A new image posted on Twitter this morning allegedly shows Apple's as-yet unreleased spring color options for iPhone 12 cases, offering a better look at the company's upcoming protective silicone cases.

iphone 12 cases spring colors 2021

Image via Tommy Boi

Based on the images, Apple plans to release four new color options in its iPhone 12 case range. Official names for the colorways are still unknown, but based on the photo they approximate dark purple, light blue, light green, and orange.

The source of the photo doesn't have a track record for Apple leaks, so it's not possible to know for certain that the cases shown are genuine or just fakes based on previous leaks, but they at least give us a better idea at what the cases could look like.

In 2020, Apple released matching iPhone 11 and Apple Watch bands for its spring collection. The company typically releases new spring accessories around the end of March or early April, and with Siri's revelation this morning of an Apple event on April 20, we could well see them in the next couple of weeks.

iphone 12 case spring colors names

Image via Tommy Boi

Update: The source of the image, Tommy Boi, has tweeted the above picture revealing the alleged names of Apple's spring color collection of ‌iPhone 12 cases‌. They are: Cantaloupe, Amethyst, Pistachio, and Capri Blue.

Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers.

siir apple event april 20
Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," ‌Siri‌ is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April 20, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all the details on Apple.com." The event will likely be a pre-recorded affair without media in attendance and should be live-streamed on Apple's website and YouTube channel.

‌Siri‌ is not providing the information in all instances and will in some cases simply refer you to Apple's website for information on events, but multiple MacRumors editors and readers have seen the premature information across Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and HomePod.

Apple typically sends out press invitations for its digital events around a week before the actual event, so it seems likely that Apple will confirm the event later today. Bloomberg has reported that Apple plans to showcase a brand new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with new mini-LED display technology in the middle of this month.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

When iOS 14 launched, Apple announced a new Find My network accessory program designed for third-party accessory makers, and in April 2021, Apple launched the initiative.

apple findmy network feature
With the Find My network accessory program, third-party accessory makers can add Find My integration to their devices, allowing products to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside Apple devices.

This guide covers everything that you need to know about the accessory program, from how it works to which devices offer Find My integration.

How Tracking Third-Party Accessories Works

Accessory makers that join Apple's Made for iPhone program and participate in the Find My network accessory program can add Find My integration into any Bluetooth device.

find my app items tab
That means that a Bluetooth or WiFi device with Find My compatibility can be tracked right in the Find My app alongside your Apple products. In iOS 14.3 or later, there's an "Items" tab available in Find My, which is where all third-party accessories can be located.

Find My for third-party accessories works just like Find My for any of your Apple devices, with your accessories shown on a map. Third-party Find My accessories can take advantage of all of Apple's Find My functionality.

So if a Bluetooth-equipped device is nearby, it will show up in the Find My app, but if it's out of range, the map will show the last known location. If you lose an item and someone else with an ‌iPhone‌, iPad, or Mac comes close to it, it can communicate with their device with the approximate location of the item relayed securely and privately back to you.

Setting Up Third-Party Find My Devices

The Find My app is the one-stop shop for adding, controlling, and locating any Find My-compatible accessory, as third-party accessories designed to work with Find My can't support other apps or item location networks.

There's an "Items" tab in the Find My app on ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and Mac, and to add an item, you just tap on the "Add Item" option. You will need to follow the instructions from the device maker to put your Find My accessory into a pairing mode, and that will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

find my add items
With VanMoof bikes, for example, you need to double press on the power button of the bike to put it into pairing mode to connect it to the Find My app.

You can give all of your items custom names and assign an emoji to them so you can identify each one at a glance on the Find My map. Adding an item to Find My does require your Apple ID, as it links that item to your ID.

Locating Lost Third-Party Devices With Find My

If you open up the Find My app and navigate to the Items tab, you can see all of your Find My-compatible accessories on a map. You'll see current location if the accessory is able to communicate with your ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, or Mac over Bluetooth, or the last known location if it is too far away. It will also tell you the last time that your device communicated with the accessory.

find my third party iphone
You can play sounds on Find My accessories, and if lost, place them into a Lost Mode. Putting a device into Lost Mode allows you to lock it down to prevent it from being paired with another Apple device, and it adds a phone number and message in case anyone comes across your lost item.

If someone who has an ‌iPad‌, ‌iPhone‌, or Mac comes across your lost Find My accessory, they can use the Find My app to see your message and get in touch. You'll also get a notification when it's located through another person's device, and its location will show up on the map.

The Find My network that allows lost devices to be found through crowdsourcing is anonymous and encrypted, so while you will get info on where your lost item might be, you won't see who discovered it unless they contact you after you've provided a message and a phone number.

Putting an Item Into Lost Mode

You can put a lost item into Lost Mode by tapping on its name in Find My and then tapping "Enable" under Lost Mode. Apple prompts you to input a phone number where you can be reached, and you can also choose to get a notification when updated location information becomes available.

find my lost mode
Lost Mode can be disabled by toggling off "Enabled" under the Lost Mode option.

Preventing Theft

Find My items are linked to your ‌Apple ID‌ much like iPhones, iPads, and Macs. If someone steals an accessory with Find My built in, that person will not be able to link the item to their own ‌Apple ID‌ account.

Getting Directions to a Lost Item

Tapping on any of your third-party accessories in the Find My app will show its last location. If it's not close by, you can tap on "Directions" to open its location in the Apple Maps app to get directions from your current location to the location of your item.

Updating Items

Third-party accessories that connect to Find My can get firmware updates. To install an update, tap on the item's name in the Find My app and then tap on "Update Available." If no Update Available button is listed, then the item is up to date.

Check an Item's Serial Number

Tapping on an item in the Find My app and then tapping on "Show Details" will let you see information like serial number or model number, and it will let you know if the manufacturer has an app available for you to download to add additional features to the item.

How to Identify Someone's Lost Item

If you come across a lost item and you know that it has Find My integration, you can open up the Find My app and tap on the "Identify Found Item" option to see if the person who has lost it has left a message and a contact number so you can get in touch with them.

Scanning for lost items using the Find My app will take you to a website to see a Lost Mode message.

Unknown Item Safety Alerts

If Apple detects a Find My accessory that is on your person or moving with you, it will send you a safety alert. This is so you can make sure no one has planted a tracking device on you.

If you get one of these alerts, you can tap into it to see the unknown item on a map or play a sound. You can also tap "Learn More About This Item" to get details, such as serial number, and there is an option to disable the item so that it stops sharing your location. Tap on "Instructions" and then tap "Disable Item" to do this.

Note that if you have an item belonging to another person and disable location alerts, the item will not be usable to you because it is already linked to an ‌Apple ID‌.

There are instances where safety alerts can be inconvenient, such as if a family member nearby has a Find My item that your device is picking up. In this situation, you can turn off safety alerts for people in your Family Sharing group or tap on "Pause Safety Alerts" to mute them for the day.

Safety alerts can be turned off entirely as well if you're getting an annoying number of notifications. Under the "Me" tab, go to Notifications and then toggle off Item Safety Alerts. This needs to be done on a per-device basis.

Removing an Item From Find My

If you want to sell or give away a Find My accessory, you need to remove it from Find My. Bring it near your device, tap "Remove Item," and follow the instructions.

You can also remove an item from your account if it's not nearby, but it will still be locked and won't be able to be added to anyone's account because of its link to your ‌Apple ID‌.

Third-Party Accessories That Support Find My

There are a limited number of Find My accessories available at the current time, but Apple expects more manufacturers to add Find My support in the future. Right now, all of the products below can be pre-ordered, but won't be available for shipping until June or later.

works with apple find my

Compatibility Requirements

Adding a compatible third-party accessory to the Find My app requires iOS 14.3 or later, iPadOS 14.3 or later, or macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission today called on Americans to test their internet speeds with the FCC Speed Test app to further its research into broadband availability through the Measuring Broadband America Program.

fcc broadband app
The FCC says that the data collected on broadband network performance across the United States will help its efforts to provide improved coverage information to the public.

"To close the gap between digital haves and have nots, we are working to build a comprehensive, user-friendly dataset on broadband availability. Expanding the base of consumers who use the FCC Speed Test app will enable us to provide improved coverage information to the public and add to the measurement tools we're developing to show where broadband is truly available throughout the United States," said Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel.

The app, which is available on iPhone and iPad, allows consumers to measure the speeds of their mobile and in-home broadband networks. It evaluates download and upload speed, latency, jitter, and packet loss, and it tracks speed data over time.

In addition to providing the FCC with granular broadband deployment data, in the future, it will be used to challenge provider-submitted maps when Broadband Data Collection Systems become available.

Tag: FCC

Rare discounts on the iPad mini 5 have cropped up today on Amazon, offering up to $69 off the 7.9-inch tablet. Sales start with the 64GB Wi-Fi model at $344.99, down from $399.00, available in Silver and Space Gray.

ipad mini sale fanned pinkNote: 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.

Likewise, the 256GB Wi-Fi model is on sale for $479.99, down from $549.00. This one is available in all three colors: Space Gray, Silver, and Gold. Both models of the iPad mini 5 are in stock on Amazon and ready to ship today.

While neither sale is offering a lowest-ever price on the iPad mini 5, discounts on this version of Apple's tablet lineup are few and far between. The most consistent deal on the 64GB Wi-Fi iPad mini 5 has stuck around $349.00 for the tablet, so today's sale is beating that offer by about $5.

In 2021, there have only been one or two solid discounts on the iPad mini 5. In our tracking since January, today's sale is the first time we've seen a discount from a major Apple reseller reach over $50 off.

For even more iPad deals, head to our full Best Deals guide for iPad. In that guide we track the best discounts online for iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, Apple Deals
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Don't Buy)

Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months.

Google maps feaure green
Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing.

Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy labels until February, and Google apps went several months without an update. Gmail, in fact, went so long without updating that it started giving users a warning that it was out of date, but no update was available.

Google Maps was updated with App Privacy labels in early April, and alongside Google Photos, it was one of the last apps to get the data collection details.

Now that Google Maps is compliant with the App Store rules, Google is once again able to update it. Today's version 5.65 refresh is minor in scale, offering bug fixes that improve the Google Maps app, but Google is now free to add additional features going forward.

In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games.

epic iap feature 3
Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":

At the heart of the Epic complaint is they'd like developers to each put in their own payment information. But that would make the App Store a flea market and you know the confidence level you have at the flea market.

The volume of people going into such a market would be dramatically lower, which would be bad for the user, because they would miss out on the innovation like we just heard with the four developers. And the developers would be left out because they wouldn't have a huge audience to sell to. So nobody wins in that environment.

Apple's App Store Review Guidelines require apps to use Apple's in-app purchase system, with direct payment systems forbidden.

Cook said he is confident that Apple should prevail in its lawsuit against Epic Games, so long as it is able to communicate the facts clearly. The U.S. bench trial is scheduled to begin May 3 in Northern California federal court.

Cook also revealed in the interview that Apple reviews 100,000 apps submitted for review every week and rejects about 40,000 of them. He said that by curating the App Store, users have "a safe and trusted place" to discover apps.

Timed with Cook's interview with the Toronto Star, Apple has issued a press release touting the success of the App Store in Canada. In the press release, spotted by the blog iPhone in Canada, Apple said the App Store now supports more than 243,000 jobs in Canada and added that developers across the country have generated more than $2 billion CAD in total earnings since the App Store launched in 2008.

Apple has adjusted the marketing of its high-end Pro Display XDR in the UK following complaints to the country's Advertising Standards Authority that it was misleading customers.

Pro Display XDR Blue
As reported by 9to5Mac, the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) had received complaints from customers about Apple's indirect claim that the Pro Display XDR features a 100% P3 wide color gamut. Apple previously marketed the Pro Display XDR as featuring P3 wide color gamut without any caveats, however following the complaint, the company has added a footnote to the product page in the UK to indicate it "supports 99% of the P3 wide color gamut."

p3 wide color change

9to5Mac (Change in Pro Display XDR website following complaint)

Additionally, UK customers complained to the ASA regarding Apple's use of the term "Far beyond HDR." The complaints, alleging it to be misleading, caused Apple to remove it entirely from the product page in the UK. The Pro Display XDR marketing remains unchanged in the US.

Related Roundup: Apple Pro Display XDR

In our latest exclusive sale, we've partnered with Hyper to offer our readers 20 percent off sitewide at the company's website. This sale will run through Sunday, April 18 and you'll need to enter the coupon code HYPERUMORS at checkout to get the discount.

Hyper Sitewide 4 12 21Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Hyper. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Hyper sells a wide assortment of accessories for mobile devices, with a focus on Apple products, data storage, and hub accessories. One of the company's newest accessories is the HyperJuice Magnetic Wireless Battery Pack, which is compatible with MagSafe on the iPhone 12.

Below we've collected a few of Hyper's best accessories that you can save on during this sale, including battery packs, wall chargers, and USB-C hubs. Of course, there are many more items to shop on Hyper's website, including Lightning to USB-C cables, laptop stands, wireless chargers with MagSafe compatibility, and more. Be sure to head to HyperShop.com and take advantage of the sale before it expires this Sunday.

Battery Packs

Wall Chargers

USB-C Hubs

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 made unusual mid-production hardware changes to the A12, A13, and S5 processors in its devices in the fall of 2020 to update the Secure Storage Component, according to Apple Support documents.

a13 bionic mockup
According to an Apple Support page, spotted by Twitter user Andrew Pantyukhin, Apple changed the Secure Enclave in a number of products in the fall of 2020:

Note: A12, A13, S4, and S5 products first released in Fall 2020 have a 2nd-generation Secure Storage Component; while earlier products based on these SoCs have 1st-generation Secure Storage Component.

The Secure Enclave is a coprocessor that is used for data protection and authentication with Touch ID and Face ID. The purpose of the Secure Enclave is to handle keys and other information, such as biometrics, that are sensitive enough to not be handled by the Application Processor. This data is stored in a Secure Storage Component inside the Secure Enclave, which is the specific part that Apple changed last year.

The explanation in Apple's support document suggests, at minimum, that the eighth-generation entry-level iPad, Apple Watch SE, and HomePod mini have different Secure Enclaves compared to older devices with the same chip.

However, there are a number of discrepancies in Apple's support document. Despite Apple explaining that A13 products "first released in Fall 2020 have a 2nd-generation Secure Storage Component," there was no device with an A13 chip "first released in Fall 2020." The last device to be released with an A13 chip was the iPhone SE in February 2020.

If the change was, in fact, made to all newly-manufactured devices with these chips, the affected devices would include the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, ‌iPhone SE‌, and fifth-generation iPad mini, as well as the newly-released eighth-generation ‌iPad‌, ‌Apple Watch SE‌, and ‌HomePod mini‌.

a12 a13 s5 secure enclave change
To make matters more confusing, the table listing the multiple versions of the Secure Enclave's storage component in the feature summary omits the S4 chip with a second-generation Secure Storage Component, despite the rubric claiming that such a chip exists. The Apple Watch Series 4 was the only device to contain an S4 chip, and this device was discontinued in September 2019, long before the second-generation Secure Storage Component was implemented in the fall of 2020. It is possible that part of this lack of clarity relates to the fact that the A12 and S4 chips introduced the first-generation Secure Storage Component.

New devices containing the A14 or S6 chip, such as the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, fourth-generation iPad Air, and Apple Watch Series 6, also have the updated Secure Enclave.

Although the change took place in the fall of 2020, the support document detailing the alteration was published in February 2021. The full PDF version of Apple's Platform Security Guide reveals the difference between the first and second-generation Secure Storage Component:

The 2nd-generation Secure Storage Component adds counter lockboxes. Each counter lockbox stores a 128-bit salt, a 128-bit passcode verifier, an 8-bit counter, and an 8-bit maximum attempt value. Access to the counter lockboxes is through an encrypted and authenticated protocol.

Counter lockboxes hold the entropy needed to unlock passcode-protected user data. To access the user data, the paired Secure Enclave must derive the correct passcode entropy value from the user's passcode and the Secure Enclave's UID. The user's passcode can't be learned using unlock attempts sent from a source other than the paired Secure Enclave. If the passcode attempt limit is exceeded (for example, 10 attempts on iPhone), the passcode-protected data is erased completely by the Secure Storage Component.

This appears to be a countermeasure against password-cracking devices, such as GrayKey, which attempt to break into iPhones by guessing the passcode an infinite number of times, using exploits that allow for infinite incorrect password attempts.

The change appears to have been significant enough for Apple to justify an entire "second-generation" version of the Secure Enclave's storage. It is certainly unusual for Apple to change a component in its chips mid-way through production, but Apple likely deemed the security upgrade important enough to roll it out to all relevant new devices from the fall onwards, rather than just devices with the latest A14 and S6 chips.

Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency.

tim cook toronto star
Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the Canadian newspaper that Apple is "not against digital advertising" and simply believes that users should have transparency and control as it relates to being tracked by apps for advertising purposes.

We're not against digital advertising. I think digital advertising is going to thrive in any situation, because more and more time is spent online, less and less is spent on linear TV. And digital advertising will do well in any situation. The question is, do we allow the building of this detailed profile to exist without your consent?

When asked about some major companies like Procter & Gamble that have reportedly been trying to find ways to get around App Tracking Transparency, Cook said any pushback on the change is likely because companies will no longer be able to track users without them knowing, resulting in less data being collected to build a profile on users.

The only reason why you would push back is if you believe you'll get less data. The only reason you would get less data is because people are consciously deciding not to do it and were not being asked before.

Cook reiterated Apple's longstanding belief that privacy is a "fundamental human right" and expressed his belief that privacy regulations around the world "will eventually catch up" with policies like App Tracking Transparency.

Cook said that App Tracking Transparency will launch "in a few weeks," but it's unclear when the interview was held. iOS 14.5 is believed to be nearing release following over two months of beta testing with many new features, including the much-awaited ability for Apple Watch users to unlock their iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask.

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.

New Apple deals have emerged online this week, and we're putting the spotlight on a pair of sales for the iMac and MacBook Air. Both discounts focus on the 2020 updates to each product, and Amazon is offering all-time low prices for each device.

macbook air imac dealsNote: 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.

iMac

Amazon has the 256GB SSD 21.5-inch iMac from mid 2020 for $949.99, down from $1,099.00. This is a new all-time low price on this model of the iMac, and you'll see the price reflected at checkout after a $99.01 coupon is applied.

iMac 27 inch 2020 sale

If you're shopping for a larger model, we're also tracking a best-ever price on the 512GB SSD 27-inch iMac from mid 2020. Amazon is selling this model at $1,799.99, down from $1,999.00; this is a match of the previous lowest price seen on Amazon, and you'll again see the discount applied at checkout.

You can keep track of ongoing sales on Apple's iMac line by visiting our Best iMac Deals guide. There, we keep track of the best iMac offers from Amazon, Adorama, B&H Photo, and other retailers, so be sure to check back often if you're shopping for an iMac for the first time, or thinking of upgrading.

MacBook Air

Also on Amazon, you can get the 512GB M1 MacBook Air for $1,149.00, down from $1,249.00. This sale is available in Space Gray and Gold, and it's a match of the lowest price that we've ever tracked on the 2020 512GB MacBook Air.

macbook air m1 unboxing feature

You can also save on the 256GB M1 MacBook Air, priced at $949.00 on Amazon, down from $999.00, but this isn't quite the best price we've ever seen on this notebook. All of these models are in stock on Amazon and ready to ship today.

You can find even more discounts on other MacBooks by visiting our Best Deals guide for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. In this guide we track the steepest discounts for the newest MacBook models every week, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often if you're shopping for a new Apple notebook.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

The Mac experienced momentous growth in the first quarter of this year, with shipments growing by 111.5% compared to the same time period last year, according to market data from IDC.

mac mini macbook pro macbook air
The data shows that the whole PC industry grew year-over-year, despite the global health crisis and component shortages. In Q1 of the year, Apple shipped roughly 6.7 million Macs, representing 8% of the whole market. Just a year ago in the same time period, Apple shipped around 3.2 million computers.

idc mac shipments q1 2021
Others such as Lenovo, HP, and Dell saw double-digit growth this quarter. However, Apple represented the most amount of growth. Ryan Reith, the vice president of IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Tracker, says the industry has been hit due to ongoing component shortages but that the outlook remains positive.

The ongoing shortages in the semiconductor space only further prolong the ability for vendors to refill inventory and fulfill orders to customers. We believe a fundamental shift has occurred around the PC, which will result in a more positive outlook for years to follow.

Apple's performance this quarter follows significant growth in Q4 of last year, where thanks to new Apple silicon Macs, Apple saw a 31.3% increase in shipments compared to the same quarter a year prior.

In November, Apple released three brand new Macs powered by its own Apple silicon, driving sales amid work and learning from home procedures. Looking towards the coming months, Apple is expected to widen its lead in the PC industry thanks to the launch of redesigned MacBook Pros, iMacs, and more.

Update: Gartner has also shared its data for the first quarter of 2021, suggesting that Apple shipped an estimated 5.57 million Macs worldwide, up from the 3.75 million shipped in the year ago quarter, marking growth of 48.6 percent.

In the U.S., Gartner believes Apple shipped just over 2 million Macs, up from 1.33 in the year-ago quarter for growth of 54.2 percent.

Tag: IDC

Apple and Google have blocked an update to England and Wales' contact tracing app that included a feature that would have collected user location data, breaking the companies' terms and conditions for contact tracing apps, the BBC reports.

exposure notification cartoon
Last year, Apple and Google partnered up to announce a COVID-19 contact tracing API that allows apps to track whether someone has been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

When visiting a shop, restaurant or other public venue, users of the NHS COVID-19 app can scan a QR code to indicate that they've been at that location. Using the API, the NHS app checks a database to look for a match, and can inform the user if they need to self-quarantine and/or get tested if someone at the same location recorded a positive COVID-19 test result that was flagged by other means.

The U.K.'s National Health Service in England and Wales had planned to release an update to its app that would have asked COVID-19 positive users to upload a log of their QR code check-ins. However, according to the terms and conditions which govern Apple and Google's contact tracing API, any app that uses the API cannot collect user location data.

As a result, both companies have refused to make the update available for download on their respective app distribution platforms. The previous version of the NHS app, however, remains available for download.

The plan had been to ask users to upload logs of venue check-ins - carried out via poster barcode scans - if they tested positive for the virus. This could be used to warn others.

But the two firms had explicitly banned such a function from the start.

Under the terms that all health authorities signed up to use Apple and Google's privacy-centric contact-tracing tech, they had to agree not to collect any location data via the software.

As a result, Apple and Google refused to make the update available for download from their app stores last week and have instead kept the old version live.

As the BBC notes, the NHS app has always included the ability for users to scan a QR code when visiting a public establishment. However, the code was only used to check a database that had been generated by local authorities following a viral outbreak.

The now rejected update would have changed that, by asking users who had tested positive to upload their QR code checks-in to the cloud. A spokesperson for the Department of Health told the BBC that "The deployment of the functionality of the NHS Covid-19 app to enable users to upload their venue history has been delayed."

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.

In a report outlining a possible Apple TV with a combined HomePod and camera, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that Apple is exploring a future high-end HomePod speaker that could include an iPad connected via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users around a room.

HomePod G4 Feature
From the report:

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant, is also mulling the launch of a high-end speaker with a touch screen to better compete with market leaders Google and Amazon.com Inc., the people said. Such a device would combine an ‌iPad‌ with a ‌HomePod‌ speaker and also include a camera for video chat. Apple has explored connecting the ‌iPad‌ to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room, similar to Amazon’s latest Echo Show gadget.

Gurman had previously hinted Apple was working on a ‌HomePod‌ with a screen and camera as it looks to bolster its smart home lineup. However, today's report builds on that, revealing that the Cupertino tech giant is looking to utilize the ‌iPad‌, possibly connected to the speaker via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users during video calls.

The ‌HomePod‌/‌iPad‌ combination would work similarly to Amazon's Echo 10, which has a tablet connected to a robotic arm and utilizes facial recognition to keep users in frame during conference calls or when summoned for attention.

Bloomberg notes that the development of this high-end speaker is still very much early in the early stages, calling it a "concept" that could ultimately never see the light of day. Apple recently discontinued its original HomePod, saying that it will instead shift resources to focus on the HomePod mini.

Related Roundups: HomePod, HomePod mini

Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

AppleTV and HomePod Feature
From the report:

The company is working on a product that would combine an ‌Apple TV‌ set-top box with a ‌HomePod‌ speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

The device's other capabilities would include standard ‌Apple TV‌ box functions like watching video and gaming plus smart speaker uses such as playing music and using Apple's Siri digital assistant.

Following disappointing sales, Apple discontinued its original high-end ‌HomePod‌ in March, leaving many wondering if the company was working on a successor. The HomePod mini, which launched last year, has been much more popular thanks to its lower price.

Apple unified its engineering teams for ‌HomePod‌ and ‌Apple TV‌ last year, suggesting an integrated device offering the best of both worlds could be in the offing.

However, according to today's report, the product's development is still in the early stages, and Apple could choose not to launch the product or change key features.

Apple is known to be working on an updated version of the Apple TV that will allegedly have a gaming focus with an updated remote control, a faster processor, and increased storage capacity, although it seems likely that today's report is referencing another potential future product. Signs of the new ‌Apple TV‌ have been showing up in iOS since January 2020, so we are expecting to see a new ‌Apple TV‌ launch in 2021.

Today's report also mentions that Apple is working on a concept for a future ‌HomePod‌ design that has an iPad connected via a robotic arm, which could follow users around a room during video calls.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14, HomePod, HomePod mini

Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch.

pixel watch prosser leak
Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel Watch will adopt a bezel-less, circular design, with no buttons, except for a crown on the right.

pixel watch screen prosser leak
The display itself, unlike the Apple Watch, features a completely circular form factor. Internally, the Pixel Watch will feature a heart rate sensor, but it so far remains unknown if it sports more advanced health features such as blood oxygen monitoring on the Apple Watch Series 6.

pixel watch design prosser leak
Like the Apple Watch, which allows users to swap and change bands, Google will offer around 20 band options for the Pixel Watch, according to Prosser.

The watch will presumably run WearOS, Google's operating systems for smartwatches. As for a release, Prosser says the watch will debut "sometime in October" but warns to be cautious given Google's habit of delaying and even canceling products altogether.

In 2019, Google signed a $40 million deal with watchmaker Fossil to take ownership of its smartwatch division. As a result of the deal, Fossil smartwatches joined Google's WearOS family and also spurred widespread speculation that Google intends to make its own-branded smartwatch to compete with the Apple Watch.

Besides changes to make it thinner, lighter, and the screen bigger thanks to smaller bezels, the Apple Watch design has largely remained the same since its launch in 2015. A recent patent has revealed that Apple is researching an Apple Watch design with a display that wraps around the band, where in turn, the watch band becomes an extension of the display itself.

Tag: Google

Apple has in place stringent quality control standards on the assembly line floor to prevent mistakes in production, but that doesn't mean they don't happen.

misaligned iphone 11 pro apple logo
Images shared on Twitter reveal a iPhone 11 Pro with a misaligned Apple logo on the back of the device, a misprint that is said to be as rare as 1 in a million.

The images, posted by Internal Archive, clearly show the Apple logo is canted up from the base and slightly off-center, making it closer to the right than it should be.

The Internal Archive, which often shares images of Apple prototypes, claims the misprint could "possibly be even rarer" than 1 in a million, which apparently made the device a sought-after item – it recently sold for $2,700, according to the Twitter account. The phone was purchased in an Apple Store and the customer kept and resold it.


Defective Apple products do make it out of the factory from time to time, but multiple devices are usually caught up in production faults, so it's unusual for a single impacted device like this to see the light of day – and even more uncommon for someone to pay over the odds for one.