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Apple News App Gains Coronavirus Special Coverage Section

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Apple News App Gains Coronavirus Special Coverage Section

Apple is offering Apple News readers in the United States dedicated coverage of the global COVID-19 viral outbreak by collecting stories and health guidelines in a specially curated section of the app.



The Special Coverage Coronavirus section appears in ‌Apple News‌ Spotlight, and includes the latest reports from news partners including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times, amongst others.

The public health coverage includes tips and advice on viral symptoms and how to stay safe, including regular and thorough hand washing, catching coughs with disposable tissues, and avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.

In addition, readers can find links to recommended sources of information, such as the State Department and Johns Hopkins University.

The special coverage is similar to previous dedicated sections hosted on ‌Apple News‌, such as the 2020 U.S. presidential elections.

The coronavirus section is available to readers in the U.S. only, and can be accessed from the Today tab within the News app on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Top Stories

New MacBook Air Possible as Early as Next Week

Last March, MacRumors received an anonymous tip claiming that Apple would announce new iPad, iMac, and iPod models with three consecutive days of press releases the following week, and that information proved to be two-thirds accurate with new iPad Air and iPad mini models announced on Monday, March 18 and an iMac refresh on Tuesday, March 19.
Apple did announce a new product on the Wednesday, but it was new AirPods, not a new iPod. Given both products have “Pod” in their name, perhaps there was some confusion there, but it is clear the tipster was relatively informed.
Now, the same anonymous tipster has informed MacRumors that Apple plans to announce new MacBook Air models next week. We have yet to confirm this information, but given the tipster now has an established track record, we have elected to share this rumor. The tipster did not provide any further details at this time.
A few days ago, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch updated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models with scissor keyboards in the second quarter of 2020, following in the footsteps of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While the second quarter does not begin until April, an announcement next week would be just a few weeks earlier. Apple has announced new or refreshed products in March for the last five consecutive years, so there is precedence. In terms of covering all bases, however, we cannot rule out the possibility that the tipster received wrong information.
The current MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are still equipped with butterfly keyboards that can suffer from issues

Apple to Close All Retail Stores Outside of China Until March 27th

Apple today announced that it is closing all of its retail locations outside of Greater China until March 27 due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus, which means Apple Stores worldwide will be shuttered for the next two weeks.
In a letter letting customers know about the store closures, Tim Cook says that China has taught us that the most effective way to minimize the risk of the coronavirus’s transmission is to reduce population density and maximize social distance, which is why Apple Stores are closing. Apple had already closed all of its stores in Italy and Spain, but stores in other countries like the United States have remained open until now.As of today, all of our stores in Greater China have reopened. I also want to thank our operations team and partners for their remarkable efforts to restore our supply chain. What we’ve learned together has helped us all develop the best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response.
One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance. As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.
We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27.Cook says that customers who need to purchase devices or accessories can do so on Apple’s website or through the Apple Store app. Customers who need service and support can use Apple’s support site. Apple plans to continue to pay its hourly workers

Kuo: New MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Models With Scissor Keyboards to Launch in Second Quarter

Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards in the second quarter of 2020, according to a new research note today from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, obtained by MacRumors.
Kuo did not comment on the size of the new MacBook Pro, but he is possibly referring to the 14-inch model that he has previously mentioned given that the 16-inch MacBook Pro was only released four months ago. The new 14-inch model would likely replace the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which would be discontinued.
Kuo expects the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models to have various cost optimizations, but he said users will not notice any difference.
The current 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are still equipped with butterfly keyboards that can suffer from issues such as sticky or unresponsive keys after prolonged use, which prompted Apple to initiate a free repair program worldwide in 2018. Apple finally solved this problem by reverting back to a scissor mechanism with the new Magic Keyboard on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which has proven far more reliable.
Kuo himself offered praise for the 16-inch MacBook Pro, noting that customer response to the notebook has been better than expected.
As for the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Kuo believes that operations at MacBook-related suppliers will improve significantly starting in late March, paving the way for mass production of the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models.
If this information proves to be accurate, then Apple’s entire notebook lineup should feature scissor keyboards by the end of

Kuo: MacBooks With Apple-Designed Processors Coming Late 2020 or Early 2021, All-New Design to Follow in Mid 2021

In addition to forecasting the launch of new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards in the second quarter of 2020, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple has bigger ambitions for its notebook lineup.
In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said Apple plans to launch MacBook models with its own custom processors in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021. Kuo did not indicate whether these will be MacBook Pro or MacBook Air models, or both, nor did he share any further details.
Rumors have suggested that Apple is working on custom Arm-based processors that would allow it to transition away from its current MacBook processor supplier Intel, which has occasionally experienced delays with its chips.
Kuo also believes that Apple will introduce MacBook models with an all-new design in the second or third quarter of 2021, but again, he did not indicate whether these will be Pro or Air models. The last significant redesign of the MacBook Pro occurred in October 2016, while the MacBook Air received a major redesign in October

T-Mobile Offering Unlimited Smartphone Data, Extra Hotspot Data and Free International Calls to Some Areas Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

T-Mobile today announced a few changes that should help out some of its customers who are relying on their T-Mobile data plans during the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
Most T-Mobile customers already have unlimited data, but for T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who still have plans with data limits, T-Mobile will provide unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days.
T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers are also getting access to an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot/tethering service for the next 60 days, something that T-Mobile says it will offer soon.
Free international calling is available for all T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers to level 3 impacted countries, which includes all European countries.
For schools, T-Mobile is upping the data allowance provided to students through the EmpowerED digital learning programs to ensure that every participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days.
Customers who use T-Mobile’s low-income Lifeline program will receive extra free data up to 5GB per month over the next two months.
T-Mobile is also participating in the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” which prevents internet providers from cutting off service to individuals and small business customers unable to pay their bills during the coronavirus outbreak.
To alleviate foot traffic in stores, T-Mobile is offering customers free two-day shipping fees for online purchases for 60 days as a

Apple Postpones Alleged March Product Event Amid Coronavirus Restrictions

Apple is postponing a March event that would have seen the introduction of new products like the low-cost iPhone and iPad Pro with triple-lens camera setup, according to a source at Apple that spoke to Cult of Mac.
Apple allegedly became “concerned” about bringing people together at Apple Park for the event, said to be planned for late March. There was a rumor in February suggesting Apple would hold an event on March 31, but Apple never announced the event so there was no confirmation that it was going to happen.
It’s no surprise that if there was indeed a March event planned that it has now been canceled. Yesterday, Santa Clara County, which is where Cupertino is located, banned all gatherings of 1,000 people or more. The ban lasts from March 11 to April 1, so Apple could not hold a large event in March even if it wanted to.
While the order from Santa Clara County was said to have been a major factor in the decision to postpone the event, Cult of Mac’s source also claims that there were “delays in producing two of the primary products,” which also led Apple to call off event plans.
Many of Apple’s suppliers in China were forced to close their factories in February due to the coronavirus, which may have caused production delays on devices like the low-cost iPhone. Factories are back up and running, but are experiencing lower than normal production levels because of travel restrictions and staffing shortages.
Apple is now said to be waiting to better evaluate the “production schedule of components” and “final product assembly,” making it difficult to

Top Stories: WWDC Goes Digital-Only, Huge iOS 14 Leaks, Apple Store Closures, and Mac Notebook Rumors

It was a massive week for news and rumors, led by Apple officially announcing that this year’s WWDC will be a digital-only event due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic. Apple is also closing all of its retail stores outside of China for the next two weeks.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. On the rumor front, there were a ton of iOS 14 leaks this week, while we also heard some rumors from several sources about upcoming notebook updates, so check out our video above and read on below for all of the details!
Apple Announces WWDC 2020 Will Be a Digital-Only Event Set to Take Place in June
In what shouldn’t come as a tremendous shock to anyone, Apple has announced that this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference will be a digital-only event with no physical gathering due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus around the world. The online-only event will take place in June.
We don’t yet the know exact dates or just how the digital event will be structured, but Apple says WWDC will be “packed with content” for consumers, press, and developers alike. Millions of creative and innovative developers will be provided with early access with new software, and will be able to engage with Apple engineers.
iOS 14 Leak: Apple Testing New iMessage Features Such as Slack-Like Mentions and Unsending Messages
Beyond WWDC, this week’s Apple news was dominated by iOS 14 leaks, including new iMessage features exclusively shared by MacRumors.
For starters, Apple is testing a new Slack-like mention system that would allow users to

Apple Announces WWDC 2020 Will Be a Digital-Only Event Set to Take Place in June

Apple today announced that its 31st Worldwide Developers Conference will be a digital-only event with no physical gathering due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus around the world. The online-only event will take place in June.
Apple normally holds WWDC at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, but the area has seen multiple coronavirus cases and Apple is canceling the physical event as it is unknown if the infection will still be an issue in the summer months.
Apple says the new online event will be “packed with content” for consumers, press, and developers alike. Millions of creative and innovative developers will be provided with early access with new software, and will be able to engage with Apple engineers.”We are delivering WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world, bringing the entire developer community together with a new experience,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead.”
“With all of the new products and technologies we’ve been working on, WWDC 2020 is going to be big,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “I look forward to our developers getting their hands on the new code and interacting in entirely new ways with the

Apple Testing New iMessage Features Such as Mentions and Retracting Messages, Could Extend to Mac App

Apple is testing new iMessage features internally, according to information obtained by MacRumors. While these features could potentially arrive as early as iOS 14, they could be held back until a later software update or perhaps never released.
For starters, there is a new Slack-like mention system that would allow users to tag other contacts with their name like @Joe or @Jane. When you type the @ sign, a list of suggested contacts would appear. This would be particularly useful in busy group chat conversations, as it would be possible to enable the “Hide Alerts” setting and only receive push notifications when you are mentioned directly.
Apple is also testing the ability to retract iMessages after sending them. Fine print visible to both the sender and recipients would indicate that a message has been retracted. It is unclear if there will be a time limit on retracting messages.
Other features in development include typing indicators in group chats, as already exists in one-on-one iMessage conversations; the ability to mark the last message of a conversation as unread after opening it; and an expansion of the “/me” command for sharing status updates, a feature that has been available on the Mac since the iChat days.
Last year, developer Steve Troughton-Smith uncovered evidence of Apple working on a Catalyst-based version of the Messages app for Mac in macOS Catalina code, and a lot of the features described above would be fitting for the desktop. This could make Messages for Mac a more viable team-based chat app rivaling Slack. There is a whole lot of

Popular iPhone and iPad Apps Reportedly ‘Snooping’ on Pasteboard Data

According to new research by Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk, dozens of popular iOS apps are reading the contents of the pasteboard without user consent, which could include sensitive information.
The investigation discovered that many popular apps, such as TikTok, 8 Ball Pool™, and Hotels.com, quietly read any text found in the pasteboard every time the app is opened.
iOS and iPadOS apps have unrestricted access to the system-wide pasteboard, also known as the clipboard, as of iOS 13.3.
Text left in the pasteboard may be inconsequential, but it could also be highly sensitive data such as passwords or financial information. The potential security risks of this vulnerability have previously been investigated by Bakry and Mysk, where they found that precise location information was leaking through the system pasteboard.
A diverse range of apps, from popular games and social networking apps, to news apps of major news organizations such as Fox News or The Wall Street Journal, were examined using standard Apple development tools. Many of these apps do not provide any UI that manages text, yet they read the text content of the pasteboard every time they are opened.
It is also of note that if Universal Clipboard is enabled, an app may also access whatever has been copied on a Mac.
What exactly these apps do with the contents of the pasteboard once they have read it is

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