The new Apple TV 4K unveiled this week ships with a redesigned Siri Remote with a physical clickpad, new power and mute buttons for a TV, and a repositioned Siri button, but there's another change that has gone less noticed.

apple tv 4k design
According to Digital Trends, the new Siri Remote lacks an accelerometer and gyroscope, which allowed the original Siri Remote to function as a gaming controller. Apple even required tvOS games to support the Siri Remote following the launch of the fourth-generation Apple TV, but it dropped this requirement in June 2016.

Due to its lack of accelerometer and gyroscope, the new Siri Remote will not be compatible with some Apple TV games. Instead, users will need to use the original Siri Remote or connect an Apple-certified game controller.

The following message will appear on the Apple TV when opening a game that does not work with the new Siri Remote, according to tvOS 14.5 code seen by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser: "To play this game on your Apple TV, you need to connect the Apple TV Remote (1st generation) or a compatible PlayStation, Xbox or MFi controller."

Note that the Siri Remote is called the Apple TV Remote in countries where Siri is not available on the Apple TV, but the remote is otherwise identical in functionality.

Gaming on the Apple TV has always been a niche relative to full-fledged consoles like the Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, and many users who do play tvOS games likely prefer to use an actual game controller anyway, so the new Siri Remote's lack of accelerometer and gyroscope is unlikely to be a dealbreaker for many users.

It's worth noting that Bloomberg's Mark Gurman had reported that a new Apple TV would have a stronger gaming focus. A faster A12 chip does benefit gaming performance, and tvOS 14.5 adds expanded game controller support on the software side, but a gaming-focused Apple TV with an A14X chip rumored by leaker "Fudge" has yet to materialize.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Apple earlier this week introduced refreshed 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with few external changes but one notable internal change - the introduction of the same M1 chip that was also used in the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini refreshes back in November.

m1 ipad pro display
Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak and hardware chief John Ternus this week did an interview with The Independent to talk about the new tablets. The use of an ‌M1‌ chip in an iPad naturally has led to speculation about the merging of the ‌iPad‌ and Mac lineups, a topic that resurfaces over and over again, but Joswiak says that's not the goal.

Rather than merging the two product lines, he claims that Apple is just trying to make the best products in their respective categories.

"There's two conflicting stories people like to tell about the ‌iPad‌ and Mac," says Joz, as he starts on a clarification that will lead him at one point to apologise for his passion. "On the one hand, people say that they are in conflict with each other. That somebody has to decide whether they want a Mac, or they want an ‌iPad‌.

"Or people say that we're merging them into one: that there's really this grand conspiracy we have, to eliminate the two categories and make them one. And the reality is neither is true. We're quite proud of the fact that we work really, really hard to create the best products in their respective category."

Ternus added that Apple doesn't aim to limit one device in order to avoid impacting another device. "We're pushing to make the best Mac we can make; we're pushing to make the best ‌iPad‌ we can make," said Ternus.

Apple plans to keep making both products better and is not going to "get all caught up in" theories of "merging or anything like that."

The new ‌iPad Pro‌ models arguably have more power than is necessary for a tablet that does not have the option of pro software like Final Cut Pro, but Ternus and Joswiak declined to comment on software that might be coming in the future. Joswiak instead said that the extra performance gives developers more space to find new ways to expand their apps. "Our developers are pretty quick about taking advantage," he said. "It isn't like it languishes for years."

He also said that it's great for customers to know that they can buy a system "that still has headroom" and won't be "immediately obsolete." As an explanation for why Apple opted for the ‌M1‌ chip over an A-series chip, Ternus said that the best Apple silicon has "always gone into the ‌iPad Pro‌," and right now, the ‌M1‌ is "is the best" Apple silicon Apple has available.

The two also commented on the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌'s new mini-LED display, which is the highest quality display that's been used in an ‌iPad‌ to date and rivals the Pro Display XDR. Ternus said that shrinking it was a "huge undertaking" that required more LEDs because of the size constraints.

"Shrinking it was a huge undertaking," says Ternus. "If you just look at the two products, obviously the ‌iPad‌ is a lot thinner than a Pro Display XDR, and the way the architecture works - you have the LED backlight behind the display."

Apple added one other new feature to the ‌iPad Pro‌ -- an Ultra Wide front-facing camera with a new "Center Stage" feature that's designed to allow you to stay in frame while moving about a room. Ternus said that it's "liberating" to be able to move around, and it's also useful for FaceTiming with large groups.

Joswiak and Ternus's full interview contains additional tidbits about the new ‌iPad Pro‌ models, and it can be read over at The Independent.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Apple today seeded the first betas of new iOS and iPadOS 14.6 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new software available just ahead of when Apple plans to release iOS 14.5.

iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency
iOS and iPadOS 14.6 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad.

There is no word yet on what's included in the iOS and iPadOS 14.6 updates, but we'll update this article should we find anything new.

Apple has also seeded the first betas of watchOS 7.5 and tvOS 14.6 to developers.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.5 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming just a few days ahead of when Apple plans to launch watchOS 7.4.

applewatchse
To install the ‌watchOS 7.5 beta, developers need to download the proper configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the watchOS 7.5 beta can be downloaded through the dedicated ‌Apple Watch‌ app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update.

To update to the new software, the ‌Apple Watch‌ needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.

We don't yet know what's included in watchOS 7.5, but it could include bug fixes for issues that aren't included in the watchOS 7.4 update. If we find anything new, we'll update this article.

Related Roundup: watchOS 7

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with home design app Live Home 3D to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win one of Apple's brand new 128GB 11-inch iPad Pro models and an Apple Pencil 2, which is a great setup to use with the Live Home 3D app.


Live Home 3D from BeLight Software is a super popular app for those who are interested in home design and who want to visualize home changes before they're implemented. With the app, you can draw up a floor plan and then view it in 3D to try out future designs. It's a little bit like "The Sims," but for your own home and for real life design projects.

live home 3d main
Version 4 of the Live Home 3D app was released this week with new Metal 2-powered rendering that's more realistic and more powerful than ever before, and a Room Scanner feature that can be used on iPhones and iPads to import a room's layout directly into the app in the form of an editable 3D model. Room Scanner uses LiDAR in the ‌iPad Pro‌ and iPhone 12 Pro models, and it scans a room's walls with 97 percent or better accuracy, detecting all of the room's surfaces and recreating them.


The update introduced a new terrain editing functionality to add even more realism to design plans. Terrain editing can be used to place a house on a hill, add mountains, create pathways, visualize swimming pools, and more, allowing for a complete recreation of the landscape around a home.

There's an improved real-time 3D view that uses material properties based on real world textures, so you'll see metal and stone for rough surfaces, and glass and mirrors for more natural reflections. All of the existing 3D objects in the app now use this feature and have been revised.

live home 3d 3
A new curtain wall type is available for creating exterior wall panels and walls with different start and end heights, plus there's a new option for separating the ground floor for the outdoors to enhance garden design options.

Live Home 3D is an app available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and the updated Mac version released this week includes native support for Apple Silicon Macs and a new photo-realistic 3D view export option.

live home 3d 4
The iOS version of Live Home 3D can be downloaded from Apple's App Store, while the Mac version is available from the Live Home 3D website or the Mac App Store. It is a free app, but Standard and Pro features can be unlocked at prices starting at $4.99 per month or $29.99 for a lifetime license.

BeLight Software is offering one MacRumors reader one of Apple's newly announced 128GB 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models, which comes equipped with a super speedy M1 chip. The ‌iPad Pro‌ prize package also includes an ‌Apple Pencil‌ 2.

live home 3d 5
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 MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory 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 (April 22) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 29. The winner will be chosen randomly on April 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.

Last fall, Apple changed its App Store rules around in-app purchases for realtime experiences, and the guidelines technically require apps that offer virtual events to more than a single person to use in-app purchases.

apple developer app feature
Apple is not yet enforcing that rule, however, and has once again extended the timeline of when in-app purchases will need to be implemented. Apple has set the new deadline for December 31, 2021, which means that apps offering digital services to groups of people can continue to accept payment methods that do not use in-app purchases and are not subject to Apple's 15 to 30 percent cut through the end of the year.

Last year, to support apps that adapted services from in-person to digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily deferred the requirement to offer paid online group event services (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime services) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1. As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, we'd like to support the communities that are still providing digital services in place of in-person group events by extending the deadline further to December 31, 2021.

Apple initially planned to begin requiring apps to comply with the in-app purchase rule for group digital events in December 2020, but implemented an extension in November 2020 that would have put the deadline at June 30.

Apple says that it is not going to enforce the rule in order to continue to support communities that are still providing digital services in place of in-person group events.

The ‌App Store‌ rules specifically apply to one-to-a-few or one-to-many events that involve more than two people. Person-to-person experiences between two individuals do not need to use in-app purchases, so tutoring sessions, medical consultations, real estate tours, one-on-one fitness training sessions, and more can be purchased using alternative payment methods.

Many popular apps, such as ClassPass and Airbnb, normally offer real world purchase options that don't need to use in-app purchases, but have been offering virtual experiences during the pandemic. Purchases for real world experiences are not subject to in-app purchases, but purchases for digital events are, so Apple has been wanting to take a cut of sales from those apps.

Airbnb and ClassPass complained, which led to the rule that allows person-to-person experiences to skirt in-app purchase requirements.

Belkin's Wemo brand today announced the launch of the Wemo Stage Scene Controller, a wireless remote control that allows HomeKit users to manage and control their various ‌HomeKit‌ scenes.

belkin wemo stage scene controller
The Wemo Stage works with up to six ‌HomeKit‌ scenes, with each scene activated through long and short press functions. ‌HomeKit‌ scenes can be set up to activate multiple ‌HomeKit‌ products, and are useful for changing the lights at night, adjusting temperature when coming home from work, and more.

There's a self-adhesive faceplate included with the Wemo Stage that allows it to be mounted in a convenient location, and a magnetic slot allows the controller to click into place so it can function as either a replacement wall switch or a portable remote control. Belkin says the Wemo Stage is compatible with standard Decora faceplates. The Wemo Stage connects to ‌HomeKit‌ over Bluetooth, and it also has Thread support to improve connectivity with other Thread devices. There is no hub required.

Belkin has a whole lineup of other HomeKit-enabled Wemo products, including the WiFi Smart Plug, Smart Light Switch, Smart Dimmer, and more.

The Wemo Stage Scene Controller can be purchased from the Belkin website for $49.99.

Today is Earth Day, and in celebration of the holiday there are quite a few tech accessory companies providing notable discounts on products like iPhone cases, Bluetooth speakers, MacBook bags, and more.

Earth Day Deals Feature 2021
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.

Incase

Incase is taking 40 percent off eco-friendly styles during its Earth Week Sale, with MacBook sleeves and bags at new low prices. 13-inch MacBook Pro owners can get the Classic Sleeve for just $23.99, down from $39.95.

earth week sale incase

JBL

JBL is discounting one of its eco-friendly Bluetooth speakers today. You can get the JBL Flip 5 Eco Edition for $89.95, down from $119.95.

JBL earth day
This speaker is made from 90 percent recycled plastic, is waterproof, and comes in eco-friendly packaging. The sale will only last today, so be sure to visit JBL's website soon if you're interested.

Casely

iPhone case brand Casely is hosting a 25 percent off Earth Day sale, specifically discounting its "Earth Collection" of accessories. You'll need to enter the code BLOOM at checkout to see this discount.

casely earth day
Casely's cases come in a wide variety of colorful designs and patterns, as well as multiple types. There's the "Classic" at $25, "Bold" with more protection at $35, "Bold + MagSafe" at $45, and "Power 2.0" battery case at $75. You can save on all of these versions with the new coupon code.

Nomad

Nomad's sitewide Spring Sale remains ongoing today, allowing shoppers to save 25 percent by using the code SPRING25. Nomad sells an assortment of leather accessories, including cases and folios for iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPhone, AirPods, and more.

Miscellaneous

  • Incipio - Save 40% on eco-friendly cases for iPhone and Android phones with code EARTH40
  • Scosche - Save 30% sitewide with code SPRING30
  • ZAGG/Mophie - Save 30% when you purchase two or more products
  • Pad & Quill - Save on leather iPhone and MacBook cases

Keep up with all of this week's best discounts on Apple products and related accessories in our dedicated Apple Deals roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple has started testing its revamped Maps experience in Spain and Portugal this week, as noticed by MacRumors reader Jordi Guillamet. This follows the redesigned Apple Maps becoming available in Canada late last year.

iPhone Apple Maps Spain Portugal
During the testing period, the updated maps will only be visible to some users.

The revamped Apple Maps experience provides more detailed views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls, and more, along with faster and more accurate navigation. The updated maps started rolling out in the United States in late 2018, followed by the United Kingdom and Ireland in October 2020 and Canada in December 2020.

Apple Maps enthusiast Justin O'Beirne has been tracking the new Maps rollout and has more details on his website for those interested.

AirTag, announced this week and shipping on April 30, is Apple's long-rumored Tile-like tracker for locating and keeping a tab on items such as keys, wallets, and more. The iPhone accessory is a new product category for Apple, building on its Find My network. While AirTags won't be in the hands of customers until next week, we continue to learn more about Apple's latest gadget.


YouTuber Rene Ritchie had a chance to speak to Apple's VP of iPhone worldwide marketing, Kaiann Drance, and Apple's senior director of sensing and connectivity, Ron Huang, to discuss AirTags, its features, design, and privacy. The interview covers much of the same ground as another interview the executives gave to Fast Company, but it does include a few other notable tidbits.

Maximum of 16 AirTags Connected to A Single Apple ID

Apple will offer a single AirTag for $29 and a pack of four for $99. Most customers will want to track their keys, wallets, and backpack, not needing more than four. The maximum number of AirTags that can be connected to a single Apple ID is 16, according to Apple's Kaiann Drance.

Low Battery Notfication

AirTags feature a replaceable coin-cell battery that, according to Apple, can last as long as a year. AirTags don't have a screen, or a light, making it hard to understand if the battery is low and needs replacing. As revealed in Ritchie’s interview, iPhone will alert users once the AirTags battery is starting to run low. It's still not clear which specific threshold the battery must reach before an alert is sent. Still, it can reasonably be assumed the AirTag would have enough battery left to allow the owner to purchase and replace it before it completely dies.

Sharing AirTags With Friends and Family

In some instances, users may want to share their car key with a friend or family member, which happens to have an AirTag attached to it. In normal cases, the AirTags safety feature would kick in, alerting the person that an unknown tracking device is on them. Apple's way to prevent this is through Family Sharing.

As Kaiann Drance explains, if an AirTag is being shared with an Apple ID within Family Sharing, the owner of the AirTag can disable the safety alerts to prevent their family or friends iPhone from detecting it as unwanted tracking.

In cases where an AirTag is being borrowed by an individual not in Family Sharing, the borrower can choose to disable the safety alerts.

AirTags will be available for pre-order on Friday, April 23, and will begin shipping on April 30.

Apple today shared a trailer for the whale documentary "Fathom" on YouTube ahead of its worldwide debut on Apple TV+ on June 25. See our original coverage below for more details about the film.


Apple earlier this month announced that it purchased the rights to "Fathom," a documentary that follows two scientists as they attempt to communicate with humpback whales and unravel the mystery of why they sing.

apple tv plus fathom
"Fathom" features Dr. Ellen Garland and Dr. Michelle Fournet, who study humpback whale songs and social communication.

As they embark on parallel research journeys on opposite sides of the world, they seek to better understand whale culture and communication. The documentary film uniquely reveals a deep commitment and reverence to the scientific process and the universal human need to seek answers about the world around us. From hypothesis to groundbreaking experiences in the field, "Fathom" showcases the passion, curiosity, collaboration, perseverance and work it takes for leading scientists to make scientific discoveries.

"Fathom" is set to premiere on ‌Apple TV+‌ on Friday, June 25, and it joins several other nature-focused documentaries on Apple's streaming service such as "Tiny World," "The Year Earth Changed," "Fireball," "The Elephant Queen," "Earth at Night in Color," and more.

Following the announcement of AirTags this week, Apple's VP of worldwide iPhone product marketing, Kaiann Drance, and Apple's senior director of sensing and connectivity, Ron Huang, spoke with Fast Company about the Tile-like tracker and its design and privacy.

f1618938547
Speaking about the design of AirTag, Drance says Apple wanted to create a simple yet unique design for the tracker, keeping in mind it wanted to create something that "no one else in the industry’s ever done before." One of the biggest selling points for AirTag is its user privacy. Apple is stressing that AirTag uses encrypted networks, and Apple or other third parties can't read their location.

Huang says that even if someone happens to find your lost AirTag, they will not be able to pair it with their ‌iPhone‌ and continue to use it. Both executives stressed during the interview that AirTag uses Apple's Find My network, which hosts almost a billion Apple devices, keeping the whole experience secure and private.

This entire process is end-to-end encrypted so that no one but the owner of the AirTag—not the owners of the crowdsourced devices picking up the AirTag’s location or even Apple itself—ever has access to the AirTag’s current or past location. And the Bluetooth identifiers that ‌AirTags‌ emit are not only randomized but “are rotated many times a day and never reused so that as you travel from place to place with the AirTag, you cannot be re-identified,” Huang says.

Drance and Huang are also keen to note that though almost a billion Apple devices act as a crowdsourced monitoring network that helps keep track of ‌AirTags‌, the AirTag owner can never see which devices its AirTag’s location is pinging off of or who owns those devices.

Earlier in March, Apple introduced a new safety feature in its Find My app within the iOS 14.5 beta that will notify users if the ‌iPhone‌ detects an unknown tracking device, such as AirTag, being used to track them. The purpose of the feature is to prevent incidents in which someone may slip an AirTag into a user's backpack and use it to stalk them.

In the case that it does happen, users will receive a notification stating "AirTag Found Moving With You," and will then have the ability to disable it physically. Speaking about the safety feature, Drance says that users should contact local law enforcement if they feel their safety is at risk.

“If you are concerned that there’s a risk of your being tracked you could contact law enforcement,” Drance notes. “What the [AirTag’s] serial number is used for is when you first set up your AirTag it is paired with an Apple ID along with some additional information such as your name, your email address, your date of birth, and things like that, which [Apple] could provide to law enforcement if asked for, with the proper warrants and process.”

Apple is marketing AirTag as a smart and capable way to track items. Questions have arisen, however, if AirTag can be used to track children and pets. When asked, Apple's VP of ‌iPhone‌ product marketing says the company designed AirTag to track items, not children. The executive suggests parents use an Apple Watch with Family Setup to locate their children. In the case of tracking pets, Drance says they need to be in range.

When I asked Drance about parents using ‌AirTags‌ to track their small children (such as during an outing at an amusement park) or pets (we know you’re up to something shady, Fluffy) she was quick to stress that the company designed the AirTag to track items, not people or pets. If parents would like to safely track their young children, she suggests an Apple Watch with ‌Family Setup‌ might be a better choice.

As for strapping an AirTag to a pet, Drance says, “If people do that, they just have to make sure that their moving pet gets into range of a device in the ‌Find My‌ network” so its location can be tracked.

Both executives also spoke about ‌AirTags‌ to YouTuber Rene Ritchie. AirTag will be available to pre-order on Friday, April 23 for $29, or in a pack of four for $99. They'll begin shipping on April 30. Check out some first impressions and hands-on reviews of ‌AirTags‌.

The embargo has lifted on reviews of Apple's new AirTag item tracker, although they are more like first impressions given that media outlets and YouTube channels had less than 48 hours of hands-on time with the small new device.

airtag and iphone 12

Image Credit: The Verge

AirTag will be available to order starting this Friday, April 23 at 5 a.m. Pacific Time in most countries, and it will begin arriving to customers on Friday, April 30. Priced at $29 each or $99 for a four pack, users can attach AirTags to personal belongings like a wallet, keys, purse, or backpack and then keep track of the location of those items in Apple's built-in Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

We've already rounded up some AirTag unboxing videos, and below we've gathered some more in-depth opinions from AirTag reviews.

The Verge's Dieter Bohn said the AirTag as "smart" and "capable" for users who already live in Apple's ecosystem:

Really, the AirTag is the Most Apple Product I've seen in a while. It's just a little more expensive than the competition. It's beautifully designed, but its hardware still somehow fails to actually take the practical realities of our dirty, messy world into account. It's very privacy-focused. It really only works with Apple devices. It offers features that no third-party device can really match thanks to Apple's tight integration (or tight grip on its APIs, depending on your point of view). And since there's no Android version of Find My, it's another piece of the Apple ecosystem that's going to keep you from switching.

An AirTag is a very Apple-y thing for Apple users who already live in Apple's ecosystem. They work great — and will be great at keeping you in Apple's world.

In the video below, Bohn provides a closer look at the AirTag setup process and then goes on a hide-and-seek adventure in New York City to test out its capabilities:


TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino said it often took 30 seconds or more to get an initial location from an AirTag in another room, but he said location tracking was extremely accurate down to a few inches:

In my very limited testing so far, AirTag location range fits in with that basic Bluetooth expectation. Which means that it can be foiled by a lot of obstructions or walls or an unflattering signal bounce. It often took 30 seconds or more to get an initial location from an AirTag in another room, for instance. Once the location was received, however, the instructions to locate the device seemed to update quickly and were extremely accurate down to a few inches.

Mashable's Brenda Stolyar was less excited about the AirTag, but she did praise their Precision Finding feature that uses the built-in U1 chip and accelerometer from the AirTag, along with ARKit and the gyroscope from the iPhone, to guide you towards the AirTag with an on-screen arrow, haptic feedback, and sound.

Bluetooth trackers aren't new. Companies like Tile, Chipolo, and Orbit have been pumping them out for years — but leave it to Apple to turn them into a must-have accessory.

Sure, for iPhone users it means seamless connectivity that works with Apple's Find My app. But at its core, it's still nothing more than a Bluetooth tracker.

Precision Finding is limited to Apple devices with the U1 chip for Ultra Wideband, including all iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models.

The first reviews of the iPhone 12 in Apple's newly-introduced Purple color option for the spring have now been shared by various media outlets and YouTubers, and the overall consensus is that the new color is more of a lavender shade than purple.

iphone 12 purple vergeImage via The Verge

The Verge's Dieter Bohn described the new color as "more like a lilac," but still said that it was unmistakable:

It's a lightish shade of purple. One might be tempted to call it lavender, but to me it's a bit more like a lilac or maybe a wisteria. It lacks the redness you'd expect in a mauve or the blue tones you'd see in a violet. There are many shades of purple, but this one is what Apple went with and I like it. It's unmistakable even at a distance, whereas the light green ‌iPhone 12‌ models could be mistaken for off-white in certain light. I am also glad it doesn't have a fancy name. It's just "purple."

Mashable's Brenda Stoylar said that the new color is "very pretty," and similarly noted that it is "more of a periwinkle or a lavender" than purple.

Chris Velazco of Engadget also noticed the more subdued nature of the purple, but interestingly observed that it is "roughly the same pastel shade that last year's purple iPhone 11 came in."

Apple continues to sell the ‌iPhone 12‌ and iPhone 12 mini in existing colors, including Black, White, Blue, Green, and (PRODUCT)RED. Pricing starts at $699 for the ‌iPhone 12 mini‌ and $799 for the ‌iPhone 12‌ in the United States.

The ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 12 mini‌ will be available in the new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 12 mini‌ in the new purple color will ship with iOS 14.5, according to Apple.

Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, which are all available to order now.

Videos

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Neutral)

Apple's new AirTag item tracker will be available to order starting this Friday, April 23 at 5 a.m. Pacific Time, and it will begin arriving to customers on Friday, April 30. Priced at $29 each or $99 for a four pack, users can attach AirTags to personal belongings like a wallet, keys, purse, or backpack and then keep track of the location of those items in Apple's built-in Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

f1618938547
Ahead of AirTag orders beginning tomorrow, Apple has provided some YouTube channels and media outlets with an early look at the item tracker. We've rounded up some unboxing videos and first impressions below.

Videos










For more in-depth impressions, read our AirTag review roundup.

Apple will introduce several new features and enhancements in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 later this year, including a redesigned Home Screen for iPad, an updated Lock Screen, and new notification preferences for users, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

iOS 15 icon mock banner
From the report:

Apple Inc. is readying a major revamp of its mobile software that will include an upgrade to how users handle notifications, a redesigned ‌iPad‌ ‌Home Screen‌, an updated Lock Screen, and additional privacy protections for its flagship devices, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

[...]

The company is planning a new feature that will allow users to set different notification preferences, such as if the phone makes a sound or not, depending on their current status. The enhancement will come in the form of a new menu that lets users select if they are driving, working, sleeping or custom categories of their choosing. The menu will be shown on the updated Lock Screen and in Control Center, the iPhone and ‌iPad‌'s menu for quickly accessing settings.

There will also be an option to set automatic replies to messages depending on their status. That will be an improvement over the current auto-reply feature, which is only currently available while driving. Apple has added some unique notifications features such as Do Not Disturb and Sleep Mode, but this will mark the first time the company offers a systemwide feature for changing notifications depending on a user's status.

According to the report, Apple is working to bring parity to the ‌iPad‌ ‌Home Screen‌, by allowing users to place widgets in any part of the screen, iPhone-style, rather than the current setup that limits placement to the Today View column on the left-hand side. The company also plans to allow users to replace the entire app grid with only ‌widgets‌, for additional customization.

Codenamed "Sky," Apple's planned software updates otherwise read like selective enhancements rather than major changes. For example, today's report indicates that Apple is working on upgrades to iMessage, with the eventual goal of acting as more of a social network that is in a better position to compete with WhatsApp, although details are scant on what those changes could be.

Elsewhere, Apple is said to be working on introducing a new privacy menu that will show users which apps are silently collecting data about them. The move sounds like an additional bulwark against apps which attempt to skirt protections that Apple is introducing in iOS 14.5, such as its App Tracking Transparency rules.

According to Gurman, Apple is planning a more minor update to macOS after its redesign last year with macOS 11 Big Sur, alongside updates to watchOS and tvOS.

Apple typically releases new versions of iOS and iPadOS around September, near to the launch of new iPhones, but the company likes to preview upcoming software features during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Related Roundup: iOS 15

With the release of iOS 14 and macOS 11, Apple introduced a new way for users to review places of interest and upload photos to Apple Maps that doesn't rely on third party integrations like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

apple maps ratings system ios 14
Users who tap a marker for a place on the map that they have physically visited are offered the ability to recommend a place using a thumbs up/thumbs down rating that can also distinguish between relevant categories, such as ratings for the quality of products and services in a shop, for example. An "Add Photos to Maps" option in place cards also lets users upload pictures directly to Apple's Maps servers.

As it stands, Apple's rollout of native ratings in Maps has been patchy, with users in the United Kingdom, Australia and a handful of other regions able to recommend places they've visited. Apple's in-house ratings remain unavailable for places of interest in the United States, for both users in and outside the country.

However, a brief shot from Tuesday's "Spring Loaded" Apple event, spotted by an eagle-eyed Redditor, suggests that could be set to change very soon. During the iMac announcement, Apple showed a macOS desktop screen with the Maps app open and a thumbs up/thumbs down recommendation option for Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California.

maps places of interest ratings us
Notably, the image shows that Yelp reviews are still listed, indicating that Apple is continuing to provide third-party recommendations alongside its own ratings system as it works to build up a database of crowdsourced reviews across the States.

While we can't be certain, the likelihood is that Apple will make native Maps ratings available for U.S. places of interest with the release of iOS 14.5 and macOS 11.3 sometime next week.

Apple is seemingly expecting high demand for its new M1-powered iPad Pro as the company has asked its main chip supplier, TSMC, to ramp up production of the chip for its new iPad, and newer Mac computers, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes.

ipad pro with m1 chip
Earlier this week, Apple unveiled a brand new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro powered by the M1 Apple silicon chip, the same chip powering the newly announced 24-inch iMac, and previously released Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.

The M1 chip first started shipping in November, and amid an ongoing global chip shortage, demand for the chip is even more pronounced thanks to the new ‌iPad Pro‌. DigiTimes reports that TSMC had a previous goal of 120,000 chip wafers per month for the second half of the year. Thanks to a strong push from Apple, TSMC now has its eyes set on 140,000 to 150,000 monthly chip waters from the second to the fourth quarter of the year.

Even though the new ‌iPad Pro‌ and 24-inch iMac were announced this week, they won't begin shipping until the second half of May. The significant delay between announcement and shipments is likely due to strain put on Apple's suppliers.

Research cited by another DigiTimes report today suggests that the new higher-end 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ which features a new Liquid Retina XDR Display, will reach 5 million shipments this year. The new ‌iPad Pro‌ and 24-inch ‌iMac‌ will be available for pre-order starting Friday, April 30.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro