Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3.

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale featureNote: 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.

Need Help Deciding?

Read our buyer's guides comparing your various options.

Apple Watch Series 3

Amazon and Walmart are offering the 38mm GPS Apple Watch Series 3 for just $119.00, down from $179.00. You can also get the 42mm GPS model from Amazon and Walmart for $149.00, down from $209.00. Both of these sales represent the lowest prices we've ever seen for the Apple Watch Series 3, and the 2017 model of the Apple Watch makes a solid holiday gift for someone looking to get into Apple's wearable family.

As a note, stock is very limited for these models and retailers appear to be running out fast. Make your purchases soon if you're interested.

Apple Watch SE

For a step up, Apple also offers the Apple Watch SE, which offers many of the latest features but at a value price. Sport band GPS models are discounted by $20 at Amazon, priced at $259.00 for 40mm and $289.00 for 44mm.

Cellular models of the Apple Watch SE are also on sale, with most models similarly discounted by $20 to $309.00 for 40mm and $339.00 for 44mm. There is, however, one 44mm model in silver with a Deep Navy Sport Loop available for $309.99, a $49 savings.

Apple Watch Series 6

If you're looking for the most advanced Apple Watch, Amazon also has a few notable deals on those. The 40mm GPS Apple Watch Series 6 (PRODUCT)RED is $329.98 this week, a $69 discount from the regular price $399.00. Other 40mm models are priced at $379.

For the 44mm GPS models, Amazon is currently showing all of them at $379.99 after a coupon is automatically applied at checkout, down from $429.00. Across the board, these are the best prices available online so far this week.

You can save even more (up to $120) if you're interested in a cellular model, with 40mm stainless steel Milanese Loop models priced at $699.00, stainless steel sport band models priced at $579.00, and a (PRODUCT)RED aluminum model discounted by $109 to $389.98. Discounts and availability on 44mm cellular models are more limited, with with a few models available for $479.99 after a $29.01 checkout discount.

Most of these sales are the best deals we've tracked to date on the Apple Watch Series 6, which sports ways to measure your heart rhythm and blood oxygen levels. In terms of deep discounts, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 3 are the only notable models getting marked down at the major retailers this Black Friday.

Be sure to visit our full Black Friday Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories on sale this week.

Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods.

AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2Note: 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.

AirPods Pro

You can get the Bluetooth headphones for $169.00, down from an original price of $249.00, representing savings of $80 and the lowest price we've ever seen for the AirPods Pro.

Walmart offers free two-day delivery, and some products support in-store pickup. Besides the AirPods Pro, quite a few Black Friday deals have appeared at Walmart tonight since the retailer has officially kicked off its online sales at 7 p.m. ET. For a review of the best deals coming from Walmart this Black Friday, check out our spotlight post on the retailer.

Update: Amazon is now matching Walmart's $169.00 price on AirPods Pro.

In terms of AirPods Pro sales for Black Friday, this Walmart and Amazon sale looks to be the best around this week. We've tracked quite a few markdowns on the ANC headphones to around $199.99, which has been its typical discount price in the past few weeks, but nothing nearly as good as this $169.00 price.

AirPods

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

In November 2020, Apple updated its popular 13-inch MacBook Pro lineup with the first Apple Silicon chip for the Mac, the M1.

m1 v intel thumb
The base 13-inch MacBook Pro was refreshed with the Arm-based Apple chip, bringing significant speed and efficiency improvements, yet Apple continues to sell the higher-end 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel inside for several hundred dollars more.

So is it still worth plunking down for the 13-inch Intel MacBook Pro, or does it make more sense to take the leap to ‌Apple Silicon‌ now? Our guide helps answer the question of how to decide which of these two 13-inch MacBook Pro models is best for you.

Comparing the M1 MacBook Pro and the Intel MacBook Pro (13-inch)

The M1 MacBook Pro and the Intel MacBook Pro share some features such as the same 13.3-inch Retina display and are identical in terms and form factor, but the differences outweigh the similarities.

Similarities

  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology
  • Wide Color (P3) and True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Wide stereo sound and support for Dolby Atmos playback
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Force Touch Trackpad
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Available in Silver and Space Gray

Apple's breakdown highlights the fact that the two machines share largely the same chassis design, but there are significant differences under the hood and in terms of the number of Thunderbolt ports on offer.

Differences


13-inch M1 MacBook Pro

  • Eight-Core Apple M1 chip with eight-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine
  • Up to 16GB unified memory
  • Up to 2TB storage
  • Up to 20 hours battery life
  • Studio-quality three-mic array with directional beamforming
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
  • Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
  • Integrated 58.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
  • One external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz

13-inch Intel MacBook Pro

  • Up to four-core Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Up to 32GB memory
  • Up to 4TB storage
  • Up to 10 hours battery life
  • Three-mic array with directional beamforming
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
  • Integrated 58.0-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
  • One external 6K display with 6016-by-3384 resolution at 60Hz, or Up to two external 4K displays with 4096-by-2304 resolution at 60Hz

Keep reading for a closer look at each of these specifications, and learn exactly how Apple's first MacBook Pro with ‌Apple Silicon‌ processor stacks up against its more expensive Intel brother.

Design

macbook pro m1 chip
The 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro replaces Apple's entry-level Intel MacBook Pro and is virtually identical in all but the innards. That means the M1 MacBook Pro and the high-end Intel MacBook Pro that Apple still sells both share the same uniform, slab-like design, Magic Keyboard, and Touch Bar with ‌Touch ID‌.

Otherwise, the only thing that externally differentiates the two models is the number of Thunderbolt 3 ports (more on that later). There's also a negligible weight difference between the two models: 3.0 pounds (1.4kg) for the M1 vs 3.1 pounds (1.4kg) for the Intel, so whichever model you go for, both are very similar in terms of portability.

Connectivity Options

Like the entry-level Intel machine it replaces, the M1 MacBook Pro sports two Thunderbolt USB-C ports that share a single Thunderbolt 3 bus, both being on the left side of the machine, whereas the high-end Intel MacBook Pro boasts four Thunderbolt ports (two on each side).

If you are a power user who owns several Thunderbolt 3 accessories, having four ports may be very important to you, although this may be less of a dilemma given the availability of Thunderbolt 3 hubs on the market. Most users will probably get by fine with just two ports, especially if they plan to have their Mac docked on a work desk the majority of the time.

thunderbolt 3 ports macbook pro
The M1 MacBook Pro can only connect to one external 6K display at 60Hz, including Apple's Pro Display XDR. By comparison, the Intel-based entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro that it replaces only supports up to two 4K displays or up to one 5K display at 60Hz.

One other point of note is that in addition to the USB-C ports on the M1 MacBook Pro being Thunderbolt 3, they also meet the USB4 specification. The important thing to remember is that USB4 is less a technical advance over existing Thunderbolt 3 ports, and more an attempt to unify the confusing array of definitions related to USB3 and its generational variants, along with the profusion of other protocols that can connect via USB-C, including HDMI and DisplayPort.

It also represents Intel's transition from a paid licensing scheme for its proprietary Thunderbolt protocol to an openly licensed industry standard, which is why Apple has been able to develop its own custom Thunderbolt 3 controller for the M1. Like Thunderbolt 3, USB4 is able to allocate different levels of bandwidth to video and data transfers (up to 40Gb/s) when required simultaneously, but despite the name change, there is little practicable difference for the end-user.

blackmagicegpu
There is a caveat when it comes to connectivity on the M1 MacBook Pro, however. For whatever reason, the ‌Apple Silicon‌ machine isn't compatible with external GPUs, including the Blackmagic eGPU that Apple has promoted alongside other Macs and that is available through the online store. That means the M1 MacBook has to rely on its own built-in GPU cores to supply graphics power, which could be a deal-breaker for some.

Performance

The two high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro models continue to use 10th-generation Intel Core chips: Both standard configurations use a 2.0GHz quad-core processor, which can be customized to a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 processor. Both Intel models feature Intel Iris Plus graphics.

Meanwhile, the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro is one of the first Macs to be updated with an Apple-designed Arm-based chip rather than an Intel chip like prior MacBook Pro models. The M1 is Apple's first System on a Chip designed for the Mac, which means it has the processor, GPU, I/O, security features, and RAM all on one chip. By comparison, these components in the high-end Intel MacBook Pro are segregated on the logic board, which gives the M1 chip a number of performance advantages.

new m1 chip
One of the features of the M1 is a unified memory architecture, or UMA, which unifies high-bandwidth, low-latency memory into a single pool. This means that the technologies in the M1 chip can access the same data without copying it between multiple memory pools, delivering dramatic performance improvement across the entire system.

The M1 also features an 8-core CPU and an integrated 8-core GPU. The CPU has four high-efficiency cores and four high-performance cores. When doing simple tasks like browsing the web or reading email the MacBook Pro engages the high-efficiency cores to preserve battery life, but for more system-intensive tasks like photo and video editing, the high-performance cores are used. Compared to the high-performance cores, the high-efficiency cores use a tenth of the power while still delivering the performance that Mac users need for everyday tasks.

Apple says the M1 chip's CPU is up to 2.8x faster than the Intel chip in the entry-level MacBook Pro it replaces, and GPU speeds are up to 5x faster than Intel's integrated graphics in the former model. That said, Apple hasn't provided any performance comparisons with the existing high-end Intel MacBook Pro models it still sells, but recent Geekbench benchmarks are telling: The M1 chip has a 3.2GHz frequency and earns single-core scores that exceed 1700, and multi-core scores around 7500, which makes it faster than even 2019's high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro models, which come with 10th-generation Intel Core i7 or i9 chips.

m1 chip slide
In summary, the M1 chip in the entry-level MacBook Pro offers single-core performance that is better than any other available Mac, and outperforms the Intel-based MacBook Pro models that it is sold alongside (although it may not exceed them all in GPU performance). Even when emulating x86 under Rosetta 2, the M1 MacBook Pro is still faster than all previously released Macs. Additionally, none of these scores take into account the new advanced Neural Engine in the M1 MacBook Pro that benefits apps that use machine learning for video, photo, and audio editing, such as Pixelmator, Logic Pro, and Final Cut Pro.

Microphones and Speakers

Both M1 and Intel 13-inch machines feature the same stereo speakers with high dynamic range, wide stereo sound, and support for Dolby Atmos playback. However, whereas the Intel model has a three-mic array with directional beamforming, Apple describes the mic array in the M1 model as "studio-quality" with a high signal-to-noise ratio, which could tip the balance for you if you make a lot of video calls.

Battery Life

The M1 MacBook Pro is advertised as having twice the battery life as the Intel model. (Yes, you read that right.) Apple breaks it down like this: The Intel machine offers up to 10 hours of web browsing or up to 10 hours of Apple TV movie playback, while the ‌Apple Silicon‌ machine offers up to 17 hours of web browsing or up to 20 hours of ‌Apple TV‌ movie playback.

Screen Shot 3
Thanks to the M1 chip's phenomenal computational efficiency, Apple has managed to eke out twice as much usage on a single charge from what is basically the same 58-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery.

Software Compatibility

Apps designed for the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌iPad‌ will run on ‌Apple Silicon‌ natively, so you'll be able to use a lot of your favorite iOS apps on the M1 MacBook Pro desktop, albeit with varying degrees of control compatibility. This will depend on the extent to which third-party developers work to furnish Mac input controls like keyboard and mouse in their iOS apps, but the going assumption is that most future Catalyst apps will accommodate both touch and Mac input.

None of the above goes for the Intel MacBook Pro, which only runs x86-64 code for Intel's architecture. The same can't be said for the M1 MacBook Pro, which can run both iOS and x86-64 software, thanks to Apple's Rosetta 2 translation layer. In some cases, apps built with x86-64 actually run faster in Rosetta 2 than they do on Intel Macs.

rosetta 2
Still, it's worth noting that Apple considers Rosetta 2 to be a temporary solution for developers while they remake their existing Intel-based programs to run on Arm-based Macs, meaning they will eventually need to create native apps for ‌‌Apple Silicon‌‌ machines. Notably, Apple ended support for OG Rosetta three years after its release to smooth the transition from PowerPC chips to Intel processors, so if a developer doesn't update their app eventually, it may become unusable on Apple's M1 machines in the future.

When it comes to software compatibility, the last thing to note is that Boot Camp is not compatible with ‌Apple Silicon‌, so you can't dual-boot natively into Microsoft Windows on an M1 MacBook Pro. Apple has been clear that macOS virtualization software will be the only way to run Windows and PC software on a machine powered by ‌Apple Silicon‌, and we're still waiting for the major virtualization programs to update their software to work with Apple's new chips and for Microsoft to allow Windows for Arm to be licensed for virtual machines.

Other Mac Options

The 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro is currently the most advanced notebook powered by ‌Apple Silicon‌ that Apple offers. Currently, the only other two M1-powered machines are the 13-inch MacBook Air and the Mac mini.

The larger 16-inch MacBook Pro has not yet transitioned to ‌Apple Silicon‌ – Apple continues to sell its Intel-based high-end 16-inch MacBook Pros. Meanwhile, the more expensive iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro are also Intel-based machines, but offer their own distinct advantages and disadvantages with regards to connectivity and portability when compared to MacBook Pro.

Final Thoughts

For the vast majority of buyers, the M1 MacBook Pro is the one to get. If you want the best performance, battery life, and microphone quality in a Mac notebook – and you can live with two Thunderbolt 3 ports – then it's really no contest and the M1 MacBook Pro is certainly the better (and less expensive) option. Apple's latest macOS Big Sur may work on both Intel and M1-powered machines, but it's optimized for ‌Apple Silicon‌, so you're also future-proofing your system by buying into Apple's system architecture for many years to come. The 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro starts from $1299.

macbook pro touch bar m1
That said, there may be a few customers who would be better off sticking with Intel for now. If you are a pro user that relies on legacy software or runs Windows via Boot Camp on your Mac or in virtual machines, it is better to buy an Intel-based MacBook Pro until there are more high-end ‌Apple Silicon‌ options and the technology has had more time to gain software support. Similarly, if your workflow requires four Thunderbolt 3 ports, oodles of RAM, more storage, or the use of an eGPU, the Intel machine is still the one to opt for. The 13-inch Intel MacBook Pro starts from $1799.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro 13"

Earlier this week, Apple's Chief Security Offier Thomas Moyer and others were charged in an expanding investigation involving the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office over exchanging bribes for concealed gun permits, reported the Morgan Hill Times.

apple park drone june 2018 2
According to the investigation, Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung held back four concealed carry weapons permits for Apple's security team unless the company agreed to donate 200 iPads worth $75,000 to the Sheriff's Office. Rather than reporting the bribe request, Moyer was apparently set to facilitate the tech donation until the last moment when an investigation into the situation was started.

Attorneys for Moyer and [insurance broker Harpreet Chadha] maintain their clients’ innocence, saying they were collateral damage in an ongoing political rivalry between [District Attorney Jeff] Rosen and Sheriff [Laurie] Smith.

“Tom Moyer is innocent of the charges filed against him,” his attorney Ed Swanson said. “He did nothing wrong and has acted with the highest integrity throughout his career. We have no doubt that he will be acquitted at trial.”

Facebook has also been linked to the bribery scheme, with officials at AS Solution, the company that provides executive protection for Facebook, pleading guilty.

For Apple's part, the company is standing by Moyer, providing a statement to Ars Technica indicating that it has investigated the situation and "found no wrongdoing."

“We expect all of our employees to conduct themselves with integrity," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. "After learning of the allegations, we conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no wrongdoing."

Moyer, Chadha, and the two officials from the Sheriff's Office are scheduled to be arraigned on January 11.

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.

Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors.

13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with ‌Apple Silicon‌ in the second half of 2021.

L0vetodream simply says that the MacBook redesigns expected in the second half of 2021 will not be only for ‌Apple Silicon‌ models, implying that the redesigns will also come to new Intel-based MacBooks.

Apple just released its first ‌Apple Silicon‌ Macs, which include the MacBook Air and lower-end configurations of the 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ and Mac mini. While the new MacBook Pro and ‌Mac mini‌ still have a few shortcomings relative to their more expensive Intel counterparts, they are demonstrating better performance in a number of core benchmarks, even matching or outperforming higher-end machines like the 16-inch MacBook Pro in some tasks.

As a result, L0vetodream's claim is a bit curious given that these rumored redesigned MacBooks are still more than six months away, which gives Apple time to improve the performance of ‌Apple Silicon‌ even further.

In announcing the transition to ‌Apple Silicon‌ chips for the Mac at WWDC in June, Apple said that the transition to ‌Apple Silicon‌ would take about two years and that new Macs with Intel processors were still in the pipeline.

We've already seen a few of those with updated 27-inch iMac models in August, and so many have assumed based on the competitive performance of Apple's M1 chip that most of Apple's Macs will be quickly moving solely to ‌Apple Silicon‌, with only specialized models like the Mac Pro and iMac Pro perhaps taking the full two years to make the transition.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro 13", MacBook Pro 16"

Microsoft's executive vice president of gaming, Phil Spencer, has discussed Xbox's approach to Apple Arcade, App Store fees, and game streaming on iOS via Safari in a new interview with The Verge.

App Store and XCloud

Earlier this year, Microsoft elected to withhold the launch of its Xbox games streaming service on iOS after it became clear that the project was no longer viable due to Apple's ‌App Store‌ restrictions. Eventually, Microsoft resolved to bypass Apple's restrictions by developing a browser-based solution.

When asked about the state of dialogue between Microsoft and Apple when it comes to game streaming, Spencer assured that Apple "remains open to the user experience we would like people to see." He explained that using a browser-based solution is simpler than a dedicated app in the long-term and it offers access to more devices:

But we have this avenue of a browser that works for us that we will go and build out, which gives us access, frankly, to a lot of devices.

If the device is capable of running a capable web browser, we're going to be able to bring games to it, which is pretty cool. You'll be able to bring all of your saved games and your friends and everything comes with you. It's just Xbox on this new screen with the games. Apple does remain open in the conversations that we have on this topic.

Moreover, Spencer expressed understanding for Apple's position on ‌App Store‌ restrictions and attributes it to ‌Apple Arcade‌ as a competing subscription service:

I can understand their perspective from their position. I don't say I agree with it, but they have a competitive product in ‌Apple Arcade‌ that is competitive with Xbox Game Pass. I'm sure they like having ‌Apple Arcade‌ as the only game content subscription on their phone. We want access to at-scale compute devices that we think should have open access to services customers want.

Spencer drew a specific comparison between Xbox Game Pass and ‌Apple Arcade‌ in terms of motivations, suggesting that both platforms have the same objective of prioritizing a player's engagement time, rather than catalog size.

I will say, and this is a healthy thing for Game Pass — it's true, it sounds like, of ‌Apple Arcade‌ as well — the number one metric that we see that drives success of Game Pass is hours played. It's not catalog size.

He also conveyed a willingness to cooperate with Apple on wider issues such as safety and security:

We're willing to work with them on safety and other things that people have come up with. We run a platform that takes safety and security very carefully. It is very important to us on Xbox, so that topic is not something that's foreign to us.

Spencer was directly asked if he believes Apple purposefully limits the capabilities of Safari in order to push developers to use its ‌App Store‌ and system of fees, but he said that "we have not seen that to date, just like we haven't on Chrome."

Interestingly, Spencer remarked that he believes comparisons between Apple's ‌App Store‌ fees and Xbox's fee structure are unfair due to the nature of their different devices:

If I can put Game Pass on iOS… if you just look at the scale, there are a billion mobile phones on the planet. Those are general compute platforms. A game console does one thing really; it plays video games. It's sold, for us, at a loss. Then you make money back by selling content and services on top. The model is just very, very different from something [on] the scale of Windows, or iOS, or Android.

I think there are 200 million game consoles that are sold in a generation across all of our platforms. That's less than a year of phone sales. It's just not even close.

Microsoft is still developing its browser-based Game Pass streaming solution for iOS and it has recently added device-to-device streaming from an Xbox to iOS and iPadOS devices over Wi-Fi.

The extensive interview also covered a range of other topics, such as the experience of working for Microsoft over the years, Xbox's process for naming its products, and the gaming community, as well as creating a safe environment for gamers.

Read or listen to the full interview at The Verge for more information.

Apple today shared its annual holiday ad on YouTube, titled "The magic of mini," showing how music can help improve your mood.


As noted by Adweek, this year's edition of the ad features rapper Tierra Whack arriving home to her apartment in a dreary state, but her mood quickly improves after the HomePod mini adds a colorful, miniature version of herself to the equation. "Turn up the holidays with HomePod mini," says Apple. "A little joy never sounded so big."

The full-size HomePod and AirPods Pro also make brief appearances during the ad.

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

twitter verification tick paddedTwitter will re-open account verification requests early next year, the company announced this week, bringing brand-new guidelines for users seeking the little tick next to their Twitter handle.

Rumors that Twitter has been working on a new verification system first appeared in June, but the company has now officially confirmed its return in a blog post, in which it asked for feedback on a draft proposal for verification.

"We plan to relaunch verification, including a new public application process, in early 2021," the company said. "But first, we need to update our verification policy with your help. This policy will lay the foundation for future improvements by defining what verification means, who is eligible for verification and why some accounts might lose verification to ensure the process is more equitable."

Assuming the proposal stays the same, accounts that will be eligible for verification include government officials, companies, brands and nonprofit organizations, news outlets and freelance journalists, entertainment and sports, activists, organizers, and other influential individuals.

If a profile becomes inactive or incomplete, the proposals suggest it could be stripped of verification, while accounts that fail to adhere to the social network's rules could also lose their verified status.

Twitter is asking users to fill in a survey on how the verification process should be operated, and says it's working with organizations for additional feedback. Going into 2021, the company says it also plans to give Twitter users more ways to identify themselves, such as new account types and labels, although what form they will take has yet to be revealed.

Tag: Twitter

A number of M1 Mac owners are reporting problems with Bluetooth connectivity on the new machines, ranging from intermittent disconnects of wireless peripherals to completely non-functional Bluetooth connections.

mac mini macbook pro macbook air m1
Some users with M1 MacBook Air, M1 MacBook Pro 13-inch, and M1 Mac mini models are variously seeing problems with both third-party accessories like Bluetooth mice, keyboards, and headphones, as well as Apple products such as AirPods, Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard.

M1 owners have taken to the MacRumors forums and Reddit to discuss the glitches, and ‌Mac mini‌ owners appear to be worst affected, with the problems compounded by the fact that many rely on wireless peripherals to interact with their Mac in order to free up available ports.

One user reported identical issues after receiving a replacement unit from Apple, while another user was able to successfully connect their Logitech accessory using the included Unifying Receiver Bluetooth dongle. However, there's still no consensus on whether it's a software problem or something more deep-seated.

It's not clear how widespread the problems are, but Bluetooth issues certainly aren't unheard of on Macs. Nevertheless, the news will be disconcerting for anyone who relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity and is waiting on a new M1 Mac. Apple has yet to respond to the issues, but we will update this article if we hear anything soon.

Apple experienced ongoing server issues with its iCloud Music Library service over the last 72 hours, based on multiple user reports across the internet, leaving many Apple Music subscribers unable to access their music libraries. However, the problem appears to have been solved, at least for now.

icloud music library issue

Image via MacRumors forum member Nikonoclast

‌iCloud‌ Music Library allows PC, Mac and iOS users to store their personal music library online, by matching uploaded tracks to songs listed on the iTunes Store or uploading tracks directly if no match is available. The service is included as part of every ‌Apple Music‌ subscription, and is also available as a standalone service called iTunes Match.

However, reports of persistent ‌iCloud‌ Music Library syncing problems gathered pace over the last few days, with users taking to the MacRumors forums, the Apple Music subreddit, Twitter, and Apple's support forum to voice their frustration.

The issue occurred whenever an ‌Apple Music‌ library sync was attempted within the Music app on macOS or in iTunes on Windows PCs. For those affected by the problem, syncing failed and users were met with the error "Genius results can't be updated right now. The network connection was lost."

The message appeared despite all other systems working fine on the local network, and left affected users unable to access their synced playlists and music on Mac, PC and iOS devices. Users reported that logging out and in again, reauthorizing their machine with ‌Apple Music‌, restarting, and even reinstalling macOS did nothing to rectify the situation.

Apple's system status page didn't indicate any problem with ‌iCloud‌ servers, ‌Apple Music‌, or the iTunes Match service when the problem was widespread, yet Apple support staff were said to be able to reproduce the issue. However, there are indications that Apple has got on top of the problem overnight, so it's worth trying to sync your music library again if you were one of those affected.

(Thanks, Justin!)

Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup.

m1 chip macbook air pro
In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he previously claimed that redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple Silicon would launch in the late second quarter or third quarter of 2021.

Other rumored Apple Silicon Macs include a redesigned 24-inch iMac and a smaller version of the Mac Pro tower.

Apple's first Macs with its custom M1 chip, including the new MacBook Air, lower-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini, began arriving to customers last week. Models that continue to use Intel processors for the time being include the 13-inch MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt ports, 16-inch MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro.

Kuo added that demand for the new iPad Air has been better than expected. Looking ahead to 2021, he expects that the iPad's growth momentum will come from the adoption of new technologies such as Mini-LED backlighting and 5G support. Kuo expects a new low-priced iPad to launch in the second half of 2021 — presumably the ninth-generation iPad.

Kuo also expects third-generation AirPods to launch in the late second quarter of 2021. He has previously claimed that the design of the third-generation AirPods will be "similar to AirPods Pro," but likely without active noise cancellation.

Last, Kuo predicted that the "new Apple Watch shipment's momentum in 2021 will benefit from innovative health management functions and improved form factor design," but it is unclear if he is referring to the Apple Watch Series 6's new casing options like blue aluminum or to redesigned Apple Watch Series 7 models.

Apple's M1 Macs, which are the first to be powered by an Apple-designed Arm-based chip, are able to run iOS and iPadOS apps because of the common architecture between the different operating systems.


Some iOS developers have been updating their apps to make them compatible with macOS, but there are ways to download apps that haven't been optimized and even apps that developers have prevented from being available on macOS. Watch our YouTube video for instructions, or read through the steps below.

Installing iOS and iPadOS Apps From the Mac App Store

In the Mac App Store, you can download many of the apps you've previously purchased on your iPhone or your iPad.

  1. Open the ‌Mac App Store‌.
  2. Click on your profile in the bottom left of the app. mac app store profile
  3. Under account, choose "‌iPhone‌ & ‌iPad‌ Apps."
  4. Next to any app in the list, click on the download button. mac app store iphone ipad apps
  5. The iOS app will be installed like any other Mac app and can be opened up from Launchpad or the Applications folder.

Note that you can also search for ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ app names in the ‌Mac App Store‌ and click on the "‌iPhone‌ & ‌iPad‌ Apps" tab under the results list to see apps that were originally designed for iOS devices.

ios apps m1 search results macos
Some of the apps that you see in the ‌Mac App Store‌ are labeled with a warning that says "Not Verified for macOS," which means it is not optimized for use on a Mac.

ios app not optimized macos
Other apps that do not have this wording have been checked over by the developer and should work well on an M1 Mac, even if the design isn't perfect because it's iOS first and not Mac first.

Installing Apps Not Available Through the Mac App Store

App developers can choose not to make their ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ apps available on M1 Macs through the ‌Mac App Store‌, and many popular apps like Netflix, Hulu, and others have made this choice. There is a workaround for installing these apps anyway, but it involves third-party software.

As it turns out, the M1 Macs are able to run any .ipa file, which is the format used for iOS apps. You need the .ipa file for an app to run it on an M1 Mac, and getting those files can be done through software like iMazing. iMazing is mostly used for ‌iPhone‌ backups, but it also has functionality for downloading and saving app .ipas.

  1. Download and launch iMazing.
  2. Plug your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ into your Mac.
  3. Select your device and then choose the Manage Apps feature.
  4. Select Library and then you'll see a list of all the apps that you own.
  5. Right click on an app and choose the Download option to download it to your Library.
  6. Right click on the same app again and then choose the Export .ipa option.
  7. Choose a destination for the export like the Applications folder.
  8. From the Applications folder, click on the app icon to install the app.

Apps installed this way are not optimized for M1 Macs and macOS in any way and are designed for touchscreen devices, so expect to run into some bugs and issues when using them. For the most part, iOS apps seem to work well on the Mac even when not optimized.

If you're planning to download and use apps like Hulu and Netflix, be warned that there's no option to put these apps in fullscreen mode to watch content, but there is an option to download content for offline usage just like on an ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.

In the future, we'll likely have far more iOS apps that are also designed with Macs in mind, but for now, these options provide ways to access and use your favorite iOS apps on Mac devices.

This article isn't sponsored by iMazing, but the software is one of the only ways to get .ipa files for apps. You can test it out by downloading the free trial, and if you want to buy it, StackSocial has it on sale right now. Note that we are a StackSocial affiliate, so if you buy iMazing this way, we'll get a small kickback that helps us keep the site running.

Update: There is an alternative method that uses Apple's free Apple Configurator 2 app, but does require you to use the Terminal to fix permissions. The instructions are detailed in this forum post

Apple today reminded developers to submit privacy information for their apps using App Store Connect, with that info set to be used for a new privacy label feature that will be added to each ‌App Store‌ app.

appstoreprivacy
Apple announced the new privacy feature during WWDC, and it will see apps providing specific details on the information that is collected from users when an app is downloaded. Apple has likened the privacy feature to a nutritional label for apps, and developers are required to self-report the information.

Developers need to provide details on what types of data the app collects from customers and whether that data is linked to them or used to track them.

Apple is planning to roll out the privacy feature later in 2020, and as of December 8, will require newly submitted apps and app updates to include this information.

Apple last week announced the launch of a new App Store Small Business Program that will see the company lowering its ‌App Store‌ fees for small business owners and independent developers. On January 1, 2021, all developers who earn less than $1 million from the ‌App Store‌ will pay a 15 percent commission to Apple instead of the standard 30 percent.

app store 15 percent feature
Apple today shared a press release that has a long list of quotes from app developers who are pleased with the changes. Apple has said that the new ‌App Store‌ Small Business Program will benefit the "vast majority" of developers, providing them with more revenue to grow their teams and improve their apps.

From Christian Selig, developer of the Apollo app for Reddit:

"This made my morning. This will legitimately help so much. It'll make decisions like hiring on extra help, or acquiring better gear, going to conferences, doing more advertising, etc., much easier to justify, and it really means a lot to me that Apple is doing such an awesome thing! It's going to help my business a ton."

From Curtis Herbert, developer of Slopes Ski & Snowboard:

"I was very excited to wake up to the news. This translates to a 21 percent increase in revenue for us, which is huge. It lowers the bar for new developers trying to start a business. As COVID has hit many of us hard this year, this is a much-needed break that will help many of us weather the storm."

The quotes from Apple heap praise on the ‌App Store‌ fee drop, but some developers who earn more than $1 million from the ‌App Store‌ have been less pleased.

Spotify said that Apple's fee change demonstrates that "‌App Store‌ policies are arbitrary and capricious," while Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that Apple is "gerrymandering the community with a patchwork of special deals" with the program.

Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson, known for his outspokenness over the "Hey" email app controversy, said that "Machiavelli would be proud" and that Apple was attempting to "paint any developer making more than $1m as greedy."

All app developers who earned under $1 million in 2020 qualify to join the program and get the reduced 15 percent commission rate, as do developers who are new to the ‌App Store‌. Apple's reduced commission applies to paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions.

The fee changes don't benefit major companies like ‌Epic Games‌ and Spotify that have railed against Apple's ‌App Store‌ pricing, but it does provide relief for smaller app developers who have been struggling during the global health crisis.

It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs.

new mac mini logicpro screen

Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their Intel-based predecessors by default. The previous Intel-based MacBook Air could run one external 6K or 5K display or up to two external 4K displays, and the previous Intel-based MacBook Pro could run one external 5K display or up to two external 4K displays. The 2018 Intel-based Mac mini could run up to three 4K displays, or one 5K and one 4K display.

Apple says that the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro can run one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz. The M1 Mac mini can run one display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz connected via Thunderbolt and one display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz connected via HDMI 2.0. This means that each new M1 Mac can run one less display than the model it replaced.

However, Tulupov has discovered that it is possible to run as many as six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, using a workaround. This is achieved using DisplayPort adapters and DisplayLink software to drive the additional displays. When the M1 Mac's ports have been filled, DisplayPort adapters have to be connected via an external dock to provide more ports.

Tulupov used a mix of external displays, ranging from 4K to 1080p, as the Mac's Thunderbolt ports do not have the bandwidth to simultaneously run six 4K displays at full resolution. Users would therefore still have to be selective about their external display setup when it comes to resolutions.

In testing, running full-resolution videos across the various displays at the same time as rendering in Final Cut Pro, Tulupov found performance to be "awesome," with very few frames being dropped. When closing and opening the MacBook Air, the displays behaved as expected, and the setup seems to be more than adequate for daily use.

Tulupov noted that he did not test this setup with Sidecar for the iPad, but it may still be possible to run Sidecar in addition to the external displays for even more screen space.

In a separate video, Tulupov explained how to go about connecting additional external displays to an M1 Mac using a DisplayPort adapter. The process simply involves installing DisplayLink drivers, which are already Big Sur-compatible, and connecting the adapter via USB-C.

The workaround solution may offer a lifeline to users who were disappointed at the M1 Mac's limited external display capabilities.

The availability of HomePod mini is now at its lowest since Apple's new smart speaker went on sale last month, with shipping times across Europe having already slipped into next year in many cases.

homepodminicolors
In the United Kingdom, France, and Spain, for example, the delivery time for a ‌HomePod mini‌ ordered today in either space gray or white is as long as five to six weeks, and in Germany has even slipped to between six and seven weeks, taking shipping into mid-January.

In fact, with the exception of the U.S. and India, global stocks of ‌HomePod mini‌ are so low right now that anyone seeking to have one shipped for a holiday gift and who has yet to get their order in is very likely going to be disappointed.

Wait times in the Asia Pacific region are less consistently pronounced but still relatively long, with ‌HomePod mini‌ shipping times in the first wave of launching countries, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia, ranging between four and six weeks. As mentioned, one exception in Asia is India, where customers can have either color of ‌HomePod mini‌ shipped to their door in seven to 10 business days.

In Canada, the space gray model takes four to five weeks to arrive when an order is placed today, but the wait time for the white ‌HomePod mini‌ is five to six weeks. Apple's home base in the United States remains the best place to still pick up one of the speakers for the holiday season, with delivery times in the region of two to four weeks, depending on color choice.

Meanwhile, in-store pickup options vary from country to country, but remain the best chance to get a ‌HomePod mini‌ or two before the holiday break. In many countries, ‌HomePod mini‌ orders are limited to two per customer.

Costing $349 at launch, the original 2018 HomePod was considered by many to be too expensive compared to rival products and it failed to capture a significant portion of the smart speaker market. To improve sales, Apple in 2019 cut the price of the ‌HomePod‌ to $299, and still sells the device alongside its smaller $99 siblings, which appear already to be on a more positive track, based on their initial reception.

The first wave of ‌HomePod mini‌ launches occurred in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the United States. Availability in Mexico and Taiwan commenced on Monday, with availability in China expected soon.

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

European smart home company Somfy will make its Tahoma gateway hub HomeKit compatible from the beginning of next month, according to the iFun.de tech website.

tahoma gateway
The gateway is used to control the France-based company's shutters and blinds, including external blinds, vertical awnings, patio awnings and pergolas, so if the company sticks to its scheduled rollout, owners of these Somfy products will be able to control them via Apple's Home app from December 1.

According to the German tech website, Somfy is delivering the promised ‌HomeKit‌ support around a year late. Compatibility was reportedly planned for a 2019 rollout, but the update had to be postponed several times. Somfy security cameras, on the other hand, have been ‌HomeKit‌ compatible for some time.

As noted by HomeKitNews, the Tahoma gateway is also capable of controlling other areas of the home, including smart lights, gates and garage doors, which is why it's already compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT, in addition to integrations with Sonos, Philips Hue, and Velux.

Apple appears to have updated its Maps coverage to add transit directions in Austria, with a focus on public transportation routes in and around the capital, Vienna.

apple maps vienna transit austria
Apple Maps users in the country can now select transit routes when getting directions between two locations, with U-Bahn and S-Bahn train routes included in the coverage.

iPhone-ticker.de notes that map options for other Austrian cities have also been expanded, although some regions still lack full coverage. Maps has integrated regional trains into its transit directions for Innsbruck, for example, but other modes of public transport in the area are still missing.

Transit directions were first added to ‌‌Apple Maps‌‌ in 2015 with the launch of iOS 9. Maps initially only offered transit information in a handful of cities, but over the course of the last five years, Apple has worked to expand the feature to additional areas.

Transit information is now live in dozens of cities and countries around the world, with a full list available on Apple's iOS and iPadOS Feature Availability website, although it has not yet been updated to include Austria.

(Thanks, Florian!)