Top Stories: Apple Silicon Macs, macOS Big Sur, iPhone 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max Launch

Well that was quite the jam-packed week of Apple news, wasn't it? From a media event on Tuesday where Apple unveiled three new Macs based on the brand-new custom M1 chip to the release of macOS Big Sur on Thursday and the release of two new iPhones on Friday, this week had it all.

top stories 36 feature

Next week is shaping up to be another busy one as well, with HomePod mini deliveries beginning and the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models making their way into customers' hands, but before we get to that, take a breath and read on below for details on everything that happened this week.

Everything Announced at Tuesday's Apple Event in 6 Minutes

Apple on Tuesday held its third virtual media event in as many months, this time focusing on the Mac. As expected, Apple introduced the first Macs based on Apple Silicon in the form of the new M1 chip.

m1 chip macbook air pro

The M1 arrived in three different machines this week, including the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. All of the new machines are available to order now, with availability starting next Tuesday, November 17. Apple also continues to offer Intel-based configurations of the higher-end 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini.

Apple's event was an efficient one, clocking in at under an hour, but we also boiled it down to just a six-minute summary, so make sure to check out our video recap and links to all of our coverage from the event.

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur With Fresh Design, Control Center, Safari Privacy Report, Messages Updates, Maps Overhaul and More

In the wake of Tuesday's event, Apple on Thursday finally released macOS Big Sur to the public, bringing a new look and a host of new features to macOS.

big sur availiable feature pair

The launch did not come without hiccups, however, as Apple's servers appear to have crumbled following the launch, halting downloads of Big Sur and even preventing some third-party Mac apps from launching due to Apple's Gatekeeper service being down.

The craziness has settled down, so once you've been able to get macOS Big Sur installed, be sure to check out our features guide and our more detailed roundup with all of the details. We've also got a great list of 50 tips and tricks to get you started on macOS Big Sur.

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

It didn't take long for the first benchmark results to show up for Apple's new Macs with the M1 chip, and those results are looking impressive.

macbook air apple silicon geekbench

With a multi-core score well over 7,000 on Geekbench 5, the new MacBook Air manages to outperform even the highest-end 16-inch MacBook Pro with Intel's 9th-generation Core i9 processor.

Benchmark results have also surfaced for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini, showing very similar performance, which is to be expected given that the M1 chip has virtually identical tech specs in all three machines beyond the lowest-end MacBook Air configuration having a 7-core rather than 8-core GPU.

If you need help deciding between the new MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip, we've put together a helpful buyer's guide.

Hands-On With the New iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini

It was easy to lose track given all of the news surrounding Apple's Mac event this week, but this week also saw the launch of two new iPhone models, the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

iphone 12 mini pro max hands on
Advance media reviews of both the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max have been positive, although some reviewers have some concerns about limited battery life on Apple's smallest flagship phone. We of course have our own hands-on overview of both of the new phones, and we'll have more coverage next week once we've some more time to spend with them.

What's New in iOS 14.3: ProRAW Support for iPhone 12 Pro, Cardio Fitness Features, and More

Apple released the first iOS 14.3 beta on Thursday, and MacRumors was able to dig into the software update and make some discoveries.

iOS 14

Specifically, iOS 14.3 introduces support for Apple's new ProRAW image format on iPhone 12 Pro models, the beginnings of support for a new cardio fitness feature for Apple Watch, functional QR codes for App Clips, and more.

The update also includes an icon that may hint at the design of Apple's rumored over-ear AirPods Studio headphones, appears to be preparing to support third-party Bluetooth item trackers in the Find My app, and may begin suggesting third-party apps to users during a device's setup process in certain countries.

Apple also released the first betas of watchOS 7.2 and tvOS 14.3.

Future Apple Silicon Macs Rumored to Include Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro, 24-Inch iMac, and Smaller Mac Pro

Following its event on Tuesday, Apple reiterated that the transition to Apple Silicon across the Mac lineup will take about two years to be completed.

Apple Silicon Teal Feature

Apple did not reveal which Macs will be getting M-series chips next, but based on rumors, we can expect redesigned 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac, and smaller Mac Pro models, with at least some of those models expected to launch in 2021.

At WWDC 2020 in June, Apple also said that it still had exciting new Intel-based Macs in development in the interim, but it's unclear if that will extend beyond the updated 27-inch iMac released in August.

Watch: HomePod Mini Reviews, Sound Quality Tests, and Unboxing Videos

Amid a very busy week for Apple, the first reviews and unboxing videos have been shared for the HomePod mini, with many media outlets and YouTubers finding that the speaker delivers "big sound" despite its compact design.

homepod mini event shot

Priced at $99, the speaker is available to order in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Spain, and the U.K. Orders will begin in China, Mexico, and Taiwan later this year.

HomePod mini will begin arriving to customers on Monday, November 16.

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.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Top Rated Comments

iBluetooth Avatar
16 months ago
It's amazing how Apple managed to make a SoC outperforming Intel by leaps, even when using much less energy. I feel like 386 -> 486 -> Pentium era again, when your new computer would impress you with all the speed-gains!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnysods Avatar
16 months ago
It’s a busy couple of months for Apple they are rolling. i have to say I really enjoyed this past week’s keynote. Actually Mac rumours are my absolute favourite.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
16 months ago
In my humble opinion, we may see new M1X chips for the beefier macs, such as the iMac and the MacBook Pro 16”. Also, the iMac Pro is slowly losing its place on the lineup, unless we see a regular iMac with the fanless M1 (like the MBA), and a more powerful iMac Pro with active cooling. But honestly, I would go with just one iMac to simplify the lineup.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
StellarVixen Avatar
16 months ago
What are future possibilities with the ARM? We are already at 5nm, and next is 3 I heard. How long until we hit the ceiling with classical computers?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dakwar Avatar
16 months ago
Excited to try out the HomePod mini. The biggie has amazing sound! If the mini can deliver even half the sound quality, ... absolute game changer.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sideshowuniqueuser Avatar
16 months ago

The issue of only two monitor support (including the built-in screen) is disappointing.

I can always get a single giant monitor, but I can see that the list of compromises is stacking up.
Calm down, this is obviously the first, low-end chip. It's the quickest to make, because it seems to be basically the upcoming iPad Pro chip but with added support for a couple of thunderbolt ports etc. And it's self-evidently aimed at the MBA, low end MBP, and low-end Mini. Next to come will be at least one high end chip, the first rumoured with 12 cores, aimed at the higher end MBP, iMac, and possibly Mac Pro. One would expect greater connectivity such as more ports and more screens. And possibly another even higher end chip with maybe more cores and connectivity to additional external RAM, SSD, and graphics cards, thus suitable for the Mac Pro. Apple did already state they will replace the entire Mac line up with Apple Silicon, so there is no way they can do that with only the M1 chip.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Next-Generation 16-Inch MacBook Pro Seemingly Filed in Regulatory Database Ahead of WWDC

Thursday June 3, 2021 8:30 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, each with a mini-LED display and an improved iteration of the M1 chip. The notebooks are expected to feature a new design with a flatter top and bottom and more ports, including the return of an HDMI port, SD card slot, and a magnetic power cable. Rumors also suggest the Touch Bar will be retired in favor of...
apple m1 macs trio

New MacBook Air, 13-Inch MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini With M1 Chip Available to Order, Launch Next Week

Tuesday November 10, 2020 10:48 am PST by
Apple's new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with the Apple-designed M1 chip are now available to order on Apple.com and through the Apple Store app, and they will be available in stores starting November 17. The new MacBook Air starts at $999, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299, and the new Mac mini starts at $699. New MacBook Air Announced as First Apple Silicon...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1

Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Still on Track for 2021 Launch, But Supplies Likely to Be Constrained into Next Year

Tuesday May 18, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Volume production of the redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple silicon and a mini-LED display is set to begin in the first quarter of 2022, while mass production of the smaller and new 14-inch MacBook Pro will begin in the fourth quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited in a paywalled DigiTimes report. Yesterday, DigiTimes posted a preview of a story reporting that the la...
m2 feature

Apple's 'M2' Next-Gen Mac Chip Enters Mass Production, Expected to Debut in Redesigned MacBooks Later This Year

Tuesday April 27, 2021 1:38 am PDT by
Apple's custom next-generation Mac processor entered mass production this month, claims a new report today from Nikkei Asia. Tentatively dubbed the "M2" after Apple's M1 chip, the processors take at least three months to produce and could begin shipping as early as July in time for incorporation in Apple's next line of MacBooks, according to the paper's sources. The next generation of Mac...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

At Least One New MacBook With Apple Silicon 'Likely' at WWDC, Says Morgan Stanley Analyst

Friday June 4, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
We're just three days away from Apple's annual developers conference, WWDC, but rumors are still divided as to whether new MacBook Pro models with Apple silicon will be announced at Apple's opening keynote on Monday. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty weighed in on the matter in a research note shared with MacRumors today, claiming it's "likely" that Apple will announce at least one new...
macOS Big Sur Feature Purple

Apple Seeds RC Version of macOS Big Sur 11.3 to Developers

Tuesday April 20, 2021 11:16 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the RC version of an upcoming macOS Big Sur 11.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming one week after the launch of the eighth beta and more than two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2, a bug fix update. Developers can download the ‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌ 11.3 beta using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after...
13 inch macbook pro m1

Apple to Announce Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro at WWDC, Says Wedbush Analyst

Wednesday June 2, 2021 10:44 pm PDT by
Apple plans to announce its long-rumored 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple silicon at WWDC, taking place in less than five days, according to Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives. In a note to investors seen by MacRumors, Ives says alongside the normally expected announcement of new versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, Apple is planning a "few surprises," including the...
new macbookpro wallpaper screen

Apple Planning to Discontinue High-End 13-inch MacBook Pro

Monday March 22, 2021 3:25 am PDT by
Apple may discontinue the 13.3-inch high-end MacBook Pro, following rumors that the machine will be replaced with a redesigned 14-inch model later this year. While Apple appears to be committed to the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro for the time being as an entry-level model, having updated it with an M1 Apple silicon chip in November, the high-end 13.3-inch MacBook Pro has not been updated since May...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...