Apple's final set of major operating system updates for 2023 appears to be right around the corner, with iOS 17.2 and related updates likely coming next week to deliver a number of new features and improvements.

top stories 9dec2023
This week also saw rumors about forthcoming updates for the iPad lineup and the MacBook Air, as well as the iPhone 16, so read on below for all the details on these stories and more!

iOS 17.2 Will Add These 12 New Features to Your iPhone

Following over a month of beta testing, Apple is expected to release iOS 17.2 to the public next week. The software update includes many new features and changes for the iPhone, including a Journal app, spatial video recording on iPhone 15 Pro models, improvements to the Messages and Weather apps, a Favorite Songs playlist in Apple Music, and more.

New iOS 17
We've shared a list of 12 new features and changes in iOS 17.2 for those interested in learning more, but there's plenty of additional tweaks and improvements coming in the update as well.

Apple to Launch Two iPad Air and Two OLED iPad Pro Models Early Next Year

2023 is set to become the first calendar year with no new iPads released in the device's history. As a result of this hiatus, the entire iPad lineup is expected to be updated throughout 2024.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple plans to release two new iPad Air models and update the iPad Pro line with OLED displays in March 2024. The iPad mini and entry-level iPad are expected to be updated later in the year.

New M3 MacBook Air Models Expected Around March 2024

In addition to new iPad Pro and iPad Air models, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman expects updated 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models with the M3 chip to launch around March 2024.

15inch macbook air purple
Apple already released 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chip options last month. These are Apple's first chips to be manufactured with TSMC's 3nm process for faster performance.

Kuo: iPhone 16 Models to Feature Upgraded Microphone for Improved Siri AI Experience

iPhone 16 models will feature a significantly upgraded microphone with a better signal-to-noise ratio and improved water resistance, according to Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iPhone 16 Side Feature
Kuo said the upgraded microphone could indicate that Apple plans to add more generative AI capabilities to Siri as a key selling point of the iPhone 16 models, which are expected to launch in September 2024.

'All-Screen' iPhone Under-Display Camera Enters Development

Apple supplier LG Innotek has started development of an under-display camera that could pave the way for an all-screen iPhone in the future, according to a report this week from South Korea's The Elec.

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue
An all-screen iPhone would also require the TrueDepth sensors for Face ID to be moved under the display, and rumors suggest that Apple might achieve this goal starting with the iPhone 17 Pro in 2025.

iOS 17.2 Adds NameDrop-Like Feature for Sharing Boarding Passes, Movie Tickets, and More

Starting with iOS 17.2, there is a new NameDrop-like feature that allows an iPhone user to quickly share boarding passes, movie tickets, and other Wallet app passes with another iPhone user.

AirDrop 1Pass Feature 1
iOS 17.2 is currently in beta, and it is expected to be released to the public next week. The update also adds a Journal app, spatial video recording on iPhone 15 Pro models, several improvements to the Messages and Weather apps, a Favorite Songs playlist in Apple Music, and more.

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!

We're just about two weeks away from the Christmas holiday, and numerous Apple products are still available for all-time low prices this weekend, with guaranteed delivery before the 25th in many cases. This week, the best deals were focused on M3 MacBook Pros, Apple Watches, the 10th gen iPad, and a few Anker accessory sales.

Hero0008Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

MacBook Pro

m3 macbook pro red

  • What's the deal? Take up to $250 off M3 MacBook Pro
  • Where can I get it? Best Buy
  • Where can I find the original deal? Right here

Best Buy has record low prices on the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro this weekend, with prices starting at just $1,399.00 for the M3 512GB model and increasing to $1,549.00 for the M3 1TB model. These measure up to $250 off original prices on the 14-inch MacBook Pro, and they're exclusive to My Best Buy Plus/Total members, although non-members can get solid second-best prices on these notebooks.

Apple Watch

apple watch red

  • What's the deal? Take up to $100 off Apple Watch Ultra 2, Series 9, and SE
  • Where can I get it? Amazon
  • Where can I find the original deal? Right here

Note: You won't see the deal price until checkout.

Amazon introduced a collection of big discounts on Apple Watch this week, including Ultra 2, Series 9, and SE. These can net you up to $100 off select models, with the biggest discount for the Apple Watch Ultra 2 at $699.00, an all-time low price.


ipad red 2

  • What's the deal? Take $100 off 10th gen iPad
  • Where can I get it? Amazon
  • Where can I find the original deal? Right here

Black Friday prices returned for the 10th generation iPad this week, priced at $349.00 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model, down from $449.00. It's available in multiple colors on Amazon, and it can be delivered for Christmas if ordered soon.


anker red

  • What's the deal? Take up to 50% off Anker's popular charging accessories
  • Where can I get it? Anker
  • Where can I find the original deal? Right here

Anker is continuing its string of seasonal events with a new countdown to Christmas sale that has up to 50 percent off popular charging accessories. In addition to the deals on, we're also tracking a few discounts for Anker accessories on Amazon. These include wall chargers, cables, and the new Nano Power Bank with Built-In USB-C Connector for iPhone 15 devices at $20.99, down from $29.99.

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.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

The iPad lineup is getting a major overhaul in 2024, with Apple introducing two new iPad Pro models and two new iPad Air models. To go along with the new iPads, Apple plans to debut updated versions of both the Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil.

2021 Magic Keyboard Blue

Magic Keyboard

Apple is overhauling the Magic Keyboard, introducing a sturdier frame that's made from aluminum rather than the more malleable polyurethane material that the current version is crafted from.

magic keyboard yellow 1
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the aluminum design will allow an ‌iPad‌ and Magic Keyboard combo to more closely resemble one of Apple's MacBooks, which are also made from aluminum.

The frame and the area around the keyboard will be made from aluminum, while the exterior shell will have the same silicone cover material. Apple also plans to implement a larger trackpad that more closely resembles the trackpad of the MacBook to better mirror the experience of typing on and navigating on a Mac.

With Apple planning to adopt more premium materials for the Magic Keyboard, there is a chance that it could be more expensive than the current version, which is priced starting at $299.

Apple makes the Magic Keyboard in two sizes at the current time, and the accessory comes in either black or white. There hasn't been word on whether color options will change.

In 2024, the ‌iPad Air‌ is expected to come in both 10.9 and 12.9-inch sizes, while the next ‌iPad Pro‌ will be sized somewhere around 11.1 inches and 13 inches. The Magic Keyboards that Apple has in the works will likely fit both the ‌iPad Pro‌ and the ‌iPad Air‌, as the current 11-inch Magic Keyboard works for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ and the 10.9-inch ‌iPad Air‌.

Apple Pencil

While Apple introduced a USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ in November that is technically the third ‌Apple Pencil‌ to date, it is considered a lower-end, more affordable ‌Apple Pencil‌ because it lacks key features like pressure sensitivity.

black and white apple pencil feature
Apple is working on a "true" third-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ that will be a full successor to the second-generation model. There have been a few ‌Apple Pencil‌ rumors over the last three years, but it's not entirely clear what we can expect or if what we've heard is accurate at this point.

In June 2020, leaker Mr. White said that the next-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ would be available in black and white, but this rumor has not been repeated since. All ‌Apple Pencil‌ models to date have been white.

Leaker Majin Bu said in October that the ‌Apple Pencil‌ could feature interchangeable magnetic tips for different activities like drawing, painting, and technical sketches, but that rumor was in reference to the now-released USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ and it may have been inaccurate.

Apple in 2020 patented a color sensing technology that would let the ‌Apple Pencil‌ sample colors from the environment, and that would be an interesting addition, but we don't know if that functionality will make it into an ‌Apple Pencil‌.

Launch Date

The ‌iPad Air‌ and the ‌iPad Pro‌ are expected to get a refresh in early 2024, right around the March timeframe, so we could see the new Magic Keyboard and ‌Apple Pencil‌ at the same time.

Apple is expected to hold a spring event to introduce the new iPads and possibly the accessories.

Related Forum: iPad Accessories

A check signed by former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs sold for $46,063 at auction this week. Issued by "Apple Computer Company" in 1976, the $4.01 check was made out to electronics retailer RadioShack.

steve jobs check
Jobs filled out the check on July 23, 1976, which was the time that he and Steve Wozniak were working on the Apple-1 computer. The two produced approximately 200 Apple-1 machines, 50 of which were sold to The Byte Shop in July 1976 and retailed for $666.66.

The RadioShack check lists a Palo Alto address for an answering service and mail drop off point that Jobs used while Apple was being run out of his parents' garage.

RR Auction expected the check to sell for at least $25,000, but it sold for more. Apple and Steve Jobs memorabilia has been fetching higher and higher prices in recent years.

Another check signed by Steve Jobs was put up for auction this week by Sothebys, and it too could sell for upwards of $40,000. The check predates Apple's April 1, 1976 founding date as it was written on March 28, 1976. It is one of a handful of checks issued to Jobs and Wozniak ahead of when they received their custom-printed Apple Computer Company checkbook.

Apple appears to have closed the loophole that Beeper Mini used to bring iMessage to Android, putting a stop to blue bubbles from Android devices. Beeper Mini quit working earlier today, with users receiving "failed to lookup on server: lookup request timed out" error messages.

beeper mini
Beeper said on Twitter that it is investigating the issue, but Beeper CEO Eric Migicovsky told TechCrunch that "all data" suggests that Apple has in fact found a way to stop Beeper Mini from working.

Introduced on Tuesday, Beeper Mini used reverse engineered iMessage protocols and encryption, taking advantage of Apple's own iMessage servers to allow Android users to send blue bubble iMessages to iPhone users. The app supported all iMessage functionality, including read receipts, typing indicators, reactions, and more.

Beeper Mini did not require an Apple ID, a departure from other, less secure iMessage on Android apps like Sunbird. The way Beeper Mini functioned was explained in-depth in a blog post, giving Apple insight into how it worked. Beeper Mini was using reverse engineering from security researcher jjtech, who also outlined his methodology and shared a proof-of-concept iMessage implementation on Github.

The app communicated directly with Apple's iMessage servers, and registered the phone numbers of Beeper users as iMessage users to allow for blue bubble access. After Beeper Mini's launch, there was immediate speculation that Apple would shut it down, but it was not clear if Apple would be able to do so given the way that it mimicked actual iMessage users.

Apple appears to have found a way, so this could be the end of Beeper Mini. Migicovsky told TechCrunch that the company will "evaluate options" to figure out what it means for the future of the app.

Apple vice president of iPhone and Apple Watch product design Tang Tan is departing the company in a move that will lead to changes in the hardware engineering group, reports Bloomberg. Tan, who reports to Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering John Ternus, is set to leave Apple in February.

iPhone 15 General Feature Green
Tan's exit from the company will see several employees that work under Ternus and Tan receiving expanded roles. Head of ‌iPhone‌ product design Richard Dinh will take over ‌iPhone‌ development for Tan and will report directly to Ternus, while Mac hardware engineering vice president Kate Bergeron will handle Apple Watch design.

Tan also oversaw accessory design and the acoustics team that develops the AirPods, with those two groups being handed over to Matthew Costello, the former chief operating officer of Beats. Costello is in already in charge of Beats and the HomePod.

Apple employees that spoke to Bloomberg have called Tan's departure "a blow" because he is responsible for making critical decisions about the ‌iPhone‌, Apple Watch, and AirPods. His team has control over product features and design.

News of Tan's departure comes just a few days after Bloomberg reported that Steve Hotelling, an Apple hardware VP, is set to retire. Hotelling leads the camera engineering team and has worked on Face ID, Touch ID, haptic feedback, ProMotion, and other key Apple technologies.

Apple today seeded the second release candidate version of an upcoming tvOS 17.2 to developers for testing purposes, with the update coming several days after the first tvOS 17.2 RC.

Apple TV 2022 Feature Blue
Registered developers are able to download the tvOS 17.2 update by opting in to the beta through the Settings app on the Apple TV. A registered developer account is required.

tvOS updates are often minor in scale compared to other operating system updates, focusing primarily on bug fixes and smaller improvements rather than notable outward-facing changes, but tvOS 17.2 introduces an overhauled ‌Apple TV‌ app.

The app now includes a sidebar that houses content from both Apple's services and streaming services that integrate with the tvOS Watch Now feature. There are dedicated sections for Search, Watch Now, ‌Apple TV+‌, MLS Season Pass, Sports, the Store, and the Library at the top of the sidebar, along with dedicated sections for streaming services like ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, Hulu, ESPN, Discovery, Peacock, Prime Video, and more.

You can click into each streaming service to see content that's available specifically on that service, and there's also a new My TV section that replaces "My Channels."

In the prior RC, Apple began the process of sunsetting the iTunes Movies and iTunes TV Show apps. Attempting to use these apps redirects customers to the ‌Apple TV‌ app for movie and TV show purchases. In the future, Apple plans to remove these apps, leaving the ‌Apple TV‌ app as the hub for viewing and purchasing content.

Apple has also released a new release candidate for the HomePod 17.2 software. Both tvOS 17.2 and ‌HomePod‌ 17.2 are expected to be released next week alongside iOS 17.2.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

Amazon has a few big discounts on Apple Watch today, headlined by a new all-time low price on the Apple Watch Ultra 2. Many of these watches can be delivered by Christmas, with delivery dates around the middle of next week for most models.

apple watch black fridayNote: 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.

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Starting with the Apple Watch Ultra 2, Amazon has the new 2023 wearable for $699.00, down from $799.00. This is the first time we've ever tracked a $100 discount on the Apple Watch Ultra 2, and it's only available in the Green/Grey Trail Loop right now.

apple watch ultra 1 black friday

Note: You won't see the deal price until checkout.

Note that you will need to clip an on-page coupon worth $50 in order to see the final $699.00 price tag at the checkout screen. There are a few Apple Watch Ultra 2 models at $729.99 on Amazon, which is a solid second-best price.

Apple Watch Series 9

Amazon also has a few Apple Watch Series 9 devices on sale. You can get the 41mm GPS device for $309.99 in Midnight Aluminum, down from $399.00. That's an all-time low price that's even beating the sales we tracked over Black Friday.

apple watch series 9 black friday

Note: You won't see the deal price until checkout.

Only the 41mm GPS Midnight Aluminum color is available at this record low price, but you can still shop quite a few second-best prices if you prefer other colors. You'll find these at $329.99, although some may arrive after Christmas.

For 45mm GPS options, you can get two colors for $339.99, down from $429.00. These are all-time low prices that are again beating Black Friday deals, and both Midnight and Silver Aluminum are available to deliver before Christmas.

Note: You won't see the deal price until checkout.

Apple Watch SE

Finally, low prices have also returned to the Apple Watch SE. You can get the 40mm GPS model for $199.00 in multiple colors, down from $249.00. The 44mm GPS model is on sale for $229.00, down from $279.00.

Our full Deals Roundup has more information on the latest Apple-related sales and bargains.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Following the recent Apple One price hike, on this week's episode of The MacRumors Show we take a closer look at Apple's subscription bundle and each of the services within it.

Apple One is a bundle of Apple subscription services available at a lower overall price. The "Individual" plan includes iCloud+ (50GB), Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple Arcade. The "Family" plan adds 150GB of iCloud storage and the ability to share with up to five people, while the "Premier" plan adds 1.8TB of iCloud storage, Apple Fitness+, and Apple News+. The recent price rises for the bundles are as follows:

  • Individual: $16.95 per month → $19.95 per month
  • Family: $22.95 per month → $25.95 per month
  • Premier: $32.95 per month → $37.95 per month

We discuss our feelings about each of the individual services included in the bundle, looking at our personal experiences, what we like about each of them, and where they could improve. We ultimately weigh up whether Apple One is worth it and ponder what new Apple services could be on the horizon, such as Apple Books+, Apple Podcasts+, and Apple Health+.

The MacRumors Show is now on its own YouTube channel, so head over and subscribe to keep up with new episodes and clips going forward:

You can also listen to The MacRumors Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Castro, Google Podcasts, or your preferred podcasts app. You can also copy our RSS feed directly into your podcast player.

If you haven't already listened to the previous episode of The MacRumors Show, catch up for our first in-depth discussion with Kevin Nether about the rumors surrounding the iPhone 16 lineup.

Subscribe to The MacRumors Show for new episodes every week, where we discuss some of the topical news breaking here on MacRumors, often joined by interesting guests like Jared Nelson, Eli Hodapp, Luke Miani, Mike Bell, Sara Dietschy, iJustine, Jon Rettinger, Andru Edwards, Arnold Kim, Ben Sullins, Marcus Kane, Christopher Lawley, Frank McShan, David Lewis, Tyler Stalman, Jon Prosser, Sam Kohl, Quinn Nelson, John Gruber, Federico Viticci, Thomas Frank, Jonathan Morrison, Ross Young, Ian Zelbo, and Rene Ritchie.

The MacRumors Show is now on X @MacRumorsShow, so be sure to give us a follow to keep up with the podcast. You can also head over to The MacRumors Show forum thread to engage with us directly. Remember to rate and review the podcast, and let us know what subjects and guests you would like to see in the future.

Best Buy's month-long holiday sale continues this weekend with multiple all-time low prices on Apple's line of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air computers. In addition to Apple notebooks, Best Buy's event has discounts sitewide on home appliances, TVs, video games, and more.

best buy snowflakesNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

MacBook Pro

Apple's 512GB 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro is available for $1,399.00, down from $1,599.00. The prices in this article reflect final deal prices applied for My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total members. If you're not a member, you can sign up on Best Buy's website starting at $49.99/year for My Best Buy Plus.

Non-members can still purchase the notebook at a solid second-best price, which Amazon is matching. For the 512GB 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro, that means you can get it on Amazon for $1,449.00 in both Space Gray and Silver.

macbook pro best buy snow

Secondly, Best Buy has the 1TB 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro for $1,549.00, down from $1,799.00. This one is a new all-time low price at $250 off, and it's again only available for My Best Buy Plus and My Best Buy Total members.

Similar to the 512GB model, B&H Photo has the 1TB 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro at a second-best price of $1,599.00 in Space Gray. This is also the same price that you'll find on Best Buy if you aren't a My Best Buy Plus or Total member.

MacBook Air

Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Air is available for $749.99, down from $999.00. Similar to the previous sales, you'll need to be a My Best Buy Plus/Total member in order to see this deal. You'll find the same price on Amazon with the on-page coupon.

m1 macbook air red

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

Apple's Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad could finally switch from Lightning to USB-C in the spring of 2024.

mac magic keyboard
The rumor, originating from Weibo user "Instant Digital," suggests that all three of Apple's Lightning-based peripherals designed for the Mac could receive an upgrade in the spring. It is unclear if the accessories will have any changes beyond the switch to USB-C. They still look largely the same as they did when they received their last major update in October 2015, although there have been some minor revisions over the years, including a switch to braided cables, and new color options that are only available with the 24-inch iMac. Apple also released a Magic Keyboard with a Touch ID button in 2021.

While the Magic Mouse lasts around a month or longer between charges, the position of the Lightning port on the bottom of the accessory has been a point of contention in the Apple community for many years, as it prevents it from being used while charging. It is unclear if the USB-C port on the new version will be placed in a more convenient location.

Ever since Apple began transitioning from Lightning to USB-C, the port change on its peripherals has been widely anticipated. Despite rumors suggesting that the switch would occur with the release of the company's new iMacs in October, no such change occurred and all three accessories continue to sport a Lightning port for charging and pairing.

Apple's decision to leave the accessories unchanged is notable because the company has otherwise progressively been moving to USB-C. The entire iPhone 15 lineup, all latest-generation iPad models, the Siri Remote for Apple TV, second-generation AirPods Pro, and new Apple Pencil all now feature a USB-C port. Other than the three peripherals that accompany the ‌‌iMac‌‌, the only latest-generation Apple devices that still have a Lightning port are the AirPods, AirPods Max, and iPhone SE.

Spring officially runs from March to May. An update to the various "Magic" Mac accessories in this time frame would be unusual, given that the ‌iMac‌ was refreshed just five to seven months earlier, but it is not out of the question. Apple is rumored to be planning several product releases for the spring, including new iPads and Macs, and potentially its Vision Pro headset.

Instant Digital has a mixed track record in terms of revealing accurate information about Apple's plans. The source was first to report the iPhone 14's Yellow spring refresh, Spatial Video on the iPhone 15 Pro, and the Apple Watch Series 9's minor refresh, as well as the only rumor claiming that the ‌iPhone 15‌ and ‌iPhone 15‌ Plus would feature frosted back glass. However, they also have made claims about several iOS 17 features and the release of a new iPad Air in October 2023 that did not pan out.

Last month, Apple's 10th generation iPad (64GB Wi-Fi) hit a new all-time low price of $349.00 during Black Friday. Today, that deal has returned on Amazon, and you can once again get the 2022 iPad at this record low price.

ipad 2 candycanesNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

This time around, the sale is available in two colors: Blue and Pink. Amazon gives an estimated delivery date of December 15 through December 20 right now, so we're getting very close to missing out on Christmas delivery dates this season. Order now if you're trying to make that date.

Not only the entry-level model is on sale, as you can also get the 256GB Wi-Fi iPad for $499.00, down from $599.00. This one delivers by December 14 and is another all-time low price for the tablet.

If you want a cellular model, Amazon has the 64GB cellular iPad for $499.00 and the 256GB cellular iPad for $649.00, both of which are $100 off and best-ever prices.

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.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

The Threads social network from Meta is rolling out tags, which work like hashtags on other platforms but include some unique additional functions.

tags in threads
The Threads compose window includes a new # button to add a tag to your post. Unlike hashtags, a tag can be a word or a phrase (with spaces) and does not include the hash symbol, so tags fit into sentences more naturally. Tags can also use special characters.

Typing your tag performs a real-time search of existing tags that you can choose to use, or you can create your own tag. But users can tag only one topic per post to avoid tag spam. Users can click on a tag in a post to open all the posts in the search view.

Tagging a post makes it more easily discoverable in searches of the topic, although all mentions of the used keywords show up in the same search screen, whether or not the posts they are included in have also been tagged.

Currently there is no way to order searches chronologically, and Threads still lacks a trending section. Meta intends to launch Threads in the European Union this month.

Tag: Threads

Apple's AirPods Max were announced three years ago today, marking the company's first push into the high-end over-ear headphones market under its own brand name.

AirPods Max 3 Years Feature 1 Red
Rumors about Apple's work on a pair of high-end headphones, at the time believed to be called the "AirPods Studio," heated up throughout 2020. They were announced abruptly via a somewhat unexpected press release on December 8, 2020 and went on sale the same day. Orders started arriving to customers one week later on Tuesday, December 15.

The ‌AirPods Max‌ offer many popular AirPods features such as the H1 chip, easy pairing, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency, automatic switching, Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking, but in a premium over-ear design for the first time. They also offer a headband made of a flexible mesh canopy, replaceable magnetic earcups, a Digital Crown for volume control, a button for switching between ANC and Transparency, and a Smart Case for storage and to put the headphones into a low power state.

Demand for the ‌AirPods Max‌ was high immediately after launch, with shipping estimates that stretched out several months. Initial reviews of AirPods Max were favorable, applauding the headphones for being "more than enough to compete with other high-end headphones." While the recommended retail price remains at $549, the ‌AirPods Max‌ are often available with discounts of over $100.

The ‌AirPods Max‌ have also been subject to criticism since their launch, including for their price relative to rival sets of high-end over-ear headphones, the design of the Smart Case, condensation inside the earcups, poor battery life (something that was later fixed via a software update), and ANC strength being reduced over time.

While the ‌‌AirPods Max‌‌ are now three years old, the next-generation may only introduce a small number of upgrades consisting of a USB-C port, Bluetooth 5.3, and new color options.

Related Roundup: AirPods Max
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Max (Caution)
Related Forum: AirPods

The Apple Podcasts app is set to arrive on Tesla vehicles with the company's 2023 Holiday Update that rolls out next week.

Podcasts Feature
Tesla Model S, 3, X, Y, and Cybertruck owners in almost 50 countries and regions will receive the app via a free, over-the-air software update. A Premium Connectivity subscription is required to stream ‌Apple Podcasts‌ over a cellular connection.

Following the update, users will see the ‌Apple Podcasts‌ app in the Tesla's App Launcher. It can be opened on top of the map or dragged to the My Apps dock at the bottom where it will remained pinned. When opening the ‌Apple Podcasts‌ app for the first time, users must use their iPhone to scan an on-screen QR code to open a corresponding webpage and sign-in using their Apple ID.

The ‌Apple Podcasts‌ app for Tesla vehicles features the Listen Now tab, Up Next queue, Latest Episodes, Recently Played episodes, Browse tab, Top Shows, and Top Episodes, just like its counterparts on Apple devices. It also contains a user's entire podcasts library, enabling them to see the shows they follow, saved episodes, and the latest episodes from shows they follow.

Playback is synced across devices so, when the driver arrives at their destination, they can continue listening from where they left off on another Apple device. ‌Apple Podcasts‌ is also directly integrated into Tesla's search experience, allowing users to search for specific shows, people, and topics and browse relevant results.

Apple will release a new entry-level iPad in the second half of next year, according to a Taiwanese report on Apple's product development resource allocation plans.

ipad botw
Nikkei Asia reports that Apple is working with China's BYD, a key ‌iPad‌ assembler, to move new product introduction (NPI) resources to Vietnam. NPI refers to when Apple works with suppliers on the design and development of new products to ensure they can be made properly in a new manufacturing plant. Apple has not moved NPI resources to Vietnam for such a core device before.

Engineering verification for test production of the new ‌iPad‌ model will start around mid-February next year, according to the report's sources. The entry-level model, likely to be an 11th-generation ‌iPad‌, will then become available in the second half of 2024.

Starting at $449, the "‌iPad‌" is Apple's low-priced mainstream ‌iPad‌, last updated in October 2022 with a complete redesign, larger display, USB-C port, A14 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel camera, and more.

Apple was thought to be working on a new version of the low-cost ‌iPad‌, and the 11th-generation model is expected in 2024, but a more specific timeframe for its launch has not been rumored. There are no rumors about new features coming in the 11th generation model, but it is likely to get an updated processor and possibly camera upgrades.

Apple's relocated ‌iPad‌ production to Vietnam follows a trend of Apple diversifying its supply chain and reducing its reliance on China as a major production hub with decades of experience in hardware manufacturing. Apple is also sending some NPI resources for the iPhone to India.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Caution)
Related Forum: iPad

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

Safari Technology Preview Feature
‌Safari Technology Preview‌ 184 includes fixes and updates for Accessibility, CSS, HTMK, JavaScript, Media, Web Animations, Web API, Web Assembly, Web Inspector, and WebGL.

The current ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release is compatible with machines running macOS Ventura and macOS Sonoma, the latest version of macOS that Apple released in September 2023.

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

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Former Apple director of corporate law Gene Levoff was today sentenced to a fine and four years of probation for insider trading, according to Bloomberg. Levoff was facing up to two years in prison, but he will avoid time behind bars.

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Levoff's role at Apple was supposed to include ensuring that Apple employees were compliant with the company's insider trading policies, including enforcement of "blackout periods" around Apple's earnings reports, but he ended up committing the crime he was meant to police.

Due to his position, Levoff was given access to Apple's earnings results before they were made available to the public, and he used the information to buy Apple shares prior to better-than-expected results, and sell shares when there were weaker-than-expected earnings. Levoff earned around $277,000, and avoided losses of around $377,000 before he was fired by Apple in 2018.

Levoff last June pleaded guilty to six counts of securities fraud for insider trading, and his sentencing took place today. In addition to four years probation, Levoff will pay approximately $604,000.

Federal prosecutors argued that Levoff should be sent to prison for insider trading to deter other corporate executives from committing a similar crime, but the judge overseeing the case said that he didn't feel it was necessary because Levoff lost his job and will no longer be able to practice law.