In this week’s top stories: Apple releases Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, rumors suggest a new iPad and iPad mini 5 are coming soon, and iPhone 11 rumors pick up steam. Read all of this week’s top stories below.

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Apple this week officially released its new Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. This comes after we exclusively found evidence in iOS last month showing the cases were on the way. The new battery cases cost $129 and are available in black and white. Further, the iPhone XS does fit the iPhone X, but with a few compromises.

Apple on Thursday officially launched HomePod in China and Hong Kong. Additionally, the company made a change for HomePod users worldwide: Apple Music no longer allows HomePod and iPhone to play different music on a HomePod and iPhone without a family account. Previously, you could have HomePod playing one music stream while you listened to a different one on your iPhone.

As the iPhone 11 rumor mill starts to pick up, a report claimed this week that the device will feature a 10MP selfie camera, as well as rear cameras at 10MP and 14MP. Details on the third sensor are still unclear.

In addition to iPhone 11 rumors this week, a supply report suggested that Apple is developing a new iPod touch. The iPod touch was last updated in 2015, which would make this the first update in nearly four years. Additionally, the same report suggested that the 2019 iPhones might ditch Lightning in favor of USB-C.

Further, another report suggested that Apple will launch a new entry-level iPad, as well as the iPad mini 5, during the first half of this year. Details are still unclear as to what these new devices might feature, but it seems we might be getting at least two new iOS devices pretty soon.

These and the rest of this week’s top Apple stories below…

iOS | macOS | tvOS | watchOS |

iPhone |

Mac + iPad |

Tech industry |

Top Apple stories, retail |

Accessories |

Top Apple stories, company |

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This week’s top videos |

Happy Hour Podcast #208 |

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss how Apple’s revenue miss is affecting iPhone prices in China, a new detail about how the battery replacement program affected upgrades, a new AirPower launch rumor, competing iPhone 11 rumors and renders, hope for a future iPod touch, and the debut of the leaked Smart Battery Case for iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneInGoogle Play Music, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Making The Grade |

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.

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Featured in top image: Dell 38-inch UltraSharp Curved Monitors, Grovemade’s Desk Shelf System, Nixie Tube Clock, Apogee Quartet, KRK VXT6 Studio Monitor speakers, Classicbot Classic Vintage Mac Toy. Read about the setup over on 9to5Toys as part of the ‘Behind the Screens’ series. 

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