Top Stories: Apple M1 Macs and HomePod Mini Launch, iOS 14.2.1 Bug Fixes for iPhone 12, App Store Fee Changes

It was a week full of unboxings this week, with Apple's new M1-based Macs and the HomePod mini making their way into customers' hands for the first time. We're seeing impressive performance from all of the new products, and it'll be super interesting what Apple is able to do with its higher-powered Macs as the transition to Apple Silicon continues.

Wrap Up 37 Thumbnail

This week also saw the release of a special iOS 14.2.1 update for the iPhone 12 lineup to address a few early bugs on those devices, and Apple announced a new App Store program that will cut its commission in half for developers who earned under $1 million from the App Store in the previous year. Read on for all of the details on these stories and more!

First Apple M1 Macs Begin Arriving to Customers

The first Macs with Apple's custom M1 chip began arriving to customers Tuesday, and there has been quite a bit of excitement surrounding the launch, as performance has proven to be quite impressive.

macbook air m1 unboxing feature
Benchmark results have shown that the new MacBook Air with the M1 chip outperforms a high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro, while the new 13-inch MacBook Pro can compile code as fast as a 2019 Mac Pro, all while consuming only a fraction of the battery life of the previous-generation Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro.

There are already quite a few popular apps that have been optimized with native support for Apple Silicon, including Pixelmator Pro, Fantastical, BBEdit, Affinity Designer, Twitter, Darkroom, and djay Pro AI. A crowdsourced list of universal Mac apps can be found in the MacRumors forums.

Watch the Apple M1 MacBook Air Blaze Through Opening Every Default App

To further demonstrate just how impressive the M1 chip's performance is, MacRumors forum member iChan shared a video in which he opened every default app in the Dock on the new base model MacBook Air, and the notebook handled the task with ease. We also performed our own tests pitting the new M1 MacBook Air against the equivalent Intel model from earlier this year, and it wasn't much of a contest.

open every default app thumb
These feats are even more impressive considering that the base model MacBook Air is equipped with just 8GB of memory and has a silent, fanless design, making it exciting to see what Apple will achieve with its M-series chips in higher-end Macs to come.

Rumors suggest that future Apple Silicon Macs will include new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with an all-new form factor as early as Q2 2021, in addition to a redesigned 24-inch iMac and a smaller version of the Mac Pro.

Hands-On With the New HomePod Mini

Apple's new HomePod mini also began arriving to customers this week, and we picked one up to see how it measures up to the full-size HomePod.

homepod mini hands on thumbnail
‌HomePod mini‌ measures in at just 3.3 inches tall and 3.9 inches wide, so it's a good deal smaller than the standard ‌HomePod‌. Despite its compact design, we were impressed at the sound that the speaker was able to put out.

Priced at $99, the HomePod mini is a more budget-friendly competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, while still offering many features of the full-size HomePod, including Siri, HomeKit integration, Apple Music, Intercom voice messaging, and stereo pairing with another HomePod mini.

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 With Fix for Text Message Bug and iPhone 12 Mini Lock Screen Issues

Apple's iPhone 12 models have had a few bugs since their release, and Apple cleaned up several of them this week with the release of iOS 14.2.1, which is only for the iPhone 12 family.

14
The update fixes a bug that caused some MMS text messages not to be received in both single-person and group chats, and it fixes a bug that caused the Lock Screen of the ‌iPhone 12‌ mini to become unresponsive. It also includes a fix for Made for iPhone hearing devices that were experiencing sound quality issues.

Apple Drops App Store Fees to 15% for All Developers Making Under $1 Million From App Store

Apple this week announced a new App Store Small Business Program that will allow developers who earned up to $1 million in post-commission earnings during the previous calendar year to qualify for a reduced 15% commission on the sale of apps and in-app purchases tied to digital goods and services.

app store 15 percent feature
The program is set to launch on January 1, 2021, and Apple will be sharing comprehensive details in early December. In the meantime, Apple outlined the following parameters:

  • Existing developers who made up to $1 million in 2020 for all of their apps, as well as developers new to the App Store, can qualify for the program and the reduced commission.
  • If a participating developer surpasses the $1 million threshold, the standard commission rate will apply for the remainder of the year.
  • If a developer’s business falls below the $1 million threshold in a future calendar year, they can re-qualify for the 15 percent commission the year after.

Apple Investigating Display Issues With iPhone 12 Models

In an internal document for technicians this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has acknowledged an issue with some iPhone 12 displays exhibiting flickering, a green or gray glow, or other unintended lighting variations under some conditions.

green tint investigation feature
Apple says that it is aware of customer reports related to this issue and is investigating. Apple has advised technicians to avoid servicing affected iPhones, at least for now, and instead inform customers that they should keep their iPhone up to date with the latest iOS version. This guidance suggests that Apple may be confident that it can fix the issue in a future software update.

A similar green tint issue affected some iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max displays, and Apple was able to fix it in iOS 13.6.1.

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

jayducharme Avatar
14 weeks ago

If your thinking of buying a Mac Mini, then it seems that a 10 Gb ethernet option is coming soon, if you have the expensive ethernet setup to support it.
I have fiber optic direct into my house, yet I never get close to 1 gb let alone 10. (I currently have the 2018 mini with 10 gb.) So I don't think I'll be missing very much with the 1 gb connection, at least for several years until higher bandwidth is more prevalent in my area.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spock Avatar
14 weeks ago
My wallet hates this post.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FightTheFuture Avatar
14 weeks ago

Looks like Apple caved with that Epic lawsuit. 15% instead of 30% commission is the right direction.
That wouldn’t apply to Epic. Fortnite probably made $1m a week on virtual pants alone.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
mac mini developer transition kit photo feature

Apple Requiring Developers to Return DTK Mac Minis by March 31

Friday February 26, 2021 3:57 pm PST by
Apple today sent out emails to developers who are in possession of a Developer Transition Kit, asking them to return the machines by March 31. The Developer Transition Kits are Mac minis with A12Z chips that Apple provided for development purposes ahead of the release of the M1 Macs. Apple in the emails provided developers with shipping instructions, and plans to begin collecting the DTKs...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh rate, including display industry analyst Ross Young, leakers ...
unc0ver version 6 release

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 6.0.0 Released With iOS 14.3 Compatibility

Sunday February 28, 2021 9:26 am PST by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 6.0.0 of its software, which can allegedly be used to jailbreak any device running iOS 11.0 through iOS 14.3 using a kernel vulnerability. The unc0ver website describes how the tool has been extensively tested across a range of iOS devices running various software versions, including an iPhone 12 Pro Max running iOS ...