The Nanoleaf Skylight Smarter Kit is Nanoleaf's first hardwired, permanent light, and it's also the first light that Nanoleaf designed specifically to be installed on ceilings.

nanoleaf skylight
As with Nanoleaf Light Panels, the Skylight is modular. A 3-panel starter kit is priced at $250, and each add-on panel is $70. Nanoleaf sells kits with more panels at a discount, so cost can go as low as $62 per panel for a design that uses 12 panels.

Ceiling lights come in a wide range of prices and $250 is in the mid to high range, but there aren't many modular ceiling light options (as in hardwired with no visible cord), and none that I'm aware of that are both smart and offer multicolor and white lighting. Each square-shaped panel is made from a translucent white plastic that diffuses the light coming from the LEDs underneath.

nanoleaf light panels components
The panels are just under 12 inches on each side, and they're about two inches thick. The plastic is a shinier material than the plastic used for the regular Nanoleaf Light Panels, and it just looks like white squares on the ceiling when the lights are not turned on. I don't mind the plastic because it blends well with a white ceiling when the lights are off. Square-shaped light panels have a modern vibe both on and off, and it isn't an aesthetic that's going to fit in with all decor styles.

nanoleaf light panels ff
Every panel is 1400 lumens, so the three panel kit is 4200 lumens. The amount of light needed to properly light a space is going to depend on the size of the area being lit and the desired brightness, but that should be enough light for a 15x15 room with 10 foot ceilings. I was impressed with the brightness of the Skylight panels, and three installed in my laundry room was more light than I'll ever need. I ultimately included two more panels for a total of five, but that was because I was replacing a fluorescent panel with popcorn texture underneath and I didn't want to have to repair the ceiling. I think my laundry room is now the brightest room in the house, and I use the lights dimmed down.

nanoleaf skylight bright
The Skylight can be installed by an electrician or as a DIY project with some basic electrical knowledge, and Nanoleaf does provide instructions and a video for completing the entire process. Creating a layout is the first step, and while the lights can be installed at angles and staggered, I did a straight line of five panels in a row. There's a ceiling plate that's screwed into the ceiling first, and the wires from the ceiling are connected to the main panel (with the breaker off of course). The panels are each two pieces, with a base that houses the LEDs and wires, and a cover.

nanoleaf skylight pastels
There's a single Main Controller panel that can control up to 99 additional dependent panels, and that's the one that goes up first. Nanoleaf included four screw holes on each panel that also serve as guides so you can mark on the ceiling where to drill, and drywall anchors and screws are included.

Every panel has a terminal block that's covered by a panel that has to be unscrewed to get to the wires to connect one panel to another, and each panel is secured at all four corners, plus the wires are routed through holes at the sides. It's not difficult, exactly, but there are a lot of steps to go through, and it's frustrating working from below. I do think the guide holes helped a lot ensuring everything was lined up, and it ultimately turned out well.

I think four drywall screws for every panel is a lot, especially because these panels aren't particularly heavy. In hindsight, I probably could have used two at a diagonal, and it's worth noting that there are going to be a lot of holes to repair in the ceiling if you install these panels and later want to remove them.

nanoleaf skylight pinks
Once installed, the Skylight works like any other HomeKit-connected light. It's added to HomeKit with a ‌HomeKit‌ code, and setup is quick. Nanoleaf products only work with 2.4GHz networks, so you're going to need a setup that allows for a 2.4GHz connection. The Skylight is Wi-Fi only, but there it has Thread compatibility that can presumably be turned on if Nanoleaf decides to do so. It is not Matter-enabled.

I don't own a single smart home product that does not occasionally have a connectivity issue, including Nanoleaf devices. When I got these panels, I debated installing the panels in my living room with vaulted ceilings (note: these can be installed on angled ceilings), but I was worried about access for troubleshooting because I'd need a tall, heavy ladder, so I tested the Skylight in one of my only rooms with lower ceilings.

nanoleaf skylight blues
I'm glad I did, because about a week after the Skylight was up, it lost connectivity. No amount of turning the power off or restarting my devices helped, and I had to get out a small ladder, pull off the main panel's cover, and long press the reset button to start over. I haven't had another disconnect, and it could have been caused by trying to use a motion sensor (I could NOT get it to work reliably and I haven't wanted to try again) or by turning the light off at the switch overnight, but it can happen.

So far the Skylight doesn't seem to be less reliable than other Wi-Fi ‌HomeKit‌ devices or other Nanoleaf panels, but since it's on the ceiling it is decidedly more of a hassle to reset, which is something to keep in mind. I have also seen some complaints about Nanoleaf's customer service on Reddit and on Facebook, and while I haven't had a catastrophic product failure requiring help, I know some people have had issues getting support and replacements. Note that those complaints are more focused on the light panels than the Skylights, but I don't want to ignore potential customer service issues that could be a problem for some.

nanoleaf skylight brights
Each Skylight panel can be individually controlled with the Nanoleaf app and set to a different color or combination of colors and patterns. There are pre-designed options, plus tools for creating custom designs, and a section for downloading designs created by other Nanoleaf users.

The Skylight has some unique pre-created patterns like Sun Shower and Shooting Stars that work particularly well on the ceiling, and there are window-style scenes like Blue Skies. The LEDs support 16 million colors and shades of white ranging from blue to yellow, plus there are more than 10 lighting patterns to use to shift between colors. There's also a rhythm feature that changes the color of the lights based on music or sound, and a fun AI option that creates a scene based on a typed phrase like "ocean waves" or "pink sunset."

nanoleaf ai scenes
Colors on the light look best when in motion, and for some shades, there are dark and light spots that cause some unevenness. If you've used Nanoleaf's light panels on the wall, it's a similar effect, but it's something that you get used to and notice less with ceiling lights.

I think multicolored lighting works well for accent lights, but I am less sure of it for light that provides as much illumination as the Skylight does. Setting the Skylight to a color like red, for example, means the room is RED and not outfitted with a tasteful red accent light in one area. Patterns that shift quickly can be almost overwhelming, and I don't like the music feature with the Skylight for that reason. I prefer to set the Skylight to softer, more pastel hues and warm whites, but it can definitely provide the ultimate mood lighting and set ambiance for movies and video games.

There's one other thing that I want to mention before wrapping up this review, and that's control. This is a ceiling light that is connected to a light switch, and I don't have a good way to turn that light switch into a smart switch that can be used for changing colors, dimming, or even turning the light on and off. Nanoleaf doesn't have a switch, and there are a limited number of full light switch replacements for a situation like this.

nanoleaf app interface
I have a Lutron Caseta hub and system, but adding a Lutron smart light switch isn't a good idea because the Nanoleaf Skylight needs a constant connection and it's not an on/off situation. There are plenty of smart buttons, but nothing that seems to be designed to replace a light switch. For Hue lights, I solve this issue with the Lutron Aurora Dimmer Switches, but those are designed to work with the Hue app and not ‌HomeKit‌ in general. I need a physical button for the Skylight that also prevents the existing switch from being flipped, and I'm not sure how to solve that issue right now.

Nanoleaf does have Sense+ smart switches that it has been working on since 2023, but I'm not sure when these are set to come out.

Bottom Line

Nanoleaf's Skylight is expensive and not without flaws, but it's also a one-of-a-kind product. It's modular so you can tune the number of panels to fit your space, it supports white and yellow light along with any color of the rainbow, and there are endless scenes and effects to play with.

The Skylight's design isn't going to resonate with everyone, but for those who want a modern feel and who love color, it's worth checking out.

How to Buy

The Skylight was popular enough that it sold out in most places. Nanoleaf has a sign up to get a notification when it's back in stock, but it is still available from Amazon.

The Oppo Find X7 Ultra's camera has one of the highest rankings on camera site DXOMark, coming in well ahead of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. For that reason, we thought we'd compare the Oppo Find X7 Ultra to Apple's flagship iPhone to see how the cameras actually measure up in real life.

The Oppo Find X7 Ultra has a 50-megapixel main lens, a 50-megapixel wide-angle lens, and two 50-megapixel telephoto lenses, one of which is a 3x periscope lens. The ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max has a 48-megapixel Main lens with multiple focal lengths, a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide lens, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens that supports 5x optical zoom. In terms of hardware, the main cameras are similar, but the Oppo has higher resolution options for the telephoto and wide-angle lenses.

We shared a series of photos from each smartphone on our social media channels, without mentioning which one was the ‌iPhone‌. When we asked which images people liked better, our poll favored the ‌iPhone‌, but overall, most people liked some images from the Oppo and some images from the ‌iPhone‌. No surprises there, as with high-end smartphones, differences in camera quality can be miniscule. Choosing a favorite often comes down to processing done by each smartphone, and picking an image based on the look comes down to personal preference.

For standard main camera photos taken during the daytime, the images come out almost the same. The ‌iPhone‌ can sometimes seem a little more washed out because it loses some of the saturation when raising highlights, while the Oppo tends to be more saturated. ‌iPhone‌ images can be brighter, which is preferable to some people, but the Oppo features more vibrant colors in a lot of shots. The ‌iPhone‌ sometimes boosts the warmth, and again, that's something that some people prefer.

For night shots, the Oppo images came out better for the most part. The nighttime colors were more true to life, and there were fewer issues with reflections and flare. The ‌iPhone‌ raised the brightness of some areas of nighttime shots just a little too much, though a couple of the low light images came out better because of some of the low light processing features Apple has built into the ‌iPhone‌.

For telephoto images and Portrait images, the ‌iPhone‌ had the edge in terms of focus and color, though the photos were sometimes softer than the Oppo's shots.

Which images do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

Apple is working to secure an exclusive TV deal with soccer governing organization FIFA, reports The New York Times. FIFA will launch a revamped version of Club World Cup in 2025, and Apple wants the TV rights. Club World Cup 2025 will feature 32 teams from each of the six confederations.

An agreement between Apple and FIFA could be announced as soon as this month, and the first tournament will take place in the United States next summer. Apple could be paying around $1 billion, and The New York Times says it is not yet clear if there will be any free-to-air rights. If not, the entire tournament could be available only to Apple TV+ subscribers.

Apple has already shelled out $2.5 billion to secure global broadcasting rights to Major League Soccer. MLS and League Cup games are streamed on ‌Apple TV‌+, with access priced at $14.99 per month or $99 per season for non-subscribers and $12.99 per month or $79 per season for those who subscribe to ‌Apple TV‌+.

Apple sees live sports as a way to lure new customers to the ‌Apple TV‌+ streaming service. In addition to the MLS deal, it has also secured a deal with Major League Baseball. Apple negotiated for NFL Sunday Ticket access, and while that didn't work out, a report from The Athletic suggests that Apple is still in the running to secure some streaming access to NBA games.

Earlier this year, Apple introduced a dedicated Apple Sports app that allows users to get real-time scores and stats for their favorite teams. The app is able to sync with the My Sports experience in the ‌Apple TV‌ app.

Apple has acquired the Paris-based artificial intelligence startup Datakalab amid its push to deliver on-device AI tools.

hey siri banner apple
Datakalab specializes in algorithm compression and embedded AI systems. The acquisition, finalized on December 17 last year, was quietly conducted but noted in a European Commission filing spotted by French publication Challenges (via iPhoneSoft). While the financial details of the transaction remain undisclosed, the move is almost certainly part of Apple's broader strategy to bring more sophisticated AI technology to its devices, such as those expected to be introduced in iOS 18.

The company was established in 2016 by Xavier and Lucas Fischer and made significant strides in AI technology focusing on low-power, high-efficiency deep learning algorithms that function without relying on cloud-based systems. This approach aligns with Apple's oft-touted commitment to user privacy, data security, and reliable performance, as processing data locally minimizes the risk of data breaches and ensures faster processing times. The startup's expertise in compressing neural networks to work effectively on portable devices like smartphones and tablets is likely a key factor in Apple's interest.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently reported that Apple's LLM will run entirely on-device, rather than via the cloud like most existing AI services. Apple's AI tools may be less capable in certain instances than its direct cloud-based rivals, but Gurman suggested that the company could "fill in the gaps" by licensing technology from Google and other AI service providers.

Before its acquisition, Datakalab engaged in various high-profile projects, including collaborations with the French government and Disney. The company developed technology capable of analyzing human emotions by facial recognition and visual data, which were later used to monitor audience reactions in real-time during cinema screenings. The first look at Apple's new AI strategy is widely anticipated to arrive alongside previews of its next-generation operating systems at WWDC in early June.

Retail stock of the current iPad Air is starting to dwindle ahead of the widely anticipated arrival of new models early next month, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports.

iPad Air 5 Colors
Citing sources at multiple retail stores in the latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that inventory levels of the ‌iPad Air‌ are diminishing in Apple stores, a typical indicator that new versions are soon to be released. Unlike the ‌iPad Air‌, the iPad Pro apparently remains abundantly available, which suggests that Apple might be planning to sell through its current stock even after introducing an upgraded model. Historically, Apple has managed its inventory to align with the release cycles of its products, reducing shipments of older units to make room for the latest offerings.

Expected changes coming to the next-generation ‌iPad Air‌ include the more powerful M2 chip and an additional 12.9-inch display size option, while the ‌iPad Pro‌ is rumored to receive OLED display technology, the M3 chip, and new accessories. The refreshed ‌iPad Air‌ and ‌iPad Pro‌ models are now expected to be announced during the second week of May.

Related Roundup: iPad Air
Buyer's Guide: iPad Air (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPad

Best Buy today is taking $100 off across the entire 13-inch M3 MacBook Air lineup, starting at $999.00 for the 256GB model. For every version of the laptop these are all-time low prices, and they're available in all four colors of Midnight, Silver, Space Gray, and Starlight.

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In addition to the entry-level 256GB laptop, Best Buy also has the 8GB RAM/512GB SSD 13-inch M3 MacBook Air for $1,199.00 and the 16GB RAM/512GB SSD model for $1,399.00. Both of these are also $100 discounts and record low prices on the just-released M3 MacBook Air.

These MacBook Air models just launched last month, coming in both 13-inch and 15-inch sizes. Both of the new MacBook Air machines include the M3 chip and focus on internal upgrades. Apple did not change the design of the MacBook Air with the 2024 update, using the same design that was first introduced in 2022.

Our full Deals Roundup has more information on the latest Apple-related sales and bargains.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple has ordered a large number of capacitative button components from a Taiwan supplier that are allegedly for use in the upcoming iPhone 16 series, claims a new report out of Asia.

unbox therapy 15 buttons

Image credit: Unbox Therapy

According to the Economic Daily News, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering won the order, which is said to include system-in-a-package (SIP) modules that will be used to integrate capcative components with two Taptic Engine motors, one on either side of the iPhone.

The claim in the report is that Apple will replace the existing physical buttons on both sides of the iPhone 15 with capacitive versions that will provide ‌iPhone 16‌ users with haptic feedback. The latter type of button detects pressure and emulates the press of a physical button via a haptic (or Taptic) engine which generates vibrations.

Apple may well have ordered the buttons in preparation for future production plans, but this does not necessarily mean that they are destined for use in this year's ‌iPhone 16‌ models.

The earliest known prototypes of the ‌‌iPhone 16‌‌ were thought to include haptic power and volume buttons. Project Bongo, as it was known internally, was a redesign of the volume and power buttons on the ‌iPhone 15‌. However, it was scrapped in 2023 following unresolved technical issues, according to MacRumors' sources. After the cancelation of the Bongo project, Apple moved back to mechanical buttons for the ‌‌iPhone 16‌‌.

As a result, most rumors suggest that ‌iPhone 16‌ models will have all-mechanical buttons, and this includes the rumored addition of a fourth button. According to The Information, Apple will add a new "Capture Button" to all ‌iPhone 16‌ models, but the button is expected to be mechanical rather than capacitive, and yet it will be able to respond to pressure and touch.

The button will be used for taking photos and videos, and ‌iPhone‌ users will reportedly be able to zoom in and out by swiping left and right on the button, focus with a light press, and activate a recording with a more forceful press.

Today's report claims the capacitive components will enter volume production in the third quarter of this year, which is unusually late in terms of Apple's typical initial ‌iPhone‌ production run, so the order may be for the ‌iPhone‌ 17 lineup rather than this year's upcoming models. That said, as we saw with the ‌‌iPhone 15‌‌ series, things can change fairly far into the process, so watch this space.

Related Roundups: iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro

Apple Vision Pro, Apple's $3,500 spatial computing device, appears to be following a pattern familiar to the AR/VR headset industry – initial enthusiasm giving way to a significant dip in sustained interest and usage.

apple vision pro orange
Since its debut in the U.S. in February 2024, excitement for the ‌Apple Vision Pro‌ has noticeably cooled, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman reports a marked decline in the demand for retail demos and sales, based on the Apple Stores he has spoken to:

Demand for demos is way down. People who do book appointments often don't show up, and sales — at least at some locations — have gone from a couple of units a day to just a handful in a whole week. Apple also has had to step up the marketing on its online homepage. There's a huge promo for the Vision Pro at the top of the website — the most aggressive pitch since the device went on sale in early February.

The trend that ‌Apple Vision Pro‌ appears to be following is less likely to be a retail anomaly, and more indicative of a broader issue that has plagued VR technology from its inception: Maintaining user engagement after the initial novelty wears off.

Gurman offers his personal experience of Apple's headset as a microcosm of what he suspects is a wider user trend. His own usage has decreased from daily interactions to just once or twice a week. A significant barrier to more frequent use, he says, is a setup that involves attaching batteries, booting up, and navigating a complex interface, which makes traditional devices like laptops and smartphones more appealing for regular tasks.

Gurman also blames the Vision Pro's lack of a "killer app" and compelling content for further diminishing the headset's appeal. He notes that it feels better suited to solitary activities – say, on a long flight or while working from home – rather than for use in social situations or around co-workers.

It seems Apple still has a considerable task ahead in evolving the Vision Pro into a device that redefines everyday technology use. In the meantime, several bugs that initially plagued visionOS have been resolved, although many of Apple's own apps are still not optimized for the device's operating system.

In the last ‌visionOS‌ update, Apple added Spatial Personas, which make it feel like you are in the same virtual room as another Vision Pro user. Spatial Personas can be used for watching movies and TV shows together, FaceTime and other video calls, using apps like Freeform, playing games, and more. However, the feature needs other Vision Pro owners to appreciate it, and as Gurman notes, they are still few and far between.

Apple is expected to produce fewer than 400,000 Vision Pro headsets in 2024 due to the complexity of manufacturing, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. However, Apple is said to be already working on a new version of the ‌Apple Vision Pro‌ for 2025 that will be priced more affordably. Meanwhile, the first incarnation of the headset is expected to arrive in additional countries later this year.

Related Roundup: Apple Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami."

iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future.

Kosutami has revealed accurate information about FineWoven accessories in the past. The leaker unveiled Apple's plans to introduce new Apple Watch bands made of a "woven fabric material" over a month before they debuted, as well as matching iPhone cases. Kosutami also revealed the very first images of FineWoven accessories shortly before the event in which they were officially announced. MacRumors understands the source of this latest information regarding the cessation of production to be the same as these previous FineWoven rumors that were ultimately accurate, so it should be taken seriously until we know more.

Apple stopped selling leather accessories in September last year, replacing them with a more environmentally friendly "FineWoven" material that the company describes as "luxurious and durable microtwill" made from 68% post-consumer recycled polyester. FineWoven iPhone cases are priced at $59, MagSafe Wallets at $59, AirTag holders at $35, and Apple Watch bands at $99.

Accessories made of the material have been very poorly received by customers, citing poor durability and disappointing quality. FineWoven accessories in new color options were noticeably absent from Apple's spring refresh. If Apple has indeed stopped production of FineWoven accessories, it may be some time before the company's existing stock inventory begins to noticeably deplete.

Apple is developing its own large language model (LLM) that runs on-device to prioritize speed and privacy, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports.

hey siri banner apple
Writing in his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that Apple's LLM underpins upcoming generative AI features. "All indications" apparently suggests that it will run entirely on-device, rather than via the cloud like most existing AI services.

Since they will run on-device, Apple's AI tools may be less capable in certain instances than its direct cloud-based rivals, but Gurman suggested that the company could "fill in the gaps" by licensing technology from Google and other AI service providers. Last month, Gurman reported that Apple was in discussions with Google to integrate its Gemini AI engine into the iPhone as part of iOS 18. The main advantages of on-device processing will be quicker response times and superior privacy compared to cloud-based solutions.

Apple's marketing strategy for its AI technology will apparently be based around how it can be useful to users' daily lives, rather than its power. Apple's broader AI strategy is expected to be revealed alongside previews of its major software updates at WWDC in June.

Apple is likely to skip an M3 version of the Mac mini in favor of a bigger update with M4 chips toward the end of the year, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

M4 Mac Mini Feature
In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that he does not expect Apple to refresh the ‌Mac mini‌ with M3 chips. Apple last updated the ‌Mac mini‌ with the M2 and ‌M2‌ Pro chips in January 2023. Other new features included two extra Thunderbolt 4 ports and an HDMI 2.1 port for ‌M2‌ Pro configurations, Wi-Fi 6E support with a compatible router, and Bluetooth 5.3.

Gurman previously said that Apple is planning to release new ‌Mac mini‌ models with M4 and M4 Pro chips "between the end of 2024 and early 2025." Now, he has clarified that with new Mac minis arriving as soon as the end of the year, there is not sufficient "room for M3 models to come out before then, so it's probably safe to say that those Mac desktops will skip the M3 generation."

Such a move would not be unprecedented since the iMac skipped the ‌M2‌ chip entirely, holding off until a bigger performance bump with the M3 chip late last year. With the M4 chip series, the ‌Mac mini‌ should get a significant CPU performance improvement compared to the existing models with the ‌M2‌ series. The M4 chips are also rumored to have a faster Neural Engine for artificial intelligence tasks.

Related Roundup: Mac mini
Buyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Neutral)
Related Forum: Mac mini

Ahead of tonight's NBA playoff game, the Los Angeles Lakers posted an Instagram reel showing superstar LeBron James arriving at Ball Arena in Denver carrying what appears to be an unreleased version of the Pill speaker from Apple's Beats brand.

lebron unreleased beats pill
The original Beats Pill was a wireless Bluetooth speaker introduced in 2012 prior to Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronics. It received a few updates in its first several years on the market, with the final revision being a redesigned Pill+ with a Lightning connector introduced under Apple's ownership in 2015.

The Pill+ remained on the market for a number of years in that form before being quietly discontinued in early 2022.

Based on today's video, it appears the Pill may soon be making a comeback, as the speaker in James' hand clearly shows a Beats logo and it includes a lanyard that was not present on previous versions of the speaker.

With the direction of Apple's product lineup, a USB-C port for charging appears likely. And given the previous Pill+ was introduced almost nine years ago, there have been significant advances in Bluetooth and other technologies since that time, so this upcoming version is likely to be a significant improvement. Specific details on the speaker, including a release date, however, remain unknown.

Tag: Beats

Best Buy is back with a new sale on Apple iPads, including some of the best prices we've ever seen on iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Air. Additionally, we're still tracking a great deal on the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air, which is $150 off right now at Best Buy.

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10th Gen iPad

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Best Buy has the 64GB Wi-Fi 10th generation iPad at $349.00, which is an all-time low price at $100 off. You'll find every model of the 10th generation iPad on sale at a record low price during this sale. This includes all Wi-Fi and cellular tablets, in all colors.

iPad Mini

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We're tracking discounts across the entire iPad mini 6 lineup at Best Buy this weekend, including second-best prices for multiple tablets. Prices start at $399.99 for the 64GB Wi-Fi iPad mini.

iPad Air

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Best Buy has the 2022 iPad Air for $100 off every configuration this weekend. These are solid second-best prices across the board, starting at $499.99 for the 64GB Wi-Fi tablet.

13-inch M2 MacBook Air

macbook air best buy
Every model of the 2022 13-inch MacBook Air is available for $150 off this weekend at Best Buy. The 256GB model is on sale for $849.00 and the 512GB model is available for $1,049.00. These deals beat the previous prices by about $50, and you don't need to be a My Best Buy Plus or Total member to get them.

Our full Deals Roundup has more information on the latest Apple-related sales and bargains.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

It was a big week for retro gaming fans, as iPhone users are starting to reap the rewards of Apple's recent change to allow retro game emulators on the App Store.

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This week also saw a new iOS 17.5 beta that will support web-based app distribution in the EU, the debut of the first hotels to allow for direct AirPlay streaming to room TVs, a fresh rumor about the impending iPad Air update, and more details on the sequence of Apple's M4-based Mac updates starting later this year, so read on below for all the details on these stories and more!

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

A few weeks after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to allow retro game console emulator apps, the popular Nintendo emulator Delta is now available in the App Store. Delta can emulate games released for many older Nintendo consoles, including the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, and all Game Boy models.

Delta Emulator Pokemon Gen 3 Feature
We published an article explaining key facts about emulators in the App Store and the legality of downloading games.

New iOS 17.5 Beta Lets EU iPhone Users Download Apps Directly From Websites

Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, released this week, large developers in the EU can now distribute apps directly on the web instead of through the App Store or an alternative app marketplace.

Apple EU iOS Changes Orange 1
To be eligible for this new Web Distribution feature, Apple says a developer must meet several requirements, including having an app that had more than one million annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year.

iOS 17's New AirPlay Feature for Hotel Room TVs Begins Rolling Out

Apple has announced that AirPlay is now available at around 60 hotels operated by IHG Hotels & Resorts in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

IHG Hotel AirPlay
At hotels that offer the feature, guests can scan a unique QR code on their room's TV to establish an AirPlay connection, allowing them to wirelessly stream content from their iPhone or iPad. For example, they could stream Apple TV+ or Netflix shows, listen to music on Apple Music or Spotify, play games on Apple Arcade, or work out with Apple Fitness+.

iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 16 Pro: 30 Rumored Upgrades Compared

While the iPhone 16 lineup is still months away from being announced, there are already many rumors about the four devices that have been circulating for months.

iPhone 15 Pro vs 16 Pro Feature Cyan Magenta
If you own an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max model, and will be considering upgrading to the iPhone 16 Pro family, check out our new comparison chart that outlines over 30 rumored new features and changes for the iPhone 16 Pro models, and if you're an iPhone 15 or 15 Plus user, we're tracking over 15 changes expected for the iPhone 16 models.

12.9-Inch iPad Air Now Rumored to Feature Mini-LED Display

The rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air that is expected to be announced in May will be equipped with a mini-LED display like the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro, according to info shared this week by Ross Young, CEO of research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants.

iPad Air 12
The existing 10.9-inch iPad Air is equipped with a standard LCD panel, and the move to mini-LED technology for the 12.9-inch model would provide increased brightness for HDR content, deeper blacks, and more.

M4 Macs Are Expected to Launch in This Order Starting Later This Year

In his Power On newsletter this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman outlined the order in which he expects Macs with the M4 family of chips to be released.

M4 AI Optimized Feature Teal
Gurman said the entire Mac lineup will be updated with the M4 chip or higher-end variants, starting with the MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac mini between late 2024 and early 2025, followed by the MacBook Air, Mac Studio, and Mac Pro between the spring and end of 2025.

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!

Today marks the three-year anniversary of Apple's announcement of the 24-inch iMac, a transformative redesign featuring the first integration of Apple silicon in the product line.

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Apple unveiled the new 24-inch ‌iMac‌ on April 20, 2021, almost nine years after the previous ‌iMac‌ redesign debuted. It replaced both the 21.5-inch and the 27-inch Intel iMacs, and represented a recommitment to the long-standing desktop product line.

The highly anticipated redesign offers a much thinner and more compact body compared to its predecessors, available in an array of vibrant colors reminiscent of the original iMacs released in the late 1990s. The 24-inch 4.5K Retina display boasts 11.3 million pixels and support for 1 billion colors.

The new model was not only notable for its updated design but also as the inaugural ‌iMac‌ to incorporate Apple silicon, one of the last Macs to make the transition away from Intel. Apple claimed that the M1 chip delivered up to 85% faster CPU performance and up to two-times faster GPU performance compared to the previous 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌ models. The new ‌iMac‌ also offered a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, studio-quality microphones, and a six-speaker sound system, as well as a color-matched Magic Keyboard with Touch ID.

Apple refreshed the 24-inch ‌iMac‌ with the M3 chip, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.3 in November 2023. Rumors suggest that a larger-screened ‌iMac‌ that could be positioned as an ‌iMac‌ Pro will launch in 2025. In June 2023, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that the high-end ‌iMac‌ was a year or two away from launching as work on the device was still in the early stages.

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Apple is planning to refresh the MacBook Pro with M4 chips starting in late 2024, and this guide aggregates everything that we know about Apple's M4 MacBook Pro plans.

M4 AI Optimized Feature Siri

M4 Update

Apple built the M3 chip on a new 3-nanometer process, and we are not expecting a node change for the M4. It too will be a 3-nanometer chip, but Apple supplier TSMC could introduce updates that make it more efficient and faster.

New artificial intelligence capabilities are rumored for Apple's upcoming products, and so the M4 will focus on AI. Apple wants to improve performance for AI functionality, and rumors suggest that the M4 (and the A18 chips for iPhone) will have an upgraded Neural Engine with "significantly" more cores.

The M3 chips all have a 16-core Neural Engine, and Apple has not increased the Neural Engine cores for several years.

Entry-Level 14-Inch MacBook Pro

With the M3 chip launch last year, Apple did away with the 13-inch MacBook Pro. It's been replaced with the 14-inch MacBook Pro, which Apple now offers with three different chip options.

The entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro has an M3 chip and a $1,599 starting price, and this is the model that will get the standard M4 chip. The current M3 chip has an 8-core CPU and up to a 10-core GPU, and the M4 could be similar.

Higher-End 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Models

For customers who want a more "pro" machine, the higher-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to be refreshed with M4 Pro and M4 Max chips, which are more powerful versions of the faster M4 chip.

The current M3 Pro has up to a 12-core CPU and up to an 18-core GPU, while the M3 Max has up to a 16-core CPU and up to a 40-core GPU. CPU and GPU improvements for the M4 Pro and M4 Max aren't yet known.

Design Changes?

There are no rumors of a design change for the MacBook Pro at this time, and we're not quite due for one. Apple last updated the MacBook Pro design in 2021 with the transition to Apple silicon. In recent history, Apple has redesigned the MacBook in 2012, 2016, and 2021, so following that pattern, we'll see the next design tweak in 2025 or 2026.

This year's M-series update will likely be limited to the MacBook Pro's internals.

Launch Date

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro could get an M4 chip in late 2024, while the timeline for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro refresh is estimated at late 2024 to early 2025.

We could see the M4, M4 Pro, and M4 Max variants come out all at once like the M3 chip lineup, or Apple could space them out across several months.

The M3 MacBook Pro models came out in October 2023, so a refresh around October 2024 would come at the one-year mark.

Apple today began selling certified refurbished Apple Watch Ultra 2 models in the U.S. for the first time since the device was released in September.

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As of writing, refurbished Ultra 2 models with the Blue, Orange, or White Ocean Band are available for $679, compared to $799 brand new.

Like new Ultra 2 models sold directly by Apple in the U.S. currently, we expect that the Blood Oxygen app is deactivated on the refurbished models, due to a legal battle with medical technology company Masimo. Last year, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) banned Apple from importing and selling Apple Watch models with blood oxygen sensing after it ruled that the feature infringed on Masimo's patents. Apple is appealing the decision, and could re-enable the Blood Oxygen app with a watchOS update if it is overturned.

Availability began in the U.K. and China earlier this week, and the Blood Oxygen app remains functional outside of the U.S. currently.

There are no refurbished Apple Watch Series 9 models available on Apple's store in the U.S. yet.

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Apple on late Thursday into Friday removed the popular messaging and social media apps WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, and Threads from its App Store in China at the request of the Chinese government, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Whatsapp Feature
In a statement shared with several media outlets, Apple said China's national internet regulator ordered the removal of the apps from the App Store in the country due to unspecified "national security concerns." Apple said it is "obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree."

Apple has complied with similar App Store removal orders from the Chinese government in the past for apps related to VPNs, news, and more.

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