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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September 17, 2021 – iPhone 13 pre-orders and more

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New episodes of 9to5Mac Daily are recorded every weekday. Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes/Apple Podcast or your favorite podcast player to guarantee new episodes are delivered as soon as they’re available. Stories discussed in this episode:  

9to5Toys (@9to5toys) / Twitter ProRes support for iPhone 13 Pro coming soon with an iOS update iPhone 13 Pro shipping estimates slip into October for pre-orders iPhone 13 pre-orders now live, here are the details Not sold on Series 7? Go save up to $140 on Apple Watch Series 6 instead iPad mini pre-order deals drop prices down to $459 Apple's official Leather MagSafe Wallet returns to Amazon low at $49.50

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  1. September 17, 2021 – iPhone 13 pre-orders and more
  2. September 16, 2021 – iPad mini 6 and iPhone 13 tidbits
  3. September 15, 2021 – New iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 tidbits
  4. September 14, 2021 – iPhone 13 event recap
  5. September 13, 2021 – iPhone 13 Event expectations

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This week on Watch Time join 9to5Mac's Zac Hall and Tempo developer Rahul Matta in the final episode of this podcast "season".

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Toning down the Apple Watch: Tips and feature requests to avoid being overwhelmed Apple releases watchOS 7.4.1 with security improvements Apple Watch blood sugar and blood pressure measurement could be a step closer watchOS 7.4 brings iPhone mask unlock feature for Apple Watch

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iPhone 13, iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 7 first impressions

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This week on Happy Hour Zac and Benjamin break down all the announcements from the September Apple event, featuring the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, Apple Watch Series 7 with larger display and the all-new iPad mini. Sponsored by Raycon: Get 15% off your order when you go to BuyRaycon.com/HappyHour. It's such a good deal you'll want to grab a pair and a spare. Sponsored by Decluttr: Trade-in your iPhone or other device with a 28 day price lock and get an extra 10%* cash back with code 9TO5MAC (*$30 cap). Sponsored by iMazing: Get the Swiss Army Knife of iOS device management for Mac and Windows 30% off for a limited time. Sponsored by BetterHelp: As a listener, you’ll get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor at BetterHelp.com/MacHappyHour.

Follow Zac Hall @apollozac Benjamin Mayo @bzamayo Read More Apple TV+ / Fitness+

Apple Fitness+ expanding to 15 more countries, adding Group Workouts with SharePlay Apple TV+ Guide: Here are all the Apple TV shows and movies available now

iPad / iPad mini

Apple announces new entry-level iPad with screen, camera, and storage upgrades iPad mini benchmarks show slightly lower-power A15 chip inside than iPhone 13 iPad mini 6 tidbits: A15 chip, camera upgrades, no mmWave 5G, more All of the ways the new iPad mini is better than the iPad Air: cameras, processor, 5G, and more Comment: The star of yesterday’s Apple event was the new iPad mini

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series 7 debuts with similar design, larger display, faster charging, new colors, more Apple Watch Series 7 and SE now come with USB-C cable; fast charging may not work with MagSafe Duo Apple Watch Series 7 FAQ: color comparisons, band compatibility, release date Apple Watch Series 7 has the same processor as last year’s Apple Watch Series 6 Apple releases all-new watch band collection in a wide variety of colors for Series 7

iPhone 13 / iPhone 13 mini

iPhone 13 pre-order process broken for many Apple Card, Apple Pay, and iUP shoppers iPhone 13 lineup now available to pre-order, first shipments arrive next week This is how Apple is removing the plastic wrap from iPhone 13 box iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro: 5 reasons to upgrade

iPhone 13 Pro / iPhone 13 Pro Max

iPhone 13 Pro shipping estimates slip into October for pre-orders ProRes support for iPhone 13 Pro ‘coming soon’ with a future iOS update iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1TB costs $1,599, iPhone XR and iPhone 12 Pro discontinued

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  1. iPhone 13, iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 7 first impressions
  2. iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 and more September Apple event expectations
  3. iPhone 13 satellite communication, Apple Watch production delays, App Store settlements
  4. Steve Jobs legacy, Apple Watch design changes, TestFlight on Mac
  5. iOS 15 Safari design reverted, Apple Watch Series 7 rumors, SharePlay delay

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153: “California Streaming”

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John and Rambo share their first impressions of the products announced at Apple’s “California Streaming” event — including the iPhone 13 lineup, the new iPad "Classic" and iPad mini, and the Apple Watch Series 7. Sponsored by iMazing: Get the Swiss Army Knife of iOS device management for Mac and Windows 30% off for a limited time. Download MP3

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  1. 153: “California Streaming”
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  3. 151: “The iOS 15 season”
  4. 150: “A secret Catalyst agent”
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Real or Fake – examining Apple's top reasons for using a Mac at work

Apple @ Work

In this episode of the Apple @ Work podcast, long-time Mac Admin Tom Bridge from JumpCloud joins the show to call real or fake on Apple's 11 reasons for using a Mac at work. Sponsored by Mosyle: Managing Apple devices at work shouldn’t be difficult. Mosyle makes it easy.

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  1. Real or Fake – examining Apple's top reasons for using a Mac at work
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  3. This is the way forward for Apple device management
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