About the Author

Benjamin Mayo

@bzamayo

Follow Benjamin on Twitter to keep up with his latest projects. Benjamin blogs about Apple news and rumors, and posts insightful product and app reviews. Read his work on 9to5Mac and his personal blog.

Benjamin Mayo also creates apps for iOS as a professional indie developer and contractor; more details here. Email to discuss making your iOS project.

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Benjamin Mayo's Favorite Gear

January 22

According to the latest report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is developing a new MacBook Air model that will launch later this year or in 2022.

Described as a higher-end model in the MacBook Air family, it would offer an even thinner and lighter design than the current MacBook Air, and also come equipped with next-generation Apple silicon — suggesting even better performance than the M1 chip is not too far away.

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Apple TV+ Guide: Here are all the Apple TV shows and movies available now

Apple TV+ offers exclusive Apple original TV shows and movies in 4K HDR quality. You can watch across all of your screens and pick up where you left off on any device. Apple TV+ costs $4.99 per month. Here’s every Apple original television show and movie available now on Apple TV+, as well as the latest trailers …

January 15

Apple is again extending the free period for the Apple TV+ 1-year free trials given out with hardware. With the latest announcement, anybody with an Apple TV+ subscription that was set to expire from now until June will instead expire in July 2021.

This means customers who took advantage of the ‘year free’ deal back when the service first launched will now be getting an additional 9 months of free access to Apple original shows and movies.

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January 14

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today released some interesting details about the upcoming MacBook Pro. Kuo describes this as the first major redesign of the laptop in five years, and will represent a significant upgrade over even the latest 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro will feature 14-inch and 16-inch sizes and feature ARM Apple silicon instead of Intel CPUs.

However, Kuo shares some much more surprising tidbits, namely that the Touch Bar will be gone in favor of physical function keys, the MagSafe charging connector returns along with more built-in IO ports that mean most users will not need to purchase additional dongles according to Kuo …

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The Apple TV+ experience for web browser users has been improved today, with a new homepage interface that mirrors the design seen in the TV app when navigating to the Apple TV+ tab.

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January 11

Medial research firm Biogen today announced a new collaboration with Apple in the form of a cognitive health research study, powered by iPhone and Apple Watch. The study is trying to identify digital biomarkers that can serve as early indicators of illnesses like Alzheimer’s.

The observational research study will commence later in the year. The companies aim to find patterns in the data collected by sensors in the Apple Watch and iPhone and correlate those to declines in cognitive health function.

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January 5

As spotted by Khaos Tian on Twitter, there’s an interesting new setting in the Workout app for Apple Watch. Named “Time to Walk”, the setting describes a feature where walking workouts are downloaded to the watch when connected to power and the iPhone is nearby.

This toggle appears on the watch itself and in the companion Watch app on the iPhone. Combined with evidence from 9to5Mac code investigations, it seems that guided audio workouts from Apple are coming soon to the Watch.

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December 25, 2020

Have you just got an Apple TV? The Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K bring a collection of multimedia experiences to your television, from video apps to photos to games, but there are a few settings you might want to change in order to get the most out of your new set-top box.

Read on for five top tips for the best Apple TV experience …

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December 14, 2020

As part of today’s iOS 14.3 update, Apple has rolled out a new tab to the TV app. The Originals tab acts as a top-level navigation to the TV+ channel, which provides access to the Apple Original TV shows and movies.

This TV+ section has existed in the TV app since TV+ launched, but it has always been buried by at least a few screens of scrolling. By making it a tab, it is now much, much easier for TV+ subscribers to enjoy the content they have access to.

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Apple today overhauled the Shazam iOS app with a new look, modernizing the user interface and bringing the design language in line with recent UI updates to Apple Music.

Upon launching the app, the screen is dominated by the central Tap to Shazam button with access to recently identified music revealed by swiping up. Apple is also adding the ability to identify songs through a web browser for the first time, available in beta now at Shazam.com.

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December 7, 2020

The M1 chip in the entry-level MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini lines already rivals high-end Intel CPUs. But a new report from Bloomberg indicates that Apple is confident it can fully leave Intel in the dust, as it works on next-generation Apple Silicon chips with higher power budgets.

Bloomberg says Apple is working on successors to the M1 with up to 20 CPU cores, made up of 16 high performance and 4-efficiency cores. In 2021, the company is expected to roll out ARM versions of the higher-end MacBook Pro, “both entry-level and high-end iMac desktops”. An ARM Mac Pro is scheduled to follow in 2022.

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November 30, 2020

If you signed up for Apple One on day one, then that means your free trial subscription will be renewing today.

At least, it should be. Some readers are reporting that their Apple One transition has not gone so smoothly. Although these customers have not opted to cancel, the Apple server appears to think that is the case. For the people affected, the subscriptions page is currently showing their Apple One membership as ‘expired’.

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November 27, 2020

The Apple Store has today launched its Black Friday shopping event. The company is offering a gift card with eligible iPhone, iPad Mac, Apple Watch, AirPods, Apple TV, HomePod and Beats purchases. The event runs from November 27 through November 30.

As usual, you will definitely find better promotions elsewhere: check out 9to5Toys for the best Black Friday deals coverage. However, if you were planning on buying from the Apple Store, you can now get a little extra bonus …

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November 25, 2020

In a report today, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared his view on Apple’s product momentum heading into the holidays. Most importantly to Apple’s bottom line, Kuo sees better than expected demand for iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, apparently offsetting slightly–weaker sell-through of 12 and 12 mini.

In terms of new products, Kuo indicates that form factor redesigns are coming to the Apple Watch and the MacBook lineup, in the second half of 2021.

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November 18, 2020

In October, Apple TV+ announced that it will exclusively stream the Peanuts holiday specials as part of a wider deal that includes new Snoopy and Charlie Brown original series. That announcement irked some people, leading to a ~250,000 signature petition that asked Apple to keep to tradition and put these specials on broadcast TV.

It seems Apple has listened to the complaints. The company today announced that PBS will air both Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown Christmas.

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Update, November 18th: You can now download the new Pixelmator Pro update from the App Store, with an updated design for Big Sur and performance optimizations targeting M1 Macs.

The Pixelmator team today announced the next major version of Pixelmator Pro, version 2.0. The update will be available in about a week’s time on Thursday, November 19th.

Pixelmator Pro 2.0 features an overhauled user interface with new layouts for the app’s toolbars and editor sidebars, including a dynamic Effects browser. There’s also drastically expanded customization options for the app’s interface, so you can tweak the chrome just the way you like. This update also brings support for macOS Big Sur and the new M1-powered MacBooks and Mac mini.

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November 17, 2020

Apple acquired Shazam back in late 2017 (the deal closed in 2018), and now the company has announced that the application has crossed 200 million monthly active users.

Shazam is available as a standalone app in the App Store and the Google Play Store, as well as available through Siri, and recently made its way into Control Center with iOS 14.2. (The 200 million figure does not count Siri requests as an active user.)

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November 15, 2020

Apple Store customers are starting to get shipment notifications for the HomePod mini. Most day one orders appear to be set to be delivered from Tuesday, November 17.

The HomePod mini is Apple’s latest attempt to crack the smart speaker market, with a $99 offering that reviewers said produces the best sound in its size class. The big HomePod is still the go-to option for people wanting the highest audio quality, but its high price has meant Apple has only sold a few million of them since its 2018 launch. The HomePod mini stacks up more favorably against cheaper competition from Amazon Echo and Google Home.

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November 14, 2020

Why is Apple paying me $4.99 in store credit for Apple TV+ this month?

Apple TV+ is Apple’s streaming service and priced at $4.99 per month in the US, or $49.99 per year. A lot of current subscribers are on promotional free trials. However, if you are currently paying for TV+ on a monthly or yearly basis, you should have received an email that Apple is refunding that amount as store credit … here’s why.

November 11, 2020

Apple TV+ to stream interview with Barack Obama, in latest free episode of The Oprah Conversation

Next week, Apple TV+ series ‘The Oprah Conversation’ will feature an interview between Oprah Winfrey and former president Barack Obama. The discussion will revolve around Obama’s upcoming memoir, ‘A Promised Land’.

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