Yesterday, a number of Apple Card users were seeing mentions of 6% Daily Cash showing up next to some recent Apple purchases, leading to some confusion about whether Apple was launching a special promotion to double the usual 3% cashback program.
Not all purchases were showing up with the 6% bonus, as some users were seeing only the standard 3% and Apple Card support representatives were indicating that the 6% mentions were in error.
Apple has confirmed that this was indeed an error, but the company is going to honor the offer for users who did manage to make a purchase and see the 6% listing, as the company is emailing affected customers to let them know they will be receiving the 3% standard Daily Cash for their purchases as well as a one-time credit for an additional 3% Daily Cash.
Important message regarding your account.
You may have noticed that a recent Apple purchase was eligible for 6% Daily Cash instead of the standard 3% Daily Cash.
This was an error due to a system issue; however, in addition to the 3% Daily Cash that you already received for this purchase, we will be providing you with a one-time credit for an additional 3% Daily Cash back - totaling 6% Daily Cash for that purchase.
You'll see the one-time credit appear as a Balance Adjustment in the Wallet app. This will also appear on your October monthly statement.
Apple emphasizes that this is a one-time credit and any future purchases at Apple will only qualify for the standard 3% Daily Cash.
Apple has had a busy year in 2021, releasing several new products, updates to services, new software updates, and more. Most recently, Apple finally announced the long-rumored redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, which was by far one of the most talked-about and anticipated product announcements this year.
With the new MacBook Pro models announced, some customers may be wondering if any other new products are coming from Apple this year. Simply put, probably not. Over the course of the year, rumors fluctuated as to what Apple would announce this year and when, with one major reason being the impact of the global health crisis on supply chains and Apple's ability to engineer products. Regardless, Apple did release a host of new products, and here's a quick refresher of all the new products announced this year.
October 2021 - AirPods 3, New HomePod mini colors, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with M1 Pro or M1 Max
Apple last year held three events in the fall, but that doesn't look like it's going to be the case this year. In September, Apple held its first event for the fall, announcing the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, Apple Watch Series 7, the iPad mini, and an updated entry-level iPad. Less than a month later, it announced redesigned MacBook Pro models and updated AirPods.
Between those two events, all of Apple's major product categories have seen updates, leaving very little for Apple to announce or release before the end of the year. Apple's October event was likely Apple's last event of the year, and therefore its last event before the upcoming holiday season. Apple generally prefers to have its holiday product lineup set by the end of October, with last year's three fall events extending into November being an anomaly due to production delays.
All of the company's most popular holiday gifts, such as AirPods and iPads, have already been updated, lending support to the idea that the company is not likely to announce any other new products this year. Despite the multiple product releases this year, some products were rumored to launch but didn't, and we could but are unlikely to see them before the end of 2021.
High-end Mac mini
Apple was rumored to announce a bit more than it did at its "Unleashed" event earlier this week, with an updated high-end Mac mini having been a possible wildcard announcement. Instead, the Mac portion of the event focused solely on the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips and the new MacBook Pro models.
Overall, the event lasted only 50 minutes, leaving Apple with sufficient time to have announced more if it wanted to. The extra time Apple had likely indicates that the new Mac mini is not ready yet and will debut next year. The new Mac mini is expected to be getting a new design with additional ports, which you can learn all about in our dedicated roundup.
AirPods Pro 2 and More
Going into Apple's October event, besides the MacBook Pros, Mac mini, and AirPods, some customers were holding out hope for some other surprises, such as the second-generation AirPods Pro or a larger iMac with Apple silicon.
Despite those hopes, none of those products were generally expected to be announced this year, and all credible reports suggest the new AirPods Pro, a new iMac, and a redesigned MacBook Air will launch next year. You can check out our product calendar to get an idea of how soon we may see products once 2022 rolls in.
Services and Operating System Updates
There are still two months until the end of 2021, and while we're unlikely to see any new hardware products from Apple in that timeframe beyond the new HomePod mini colors that will be shipping sometime in November, we are definitely going to be getting some new updates for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, bringing significant new features to users.
Apple next week will be releasing iOS and iPadOS 15.1, which will officially include SharePlay. SharePlay, a feature that lets users watch videos, listen to music, and more together over FaceTime, was previewed at WWDC in June and was not included in the initial launch of iOS and iPadOS 15 earlier in September. Once it launches, many third-party apps such as TikTok, Spotify, and others will also be able to incorporate support.
Apple is also promising to release Universal Control, a headlining feature of macOS Monterey, which launches on October 25, later this fall. Universal Control will let users use a single mouse and keyboard across multiple Macs and iPads, enabling a seamless workflow experience. Apple will also be expanding Fitness+, its fitness subscription service, to 15 additional countries before the end of the year.
Apple today announced it has updated its App Store Review Guidelines with three key changes related to outside-of-app communications, collecting contact information within an app, and in-app events featured in the App Store.
In late August, Apple announced it had reached a $100 million settlement that, pending court approval, would resolve a class action lawsuit from U.S. developers who alleged that Apple has a monopoly on the distribution of iOS apps and in-app purchases.
As part of the settlement, Apple said it would clarify that developers can use communications, such as email, to share information about payment methods outside of their iOS app, and this is now reflected in the updated App Store Review Guidelines.
Specifically, Apple removed the following sentence from section 3.1.3 of the guidelines:
Developers cannot use information obtained within the app to target individual users outside of the app to use purchasing methods other than in-app purchase (such as sending an individual user an email about other purchasing methods after that individual signs up for an account within the app).
Second, a new guideline under section 5.1.1 (x) indicates that apps may request basic contact information, such as a name and email address, so long as the request is optional for the user, features and services are not conditional on providing the information, and it complies with all other provisions of the guidelines.
Third, Apple has added guideline 2.3.13 to provide clarifications around the requirements for developers to feature in-app events in the App Store. In-app events can highlight in-game competitions, movie premieres, livestream experiences, fitness challenges, and more, and they will start appearing in the App Store on devices running iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 on October 27. The full text of the guideline is below.
In-app events are timely events that happen within your app. To feature your event on the App Store, it must fall within an event type provided in App Store Connect. All event metadata must be accurate and pertain to the event itself, rather than the app more generally. Events must happen at the times and dates you select in App Store Connect, including across multiple storefronts. You may monetize your event so long as you follow the rules set forth in Section 3 on Business. And your event deep link must direct users to the proper destination within your app. Read In-App Events for detailed guidance on acceptable event metadata and event deep links.
Apple unveiled new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models earlier this week, and the first real-world photos of the notebooks have surfaced.
YouTube creator Luke Miani tweeted the above photo of the 14-inch MacBook Pro next to the previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro, providing a real-world look at the notch at the top of the display, all-black keyboard design, and more. As noted by Miani, the photo was shared by a Reddit user in the MacBook Pro subreddit.
A brief unboxing video of the 14-inch MacBook Pro was also shared in the MacBook Pro subreddit. If you are experiencing issues with viewing the video embedded below on a mobile device, head to the Reddit post directly.
In addition, there is a press photo of Apple CEO Tim Cook next to what appears to be the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, revealing its slightly thicker chassis.
The new MacBook Pro models have been available to order since Monday and will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores on Tuesday, October 26. Pricing starts at $1,999 for the 14-inch model and at $2,499 for the 16-inch model.
CaseBorne, rebranded this year from ArmadilloTek, offers a range of different case options that are designed to keep Apple's iPhones safe from bumps, drops, and scratches. CaseBorne is having a 40 percent off sale on Amazon, so its case options are super affordable right now. Discounts are applied at checkout when using the links in our article.
The R Series cases, priced at $20 with the discount, are made from a clear polycarbonate material that leaves the body of the iPhone visible so you're not hiding the smartphone's design.
The cases feature soft rubber inside to absorb shock should the iPhone be dropped, and the case is enclosed in a protective aluminum frame available in iridescent, black, pink, and red. A raised lip protects the front of the display, and all buttons are protected but usable. It offers 12-foot drop protection without adding a significant amount of bulk.
CaseBorne also makes the R Series cases with a Kevlar/Aramid Fiber frame as an alternative to the clear polycarbonate, with this version available in black or red and priced at $24 with the discount.
For those who need maximum protection, CaseBorne offers the Vanguard Series cases, which are thicker and more rugged. Priced at $14 with the discount, the V Series cases offer three layers of protection and can keep the iPhone safe from drops as high as 21 feet.
There's a shock absorbent TPU material that combines with a hard plastic shell for total device protection, and the honeycomb design and reinforced corners provide additional protection for the iPhone's weak spots. There's a protective screen and the sides protect the buttons, plus plug-ins keep ports safe from dust.
The V Series cases come in black, orange, purple, and red, and there's a built-in kickstand at the back that can be pulled out when using the iPhone to watch videos.
We have one 128GB iPhone 13 to give away, and the winner will be able to pick the color of their choice. CaseBorne is also including a selection of its cases to fit the iPhone 13.
To enter to win our giveaway, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumorsFacebook page.
Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.
The contest will run from today (October 22) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on October 29. The winner will be chosen randomly on October 29 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.
Apple is developing second-generation AirPods Pro to follow the AirPods 3, with the new earbuds set to come out in 2022. We've heard little about the next-generation AirPods Pro so far, but a rumor from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has suggested they could be stemless.
MacRumors has now received alleged images of the second-generation AirPods Pro that contradict the stemless design rumors, but they're from a source ("Xerxes") without an established track record and we can't verify their accuracy. The person who provided the images to us said that they come from an "Apple internal source," and the person declined to provide additional information.
The AirPods Pro in the photos features the same design as the original AirPods Pro, with the exception of a missing optical sensor toward the underside of each earbud. Apple has moved from optical sensors to a skin-detect sensor in the AirPods 3, so it's possible the AirPods Pro 2 will follow suit in that regard.
Beyond the earbuds themselves, there are more obvious differences in the case. There are speaker holes at the bottom, which is an unusual choice for an AirPods casing design. The source who provided the images says that these speaker holes are being introduced because in iOS 16, Apple will be adding a new feature where "Find My will be available for the case and buds separately." The speaker holes will let the case play a sound to allow it to be located.
The case also depicts a metal loop at the side, which is meant to be for attaching a strap, but Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this instance. That said, it does not seem out of the realm of possibility that Apple would add a strap.
On the topic of a stemless design, the source says that the rumors are incorrect, and that Apple will not be eliminating the stem from the next-generation AirPods Pro.
MacRumors is a rumors site, as the name suggests, so we thought we'd share these images with our readers even though we cannot verify that these are an accurate representation of the AirPods Pro 2 at this point. Keep in mind that these features have not been confirmed by a source with a known track record for accuracy, and the information should be viewed with some skepticism at this point in time.
As mentioned above, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often provides an accurate assessment of Apple's plans, has said that Apple is aiming to make the AirPods Pro 2 more compact by eliminating the short stem that sticks out from the bottom. Apple has tested a more rounded shape, but getting the hardware of the AirPods Pro into a chassis that's reduced in size has proven difficult, so the plan could be scrapped.
We've heard no other rumors of new features or changes to the case design of the AirPods Pro 2 at this time. It is perhaps worth noting that the first refresh to the original AirPods, the AirPods 2, also did not feature a new design, instead focusing on a wireless charging addition for the case and other internal improvements. The AirPods Pro 2 are expected to launch at some point in 2022, but there's no word on when as of yet.
Following the announcement of the Apple Music Voice Plan earlier this month, Apple is now rolling out over 250 new activity and mood-based Apple Music playlists to users.
At its "Unleashed" event earlier this month, which also saw the launch of new AirPods and MacBook Pro models, Apple announced that Apple Music was gaining hundreds of new playlists based around moods and activities to compliment an all-new low-cost Voice Plan.
The Apple Music Voice Plan costs $4.99 per month and allows subscribers to access Apple Music's expansive library of songs and playlists using Siri on any Apple device, but withholds features like spatial audio and lossless. It also features a more pared back in-app experience with suggestions based on listening habits and a queue of music that was recently played through Siri, rather than the full Apple Music app UI.
To kickstart the Voice Plan, Apple announced that over 250 new playlists based around moods and activities were being added to Apple Music. These playlists are curated by Apple Music's editorial team and are optimized for the Voice Plan, though they are available to all Apple Music users. To access the playlists, users can use Siri commands like "Play the dinner party playlist," "Play something chill," or "Play more like this."
As first spotted by MacStories, these playlists are now rolling out to users. Each playlist features custom animated cover art in a minimalist style, but Apple is not currently providing a central location to access all of the new mood and activity playlists in the Apple Music app.
MacStories has shared a comprehensive guide that lists all of the new playlists and is even offering a Shortcut to get fast access to them locally. The guide and Shortcut groups the new playlists into categories such as Happy, Feeling Bad, Angry, Chill, Confidence and Optimism, Self-Care, Inspiration and Focus, Work and Study, Get Going and Get Out, Romantic, Family and Celebrations, Workout, Sports and Games, Activities, Doing Chores, Driving and Transportation, Places, Meals, Seasons and Weather, and Zodiac.
The Apple Music Voice Plan launches later this fall in 17 countries and regions, including Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Amazon has introduced its first ever discount on the all-new 14-inch MacBook Pro. You can get the 8-Core M1 Pro 512GB model for $1,949.99, down from $1,999.00. This $50 sale is the first time we're tracking a deal on the 14-inch MacBook Pro on Amazon, and the second overall deal following offers from Expercom.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Apple just announced the new MacBook Pro models this week, and they come in 14-inch and 16-inch size options. As of writing, no 16-inch MacBook Pro deals are available on Amazon, but be sure to keep an eye on our Best MacBook Deals guide for when those start to appear.
Shoppers should note that the 14-inch MacBook Pro is a pre-order on Amazon right now. You can still order the notebook today at a discount, and it's estimated to begin shipping out on launch day, October 26.
The new MacBook Pro models feature a redesigned look, with a full-screen display that includes a notch with a 1080p webcam. They include M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, featuring a 10-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores. This makes the new models up to 70 percent faster than the previous generation.
You can find even more discounts on other MacBooks by visiting our Best Deals guide for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. In this guide we track the steepest discounts for the newest MacBook models every week, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often if you're shopping for a new Apple notebook.
Update: A few hours after we posted, Amazon began discounting the 16-inch MacBook Pro as well. You can get the 10-Core M1 Pro, 1TB model for $2,649.99, down from $2,699.00.
One day ahead of the 20th anniversary of Steve Jobs unveiling the original iPod on October 23, 2001, Apple's former senior vice president of the iPod team Tony Fadell has reflected on his role in creating the device in an interview with CNET's Roger Cheng.
Fadell said that Apple was on a mission to launch the iPod before Christmas 2001. Impressively, he said that he "really got started" with developing the device in May 2001, just five months before it was introduced by Jobs. "It was nonstop, seven days a week," he said.
When Jobs unveiled the iPod at a small press event at its former Infinite Loop headquarters, the device was not fully finished, according to Fadell. Nevertheless, he said Jobs handed out this early version of the device to the media in attendance, along with a collection of 20 CDs containing the music that had been pre-loaded onto the device.
Fadell added that by 2005, Apple was starting to look into the cell phone market. As he has shared in previous interviews over the years, Fadell said his team toyed with prototypes of a full-screen iPod with a virtual click wheel, adding that the Mac team had separately designed a "massive capacitive touchscreen the size of a pingpong table." Apple ultimately launched the iPhone with a multi-touch display in 2007.
The full interview is a worthwhile read over at CNET for those interested in the days leading up to the original iPod's launch two decades ago.
According to three individuals said to have knowledge of the discussions between Apple and the Chinese firms, the talks reached an impasse when CATL and BYD refused to set up teams dedicated to Apple and manufacturing plants in the United States. It has previously been reported that Apple is keen to bring at least some of the manufacturing related to the vehicle to the U.S., with particular focus on the batteries.
Apple allegedly wants to use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery for its electric vehicle, partly because they are cheaper to produce than more expensive lithium batteries that need cobalt and nickel. The company is understood to be looking to Chinese battery manufacturers because they can make more advanced LFP batteries than their rivals thanks to battery pack technology that bolsters performance, driving range, and energy density.
CATL is the world's leading manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles and supplies Tesla, but has been reluctant to build a factory in the U.S. due to concerns about costs and geopolitical tensions. BYD already has an iron-phosphate battery facility in Lancaster, California, but simply refused to build a new factory that would supply Apple exclusively. CATL has also found it "impossible" to set up a dedicated product development team to exclusively work with Apple due to an inability to find sufficient personnel.
CATL and BYD apparently informed Apple several months ago that they were unwilling to meet these requirements, but Apple has remained hopeful that it can reach an agreement. Apple is now being forced to consider Japanese battery suppliers, such as Panasonic, and has sent a group of staff to Japan this month to explore this possibility.
Woot today has a wide collection of refurbished previous generation iPhone models at record low prices, perfect for anyone in need of a new iPhone and willing to opt for one a few years old instead of the latest version. iPhones in this sale include iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and more.
Note: 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.
The iPhone 11 starts at $419.99 for 64GB and rises to $499.99 for 128GB. The iPhone 11 Pro is priced at $559.99 for 64GB and $649.99 for 256GB. Lastly, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is $649.99 for 64GB and $729.99 for 256GB.
All of these iPhone models are fully unlocked and have been refurbished. Woot says that each device was inspected and is guaranteed to have minimal cosmetic damage, as well as passed a full diagnostic test to ensure like-new functionality. Batteries are tested to function at minimum 85 percent capacity, and they each come with a 90 day Woot limited warranty.
Be sure to check out Woot's full iPhone sale for more savings, including the iPhone XS (from $339.99), the iPhone XR (from $304.99), the iPhone SE ($239.99), and more. The sale will only last today, ending later tonight at midnight.
If you're in the market for a new iPhone, we've begun tracking the latest carrier deals in our Best iPhone Deals guide. This includes discounts and offers from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and more.
As we previously reported, we've received confirmation from Apple that 16-inch MacBook Pro models configured with an M1 Max chip feature a new High Power Mode that is designed to maximize performance during intensive, sustained workloads.
MacRumors has since obtained an internal Apple document that indicates users will be able to enable High Power Mode in System Preferences on a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Max chip running macOS Monterey. In the document, Apple says that High Power Mode will provide users with "extreme performance" for tasks like color grading 8K ProRes video.
It's still unclear exactly how High Power Mode will function, but we should get a closer look at the feature next week when reviews of the new MacBook Pro models are shared. Based on code-level references to High Power Mode in the macOS Monterey beta found by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, we do know that the feature "will optimize performance to better support resource-intensive tasks" and "may result in louder fan noise."
Apple only confirmed High Power Mode being available on 16-inch MacBook Pro models with an M1 Max chip, so we presume the feature is not available on any 14-inch MacBook Pro models or any models configured with the M1 Pro chip.
9to5Mac's Filipe Espósito was first to discover references to High Power Mode in the macOS Monterey beta last month.
There are two configurations of the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Max chip available, including one with a 10-core CPU and a 24-core GPU and another with a 10-core CPU and a 32-core GPU. Pricing starts at $3,099 for this level of performance. The new MacBook Pro models will begin arriving to customers on Tuesday, October 26.
Apple's third-generation iPhone SE will feature an iPhone XR-like design with Touch ID and be the company's last iPhone with an LCD display, according to Chinese site MyDrivers.
A machine translation of the report explains that the design of the third-generation iPhone SE is based on the iPhone XR, and will feature a Touch ID fingerprint scanner built into the side button, as well as an LCD display, the A15 Bionic chip, and 5G connectivity. The report noted that the device is expected to be Apple's final iPhone with an LCD display, with future iPhones moving to OLED or other, more advanced display technologies.
MyDrivers acknowledged that this assertion stands in contrast to other recent claims that the third-generation iPhone SE would continue with the design of the current, second-generation model, but was insistent that it is correct. The iPhone SE currently shares the same design as the now-discontinued iPhone 8, with a Touch ID scanner built into the Home Button.
Rumors around the design of the next iPhone SE have been muddled, with rumors from reliable sources such as Ming-Chi Kuo and Ross Young initially saying that the device would feature a 6.1-inch display like the iPhone XR, but with a Touch ID side button. This year, Kuo and Young withdrew these expectations, saying that the third-generation iPhone SE would instead have the same design as the current model with a Home Button.
Some of the confusion around the iPhone SE may be explained by the 6.1-inch model potentially being the fourth-generation iPhone SE. Young now expects a fourth-generation iPhone SE to launch in 2023, featuring a 6.1-inch display and a hole-punch front-facing camera.
MyDrivers said that the third-generation iPhone SE will reportedly launch in the spring of 2022, and start with 64GB of storage and the same $399 starting price of the current model.
DigiTimespreviously said that the MacBook Air is set to get a mini-LED display in the future, but the Taiwanese publication has now doubled-down on the claim.
Citing industry sources, the latest report says that Apple is "likely" to adopt mini-LED backlighting for a MacBook Air with a 13.3-inch display. The device is rumored to launch in 2022.
The new mini-LED model is expected to boost MacBook Air shipments by around two million units next year. The report added that the 11-inch iPad Pro is also likely to adopt a mini-LED display in 2022.
The claim comes after the launch of the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, which both feature the first mini-LED displays on a MacBook, stylised by Apple as "Liquid Retina XDR" displays. Rumors of a mini-LED MacBook Air have been floating around for some time, with the reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuorepeatedly saying that the 2022 MacBook Air will feature a mini-LED display.
Apple now uses mini-LED technology for a range of its high-end devices, including the Pro Display XDR, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Mini-LED on the MacBook Air would be a significant development in Apple's product lineup because the technology has been reserved only for "Pro" products thus far.
Mini-LED display technology brings a significant improvement display quality, allowing for thinner, lighter designs while offering benefits like improved wide color gamut, high contrast and dynamic range, and truer blacks. Several reports have suggested that MacBooks will be the main driver of mini-LED panel shipments going forward as Apple transitions to the technology across many of its products with displays.
Back in April, ransomware group REvil attacked Apple supplier Quanta Computer and was able to steal schematics outlining the design of the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models that were announced earlier this week.
The schematics did indeed leak the design of the new machines, and at the time, REvil threatened to release other documents should Apple not pay a ransom fee of $50 million by May 1. The situation fizzled out just days later, and REvil mysteriously removed all documents and extortion threats related to Apple from its website.
We've heard nothing further about REvil's attack on Apple since then, but it turns out there was a multi-country operation underway to take down the ransomware group. According to Reuters, several government agencies teamed up to hack REvil and take it offline this week.
One person familiar with the events said that a foreign partner of the U.S. government carried out the hacking operation that penetrated REvil's computer architecture. A former U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation is still active.
REvil's "Happy Blog" that was used to leak stolen documents has been taken offline and is no longer available. The hacker group went offline back in July as well after law enforcement and intelligence specialists were able to hack into REvil's computer network, but it returned last month and servers previously compromised by the government were again used for this second takedown.
REvil was also responsible for a May cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline that caused gas shortages on the East Coast of the United States.
Apple is facing yet another investigation by U.S. regulators, this time from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB, which is investigating the business practices of companies operating payment systems, today announced that it has asked Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, PayPal, and Square to provide details on their consumer data practices.
The CFPB is seeking information that will help it better understand how the tech companies "use personal payments data and manage data access to users" to make sure consumers are protected.
"Big Tech companies are eagerly expanding their empires to gain greater control and insight into our spending habits," said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. "We have ordered them to produce information about their business plans and practices."
According to the CFPB, tech companies have developed "new products and business models" during the ongoing global health crisis, which "present new risks to consumers and to a fair, transparent, and competitive marketplace."
As an example, the CFPB says that "Apple and Google have sought to integrate payments services into their operating systems," though there have been no changes on that front to iOS and the iOS App Store during the pandemic.
The CFPB is specifically concerned with data harvesting and monetization and "access restrictions and user choice," which seems to be aimed at Apple and Google.
When payment systems gain scale and network effects, merchants and other partners feel obligated to participate, and the risk increases that payment systems operators will limit consumer choice and stifle innovation by anticompetitively excluding certain businesses. The orders seek to understand any such restrictive access policies and how they affect the choices available to families and businesses.
According to a sample letter [PDF], Apple will need to offer up quite a bit of information, including details on all products, all product features, all product operating manuals, fees to use products, discounts and promotions for each product, and more.
Responses to the CFPB's request must be submitted bu December 15, 2021, so Apple will need to provide the relevant data by that date.
With the Apple event this week and the imminent launch of new MacBook Pro models, it's easy to forget that the Apple Watch Series 7 just came out last Friday. iFixit didn't forget, though, and has done one of its traditional teardowns on Apple's newest wrist-worn device.
Today's teardown features both the 41 and 45mm versions of the watch, and it unveils some secrets we weren't previously aware of. The 45mm Apple Watch Series 7 has a 1.189Wh battery inside (309 mAh), which is a 1.6 percent increase over the 1.17Wh battery in the 44mm Series 6.
Series 7 on left, Series 6 on right (44/45mm models)
The 41mm Apple Watch Series 7 features a 1.094Wh battery, a 6.8 percent increase over the 1.024Wh battery in the prior-generation 40mm model. Both batteries have slightly wider dimensions, but iFixit says the increase likely goes to the new, brighter displays rather than adding battery life.
The internals of the Series 7 are similar to the Series 6, but there are small differences, such as the removal of a bracket where the diagnostic port was once located.
Series 7 on left, Series 6 on right (44/45mm models)
Apple has touted IP6X dust resistance for the Series 7, which older models may have had too, but Apple just didn't do the specific test for the certification. There are, however, some new ingress-protection measures such as a mesh covering the speaker grille. The removal of the diagnostic port may also contribute to the dust resistance, and removing this port saves some internal space.
iFixit teamed up with former Apple engineers who work at Instrumental for the teardown, giving us some additional context into why the Apple Watch may have seen delays prior to its October launch.
According to iFixit, the Apple Watch Series 7 has new display technology that was likely a "huge pain to manufacture at scale." The new Apple Watch appears to be equipped with a touch-integrated OLED panel, or an "on-cell touch," which is also used in the iPhone 13. Apple is also using just one flex cable for the display instead of two, which iFixit says is "not a trivial change."
Every teardown comes with a repair score, and the Series 7 earned a 6 out of 10. iFixit says that display and Taptic Engine swaps "worked great" in its testing, as did changing out the battery.
The next-generation MacBook Air will have several features that are adopted from the upcoming MacBook Pro models, according to leaker Dylandkt, who has a track record of providing accurate details about Apple's plans.
Upcoming MacBook Air models will have a design that's "quite similar" to the new MacBook Pros, but with a thinner body, off-white bezels, and no wedge shape. It will come in color options that are similar to the 24-inch iMac, which we've heard rumored before. According to the leaker, the keyboard will be the same off-white shade as the bezels, and it will feature full-size function keys and a 1080p webcam.
The machine will have no SD card slot or HDMI port, which, along with the design, will distinguish it from the MacBook Pro models. The MacBook Air will use a next-generation M2 chip, a followup to the M1. It is not expected to be as powerful as the M1 Pro and M1 Max as it will be aimed at lower-power devices.
The upcoming MacBook (Air) will release in the middle of 2022. It will have MagSafe, a 1080p webcam, USB C ports, a 30W power adapter, and no fans. There will be color options similar to the iMac 24. The bezels and keyboard will be an off white with full sized function keys.
— Dylan (@dylandkt) October 21, 2021
Prior rumors have indicated that the M2 chip will have the same number of computing cores (eight) but nine or 10 graphics cores instead of seven or eight. Apple is said to be designing a 30W power adapter for the new machine, and it is said to have no fans inside, much like the current M1 MacBook Air.
Other leaks have suggested that the new MacBook will include a notch at the front like the MacBook Pro, which perhaps makes sense if it's going to have a 1080p webcam and MacBook Pro-style design. At the same time, it would be an unusual design choice with white bezels. The MacBook Air may include a mini-LED display, but Dylandkt says that ProMotion technology will not be included. A name change could also potentially be in the works, with Apple allegedly considering just "MacBook."
Rumors suggest the next-generation MacBook Air will be released in mid to late 2022.