Top Stories: iOS 14.4, Record Apple Earnings, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors

This week saw a good mix of Apple news and rumors, led by the release of iOS 14.4, a blockbuster earnings report from Apple, and a fresh report that the next Apple Watch might be able to monitor blood glucose levels.

top stories 30jan21
We also went hands-on with Apple's new "Time to Walk" feature for Apple Watch, while AirPods Max owners can now purchase standalone ear cushions to mix and match colors. Read on for all of the details!

Everything New in iOS 14.4

Apple publicly released iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 this week with a handful of new features and bug fixes for iPhone ad iPad users.

14
iOS 14.4 introduces a notification on iPhone 12 models with non-genuine cameras, the option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications, and more.

Apple also released watchOS 7.3, which expands the ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer to Japan, Mayotte, Thailand, and the Philippines, and introduces a new "Unity" watch face based on the Pan-African Flag. tvOS 14.4 is out too, while macOS 11.2 remains in beta.

Apple this week announced that its App Tracking Transparency privacy measure will be required starting with the next beta versions of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14, meaning that apps will need to request permission to track users and collect their device's random identifier for advertising purposes. Apple says the software updates will be publicly released in the early spring.

Apple Reports Record-Breaking Quarter With $111B in Revenue

Apple this week reported its earnings results for the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year, which corresponds with the fourth quarter of the 2020 calendar year.

q1 2021 revenue feature
The quarter was a blowout for Apple, which reported an all-time quarterly revenue record of $111.4 billion, with strength across all product categories, including the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more.

Apple has thrived financially during the pandemic as many customers work, learn, and connect with others from home. Apple launched many new products and services during the quarter, including the entire iPhone 12 lineup, rave-reviewed M1 Macs, a redesigned iPad Air, the HomePod mini, the AirPods Max, Apple Fitness+, and Apple One subscription bundles.

Apple Watch Series 7 Rumored to Feature Blood Glucose Monitoring

The Apple Watch Series 7 will reportedly feature blood glucose monitoring via an optical sensor, according to a report this week by ETNews.

apple watch blood glucose feature
The report, which mainly focuses on the blood glucose capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, explains that Apple is intending to bring blood glucose monitoring to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 using a non-invasive optical sensor.

Apple has been gradually expanding the health monitoring capabilities of the Apple Watch, most recently adding the ability monitor blood oxygen levels in the Apple Watch Series 6 introduced last September.

Hands-On With the New Apple Fitness+ 'Time to Walk' Feature

Apple this week officially introduced Time to Walk, a new feature that allows Apple Watch users who subscribe to Apple Fitness+ to listen to audio stories from celebrities, musicians, athletes, and other influential guests while they walk — similar to podcasts. For wheelchair users, the feature is named Time to Push.

time to walk feature2
Time to Walk episodes are automatically downloaded to the Apple Watch with a Fitness+ subscription, and users can start an episode directly from the Workout app. New episodes ranging from 25 to 40 minutes in length will appear in the Workout app from a different guest each Monday through the end of April, according to Apple.

The first guests include musicians Dolly Parton and Shawn Mendes, NBA star Draymond Green, and actress Uzo Aduba, known for her role as Suzanne Warren on the Netflix original series "Orange Is the New Black."

We took a quick look at Time to Walk in one of our latest YouTube videos to see what it's all about and whether it's a worthwhile addition to Fitness+.

Apple Now Selling Standalone Ear Cushions for AirPods Max

Apple is now selling AirPods Max ear cushions on a standalone basis, priced at $69 for a set, allowing customers to mix and match colors, including silver, black, sky blue, green, and red.

airpods max earcup price feature2
‌AirPods Max‌ ear cushions attach to the ear cups magnetically and can be popped right off, so making a swap to a new color is simple.

MacRumors mocked up all of the AirPods Max color combinations that are possible, so if you're wondering how a particular color might look with your ‌AirPods Max‌, the article is a valuable resource. The replacement ear cushions were initially estimated to ship in one business day, although delivery of colors other than silver and black quickly slipped into late March or early April. The first orders are, however, already arriving in customers' hands.

In other product news, Apple this week announced that it will be releasing a limited-edition "Black Unity" version of the Apple Watch Series 6. This special model will be available throughout February in honor of Black History Month and comes with a "Black Unity" Sport Band based on the Pan-African Flag.

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

Apple_Robert Avatar
9 months ago
I believe if Apple offers BG testing with the watch, it very well could be the highest selling product for Apple.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Matti_ Avatar
9 months ago
I wonder if the next apple watch gets the same flat edges like the iPhone 12 and ipad pro got? I would be the first major design update since the apple watch gen 1.

i wish the ability to measure stress level and calculating recovery time after sports for the next apple watch as new features
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleGuesser Avatar
9 months ago

I believe if Apple offers BG testing with the watch, it very well could be the highest selling product for Apple.
Yeah, as a diabetic that uses a dexcom G6 with an Apple Watch, I have a hard time seeing a couple of things.

1. Dexcom, under great insurance still costs me about 2000 a year to use. Dexcom makes a killing off of this as a business up charging the insurance. Cost alone makes me think this isn’t what we think it is.

2. Dexcom requires being inserted into your skin and still requires blood glucose checks on a old school machine to calibrate and is still not 100 percent accurate. So how does an optical scanner do better than a reader inside my body?

If anyone wanted to give a giant middle finger to insurance and do something incredibly shocking, Apple would be the company to do it. I have hope ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
9 months ago

I apologize in advance to my fellow forum members; I can't bite my tongue any longer. For me, 14.4 is overrated. Therefore, my iPhone 12 Max has been a disappointment, and frankly, I was reluctant to purchase it. I knew that Apple had been riding on Steve Jobs's coattails for far too long without doing much. I love the iPhone 12 max for its sculptured beauty, photo capabilities, and blah blah blah. But the damn thing overheats, battery life is pathetic, even when I remove apps and disable features. Who knows, maybe I'm the only one.

I was hopeful that 14.4 might resolve the latency issues, but I still experience the same problems with messages and occasionally with the keypad and more. The one saving grace is the near flawless Apple Watch interaction. I rely on this and my eight HomePods as a medical alert system. I have health issues, so this interaction is quite useful.

I may end up buying a Pixel 5, so I have something more reliable to text and place calls, with several positive comments of 1+ day battery use without compromise. Yes, I'm quite aware of the privacy issues, but Google is upfront about it. While I do not plan to get rid of the Apple gear, I need something more reliable as a backup.
Overheating is a sign of tasks run amok, resulting in battery drain. Suppose it could be hardware, but a clean install would flush that out. I am having “good fortune” with iOS 14.4.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Digital Dude Avatar
9 months ago
I apologize in advance to my fellow forum members; I can't bite my tongue any longer. For me, 14.4 is overrated. Therefore, my iPhone 12 Max has been a disappointment, and frankly, I was reluctant to purchase it. I knew that Apple had been riding on Steve Jobs's coattails for far too long without doing much. I love the iPhone 12 max for its sculptured beauty, photo capabilities, and blah blah blah. But the damn thing overheats, battery life is pathetic, even when I remove apps and disable features. Who knows, maybe I'm the only one.

I was hopeful that 14.4 might resolve the latency issues, but I still experience the same problems with messages and occasionally with the keypad and more. The one saving grace is the near flawless Apple Watch interaction. I rely on this and my eight HomePods as a medical alert system. I have health issues, so this interaction is quite useful.

I may end up buying a Pixel 5, so I have something more reliable to text and place calls, with several positive comments of 1+ day battery use without compromise. Yes, I'm quite aware of the privacy issues, but Google is upfront about it. While I do not plan to get rid of the Apple gear, I need something more reliable as a backup.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kopaszmercis Avatar
9 months ago

[IMG width="251px"]https://images.macrumors.com/images-new/macrumorsthreadlogo@3x.png[/IMG] ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/01/30/top-stories-ios-14-4-apple-earnings/')

This week saw a good mix of Apple news and rumors, led by the release of iOS 14.4, a blockbuster earnings report from Apple, and a fresh report that the next Apple Watch might be able to monitor blood glucose levels.



We also went hands-on with Apple's new "Time to Walk" feature for Apple Watch, while AirPods Max owners can now purchase standalone ear cushions to mix and match colors. Read on for all of the details!

Everything New in iOS 14.4

Apple publicly released iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 ('https://www.macrumors.com/guide/ios-14-4-features/') this week with a handful of new features and bug fixes for iPhone ad iPad users.



iOS 14.4 introduces a notification on iPhone 12 models with non-genuine cameras, the option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications, and more.

Apple also released watchOS 7.3 ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/01/26/apple-releases-watchos-7-3/'), which expands the ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer to Japan, Mayotte, Thailand, and the Philippines, and introduces a new "Unity" watch face based on the Pan-African Flag. tvOS 14.4 is out too, while macOS 11.2 remains in beta.

Apple this week announced that its App Tracking Transparency privacy measure will be required starting with the next beta versions of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14 ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/01/28/app-tracking-transparency-required-soon/'), meaning that apps will need to request permission to track users and collect their device's random identifier for advertising purposes. Apple says the software updates will be publicly released in the early spring.

Apple Reports Record-Breaking Quarter With $111B in Revenue

Apple this week reported its earnings results for the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year, which corresponds with the fourth quarter of the 2020 calendar year.



The quarter was a blowout for Apple, which reported an all-time quarterly revenue record of $111.4 billion ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/01/27/apple-1q-2021-earnings/'), with strength across all product categories, including the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more.

Apple has thrived financially during the pandemic as many customers work, learn, and connect with others from home. Apple launched many new products and services during the quarter, including the entire iPhone 12 lineup, rave-reviewed M1 Macs, a redesigned iPad Air, the HomePod mini, the AirPods Max, Apple Fitness+, and Apple One subscription bundles.

Apple Watch Series 7 Rumored to Feature Blood Glucose Monitoring

The Apple Watch Series 7 will reportedly feature blood glucose monitoring via an optical sensor, according to a report this week by ETNews.



The report, which mainly focuses on the blood glucose capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, explains that Apple is intending to bring blood glucose monitoring to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 using a non-invasive optical sensor.

Apple has been gradually expanding the health monitoring capabilities of the Apple Watch, most recently adding the ability monitor blood oxygen levels in the Apple Watch Series 6 introduced last September.

Hands-On With the New Apple Fitness+ 'Time to Walk' Feature

Apple this week officially introduced Time to Walk ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/01/25/apple-fitness-time-to-walk-launches-today/'), a new feature that allows Apple Watch users who subscribe to Apple Fitness+ to listen to audio stories from celebrities, musicians, athletes, and other influential guests while they walk — similar to podcasts. For wheelchair users, the feature is named Time to Push.



Time to Walk episodes are automatically downloaded to the Apple Watch with a Fitness+ subscription, and users can start an episode directly from the Workout app. New episodes ranging from 25 to 40 minutes in length will appear in the Workout app from a different guest each Monday through the end of April, according to Apple.

The first guests include musicians Dolly Parton and Shawn Mendes, NBA star Draymond Green, and actress Uzo Aduba, known for her role as Suzanne Warren on the Netflix original series "Orange Is the New Black."

We took a quick look at Time to Walk in one of our latest YouTube videos ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/01/25/time-to-walk-hands-on/') to see what it's all about and whether it's a worthwhile addition to Fitness+.

Apple Now Selling Standalone Ear Cushions for AirPods Max

Apple is now selling AirPods Max ear cushions on a standalone basis ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/01/27/airpods-max-ear-cushions-now-available/'), priced at $69 for a set, allowing customers to mix and match colors, including silver, black, sky blue, green, and red.



‌AirPods Max‌ ear cushions attach to the ear cups magnetically and can be popped right off, so making a swap to a new color is simple.

MacRumors mocked up all of the AirPods Max color combinations ('https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/all-25-airpod-max-cup-headband-combos.2274186/') that are possible, so if you're wondering how a particular color might look with your ‌AirPods Max‌, the article is a valuable resource. The replacement ear cushions were initially estimated to ship in one business day, although delivery of colors other than silver and black quickly slipped into late March or early April. The first orders are, however, already arriving in customers' hands ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/01/29/airpods-max-replacement-ear-cushions/').

In other product news, Apple this week announced that it will be releasing a limited-edition "Black Unity" version of the Apple Watch Series 6. This special model will be available throughout February in honor of Black History Month and comes with a "Black Unity" Sport Band based on the Pan-African Flag.

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 ('https://mailchi.mp/macrumors/jan-28-2021') like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter ('http://eepurl.com/OHdUX')!

Article Link: Top Stories: iOS 14.4, Record Apple Earnings, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors ('https://www.macrumors.com/2021/01/30/top-stories-ios-14-4-apple-earnings/')
Of course itás a record quarter... good for them, well deserved!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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