Top Stories: AirPods Pro Firmware Changes, Mystery MacBook Filing, 5G iPad Pro?

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It was a busy week of rumors as we hit the middle of January, with reports about updates to Face ID in the iPhone 12 lineup later this year, signs of a new Mac notebook coming soon, and word that Apple is working on an iPad Pro with 5G support.

Other big news this week included an analysis of changes to audio performance made in an AirPods Pro firmware update late last month.

New AirPods Pro Firmware: Worse Noise Canceling, Improved Frequency Response and Bass Accuracy

Last month, Apple released a new firmware update for the AirPods Pro bumping the version number from 2B588 to 2C54. After the update, there were several anecdotal reports that the AirPods Pro noise cancelation may have been adversely affected.


Impacted users asked tech review site RTINGS.com to reevaluate its previous testing of the AirPods Pro with the new firmware to confirm if there are any changes, and the website did find a fairly significant drop in isolation performance.

The news is not all bad, however. In other areas of testing, the 2C54 firmware appears to improve performance in frequency response and bass accuracy. Nevertheless, Apple pulled the new version only days after its release, so it is presumably working on the issues described.

iPhone 12 Models Said to Have 'Refreshed' Face ID System, Lightning Connector Could Be Dropped in 2021

iPhone 12 models will feature a "refreshed" front-facing TrueDepth system, according to Barclays analysts, hinting at Face ID improvements.


The biggest change of all could come next year, as the analysts see potential for Apple to remove the Lightning connector from at least one iPhone model in 2021, echoing a prediction shared by Ming-Chi Kuo last month. This could result in EarPods being removed from the box, they said.

Earlier this month, Kuo said four 5G-enabled iPhones are on track to launch simultaneously in the fall, including models with sub-6GHz-only and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave compatibility.

Apple Files Unreleased Mac in Database, Possibly 13-Inch MacBook Pro With Scissor Keyboard

Apple this week filed an unreleased Mac with a model identifier of A2289 in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by MacRumors. The computer is described as a portable Mac running macOS Catalina.


As pure speculation, it is certainly possible that this listing could correspond with the rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard, following in the footsteps of the 16-inch MacBook Pro last October. There is some hope that the 13-inch model will become a 14-inch model, but that remains uncertain.

Eurasian Economic Commission filings like these have foreshadowed the release of new Apple products on numerous occasions. They are legally required for any encrypted devices sold in Russia and a few other countries.

Evidence of a "Pro Mode" that boosts performance and overrides fan speed limits has also been discovered in the macOS Catalina 10.15.3 beta.

Apple Rumored to Be Developing 5G iPad Pro With mmWave Support

A pair of supply chain reports this week claim Apple is developing 5G-enabled iPads with mmWave support for release as early as fall 2020.


With an iPad Pro refresh already rumored for March 2020, timing is the biggest question mark. Major new features often come to the iPhone before the iPad, but a notable exception was the third-generation iPad receiving LTE support in March 2012, prior to the iPhone 5 in September 2012.

mmWave or millimeter wave is a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By comparison, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas.

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Top Stories

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 ...

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...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

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's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

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 ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

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....