Illinois is the latest state to attempt to pass legislation that would prevent developers from being required to use Apple's in-app purchase options by allowing for alternate payment solutions within apps.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
As outlined by Arizona news site WGEM, under the Freedom to Describe Directly Act, distribution platforms like the App Store and Google Play would not be able to force Illinois developers to use a "particular in-application payment system" as the exclusive mode for accepting payments, nor would they be able to retaliate against developers who opt to use an alternate payment option.

Illinois-based Basecamp CEO David Heinemeier-Hansson, who in 2020 was involved in a public dispute with Apple over email app "Hey," is one of the supporters of the new bill. When launched, the Hey app did not work without a subscription, but did not include an option to purchase a subscription in the app and instead opened straight to a login screen.

Apple did not believe that an app opening to a login was an ideal user experience and threatened to remove Hey from the ‌App Store‌ if a subscription option wasn't added. Hey ultimately got around the restriction by offering a free option that users could test when first installing the app.

Heinemeier-Hansson has since been championing various state bills that attempt to provide developers with non-App Store payment options, but none of these bills have succeeded. North Dakota, Arizona, and Minnesota have all attempted to get around in-app purchase rules by passing bills, but Apple and Google lobbied hard against them.

Apple's chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer said that Arizona's bill was a "government mandate that Apple give away the ‌App Store‌," and Apple's Chief Privacy Engineer Erik Neuenschwander said that the North Dakota's bill threatened to "destroy the iPhone as you know it."

The Arizona bill actually passed in the Arizona House of Representatives and the Arizona House Committee, but the Arizona Senate pulled the bill before it could be voted on. Arizona State Representative Regina Cobb said at the time that Apple and Google "hired almost every lobbyist in town" to kill the bill.

Illinois might not have much luck with its bill given Apple's efforts to fight against such legislation, but Apple has recently been required to allow alternate in-app payment systems in South Korea and the Netherlands. Apple is also facing federal legislation that would allow for alternate app stores and alternate payment methods, which the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hear soon.

In both the Netherlands and South Korea, Apple is still collecting a commission on transactions, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has made it clear that any alternate payment options in the U.S. would also see Apple implementing an alternate way of collecting fees.

"We would still have to come up with an alternate way of collecting our commission," Cook said during the Epic v. Apple trial. Cook explained that Apple would need to find a way to track sales, invoice them, and chase developers for money. "It seems like a process that doesn't need to exist," he said.

Following weeks of delays due to concerns from the aviation industry, Verizon and AT&T were today able to begin deploying C-Band 5G spectrum to improve the availability of 5G connectivity for users across the United States.

iphone 5g mmwave
AT&T's C-Band spectrum is live in limited parts of eight metro areas that include Austin, Chicago, Dallas Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Orlando, and South Florida. AT&T is taking a careful approach to the rollout, but the carrier says that C-Band spectrum will "expand rapidly" as part of a ramp up in its "thoughtful and efficient deployment." iPhone users who have access to AT&T's C-Band network or previously existing mmWave connectivity will see a "5G+" indicator in the ‌iPhone‌'s cellular status bar.

As for Verizon, the company earlier this month announced plans to expand its 5G Ultra Wideband service to 1,700 cities later in January, and that expansion started today with the launch of C-Band spectrum. Verizon users on Reddit are sharing details on where Verizon's 5G connectivity has suddenly improved, noting the locations where C-Band connectivity is live. Verizon users will see a "5G UW" indicator.

There are reports from across the country, including Los Angeles, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Minneapolis, Rochester, and many other smaller cities. Verizon said that it expected the C-Band rollout to bring faster 5G speeds to more than 100 million people, but has not yet shared a C-Band coverage map.

AT&T's 5G+ and Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband are up to 10x faster than LTE speeds and can hit upwards of a gigabit per second.

Verizon and AT&T are both limiting their C-Band deployment in areas that are near airport runways to give airlines and the FAA more time to figure out whether there are issues with airplane altimeters.

Earlier this week, major U.S. airlines penned an urgent letter warning that the 5G rollout could cause a "catastrophic" crisis resulting in cancelled, delayed, and diverted flights.

The FAA has implemented buffer zones around 50 major airports with wireless transmitters close to runways, but for the time being, AT&T and Verizon will block off a two mile zone around affected airports to address concerns.

Airlines and the two carriers have expressed frustrations over the FAA's lack of action, as the agency has had years to prepare. C-Band spectrum went up for auction in late 2020, with Verizon paying $45 billion and AT&T paying $23 billion for access.

"We are frustrated by the FAA's inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it to do so in a timely manner," AT&T said in a statement.

Tags: AT&T, Verizon, 5G

It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow.


Dan is using the 16-inch MacBook Pro that features an M1 Max chip with 10 compute cores and a 32-core GPU, aka the top of the line chip. The machine features 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD, and it is the high-end pre-configured version that Apple offers.

In usage, the MacBook Pro is close to perfect, but Dan does go over a handful of complaints in his video. The MacBook Pro is subject to crashes and restarts when used in clamshell mode, which could be attributed to third-party Thunderbolt accessories.

The SSD can also malfunction randomly when transferring footage from an external drive. At times, transfer speeds slow to a crawl, an issue fixed with a restart. These are the two major issues that Dan has experienced, and he has otherwise had no problems. Performance overall is excellent, the display is beautiful, and the extra ports are useful.

For those considering a purchase, Dan says that he wishes that he had gone with a 2TB SSD over a 1TB because of his video editing needs, and he's not sure that he's happy with the weight and size of the 16-inch MacBook Pro when the same functionality is available with the smaller and more portable 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Make sure to watch Dan's video for his full review, and let us know in the comments how you're liking your 2021 M1 Pro/‌M1 Max‌ MacBook Pro if you have one.

Instagram today began rolling out subscription options that are designed to allow Instagram users to pay for exclusive Instagram Live videos and Stories from their preferred creators.

Instagram Feature 1
As noted by TechCrunch, Instagram is testing the subscription feature with a selection of 10 U.S. creators, each of whom can choose their subscription price. Subscription pricing ranges from $0.99 per month to $99.99 per month.

Signs of subscription plan options first surfaced in November in the form of Instagram Subscription options as in-app purchases in the Instagram app, and these subscription purchases are now live for some people.

Instagram users who subscribe to a creator will have access to subscriber-only stories, live streams, and other content. Subscribers will receive purple badges that will allow them to stand out in comments and direct messages.

For the time being, all of the money earned from subscriptions will go directly to creators, and Instagram will not begin taking a cut until "at least 2023," with the aim of helping creators "make a living."

Last week, MacRumors shared news that Apple had stopped releasing iOS 14 security updates and was pushing those still on iOS 14 to upgrade to iOS 15, an apparent reversal of a promise to allow users to stay on the iOS 14 operating system.

iOS 14 vs 15 feature
Apple today told Ars Technica that the option to stay on iOS 14 and avoid the ‌iOS 15‌ upgrade was always meant to be temporary. It is not a mistake that there are no more security updates to iOS 14, and support for the update has essentially ended.

When ‌iOS 15‌ was released, Apple's feature page said that the company would provide a choice "between two software update versions" in the Settings app, and that it would offer security updates for iOS 14 until people were prepared to upgrade.

You can update to the latest version of iOS 15 as soon as it's released for the latest features and most complete set of security updates. Or continue on iOS 14 and still get important security updates until you're ready to upgrade to the next major version.

When ‌iOS 15‌ was released and this information was published, Apple did not make it clear that this was a temporary option, but the company in September 2021 did publish an updated support document that mentioned the option to stay on iOS 14 would be available "for a period of time."

If you're using iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later, you might now see the option to choose between two software update versions. This option allows you to choose between updating to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS 15 as soon as it's released, or continuing on iOS or iPadOS 14 while still getting important security updates for a period of time.

Apple's last iOS 14 security update, iOS 14.8.1, was released in October and there have been and will be no subsequent updates. In fact, as we outlined last week, on an iPhone running iOS 14.8, the iOS 14.8.1 update is no longer available at all. iOS 15.2.1 is the only update option for all iPhones running iOS 14.

Though Apple said users could wait until they're ready to upgrade, the company now appears to be expecting people to install the ‌iOS 15‌ update. ‌iPhone‌ and iPad users who want the latest security updates and protections will need to install the newest versions of ‌iOS 15‌ and iPadOS 15.

‌iOS 15‌ is available on all of the devices that are able to run iOS 14, and removing the iOS 14 upgrade option will spur people still on iOS 14 to finally install the new software. Apple last week released iOS 15 installation numbers, and it turns out that it hasn't been as popular as prior iOS updates.

The ‌iOS 15‌ update is installed on just 72 percent of devices from the last four years, which is a notably lower adoption rate than we've seen with prior versions of iOS, so it is perhaps no surprise that Apple is ending its "temporary" support for iOS 14.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young.

iphone se 2020 top
Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at the latest. iPhone SE launches have always taken place in the spring, with the original model launching in March 2016 and the second-generation model launching in April 2020.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently tweeted that Apple will be holding a spring event to announce the new iPhone SE and other new hardware. Last year, Apple held an event on April 20 to unveil the AirTag, new iPad Pro and 24-inch iMac models powered by the M1 chip, a new Apple TV 4K, and a purple color option for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini.

The third-generation iPhone SE is expected to have the same design as the current iPhone SE, including a 4.7-inch display. Key new features rumored for the device include the same A15 Bionic chip as iPhone 13 models and 5G support.


Young has proven to be a reliable source of display-related information for future Apple products. Last year, for example, he accurately claimed that the new iPad mini would feature an 8.3-inch display with the home button removed. He was also first to report that the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro would feature ProMotion displays.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2020
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPhone

Today on Amazon you can get the new AirPods Pro with MagSafe Charging Case for $189.99, down from $249.00. This model of the AirPods Pro is sold directly by Amazon and is in stock and ready to ship today.

AirPods Pro Discount Feature desaturatedNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Compared to the record low price seen last month, Amazon's sale today is a second-best deal and so far the best discount tracked in 2022. Given the exclusivity of holiday markdowns, this $59 discount is likely the best deal we'll see on the new AirPods Pro for a while.

For a cheaper model, you can also save on the AirPods 2 on Amazon. This model is available for $109.99, down from $129.00. This is the version of the AirPods from 2019 that comes with a wired Charging Case.

We track sales for every model of the AirPods in our Best AirPods Deals guide, so be sure to bookmark that page while you shop around for the wireless headphones.

Related Roundups: AirPods Pro, Apple Deals
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Neutral)
Related Forum: AirPods

Samsung is significantly falling behind in the rush to bring augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices to market, partially due to the company's "obsession" with foldable smartphones, The Korea Herald reports.

apple ar headset concept 1Apple mixed-reality headset concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo

Samsung's main competitors, including Apple, Microsoft, Meta, and Sony, are developing or have already launched AR and VR devices amid massive industry-wide investments into the future of the technology, but it is unclear if Samsung is actively developing such devices at all. eBest Investment and Securities analyst Kim Gwang-soo said:

Big tech companies, rather than smartphone manufacturers, are leading XR devices because they have the necessary content and platforms. Google has an operating system Android, Microsoft has Xbox and Sony has PlayStation. It's risky for Samsung to roll out XR devices, so it has no choice but to stick to foldable smartphones.

The growth of Samsung's smartphone business has slowed down to just 0.9 percent year on year, but the company remains committed to the potential of foldable devices to reignite momentum. Samsung shareholders are said to be concerned by its perceived preoccupation with foldable devices, which is distracting the company's attention from the need to compete with future AR and VR devices from its main rivals.


Market data indicates that the market for AR and VR devices will increase tenfold in the next three years, reaching a value of $300 billion in 2024, supported by over 70 million devices. In the long term, such devices are expected to partially replace PCs and smartphones, becoming mainstream IT devices. For example, Apple is said to be planning for its AR and VR devices to replace the iPhone in ten years.

Industry insiders claim that even if Samsung develops its own AR and VR devices, it lacks the content and platform to create a cohesive and compelling ecosystem. In an attempt to catch up in the race to make inroads into the AR and VR market, Samsung made a belated investment in DigiLens, a California startup that makes AR glasses.

To stay relevant, market observers are warning that Samsung may need to find a partner that already has content or a platform in exchange for chip expertise, similar to the relationship between Qualcomm and Microsoft. Qualcomm has partnered with Microsoft to move into the AR and VR space, on the back of its experience developing chips specifically for these sorts of devices. Qualcomm is now developing an AR chip specifically for Microsoft's AR glasses and helping it achieve a slimmer, lighter design by reducing the chip's energy requirements. Samsung could seek a similar arrangement with another stakeholder.

The report cited the recent announcement of Sony's PSVR2 and Panasonic's MeganeX headset at CES 2022 as examples of the progress of Samsung's competitors. Meanwhile, Meta is working on a new high-end VR headset with an array of sensors for tracking facial expressions, which is set to launch this year. Apple is reportedly planning to announce a mixed-reality headset as soon as this year, featuring a lightweight design, a processor comparable to the M1 Pro, 4K Micro OLED displays, motion-tracking, and more, but a recent report claimed that the device could now be delayed until next year.

Despite normally beating Apple to market with emerging technologies, such as OLED displays, foldable smartphones, and even ultra-wideband tracking devices, it looks as though there will be no Samsung device to rival Apple's headset when it finally launches.

Despite mocking the display notch when it first appeared on the iPhone X, Samsung's opinion of notches appears to have swung from one extreme to the other as the company now thinks they don't look so bad on tablet devices either.

samsung galaxy tab s8 ultra
Spotted by 91Mobiles, the picture above briefly appeared on a Samsung support page for Bixby and shows the notched design of the upcoming Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, the company's next flagship Android tablet. Notches on Samsung smartphones have appeared in the past, but this is the company's first flagship tablet device to feature one.

The small cutout sits at the top of the display when in landscape orientation, and is said to house two 12-megapixel selfie cameras, with the second sensor potentially being ultra-wide for group selfies. Presumably either Samsung has prioritized ultra-slim bezels which don't provide enough space to house the cameras, or the company has chosen to locate them prominently in a notch as a form of visual branding.

Coincidentally, the notched screens look vaguely reminiscent of the displays on Apple's latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, except the cutout always stays at the top of the screen on Apple's Macs, whereas on a tablet the notch will switch location depending on the held orientation.


Apple has worked to reduce the size of the notch on successive smartphone models, and is expected to replace it completely in the iPhone 14 Pro in favor of hole-punch and pill-shaped cutouts in the display. As for Apple's tablets, the company has completely avoided notches on its iPad Pro models by hiding the camera sensors in the bezel, and for devices where it has been unable to do the same with Face ID sensors, it has opted for Touch ID in the power button instead, such as in the iPad mini 6.

For what it's worth, MacRumors has seen concept renders of alleged future iPads with a notch located at the top of the display when the device is held in portrait orientation. Apart from the fact that the sources were not reliable, we don't expect Apple to adopt a tablet design that encroaches on what is already an unobstructed display. Apple has also likely factored in the different use cases for iPads, with users switching the screen orientation of a tablet more often than they do with a smartphone.

samsung galaxy tab s8 ultra feat 1

Render of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra (Image credit: @OnLeaks)

The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is said to have a 14.6-inch OLED display with an under-screen fingerprint sensor, a 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2,960 x 1,848. The Android tablet is also expected to feature up to 16GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, S Pen stylus support, and optional 5G support.

The Ultra device is thought to be the top-tier device in a three tablet lineup that includes the Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus, all of which could appear alongside Samsung's new Galaxy S22 smartphone series at a rumored launch event next month.

Tag: Samsung

Apple is now requiring that customers in the United States verify that they're active students, teachers, or staff members at an educational institution in order to access education discounts on products.

appleeducation
Previously, little verification was needed for customers to purchase products through Apple's education store in the United States. Apple's education stores offer models of the iPad and Mac at reduced price points, making them more affordable to students, teachers, and staff who will use them for education purposes.

As the store was accessible to all, some customers may have used it even if they weren't an education customer, which likely led Apple to implement tighter rules for its U.S. store.

As spotted on Reddit, Apple in the United States now requires that current students, teachers, and staff members verify their eligibility for education discounts through UNiDAYS. UNiDAYS is a website specialized in providing education customers with discounts for products and services by confirming their enrollment in an educational institution.

Apple had previously implemented the same approach to its education store in other countries, such as India and the United Kingdom. At the time of writing, Apple's Canadian education store remains open, with customers able to purchase discounted products without the need to verify eligibility through UNiDAYS.

Apple today reduced the estimated maximum dollar amounts that customers can receive when trading in several different Android smartphones for an iPhone. Apple also adjusted trade-in values for certain iPad and Mac models.

iPhone trade in
On its website, Apple displays the highest possible amount a customer can get when trading in a specific device for an Apple product, such as an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch. The listed prices only represent the highest possible value, with the final trade-in value dependent on factors such as the condition of the device.

Today's price reductions for Android smartphones are notable, with some more significant than others (price reflects maximum value and prices in brackets are previous prices).

  • Samsung Galaxy S21 5G - $260 ($325)
  • Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G - $325 ($435)
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+ - $205 ($275)
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 - $150 ($205)
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+ - $170 ($185)
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 - $150 ($160)
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e - $120 ($130)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ - $80 ($95)
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 - $65 ($75)
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ - $60 (no change)
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 - $50 (no change)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - $405 ($545)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 - $285 ($385)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 - $175 ($235)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 - $120 ($130)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8 - $45 ($65)
  • Google Pixel 5 - $235 ($315)
  • Google Pixel 4 XL - $135 ($180)
  • Google Pixel 4 - $110 ($150)
  • Google Pixel 4a - $120 ($160)
  • Google Pixel 3 XL - $50 ($70)
  • Google Pixel 3 - $45 ($55)
  • Google Pixel 3a XL - $50 ($55)
  • Google Pixel 3a - $50 (no change)

The changes to Mac and iPad prices are listed below.

  • Baseline iPad - $200 ($205)
  • iPad Air - $335 ($345)
  • MacBook Pro - $1415 ($1630)
  • MacBook Air - $530 ($550)
  • MacBook (discontuined) - $325 ($340)
  • iMac - $1260 ($1320)
  • Mac mini - $740 ($800)

More information on Apple's trade-in program can be found on its website.

Over the weekend, we reported on a bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB that can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS.

safari icon blue banner
Apple has since prepared a fix for the bug, according to a WebKit commit on GitHub, but the fix will not be available to users until Apple releases macOS Monterey, iOS 15, and iPadOS 15 updates with an updated version of Safari. Apple declined to comment when asked to provide a timeframe for a fix being released to the public.

The bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB for client-side data storage to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session. The bug could allow one website to track other websites the user visits in different tabs or windows, as the database names are often specific to each website, and sometimes the database names contain user-specific identifiers that could reveal a user's identity.

FingerprintJS has a live demo of the bug, which affects newer versions of browsers using Apple's open source browser engine WebKit, including Safari 15 for macOS and Safari on all versions of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. The bug also affects third-party browsers like Chrome and Edge on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, as Apple requires all iPhone and iPad browsers to use WebKit.

The bug does not affect Safari 14 for macOS or any browser on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, according to FingerprintJS, which has a blog post with more details.

Tag: Safari

Apple accessory maker Mophie this week debuted its newest product, a MagSafe-Compatible 3-in-1 Travel Charger that can be purchased directly from Apple's online store.

mophie charger 1
The fold-up 3-in-1 Travel Charger has dedicated spaces for charging the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. It is listed as a MagSafe-compatible charger, but Mophie says that it's Made for MagSafe certified and is able to charge an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 at up to 15W, much like Apple's own ‌MagSafe‌ Charger.

All ‌iPhone 12‌ and 13 models with the exception of the ‌iPhone 12‌/13 mini are able to charge at 15W using the ‌MagSafe‌ charging spot, and the mini will charge at up to 12W. iPhone 11 and earlier models will be limited to 7.5W.

mophie charger 2
Mophie says that the charger is using Apple's official components and has gone through the MFI process, so the hardware included can charge the ‌iPhone 12‌ and 13 at the fastest wireless speeds possible.

Many of the "MagSafe-compatible" chargers on the market are using magnets to connect to ‌MagSafe‌ iPhones but aren't equipped with Apple's hardware and are limited to 7.5W charging, which can make charging terminology confusing. That does not appear to be the case with the new Travel Charger, based on what Mophie has said.

Along with a MagSafe-compatible wireless charger, there are dedicated AirPods and Apple Watch chargers that can provide up to 5W, and an included USB-C wall adapter that provides 30W. Mophie is also shipping the Travel Charger with a carrying case that is able to hold all of the components and the power adapter.

mophie charger and carrying case
The 3-in-1 Travel Charger is designed to fold up into thirds for portability, making it easy to tuck in a suitcase or backpack on a trip. It is functionally similar to Apple's ‌MagSafe‌ Duo, but includes three charging spots instead of two.

Mophie's 3-in-1 Travel Charger is available from the online Apple Store starting today, and it will be in retail locations in February.

Tag: Mophie

Belkin today came out with a new $60 MagSafe Charger, which offers MagSafe charging speeds and adds an additional feature -- a built-in kickstand.

belkin magsafe charger
Available in black or white from the online Apple Store, the Boost Charge Pro Portable Wireless Charger Pad With ‌MagSafe‌ offers 15W charging speeds for most iPhone 12 and 13 models. The exception is the ‌iPhone 12‌ and 13 mini, which max out at 12W with ‌MagSafe‌.

Belkin is one of the only Apple accessory companies that has been able to release ‌MagSafe‌ accessories that are using Apple's actual ‌MagSafe‌ standard. Most of the magnetic accessories on the market are "MagSafe-compatible" and are limited to 7.5W charging because ‌MagSafe‌ is only available via hardware supplied by Apple, similar to how the Apple Watch charging pucks work.

The Boost Charge Pro Wireless Charger works exactly like Apple's ‌MagSafe‌ charger, adhering to compatible ‌MagSafe‌ iPhones using magnets. It also features an extra long braided cable that's two meters in length, and it has a pop-up stand that can hold the iPhone upright for watching video content and making FaceTime calls.

At $60, Belkin's ‌MagSafe‌ Charger is $20 more expensive than Apple's own MagSafe Charger, but the built-in kickstand and longer braided cable length may be appealing to some. The Boost Charge Pro Wireless Charger can be purchased from the online Apple Store or directly from the Belkin website.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Belkin. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December.

AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature
Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings.

There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is generally installed over-the-air while the ‌‌AirPods‌‌ are connected to an iOS device. Putting the ‌‌‌‌‌AirPods‌‌‌‌‌ in the case, connecting the ‌‌‌‌‌AirPods‌‌‌‌‌ to a power source, and then pairing the ‌‌‌‌‌AirPods‌‌‌‌‌ to an iPhone or an iPad should force the update after a short period of time.

You can check your ‌‌‌AirPods‌‌ firmware by following these steps:

  • Connect your ‌‌AirPods‌‌ or ‌‌‌‌AirPods Pro‌‌‌‌ to your iOS device.
  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap About.
  • Tap ‌‌‌‌‌AirPods‌‌‌‌‌.
  • Look at the number next to "Firmware Version."

If we find notable changes after the firmware update is installed, we'll share details, but the software likely focuses primarily on performance improvements and bug fixes rather than new features.

Related Roundup: AirPods 3
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

U.S. bills that would require major changes to the App Store would ultimately cause consumers to be targeted with malware, ransomware, and scams, Apple's Senior Director of Government Affairs Timothy Powderly said in a letter that was sent today to the Senate Judiciary Committee and that was obtained by MacRumors.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
Apple sent the letter as the Judiciary Committee prepares to consider the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open Markets Act, which were first introduced in June 2021. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act will be examined first, and if implemented, would prevent "dominant platforms" from "abusing their gatekeeper power" by favoring their own products and services over those of competitors.

In short, the legislation would enable sideloading, which Apple is stringently against. Sideloading would allow apps and content to be installed on iPhones and iPads through alternate app stores, bypassing Apple's App Store and the privacy measures that Apple has put in place.

Apple says that bills would "hurt competition and discourage innovation" by making it "much harder" to protect the privacy and security of personal devices in the United States.

These bills will reward those who have been irresponsible with users' data and empower bad actors who would target consumers with malware, ransomware, and scams. [...]

The bills put consumers in harm's way because of the real risk of privacy and security breaches. In addition to making privacy and security protections nearly impossible to defend, the bills would actually allow predators and scammers to side-step Apple's privacy and security protections completely. This circumvention is possible because the bills would mandate "sideloading," or the direct installation of software from the internet in a way that circumvents the privacy and security protections Apple has designed, including human review of every app and every app update.

Apple claims it would also be restricted from providing new privacy and security protections under wording that maintains such features must be "necessary" and "narrowly tailored," which the company says is a "nearly insurmountable test" that could prevent customers from having access to a "smart mobile device that provides them with the highest-level of security and privacy protection."

The ‌App Store‌ and Apple's human review process protect customers from "malicious and dangerous code," and consumers would lose that protection should these bills be implemented. In the letter, Apple again highlighted a study that showed iOS devices have 98 percent less malware than Android devices as proof of the effectiveness of the ‌App Store‌.

Apple says that the bill would be a "big win for those who would profit by collecting even more personal information," and that "millions of Americans" could be deceived into installing unwanted malicious software and would suffer preventable malware attacks. Regulators "should not ignore" the benefits that consumers receive from Apple.

Among other things, the bills would undo much of the progress Congress has made bolstering American competitiveness, rebuilding supply chains, and encouraging domestic manufacturing by instead codifying a structural advantage for foreign competitors in the vibrant technology sector.

At the launch of iPhone in 2007, Steve Jobs said that "we're trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once: provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task."

Apple is urging the Senate Judiciary Committee not to approve either act that's under consideration in their current form, and the company asks for the opportunity to work with the Committee to find solutions to "address competition concerns while protecting consumers' privacy and security."

Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters).

iphone 5g mmwave
"Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially be grounded," read the statement, penned by CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, UPS Airlines, Alaska Air, Atlas Air, JetBlue Airways, and FedEx Express. More than 1,100 flights could be cancelled, diverted, or delayed, stranding over 100,000 passengers, and airlines have called for "immediate intervention."

The Federal Aviation Administration has claimed that interference from the C-Band 5G could affect airplane altimeters, impacting operations in poor weather conditions. The FAA has already implemented buffer zones around 50 major airports with wireless transmitters close to runways, but the airlines have said that this is not enough and are asking for C-Band 5G to be restricted in a two mile area around airport runways at affected locations.

According to the letter, the FAA has not cleared some of the airports that are "used by most of the traveling and shipping public," which is going to cause significant delays when C-Band spectrum goes live tomorrow.

Given the short time frame and the exigency of this completely avoidable economic calamity, we respectfully request you support and take whatever action necessary to ensure that 5G is deployed except when towers are too close to airport runways until the FAA can determine how that can be safely accomplished without catastrophic disruption.

AT&T and Verizon have been planning to deploy C-Band spectrum to improve their 5G networks since December, but have faced multiple delays due to objections from the FAA and FCC. The two companies last agreed to delay the rollout until January 19, to give airlines more time to prepare to ensure fewer disruptions to air operations.

The two carriers paid billions of dollars for the C-Band spectrum to bolster their 5G networks, and have ensured customers that improvements are coming soon. Verizon last week announced plans to expand 5G Ultra Wideband technology to more than 1,700 cities in the U.S. using the spectrum, and the two carriers are reluctant to agree to further delays.

In response to the letter from the airlines, the FAA said that it "will continue to ensure that the traveling public is safe as wireless companies deploy 5G. The FAA continues to work with the aviation industry and wireless companies to try to limit 5G-related flight delays and cancellations."

Verizon and AT&T this morning said that they will voluntarily delay turning on a limited number of 5G towers to address the aviation industry's concerns. AT&T said that it is frustrated by the FAA's lack of action, given the time the agency has had to prepare.

We are frustrated by the FAA's inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it to do so in a timely manner.

At the current time, it seems C-Band spectrum will indeed begin rolling out on January 19 as planned, but areas around some airport runways will not be activated at this time to avoid signal interference.

Tags: FCC, AT&T, Verizon

Aerial, the popular open-source screen saver that lets you play Apple TV screen saver videos on Mac, has received an annual update that brings some notable new features and possibilities opened up by macOS Monterey.

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First up, Aerial 3 brings full support for all the videos that tvOS 15 brought to Apple TV, including Grand Canyon and Patagonia, but also the latest Iceland and Scotland videos that Apple released a few weeks back.

In addition, Aerial 3 introduces an overhauled interface to simplify previously complex tasks. At the center of this redesign is a new "Now Playing" menu that lets users easily make playback selections based on location, favorites, times, scenes, and sources.

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Staying on the topic of sources, thanks to improvements made by Apple in ‌macOS Monterey‌, Aerial 3 also includes perhaps its most-awaited feature – the ability to store downloaded videos in a custom location, whether that's an internal drive, an external drive, or even a network-shared storage device. In the latter scenario, multiple users on the same machine can also share the same cache.

Meanwhile, there are several improvements to custom video overlays, including more options for weather forecasts (with support for wind and humidity), more formats for clocks and dates, and perhaps most notably, support for Apple Music and Spotify to show which track is playing in the background.

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Lastly, among other improvements, this version adds support for vertical displays and the ability to slow down or speed up videos.

In conjunction with Aerial 3's release, Josh Michael and Hal Bergman, who gifted 20 videos to the project last year, have released over four hours of video filmed in Monterey, New York and around American Southwest for purchase. The production process was reworked so that the content fits with Apple's official aerials, making them slower-paced and longer so they feel just right.

You can download Aerial 3 for free from the Aerial webpage, or use the direct download option on Github.