Top Stories: CES 2020 News, iPhone Battery Case Replacement Program, iPhone 9 Renders

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Early January always sees a flurry of news coming out of CES, but that wasn't all that was on the docket this week. Additional topics of interest in this week included new emoji personalization options for AirPods charging cases, "iPhone 9" rumors, and an upcoming change to Apple's serial number format.

CES 2020: New HomeKit Accessories, Wireless Chargers, and Other Cool Tech From the Show

CES week has wrapped up in Las Vegas, where thousands of tech companies both small and large unveiled their latest products and concepts. As usual, Apple did not have a booth at the trade show, but a wide range of HomeKit-compatible smart home products and accessories for products like the iPhone and Apple Watch were unveiled over the past week.


Here are some of the most popular CES stories on MacRumors this week, plus three videos with cool tech from the show:

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Aura Smart Strap for Apple Watch to Launch in March

Last year, startup Aura introduced a "smart strap" for the Apple Watch, designed to measure weight, water, fat, and muscle via electrodes built into the band. At CES this week, Aura said the strap is set to launch in March, with pre-orders available now for $99.


Body composition and hydration is not something the ‌Apple Watch‌ can track on its own, though testing will need to be done to see how accurate the Aura strap is in practice.

Apple Launches Replacement Program for Smart Battery Cases Designed for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

Numerous customers have run into issues with Apple's Smart Battery Cases for the company's 2018 iPhone lineup, experiencing issues with the cases failing to charge or the cases failing to charge the iPhones.


Addressing the situation, Apple this week launched a replacement program that allows iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR users who have run into these problems to receive a free replacement case. Customers will need to visit an Apple retail store or authorized service provider to have their cases inspected and ensure they qualify for the program.

Apple TV App Coming to Select LG, Sony, and Vizio Smart TVs Later This Year

Apple this week announced that its Apple TV app will be available on select LG, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs later this year. Apple shared the news in a press release highlighting the success of its various services.


When available, the Apple TV app will allow owners of newer LG, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs to stream Apple TV+ shows and movies, use the à-la-carte Apple TV Channels feature, access their iTunes libraries of movies and TV shows, and buy or rent more than 100,000 shows and movies from the iTunes Store.

TiVo, meanwhile, has said that the Apple TV app that it promised back at CES 2019 is no longer something it is focusing on right now.

iPhone 9 May Be Slightly Thicker Than iPhone 8

OnLeaks, a well-known leaker who shared accurate renders of the iPhone 11 Pro over nine months before the device was unveiled, has returned with new concept art for the so-called "iPhone 9" or "iPhone SE 2."


In line with earlier predictions from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, OnLeaks expects the iPhone 9 to resemble the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch LCD display with thick bezels, Touch ID home button, and single-lens rear camera, but with a faster A13 chip, 3GB of RAM, and no hardware-based 3D Touch.

OnLeaks also expects the iPhone 9 to be 7.8mm thick, which would be 0.5mm thicker than the iPhone 8. The device will launch by the end of March, starting at around $399, according to Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple Plans to Switch to Randomized Serial Numbers for Future Products Starting in Late 2020

In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that it plans to update its serial number format to a randomized alphanumeric string for future products starting in late 2020.


Apple says all serial numbers that exist before the change is made will remain the same.

Apple already uses alphanumeric serial numbers, but it has long been possible to determine the date and location that a product was manufactured based on the current format. Readers would often use serial numbers to glean more information about their devices, like the iPhone or MacBook Pro.

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Top Stories

Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year

Tuesday May 26, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year. The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit),...

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
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Apple Reissuing Numerous iOS App Updates, Potentially Related to Recent 'This App is No Longer Shared' Bug

Sunday May 24, 2020 9:13 pm PDT by
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16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Tuesday May 26, 2020 5:30 am PDT by
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Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 5.0 Released With iOS 13.5 Compatibility

Sunday May 24, 2020 3:06 pm PDT by
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Future AirPods to Include 'Ambient Light Sensors' Possibly Related to Rumored Health Features

Monday May 25, 2020 2:53 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly looking to integrate light sensors in a new model of AirPods in the next couple of years, according to a new report today, suggesting their use could be part of rumored upcoming health monitoring features in the true wireless earbuds. In a paywalled article, DigiTimes reports that ASE Technology could be involved in manufacturing the sensors: Apple is expected to...

First App Using Apple and Google's Exposure Notification API Launches in Switzerland

Tuesday May 26, 2020 3:02 pm PDT by
The first app that takes advantage of the Exposure Notification API developed by Apple and Google has launched in Switzerland, according to a report from the BBC. A team of app developers working on contact tracing app called SwissCovid have rolled out the app in a beta capacity for members of the Swiss army, hospital workers, and civil servants. After the app is tested and approved by MPs,...

'This App is No Longer Shared' iOS Bug Preventing Some Apps From Opening

Friday May 22, 2020 3:58 pm PDT by
An app bug is causing some iOS users to be unable to open their apps, with affected iPhone and iPad users seeing the message "This app is no longer shared with you" when attempting to access an app. There are multiple complaints about the issue on the MacRumors forums and on Twitter from users who are running into problems. A MacRumors reader describes the issue:Is anyone else experiencing...

HBO Max Now Available on Apple TV and iOS Devices

Wednesday May 27, 2020 2:42 am PDT by
HBO Max launched today, and is now available on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. WarnerMedia's new streaming service, which replaces HBO Now, combines HBO content with shows and films from Warner Bros and Turner TV. The service is available as a native app on the ‌Apple TV‌ HD and ‌Apple TV‌ 4K, but second and third-generation ‌Apple TV‌ owners will need to AirPlay HBO Max content...

Apple's Pro Display XDR Wins 'Displays of the Year' Award

Tuesday May 26, 2020 7:45 am PDT by
The Society for Information Display today announced its selections for the 26th Annual Display Industry Awards, and Apple has once again taken one of the top spots, this time with its Pro Display XDR that debuted last year alongside the revamped Mac Pro. The Pro Display XDR was one of three display products named "Displays of the Year," alongside Samsung's foldable display and BOE's...