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Former Apple Engineering Leader Joins Microsoft to Work on HoloLens and Other Hardware

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Rubén Caballero, a hardware engineering executive at Apple who worked with suppliers on modem hardware, has taken on a new role at Microsoft, reports Bloomberg.

At Microsoft, Caballero is serving as corporate vice president of engineering and based on his Linkedin profile, he will work on mixed reality hardware such as Microsoft's HoloLens. He is listed as part of Microsoft's Mixed Reality and AI Division, and will also work on "special projects."

Caballero left Apple in April 2019, just after Apple settled its lawsuit with Qualcomm and inked a deal that will see Qualcomm supplying modem chips for the 2020 iPhones, and after his division was folded into Apple's custom chip vision headed by Johny Srouji.

Caballero first joined Apple in 2005, and his name has been on hundreds of patents related to wireless technologies. Caballero was a well-known part of Apple's antenna engineering group, having gained public recognition following the "Antennagate" situation that impacted the iPhone 4.
This article, "Former Apple Engineering Leader Joins Microsoft to Work on HoloLens and Other Hardware" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Reportedly Acquiring NextVR for $100 Million

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Apple is planning to acquire California-based virtual reality company NextVR in a deal said to be worth $100 million, 9to5Mac reported over the weekend.

NextVR is a company that melds virtual reality with sports, music, and entertainment, offering VR experiences for watching live events on VR headsets from PlayStation, HTC, Oculus, Google, Microsoft, and other manufacturers.

NextVR has established partnerships with the NBA, Wimbledon, Fox Sports, the WWE and more, according to the NextVR website. NextVR also has more than 40 patents, some of which are related to upscaling video streaming that may be of interest to Apple.

The Orange County, California company has been struggling in recent years, failing to secure Series C funding in 2019, leading to a 40 percent staff reduction.

Though Apple has not yet closed the acquisition or confirmed its plans to purchase NextVR, 9to5Mac says that a shell company formed this year that's believed to be Apple is hiring most of the engineers from NextVR. Employees at NextVR have also reportedly been told that they'll need to relocate from Southern California to Cupertino.

For the last several years, rumors have indicated that Apple is exploring multiple augmented, virtual, and mixed reality headset options, and has some kind of AR/VR headset project in the works.

A smart glasses concept

Most of the rumors have coalesced around augmented reality "smart glasses" that would work as an iPhone accessory, but there have also been rumors of work on a much more powerful VR headset that would feature an 8K display for each eye and that would be untethered from a computer or a smartphone.

Apple appears to be working on more than one AR/VR project, but it's difficult to tell as there have undoubtedly been many prototype designs. Current rumors suggest an AR/VR headset could be released as early as 2021.
Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

This article, "Apple Reportedly Acquiring NextVR for $100 Million" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month

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Apple will announce a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in May with the codename J223, according to a rumor shared by YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser.

Note: it’s a refresh to the current 13”

So the bigger 14” display upgrade is a big possibility

— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 4, 2020

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple plans to release new ‌MacBook Pro‌ and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards in the second quarter of 2020. As predicted, Apple launched its new ‌MacBook Air‌ last month with the new keyboard, so that only leaves the 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, given that the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ was released just five months ago.

As noted by Prosser, Apple could launch a new size for its smaller ‌‌MacBook Pro‌‌ offering, with any refresh potentially seeing a display bump to a 14-inch screen. Kuo has referred to a 14-inch model in the past, but it's not clear that this size would feature in any impending refresh. The new 14-inch model would likely replace the 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌, which would be discontinued.

The current 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ still uses 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 solved the problem by reverting back to a scissor mechanism with the new Magic Keyboard on the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ and 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌.

Beyond the keyboard, the new 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ is expected to get an upgraded processor in the form of one of Intel's 10th-generation Ice Lake chips, built using a 10-nanometer architecture.

Prosser has shared accurate Google leaks in the past, but he has only recently starting sharing Apple rumors, so his track record is limited. If his latest information proves to be accurate, then Apple's entire notebook lineup will have scissor keyboards by the end of next month.
Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Caution)

This article, "Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Some Users Experiencing System Crashes on macOS 10.15.4, Especially During Large File Transfers

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A sizeable number of Mac users are experiencing occasional system crashes after updating to macOS Catalina version 10.15.4, released a few weeks ago.

The crashing issue appears to be most prominent when users attempt to make large file transfers. In a forum post, SoftRAID described the issue as a bug and said that it is working with Apple engineers on a fix for macOS 10.15.5, or a workaround.

SoftRAID said the issue extends to Apple-formatted disks:
There is a serious issue with 10.15.4.

It shows up in different scenarios, even on Apple disks but is more likely when there are lots of IO threads. We think it is a threading issue. So while SoftRAID volumes are hit the hardest (its now hard to copy more than 30GB of data at a time), all systems are impacted by this.

In our bug report to Apple, we used a method to reproduce the problem with ONLY Apple formatted disks. Takes longer to reproduce, but that is more likely to get a faster fix to the user base.
Other users on macOS 10.15.4 have experienced crashes after waking their Mac from sleep, with affected systems suffering a kernel panic and rebooting to the Apple logo, according to comments shared on the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, Reddit, and Twitter.

After updating to macOS 10.15.4, users may also experience continuous spinning up and spinning down of connected hard drives when a Mac is supposed to be asleep, which could result in damage to the drive, according to Jeremy Horwitz.

We've reached out to Apple for comment and we will provide an update if we hear back.

My MacBook Pro 16” has been experiencing random restarts due to a kernel panic since I updated macOS to 10.15.4. Is anyone else having similar issues?! 😩 @AppleSupport

— russanov (@russanov) April 4, 2020

My 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ has been crashing a lot since I updated to Catalina to 10.15.4 and its always when the laptop is in sleep mode. Anyone else facing this? pic.twitter.com/hDLu755Tjc

— Abbas Ali (@ajaffarali) April 5, 2020

Anyone else seeing Finder hangs and crashes with 10.15.4?

— Stephen Hackett (@ismh) March 27, 2020

My MBP upgraded to 10.15.4 and has been crashing with kernel panic every time it goes sleep since then. Insane.

— Hitoshi Harada (@umitanuki) April 4, 2020
Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

This article, "Some Users Experiencing System Crashes on macOS 10.15.4, Especially During Large File Transfers" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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More References to Apple's Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Appear Online

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Further references to Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone have appeared online, one on a Chinese e-commerce website and another on Verizon's smartphone trade-in page.

Spotted by tech blog MySmartPrice, Chinese retailer JD.com has published a placeholder for Apple's so-called "iPhone 9" that includes a teaser image of a veiled smartphone, but other than that it lacks any particularly revealing specifications. On that basis, it could just as easily be the site's expectation that Apple's new low-cost ‌iPhone‌ is on the way based on circulating rumors.

The other reference to "‌iPhone 9‌" was highlighted by leaker Jon Prosser in amongst a list of smartphones eligible for Verizon's trade-in plan on the cellular provider's website.

Verizon slipped and mentioned the new “‌iPhone 9‌” on their trade-in page. 👀 pic.twitter.com/N1qkuFHN3i

— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 5, 2020

We're covering these references merely for completion, since Apple's new low-cost phone is expected imminently, although it's apparently going to recycle the ‌iPhone‌ SE name used for Apple's previous dedicated budget phone.

Last week, a product listing for a Belkin screen protector on Apple's online store was updated to reflect compatibility with not only the ‌iPhone‌ 7 and iPhone 8, but also the "‌iPhone‌ SE."

That product listing didn't reveal any further details about the device, which was previously dubbed the ‌iPhone‌ SE 2 or ‌iPhone 9‌, beyond supporting rumors that it will have a 4.7-inch display. The device is also expected to have an A13 chip, 3GB of RAM, and 64GB to 256GB of storage, with pricing estimated to start around $399 in the United States.

One rumor last week suggested the phone could be launched as soon as April 3. The date proved to be wide of the mark, but it doesn't preclude the possibility that we could see the device announced by Apple any day now.
Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2020

This article, "More References to Apple's Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Appear Online" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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