MacMost: News & Notes

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

Apple has announced that this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference will be online-only, complete with a keynote presentation and live sessions. Brought on by “the current health situation” this isn’t unexpected, as events like SXSW, the Game Developers Conference, Google I/O and Facebook F8 have been cancelled. Apple has also not been shy about taking precautions and cancelling Apple Store events.
Apple released the first beta of iOS 13.4 today and with it an important change to the Apple ecosystem. Starting with that version of iOS and probably the equivalent version of macOS, tvOS and watchOS, developers will be able to offer universal app purchases.
Apple beat Wall Street expectations with a $91.8 billion revenue quarter and $4.99 earnings per share. This was the best quarter in Apple’s history, which is typical for most holiday quarters, though 2018 missed that mark.
Apple released macOS 10.15.2 and iOS 13.3 with a large list of bug fixes. Included in this macOS release is the return of the Column Browser in the Music app, plus the ability to use iTunes Remote to control your Mac’s Music app from your iPhone.
Apple’s new Mac Pro computer is now available for order at the Apple website. The companion Pro Display XDR is also available. Delivery estimates are given at one to two weeks.
Apple has two new features right now that are of note to those looking to buy new Apple products. From now until the end of the year they are offering 6% cash back on specific Apple products. This is double the usual 3% back you get when using and Apple Card plus Apple Pay to buy hardware directly from Apple.
Apple released new battery cases for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max this week. Similar to previous battery cases, these fit around the iPhone and connect through the Lightning port to add a second battery to the iPhone, tightly integrated with iOS so that the user can see the battery levels for both. Connecting the unit then charges both batteries.
As part of yesterday’s announcement of a new MacBook Pro 16-Inch model, Apple added more information about the upcoming Mac Pro desktop tower, giving us an update on the release date: December.
Apple released a new top-end model of MacBook Pro today, with an increased screen size and new keyboard. A base price of only $2,399 includes 16GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD.
While iPhone numbers were down 9 percent from last year, services such as iCloud, Apple Music and the App Store showed continued double-digit growth contributing more than $10 billion.
Apple released the first major update to macOS Catalina today. It is available in System Preferences, Software Update. New features include support for the AirPods Pro that go on sale tomorrow, updates to the Home app and Siri, and a host of bug fixes including several for the Photos app.
The new version of iOS and iPadOS is available today through Settings, Software Update on all compatible devices. The new update will be needed for anyone getting the new AirPods Pro, also announced today.
Apple announced the new AirPods Pro, a significant update to the AirPods with a new shape and active noise cancellation. This advance model is priced at $249 and available on Wednesday.
Apple released minor updates to macOS Catalina, iOS 13 for iPhone and iPadOS for iPad today. These updates include a variety of small bug fixes, but no new features.
Apple has expanded the availability of Apple TV content to Roku boxes and TVs with the release of an App on the Roku platform. This will make the upcoming Apple TV+ service available to a larger base of customers, as well as existing Apple TV functions such as library sharing, movies and TV shows.
The latest Mac operating system has arrived with a general release today. Catalina has been in developer and beta testing since June. It joins iOS 13 and other device operating systems that Apple released last month to bring the entire line of Apple hardware up-to-date.
Apple has been quick to release minor updates to iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1. The second update, 13.1.2, has a whole list of bug fixes for users. Most notably, it fixes a Camera app bug and a car Bluetooth connection bug. It also fixes a problem where sometimes the flashlight feature didn’t work.
The new major update for iPad, known as iPadOS or iOS 13.1 for iPad is now available. This major release includes changes to the home screens, new features and switches Safari to a default-desktop browser instead of a mobile one. Version 13.1 is the first version of iPadOS, corresponding to iOS 13.1. iOS 13.0 was a short-lived iPhone-only release.
New iPhones arrived directly by mail or for in-store pickup today across the world. The Apple Watch series 5 also debuted in stores. Even with a time-slotted reservations system, lines formed at many Apple Store locations.
Apple will release iOS 13 for the iPhone today. Recipients of new iPhones tomorrow will have it preinstalled, but anyone with an iPhone X-model, 8, 7, 6s, SE or 7th-generation iPod touch can update to it later today.