Top Stories: WWDC Goes Digital-Only, Huge iOS 14 Leaks, Apple Store Closures, and Mac Notebook Rumors
It was a massive week for news and rumors, led by Apple officially announcing that this year's WWDC will be a digital-only event due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic. Apple is also closing all of its retail stores outside of China for the next two weeks.
On the rumor front, there were a ton of iOS 14 leaks this week, while we also heard some rumors from several sources about upcoming notebook updates, so check out our video above and read on below for all of the details!
Apple Announces WWDC 2020 Will Be a Digital-Only Event Set to Take Place in June
In what shouldn't come as a tremendous shock to anyone, Apple has announced that this year's Worldwide Developers Conference will be a digital-only event with no physical gathering due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus around the world. The online-only event will take place in June.
We don't yet the know exact dates or just how the digital event will be structured, but Apple says WWDC will be "packed with content" for consumers, press, and developers alike. Millions of creative and innovative developers will be provided with early access with new software, and will be able to engage with Apple engineers.
iOS 14 Leak: Apple Testing New iMessage Features Such as Slack-Like Mentions and Unsending Messages
Beyond WWDC, this week's Apple news was dominated by iOS 14 leaks, including new iMessage features exclusively shared by MacRumors.
For starters, Apple is testing a new Slack-like mention system that would allow users to tag other contacts with their name like @Joe or @Jane. This would be particularly useful in busy group chat conversations, as it would be possible to enable the "Hide Alerts" setting and only receive push notifications when you are mentioned by someone directly.
Other features in development include the ability to retract messages after sending them, typing indicators in group chats, and the option to mark the last message of a conversation as unread after opening it.
Apple Closes All Retail Stores Outside of China Until March 27
Apple, like many large companies, has been taking a number of precautions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading up to the announcement that it will close all of its retail stores worldwide outside of Greater China until March 27. The company has also formally announced several other measures including increased donations, flexible work arrangements with expanded leave policies, and more.
Apple's rumored March event has allegedly been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and in addition to WWDC, many other large events like Google I/O, Facebook F8, and GDC have also been canceled, postponed, or converted to digital-only.
iOS 14 Leak: Apple Developing Fitness App That Lets You Download Guided Workout Videos
Apple appears to be working on a new fitness app for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV that is designed to let users download guided fitness-related videos that will walk them through various workouts.
The app, which is codenamed "Seymour" in iOS 14, may be named "Fit" or "Fitness" when it is released. Apple appears to be aiming to release the app for iOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14, and it seems to be a standalone app that will be available alongside the existing Activity app.
More Leaks in iOS 14, Expanded Cursor Support on iPad Pro, New Apple TV Remote, and More
Apple is rumored to be working on a Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro that includes a trackpad, and we've now learned that iPadOS 14 will likely include expanded cursor capabilities and new gestures.
Other leaks this week include Apple Watch blood oxygen monitoring, an icon depicting over-ear headphones with AirPods branding, watch face sharing, a new augmented reality app codenamed "Gobi," a new Apple TV remote, and more.
Camera Comparison: iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Galaxy S20 Ultra
Last week, we picked up a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and did a feature overview to see if it's worth $1,400, but we also thought we'd take a deeper look at Samsung's newest smartphone to see how the cameras measure up to the cameras in the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
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New MacBook Air Possible as Early as Next Week
According to a source with a reasonable track record, Apple plans to announce new MacBook Air models next week. We have yet to confirm this information, but given the tipster's established track record, we have elected to share this rumor. We don't have any other details from this source, but we're also waiting for a number of other product releases from Apple, so we'll have to see if there's more in the works for the weeks ahead.
This claim comes following a research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Apple indicating that Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards in the second quarter of 2020.
Kuo also said Apple plans to launch MacBook models with its own custom processors in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021, followed by MacBook models with an all-new design in the second or third quarter of 2021.
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.