In this week’s top stories: iOS 14.4 released, Apple Watch Series 7 rumors, ‘Time to Walk’ feature now available, AAPL’s record-breaking Q1 earnings, and much more. Read on for all of this week’s top Apple Stories.

Time to Walk

Apple this week officially launched its new Time to Walk feature for Apple Watch and Fitness+ subscribers. . Time to Walk offers “an inspiring new audio walking experience on Apple Watch for Fitness+ subscribers,” Apple announced.

Time to Walk is launching with four episodes with guests including Country music star Dolly Parton, NBA player Draymond Green, Musician Shawn Mendes, and Emmy Award winner Uzo Aduba. New episodes will be released with a different guest each Monday through the end of April.

iOS 14.4

After beta testing with developers and public beta users, Apple this week officially released iOS 14.4 to the public.

Apple says that iOS 14.4 includes support for recognizing smaller QR codes in the Camera app, as well as the option to classify Bluetooth device types in Settings. Notably, the update also adds new notifications for when your iPhone can’t verify if you’re using a “genuine Apple camera.”

iOS 14.4 also includes a handful of bug fixes related to HDR photography, the Messages app, and more. There is a fix for keyboard lag, which is an issue that has been plaguing many iPhone users since iOS 14 was first released.

In addition to the new features, iOS 14.4 also brings a trio of notable security improvements. In a new Support document, Apple said that iOS 14.4 fixes a kernel vulnerability and two WebKit vulnerabilities, all three of which “may have been actively exploited.”

iOS 14.4 is available to users via an over-the-air update in the Settings app. Simply open the Settings app, choose General, then choose Software Update. With these major security improvements included, we highly recommend updating as soon as possible.

HomePod Software 14.4

Alongside iOS 14.4, Apple also released HomePod Software 14.4 with new features for HomePod mini users this week.

The leading change with HomePod Software Version 14.4 is an all-new Handoff experience powered by the Ultra Wideband, or U1 chip, in the iPhone. Now, when you bring an iPhone near the HomePod mini to use Handoff, you’ll feel physical feedback from the iPhone’s Taptic Engine, as well as a card on the iPhone’s display and a visual indicator on the top of the HomePod mini.

You can learn more in our full coverage right here.

Limited-edition Apple Watch

Apple published a new press release this week detailing the multiple ways it will be celebrating Black History Month in February. The company is launching new editorial collections, Apple Maps Guides, limited-edition Apple Watch hardware, and more.

Apple is introducing the Black Unity Collection for the Apple Watch. This collection includes a limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6 as well as a Black Unity Sport Band. Through this collection, Apple is supporting global organizations to help advance their missions in promoting and achieving equality and civil rights.

The Black Unity Sport Band uses colors inspired by the Pan-African flag with the words “Truth. Power. Solidarity.” laser-engraved onto the closure. Meanwhile, the limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6 features “Black Unity” laser-etched onto the back crystal.

Apple Watch Series 6 Black Unity and the Black Unity Sport Band will be available starting February 1. The Watch starts at $399 for the GPS and the cellular model starts at $499. The Black Unity Sport Band is $49.

AAPL Earnings

Apple (AAPL) has officially reported its earnings for Q1 2021, covering the lucrative holiday shopping season. For the first fiscal quarter of 2021, Apple reported a record-breaking $111.44 billion in revenue and profit of $28.76 billion.

For comparison’s sake, Apple reported revenue of $91.8 billion and profit of $22.2 billion during Q1 2020 last year. This time around, there are a handful of different factors. For instance, the Mac and iPad businesses have seen major growth because of the work-from-home trend driven by the pandemic.

Learn more in our full coverage

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

iPhone |

Apple Watch |

Mac and iPad |

Top Apple stories, retail |

AirPods |

Apps |

AAPL Company |

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9to5Mac Daily |

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July 22, 2021 – iOS 15 Find My upgrades, iPhone activations

9to5Mac Daily

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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:  

Here are the devices that support Find My when turned off CIRP: iPhone catches up to Android, now accounts for 50% of new smartphone activations in the US Apple celebrates its 40 year presence in Singapore, Tim Cook discusses his first ever Apple product in new interview

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  1. July 22, 2021 – iOS 15 Find My upgrades, iPhone activations
  2. July 21, 2021 – AirPods Pro beta and more
  3. July 20, 2021 – iPad mini specs, Apple postpones return to work plan
  4. July 19, 2021 – Apple Car exec, MacBook Pro rumors
  5. July 16, 2021 – watchOS 8 beta 3, Apple TV+ rumors

9to5Mac Watch Time |

Jeff Benjamin joins Zac Hall to give Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 an exit interview before new models are announced. 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.

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.

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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  1. Week 6
  2. With guest Sigmund Judge
  3. Week 5
  4. Week 4
  5. Week 3

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MagSafe battery pack hands-on, zero-click iPhone exploits, TV+ rumors

9to5Mac Happy Hour

This week on 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour Zac and Benjamin discuss the practicalities and inconveniences of of the MagSafe Battery Pack, the fears surrounding the Pegasus zero-click malware affecting iPhones around the world, and some new possible new services initiatives include TV+ live sports and Apple Pay Later financing. Sponsored by She's Birdie: Right now, She's Birdie is offering our listeners 15% off your first purchase when you tgo to ShesBirdie.com/HAPPYHOUR. Sponsored by BetterHelp: As a listener, you’ll get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor at BetterHelp.com/MacHappyHour. Sponsored by TextExpander: Visit textexpander.com/podcast and select 9to5Mac Happy Hour to save 20% off your first kyear!

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  1. MagSafe battery pack hands-on, zero-click iPhone exploits, TV+ rumors
  2. Apple TV spatial audio, MagSafe battery pack, iOS 15 beta 3
  3. iPadOS 15 productivity, state of Apple TV+, LiveWire review
  4. Big screen iPads, a decade of selfies, iOS 15 (public) beta 2
  5. Antitrust bills, Safari struggles, iPadOS 15 keyboard shortcuts

Stacktrace Podcast |

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145: “Working code is better than good-looking code”

Stacktrace

John and Rambo discuss some of the most recent Apple hardware rumors, how they’ve been John and Rambo discuss how they use unit testing to verify their code, and how automatic testing fits into their overall workflows. Also, more details about Rambo’s new app, and strategies for adding new features to existing code bases. 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. Download MP3

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  1. 145: “Working code is better than good-looking code”
  2. 144: “An M1 with some sugar on top”
  3. 143: “The biggest ‘it depends’ ever”
  4. 142: “The Sideloading Cartel”
  5. 141: “Going to space is more reliable than Bluetooth”

Apple @ Work Podcast |

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The State of the IT Admin with Tom Bridge

Apple @ Work

In this episode of the Apple @ Work podcast, Bradley is joined by Tom Bridge from JumpCloud and the Mac Admins podcast to talk about the new report about The State of the IT Admin. Sponsored by DEVONthink 3: Manage documents the smart way on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple @ Work listeners get 10% off with this link. 

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  1. The State of the IT Admin with Tom Bridge
  2. Streamline remote support with SupportApp from Root3
  3. Apple @ Work Podcast: VMware Workspace ONE streamlines macOS management in multi-platform organizations
  4. Apple @ Work Podcast: High-performance remote access with Teradici
  5. Mosyle launches free edition and Mosyle Fuse to take MDM to the next level

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