App Store prices are going up in the United Kingdom and several other countries starting on February 13, Apple announced today. The changes are being implemented due to shifts in taxes and foreign exchange rates.
App and in-app purchase prices in Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Nigeria, Norway, South Africa, and the United Kingdom will go up, and prices in Uzbekistan will drop because of a three percent reduction in the value-added tax (VAT) rate. Updated prices are listed on Apple's App Store price chart [PDF].
Prices in Ireland, Luxembourg, Singapore, and Zimbabwe are not changing, but proceeds will be adjusted slightly due to VAT changes.
Ireland: Reduction of value-added tax rate on electronic newspapers and periodicals from 9% to 0%
Luxembourg: Reduction of value-added tax rate from 17% to 16%
Singapore: Increase of goods and services tax rate from 7% to 8%
Zimbabwe: Increase of value-added tax rate from 14.5% to 15%
By the end of January, Apple says that proceeds are set to increase for local developers selling in Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Uzbekistan.
Back in December, Apple announced plans to provide developers with an additional 700 price points for App Store apps, allowing for more variation in App Store pricing. Apps will be able to be priced as low as 29 cents or as high as $10,000, and these changes are set to be implemented for all apps in spring 2023.
As we near the end of January, this week we saw a collection of deals on Apple's iPad Pro, iMac, and the 2021 MacBook Pro. Additionally, we're tracking new sales on TVs and memory accessories from Samsung.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Samsung this week kicked off a sale on select TVs during its Super Bowl sale, with as much as $1,700 off Samsung 4K TVs. We've collected a few of the TVs on sale in the lists below, but be sure to visit Samsung for the full list.
In addition to the TV sale on its own website, Samsung is discounting a large collection of memory accessories on Amazon during today's Gold Box deal. You can save on microSD cards, internal memory cards, solid state drives, portable SSDs, flash drives, and more. All of the deals can be found on Amazon.
Amazon kicked off the week with steep discounts on Apple's 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro notebooks, offering $500 off select models. The best deal of the bunch is the 14-inch MacBook Pro (1TB) for $1,999.00, and you can also get the 16-inch MacBook Pro (1TB) for the solid price of $2,199.00, both of which represent $500 discounts on their original prices and record low prices.
Amazon also introduced fresh discounts on higher-end iPad Pro models this week, and a few remain on sale. You can get the 11-inch iPad Pro (2TB Wi-Fi) for $1,699.00 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1TB Wi-Fi) for $1,599.00, both of which are $200 markdowns on these tablets and all-time low prices.
Apple's 24-inch M1 iMac saw a few discounts during the middle of the week, but only a few remain on sale today. You can get the 8-core/256GB iMac for $1,299.99, down from $1,499.00, which is an all-time low price. This one is available in Pink, Green, Orange, Purple, and Yellow.
Be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories.
Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the iPhone 15 Pro models, and the information indicates that the faster Wi-Fi 6E specification will be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The standard iPhone 15 models, labeled as D3y, will continue to use Wi-Fi 6 rather than Wi-Fi 6E. For further reference, D7x refers to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, and D2y refers to the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, with the document outlining antenna design changes between the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro. MacRumors has seen additional documentation indicating that Wi-Fi 6E will be a Pro only feature.
As of now, Wi-Fi 6E has already been added to some of Apple's product lineup, but it is limited to the latest iPad Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro models. Apple has not previously restricted new Wi-Fi standards to a Pro iPhone, but the iPhone 15 Pro models will have several features that are not available in the iPhone 15, and limiting it makes sense from a cost and availability perspective.
Wi-Fi 6E allows devices to connect to routers and modems that support the Wi-Fi 6E standard, but it is a newer technology and is not yet widespread. Wi-Fi 6E routers are readily available, but because they have only started launching over the past few years, many people and businesses have not yet upgraded. Wi-Fi 6E routers include the 6GHz band in addition to the 2.4 and 5GHz bands, and to use 6GHz, both a Wi-Fi 6E router and a Wi-Fi 6E device are required.
Compared to Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E offers more bandwidth, providing faster connectivity speeds, lower latency, and increased capacity. Wi-Fi 6E provides 1.2GHz more spectrum in the 6GHz band, and it can support whole home gigabit coverage, multi-gigabit connectivity for venues, and it has the bandwidth for higher data streams like those used for AR and VR experiences.
Since Wi-Fi 6E requires both routers and devices to support the standard, it is largely an empty band at this time with little traffic, which means iPhone 15 Pro models with Wi-Fi 6E will be able to connect to Wi-Fi 6E networks that don't have much competition in terms of traffic from other devices.
Unknownz21 has in the past leaked information on devices like the iPhone 14, and back in 2020, he was able to source a copy of iOS 14 ahead of its launch, sharing details about the update. Unknownz21 told MacRumors that the diagram is "only the tip of the iceberg" and that additional leaks on the iPhone 15 series, including full images, will be coming ahead of when the iPhone 15 models are scheduled to move into the EVT (engineering validation test) stage in March.
Documents that he has obtained also confirm that the iPhone 15 Pro models will feature faster 3nm A17 chips and solid-state volume and power buttons. The iPhone 15 models will continue to use A16 chips, as previously rumored, and will not feature the redesigned volume buttons.
The World Surf League (WSL) today named the Apple Watch as its official wearable, with the device set to be used as official competitor equipment in a sports environment for the first time.
During the 2023 Championship Tour, WSL athletes will use the WSL Surfer app on the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra to get updates while they're surfing in the competition. The app is designed to sync with the WSL Scoring System in real time, offering athletes important details on scores, wave priority, and time remaining in the heat.
Each competitor will receive an Apple Watch before each heat, with the watch to come preloaded with the WSL app. The app has been in testing with Championship Tour surfers during the prior two tours to make sure that it meets the needs of competitors. Apple's Director of Apple Watch Product Marketing Eric Jue said the company is "thrilled" the WSL is adopting the Apple Watch.
"We're thrilled the WSL is utilizing Apple Watch for the Championship Tour, making it simple and easy for surfers to quickly glance at their wrist for instant access to vital information," said Eric Jue, Apple's Director of Apple Watch Product Marketing. "This innovative solution leverages many of the advanced features of Apple Watch -- bright high-resolution display, durability, water resistance, cellular connectivity, and a powerful platform for organizations to build custom apps -- and the new WSL Surfer app will empower surfers competing at the highest level with the information they need while in the water."
The 2023 Championship Tour includes 10 events in seven countries, and is set to kick off in January with the Billabong Pro Pipeline. Tour events will be broadcast in the WSL app, on the WSL YouTube channel, and on the website. Apple TV+ surfing documentary "Make or Break," which covers the WSL Championship Tour, is set to return on February 17, 2023.
Tyler is a Canadian YouTuber and podcaster who often discusses Apple in the context of professional photo and video production. After spending some time with Apple's latest Macs, Tyler shares his thoughts on the new machines with particular attention to the $599 entry-level Mac mini. We discuss their capabilities, pricing, the process of turning around tech reviews in a short time frame, and more.
Satechi today announced the launch of the Pro Hub Slim, which adds a selection of ports to Apple's latest MacBook models. Designed specifically for the M2MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, it has seven ports and joins the Pro Hub Max and Pro Hub Mini in Satechi's hub lineup.
The Pro Hub Slim is equipped with a USB4 port that supports up to 100W passthrough charging or 40Gb/s data transfer speeds, a 4K HDMI port, a USB-C port that supports data transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s, two USB-A ports with data transfer speeds up to 10Gb/s, and SD and microSD card readers with UHS-I data transfer speeds.
It is designed to attach to a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro using two USB-C ports, and it can be purchased in Midnight, Space Gray, or Silver to match Apple's notebooks. Though designed for the M2 MacBook models, it is also compatible with older MacBook Pro and MacBook Air machines.
Apple is working on new software tools that will allow both developers and customers to create augmented reality apps for its widely-rumored AR/VR headset, according to a paywalled report today from The Information's Wayne Ma.
Interestingly, the report claims that customers will be able to create and release AR apps for the headset via Siri, even if they do not have the ability to code:
With the software tools, Apple hopes that even people who don't know computer code could tell the headset, via the Siri voice assistant, to build an AR app that could then be made available via Apple's App Store for others to download. The tool, for example, could allow users to build an app with virtual animals moving around a room and over or around real-life objects without the need to design the animal from scratch, program its animations and calculate its movement in a 3D space with obstacles.
The report likens Apple's tool to Minecraft and Roblox, which allow anyone to easily create 3D tools and worlds. Apple is said to be utilizing technology that it acquired from Montreal-based startup Fabric Software in 2017, and customers would be able to distribute the AR apps they create on the App Store alongside developers.
Apple already offers some AR creation tools like Reality Composer on the iPhone and iPad that could be expanded to the headset.
It's worth noting that the report cites sources who last saw demonstrations of the tool in 2021, so the report is based on older information and it's possible that Apple's plans have changed at least slightly in the time that has passed since.
Apple is also working on AR content for the headset, according to the report:
People familiar with Apple's content strategy for the headset say Apple executives are emphasizing health and wellness including proposals for AR apps that assist with meditation and exercise. One early AR demo allowed users to sit inside a Zen garden, the four people said.
Apple's headset is expected to be released later this year and will reportedly have an iOS-like interface with a grid of apps, advanced eye and hand tracking, and the ability to function as an external display for a Mac. The software tools for the headset could be revealed at Apple's annual developers conference WWDC in June, giving developers time to create AR and VR apps for the headset before it launches to customers later in the year.
Google's Chrome browser has long been criticized for being a system resource hog, which is why Chromium developers have been busy working on ways to free up memory and keep things running smoothly when users have multiple windows and tabs open.
The latest effort in that regard comes in the form of Memory Saver, a new feature that deactivates open tabs you haven't used in a while so that the tabs you are using offer the smoothest possible experience. With Memory Saver enabled, your inactive tabs remain open, and when you access an inactive tab, it reloads automatically.
Google claims the new Memory Saver feature means Chrome uses up to 40% and 10GB less memory. The company says the new performance setting is particularly good at keeping active video and gaming tabs running smoothly.
Google is rolling out Memory Saver mode over the next several weeks globally for Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS, but not everyone will see it yet. Fortunately, if the new Settings -> Performance menu is not visible for you, you can activate it manually by using the experimental features in Chrome Flags. The steps below show you how.
How to Enable Memory Saver Mode in Chrome
Before you proceed, be sure to bookmark any important tabs and save anything important that you're working on in Chrome, then update the browser to the latest version available (109.0.5414.119 as of writing).
Launch Chrome and paste the following into the address bar: chrome://flags/#high-efficiency-mode-available
Next to "Enable the high efficiency mode feature in the settings", change the Default setting to Enabled, then restart Chrome.
Now paste the following into the address bar: chrome://settings/performance
In the new "Performance" menu, toggle the switch next to Memory Saver to enable it.
Restart Chrome for the changes to take effect.
After you've done that, Memory Saver will be working in the background to free up memory for other tasks. You can can control the mode at any time by clicking Settings in the three-dot menu and selecting the "Performance" sub-menu. It's also here that you can stop Chrome from deactivating specific sites, using the Add button next to "Always keep these sites active."
Google cautions that there are a few settings and activities that may prevent tab deactivation. They include active audio calls or video playback, screen shares, page notifications, active downloads, partially filled forms, and connected devices via USB or Bluetooth.
How to Enable Energy Saver Mode in Chrome
Apart from Memory Saver, Google is also rolling out an Energy Saver mode that makes Chrome automatically limit battery draining tasks when the battery hits 20 percent. It does this by reducing its image capture rate and other background tasks, so you may notice changes in gaming and video performance. Google advises turning it on to extend your device's battery for a long road trip or plane ride.
The mode can be toggled on or off in the same "Performance" page in Settings. If you don't see it and don't want to wait for it to roll out to you, simply follow the same steps as above, but replace the address in Step 1 with chrome://flags/#battery-saver-mode-available and select Enabled next to "Enable the battery saver mode feature in the settings," then restart the browser.
Have you had success with the new Memory Saver or Energy Saver modes in Chrome? Let us know in the comments.
The upcoming iPhone 15 models that are set to be introduced later in 2023 will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note about Apple's work on a Wi-Fi chip, Kuo said that the company will upgrade the iPhone 15 to Wi-Fi 6E.
Apple is already using Wi-Fi 6E for the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models introduced last year, along with the new Mac mini and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. Apple did not use Wi-Fi 6E for the iPhone 14 lineup, but it is ready to bring the technology to the iPhone with the 2023 update.
Along with Kuo, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley have also said that the iPhone 15 models will get a Wi-Fi 6E upgrade. No rumors at this time have confirmed whether Wi-Fi 6E will be brought to all iPhone 15 models or limited to the higher-end iPhone 15 Pro models.
With compatible routers and cable modems, Wi-Fi 6E devices can connect to the 6GHz band, providing faster connectivity, lower latency, and less interference than you might see on the standard 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Wi-Fi 6E is the first Wi-Fi standard that allows for 6GHz connectivity, as the prior Wi-Fi 6 standard remains limited to 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks.
Wi-Fi 6E is becoming more prevalent, and to take full advantage, a Wi-Fi 6E router is required. A range of companies from Netgear to Asus to Linksys are already selling Wi-Fi 6E hardware.
Other iPhone 15 features will include USB-C connectivity, faster 3nm A17 chips for the Pro models, periscope lens technology for the highest-end iPhone 15, solid-state volume and power buttons, an upgrade to titanium, and the expansion of the Dynamic Island to the standard iPhone 15 line. More information is available in our iPhone 15 roundup.
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have.
Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on Twitter what they wanted to know about the new M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro machines, and we got all kinds of questions about whether it's worth the upgrade, how the SSD performs, what RAM choices might be best based on usage needs, how hot it runs, and more.
MacRumors videographer Dan answers all of those questions and more in the video up above, so make sure to watch it. Have another question we didn't cover? Let us know in the comments.
Apple has paused work on the Wi-Fi chip that it has in development, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuosaid today. The development of the Apple-designed Wi-Fi chip has been "halted" at the current time, and Kuo says Apple will hold off "for a while."
That means that Apple supplier Broadcom will continue providing Apple with Wi-Fi chips for the foreseeable future, including supplying the chips for the upcoming iPhone 15 models that are set to be released in 2023.
News of Apple's work on a Wi-Fi chip first surfaced in January when Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that Apple was working on a combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip that would replace components that are sourced from Broadcom. At the time, Gurman said that Apple was aiming to transition to its own chips starting in 2024, replacing Broadcom parts by 2025.
Note that the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip is separate from the 5G modem chip that Apple also has in development to replace technology from Qualcomm. Apple's ultimate goal is to produce many more of the iPhone's critical components in-house, reducing its reliance on third-party companies.
Eventually, Apple wants to create a chip that combines the cellular modem, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth functions into one, and the company is also working to replace the radio-frequency chips and chips for wireless charging that it gets from Qualcomm.
Kuo says that Apple's previous development for a Wi-Fi solution was a Wi-Fi only chip and not the rumored Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chip. The pairing of the two technologies is more challenging for Apple to do.
More specifically, Apple's previous development for Wi-Fi solution was the Wi-Fi-only chip and not the Wi-Fi+Bluetooth combo chip. From a design standpoint, developing a Wi-Fi+Bluetooth combo chip is more challenging than just a Wi-Fi-only chip. Since most of Apple's products use the combo chip, it would be even more challenging to replace Broadcom's combo chips with its own if Apple decides to do so.
Work on a Wi-Fi chip has been paused because Apple wants to focus its chip design resources on the advanced 3-nanometer chips that are set to power future iPhones and other devices. Kuo says that "insufficient development resources" are therefore delaying the mass production of not only Apple's 5G chip, but also the Wi-Fi chip.
Kuo believes that over the next two to three years, it will be risky for Apple to use its own Wi-Fi chips as standards are changing and Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 are being adopted. For now, Kuo thinks Apple will begin adopting Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 chips for its devices, with Broadcom to benefit.
The new Mac Pro coming later this year is expected to feature the same spacious modular design as the 2019 model, but with fresh concerns over its lack of upgradeability surfacing, some users are beginning to wonder what the transition away from Intel architecture actually means for Apple's most powerful Mac.
The current Intel Mac Pro that Apple sells is popular with creative professionals because of its modular, highly upgradeable design. It accepts Xeon processors with up to 28 cores and 64 PCI Express lanes, and up to 1.5TB of high-performance memory. It also has eight PCIe expansion slots, while the APX Modules can be configured with six different GPUs. All of the components can be upgraded after purchase.
Given that Apple's high-end M2 Extreme chip has reportedly been cancelled, the new Mac Pro is expected to feature a new M2 Ultra chip, which is essentially two M2 Max chips connected together, featuring up to a 24-core CPU, up to a 76-core GPU, and at least 192GB of unified memory.
But it is just this unified architecture that is raising doubts about the Mac Pro's modularity among prospective owners. Earlier this month, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman revealed that unlike the current Intel-based Mac Pro, the upcoming model will not feature user-upgradeable RAM because the memory is tied directly to the M2 Ultra's motherboard.
Now, Gurman has seemingly doubled down on this limitation of Apple's unified architecture by suggesting that the next Mac Pro "may lack user upgradeable GPUs" in addition to non-upgradeable RAM. As he points out: "Right now Apple Silicon Macs don't support external GPUs and you have to use whatever configuration you buy on Apple's website."
Considering the end user the Mac Pro (and rack mountable Mac Pro) are aimed at, this would be a total mistake. PCIe support and huge user-upgradable RAM quantities are a requirement for people that are interested in buying a 50k$ rack-mountable Mac. Otherwise, buy Mac Studio
— Enrico Teofilo (@Enrico_Teofilo) January 26, 2023
defeated the point, bring back the trashcan design then.
— yourgood (@goodo1dday) January 26, 2023
Apart from space for media and networking cards, that leaves only storage as the main user-upgradeable component in the Mac Pro. As for the seemingly large empty space that would remain in the unchanging tower case, Gurman suggests it could accommodate a larger cooling system, which would differentiate it from the Mac Studio by affording significantly faster performance.
It's worth noting that on the subject of non-upgradeable GPUs, Gurman appears to be reaching this conclusion based on logical reasoning rather than specific insider information. But if it turns out that he is correct, it could dissuade would-be buyers from investing so much money in a machine that does not offer the same future-proofing expandability.
The Mac Pro currently starts at $5,999, with the potential to price it up to over $52,000 in custom configurations. The base model Apple silicon Mac Pro with the M2 Ultra is almost certain to cost more than the high-end Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra, which starts at $3,999.
That’ll leave it dead in the water. A dud for all but a tiny tiny fraction of power users. Really, what would be the point of the massive expenditure, if the AS GPU will be so far behind nVidia’s best.
— Dutch Dimension (@DimensionDutch) January 26, 2023
Apple has already teased the launch of the first Apple silicon Mac Pro, so it is undoubtedly coming regardless of the rumors. Indeed, Apple is already testing one of the new Mac Pro models, and it is running macOS Ventura 13.3, an updated version of macOS Ventura coming out later this year. Timing wise, macOS Ventura 13.3 is expected to come out around March or April, so we could also see the Mac Pro launch in this timeframe.
Worldwide smartphone shipments suffered their worst quarterly drop on record over the holiday period, according to IDC, and Apple was not immune to the cooling consumer demand amid the global economic downturn.
The research firm estimates that Apple shipped 72.3 million iPhones in the December quarter, down year-on-year from 85 million units, representing a 14.9% drop in shipments compared to the same quarter a year ago.
Other major smartphone brands suffered similar double-digit setbacks. Samsung's shipments fell by 15.6% year-on-year, and Chinese mobile makers OPPO and vivo suffered almost equivalent declines, with Xiaomi performing worst over the quarter with a 26.3% drop in shipments.
Overall, global smartphone shipments declined 18.3% in the December quarter compared to a year earlier, to a little over 300 million units. The drop marks the largest-ever decline in a single quarter and contributed to a steep 11.3% decline for the year.
"We have never seen shipments in the holiday quarter come in lower," Nabila Popal, research director at IDC, said in a press release. "However, weakened demand and high inventory caused vendors to cut back drastically on shipments."
In addition to inflation and economic uncertainties, lockdowns in China were another factor that hurt the industry, including Apple's iPhone shipments, she said. "Heavy sales and promotions during the quarter helped deplete existing inventory rather than drive shipment growth."
Riots broke out in late November at the world's largest iPhone factory in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, where Foxconn workers were unhappy with Covid restrictions and unpaid bonuses. iPhone production at the factory in Zhengzhou was said to have been significantly affected by the protests, leading to lengthy shipping delays over the holiday period.
According to IDC, 2022 ended with global smartphone shipments of 1.21 billion units, which represents the lowest annual shipment total since 2013 due to significantly dampened consumer demand, inflation, and economic uncertainties.
Despite the difficult holiday period, Apple's market share remained steady, and the company maintained its position as the top smartphone maker for the December quarter with 24.1% market share, up 1% from a year ago. For the year, Apple reached 18.8% market share compared to 17.3% the previous year, coming second only to Samsung, which took 21.6% market share in 2022 compared to 20% over 2021, according to IDC estimates.
Upgrading to nano-texture glass for even less glare increases the price to $1,749.00, which is still a solid deal at a $150 savings over the regular price. Versions with the tilt- and height-adjustable stand are priced higher.
For more discounts, check out our Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories.
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models.
Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models, while all iPhone 14 models remain limited to standard Wi-Fi 6.
Wi-Fi 6 operates on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, while Wi-Fi 6E also works over the 6GHz band, allowing for faster wireless speeds, lower latency, and less signal interference. To take advantage of these benefits, the device must be connected to a Wi-Fi 6E router, which are available from brands like TP-Link, Asus, and Netgear.
Wi-Fi 6E was also rumored for iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models and failed to materialize, but now that Apple has started rolling out Wi-Fi 6E support to its latest devices, it is more likely that the iPhone 15 will finally support the standard.
Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max in September as usual. Rumors suggest all four models will feature the Dynamic Island and a USB-C port, while the Pro models are expected to gain Apple's latest A17 Bionic chip, a titanium frame, solid-state volume and power buttons, and more.
Safari Technology Preview release 162 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, CSS, Scrolling, Gamepad API, Media, Web API, and Accessibility. This update enables Shared Tab Groups and syncing for Tab Groups, Website Settings, and Web Extensions, which can be tested on Safari Technology Preview 162 or later running on macOS Ventura 13.2 or later, or macOS Monterey with Safari 16.2.
The current Safari Technology Preview release is version 16.4 and is compatible with machines running macOS Ventura and macOS Monterey.
Apple's aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.
iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in values were not changed for any iPad models.
Smart home company Eve in December began rolling out a firmware update that adds Matter support to the Eve Energy, Eve Motion, and Eve Door and Window. I have been testing the new Matter integration to see how the devices work with a standard HomeKit setup.
I have the Eve Energy, Eve Motion, and Eve Door and Window accessories, all of which have been out for some time but have been updated to work with Matter. If you're not familiar with Matter, it is a newly released smart home standard that's been adopted by Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon, and other smart home manufacturers. Matter is designed to allow smart home accessories to be added to any smart home platform that supports the Matter standard.
So Matter-enabled devices from Eve can be added to HomeKit, or can be used with Google and Amazon's smart home platforms, and iPhone and Android smartphone users in the same household can control the accessories with their respective devices. HomeKit, meanwhile, is Apple only and needs to be accessed from an Apple device.
I don't want to go into too much detail on the specifics of the Eve accessories since this review is mostly for the Matter experience, but I'll give a quick rundown. The Eve Motion is a motion detector that is designed to allow you to activate lights and other devices when motion is detected. Eve Door and Window attaches to a door and can let you know when the door is opened, both for alert purposes and to activate other accessories in automations. Eve Energy is a smart plug, so you can plug anything in and then control it with your Apple devices and Siri commands.
All three of these have Matter support, but right now, Matter needs to be added through a firmware update. So if you already own these devices or buy them with the intention of using them with Matter, be prepared to add new software. Assuming new in the box devices, the first step is to add them to HomeKit.
Adding them to HomeKit requires opening up the Home app and scanning the QR code, and it's the same as it is for any HomeKit product. Once that's done, the Eve app is required, and you'll need to give it access to your Home setup. Matter support is not yet officially available, but Eve has a TestFlight version of the app that users can sign up for to test Matter through the Early Access Program.
In addition to one of Eve's supported devices and access to the Eve TestFlight app, a device running iOS 16.2 is required, as is a Home Hub, which includes the HomePod mini or Apple TV 4K.
With the TestFlight version of the Eve app and an Eve Door and Window, Eve Energy, or Eve Motion device added to HomeKit, the Eve app can download a firmware update to install Matter. Transitioning to Matter is a one-time irrevocable swap, so once you upgrade your Eve device to Matter, there's no going back.
The upgrade process isn't difficult, but it's also not super simple. The Eve app will walk you through the steps, starting off with generating a new Matter QR code. The Matter QR code looks similar to the HomeKit QR code used to set up a HomeKit device, but it is Matter and not HomeKit. This code entirely replaces a HomeKit code, so you need to make sure to save a copy of it, which the Eve app reminds you of multiple times.
In fact, you can't go through the setup process without printing or saving a copy of the new Matter code, and you're going to want to hold onto it similar to HomeKit codes. Since the Matter code replaces the HomeKit code, your existing HomeKit code is no good. In the future, Matter codes will be printed on device like the HomeKit codes, but right now for firmware updates, it's important to keep Matter codes extra safe.
Setup will require a printout of the Matter QR code or a secondary device because after getting the new code, you need to scan it with your primary device to connect the Eve product to Matter. After that, there is a HomeKit to Matter migration process, which took about 10 minutes in my testing.
When Matter-compatible devices are on store shelves and don't require firmware updates anymore, setting up devices will be much simpler. In fact, it's basically going to be the same as setting up a HomeKit device right now, so it should be fairly painless if you're already familiar with HomeKit setup.
In the Home app, Matter devices work just like HomeKit devices, and I can't tell a difference in the functionality. In the Eve app, I can see that a device is "Matter" and not "HomeKit," but the Home app gives me no particular indication.
Controlling a Matter device is indistinguishable from controlling a standard HomeKit device, which is how it's all supposed to work. Automations, scenes, and schedules continue to work as expected, both in the Home app and through the Eve app. I do want to point out that Eve devices are Thread enabled, and are meant to offer better integration with Thread devices than standard Bluetooth.
I've been using the Eve devices with Matter for over a week, and the performance is about the same as I get with HomeKit, but I am having an ongoing issue with the Eve Energy. It disconnects every day or every two days, and it stops communicating with my home setup and becomes inaccessible in the Home app. I have this problem with HomeKit-enabled smart plugs too, but not usually with this frequency. I asked Eve about the issue, and was told that it is a known problem that will be solved with upcoming updates.
This is indeed a known problem with the current combination of home hub software versions and our accessories. In most cases the accessory can still be reached for custom functionality, such as ID feature in the Eve app. We’re working closely with Apple to identify what’s wrong, but in the meantime, usually rebooting the home hubs will help for a while. Removing the accessory from home and adding it back may help on the short run, but they will likely drop off after sometime later again. Overall, future updates of iOS and the Eve app with the firmware should alleviate the problem over time.
I'm an Apple user with a HomeKit setup so I don't have insight into how Eve's Matter devices work with other platforms like Google Home and Samsung SmartThings, but for HomeKit users, I can confirm that Matter is essentially the same experience as HomeKit, with no major changes to expect from the cross-platform Matter devices.
There is, however, one exception. You can use HomeKit products without a Home Hub (HomePod mini or Apple TV) but these are required for Matter because Matter devices need a Matter controller. So you shouldn't pick up Matter accessories or upgrade your HomeKit devices to Matter without one.
If you have someone in your home who uses an Android smartphone and hasn't been able to access smart home products, Matter will make a major difference. Likewise, Android users who have wanted access to products like Eve Energy and Eve Motion will now be able to use these devices that were once Apple Home exclusives.
From HomeKit, you can add a second platform like Google Home to your home setup to allow your devices to be controlled though Google hubs or Android smartphones. Just open up the Apple Home app, long press on the tile for the Eve product, select the settings, and then tap on "Turn on Pairing Mode." You will need a Matter controller from the other smart home platform, so if you want to use your Matter devices with HomeKit and Google Home, for example, you'll need a HomePod mini/Apple TV and something like a Nest Mini or Hub Max.
Amazon hasn't implemented full Matter support yet (setup works on Android smartphones), but many Echo devices will work with Matter, so in the future you'll be able to control smart home products with your iPhone and your Amazon Echo/Nest Hub. Matter will be most beneficial to those who use two smart home platforms, but it will expand the number of smart home products available to HomeKit users, and so far, it doesn't look like there will be any major hassles to deal with when transitioning.
Starting in late March, Eve will sell Matter-enabled devices that work right out of the box and that don't need to have their firmware updated before the Matter integration works, which will be more convenient. Later in the year, Eve also plans to update other Thread products with Matter support. Eve's Matter-compatible devices can be purchased from the Eve website or from Amazon.