In this week’s top stories: The fascinating tale of Apple helping the US government create what was likely a stealth iPod Geiger counter, a look at new iPhone 12 dummy images, Apple may have revealed a clue about the iPhone 12 event date, iOS 14 beta 5 is released, Apple sets the date for terminating Epic Games’ developer account, and more.

Top-secret iPod Geiger counter

One of the most interesting stories of the week was a former Apple engineer sharing about his time working on a top-secret project that was likely helping the US government hide a Geiger counter in the iPod. Father of the iPod, Tony Fadell also confirmed the events.

They had added special hardware to the iPod, which generated data they wanted to record secretly. They were careful to make sure I never saw the hardware, and I never did.

We discussed the best way to hide the data they recorded. As a disk engineer, I suggested they make another partition on the disk to store their data. That way, even if someone plugged the modified iPod into a Mac or PC, iTunes would treat it as a normal iPod, and it would look like a normal iPod in the Mac Finder or Windows Explorer. They liked that, and a hidden partition it was.

The full story is really fascinating and worth a read — check it out here.

New iPhone 12 dummy images

As we approach the iPhone 12 launch, we got a look at some new dummy images of the upcoming lineup giving a good look at what to expect.

The dummy iPhone 12 units don’t show an accurate representation for what we’ll see launch this fall in for every little detail, like the notch or camera arrays, they show us every size we’re expecting with the all-new squared-off design.

This year we should see the iPhone 12 to come in 5.4- and 6.1-inch models, with the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro max coming with 6.1- and 6.7-inch displays. Check out all of the new dummy images in our full post.

In addition to the new dummy models, we got a fun look at what the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 could look like in all the vibrant colors that the iPhone 11 is offered in a new concept gallery.

iPhone 12 event date?

A little slip up this week may have given a clue about when the iPhone 12 event might be. A few eagle-eyed 9to5Mac readers noticed that Apple accidentally published a “TEST” livestream feed on its YouTube channel for a few moments. The livestream date was set for September 10.

However, there are some factors to consider that could impact Apple’s plans for the iPhone 12 event date. Namely, in a rare move, Apple acknowledged during its Q3 earnings call that the availability of this year’s iPhones would be a “few weeks later.”

iOS 14 beta 5 released

The fifth developer beta for iOS 14 was released this week. The latest build includes several new using-facing features like the return of the wheel picker for alarms (although in a hybrid form), a toggle for the Hidden Album in the Photos app, and a new “Tall” News widget.

There are also new availability alerts for Exposure Notifications. Along with that, there are now five US states offering an app based on Apple/Google’s Exposure Notifications software.

Developers now have access to App Clips testing options, widgets are now blocked when a parent app is blocked with Screen Time, and there are new location access requests for widgets.

In other beta news, Apple also made the iOS 14 public beta 5, macOS Big Sur public beta 2 and developer beta 5, and watchOS 7 public beta 2 and developer beta 5 builds available.

AirPower prototype teardown

This week we saw an alleged AirPower prototype teardown that reveals why Apple likely decided to cancel the project. The video shows off a complex design with 14 wireless coils and a dense amount of electronics packed into the surface of the wireless pad.

Apple officially canceled AirPower in March 2019, citing that the product wouldn’t meet its standards. But reports cited that, specifically, Apple was having trouble with overheating issues and the project was too expensive. Check out the full teardown here.

Apple and Epic’s battle continues

After evading Apple’s App Store rules earlier this month by including its own direct payment option in Fortnite, Epic Game’s hit title was pulled by Apple. Then hours later, Epic filed a lawsuit and launched a protest campaign.

This past week, Epic shared that Apple gave warning that it will see its developer accounts terminated on August 28. For its part, Epic said the move was retaliation for suing Apple and filed another lawsuit asking the Northern California District Court to prevent Apple from being able to terminate its developer accounts.

At the end of the week, we saw Apple make its first official court filing in the lawsuit saying that Epic had asked for a special deal to not only use a direct payment option but to also run its own app store on Apple devices.

Apple has said that Epic can solve all the problems by submitting an updated version of Fortnite without the direct payment method that got it kicked out. But so far, Epic seems determined to hold its ground. We’ll find out what happens in the saga this coming week as the termination deadline is set for Friday, August 28.

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January 15, 2021– New MacBook Pro details emerge

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  1. January 15, 2021– New MacBook Pro details emerge
  2. January 14, 2021 – iOS apps on M1 Macs, WhatsApp privacy
  3. January 13, 2021 – Apple REJI projects, more
  4. January 12, 2021 – iPhone 13 design rumors, more
  5. January 11, 2021 – Apple Car details, AirPods Pro 2 rumors

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Miles Somerville on YouTube, drumming, and closing rings

9to5Mac Watch Time

Miles Somerville is one half of 9to5Mac's YouTube channel alongside Jeff Benjamin. This week we're catching up with Miles to learn how he uses the Apple Watch. 9to5Mac Watch Time is a podcast series hosted by Zac Hall. In this series, we talk to real people about how Apple Watch is affecting their lives. Subscribe now to catch up with each episode and automatically hear new episodes as soon as they’re released every two weeks: 🟣 Apple Podcasts | 🟠 Overcast | 🟢 Spotify Sponsored by HabitMinder: Change your habits, change your life. HabitMinder helps you form healthy habits and stay accountable. Get started for free on iOS, Mac, and Apple Watch. Sponsored by Pillow: Pillow is an all-in-one sleep tracking solution to help you get a better night’s sleep. Download it from the App Store today.

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  1. Miles Somerville on YouTube, drumming, and closing rings
  2. Arthur Ware on overcoming obstacles and becoming a Spartan athlete
  3. Anastasia Folorunso on Apple Watch Series 6, watchOS 7, and Fitness+
  4. Jeff Benjamin on Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 ahead of new models
  5. What's new in watchOS 7? Sleep tracking, face sharing, hand washing, and more

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MagSafe and more coming in 2021 MacBook Pro, redesigned iMac and Apple external display rumors

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9to5Mac's Benjamin Mayo and Zac Hall unpack the latest 2021 rumors from Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg including redesigned iMac, MacBook Pro, and Apple display hardware. Sponsored by TwoBird —one inbox for all your tasks- Write emails, create notes, set reminders, view events, and collaborate live. Learn more about Twobird and download it for free at twobird.com. Sponsored by Headspace: You deserve to feel happier, and Headspace is meditation made simple. Go to headspace.com/mac to start your free one-month trial. Sponsored by TextExpander: Visit textexpander.com/podcast and select 9to5Mac Happy Hour to save 20% off your first year!

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Read More Bloomberg: Apple testing in-screen Touch ID for 2021 iPhone, AirTags coming this year Bloomberg: Apple testing in-screen Touch ID for 2021 iPhone, AirTags coming this year Apple again extends Apple TV+ free trials, subscribers now get free access until July 2021 Bloomberg: New iMac with Pro Display XDR design coming this year, cheaper external display also planned Apple begins blocking M1 Mac users from side loading iPhone and iPad applications Comment: Can the 2021 MacBook Pro reports be right? Bloomberg: 2021 MacBook Pro to charge faster via MagSafe, ‘redesigned MacBook Air’ also planned Kuo details 2021 MacBook Pro: new design with squared-off sides, MagSafe connector and IO return, Touch Bar removed

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  1. MagSafe and more coming in 2021 MacBook Pro, redesigned iMac and Apple external display rumors
  2. Apple Car shifts to reverse, 2021 product rumors, Fitness+ audio workouts
  3. Apple’s 2020 in review
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118: “The real reality is gone”

Stacktrace

Rambo goes indie, John realizes once again how important breaks are, and the two discuss the latest rumors around Apple’s AR glasses in great detail, all the way down to the API design level. It’s Stacktrace, after all.

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  1. 118: “The real reality is gone”
  2. 117: “The best not-kept secret”
  3. 116: “It wasn’t just a big, long nightmare”, the 2020 Stacktrace retrospective
  4. 115: “Not a trace of a stack”
  5. 114: “The invisible Bluetooth wire”

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Apple @ Work Podcast: Deep learning with Osmo

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In this episode of the Apple @ Work podcast, Bradley is joined by Pramod Sharma who is CEO of Osmo to talk about the founding of the company, how Osmo promotes deep learning with children, and more. Sponsor: If you're a business of school looking to find a trusted repair partner for your Apple devices, check out 9to5Mac's Apple Repair Services.

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  1. Apple @ Work Podcast: Deep learning with Osmo
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