Top Stories: Hands-On With 2020 iPad Pro and MacBook Air, iOS and PadOS 13.4 Released, iPhone 12 Delay?

After last week's flurry of product launches, Apple's new iPad Pro and MacBook Air have started to make their way into consumers' hands, and we've gone hands-on with both of them this week. Apple this week also released iOS and iPadOS 13.4 (as well as macOS, watchOS, and tvOS updates) with a number of new features and improvements.

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On the rumor side of things, we're starting to hear about the possibliity of a delayed launch of the iPhone 12 later this year, some details on Apple's iPhone camera plans, new Apple TV hardware and software rumors, and an update on Apple's rumored Mac transition from Intel to Arm-based chips. Finally, we shared a look at some prototype hardware and software related to Apple's AR/VR headset project.

Read on for all of the details, and check out our video above for even more from this week's news cycle.

Hands-On With the New iPad Pro and MacBook Air


Apple last week announced new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and as of this week, orders are beginning to arrive to customers. We picked up one of the new 12.9-inch models and checked it out to see just what's new and whether it's worth buying.


The new iPad Pro features an A12Z Bionic chip with faster graphics performance, an Ultra Wide camera for 0.5x zoom, a LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality, better sounding microphones, and compatibility with Apple's upcoming Magic Keyboard with a built-in trackpad. Pricing continues to start at $799 for the 11-inch model with 128GB of storage, while the 12.9-inch model begins at $999.

Keep in mind that rumors suggest that Apple may be planning another iPad Pro refresh towards the end of 2020, with expected features including a faster A14X chip, 5G support, and a Mini-LED display.

We also spent some time going hands-on with the new MacBook Air, which features a lower starting price, more storage, faster 10th-generation processors, and most importantly an updated keyboard.

iOS and iPadOS 13.4 Released With iCloud Folder Sharing, Trackpad Support for iPad, and More


Apple this week released iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 with several new features, including iCloud Folder Sharing, a redesigned Mail app toolbar, and support for Bluetooth mice and trackpads on many iPads.


Apple will be releasing its own Magic Keyboard case with a built-in trackpad in May for 2018 and later iPad Pro models, and we have put together a guide with everything you need to know. Third-party options like Logitech's new trackpad keyboards for the 10.5-inch iPad Air and 10.2-inch iPad are also supported.

Apple Considering Delaying iPhone 12 Launch 'by Months'


Apple has reportedly held internal discussions about the possibility of delaying the release of new iPhone 12 models "by months" due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply chain sources also believe that "practical hurdles" could push back what was expected to be a normal September launch, although other suppliers say they have not been asked to push back production.


Apple is widely rumored to be planning four new iPhone models, including a 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and a 6.7-inch model. All of the devices are expected to have OLED displays, 5G support, A14 chips, and rear 3D sensing like the LiDAR Scanner on the new iPad Pro.

6.7" iPhone 12 May Have Sensor-Shift Stabilization in 2020, Periscope Lens to Follow in 2022


Apple's rumored 6.7-inch iPhone 12 model will feature sensor-shift image stabilization, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


While details are slim, sensor-shift technology could bring optical image stabilization to the Ultra Wide lens on the 6.7-inch iPhone, as already exists for the Wide and Telephoto lenses on iPhone 11 Pro models.

Kuo also predicted that at least one 2022 iPhone model will feature a periscope lens, which could allow for 5x optical zoom like Huawei's P30 Pro or even 10x optical zoom as is rumored for the device's P40 Pro successor.

Apple Testing AR/VR Headset With HTC Vive-Like Controller, Crosswalk Bowling Game, and More


MacRumors has obtained a photo from iOS 14 of what appears to be a generic looking test controller for Apple's rumored AR/VR headset, which reports suggest will be released by 2021 or 2022. The controller has a very similar design as the controller for the HTC Vive Focus headset, released in 2018.


Apple is testing a variety of augmented reality experiences on its headset, including a "crosswalk bowling game" that appears to allow Apple engineers to roll a virtual bowling ball across the crosswalk to knock down virtual bowling pins on the other side of the street.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a pair of sleeker AR glasses that could be released as early as 2022 or 2023.

Apple to Launch Several Macs With Arm-Based Processors in 2021, USB4 Support Coming to Macs in 2022


Apple plans to launch several Mac notebooks and desktop computers with its own custom designed Arm-based processors in 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said this week in a research note obtained by MacRumors.


Kuo believes that Arm-based processors will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup, allow Apple to refresh its Mac models without relying on Intel's processor roadmap, reduce processor costs by 40 to 60 percent, and provide Macs with more hardware differentiation from Windows PCs.

Apple Allegedly Adding Kids Mode and Screen Time to tvOS, Launching Apple TV With Up to 128GB Storage


Apple is reportedly planning to launch a new Apple TV and add new features like Kids Mode and Screen Time options to a future version of tvOS.


The new ‌Apple TV‌ is said to feature an A11 or A12 processor and 64/128GB storage capacities, up from the current 32/64GB options.

The source of the report has shared some previously accurate tvOS rumors, including a picture-in-picture feature and multiple user support, but it has been wrong about some other Apple rumors.

MacRumors Newsletter


Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!
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Zoom Updates iOS App to Stop Sending Data to Facebook

Zoom, a video conferencing app that many people are using at the current time to keep in touch with coworkers while working from home, was sending data to Facebook without disclosing the data sharing to customers.


As of today, Zoom has updated its iOS app to remove the SDK that was providing data to Facebook through the Login with Facebook feature, according to Motherboard, the site that first discovered Zoom's data sharing practices.

Zoom was providing Facebook with data that included when a user opened the app, plus their timezone, city, and device details. Zoom's privacy policy did not make it clear that the data was shared with Facebook.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Zoom said that Zoom was unaware that the Facebook SDK was collecting unnecessary device data.
"Zoom takes its users' privacy extremely seriously. We originally implemented the 'Login with Facebook' feature using the Facebook SDK in order to provide our users with another convenient way to access our platform. However, we were recently made aware that the Facebook SDK was collecting unnecessary device data."

"The data collected by the Facebook SDK did not include any personal user information, but rather included data about users' devices such as the mobile OS type and version, the device time zone, device OS, device model and carrier, screen size, processor cores, and disk space."

"We will be removing the Facebook SDK and reconfiguring the feature so that users will still be able to login with Facebook via their browser. Users will need to update to the latest version of our application once it becomes available in order for these changes to take hold, and we encourage them to do so. We sincerely apologize for this oversight, and remain firmly committed to the protection of our users' data."
Motherboard has since verified that the iOS app is no longer sending data to Facebook when it is opened.
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Apple Offering Curated Collections of TV Shows, Podcasts, Books, Movies and More Aimed at Families

Across the United States and other countries, adults and children alike are stuck in their homes for work, school, and more amid the ongoing pandemic, so Apple has is offering a collection of curated content across all of its apps that's aimed at families.


In the Apple TV app, Apple has a Kids tab available that sorts TV shows and content by age, plus there are a number of children's shows on ‌Apple TV‌+, including "Snoopy in Space," "Helpsters" and "Ghostwriter."


In Apple Music, curators have put together a number of playlists and radio stations aimed at children and families, listed below.

Apple Podcasts is featuring a number of podcasts designed for kids, such as "Get Smart, Stay Smart" and "Stories and Adventures."


As Apple announced earlier this month, the Apple Books app also has a number of free books and audiobooks that are for children, including "Winnie the Pooh," "The Secret Garden," "Sesame Street Classics," and more.


The App Store also has quite a few apps that offer free content that can keep children entertained.

  • Kinedu - A baby development app that's free until April 15th.

  • Epic! - Offers more than 35,000 ebooks, audiobooks, videos, and more for kids 12 and under. Free until the end of the school year.

  • Kahoot! - Learning and trivia app Kahoot is offering its premium version for free. It lets users create practice quizzes for learning new content.

  • Headspace - Meditation app Headspace is offering free access to all K-12 teachers, school administrators, and supporting staff in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. A selection of content called "Weathering the Storm" is also available.

  • GoNoodle - A fitness app for kids, GoNoodle offers ad-free content.

  • Cosmic Kids - Cosmic Kids is a free app offering yoga routines for children.

  • Khan Academy - A free app that offers classes on math, science, history, economics, and tons more.

  • Quizlet - Lets students study and practice what they're learning with create-your-own flashcards.


All of the above listed content can be found in Apple's ‌App Store‌, Music, Books, Podcasts, and TV apps.
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Apple Extends Deadline for Several Upcoming App Requirements for Developers

Apple today announced that it is extending several deadlines that will eventually require apps to be built on SDKs designed for the most recent iOS and watchOS updates and incorporate iOS 13 features.

Apple will not require developers to meet the below requirements until June 30, 2020.

- Apps for iPhone or iPad must be built with the ‌iOS 13‌ SDK or later and use an Xcode storyboard to provide the app's launch screen.
- ‌iPhone‌ apps must support all ‌iPhone‌ screens and all ‌iPad‌ apps must support all ‌iPad‌ screens.
- Apps for Apple Watch must be built with the watchOS 6 SDK or later.
- Apps that authenticate or set up user accounts must support Sign in with Apple if required by guideline 4.8 of the App Store Review Guidelines.
- Apps in the Kids category must be in full compliance with guideline 1.3 and guideline 5.1.4. of the ‌App Store‌ Review Guidelines.
- Apps using HTML 5 must be in full compliance with guideline 4.7 sections 4, 5, and 6 of the ‌App Store‌ Review Guidelines.
Notably, apps will not be required to adopt ‌Sign in with Apple‌ or comply with new guidelines for apps designed for children until the end of June.

Apple says the deadlines are being extended to accommodate developers who may need additional time to update their apps on the ‌App Store‌. Apple was previously requiring developers to meet these deadlines in April 2020.
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iOS Vulnerability Prevents VPNs From Encrypting All Traffic

A vulnerability affecting iOS 13.3.1 and later prevents virtual private networks (VPNs) from encrypting all traffic, allowing some internet connections to bypass encryption, potentially exposing users' data and IP addresses.

A screenshot from ProtonVPN demonstrating exposed connections to Apple's servers that should be protected by the VPN

Details on the vulnerability were shared today by Bleeping Computer after it was discovered by ProtonVPN. The vulnerability is caused because iOS isn't terminating all existing connections when a user connects to a VPN, allowing them to reconnect to destination servers once the VPN tunnel has been established.

Connections made after connecting to a VPN on an iOS are not affected by this bug, but all previously established connections are not secure. This could potentially lead to a user who believes they are protected accidentally exposing IP an address and therefore, an approximate location.

Apple's Push Notifications are cited as an example of a process using connections on Apple's servers that aren't closed automatically when connecting to a VPN, but it can affect any app or service running on a user's device.

VPNs cannot work around the issue because iOS does not allow VPN apps to kill existing network connections, so this is a fix that will need to be implemented by Apple. Apple is aware of the vulnerability and is looking into options to mitigate it.

Until fixed, VPN users can connect to a VPN server, turn on Airplane Mode and then turn off Airplane Mode to kill all existing connections. The mitigation isn't entirely reliable, however, so iPhone and iPad owners who rely on VPNs should be careful until Apple puts out a fix.
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Apple Donates Over 9 Million N95 Masks Stockpiled Because of California Wildfires

Apple over the weekend announced plans to donate millions of N95 masks to hospitals in the United States and Europe, and as it turns out, Apple had huge stores of masks on hand.


According to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Apple donated over nine million N95 masks to healthcare professionals. Other tech companies like Facebook have also donated stockpiles of masks.

For those wondering where all these N95 masks are coming from, it turns out that the state of California enacted a law requiring companies to provide respiratory equipment to their employees due to the massive wildfires that have engulfed Northern California for the past few years.

California's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted the regulation in 2019, according to CNBC. The regulation says that an N95 filtering facepiece respirator is the minimum level of protection for wildfire smoke.

The ongoing viral outbreak in the United States and other countries has led to a shortage of N95 masks, and there have been reports of healthcare workers doing their jobs without adequate protection due to the supply issues.

Apple has more than 90,000 employees in the United States, but only a fraction of those work at its headquarters, offices, and retail locations in California. It's not entirely clear why Apple had such a large stockpile of masks, but the available supply will be welcome by hospitals in dire need of protective equipment.
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Mobile Networks in Multiple Countries Display ‘Stay Home’ Message When Users Connect to Cellular Instead of WiFi

iPhone users in several countries who opt to turn off WiFi on their devices will see a "Stay Home" message at the top of the Control Center where cellular network information is displayed.

Image via Matt Navarra

According to reports on Twitter, the status bar messages are showing up in countries that include Germany, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Peru, Turkey, India, Luxembourg, Romania, Indonesia, Nigeria, and more.

The message appears when WiFi is toggled off in the Control Center, causing cellular network connectivity information to appear, but it would also show up without turning off WiFi when leaving an available WiFi network and transitioning to cellular. No U.S. networks appear to be showing the Stay Home wording this time.

Countries where the Stay Home message is showing up are encouraging residents to stay inside and practice social distancing to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, with the text serving as a reminder.
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Original 1978 Apple Computer Retail Sign With Iconic Rainbow Logo Being Auctioned Off

An original Apple Computer Inc. sign created around 1978 with Apple's well-known rainbow logo is set to be auctioned off later this week.


Measuring in at four feet by five feet, the sign is said to be one of the earliest Apple retail signs and was displayed by an Apple authorized reseller who first learned about Apple after attending a 1976 computer conference.

The sign is yellowed and the description says there are "a few surface marks," but overall, the rainbow colors are said to be bright and in good condition. The sign will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on March 26, and the starting price is $20,000.
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App Store Expanding to 20 New Countries

The App Store is expanding to 20 new countries in the near future, Apple informed developers this afternoon.
Thanks to the creativity and innovation of developers like you, the ‌App Store‌ has become much more than the world's safest marketplace. It's grown into a vibrant platform with great apps that influence culture and change lives, with over half a billion visitors each week. This wide-reaching platform has helped generate over $155 billion in developer earnings -- just from sales of apps and in-app purchases. Today, the ‌App Store‌ gives you the opportunity to connect with users in 155 countries or regions. We're pleased to announce that the ‌App Store‌ will expand even farther this year with upcoming support for 20 new countries, allowing you to increase your impact and grow your business in new markets.
Apple says that developers who want their apps to appear in the new countries must accept the Program License Agreement on the Apple Developer Website and then choosing the "New Countries or Regions" checkbox in the Pricing and Availability section of the app information page.

Apple suggests developers complete these steps by April 10, 2020, to make sure apps are ready to be published as the ‌App Store‌ becomes ready in new locations.

The ‌App Store‌ is already available in 155 countries and regions, and Apple has not specified which countries are included in the expansion. A full list of countries that have access to the ‌App Store‌ can be found on Apple's website, though the new content has not been added yet.
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Apple Watch Now Excluded From U.S. Tariffs on Chinese Goods

Apple in November asked the U.S. government to exclude the Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, and iPhone components from tariffs on goods imported from China, and the ‌Apple Watch‌ has been exempted.


According to Bloomberg, the U.S. Trade Representative on Friday approved a tariff waiver for Apple's wrist worn device.

A 15 percent tariff on a long list of products imported from China went into effect on September 1, though it was halved on February 15 after an initial trade deal was established.

Apple said that the ‌Apple Watch‌ should be exempted because it is "it is not strategically important or related to 'Made in China 2025' or other Chinese industrial programs." Apple also claimed that it was not able to find a source outside of China to meet demand for ‌Apple Watch‌ production in 2020.

Apple has also filed for waivers for ‌AirPods‌, ‌HomePod‌, ‌iPhone‌ components, and other products impacted by the tariffs.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in October said that he was hopeful the U.S. and China would resolve their trade issues. "I don't know every chapter of the book, but I think that will eventually happen," Cook said. "I certainly hope it happens during the quarter, but we'll see about that."

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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