MacRumors

Apple in December introduced the AirPods Max, its over-ear Apple-branded headphones that join the AirPods and AirPods Pro. Since launch, a growing number of MacRumors readers who purchased the AirPods Max have been complaining of battery drain that seems excessive.

AirPods Max Battery Life Feature
Complaints range from high battery drain while the headphones are in use to significant battery loss when the headphones are meant to be idle. MacRumors reader VL_424 explains:

Been using my AirPod's Max since Launch Day, over the last few days I've been running into some severe battery drain.

For example, last night I took the headphones out of the case with 85% battery, used them for about 15 minutes, put them back into the case.

This morning I get a notification via my iPhone that there was only 5% left. I wasn't even attempting to connect to the ‌AirPods‌, I was airplaying to the HomePod in the room. It's strange that the AirPod Max's were even awake as they were still sitting in the case.. anyone else experiencing problems like this?

Many of the complaints have suggested that the ‌AirPods Max‌ are not properly going into a low power mode, and with no power button, there's no way to force them to conserve battery. When the ‌AirPods Max‌ first launched, there was significant confusion over how low power modes worked when the ‌AirPods Max‌ are in and out of the Smart Case that's included with the headphones.

Apple in a support document clarified that the ‌AirPods Max‌ are designed to enter into a "low power mode" after five minutes of being left stationary (not placed in a case). If untouched, the ‌AirPods Max‌ are meant to stay in low power mode for three days, after which the headphones go into an "ultralow" power state that cuts off Bluetooth and Find My.

When placed into the Smart Case, ‌AirPods Max‌ are designed to go into low power mode immediately rather than waiting for five minutes, and after 18 hours, go into the aforementioned ultralow power state.

Given Apple's description, battery drain should be minimized when the ‌AirPods Max‌ are not in use both in and out of the case, but there may be an issue with low power mode given the battery problems that some users are experiencing.

Many MacRumors readers are seeing high levels of battery drain overnight, sometimes in double digit percentages, but most are seeing approximately 10 to 12 percent battery drain per day when the headphones are not in use. There have also been reports from some users who saw their headphones drain completely over the course of the day. From MacRumors reader DaSal:

The standby battery life really is poor. I've only had these for about two weeks and it's already happened that I wanted to use them only to find out they completely emptied overnight. You can't actually store them at 30% and assume you can use it next time you want to.

Some users believe that the issue may be related to the ‌AirPods Max‌ not disconnecting from devices when placed in the case or when entering low power mode. From MacRumors reader Broken Hope:

Seems to be an issue of them not disconnecting from all devices properly.

I got mine yesterday, used them with my phone, got annoyed that my Mac kept saying that the ‌AirPods‌ were nearby and disabled auto switching on my Mac, when I put them away for the night my Max's were still showing in the battery widget on my Mac, thinking it was a glitch I went to work, I've come back and my Max's have drained to 27% since yesterday evening.

With no power off option it seems that the ‌AirPods Max‌ are going to drain somewhat overnight even in low power mode, but given the number of reports about excessive battery drain, it seems that there could be a software bug that Apple will need to address in the future.

Like ‌AirPods‌ and ‌AirPods Pro‌, Apple is able to push over-the-air firmware updates for ‌AirPods Max‌, but to date, there have been no new firmware releases.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Buy Now)

Apple today announced the launch of Apple Podcasts Spotlight, a new monthly editorial feature that's designed to celebrate rising podcast creators.

podcasts spotlight
The first Podcasts Spotlight creator is Chelsea Devantez, who hosts Celebrity Book Club. In the weekly podcast, Chelsea is joined by co-hosts like Gabourey Sidibe, Ashley Nicole Black, and Lydia Popovic to discuss the memoirs of celebrities like Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson, and Jennifer Lopez, to provide listeners with new insights into celebrities they thought they knew.

"Apple Podcasts Spotlight helps listeners find some of the world's best shows by shining a light on creators with singular voices," said Ben Cave, Global Head of Business for Apple Podcasts. "Chelsea Devantez has created a fun, vibrant space with Celebrity Book Club for listeners to gain new perspectives on the celebrities we thought we knew. We are delighted to recognize Chelsea and Celebrity Book Club as our first Spotlight selection and look forward to introducing creators like Chelsea to listeners each month."

Apple plans to announce new Spotlight creators on a monthly basis going forward, and the feature will represent a wide range of podcast genres, formats, and locations, with a focus on independent voices. Highlighted podcasts are featured in the "Browse" section of the Podcasts app and are shared by Apple on social media throughout the month.


Apple's Podcasts Spotlight comes following news that Apple is working to develop its own podcast subscription service, which has the potential to lure creators away from competitors with the promise of more money and give Apple more original podcast content.

It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway.

airpods max sim ejectorImage via Prelook

In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately. Now, it appears that ‌AirPods Max‌ have a more modular design than previously understood, as raised by MacRumors forums member "MayaTlab", who highlighted the tidbit from Chinese YouTube channel Prelook.

As mentioned in iFixit's teardown of AirPods Max, it is possible to easily remove the headband from ‌AirPods Max‌ without any disassembly of the headphones. Users simply need to remove the magnetic ear cushions, fold the earcups flat, and insert a SIM card ejector tool into a small hole above the speaker.

Here's the trick, and the best part: despite the joint's complexity, you can detach the entire headband from ‌AirPods Max‌ with just a SIM card removal tool or paperclip, without even opening the ear cup.

When fully assembled, a little poke in just the right place compresses two tiny springs inside the joint, freeing the clamp that secures the headband.

Once removed, the spokes on either side of the headband reveal a small connector for transferring power, and potentially data, between the earcups. It is also interesting that the connector bears some passing resemblance to the Lightning connector. It seems likely that users could swap the headbands from different ‌AirPods Max‌ units to achieve non-stock colorways much more easily than expected.

Replaceable headbands were one of the features believed to be removed from AirPods Max prior to launch. Before being announced, it was speculated that ‌‌AirPods Max‌‌ would offer unique customizability with interchangeable headbands and earcups, repeating the concept behind Apple Watch bands.

Apple's VP of industrial design Evans Hankey said that Apple prototyped hundreds of AirPods Max designs over a lengthy development period. Amid significant delays, Bloomberg correctly predicted that Apple would drop the concept of a replaceable headband to accelerate production:

Apple has also scaled back some of the interchangeable functionality of the headphones that were a hallmark of the initial concept. The latest version of the product is likely to lack a replaceable headband, but could still include interchangeable ear pads.

It is therefore possible that this system for removing the headband is a remnant of the original, more modular approach to ‌AirPods Max‌. On the other hand, this hidden feature may exist purely to aid repairability, and could not be intended for general user interaction at all.

Nevertheless, it is extremely unusual for headphones that transfer power over the headband to make the part so easily removable. The ease of removing the headband and the small connector on either side looks to be a peculiarly well-developed concept and stands in striking contrast to the otherwise challenging repairability of the device.

Users who wish to attempt removal of the headband from ‌AirPods Max‌ should still take extreme caution as it is not yet clear if this action voids the product's warranty.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Tag: iFixit
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Buy Now)

Accessory maker Twelve South has today announced the dual-purpose ParcSlope stand for MacBook and iPad, offering improved comfort and airflow.

twelve south parcstand

Users can benefit from better ergonomics and cooling for MacBooks, while iPads can take advantage of the stand's 18-degree angle for typing or sketching with Apple Pencil. The stand can hold every ‌iPad‌ model, except the iPad mini, in landscape or portrait mode.

twelve south parcstand macbook ipad

Like many other popular Twelve South stands, ParcSlope is constructed from a single piece of metal, offers built-in cable management, and is available in matte black. The racetrack-shaped top rest contains soft ridges that allow the lid of a MacBook to hinge open freely, and the notched front lip enables users to open their MacBook with just one hand.

The new Twelve South ParcSlope is now available online for $59.99.

Deals on the Apple Watch Series 6, Powerbeats Pro, and official iPhone 11 cases have appeared online today. In the sales below, you'll find up to $60 off Apple Watch Series 6, $90 off Powerbeats Pro, and up to $21 off various iPhone 11 cases.

Apple Watch 6 Carrier Deals FeatureNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Apple Watch Series 6

To start, you can get the (Product)RED 40mm GPS Apple Watch Series 6 for $339.00, down from $399.00. You can get the same price in the Space Gray color option as well, but it's seeing a delayed shipping estimate.

This is $10 off from the lowest price that we've ever tracked for this model of the Apple Watch Series 6, so it's a solid deal if you're shopping for the wearable in January. Unfortunately, 44mm GPS models aren't seeing discounts that are quite as steep, with only $20 off these models.

If you do need a 44mm size, there is a decent discount on the 44mm GPS Apple Watch SE (Silver Aluminum with White Sport Band), priced at $279.99, down from $309.00. Although we've seen this model discounted to a slightly lower price over the holidays, this is the best price around in January for the Apple Watch SE.

Powerbeats Pro

Secondly, you can get the Powerbeats Pro for $159.99 on Amazon, down from $249.95. This sale price is available in Lava Red and Spring Yellow, but stock does appear to be running low so be sure to check out the sale soon.

Over the holidays we saw the Powerbeats Pro drop to around $149, so while today's sale isn't an all-time-low, it's still a solid discount for the sweat and water resistant Bluetooth headphones.

iPhone 11 Cases

iPhone 11

iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Head to our full Deals Roundup to get caught up with all of the latest deals and discounts that we've been tracking over the past week.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night.

shot on iphone 12 appleApple ShotoniPhone rohit vohra 12172020 big

Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom)

iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera system with Ultra Wide and Wide lenses, while iPhone 12 Pro models have an additional Telephoto lens for optical zoom. Apple explains some of the key camera features across the lineup:

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini feature a powerful dual-camera system with an expansive Ultra Wide camera and a new Wide camera with an ƒ/1.6 aperture that provides 27 percent more light for improved photos and videos in low-light environments. Both models also introduce new computational photography features, which include Night mode and faster-performing Deep Fusion on all cameras, for improved photos in any environment. Smart HDR 3 uses machine learning to intelligently adjust the white balance, contrast, texture, and saturation of a photo for remarkably natural-looking images.

The reimagined pro camera system on iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max is even more versatile with Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras, and provides even more creative control to users. iPhone 12 Pro Max takes the pro camera experience even further with a 65 mm focal length Telephoto camera for increased flexibility and 5x optical zoom range, as well as an advanced Wide camera boasting a 47 percent larger sensor with 1.7μm pixels for a massive 87 percent improvement in low-light conditions. A LiDAR Scanner also unlocks advanced capabilities for Pro models, including up to 6x faster autofocus in low-light scenes and the introduction of Night mode portraits.

The full gallery of photos can be found on the Apple Newsroom.

Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today.

Apple and Hyundai feature
On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming ‌Apple Car‌ by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory owned by Kia Motors, a Hyundai Motor Group affiliate.

First spotted by iMore, Korea's eDaily today added its own take on reports that Hyundai plans to hand off the project to Kia, which could see manufacturing take place at its Georgia plant. The following is a machine translation:

It is known that the Hyundai Motor Group, which received a proposal from Apple for electric vehicle-related cooperation, has internally arranged that Kia Motors is in charge of this project. If Kia decides to do this, the Apple car production base will be at Kia's Georgia plant in the US.

The report claims that discussions took place on Tuesday between Kia and its parent company about "‌Apple Car‌ cooperation," and that following confirmation of the plan, the project could be carried out at Kia's West Point plant, which would "facilitate cooperation with Apple."

It goes on to say that despite reports that Hyundai is in pole position for ‌Apple Car‌ manufacturing, the Korean company has decided that it is "not suitable" for the ‌Apple Car‌ business because of its "strong will" to continue the Hyundai brand. In addition, it does not intend to become an "OEM factory" for Apple cars. The report concludes by stating that Hyundai "is still cautious" and that the move has not yet been decided.

Rumors that Apple is in negotiations with Hyundai first surfaced last week‌, suggesting that Apple is planning to work with the automaker to produce electric vehicles and develop batteries due to the high costs of the technology and the necessary production facilities.

Hyundai initially confirmed its electric vehicle discussions with Apple in a statement to CNBC, but the statement was revised hours later with no mention of Apple.

Reuters last month reported that ‌‌Apple Car‌‌ production may begin around 2024. However, a report from Bloomberg last week said that the ‌‌Apple Car‌‌ is "nowhere near production stage" and could be ready in around five to seven years.

Related Roundup: Apple Car
Tag: Hyundai

Apple TV+ show "Ted Lasso" has been nominated for three Critics Choice Awards including best comedy series, best actor in a comedy series, and best supporting actress in a comedy series (via Deadline).

ted lasso
"Ted Lasso" follows an American college football coach as he is recruited to save a beleaguered English Premier League soccer team, despite having no experience in association football.

Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham, who play Ted Lasso and Rebecca Welton, respectively, have been nominated for their roles in the show, which has been among the more popular ‌Apple TV+‌ series.

Sudeikis will be competing against Hank Azaria (Jim Brockmire) of "Brockmire," Matt Berry (Laszlo Cravensworth) of "What We Do in the Shadows," Nicholas Hoult (Emperor Peter III) of "The Great," Eugene Levy (Johnny Rose) of "Schitt's Creek," and Ramy Youssef (playing himself) of "Ramy."

Waddingham will be competing against Lecy Goranson (Becky Conner) of "The Conners," Rita Moreno (Lydia Riera) of "One Day at a Time," Annie Murphy (Alexis Rose) of "Schitt's Creek," Ashley Park (Mindy Chen) of "Emily in Paris," and Jaime Pressly (Jill Kendall) of "Mom."

"Ted Lasso" will go up against "Better Things" (FX), "The Flight Attendant" (HBO Max), "Mom" (CBS), "PEN15" (Hulu), "Ramy" (Hulu), "Schitt's Creek" (Pop), and "What We Do in the Shadows" (FX).

Overall, Netflix's "Ozark" and "The Crown" lead the pack with six nominations each, while HBO and HBO Max tallied 24 total nominations, coming in close behind Netflix. "Ted Lasso" is the only one of Apple's TV shows to receive Critics Choice award nominations. The winners of the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards will be announced on March 7.

"Ted Lasso" was renewed for a second season almost immediately after the first season launched, while a third season was also approved before the second season had even begun filming. Ted Lasso's second season is due to begin filming in London in January 2021, with a late 2021 or early 2022 premiere on ‌‌Apple TV+‌‌.

Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world.

google maps detailed street level e1611052089473
Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately.

Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian islands, and street-side flora have also been added, which should help users who rely on the maps for walking directions.

Lastly, parks now show the actual width of pathways in dark green along with any stairs in grey, offering improved accessibility information for wheelchair users or people with a stroller.

Some of the improvements are undoubtedly subtle, but underline Google's commitment to improving city-wide coverage. The changes are server-side and therefore require no software update, and Google says it plans to expand the new details to additional cities in the future.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

(Via AndroidPolice.)

Steve Jobs is to be memorialized in the National Garden of American Heroes, after his name appeared along with hundreds of other notable figures in an executive order signed by outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump.

Steve Jobs garage
According to the order, signed on Monday, the garden will be built in honor of "legends of America's past," and Jobs will be honored with a statue to commemorate his life and work. The order reads:

Each individual has been chosen for embodying the American spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love. Astounding the world by the sheer power of their example, each one of them has contributed indispensably to America's noble history, the best chapters of which are still to come.

Other names in the list include Emily Dickinson, Walt Disney, Aretha Franklin, Jesse Owens, Miles Davis, Rosa Parks, Nikola Tesla, John Wayne, Martin Luther King Jr., and several former U.S. presidents.

Popular media player VLC for macOS was today updated to version 3.0.12, bringing native support for Apple silicon Macs, including Apple's latest M1-equipped MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models.

vlc m1 macs
VLC 3's capabilities include automatic hardware decoding for 4K and 8K playback, support for 10-bit HDR, 360-degree video and 3D audio, and Chromecast streaming with support for non-native formats, so the fact that the app's now optimized for Apple silicon should bring some considerable performance and energy efficiency benefits when using these features.

In addition to adding native support for Apple silicon, 3.0.12 includes visual improvements to bring it into line with the macOS Big Sur design signature and fixes to audio distortion when starting playback.


As noted by 9to5Mac, the new VLC isn't a yet a universal binary, so the M1-optimized code isn't part of the app package. However, if you run VLC on ‌Apple Silicon‌ and select VLC Media Player -> Check for Update..., you will be offered the subsequent 3.0.12.1 update that actually installs the native application on your Mac.

VLC 3.0 is a free downloaded for Mac from the VideoLan website. Apple recently shared a list of popular apps optimized for Macs with the ‌M1‌ chip that are also available in the Mac App Store, such as Pixelmator Pro, Adobe Lightroom, Affinity Designer, Darkroom, Fantastical, BBEdit, Instapaper, and Twitter.

Tag: VLC

Amazon and B&H Photo are discounting the M1 13-inch MacBook Pro (512GB) to $1,399.00, down from $1,499.00. This $100 sale is the best price that we've ever tracked for this version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and as of today it's only available on Amazon and B&H Photo.

100 off m1 macbook proNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Apple launched the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip in November 2020, and the new M1 chips bring significant speed and efficiency improvements. The M1 MacBook Pro features a Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism that's more reliable than the previous butterfly mechanism. There's a Touch Bar at the top with touch-based controls and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor that can be used to unlock the Mac, make purchases, and more.

The 256GB M1 MacBook Pro is also on sale on Amazon, priced at $1,224.99, down from $1,299.00. This isn't quite the lowest price we've ever seen for this model, which has gone as low as $100 off the original price, but it is among the best online right now.

You can find the best monthly deals on all new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks in our new "Best Deals" guide. Be sure to visit the guide and bookmark it if you're on the hunt for a new Apple notebook; we'll be updating it weekly as we discover new MacBook offers across the web.

Related Roundups: Apple Deals, MacBook Pro 13"

Apple supplier Foxconn has been granted a license to construct a new $270 million plant in Vietnam, likely to manufacture MacBooks and iPads (via Reuters).

foxconn

The new plant, to be developed by Fukang Technology, will be located in the northern Vietnamese province of Bac Giang. Upon completion, the location is projected to be able to produce eight million laptops and tablets annually.

Foxconn is one of Apple's largest manufacturing partners. In November last year, Apple urged Foxconn to move some of its iPad and MacBook assembly from China to Vietnam as the company seeks to diversify its supply chains away from concentration in China. It therefore seems highly likely that these laptops and tablets are in fact MacBooks and iPads to supply Apple.

Foxconn has reportedly invested $1.5 billion in Vietnam so far, and plans to raise its investment by a further $700 million and recruit 10,000 additional local workers this year. Foxconn is also said to be considering another $1.3 billion investment for facilities in Thanh Hoa province.

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.

There are a few iPad deals happening this week, including sales on the 10.2-inch iPad, 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the latest iPad Air. These sales offer up to $75 off select iPad models, with prices as low as $299.00 for the 32GB Wi-Fi 10.2-inch iPad.

iPad Air 50 Off FeatureNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

You can also save on a few iPad Pro devices, including the 128GB Wi-Fi 11-inch model for $759.05 ($40 off) and the 128GB Wi-Fi 12.9-inch model for $949.00 ($50 off). Lastly, we're tracking lowest-ever prices on the 2020 iPad Air, with the 64GB device priced at $559.99 ($40 off) and the 256GB device priced at $699.00 ($50 off).

10.2-Inch iPad

  • Wi-Fi 32GB - $299.00 at Amazon ($30 off)

11-Inch iPad Pro

  • Wi-Fi 128GB - $759.05 with on-page coupon at Amazon ($40 off)
  • Wi-Fi 256GB - $849.00 at Amazon / B&H Photo ($30 off)
  • Cellular 512GB - $1,186.55 with on-page coupon at Amazon ($60 off)

12.9-Inch iPad Pro

  • Wi-Fi 128GB - $949.00 at Amazon ($50 off)
  • Wi-Fi 1TB - $1,424.05 with on-page coupon at Amazon ($75 off)

iPad Air

  • Wi-Fi 64GB - $559.00 at Amazon ($40 off, lowest price)
  • Wi-Fi 256GB - $699.00 at Amazon ($50 off, lowest price)

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 Roundup: Apple Deals

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, an annual federal holiday commemorating the American civil rights movement leader.

mlk day apple 2021
Apple today honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a full-page tribute on its website. A photo of Dr. King is accompanied by an iconic quote of his: "True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."

On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a follow-up tweet.


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.

Apple on Monday added over two dozen new video workout sessions to Fitness+, continuing a recent trend of building out the catalog of its fledgling subscription service on a weekly basis.

apple fitness plus burn bar
Fitness+ launched December 14, 2020, and is designed to help Apple Watch owners keep fit through a series of guided workouts that are available across multiple workout categories. As you follow along with Fitness+ routines, the Apple Watch tracks your movement, workout length, calories burned, heart rate, and more, just like other workouts.

In the latest motivational introductory video, trainer Bakari introduces the new workouts like so:

Here at Fitness+ more than two dozen workouts just dropped, like Sam's 30-minute treadmill which challenges your endurance, whether you're walking or running. For a workout that needs no equipment at all, I teach 10-minute hit with four total body moves. Each move is inspired by different sports like basketball and soccer, which go perfectly with the song "No Hands" by Waka Flocka Flame. That's what's new at Fitness+ to help you close your rings. Let's go!

In all, Apple has added 26 new Fitness+ workouts covering all video categories, which include cycling, strength, yoga, HIIT, core, dance, treadmill, mindful cool down, and rowing. That takes the total number of workouts in the Fitness+ catalog to 293 so far.

Fitness+ costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, which breaks down to $6.67 per month. For that price, up to six family members total can use the Fitness+ service. Fitness+ is also included in the Apple One Premier bundle, which is priced at $29.99 per month and also offers ‌‌Apple Music‌‌, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and 2TB iCloud storage.

A growing number of user reports online suggest some of Apple's M1 Mac models are susceptible to a Fast User Switching bug that spontaneously activates the screensaver and leaves the user unable to dismiss it.

macbook pro screensaver table
In macOS Big Sur, Fast User Switching allows users to quickly switch between user accounts without having to completely log out. Based on posts in the MacRumors forums, Apple Community forums, and on Reddit, however, a screensaver can sometimes take over the screen of Apple Silicon Macs without notice, rendering the desktop workspace completely unavailable.

While the screensaver appears on the screen, the mouse pointer is still on top and moving, but nothing else works, and users have to close and re-open the lid on their MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, or light press the Power/Touch ID key or use the Alt-Command-Q key combination to get back to the login page.

MacRumors forum member drmacnut:

Brand new Mac mini ‌M1‌, 2nd day using it, Big Sur macOS 11.1 (20C69) with screensaver and screen sleep set to 20 mins. I was actively editing some Calendar entries when all of a sudden the same exact thing happened (screensaver on, user locked out). I ended up using Remote Access from my MBP to get in and log out the user on the Mini. The ‌Mac mini‌ then jumped to the login screen and it's working fine again now. Very weird.

Apple Community forums member Squeaks2369:

I am experiencing the same issue. ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌. Big Sur 11.0.1. Happens on two separate user accounts, both with the screensaver disabled. No way to exit the screensaver but to close then open the lid. Happens a few times a day while actively using the computer. Browsing various forums it appears others are having this issue as well.

Video shared by MacRumors forum member dawideksl

Disabling Fast User Switching prevents the issue from happening, but that obviously leaves the login feature inaccessible. Having the screensaver disabled in System Preferences for all users doesn't seem to make a difference either.

The issue has been reported on ‌M1‌ ‌MacBook Air‌, ‌M1‌ 13-inch MacBook Pro, and ‌M1‌ ‌Mac mini‌ models, and occurs on all versions of ‌macOS Big Sur‌, including the latest 11.1 update. Affected users are advised to submit feedback to Apple to hopefully facilitate a fix.

(Thanks, Chris!)

Related Roundup: macOS Big Sur

Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date.

macbook pro flexgate
Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after determining that a "very small percentage" of 13-inch MacBook Pro units sold between October 2016 and February 2018 may exhibit vertical bright areas along the bottom of the display or a backlight that stops working completely. Eligible models include the MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) and MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports).

To identify which Mac model you have, click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and then select "About This Mac" in the menu. Apple has not expanded the program to any other MacBook models at this time.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will replace the display on affected 13-inch MacBook Pro units, free of charge. To initiate the repair process, visit the Get Support page on Apple's website. If you believe your MacBook Pro was affected by this issue, and you paid to have your display repaired, you can contact Apple about a potential refund.

In 2019, repair website iFixit reported that the backlight issues are caused by a delicate flex cable that can wear out and break after repeated opening and closing of the display on affected 13-inch MacBook Pro models. Apple extended the length of the flex cable by 2mm in 2018 models, which seemingly fixed the issue.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro 13"