MacRumors

Apple faced significant supply constraints across all devices during the first fiscal quarter of 2022, but product supplies are expected to improve in the March quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal ahead of today's earnings call.

ipad mini 3

"We saw supply constraints across most of our products," Mr. Cook said in an interview Thursday as the company released its results. "We're forecasting that we will be less [constrained] in March than we were in the December quarter."

Cook said that Apple expects to see year-over-year revenue growth in the March quarter, but he stopped short of providing details about when he thinks the supply chain issues facing the tech industry will ease.

"We're not projecting that," Mr. Cook said. "You need to know a lot of things to be able to make an accurate forecast there, like how are other people's demands in addition to what kind of supply we can squeeze out."

Even with the supply issues that Apple faced in the holiday quarter, the company today announced record revenue earnings of $123.9 billion. The iPhone and Mac set all-time quarterly revenue records as did wearables (Apple Watch and AirPods) and Services.

Tags: earnings, AAPL

Apple today reported its earnings results for the fourth quarter of 2021, which corresponds with the first quarter of the 2022 fiscal year. Overall, Apple reported revenue of $123.9 billion, which is an all-time quarterly record for the company.

apple lineup except the ipad is sad
On a category-by-category basis, Apple also set all-time quarterly revenue records for the iPhone, Mac, Wearables, and Services:

  • iPhone: $71.6 billion, up from $65.5 billion in the year-ago quarter
  • Mac: $10.8 billion, up from $8.6 billion in the year-ago quarter
  • Wearables, Home, and Accessories: $14.7 billion, up from $12.9 billion in the year-ago quarter
  • Services: $19.5 billion, up from $15.7 billion in the year-ago quarter

Wearables, Home, and Accessories includes the Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod mini, iPod touch, AirPods, Beats headphones, accessories, and more. Services includes the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+, iCloud, and more.

iPad revenue was $7.2 billion for the quarter, down from $8.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. Speaking on Apple's earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said iPad supply was "significantly" constrained during the quarter. Cook forecasted that the supply constraints for the iPad and other products will begin to improve during the March quarter.

"This quarter's record results were made possible by our most innovative lineup of products and services ever," said Cook. "We are gratified to see the response from customers around the world at a time when staying connected has never been more important. We are doing all we can to help build a better world — making progress toward our goal of becoming carbon neutral across our supply chain and products by 2030, and pushing forward with our work in education and racial equity and justice."

For more coverage of Apple's earnings results, follow along with our live blog.

Tags: earnings, AAPL

Apple today announced financial results for the first fiscal quarter of 2022, which corresponds to the fourth calendar quarter of 2021.

aapl 1q22 line
For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $123.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $34.6 billion, or $2.10 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $111.4 billion and net quarterly profit of $28.8 billion, or $1.68 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Despite headwinds from chip shortages and other supply chain issues that Apple had previously said would hamper its ability to meet customer demand during the quarter, Apple's revenue and earnings for the quarter were all-time records. Apple's iPhone, Mac, Wearables, and Services segments also recorded all-time highs for revenue.

Gross margin for the quarter was 43.8 percent, compared to 39.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. Apple also declared a quarterly dividend payment of $0.22 per share, payable on February 10 to shareholders of record as of February 7.

“This quarter’s record results were made possible by our most innovative lineup of products and services ever,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are gratified to see the response from customers around the world at a time when staying connected has never been more important. We are doing all we can to help build a better world — making progress toward our goal of becoming carbon neutral across our supply chain and products by 2030, and pushing forward with our work in education and racial equity and justice.”

As has been the case for well over a year now, Apple is once again not issuing guidance for the current quarter ending in March.

aapl 1q22 pie
Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q1 2022 financial results conference call at 2:00 pm Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights.

Conference call recap follows below...

➜ Click here to read rest of article...

In today's iOS 15.4 beta that's available to developers, Apple added a useful new feature that changes the way Face ID works. There's now a Face ID with a Mask option that allows the iPhone to be unlocked when you're wearing a mask, but you need to have an iPhone 12 or newer.

MAsk On Face ID iOS 15
Right now, an ‌iPhone‌ can be unlocked with a mask if you have an Apple Watch for authentication to add an extra layer of security, but the new option removes the need for an Apple Watch. Face ID with a Mask works by recognizing the area around the eye when a mask is worn, which is less secure but more convenient. Unlike Face ID with the Apple Watch, the mask version works with Apple Pay and can be used to authenticate third-party apps.

Unfortunately, Face ID with a Mask is limited to some of Apple's newest iPhones, even though Face ID has been available since 2017 with the launch of the ‌iPhone‌ X. As noted on our forums, Face ID with a Mask is only an option on the ‌iPhone 12‌ and later, so you'll need an ‌iPhone 12‌, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max or an iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, or 13 Pro Max.

face id add glasses
If you have an iPhone 11 or earlier, you will not see the Face ID with a Mask setup screen when updating to iOS 15.4, nor will you have the option to toggle it on in the Settings app.

It is not clear why Apple has limited Face ID with a Mask to the ‌iPhone 12‌ and newer, but there may be some differences in Face ID hardware over the years that allow it to work for some devices and not others in terms of reasonable security. It's also possible that Apple will expand Face ID with a Mask to older iPhones in future betas.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Apple today seeded the first betas of iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4 to developers for testing purposes, adding a slew of new features to the latest iOS operating systems. iOS 15.4 is the biggest update that we've had to iOS 15 to date, and it brings Universal Control, Face ID with a mask, new emojis, and tons more.

iOS 15

Face ID With a Mask

With iOS 15.4, there is now an option to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask. Apple warns that full face ID is the more secure option, but mask Face ID is now available.

MAsk On Face ID iOS 15
Face ID with a mask can be enabled after updating to iOS 15.4, and it is designed to use the area around your eyes for authentication purposes. It works with glasses, but it is not compatible with sunglasses, and you must be looking at the iPhone to unlock it with a mask on. Face ID with a mask looks to be limited to the iPhone 12 and newer, but it can be used to authenticate Apple Pay transactions and third-party app logins.

Universal Control

iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3 enable the long-awaited Universal Control feature, which is designed to allow you use a single cursor and keyboard to control the iPads and Macs that are signed into your iCloud account.

universal control wwdc
Universal Control is super easy to use and enabled by default once you upgrade to iPadOS 15.4 and ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.3. If you have a MacBook and an iPad, for example, the MacBook's trackpad and keyboard can also be used right on the ‌iPad‌'s display.

There are new settings for Universal Control on the ‌iPad‌ and the Mac, and on the ‌iPad‌, the option to toggle it on or off is listed under Handoff & Airplay.

Emojis

Spring iOS updates often bring new emoji characters, and iOS 15.4 is no exception. The beta introduces support for Emoji 14, adding 37 emoji and 75 skin tone additions for a total of 112 new characters.

iOS 15
New faces include melting face, saluting face, face with open eyes and hand over mouth, face with peeking eye, face with diagonal mouth, and dotted line face, while new emojis include biting lip and bubbles.

There are several new hand emojis, such as heart hands, rightwards hand, leftwards hand, palm down hand, palm up hand, hand with index finger and thumb crossed, index pointing at the viewer, along with an update to the handshake emoji.

Nest with eggs, empty nest, x-ray, crutch, playground slide, wheel, ring buoy, hamsa, mirror ball, jar, identification card, and low battery are new items, while plants and animals will include coral and lotus. As for fantasy characters, we can expect a new troll emoji, and eggs, beans, and pouring liquid make up new food items.

Turn Off Notifications for Personal Automations in Shortcuts

For Personal Automations that are set up in the Shortcuts app, there's a new "Notify When Run" option that lets you toggle notifications for Shortcuts that are activated on or off. With this option, you can choose not to be notified when a Shortcut activates, something that wasn't possible with earlier versions of ‌iOS 15‌.

shortcuts notify when run
Notify When Run only shows up when you disable the "Ask Before Running" setting.

Apple Card Widget

There is a new Apple Card widget in the Today view, which can be added to the Home screen. The ‌Apple Card‌ widget shows your current balance and your daily spending in different categories.

apple card widget

Keyboard Brightness

In iPadOS 15.4, there's a new Keyboard Brightness option that can be added to the Control Center to allow you to adjust the brightness of a connected keyboard with backlighting.

keyboard brightness ipad
It works for Apple's Magic Keyboard, but it does need to be added to Control Center by going to Settings > Control Center and tapping the "+" button next to Keyboard Brightness.

iCloud Keychain Notes

‌iCloud‌ Keychain users can now add notes to any password entry, bringing ‌iCloud‌ Keychain more in line with other password storing options like 1Password.

icloud keychain notes
On ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, ‌iCloud‌ Keychain can be accessed in the Settings app under "Passwords."

120Hz Animations in Third-Party Apps on iPhone 13 Pro

After the iPhone 13 Pro models came out, users noticed that third-party apps were not displaying all animations at the full 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate. Apple said there was a Core Animation bug that would be fixed in a future update, and it appears that iOS 15.4 is that update..

iphone 14 pro 120hz promotion blue
With iOS 15.4, all animations in an app will display at 120Hz for a much smoother and more streamlined app usage experience.

Custom Email Domains

iOS 15.4 beta expands support for the custom email domain feature available for paid ‌iCloud‌+ plans, adding an option to set up a custom domain with ‌iCloud‌ Mail directly on the ‌iPhone‌.

If you go to Settings > Apple ID > ‌iCloud‌, "‌iCloud‌ Mail" is now a tappable option and it includes a section for setting up a Custom Email Domain.

SharePlay

In apps that support SharePlay, there's now an option to activate it directly from the share sheet.

tiktok shareplay

Trade-In Cosmetic Scan

Code in iOS 15.4 suggests that Apple is working on a "Cosmetic Scan" feature that will be used when trading in an ‌iPhone‌. Cosmetic Scan will likely be used to check an ‌iPhone‌ for damage like scratches and dings to provide a more accurate trade-in value estimate.

iPadOS Notes App

In the Notes section of the Settings app on ‌iPad‌, there's a new "Corner Gestures" section under "Quick Notes." In this section, you can select functions for the left corner swipe and the right corner swipe.

notes app corner gestures
Options include Quick Note or Screenshot, and there's also an option to turn corner swipes off.

TV App Customization

In the TV section of the Settings app under "Preferences," you can now choose "Still Frame" or "Poster Art" options for the Up Next Display in the app. Still Frame shows still frames from what you're watching, while Poster Art shows the main title images for shows or movies.

tv app up next display

Passkey Website Sign-in

Apple says that the iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 betas add a new passkey feature that allows users to sign into passkey-compatible websites and apps on Mac and ‌iPad‌ using an ‌iPhone‌ with a saved passkey.

That means that on websites that allow for authentication via Face ID or Touch ID, you can authenticate with an ‌iPhone‌ instead of having to enter a password.

Game Controllers

According to Apple's release notes, support is available for new DualSense adaptive trigger firmware features.

Vaccination Records in the Health App

Verifiable health records now support adding vaccination records in the EU Digital COVID Certificate format to the Health and Wallet apps, so those in the EU can add their vaccine cards to the Wallet app for easy access.

Other Features

Know of a feature that we left out? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

With the iOS 15.4 update that was introduced today, Apple has added support for Emoji 14, introducing a selection of new emoji like melting face, biting lip, heart hands, and more. There are 37 new emoji and 75 skin tone additions in Emoji 14, resulting in a total of 112 characters.

iOS 15
New faces include melting face, saluting face, face with open eyes and hand over mouth, face with peeking eye, face with diagonal mouth, and dotted line face, while new emojis include biting lip and bubbles.

There are several new hand emojis, such as heart hands, rightwards hand, leftwards hand, palm down hand, palm up hand, hand with index finger and thumb crossed, index pointing at the viewer, along with an update to the handshake emoji.


Nest with eggs, empty nest, x-ray, crutch, playground slide, wheel, ring buoy, hamsa, mirror ball, jar, identification card, and low battery are new items, while plants and animals will include coral and lotus. As for fantasy characters, we can expect a new troll emoji, and eggs, beans, and pouring liquid make up new food items.

The new emoji are available on the iPhone and iPad with iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, plus the Mac with macOS Monterey 12.3.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Apple today seeded the first beta of macOS 12.3 to developers for testing. In the release notes for the update, Apple confirms that it has deprecated kernel extensions used by Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive and notes that both cloud storage services have replacements for the functionality currently in beta.

General Dropbox Feature
Earlier this week, Dropbox announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. Dropbox did not provide a reason for this issue, but it is now clear that it relates to the kernel extensions that enabled this functionality being deprecated by Apple.

In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of its Mac app to beta testers in March. In the meantime, Dropbox users who update to macOS 12.3 will still be able to open online-only files in Finder.

Microsoft is also working on a new online-only files experience for OneDrive that is "more integrated with macOS" and "will have long-term support from Apple."

Related Roundup: macOS Monterey
Related Forum: macOS Monterey

The iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3 betas that Apple released today introduce support for Universal Control, the long-awaited feature that's designed to allow multiple Macs and iPads to be controlled with a single mouse and keyboard.

universal control wwdc
There are Universal Control settings available on both the Mac and the iPad, and the feature is enabled by default after updating to the new betas. On the Mac, the settings can be found under Displays > Advanced, and on the ‌iPad‌, the AirPlay & Handoff section under General has a new "Cursor and Keyboard (Beta)" option.

universal control macos monterey 12 3
With Universal Control, you can use the same cursor and keyboard on any nearby Mac or ‌iPad‌ that's signed into your iCloud account. So, for example, if you have a MacBook and an ‌iPad‌ next to it, your MacBook's trackpad and keyboard can be used right on the ‌iPad‌.

Apple introduced Universal Control in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference and initially said that it would be introduced this fall, but the company was not able to meet that deadline and ultimately delayed the launch.

In December, Apple updated its macOS Monterey feature page with a "spring 2022" release date for Universal Control, which is aligned with when we are expecting to see iPadOS 15.4 and ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.3 launch.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey
Related Forums: iOS 15, macOS Monterey

The iOS 15.4 beta that was introduced today added a new feature designed to allow Face ID to be used with a mask and without an Apple Watch for authentication.

MAsk On Face ID iOS 15
Apple says that the feature can "recognize the unique features around the eye" for authentication purposes. If you opt to use this feature during setup, you will need to rescan your face for Face ID. From there, Face ID will be able to unlock your iPhone even when you're wearing a mask.

In the Settings app, there's a new "Use Face ID with a Mask" toggle that can be turned on or off if you change your mind about the mask, and there's a new feature to "Add Glasses" to make Face ID more accurate when you're wearing glasses and a mask at the same time.

face id add glasses
Apple warns in the Settings app that Face ID is "most accurate" when it's set up for full-face recognition only. For Face ID with a mask to work, you must be looking at your device to get it to unlock, and it does not work when wearing sunglasses. Face ID with a mask can authenticate Apple Pay payments and it can be used in lieu of a login and password in apps that support Face ID, unlike the prior Apple Watch Face ID feature.

It looks like the Face ID with a mask feature requires an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 model, as the feature is not available for users who have the iPhone 11 at this time.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming just a day after the release of ‌macOS Monterey‌ 12.2.

macOS Monterey on MBP Feature
Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences.

In the release notes for the update, Apple confirms that it has deprecated kernel extensions used by Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive and notes that both cloud storage services have replacements for the functionality currently in beta. The update also adds new emojis and support for Universal Control.

Universal Control is designed to allow a single mouse and trackpad to be used with multiple Macs and iPads, and Apple has said it will be launching this spring.

Related Roundup: macOS Monterey
Related Forum: macOS Monterey

Apple today seeded the first betas of upcoming iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming just a day after the launch of iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3.

iOS 15 General Feature Purple
Developers can download iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad.

The updates add new emojis, support for third-party apps to implement 120Hz animations on ProMotion displays, EU vaccine certificates in the Wallet app, the ability to use Face ID while wearing a mask with an iPhone 12 or newer, the ability to turn off notifications for Shortcuts automations, keyboard brightness controls in Control Center, an Apple Card widget, iCloud Keychain notes, custom email domains, SharePlay in the share sheet, support for Universal Control, and more.

Universal Control will let multiple Macs and iPads be controlled with the same keyboard and mouse, and in December, Apple updated its website to let us know that Universal Control is expected in the spring.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is developing a new payments service that will allow the ‌iPhone‌ to accept debit and credit cards without additional hardware. This feature will let small business owners take payments over NFC without needing hardware like the Square Reader.

Apple is also working on adding support for IDs in the Wallet app so people in participating states can use a digital ID instead of a physical ID. Arizona, Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah are expected to be the first states to implement digital ID support, and Florida is also in talks to support the feature.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 8.5 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming just a day after the release of watchOS 8.4.

watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature
To install ‌‌‌watchOS 8‌‌‌.5, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed, ‌‌‌watchOS 8.4‌‌‌ can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software update.

To update to new software, an Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌.

We don't yet know what's included in the watchOS 8.5 update, but if if we find new features after installing the beta, we'll update this article.

Related Roundup: watchOS 8

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 15.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming a day after the release of tvOS 15.3.

Apple TV tvOS 15 Feature
Developers can download the new tvOS 15.4 beta by downloading a profile onto the ‌Apple TV‌ using Xcode.

tvOS updates are typically minor in scale, focusing primarily on under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements rather than major outward-facing changes.

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.

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

For the first time in a while, Apple has started selling a refurbished iPhone 8 model for $359 through its online store in the United States.

iPhone 8 Gray Feature
For the time being, this is now the cheapest iPhone model that can be purchased directly from Apple, but the device is nearly four and a half years old and we strongly recommend considering the second-generation iPhone SE in this price range. Released in April 2020, the iPhone SE is available with 64GB of storage for $399 or 128GB for $449.

An even better option may be to wait for the third-generation iPhone SE, which is expected to launch around March or April with an A15 chip and 5G.

There are many downsides to the iPhone 8, including that the device will likely stop receiving iOS updates at least a few years before the second-generation iPhone SE due to its age. The second-generation iPhone SE also has a newer A13 chip, compared to the A11 chip in the iPhone 8, and has several features not available on the iPhone 8, including Portrait Mode photos, QuickTake video, Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit-class LTE, and eSIM/Dual SIM.

The refurbished iPhone 8 is available in space gray and is an unlocked device. All refurbished iPhones come with a new battery, a new outer shell, and a new white box. Included with the iPhone 8 is EarPods with a Lightning connector, a Lightning to USB-A cable, and a 5W power adapter. All refurbished iPhones are also covered by the same one-year warranty as a new iPhone, and AppleCare+ can be purchased for the device.

The 27-inch iMac with a nano-texture display is unavailable from Apple in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and several other key markets until late March, possibly due to more advanced manufacturing processes needed to achieve the glass coating.

iMac 27 Isolated Feature Blue
The updated 27-inch ‌iMac‌ released in 2020 offers customers a nano-texture glass option that helps reduce reflectivity by etching the display with a nano-texture at a molecular level. Apple says this coating results in "beautiful image quality that maintains contrast while scattering light to reduce glare to the barest minimum."

Upon checking Apple's online store in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, the 27-inch ‌iMac‌ configured with a nano-texture display shows an estimated delivery date of seven to eight weeks, or in other words, towards the end of March. The standard display option with certain storage and memory configurations is estimated to ship in two to three weeks.

Given the anomaly that only the nano-texture display option is significantly back-ordered, it's plausible that Apple and its suppliers are experiencing production issues with the more advanced display coating. Due to the ongoing chip shortage and pandemic-related restrictions, Apple is struggling to keep up with demand for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

For customers looking to purchase Apple's largest all-in-one Mac desktop computer, it might be a safe bet to wait a little bit longer anyway. Apple is expected to be holding an event sometime in March or April to announce a slew of new products, including an updated iPhone SE, a new iPad Air, and possibly a completely redesigned ‌iMac‌ to replace the existing Intel-based 27-inch model.

The ‌iMac‌ family was last updated in April 2021 with the 24-inch model sporting a colorful new design and the first all-in-one desktop Mac computer to feature an Apple silicon chip. The 27-inch ‌iMac‌ has kept the same overall design for almost ten years, and rumors suggest the upcoming redesign could resemble the Pro Display XDR, feature a mini-LED ProMotion display, and start at around $2000. Learn more about what we expect to see in the 2022 ‌iMac‌ redesign using our guide.

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

Apple is exploring methods to bring user authentication to AirPods, a newly published Apple patent application shows.

airpods 3 in ear
In a patent application titled "User Identification Using Headphones," filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by Patently Apple, Apple explains how it can authenticate AirPods users using other nearby devices, ultrasonic signals, voice recognition, and even a wearer's gait.

The filing seeks to address the issue of AirPods being unable to determine whether a wearer is the authorized user of a connected device. Apple suggests that this can be a problem since any user can place headphones into their ear while they are connected to a device belonging to another person, which risks the connected device releasing personal information, such as via notifications announced by Siri.

The system is able to bypass the need for Face ID, Touch ID, or any other kind of biometric authentication on a separate device, instead using a "similarity score" to verify a user's identity. This similarity score may be based on multiple variables, such as the proximity of other nearby devices belonging to the connected device's owner. Nevertheless, Apple says that biometrics could still be used to increase the accuracy of the similarity score. To authenticate a user based on biometrics with AirPods themselves, Apple proposes playing and receiving ultrasonic sounds inside the headphones:

For example, various characteristics of the user's ear provide an echo of the ultrasonic signal which is unique to the user. Variations in the surface of the user's ear canal may cause the ultrasonic signal to reflect off the surface and generate an echo having a signature that is associated with the user. For example, a user having a larger ear canal may result in an echo having a longer reverberation time than a user having a smaller ear canal.

Apple adds that AirPods could also use information gathered about a user's gait and voice from the AirPods' gyroscopes, accelerometers, and microphones to determine if they are the owner of the connected device. Collectively, these various data points provide an overall similarity score that could authenticate users if it reaches the required threshold.

Apple often adds new features to existing AirPods devices using firmware updates, such as support for the Find My network, Conversation Boost, and Spatial Audio, so seems it plausible that AirPods user authentication could theoretically be added in a future update. Patent filings are not representative of Apple's immediate plans, but they do show some of the company's specific areas of research and development.

Other recent Apple patent filings included designs for all-glass iPhones and Apple Watches, a removable MacBook key that works as a mouse, and a hydration sensor for the Apple Watch.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, AirPods Max, AirPods Pro
Tag: patent
Related Forum: AirPods

Today you can get the Beats Studio Buds for $109.95, down from $149.95 on Amazon. Only the white color option is available at this price, and as of writing only Amazon is offering the discount.

Beats Studio Buds feature 3Note: 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 price is about $10 higher when compared to the record low price that we saw over the holidays. That discount was rare and has yet to return to any retailer, so if you missed out Amazon's offer today is a good second-best price.

If you're shopping for AirPods, be sure to check out our post from earlier this week. All of these deals are still live, and you can save up to $100 on AirPods Max, AirPods 2, and AirPods Pro. Our full Deals Roundup has more Apple-related discounts as well.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 on Wednesday with several security fixes, and we have since learned that the software updates also resolve an issue with HomeKit camera thumbnails failing to refresh for some users in the Home app.

HomeKit Camera Thumbnails
HomeKit Secure Video cameras added to the Home app each have a thumbnail that provides a still view of recent footage, and normally these thumbnails automatically refresh periodically. In recent weeks, however, some iPhone and iPad users had experienced an issue with the thumbnails failing to refresh and showing outdated footage.

As alerted to us by reader Collin A. Zimmerman and others, users who have updated to iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 are reporting that the bug has been fixed, with HomeKit camera thumbnails now behaving properly in the Home app.

iOS 15.3, iPadOS 15.3, and macOS 12.2 are relatively minor updates in terms of new features. Apple still has a few new features promised for early 2022, including Universal Control and the ability to add an ID to the Wallet app in participating U.S. states, and those features could potentially arrive with the next round of updates.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15