Apple is planning to hold its first event of 2021 on Tuesday, April 20, and it's looking like it will be an iPad-centric event. There are several iPad refreshes rumored to be coming for the iPad Pro, iPad mini, and low-cost ‌iPad‌.


We may also see the launch of the AirTags, and there are new Macs on the horizon that could be unveiled in April. Below, we've rounded up everything we could possibly see at the April event so you know what to expect when Tuesday rolls around.

iPad Pro

Refreshed ‌iPad Pro‌ models are expected to be the main event at Apple's April event. Apple will overhaul the 11 and 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models, but don't look for major external changes -- much of what's new will be internal.

Both models will feature an updated A14X chip that's just as powerful as the M1 chip in the Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.

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There may be some tweaks to the number of speaker holes and their positions, and the camera lenses may protrude less from the camera bump at the back of the tablets. The new ‌iPad Pro‌ models could support Thunderbolt, making them compatible with additional external monitors, hard drives, and peripherals in addition to adding faster data syncing speeds.

The most notable new feature aside from the A14X will be limited to the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌, which is expected to gain a mini-LED display. Mini-LED technology offers impressive wide color gamut performance, high contrast and HDR, and local dimming, which dims the backlight behind black areas of the screen while keeping the bright parts lit for blacker blacks and better contrast.

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‌Mini-LED‌ displays are expensive and difficult to manufacture, so for now, the technology is limited to Apple's highest-end ‌iPad Pro‌. Apple's manufacturing partners are having difficulties with the mini-LED displays, so it's possible the mini-LED 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ will be available in limited quantities when it launches.

More information on what's expected for the 2021 ‌iPad Pro‌ refresh can be found in our iPad Pro roundup.

Apple Pencil 3

There have been a few rumors about a third-generation Apple Pencil in the works, and it's possible that the next ‌iPad Pro‌ models will be accompanied by a refreshed ‌Apple Pencil‌.

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The third-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ looks similar to the second-generation version, but with a glossy finish. It's not clear what new features might be included if Apple does refresh the ‌Apple Pencil‌, but there have been rumors of a potential black model.

We haven't heard particularly reliable rumors about a new ‌Apple Pencil‌, so it's not really clear if we're going to see one at the April event.

More on what we know about the third-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ can be found in our roundup.

iPad mini

There's an ‌iPad mini‌ 6 in the works, but don't expect major changes. Recently leaked dummy models suggest the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 will look quite similar to its predecessor with thick bezels and a Touch ID Home button.

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It's possible these models are not quite accurate as there have been several rumors suggesting the ‌iPad mini‌ will feature a larger 8.5 to 9-inch display, which would be an upgrade from the current 7.9-inch display and would presumably be implemented through a reduction in bezel size.

Models are often designed for case makers and sometimes it doesn't matter what the front of the device looks like, so it could be that the general sizing is accurate except for the display, which could perhaps feature smaller bezels. It's also possible that there's another more significant update for the ‌iPad mini‌ in the works for the future, but it will come at some point after this more minor refresh.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple is working on an ‌iPad mini‌ with a mini-LED display, but it doesn't seem like that's a feature that's going to be included with this refresh since it's currently technology rumored only for the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌.

Japanese site Mac Otakara said the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 will have an 8.4-inch display with slimmer bezels and a design similar to the iPad Air 3, and that's perhaps the most convincing rumor we've heard because the same design is also rumored for the next low-cost ‌iPad‌, and right now, the ‌iPad mini‌ 5 and eighth-generation ‌iPad‌ are quite similar.

There were some not so believable rumors that Apple would introduce a "Pro" version of the ‌iPad mini‌ with an 8.7-inch full-screen display and chassis that's wider and shorter, but that rumor doesn't make a lot of sense, especially because it suggests a launch will come in the second half of 2021 rather than the spring launch that we're expecting.

Everything we know about the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 can be found in our dedicated iPad mini roundup.

Low-Cost iPad

The low-cost eighth-generation ‌iPad‌ is due for a refresh and while we haven't heard a lot about a new model, it would make sense for it to be updated alongside other ‌iPad‌ models at the April event.

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The ninth-generation ‌iPad‌ is expected to continue to be available at the same low price, but it could be updated with a design that resembles the third-generation ‌iPad Air‌ with a 10.5-inch display (up from 10.2-inches) and a thinner and lighter body.

It will continue to feature a Lightning port and a ‌Touch ID‌ Home button, but it will be upgraded to an A13 chip and it may also offer 4GB RAM. More on the low-cost ‌iPad‌ can be found in our iPad roundup.

AirTags

We've been waiting for Apple's ‌AirTags‌ for what feels like years now, but with Apple's Find My Network Accessory Program now available for third-party product manufacturers, Apple could be ready to finally launch the ‌AirTags‌. It's possible that to combat any monopoly accusations, Apple wanted to make sure that third-party products had the same access to the Find My app as ‌AirTags‌, which has now happened.

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For those unfamiliar with ‌AirTags‌, they're small trackers that are equipped with Bluetooth and are designed to attach to important but easily lost items like wallets, cameras, and keys. ‌AirTags‌ (and the items they're attached to) can be tracked right inside the ‌Find My‌ app alongside iPhones, iPads, and Macs, so you can keep an eye on all of your important belongings in one place.

‌AirTags‌ details have been leaking since the release of iOS 13, but we're still not sure what the ‌AirTags‌ will look like. Based on some simple images found in iOS, they could be small, circular tags with built-in Bluetooth and ultra-wideband support. Ultra-wideband, a feature first introduced in the iPhone 11 lineup, is key because iPhones that have a U1 chip will be able to track ‌AirTags‌ with much more accuracy than Bluetooth alone.

If your keys fall down the couch cushion or your wallet gets kicked under the bed, for example, the iPhone will be able to locate the exact part of the room where they're located. This kind of functionality will make ‌AirTags‌ more accurate and more useful than other Bluetooth trackers on the market.

‌AirTags‌ might attach to items with rings or adhesive, and the bottle cap-sized trackers are rumored to come with a keychain that has a leather pouch on it, which may be one of the attachment methods.

There have been mixed rumors on charging methods. One rumor has pointed towards a built-in rechargeable battery that works with an Apple Watch-style charging puck, while another suggests the ‌AirTags‌ will run on a replaceable CR2032 battery. Either way, it sounds like they'll last for a good amount of time rather than featuring a non-replaceable battery.

Anything that you lose will show up on the ‌Find My‌ map with an associated address, and when the ‌iPhone‌ is close to a lost item, you might see an augmented reality map with specific positioning that makes it easier to find the missing item. ‌AirTags‌ will also be able to play a sound when triggered in the ‌Find My‌ app.

With iOS 13, Apple introduced a feature that's designed to let Apple products communicate with one another when offline, letting a lost ‌iPhone‌ ping off of someone else's ‌iPhone‌ it comes into contact with even without a cellular or WiFi connection. This function will come to ‌AirTags‌ as well, letting millions of iPhones and Apple devices all around the world track lost items.

For more on what to expect from ‌AirTags‌, check out our AirTags guide.

iMacs

The iMac is expected to get a total design overhaul in 2021, with Apple introducing redesigned models with slimmer bezels and a much smaller chin. One of the new iMacs is expected to be around 23 to 24 inches in size and could be a replacement for the 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌, while the other is expected to be larger than the current 27-inch model.

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Rumors suggest that the new ‌iMac‌ models will look similar to the Pro Display XDR monitor that Apple released in 2019, and that display has an ‌iMac‌ like design but with no bottom area and narrower side bezels. There is a possibility that Apple will make the refreshed ‌iMac‌ available in a range of colors like silver, space gray, green, sky blue, and rose gold, which happen to be the colors of the fourth-generation ‌iPad Air‌.

Alongside of the new design, Apple will introduce updated and much faster Apple silicon chips with as many as 32 high-performance cores and 16 and 32-core GPU graphics options.

We don't know when the new iMacs are coming out, so the April event is a possibility, but it's equally likely we won't see these new machines until the summer or the fall.

Everything we know about the rumored 2021 iMacs can be found in our iMac roundup.

New Spring iPhone Cases and Apple Watch Bands

Product launches often include ‌iPhone‌ cases and Apple Watch bands in new colors, and the spring event will be no exception. We've seen leaked iPhone cases in colors that include Cantaloupe, Amethyst, Pistachio, and Capri Blue, so we're expecting those colors at a minimum, plus we've also seen images featuring cases in sky blue, mustard yellow, and red.

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Apple often matches ‌iPhone‌ case colors to Apple Watch bands, so expect to see silicone band options in those same shades.

MagSafe Battery Pack

Apple is designing a MagSafe-compatible battery pack for the iPhone 12, and it's possible that it could be announced or previewed at the April event, though it's definitely not guaranteed or even rumored.

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Hints of a battery pack were first found in the iOS 14.5 beta, but Bloomberg says that it's still in development and Apple has heat issues to work out, so it might not be ready to go.

Some of the prototypes that have been tested have featured a white rubber exterior, but beyond that, we don't know what the MagSafe battery pack might look like. It could perhaps be similar to Apple's prior Smart Battery Cases, just without the case portion.

iOS 14.5 Release Date

iOS 14.5 has been in testing since February, and it's the biggest update to the iOS 14 operating system to date. Apple has not yet announced a release date for iOS 14.5, but we're on beta eight and nearing the end of the testing process.

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It's possible iOS 14.5 will be released on Apple's event day, but since we haven't had a release candidate yet, it's likely we'll get that finalized version along with an update on when iOS 14.5 will roll out.

iOS 14.5 includes a long list of new features from an option to unlock the ‌iPhone‌ with an Apple Watch while wearing a mask to dual-SIM 5G support, new emoji characters, and crowdsourced accident info in Maps. We have a full list of everything new in iOS 14.5 in our beta features article.

Other Unlikely Possibilities

Apple TV

Apple is working on a new version of the Apple TV 4K, and the refresh is highly anticipated because Apple hasn't updated the ‌Apple TV‌ since 2017.

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Rumors suggest a new ‌Apple TV‌ will feature a faster processor, more storage, and a new remote control that integrates with the ‌Find My‌ app. There have been some rumors that Apple is developing a gaming-focused version of the ‌Apple TV‌ that will support console-level games, but it's not clear if that's accurate or if that's planned for the 2021 refresh.

There have been no signs that the ‌Apple TV‌ will be coming in early 2021 or will debut at the April event, so it's likely to be a product that we're not going to see until later in the year. That said, it is a possibility since we have no info on a launch timeline.

More on what to expect from a refreshed ‌Apple TV‌ can be found in our Apple TV roundup.

MacBook Pro

Apple is working on refreshed MacBook Pro models with a new design and 14- and 16-inch size options. These new MacBook Pro models will feature slimmer bezels and a design with more ports, along with more powerful Apple silicon chips.

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We're not expecting the new MacBook Pro models until the second half of 2021 at the earliest, so don't expect to see them in April. More on what's coming to the MacBook Pro lineup can be found in our dedicated MacBook Pro guide.

AirPods 3

Earlier this year, there were rumors indicating the AirPods 3 were close to launching and could come at a spring event, but those rumors were inaccurate. Rumors of an early 2021 launch were quashed after Apple analyst ‌Ming-Chi Kuo‌ said that mass production will begin on the AirPods 3 in the third quarter of 2021, indicating a launch much later in the year.

AirPods Gen 3 Feature
‌AirPods‌ 3 aren't expected at the April event for that reason, but rumors suggest the earbuds will feature an ‌AirPods‌ Pro-like design but without the Active Noise Cancellation. If you want to know more, we have a full guide on the AirPods 3 rumors.

Apple is also working on AirPods Pro 2 with a shorter stem, but the AirPods Pro 2 are also expected to launch later in the year.

Event Coverage

Apple will live stream the April 20 event on the Apple Events website, YouTube, and in the ‌Apple TV‌ app on the ‌Apple TV‌ and other platforms.

For those unable to watch a live stream, MacRumors will provide live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.

It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces.

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While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw some leaked iPhone cases in new colors that could make an appearance at next week's event. Read on for details on these stories and more!

What to Expect From Apple's April 20 Event: New iPads, AirTags and More

Following endless rumors about if and when there would be an Apple Event this spring, a date has finally been set. Just hours after Siri leaked the news, Apple announced that it will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, with a stream available on its website and YouTube.

What to Expect April 20 Event
As with Apple's virtual events in 2020, this event will consist of a pre-recorded video with Apple executives speaking from locations around the company's Apple Park headquarters in California. Apple is widely expected to introduce new iPads at the event, including a new iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display, and there could be other surprises in store such as Apple's long-awaited AirTags item trackers or a redesigned iMac with Apple silicon.

iOS 14.5 will likely be released next week as well following over two months of beta testing. The software update is packed with new features, including the ability for iPhone users who are wearing an Apple Watch to unlock the iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask. Check out our complete overview of everything we expect to or might see at next week's event.

MacRumors will have in-depth coverage of Apple's event across our platforms, including a live blog on our website and live tweets via @MacRumorsLive on Twitter, so be sure to follow along next week!

Mini-LED iPad Pro Expected at Apple Event on April 20 as Production Ramps Up

One of the new products Apple is expected to announce at its April 20 event is an iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display, and DigiTimes this week reported that Apple supplier Ennostar will be ramping up production of Mini-LED chips for the tablet later this month.

iPad Pro Mini LED yellow
Mini-LED backlighting will reportedly be exclusive to the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with benefits including increased display brightness, improved contrast, and more compared to LCDs used in the current iPad Pro models. A new 11-inch iPad Pro is still expected, with both sizes of the tablet rumored to gain a faster A14X chip, Thunderbolt support, improved camera systems, and 5G support for cellular models.

Due to manufacturing issues, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro could ship later than the 11-inch model and be available in constrained quantities initially.

2022 iPhones Said to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera and 8K Video Recording, With No 5.4" Mini Option

While we're still several months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, the rumor mill is already looking ahead to next year.

iPhone 12 cameras
Well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week said that the 2022 iPhone lineup will consist of four models, including two higher-end 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch models and two lower-end 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch models.

Kuo said 2022 iPhones will feature significant camera upgrades, including a 48-megapixel rear lens and 8K video recording.

Notably absent from the 2022 iPhone lineup is a 5.4-inch "mini" model, which appears like it will meet the end of the line next year. That wouldn't be too surprising, as multiple reports have indicated that iPhone 12 mini sales have been lackluster relative to other iPhone 12 models since the devices launched in October. Rumors suggest there will still be an iPhone 13 mini, however, so it appears the 5.4-inch model will live on for one more year.

Apple Rumored to Adopt Under Display Face ID Starting With 2023 iPhones

Looking even farther ahead, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo offered some predictions for 2023 iPhones this week, including the introduction of under-display Face ID that would allow for a full-screen design without a notch or any holes in the display.

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID
The notch has remained unchanged since its introduction on the iPhone X in 2017, but rumors suggest that we will finally see a smaller notch on iPhone 13 models this year. Kuo said Apple will then switch to a hole-punch display design for at least some 2022 iPhones, followed by the full-screen design in 2023. Android smartphone maker ZTE demoed the first under-screen facial recognition system a few months ago, proving that the feat is technologically possible.

Kuo also expects 2023 iPhones to feature a periscope camera lens, allowing for significantly improved optical zoom that goes well beyond the current 2.5x limit on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Leaked Photos Show Spring Colors for iPhone 12 Cases

While rumors have focused on new products like a Mini-LED iPad Pro coming at Apple's event on April 20, new spring-themed colors are also expected for select iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands.

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Twitter user "Tommy Boi" recently shared a photo of some of the allegedly new iPhone 12 case colors, including Cantaloupe, Pistachio, Capri Blue, and Amethyst. The leaks have since continued, with Twitter user "Majin Bu" having shared a photo showing off three more allegedly new colors without names yet, including a sky blue, mustard yellow, and a red. The new spring colors will likely extend to Apple Watch bands such as the Sport Band and Solo Loop.

iPhone case and Apple Watch band colors are often refreshed on a seasonal basis. These latest color options will likely be added to Apple's online store for purchase following Tuesday's event.

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack.

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With a 5,000mAh capacity, the battery pack can charge an iPhone 12 mini to full, but for other iPhones, you're only going to get a partial charge. Anker says it can charge the ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro to 95 percent and the iPhone 12 Pro Max to 75 percent, so it doesn't have as much capacity as other power banks on the market, but it's still a useful charge amount when you're in a pinch.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20.

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In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that these upcoming iMacs would debut in various colors, a throwback move to the G3 ‌iMac‌.

Beyond an array of colors, Bloomberg has reported that the first major redesign of the ‌iMac‌ since 2012 will take inspiration from the Pro Display XDR, with no chin and narrower side bezels.

Apple is working on two new versions of the ‌iMac‌ to replace its existing 21.5-inch and 27-inch models. l0vetodream recently suggested that one of the new models will be bigger than the existing 27-inch ‌iMac‌.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Caution)

The 21.5-inch iMac in both its non-4K and 4K offerings is experiencing dwindling availability at Apple Stores across the United States, with shipping dates for online orders of the non-4K model slipping by at least a week.

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A vast majority of ‌Apple Stores‌ are listing the standard 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌ as unavailable for pickup. The higher-end configuration with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of Fusion Drive storage is currently unavailable for pickup entirely, but is available for delivery. Regardless of configuration, Apple lists at least five to seven business days for shipping estimates.

The higher-end 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌ with a 4K display is also experiencing a lack of availability at a few stores nationwide; however, it largely remains in stock. The larger 27-inch ‌iMac‌ remains available as normal.

Last month Apple discontinued two configurations of the standard 21.5-inch ‌iMac‌, possibly making way for new stock. Apple is rumored to be working on an all-new iMac design with a faster Apple silicon chip, but a specific release timeframe is unknown.

Next week on Tuesday, April 20, Apple will hold its "Spring Loaded" event where new iPad Pros are expected to be announced. However, whether or not the redesigned iMacs will make a debut at the event remains to be seen.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Caution)

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Activity Awards, a fun company that creates magnets designed to look like the awards that you receive for reaching Apple Watch fitness goals.

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Priced from $8.99 to $12.99, each magnet is modeled after a different award, with a wide range of options available. There are awards for meeting goals like the seven-day move, exercise, and stand requirements along with awards for special activity challenges like the heart and yoga events Apple has offered.

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There are awards for meeting new records and collections that include all the perfect week awards and awards to mark each monthly challenge in 2021. All of the awards are true to the design of Apple's awards made available in the Fitness app, and there's no mistaking them.

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Each magnet is made in the style of an enamel pin with bright colors and high-quality finishes, and we were impressed with them when we reviewed them last year. You can stick them to any magnetic surface.

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There are many people who have been inspired to work out and get fit because of the Apple Watch, and Activity Awards are an ideal self reward if you've been working hard because they serve as a physical representation of a fitness achievement to remind you what you've accomplished.

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Activity Awards also have the potential to make a great gift for someone who has put a lot of effort into working out with the Apple Watch. Many of the designs are also eye-catching and look great stuck on the refrigerator.

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We have seven Activity Awards prize packages to give out to MacRumors readers. Two winners will get to pick any six awards, two winners will get to pick any five awards, and two winners will get to pick out four awards. One grand prize winner will receive a monthly subscription that includes all 12 Perfect Month Awards and all 12 Monthly Challenge Awards for 2021, shipped out throughout the year.

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 and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. 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 (April 16) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 23. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 23 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

A new sale has hit Apple's MagSafe Duo Charger today on Amazon, now available for $112.45, down from $129.00. The MagSafe Duo includes a Lightning to USB-C cable, but not Apple's 20W USB-C Power Adapter.

magsafe duo perspective featureNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

We have seen the MagSafe Duo Charger drop to $99.99 at Best Buy in the past, but that sale has never returned after first hitting in early March. Today's offer is the first new deal we've tracked on the accessory since that time, and it's the lowest price Amazon has offered.

MagSafe Duo launched in December 2020 and offers a ‌MagSafe‌ charging puck for the ‌iPhone 12‌, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini, along with an Apple Watch charger. The ‌MagSafe‌ Duo features a foldable design for easier portability, and it ships with a USB-C to Lightning cable.

Also on sale is the regular MagSafe Charger, available for $34.00, down from $39.00. Although just $5 off, this is the best price we've tracked on the Apple first-party accessory. MagSafe maintains compatibility with Qi charging, so it can be used to wirelessly charge an iPhone 8 or later, and even AirPods.

Be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young.

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Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate.


LTPO OLED displays feature a more power efficient backplane able to turn the individual pixels on and off on the display, better preserving battery life. Young has previously said that LTPO technology is linked to 120Hz refresh rates and will need to be implemented before ProMotion can be brought to the iPhone, otherwise the 120Hz refresh rate would drain too much battery life.

At this point, multiple rumors have confirmed both LTPO technology and 120Hz refresh rates for the two Pro-level ‌iPhone 13‌ models. 120Hz ProMotion displays were rumored for the iPhone 12 models as well, but Apple did not implement them and instead saved the feature for the ‌iPhone 13‌ lineup.

Samsung will supply most of the LTPO OLED displays to Apple, with Apple also potentially sourcing displays from BOE and LG Display.

Apple has long offered 120Hz refresh rates in the iPad Pro lineup. As on the iPad, the higher refresh rate on the ‌iPhone‌ will make motion content on the screen smoother, crisper, and more responsive for tasks like reading, gaming, and more.

Related Roundup: iPhone 13

In late 2019, Apple along with Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance announced plans to develop a universal standard for smart home products, leveraging existing protocols like Apple's HomeKit, Amazon's Alexa, and Google's Weave.

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The so-called "Project Connected Home over IP" or "Project CHIP" aims to make it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with a variety of smart home platforms and voice assistants by defining a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification. The new open source standard will rely on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and Thread for device setup and connectivity.

According to a webinar hosted by the Zigbee Alliance earlier this week, highlighted by The Verge, companies participating in the project will be able to get devices certified beginning in late 2021. The standard will be available across several categories, including lights, locks, cameras, thermostats, window coverings/shades, TVs, and even smart home bridges to bring Project CHIP to older smart home products.

If the Project CHIP standard is successful, customers will have greater confidence that smart home products they purchase are compatible with a wide variety of smart home platforms and smart home products they already own.

Users may notice that a number of very old apps are receiving new App Store updates. Instead of fixing bugs or adding new features, the updates are occurring because Apple is updating developers' apps that use a legacy ‌App Store‌ code signing certificate with the latest version so that they can launch correctly in the upcoming releases of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5.

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Developers of affected apps do not need to re-sign their apps themselves, since Apple will issue the update and new signing certificate itself. Apple is issuing the updates with the What's New text "This app has been updated by Apple to use the latest Apple signing certificate."

Apple alerted developers of affected apps about the required update and its purpose, and the updates have now started rolling out to users.

The change only affects apps that have not been updated at all for several years, and therefore have an outdated code signing certificate. Apple conducted a similar wave of signing certificate updates in July last year.

The updated signing certificates will allow apps to launch as expected in iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, which are due to be released very soon.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

M1 MacBook Air and Pro deals remain solid as we enter the weekend, with multiple best-ever prices hitting both models of Apple's 2020 M1 MacBook lineup. Prices start at $949.00 for the 256GB MacBook Air and at $1,399.00 for the 256GB MacBook Pro.

discount m1 macbook pro bueNote: 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.

MacBook Air

On Amazon and B&H Photo you can get the 512GB M1 MacBook Air for $1,149.00, down from $1,249.00 [B&H Photo]. This sale is available in all colors, and it's a match of the lowest price that we've ever tracked on the 2020 512GB MacBook Air.

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

MacBook Pro

Similarly, Amazon and B&H Photo have the M1 MacBook Pro models at a discount. You can get the 256GB MacBook Pro for $1,199.00, down from $1,299.00 [B&H Photo]. This sale price is available in both Silver and Space Gray.

The 512GB MacBook Pro is on sale for $1,399.00, down from $1,499.00 [B&H Photo]. We've seen this model go down to $1,349.00 previously on Amazon, but that sale is rare, and today's price tag is still a solid discount.

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

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple has today published its 2021 Environmental Progress Report, setting out the company's ongoing efforts to reduce its impact on the environment and combat climate change.

environmental progress report 2021
Apple's goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 is central to the report. For example, Apple highlights its increasing use of recycled materials in its products and packaging, emphasis on environmentally-conscious design, and use of renewable energy, to reduce carbon emissions.

Apple explained that increasing a device's power efficiency can significantly reduce the carbon emissions a device instigates over the course of its use. For example, it mentioned that the low power-per-watt requirements of the M1 chip have reduced the overall carbon footprint of the Mac mini by as much as 34 percent.

The company addressed some of the more controversial environmental decisions that it has taken over the past year, such as removing the power adapter and EarPods from the iPhone. Apple says that this will save 861,000 metric tons of copper, tin, and zinc from being unnecessarily mined from the earth. The move allowed for thinner ‌iPhone‌ boxes, which meant that 70 percent more iPhones can now fit in every shipping pallet, reducing overall the carbon footprint of device transportation.

The report also drew attention to Apple's recent announcement of its $200 million contribution to the "Restore Fund," which will make investments in forestry projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

See the full PDF version of Apple's 2021 Environmental Progress Report for more information.

In a letter slated to be shared with artists today through the Apple Music for Artists dashboard, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has reportedly revealed that it pays music rights holders one cent per song streamed on Apple Music.

apple music
The report claims that Apple Music's payment structure is thus roughly double what Spotify pays music rights holders per stream, which averages to about one-third to one-half penny per stream, although the report cites music industry experts who say that Apple Music's payments can dip lower. Apple Music's payments come directly from the service's subscription-based revenue from customers, the report adds.

In the letter, Apple says it pays 52% of subscription revenue, or 52 cents of every dollar, to record labels and other music rights holders, according to the report. These music rights holders in turn pay artists based on their recording, publishing, and distribution agreements, so artists might not receive the entire cent per stream.

"As the discussion about streaming royalties continues, we believe it is important to share our values," Apple said in the letter, the report says. "We believe in paying every creator the same rate, that a play has a value, and that creators should never have to pay" for their music to be featured in prominent sections of the Apple Music app.

Spotify has significantly more users than Apple Music worldwide, with 155 million paying subscribers and 345 million total users as of the end of 2020. Apple Music's last known subscriber count is around 60 million, including those on a free trial, but Apple has not provided an updated figure in nearly two years now.

In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users.

important battery message iphone 11
Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are beginning to see revised battery health percentages. 9to5Mac writer Benjamin Mayo tweeted that his iPhone 11 Pro's maximum battery capacity relative to when it was new increased from 86% to 90%, for example, and tech website The 8-Bit has compiled other users' results.


In a support document, Apple said this bug with inaccurate battery health reporting does not reflect an issue with an iPhone's actual battery health, and the recalibration process should resolve the issue. Symptoms of the bug include unexpected battery drain or, in a small number of instances, reduced peak performance capability, according to Apple.

While the battery health reporting system is recalibrating, users will see an "Important Battery Message" in Settings > Battery > Battery Health, but the displayed maximum capacity percentage will not change during recalibration. When the process is complete, the new percentage will appear and the message will be removed.

In a small number of instances, recalibration might not be successful and a new battery service message will appear. If this occurs, an Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery free of charge to restore full performance and capacity, according to Apple, but the company ensures there is no safety risk posed to customers.

iOS 14.5 has been in beta testing for over two months and could be released next week. Apple will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, April 10 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, with a new iPad Pro and other announcements expected.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks.

The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an ‌Apple Pencil‌ with a glossy finish much like the first-generation model, but with the flat edge that was added on the second-generation version for magnetic charging. The design mirrors previously leaked images suggesting that Apple is returning to the glossy finish for the ‌Apple Pencil‌.

Other reports from the leaker "Uncle Pan Pan," who seemingly leaked the entire spring range of iPhone cases, have also said that Apple is actively preparing to launch the third-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌.

It is not clear what new features may be coming to the new ‌Apple Pencil‌, but it seems that upgrades may be more focused on the internals of the accessory rather than any significant external design changes. Nevertheless, it is not unreasonable to expect some added functionality over the current model to justify a new iteration of the device.

The leaked video serves as yet another indication that the launch of the third-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ is imminent and will likely be announced at the "Spring Loaded" Apple event next week alongside new iPad Pro models.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Facebook is facing calls from an international coalition of children's health advocates to abandon its plans to build a version of Instagram for kids, reports The Guardian.

Instagram Feature 1
The campaign follows news that broke in March which revealed that Facebook is developing a version of Instagram that's specifically aimed at children under 13. Instagram's current policy prohibits kids under 13 from using the platform.

In an open letter organized by the youth advocacy non-profit the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, dozens of groups, individual advocates, and researchers call on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to ditch the plan, arguing that it would put young people at risk and do more harm than good.

A growing body of research demonstrates that excessive use of digital devices and social media is harmful to adolescents. Instagram, in particular, exploits young people's fear of missing out and desire for peer approval to encourage children and teens to constantly check their devices and share photos with their followers. The platform's relentless focus on appearance, self-presentation, and branding presents challenges to adolescents’ privacy and wellbeing.

Younger children are even less developmentally equipped to deal with these challenges, as they are learning to navigate social interactions, friendships, and their inner sense of strengths and challenges during this crucial window of development. Moreover, young children are highly persuadable by algorithmic prediction of what they might click on next, and we are very concerned about how automated decision making would determine what children see and experience on a kids' Instagram platform.

The letter goes on to argue that pre-teens who have established existing Instagram accounts by lying about their date of birth are unlikely to migrate to a "babyish" version of the platform, and that the real target for a kids' version of Instagram is a much younger cohort that doesn't currently use the platform.

Last month, Congress Democrats Edward Markey, Kathy Castor, Richard Blumenthal and Lori Trahan wrote to Zuckerberg to say they had "serious concerns" about his plans to make a version of Instagram for children.

"Facebook has an obligation to ensure that any new platforms or projects targeting children put those users' welfare first, and we are skeptical that Facebook is prepared to fulfill this obligation," the lawmakers wrote.

In 2017, Facebook launched Messenger Kids, which is aimed at children between the ages of 6 and 12. Following the launch, several children's health advocates called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to discontinue the product, citing research that "excessive use of digital devices and social media is harmful to children and teens, making it very likely this new app will undermine children's healthy development."

Facebook said it had consulted multiple experts during the app's development, although a Wired report later revealed that the company had financial relationships with many of the people and organizations that advised on the product.

Microsoft has released a new Kids Mode for its popular Edge browser that allows children to discover the web in a fun way while limiting their access to only approved sites.

edge browser KM Night Mode
Aimed at pre-teens, Kids Mode can be accessed via the profile button in the toolbar, although it doesn't require a child account or a profile to use. It offers options for age ranges 5-8 and 9-12 years old.

Both ranges provide the highest level of tracking protection and use Bing's SafeSearch to filter out adult content from searches, but the 9-12 range adds a news feed to the tab with curated articles from MSN for Kids that includes subjects like science, fun facts, and animals.

Microsoft includes 70 popular kids' sites in its built-in whitelist, and parents and guardians can add more sites if they choose. If a kid tries to navigate to a site outside of that allowed list, they’ll be greeted with a friendly block page, encouraging them to either ask for permission or try navigating elsewhere.

Kids Mode features customizable themes that include Disney and Pixar wallpapers, and Microsoft believes it will be a "game-changer" for parents, with children spending more time online. Kids Mode is available in the browser's latest updates for iOS and Mac.

Firefox will soon hand over FTP requests to other applications, as Mozilla begins to phase out the browser's long-standing FTP implementation in the next stable release.

mozilla firefox banner
Mozilla announced its intention to disable support for the FTP protocol last year, but the plan was delayed because of the global health crisis.

One of the oldest network protocols still in use, FTP handles file transfers between a server to a client, but it's no longer considered a secure way of uploading and downloading resources, and there are no good reasons to prefer it over HTTPS.

FTP will be disabled by default in Firefox 88, set to be released on April 19. Come June, all code relating to FTP will be removed altogether with the release of Firefox 90.

"Most places where an extension may pass 'ftp' such as filters for proxy or webRequest should not result in an error, but the APIs will no longer handle requests of those types," wrote Mozilla add-ons manager Caitlin Neiman in a blog post.

"To help offset this removal, ftp has been added to the list of supported protocol_handlers for browser extensions. This means that extensions will be able to prompt users to launch a FTP application to handle certain links."

When Firefox 90 is released, users will need a dedicated FTP browser to access remote servers in the future. Google removed FTP support with the release of Chrome 88 in January.

Information and alleged CADs of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, shared in a video from EverythingApplePro, indicates that Apple plans to make this year's iPhone camera module significantly bigger, likely to make way for larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization.

iphone 13 pro max cads eap
According to the CADs shared in the video, the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini, Pro, and Pro Max camera module will all be a "perfect square." Dimensionally, the ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro Max camera system will protrude 0.87mm more than the current iPhone 12 Pro Max. As a result, the overall body thickness will also increase by .25mm, according to the CADs. The camera module of the ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌ will be 3.38 taller and 4.77 wider.

iphone 13 mini cads eap
For the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini, the CAD shows a diagonal camera setup for the 5.4-inch form factor ‌iPhone‌. Specific measurements from the CAD say that the camera setup will protrude 0.99mm more than the iPhone 12 mini, and be 3.06mm longer in width, and 0.14mm shorter in height. The overall ‌iPhone 13‌ mini body will be 0.26mm thicker.

Moving over to the ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro, the camera module itself will be 3.41mm taller and 4.81mm wider than the current iPhone 12 Pro. The significantly larger camera housing will include a larger LiDAR sensor, and while not mentioned in today's video, will likely include better accuracy for corners, edges, and AR. Alongside the increase in actual size, the camera system for the 13 Pro will protrude 3.65mm, compared to the 2.79mm of the current high-end ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌.

The majority of the information shared today by EverythingApplePro was echoed in a previous report this week from 91Mobiles, who failed to provide specific dimensions, but did offer a look at the larger camera setups. The CADs from EverythingApplePro also corroborate previously leaked information regarding the notch. According to the CADs, Apple will move the earpiece to the bezel of the display, making the notch smaller.

Related Roundup: iPhone 13