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

Yesterday

Update: In a statement, Apple told 9to5Mac that it has an “established program for premium subscription video entertainment providers” and qualifying apps like Prime Video can offer customers the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription. This same program covers features like integration with the TV app, AirPlay 2, universal search and single sign-on integration. Original story below.

In a significant shift, the Amazon Prime Video app on iOS and Apple TV now features a built-in content store. This means users can now buy or rent TV shows and movies directly inside the app on Apple platforms. The change was first spotted by The Verge.

For the longest time, Amazon did not support this because of Apple’s App Store rules which require the developer to use Apple’s In-App purchase system for digital content and give 30% of the revenue to Apple. The app now seems to use Amazon payment method if you have a card on file, otherwise it uses Apple In-App Purchase.

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As the investor community fears devastating repercussions to the production schedules of Chinese industry in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, many doubt whether Apple’s major iPhone 12 release cycle will be able to go ahead as normal.

For its part, Foxconn appears unfazed. Via Bloomberg, the key iPhone assembly told investors on a private conference call today that it is still prepared for a fall 5G iPhone debut.

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March 31

Rumor: Apple starting iOS 13.4.1 beta soon, only bug fix updates planned until iOS 14 release in September

According to the latest report from The Verifier, which has a mixed track record of accuracy, Apple is readying an iOS 13.4.1 build for developers and public beta testers. It also expects that Apple is planning to only release bug fix updates to iOS 13 from now on.

As reported by The Intercept, the Zoom video conferencing app offers options for end to end encryption in its UI (and in its marketing materials) but the calls are not actually end-to-end encrypted at all.

The Zoom video app is bursting into the public consciousness this year as the coronavirus causes most people to work from home. However, the security of the app has come under fire in many ways. In this instance, it turns out Zoom calls are only encrypted in transmission. This means the central Zoom servers could decrypt the incoming calls and see all participants if the company wanted to.

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March 30

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 …

Pixelmator Pro update adds new color picker, drag select, more

The Pixelmator Pro team continues to crank out updates for the popular image editing app. Today, Pixelmator Pro 1.6 is available in the Mac App Store. The update brings a redesigned color picker and a set of smaller enhancements designed to boost productivity.

March 27

Following on from the Apple TV report from earlier this week, iUpdate and The Verifier are reporting on possible upcoming changes to watchOS 7 and the Apple Watch.

Most interestingly, the report claims that Apple is currently tackling two different approaches to adding Touch ID fingerprint unlock to the Apple Watch. One approach would be through integrating a fingerprint sensor into the Digital Crown. The other (cooler) method would be to add a fingerprint sensor under the screen. It’s not clear if this would be ready for this year, as The Verifier points to it being a Series 7 (2021) feature.

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Update: This bug has now been fixed via a server-side update.

Here’s a funny bug. On the newest versions of iOS and macOS, you cannot search for a plus sign (the ‘+’ symbol). Try it. Using Google search in Safari, type a search query in the unified address bar that includes the plus sign. When you press “Go” to search, the symbol will be removed from the output.

Similarly, you can search in the search field of Google page — and you will end up on a page with the + sign stripped. It looks like it has been replaced by nothing, but it has actually been replaced by a space character.

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Ming-Chi Kuo had already predicted that the first ARM Mac will arrive as soon as the fourth quarter of this year. Unsurprisingly, Kuo says that even more Macs will transition to ARM in 2021 and beyond, including desktop machines, with Apple adopting an “aggressive processor-replacement strategy”.

Presumably, Apple will start with a lower-end laptop form factor and slowly work its way up the line. Kuo says that replacing Intel with ARM CPUs of Apple’s own design will bring significant cost savings as well as the expected performance and battery life gains.

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March 26

Earlier this month, 9to5Mac reported on a new ‘Gobi’ augmented reality app present in the internal iOS 14 builds. MacRumors today adds that one of the experiences inside that application currently is a spatial ten pin bowling experience that is only activated at a certain street that is within a 5-mile radius of Apple Park.

Moreover, MacRumors has included a photo of what they claim to be one of the controllers Apple is using to test its AR headset. Physically, it looks very similar to the HTC Vive Focus controller.

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PSA: Don’t try and bend your new iPad Pro

When the 2018 iPad Pro came out, its radically fresh redesign inevitably brought with it an Apple hardware scandal. A portion of users noticed that their iPad was slightly bent out of the box, and the name #BendGate was coined. Apple ultimately released a support article that quietened most of the outrage, saying that some slight bend was within operating tolerances.

It was also observed that the iPad’s design meant it was easily bent in half with just a little amount of force. Some people reported that the iPad was getting bent just being carried around in a backpack. Now, we have a new iPad Pro, featuring the same thin aluminum enclosure, so did Apple do anything to reinforce the iPad’s structure? It doesn’t seem like it.

March 25

Apple is said to be considering a delay to its planned launch schedule for the next-generation range of iPhones. The 5G iPhone, widely referred to as the ‘iPhone 12’ series, was apparently meant to ship in September according to a report from Nikkei.

However, the current global climate has led Apple to discuss if it should delay the phone by a few months. In addition to the obvious supply constraints, Apple is reportedly worried that customer demand for a new flagship phone will be weak as the coronavirus has affected consumer confidence and spending.

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As highlighted in a new report from Bloomberg, Apple’s current rules prevent makers of game streaming services to get an app on the App Store. The rules disallow an app from acting as a game repository that can contain content from other publishers.

This means burgeoning services like GeForce Now, xCloud, PS Now, and Google Stadia cannot access iPhone and iPad customers.

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With the iPadOS 13.4 update, you can now use a mouse or trackpad with your iPad as a complement to the touch experience. Apple is naturally promoting the Magic Keyboard accessory for iPad Pro, but you can use any USB or Bluetooth input device like the Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse, too.

You can use the cursor to do pretty much everything you can do with your finger, like press buttons, switch apps, and edit text. It is similar but not identical to a PC experience. Here’s how you can customize the cursor input on your iPad to make it suit you.

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March 23

The Disney+ streaming service is today launching in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. You can download the app now for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Note that Disney+ requires Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD. The older third-generation Apple TV (which lacks an App Store) is not supported.

You can subscribe to Disney+ for £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year. The streaming service offers a large library of TV shows and movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic in addition to exclusive originals only available on Disney+ like The Mandalorian.

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March 21

In a press briefing today, Vice President of the United States Mike Pence announced that Apple will be donating 2 million masks. Update: Apple CEO Tim Cook has now confirmed on Twitter that it is helping to source supplies to aid Europe and United States healthcare systems.

In the wake of the current coronavirus pandemic, the US healthcare system needs resources for patients and resources for doctors. Masks are one such resource that are in short supply. This week, a new law was signed that makes it much easier for companies to make industrial masks without fear of liability. It appears Apple is joining the cause.

Update 3/24: VP Pence now says Apple is donating 9 million N95 masks to medical workers.

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March 20

When Apple TV+ launched, it was praised for its exceptionally high bit-rate streaming quality. However, that is set to change for the time being for customers across Europe (and possibly other markets soon).

European officials have instructed streaming services to reduce the amount of bandwidth their services use, in order to reduce strain on internet networks. Usage of streaming services has picked up substantially in recent weeks in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Naturally, when people are in isolation, they tend to watch a lot more TV than normal.

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It’s Friday, which means it’s an Apple TV+ release day. Given how so many of us are isolating indoors, hopefully this helps pass the time.

Available in the TV app today, you can watch Apple’s first major original film ‘The Banker’ starring Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, the latest episode of Amazing Stories starring the late Robert Forster, and a Carpool Karaoke episode with the cast of Stranger Things.

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March 18

Logitech announces new keyboard case with trackpad for iPad and iPad Air

Following the announcement today that iPadOS 13.4 features rich support for mice and trackpads, Logitech has launched a new keyboard accessory for the $329 iPad and the 10.5-inch iPad Air.

Apple will release iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 on March 24, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. In addition to features like redesigned Mail toolbar and iCloud folder sharing, iPadOS 13.4 brings support for trackpad to the iPad platform for the first time.

This will obviously be a big selling point for the 2020 iPad Pro announced today, but the new Magic Keyboard with trackpad accessory is also backwards compatible with the 2018 iPad Pro. You can also connect an external Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse over Bluetooth, allowing iPad Air, iPad mini and even $329 iPad users to take advantage of the new cursor support in the OS.

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