The new 24-inch iMac doesn't officially launch until this Friday, May 21, but an early unboxing of the machine has been shared on YouTube.
The video from Gadget Guy is in Chinese, but it offers an up-close look at the yellow version of the iMac including how the machine and its color-matched accessories are packed in the box, how the magnetic power cord attaches to the rear of the iMac, and the Touch ID button on the Magic Keyboard.
Additional topics include a look at using the Globe key to change between keyboard languages, installing iOS apps on the M1-powered iMac, the side-oriented headphone jack, some quick benchmarks using Geekbench and Cinebench that show essentially the same performance as other M1 Macs, disk speed tests approaching 3000 MB/s for both read and write, and more.
Customers who placed early M1 iMac orders have seen their orders begin shipping ahead of Friday's targeted launch date, but we should be seeing press reviews hitting as soon as tomorrow morning.
Apple's AirPods Max headphones are equipped with a Lightning port, but it is limited to analog sources and will not natively support digital audio formats in wired mode.
Apple told The Verge that when a 24-bit/48 kHz Apple Music lossless track is played to an iPhone into the AirPods Max using a Lightning cable and a Lightning-to-3.5mm dongle, the audio is converted to analog and then re-digitized to 24-bit/48 kHz. The re-digitization is not an identical match to the source and Apple is not able to say that it's lossless audio.
Apple has confirmed that lossless audio can be listened to on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, but the higher quality audio is not available on AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max. Apple lossless is also not available on the HomePod.
Listening to lossless audio on an iOS device will require wired headphones compatible with the ALAC format, and possibly a digital to analog converter. That the $549 AirPods Max do not work with Apple lossless is sure to upset some fans, but there is debate about whether most people can even tell the difference between standard and lossless audio formats.
Though the AirPods Max headphones do not support lossless audio, they are compatible with Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, another new feature that Apple is bringing to Apple Music. Spatial Audio will allow artists to create multidimensional music that sounds like it's coming from all around you, and this feature is available on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip.
Apple fought against China's efforts to gain more control over customer data, but given China's leverage over Apple, Apple had no choice but to comply. There were initially disagreements over the digital keys that can unlock iCloud encryption. Apple wanted to keep them in the United States, while Chinese officials wanted them in China.
Ultimately, the encryption keys ended up in China, a decision that "surprised" two unnamed Apple executives who worked on the negotiations and who said that the decision could potentially endanger customer data. There is no evidence that the Chinese government has access to the data, but security experts have said that China could demand data or simply take it without asking Apple, especially given compromises in encryption key storage and the fact that a third-party company manages customer data on Apple's behalf.
"The Chinese are serial iPhone breakers," said Ross J. Anderson, a University of Cambridge cybersecurity researcher who reviewed the documents. "I'm convinced that they will have the ability to break into the servers."
In a statement, Apple told The New York Times that it "never compromised" the security of users or user data in China "or anywhere we operate." Apple says that it still controls the keys that protect the data of Chinese customers, and the China data center is using the most advanced encryption technology available, which is more advanced than what Apple uses in other countries.
Apple has also been removing apps from the App Store in China at the request of the Chinese government after China began requiring an official license to release an app. Apple told The New York Times that it has done so to comply with Chinese laws.
"These decisions are not always easy, and we may not agree with the laws that shape them," the company said. "But our priority remains creating the best user experience without violating the rules we are obligated to follow."
The New York Times' report goes into much more detail on the compromises that Apple has made in China, and it is well worth reading in full.
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Apple's website does indicate that the HomePod will support Spatial Audio, but it's unclear if this includes the HomePod mini.
Spatial Audio, based on Dolby Atmos, is an immersive three-dimensional audio format that enables musicians to mix music so it sounds like the instruments are all around you in space. On the other hand, Lossless Audio refers to audio recordings that have been compressed without any reduction in the overall quality of the audio, which can result in an improved listening experience, although the difference is not always obvious.
Apple Music will have two tiers of lossless audio, including standard "Lossless" audio up to 48kHz and "Hi-Res Lossless" audio that ranges from 48kHz to 192kHz. Apple said "Hi-Res Lossless" will require external equipment like a USB digital-to-analog converter.
Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio will be available in June for all Apple Music subscribers at no additional cost on devices running iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, and tvOS 14.6 or later, according to Apple. Presumably, there will also be a companion HomePod software update that enables Spatial Audio support in time for the feature's launch.
Spatial Audio will be available for thousands of tracks at launch, with more to be added regularly. Lossless audio will be available for 20 million tracks at launch, and this will rise to 75 million by the end of the year.
Apple is working to build a dedicated Developer Center on its Apple Park campus, Apple Fellow Phil Schiller said today during his testimony in the ongoing Epic v. Apple trial.
Schiller did not provide additional detail on the Developer Center, and it has not previously been announced by Apple, so little information is available at this time.
In the past, Apple had Developer Compatibility Labs for Mac OS X developers, and it's possible that the new Developer Center will offer similar functionality. Developer Compatibility Labs offered developers access to Apple facilities in Cupertino, California or Tokyo, Japan to test their software or hardware products with a wide range of Apple devices to ensure compatibility.
The Developer Compatibility Labs, which have since been discontinued, were priced at $99 and supported up to 10 people, with 500 different hardware configurations available.
The new Apple Park Developer Center will presumably allow developers to visit Apple Park to test apps and work with Apple engineers to fix bugs and implement new features. We've asked Apple for more information and will update when we hear back.
Today marked the kickoff of the third week of the Epic Games v. Apple trial, and this week is notable because Epic has finished with its witnesses and we're now transitioning to Apple witnesses, including notable Apple executives.
Apple Fellow and former marketing chief Phil Schiller, who is in charge of the App Store, took the stand today. Schiller will testify for up to nine hours, and will see the most questioning out of all of Apple's witnesses.
Schiller's hours of commentary will see him explaining just how the App Store works, the value of the App Store and Apple's SDKs, and why it's important that the judge side with Apple to maintain security and privacy for customers.
Questioning today started with the history of the iPhone, where Schiller made sure to say that security and privacy were the "most important" considerations when developing the iPhone. "This new computing device in your pocket means it's capable of new things," he said. "It's going to store information around our lives that we aren't used to having in our pocket."
Schiller covered how the App Store was set up from the beginning. The iPhone's software is "part of the product" that Apple creates, which is very different from Android, which is licensed to device makers. This licensing model "reduces quality" and the "speed of innovation," Schiller said in defense of Apple's setup.
Early questioning covered the transition from Apple-only apps on iPhone to third-party app support, and the security and privacy risks that Apple had to contend with. After the launch of the iPhone, Apple heard from developers that they wanted to create native apps, which Apple viewed as the first "demand for quality and security" on iPhone.
Apple has always been concerned about jailbroken apps and rogue app developers creating content without documented APIs, which could lead to "unreliable, unstable devices." He pointed out the importance of protecting users from malware to keep devices functioning. "This is your phone in your pocket that needs to work reliably," he said.
Schiller has also been speaking about Apple's App Store policy to treat developers large and small the same, and his testimony has included some interesting little tidbits. Apple wanted to charge $99 for the App Store developer program to prove that an app that's being worked on is "important" and that developers are "serious about making a quality app."
Notably, Schiller said that it costs Apple $50 million for every Worldwide Developers Conference event that it puts on annually, which was used as evidence that Apple's App Store profit margins are not as high as Epic Games has implied.
Schiller also said that 17 percent of the hundreds of thousands of games on the App Store use the freemium model, which was another interesting tidibt that was shared. 75 percent of games are free to download, and six percent require a payment.
On the topic of physical goods, Schiller said that in 2019, the App Store drove $400 billion+ in transactions like food delivery, Amazon purchases, Uber, and more, which are not subject to a 30 percent cut. According to Schiller, Apple does not take a cut of physical purchases because Apple can't guarantee they will actually arrive.
We'll undoubtedly hear additional interesting details from Schiller as his testimony continues, and later this week or early next week Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to take the stand.
Apple is working on new wire-free in-ear Beats-branded earbuds, according to images in the tvOS 14.6 and iOS 14.6 betas that were found by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser.
The Beats Studio Buds are unlike any prior Beats headphones that Apple has released as there is no ear wrap as with the Powerbeats Pro or a wire like the Powerbeats. The Beats Studio Buds are tiny in design and are similar to in-ear earbuds from companies like Samsung and Google. The images indicate multiple color options will be available, including black, white, and red, and there will be a matching oval-shaped charging case.
This small and simple design of the Beats Studio Buds appears to be similar to what we're expecting to see from the second-generation AirPods Pro. Rumors suggest that the next AirPods Pro will have a rounded, compact design that's also stemless.
Apple today announced that starting in June, Apple Music songs will be available to stream in Lossless and Hi-Resolution Lossless formats, but lossless audio won't be supported on the AirPods, AirPods Max, or AirPods Pro.
Apple's Lossless Audio is encoded as Apple Lossless Audio Codec files, with lossless quality ranging from 16-bit 44.1 kHz playback to 24-bit 48 kHz playback and Hi-Res Lossless offering 24-bit 192 kHz quality.
AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max are limited to the Bluetooth AAC codec when paired with an iPhone, and won't be able to stream Apple Music lossless files, Apple confirmed to T3.
Apple did not mention AirPods compatibility in its press release announcing the new functionality, and on its website, Apple confirms that lossless audio can be listened to on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, and T3 also says that HomePod is compatible even though it wasn't listed in Apple's announcement.
Apple's lossless audio is less compressed and offers up a more accurate version of the studio recording process, for music that sounds as it was intended by the artist. Lossless audio provides a wider dynamic range to bring out the detail and realism in music.
Hi-Res Lossless will require a USB digital to analog converter or similar equipment, but will provide the best sound experience. Listening to lossless audio on an iPhone will require wired headphones and it's possible an additional dongle will be needed to get the best sound quality. AirPods Max will also not support lossless audio over the Lightning cable, Apple told Micah Singleton.
While the AirPods, AirPods Max, and AirPods Pro do not support lossless audio, they do support Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, and by default, Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip.
With Spatial Audio support, artists will be able to create immersive experiences that provide fans with multidimensional sound and clarity.
Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio are being added to Apple Music at no charge, so both new and current subscribers will get these features for the standard $9.99 per month (individual), $4.99 per month (student), or $14.99 per month (family) pricing.
Woot today reintroduced its popular sale on Apple's AirPods Pro, marking down the headphones to $189.99, from $249.00. Woot's sale has been the most consistent around online this year, and is currently beating prices seen at Amazon and other retailers.
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.
Woot is selling the AirPods Pro in new condition, and they come with a one year Apple warranty. AirPods Pro are Apple's high-end Bluetooth headphones, offering active noise cancellation and many more features. The included charging case also supports Qi wireless charging, so you can recharge the headphones via any compatible Qi mat.
We track sales for every model of the AirPods in our Best AirPods Deals guide, so be sure to bookmark that page while you shop around for the wireless headphones. If you're on the hunt for more discounts, be sure to visit our Apple Deals roundup where we recap the best Apple-related bargains of the past week.
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming macOS Big Sur 11.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming two weeks after the release of the third macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta.
Developers can download the macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper profile from the Apple Developer Center.
The macOS Big Sur 11.4 update introduces support for new Apple Music features, including Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio.
Spatial Audio offers an immersive audio experience that makes it sound like music is coming from all around you, while Lossless Audio will provide higher-quality songs that sound exactly like they do when artists record them in the studio. Apple plans to launch these features in June.
Apple today seeded release candidate versions of iOS and iPadOS 14.6 to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week after Apple seeded the third iOS and iPadOS 14.6 updates.
iOS and iPadOS 14.6 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad.
iOS and iPadOS 14.6 add support for Apple Music features, including Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio.
Spatial Audio will provide an immersive audio experience that makes it sound like music is coming from all around you, while Lossless Audio will provide higher-quality music that sounds exactly as it does when artists create it in the studio. At launch, thousands of tracks will feature Spatial Audio support, and more than 20,000 songs will support Lossless Audio. By the end of the year, 75 million songs will support it.
For AirTags, the beta adds a new feature that allows an email address to be entered as a contact method for Lost Mode instead of a phone number. In iOS 14.5, there is no option to use an email, with Apple only allowing for a phone number.
iOS 14.6 will see the debut of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, which were first introduced at Apple's April event. With Podcasts subscriptions, Podcasts users can sign up to subscribe to their favorite podcasters, unlocking ad-free listening, bonus episodes, and other perks.
The update also includes new features for marking all Podcasts episodes as played, removing downloads, and recovering episodes, all of which are designed to address complaints that surfaced after the release of the updated Podcasts app in iOS 14.5.
iOS 14.6 lays the groundwork for Apple Card Family, a feature that Apple introduced at its April event. Apple Card Family allows spouses to share a single Apple Card account, with each person serving as a co-owner to build credit.
Apple Card Family also lets parents share an Apple Card with their children for making purchases, with optional spending limits and parental controls to help children learn smart financial habits. All spending by the family is tracked with a single monthly bill, and up to five people over 13 can be added to an Apple Card account for sharing purposes.
Apple's full release notes for the update are below:
Apple Card Family - Apple Card can be shared with up to five people, including anyone 13 years or older in your Family Sharing group - Apple Card Family adds support for families to track expenses, manage spending with optional limits and controls, and build credit together
Podcasts - Subscription support for channels and individual shows
AirTag and Find My - Lost mode option to add an email address instead of a phone number for AirTag and Find My network accessories - AirTag will show the partially masked phone number of the owner when tapped with an NFC-capable device
Accessibility - Voice Control users can unlock their iPhone for the first time after a restart using only their voice
This release also fixes the following issues: - Unlock with Apple Watch may not work after using Lock iPhone on Apple Watch - Reminders may appear as blank lines - Call blocking extensions may not appear in Settings - Bluetooth devices could sometimes disconnect or send audio to a different device during an active call - iPhone may experience reduced performance during startup
iOS 14.6 is expected to see a May release, with the Apple Music features coming in June.
Apple today seeded a release candidate version of an upcoming tvOS 14.6 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming one week after Apple seeded the third beta.
Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the tvOS 14.5 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode.
Other than new releases, tvOS updates are often minor in scale, focusing on under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements rather than major outward-facing changes. The tvOS 14.6 update adds support for new Apple Music features, including Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio.
Spatial Audio offers an immersive audio experience that makes it sound like music is coming from all around you, while Lossless Audio will provide higher-quality songs that sound exactly like they do when artists record them in the studio.
At launch in June, thousands of tracks will feature Spatial Audio support, and more than 20,000 songs will support Lossless Audio. By the end of the year, 75 million songs will support it.
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming watchOS 7.5 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta approximately a week after the release of the third beta.
To install the watchOS 7.5 beta, developers need to download the proper configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the watchOS 7.5 beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update.
To update to the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone.
watchOS 7.5 introduces support for subscription content in the Podcasts app, plus support for Apple Card Family features. In Malaysia and Peru, it enables the ECG app and irregular heart rate rhythm notifications.
The update also includes support for the new Pride faces that are designed to accompany the 2021 Pride bands that Apple released today. There are two new "Pride Woven" faces to choose from in an animated rectangle or circle design.
New 2021 Apple Watch Pride watch face style ‘Circular’ of the new Woven Pride watch face. The watch face in Apple’s PR only included the ‘Full Screen’ style. ⭕️ pic.twitter.com/oDAUdoykY2
— Steve Moser (@SteveMoser) May 17, 2021
One interesting tidbit shared in the announcement is that, for the first time, Apple will be including a scannable App Clip code on the packaging of each new Pride band, providing a convenient way for customers to immediately access the new Pride Woven watch face when available. (App Clip codes require an iPhone running iOS 14.3 or later.)
Introduced in iOS 14, an App Clip is a small part of an app that's discoverable at the moment it's needed, even if the app is not installed.
Priced at $99, the Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop weaves together the original rainbow colors with those drawn from various Pride flags, according to Apple. Or, for $49, the Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop features a nylon weave with reflective rainbow yarn inspired by the Pride flag, which Apple says is designed to shimmer when light strikes it.
The Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 4 or later, while the Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is compatible with Apple Watch Series 3 or later. The new Pride bands are available to order today from Apple.com and the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations beginning May 25.
The updated guide reveals a few interesting tidbits about the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, including that it is compatible with the built-in Touch ID sensor on recent MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models:
Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and built-in Touch ID sensors are compatible. If a finger that was enrolled on a built-in Mac Touch ID sensor is presented on a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, the Secure Enclave in the Mac successfully processes the match—and vice versa.
This compatibility means that, from a technical standpoint, there is nothing stopping Apple from selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As we previously reported, the new Magic Keyboard is fully compatible with all M1 Macs, but Apple is currently only offering the keyboard with the new iMac unveiled last month.
Apple has made some previously iMac-exclusive accessories available to purchase separately at a later date in the past. When the iMac Pro launched in December 2017, for example, Space Gray versions of the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad were only available with the iMac Pro, but became available separately in March 2018.
The updated guide also reveals that the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID can be securely paired with only one Mac at a time, but a Mac can maintain secure pairings with up to five different Magic Keyboard with Touch ID keyboards.
To enroll a new fingerprint, the user must physically confirm their intent to use a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID with the Mac, according to Apple. Physical intent is confirmed by pressing twice on the Mac power button when indicated by the user interface, or by successfully matching a fingerprint that had previously been enrolled with the Mac.
As for unlocking an iPhone with an Apple Watch on iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 or later, the following criteria must be met, according to Apple:
• iPhone must have been unlocked using another method at least once after the associated Apple Watch was placed on wrist and unlocked. • Sensors must be able to detect that the nose and mouth are covered. • Distance measured must be 2–3 meters or less • Apple Watch must not be in bedtime mode. • Apple Watch or iPhone must have been unlocked recently, or Apple Watch must have experienced physical motion indicating that the wearer is active (for example, not asleep). • iPhone must have been unlocked at least once in the past 6.5 hours. • iPhone must be in a state where Face ID is allowed to perform a device unlock.
Apple said thousands of tracks will be available in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at no additional cost, with more added regularly. Already available on the AirPods Pro, Apple describes Spatial Audio as an immersive three-dimensional audio format that enables musicians to mix music so it sounds like the instruments are all around you in space.
Apple Music subscribers will be able to listen to Dolby Atmos tracks using any headphones, according to Apple. When listening with AirPods or Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, Dolby Atmos music plays back automatically when available for a song. For other headphones, users can go to Settings > Music > Audio and set Dolby Atmos to Always On.
Users will also be able to hear Dolby Atmos music using the built‑in speakers on a compatible iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, or HomePod, or by connecting an Apple TV 4K to a compatible TV or audiovisual receiver.
Apple Music is also getting two tiers of lossless audio at no additional cost, with more than 20 million tracks set to support the feature at launch and 75 million songs available by the end of the year. The standard "Lossless" tier refers to lossless audio up to 48kHz, while "Hi-Res Lossless" refers to lossless audio from 48kHz to 192kHz. "Hi-Res Lossless" will require a digital-to-analog converter, according to Apple.
Users will be able to turn on lossless audio in Settings > Music > Audio Quality.
iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, macOS 11.4, and tvOS 14.6 are currently in beta. An exact launch date for the new Apple Music features was not announced.
Google is facing internal concerns that implementing an Android equivalent of Apple's ATT or App Tracking Transparency framework, which offers iOS and iPadOS users the ability to opt-out of tracking across apps and websites, will hurt its more than $130 billion annual spending budget for ads, according to a new report from The Information.
According to the report that cites sources within Google, the internet giant is "accelerating work to limit how app developers can track the 2.5 billion people who use phones powered by its Android software." Apple previewed ATT at its Worldwide Developers Conference last year, but it only recently shipped to iOS and iPadOS users.
At every WWDC, the company unveils new versions of its operating systems, including new privacy features and protection for users. Tomorrow, Google will be holding Google I/O, where similarly, it will preview a new version of Android and reveal other new technologies. However, according to the report, Google plans to take a "baby step" approach to new privacy features during its conference, only previewing minor new changes.
Google will take a baby step regarding phone privacy this week during its annual developer conference. There it plans to preview coming privacy controls that will make it easier for smartphone users to reach a settings screen where they can restrict apps’ abilities to access the phone’s camera, location and other permissions, according to a person who has seen the planned presentation.
Google's resistance to implementing an Android version of ATT could be fueled by backlash Apple faced in the run-up and even after the new framework was enacted. Major companies such as Facebook voiced concerns that the new framework presented a threat to its ad business, given that most users are likely to opt out of tracking. Apple continuously responded to concerns by echoing its firm belief that giving users a choice on whether they wish to be tracked or not is the right thing to do.
The controversial social media app Parler has today returned to the App Store, several months after Apple suspended it for breach of App Store rules.
Parler was removed from the App Store in January because Apple said that it failed to take "adequate measures to address the proliferation" of "threats to people's safety."
According to the Washington Post, Parler has now implemented a moderation algorithm that can detect and hide "hate," allowing the app to meet App Store rules. Users who access Parler elsewhere, such as in a browser, will be able to see a less moderated version of the platform.
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