MacBook Pro Users Express Concerns About Limited Battery Life

A subset of users who purchased a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar claim to be experiencing shorter than expected battery life.

2016_macbook_pro_lineup
In particular, some users claim to be getting as little as 3 to 6 hours of battery life on a single charge, or between 30% and 60% of the up to 10 hours advertised.

MacRumors forum member SRTM said:

Currently I’m powering a 1080p external monitor and casually browsing with Chrome. At full charge, I’m getting an estimate of 3 hours battery life. With gaming it’s even less.

MacRumors forum member Aioriya said:

I bought a maxed out 13-inch Touch Bar model and I’ve been using it for about a week. With light use, I’ve been consistently getting around 5-6.5 hours when mainly browsing. Apple claims 10 hours wireless web but my battery has never lasted this long.

Reddit user Azr-79 yesterday claimed his new base model 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar received only 3 hours and 45 minutes of battery life on a single charge, despite what he described as “normal usage” in the form of web browsing, watching YouTube videos, and software development.

mbp-battery-life-chart
MacRumors forum member Scott claimed he experienced a 5% drop in battery life, from 10% to 5%, in just 12 minutes. Google Chrome, a known battery hog, was listed as the only app drawing significant power. The discussion topic he posted in and others are littered with similar claims of sizeable percentage drops in mere minutes.

1-2
Other claims on Reddit include anywhere from 3 hours to 5 hours to 6 hours — sometimes more, and sometimes less.

Reversely, some users report battery life exactly in line with Apple’s advertised figures. Reddit user Andrew J., for example, said he was working on non-intensive tasks on his new MacBook Pro for 90 straight minutes, and still had 92% battery life with an estimated 10 hours and 35 minutes of usage remaining.

I’ve been working non-stop for the past 1.5 hours, back and forth between emails, Safari, Calendar, Messages, organizing files, editing some PDFs in Adobe Acrobat DC, and building a financial model in Excel. I started at 100% and am now at 92% battery, with an estimated 10 hours 35 minutes remaining. If you’re not getting this kind of battery life on your MBP you should definitely get it checked out.

Estimates unsurprisingly vary widely based on screen brightness, background processes, and other factors, so user reports are only anecdotal evidence and your mileage may vary. It is also important to note battery life could be initially reduced until Spotlight finishes indexing your new MacBook Pro.

Battery life complaints are nothing new following the launch of a new Apple product. However, some users speculate battery life could be impacted by the new MacBook Pro switching from more efficient integrated Intel graphics to the power-hungrier dedicated AMD Radeon Pro GPU for unnecessary tasks.

Once again, however, there are always claims to suggest otherwise. Reddit user Lebron Hubbard claims he received 5 hours and 48 minutes of battery life on his high-end built-to-order 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar when forcing only the dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics to run using gfxCardStatus:

Even though the dGPU rarely kicks in for day to day stuff, the Radeon Pro 460 seems really efficient for small tasks. 5:48 is nothing to scoff at for dGPU only, and it runs very cool and quiet.

Apple’s built-in Activity Monitor and third-party app coconutBattery are useful tools for tracking system processes and detailed battery information.

10-hours-macbook-pro-battery-life
Apple officially says the new MacBook Pro is rated for up to 10 hours of battery life. Specifically, its tech specs page says all new 13-inch and 15-inch models are capable of up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing, up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, and up to 30 days of standby time on a single charge.

TechCrunch placed battery life at 9 hours and 35 minutes for the 13-inch model. Mashable said 10 hours is a fair estimate overall. The Wall Street Journal got 9.5 hours on the 13-inch model. Engadget gauged between 9 and 10 hours of video playback on the 15-inch model. Nilay Patel got 5.5 hours on the 13″ in real-world use.

Apple explains how it performs its battery tests on its website:

The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The iTunes movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network and signed in to an iCloud account, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default.

Apple’s website also provides tips for maximizing battery life on the MacBook Pro, including updating to the latest version of macOS, optimizing Energy Saver settings in System Preferences, dimming the screen’s brightness to the lowest comfortable level, and turning off Wi-Fi while not connected to a network.

Additional battery optimization advice provided by users includes performing a fresh install of macOS Sierra and resetting the SMC.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tag: battery life
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

A subset of users who purchased a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar claim to be experiencing shorter than expected battery life.

2016_macbook_pro_lineup

In particular, some users claim to be getting as little as 3 to 6 hours of battery life on a single charge, or between 30% and 60% of the up to 10 hours advertised.

MacRumors forum member SRTM said:

Currently I’m powering a 1080p external monitor and casually browsing with Chrome. At full charge, I’m getting an estimate of 3 hours battery life. With gaming it’s even less.

MacRumors forum member Aioriya said:

I bought a maxed out 13-inch Touch Bar model and I’ve been using it for about a week. With light use, I’ve been consistently getting around 5-6.5 hours when mainly browsing. Apple claims 10 hours wireless web but my battery has never lasted this long.

Reddit user Azr-79 yesterday claimed his new base model 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar received only 3 hours and 45 minutes of battery life on a single charge, despite what he described as “normal usage” in the form of web browsing, watching YouTube videos, and software development.

mbp-battery-life-chart

MacRumors forum member Scott claimed he experienced a 5% drop in battery life, from 10% to 5%, in just 12 minutes. Google Chrome, a known battery hog, was listed as the only app drawing significant power. The discussion topic he posted in and others are littered with similar claims of sizeable percentage drops in mere minutes.

1-2

Other claims on Reddit include anywhere from 3 hours to 5 hours to 6 hours — sometimes more, and sometimes less.

Reversely, some users report battery life exactly in line with Apple’s advertised figures. Reddit user Andrew J., for example, said he was working on non-intensive tasks on his new MacBook Pro for 90 straight minutes, and still had 92% battery life with an estimated 10 hours and 35 minutes of usage remaining.

I’ve been working non-stop for the past 1.5 hours, back and forth between emails, Safari, Calendar, Messages, organizing files, editing some PDFs in Adobe Acrobat DC, and building a financial model in Excel. I started at 100% and am now at 92% battery, with an estimated 10 hours 35 minutes remaining. If you’re not getting this kind of battery life on your MBP you should definitely get it checked out.

Estimates unsurprisingly vary widely based on screen brightness, background processes, and other factors, so user reports are only anecdotal evidence and your mileage may vary. It is also important to note battery life could be initially reduced until Spotlight finishes indexing your new MacBook Pro.

Battery life complaints are nothing new following the launch of a new Apple product. However, some users speculate battery life could be impacted by the new MacBook Pro switching from more efficient integrated Intel graphics to the power-hungrier dedicated AMD Radeon Pro GPU for unnecessary tasks.

Once again, however, there are always claims to suggest otherwise. Reddit user Lebron Hubbard claims he received 5 hours and 48 minutes of battery life on his high-end built-to-order 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar when forcing only the dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics to run using gfxCardStatus:

Even though the dGPU rarely kicks in for day to day stuff, the Radeon Pro 460 seems really efficient for small tasks. 5:48 is nothing to scoff at for dGPU only, and it runs very cool and quiet.

Apple’s built-in Activity Monitor and third-party app coconutBattery are useful tools for tracking system processes and detailed battery information.

10-hours-macbook-pro-battery-life

Apple officially says the new MacBook Pro is rated for up to 10 hours of battery life. Specifically, its tech specs page says all new 13-inch and 15-inch models are capable of up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing, up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, and up to 30 days of standby time on a single charge.

TechCrunch placed battery life at 9 hours and 35 minutes for the 13-inch model. Mashable said 10 hours is a fair estimate overall. The Wall Street Journal got 9.5 hours on the 13-inch model. Engadget gauged between 9 and 10 hours of video playback on the 15-inch model. Nilay Patel got 5.5 hours on the 13″ in real-world use.

Apple explains how it performs its battery tests on its website:

The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The iTunes movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network and signed in to an iCloud account, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default.

Apple’s website also provides tips for maximizing battery life on the MacBook Pro, including updating to the latest version of macOS, optimizing Energy Saver settings in System Preferences, dimming the screen’s brightness to the lowest comfortable level, and turning off Wi-Fi while not connected to a network.

Additional battery optimization advice provided by users includes performing a fresh install of macOS Sierra and resetting the SMC.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tag: battery life
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Google Chrome Browser 55 Fixes Security Holes and Defaults to HTML5

Google_Chrome_Material_Icon-450x450
Google this week began rolling out the latest update to its desktop Chrome web browser ahead of schedule, with Chrome 55 fixing multiple security vulnerabilities and defaulting to HTML5 on the majority of websites.

Google Chrome has been phasing out Flash support since September, when version 53 of the browser started blocking Flash-based page analytics and background elements. Version 54 brought a YouTube code rewrite that forced YouTube Flash players to switch to HTML5.

Chrome 55 brings the most visible move away from Flash by defaulting to HTML5 across the board. Users are now prompted to enable Flash when they visit sites that still use it, exempting 10 of the most popular sites on the web, including Facebook and Amazon.

Chrome 55.0.2883.75 for Mac contains a number of other fixes and improvements, including 26 patches identified by external researchers as part of Google’s bug bounty program, and another 10 security fixes implemented by Google itself. The addition of CSS automatic hyphenation means Chrome can now hyphenate words when line-wrapping, which improves the visual appearance of text blocks.

Chrome 55 should be available to download for most Mac users now. Existing users can update by selecting Chrome -> Preferences via the menu bar and clicking the About section. Users downloading Chrome for the first time will automatically receive the updated version from the Chrome download page. An update for the iOS browser app is expected soon.

Tag: Chrome

Discuss this article in our forums

Google_Chrome_Material_Icon-450x450

Google this week began rolling out the latest update to its desktop Chrome web browser ahead of schedule, with Chrome 55 fixing multiple security vulnerabilities and defaulting to HTML5 on the majority of websites.

Google Chrome has been phasing out Flash support since September, when version 53 of the browser started blocking Flash-based page analytics and background elements. Version 54 brought a YouTube code rewrite that forced YouTube Flash players to switch to HTML5.

Chrome 55 brings the most visible move away from Flash by defaulting to HTML5 across the board. Users are now prompted to enable Flash when they visit sites that still use it, exempting 10 of the most popular sites on the web, including Facebook and Amazon.

Chrome 55.0.2883.75 for Mac contains a number of other fixes and improvements, including 26 patches identified by external researchers as part of Google’s bug bounty program, and another 10 security fixes implemented by Google itself. The addition of CSS automatic hyphenation means Chrome can now hyphenate words when line-wrapping, which improves the visual appearance of text blocks.

Chrome 55 should be available to download for most Mac users now. Existing users can update by selecting Chrome -> Preferences via the menu bar and clicking the About section. Users downloading Chrome for the first time will automatically receive the updated version from the Chrome download page. An update for the iOS browser app is expected soon.

Tag: Chrome

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Tells NHTSA That Companies Entering Auto Industry Should Get the Same Rights As Establishment

Apple-car-silhouetteLast week, Apple wrote a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration telling it that “new entrants” to the auto industry should get the same rights as the established companies in the industry, reports Venture Beat.

Apple points out that established car manufacturers do not have to pursue exemptions to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards when attempting to test cars on public roads due to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. New entrants in the auto industry, like Google and others, are not granted the same right under the FAST Act.

The Cupertino company argues that the best way to maximize safety benefits for autonomous vehicles, ensure fair competition and encourage innovation is for the NHTSA to amend policy to state that seeking exemptions isn’t necessary for internal development vehicles on public roads.

The other half of the letter, which is dated November 22, addresses the Federal Automated Vehicles policy and a proposed data sharing program. “Apple agrees that companies should share de-identified scenario and dynamics data from crashes and near-misses,” the letter says. “Data should be sufficient to reconstruct the event, including time-series of vehicle kinematics and characteristics of the roadway and objects.” Apple also points out that data sharing should not come at the expense of privacy, and that companies should invest resources to protect the “individuals’ fundamental right to privacy.”

In October, it was reported that Apple was abandoning its car plans “for now.” After numerous layoffs and reassignments, the remaining members of the Apple Car team were said to be focusing on autonomous systems. Dozens of employees are also working on a car operating system in Canada. The letter was signed by Apple VP of Product Integrity Steve Kenner, who used to be Ford’s Global Director of Automotive Safety. It’s not known when Kenner joined Apple, as his LinkedIn still lists Ford as his employer.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple-car-silhouetteLast week, Apple wrote a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration telling it that “new entrants” to the auto industry should get the same rights as the established companies in the industry, reports Venture Beat.

Apple points out that established car manufacturers do not have to pursue exemptions to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards when attempting to test cars on public roads due to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. New entrants in the auto industry, like Google and others, are not granted the same right under the FAST Act.

The Cupertino company argues that the best way to maximize safety benefits for autonomous vehicles, ensure fair competition and encourage innovation is for the NHTSA to amend policy to state that seeking exemptions isn’t necessary for internal development vehicles on public roads.

The other half of the letter, which is dated November 22, addresses the Federal Automated Vehicles policy and a proposed data sharing program. “Apple agrees that companies should share de-identified scenario and dynamics data from crashes and near-misses,” the letter says. “Data should be sufficient to reconstruct the event, including time-series of vehicle kinematics and characteristics of the roadway and objects.” Apple also points out that data sharing should not come at the expense of privacy, and that companies should invest resources to protect the “individuals’ fundamental right to privacy.”

In October, it was reported that Apple was abandoning its car plans “for now.” After numerous layoffs and reassignments, the remaining members of the Apple Car team were said to be focusing on autonomous systems. Dozens of employees are also working on a car operating system in Canada. The letter was signed by Apple VP of Product Integrity Steve Kenner, who used to be Ford’s Global Director of Automotive Safety. It’s not known when Kenner joined Apple, as his LinkedIn still lists Ford as his employer.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple VP of Special Projects Paul Deneve Removed From Leadership Webpage

Apple this evening updated its executive profiles page to remove Paul Deneve, suggesting he is no longer with the company or has left the executive team. Hired in 2013, Paul Deneve served as Apple’s vice president of special projects, reporting to Appl…

Apple this evening updated its executive profiles page to remove Paul Deneve, suggesting he is no longer with the company or has left the executive team. Hired in 2013, Paul Deneve served as Apple’s vice president of special projects, reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Paul Deneve came to Apple from luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, where he served as CEO. Deneve, who joined Apple as it was working on the Apple Watch, also worked at several other luxury fashion labels like Courreges, Nina Ricci, and Lanvin.

pauldeneve

Paul Deneve’s executive profile, which has now been removed from Apple’s website.


During his time at Apple, Deneve had a hand in marketing the Apple Watch. He was involved in projects like the massive floral window installation at Selfridges, and worked alongside Apple’s head of retail Angela Ahrendts getting the Apple Watch in high-end boutiques around the world.

Deneve’s LinkedIn page has not yet been updated and continues to list Deneve as a vice president at Apple.

Discuss this article in our forums

Users Find Some New MacBook Pros Suffer From Major Graphics Issues

Since new MacBook Pro models launched last month, an increasing number of early adopters have reported serious graphics issues on Apple’s latest notebooks. The glitches and other problems appear to be most prevalent on built-to-order 15-inch models, but standard 13-inch and 15-inch configurations are also affected.

MacRumors reader Jan Becker, for example, said the graphics began to glitch on his new high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro, equipped with built-to-order AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics, while transcoding video with Adobe Media Encoder in Premiere Pro. The notebook subsequently crashed.

Becker claims when he took his MacBook Pro to an Apple retail store to be replaced, an employee said the graphics issues are likely a hardware problem. He later claimed he received a phone call from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, where it allegedly has a team of engineers looking into the issues.

Apple called me from Cupertino. They put together a group of engineers to get to the root of this. I re-created the incident while I was on the phone with them and sent them the log files of the crash. They also want to “capture” my MacBook Pro with all the files on it to investigate more.

The most common symptoms reported by users include brightly colored flickering, full-screen checkerboard patterns, screen tearing, and other visual artifacts. Affected systems may subsequently experience unresponsiveness or a kernel panic, sometimes resulting in the MacBook Pro crashing.

2016-macbook-pro-glitching15-inch MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics with full-screen visual artifacts

The high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and built-to-order AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics appears to be most commonly afflicted, but several users have reported similar issues on 15-inch models equipped with standard AMD Radeon Pro 450 or AMD Radeon Pro 455 GPUs as well.

MacRumors reader Jayselle recorded his 15-inch MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro 455 graphics flickering while connected to two external LG displays.

It is not entirely clear if the issues are a hardware or software problem. The graphics appear to act up most when users are completing intensive tasks, such as transcoding video with Adobe Media Encoder, syncing large photo libraries with Photos, or using other Adobe apps such as Photoshop and Lightroom.

It would initially seem the issue is limited to 15-inch MacBook Pro models with dedicated AMD graphics, but there are a few isolated reports of graphics issues on 13-inch models with integrated Intel Iris 540 and Intel Iris 550 graphics — including the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a standard row of function keys.

User complaints extend to the Apple Support Communities and other MacRumors discussion topics, indicating the graphics issues are rather widespread, but not all users are affected. Some speculate the latest macOS Sierra beta may fix the issues, but evidence remains anecdotal.

Separately, a number of users are reporting brief glitches during the boot up process on new MacBook Pro models, particularly along the bottom of the screen. It appears this issue is related to FileVault 2 startup disk encryption, as the glitches go away for many of these users once the feature is disabled.

checkered-mbp
As insurance, Apple’s extended holiday return policy is currently in effect. MacBook Pros purchased or delivered between November 10 and December 25 are eligible for return until January 8, 2017 in the United States, Australia, and Canada, or January 20 in the United Kingdom and some other European countries.

Select 2011-2013 MacBook Pro models have exhibited similar graphics issues in the past, including distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts. Apple accordingly launched a Repair Extension Program offering free repairs and refunds, but not before facing a class action lawsuit over the matter.

Apple appears to be aware of and is investigating these latest graphics issues, but it has yet to publicly comment on the matter. Apple been actively exchanging MacBook Pros for affected customers, according to users. Schedule a Genius Bar appointment or contact Apple Support to facilitate this process.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Since new MacBook Pro models launched last month, an increasing number of early adopters have reported serious graphics issues on Apple’s latest notebooks. The glitches and other problems appear to be most prevalent on built-to-order 15-inch models, but standard 13-inch and 15-inch configurations are also affected.

MacRumors reader Jan Becker, for example, said the graphics began to glitch on his new high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro, equipped with built-to-order AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics, while transcoding video with Adobe Media Encoder in Premiere Pro. The notebook subsequently crashed.



Becker claims when he took his MacBook Pro to an Apple retail store to be replaced, an employee said the graphics issues are likely a hardware problem. He later claimed he received a phone call from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, where it allegedly has a team of engineers looking into the issues.
Apple called me from Cupertino. They put together a group of engineers to get to the root of this. I re-created the incident while I was on the phone with them and sent them the log files of the crash. They also want to “capture” my MacBook Pro with all the files on it to investigate more.

The most common symptoms reported by users include brightly colored flickering, full-screen checkerboard patterns, screen tearing, and other visual artifacts. Affected systems may subsequently experience unresponsiveness or a kernel panic, sometimes resulting in the MacBook Pro crashing.

2016-macbook-pro-glitching

15-inch MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics with full-screen visual artifacts


The high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and built-to-order AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics appears to be most commonly afflicted, but several users have reported similar issues on 15-inch models equipped with standard AMD Radeon Pro 450 or AMD Radeon Pro 455 GPUs as well.

MacRumors reader Jayselle recorded his 15-inch MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro 455 graphics flickering while connected to two external LG displays.



It is not entirely clear if the issues are a hardware or software problem. The graphics appear to act up most when users are completing intensive tasks, such as transcoding video with Adobe Media Encoder, syncing large photo libraries with Photos, or using other Adobe apps such as Photoshop and Lightroom.

It would initially seem the issue is limited to 15-inch MacBook Pro models with dedicated AMD graphics, but there are a few isolated reports of graphics issues on 13-inch models with integrated Intel Iris 540 and Intel Iris 550 graphics — including the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a standard row of function keys.



User complaints extend to the Apple Support Communities and other MacRumors discussion topics, indicating the graphics issues are rather widespread, but not all users are affected. Some speculate the latest macOS Sierra beta may fix the issues, but evidence remains anecdotal.

Separately, a number of users are reporting brief glitches during the boot up process on new MacBook Pro models, particularly along the bottom of the screen. It appears this issue is related to FileVault 2 startup disk encryption, as the glitches go away for many of these users once the feature is disabled.

checkered-mbp

As insurance, Apple’s extended holiday return policy is currently in effect. MacBook Pros purchased or delivered between November 10 and December 25 are eligible for return until January 8, 2017 in the United States, Australia, and Canada, or January 20 in the United Kingdom and some other European countries.

Select 2011-2013 MacBook Pro models have exhibited similar graphics issues in the past, including distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts. Apple accordingly launched a Repair Extension Program offering free repairs and refunds, but not before facing a class action lawsuit over the matter.

Apple appears to be aware of and is investigating these latest graphics issues, but it has yet to publicly comment on the matter. Apple been actively exchanging MacBook Pros for affected customers, according to users. Schedule a Genius Bar appointment or contact Apple Support to facilitate this process.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

AT&T and Verizon Facing FCC Scrutiny After Exempting Their Own Apps From Data Caps

Both AT&T and Verizon offer apps and streaming services that don’t count against the data cap they impose on customers, a practice that the United States Federal Communications Commission does not approve of.

The FCC this week sent letters (via The Verge) to both Verizon and AT&T, claiming that the data cap exemptions, called “zero rating,” raise net neutrality concerns and could impact consumers and competition.

attvzw
AT&T and Verizon each offer programs that allow content providers to pay a fee to be exempted from customer data caps, programs that they themselves take advantage of with their own apps and services.

DirecTV Now, AT&T’s recently introduced streaming television service, does not use data when streamed on the AT&T network, for example. DirecTV Now pays for the data, but as an AT&T subsidiary, AT&T is just paying itself. Verizon, meanwhile, exempts its own Go90 streaming service from using data on the Verizon network and does not pay fees to do so.

The FCC first sent a warning to AT&T in early November, but was not pleased with the response it received from the company. In this week’s letter, the FCC says that it has come to the “preliminary” conclusion that the Sponsored Data program inhibits competition, harms consumers, and violates Open Internet rules. It asks AT&T to answer a series of questions about its Sponsored Data practices.

We find that those responses fail to alleviate the serious concerns expressed in our November 9 letter regarding the potential anti-competitive impacts of a wholesale Sponsored Data program for zero-rated mobile video services. Indeed, your submission tends to confirm our initial view that the Sponsored Data program strongly favors AT&T’s own video offerings while unreasonably discriminating against unaffiliated edge providers and limiting their ability to offer competing video services to AT&T’s broadband subscribers on a level playing field.

A similar letter sent to Verizon expresses concern over the “FreeBee Data 360” program and says it has the potential to “hinder competition and harm consumers” because Verizon does not need to pay to participate in the Sponsored Data program when it exempts its own app, but competing content providers do.

The position that the participation of Go90 in FreeBee Data 360 is the same as that of third parties, however, fails to take account of the notably different financial impact on unaffiliated edge providers. For example, while there is no cash cost on a consolidated basis for Verizon to zero-rate its own affiliated edge service, an unaffiliated edge provider’s FreeBee Data 360 payment to Verizon is a true cash cost that could be significant.

AT&T and Verizon have responded to the letters sent by the FCC in statements given to the media. AT&T says the government should not take away a service that’s saving customers money, while Verizon says its practices are good for consumers, non-discriminatory, and consistent with the rules.

The two carriers have been given a December 15 deadline to respond to the FCC’s concerns.

Tags: FCC, AT&T, Verizon

Discuss this article in our forums

Both AT&T and Verizon offer apps and streaming services that don’t count against the data cap they impose on customers, a practice that the United States Federal Communications Commission does not approve of.

The FCC this week sent letters (via The Verge) to both Verizon and AT&T, claiming that the data cap exemptions, called “zero rating,” raise net neutrality concerns and could impact consumers and competition.

attvzw

AT&T and Verizon each offer programs that allow content providers to pay a fee to be exempted from customer data caps, programs that they themselves take advantage of with their own apps and services.

DirecTV Now, AT&T’s recently introduced streaming television service, does not use data when streamed on the AT&T network, for example. DirecTV Now pays for the data, but as an AT&T subsidiary, AT&T is just paying itself. Verizon, meanwhile, exempts its own Go90 streaming service from using data on the Verizon network and does not pay fees to do so.

The FCC first sent a warning to AT&T in early November, but was not pleased with the response it received from the company. In this week’s letter, the FCC says that it has come to the “preliminary” conclusion that the Sponsored Data program inhibits competition, harms consumers, and violates Open Internet rules. It asks AT&T to answer a series of questions about its Sponsored Data practices.

We find that those responses fail to alleviate the serious concerns expressed in our November 9 letter regarding the potential anti-competitive impacts of a wholesale Sponsored Data program for zero-rated mobile video services. Indeed, your submission tends to confirm our initial view that the Sponsored Data program strongly favors AT&T’s own video offerings while unreasonably discriminating against unaffiliated edge providers and limiting their ability to offer competing video services to AT&T’s broadband subscribers on a level playing field.

A similar letter sent to Verizon expresses concern over the “FreeBee Data 360” program and says it has the potential to “hinder competition and harm consumers” because Verizon does not need to pay to participate in the Sponsored Data program when it exempts its own app, but competing content providers do.

The position that the participation of Go90 in FreeBee Data 360 is the same as that of third parties, however, fails to take account of the notably different financial impact on unaffiliated edge providers. For example, while there is no cash cost on a consolidated basis for Verizon to zero-rate its own affiliated edge service, an unaffiliated edge provider’s FreeBee Data 360 payment to Verizon is a true cash cost that could be significant.

AT&T and Verizon have responded to the letters sent by the FCC in statements given to the media. AT&T says the government should not take away a service that’s saving customers money, while Verizon says its practices are good for consumers, non-discriminatory, and consistent with the rules.

The two carriers have been given a December 15 deadline to respond to the FCC’s concerns.

Tags: FCC, AT&T, Verizon

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Store App for iOS Updated With Rich Notifications, One-Tap Apple Watch Purchases

Apple today updated its Apple Store app for iOS to version 4.1, adding support for rich notifications and expanding the functionality of the Apple Store app on the Apple Watch.

Rich notifications, available in iOS 10, deliver more information than a…

applestorenewiconApple today updated its Apple Store app for iOS to version 4.1, adding support for rich notifications and expanding the functionality of the Apple Store app on the Apple Watch.

Rich notifications, available in iOS 10, deliver more information than a standard notification and in many cases, are interactive, so you can do more without having to unlock your phone.

In addition to supporting iOS 10’s new notification system, the Apple Store app for Apple Watch has been updated with a new feature that allows customers to make one-tap purchases from their “Favorites” list.

Items added to the Favorites list on iOS or the web will be visible on the Apple Watch and can be purchased by tapping on them on the Apple Watch. Apple Pay is used to make the purchase, so a device with Apple Pay and an available credit or debit card is required.

According to Apple’s release notes, today’s update also includes unspecified improvements and performance enhancements.

The Apple Store app can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of iOS 10.2 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.2 update to developers and public beta testers, four days after seeding the fourth beta of iOS 10.2 and more than a month after releasing iOS 10.1, the first major update to iOS 10.

Registered …

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.2 update to developers and public beta testers, four days after seeding the fourth beta of iOS 10.2 and more than a month after releasing iOS 10.1, the first major update to iOS 10.

Registered developers can download the iOS 10.2 beta 5 from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed.

10-2-beta

iOS 10.2 introduces new emoji, such as clown face, drooling face, selfie, face palm, fox face, owl, shark, butterfly, avocado, pancakes, croissant, and more. There are more than a hundred new emoji, including several profession emoji available in both male and female genders, such as firefighter, mechanic, lawyer, doctor, scientist, and more. Apple has also redesigned many existing emoji, adding more detail to make them look much more realistic.

Along with new emoji, iOS 10.2 includes new wallpaper, new Music sorting options and buttons for Repeat and Shuffle, new “Celebrate” and “Send with Love” Screen Effects, an option for preserving camera settings, Single-Sign On support for watching live TV via apps, and the official “TV” app that was first introduced at Apple’s October 27 event.

The TV app serves as an Apple-designed TV guide that aims to simplify the television watching experience and allow users to discover new TV shows and movies to watch.

The TV app is available on iOS devices and the Apple TV, and in iOS 10.2, the “Videos” app has been replaced entirely with the new “TV” app, which will now serve as the iOS TV and movie hub.

Apple has called iOS 10 its “biggest release ever” for iOS users, with a revamped lock screen, a Siri SDK for developers, an overhauled Messages app, a dedicated “Home” app for HomeKit users, new facial and object recognition capabilities in Photos, and redesigned Maps and Apple Music apps.

Related Roundup: iOS 10

Discuss this article in our forums