Top Stories: Mac Pro and Pro Display Hands-On, New Betas, Smart Home Alliance, and More

by

Following last week's launch of Mac Pro orders, the first deliveries have started, allowing us to go hands-on with the new powerhouse workstation and 6K display. And of course, there's lots more to come as we explore Apple's newest Mac.

Aside from the Mac Pro, the pace of news has slowed as we've started getting into the holiday season, but this week did see the start of a new cycle of beta releases for Apple's operating systems, an announcement about a smart home alliance involving Apple, Amazon, Google, and Zigbee, and a few other items of note. Read on for all of the details!

Hands-On With Apple's New 2019 Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR

After orders kicked off last week, Apple's new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR began arriving to customers over the past few days. MacRumors picked up a base model ‌Mac Pro and a display (and the $999 display stand!)‌, and we've unboxed them and shared some initial first impressions in a couple of our latest YouTube videos.


Apple designed the new Mac Pro to be modular and upgradeable, making it possible to swap in many new components. In another YouTube video, we've walked through the RAM upgrade process.

Subscribe to MacRumors on YouTube for new Apple videos every week!

iFixit Shares 2019 Mac Pro Teardown: 'A Masterclass in Repairability'

As with any new Apple product, the folks at repair website iFixit have torn down the new Mac Pro, which they describe as "beautiful, amazingly well put together, and a masterclass in repairability."


Given its modular design, the new Mac Pro unsurprisingly earned a nearly perfect repairability score of 9/10, with iFixit noting that basic repairs and upgrades can be performed with standard tools or even no tools at all.

Apple Releases iOS 13.3.1 Beta 1, AirPods Firmware Update, and More

Apple this week seeded the first betas of iOS 13.3.1 and iPadOS 13.3.1, macOS 10.15.3, watchOS 6.1.2, and tvOS 13.3.1 to developers for testing.


Apple has also released a firmware update for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. Apple does not provide release notes for these firmware updates, so it is unclear what exactly has changed.

Apple, Amazon, Google, and Zigbee Alliance to Develop Open Standard for Smart Home Devices

Apple, Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance this week announced a new partnership to develop and promote the adoption of a new IP-based connectivity standard for smart home products, with a focus on increased compatibility, security, and simplified development for accessory makers.


The new connectivity standard will be open source and royalty free, with code to be maintained on GitHub, according to Apple. The newly established working group has a goal to release a draft specification and a preliminary reference implementation in late 2020.

iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods Named to Time Magazine's Best Gadgets of the Decade

With the decade drawing to a close, TIME has published a list of what it believes are the 10 most important gadgets introduced in the 2010s, and three Apple products have made the cut, including the iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods.


Justin Sullivan / Getty
Steve Jobs introduced the iPad in 2010, while the Apple Watch and AirPods are part of the Tim Cook era, having been released in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Apple Arcade Gets $49.99/Year Subscription Option

Apple Arcade is now available with an annual subscription option, priced at $49.99 per year in the United States, providing customers with an opportunity to save nearly $10 per year on the service.


Apple Arcade provides access to over 100 premium games across the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac, with no ads or in-app purchases.

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!

Top Stories

Leaker Shares Details on 'iPhone 13' Camera [Updated]

Wednesday May 27, 2020 4:27 pm PDT by
The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn't out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13's camera setup. A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features: 64-megapixel...

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone XR Models

Thursday May 28, 2020 9:50 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished iPhone XR models in select colors and capacities for the first time in the United States. Refurbished iPhone XR models are priced at a roughly 16 percent discount compared to current pricing on brand-new units, knocking $100–120 off of the regular price. In addition to the 64GB and 128GB capacities matching current brand-new iPhone XR models, ...

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by
Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options. Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the...

Apple Making It Harder to Avoid Nagging macOS Update Notifications

Thursday May 28, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 and related security updates for macOS Mojave and High Sierra earlier this week, Apple is making it more difficult for users to ignore available software updates and remain on their current operating system versions. Included in the release notes for macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is the following:- Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when...

8 Mac Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know

Friday May 29, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
There are tons of hidden features and shortcuts for Macs that Apple has built into macOS over the years, ranging from shortcuts to keyboard commands to other little hacks to make Mac usage just a bit simpler. In our latest YouTube video, we highlighted several of these tips and tricks, and some of them might just be new to you. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Tr...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

Top Stories: macOS 10.15.5, New Powerbeats Pro Colors, iPhone 12 and 13 Rumors, and More

Saturday May 30, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting mix of news and rumors on the Apple front, led by the release of macOS 10.15.5, which brings a new battery health feature to newer Mac notebooks, while we also saw the official announcement of new colors for the Powerbeats Pro earphones. On the rumor front, we heard a few tidbits about not just this year's iPhone 12 but also next year's iPhone, while we saw...

More Photos and Video of Apple's Redesigned Leather Loop Watch Band Surface

Thursday May 28, 2020 10:50 am PDT by
Images of a new version of the Leather Loop that Apple appears to have in development surfaced yesterday, and today, Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn has shared additional photos and videos that give us a clearer picture of what to expect from the new band. The bands come in colors that include red, hot pink, blue, black, and brown, with some of the bands featuring different colored accents at the...

Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box Gains HDR10+ and Dolby Vision Support, Plus Siri Voice Control

Thursday May 28, 2020 12:00 am PDT by
The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is receiving a major update today, introducing much-desired features like HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support. Designed by Signify as part of the Philip Hue line of lights and accessories, the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is designed to let Hue users sync their lights to their home entertainment systems. One of the major complaints about the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box ...

APFS Bug in macOS 10.15.5 Catalina Impacts the Creation of Bootable Backups

Thursday May 28, 2020 3:47 am PDT by
An Apple File System bug has been discovered in macOS 10.15.5 Catalina that can prevent users from making a bootable clone of their system drive, according to the creator of Carbon Copy Cloner. In a blog post on Wednesday, software developer Mike Bombich explained that the CCC team had uncovered the issue in the Apple File System, or APFS, when attempting to create a bootable backup in a...