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

December 13

Apple has partnered with Amazon to launch support for Apple Podcasts on Amazon Echo devices. Starting today, Echo owners in the United States can ask Alexa to play any of the 800,000 shows in the Apple Podcasts directory.

To set up the integration, Echo customers must first link their Apple ID in the Alexa app. As well as asking Alexa to play a specific show, playback progress will automatically sync with all of your Apple Podcasts app across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

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Philips Hue catalog leaks new smart outdoor lighting products coming in 2020

The Philips Hue brand has established itself as a frontrunner in the world of HomeKit smart lighting. And it looks to be continuing to push the envelope in 2020 with a new lineup of outdoor products, thanks to leaked product catalog found by Hueblog.de.

Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat

December 12

This week, a few different financial analysts are reporting pessimism towards Apple iPhone 11 shipments. Rosenblatt reported that Apple is reducing production by about 25%.

Today, Credit Suisse analyst Matt Cabral said that shipments of iPhone in China fell more than 35% in November, compared to the same month in 2018. Apple infamously suffered a mass slowdown in China iPhone demand for the holiday quarter in 2018, so a fall compared to that reduced level is possibly significant.

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How to sign into CBS apps and CBS․com with your Apple TV Channels subscription

Apple TV Channels are a convenient way to sign up to your favorite networks and watch all their content natively in the Apple TV app, with the App Store handling all billing. However, at least for CBS, it is possible to use your Apple TV Channels account to log in to the native CBS apps and website. Here’s how.

December 10

Six years since the computer was last updated, and more than two years since the modular high-end revamp of the Mac Pro was promised, Apple today released the Mac Pro and accompanying Apple Pro Display XDR, which start at $5999 and $4999 respectively. First configurations ship December 18th.

The Mac Pro base starts at a rather measly 8-core 32 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD config but can be specced to up to insanely high-end internals, accompanied by an insanely high price, aimed at true professional environments like video editing bays.

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Apple is today launching its zero-interest iPhone financing plan for Apple Card owners today. As reported by TechCrunch, the purchase method will roll out today across Apple retail stores, Apple.com and the Apple Store app on iOS.

If you have an Apple Card, then you will be able to buy a new iPhone through that card and pay back the phone through monthly installments over 24 months with 0% interest.

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For the holidays, Apple Card gives 6% cashback on all Apple Store hardware purchases

Apple is now offering 6% Daily Cash cashback to Apple Card credit card users with purchases of Apple hardware, doubling the usual cashback rate on Apple purchases with Apple Card. However, there are some restrictions.

December 9

We have received several reports that users are experiencing repeated crashes when using the Apple Podcasts app on their iPhone today. During playback of shows, the app is inexplicably crashing as frequently as once every two minutes in what appears to be some kind of bug relating to how the Podcasts app syncs progress between devices.

The issue seems to have been caused by some kind of server-side change on Apple’s part, as the crashes have only become prolific recently, weeks after Apple’s latest software update, iOS 13.2.3, was released.

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A Swiss broadband provider, Salt, uses the Apple TV as a faux-cable box for its home fibre broadband customers, similar to deals Apple has struck with other cable companies around the world.

Apparently, some of Salt’s customer base aren’t too happy with the normal Apple TV input method and the company is now offering an alternative remote control (via MacRumors). The Siri Remote is controversial, but it is easy to forget that Apple also sells an alternative remote of its own.

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Update: The new Mac Pro model aimed at rack mounting also passed FCC clearance today, ahead of the computer going on sale tomorrow. Apple previously announced that a ‘optimised version for rack deployment’ would be released in the fall.

The Mac Pro has appeared today on the FCC registry site, with its regulatory testing information publicly released. This usually means a product launch is imminent.

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The Golden Globes are today announcing their nominations and it turns out Apple has a chance to make a splash this awards season with The Morning Show.

Apple’s flagship original show received multiple nominations across a couple of categories, most significantly as a candidate for best TV series drama. Stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon also picked up best actress nominations for their roles in Apple’s show.

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December 7

Carrier documents confirm iOS 13.3 will be released next week

With iOS 13.3 promised for a release this fall with features like Communication Limits in Screen Time, there wasn’t exactly much time left for Apple to release the updates. We just saw developer beta 4 come out this week. A document from Vietnamese carrier Viettel has now confirmed that iOS 13.3 and watchOS 6.1.1 will indeed be released next week.

December 6

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 …

December 5

Apple buys rights to Billie Eilish documentary, will appear on TV+ rather than Apple Music

Apple has already honored Eilish this year with an Apple Music award and a concert at Steve Jobs Theater, and it is set to continue the trend.

According to Billboard, Apple paid $25 million for rights to a documentary which follows the singer as she releases her debut album.

December 4

Apple News is expanding its mail notifications with a new ‘Good Morning’ daily newsletter. Previously, users could opt in to receive email alerts from Apple News about select featured stories. The company appears to be formalizing that into a regular daily newsletter.

Apple says it will bring top news, analysis, and fascinating features every morning, collating the ‘best stories from the most trusted sources’.

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Is your 13-inch MacBook Pro shutting down randomly? Here’s the fix

Does your 13-inch MacBook Pro keep shutting down or turning itself off randomly? Apple has diagnosed an issue affecting 13-inch MacBook Pro models released in early 2019 (the models with a Touch Bar instead of function keys). Here’s the fix.

December 3

This year, Apple made a renewed push into Services with new content subscriptions for reading news, watching television, and playing new games.

Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ each cost $4.99 per month, and offer compelling original TV and games to play. However, there are a few extra things you may want to buy to improve the experience. These accessories can make great gift ideas for any Apple fan.

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In addition to announcing its App Store Best of 2019 today, Apple is also launching its first-ever Apple Music Awards. The company says it handpicked winners for Global Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year. It also gave awards to the most streamed song and album.

With Billie Eilish picking up three awards, Apple is celebrating the first year of Apple Music Awards with a performance from the artist held at Steve Jobs Theater. The event will be live-streamed tomorrow at 6:30 PM PST.

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December 2

Apple could switch up its iPhone release cycle as soon as 2021 according to a new analyst report from JP Morgan’s Samik Chatterjee (via Marketwatch).

Since the iPhone 4S in 2011, Apple has released its flagship iPhone models all at once in the fall — almost always in mid-September. What JPMorgan proposes is that there would be two pairs of iPhone launches in 2021, one in the first half (presumably in the March-June timeframe) and one in the second half (the normal September holiday period).

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Analyst estimates Apple sold 3 million AirPods over Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend

Apple is estimated to sell about 3 million pairs of AirPods and AirPods Pro over the Black Friday through Cyber Monday period. That’s according to Dan Ives at Wedbush, citing channel checks and inventory shortages at retailers.

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