About the Author

Parker Ortolani

Parker Ortolani is a marketing strategist and product designer based in New York. In addition to contributing to 9to5mac, he also oversees product development and marketing for BuzzFeed. A longtime reader, Parker is excited to share his product concepts and thoughts with the 9to5mac audience.

Follow him on Twitter @parkerortolani

February 4

In November Apple refreshed the HomePod mini with three new fall colors. They’ve been particularly difficult to get recently – nearly unavailable in many retail stores and suffering from longer-than-usual shipping times. Despite this, the white and space gray models are widely available. With Apple’s March event now revealed, might we see a spring color refresh for the HomePod mini?

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January 24

On Thursday, CNBC reported that fitness unicorn Peloton was in dire straits. The company saw its value plummet on the news that they were “temporarily halting production of its connected fitness products as consumer demand wanes.” As the pandemic starts to move to the back of many minds, there’s been a significant drop in the number of people looking to buy expensive home workout equipment. Because of this, the idea of Apple purchasing Peloton has come back up. It has lingered for awhile, but now the idea is gaining more traction in the press. I think everyone needs to cool their jets.

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January 23

Apple’s home strategy has been all over the place, but the company appears to finally have a hit with the HomePod mini. Rumors have been floated about Apple making a HomePod with a display, but word on the street is that the product being tested looks a lot like an iPad mounted to a speaker. Instead of making a Frankenstein product very similar to Google and Amazon’s products, Apple should take the blueprint it’s laid out with HomePod mini and use it as a basis for a unique ambient smart display.

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January 19

Instagram is launching a new paid subscription feature for creators today within its iOS and Android apps. With this new functionality, Facebook is targeting potential competitors like OnlyFans that continue to see growth. Despite Facebook’s dissatisfaction with the App Store, they are using Apple’s in-app purchases system for these subscriptions. With that, Apple will gather 30% of all subscription fees. Facebook says that they are developing a way for creators to see “how much they pay to Apple.”

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January 11

The iPhone’s lock screen has gone through a small handful of design changes over the years, but it’s never truly been supercharged. With iOS 5, Apple improved the way multiple notifications appear. In iOS 6, they introduced the persistent camera shortcut. In iOS 8, notifications gained quick reply. iOS 10 brought widgets with a quick swipe to the left. The last major change was with iOS 11, when Apple added two haptic shortcuts and merged the lock screen with the Notification Center giving way to the “cover sheet.” But here we are in 2022 and the Lock Screen still isn’t truly customizable. It’s also nowhere near as proactive as other areas of the operating system that have been upgraded over the years.

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The nightmare is over: the Apple Polishing Cloth is back in-stock and ready to ship

The Apple polishing cloth has become a legendary meme in the technology world, both because of its price tag and because it’s been virtually impossible to obtain – the $19 polishing cloth was previously backordered several months but now delivers within two days. If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on Apple’s polishing cloth, now is the time to jump on it.

January 10

We’re excited to share a special limited-time promo code for readers to use on 9to5Mac and friends apparel on Cotton Bureau. Shop our latest designs and use promo code: HELLO22 at checkout for 15% off of your order.

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We can officially add Uber to the long list of major brands that have abandoned their Apple Watch apps. The ride-sharing company has quietly discontinued its watchOS app, displaying a brief message to users who try to launch it. Uber joins Twitter, Instagram, Target, Trello, Slack, Hulu, Evernote, and many other companies that have sunset their Apple Watch apps.

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January 7

Apple’s first fashion-forward gadget is making a comeback. The second generation iPod shuffle introduced a little over 15 years ago is seeing a resurgence in popularity on none other than TikTok. The second, third, and fourth generation iPod shuffles all had built-in clips and came in a wide variety of color options making them easily wearable. TikTok is known for being a launchpad for trends just like this so it doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise. As noted by The Information, the iPod shuffle isn’t alone in seeing such an uplift in popularity. Other retro gadgets are also making a comeback led by millennials.

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I’ve been waiting anxiously for years to get a glimpse at what the folks over at Humane have been working on. The company, founded by Apple inventors Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri, launched in 2019 and has kept its work completely under wraps. Humane’s website has said that the mission behind the company is to build “innovative technology that feels familiar, natural, and human.” They want to build “the best human experience, ever.” That’s a tall order, and it’s been unclear what that actually meant, until now.

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January 4

We’re holding out hope that this will finally be the year when Apple decides to let users natively customize their Home Screen icons. While we wait for a sound solution, you can still use the Shortcuts app to create your own alternate app icons. We’ve been working on a new set of icons with lots of detail, depth, and vitality that you can use to make your iPhone more fun.

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January 2

Apple hasn’t made an affordable high quality external display since 2016 when they retired the final iteration of the Thunderbolt Display. The company has a long history of offering the best possible mass market monitors for notebooks and desktops, dating back to the late 90s or the early days of the Studio Display. Apple’s made a lot of weird decisions over the past decade and this certainly falls under that category. Now that the company has started to reboot the Mac and meet the needs of clamoring customers, it’s time for them to step up and make the display we actually need.

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January 1

Like they did to celebrate the Year of the Ox in 2021, Apple has released a new special edition pair of AirPods Pro exclusively available in select markets. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger and Apple has created an adorable tiger emoji that’s engraved on these AirPods Pro. The company has also debuted a special Apple logo to celebrate the new year, just as they did last year.

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December 27, 2021

Apple has announced a new promotion to celebrate the Japanese New Year. The company will be offering special deals to customers in Japan on January 2 and 3. Apple will give customers a gift card with the purchase of select products, but the first 20,000 customers that buy an eligible iPhone will receive a limited edition AirTag.

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December 22, 2021

PSA: Flighty Pro is free for all users of the iOS app tomorrow, the busiest travel day of the year

Our favorite flight tracking app, Flighty, is a must-have app for this time of the year and tomorrow the pro tier will be unlocked free-of-charge for all users. December 23rd is the busiest travel day of the year and all pro features will be available throughout the day for everyone, even users who don’t currently pay for the pro tier.

December 20, 2021

AirPods Max are officially one year old. That means we’re probably getting close to the first revision, assuming Apple is planning to keep them around. There are lots of ways Apple could improve upon these excellent over-the-ear headphones. But, we wanted to think realistically. What might Apple actually do to upgrade AirPods Max?

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Intrepid concept creator Ian Zelbo is back with a fantastically detailed rendering of Apple’s long-rumored mixed reality headset. The renderings are based on illustrations created with credible information published by The Information earlier this year. Zelbo calls the concept “Apple View”, but the real name is still completely unknown.

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December 15, 2021

Apple has announced a new documentary called “The Sound of 007” focused on the “remarkable history of six decades of James Bond music.” The documentary is slated to be released in October 2022 to mark 60 years of James Bond. “The Sound of 007” will be exclusive to Apple TV+ and comes on the heels of their success in the documentary category.

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Apple has just shared an adorable claymation holiday short for their hit show Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ and YouTube. The short is titled “Ted Lasso – The Missing Christmas Mustache” and is free for anyone to watch. It features voice work from the main cast including Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Nick Mohammed, Juno Temple, and Brendan Hunt.

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There’s a new iPhone customization trend where users are using Apple’s new focus modes to put an icon of their choice in their status bar. One of the core features of focus is the ability to set a specific icon for identifying when you have a particular mode enabled. Focus modes can be complicated to set up, but if you just want to show a fun icon in your status bar, it’s fairly simple.

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