Amazon is discounting a large collection of M2 MacBook Air models today, including a new all-time low price on the 512GB model. All deals on the new MacBook Air notebooks can be found on Amazon, with B&H Photo matching sale prices for two configurations.

m2 macbook air image blueNote: 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.

Starting with the 256GB M2 MacBook Air, this model is priced at $1,099.00, down from $1,199.00. Amazon has this notebook in three colors (Midnight, Space Gray, and Starlight), while B&H Photo has the sale in two colors (Silver and Space Gray).

The 512GB M2 MacBook Air is available for $1,349.00, down from $1,499.00. Amazon has this deal in three colors (Silver, Space Gray, and Starlight), and it's a new all-time low price on the 2022 512GB MacBook Air.

You can find even more discounts on other MacBooks by visiting our Best Deals guide for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. In this guide we track the steepest discounts for the newest MacBook models every week, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often if you're shopping for a new Apple notebook.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple earlier this month announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature which allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island.

live activities intro dark 2x
On Monday, we learned that when following a sports event the Dynamic Island shows a live-updating scoreboard with the number of goals scored by each club on either side of the True Depth camera pill, which Apple refers to as a Live Activity's "compact" presentation. When long pressed, the Dynamic Island expands to show the time elapsed and play-by-play action.

Since then, Apple has shared its Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) for app developers intending to support Live Activities, and one notable detail is that on ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ models, users will be able to switch between two Live Activities using the Dynamic Island if they are following multiple tasks or events at the same time, thanks to a separate "minimal" presentation:

When multiple Live Activities are active, the system uses the circular minimal presentation to display two of them in the Dynamic Island. The system chooses one Live Activity to appear attached to the Dynamic Island while the other appears detached. As with a compact Live Activity, people can tap a minimal Live Activity to open the app and get more details about the event or task.

Apple's guidelines go on to add that when people touch and hold a Live Activity in the minimal presentation described above, the system displays the content in an expanded presentation, just as it does for the compact version.

dynamic island split 1

Example image showing "minimal" presentation of multiple Live Activities

The implementation Apple describes above should come as welcome news to those who envision, say, following two Premier League matches that are being played at the same time, where either one result or both could end up being decisive for the teams' league standings.

In other noteworthy tidbits in the HIG, Apple cautions developers not to offer Live Activities that exceed eight hours, and asks them to consider removing Live Activities from the Lock Screen after they end:

In the Dynamic Island, the system immediately removes a Live Activity when it ends. By default, the system shows a Live Activity on the Lock Screen for up to four hours after it ends to give people time to view its final content update. If the outcome of your Live Activity is only relevant for a shorter time, tell the system to dismiss it at a specific time within the four-hour window or immediately after it ends. For example, a rideshare app might choose to display a summary of the ride in the Live Activity on the Lock Screen for 15 minutes after the ride ends so people can view the final fare.

Finally, Apple notes that Live Activities adapt their colors to "look great" in both the Light and Dark system modes, as well as on the dimmed screen of an always-on display.

Apple says iOS 16.1, currently in beta, will be released later this year. In addition to adding support for Live Activities in third-party apps, the update will include a new Clean Energy Charging option for U.S. users, add support for Matter accessories in the Home app, make Apple Fitness+ workouts available without an Apple Watch, and more.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

Apple is rolling out a new policy for the sixth-generation iPad mini that will allow customers to get their batteries replaced without being given a replacement device.

ipad mini 3
Currently, if an iPad customer wants to get their battery replaced, Apple Stores, authorized service providers, and repair centers will give those customers a replacement device instead of simply swapping out the battery in their original ‌iPad‌. Starting today for repair centers, ‌iPad mini‌ 6 customers, if eligible, will be able to get only their battery replaced without needing to be given a whole unit replacement (WUR).

The new policy is only being applied to the sixth-generation ‌iPad mini‌, but other iPads may follow in the coming weeks and months. Depending on individual circumstances, the new policy could disadvantage some customers. Previously, customers would get a replacement device for battery repairs, so any dents, cracks, or scuffs would be taken care of.

The new policy means that ‌iPad mini‌ 6 owners will only have the battery replaced, leaving any other minor defects or damage to their device untouched. The new policy, as of now, is only being implemented at repair centers worldwide and not at Apple Stores or authorized service providers.

Related Roundup: iPad mini
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution)
Related Forum: iPad

One iPhone 14 rumor that never panned out was some sort of astrophotography feature, but that hasn't stopped users from showcasing just what the camera on iPhone 14 Pro models can do when pointed at the night sky.

2astrophotography iphone 14 pro
These fantastic shots shared by MacRumors forum member ToddH were taken using an ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ Max in Night Mode with the maximum available exposure time of 30 seconds in the Camera app.

Taken at ISO 12,500 and ISO 10,000 using the 12-megapixel setting (‌Night Mode‌ isn't available when the 48-megapixel setting is on), the images were shot using Apple's ProRAW format and then edited using the mobile version of Lightroom on the iPhone itself.

To get the shot, ToddH says he attached the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ Max to a tripod with a Skywatcher tracking device that moves in the opposite direction of the Earth's rotation, making the sky appear still to the camera to avoid elongation and make the stars look pinpoint.

1astrophotography iphone 14 pro
Like the iPhone 13 lineup last year, there was chatter prior to the announcement of the ‌iPhone 14‌ series that the new devices could offer a specific astrophotography feature – speculation that was further fanned by Apple's choice of graphics to promote its "Far Out" media event. No such feature was forthcoming.

Other users have been sharing their own photos in the same discussion thread.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

When Apple unveiled its latest iPhone 14 Pro models, many people were surprised by its innovative integration of software functions with the pill-shaped cutout at the top of the screen, which Apple calls the "Dynamic Island."

Dynamic Island Thumb Alt
Display pixels around the Dynamic Island merge it into one pill-shaped area that changes size and shape to accommodate various types of alerts, notifications, and interactions, turning it into a kind of front-and-center information hub.

But what if you find content that appears in Dynamic Island distracting, especially when you're trying to focus on something else on your iPhone's screen?

Unfortunately, there's currently no way to outright disable Dynamic Island content, as its behavior is baked into iOS 16. However, if you're distracted by its animations you can dismiss them by swiping left or right across the Dynamic Island, without affecting any related background activity.

For example, if an album in Apple Music is playing and you dismiss the audio waveform and artwork in the Dynamic Island, the music will continue to play in the background. The same goes for when you dismiss a timer – it will still count down in the background even though it is no longer visible on the screen.

dynamic island dismiss content
If the Dynamic Island is split into two background activities and you want to get rid of one or both, use the same swipe gesture on the larger segment to make it disappear. Then, in the same way, swipe across the remaining activity that extends across the pill.

If you dismiss all activity in Dynamic Island, it will return the pill-shape to its previous inert status, leaving you to focus entirely on what else is on the screen.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

The popular E3 Gaming Expo is set to be held in person for the first time in three years, with the Entertainment Software Association today announcing the dates. E3 will take place from June 13 to June 16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the return of one major in-person event suggests that we could also see other in-person 2023 events, including Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference.

wwdc live stream
WWDC 2020 and WWDC 2021 were both digital-only events because of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing travel restrictions. WWDC 2022 was also hosted online, but there was an in-person viewing event for select developers and members of the media.

WWDC 2023 could see a full return to the in-person WWDC format from 2019 and before, and Apple has already signaled that it is ready to return to in-person events as restrictions have eased. The September "Far Out" event was hosted in the Steve Jobs Theater, and while it was pre-recorded, there was a full media audience in attendance.

Prior to 2020, the Worldwide Developers Conference was an in-person event hosted at the San Jose Convention Center. Approximately 5,000 developers were invited to attend, with Apple using a lottery system to choose attendees because of demand. Apple charged $1,500 for tickets for WWDC.

The online format used in 2020 and 2021 was entirely free and it was open to all developers around the world. Apple's online WWDC has worked well for providing access to sessions and labs to a greater number of developers, so exactly what next year's event will look like remains to be seen.

It is likely that Apple will host some kind of in-person WWDC event, but we could continue to see a more robust online component that provides vital resources to all developers, even those who may be unable to attend in person.

Apple won't announce WWDC 2023 plans until next year. WWDC 2022 was announced in late May, but Apple could make an earlier announcement in 2023 if there's an in-person component to allow developers time to purchase tickets and travel accommodations.

WWDC is often held during the first week of June, so we could see next year's event held from June 5 to June 9 if Apple once again opts for an early June timeframe.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: WWDC

Security researchers discovered 10 "adware" apps on the App Store that were engaging in ad fraud, according to a report from Bleeping Computer. The apps were designed to generate revenue by impersonating legitimate apps and presenting a deluge of ads to iPhone users.

iOS App Store General Feature Sqaure Complement
Discovered by HUMAN's Satori Threat Intelligence team, the mobile apps are part of an ad fraud campaign they're calling "Scylla." It is the third wave of a fraud operation first discovered in August 2019, which Apple has been fighting. The apps have been removed from the ‌App Store‌ at this point, but if you have the following apps installed, you should delete them:

  • Loot the Castle - com.loot.rcastle.fight.battle (id1602634568)
  • Run Bridge - com.run.bridge.race (id1584737005)
  • Shinning Gun - com.shinning.gun.ios (id1588037078)
  • Racing Legend 3D - com.racing.legend.like (id1589579456)
  • Rope Runner - com.rope.runner.family (id1614987707)
  • Wood Sculptor - com.wood.sculptor.cutter (id1603211466)
  • Fire-Wall - com.fire.wall.poptit (id1540542924)
  • Ninja Critical Hit - wger.ninjacriticalhit.ios (id1514055403)
  • Tony Runs - com.TonyRuns.game

The apps committing ad fraud used a bundle ID that did not match their publication name, making it appear to advertisers that impressions came from a more profitable software category. The apps apparently imitated CTV-based apps, with IDs changing often to evade detection.

While 10 apps were found on the iOS ‌App Store‌, more than 70 were found on Google's Play Store, and adware is a much more severe problem on Android devices. Apple's ‌App Store‌ review process was able to lessen the severity of the problem on iOS devices, but there are still apps that slip through.

Adware is more of an annoyance than a serious issue on the ‌App Store‌, but it is something that ‌iPhone‌ owners should be aware of. Security researchers suggest that smartphone users should look for rapid battery drainage and increased internet data usage to spot apps that are fraudulently using ads in the future. Avoiding installing apps from suspicious developers is also a good idea.

iFixit today shared an Apple Watch Ultra teardown video, providing a closer look at the watch's internal design and components.


While the Apple Watch Ultra has four exposed pentalobe screws on the back case for quick access to the inside of the watch, iFixit said the device remains challenging to repair. For example, after removing the back case, iFixit said a gasket contributing to the Apple Watch Ultra's water resistance was immediately broken. In addition, accessing parts like the battery and Taptic Engine requires the difficult task of removing the display.

In line with a previous report, the teardown confirms that the Apple Watch Ultra is equipped with a 542 mAh battery, which is 76% larger than the Apple Watch Series 8's 308 mAh battery also shown. The teardown also provides a closer look at the Ultra's significantly larger speaker, which reviews said results in louder phone calls.

Apple Watch Ultra launched on Friday. Priced at $799, the high-end watch features a rugged design with a 49mm titanium case, a flat display, outdoors-themed bands, water resistance up to a depth of 100 meters, a customizable bright orange "Action" button, up to 60 hours of battery life with an upcoming low power setting, and more.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Ultra
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Apple will open its London office space in Battersea Power Station early next year, Apple CEO Tim Cook today announced upon a visit to the all-new campus.

apple battersea renderRender of the redeveloped Battersea campus

Apple first announced plans for the new campus in 2016. It said that 1,400 Apple employees will be moved from eight locations around London to occupy the new UK office space. Following a visit to retail locations in London over the weekend, Cook today visited Apple's new Battersea location, as well as Apple Brompton Road and Apple Regent Street.

Battersea Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station in South West London, regarded as an iconic landmark owing to its Art Deco fittings and status as one of the world's largest brick buildings. In 2016, Apple leased 500,000 square feet at the location, which will make it one of Apple's largest offices outside the United States. Cook told London's Evening Standard:

Apple has been part of the London community for more than 40 years, and we're thrilled to soon bring some of our teams together in the historic Battersea Power Station.

Once a source of energy for much of London, the transformation this building has undergone honors London's past and celebrates its future. We're so glad to be a part of it.

Battersea Power Station and its surrounding area has undergone a "painstaking" restoration process in recent years. Apple is expected to occupy around 40 percent of the power station, including the top six floors inside the former boiler room around a central atrium, with enough room for approximately 3,000 employees. There will also be three floors of shops, bars, and restaurants, a 24,000 sq ft food hall, 253 apartments around a "garden square in the sky," a 2,000-seat auditorium and cinema, and more.

Today we're tracking a collection of Anker and Eufy discounts on Amazon, including a major markdown on the Eufy Security SmartDrop package box.

eufy delivery boxNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Eufy

You can get the Eufy Security SmartDrop package box for $199.99, down from $399.99, when you click the on-page coupon to save an extra $100 on the product. The Eufy package box provides a secure location for your packages to be delivered, and sends notifications to your smartphone when items arrive.

Note: You won't see the deal price until checkout.

There are a few other Eufy smart home products on sale this week on Amazon, including the Solo IndoorCam P24 for $44.99 with an on-page coupon, down from $54.99. The Eufy Smart Scale P2 Pro is $59.99 with the code eufyscale, down from $79.99. Both items are in stock and have an estimated September 28 delivery date.

Anker

For Anker accessories, this week you'll find markdowns on the brand's popular Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker as well as wall chargers with multi-port options.

anker speaker

If you're on the hunt for more discounts, be sure to visit our Apple Deals roundup where we recap the best Apple-related bargains of the past week.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island.

iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford

During a Premier League match, for example, the Dynamic Island shows a live-updating scoreboard with the number of goals scored by each club. When long pressed, the Dynamic Island expands to show the time elapsed and play-by-play action.

Live Activities Sports Dynamic Island iPhone 14 Pro

Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Jorge González Medina

When an iPhone 14 Pro is locked, the score is shown in a widget on the Lock Screen instead. On the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, and on all other iPhone models without the Dynamic Island, Live Activities are limited to the Lock Screen entirely.

iOS 16 Live Activities Sports MLB

MLB game on Lock Screen

To test the feature with an iPhone on the iOS 16.1 beta, open the TV app and tap on the "Follow" button for a supported game. At launch, Apple says the feature is available for MLB games for users in the U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea, in addition to NBA and Premier League games for users in the U.S. and Canada only. The feature will likely be expanded to other sports leagues in the future.

Apple says iOS 16.1 will be released later this year. In addition to adding support for Live Activities in third-party apps, the update will include a new Clean Energy Charging option for U.S. users, add support for Matter accessories in the Home app, make Apple Fitness+ workouts available without an Apple Watch, and more.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more.

General iOS 16 Feature Yellow
After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in the days following the release. This year, things have been different, as ‌iOS 16‌ has seen quite a few bugs being reported by users on an almost daily basis.

The initial version of ‌iOS 16‌ was iOS 16.0 for all supported iPhones, while the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro had a day-one iOS 16.0.1 update available that addressed some problems for the latest iPhones. Last week, Apple released iOS 16.0.2, which addressed camera shaking on the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌, an annoying copy and paste prompt, and more. Despite the iOS 16.0.1 and iOS 16.0.2 updates, users continue to face several unaddressed bugs. Here are a few of them:

MacRumors has seen no sign of iOS 16.0.3 in our analytics, so it's unclear if Apple is planning another ‌iOS 16‌ update before iOS 16.1 ships next month. Apple is currently testing iOS 16.1 with developers and public beta testers, but it won't see a launch until October, likely alongside iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura. Apple Support has been advising customers who are facing issues to restart their iPhones, and in the worst-case scenario, do a restore, in hopes of addressing their problems.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Related Forum: iOS 16

Amazon today announced a follow-up to its popular summertime "Prime Day" event, which it's calling "Prime Early Access Sale." This event will run for two days on October 11 and 12, and is available exclusively for Amazon Prime members.

prime early access
The company is describing the new sale as an "early access" event for holiday deals, ahead of Black Friday shopping in November. There isn't a concrete list of deals yet, but if the sale is similar to Prime Day, you can expect a handful of solid Apple-related product discounts.

Amazon also says there will be markdowns on Fire TVs and tablets, and products from brands like Hasbro, iRobot, KitchenAid, Samsung, LEGO, Adidas, and more. Select deals have kicked off early as well, including four months of Amazon Music Unlimited for new members and Grubhub+ free for a year for Prime members.

We'll be tracking all of the top Apple product and accessory deals during the Prime Early Access Sale in October, so be sure to keep an eye out for those sales in a few weeks.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Amazon today has the 64GB Wi-Fi 10.2-inch iPad for $279.99, down from $329.00. Space Gray is the only color on sale as of writing, and the fastest delivery options are estimated for an arrival of this Wednesday, September 28.

ipad purple imageNote: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

This sale is a match of the all-time low price on this iPad. Besides the 64GB Wi-Fi model, you can also save with a few second-best prices on both cellular versions of the 10.2-inch iPad (up to $50 off).

For even more iPad deals, head to our full Best Deals guide for iPad. In that guide we track the best discounts online for iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping.

iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature
Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ is unreliable and weak, while other phones, such as last year's iPhone 13, show no issues.

I think it is something with the new iPhones. My signal is usually 1 to 2 bars at home with a 14 pro, but my brother is on my plan with an iPhone 13 and when he's over he has all 4 bars. His 13 also gets much better speeds on 5G than I do currently. Hopefully it's something an iOS update will fix.

In a lengthy Reddit thread, a user reports that they're experiencing slow 5G speeds on the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌ on the Verizon network, with at least 100 other comments reporting similar issues.

Is anyone else having major issues with their cellular service on the iPhone 14/14 Pro series? Ever since switching from my iPhone 13 Pro Max, I've had nothing but constant issues which include:
- Slow data (at times even when right next to a 5G UW tower)
- Frequent cellular service drops - noticing this happen especially when the phone switches on 5G, but even happens when my phone is on Wi-Fi calling (this is to the point where I cannot reliably use texting for SMS)

Customers have reportedly spent hours over the phone with Verizon customer support and have yet not addressed the issue. Some users have even taken drastic measures to completely restore their iPhones and try the latest iOS 16.1 beta, but have so far been unable to find a solution to the issue.

Similar issues for me, also in Chicago right now. Using new iPhone 14 Pro Max. Frequently, the phone completely loses signal when switching between LTE and 5G and takes a few seconds for it to comeback. Never had this issue with my 12 Pro Max that was also running iOS 16. I submitted a bug report to Apple - hoping it's a software issue related to the new modems and they can iron it out.

I live in Chicago and have the same problem with cellular service drops. Just switched from an iPhone XS on AT&T to an iPhone 14 Pro on Verizon. I live in the South Loop and the cell service keeps dropping out constantly to the point where I can't text or use certain apps because I keep losing a connection. When I'm connected the speeds are great, I've clocked 5GUW downloads at 2.5 Mbps. But every few minutes my service keeps dropping and reconnecting after 10-15 seconds

I've tried resetting network settings and wiping the phone and setting up as new — still same issue. I've even tried another entirely new unit (another iPhone 14 Pro Max out of the box) where I'm getting the same issue — I used to work as a Genius at Apple so I've made sure to try out all possible solutions on my side 😅

I'm having the same issues in nyc. Just moved from iPhone 13 Pro Max (Verizon) to iPhone 14 Pro Max (Verizon) and seeing significant reception/signal and speed issues. Feels like a massive step back this upgrade. Tempted to send it back to apple and switch to T-Mobile

As a result of the inconsistent signal, users are also reporting that calls sometimes are randomly dropped on iPhone 14 models. MacRumors has reached out to Apple and Verizon for comment.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14 Pro
Tag: Verizon
Related Forum: iPhone

Apple Watch Ultra has been endorsed by American musician and famous watch collector John Mayer, who has been showing off the new device on his Instagram account.

john meyer ultra
"Been wearing the ‌Apple Watch Ultra‌ for a week... and it's great," writes Mayer over a photo of the watch. "The first Apple Watch that excited me as a mechanical watch collector."

"It's loaded with capability and what I call 'aspirational functionality.'" Mayer then calls out some of his favorite features, including GPS tracking, a depth gauge, a dive computer, a siren to attract help in emergencies, and Night Mode.

"This is a camping/hunting/outdoors adventure powerhouse," he writes in a later post. "Not an #ad. I just like what I like."

Grammy award winner Mayer is considered the watch world's most influential collector, and is responsible for single-handedly spiking the value of individual watches he is spotted wearing in public, and of those he writes about in his column for horology website Hodinkee.

Mayer's influence is unlikely to have the same effect on the Ultra, which is probably being sold in the millions, but as GQ notes, his endorsement alone "probably registered as a sizable earthquake in Geneva" and will be a "huge deal" for anyone with a passion for Swiss watches and statement timepieces.

Apple has courted the luxury wristwatch world ever since 2015 when it unveiled the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, which cost upwards of $10,000 and was available in limited quantities.

Unfortunately for Apple, unit sales of the gold Apple Watch Edition were reportedly in the low tens of thousands and the line was discontinued in September 2016 after just 16 months. Humorously, the models are now stuck on watchOS 4 and below.

(Thanks, Richard!)

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Ultra
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Apple Watch Ultra comes with a stock Depth app for underwater recreational activities like snorkeling and underwater pool swims, but most casual users probably won't get to see how the Depth app responds during the more committed activity of open water free-diving.


For anyone curious, tech reviewer and YouTuber DC Rainmaker has posted a video in which he demonstrates the Depth app in action at deeper levels, using an underwater test chamber designed for diving equipment.

With the help of a computerized depth simulator, DC shows how the Depth app fluidly responds to greater water pressure as a diver descends, showing the Meters and Feet readouts accurately adjust on the display as the background water animation fluctuates in kind.

The Depth app is designed for underwater activities at a maximum depth of 130 feet (40 meters), but ‌Apple Watch Ultra‌ has a water-resistance rating of 100 meters (328 feet), making the watch capable of withstanding greater depth pressures than the Depth app is designed for.

With this in mind, DC's test shows what happens in the Depth app when a diver descends below 130 feet: The screen turns bright yellow and reads "Beyond 130 FT," and no longer provides a depth reading until the diver returns to shallower water.

The test also demonstrates the Dive app's consolidated dive summary at the end of a dive session, letting users know the length of the dive, the water temperature range, and maximum depth. This data can be later found in the iOS Health app.

Apple warns that the Depth app is not a dive computer and it cannot provide decompression stop information or gas analysis. In situations where failure of the ‌‌Apple Watch Ultra‌‌ could lead to death or personal injury, Apple suggests using a secondary depth gauge and timer.

For deeper ocean water diving, Apple has partnered with third-party outfit Huish Outdoors to develop Oceanic+, a Dive computer specifically designed for ‌‌Apple Watch Ultra‌‌ models. As a free app on the App Store, Oceanic+ will include depth tracking (including depth alarms), GPS tracking, logbook (up to 12 dives), snorkeling, and more.

For more advanced diving options such as No Decompression Limit, users will be required to purchase an Oceanic+ subscription plan ($4.99/day, $9.99/month, or $79/year). Oceanic+ will be available on the ‌‌App Store‌‌ later this fall.

(Thanks, Sonny!)

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Ultra
Related Forum: Apple Watch

As a means to customize their iPhones, many users want to use custom app icons on their Home Screen. iOS itself doesn't offer a native option to easily change and use custom app icons, but thankfully, the new iPhone 14 Pro and Dynamic Island make it easier to use a workaround to do just that.

Dynamic Island Thumb Alt
One of the most popular ways users have used custom app icons on iOS is with Shortcuts. Using the Shortcuts app on iOS, users can create a custom shortcut on their Home Screen with any image or custom app icon they wish that opens a specific app. The workaround has not been perfect since there are practical limitations that can be annoying.

custom app icon shortcut banner 2

Intrusive banner when using custom app icons on the iPhone 13 and older

Every time you tap on a custom app icon shortcut on your Home Screen, a large banner appears at the top of your display to confirm the shortcut is running. Many users find the banner distracting and intrusive, which makes the workaround less than ideal.

Thankfully, the new iPhone 14 Pro and the introduction of Dynamic Island make using custom app icons with Shortcuts more seamless and effortless. Dynamic Island on the latest high-end iPhones introduces an entirely new area at the top of the display where system-wide alerts and contextual information now appear at the top rather than obscuring other parts of iOS.

One alert that Apple has moved to Dynamic Island is Shortcuts. When running Shortcuts on the iPhone 14 Pro, there is no longer a banner that appears at the top of the display. Now, the shortcut runs seamlessly in Dynamic Island.

custom app icon shortcut dynamic island

Custom app icon Shortcut running on the ‌iPhone 14 Pro‌'s Dynamic Island

While Dynamic Island makes it easier to run custom app icon shortcuts, other limitations still exist. The most notable is that custom app icons still cannot show notification badges like normal apps. This can be annoying for users who want to use a custom app icon for social media or messaging apps, where notification badges are particularly useful.

Users creating custom app icons was a trend in 2020 following iOS 14, which introduced redesigned widgets to the Home Screen on the iPhone. Since then, Apple has more openly adopted the idea of users customizing iOS to their specific likings, making it easier to use custom app icons and, of course, the entirely personalized Lock Screen in iOS 16.

Related Roundup: iPhone 14 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone