iOS 14 Available Now

The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald.

South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the ‌iPhone 12‌ lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea on October 25, considerably later than its September 20 launch in the U.S.

South Korea was the first to commercialize 5G telecommunications in April 2019, and as of July this year, the country already has almost eight million 5G users. South Korea is expected to be a key market for Apple since the ‌iPhone 12‌ lineup will be the first with 5G, so this may explain the earlier launch. Crucially, the ‌iPhone 12‌ Pro Max may be the first smartphone available in South Korea to support the high-frequency 28GHz band for 5G communications, making it considerably more appealing to those with access to the frequency.

Apple is also likely looking to expand its South Korean market share, where it currently owns just 19 percent of the market. Samsung dominates the South Korean smartphone market at 67 percent. An earlier launch, in alignment with other key regions such as the United Kingdom and Germany, may help the company gain more of a foothold in South Korea, and indicates how the country is increasingly important to Apple.

The sources added that South Korean telecoms operators are preparing for the launch of ‌iPhone 12‌ models in late October or early November. Rumors now seem to be pointing toward the ‌iPhone 12‌ being unveiled on Tuesday, October 13, followed by a launch on October 23.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

For the last few years, Amazon has been hosting an epic Prime Day sale that offers up deals and discounts on a huge range of products, and like 2019, this year's Prime Day will actually take place over two days, kicking off at midnight on October 13.


As usual, Amazon already has some early Prime Day deals on its website exclusively for Prime subscribers, with early discounts on Alexa devices and other Amazon products. Prime Day itself will include discounts on everything from tech products to home products, clothing, toys, and more.

Prime Day 2020 is a little later in the year than usual because of the ongoing global health crisis, but when it starts, Amazon's website will be filled with lightning deals that kick off at different times over the course of the day, with the available products rotating over time. Lightning deals last for as long as stock lasts, and some of the better deals can go quick.

Last year, we did a live blog covering all of the best Apple-related deals available during Amazon's Prime Day, and we plan to do similar coverage this year so make sure to tune in to MacRumors on October 13 and 14 for help sorting through all of the sales.

Prime Day sales are designed for Amazon Prime members, and a Prime membership is required to get the deals, although non-Prime customers can get access to the deals by signing up for a free 14-day Prime trial in October and then choosing not to continue to paid membership at the end of the trial period.

Prime Day discounts will be available to Amazon customers in the United States, U.K., U.A.E, Spain, Singapore, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Australia, and – participating for the first time this year – Turkey and Brazil.

Scribble is one of the most notable new features in iPadOS 14, and in a new interview with Popular Mechanics, Apple SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi has revealed more details about how it was developed and how it works on iPad.


With Scribble in ‌iPadOS 14‌, you can use an ‌Apple Pencil‌ to write in any text field, and the written text is then converted to typed text. The feature means you can use the ‌‌Apple Pencil‌‌ without having to swap over to a keyboard when you need to compose an email, write a Calendar event, visit a URL, send an iMessage, or conduct a search.

Federighi explained to Popular Mechanics how Scribble's early development relied on extensive data gathering involving analyzing how people from all over the world write things down.

"When it comes to understanding [handwriting] strokes, we do data-gathering. We find people all over the world, and have them write things," says Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple. "We give them a Pencil, and we have them write fast, we have them write slow, write at a tilt. All of this variation."

That methodology is distinct from the comparatively simple approach of scanning and analyzing existing handwriting. Federighi says that for Apple's tech, static examples weren't enough. They needed to see the strokes that formed each letter. "If you understand the strokes and how the strokes went down, that can be used to disambiguate what was being written."

The job of integrating stroke-based recognition with character and word prediction is all done on-device, something that machine learning and raw processing power makes possible, explained Apple's software chief.

"It's gotta be happening in real time, right now, on the device that you're holding," Federighi says. "Which means that the computational power of the device has to be such that it can do that level of processing locally."

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Thanks to Scribble and ‌iPadOS 14‌, an ‌iPad‌‌ can be used almost entirely with touch and tools, and there's little need to type. If you're someone who prefers writing by hand, ‌Scribble‌ introduces tools that only enhance the experience. Check out the hands-on video above to learn see Scribble in action.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

A federal judge on Sunday granted TikTok a preliminary injunction that temporarily halts an order from the Trump Administration that would have banned new app downloads in the United States beginning on Monday, reports The New York Times.


Should the order have gone into effect, Apple and Google could have been forced to remove TikTok from their respective app stores, and users who already have the app installed would no longer receive updates.

TikTok can avoid a potential ban by selling its United States business to an American-based company. Last week, it was announced that TikTok would be partnering with Oracle and Walmart to form TikTok Global, a new company that would be headquartered in the United States. Under the initial proposal, Oracle would be responsible for storing user data and could also review TikTok's current source code and that of any subsequent updates.

"We're pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban," a spokesman for TikTok said on Sunday after the judge's decision. "We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees. At the same time, we will also maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the president gave his preliminary approval to last weekend, into an agreement."

President Trump signed an executive order in August giving ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, 90 days to sell its U.S. TikTok business due to possible national security threats from the China-based company. The preliminary injunction granted to TikTok, however, does not block additional restrictions set to be imposed in November that would render the app unusable in the country.

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.

Tag: TikTok

One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.

App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds.

Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via Safari, and once done with the experience, the full app download is offered to the user. Early examples given by Apple included take-out order apps, scooter rental apps, or apps to set up an appliance for the first time.

Game developer Firi Games has implemented an App Clip for their space shooter game Phoenix 2. The App Clip can be played by visiting their Phoenix 2 website on an ‌iOS 14‌ device and tapping "Play" on the banner that appears on the top of the screen.

The introduction of Phoenix 2 is also available as an App Clip. App Clips are a new ‌iOS 14‌ feature that allows you to run a part of an app without any download from the ‌App Store‌. Try it yourself by tapping the 'play' button in the banner at the top of this website (requires Safari on ‌iOS 14‌; the banner does not show if you have Phoenix 2 already installed).

After a few moments of downloading the assets, the introduction level to Phoenix 2 appears playable as a native App Clip on your device.

The demo plays just like a native app but without any app installation. Once done with the demo, a link to the ‌App Store‌ is available to the full game [Free]. TouchArcade wrote about the experience and thought the "frictionless experience" for game demos held a lot of potential for ‌App Store‌ game discovery.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Microsoft tested a Windows XP theme that closely resembled Mac OS X's Aqua GUI, reports The Verge.

A recent Windows XP source code leak has revealed various unreleased themes that Microsoft developed in 2000, at a time when Microsoft was in heated competition with Apple regarding desktop operating systems.

One of the themes, codenamed "Candy," mirrors the design of Apple's Aqua interface, which was first introduced at the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2000. Aqua was an iconic Apple design and gave a sense of depth through the use of shadow and translucency, metallic textures, and rounded liquid-like assets.

The theme was described as a "Whistler skin with eye candy," with "Whistler" being the codename for Windows XP, and was marked as "for internal use only." Though the theme was never finished, fundamental aspects such as the Windows Start button and various UI elements were a close match for Aqua.

Most striking is the replication of Mac OS X's rounded water-like buttons. Windows developers reportedly used the theme as a placeholder to build the theme engine for Windows XP.

The theme was ultimately rejected in favor of the blue and green Luna theme for the final version of Windows XP released in 2001. The source code leak reveals another instance of the influence of the Mac on Windows behind the scenes.

Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch.


On top of all of that, we heard some more about Apple's efforts to adopted advanced mini-LED display technology in future products, and we even saw new iOS 14.0.1 and macOS Catalina 10.15.7 releases to fix some rather annoying bugs. Read on below for details on these stories and more!

iOS 14: A Quick Tour of All the New Features

iOS 14 has been out for a little over a week, and there's a lot to learn about the latest major update for Apple's mobile devices, so check out our quick tour of everything that's new. We've got some handy videos and a full list of all of our in-depth feature guides and useful how-tos.


The iOS 14 feature that has generated the most interest by far is widgets, with some users using them to not only add useful information to their Home Screens but also undertake extreme customization. We came up with our own take on the fad, envisioning what an "Aqua" interface from the early days of Mac OS X might look like on an iPhone, so check out our video on that.

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Apple is expected to launch four new phones in its upcoming iPhone 12 family, and while there's been some general consensus that the higher-end models will get the typical iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max names, there's been debate about how Apple will differentiate the two lower-end flagship devices. Some new rumors and alleged Apple case packaging stickers suggest that the smallest version may be called "iPhone 12 mini."


Rumors from several carrier partners and others suggest that Apple could hold another virtual event on Tuesday, October 13 to introduce the new iPhones, but we'll have to see if that pans out. UK carrier EE recently told employees in an internal broadcast that the new iPhones will indeed support 5G and that their debut is just "days away," with Apple's services chief Eddy Cue also making a video appearance during the event.

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Apple's two new Apple Watch models have started making their way into buyers' hands, so we took a quick look at the new models and shared some early impressions. We've also put together some in-depth comparisons of the various models to help you decide which one is right for you.


The biggest topic of discussion about the new Apple Watch Series 6 has been the new Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop band options, which come in numerous sizes for a perfect fit without the need for clasps or buckles.

Unfortunately, many buyers have found that the bands they ordered don't quite fit right and have needed to exchange for different sizes. Incredibly, Apple was initially requiring that users return not just the band but also the associated watch for online orders if they wished to get a new band size, with replacements not expected to ship for up to two months in some cases.

Fortunately, it looks like Apple has just updated its policies and is now making it much easier to return only the ill-fitting band and receive a new one in a different size. If you've yet to place an order, make sure to check out our detailed guide to accurately measuring your band size to hopefully avoid the hassle of a return entirely.

Mini-LED Displays to Debut in Apple's Next iPad Pro

We've been hearing for some time that Apple is looking to use mini-LED display technology in a number of its upcoming products, offering a number of advantages over traditional LED displays.


According to noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's supply chain partners are gearing up to start producing mini-LED display chips in the fourth quarter of this year, with the initial batches going into a new iPad Pro.

Kuo also says that Apple is accelerating its adoption of mini-LED technology, as a secondary supplier looks to be ahead of schedule in moving toward full-scale production. That will provide more capacity and lower prices for Apple as it looks to expand mini-LED across many of its iPad and Mac products.

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

While one of the new features in iOS 14 is the ability to set select third-party apps as default apps for mail and browser functions, the initial release had a bug where the defaults would revert to Apple's stock Mail and Safari apps after every reboot. A new iOS 14.0.1 update released this week fixes that issue as well as a few others.


On the Mac side, Apple has released macOS Catalina 10.15.7, which fixes a few annoying issues including one where Macs wouldn't automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks, and a graphics problem experienced by owners of the new 27-inch iMac with Radeon Pro 5700 XT.

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!

Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning.


The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud service, which it has been clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft's servers, while the Xbox streaming option requires users to connect their iPhones to their Xbox consoles.


As The Verge points out, the new Xbox streaming option is similar to the PS4 Remote Play app that Sony offers on Apple's iPhones and iPads. Remote Play lets users play their PS4 games over WiFi on an Apple device.


Xbox's streaming feature will work outside of the home, like the PlayStation version, allowing Xbox owners to access and play their games from their Xbox when not at home. The updated Xbox app is being tested by TestFlight members at the current time and will likely see a public launch soon.


As for xCloud, Microsoft has a path to bring the feature to the iPhone and the iPad after recent App Store policy changes, but introducing xCloud on Apple devices will require Microsoft to upload each individual game to Apple's App Store for review purposes.

Microsoft has said that this is a "bad experience for customers" who want to "jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs" and not be forced to "download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud."

Project xCloud launched on September 15 as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and while it is available on Android devices, it is not available to iOS users.

(Thanks, Art!)

With the unveiling of Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, Apple introduced two new styles of band called the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. Compatible with Apple Watch Series 4 and later watches, these new bands have no clasp, buckle or other fastener. Instead, they use a single strap of material with a stretchy design that allows them to be pulled on and off your wrist over your hand.


As a consequence of the "Solo" design, Apple offers customers 18 different size options to find a perfect fit. The company also provides a printable tool that can be printed out and used to measure your size before buying one of the bands. The tool is the easiest way to check which size is right for you, but you do still need to take care when using it.

Many MacRumors readers have found that their band orders don't quite fit. A lengthy discussion thread shows many users ending up with the wrong size loop, due to measuring errors, in-between sizing, and fit preference. The experience was also complicated by the fact that returns were difficult. Fortunately, Apple does now allow you to return just the band if needed, but it's still an avoidable hassle, which is why we're providing this guide.


If you don't have a printer handy, Apple recommends that you measure your wrist the old-school way, with a flexible tape measure, or using paper and a ruler. We've included separate sets of instructions to help you out with that, too.

How to Measure Your Wrist Using Apple's Printable Tool

If you don't have a tape measure available, you can use Apple's printable tool to determine your Solo Loop size. Let's take you through the procedure step by step.

  1. At Apple's order page for Apple Watch or individual bands, select either the Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop option.
  2. Under "Band Size," select Start your band measurement.

  3. Tap or click Download the printable tool.

  4. In your printer options, make sure the page is set to print at 100% and NOT scaled to fit.

  5. Print the printable tool.
  6. Place a credit card in the sizing area on the printed page to make sure it has been printed at the correct size.

  7. Take a pair of scissors and carefully cut out the wrist sizing tool.
  8. Place the case shape on your wrist where you would normally have the watch face, then wrap the paper tool tightly around your wrist. (If it helps, use some tape to hold the wider part in place.) Make sure the tool feels snug and doesn't slide around.

  9. The number the arrows point to is your band size. If the arrows point to a line, choose the smaller of the two numbers closest to the line.

Tool Tip: Use a Sport Band to Convert Your Size

Daring Fireball's John Gruber discovered that the holes on Apple's Sport Bands correspond exactly to the new Solo Loop sizes. That means if you have a Sport Band, you can use a simple conversion to work out your Solo Loop size.

A demonstration of aligning the holes of a 40mm Apple Watch Sport Band with Apple's printed tool, via Daring Fireball.

For example, if you have a 38mm or 40mm Watch and use the smaller Sport Band on the innermost hole, that converts to a size 1 for the Solo Loop. At the other extreme, if you have a 42mm or 44mm Watch and use the larger Sport Band on the outermost hole, you need to order your Solo Loop in size 12.

How to Measure Your Wrist Using a Tape Measure

If you don't have a printer available to use Apple's printable tool, you can use a common household measuring tape instead. Here's what you need to do to make sure you order the right size Solo Loop for your wrist.

  1. Tightly wrap the tape measure around where you usually wear your watch. Make sure it's not loose but remains comfortable.

  2. Make a note of the measurement.
  3. At the order page for an Apple Watch or individual bands, select either the Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop option.
  4. Under "Band Size," select Start your band measurement.

  5. Tap or click the Household objects tab in the size guide window that appears.

  6. Click or tap Got it. What's next?
  7. Enter the measurement you noted down: You can enter it in inches and fractions of an inch, or in centimeters.

  8. Click or tap Get your band size.
  9. When your band size options appear, select the recommended size, then tap or click Continue.

How to Measure Your Wrist With a Ruler, Paper, and Pen

If you can't print out Apple's measuring tool and you don't have a tape measure, there's still a way you can work out your band size. All you need is some paper and scissors, a ruler, and a pen or pencil.

  1. Using the scissors, cut out a narrow strip of paper about one-half inch wide using the length of the paper.

  2. Wrap the strip of paper around your wrist, but not too tightly. It should feel comfortable but not loose.
  3. Using pen or pencil, mark the point on the paper where the end of the strip overlaps the other end of the strip. (If it helps, use some tape to hold the paper in place.)

  4. Lay the strip of paper on a flat surface and use the ruler to measure the distance between the end and the part you marked. Note the exact measurement.

  5. At Apple's order page for an Apple Watch or individual bands, select either the Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop option.
  6. Under "Band Size," select Start your band measurement.

  7. Tap or click the Household objects tab in the size guide window that appears.

  8. Click or tap Got it. What's next?
  9. Enter the measurement you noted down: You can enter it in inches and fractions of an inch, or in centimeters.

  10. Click or tap Get your band size.
  11. When your band size options appear, select the recommended size, then tap or click Continue.

Returning an Ill-Fitting Solo Loop Band

Despite your best efforts at measuring your wrist, you may still find yourself unhappy with the fit of the Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop band you ordered. All is not lost, however, as Apple is now allowing bands to be returned without the need to return the entire watch, which wasn't the case previously.


Apple will do an in-store band swap for anyone who got an ill-fitting band, but if you don't live near a store or your local store isn't open at this time, you can contact Apple and request a swap. Apple's online support staff are not able to initiate this return process, however, so you'll need to call them. Once you've done that, send back the poorly-fitting band and you'll be sent a new one when the old one is received.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with ColorWare to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a set of custom-painted AirPods Pro, available in dozens of different color combinations.


If you're unfamiliar with ColorWare, it's a customization company that's been offering custom painted devices and electronics for years now. ColorWare provides unique painting options and skins for everything from consoles to iPhones to earbuds like the ‌AirPods Pro‌.

Custom-colored ‌AirPods Pro‌ can be purchased from ColorWare for $389 for just the AirPods themselves, or $439 for the ‌AirPods Pro‌ and the Wireless Charging Case together. There's a premium for ordering from ColorWare, but it's the only way to get ‌AirPods Pro‌ in a color other than white because Apple still doesn't offer alternate color options.


ColorWare has both solid and metallic color options, with gloss and matte finishes to top it off. You can get the traditional black, gold, or silver colors to match Apple's devices, but there are also bright shades in every color of the rainbow. If you want ‌AirPods Pro‌ in yellow, orange, teal, green, deep purple, blue, pink, or one of dozens of other colors, ColorWare is the best option.


ColorWare even has a new Illusion finish for the ‌AirPods Pro‌ in multi-chrome colors that shift depending on the lighting in the room.


Each AirPod Pro can be custom painted in the same color as the case or you can order the case and the earbuds all in different colors, so there are endless color combinations to choose from.


Because ColorWare has been offering custom painted devices since 1998, the company has perfected the painting process. ColorWare uses a multi-step coating process that includes a primer, the application of a proprietary color formula, and an X2 liquid plastic coating that protects the color. ColorWare's custom painting is guaranteed for 12 months or 24 months with the purchase of an additional warranty.


ColorWare uses standard ‌AirPods Pro‌ from Apple and paints them, which leaves the full ‌AirPods Pro‌ functionality intact. There's an H1 chip for quick and easy pairing, silicone tips for a tight in-ear fit, Active Noise Cancellation, and spatial audio.


We have a set of custom painted ‌AirPods Pro‌ and Wireless Charging case to give away, with the winner able to choose the color and finish of their choice. To enter to win our ‌giveaway‌, 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.

ColorWare
The contest will run from today (September 25) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on October 2. The winner will be chosen randomly on October 2 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.

Apple has paid in the high $40 millions for the rights to upcoming movie "Cherry," reports Deadline. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who were responsible for "Avengers: Endgame," "Cherry" is a crime drama that's an adaptation of a novel by Nico Walker.


In "Cherry," actor Tom Holland (known for his role as Spider-Man) plays a Cleveland man named Walker who joins the army after being spurned by the love of his life. He becomes an Army medic in Iraq and is traumatized by the experience, suffering from PTSD.

To treat his PTSD, Walker is treated with Oxycontin, and that eventually leads to a heroin addiction. To pay for the drugs, Walker begins robbing banks.

The $40 million+ price tag for "Cherry" marks one of the biggest film deals of the year, and it provides Apple with an awards season contender. Apple's plan is to qualify with the Academy and then premiere "Cherry" in early 2021 on Apple TV+.

Today we're tracking a group of solid discounts on Apple's line of Mac computers, ranging from the latest models of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (13-inch and 16-inch models), and the 27-inch Retina iMac.

Note: 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've collected the sales in the lists below, all of which can be found on Amazon. These include lowest ever prices on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro at $1,599.99, ongoing solid deals on the 16-inch MacBook Pro at $2,499.00, and new markdowns on the 27-inch iMac at $1,699.93.

MacBook Air (2020)

  • 256GB - $899.99, down from $999.00 ($99 off)
  • 512GB - $1,199.00, down from $1,299.00 ($100 off)

13-Inch MacBook Pro (2020)

16-Inch MacBook Pro (2019)

27-Inch iMac (2020)

21.5-Inch iMac (2020)

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

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple has decided to temporarily waive the 30 percent cut that it takes from in-app purchases for Facebook's in-app paid event feature, reports CNBC. Facebook had accused Apple of hurting small businesses by collecting fees from the new feature, which lets users attend online classes and events through Facebook.


The policy update will pertain to ClassPass and Airbnb, two companies that are also offering new digital experiences and classes within their apps.

An Apple spokesperson said that Apple reversed its decision on the Facebook event fees due to the pandemic and a desire to give companies more time to adapt to digital business models. Apple says that Facebook will not have to pay fees through the end of the year, with Apple to resume taking its standard 30 percent cut in 2021.

Despite the reprieve, Facebook is unhappy that the waived fees are not applicable to gaming businesses that want to sell online access to their events, but Apple says that this is because gaming businesses have always been digital only and have not been affected by the global health crisis.

"This is a difficult time for small businesses and creators, which is why we are not collecting any fees from paid online events while communities remain closed for the pandemic," Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborne said in a statement. "Apple has agreed to provide a brief, three-month respite after which struggling businesses will have to, yet again, pay Apple the full 30% App Store tax."

With the in-app purchase Facebook fees waived for now, small business owners who set up online classes or events using the Facebook Paid Events feature in the Facebook app on iPhone or iPad will be able to keep the all of the money customers pay to attend.

Facebook plans to waive its own fees for the Paid Events feature through at least August 2021, even though Apple will begin collecting fees again after December 31.

Apple and Facebook have been feuding over this issue since August, and Apple has struggled with applying ‌App Store‌ rules to businesses that are transitioning from real-world events to online events. ClassPass and Airbnb, for example, used to provide access to real-world events where Apple did not collect fees, but the virtual classes and experiences the two apps now offer are subject to Apple's standard 30 percent commission.

Until today's decision to temporarily waive fees through the end of the year, Apple had refused to grant special permission to ClassPass, Facebook, Airbnb, and other similar apps in the name of fairness to other developers who are subject to the fees. Apple in a statement today reiterated its stance: "The ‌App Store‌ provides a great business opportunity for all developers, who use it to reach half a billion visitors each week across 175 countries. To ensure every developer can create and grow a successful business, Apple maintains a clear, consistent set of guidelines that apply equally to everyone."

Facebook is now actively seeking an option to make its Messenger app the default app for messages on iPhones, reports The Information.

Emboldened by changes in iOS 14 that allow users to set a default email and browser app of their choice, Facebook believes it now has a more persuasive case to argue for a similar change for messaging apps. Last year, Apple also allowed Siri to send messages through other apps.

"We feel people should be able to choose different messaging apps and the default on their phone," said Facebook's vice president Stan Chudnovsky, who is in charge of its Messenger app. "Generally, everything is moving this direction anyway."

Chudnovksy revealed that Facebook has repeatedly asked Apple to consider adding an option for users to select a messaging app of their choice.

"For any other developer in the [messaging] space, it isn't really a level playing field" on Apple’s platform, Chudnovsky stated. If Apple mirrored Android's approach, he said, it would "allow us to compete more fairly where iOS is dominant."

When asked why Apple is unwilling to cede the ability to set a different default messaging app, Chudnovsky said his "main guess is that messaging drives hardware sales."

If Apple did consider such a change, it would require additional changes to allow SMS texts to be received via third-party apps, which is not currently possible on iOS, and more invasive alterations for setting up third-party apps with SMS verification codes. The move would require more substantial and invasive changes to the way iOS functions than the ability to change default browser, for example.

Facebook is intending to merge Instagram and Messenger chats, and the platform is increasingly central to Facebook's business.

Facebook appears to be joining other companies such as Epic Games in a willingness to risk provoking Apple for the chance of potential reward. Yesterday, a range of companies, including Epic Games, Spotify, and Tile, have formed a new organization called the "Coalition for App Fairness," in an effort to highlight developer issues with Apple.

"Users deserve freedom of choice and option to decide the music, mail, chat, or any other necessary app that suits them best," said a spokeswoman for the organization, mirroring Facebook's sentiments.

Facebook has recently heavily criticized Apple for restrictions on gaming apps, ad targeting, and in-app purchases. Last month, Facebook warned advertisers that Apple's upcoming anti-tracking tools could cause a more than 50 percent drop in Audience Network publisher revenue due to the removal of personalization from ads within apps. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also referred to Apple's App Store as monopolistic and harmful to customers. Apple "blocks innovation, blocks competition," and uses the ‌App Store‌ to "charge monopoly rents," he said.

This new development represents yet another front upon which Apple is facing pressure regarding antitrust and monopoly issues.

We've partnered up with OWC this season to offer our readers an exclusive offer on the retailer's popular USB-C docks for Mac computers. Below you'll find these deals, along with a few other sales going on at OWC in September.

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

Our exclusive sale is knocking $10 off the OWC USB-C Dock in Space Gray and Silver. There are a few versions of this accessory, including one with 10 ports and a Mini DisplayPort for $94.98, down from $149.99.

You can also get the USB-C Dock with 10 ports and a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI 4K adapter for $108.99, down from $149.99. Both of these accessories have had the MacRumors exclusive savings automatically applied, so simply add them to your cart and check out to net the deals (limit two per customer).

EXTRA $10 OFF
OWC USB-C Dock For Macs

In total, the USB-C Dock has two USB-C ports, four standard USB ports, one Mini DisplayPort, one gigabit Ethernet port, one 3.5mm audio port, and one SD card reader. Our exclusive offer with OWC will run through the end of October.

Other deals at OWC include savings of $10 when you buy two USB-C Travel Docks, totaling $99.98, down from $109.98. The Travel Dock includes ports for USB-C, two standard USB ports, one SD card reader, and one HDMI port.

Lastly, OWC has a collection of bundle deals for shoppers. The first lets you purchase an OWC miniStack external hard drive and bundle in select hard drives to save up to $10 off your purchase. You can also save on Parallels Desktop Pro Edition when purchasing alongside select OWC hard drives. All of these offers can be found at the top of this page.

OWC also has its Drive Dock USB-C with a special combo deal that offers $10 off qualifying hard drives. The Drive Dock offers a compact solution to access bare SATA drives, offering two drive bays that accomodate 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives, priced at $89.75, down from $119.99.

Keep up with all of this week's best discounts on Apple products and related accessories in our dedicated Apple Deals roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Tag: OWC

Google plans to introduce updated Play Store guidelines that emphasize the requirement for most apps to use the company's billing system for in-app purchases as early as next week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


While this requirement has existed for years, the report notes that some major developers like Netflix, Spotify, and Tinder have circumvented the rule by prompting customers to pay directly using a credit card, rather than their Play Store account, bypassing Google's 30 percent commission for in-app purchases.

In a statement, Google said that it is always working with developers to clarify its Play Store policies, but it did not elaborate on any forthcoming changes:

As an open platform, Android allows multiple app stores. In fact, most Android devices come with at least two stores right out of the box, and users can install others. For developers who choose to distribute their apps on Google Play, our policy has always required them to use Play's billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods. We are always working with our partners to clarify these policies and ensure they are applied equitably and reasonably.

The report claims that when Google's updated guidelines are implemented, major developers currently not in compliance will be given time to update their apps and are unlikely to face immediate removal from the Play Store.

Google and Apple have faced increasing scrutiny over the way the companies run the Play Store and App Store, respectively. Apple in particular has been accused of anticompetitive behavior by Spotify and others, and the company remains in a high-profile legal battle with Fortnite creator Epic Games over in-app purchases.

B&H Photo today has a new sale offering the AirPods Pro bundled with AppleCare+ at $229.95. In total, you'd normally pay $278 for this bundle (AirPods Pro at $249 and AppleCare+ at $29), so this is a savings of $48.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with B&H Photo. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

AppleCare+ for the AirPods Pro extends your warranty coverage by two years from the purchase date. It includes repair and express replacement to the headphones, battery, and USB charging cable, as well as up to two incidents of accidental damage at $29 each.

$48 OFF
AirPods Pro w/ AppleCare+ for $229.95

This sale will only last this weekend, so be sure to head to B&H Photo soon if you're interested. The retailer is ready to ship the AirPods Pro today, with delivery estimated for next week when choosing free standard shipping to most areas in the United States.

While we've seen a bundle of the AirPods Pro and AppleCare+ down to as low as $218 at Amazon, these bundle sales are rarer than the sales on the AirPods Pro alone, so B&H Photo's sale is still a solid offer. If you just want the AirPods Pro, your best bet right now is still on Amazon, where the Bluetooth headphones are priced at $219.00, down from $249.00.

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.

Related Roundups: Apple Deals, AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees.

Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text.

The video described the packaging alone as an "unboxing experience unlike anything you would expect for a reuseable face mask." It shows that each box contains five individually sealed masks with adapters to join the ear loops for a more secure fit. The packaging for each mask is printed with instructions for use, encouraging users to wash their hands, open the mask, and then adjust the straps for a comfortable fit.

Unbox Therapy observed that the mask, made of three pieces of high-quality fabric, feels better than conventional masks. The mask has a design with a triangle shape to accommodate the nose without fogging glasses, a rounded section for the chin, and adjustable strings for the ears.

Although Apple did not provide a medical classification for air filtration capability, the video's informal testing suggested that the mask is effective at blocking airflow out of a user's mouth. "It feels very secure. As far as breathing is concerned, I'd say it's fairly comparable (to a surgical mask) but I definitely feel more sealed off than a standard surgical mask," Unbox Therapy remarked.

The mask comes in a range of sizes and can be washed up to five times, with up to eight hours of use possible before a wash. As the mask is intended for corporate and retail employees, it is not available to the general public.

The video also reviewed ClearMask, a consumer option designed to overcome the barriers to visual communication that come with conventional opaque masks. Apple is also using ClearMask, in addition to their in-house design, for retail employees.

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