Earlier this week, Apple began requiring that customers taking advantage of educational discounts in the United States verify their status as a teacher, student, or school staff member through UNiDAYS.

apple college discounts
The requirement was a major change as Apple had never asked customers to go through a verification process in the United States before, and now, just three days after verification was added, Apple has removed it.

As of today, discounted iPads, Macs, and other products can be purchased from Apple's education website in the U.S., and Apple is not asking for any proof that a customer is a student or teacher.

After the UNiDAYS requirement rolled out, there were complaints from some MacRumors readers that suggested the UNiDAYS site was broken for staff member verification, as it was asking customers to upload a student ID with an expiration date. Staff members were prevented from obtaining discounted products, which could be why Apple has nixed the requirement.

It is not clear if Apple will reimplement an institution verification process after working out kinks to make it available for students, teachers, and school staff, but for now, there is no requirement to make a discounted purchase.

Apple has long required UNiDAYS verification in countries like the United Kingdom, so it would not be too much of a surprise to see it added again as a requirement in the United States at some point in the future.

Apple TV+ today shared a humorous new ad called "Everyone but Jon Hamm" that is set to air during NFL playoff games this weekend, according to Adweek.

In the ad, actor Jon Hamm sits in a lavish home and scrolls through Apple TV+ while humorously complaining about how Apple's original TV shows and films feature numerous big-name celebrities, except for himself.


Hamm refers to many stars who appear in Apple TV+ originals, including Samuel L. Jackson, Billie Eilish, Tom Holland, Chris Evans, Jason Sudeikis, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Jason Momoa, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Mahershala Ali, Octavia Spencer, Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Jon Stewart.

"With Hollywood's biggest stars in front of and behind the camera, Apple TV+ has pretty much everyone… but Jon Hamm," said Apple.

Priced at $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, Apple's streaming video service competes with the likes of Netflix and Disney+. Apple TV+ offers nearly 100 original series and films, including the award-winning comedy series Tad Lasso.

"Seriously, I could have done Lasso," said Hamm, disappointedly.

Today you can get Apple's 24-inch 7-Core GPU, 256GB iMac for a new record low price of $1,239.92, down from $1,299.00. This model is sold by Expercom on Amazon and it's available in Silver and Blue.

iMac M1 Raindow Feature Spread outNote: 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.

This deal beats the previous best price by about $10, making it the new all-time low price on this model on Amazon. You'll also find the 8-core, 256GB model discounted this week on Amazon in Silver and Orange.

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

Related Roundups: Apple Deals, iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Caution)
Related Forum: iMac

Apple today shared a new Valentine's Day gift guide with categories including music, health, entertainment, creativity, photography, and video.

apple valentines day 2022
The gift guide promotes a wide variety of Apple products and accessories for Valentine's Day, with some of the more affordable options including an Apple Watch band, an iPhone case, an AirTag, AirPods, an Apple Pencil, and a HomePod mini.

Many products are available with free engraving for a personalized touch, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Pencil, AirPods, and AirTag.

Apple gift cards are always a popular gift idea as well and can be used towards products and accessories from the Apple Store, in addition to the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, iCloud+ storage, and more.

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Electronic Finishing Solutions to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Sonos Roam speaker that's customized with the MacRumors logo.

macrumors sonos roam 1
Electronic Finishing Solutions bills itself as a company with high-end electronic customization experts. It offers a selection of customized AirPods, speakers, earbuds, headphones, and other devices. Companies often like to provide customized devices for clients or employees, and Electronic Finishing Solutions can add logos or other branding.

Customized Sonos Roam speakers can be ordered in quantities ranging from a single set to more than 100, with pricing starting at $249.99. The speaker itself is $180, so the customization process is a $70 surcharge, but cost goes down with a higher number of units ordered.

macrumors sonos roam 2
All of Electronic Finishing Solutions' customized products can be ordered as a single device or in multiples, so individuals can take advantage of the customization as well. Customized devices make fun corporate gifts for clients or for anyone who wants to gift friends or family with a custom set of headphones or speakers.

customized bose headphones electronic finishing solutions
Personalization services are all-inclusive and Electronic Finishing Solutions works with customers to get the perfect look for a customized product, with production beginning after a proof is approved by the customer. Orders ship in 5 to 10 business days, but faster shipping is available and there's even a direct fulfillment service.

customized airpods pro electronic finishing solutions
As for the Sonos Roam speaker, it is a lightweight, battery-operated speaker that's ready for the outdoors with IP67 water resistance and drop protection. It offers a 10+ hour battery life and it is compatible with AirPlay 2.

Electronic Finishing Solutions has made three custom Sonos Roam speakers to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older, UK residents who are 18 years or older, and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. All federal, state, provincial, and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. To offer feedback or get more information on the ‌giveaway‌ restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

The contest will run from today (January 21) at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time on January 28. The winners will be chosen randomly on January 28 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Apple's 256GB Wi-Fi iPad has dropped to $449.00 today on Amazon, from $479.00. This sale is available in both Space Gray and Silver color options, and both are in stock and ready to ship today.

10Note: 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.

Compared to previous discounts, Amazon's discount is an all-time low price on this model of the 10.2-inch iPad. Markdowns on these models have been less consistent than other iPads over the past few months, so those interested should check out Amazon's sale soon.

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

Related Roundups: Apple Deals, iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iPad

Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business.

peloton tv workout cardio
Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a pressing need to control costs, and amplified competitor activity. In a confidential company presentation earlier this month, Peloton told employees that products such as the Bike, Bike+, and Tread will be out of production for between six weeks and six months.

As a business, Peloton has high customer acquisition costs, translating to high product pricing. Toward the end of last year, the company reduced the price of its entry-level bike by almost 20 percent to $1,495 in an attempt to drive up sales through the end of 2021. It then emerged that the company is planning to lay off 41 percent of its sales and marketing staff.

CNBC also revealed that the company's fiscal forecasts do not take into account new delivery and setup fees between $250 and $350 that customers will have to pay on top of the cost of the Bike or Tread. In addition, Peloton has seen low email capture rates for its upcoming $495 strength training product, "Peloton Guide."

In a press release preannouncing its upcoming financial results yesterday, Peloton CEO John Foley said that the company is now "taking significant corrective actions to improve our profitability outlook and optimize our costs." Peloton's stock has since plunged 24 percent, now floating around 85 percent below where it was trading this time last year, and even $5 less than when it went public in 2019. There are also indications that Peloton is losing market share in the connected fitness industry.

The Information reports that Peloton's production halt and the precarious state of its business looks like a prelude to an acquisition by a bigger company, positing that Apple is the ideal candidate to buy Peloton:

If Peloton is to have a future, it would be better off as part of a bigger, more diversified company. Apple is an ideal candidate to take on that project. It has the Fitness+ subscription service for classes and it markets the Apple Watch as a device that can help with jogging and other exercise activities. It could close Peloton's stores and sell the equipment through its own stores. And hey, after today, Peloton's market capitalization is down to $7.9 billion. Cook could pay for that by dipping into the change jar in his kitchen.

The idea of Apple acquiring Peloton is gathering steam among market observers, with the possibility being weighed up by The Motley Fool and Inc., among others.

Analyst Neil Cybart recently highlighted how Peloton is now actively threatened by Apple Fitness+, which is considerably cheaper, costing up to $388.01 less annually for digital classes alone. Cybart cautioned that without major changes in 2022, "Peloton is on track to be a Fitbit 2.0 - a company unable to compete with the giants subsidizing health and fitness tracking as an ecosystem feature."

Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the ‌iPhone‌ due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the environmental footprint of digital devices.

iphone 13 earpods


Starting with the iPhone 12 in 2020, Apple stopped including EarPods and the power adapter from the ‌iPhone‌ box, claiming it was doing so in part to reduce its environmental footprint. With both accessories removed, the ‌iPhone‌ box was made drastically thinner. Apple also removed both items from older ‌iPhone‌ models it continued to sell.

Despite Apple's announcement, the company was required to continue shipping iPhones with EarPods in France. Apple's lawful obligation to include the EarPods was based on the precautionary principle, because the risks of exposing developing brains to electromagnetic waves are not clearly known, according to French law.

Now, that's all about to change. According to a new bill passed in the French assembly, smartphone manufacturers will no longer be forced to include headphones in the box. Instead, they just need to ensure that compatible headphones are available separately as an optional accessory. According to a notice posted by French carrier Fnac, iPhones will no longer ship with EarPods in the box starting on January 24. A machine translation of the poster reads:

DEAR CUSTOMERS,
We would like to inform you that our manufacturers are no longer required to supply headphones/hands-free kits with their smartphones in France. This new law, adopted in late 2021, aims to reduce the environmental footprint in France.

The Xiaomi brand is concerned, for products purchased from the week of January 17, 2022. The same will be true for the Apple brand as of from the week of January 24, 2022
THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING

Apple's regional website for France continues to show EarPods as an item included in the box with the ‌iPhone‌ alongside a USB-C to Lightning cable, although this will likely be updated soon. While it did remove the EarPods from the box, Apple reduced the headphones' price to $19, down from $29, when the ‌iPhone 12‌ launched in September 2020.

Apple's decision to remove EarPods and the power adapter from the ‌‌iPhone‌‌ box was controversial in other countries, too. For example, Apple was fined $2 million in Brazil for not including the power adapter with iPhones.

Google has internally kickstarted the development of an augmented reality headset that will "blend computer graphics with a video feed of the real world" to deliver an immersive AR experience, with a launch tentatively set for 2024, according to a report from The Verge.

google logo
The report describes the headset, codenamed Project Iris, as a "tightly kept secret" at Google with around 300 employees working on the project. Project Iris will use an array of sensors and cameras to project computer-generated content onto the real world.

One technical challenge of such headsets is being able to compute complicated 3D environments using high-performance mobile chipsets. A custom Google processor will reportedly power Project Iris, but even that may not be enough as the report suggests Google could offload some performance to data centers to render content.

On the software side, the headset will be powered by Android, although Google job listings indicate a new operating system specifically designed for AR could be under development.

Google's past attempts at augmented and virtual reality include Google Glass, Google Cardboard, and Daydream, but none ever went mainstream. The development of Project Iris comes as competition builds in the emerging AR industry as Meta, Apple, and now Google begin planning for future dominance.

Apple has been hard at work on its first AR headset. The headset will be Apple's first major new product category since the Apple Watch and will also be the company's first major push in the VR and AR space.

Apple's headset, yet to be named, could see a public launch as soon as this year, but recent reporting suggests Apple is facing thermal concerns with the headset, threatening a delay until 2023. Learn more about Apple's VR and AR plans with our dedicated roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses
Tag: Google

Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March 2016. Apple designed the ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview Feature
‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release 138 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, CSS, Experimental Model Element, Media, Web Animation, WebAuthn, SVG, Web API, Service Workers, WebRTC, WebAssembly, and Web Extensions.

The current ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release is built on the Safari 15.4 update and it includes Safari 15 features introduced in macOS Monterey.

The ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

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.

Apple today shared a pair of iPhone 13 ads highlighting key features like battery life and the durable Ceramic Shield front display. In the first spot, titled "Doin' Laps," a child sets his ‌iPhone 13‌ up on his bike and then cruises around the neighborhood capturing a long video.


At the end of his journey, which lasts for five hours, the iPhone is still recording and has not run out of battery. "What will you do with even looooooonger battery life? Relax, it's ‌iPhone‌," reads the video description for the ad.

In the second spot, titled "Run Baby Run," a toddler plays with an ‌iPhone 13‌, running around with it, dropping it on the floor, banging it on various items, and dropping it in the sink. The ‌iPhone‌ survives intact, and the video ends with the tagline "Toddler resistant. Relax, it's ‌iPhone‌."


The "Relax, it's ‌iPhone‌" series is not new, and Apple has shared other videos in this series to preview Find My, the ‌iPhone‌'s durability, and other features. Apple has used the "Relax, it's ‌iPhone‌" tagline for both the iPhone 12 and the ‌iPhone 13‌.

The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch.

apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg
Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about third-party chargers not functioning as expected.

For many users, third-party chargers would refuse to charge an ‌Apple Watch Series 7‌ at all, and some others saw problems where the charger would appear to work normally, and then quit working after a few minutes.

Many of the reports focused on more affordable third-party chargers from Amazon, but there were also complaints about higher-end chargers from brands like Belkin. Some people even had charging issues with Apple's own Apple Watch charging pucks.

According to Apple's release notes for the watchOS 8.4 update, the software specifically fixes a bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work, suggesting the charging issues will come to an end when watchOS 8.4 sees a release.

Apple seeded the release candidate version today, and the release candidate represents the finished version of the software that will be provided to the public. We could see a watchOS 8.4 release as soon as next week.

Related Roundup: watchOS 8

Apple today shared a short film called "The Comeback," which has been released in celebration of Chinese New Year. Created by director Zhang Meng, the video kicks off the Year of the Tiger with the story of a father, a son, and a forgotten village with an "out-of-this-world dream."


The 23 minute film was shot using the latest iPhone (which is the iPhone 13 Pro) like all of the videos in Apple's ongoing "Shot on ‌iPhone‌" series. Though filmed in Chinese, Apple has also added English subtitles for those who do not speak the language.

Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year, begins on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, and it is a major holiday in China and other countries. Apple previously shared a Chinese gift guide on its websites in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao that features iPhone 13 models, AirPods, and more.

Apple also introduced special edition AirPods Pro and special edition Beats Studio Buds with custom-designed tiger themes as 2022 is the Year of the Tiger on the Chinese calendar.

Apple today announced a series order for a live-action Godzilla and the Titans TV series that's based on Legendary's Monsterverse franchise. The Monsterverse is a story universe that includes movies like "Godzilla," "Kong: Skull Island," and "Godzilla vs. Kong."

monsterverse tv show
The untitled Monsterverse series will take place after the battle between Godzilla and the Titans leveled San Francisco.

Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco and the shocking new reality that monsters are real, the series explores one family's journey to uncover its buried secrets and a legacy linking them to the secret organization known as Monarch.

Apple's Godzilla TV series will be produced by Legendary Television with co-creator Chris Black serving as executive producer and showrunner. Black is known for his work on "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "Outcast."

The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities.

safari icon blue banner
As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses IndexedDB can access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during the same browsing session.

The bug permits a website to spy on other websites that the user visits while Safari is open, and because some websites use user-specific identifiers in their IndexedDB database names, personal information can be gleaned about the user and their browsing habits.

Browsers that use Apple's WebKit engine are impacted, and that includes Safari 15 for Mac and Safari for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Some third-party browsers like Chrome are also affected on iOS and ‌iPadOS 15‌, but the macOS Monterey 12.2, iOS 15.3, and iPadOS 15.3 updates fix the vulnerability.

FingerprintJS constructed a demo website to let users check to see whether they're impacted, and as 9to5Mac notes, after updating to the new software, the website detects no security holes.

The website is designed to tell users details about their Google accounts. On iOS 15.2.1 and ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.1, we tested and the demo website was able to detect our Google account. After updating to the ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.2 RC and the iOS 15.3 RC, the demo website no longer detects any data.

Apple earlier this week prepared a fix for the bug and uploaded it to the WebKit page on GitHub, so we knew that Apple was working to address the vulnerability. With the ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates now available, we could see these updates be made available to the public as soon as next week.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey
Tag: Safari
Related Forums: iOS 15, macOS Monterey

Apple today announced that Kristin Huguet Quayle has been appointed Apple's new vice president of worldwide corporate communications, with Huguet Quayle replacing former communications VP Stella Low.

kristin huguet
In a statement, Apple said that Huguet Quayle has played an important role at Apple for over 15 years.

Kristin has played an instrumental role sharing Apple's story of incredible innovation and strong values for more than 15 years. With an extraordinary depth of experience and a long track record of principled leadership, Kristin is uniquely suited for her new role overseeing worldwide communications.

Huguet Quayle has been at Apple since 2005 and has been on Apple's communication team. She joined Apple when the company had fewer than 20,000 employees, and was responsible for leading communications during Apple's encryption fight with the FBI.

Prior to joining Apple, Huguet Quayle led PR for Sun Microsystems and worked at Burson Marsteller. Stella Low, who Huguet Quayle is replacing, was with Apple for under a year having been hired in May 2021. Prior to Low's hiring, the PR chief role has been empty since Steve Dowling departed Apple.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today approved the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which means it will now move on to the Senate floor for a vote, reports The Wall Street Journal.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
The bill, which was first introduced over the summer, would require major changes to the App Store if passed in its current incarnation. It is designed to prevent "dominant platforms" from "abusing their gatekeeper power" by favoring their own products and services over those of competitors.

It would enable sideloading, a process by which iPhone and iPad users would be able to use alternate app stores or other means to install apps on their devices outside of the ‌App Store‌. Earlier this week, Apple's Senior Director of Government Affairs Timothy Powderly said that implementing such a change would cause consumers to face "malware, ransomware, and scams."

Sideloading would "hurt competition and discourage innovation" by making it "much harder" to protect the privacy and security of personal devices in the United States, according to Apple.

Apple urged the Senate Judiciary Committee not to approve the act, but it will now advance. Several senators have suggested that they want to see changes implemented before voting in favor of the measure, so it could ultimately be toned down.

Senator Dianne Feinstein criticized the bill and said that it targets a "small number of specific companies," and Senator Alex Padilla said that it was difficult to "see the justification for a bill that regulates the behavior of only a handful of companies while allowing everyone else to continue engaging in that exact same behavior."

Other senators have complained that the bill in its current incarnation is not specific enough and could ultimately result in "collateral damage."

The bill is aimed specifically at Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, but amendments will see it also including large foreign-owned tech platforms like TikTok. The Senate Judiciary Committee will also soon hear additional bills that also target tech companies.

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.

Epic Games today kicked off its appeal of the judge's decision in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit, filing an opening brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

fortnite apple logo 2
Both Apple and ‌Epic Games‌ have decided to appeal the original ruling as neither company was satisfied with the outcome. ‌Epic Games‌ wanted the court to force Apple to support third-party App Stores, which did not happen.

‌Epic Games‌ CEO Tim Sweeney said that the ruling wasn't a "win for developers or for consumers," and ‌Epic Games‌ confirmed that it planned to appeal shortly after the verdict was delivered. In the appeal, ‌Epic Games‌ asked whether Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers had made mistakes with some of her findings, including that Apple is not a monopolist.

In the filing, ‌Epic Games‌ again argues that Apple's App Store restrictions and fees are harming developers and consumers, calling the ‌App Store‌ unnecessary.

Absent these restrictions, iPhone users and app developers could use alternative app stores, and users could get apps directly from developers. Developers could procure payment mechanisms with additional features and lower costs for their apps. Epic wants to but cannot compete with Apple to fulfill that demand by providing an iPhone app store and in-app payment solution. Epic would charge developers much less than Apple's 30% commission, increasing innovation and reducing costs.

Apple prevents Epic and other potential competitors from offering those choices. That is why Epic brought this antitrust suit. The district court's factual findings make clear that Apple's conduct is precisely what the antitrust laws prohibit.

‌Epic Games‌ argues that the court made an error when it found no Sherman Act violation against Apple, which would have painted Apple as a monopolist and would have likely resulted in a very different ruling.

The goal with the appeal is to get the judgment against Apple reversed, and much of the rest of the document goes over the original arguments from the initial lawsuit.

The district court's judgment on Epic's Sherman Act claims should be reversed and judgment of liability entered in Epic's favor with a remand to determine the appropriate injunctive remedy. The district court's judgment on Apple's breach of contract and declaratory judgment counterclaims should be reversed and judgment entered in Epic's favor

Epic's full opening brief can be read on Scribd for those who are interested in the company's anti-Apple arguments.