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

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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.

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.

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Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

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

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 6:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...

AT&T Already Working on 6G, Says 5G iPhones Might Not Be 'Massive Event' Due to Economic Uncertainty

Monday September 21, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming launch of 5G iPhones might not be a "massive event" due to economic uncertainty amid the global health crisis, AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a paywalled interview published by CNBC. "I do believe that you will see many of the iPhone subscribers move to upgrade to the device," said McElfresh. "But I wouldn't forecast that it's going to be a massive event. I...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....

iOS 14 Adoption Surpasses 25% Across iPhone and iPad Five Days After Release

Monday September 21, 2020 9:06 am PDT by
Five days after Apple released iOS 14, adoption of the software update has reached approximately 26 percent of active iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, according to mobile analytics company Mixpanel. This includes iPadOS 14. iOS 14 adoption appears to be outpacing iOS 13, which was installed on approximately 20 percent of active devices one week after its release last year, according to...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...