The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands plans to assess Apple's announced plans for allowing dating apps on the App Store in the country to use third-party payment methods, ensuring those plans "meet the requirements" of a previous ruling.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
Over the weekend, Apple announced that it would exclusively allow dating apps on the ‌App Store‌ in the Netherlands to use third-party payment methods for in-app purchases. The rule change is the first of its kind for Apple, which previously required all developers worldwide to use its own system for all in-app purchases.

Apple's concessions came following a December ruling from the ACM that, by restricting dating apps from using third-party payment methods, Apple is engaging in an "abuse of market power." The ACM threatened to fine Apple up to a maximum of 50 million euros per week if it did not change its policies.

Now that Apple has announced changes, the ACM wants to assess whether those changes meet the requirements of its previous ruling, according to a press release. As part of its probe into the changes, the ACM will meet with dating app providers, such as The Match Group, which owns Tinder, to ensure Apple's changes sufficiently address concerns.

While Apple will allow dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment methods, there are some caveats to the concessions. Importantly, Apple will continue to receive a commission even for purchases made outside the ‌App Store‌ in-app purchasing system, although Apple has yet to reveal what that commission rate will be.

Developers will also be required to maintain separate app binaries for distribution in the Netherlands if they choose to offer alternate in-app purchasing options.

From a user experience perspective, Apple is warning that by using third-party payment methods, the experience of requesting a refund, managing subscriptions, viewing purchase history, and more will be made significantly more complicated.

Because Apple will not be directly aware of purchases made using alternative methods, Apple will not be able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues encountered when purchasing digital goods and services through these alternative purchasing methods. You will be responsible for addressing such issues with customers.

Apple said it plans to appeal the ACM's ruling and has expressed concern that the order "could compromise the user experience, and create new threats to user privacy and data security."

LG Display is preparing to supply Apple with OLED display panels destined for upcoming iPad models, ETNews reports.

OLED iPad Pro Feature
LG's preparations to supply Apple with OLED displays for the ‌iPad‌ reportedly include the expansion of its plant in Paju, South Korea. The increased production capacity is said to take account of next-generation iPhone and ‌iPad‌ models.

The introduction of OLED panels to the ‌iPad‌ ostensibly presents a new opportunity for LG Display due to the size and aspect ratio of the device's display, which rival suppliers are currently not able to facilitate as easily. A separate recent report claimed that BOE is similarly gearing up to supply OLED panels for future ‌iPad‌ models.

Although an OLED display could come to the ‌iPad‌ for the first time next year, LG is planning to start mass production of these panels at the Paju facility in 2024. This timing broadly lines up with other recent reports, which has placed the launch of the OLED ‌iPad‌ between 2023 and 2024.

Early last year, LG was forced to halt LCD panel production for the ‌iPhone‌ and shut down its smartphone division. The company has since restructured its business toward OLED panels and is accelerating the expansion of its production capacity. Now, LG plans to aggressively increase its presence in Apple's display supply chain with an expansion investment strategy that will enable the Paju plant to make twice as many sixth-generation OLED panels by 2024.

A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North).

tesla carplay solution
Apple ‌CarPlay‌ and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple ‌CarPlay‌ in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own hands. Using a Rasberry Pi and the car's browser, Gapiński was able to get a fully functional version of Apple ‌CarPlay‌ running on his Tesla's display and shared the result on Twitter.

The system works using a Rasberry Pi with an LTE modem and a Wi-Fi access point, running a custom Android-based firmware. The in-car browser is then used to connect to the Rasberry Pi and display the ‌CarPlay‌ interface on the Tesla's screen, with all apps working as expected, including Maps and ‌Apple Music‌. The Tesla Apple ‌CarPlay‌ solution continues to work while driving and can even be controlled with the car's steering wheel buttons.

Gapiński is now working on improving the Wi-Fi connection to make the stream smoother. He says that the project is still in its early stages, but once it is ready he plans to release the solution to the public.

Tesla has a strained relationship with Apple and seems to want full control over its infotainment system, making the chances of Apple ‌CarPlay‌ support in the near future very unlikely. Despite signs that Tesla was planning to support Apple Music, this has similarly not come to fruition.

Most carmakers offer Apple ‌CarPlay‌ in their vehicles, making Tesla's omission a notable exception. Some electric cars that seek to directly compete with Tesla, such as the BMW i4, BMW iX, and Porsche Taycan, offer heavily integrated versions of Apple CarPlay, as well as other Apple services such as Apple Music and Apple Podcasts, including support for features such as time-synced lyrics.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Tesla

Apple is planning to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display as early as 2023, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a reliable source of information for future Apple products.

iphone se 2020 top
The fourth-generation iPhone SE has until now been rumored to launch in 2024, but Young now says a 2023 release is looking more likely.

Interestingly, Young also said the third-generation iPhone SE that is widely expected to launch this year is rumored to be named the iPhone SE+ 5G. The device is expected to feature the same design as the current iPhone SE, including a 4.7-inch display, with key new features being a faster A15 chip and 5G support.


iPhone SE+ 5G would be rather unordinary branding for an Apple product, so this rumored name should be treated with some skepticism for now.

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

The British Government is reportedly preparing a publicity attack on end-to-end encryption in an effort to mobilize public opinion against the technology by framing it as a child safety issue, with its main aim being to derail Facebook's plan to end-to-end encrypt its Messenger platform.

s960 2MS Home Office sign 960x640
According to Rolling Stone, the Home Office has hired the M&C Saatchi advertising agency to plan the campaign, which will include a media blitz with TV ads, campaigning efforts from UK charities and law enforcement agencies, calls to action for the public to contact tech companies directly, and multiple real-world stunts, some of which have been designed to make the public "uneasy."

According to documents reviewed by Rolling Stone, one the activities considered as part of the publicity offensive is a striking stunt — placing an adult and child (both actors) in a glass box, with the adult looking "knowingly" at the child as the glass fades to black. Multiple sources confirmed the campaign was due to start this month, with privacy groups already planning a counter-campaign.

The anti-encryption stance from the UK government isn't new, but its latest effort is focused on the argument that improved encryption would hamper efforts to tackle child exploitation online. "We have engaged M&C Saatchi to bring together the many organizations who share our concerns about the impact end-to-end encryption would have on our ability to keep children safe," a Home Office spokesperson told Rolling Stone.

In a presentation produced by the UK government to recruit potential not-for-profit coalition partners, one slide notes that "most of the public have never heard" of end-to-end encryption, which means "people can be easily swayed" on the issue. Tellingly, the slide also notes that the campaign "must not start a privacy vs safety debate."

The UK government has allocated £534,000 ($730,500) of public funds for the campaign, according to a letter sent from the Home Office in response to a freedom of information request.

Facebook, recently rebranded to "Meta," has already delayed plans to use end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram messages until at least 2023, a year later than previously planned. Meta said the delay was to give it extra time to coordinate with experts in the field of combating online abuse while also protecting user privacy.

Messaging platforms like Signal, Telegram, Facebook's WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage all use end-to-end encryption that prevents communications between sender and recipient from being accessed by anyone else, including the service providers. Security experts have long argued that weakening encrypted systems for such platforms would mean weakening security for everyone.

Both Meta and Apple have long fought against anti-encryption legislation and attempts to weaken platform and device encryption. In 2019, Meta successfully challenged a court order to force it to decrypt Facebook Messenger calls. The order was the result of an investigation into the MS-13 gang's activities on Facebook Messenger in California.

Apple's most public battle against the US government came in 2016, after Apple was ordered to help the FBI unlock the iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December 2015 attacks in San Bernardino.

Apple opposed the order and claimed that it would set a "dangerous precedent" with serious implications for the future of smartphone encryption. Apple ultimately held its ground and the U.S. government backed off after finding an alternate way to access the device, but Apple has continually had to deal with further law enforcement efforts to combat encryption.

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

Today marks Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day, a federal holiday in the United States that pays respect to and honors the civil rights movement leader. As it's done in the past, Apple is commemorating the day with a full-page tribute on its website.

dr
On its home page, Apple remembers the civil rights leader with a photo of King and one of his quotes: "I believe that we can transform dark yesterdays of injustice into bright tomorrows of justice and humanity." Apple adds, "Today and every day, we honor his life and legacy of service."

Apple CEO Tim Cook also commemorated King on Twitter, saying that he "could paint a powerful vision in dark times."

A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS.

safari icon blue banner
In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB 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 unique and specific to each website. The correct and normal behavior should be that websites can only access their own IndexedDB databases.

In some cases, websites use unique user-specific identifiers in IndexedDB database names. For example, YouTube creates databases that include a user's authenticated Google User ID in the name, and this identifier can be used with Google APIs to fetch personal information about the user, such as a profile picture, according to FingerprintJS. This personal information could help a malicious actor to determine a user's identity.

The bug affects newer versions of browsers using Apple's open source browser engine WebKit, including Safari 15 for Mac and Safari on all versions of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. The bug also affects third-party browsers like Chrome on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, as Apple requires all browsers to use WebKit on the iPhone and iPad. FingerprintJS has a live demo of the bug that indicates older browsers like Safari 14 for Mac are unaffected.


FingerprintJS noted that no user action is required for a website to access IndexedDB database names generated by other websites.

"A tab or window that runs in the background and continually queries the IndexedDB API for available databases can learn what other websites a user visits in real-time," the blog post said. "Alternatively, websites can open any website in an iframe or popup window in order to trigger an IndexedDB-based leak for that specific site."

Private browsing mode does not protect against the bug in affected Safari versions.

Users will need to wait for Apple to address the bug with software updates — we've reached out to Apple to see if a fix is planned. In the meantime, Safari 15 users could temporary switch to a different browser on the Mac, but this is not possible on the iPhone or iPad since all browsers are affected by the WebKit bug on those devices.

The bug was reported to the WebKit Bug Tracker on November 28. More details can be found in FingerprintJS's blog post, reported earlier by 9to5Mac.

Tag: Safari

Earlier this month, Apple discontinued the Beats Pill+, its last battery-powered speaker. Following this news, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has revealed that Apple once internally discussed and prototyped a battery-powered smart speaker.

homepod mini power cable
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that while Apple prototyped a battery-powered smart speaker years ago, he would be surprised if one ever launches under the Apple brand. For now, the HomePod mini is the only smart speaker that Apple sells, and it must be connected to a power source to operate at all times.

Gurman addressed a few other topics in his newsletter this week, including Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset, which he again said will have performance on par with the M1 Pro chip in the new MacBook Pro and could be priced above $2,000 when released.

Gurman also backed a MacRumors report claiming that Hyundai's luxury brand Genesis is planning to support Apple's digital car key feature, which lets users lock, unlock, and start their vehicles using a pass stored in the Wallet app on the iPhone or Apple Watch. The feature has been limited to select BMW models since launching in 2020, but Gurman said Genesis plans to roll out support for the feature by the summer.

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

Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst.

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb
Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire ‌iPhone 14‌ lineup and will remain exclusive to the Pro models. This comes following a report earlier in the week claiming that all models of the ‌iPhone 14‌ lineup would feature ProMotion technology.

In his tweet, Young suggests that Chinese manufacturer BOE would be the supplier of LTPO OLED displays for lower-end ‌iPhone 14‌ models, but he said the company does not have enough production capacity to do so right now. Samsung is currently the exclusive supplier of LTPO OLED displays for ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ models, while a report last year claimed that LG would also start making LTPO OLED displays in hopes of supplying them to Apple this year.

Apple first introduced ProMotion on the iPhone with the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ and ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max in September 2021. ProMotion allows the display to automatically refresh at up to 120Hz for smoother appearing content and scrolling, and as low as 10Hz for longer battery life, depending on the type of content on the screen.

Apple has so far limited ProMotion to "Pro" products such as the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌, iPad Pro, and the newly launched 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

Apple is expected to release four ‌iPhone 14‌ models this year, including two 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch standard models and two 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro models, with the 5.4-inch "mini" model to be discontinued. Learn more about everything we know so far about the ‌iPhone 14‌ by reading our comprehensive roundup.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14 Pro

Apple will require retail and corporate employees to submit proof of receiving a COVID-19 booster shot, or else face frequent testing to enter the workplace, the company announced in an internal email obtained by The Verge.

apple store pickup employees
"Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease," Apple said in the internal email, according to The Verge.

The report claims that once an Apple employee becomes eligible for a booster shot, they will have four weeks to submit proof of receiving the third dose. Employees who do not comply with this requirement will be subjected to frequent tests to enter an Apple retail store, partner store, or office starting February 15, the report adds.

Employees who do submit proof of any COVID-19 vaccination will also be subjected to testing to enter the workplace starting January 24, but it is not immediately clear if this requirement applies to both retail and corporate employees, the report said.

Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

ipad air 4 video
Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be announced alongside the third-generation iPhone SE in spring 2022.

The new iPad Air will have the same overall design as the current model, including a single-lens rear camera, the report adds. Released in October 2020, the current iPad Air features a 10.9-inch display with slim bezels, a Touch ID power button, and a USB-C port, with color options including Space Gray, Silver, Green, Rose Gold, and Sky Blue.

Apple's first product event of the year will likely take place in March or April as usual, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, so it's possible that the new iPad Air and iPhone SE models could be announced at that event.

Mac Otakara accurately reported that the fourth-generation iPad Air would be equipped with a USB-C port, and that the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro would be 0.5mm thicker to accommodate for a mini-LED display. On the other hand, the website has made some inaccurate claims, including that new AirPods Pro would launch in April 2021.

Related Roundup: iPad Air
Buyer's Guide: iPad Air (Caution)
Related Forum: iPad

Apple will be adding the Mid 2012 model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro to its vintage products list on January 31, according to an internal memo obtained by MacRumors.

13 Inch MacBook Pro Mid 2012
Released in June 2012, this 13-inch MacBook Pro model was the last Mac with a built-in CD/DVD drive sold by Apple. It remained for sale until October 2016 as a lower-priced option alongside the thinner 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display.

Apple considers a device vintage once more than five years have passed since it stopped distributing the device for sale. Vintage products used to be ineligible for repairs in most regions, but Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers now offer repairs for vintage products for up to seven years, subject to parts availability.

On the software side, Apple dropped support for the Mid 2012 model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with macOS Big Sur in 2020.

Related Roundup: 13" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer.

Unlikely Products 2022 Feature
Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in mind, this article summarizes what we believe Apple has in long-term development, and when these products could arrive further down the line.

1. iPads With Larger Displays

Apple is working on bigger iPad models with larger displays than the current crop in its product lineup, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman.

The biggest iPads that Apple has produced in recent years are the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and both sizes serve most people's needs, but there are arguments for Apple offering tablets that provide even more screen real estate.
iPad More Than 12

While most users could have ergonomic issues holding an iPad larger than 12.9-inches for any length of time, a larger display mounted on a table would provide a giant sweeping canvas for creative designers and digital artists to work on (think Microsoft Surface Studio). It would also bring the iPad closer to the screen dimensions of Apple's latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, which could allow the iPad to adopt more Mac-like features.

However, Apple would likely need to make significant software changes to iPadOS, such as in the area of multitasking, to make such a display practicable. This and other hurdles suggest to Gurman that larger iPads are not expected to launch in 2022, and are instead likely to come sometime later.

2. Apple Glasses

Apple is rumored to be working on at least two AR/VR projects, including a mixed reality headset and a pair of sleeker augmented reality glasses, which has led to some confusion about Apple's plans in this space.
Apple AR Mock Orange 1

The AR/VR headset is likely to be a high-end device, and while it is expected to be lighter than existing VR devices, it isn't going to be portable. Bloomberg had described it as providing users with an "all-encompassing 3-D digital environment" designed for gaming, media consumption, and communication.

The AR smart glasses, on the other hand, are said to look similar to regular glasses, but are expected to provide a mobile-first, optical see-through AR experience. Apple is said to be working with TSMC to develop "ultra-advanced" micro OLED displays less than one inch in size for the lenses, which will feature displays that can be interacted with using gestures, and Apple will offer the glasses as an iPhone accessory, which will allow them to be slim and lightweight, rumors suggest.

apple glasses concept macrumors
As it stands, most reports point to Apple debuting its mixed reality headset first, possibly as early this year, although very recent rumors have dampened hopes for a 2022 release. Rumors about the launch year of Apple's AR glasses are more conflicted. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested 2025, which is a lot later than Apple's original plan to launch them in 2023. Bloomberg has reported they are still "years away" and remain in an early stage of development.

3. Apple TV With Integrated Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Apple is said to be working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod-style speaker that also has an integrated camera to enable video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
HomePod With Screen

Apart from the clear potential for FaceTime calls, the device's other capabilities are said to include standard Apple TV features such as watching video and gaming, along with integrated smart speaker functions like music playback and Siri voice control.

The device is still believed to be in early development in Apple's labs. Assuming it progresses to production stage, we're very unlikely to see it before the year is out. Apple updated the Apple TV 4K in April 2021, and tends to update the device infrequently, releasing a new model around every three years.

That said, the rumored new device would represent a much more significant advancement in the ‌Apple TV‌ product line, and could always sit alongside the current Apple TV set-top box to firm up the company's broader home and audio strategy.

4. HomePod Speaker With Display Mounted on Robotic Arm

Apple is reportedly exploring the potential of a high-end HomePod speaker that includes an iPad-style display connected via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users around a room.
HomePod G4 Feature

Apple is said to be working on the device to compete with existing speakers with screens, such as Amazon's Echo 10, which has a tablet connected to a robotic arm and use facial recognition to keep users in the frame during calls.

Of all the rumored products in our list, this is probably the one least likely to see the light of day at all. According to Bloomberg, the speaker should be considered a "concept" at this time, as its development is very much in the early stages.

Add to that the fact that Apple last year discontinued its original HomePod to focus on the HomePod mini, which has been much more popular since its release in 2020 thanks to its lower price.

5. Apple Car

First mooted before even the original iPhone launched, Apple's plan to launch a self-driving vehicle, codenamed "Project Titan," has seen plenty of twists and turns in the intervening years, and the Apple Car has faced several speed bumps on its development journey.
vanarama apple car concept

Concept "Apple Car" by Vanarama

Apple's work on an autonomous vehicle has been plagued by managerial shifts, changes in focus, and hiring issues almost since it began, and at one point it appeared Apple was shifting towards developing the underlying technology for autonomous vehicles rather than actually building an automobile of its own.

However, under the leadership of John Giannandrea, Apple's AI and machine learning chief, the ‌Apple Car‌ project is moving forward with the ambitious aim of producing an autonomous electric vehicle that does not require human intervention, which no other car manufacturer has been able to achieve.

Apple is now at a stage where it is sourcing components, talking with suppliers, and making deals with manufacturing partners‌. Apple reportedly aims to release a self-driving car by 2025, but even that timeline may ultimately prove to be too aggressive, so don't expect anything for a good few years yet.

6. iPhone With Face ID Under Display

iPhone 14 Mock Pill

Apple's plan to move Face ID under the iPhone display and adopt a single camera cutout to replace the notch appears to have been delayed this year, despite initial iPhone 14 rumors claiming otherwise.

Early rumors suggested that Apple would adopt a hole-punch design with Face ID somehow moved completely under the display, and later it was rumored that there would be a pill-shaped cutout instead.

However, display industry consultant Ross Young has now claimed that iPhone 14 Pro models will feature both hole-punch and pill-shaped cutouts near the top of the display. Young believes the hole will be for the Face ID dot projector, while the pill-shaped cutout will supposedly house the front camera and an infrared camera for Face ID.

Young believes the infrared camera will not be moved under the display until 2023 or 2024, suggesting that Face ID will be reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro or later. Young's belief tallies with a long-term prediction by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has always claimed Face ID won't be moved under the display until 2023.

Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year.

top stories 20220115
Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing calls for Apple to support the new RCS text messaging standard, a new iOS 15.2.1 update with several bug fixes, and more, so read for all of the details!

iPhone 14 Pro Now Rumored to Feature Both Pill-Shaped and Circular Cutouts

While the notch is expected to be removed on iPhone 14 Pro models, there have been conflicting rumors about the new design.

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb
The latest word comes from display industry consultant Ross Young, who expects iPhone 14 Pro models to feature both hole-punch and pill-shaped cutouts near the top of the display. Young believes the hole will be for Face ID's dot projector, while the pill-shaped cutout will supposedly house the front camera, Face ID infrared camera, and other sensors.

In addition to the new display design, iPhone 14 Pro models are also rumored to feature an upgraded 48-megapixel camera.

Apple Says No Carriers Are Blocking iCloud Private Relay

In a statement shared with MacRumors this week, Apple said that no carriers, including T-Mobile, have blocked their users from taking advantage of the ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay feature.

icloud private relay change ios 15 3
T-Mobile earlier this week was accused of disabling ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay for its users after some subscribers found that they were unable to turn on the feature. T-Mobile then released a statement that said it had discovered that the iOS 15.2 update was to blame by causing some device settings to default to the feature being toggled off, but Apple said that was not the case.

Google Exec Pushing RCS Adoption Says He's 'Not Asking Apple to Make iMessage Available on Android'

Google for the last several years has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS, which is designed to replace the current SMS standard. RCS supports higher-resolution photos and videos, audio messages, typing indicators, and many other modern messaging features.

General Apps Messages
For the last few months, Google's senior vice president of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, has been publicly trying to persuade Apple to adopt support for RCS, and this week he clarified that he's "not asking Apple to make iMessage available on Android."

Face ID Under the Display Returns to Being an iPhone 15 Pro Rumor

Based on the latest rumors, it is now looking unlikely that iPhone 14 Pro models will have Face ID under the display as initially claimed.

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID
According to display industry consultant Ross Young, the iPhone's infrared camera for facial recognition will not be moved under the display until 2023 or 2024, suggesting that Face ID will not be fully under the display until the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 16 Pro.

iOS 15.2.1 Released, Fixes HomeKit Vulnerability and More

Apple this week released iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1 with an important security fix for a HomeKit vulnerability that was first discovered last year. Apple has also fixed a few Messages and CarPlay bugs.

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Apple also seeded the second betas of iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 to both developers and public beta testers.

iOS 15 has seen slower adoption than iOS 14, but Apple is now more aggressively pushing iOS 14 users to upgrade to iOS 15.

Apple AR/VR Headset Potentially Delayed Until 2023 Amid Development Problems

Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset could be delayed until 2023 after being beset with issues during the development process, according to Bloomberg.

apple ar headset concept 2Concept render by Ian Zelbo based on leaked information

Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, the report claims that Apple originally planned to launch the headset in 2021 and ship it this year. The company then set its sights on WWDC in June 2022 to launch the product, but this is reportedly now unlikely due to issues related to overheating, as well as camera and software challenges.

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!

Apple has announced that it will allow third-party payment options for in-app purchases for dating apps in the Netherlands, in the first ever concession of its kind.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
In a message posted on its developer site late on Friday, Apple announced that it will comply with a Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruling that compels the company to allow third-party payment services to pay for in-app purchases in dating apps. Dutch dating apps that link out to or use a third-party in-app payment provider will still need to pay a commission to Apple on transactions.

Recent orders from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will allow developers of dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands to share additional payment processing options with users.

[...]

To comply with the ACM's order, we're introducing two optional new entitlements exclusively applicable to dating apps on the Netherlands App Store that provide additional payment processing options for users. Dating app developers who want to continue using Apple's in-app purchase system may do so and no further action is needed.

To implement third-party payment options in Dutch dating apps, developers will need to use Apple's entitlements, but the company warned developers that this will involve additional responsibilities and pose a number of new risks:

Before considering applying for one of these entitlements, it's important to understand that some App Store features that you may use won't be available to your customers, in part because we cannot validate the security and safety of payments that take place outside of the App Store's private and secure payment system. Because Apple will not be directly aware of purchases made using alternative methods, Apple will not be able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues encountered when purchasing digital goods and services through these alternative purchasing methods. You will be responsible for addressing such issues with customers.

Apple added that it disagrees with the ACM ruling, believes it is "not in our users' best interest," and has appealed the decision to a higher court. Specifically, Apple explained that it is "concerned these changes could compromise the user experience, and create new threats to user privacy and data security."

Apple highlighted the benefits of its own payment system to developers, which continues to be available as an option for developers to use in Dutch dating apps:

Apple designed the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for people to discover and download apps. Apple's in-app purchase system, an integral part of our world-class commerce platform, offers people a private and secure user experience across apps and Apple devices, and makes it easy for them to manage their purchases and subscriptions for digital goods and services.

The order originated from a Dutch investigation started in 2019 that examined whether Apple's business practices amounted to an abuse of market power. The investigation included a complaint from Match Group, the owner of Tinder, which claimed that Apple's rules prevented it from communicating with its customers directly about payments.

The ACM said that Apple imposes "unreasonable conditions" by forbidding user choice about in-app purchase methods. Apple was warned that it had to allow dating apps to offer third-party payment options by Saturday, January 15 or face a fine of up to 50 million euros ($57 million). Apple said that it will provide further information about the mandated changes shortly.

Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month.

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The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits quality to 480p standard definition, with no HD streaming available. The Standard plan is $1.50 more expensive, up from $13.99 per month. It allows for 1080p HD streaming and allows users to watch on two screens at a time.

The highest-end Premium plan is now $2 more expensive per month, up from $17.99. It allows users to watch on four screens at the same time and it is the only plan that provides a 4K HDR streaming option.

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Netflix says that the prices apply immediately to new members and will "gradually take effect" for all current members. Current members will get an email notification 30 days before their price changes and will have the option to change plans or cancel.

Netflix previously raised its prices in October 2020, so it's been a bit over a year since the last significant price jump. As of now, the Premium plan is $4 more expensive than it was in fall 2020.

The Basic Netflix plan is now twice as expensive as the $4.99 per month Apple TV+ subscription, and the Premium plan is four times as expensive. Netflix of course has a lot more to offer than ‌Apple TV+‌ in terms of content, but it is also more expensive than most other streaming services on the market.

Hulu's basic plan starts at $6.99 per month, for example, and the no ads plan is $12.99 per month. HBO Max is $14.99 per month, Disney+ costs $7.99 per month, and Peacock Premium costs $4.99 per month.

Hulu, ‌Apple TV+‌, and other services also do not charge for higher quality streaming capabilities, with even the basic plans offering 4K support.

Tag: Netflix

Apple in August announced plans to pay $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit levied by U.S. developers, and as of today, the website that will allow developers to submit a claim for a payout has gone live.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
The $100 million that Apple provided is being distributed as part of a "Small Developer Assistance Fund," and developers can claim between $250 and $30,000 based on their historic App Store participation. Claims can now be submitted using the Small Developer Assistance website, which also has tools for estimating payments.

Eligible U.S. developers must meet the following criteria for apps:

  • Was sold for a non-zero price;
  • Was sold via Apple's iOS ‌App Store‌ between 2015 and 2021; and
  • Earned, together with any other iOS applications or in-app products (including subscriptions) sold through all of your associated developer accounts, proceeds equal to or less than $1,000,000.00 through the ‌App Store‌ U.S. storefront in every calendar year from 2015 to 2021 in which you had a developer account.

According to the settlement, there are approximately 67,000 eligible developers. Developers who earned less than $100 will get a potential minimum payment of $250, while those who earned over $1,000,000 will be entitled to the $30,000 payment. Minimum payments are subjected to change based on the total number of claims.

The lawsuit dates back to 2019, when a group of iOS developers accused Apple of using its ‌‌App Store‌‌ monopoly to impose "profit-killing" commissions. The lawsuit took issue with Apple's 30 percent cut of ‌‌App Store‌‌ sales, and was largely addressed with the late 2020 announcement of the App Store Small Business Program that cut the commission that small developers have to pay to 15 percent.

Along with the $100 million payment to developers, Apple also agreed to some other concessions. Perhaps the biggest concession will see Apple allowing developers to use communications like email to share information about payment methods available outside of iOS apps. Developers will not pay Apple a commission on purchases that take place outside of the ‌App Store‌.

Apple is also expanding the number of price points available to developers for subscriptions, and the company has agreed to maintain the ‌App Store‌ Small Business Program and ‌App Store‌ search, making no changes for at least three years. Apple also promised to continue to offer developers the option to appeal an app rejection, and it will create an annual transparency report based on ‌App Store‌ data covering app rejections, apps removed from the ‌App Store‌, search information, and more.

Developers need to submit claims by May 20, 2022 to get a payment from Apple, and there will be a final approval hearing on June 7, 2022. The actual payout date will vary based on whether there are objections, how long it takes to resolve those objections, and whether the agreement receives final approval from the court.

(Thanks, Christophe!)

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu last year reported that Apple had tested a new iPad Pro with a glass back for wireless charging capabilities. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said he expects the new iPad Pro to be released in 2022.

iPad Pro Big Ol Logo Orange
While the new iPad Pro is still on track to feature wireless charging, 9to5Mac's Filipe Espósito today reported that Apple may have ultimately scrapped the glass back design after testing due to concerns over breakability. Citing sources familiar with Apple's design plans, the report claims that Apple has developed iPad Pro prototypes with a larger Apple logo made of glass, which would still allow for wireless charging.

One of the prototypes is said to feature MagSafe with stronger magnets than on the iPhone to prevent accidental damage, and it is also said to support faster wireless charging speeds compared to MagSafe on the iPhone.

Given that Apple prototypes several products internally, there is no guarantee that the iPad Pro with a glass Apple logo will ever be released, but rumors do seem to agree that the next iPad Pro will have a new design of some kind to enable wireless charging. A more specific release date for the device beyond the 2022 timeframe remains unclear.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Related Forum: iPad