Category Archives: Mac Rumors

Apple’s Ability to Hire Foreign Workers May Be Impacted by Trump Overhaul of Work-Visa Programs

United States President Donald Trump and his administration have drafted an executive order that intends to overhaul the work-visa programs that various technology companies — including Apple — rely on to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.

According to a draft of the order acquired by Bloomberg, affected visa programs include L-1, E-2, and B1. Directly affecting tech companies is H-1B, which lets companies like Apple hire appropriately skilled workers for specific jobs when there is a dearth of local talent available.

Image Credit: @MacRumors


Falling in line with Trump’s “America first” intentions, which previously ignited reports of Apple turning to U.S.-based iPhone manufacturing, the order explains that the country’s policy on immigration should not give priority to foreign workers. Its intent aims to prioritize and protect American workers, as well as their current and future jobs.

“Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the U.S. national interest,” the draft proposal reads, according to a copy reviewed by Bloomberg. “Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold.”

Although some companies use the visa programs to find high-skilled talent overseas, Bloomberg notes that allegations in recent years have claimed that the system can be abused to simply hire workers at a cheaper rate “to fill jobs that otherwise may go to Americans.” Outsourced workers in India are said to be the main targets of the H-1B visa, filling in the technology departments of large corporations “with largely imported staff.”

Since the executive order is only in the drafting stages, it’s not yet clear how much force or backing it would receive if made official. According to Ron Hira, an associate professor at Howard University, companies who potentially use the work-visa programs to hire cheap labor will be affected most, likely ending up having to pay more to their employees if the order is signed. Companies using the programs to legally hire skilled workers may be able to find alternative visas elsewhere, but the intent to make the process more difficult is clear.

“If firms are using the program for cheap labor, I think it will affect them and they will have to pay workers more,” said Ron Hira, an associate professor at Howard University. “If tech firms are using the program for specialized labor, they may find there are more visas available.”

The current legislation caps workers who can enter the U.S. each year at 85,000, including educated workers with college degrees. According to the most recent data available, workers with H-1B visas at companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are paid more than $100,000 per year, while outsourcing firms reportedly intent on hiring for quantity over quality are said to pay workers less than $70,000 annually.

Trump’s order aims to bring transparency to these issues, with the intent to publish reports “with basic statistics on who uses the immigration programs within one month of the end of the government’s fiscal year.”

Today’s news comes a few days after Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to the immigration executive order signed by Trump on Friday, which left refugees and immigrants stranded at airports around the country over the weekend. In a letter to employees, Cook said that Trump’s order is “not a policy we support,” and that the company has “reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.”

By Mitchel Broussard – MacRumors

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Apple Removes Tool to Check if an iPhone or iPad is Activation Locked

Apple has removed its Activation Lock status checker on iCloud.com at some point in the past few days. The tool enabled users to enter the serial number or IMEI of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and find out if the device is secured with Activation Lock, helping buyers avoid purchasing a device locked to another user.


A user purchasing a used iPhone on eBay or another website, for example, was able to request the device’s serial number and use Apple’s tool to verify that Activation Lock had been turned off. If the device was still locked, or if the seller refused to provide the serial number, then it was likely lost or stolen.

The iCloud page where the tool was available now returns a “Not Found” page aka 404 error. Apple also removed the following reference to the tool from a related Find My iPhone support document earlier this week:

How do I check for Activation Lock before purchasing a used device? When you buy an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch from someone other than Apple or an authorized Apple reseller, it is up to you to ensure that the device is erased and no longer linked to the previous owner’s account. You can check the current Activation Lock status of a device when you visit icloud.com/activationlock from any Mac or PC.

Apple has not explained why it removed the page. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Activation Lock, enabled automatically when you turn on Find My iPhone, is designed to prevent anyone else from using your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch if it is ever lost or stolen. A device with Activation Lock enabled requires the owner’s Apple ID and password before it can be used, even if it is erased or reactivated.

Last year, a number of users who purchased a brand new iPhone experienced an Activation Lock issue where their device was locked to someone else’s Apple ID. Apple disabled Activation Lock for affected users upon being provided proof of purchase, but it is unclear if the strange issue factored into the page’s removal.

Activation Lock was introduced alongside iOS 7. The tool to check the Activation Lock status of a device had been available since October 2014.
By JOE ROSSIGNOL – MacRumors

Apple Releases iOS 10.2.1 With Bug Fixes, Performance Improvements

Apple today released iOS 10.2.1 to the public following several weeks of testing. iOS 10.2.1 also comes more than a month after the release of iOS 10.2, the second major update to the iOS 10 operating system.

iOS 10.2.1 is a free over-the-air update available to all iOS 10 users. It can also be downloaded and installed on iOS devices using iTunes on a Mac or PC. The update is still rolling out and may not be immediately available on all devices.


No outward-facing changes or new features were discovered during the beta testing process, suggesting the update focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements.

The iOS 10.2.1 update will soon be followed by a new iOS 10.3 beta, if rumors are correct. The first iOS 10.3 beta, with a new “Theatre Mode” was rumored to be coming out on January 10, but has not yet appeared.

By Juli Clover – MacRumors

Apple Investigating Issue With AirPods Randomly Disconnecting During Calls

Apple is investigating multiple reports from iPhone owners of AirPods randomly disconnecting and reconnecting during calls, MacRumors has learned.

A long thread on Apple’s Support Communities website has been generated by AirPods users who are regularly experiencing Bluetooth connection dropouts during phone calls, despite the fact that the wireless earphones almost never lose their connection when used to listen to music or anything else.

At present, the issue appears to be limited to iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices, with several users reporting no such problems after upgrading to an iPhone 7. MacRumors was also unable to replicate the problem on Apple’s latest handset.

Initial reports suggested the dropout issue only occurs if users also have an Apple Watch paired to their iPhone, but MacRumors was able to replicate the problem with a Fitbit Blaze, suggesting a more general conflict when other Bluetooth devices are also connected.

Unpairing and then repairing the AirPods does not appear to solve the problem, neither does rebooting nor resetting the iPhone. Until Apple offers a solution, users are advised to use only one AirPod for conducting calls, as the dropouts only seem to occur when both earpieces are in use.

By Tim Hardwick -MacRumors

10 Years Ago Today: Steve Jobs Introduces the iPhone

By Joe Rossignol- MacRumors

 

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone at Macworld in San Francisco. In what has become one of the most iconic moments in Apple’s storied history, Jobs teased the device as if it were three separate products: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone at Macworld in San Francisco. In what has become one of the most iconic moments in Apple’s storied history, Jobs teased the device as if it were three separate products: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device.
iphone-vs-iphone-7

Apple began selling the iPhone six months later, and nearly a decade later, the company has now sold well over 1 billion of them to customers around the world. iPhone sales continued to rise on an annual basis until 2016, when the smartphone experienced its first-ever year-over-year sales decline amid a down year for Apple. Nevertheless, the iPhone remains Apple’s most successful product ever, accounting for 60% of the company’s overall revenue last quarter.
“iPhone is an essential part of our customers’ lives, and today more than ever it is redefining the way we communicate, entertain, work and live,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “iPhone set the standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are just getting started. The best is yet to come.”

Steve Jobs Introduces the iPhone Video

Apple upended the mobile phone industry that was then dominated by earlier entrants such as Nokia and BlackBerry, two companies that are effectively out of the market today. Jobs poked fun at “smartphones” of the era, quipping they were “not so smart” and “not so easy to use,” while criticizing outdated hardware features such as physical keyboards and styli. In turn, he introduced revolutionary new features such as Multi-Touch to big rounds of applause

Since then, Apple has improved the iPhone each year by adding several new features:

• 2008: App Store and 3G network support

• 2009: Video recording and Personal Hotspot

• 2010: Retina display

• 2011: Siri and iCloud

• 2012: Taller 4-inch screen, Lightning connector, and LTE

• 2013: Touch ID

• 2014: Larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens

• 2015: 3D Touch, Live Photos, and 4K video recording

• 2016: Waterproofing and dual-lens camera on iPhone 7 Plus

“It is amazing that from the very first iPhone through to today’s newest iPhone 7 Plus, it has remained the gold standard by which all other smartphones are judged. For many of us, iPhone has become the most essential device in our lives and we love it,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing.
2017 is expected to be a big year for the iPhone, with rumors suggesting at least one new model will feature glass casing with a curved OLED display. The device may sport a nearly bezel-less edge-to-edge design with no physical Home button, but rather Touch ID embedded directly into the display as both patented by Apple and technologically possible. Other rumored features include wireless charging, facial or iris recognition, and a vertical dual-lens camera capable of 3D photography effects.