Exclusive Yesterday

Apple announced at WWDC 2021 in June a new version of its Swift Playgrounds development app with major improvements. Although the company never said when it would become available, Apple is now inviting some developers to try out Swift Playgrounds 4 ahead of the official release of the update.

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Exclusive November 16

It’s no secret at this point that Apple is becoming more interested in the sports segment, as the company has been investing and hiring related professionals to work in its TV division. 9to5Mac has now found evidence to support these rumors, including a new “SportsKit” framework for iOS and tvOS apps.

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Exclusive August 23

Apple has confirmed to me that it already scans iCloud Mail for CSAM, and has been doing so since 2019. It has not, however, been scanning iCloud Photos or iCloud backups.

The clarification followed me querying a rather odd statement by the company’s anti-fraud chief: that Apple was “the greatest platform for distributing child porn.” That immediately raised the question: If the company wasn’t scanning iCloud photos, how could it know this?

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Exclusive July 23

Apple’s Pro Display XDR has been available for quite some time now, but there are still no rumors about an updated version of its high-priced display in the near term. However, 9to5Mac has now learned from sources familiar with the matter that Apple is internally testing a new external display with a dedicated A13 chip and also Neural Engine.

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Exclusive July 20

Apple is widely expected to have a new iPad mini coming as soon as later this year with a design similar to the latest iPad Air. 9to5Mac has now learned from sources familiar with the matter that the new iPad mini, codenamed J310, will be powered by Apple’s latest A15 processor, feature USB-C connectivity, and include a magnetic Smart Connector.

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Exclusive May 14

There was a wild rumor making the rounds last year that Apple planned to phase out its successful Beats hardware brand and go all in with Apple-branded audio hardware. 9to5Mac reported at the time that burying Beats was “not a strategy that Apple plans to pursue” or even consider.

We’ve since learned more about was happening behind the scenes in California. Rather than discontinuing the Beats brand, Apple was hiring its first in-house designer to oversee Beats product design.

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Exclusive March 23

Following the rumors of a new iPad Pro coming next month, 9to5Mac has now found references about a new “A14X” chip in the iOS 14.5 code — which had its fifth beta version released today to developers and public beta users.

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Exclusive September 28, 2020

Venmo, a payment service owned by PayPal, is about to launch its own credit card to compete with the Apple Card. The Venmo credit card was announced a year ago, and now 9to5Mac has obtained exclusive details about this card that will offer digital services through a new app.

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Exclusive September 12, 2020

Earlier this week, our sister site 9to5Google found references to Apple One – Apple’s upcoming subscription bundle – in the Apple Music app for Android. Bloomberg previously reported that Apple One encompasses several tiers offering combinations of Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and iCloud storage for a single discounted price.

Now, 9to5Mac has found references to Apple One in iOS code. These strings appear in the localization files used for the iPhone’s Manage Subscriptions screen. The text has been added recently, which may further suggest that Apple One is going to be announced at Apple’s special event on Tuesday.

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Exclusive July 24, 2020

Some iPhone and iPad models feature Face ID, which allows users to unlock the device through advanced facial recognition. While Face ID is not yet available on any Mac, 9to5Mac found references to the TrueDepth camera on macOS Big Sur, which suggests Apple is working to bring facial recognition to its computers.

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Exclusive July 7, 2020

Apple today released the second developer beta of iOS 14 with some small changes across the system. And now 9to5Mac was able to find a hidden feature in the Wallet app to allow users to make payments with QR Codes using Apple Pay.

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Exclusive June 18, 2020

9to5Mac has already covered some of Apple’s plans for iOS 14, which will be officially introduced on Monday. Now we’ve heard from sources that Apple is also working on some major changes to the Podcasts app, which is now expected to offer personally curated content just like Apple Music.

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Exclusive June 2, 2020

Apple is working to include a built-in translator in Safari, 9to5Mac has learned, as well as full Apple Pencil support on websites. These new features described are based on an early build of iOS 14 obtained by 9to5Mac.

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Exclusive May 23, 2020

9to5Mac exclusively reported some of the details and new features of the upcoming iOS 14, which will be officially announced by Apple next month. Now we have found evidence that Apple is working to completely replace the Messages app on macOS with a Catalyst version, based on iOS 14 code.

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Exclusive May 14, 2020

Update: NextVR has replaced its website with a landing page announcing a ‘new direction’ without its existing service.

Update 2x: Apple has confirmed the acquisition to Bloomberg.

It’s no secret that Apple has ambitious plans for augmented reality and a future AR-focused headset. Apple is practically building the platform for its future headset out in the open with ARKit. What’s new is that Apple is believed to be in the process of acquiring a California-based virtual reality company called NextVR, 9to5Mac has learned.

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Exclusive April 9, 2020

Apple is working on a new way to offer specific parts of third-party apps across the system without needing to have them installed, 9to5Mac has learned based on an early build of iOS 14. The feature would allow users to experience parts of an app’s functionality by scanning a QR Code.

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Exclusive April 7, 2020

Six years ago Apple dropped $3 billion on its largest acquisition ever to acquire Beats Electronics. Music mogul Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop legend Dr. Dre built the consumer electronics brand into a household name, and Beats-branded headphones were flying off the shelves.

Apple could tell. It sold Beats headphones and speakers in Apple Stores so the success of Beats was no secret. Beats also had a months-old streaming music service that Apple used to build Apple Music, but it’s clear in retrospect that Apple also saw continued value in Beats as a hardware brand.

That’s why it may come as a surprise to see reports that Apple plans to phase out the Beats brand in the future.

9to5Mac can report that this is not a strategy that Apple plans to pursue. The strategy is not one that should be viewed as being on the table for Apple, 9to5Mac has learned.

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Exclusive April 2, 2020

9to5Mac has learned new information about Apple’s long-rumored, entry-level iPhone model, including the marketing name, product colors, and storage options, based on a tip from a highly trusted reader.

Based on the new information, it’s possible Apple could be planning to open orders for the new iPhone as soon as tomorrow; the information definitely tells us that Apple is ready to start accepting orders very soon.

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Exclusive March 30, 2020

9to5Mac exclusively reported earlier this month that iOS 14 and watchOS 7 will include a new SchoolTime mode and kid mode. The latter feature includes the ability for a parent to set up and manage an Apple Watch for a child with a single iPhone.

Each Apple Watch account is currently connected to a single iPhone’s Apple ID. This new mode will let a parent manage their child’s Apple Watch from the parent’s iPhone, and the child will not be required to own an iPhone to use the Apple Watch.

If this feature in development is completed and released this year, the Apple Watch will become much better for kids than ever before, but how will activity tracking work? Based on iOS 14 code obtained by 9to5Mac, we can now answer that question.

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Exclusive March 23, 2020

9to5Mac reported exclusively in February that Apple is developing a new ‘CarKey’ feature that will let drivers replace physical key fobs with their iPhone. The new virtual key technology was first discovered in a beta version of iOS 13.4.

New evidence in iOS 14 code obtained by 9to5Mac reveals that Apple is working with BMW to likely be the first carmaker to support the futuristic iPhone feature. 9to5Mac received this non-denial statement from BMW when asked about their involvement:

Please understand that at this point we cannot confirm your request nor give you further details. We would like to refer you to our press release.

The informative press release referenced was published in December and refers to BMW’s efforts to adopt a new smartphone and watch Digital Key standard:

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Apple’s Find My app will include useful new features in iOS 14, 9to5Mac has learned, including augmented reality mode and new location triggers. The features described are based on an early build of iOS 14 obtained by 9to5Mac.

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Exclusive March 19, 2020

Following our latest findings on iOS 14, 9to5Mac has now found evidence that Apple is working to provide more details about its retail stores on Apple Maps. We’re also expecting the ability to set custom wallpapers on CarPlay for the first time.

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Exclusive March 16, 2020

9to5Mac has learned several new details about the upcoming iPhone 9 based on iOS 14 code. Now we’ve discovered evidence that Apple is also working on a larger “iPhone 9 Plus” — not only an iPhone 9 — to replace both iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. While rumors of the 4.7-inch hardware has been reported through the supply chain, this is the first time evidence supports a larger version of the entry level iPhone.

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Exclusive March 11, 2020

9to5Mac revealed several new features of iOS 14 based on the internal system codes, which also includes some changes to the Apple Watch. Now we’ve found references to at least one additional new watch face in watchOS 7.

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