In this week’s top stories: More Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR details, a six-month free Apple Music promotion, iOS 13.3.1 beta testing, and more. Read on for all of this week’s biggest news.

Apple announced this week that it is teaming up with Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance on a smart home technology open standard. The goal of this open standard is to create a platform that gives consumers more options when it comes to switching between things like Siri and Alexa. Furthermore, companies hope to make it easier for accessory makers to support the different platforms as well.

Elsewhere, Apple has detailed its next Apple Watch Activity Challenge for 2020. Titled “Ring in the New Year,” this challenge requires you to close all three Activity rings for seven days in a row. If you do that, you’ll get a special award in the Activity app, as well as unique stickers for Messages and FaceTime. The challenge is set to go live from January 1st through January 31st.

Ahead of CES next month, LG this week unveiled its new lineup of monitors for 2020. Included in the 2020 lineup is a new UltraWide display with Thunderbolt 3, new UltraGear gaming monitors, and the UltraFine Ergo display. For Mac users, the leading option is a new 38-inch Curved UltraWide monitor, which features a resolution of 3840 x 1600. Read all of the details here.

On Tuesday, iFixit published its full teardown of the new Mac Pro, and for the first time in years, an Apple product has been praised for its repairability and upgradeability. iFixit gave the Mac Pro a 9/10 for repairability and praises the modularity of the design and documentation provide by Apple.

Through the end of this year, Apple is offering an extended Apple Music free trial that lasts six months for select customers. Even current Apple Music subscribers can get in on the fun for up to 3 months free. Find out all of the details here.

Last but not least this week, Apple started the beta testing process of macOS Catalina 10.15.3, iOS 13.3.1, iPadOS 13.3.1, watchOS 6.1.2, and tvOS 13.3.1. These updates focus on bug fixes and performance improvements and are now available to developer and public beta testers.

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

iOS | macOS | tvOS |

iPhone |

Apple Watch |

iPad & Mac |

Top Apple stories, retail |

Apple Card |

Apple TV |

9to5Mac Gift Guides |

Top Apple stories, company |

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This week’s top videos |

9to5Mac Daily |

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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9to5Mac Watch Time episode 11 |

Tom, Vincent, and Chris from the Apple Watchcast podcast join Watch Time to discuss the origin of their Apple Watch-focused podcast, the Apple Watch Series 5, maintaining health goals with the Activity app, running with technology from the Walkman to the Apple Watch, and much more!

9to5Mac Watch Time is a seasonal podcast series hosted by Zac Hall. In this series, we talk to real people about how the Apple Watch is affecting their lives.

9to5Mac Watch Time is now available on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, and your favorite podcast player through RSS. Subscribe now to enjoy our teaser trailer and hear new episodes as soon as they drop — starting next week.

Happy Hour Podcast #256 |

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss a wide range of topics including Apple Podcasts, Arcade, News, and more service news, the latest iOS beta software updates, more Mac Pro and Apple Pro Display XDR details, and much more.

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

Stacktrace Podcast #67 |

Special guest Myke Hurley joins John and Rambo for the grand season two finale of the show! A wrap-up of 2019’s trends, stories, products and services, and what those might mean for Apple and the tech industry in 2020.

Stacktrace by 9to5Mac is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Apple @ Work |

Apple @ Work 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 hundreds of Macs and hundreds 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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