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WWDC 2019: How to watch Apple’s keynote and what to expect

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Is it possible to leave the Apple ecosystem?
TechRepublic’s Karen Roby asks ZDNet’s Jason Perlow and Jason Cipriani if it’s feasible to happily leave the Apple ecosystem after being invested in their products. Read more: https://zd.net/2XtjT4v

WWDC 2019 is just around the corner, and like past years, you can watch the entire show online.

WWDC is Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and it will be held this year from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, Calif. This is a multi-day event that’ll consist of a live-streamed keynote on day one. CEO Tim Cook will likely take the stage, followed by several Apple executives, to introduce what the company has been working on lately.

Immediately following the keynote, the conference will host several developer sessions that developers can attend to meet with over 1,000 Apple engineers. Some of these sessions will be live-streamed, too. Here’s what you need to know.

Also: WWDC 2019: What I want Apple to add to iOS 13

What time is the WWDC 2019 keynote?

Apple recently confirmed the date and time of its opening keynote at WWDC 2019. The company will officially kick things off June 3 at 10am PST at the McEnery Convention Center. It’ll likely be a two-hour show. Here are the different times around the globe:

  • San Francisco: 10am (June 3)
  • New York: 1pm (June 3)
  • Toronto: 10am (June 3)
  • Berlin: 4pm (June 3)
  • Rome: 4pm (June 3)
  • London: 6pm (June 3)
  • Paris: 7pm (June 3)
  • Delhi: 7:30pm (June 3)
  • Moscow: 8pm (June 3)
  • Mumbai: 10:30pm (June 3)
  • Tokyo: 11pm (June 3)
  • Shenzhen: 1am (June 4)
  • Beijing: 1am (June 4)
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How to watch the WWDC 2019 keynote online

Apple does not allow its live-streamed event to be embedded elsewhere online. However, you can use Apple’s own site and apps to watch the show go down in real time. Here’s how:

Mac or PC

You can watch the WWDC keynote on Apple’s Events page. MacOS users will be able to watch the livestream via the Safari, Chrome, or Firefox desktop browsers. For Windows 10 users, Apple recommends the Microsoft Edge browser. Other platforms may also access the keynote’s live stream using the most recent versions of the Chrome and Firefox browsers.

iPhone or iPad

Using the same Apple events page, the WWDC keynote stream can be accessed on an iPhone and iPad running iOS 10 or later. The official WWDC app for iOS devices also includes the keynote’s live stream as well as live-streamed developer sessions.

Apple further offers an Apple Events app. The app doesn’t provide the full WWDC experience provided by the developer-focused WWDC app mentioned above, but it does offer access to every one of the company’s keynote speeches in recent years.

Apple TV

Apple TV users can watch the keynote in real time (if they own a second-generation or later model running the latest software or tvOS). From the menu screen, scroll until you see a tab for the WWDC Keynote. From there, you can access the stream.

What to expect from the WWDC 2019 keynote

Apple tends to focus on software at WWDC, though it has in the past years introduced new hardware. It recently updated a bunch of its existing products without much fanfare, however, so we’re thinking the one big product it could unveil is a totally revamped Mac Pro. Other than that, expect updates across Apple’s operating systems.

We may even see more on its augmented reality efforts, and find out more about its upcoming Apple Arcade and TV+ services.

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iOS 13

The headline feature for iOS 13 will be Dark Mode. Apple first introduced Dark Mode on MacOS Mojave, and now it’s coming to iOS 13, according to several leaks. Another big feature likely coming is a new Sleep Mode that mutes incoming notifications and darkens the Lock screen. For the iPad, Apple might debut a feature for displaying multiple windows in a single iPad app via a tab view.

The iPad might also get a multitasking feature for using two windows of the same app side by side, plus support for stackable, moveable cards within apps. The Files app could also be updated, and Apple might announce new gestures for undo/redo and selecting multiple items in table/collection views. A revamped Find My iPhone app that merges with Find My Friends, complete with a new tracking feature, which works even without a Wi-Fi connection using proximity to other devices, might also debut.

Other than that, maybe 3D Touch will be killed, and maybe Siri will open up to more third-party apps like Spotify. Apple might also change the volume pop-up notification so it doesn’t block the center of the screen. Finally, Apple’s Arcade subscription service is supposed to launch this fall, but we still don’t know how much it’ll cost. Perhaps Apple will bring it up?

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MacOS 10.15

Apple teased last year it’s making it easier to get iOS apps on the Mac, with a project codenamed Marzipan. Since Apple has yet to use this word in front of consumers, we doubt it will at WWDC. But the concept will be on display: Developers will have a simple way to take apps that they’ve developed for the iPad and possibly iPhone and port them to the Mac.

Apple will likely show how these apps will seem native to the Mac, thanks to optimized mouse, keyboard, and menu support, and more. But, for the most part, we think the major story out of this section of the keynote will be the new Mac apps it made by breaking up iTunes. There should be new Music, Podcasts, TV, and Books apps, according to reports.

Apple is also expected to bring Siri shortcuts to the Mac, as well as Screen Time and Family Sharing on the Mac. We’ve also seen evidence that Apple will announce official support for using your iPad as a second monitor for your Mac.

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WatchOS 6

There hasn’t been a lot of news about WatchOS 6. We suspect Apple will double down on its health focus. For instance, it’s been said that Apple will announce a new Dose feature to help you remember to take your pills, and a new Cycles feature that will help track menstrual cycles. New Voice Memo and Calculator apps and new watchfaces might also be on deck.

Elsewhere, there could be new App Store for WatchOS! Currently, Apple Watch apps need to be downloaded through the iPhone’s Watch app and then transferred over to the Watch.

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TvOS 13

Apple held a TV event earlier in the year to announce its TV Plus subscription service, and it recently released a new TV app. But that doesn’t mean it won’t have any TvOS 13 news. At the very least, we want to know how much TV Plus costs and when it’s launching.

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Mac Pro

It’s been six years since Apple launched the “trash can” Mac Pro, and it has been promising us a new one since 2017. Reports suggest it’s finally coming this year, and WWDC will likely be the place it appears first. The thing is, we don’t know anything about what it looks like, how it works, or what it features. But it could have a “a modular system” — how vague.

From what we can tell, the computer itself might use a stacking system based on proprietary connectors so that people can buy a “brain” module and then add the components they need or prefer, such as GPUs or extra storage.

apple-mac-pro-focus-movie-final-cut-pro.jpg

6K Pro display

Apple could announce a 31.6-inch 6K Pro display, and it might not be unveiled under its old “Cinema Display” brand. A noted analyst said the display will feature mini-LED backlight technology, and that it would be used with Apple’s new modular Mac Pro, but that’s about all we know so far. We don’t yet know how much it will cost. It’ll likely be very high-end.

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Trackers

There’s a rumor Apple will launch its own Tile-like location trackers, which will work with a feature in its new Find My iPhone app that’s supposed to be merged with Find My Friends. Currently known as “B389” by the people working on it, they’ll be able to track both Apple and non-Apple devices, even if not connected to the internet, via Wi-Fi, or cellular.

You’ll also be able to attach them to items you want to track. So, when paired with iCloud, you’ll get a notification if they go out of range. You can then share their location with friends. Apple also wants to use a crowdsourcing to help users find their lost items.

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Pinterest tests online events with dedicated ‘class communities’ – TechCrunch

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Pinterest is getting into online events. The company has been spotted testing a new feature that allows users to sign up for Zoom classes through Pinterest, while creators use Pinterest’s class boards to organize class materials, notes and other resources, or even connect with attendees through a group chat option. The company confirmed the test of online classes is an experiment now in development, but wouldn’t offer further details about its plans.

The feature itself was discovered on Tuesday by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who found details about the online classes by looking into the app’s code.

Currently, you can visit some of these “demo” profiles directly — like “@pinsmeditation” or “@pinzoom123,” for example — and view their listed Class Communities. However, these communities are empty when you click through. That’s because the feature is still unreleased, Wong says.

When and if the feature is later launched to the public, the communities would include dedicated sections where creators will be able to organize their class materials — like lists of what to bring to class, notes, photos and more. They could also use these communities to offer a class overview and description, connect users to a related shop, group chat feature and more.

Creators are also able to use the communities — which are basically enhanced Pinterest boards — to respond to questions from attendees, share photos from the class and otherwise interact with the participants.

When a user wants to join a class, they can click a “book” button to sign up, and are then emailed a confirmation with the meeting details. Other buttons direct attendees to download Zoom or copy the link to join the class.

It’s not surprising that Pinterest would expand into the online events space, given its platform has become a popular tool for organizing remote learning resources during the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers have turned to Pinterest to keep track of lesson plans, get inspiration, share educational activities and more. In the early days of the pandemic, Pinterest reported record usage when the company saw more searches and saves globally in a single March weekend than ever before in its history, as a result of its usefulness as a online organizational tool.

This growth has continued throughout the year. In October, Pinterest’s stock jumped on strong earnings after the company beat on revenue and user growth metrics. The company brought in $443 million in revenue, versus $383.5 million expected, and grew its monthly active users to 442 million, versus the 436.4 million expected. Outside of the coronavirus impacts, much of this growth was due to strong international adoption, increased ad spend from advertisers boycotting Facebook and a surge of interest from users looking for iOS 14 home screen personalization ideas.

Given that the U.S. has failed to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, many classes, events and other activities will remain virtual even as we head into 2021. The online events market may continue to grow in the years that follow, too, thanks to the kickstart the pandemic provided the industry as a whole.

“We are experimenting with ways to help creators interact more closely with their audience,” a Pinterest spokesperson said, when asked for more information.

Pinterest wouldn’t confirm additional details about its plans for online events, but did say the feature was in development and the test would help to inform the product’s direction.

Pinterest often tries out new features before launching them to a wider audience. Earlier this summer, TechCrunch reported on a Story Pins feature the company had in the works. Pinterest then launched the feature in September. If the same time frame holds up for online events, we could potentially see the feature become more widely available sometime early next year.

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Twitter will bring back verification – TechCrunch

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Twitter prepares to hand out more blue checkmarks, YouTube suspends OANN and Discord is raising a big funding round. This is your Daily Crunch for November 24, 2020.

The big story: Twitter will bring back verification

Twitter paused its blue checkmark verification system in 2017 as it faced controversy over who gets verified — specifically over the decision to verify the organizer of the infamous and deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

Since then, Twitter has done occasional verifications for medical experts tweeting about COVID-19 and candidates running for public office, but it hasn’t brought back the program in a systematic way.

Now Twitter says it will relaunch verification in 2021, and that it’s currently soliciting feedback on the policy. Initially, verification will focus on six types of accounts: government officials, companies/brands/nonprofits, news, entertainment, sports and activists/organizers/other influential individuals.

The tech giants

YouTube suspends and demonetizes One America News Network over COVID-19 video — YouTube said, “After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy.”

Instagram businesses and creators may be getting a Messenger-like ‘FAQ’ feature — This new feature will allow people to start conversations with businesses or creators’ accounts by tapping on a commonly asked question within a chat.

Fortnite adds a $12 monthly subscription bundle — The $11.99 monthly Fortnite Crew fee entitles players to a full season battle pass, 1,000 monthly bucks and a Crew Pack featuring an exclusive outfit bundle.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Discord is close to closing a round that would value the company at up to $7B — The new funding comes just months after a $100 million investment that gave the company a $3.5 billion valuation.

Dija, a new delivery startup from former Deliveroo employees, is closing in on a $20M round led by Blossom — Few details are public about Dija, except that it will offer convenience and fresh food delivery using a “dark” convenience store mode.

Marie Ekeland launches 2050, a new fund with radically ambitious, long-term goals —  Ekeland used to be an investor at French VC firm Elaia, where she backed adtech firm Criteo.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

As edtech grows cash rich, some lessons for early stage — The valuation bumps for both Duolingo and Udemy underscore just how much investor confidence there is in edtech’s remote learning boom.

Working to understand C3.ai’s growth story — As its IPO looms, how quickly did C3.ai grow in its October quarter?

Decrypted: Apple and Facebook’s privacy feud, Twitter hires Mudge, mysterious zero-days — Zack Whittaker’s latest roundup of cybersecurity-related news.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. And until November 30, you can get 25% off an annual membership.)

Everything else

Biden-Harris team finally get their transition .gov domain — This comes after the General Services Administration gave the green light for the Biden-Harris team to transition from political campaign to government administration.

India bans 43 more Chinese apps over cybersecurity concerns — India is not done banning Chinese apps.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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Twitter to relaunch account verifications in early 2021, asks for feedback on policy – TechCrunch

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Twitter announced today it’s planning to relaunch its verification system in 2021, and will now begin the process of soliciting public feedback on the new policy ahead of its implementation. Under the policy, Twitter will initially verify six types of accounts, including those belonging to government officials; companies, brands and nonprofit organizations; news; entertainment; sports; and activists, organizers and other influential individuals. The number of categories could expand in time.

Twitter’s verification system, which provides a blue checkmark to designate accounts belonging to public figures, was paused in 2017 as the company tried to address confusion over what it meant to be verified.

The issue at the time was that Twitter had verified the account belonging to Jason Keller, the person who organized the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In response to the wave of criticism directed at Twitter as a result of this action, the company defended its decision by pointing to its policies around account verification, which explained its blue badges were awarded to accounts of “public interest.”

Critics argued that genuinely noteworthy figures were still struggling to get their own accounts verified, and that verifying a known white supremacist was not something that should ever be in the “public interest.” As a result, Twitter in November 2017 decided to pause all account verifications.

The following year, the company announced work on the verification system would be placed on a longer, more indefinite hold, so Twitter could direct its resources to focus on election integrity. That proved to be a significant undertaking, as it turned out.

Though the company this year verified medical experts tweeting about COVID-19 and labeled candidates running for public office, these efforts were managed in more of a one-off fashion.

Now, with the 2020 U.S. presidential election having wrapped, and with a transition underway, Twitter says work on its new verification system will finally resume.

The company today shared a draft of its new verification policy in order to gain public feedback. The policy details more specifically which accounts can be verified and introduces additional guidelines that could limit some accounts from receiving the blue badge.

For example, Twitter says the account must be “notable and active,” and the badge won’t be awarded to any accounts with incomplete profiles. Twitter will also deny or remove verification badges from otherwise qualified individuals if their accounts are found to be in repeated violation of the Twitter Rules.

The company additionally admitted it had verified accounts over the years which should not be, as based on these guidelines. To correct this, Twitter will begin to automatically remove badges from accounts that are inactive or have incomplete profiles, to help it streamline its work going forward.

The policy also lays out specifics about how it will determine whether an account in a supported category will qualify.

For example, news organizations will have to adhere to professional standards for journalism, and independent or freelance journalists will need to provide at least three bylines in qualifying organizations published in the last six months. Entertainers will need to be able to point to credits on their IMDb page or to references in verified news publications. Government officials will need to show a public reference on an official government website, party website or multiple references by news media. Sports figures will have to appear on team websites, rosters or in sports data services like Sportradar. There are a few other ways to be verified in these categories, too.

The guidelines for public figures are more detailed, as they must meet two different criteria for “notability” — one that quantifies their Twitter activity and another that highlights their off-Twitter notability, like a Wikipedia page, Google Trends profile, profile on an official advocacy site and more.

“We know we can’t solve verification with a new policy alone — and that this initial policy won’t cover every case for being verified — but it is a critical first step in helping us provide more transparency and fairer standards for verification on Twitter as we reprioritize this work,” a company announcement stated. “This version of the policy is a starting point, and we intend to expand the categories and criteria for verification significantly over the next year,” it noted.

Twitter users will be able to offer feedback on the new verification policy starting today, November 24, 2020, and continuing through December 8, 2020. The policy is being made available in English, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese. Users can either respond to the survey Twitter has posted or they can choose to tweet their feedback publicly, using the hashtag #VerificationFeedback.

In addition, Twitter says it’s working with local non-governmental organizations and its Trust and Safety Council to gain a range of other perspectives.

After December 8, 2020, Twitter will train its team on the new policy and introduce the final version by Decemeber 17, 2020. The verification system itself, which will include a new public application process, will begin in early 2021.

Though Twitter is giving itself time to make policy changes based on public feedback, it had already begun to develop the underlying technology for the verification application process.

Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch this June it was in the process of building a new in-app system for requesting verification. The feature had been found buried in the app’s code by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who tweeted a screenshot of a new option, “Request Verification,” that appeared under Twitter’s account settings. At the time, Twitter wouldn’t confirm when the new system would go live.

Though not everyone will qualify for verification, Twitter says it’s working on other features that will help to better distinguish accounts on its platform. Also in 2021, the company will introduce new account types and labels that will help Twitter users identify themselves on their profiles. More details on these features will be announced in the weeks to come, Twitter says.

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