MacMost: News & Notes

Recent news, rumors, and notes of interest about Apple, Macs, iPhones, iPads and technology in general.

Rumors for a special March 25 event grow and now Bloomberg is reporting that it will include Apple’s new video service too. Some of the stars of Apple’s upcoming shows are being invited, including big names such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner and JJ Abrams.
Many rumors circulated today of a late March Apple event, though what products Apple may announce varied a great deal. While new iPads or AirPods were one idea, most sites claimed this was unlikely. BuzzFeed centered in on a new-oriented subscription service that could let users pay a single monthly fee to access paywalled sources like the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
Apple issued an update today for iOS devices and macOS to fix a bug that allowed callers to activate FaceTime calls without the recipient’s action. The update, version 12.1.4 for iOS and Mojave 10.14.3 Supplemental Update for Mac, will be rolling out over the course of the day to all users.
A security researcher posted a video of a piece of malware he developed that could be used to access parts of a Mac’s Keychain. However, instead of informing Apple of the issue and how to reproduce it so Apple can fix it, he is holding back in protest since Apple does not offer bounties for reporting such bug on macOS.
With a new beta version of iOS 12.2, some users at MacRumors are saying they see “5GE” as their connection type on AT&T’s network. AT&T rolled out this branding on Android phones last month, but this is the first time it has been reported on iPhones. The 5GE brand has been criticized as highly deceptive.
A few features are floating to the top as possibilities for iOS 13, such as Dark Mode, a new iPad Home Screen, tabs inside more apps, and better file management. Long-rumored services like a Magazine subscription option are also mentioned in this Bloomberg article.
Apple’s earnings for the quarter ending in December slightly exceeded predictions causing the stock to rise. Previously, Apple had warned of lower iPhone sales which contributed to a stock price drop over the last few months. The change came out almost exactly as Apple predicted, not any worse, which pleased investors. Despite this issue, the quarter was the second best for Apple of all time, after the same quarter last year.
A widely-reported flaw in group FaceTime allows users to call an Apple user and implement a series of steps to get the receiving device to answer the call without the other users’ approval. There are no reports of this exploit being used for malicious purposes and Apple has already blocked it by temporarily disabling group FaceTime. One-on-one FaceTime calls continue to work normally.
News site Cheddar is reporting that Apple may be adding games to its upcoming subscription service plans. This is probably just research and development from Apple at this stage, so it is too early to tell if this would be like Netflix for games or something else, or which Apple devices it would include.
A new version of iOS for beta testers has revealed two possible upcoming features. The first is a magazine subscription service, which has been long rumored. The second is the ability to use voice-activated “Hey Siri” with the wireless AirPods.
AirPods have quietly built up a strong fanbase, myself among them. The wireless in-ear earphones fit, work and sound much better than anyone expected. Rumors of second generation AirPods pointed to a 2018 and now first-half 2019 release. But what new features will be included? AirPods fans are speculating online about what will really be in the second generation of the device.
Over the last 24 hours Apple has released minor new versions of all of its major operating systems: macOS 10.14.3, iOS 12.1.3, watchOS 5.1.3, and tvOS 12.1.2. All updates will show up automatically as regular software updates on each device over the next day or so.
A tech news site is reporting that suppliers are still producing parts for Apple’s AirPower, despite Apple being quiet about its release. Apple first announced it in 2017 as a 2018 product, but pulled all information about it from their site a few months back. However, it looks like the charging mat may be here later this year.
An industry news site is claiming that touch panel suppliers are shipping new screens for a set of new entry-level iPads for release in the first half of this year. These could be a new iPad mini and basic iPad model.

Apple released new iPhone battery cases for the XS, XS Mac and XR models. These cases feature a sizable battery as part of the back of the case, giving you extra hours of battery life for those that need it. They cost $129. (more...)


The DuckDuckGo search engine started using Apple Maps in its search results today. Previously it used OpenStreetMap, Google, Bing and other solution to display locations. DuckDuckGo cited privacy as the primary reason they chose to go with Apple’s solution. The search engine’s main feature is a commitment to user privacy. (more...)


A Japanese rumor site reported today that suppliers are mentioning Apple may be looking at developing a new iPod Touch. The current model is from 2015 and at $199 is the cheapest way to get an iOS device. However, while it supports iOS 12, it may be getting too old to support future versions of iOS. (more...)


The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the high-end 2019 iPhone could feature three cameras on the back to match some of the high-end Android phones already on the market. The current iPhone models already have two cameras on the front, a standard camera and an infrared one for Face ID and Portrait mode photos. The back has high resolution and telephoto cameras. The new camera could potentially be a wide-angle lens. (more...)


In an unexpected move, Apple announced that it will soon make iTunes content available through an app on Samsung, LG, Vizio and other smart TVs. These TVs already have apps for accessing Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and so on. But Movies and TV shows available through iTunes have only been available on Apple TV boxes and other Apple devices. (more...)


An unusual promotion from Apple allows users to get up to $20 for free when they preload their account with up to $200. This promotion only runs from Dec. 17 to Dec. 20 in the U.S. (more...)