Top Stories: New Music Icon in iOS 14, iPhone 12 Rumors, Face ID Macs, Favorite macOS Big Sur Features
Apple's beta train kept on rolling this week with the third beta versions of all of the major operating system updates coming later this year. The new beta of iOS 14 includes some interesting tweaks like a new color theme for the Music app icon, new informational pop-ups for some of the new features, a new clock widget, and more.
In other news, we heard some more rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, the potential for some new hardware that's "ready to ship," and the possibility of Face ID coming to Macs in the future.
Read on below and check out our video above for more of this week's biggest stories.
Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 3: New Music Icon, Clock Widget and More
The third beta of iOS 14 features some interesting changes, including a striking one that sees the Music app icon changed back to a red and white color theme from the white and multicolor one seen since Apple Music launched in iOS 8.4.
Make sure to click through to check out our overview of everything new we've found in the third beta, and if you're a member of the public beta program, there's an equivalent iOS 14 update now available for you.
Apple's 2020 5G iPhones to Support Both Sub-6GHz and mmWave, But That Might Change in 2021
5G is the big buzzword for smartphone technology these days, and there are two flavors of it: mmWave 5G that delivers the fastest speeds but has short range and is only suitable for dense urban environments, and sub-6GHz 5G that isn't quite as fast but offers much broader coverage.
Apple's iPhone 12 lineup launching later this year is said to be including support for both 5G technologies, but a new report says that in 2021 Apple may introduce some iPhone models that only support one of the technologies, depending on which one is most prevalent in specific markets.
In other iPhone 12 news, we've once again heard that the new models may not be available until the October/November timeframe, we've seen a new battery leak that might shed some more light on the capacities for each iPhone 12 model, and we've seen some new photos of a white braided Lightning to USB-C cable that could come with the iPhone 12.
Leaker Suggests New Apple Products Are 'Ready to Ship' Amid Rumors of Intel-Based iMac Refresh
WWDC came and went without any significant new hardware launches, but a frequent leaker has cryptically claimed that some new products are "ready to ship."
We don't know exactly what products these are, but we've been waiting on an update for the iMac, and there have been other rumors of a refreshed Apple TV being ready to go. Other product rumors floating around have included a smaller, cheaper HomePod, new over-ear headphones, and AirTags item trackers.
Best macOS 11 Big Sur Features: Control Center, Safari Updates, Notifications Overhaul, Design Changes and More
macOS Big Sur is a major update for Apple's Mac platform, and it brings not only a host of new and updated features, but also a design overhaul.
In one of our most recent videos, we took a look at some of our favorite features in Big Sur, including the new Control Center, a revamped Notification Center, updates for Safari, Messages improvements, and more.
Code in macOS Big Sur Suggests Face ID Could Be Coming to Macs
Apple's Face ID feature that allows a device to be unlocked with a facial scan is limited to the iPhone and the iPad at the current time, but code found in the latest macOS Big Sur beta suggests that Face ID may come to Macs in the future.
References to a "PearlCamera" function that matches the "Pearl" codename of Face ID for iOS devices have been discovered, including mentions of "FaceDetect" and "BioCapture" that strongly hint at Face ID coming to the Mac.
There no word yet on when Face ID might make its debut on the Mac, but we'll likely hear more as work on the feature progresses.
Apple Lining Up Periscope Telephoto Lens Suppliers for 2022 iPhone
2022 is a long way off, but Apple is already looking far ahead with its iPhone roadmap, and a new report from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is working to find suppliers that can provide periscope telephoto camera lenses for those phones.
Periscope lenses typically use prisms or mirrors to refract light onto the lens sensor for improved optical magnification within the constraints of a thin smartphone body. A few manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei are aggressively pursuing periscope lenses in their phones, and it looks like Apple is working on its own implementation.
Apple Glasses Patent Suggests Any Surface Could Become a Virtual Touch Interface
While we've heard lots of tidbits about Apple's augmented/virtual reality headset projects, we still don't have a detailed picture of what the products will ultimately look like and how they will function.
A newly published patent application reveals, however, that Apple has been looking at how it could turn everyday surfaces into virtual touch interfaces. Apple proposes that icons and buttons could be projected in AR onto a table, for example, where the user could reach out and interact with them. Apple's patent suggests that infrared heat sensing could be used to determine where on the surface the user has touched.
A separate patent application describes how a future Apple Pencil might include a color sensor that would let it sample colors from the real world that could then be transmitted to a paired device such as an iPad. The feature would be great for art-focused applications, making it easier to capture accurate colors of real-world objects.
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.