Apple today announced significant enhancements for its Develop in Swift and Everyone Can Code educational programs, delivering free curricula and a new Develop in Swift online course to help teachers get up to speed for teaching app development in Swift.

“Apple has worked alongside educators for 40 years, and we’re especially proud to see how Develop in Swift and Everyone Can Code have been instrumental in helping teachers and students make an impact in their communities,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Markets, Apps, and Services. “We’ve seen community college students build food security apps for their campus and watched middle school educators host virtual coding clubs over summer break. As part of our commitment to help expand access to computer science education, we are thrilled to be adding a new professional learning course to help more educators, regardless of their experience, have the opportunity to learn coding and teach the next generation of developers and designers.”

Develop in Swift, which is aimed at students in high school and above, has seen its curriculum completely redesigned and includes four free books available through Apple Books: "Develop in Swift Explorations," "Develop in Swift AP CS Principles," "Develop in Swift Fundamentals," and "Develop in Swift Data Collections," with the first three available now and the fourth coming this fall.

For younger students and other beginners, Apple is also expanding its Everyone Can Code curriculum, launching a new "Everyone Can Code Adventures" book that builds on previous content in the program to allow for more advanced coding exercises using Swift Playgrounds.

Apple's iPad mini 5 with 64GB of storage and cellular support is on sale for $449.00 today on TigerDirect, down from $529.00. This sale is among the lowest we've ever tracked for this version of the iPad mini 5, and the best available online right now.

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

Only the Space Gray version of the tablet is available at this price. For those who are unaware, prominent Apple reseller MacMall recently consolidated its sales under its sibling TigerDirect brand. The site provides solid discounts on iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, and other Apple products.

$80 OFF
iPad mini 5 for $449.00

Apple updated the iPad mini line in March of 2019 with the iPad mini 5. The tablet includes Touch ID for biometric authentication, a headphone jack, a Lightning charging port, and Apple's A12 Bionic chip. Thanks to these internal upgrades, the iPad mini 5 is three times faster than the previous generation and has a 10 hour battery life.

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

Fujifilm has released its software for Mac that enables its X-series mirrorless cameras to be used as high-quality webcams.


The Fujifilm X Webcam tool was initially released for Windows PCs in May. Fujifilm later said it would offer a Mac version in mid-July due to the "overwhelming response" of its customers when it released the app for PC.

Fujifilm, Canon and Panasonic have developed software that brings webcam functionality to their cameras. The cameras are connected via a USB cable and offer a sharper picture for video calls.

Fujifilm has expanded the number of X-series mirrorless cameras that work with its Fujifilm X Webcam software, with the X-T200 and X-A7 now supported. Other cameras already supported include the X-H1, X-Pro2, X-Pro3, X-T2, X-T3, and X-T4. Fujifilm X Webcam also works with all three GFX medium format cameras.

Fujifilm lists the X Webcam software as compatible with Chrome and Edge browsers, with support for Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, and Messenger Rooms.

Apple is working on Macs that use its custom Apple-designed Apple Silicon chips instead of Intel chips, but Apple has committed to continuing to support Thunderbolt, reports The Verge.


In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said that Apple's upcoming machines will offer support for Intel's Thunderbolt USB-C standard.

"Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers enjoy the speed and flexibility it brings to every Mac. We remain committed to the future of Thunderbolt and will support it in Macs with Apple silicon."

Apple at WWDC unveiled its plans for Macs equipped with ‌Apple Silicon‌ chips, the first of which is set to come out before the end of 2020. Apple eventually plans to transition all of its Macs to ‌Apple Silicon‌, a process that the company says will take two years.

According to Apple, ‌Apple Silicon‌ will bring a new level of performance with more powerful Macs that are also more energy efficient with better battery life.

Sonnet earlier this year announced the launch of the Fusion Flex J3i internal drive mount, which is designed to let users add up to three SATA storage drives to the 2019 Mac Pro.

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In our latest YouTube video, we went hands on with the Fusion Flex J3i, hooking it up to our ‌Mac Pro‌ to see how it performs.

The Fusion Flex J3i is a mount system that can provide up to 36TB of additional storage for the ‌Mac Pro‌. When purchased from Apple, the ‌Mac Pro‌ maxes out at 8TB of storage, so Sonnet's add-on provides a huge storage boost. The storage added through the Fusion Flex J3i will not, of course, act as a main boot disk and will instead work like an external drive that's plugged into the Mac.

You don't get any storage with the Fusion Flex J3i since it's designed to be a mounting system, so you're going to need to purchase storage separately and add it yourself. The Fusion Flex J3i supports two 3.5-inch drives and one 2.5-inch SSD or three 2.5-inch SSDs.

We tested the Fusion Flex J3i with two 4TB 3.5-inch hard drives from Western Digital, and installation was simple. Just four screws attach each of the hard drives to the J3i after the SSD plates have been removed.

After the Fusion Flex J3i has been outfitted with SSDs or hard drives, it also takes just a few minutes to get it up and running in the ‌Mac Pro‌. Pull off the cover, unscrew the plate at the top, and then insert the J3i into the machine.

The hard drives will connect to the ‌Mac Pro‌ and then you can attach the three SATA cables that come with the J3i, and since the ‌Mac Pro‌ has 1, 2, and 3, labeling, it's pretty easy to tell what goes where. After the mount is in place, put the ‌Mac Pro‌ back together, boot up, and all should be working well.

We found the Fusion Flex J3i to be a useful plug and play solution for those who are looking to add additional storage to their ‌Mac Pro‌ machines, and it's also cost effective. Sonnet charges $199 for the Fusion Flex J3i, and while adding storage is expensive, it's still cheaper than buying Apple's higher-tier SSD storage options.

You can get two 16TB 3.5-inch drives from Amazon for around $800, for example, which gives you 32TB of storage for much less than the $2,600 upgrade fee for the 8TB SSD from Apple. SSD storage is faster, of course, so if you want to go that route, you can get 4TB SSDs for somewhere around $600 each, which still comes in cheaper than Apple's storage.

For our setup, we have a couple PCIe SSDs in the ‌Mac Pro‌ for video editing purposes, with the J3i on hand for storing larger files, RAW images, and video backups.

Sonnet's Fusion Flex J3i can be purchased from the Sonnet website for $199.

Tag: Sonnet

Apple today launched its annual Back to School promotion in Mexico, most countries in Europe, some countries in Asia, and the Middle East providing qualifying higher education students and educators with free AirPods when purchasing an eligible Mac or iPad.


Second-generation ‌AirPods‌ with a wired charging case (valued at $159) are available when purchasing a new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, iPad Pro, or ‌iPad‌ Air. During checkout, back to school shoppers can choose to upgrade to a wireless charging case for the ‌AirPods‌ or the AirPods Pro for an additional fee.

The low-cost ‌iPad‌, ‌iPad‌ mini, Mac mini, and refurbished products from Apple are not eligible for the ‌Back to School promotion‌, but all educational purchases are available at a discount through the EDU store in each country.

Apple's ‌Back to School promotion‌ will require verification through UNiDAYs in many countries. Products can be purchased from the educational store on the EDU website for each country or in Apple retail stores. Full terms and conditions can be found on the promotional pages on Apple's country-specific websites.

Back to School deals are available to students and educators in countries that include Mexico, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Thailand.

Apple earlier this year launched the same Back to School offer in the United States and Canada.

Apple retail stores are now accepting appointments from customers who want to book a time at a local store to make a purchase with the one-on-one help of an Apple specialist, similar to Genius Bar reservations.


The continued spread of the coronavirus in the United States and other countries has led Apple to implement safety measures that include limiting the number of people in a store, and as 9to5Mac points out, that can lead to long lines as customers wait to enter. With the new appointment system, those who plan ahead can skirt the lines with a reservation at a specific time.

Specialist appointments can be booked through the Apple Store app by searching for a local Apple Store and then selecting the "Shop with a Specialist" option on the store page. From there, customers can choose which product they're interested in and pick a time to visit the Apple Store.

Appointments are available in 15 to 30 minute increments throughout the day depending on store location, with customers able to book up to three days ahead of their visit.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

Apple today shared an "inside look" trailer for upcoming Apple TV+ movie "Greyhound" starring Tom Hanks. The trailer, narrated by Tom Hanks, explains some of the background of the Battle of the Atlantic that the movie explores.


"Greyhound" features Tom Hanks as George Krause, a career naval officer given command of Navy destroyer Greyhound during the Battle of the Atlantic. Krause fights his own self doubts and personal demons as he leads a convoy of Allied ships against German U-boats to prove that he belongs in command.

The screenplay for the movie was written by Tom Hanks and the film was meant to be released in theaters, but could not premiere because most theaters across the United States remain closed. Apple ultimately paid $70 million for the film, and it will see a premiere on ‌Apple TV‌+.

"Greyhound" is the first Tom Hanks movie that has seen a straight to streaming release, which Hanks called "an absolute heartbreak" in an interview earlier this week. "I don't mean to make angry my Apple overlords," said Hanks, "but there is a difference in picture and sound quality."

Apple plans to release "Greyhound" on Friday, July 10. Apple will also debut drama series "Little Voice" and short-form sports docuseries "Greatness Code" on that date.

Samsung does not plan to include chargers in the boxes of some of its smartphones starting in 2021, according to Korean site ETnews (via The Verge).


Samsung, like Apple, is planning to nix power adapters because chargers "have become widespread" and it will allow the company to reduce smartphone production costs.

Multiple rumors have suggested that Apple plans to stop offering power adapters and EarPods with future iPhone models, shipping the devices with just a charging cable.

At the current time, Apple ships iPhones with either an 18W power adapter or a 5W power adapter depending on device, but in 2020, those who need a power adapter may need to purchase one separately from Apple or a third-party company. Many people, however, have multiple power adapters on hand from years of owning Apple products.

Eliminating the power adapter and EarPods from the ‌iPhone‌'s box will allow Apple to lower the production costs of the iPhone 12 lineup, which are equipped with expensive 5G hardware.

Apple will also be able to save money on packaging, and will likely highlight the environmental benefits of fewer accessories in the box. Earlier this week, a render of an alleged iPhone 12 box insert surfaced, depicting a much thinner design that has room for a single cable and the ‌iPhone‌.


Apple is developing a new 20W USB-C power adapter that is likely to be sold separately to replace existing ‌iPhone‌ charger options, and it seems other smartphone manufacturers like Samsung are going to follow Apple's lead and take similar steps to eliminate accessories.


ETnews says that there's no final word on when Samsung plans to exclude chargers, but there are concerns about how customers will perceive the move. The site speculates that if Samsung removes power adapters without other "rewards of benefits," customers could complain and it could lead to fewer smartphone purchases.

Tag: Samsung

Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup.


In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base model ‌iPhone 11‌ for $699. Pu said the price is primarily attributed to the addition of 5G and an OLED display on all ‌iPhone 12‌ models, whereas the base ‌iPhone 11‌ has an LCD.

Due to 5G, Pu believes that the price increase will be "accepted by consumers" and "will not affect demand," but the move would generate controversy nonetheless if the EarPods and wall charger are removed from the box as rumored.

Extrapolating on Pu's prediction, the 6.1-inch ‌iPhone 12‌ would likely start at $799 or $849, so customers who want to stick with the same size display as the ‌iPhone 11‌ could be facing a larger $100 to $150 price increase. It's unclear if a price increase would extend to the Pro and Pro Max models, which currently start at $999 and $1,099, respectively.

This prediction contradicts information shared by Jon Prosser, who said the iPhone 12 lineup will start at $649.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Tag: Jeff Pu

Apple this morning shared a new video in its "Behind the Mac" series, which provides a look into the Apple tools used by musician James Blake to create his work.

GRAMMY(R) award winner, James Blake, takes us into his home studio as he works Behind the Mac to put the finishing touches on his latest song, "Are you even real." Editing, looping, pitching, and layering the track in Logic Pro X on his MacBook.

Blake uses Logic Pro X on a MacBook Pro to edit his music after recording it. Apple has been sharing various "Behind the Mac" ads since 2018, with the ads featuring artists, musicians, app developers and other creatives who do their work on Apple's Macs.

Popular Mac accessory maker OWC today announced the launch of its ThunderBay Flex 8 tower for media professionals, offering eight drive bays, a handful of ports for connecting peripherals, and a PCIe slot for expansion capabilities, all connected to your Mac over Thunderbolt 3.


The ThunderBay Flex 8 resembles a black version of the Power Mac G5 and original Mac Pro design, and it opens up to reveal eight SATA/SAS drive bays capable of accepting both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives, with the top four bays also able to accept U.2/M.2 NVMe drives. There's also a PCIe x16 connector/x4 lane slot for adding cards such as audio/video capture or additional SSD storage.


Near the bottom of the front of the ThunderBay Flex 8 is a string of ports for connecting peripherals, including a pair of 10Gb/s USB-A ports, a 10Gb/s USB-C port, and CFexpress and SD 4.0 card readers. On the rear of the tower are a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports (one upstream and one 15W downstream) and a DisplayPort 1.4 port.

Pricing on the ThunderBay Flex 8 starts at $1,299 for just the enclosure, or it can be ordered with various combinations of drive types and capacities that can push a maxed-out configuration to nearly $8,000.

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

Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce.


Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that Apple plans to release at least six Mini-LED products by the end of 2021, including 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, so reports are beginning to align.

Mini-LED displays offer many of the same benefits as OLED displays on the latest iPhones, including high brightness and high contrast ratio. The panels could also allow for thinner and lighter product designs.

As part of WWDC last month, Apple announced that it will be switching to its own custom-designed processors for Macs starting later this year, and it expects the transition to be completed in around two years. Given this timeframe, it is certainly possible that these 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will be powered by Apple Silicon.

TrendForce also expects Apple to release a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display in the first quarter of 2021, in line with recent rumors. The research firm expects the device to have a 5nm-based A14X chip. As with iPhone 12 models, the next iPad Pro models are also expected to feature 5G connectivity.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

Intel today shared some new details on the upcoming launch of Thunderbolt 4, which is set debut later this year.


While Thunderbolt 4 won't deliver any increase over the maximum 40 Gb/s available on Thunderbolt 3, there are some notable improvements such as universal cables up to two meters long without needing to resort to active cables that omit support for slower USB standards as on Thunderbolt 3, the ability to support docks and other accessories with up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports (one upstream, three downstream), and more.

Thunderbolt 4 certification requirements include:

  • Double the minimum video and data requirements of Thunderbolt 3.
    • Video: Support for two 4K displays or one 8K display.
    • Data: PCIe at 32 Gbps for storage speeds up to 3,000 MBps.
  • Support for docks with up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports.
  • PC charging on at least one computer port.
  • Wake your computer from sleep by touching the keyboard or mouse when connected to a Thunderbolt dock.
  • Required Intel VT-d-based direct memory access (DMA) protection that helps prevent physical DMA attacks.

Thunderbolt 4 ports and cables are fully backward and cross-compatible with USB4, Thunderbolt 3, and other USB standards, and it continues to use the USB-C physical connector design.


Thunderbolt 4 will be coming first to Intel's upcoming Tiger Lake processors for notebooks, with separate 8000-series controller chips coming later this year.

Apple, of course, has just announced that it will be transitioning away from Intel processors to its own Apple Silicon chips across its Mac lineup over the next couple of years, and it remains to be seen how Apple will handle Thunderbolt support going forward. The A12Z-based Mac mini units Apple is distributing to developers to help them prepare their apps for the transition do not include any Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Apple today announced that over 140 more repair businesses are now participating in its Independent Repair Provider Program in the United States. The program, launched in August 2019, is also being expanded to Canada and Europe.


The program allows independent repair shops like uBreakiFix to offer certified out-of-warranty service for iPhones, such as display and battery replacements. Participating businesses receive access to the same Apple genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals, and diagnostics as Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers.

Independent repair shops need to have an Apple-certified technician who can perform the repairs to qualify for the program. Apply here.

"When a customer needs a repair, we want them to have a range of options that not only suits their needs but also guarantees safety and quality so their iPhone can be used for as long as possible," said Apple COO Jeff Williams.

To verify that a company participates in the program, visit this page.

Amazon is making it possible to use Alexa "hands free" from within its Alexa mobile app for iOS, reports TechCrunch.


Up until now, you had to tap the blue Alexa button at the bottom of the screen before you could issue a voice command.

After updating the app, users will be able to simply speak to Alexa to make lists, control smart home devices, and more, without having to touch their iPhone.

While Amazon calls it "hands free," it's not like you'll be able to invoke the company's digital voice assistant if your phone is locked or when you're in another app.

What users will be able to do, however, is ask Siri to open the Amazon Alexa app, and then they can start using the new hands-free experience from there.

After updating the app, users will be presented with the option to enable the hands-free detection and can then begin to use the feature. According to TechCrunch, a setting is also being made available that will allow users to turn the feature off at any time.

Amazon says the feature is rolling out over the next several days to users worldwide on both iOS and Android.

Tags: Amazon, Alexa

Four Apple stores in Victoria, Australia are set to reclose for up to six weeks from July 9, following a spike in coronavirus infections in the state.


As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple Highpoint in Melbourne was the first store to reclose on July 2 as the deteriorating health situation prompted a reintroduction of stage three lockdown measures across the state capital.

Apple's other retail stores in Victoria will now also reclose. They include Chadstone, Southland, Doncaster, and Fountain Gate. All four stores had been operating on a reduced pickup and appointment-only Genius Support service since last week.

The reimposed stay-at-home measures are expected to last at least six weeks, with only essential travel like buying groceries and medicines allowed. Restaurants and cafes have been ordered to shut, although shopping malls and other retailers are technically allowed to remain open, suggesting Apple took the decision to close its stores of its own accord.

Melbourne's stage three restrictions were reintroduced on Tuesday following a record high of 191 new coronavirus cases.

A significant minority of iPhone users have taken to Apple's Support Communities and Reddit to report battery drain issues largely related to the Music app and high levels of background activity.

Hundreds of users, many running iOS 13.5.1 on devices both new and old, are experiencing rapid battery drain when the Music app is not in use. In some cases, the background activity occurs over several hours each day, even if the app has not been used for weeks or even at all.

User: Mojo06
I just purchased a new iPhone 11 a few days ago, and my battery is crashing so fast. I haven't even used the Apple Music App yet and it says that it has been running in the background for over 18 hours and has used 95% of my battery. My phone is also getting very hot from this. I am concerned this will kill my battery on my new phone.

User: Brianwpi
Phone is burning up. Switched off background app refresh. Restarted phone. Battery health 91%. ‌iPhone‌ X running iOS 13.5.1. Had to recharge several times during the day just to keep up. Help?

User: svphies
I'm having this exact same problem with my ‌iPhone 11‌, recently updated to IOS 13.5.1. I never had Background App Refresh turned on and I haven't found any downloading song in the Music app. I might try to backup my phone to iTunes and do a reset later. I hope Apple fixes this issue soon.

While reports of the Music app draining battery in the background go back to April, there has been a rapid uptick in reports over the last week, suggesting Apple may have recently changed something on the server side which is causing the problem.


Below are some of the steps that users have taken to try to resolve the issue, but which appear to have a low rate of success.

  • Force quit the Music app.
  • Restart / Restore ‌iPhone‌.
  • Delete Music app then reinstall it.
  • Turn off Automatic Downloads (Settings -> Music -> Automatic Downloads).
  • Disable background app refresh (Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh -> Disable Music).
  • Turn off Mobile Data (Settings -> Music -> Mobile Data).
  • Cancel all downloads in the Music Library.

Some users have resorted to deleting the Music app on their device, which brings the battery usage to an end. For those with ‌Apple Music‌ subscriptions, however, this isn't even a short-term solution, so we're bringing these reports to the attention of the wider community in the hope that it will prompt Apple to investigate.