We originally tracked the AirPods 2 for $69.00 at Amazon in early November, but that sale quickly expired. Amazon now has this model for $79.99, down from $129.00. This version of the AirPods is perfect for anyone on your holiday shopping list who may be asking for a simple and reliable pair of wireless earbuds, particularly at this insanely low price tag.
Amazon has the AirPods 3 with Lightning Charging Case for $139.99, down from $169.00. These are upgraded in a few ways from the AirPods 2, with spatial audio, Adaptive EQ, force sensor controls, sweat and water resistance, and more.
Lastly, the high-end AirPods Max are available for $449.99 on Amazon, down from $549.00. Discounts on the AirPods Max have been rare over the past few months, so this one is a second-best price on the over-ear headphones.
Black Friday 2023 has officially ended, but we're still tracking some of the best deals of the year on Apple products like AirPods, iPad, iPhone, MacBook, and many more.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Specifically, in this article we're sharing all of the Apple products that currently have all-time low prices, or discounts that are at least very close to their record-low prices. Beyond Apple, we're also taking a look at notable accessories for Apple products as well as some of the season's best gifts, including LEGO sets. Every deal shared below is available to purchase right now.
Table of Contents
You can use the links below to jump directly to the section you're shopping for today.
For more Black Friday deals, particularly including current and upcoming sales from third-party accessory makers, check out our Black Friday Roundup.
HomePod (2nd Gen)
B&H Photo has been the only retailer with a consistent discount on Apple's second generation HomePod. Right now, you can get it in both colors for $279.99, down from $299.00. While not a huge markdown, this continues to be the best price we've ever tracked.
We originally tracked the AirPods 2 for $69.00 at Amazon in early November, but that sale quickly expired. For now, you can get the AirPods 2 for $79.99, down from $129.00. This version of the AirPods is perfect for anyone on your holiday shopping list who may be asking for a simple and reliable pair of wireless earbuds, particularly at this insanely low price tag.
Amazon has the AirPods 3 with Lightning Charging Case for $139.99, down from $169.00. These are upgraded in a few ways from the AirPods 2, with spatial audio, Adaptive EQ, force sensor controls, sweat and water resistance, and more.
Lastly, the high-end AirPods Max are available for $449.99 on Amazon, down from $549.00. Discounts on the AirPods Max have been rare over the past few months, so this one is a second-best price on the over-ear headphones.
AT&T quite a few sales and offers for multiple iPhone 15 devices, including up to $1,000 off the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max with an eligible smartphone trade-in. Models with lower storage capacities can be purchased at no cost thanks to these discounts, and of course you'll need to purchase the new smartphone on a qualifying installment agreement.
You can get up to $830 off the iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus as well, with the same stipulations as the Pro devices. Both offers will be delivered via monthly bill credits, starting within three bills after trade-in is completed. It'll be applied in equal amounts over the term of your installment agreement.
For the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max offer, you'll need to trade in a device with a value of $230 or higher to get the full $1,000 off markdown. You'll get up to $830 in bill credits with a trade-in value of $130 to $229 and up to $350 in bill credits with a trade-in value of $35 to $129.
For older iPhone models, AT&T is offering the 128GB iPhone 14 at $10.99/month with no trade-in required. Similarly, the iPhone 14 Pro is available at $15/month with no trade-in required. For these, all you'll need is to purchase the smartphones on an installment plan and pick or upgrade to an eligible unlimited plan.
AT&T is also taking $300 off any Apple Watch when you purchase two at the same time. Like smartphone plans, you'll have to buy two Apple Watches on an installment plan, add at least one new line, and activate both on your wireless plan. Afterwards, you'll get up to $300 in bill credits over 36 months.
At Verizon, you can get a special bundle offer if you're interested in purchasing the new iPhone 15 Pro this holiday season. When you do pick up the new smartphone with a new line on an Unlimited Plus or Unlimited Ultimate plan, Verizon will reward you with an Apple TV 4K (64GB) and six months of Apple One at no cost.
Of course, you can purchase higher storage iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max models, but at that point you'll be paying a little extra. The Apple TV 4K promotion requires a smarpthone purchase on an eligible plan and ends on November 15, while the Apple One six month promotion requires a line subscribed to an Unlimited Plus or Unlimited Ultimate plan.
For last year's models, you can get four iPhone 14 Plus devices for free along with four lines on Unlimited Welcome at $120/month. A new line on any 5G Unlimited plan is required per smartphone. You can also stack this with Verizon's current tablet and smartwatch promotions, which offer up to $279.99 off these devices.
Verizon is also a great place to buy stocking stuffers for techies during the holiday season with its abundant accessory sales. Right now it has up to $50 off Anker speakers, 30% off Nimble chargers, 20% off Apple Watch bands, and 20% off Mophie chargers.
Verizon's Visible brand has $10 off its premium Visible+ service, now priced at $35/month with the promo code 35FOR6 used at checkout. This promotion will last for six months, and after it ends it will return to the regular price of $45/month for the Visible+ service.
Visible offers all of the latest smartphones, including iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models. When you join Visible, you'll save up to $240 via monthly bill credits on your account. You'll need to join Visible on a new line of service, purchase a new device, and select the Visible+ plan.
T-Mobile is providing up to $1,000 off the new iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro when you trade in an eligible device on a Go5G Next plan. You can get up to $830 off these devices when you trade in an eligible device on a Go5G Plus plan.
The carrier also has a wide variety of previous generation iPhones at a discount. This includes the iPhone 13 and iPhone SE at no extra cost when purchased on select cellular plans and trading in eligible devices.
9th Gen iPad
We've been tracking a great all-time low discount on the ninth generation iPad since Prime Day, and the deal is still around in November. You can get the 64GB Wi-Fi iPad for $229.99, down from $329.00. At this record low price, the iPad is a perfect entry-level tablet for a kid or family member who doesn't need the tablet for work-intensive projects.
The upgraded iPad from 2022 also has a great discount on Amazon right now, with the 64GB Wi-Fi model on sale for $349.00, down from $449.00. This model comes with a bigger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, A14 Bionic chip for a performance boost, Wi-Fi 6, and more.
This beats the sale from earlier in the month by $50 and is a new all-time low price on the iPad.
Switching to iPad Air models, the 2022 64GB Wi-Fi tablet has hit $499.99 on Amazon, down from $599.00. That's a solid all-time low price on this model, and you can also find a few other storage configurations at record lows this time around. Note that for the majority of colors, you'll need to clip an on-page coupon to see these deals.
The M1 MacBook Air has returned to its steep discounted price of $749.99 for the 256GB model, down from $999.00. This is a great deal and perfect computer for anyone who needs an Apple notebook for simple email and internet browsing.
At Best Buy, you can get the 256GB 13-inch M2 MacBook Air for $899.00, down from $1,099.00. This deal is only available for My Best Buy Plus/Total members, and it's an all-time low price. You'll find a similar record low deal on the 512GB model too.
Best Buy has the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air (256GB) for the all-time low price of $999.00, down from $1,299.00. The 512GB model is also available for the record low price of $1,199.00, down from $1,499.00. Both have all colors on sale, and they're only available at these prices for My Best Buy Plus/Total members.
Apple's latest MacBook Air model is a great option with numerous pro-level features without the price tag. For a deep dive into all the similarities and differences between each line, read our buyer's guide.
There are a few notable discounts on the new M3 MacBook Pro at Best Buy and Amazon this week, including savings on the 14-inch and 16-inch models. These are some of the first big discounts on the M3 MacBook Pro, and you can get up to $200 off these notebooks.
For the 14-inch models at Best Buy below, note that the prices reflect My Best Buy Plus/Total member savings.
Some of the best Black Friday Apple Watch deals are focused on the new Series 9 models. You can get the 41mm GPS device for $329.00 at Amazon, down from $399.00. This $70 discount is a new all-time low price on the 2023 smartwatch. Likewise, the 45mm GPS is down to $359.00 at Amazon, another $70 markdown and record low price.
Amazon has a few models of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 for the all-time low price of $739.00, down from $799.00. This sale was more expansive last week and now only a handful of Ultra 2 models are at this record low price, so if you're interested make sure to take a look at the deal before it's gone.
If you want a cheaper Apple Watch, Amazon has the 40mm GPS Apple Watch SE for $179.00, down from $249.00. This one was at $189.00 just last week, so this is yet another record low price for the 2022 Apple Watch SE, and you'll find multiple best-ever prices across the lineup.
Update: The deal on the 40mm GPS model has expired.
Amazon is taking nearly 30 percent off the new FineWoven Cases for iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus this week. Not every color is discounted, but those that are have prices as low as $33.69 for these brand new accessories, down from $59.00.
Over at Woot and Amazon, you can get a few of Apple's best wireless and MagSafe chargers for all-time low prices. This includes the MagSafe Charger for $29.00, down from $39.00 and the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock for $34.99, down from $79.00. Amazon has the MagSafe Duo Charger for $79.99, down from $129.00.
These are great stocking stuffer present ideas for the holiday season, and all the Woot accessories are in new condition.
If you're looking to replace or upgrade your Siri Remote, Woot has the second generation model with Lightning at its lowest-ever price of $44.99, down from $59.00. Like other Woot Apple accessory sales going on right now, this one is in new condition and has a one year Apple limited warranty.
If you have an 11-inch iPad Pro, you can match it with the 11-inch iPad Pro Magic Keyboard for $215.92 on Amazon, down from $299.00. This one is available in both White and Black colors, and it's another best-ever price. This sale has been fluctuating in price, so if you don't see it available, be sure to check back again soon.
The only downside is Amazon's current shipping estimate, which has a generous one to four week estimate for shipping. This still guarantees a delivery by Christmas, so if you're looking to buy it as a present and want to take advantage of this solid discount, now is definitely the time to buy.
Amazon has the AirTag 4-Pack for $79.99 this week, down from $99.00. This is nearly a match of the all-time low price on this model. If you want just one AirTag, Amazon has the AirTag 1-Pack for $23.99, down from $29.00.
We've been tracking all of the season's best deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, so be sure to bookmark the page and visit it throughout the season as you do your online shopping. Our roundup mainly focuses on Apple products and related tech accessories.
With all the discounted deals on Apple tech currently available, you might be thinking about upgrading your Apple Watch or buying one for the first time. But if your current smartwatch is doing its job just fine and it's only the idea of a good deal that's piqued your interest, it could be worth holding out until next year when Apple unveils its latest and greatest version.
There are already several rumors from reputable sources that suggest 2024 could be a very big year for the Apple Watch. Here are five reasons to hold onto your wallet for now and wait until the next-generation model arrives.
The original Apple Watch was released in April 2015, and we are coming up on the 10th anniversary of Apple's first wearable device. With such a landmark anniversary on the horizon, rumors suggest a notable 10-year anniversary update could arrive as early as 2024.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple is planning a major redesign for the Apple Watch to coincide with its 10th anniversary. Apple is said to be aiming to make the Apple Watch thinner than it is now, with a slimmer casing, along with different ways to attach bands. The new bands could attach to the watch magnetically, which would free up space inside the Apple Watch for bigger batteries and other internal components.
Analyst Jeff Pu and display analyst Ross Young believe Apple is working on a new high-end watch that will feature a 2.1-inch (diagonal) micro-LED display. The watch is rumored to be coming in 2024 or 2025, although it could be an upgrade to the Apple Watch Ultra rather than the Series 9.
That said, Apple could be planning multiple sizes, or the rumored "Apple Watch X" could be a larger-sized watch with a new case design and slimmer bezels. MicroLED is more energy efficient than the OLED technology currently used in Apple Watch models. It also has a longer lifetime, faster response times, better contrast, and brighter colors.
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Apple plans to add blood pressure monitoring to the Apple Watch in 2024, according to Bloomberg's Gurman. The blood pressure monitoring featuring will reportedly let users know if their blood pressure is trending upward.
As opposed to the common methods that measure blood pressure using an inflatable cuff wrapped around the upper arm, Apple's system is believed to measure the speed of the wave of a heartbeat through a user's arteries using sensors. However, it may not provide exact systolic and diastolic measurements initially.
As part of Apple's new blood pressure monitoring system, the Apple Watch is also expected to detect episodes of hypertension, or abnormally high blood pressure, according to Gurman.
The system will provide an option for users to note what they were doing when the hypertension occurred, which could be useful for medical diagnosis. And to avoid potentially giving a misdiagnosis, the Apple Watch will direct the user to talk to their doctor or check their blood pressure with a traditional cuff, which can provide exact systolic and diastolic measurements.
Sleep Apnea Detection
Also coming in 2024 is an Apple Watch-based sleep apnea detection feature. Sleep apnea is sleeping disorder in which the temporary cessation of breathing occurs more often than normal during sleep. It can cause hypoxemia and sleep deprivation. Symptoms include loud snoring and making choking noises during your sleep.
According to Bloomberg's November 2023 report, the Apple Watch will use sleep history and breathing patterns to estimate whether someone has the condition, and then direct users to see a physician.
Apple typically releases a new Apple Watch model in September alongside the launch of its latest flagship iPhone, which in 2024 will be the iPhone 16. Apple could however have something different planned if it does indeed unveil a 10th anniversary "Apple Watch X" next year.
It's worth noting that the original Apple Watch was unveiled in September 2014, but it did not release until April 2015, so Apple could use either date for the Apple Watch anniversary. Given that 2023 marked the debut of the Apple Watch Series 9, a Series 10 or "X" would be more appropriate for 2024, not 2025, but the X naming is just speculation at this point.
Over 600 days have passed since Apple last updated the iPad Air, as outlined in the MacRumors Buyer's Guide. Below, we outline rumored features and launch timing for the next iPad Air, which would be the sixth-generation model.
Apple released the current iPad Air in March 2022, with then-new features including the M1 chip, 5G connectivity on cellular models, an upgraded 12-megapixel front camera with support for Center Stage, up to a 2x faster USB-C port for wired data transfer, and new color options like purple and blue. The device is equipped with a 10.9-inch display, and Touch ID fingerprint authentication built into the power button.
Apple is rumored to be planning two new iPad Air models for release in the first half of 2024, with more details about the devices outlined below.
Apple is planning new 10.9-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Air models, according to supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, meaning the device would be available in multiple display sizes for the first time. Kuo said the devices will still have a traditional LCD panel without mini-LED backlighting, but he expects the 12.9-inch model to be equipped with an "oxide" backplane for improved display performance compared to the current iPad Air.
Beyond the larger display option, there have not been any rumors about major external design changes for the next iPad Air models.
The next iPad Air models are likely to be equipped with Apple's M2 chip for additional performance and power efficiency improvements over the M1 chip in the current model. Apple already updated the iPad Pro with the M2 chip in October 2022.
Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
It is very likely that the next iPad Air models will support Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, enabling faster Wi-Fi speeds with a supported router, and improved Bluetooth connectivity. Apple has already added Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support to the latest iPad Pro, iPhone 15 Pro models, and most new Macs.
Kuo said the new 10.9-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Air models are scheduled for mass production in the first quarter of 2024, meaning that the devices should launch at some point in the first half of the year. March is a common month for Apple to announce new products, as is June during Apple's annual developers conference WWDC.
iOS 18 should be announced at Apple's annual developers conference WWDC next June, and released to all users with a compatible iPhone in September. Below, we recap all of the rumors and information pertaining to the update so far.
"Major New Features"
In his newsletter this month, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said iOS 18 could be a "relatively groundbreaking" update with "major new features and designs," although he did not share many specific details. Gurman added that Apple's senior management has internally described its upcoming operating systems as "ambitious and compelling."
Gurman said that iOS 18 will feature generative AI technology that "should improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences." He said Apple has explored new generative AI features for other apps across its platforms, including Apple Music, Pages, Keynote, and Xcode.
The Information reported that Apple plans to incorporate large language models into Siri to let users automate complex tasks, a feature that would involve deeper integration with the Shortcuts app. The report said this feature is expected to be released in an iPhone software update coming next year, which could be iOS 18.
Generative AI surged in popularity last year when OpenAI released ChatGPT, a chatbot that can respond to questions and other prompts. Google and Microsoft released similar chatbots earlier this year, as more companies race into the space. The chatbots are trained on large language models, allowing them to respond like a human.
Apple has publicly confirmed its interest in generative AI, and it has mentioned the technology in job listings posted on its website in recent months.
"We've been working on generative AI for years and have done a lot of research," said Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with Forbes in September. "And we're going to approach it really thoughtfully and think about it deeply, because we're fully aware of the not-good uses that it can have, and the issues around bias and hallucination and so forth."
RCS support should result in several improvements to the default messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices:
Higher-resolution photos and videos
Wi-Fi messaging between iPhones and Android devices
Improved group chats, including the ability for iPhone users to leave a conversation that includes Android users
Improved encryption compared to SMS
These features are already available for iPhone-to-iPhone conversations with blue bubbles, via iMessage, and many of the features are also available in third-party messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Telegram. RCS support on the iPhone will extend the features to green bubbles in the built-in Messages app, providing for a much better iPhone/Android messaging experience compared to the current SMS standard.
AirPods Max are the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. It's been almost three years since Apple launched AirPods Max in December 2020, and only recently have we begun hearing rumors about Apple's plans for a new-generation model next year.
According to well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, Apple will introduce a new version of the AirPods Max in late 2024. Here's what we expect from the new version of Apple's premium over-ear headphones, followed by some potential features that we hope to see but are still unconfirmed for AirPods Max 2.
2024 AirPods Max: What to Expect
According to Gurman, Apple will replace the Lightning port found on the current-generation AirPods Max for a USB-C port. This will ensure the headphones comply with European regulations, and will bring consistency across the company's AirPods lineup.
This of course means AirPods Max 2 will come supplied with a USB-C to USB-C charging cable, rather than a Lightning to USB-C cable. Apple will also need to offer a USB-C to 3.5mm audio accessory cable so that users can plug AirPods Max 2 into 3.5mm audio ports.
The Bluetooth 5.3 specification can already be found in the AirPods Pro 2, the iPhone 15 lineup, and the latest Apple Watch models. It is also supported by all Mac models released in 2023. Therefore it's almost inevitable that the second-generation AirPods Max will similarly feature the latest Bluetooth standard.
Bluetooth 5.3 includes enhancements that can improve the reliability of the wireless connection as well as energy efficiency. The specification also includes LE Audio, but Apple does not appear to have implemented support for LE Audio in its devices yet.
Apple will offer second-generation AirPods Max in fresh colors, according to an October 2023Bloomberg report. Although what those colors might be is currently unknown.
AirPods Max are currently available in Space Gray, Silver, Green, Sky Blue, and Pink, although interchangeable ear cushions allow for many color combinations. Apple sells standalone ear cushions for $69 per pair.
2024 AirPods Max: What to Hope For
The latest rumors suggest that no other major changes are expected for the AirPods Max 2, although Apple's plans could always change between now and when they are released in late 2024. Here are the improvements and changes that we hope Apple ultimately includes.
It would seem reasonable for AirPods Max 2 to feature the H2 chip, Apple's custom silicon chip designed specifically for earbuds and headphones. The H2 chip enables improved computational audio to enhance sound quality on the current-generation AirPods Pro and improves battery life with better energy efficiency.
Despite the H2 chip's introduction with the AirPods Pro, Gurman's latest report suggests Apple currently does not plan to include the technology in the AirPods Max 2, which would also deprive the headphones of H2-specific features like Adaptive Audio, Personalized Volume, and improved noise cancelation and battery life.
U2 Chip and Precision Finding
Apple's U2 Ultra Wideband chip can be found in the latest iPhone 15 series, Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, and allows for Precision Finding in the Find My app.
The current AirPods Max feature basic support for Find My, but do not even feature the previous generation U1 chip. For Apple to add a U2 chip to AirPods Max 2 would therefore enable a much more precise way to locate the headphones when they are nearby.
Redesigned Smart Case
When Apple unveiled the $549 AirPods Max, the included Smart Case stirred up plenty of online chatter for its odd appearance and poor overall protection when compared to the traditional hard cases that come with other premium headphones.
Apple's much-lampooned case birthed an avalanche of memes, which have irreverently compared it to all sorts of things, from handbags to lingerie, and even body parts. There are no rumors that Apple plans to redesign the case, although one Apple patent describes how a future model could come with a case that offers a more traditional portable housing.
Swiss-based privacy startup Proton today announced the availability of its end-to-end encrypted cloud storage service for Mac users with the launch of its macOS app.
Proton Drive lets users sync files between Mac and the cloud, access files offline, and free up space on local drives. Unlike iCloud, all data (including metadata) is end-to-end encrypted by default, so that no-one – not even Proton – can see the files.
Files in Proton Drive are synced on-demand, meaning they don't take up space on the local computer until they are needed. Meanwhile, files and folders saved in the Proton Drive folder automatically sync online to Proton Drive, and any changes made locally are mirrored across all other devices linked to the Proton account.
When files and folders are downloaded for offline access, Proton Drive syncs changes when an internet connection next becomes available. Users can also access and restore previous versions of files via the web interface. It's worth noting that only files stored in the Proton Drive folder are synced, but Proton says it is working to enable synchronization for any local folder.
Additional Proton Drive options can be found in the app's menu bar item, including one-click sync pausing, sync status, quick access to Proton Drive, and service support.
Web access to Proton Drive arrived last September, followed by native mobile apps in December and a Windows app in July. The arrival of the Mac app means Proton Drive is now available on all major platforms.
Proton Drive offers users 1GB of storage for free, with additional paid plans available starting at $4/month for 200GB of storage, including additional features such as the ability to automatically store previous versions of a file for up to 10 years. Black Friday deals are currently available on the company's website.
Sunbird, an app that is designed to deliver iMessages to Android devices, has been temporarily shut down due to security concerns. Sunbird this week sent out a notification to users letting them know about the shutdown (via 9to5Google).
Sunbird said that it was investigating security issues that had been raised by the Nothing Chats iMessage app, and shortly after, told users that Sunbird usage had been paused. "We will update you when we are ready to proceed," read the notification.
The Sunbird app was first introduced in late 2022, and it has been limited to customers that signed up for the waitlist. The Sunbird website describes the app as unifying "the world's most popular messaging apps" into a single app, with support for iMessage, SMS/MMS, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.
Using Sunbird on an Android device allowed Android users to send messages to iPhone users that were delivered as iMessage "blue bubbles" rather than green text messages. The app claimed to have end-to-end encryption and confidential messaging for these Android to iPhone conversations, but those claims have been in question, leading to the pause in service.
Last week, Sunbird teamed up with smartphone manufacturer Nothing to launch "Nothing Chats," a messaging app that promised iMessage compatibility. The high-profile announcement led to a deep dive into how Nothing Chats worked and how Sunbird, as the backbone for the feature, functioned.
The Nothing Chats app required users to log in with their Apple ID, one of many red flags raised over Sunbird's security. Text.com looked into how Sunbird works, and found that it is sending a user's Apple ID credentials to a Sunbird server, where those credentials are authenticated using a virtual machine running macOS. Apple ID credentials were being sent over HTTP, which is unencrypted.
Nothing ended up pulling the Nothing Chats app from the Google Play Store less than 24 hours after it was announced, but Sunbird insisted that its service was secure and that Apple ID credentials and messages were "encrypted at all times." This turned out to be inaccurate, and there are vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to intercept all Sunbird messages and media attachments. Sunbird employees also had direct access to a platform that stored message contents, contact information, and attachment URLs. 9to5Google discovered that Sunbird is storing more than 630,000 media files like images, videos, and PDFs from its users.
Texts.com ended up releasing a proof-of-concept app demonstrating how easy it was for iMessage conversations sent through Sunbird and Nothing Chats to be intercepted and viewed because the content was being sent in plain text.
Nothing said that the Nothing Chats app has been pulled "until further notice" as it works with Sunbird to "fix several bugs," but Sunbird has been quiet about the situation aside from the notification sent out to users. As Ars Technica points out, Sunbird's initial response to the security concerns does not seem to have come from "a competent developer," raising questions about Sunbird's ability to address the security problems.
Existing Sunbird and Nothing Chats users are advised to change their Apple ID passwords, remove the apps, and follow additional steps to remove their data. If the apps are reinstated, it is recommended that users do not download them.
Best Buy's Black Friday event keeps adding new deals every day, and it includes the best prices we've ever tracked on Apple's entire line of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers. Additionally, we're seeing great deals on TVs, audio equipment, smart home products, and more.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
My Best Buy Plus and My Best Buy Total members will be able to shop exclusive deals during this time, and save even more compared to non-members. This includes those all-time low prices on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks. You can sign up for these memberships on Best Buy's website, and prices start at $49.99/year.
Remember that for many of the deals seen below, you'll need to have a My Best Buy Plus or Total membership in order to see these record low prices. If you don't have a membership, Best Buy's discounts still offer solid second-best prices this week.
Similar to the MacBook Air, the best MacBook Pro deals on Best Buy will require you to have a My Best Buy Plus or Total membership. If you don't, you can still net solid second-best prices on these brand new 2023 computers.
Shoppers should note that the Xbox Series X deal listed below is aimed at My Best Buy Plus/Total members, and at $100 off it marks the lowest we've ever seen this console go down to. If you don't have an account, you can still get a solid $50 off the Xbox.
Spotify is trialing a new ability for users to turn off their personalized recommendations, according to beta code unearthed by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris.
Depending on how it works, the new option could conceivably allow users to prevent songs played on their account on behalf of other listeners from affecting their personalized recommendations. Either way, it is likely to be welcomed by Spotify users who aren't entirely satisfied with the success rate of the service's algorithms in matching new songs to their listening tastes.
Spotify's recommendation system combines a number of machine learning and AI-driven methods. The service's algorithm analyzes listening history, favorite genres, and the time of day that users listen to music, and bases its personal recommendations on these parameters. This process is combined with content-based filtering, which analyzes the audio of a song that a user interacts with, and takes into account characteristics like time signature, key, and tempo to recommend new songs with similar characteristics.
Spotify's recommendations system also uses something called collaborative filtering. For example, if two users have similar music tastes, Spotify might recommend songs one user has listened to but the other hasn't. However, this can end up with Spotify recommending more popular items more often than lesser known songs, resulting in an "echo chamber" effect, and for new users with no listening history it is next to useless.
It's not clear when the new option to turn off personal recommendations will appear for Spotify users, or whether the trial is region-specific. Spotify simply says it is "evaluating the ability," and thanks users for trying it out to help make Spotify better.
Apple is introducing a similar function for Apple Music subscribers in iOS 17.2, in the form of an additional Focus filter that can automatically turns off a user's Apple Music listening history. Apple's substantial software update is expected to land on iPhones in December.
Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal published an in-depth report highlighting instances of thieves watching iPhone owners enter their passcode before stealing the device in order to gain access to the device, data, and money.
With knowledge of the iPhone's passcode, a thief can easily reset the victim's Apple ID password in the Settings app, even if Face ID or Touch ID is enabled. It also allows a thief to use Apple Pay, send Apple Cash, and access banking apps using passwords stored in iCloud Keychain.
"We sympathize with users who have had this experience and we take all attacks on our users very seriously, no matter how rare," said Apple in response to the report. "We will continue to advance the protections to help keep user accounts secure."
Apple did not provide any specific details about any next steps it might take to increase security, but there are indications that Apple may be seeking a hardware solution to scupper the scourge of so-called "shoulder surfers."
Current displays on Apple devices provide a 170-degree field of view, making it easier for others to glance at your iPhone, iPad, or Mac screen. To counter this, two new patents by Apple propose innovative solutions to restrict screen visibility to just the user.
Positioned directly in front of the screen, the user is witness to the display's full quality and optimal brightness. However, onlookers attempting to peek from even a slight angle to the left or right of this position are not so lucky, and see either a completely obscured view or, more likely, a blurred image.
In one embodiment, the user is able to control the screen's polarization using an array of adjustable louvres, effectively limiting visibility from side-on viewing angles and increasing the privacy of onscreen content. The patent also describes how a liquid crystal element could be used that restricts the visibility of certain colors when the screen is not viewed directly.
As with any filed patent, the technology is unlikely to appear in any product soon, if at all, but it does offer an interesting look at how Apple is considering ways to overcome privacy issues when users access their devices in public spaces.
Until such a time, users can adopt best practices for their own smartphone privacy, such as switching from a four-digit passcode to an alphanumeric passcode, which is more difficult for thieves to spy on. This can be done in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode → Change Passcode.
Apple's iPhone 16 lineup will not see the return of Touch ID fingerprint authentication technology, a new report claims.
The information comes from an integrated circuit expert on Weibo with a track record for sharing information about Apple's plans. In a new post, they explained that most of the equipment originally used to manufacture the chips required for the iPhone's version of Touch ID has apparently now been permanently shut down, with the only remaining units used for the third-generation iPhone SE, suggesting that Apple has no plans to resurrect Touch ID as a method to authenticate on the iPhone in the immediate future. It is also worth pointing out that there are no noteworthy rumors about the return of Apple's fingerprint scanning technology for the iPhone 16 lineup that are still dependable.
Reports suggest that the fourth-generation iPhone SE will feature Face ID, replacing the last iPhone model that still features Touch ID. Even so, rumors persist that Apple is working on under-display fingerprint technology that could debut around 2026 – the same time frame that the company is ostensibly planning to move Face ID under the display of the device.
The Weibo source was first to report that the iPhone 14 would retain the A15 Bionic chip, with the A16 being exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models. They recently said that the chip designed for the upcoming iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will be made using a distinct manufacturing process, differing fundamentally from the A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro, to reduce production costs.
OpenAI introduced voice chats in its ChatGPT app back in September. The feature gives users the option of speaking conversationally with the chat bot instead of typing, but it was previously only available to Plus and Enterprise subscribers.
Tuesday's announcement by OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman changes all that, and ChatGPT Voice has now rolled out for all free users on iOS and Android.
OpenAI's ChatGPT has long been accessible on the web and has previously been made available on iOS through multiple third-party apps, many of which are little better than scam apps, but the legitimate app gives users a safe way to use ChatGPT on the go.
For those unfamiliar with ChatGPT, it is an AI-based chatbot that uses generative artificial intelligence to answer questions and provide advice on all manner of subjects. History is synced across devices, so you can see your ChatGPT interactions both on the web and on iOS devices, and it integrates the Whisper speech recognition system.
In case you hadn't heard, it's been a tumultuous few days at OpenAI. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, was initally ousted from his position as CEO last Friday, shocking the company's investors and employees, who were informed via an internal message and the company's blog post. The dismissal was apparently due to internal disagreements over the direction of OpenAI.
Almost all of the staff at OpenAI threatened to resign if Altman was not reinstated. Then things took a turn on Wednesday morning when OpenAI reached an agreement for Altman to return as CEO. This return is coupled with the establishment of a new board featuring Bret Taylor, formerly co-CEO of Salesforce, as chair, and Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary.
Microsoft, a financial backer of OpenAI, welcomed the changes. "We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
"I'm looking forward to returning to OpenAI," said Altman in an earlier post.
An OpenAI account is required to use the ChatGPT app, and it can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]
Apple in mid-November announced that it will adopt Rich Communication Services (RCS) in 2024, upgrading messaging standards for non-iMessage conversations. Apple's news came as a shock because Google had been aggressively pushing Apple to implement RCS for multiple years, but Apple hadn't budged.
This guide explains everything that you need to know about RCS, including how it works, how you'll use it on Apple devices, why Apple decided to adopt it now, and the benefits that you can expect to see when support is added.
Rich Communication Services, or RCS, is a communication protocol developed by the GSM Association and championed by Google. As a communication protocol, RCS is used by smartphone manufacturers and carriers to deliver text-based messages, images, and videos between devices. It's basically what will power the text messages that you send to people with your iPhone and other Apple devices.
RCS is a replacement for SMS (Short Messaging Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), both of which are used for data sharing over cellular networks. RCS combines the features of SMS and MMS, and adds additional functionality. It will be what allows you to send texts to people who don't have iPhones for iMessage.
There are a number of benefits to RCS compared to the prior MMS and SMS features. Much of the improvements will be seen in iPhone to Android chats because for conversations between Apple device owners, iMessage will continue to be the default.
Support for higher resolution photos and videos.
Support for larger file sizes and file sharing.
Cross-platform emoji reactions.
Real-time typing indicators.
Ability to send messages over cellular or Wi-Fi (SMS is cellular only). There is no cost to send an RCS message over Wi-Fi.
Improved group chats.
Better security. Google's version of RCS has end-to-end encryption, which Apple does not intend to use. Apple will instead work with the GSMA to develop a more secure form of encryption that is baked natively into RCS.
RCS vs SMS/MMS
SMS or Short Messaging Service is supported by almost all mobile phones, and it is designed to allow you to send text messages from device to device. It is accompanied by the Mobile Messaging Service extension that supports photos, videos, and longer text messages. Both of these standards have been around for more than two decades and have fallen behind more modern chat apps in terms of features.
RCS is essentially a modernized version of SMS/MMS that carriers and smart phone manufacturers started adopting right around a decade ago, but it has taken time for it to be supported and not all companies have added support (such as Apple), so the more universal (and more limited) SMS/MMS standards have stuck around too.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes is the way that SMS/MMS and RCS work. SMS and MMS are carrier supported and require a cellular connection to function. RCS is supported by carriers, but RCS messages can be sent over a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, similar to iMessages, so there's no specific cellular connection requirement.
RCS is in fact much more like WhatsApp, iMessage, Messenger, and similar chat apps, but baked into a smartphone's default text messaging app. It supports features that SMS/MMS do not, like typing indicators, high-resolution images, file transfers, and video calls.
RCS and iMessage
RCS works alongside iMessage, and it does not replace iMessage. For iPhone to iPhone conversations and texts on any Apple device to another Apple device, iMessage will be the default.
After RCS support is implemented, if you turn off iMessage on your iPhone, it will likely default to RCS on supported devices as that will be the text messaging standard for non-iMessage communications.
iMessage will continue to function exactly as it does now with no change for communications between Apple device users.
What RCS Means for iPhone Users
If you have friends or family members that have an Android device, you'll see an improvement in some of the frustrations that come with cross-platform messaging.
Group texts between Android and iPhone users will be less buggy, and there won't be the same limitations on photo and video size that can cause media not to send. The tapback reactions that you use on an iPhone will have an emoji reaction equivalent on Android, so tapbacks won't be quite as confusing to your Android using friends.
Read receipts and typing indicators will be available for iPhone to Android communications and won't just be limited to iPhone to iPhone iMessages when RCS rolls out.
In general, iPhone owners and those with other Apple devices don't need to think about RCS or worry about it. It's a change that's going to happen in the background with no user interaction required. Communication is not changing between iPhones, and between iPhone and Android users, messaging will be the same, but improved in terms of reliability.
RCS and Android
Text conversations with Android users are the primary way iPhone users will experience RCS when it comes out. RCS will only be available when all participants in the conversation have a device and a carrier that support it, but that should encompass most Android users in the United States.
Android devices have had RCS for some time as Google and Samsung have supported it for several years and were pushing Apple to adopt it.
Right now, sharing photos and videos with Android users can be tricky for an iPhone user, and sometimes photos and videos are too large or won't deliver. There are also often issues with group conversations between Android and iPhone users, both in terms of supported features and stability.
Talking to an Android user should be less of a hassle than it is now when RCS rolls out because features like emoji reactions will be supported, there will be typing indicators, and files and images should not fail to send.
Green Bubbles vs. Blue Bubbles
While it will be less frustrating to communicate with "green bubble" people on an Apple device, chat bubble colors are not changing.
iMessage conversations will continue to be denoted with blue chat bubbles, and RCS messages will continue to be green, the same as SMS/MMS messages are now. Note that SMS and MMS aren't going away. They'll continue to be available on networks that don't support RCS and in situations where RCS is unavailable.
RCS requires all of the devices participating in a conversation to have support for the feature, and the network needs to support it too. So if you happen to message someone who uses a carrier that doesn't support RCS or who has RCS turned off, it will fall back to SMS.
A Note on Encryption
Google's implementation of RCS for Google Messages supports end-to-end encryption on Android devices, but it is worth noting that Apple is adopting the RCS Universal Profile created by the GSM Association and not a version of RCS modified by Google. RCS messages will be more secure, but won't be end-to-end encrypted as iMessage conversations are, at least not until updates are made to the standard.
Apple says that it plans to work with the GSM Association on further improvements for RCS, including better encryption.
Google, Samsung, and all U.S. carriers have adopted RCS, but in some countries, local carriers will need to add support before RCS between iPhones and other devices will be functional.
Why Is Apple Supporting RCS Now?
Google has been practically begging Apple to implement support for RCS since 2022, launching a website, starting a social media campaign, filming ads, and setting up billboards all with the aim of convincing Apple to support the messaging standard.
In September 2022, Tim Cook said that adopting RCS was not a priority for Apple. "I don't hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy into that at this point," he said. So what's changed? It isn't entirely clear, but regulatory issues have likely played a factor.
Apple is facing scrutiny over App Store, iMessage, and other proprietary technologies in several countries around the world, so by adopting a universal messaging standard, Apple is showing a willingness to support device interoperability.
In the European Union, legislators are developing laws that would require Apple to make changes to iMessage to make it available on other platforms so that iMessage users aren't locked in to Apple devices. With RCS, iMessage will have fewer benefits that are unavailable cross-platform, and closer feature parity will be available on iPhone and Android devices.
When Will Apple Adopt RCS?
Apple said that it plans to adopt RCS "later next year," which means at some point in 2024. The "later" wording suggests that it could come more toward the end of the year, perhaps in iOS 18, but that is not confirmed as of yet.
Upcoming over-ear headphones will take on the AirPods Max, which Apple has not yet updated. Sonos plans to offer the headphones in black and white, and features will include voice control navigation and synchronization with Sonos speakers, soundbars, and subwoofers. Sonos plans to price its over-ear headphones at $400 to $500, which is in line with the AirPods Max as well as over-ear headphones from companies like Sony and Bose.
Bloomberg's report suggests that Sonos isn't aiming to introduce a more technical feature set than Apple provides, with the company instead focusing on customization and fine-tuning sound with a "Passport" app. Sonos has been working on the headphones for several years, and they are set to be available as early as April 2024. In the future, the company may also develop a set of earbuds that would be similar to the AirPods.
In late 2024 or 2025, Sonos will introduce a set-top streaming box akin to the Apple TV. The device will serve as a hub for Sonos audio equipment with support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, and it will offer apps and streaming services much like existing set-top boxes.
Sonos is developing an Android-based operating system for the set-top box, expected to be priced somewhere between $150 and $200. Talks are being conducted with cable companies about possible live television offerings, and Sonos may even create its own video service.
Sonos is developing new amplifiers and in-ceiling speakers for professional installers, a version of the Era 100 speakers for businesses, and a high-end TV sound bar that will be an update to the Arc. For consumers, Sonos is developing a new version of the Sub that will sync with the planned set-top box, along with an updated Roam speaker.
Earlier this month, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence confirmed that Sonos is planning to enter a new product category that will "complement" current Sonos devices and that will "delight customers and drive immediate revenue." Sonos expects to generate more than $100 million from new products in 2024.
Apple today shared its annual holiday-themed ad, which is titled "Fuzzy Feelings." This year, the mini film focuses on an animator who is working on a holiday-themed video in the spare moments she has off from her office job.
The stop motion video stars her curmudgeonly boss, who is shown chastising her for being late, giving her last minute work, and generally being miserable. She finds an outlet in depicting him in uncomfortable situations, such as being shocked by Christmas lights or covered by snow while standing out on the street.
After her seemingly horrible boss hands out handmade holiday gifts, she sees another side of him, and changes her animation to something much more positive.
Creativity has the power to change the way we see each other, and the world. Sometimes, seeing things through a new lens can make all the difference. You make the holidays.
Apple shares a unique holiday ad each year, and these ads often win awards. Apple accompanied the video with a behind-the-scenes look at how it was filmed.
Samsung has expanded its Black Friday sale with new discounts across smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, computers, and home appliances. This is in addition to the deals we've been tracking on Samsung's best TVs and monitors, like the Smart Monitor M8 and ViewFinity S9 5K Display.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Samsung. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Right now, both of these have all-time low prices on Amazon. The Smart Monitor M8 is available for $399.99 ($300 off) and the ViewFinity S9 5K Display is available for $1,265.31 ($334 off). The latter deal has been fluctuating on Amazon, so if it does disappear, Samsung has a solid second-best offer at $1,299.99 for the next few days.
Samsung is encouraging users to shop through the Shop Samsung mobile app this season, which has some exclusive deals and deep discounts on smartphones, smartwatches, and mobile accessories. Clicking any of the Samsung links in this post while on mobile should give you the option to install the app.
Other than monitors and TVs, we're also now tracking quite a few deals on refrigerators, tablets, and computers below. These sale prices will be live for this week only, so be sure to check out Samsung's event before the best prices of the year disappear.
If you're shopping for a Samsung smartphone this week, there are extra cash discounts to be found on these devices when shopping via the Shop Samsung mobile app, beyond the trade-in bonus offers listed below.
Galaxy S23 Ultra - Get up to $800 instant trade-in credit with an eligible phone trade-in
Galaxy S23 - Get up to $600 instant trade-in credit with an eligible phone trade-in
Galaxy S23+ - Get up to $600 instant trade-in credit with an eligible phone trade-in
Galaxy Z Fold5 - Get a free storage upgrade and up to $1,000 instant trade-in credit
Galaxy Z Flip5 - Get up to $600 instant trade-in credit with an eligible phone trade-in
Galaxy S23 FE - Get up to $400 instant trade-in credit with an eligible phone trade-in
Importantly, these are the second-generation AirPods Pro with a Lightning/MagSafe charging case, originally released in November 2022. Apple updated the second-generation AirPods Pro with a USB-C/MagSafe charging case and a few other changes in September 2023, but those are not yet available on Apple's refurbished store.
The refurbished AirPods Pro are discounted by approximately 15% compared to original pricing. Apple says all of its refurbished products undergo "full functionality testing" and are "put through a thorough cleaning process and inspection."
Keep in mind that there are often better deals available from third-party resellers, although deals in European countries can be harder to find. In the U.S., brand new AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case are currently on sale for $189.99 on Amazon, so U.S. customers should avoid purchasing these refurbished ones once available there.