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 |
- Apple releases first developer beta of iOS 13.3.1, likely with Screen Time bug fix
- Apple releasing first public beta of iOS 13.3.1 today
- Email usernames and passwords can be extracted from locked iPhones on iOS 13.3
- These were the most-downloaded apps and games of the decade
- Apple blocks downgrades to iOS 13.2.3 following last week’s release of iOS 13.3
- Bloomberg: Apple researching ways to use satellites to beam data directly to iPhone and its other devices
- iPhone 11 Pro knocked out in first round of MKBHD’s blind smartphone camera test
- iPhone 11 Pro Max Smart Battery Case enhances the camera, but the battery may not be necessary
- Apple wins patent for under-display Touch ID, already uses tech in MBP 16
- $43M fraud by Foxconn managers selling iPhones made from rejected parts
- 3D mask or photo fools airport and payment face-recognition, but not Face ID
- Apple introduces specs for photography strobe accessories that augment iPhone 11’s flash
- You could be in this ‘zero privacy’ location-tracking database of 12M phones
- 2020 iPhone rumored to feature sensor-shift image stabilization camera system
Apple Watch |
iPad & Mac |
- LG unveils 2020 monitor lineup, including new 38-inch UltraWide with Thunderbolt 3
- MacBook Pro Diary: My 16-inch MacBook Pro review begins, albeit a little late
- iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook compatibility with Apple Pro Display XDR tested in new video review
- iFixit totally disassembles the new Mac Pro in ‘Fixmas miracle’
- Twitter rolling out redesigned iPad interface with multiple columns, more
- Study claims features like Night Shift and Dark Mode might actually be worse for your sleep
- OWC launches Accelsior PCIe SSD for Mac Pro, up to 8TB with speeds up to 6000MB/s
- YouTubers walk through Mac Pro teardown and test Afterburner effect on base configuration with 16K video
Top Apple stories, retail |
- The stores, people, and ideas that shaped Apple retail in 2019
- Apple Stores in 2019: The top new architecture and innovative designs
- Today at Apple in 2019: Exploring a year of new experiences
Apple Card |
- Apple details upcoming ‘Apple Card Monthly Installments’ feature for 0% iPhone financing
- Report explores how retailers are pushing back against ‘elite’ credit cards like Apple Card
- Apple launching iPhone financing plan today for Apple Card users: 0% interest over 24 months
- For the holidays, Apple Card gives 6% cashback on all Apple Store hardware purchases
Apple TV |
- Apple @ Work: Here’s how Apple TV has quietly become a robust digital signage solution
- Apple Store employees to get Apple Music, TV+, and Arcade for free
- Apple TV+ announces Mythic Quest comedy series, all episodes available on February 7
9to5Mac Gift Guides |
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: What do you buy for the person who already has the latest technology?
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: Getting started with HomeKit lights, cameras, AirPlay 2, and more
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: Must-have travel tech that‘s useful for everyday use
- 9to5Mac Audio Gift Guide: Treat your loved ones to the gift of great sound
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: Christmas gift ideas for IT professionals
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: Tech stocking stuffer ideas from under $10
Top Apple stories, company |
- Apple is offering six months of Apple Music subscription for free: here’s how to get it
- Apple could be the new owner of Broadcom’s RF wireless chip business
- How Apple could use Tesla’s charging strategy for iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Subscribe to 9to5Mac’s YouTube channel for more videos.
This week’s top videos |
- Review: Promise Pegasus R4i MPX Module – add a massive amount of storage to the Mac Pro [Video]
- Top 2019 Mac Pro features: plenty of room for growth [Video]
- How to upgrade Mac Pro RAM and save lots of money [Video]
- iPad 7 top features: Apple’s cheapest tablet grows up [Video]
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 Daily: December 20, 2019
- 9to5Mac Daily: December 19, 2019 – Twitter for iPad redesign, LG’s 2020 displays
- 9to5Mac Daily: December 18, 2019 – Apple’s smart home commitment, iOS 13.3.1 beta
- 9to5Mac Daily: December 17, 2019 – Mac Pro teardown, Apple retail in 2019
- 9to5Mac Daily: December 16, 2019 – Apple Arcade updates, more
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.
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.
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.
- Apple @ Work: Here’s how Apple TV has quietly become a robust digital signage solution
- Apple @ Work: Privileges for macOS is the open source tool that all Apple IT departments need
- Apple @ Work: When to deploy macOS Catalina, iOS 13, and iPadOS 13
- Apple @ Work: IoT devices face security problems that must be addressed
- Apple @ Work: Did web apps allow the Mac to flourish in the enterprise?
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