date + Time

  • Feb. 13, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8) to
  • Feb. 21, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8)

Features

  • Pink Pokémon such as Clefairy, Hoppip, and Luvdisc will appear more frequently in the wild!
  • Certain pink Pokémon will hatch more frequently from 7 km Eggs!
  • Pink Pokémon such as Chansey and Porygon will appear more frequently in Raid Battles!

Bonuses

  • Lure Modules will last six hours for the duration of the event.
  • 2× Catch Candy

Let's spread the love and enjoy special Valentine's Day Celebration bonuses! Stay safe, and happy exploring!

Pokémon Go February Community Day — Swinhub Edition — is February 16

Community Day returns on February 16 with a nod to the Chinese New Year and Year of the Pig — that's right, it's Swinhub time!

  • 3x Catch Stardust
  • 3 hour Lures
  • Evolve Piloswine to get Mamoswine with Ancient Power

You'll also be able to get up to 10 Sinnoh Stones, which you'll need to evolve Mamoswine.

Pokemon Go Shiny Meltan Event until March 4

The co-promotion between Pokemon Go and Pokemon Lets Go on Nintendo Switch is escalating the FOMO:

We have exciting news! The Shiny version of the Mythical Pokémon Meltan has been discovered! Just in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Shiny version of Meltan will appear for a limited time.

A Mythical Pokémon, the mysterious and rare Meltan only appears when a Mystery Box is opened. If you're lucky, you may encounter Shiny Meltan when you open the Mystery Box from February 5 at 1 p.m. PST until March 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST. During this special event, the time that you have to wait before you can open the Mystery Box again will be reduced to three days. Be careful, Trainer! If you open the Mystery Box before this event starts, you will have to wait the usual time period before you can open it again.

Date & Time

  • Feb. 5, 2019, at 1 p.m. PST (GMT -8) to
  • Mar. 4, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. PST (GMT -8) Features

When you open the Mystery Box, you may encounter the Shiny version of the Mythical Pokémon Meltan!

The time you have to wait before you can open the Mystery Box again will be reduced. Don't miss this unique opportunity to bring Shiny Meltan into your GO Park or evolve it into Shiny Melmetal! Best of luck in discovering a rare form of this recently discovered Mythical Pokémon.

Shiny Meltan doesn't look very different from non-Shiny, though, which is a bummer. You have one job, folks.

Pokémon Go Legendary Palkia Raids from January 29 to February 28

New month coming up means new Legendary Raids, namely the Water/Dragon Palkia.

A new arrival to raids will test your strength in 2019! The Water- and Dragon-type Spatial Pokémon, Palkia, will join Raid Battles across the world from January 29 at 1:00 p.m. PST to February 28 at 1:00 p.m. PST!

With the ability to warp the very fabric of space and enough power to take on Giratina, Palkia is a Pokémon that shouldn't be underestimated. Be sure to assemble a team that includes Dragon- and Fairy-type Pokémon to take down this Legendary Pokémon before its special attacks overwhelm your team!

Don't miss this chance to catch this Legendary Pokémon before it returns to its own spatial dimension! Stay safe, and happy exploring!

Get your Dragon-type attackers ready. Rayquaza, Dragonite, Solamance, Latios, and your Fairy-types if you need backup. This one is going to give as good as it gets.

Deoxys shifts to Attack Forme for Ex-Raid starting December 20

Pokémon Go has made it official: The Mythical Gen 3 Pokémon, Deoxys, will replace Mewtwo when Ex-Raids make their return... at some point in the hopefully near future.

It's time to prepare for a new challenge from a powerful Mythical Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region! The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys, will arrive for EX Raid Battles. This Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon will be available to challenge in its Normal Forme beginning with the next cycle of EX Raid invitations.

And, after two long months, Pokémon Go is finally shifting to the next forme: Attack:

The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys, has tested the strength of Trainers in EX Raids and has now changed form! Attack Forme Deoxys will be in EX Raid Battles, with more power than previously seen, so make sure your team is prepared. This Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon will be available to challenge beginning with the next cycle of EX Raid invitations, after December 20.

Read more about the new Ex Raid system

Pokémon Go Fest 2019

No word yet on Pokémon Go Fest 2019. Probably not even safe to assume it'll be in Chicago again, now that Niantic has proven it can run an event there and redeemed itself from 2017. But, we'll update as soon as there's anything to update!


Pokemon Go Adventure Sync Hatchathon (Finished)

It'll be hard to beat the Gen 4 babies but here's hoping Pokémon Go tries.

Welcome a brand-new year with the Adventure Sync Hatchathon! To celebrate new beginnings, Trainers will enjoy bonuses for hatching Eggs from January 2 at 1:00 p.m. PST to January 15 at 1:00 p.m. PST. Make sure your shoes are tightly laced for a long journey, as you're more likely to receive 5 km and 10 km Eggs from PokéStops and Gyms.

Don't forget to activate Adventure Sync to make your steps count toward hatching Eggs while you're on the go! Enjoy more ways to stay on top of your well-being for the New Year while working toward rewards with a weekly fitness summary as you start your New Year's resolutions off on the right foot. See details for the event below:

Date + Time

Jan. 2, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8) to Jan. 15, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8)

Bonuses

  • 2× Hatch Candy
  • 2× Hatch Stardust
  • Higher chance of receiving 5 km and 10 km Eggs from PokéStops and Gyms

Update: Nope. Hatches haven't been great. But, the bonuses have been good.


What Pokémon Go events do you want to see?

If you were planning the next big Pokémon Go event, when would you have it and how would you handle it?

iMessage for Android: Is now the time?

Could cross-platform iMessage finally start making the kind of sense that does?

You all know what iMessage is, but just in case anyone stumbled onto this channel from out of a circa 2005 BlackBerry or something, it’s Apple’s text and media messaging service, bundled into the Messages app on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and even annexed by HomePod and CarPlay.

But, much like BlackBerry Messenger back in the day, Apple devices and services is where the platform support ends. There’s no iMessage for Android or for Windows, and unlike Apple’s Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and iWork, there’s not even an iMessage for iCloud.

At least not yet.

Rather watch than read? Hit play on the video version above!

Now, confession, I’ve been saying for years that Apple would never make iMessage for Android because it would hurt the overall value of iPhone and, for the last decade, iPhone is where the vast majority of Apple’s money has come from.

But, with the saturationing — the phone busi…

Could cross-platform iMessage finally start making the kind of sense that does?

You all know what iMessage is, but just in case anyone stumbled onto this channel from out of a circa 2005 BlackBerry or something, it's Apple's text and media messaging service, bundled into the Messages app on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and even annexed by HomePod and CarPlay.

But, much like BlackBerry Messenger back in the day, Apple devices and services is where the platform support ends. There's no iMessage for Android or for Windows, and unlike Apple's Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and iWork, there's not even an iMessage for iCloud.

At least not yet.

Rather watch than read? Hit play on the video version above!

Now, confession, I've been saying for years that Apple would never make iMessage for Android because it would hurt the overall value of iPhone and, for the last decade, iPhone is where the vast majority of Apple's money has come from.

But, with the saturationing — the phone business hitting maturity — and Apple increasingly turning towards its ecosystem — additional products like Apple Watch and AirPods yes, but also and especially services like Apple Pay and the upcoming Apple television shows — that could all change.
 Apple has long been offering Apple Music on Android, and has recently announced iTunes for Samsung televisions. Yeah. Samsung. iTunes. Stop the record and rewind that. As well as AirPlay and HomeKit for LG, Vizio, and Sony.

So, could cross-platform iMessage finally start making the kind of sense that does?

Sticky Bubbles

iMessage is the most popular app on iOS according to what Apple said a few years ago. It's so popular, at least in North America — we'll leave China and WeChat out of this, but only for now — that people consider it a lock in. That is to say, something that prevents them from ever leaving iPhone and their blue bubble friends.

Yeah, that whole thing was the genius play. Well, two genius plays. The first was how seamlessly Apple integrated iMessage with SMS. If you used text messaging on iPhone, you used the Messages app, and if you used the Messages app with another Apple user, you used iMessage. That was it. The on-boarding was… was literally no on boarding. You were already all boarded on.

The second was the bubbles. Anyone who messaged you from another Apple device got a cool blue bubble. Everyone else, whether from a flip phone or Android phone, got a green bubble.

Blues and Greens. It might as well have been the Eloi and the Morlochs. Sorry. The wizards and the muggles.

Leave iPhone and you leave iMessage. You leave the blue.

That adds to both the value of Apple's platform and the stickiness.

But how long does that value last? Or, better said: when does that value transition from the platform to the service?

The BBM bust

Once upon a time, BlackBerry was in a similar situation. Evolving from the pager, it grew to support email first, then BBM — BlackBerry Messenger. By 2006, BlackBerry was an incredibly popular handset manufacturer with an incredibly popular messaging service. And those two things, their handset popularity and their messaging popularity, were inextricably linked. Anyone who wanted a high power job, and anyone who wanted to be with someone who had a high power job, needed to be on BBM.

By 2010, however BlackBerry's handsets had fallen behind iPhone and Android. There was talk of BlackBerry taking BBM cross-platform but nothing ever came of it. They were seemingly afraid that if they let their messaging system go, their customers would go with it.

They still saw their messaging as a way to keep people locked to their handsets. It never occurred to them that their messaging could become more valuable than their handsets.

But it did.

BlackBerry fell to a valuation of around $5 billion where WhatsApp, a cross-platform clone of BBM that basically ripped and repeated feature after feature and shipped it for every phone it could find, ended up selling to Facebook for three times that.

Sure, BlackBerry eventually took BBM cross-platform, but even though they had to struggle to work around their single-device PIN-based architecture in a multi-device world, that ended up being the least of their problems.

They'd waited too long. The vast majority of their customers had already left BlackBerry, in spite of BBM, and, since they weren't able to take it with them, they simply left BBM behind.

And there was no amount of stickiness that could stop that.

Products vs. businesses

Historically, Apple doesn't mistake their products for their business. Instead of protecting the iPod and the Mac, Apple pushed ahead with iPhone and iPad. Instead of riding iTunes Music into the ground, they launched Apple Music.

That's because Apple's business was never iPods and Macs or iTunes Music. it was personal computing devices and content. And Apple is really good at cannibalizing and obsoleting themselves before someone else can do it to them.

Facebook is kinda similar.

I mean, Mark Zuckerberg loves his big blue app and all, but Facebook understands specific services aren't their business. Data brokerage is.

Rather than obsoleting themselves the way Apple does, by creating ever more modern products themselves, they use every means, legit and beyond shady at their disposal, to scour our devices for trends, and then buy companies before they can become real competition. Namely, Instagram and WhatsApp. Or, if like Snapchat, they won't sell — just clone their features and suck out their value.

So, as long as people are using one Facebook product, that lets them get data brokerage hooks in from every Facebook product. That's their business.

Operating systems are also products. Platforms are the business. Microsoft's biggest fumble of the last couple of decades was mistaking Windows, a product, for their business. Only now, with Azure, are they digging themselves out. Apple, on the other hand, has been happily spitting out new operating system products one after the other, from macOS to iOS to watchOS to tvOS.

But operating systems aren't the only products that can be platforms. WeChat in China has become so successful as a platform it's just about obsoleted the operating system layer for iOS and Android.

And that's the line Apple has to track. And closely. The one BlackBerry missed: When your platform value shifts from the operating system layer to the services layer you have to shift with it.

Apple has successfully transitioned that value in the past, putting iTunes on Windows and now again on Samsung TVs, and putting Apple Music on Android and Alexa.

The questions is, will they need to with iMessage and, if so, will they be able to?

iMessage on Android

Now, yes, Apple hasn't traditionally been great at either cross-platform or services, so the idea of people wanting a cross-platform service from Apple could seem a little weird.

Ostensibly, the primary reason Apple Music exists for Android is so that family plans will be more attractive to cross-platform families.

And why not? Apple Music is a paid service so, even if Apple isn't selling all the atoms, they can still get paid for streaming all the packets and bits.

Same with Apple Music for Amazon Alexa. And, perhaps, in the near future with Apple's original video program and Texture-based Apple News subscription services on a plethora of other devices.

Those will likely also be paid services, though. So, getting as big a potential market as possible for them also makes the kind of sense that does.

After all, we've proven again and again that content is something we're willing to pay for. Even if now we want to lease rather than buy.

But that raises some interesting questions when it comes to iMessage for Android. Apple has probably had it running in some lab somewhere for years already, secret double lives and all that. But what's the value proposition in letting it out? Would it also just work as a paid service?

Many companies give away messaging for quote-unquote free as a candy coating for the data harvesting that fuels their brokerage businesses.

Apple won't do that.

But, iMessage for Android could potentially add hundreds of millions of new users to Apple's servers. In scaling terms, that's like adding another iMessage to iMessage, and absent hardware sales or data brokering behind it, something will have to fund it.

Subscriptions could be the answer, but we're still assuming a lot.

Most importantly, could Apple make as good and as integrated an experience on Android as it has on iOS? Android allows for a deep level of access, but Google, which has unlimited access and resources hasn't been able to make a viable messaging apps despite what feels like an attempt a year for nearly a decade.

Even assuming they can, and it may be too big an assumption to make, how much could Apple charge for it — or, to flip it around, how much would Android users be willing to pay? Would $20 a year be too little? Would $5 a month be too much?

What if Apple sells it as private, encrypted, even… exclusive?

With video games, we've basically been shown people won't pay $5 up front but will pay all their monies, all of it, for ego and instant gratification. To have bigger, better farms than their friends, and to get their race cars back on the tracks faster.

Would a blue bubble be worth paying for? Or an even more exclusive color, like purple for anyone who subscribes, even Apple device owners?

AirPods 2 could come sometime in March… or September. Sigh.

In 2016, Apple deleted the 3.5mm headphone jack. Those jerks. But Apple also introduced AirPods. Making them magnificent jerks.

Essentially EarPods with the cords cut off and the stems and buds crammed full of sensors and custom silicon, they looked goofy, they cost more than what you found in dollar stores, and they took longer than expected to hit the market.

But when they finally did, and people got a taste of the freedom that came from no longer having strings to hold them down, we went from the usual self-proclaimed techsperts poking fun at them to to AirPods being heralded as one of the best products to come from Apple in years.

That was 2016 though. So, what can we expect from AirPods in 2019?

Rather watch than read? Hit play on the video above and subscribe for more.

February 12, 2019: AirPods 2 could come sometime in March… maybe

Schrödinger’s AirPods rumors today leave us both expecting and not expecting AirPods 2 as soon as next month. Or this fall. It’s obv…

In 2016, Apple deleted the 3.5mm headphone jack. Those jerks. But Apple also introduced AirPods. Making them magnificent jerks.

Essentially EarPods with the cords cut off and the stems and buds crammed full of sensors and custom silicon, they looked goofy, they cost more than what you found in dollar stores, and they took longer than expected to hit the market.

But when they finally did, and people got a taste of the freedom that came from no longer having strings to hold them down, we went from the usual self-proclaimed techsperts poking fun at them to to AirPods being heralded as one of the best products to come from Apple in years.

That was 2016 though. So, what can we expect from AirPods in 2019?

Rather watch than read? Hit play on the video above and subscribe for more.

February 12, 2019: AirPods 2 could come sometime in March... maybe

Schrödinger's AirPods rumors today leave us both expecting and not expecting AirPods 2 as soon as next month. Or this fall. It's obviously complicated.

From iPhoneHellas.gr:

According to exclusive information we received from a reliable source through Apple's production chain in China, the upgraded Airpods 2 , AirPower and the new iPad (2019) will be available from Friday, March 29th !

If Apple holds a spring event the week of March 26th, orders could certainly start on March 29. But let's just wait on those invitations first.

So, maybe let's just wait until the event first as well.

February 11, 2019: AirPods 2 could come in texture black — wait, what?

From MySmartPrice:

According to our source, Apple AirPods 2 will look largely identical to the current AirPods from the outside. However, Apple has made some changes on the inside to allow for more impressive bass response. For improved grip, the upcoming wireless earphones may come with a new coating on top, similar to the one Google uses for its Pixel smartphones.

As some previous leaks had claimed, the AirPods 2 will include more sensors compared to its predecessor. Some rumors suggest these new sensors on the AirPods 2 will be used for the new health features, including heart rate monitoring. In terms of battery life, AirPods are likely to be more or less similar to the original AirPods, as the battery size is said to be identical. Apple will be offering the AirPods 2 in two colors: Black and White. While the original AirPods were launched at $159 in the US, the AirPods 2 are expected to be priced around $200 (INR 14,250 approx.).

I'd love AirPods in black, even if it's a departure from Apple's usual "use white, and white only, because it becomes iconic" strategy that we've seen since the first days of iPods.

January 24, 2019: AirPods 2 'Hey, Siri' set up hidden in iOS 12.2 beta

Gui Rambo has a way of finding anything and everything hidden inside Apple's betas. Today, that includes the "Hey, Siri" setup screens in iOS 12.2 beta 1.

From 9to5Mac:

One of those changes, which is currently hidden from public view, is the addition of a new setup screen that's used when configuring AirPods. This new setup screen clearly states that the user will be able to talk to Siri with AirPods or iPhone by saying "Hey, Siri".

If Apple has already built out the software, the hardware shouldn't be too far behind.

January 23, 2019: AirPods 2, with health sensors, rumored to be coming soon

From the randomly accurate Digitimes:

In terms of wireless headsets, Apple is set to release AirPods 2 sometime in the first half of 2019, and the new wireless earbuds with discrete designs to carry health monitoring functions are expected to receive enthusiastic market responses.

If AirPods become the new Apple Watch, what will the Apple Watch become?

AirPods 2: The rumors

Back on September 9, 2017, just a year after the introduction of the first AirPods, Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted a an image he found in a leaked version of the iOS 11 gold master.

They looked almost exactly the same except for one small but important details: The LED status light was on the outside. It didn't make much sense back then, but it would in just a few days…

At the September 2017 event, Apple not only announced inductive charging for the then-new iPhone 8 and iPhone X, but also for AirPower — see my previous video, linked in the description below — and AirPods courtesy of a new case with… wait for it… the light moved to the outside.

Apple didn't say whether or not new AirPods would come with the new, inductive charging case, but did say the case would be available separately for existing AirPod owners who wanted to upgrade.

MacRumors citing "information reportedly sourced from Apple Switzerland" suggested we'd see the new charging case that December and it would cost $69.

December rolled around with no new AirPods in sight. Then, Kuo Ming-Chi, (via MacRumors, he of the supply chain exfiltration fame, added rumors of new AirPods, not just the new case.

upgraded AirPods in 2H18

Kuo said one internal change on the second-generation AirPods will include a "smaller quartz component," but he didn't provide any further details about new outward-facing features or improvements to expect.

Mark Gurman, writing for Bloomberg on February 22, 2018:

The model coming as early as this year will let people summon Apple's Siri digital assistant without physically tapping the headphones by saying "Hey Siri." The function will work similarly to how a user activates Siri on an iPhone or a HomePod speaker hands-free. The headphones, internally known as B288, will include an upgraded Apple-designed wireless chip for managing Bluetooth connections. The first AirPods include a chip known as the W1, and Apple released the W2 with the Apple Watch last year.

A subsequent model for as early as next year is planned to be water resistant, they added, asking not to be identified discussing private product plans.

The idea for the water-resistant model is for the headphones to survive splashes of water and rain, the people said.

Gurman and Bloomberg returned to AirPods on June 26:

The Cupertino, California-based company is working on new AirPods with noise-cancellation and water resistance, the people said. Apple is trying to increase the range that AirPods can work away from an iPhone or iPad, one of the people said. You won't be swimming in them though: The water resistance is mainly to protect against rain and perspiration, the people said.

The company has also internally discussed adding biometric sensors to future AirPods, like a heart-rate monitor, to expand its health-related hardware offerings beyond the Apple Watch, another person said. The current AirPods will be refreshed later this year with a new chip and support for hands-free Siri activation, Bloomberg News reported.

Gurman also added rumors of an expanded product line:

There are over-ear headphones coming from Apple, too. Those will compete with pricey models from Bose Corp. and Sennheiser. They will use Apple branding and be a higher-end alternative to the company's Beats line. Apple originally intended to introduce the headphones by the end of 2018, but has faced development challenges, and is now targeting a launch as early as next year, the people said.

By September of 2018, pretty much everyone seemed to expect the long-awaited inductive charging case at the very least, if not updated AirPods as well, to show up at Apple's annual iPhone event.

Ming-Chi Kuo, via MacRumors:

Kuo still expects Apple's long-awaited AirPower charging mat and new AirPods to be released by the end of the year.

Mark Gurman, on Twitter

But, of course, that was not to be.

Kuo Ming-Chi on December 2, via MacRumors:

We attribute AirPods' dramatic growth (14–16mn, 26–28mn, 50–55mn, 70–80mn and 100–110mn units in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively) to 1) the upgraded model with wireless charging support to benefit shipments to launch in 1Q19, 2) the all-new design model to boost replacement demand to launch in 1Q20, 3) an innovative user experience, and 4) high integration with iOS and Mac products. In summary, AirPods is Apple's most popular accessory ever, and it currently has the best growth momentum among Apple products.

And again on December 5, also via MacRumors

We believe that the AirPods are more than just earbuds for Apple and will become increasingly important in Apple's ecosystem for the following reasons. (1) They increase the switching costs for users to Android from the iOS ecosystem. (2) This is an important device for voice assistant/AI services because it can easily enable the voice assistant. (3) The ear is a perfect sensing area for detecting various health data. It may integrate with the Apple Watch to offer better health management in the future.

Also on December 5, MySmartPrice noticed updated AirPods model numbers in the Bluetooth database:

The upcoming wireless earphones have already received Bluetooth SIG Certification, confirming that they will support Bluetooth version 5.0. Moreover, they are expected to offer several biometric 'Wellness' features as well. It is also expected that the earphones will offer hands-free access to Siri.

AirPods 2: The potential

Beyond the inductive charging case that Apple has already announced and we'll presumably see sometime in the New Year, there are a few features that really stand out when it comes to making AirPods really next gen.

Liquid ingress protection, which usually gets simplified to water resistance but in this case really needs to cover everything from rain to sweat, would not only prevent AirPods from being damaged due to weather but due to all the hardcore workouts they often get put through every day. Those don't often kill AirPods immediately but will over time.

More sophisticated controls are also high on many people's lists. Apple has already added different options for the accelerometer tap on existing AirPods, and let you split the the controls so tapping one AirPod can do something different than tapping the other.

You can't control volume yet, though. But, if Apple could add a capacitive layer to the circumference, similar to what was just added to Apple Pencil 2 to switch tools, then maybe you could swipe up to increase and swipe down to decrease volume, and it would be one less reason to reach for your Watch or iPhone any more.

The ability to fit more and varied ears has also come up often. Even though Jony Ive and his team found a way to fit most ears, most of the time, that still leaves some people out. And, at the scale of Apple products, even a small percentage translates into a lot.

My own ears have been mangled by a decade of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, so while the left one fits perfectly, the right one is always a little looser. I don't know if Apple could tweak the shape or the material to hit an even wider range of people, or if it could go to or offer an in-ear alternative for those who really need it, but something. Because AirPods really should be for everyone.

The accessibility benefits alone, from guided walking to full on audio augmented reality are going to demand it soon anyway. Especially if AirPods get into computational 3D audio, so sound can be placed in space, both for mundane things like directions and tours and spectacular things like gaming and entertainment.

Also, of course, color. Especially in the age of iPhone XR where blue, red, yellow, and coral are the new black. Apple seems to think white is iconic when it comes to its audio accessories, going all the way back to the original iPod, but as any Watch lover will tell you, we now live in an age of technology-as-fashion and white isn't always going to be right, certainly not for everyone and absolutely not all of the time.

Maybe higher-end AirPods in silver and space gray, and new entry-level AirPods in all the XR colors?

On-board Hey Siri. You always have to be cautious when it comes to tiny batteries and always-on features, but moving the trigger word from the iPhone's A-series to the AirPods W-series would likely boost performance enough to warrant it.

Over time, maybe the connection to Siri servers could move as well. That way, like Apple Watch, any time AirPods detect a Wi-Fi network they already know via iPhone, they could just send the query immediately. Of course, that kind of connectivity also opens AirPods up to on-device Apple Music, Podcasts, and Audio Books streaming, like Apple Watch.

The batteries are profoundly smaller, so the feature will likely take commensurately longer, but as much as Apple Watch has been called the real next-generation iPod, it's actually AirPods that'll eventually be best suited to that roll.

Basically, near-field versions of the far-field HomePod. Tiny computational audio buds for your ears.

AirPods 2: To be continued...

Apple sold the original AirPods for as close to cost as it could at introduction, giving up on its traditional hefty margins in order to help popularize the technology.

"What? They were too dumb expensive!" I can already imagine a lot of you rage typing into the comments. Well, no. The W1 chip, the sensors, and just getting so much tech into so small a package was "too dumb expensive".

That's why I think a range of AirPods from entry-level to higher end will eventually make sense, including the new over-the-ear headphones Apple is also rumored to be working on, and that I'm not quite so sure will be sold anywhere near cost.

But that's the topic for another day...

Angela Ahrendts is leaving Apple — what’s going on and why?

Angela Ahrendts, up until now senior vice president of retail, is leaving Apple. That news has filled the web with hot takes trending towards fan fic. So, what’s really going on?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019, Apple Newsroom:

Angela Ahrendts Plans April Departure After Five Successful Years

That wasn’t the headline, of course. It was the sub. The hed was:

Apple names Deirdre O’Brien senior vice president of Retail + People

But it was the Angela Ahrendts news that caught fire. There’d been almost no advanced word and so it caught almost everyone by surprise. And, what followed was a fascinating — and somewhat grotesque — glimpse into our collective psyche as the internet stumbled all over itself to rush out its hottest of takes about Ahrendts leaving — many absurd, reflective, projective, and in general little to do with Ahrendts and a lot to do with their own damage and frustrations.

So, what’s really going on?

Don’t want t…

Angela Ahrendts, up until now senior vice president of retail, is leaving Apple. That news has filled the web with hot takes trending towards fan fic. So, what's really going on?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019, Apple Newsroom:

Angela Ahrendts Plans April Departure After Five Successful Years

That wasn't the headline, of course. It was the sub. The hed was:

Apple names Deirdre O'Brien senior vice president of Retail + People

But it was the Angela Ahrendts news that caught fire. There'd been almost no advanced word and so it caught almost everyone by surprise. And, what followed was a fascinating — and somewhat grotesque — glimpse into our collective psyche as the internet stumbled all over itself to rush out its hottest of takes about Ahrendts leaving — many absurd, reflective, projective, and in general little to do with Ahrendts and a lot to do with their own damage and frustrations.

So, what's really going on?

Don't want to read? Watch the video above!

From Burberry to Apple

Angela Ahrendts came to Apple five years ago fresh from a hugely successful stint as CEO of Burberry. Why move from CEO to SVP, some wondered at the time? Isn't that a downgrade in power and prestige? Not when it's at Apple. In many other companies, those roles and responsibilities would be commensurate with CEO or President positions in their own right. Retail is especially enormous, with its own marketing, events, logistics, support, and the lion's share of employees at the company.

"I give them two years before they're turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake." - Bloomberg Business

And it was growing. I mean, back in the beginning, after the usual pundits dismissed the very idea in their usual doom and gloom dismissive ways — after all, Gateway and Dell had failed, how could Apple possibly succeed?

Steve Jobs found a great leader in Ron Johnson, a great consultant in former board-member Mickey Drexler of the Gap and J. Crew, built a prototype to get all the mistakes out of the way before the public set foot one into an operational store, and then began to systematically roll the stores out across the U.S. and, eventually, around the world. Well, some of the world at least.

It was a genius move. Before, Apple was fighting — and often losing — to get shelf space in big boxes and computer stores that cared not one wit about selling a Mac vs. anything else. Or, often worse, were openly hostile about them.

After, Apple had dedicated staff selling not just the Mac and iPod, but everything else Apple ecosystem as well. Not just the what but the why and how. And, while the sticker price was the same, Apple had to fork over not one sent of the sale to Sears or CompUSA.

The Browett Bungle

When Johnson left in 2011, Apple and Tim Cook experienced a brief bout of terminal miss-hiring in the form of Dixon's John Browett. Where Steve Jobs had famously said if you take care of the top line, the bottom line will take care of itself, Browett seemed very much like a bottom line guy. Turned out, you couldn't run retail like supply chain. You had to run it like design.

Lessons re-learned, had Apple turned to Angela Ahrendts to take its retail efforts to the next level. Someone who knew, in the company's grand tradition, that it's ultimately all about customer experience.

Wait, stop, don't jump on your angry comments just yet. I'll get to your rage points. Promise. Just give me a scalding hot minute first.

The Age of Ahrendts

Previously Apple Stores and Apple Online were functionally two different things. To the extent that, if you ordered something online you couldn't pick it up at your local retail location, much less return it there if anything went wrong.

Reorganizing and reconciling those two, disparate apparatuses into a single, harmonious whole, was only one of the several massive challenges that faced Ahrendts when she started.

Another was handling the Jörmungandr-like lineups that circled very Apple Store, sometimes several times, every time Apple launched a hot new product. Marketing loved them because of the publicity they generated, but they were a bad experience for customers who stood out in the cold, hoping the exact configuration they wanted wouldn't already be sold out by the time it became their turn to buy.

Today, you can pre-order any hot new product, reserve it for pickup at your local store, and return it right back if you need to.

Apple was also getting ready to launch Watch, which in addition to blending fashion and technology in a way far unlike anything the company had done before, would require try-ons and other retail situations beyond what the stores had ever offered.

Jony Ive, Apple's chief creative officer, wanted to re-design Apple Stores and, along with Apple Park, considered it important enough to step away from his day-to-day management and consumer products duties for a non-trivial amount of time just to focus on the project. The first part, in deep collaboration with Ahrendts.

Then, there was the environment and recycling programs with Lisa Jackson, and education, a passion shared with Tim Cook, and the desire to transform Apple's efforts from a few courses into the rich curriculum that's become Today at Apple.

I won't dive into all of them, their successes, their failures, their lessons learned, and their many, many challenges still to be overcome.

But, consider that now, today, you can pre-order almost all hot new products and reserve them for pickup at your local store, little to no lining up needed. Trade in your old device for a discount, take a class on how to use it and, if something is wrong, you can take it back there and exchange it or get a refund.

In addition to new and newly-redesigned stores in many more locations, new retail and support app experiences, expanded outreaches to local developer and creative talents, and the list goes on and on, it's impossible to look at what's been accomplished to date as anything less than significant.

You may have frustrations. Hell, I do. The retail experience, absent clear check-out locations, can still be bewildering for first-time customers. High-volume stores can still be clusters, where you can't even imagine walking in or getting an appointment in a timely fashion. Parts can still not be available in-store or, for new products, at all. Diagnostic and repair skill and talent can feel outsourced to depots, and overly broad and expensive. Not all stores have been updated or have all the new Today at Apple courses, not all regions even have stores, like Ireland and India, and the list goes on and on.

And yeah, that, and a lot more, simply sucks.

Some of those problems predate Ahrendts. Some were exacerbated under her watch as Apple has continued to scale at a rate that can only be properly described by a made up word like redonkulous.

And all of them, and more, now sit clearly, battle Royale-style, in the path of Ahrendts successor, Deirdre O'Brien, to tackle as she ramps up as new SVP of Retail + People.

Enter O'Brien

As a 30-year veteran of Apple, O'Brien helped launch both the online and retail stores back in the day, and worked in operations under Tim Cook before becoming head of Human Resources. As such, she's perhaps uniquely qualified to continue Apple's momentum in customer experience while also shoring up many of the day-to-day frustrations that chip away and dent that experience.

There have been some concerns that this puts too much on O'Brien's plate and that, perhaps, running Apple's single biggest employee pool and being head of people puts her in a position of potential conflict.

All of Apple's SVPs are overloaded, so that's nothing new, but it is something Apple may want to address as it continues to scale. And we might see some of that, including some of the individual portfolios, continue to shift in the future like they have in the past as time passes and talent accrues.

Why Angela Ahrendts left Apple

As for Ahrendts, while I could certainly see her pop up again, even soon, ready and eager to take on another challenge at the crossroads of retail and customer experience, I also wouldn't be surprised if we don't see her pop up anywhere for a good long while.

Sometimes "spending time with your family" really is the real reason, and one no amount of money can change.

Some people have claimed that's at odd with Vogue Business running a profile on Ahrendts just a week or so ago, on January 28. That it must be a Scott Forstall, the former SVP of iOS, situation all over again.

Forstall was singularly able to interpret and implement the taste and will of Steve Jobs at an Apple suddenly bereft of Steve Jobs. That was never going to abide. Ahrendts, on the other hand, collaborated beautifully with Ive, Cook, and others.

But, nature abhors a vacuum, and a bad hot take can go viral on twitter before the truth can hit its send button, so an incredible amount of callous, thoughtless, bunk has been written about Apple and Ahrendts over the last couple of days a swell.

No, she didn't get fired because of China or because of XR promos or sales, or because of anything else. No, she didn't quit because she was being passed over for the CEO gig or because of any toxicity in Apple's culture or for any of the other stupefyingly dense fanfic reasons the rest of us have had to read since Tuesday. All of which, let's just point out again, reflect and project only the specific frustrations and damage of the hot taker, never the hot takee.

So, why did Ahrendts leave Apple?

Michael Steeber, writing for 9to5Mac:

According to sources familiar with the matter, Ahrendts indicated in a team message that she may plan to step back from day-to-day management and lead a quieter life rather than take the reins of another company following her departure.

As usual, Steeber knows of what he writes.

From Instagram, by the author of the Vogue profile:

View this post on Instagram

I had to ask Angela Ahrendts this question: did she miss fashion after giving up Burberry five years ago to take on Apple retail? There was a significant pause before she answered: “I loved fashion for 40 years. It is wonderful when you know everything there is to know about the industry, because you grew up in it. “I’ve been gone from London almost five years. I have two kids there - they were at university when we moved and they decided to stay. My son is a budding musician with an honours degree in song writing and my daughter has an honours degree in marketing - she works for a start up magazine and he does gigs round London and writes great music! I miss them, obviously. It’s such a great city and we try to make it back as much as we can. But California is not so bad!” Picture by Amy Harrity My business story on Angela and Apple at newly launched #voguebusiness. voguebusiness.com @voguebusiness @voguebusiness @angelaahrendts @wblau @lauren

A post shared by Suzy Menkes (@suzymenkesvogue) on

From Vogue France:

"I plan to take the summer off," said Ahrendts, who declined to disclose what type of job she'd be interested in next. She said she plans to enjoy some traveling before making any new commitments. On her agenda are a Rwanda mission and visiting two of her children in London. Ahrendts said that throughout her marriage, her husband has constantly been moving with her to London and then San Francisco, and now it's time for him to get a turn.

Often times "spending time with your family" or more aptly or comedically, you decide, "spending time with your money", are just excuses to save face and cover up bad breakups. And sometimes, something happens that makes you realize you have enough money but you'll never have any more time with your family, and you start considering how to change that equation as best and as fast as you can.

Ahrendts' Next Act

I've had the pleasure of chatting briefly with Angela Ahrendts a couple times during the informal aftermaths of Apple events. The first time was the opening of the Union Square Apple Store, which kicked off the new design and Today at Apple program.

She started off telling everyone there that she really didn't like public speaking but was willing to address us there, that day, because of how deeply she believed in the Today at Apple and associated projects.

Her passion for Apple Stores as community hubs was palpable. She cared enough about it to get up on the Apple keynote stage — one of the biggest stages — several times over the years, to help give it the spotlight she felt it deserved.

Seriously, Jony Ive famously doesn't like the stage either and when's the last time you saw him on it? She did that for Apple and Retail.

And now she's done. At least for now.

Who knows? Bob Mansfield came back from his castle to run Titan. Maybe Angela Ahrendts can be wooed back to launch the showrooms… or maybe she'll just get one for the next road trip. Or maybe that's just my nod at the fanfic.

Pokemon Go Events: Lunar New Year, Shiny Meltan, Friendship, and more!

Pokemon Go Lunar New Year, Shiny Meltan, Friendship Event, and more!.

Pokémon Go is intended to get you out and about, both on your own and with family and friends. One of the ways Pokémon Go tries to bolster activity is with events. Some of the events get splashy announcements and coincide with big public holidays. Others are quieter and more regular. Here’s what’s happened already and what’s coming up next.

Pokemon Go Friendship Event until February 11

Friendships are special, and this weekend, they’ll provide extra bonuses! Be sure to make a new friend this weekend, and treat your current friends with some special Gift and trading bonuses! Check out the details below:

Date + Time

Feb. 8, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST to
Feb. 11, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8)
Bonuses

Friendship increases twice as fast all weekend!
Double Candy received for each trade!
Trades need only half the regular amount of Stardust!

Celebrate the joys of friend…

Pokemon Go Lunar New Year, Shiny Meltan, Friendship Event, and more!.

Pokémon Go is intended to get you out and about, both on your own and with family and friends. One of the ways Pokémon Go tries to bolster activity is with events. Some of the events get splashy announcements and coincide with big public holidays. Others are quieter and more regular. Here's what's happened already and what's coming up next.

Pokemon Go Friendship Event until February 11

Friendships are special, and this weekend, they'll provide extra bonuses! Be sure to make a new friend this weekend, and treat your current friends with some special Gift and trading bonuses! Check out the details below:

Date + Time

  • Feb. 8, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST to
  • Feb. 11, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8)

Bonuses

  • Friendship increases twice as fast all weekend!
  • Double Candy received for each trade!
  • Trades need only half the regular amount of Stardust!

Celebrate the joys of friendship during this special event. Stay safe, and happy exploring!

Pokemon Go Shiny Meltan Event until March 4

The co-promotion between Pokemon Go and Pokemon Lets Go on Nintendo Switch is escalating the FOMO:

We have exciting news! The Shiny version of the Mythical Pokémon Meltan has been discovered! Just in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Shiny version of Meltan will appear for a limited time.

A Mythical Pokémon, the mysterious and rare Meltan only appears when a Mystery Box is opened. If you're lucky, you may encounter Shiny Meltan when you open the Mystery Box from February 5 at 1 p.m. PST until March 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST. During this special event, the time that you have to wait before you can open the Mystery Box again will be reduced to three days. Be careful, Trainer! If you open the Mystery Box before this event starts, you will have to wait the usual time period before you can open it again.

Date & Time

  • Feb. 5, 2019, at 1 p.m. PST (GMT -8) to
  • Mar. 4, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. PST (GMT -8) Features

When you open the Mystery Box, you may encounter the Shiny version of the Mythical Pokémon Meltan!

The time you have to wait before you can open the Mystery Box again will be reduced. Don't miss this unique opportunity to bring Shiny Meltan into your GO Park or evolve it into Shiny Melmetal! Best of luck in discovering a rare form of this recently discovered Mythical Pokémon.

Shiny Meltan doesn't look very different from non-Shiny, though, which is a bummer. You have one job, folks.

Pokemon Go Chinese New Year Event 2018 is LIVE

The Lunar New Year is here and, with it, all the Pokemon of the Chinese Zodiak have come out to play.

Happy Year of the Pig! The Pokémon GO Lunar New Year event is happening once again, spotlighting 12 Pokémon and beginning February 4 at 1 p.m. PST. Take a look at the details below:

Event Date + Time

  • Feb. 4, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8) to
  • Feb. 13, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8)

Features

Rattata, Ekans, Mankey, Ponyta, Electabuzz, Dratini, Mareep, Miltank, Torchic, Poochyena, Spoink, and Buneary will appear more frequently in the wild! If you're lucky, you may encounter a Shiny Spoink! Bonuses

  • 2× Catch XP
  • 2× XP when evolving Pokémon
  • When you trade a Pokémon, there is an increased chance it will become a Lucky Pokémon!

Wishing you health, wealth, and luck during the Lunar New Year! Stay safe, and happy exploring!

Is this an event? More Sinnoh Pokemon and a big re-balance start now!

Pokemon Go has announced that more Gen 4 Pokemon are on their way, but also that they're making raids harder, rebalancing some moves, and adding new moves to some Pokemon.

Did you know that some Pokémon originally discovered in the Sinnoh region evolve from Pokémon previously discovered in other regions? Starting today, you'll be able to use a Sinnoh Stone to evolve Lickitung into Lickilicky, Tangela into Tangrowth, and more!

Plus, more Pokémon originally discovered in the Sinnoh region, such as Cranidos and Shieldon, will appear in the wild for the first time! You may also see more Pokémon originally discovered in the Sinnoh region appearing in Eggs.

There are also some big changes coming! You may notice that Pokémon that appear in Raid Battles are more powerful and sturdy when you challenge them. Plus, some moves that certain Pokémon know may be stronger or weaker when used in battle. Finally, certain Pokémon may be able to learn new moves via TM that will help them perform in battle, such as Machamp now being able to know the Rock-type move Rock Slide!

There are new baby Pokemon in the artwork, but we'll have to see if — and how, in the case of Mine Jr. — they show up in the game.

Pokémon Go Legendary Palkia Raids from January 29 to February 28

New month coming up means new Legendary Raids, namely the Water/Dragon Palkia.

A new arrival to raids will test your strength in 2019! The Water- and Dragon-type Spatial Pokémon, Palkia, will join Raid Battles across the world from January 29 at 1:00 p.m. PST to February 28 at 1:00 p.m. PST!

With the ability to warp the very fabric of space and enough power to take on Giratina, Palkia is a Pokémon that shouldn't be underestimated. Be sure to assemble a team that includes Dragon- and Fairy-type Pokémon to take down this Legendary Pokémon before its special attacks overwhelm your team!

Don't miss this chance to catch this Legendary Pokémon before it returns to its own spatial dimension! Stay safe, and happy exploring!

Get your Dragon-type attackers ready. Rayquaza, Dragonite, Solamance, Latios, and your Fairy-types if you need backup. This one is going to give as good as it gets.

Pokémon Go February Community Day — Swinhub Edition — is February 16

Community Day returns on February 16 with a nod to the Chinese New Year and Year of the Pig — that's right, it's Swinhub time!

  • 3x Catch Stardust
  • 3 hour Lures

No word yet on the special move, but if you save your Sinnoh Stones, you'll be able to evolve Mamoswine, the best ice attacker in the game.

Deoxys shifts to Attack Forme for Ex-Raid starting December 20

Pokémon Go has made it official: The Mythical Gen 3 Pokémon, Deoxys, will replace Mewtwo when Ex-Raids make their return... at some point in the hopefully near future.

It's time to prepare for a new challenge from a powerful Mythical Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region! The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys, will arrive for EX Raid Battles. This Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon will be available to challenge in its Normal Forme beginning with the next cycle of EX Raid invitations.

And, after two long months, Pokémon Go is finally shifting to the next forme: Attack:

The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys, has tested the strength of Trainers in EX Raids and has now changed form! Attack Forme Deoxys will be in EX Raid Battles, with more power than previously seen, so make sure your team is prepared. This Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon will be available to challenge beginning with the next cycle of EX Raid invitations, after December 20.

Read more about the new Ex Raid system

Pokémon Go Fest 2019

No word yet on Pokémon Go Fest 2019. Probably not even safe to assume it'll be in Chicago again, now that Niantic has proven it can run an event there and redeemed itself from 2017. But, we'll update as soon as there's anything to update!


Pokemon Go Adventure Sync Hatchathon (Finished)

It'll be hard to beat the Gen 4 babies but here's hoping Pokémon Go tries.

Welcome a brand-new year with the Adventure Sync Hatchathon! To celebrate new beginnings, Trainers will enjoy bonuses for hatching Eggs from January 2 at 1:00 p.m. PST to January 15 at 1:00 p.m. PST. Make sure your shoes are tightly laced for a long journey, as you're more likely to receive 5 km and 10 km Eggs from PokéStops and Gyms.

Don't forget to activate Adventure Sync to make your steps count toward hatching Eggs while you're on the go! Enjoy more ways to stay on top of your well-being for the New Year while working toward rewards with a weekly fitness summary as you start your New Year's resolutions off on the right foot. See details for the event below:

Date + Time

Jan. 2, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8) to Jan. 15, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8)

Bonuses

  • 2× Hatch Candy
  • 2× Hatch Stardust
  • Higher chance of receiving 5 km and 10 km Eggs from PokéStops and Gyms

Update: Nope. Hatches haven't been great. But, the bonuses have been good.


What Pokémon Go events do you want to see?

If you were planning the next big Pokémon Go event, when would you have it and how would you handle it?

Pokemon Go Events: Lunar New Year, Shiny Meltan, Friendship, and more!

Pokemon Go Lunar New Year, Shiny Meltan, Friendship Event, and more!.

Pokémon Go is intended to get you out and about, both on your own and with family and friends. One of the ways Pokémon Go tries to bolster activity is with events. Some of the events get splashy announcements and coincide with big public holidays. Others are quieter and more regular. Here’s what’s happened already and what’s coming up next.

Pokemon Go Friendship Event until February 11

Friendships are special, and this weekend, they’ll provide extra bonuses! Be sure to make a new friend this weekend, and treat your current friends with some special Gift and trading bonuses! Check out the details below:

Date + Time

Feb. 8, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST to
Feb. 11, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8)
Bonuses

Friendship increases twice as fast all weekend!
Double Candy received for each trade!
Trades need only half the regular amount of Stardust!

Celebrate the joys of friend…

Pokemon Go Lunar New Year, Shiny Meltan, Friendship Event, and more!.

Pokémon Go is intended to get you out and about, both on your own and with family and friends. One of the ways Pokémon Go tries to bolster activity is with events. Some of the events get splashy announcements and coincide with big public holidays. Others are quieter and more regular. Here's what's happened already and what's coming up next.

Pokemon Go Friendship Event until February 11

Friendships are special, and this weekend, they'll provide extra bonuses! Be sure to make a new friend this weekend, and treat your current friends with some special Gift and trading bonuses! Check out the details below:

Date + Time

  • Feb. 8, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST to
  • Feb. 11, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8)

Bonuses

  • Friendship increases twice as fast all weekend!
  • Double Candy received for each trade!
  • Trades need only half the regular amount of Stardust!

Celebrate the joys of friendship during this special event. Stay safe, and happy exploring!

Pokemon Go Shiny Meltan Event until March 4

The co-promotion between Pokemon Go and Pokemon Lets Go on Nintendo Switch is escalating the FOMO:

We have exciting news! The Shiny version of the Mythical Pokémon Meltan has been discovered! Just in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Shiny version of Meltan will appear for a limited time.

A Mythical Pokémon, the mysterious and rare Meltan only appears when a Mystery Box is opened. If you're lucky, you may encounter Shiny Meltan when you open the Mystery Box from February 5 at 1 p.m. PST until March 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST. During this special event, the time that you have to wait before you can open the Mystery Box again will be reduced to three days. Be careful, Trainer! If you open the Mystery Box before this event starts, you will have to wait the usual time period before you can open it again.

Date & Time

  • Feb. 5, 2019, at 1 p.m. PST (GMT -8) to
  • Mar. 4, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. PST (GMT -8) Features

When you open the Mystery Box, you may encounter the Shiny version of the Mythical Pokémon Meltan!

The time you have to wait before you can open the Mystery Box again will be reduced. Don't miss this unique opportunity to bring Shiny Meltan into your GO Park or evolve it into Shiny Melmetal! Best of luck in discovering a rare form of this recently discovered Mythical Pokémon.

Shiny Meltan doesn't look very different from non-Shiny, though, which is a bummer. You have one job, folks.

Pokemon Go Chinese New Year Event 2018 is LIVE

The Lunar New Year is here and, with it, all the Pokemon of the Chinese Zodiak have come out to play.

Happy Year of the Pig! The Pokémon GO Lunar New Year event is happening once again, spotlighting 12 Pokémon and beginning February 4 at 1 p.m. PST. Take a look at the details below:

Event Date + Time

  • Feb. 4, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8) to
  • Feb. 13, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8)

Features

Rattata, Ekans, Mankey, Ponyta, Electabuzz, Dratini, Mareep, Miltank, Torchic, Poochyena, Spoink, and Buneary will appear more frequently in the wild! If you're lucky, you may encounter a Shiny Spoink! Bonuses

  • 2× Catch XP
  • 2× XP when evolving Pokémon
  • When you trade a Pokémon, there is an increased chance it will become a Lucky Pokémon!

Wishing you health, wealth, and luck during the Lunar New Year! Stay safe, and happy exploring!

Is this an event? More Sinnoh Pokemon and a big re-balance start now!

Pokemon Go has announced that more Gen 4 Pokemon are on their way, but also that they're making raids harder, rebalancing some moves, and adding new moves to some Pokemon.

Did you know that some Pokémon originally discovered in the Sinnoh region evolve from Pokémon previously discovered in other regions? Starting today, you'll be able to use a Sinnoh Stone to evolve Lickitung into Lickilicky, Tangela into Tangrowth, and more!

Plus, more Pokémon originally discovered in the Sinnoh region, such as Cranidos and Shieldon, will appear in the wild for the first time! You may also see more Pokémon originally discovered in the Sinnoh region appearing in Eggs.

There are also some big changes coming! You may notice that Pokémon that appear in Raid Battles are more powerful and sturdy when you challenge them. Plus, some moves that certain Pokémon know may be stronger or weaker when used in battle. Finally, certain Pokémon may be able to learn new moves via TM that will help them perform in battle, such as Machamp now being able to know the Rock-type move Rock Slide!

There are new baby Pokemon in the artwork, but we'll have to see if — and how, in the case of Mine Jr. — they show up in the game.

Pokémon Go Legendary Palkia Raids from January 29 to February 28

New month coming up means new Legendary Raids, namely the Water/Dragon Palkia.

A new arrival to raids will test your strength in 2019! The Water- and Dragon-type Spatial Pokémon, Palkia, will join Raid Battles across the world from January 29 at 1:00 p.m. PST to February 28 at 1:00 p.m. PST!

With the ability to warp the very fabric of space and enough power to take on Giratina, Palkia is a Pokémon that shouldn't be underestimated. Be sure to assemble a team that includes Dragon- and Fairy-type Pokémon to take down this Legendary Pokémon before its special attacks overwhelm your team!

Don't miss this chance to catch this Legendary Pokémon before it returns to its own spatial dimension! Stay safe, and happy exploring!

Get your Dragon-type attackers ready. Rayquaza, Dragonite, Solamance, Latios, and your Fairy-types if you need backup. This one is going to give as good as it gets.

Pokémon Go February Community Day — Swinhub Edition — is February 16

Community Day returns on February 16 with a nod to the Chinese New Year and Year of the Pig — that's right, it's Swinhub time!

  • 3x Catch Stardust
  • 3 hour Lures

No word yet on the special move, but if you save your Sinnoh Stones, you'll be able to evolve Mamoswine, the best ice attacker in the game.

Deoxys shifts to Attack Forme for Ex-Raid starting December 20

Pokémon Go has made it official: The Mythical Gen 3 Pokémon, Deoxys, will replace Mewtwo when Ex-Raids make their return... at some point in the hopefully near future.

It's time to prepare for a new challenge from a powerful Mythical Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region! The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys, will arrive for EX Raid Battles. This Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon will be available to challenge in its Normal Forme beginning with the next cycle of EX Raid invitations.

And, after two long months, Pokémon Go is finally shifting to the next forme: Attack:

The DNA Pokémon, Deoxys, has tested the strength of Trainers in EX Raids and has now changed form! Attack Forme Deoxys will be in EX Raid Battles, with more power than previously seen, so make sure your team is prepared. This Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon will be available to challenge beginning with the next cycle of EX Raid invitations, after December 20.

Read more about the new Ex Raid system

Pokémon Go Fest 2019

No word yet on Pokémon Go Fest 2019. Probably not even safe to assume it'll be in Chicago again, now that Niantic has proven it can run an event there and redeemed itself from 2017. But, we'll update as soon as there's anything to update!


Pokemon Go Adventure Sync Hatchathon (Finished)

It'll be hard to beat the Gen 4 babies but here's hoping Pokémon Go tries.

Welcome a brand-new year with the Adventure Sync Hatchathon! To celebrate new beginnings, Trainers will enjoy bonuses for hatching Eggs from January 2 at 1:00 p.m. PST to January 15 at 1:00 p.m. PST. Make sure your shoes are tightly laced for a long journey, as you're more likely to receive 5 km and 10 km Eggs from PokéStops and Gyms.

Don't forget to activate Adventure Sync to make your steps count toward hatching Eggs while you're on the go! Enjoy more ways to stay on top of your well-being for the New Year while working toward rewards with a weekly fitness summary as you start your New Year's resolutions off on the right foot. See details for the event below:

Date + Time

Jan. 2, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8) to Jan. 15, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8)

Bonuses

  • 2× Hatch Candy
  • 2× Hatch Stardust
  • Higher chance of receiving 5 km and 10 km Eggs from PokéStops and Gyms

Update: Nope. Hatches haven't been great. But, the bonuses have been good.


What Pokémon Go events do you want to see?

If you were planning the next big Pokémon Go event, when would you have it and how would you handle it?

Apple releases iOS 12.1.4 to fix FaceTime security bug

Apple has released iOS 12.1.4, the latest OS version for iPhone and iPad. Update now!

What’s new in iOS
How to install iOS 12.1.3 using Software Update on your iPhone or iPad
How to install iOS 12.1.3 using iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC
How to install iOS 12.1.3 over the developer or public beta
What’s new in iOS 12.1.3

February 7, 2019: Apple releases iOS 12.1.4 with FaceTime bug fix

Apple has released iOS 12.1.4, which fixes a major vulnerability in FaceTime that allowed users to eavesdrop on other iPhone owners using Group FaceTime. Apple previous took Group FaceTime offline while working on a fix.

iOS 12: Everything you need to know

January 22, 2019: Apple releases iOS 12.1.3

Apple has released iOS 12.1.3, which fixes a number of small issues, including an issue in Messages that could affect scrolling through photos in the Details view of a message thread, a problem that caused audio distortion on 2018 iPad Pros, and a CarPlay error on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and…

Apple has released iOS 12.1.4, the latest OS version for iPhone and iPad. Update now!

What's new in iOS 12.1.3

February 7, 2019: Apple releases iOS 12.1.4 with FaceTime bug fix

Apple has released iOS 12.1.4, which fixes a major vulnerability in FaceTime that allowed users to eavesdrop on other iPhone owners using Group FaceTime. Apple previous took Group FaceTime offline while working on a fix.

iOS 12: Everything you need to know

January 22, 2019: Apple releases iOS 12.1.3

Apple has released iOS 12.1.3, which fixes a number of small issues, including an issue in Messages that could affect scrolling through photos in the Details view of a message thread, a problem that caused audio distortion on 2018 iPad Pros, and a CarPlay error on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

December 20, 2018: Apple releases updated built of iOS 12.1.2

Apple has released an updated version of iOS 12.1.2 for those iOS users who had not yet downloaded the previous build, released earlier this week. If you've already downloaded iOS 12.1.2, you do not need to download this new version, and the update will not appear in the Settings app.

December 17, 2018: Apple releases iOS 12.1.2 with eSIM bug fix

Apple has released iOS 12.1.2, which fixes a bug with eSIM activation in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. This update also fixes a bug that could affect cellular connectivity on those iPhones.

December 5, 2018: Apple releases iOS 12.1.1 with new FaceTime interface and more

iOS 12.1.1 has arrived with a new FaceTime user interface and FaceTime Live Photo capture. The update also brings support for Haptic Touch for notification on the iPhone XR.

October 30, 2018: Apple releases iOS 12.1 with group FaceTime calls and more

iOS 12.1 has arrived, complete with support for group FaceTime calls, new emoji dual-SIM, and more.

October 8, 2018: Apple releases iOS 12.0.1 with connectivity and charging fixes

While iOS 12.0.1 is an overall minor update, it does fix some notable issues that cropped up in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, in particular, issues with Wi-Fi connectivity and charging.

September 17, 2018: Apple releases iOS 12

iOS 12 is a major update, with big gains in performance, Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time, and so much more.

How to install iOS 12.1.3 using Software Update on your iPhone or iPad

The easiest way for most people to download iOS 12.1 is over-the-air, directly on their device. It's fast, it's efficient, and it's simple to do.

  1. Make sure you have a recent iCloud backup.
  2. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  3. Tap on General.
  4. Tap on Software Update.
  5. Tap on Download and Install.
  6. Enter your Passcode, if prompted.
  7. Tap Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  8. Tap Agree again to confirm.

The download will begin automatically. If the download does not begin right away, you may see a notice: "Preparing to download." Give it a couple of minutes and the download will begin shortly.

How to install iOS 12.1.3 using iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC

If you have limited space on your device or software update isn't working for whatever reason, you can update using iTunes.

  1. Make sure you have a recent iTunes backup. Make it encrypted so all your password and other private data is preserved.
  2. Launch iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC.
  3. Plug your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in using your USB to Lightning or USB to 30-pin Dock cable.
  4. Click on the device icon at the top left to go to the device tab.
  5. Click on Check for Update in the Summary pane.
  6. Click on Download and Update
  7. Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  8. Enter the Passcode on your iPhone or iPad, if prompted.

How to install iOS 12.1.3 over the developer or public beta

You can install the public version of iOS 12.1.3 over a beta version of iOS 12.1.3 if your device is still running that version. Here's how.

How to update from an iOS beta to the official release