iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1 can be downloaded from the Apple Developer center or over the air once the proper developer profile has been installed. There's no word on why Apple decided to use iOS 13.4.5 as the beta update number instead of iOS 13.4.1.
We don't yet know what's included in the iOS 13.4.5 update, but it likely focuses on bug fixes for issues unable to be addressed in the iOS 13.4 update.
Specifically, it could address an issue with Personal Hotspot that prevents it from working properly for some users, or a privacy bug with VPNs. Apple said it would fix both of these problem in upcoming updates.
Once we download the update and take a look at what's new, we'll update this article.
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after releasing macOS Catalina 10.15.4 with Screen Time Communication Limits, iCloud Folder Sharing, and real-time Apple Music lyrics.
The new macOS Catalina beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper software from the Developer Center.
We don't know what improvements the fifth update to macOS Catalina will bring, but it likely includes performance improvements, security updates, and fixes for bugs that weren't able to be addressed in the macOS Catalina 10.15.4 update.
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 13.4.5 update to developers, one week after releasing tvOS 13.4.
Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models, the new tvOS 13.4.5 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV via a profile that's installed using Xcode.
tvOS updates are typically minor in scale, focusing on under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements rather than major outward-facing changes. There's no word yet on what's included in tvOS 13.4.5.
Though we don't often know what's new in tvOS during the beta testing process, we let MacRumors readers know when new updates are available so those who are developers can download it upon release.
Publix has indicated that it is rolling out support for contactless payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay, as noted by the blog Appleosophy.
The supermarket chain informed employees of this news in a bulletin shared on Reddit, noting that its payment terminals will be updated with the contactless payments symbol where accepted. Publix has over 1,200 stores in the Southeastern U.S., with nearly two thirds of those locations in Florida, but it is unclear how many will accept Apple Pay.
Apple Pay support arrives at an opportune time, allowing shoppers to avoid using the frequently touched PIN pad when paying for groceries.
Logitech-owned company Streamlabs, a provider of live streaming tools, has today expanded its software to the Mac.
Streamlabs OBS is available on macOS in an open beta capacity, allowing live streamers on Mac to access customization tools for creating professional broadcasts, engaging with audiences, and monetizing content on Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Facebook, and other streaming platforms.
According to Streamlabs, its goal was to build powerful streaming software for Mac that blends a user-friendly interface with an innovative feature set.
Streamers will have access to tools like the Auto Optimizer, which analyzes internet speed and computer hardware for the best setting recommendations for each person's setup. There's also an import settings option for letting live streamers transfer settings from other broadcasting software.
Monetization options include customizable donation alerts, widgets to improve viewer participation, more than 250 free overlay themes, integrated chat, and a merchandise store. There are also a number of other features such as video encoding optimization for reducing CPU usage, selective recording, and moderation tools.
More information on Streamlabs for Mac can be found on the Streamlabs website.
TSMC is "on track" to begin volume production of 5nm chips in April, despite "recent speculation" indicating that the foundry had been requested by Apple to defer production of A14 processors by one or two quarters, according to DigiTimes.
A paywalled preview of the report claims that TSMC's manufacturing lines remain fully booked for 5nm chips amid the current pandemic.
TSMC has been Apple's exclusive supplier of A-series chips since 2016, and its chips have gradually become smaller as it continues to refine its manufacturing process, benefitting performance, battery life, and thermal management on iPhones.
Apple plans to introduce four high-end iPhone 12 models with 5G support in the fall, including one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch model, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, there have been conflicting reports on exactly when Apple will unveil its latest iPhones.
Apple Music is now offering its subscribers a few playlists aimed at working from home, focusing on schoolwork, and generally lifting spirits for everyone during the current pandemic. These new "Come Together" playlists can be found on the Browse tab of Apple Music in the carousel up top.
Apple has made the following playlists: "Isolation Icebreakers," "Work From Home Hustle," "Virtual Hugs," "High-School-Strumentals," "Living Room Dance Party," "Astral Escape," and "Social Distancing Social Club." Apple said that it built each of these playlists to suit a variety of situations and "to help provide comfort, motivation, focus - or just something to dance to and get your mind off all of this."
The "Come Together" featured section also includes a few pre-existing playlists on Apple Music. There's an area for workout playlists, relaxing, family fun, popular "Essentials" playlists, revisiting old favorite albums, music videos, studying, acoustic music, unwinding, and catching up with some Beats 1 Radio shows.
The new section of Apple Music has launched a few days after Apple began rolling out the "Get Up! Mix" to users, which provides a weekly selection of uplifting and energetic songs. Last week, Apple also introduced a new way to alert users of album launches, with notifications placed directly within the Library tab of Apple Music.
Apple Configurator 2 has been updated to version 2.12 with several improvements, including support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro.
The release notes:
• Added support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro
• Allow access to websites using TLS 1.0 and 1.1
• VPN: Configure Provider Designated Requirement for Custom SSL connection type
• VPN: Configure network options for Cisco, Juniper, Pulse, F5, SonicWall, Aruba, CheckPoint, and Custom SSL connection types
• Send all traffic through VPN
• Exclude local networks
Apple Configurator 2 makes it easier to deploy iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV devices in an institution or enterprise. The app can be used to configure large numbers of devices with specific settings, apps, and data for students, employees, or customers.
Apple Configurator 2 is free on the Mac App Store.
Apple plans to release the first beta of iOS 13.4.1 with bug fixes in the coming days, according to Israeli website The Verifier, which has a mixed track record.
The report also suggests that there will not be an iOS 13.5 update this year, which would not be too surprising, as Apple has never released a point-five iOS version like iOS 12.5 or iOS 11.5 in previous years. Instead, Apple apparently has three more bug fix updates planned for iOS 13, with a max version number of iOS 13.4.4 expected.
The Verifier has shared several Apple rumors this month, claiming that the next Apple Watch will support fingerprint authentication and that a Kids Mode is coming to tvOS. In the past, the website has shared some accurate rumors, but it was also wrong about Group FaceTime launching in iOS 11 and Control Center expanding to the Mac.
Keep in mind that due to the ongoing pandemic, Apple's software plans and timelines are likely more subject to change than usual.
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon.
We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February, but now it appears new case options are showing up at retailers like Best Buy.
A source who emailed MacRumors shared a photo said to be from a Best Buy employee featuring an Urban Armor Gear case designed for the new 4.7-inch 2020 iPhone. There's no specific name on the case box, which is not unusual for cases made before a new device launches.
We can't confirm the source of the case, but this does indeed look like one of the cases that manufacturers like Target and Best Buy get ahead of when a new iPhone debuts, as case manufacturers send these cases to retail stores early to be one of the first manufacturers to have a case available to customers at launch.
According to the source who sent us the photo, Best Buy employees have been instructed not to merchandise these cases until Sunday, April 5. Whether that is a date reflective of a timeline when we might see the new low-cost iPhone launch remains to be seen.
That date would perhaps suggest a low-cost iPhone launch as early as this week, but so far, we haven't heard concrete details on when the new iPhone is coming out. Since we will be having no events in the near future, the low-cost iPhone could be announced at any point via a press release.
The new iPhone is said to be identical to the iPhone 8 but with an A13 chip inside, featuring a 4.7-inch display, a single-lens rear camera, thick top and bottom bezels, and a Touch ID Home button. It is expected to come in space gray, silver, and red color options, and we're expecting 64 and 128GB storage capacities.
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models.
The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to past Brydge keyboards, attaching to the iPad Pro using a set of hinges that allow the iPad Pro's angle to be adjusted to best suit each person's needs. It's made entirely from aluminum and matches the iPad Pro well, and at the bottom, there's a new trackpad.
Brydge keyboards always offer a great typing experience, and this year's Pro+ is no exception. In fact, we thought it was even better than last year's version because there's no need to press as hard for a key to register.
There are dedicated iPad controls on the keyboard, including a Siri button and options for accessing the Home screen, locking the iPad, adjusting brightness, controlling media playback, and more. As with other Brydge keyboards, this one connects via Bluetooth and lasts for quite awhile before needing to be recharged.
When it comes to the trackpad, it's clear that it was designed before the release of iOS 13.4 because compared to official trackpad support with the Magic Trackpad 2, it's a bit lacking. Scrolling is smooth and works well through a standard two finger gesture, but we did run into a bug with continuous scrolling at the top or bottom of a page.
While you can use any two finger gesture with the trackpad on the Brydge Pro+, it doesn't really work with three finger gestures. You can add some three finger button presses with Accessibility functionality, but it's not as convenient as the three finger gesture support on the Magic Trackpad 2.
We did a full overview of how the Magic Trackpad 2 works with the iPad Pro in a prior video, and this is what we can expect to see when Apple's own Magic Keyboard comes out in May.
In the future, Brydge may be able to work with Apple to add more functionality to its keyboard, as Apple has worked with Logitech on some custom keyboards with trackpad support. Even without the full functionality of the Apple-designed trackpad, the Brydge Pro+ has a lot to offer.
Apple's Magic Keyboard is priced starting at $300 for the 11-inch model, while the Brydge Pro+ is priced starting at $199, so it's certainly a more affordable option. For those interested, more on the Brydge Pro+ can be found on Brydge's website.
Apple's upcoming watchOS 7 update is expected to include a Kids Mode that's aimed at children who have an Apple Watch for activity tracking purposes, with parents able to control and manage their children's devices.
While adults see Activity Rings for active calories burned (red), minutes exercised (green), and hours with standing movement (blue), an Apple Watch in Kids Mode will not focus on calories burned.
Instead, the red Activity Ring will track move time alongside exercise time and hours spent with some stand activity. So, for example, the Apple Watch will track a movement goal of 90 minutes instead of 500 active calories burned, providing children with a healthy target to achieve that does not focus on body image.
The new Kids Mode, which will include parental controls limiting access to certain Apple Watch features during school hours, is expected to be included in the watchOS 7 and iOS 14 updates.
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg.
Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been previously rumored for release in 2020. Apple's software updates are also on track and are expected to be debuted in June at a digital version of WWDC.
Along with this information about Apple's product development plans, Bloomberg highlights many of the same telecommuting challenges shared earlier this morning in a report from The Information. Though work is progressing on new products, there have been some minor hardware development setbacks.
Some employees who do work that requires hands-on development are still being allowed into Apple's Silicon Valley offices, but in other parts of the world like Italy, Germany, and Asia, stricter work restrictions have prevented that from happening. Apple has put a heavy emphasis on confidentiality while employees are working from home, letting them know that it's "critical to keep confidential work confidential."
Apple has been allowing engineers to take home early versions of future devices since March, which is normally not allowed, and there is heavy oversight.
Taking home a future product requires the green light from the vice president of an employee's organization. That list of staff with future devices at their homes also is sometimes reviewed by Apple's senior vice presidents, the management team run by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.
Apple has also "clamped down" on which employees are able to take home future versions of new software, including iOS 14, which has already leaked. Employees working on iOS 14 and other software updates must also receive approval from Apple's executive team.
Employees at Apple Park, Infinite Loop, and other Bay Area offices could be working at home through at least May 1, as the Bay Area is expected to extend its shelter in place mandate. When other offices around the world reopen will depend on local guidelines.
Apple employees in Silicon Valley and other parts of the world have been working from home since early March, and a new report from The Information outlines how one of the most secretive companies conducts business when its workforce is telecommuting, based on interviews with a dozen current and former employees.
Apple normally requires all of its employees to work in-office and places a high value on in-person meetings and communications. While people are working from home, Apple encourages them to use Apple-designed tools like FaceTime and iCloud Drive for security purposes, but tools like Slack, WebEx, and Box are permitted as Apple employees have not found it easy to work with Apple's own apps due to their consumer rather than enterprise focus.
Working on hardware has proven difficult because it typically requires touching and viewing parts in person. Apple engineers often travel to China when gearing up to produce new devices to finalize component designs and other particulars, which hasn't been possible, leaving them to rely on grainy photographs to make hardware decisions, with Apple closely controlling who in the factory gets access to the cameras, which have no wireless functionality and sealed removable storage.
Given the time differences in China, it can take many hours of back and forth emailing for Apple's teams to receive the photos they need from the factories in China, which has led to some Bay Area employees working on a "night shift" so there's someone available to respond to suppliers in China during their workday.
Employees who rely on prototypes for their work have been unable to access Apple's secure labs, which has caused prototyping work to grind to a halt.
Employees can no longer use Apple's 3-D printers and milling machines, nor can they conduct stress and drop tests of their designs. One employee said prototyping in Cupertino had mostly stopped. At first, Apple didn't have a protocol in place for employees to bring components from future products home with them, but more recently it has established a process for doing so in some instances, two employees said.
Other employees have been able to replicate what they do at home, accessing confidential documents using corporate VPNs or accessing desktops remotely. Apple has reportedly sent regular updates advising employees on how best to work at home, and is allowing them to expense office supplies and bring items home from their workplaces. Apple has also attempted to maintain security protocols for work from home employees, such as making sure other people in the household can't see their screens.
Despite the difficulties Apple employees have to overcome to work remotely, one Apple supplier that The Information spoke to said that there are "no signs" of slowdown. Apple has continued to place a steady stream of orders for components, and has increased orders for iPhone 11 and 11 Pro orders.
The Information's full article has much more detail on how Apple employees are handling working at home and is well worth a read.
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines.
According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps:
- Adobe After Effects (Beta)
- Adobe Media Encocder (Beta)
- Adobe Premiere (Beta)
- Adobe Premiere Rush (Beta)
The Apple ProRes RAW for Windows software can be downloaded from Apple's support document.
Anker began a new sale on Amazon today, centered around items that are meant to help anyone working from home. This includes power strips, wall adapters, wireless chargers, and more. There are also a few products from Anker's smart home product brand Eufy, like the EufyCam and Eufy RoboVac.
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.
This sale includes Anker's PowerPort Strip at $19.99, down from $22.99, and a few wall chargers that provide numerous ports for anyone that uses multiple devices in their workflow. Wall charger prices start at $20.99 for the PowerPort III Duo, which provides two USB-C ports. There's also the PowerPort I with four USB-A ports and one USB-C port at $32.99, down from $49.99.
Anker's Work From Home Sale
- PowerPort III Duo USB-C - $20.99, down from $27.99
- PowerPort Atom III - $21.99, down from $34.99
- PowerPort I 5-Port - $32.99 with on-page coupon, down from $49.99
- PowerPort Atom 2 - $33.99 with on-page coupon, down from $54.99
Eufy Home Products
- Eufy Security Cam 2C (Single Cam) - $84.99, down from $99.99
- Eufy Security Cam 2C System - $195.97, down from $239.99
- Eufy RoboVac 11S - $159.99, down from $219.99
- Eufy RoboVac 30C Max - $209.99, down from $299.99
- PowerPort Strip 3 - $19.99 with on-page coupon, down from $22.99
- Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker - $21.99, down from $27.99
- PowerExpand USB-C Hub - $29.69 with on-page coupon, down from $32.99
Head to our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more discounts on Apple products and related accessories.
The paywalled report claims that Plessey has instead reached a licensing deal with Facebook, which in a statement said it wants to build "a glasses form factor that lets devices melt away so we can be more present with our friends, families, and surroundings":
Facebook has struck a deal to buy all of the augmented reality displays made by British firm Plessey, as the social network looks to build AR glasses capable of overlaying virtual objects onto the real world. The deal could give Facebook an edge over Apple, which recently looked at buying Plessey, one of the few makers of AR displays, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Apple has expressed a profound interest in augmented reality in recent years, making a major push into the space with frameworks like ARKit and RealityKit, creative tools like Reality Composer and Reality Converter, and hardware like the LiDAR Scanner on the new iPad Pro and likely some iPhone 12 models.
Multiple reports have indicated that Apple plans to release a combination AR/VR headset by 2021 or 2022, followed by a sleeker pair of AR glasses in 2022 or 2023. Last week, MacRumors obtained a photo of a generic HTC Vive Focus-like controller that Apple appears to be using to test its AR/VR headset.
Apple's description of the series:
"All Jason and Nikki want is a baby. But it's the one thing they just can't have. Starring Rafe Spall and Esther Smith, "Trying" is a new comedy series about growing up, settling down and finding someone to love.
The series, which hails from BBC Studios and is written by Andy Wolton, will be the first original series from the U.K. to debut on Apple TV+.
Apple TV+ is accessible through Apple's TV app on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, as well as online at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. Apple says its TV app will be available on select Sony and VIZIO smart TVs later this year.