The second-generation HomePod is set to be released on Friday, February 3, which is the day that pre-orders will be delivered and when the speakers will be available for purchase in retail stores. One lucky MacRumors reader received his HomePod days early, with the device delivered today.

homepod early macrumors reader
The ‌HomePod‌ in question was ordered from Best Buy and was mistakenly delivered early by the Canada Post.

Apple's second-generation ‌HomePod‌ is almost identical to the now-discontinued original ‌HomePod‌, coming in at just a bit shorter. The major external design difference is the revamped display, which is edge-to-edge, larger, and improves the overall look of the speaker.

The internal components have also been changed with Apple tweaking the number of tweeters and microphones, but reviewers have found that the speaker largely sounds the same as the original model. As with the first ‌HomePod‌, the new version comes in two colors, white and a new midnight shade.

Apple is selling the ‌HomePod‌ for $299, and it can be purchased from the Apple website. It will be in stores on Friday.

Amazon today introduced a deal on Apple's AirPods 2, available for $99.00, down from $129.00. Amazon is expecting a delivery estimate of early February for most locations in the United States as of writing.

AirPods Discount Feature DuoNote: 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 is an overall second-best price on the AirPods 2, but we of course haven't tracked record low deals since the holidays. If you're shopping for a cheaper pair of AirPods in 2023, this will be your best bet, and only Amazon has the sale.

This model of the AirPods comes with the Lightning Charging Case. We track sales for every model of the AirPods in our Best AirPods Deals guide, so be sure to bookmark that page while you shop around for the wireless headphones.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

It's been more than a week since Apple released the iOS 16.3 update, and typically, new iOS betas follow launches within a day or so. We were expecting Apple to provide the first beta iOS 16.4 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, but that hasn't happened.

iOS 16
Tuesdays are the days that we most often see betas, though Monday and Wednesday happen now and then, and most often betas come out at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. We're now past the most likely beta release timelines for this week, which means we may be waiting until Tuesday, February 7 for the first beta of iOS 16.4.

That said, Apple very rarely releases new beta updates at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time so there is still a slim chance we could get a beta today, and even more rarely, betas come on Thursday, so tomorrow isn't 100 percent ruled out either. It is earnings day on Thursday, with details set to come out at 1:30 p.m., so we may not see a Thursday beta.

Next week is the most likely iOS 16.4 beta launch scenario, based on when betas normally come out and past launch timelines.

Last year, iOS 15.4's first beta came on January 27, one day after the launch of iOS 15.3, and in 2021, there was a 14.5 beta that came in February as the timelines were accelerated that year. In 2020, we did get iOS 13.4 on February 5, which was a full week after the launch of iOS 13.3.1.

Possible iOS 16.4 Features

There wasn't a lot in iOS 16.3 as it primarily focused on Security Keys and then under-the-hood bug fixes, but there is a solid chance that iOS 16.4 will be more exciting, especially given the launch delay.

  • New Emoji - Apple has not yet added the Unicode 15 emoji, which include pink heart, moose, black bird, jellyfish, flute, hyacinth, ginger, goose, donkey, and more, so we could see them in the 16.4 beta.
  • Apple Music Classical - Apple is working on some kind of revamped classical music experience with a dedicated app. It was supposed to come in 2022, but that didn't happen, so it could launch any time.
  • Web-Based Push Notifications on iOS - We're still waiting on an iOS 16 update that adds web-based push notifications on the iPhone and the iPad, a feature that will let websites send notifications through Safari, just like on Macs.
  • Apple Pay Later - With Apple Pay Later, qualifying customers in the United States will be able to split their purchases into four equal payments that will be made over six weeks, with no added interest. The feature will be built into the Wallet app and is similar to the PayPal buy now, pay later functionality. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman previously said ‌Apple Pay‌ Later could be introduced in iOS 16.4.
  • Apple Card Savings Accounts - Apple is planning to allow Apple Card customers to open a high-yield savings account through Goldman Sachs, where Daily Cash accumulated through purchases can be saved. There is no word on when this is launching, and like Apple Music Classical, it could come any time.

When the initial beta of iOS 16.4 comes, it will be limited to developers to begin with, with Apple likely providing the software to public beta testers a week later. If we get the first developer beta on the 7th of February, a public beta could come on the 14th, and a launch could happen somewhere around the second to third week of March at the earliest, or in early April if there are features that require more extensive testing.

Samsung today announced the launch of its latest flagship smartphones, the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23, the 6.6-inch Galaxy S23+, and the 6.8-inch Galaxy S23 Ultra.


All three devices feature AMOLED displays with 120Hz refresh rates, and the Ultra has an edge-to-edge display similar to prior-generation models. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is equipped with a new 200-megapixel wide-angle camera, while the other two models use 50-megapixel cameras. There is also a 10-megapixel zoom camera, 12-megapixel ultra wide camera, and 12-megapixel front-facing selfie camera on each device.

samsung s23 lineup
At 200 megapixels, the S23 Ultra surpasses the 48-megapixel camera in Apple's iPhone 14 Pro models, and it supports 8K video capture. As with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the S23 Ultra includes 10x optical zoom through periscope lens technology, which Apple is rumored to be implementing with the iPhone 15 lineup.

samsung s23 ultra 200mp
Samsung says that the camera in the Ultra is tailored for "nearly any lighting conditions," and is designed to provide "incredible detail." Nightography has been improved for sharper images and videos that have less noise in low-light conditions, and there is a new image signal processing algorithm that enhances color and detail.

samsung s23 ultra rear
The selfie camera on the device includes fast autofocus, with Samsung referring to it as a "Super HDR selfie camera" with 60 frames per second video recording. Other camera features include doubled optical image stabilization, 360 audio recording, and object-based AI that analyzes each detail in a frame to "carefully reflect a person's dynamic characteristics.

samsung s23 front
Up to 1TB of storage is available, and the battery in the S23 Ultra comes in at 5,000mAh. Other Galaxy S23 Ultra features include IP68 water resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for the display, an accompanying S Pen, Wi-Fi 6E support, a fingerprint sensor, and facial recognition.

The smartphones use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform from Qualcomm, which means they will be compatible with the satellite connectivity feature that Qualcomm announced last year.

samsung s23 rear
Colors this year include Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender, with pre-orders available on Samsung's website, with Samsung offering free storage upgrades and bonus Samsung Credit for use on additional purchases for those who pre-order. Best Buy is also offering special carrier promotions on the new phones.

Pricing on the S23 Ultra starts at $1,200, pricing on the S23+ starts at $1,000, and pricing on the S23 starts at $800.

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

Tag: Samsung

Alongside new Galaxy smartphones, Samsung today introduced the Galaxy Book3 Ultra, a new premium PC with a 2-in-1 convertible form factor and included S Pen. Samsung says the Book3 Ultra is the thinnest clamshell device in its class, featuring a lightweight aluminum frame.

samsung galaxy book3 1
The Galaxy Book3 Ultra includes a 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor and an NVIDIA RTX Geforce 4070 GPU, and it features Samsung's Dynamic OLED 2x display, previously used for Galaxy smartphones. The display has a 3K resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate, and it is available in a 16-inch size.

There's an AI Noise Canceling feature to reduce background noise on calls and Samsung's Studio Mode offers lighting correction, auto framing, and eye contact correction for video meetings. The notebook also features a quad speaker system.

samsung galaxy book3 2
Samsung is also introducing the Book3 Pro 360 and the Book3 Pro, two more affordable PC options. The Galaxy Book3 Pro also includes the same OLED display technology, and it is available in 14 and 16-inch sizes, while the Book3 Pro 360 has a 360 display and a 16-inch display size.

The new notebooks include Samsung Multi Control, a feature that is designed to allow Samsung users to control a PC, Galaxy Tab, and Galaxy smartphone with the Galaxy Book3 keyboard and trackpad, similar to the multi-device control that Apple offers between the iPad and the Mac.

samsung galaxy book3 3
The new Galaxy Book3 Ultra, Book3 Pro, and Book3 Pro 360 are available for pre-order starting today, with Samsung set to launch the new machines on February 17.

Pricing on the Galaxy Book3 Pro will start at $1,450, while pricing on the Book3 Pro 360 will start at $1,700. The high-end Ultra model is priced starting at $2,200. If you're also purchasing a phone from the Galaxy S23 lineup, you can use your bonus Samsung Credit from that purchase an apply it to a Galaxy Book3 order while earning additional Samsung Credit for the Book3 purchase.

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.

Tag: Samsung

While many of Apple's product lines have been updated recently, a handful of devices and accessories have not received hardware updates in recent years.

AirPods Max Gen 2 Feature Dark Red 2
Below, we have put together a list of five products that Apple sells that have not been updated in over two years, aside from new software features. The list excludes previous-generation products that remain available, such as the iPhone 12.

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil 2
Released alongside new iPad Pro models in October 2018, the second-generation Apple Pencil will soon be four and a half years old.

A key feature of the second-generation Apple Pencil compared to the original one is that it can be magnetically attached to select iPads for wireless charging. Users can also switch between drawing tools and brushes within apps like Notes by double tapping on the second-generation Apple Pencil's built-in touch sensor.

There haven't been any credible rumors about a new Apple Pencil, so it's unclear when the $129 accessory will be updated.

Mac Pro

Mac Pro Feature Teal
Available since December 2019, the Mac Pro is now over three years old and is the final Intel-based Mac that Apple sells. The high-end desktop tower is expected to be updated this year with Apple's M2 Ultra chip, which will make it the fastest Mac ever.

The new Mac Pro could be released this spring alongside macOS 13.3, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. He said the new Mac Pro will have the same design as the 2019 model, but lack user-upgradeable RAM and likely won't support external GPUs. It's unclear if Apple will continue to sell a rack-mountable version of the computer.

Pro Display XDR

Pro Display XDR Blue
Apple released the Pro Display XDR alongside the Mac Pro in December 2019, making it over three years old. The monitor starts at $4,999 and features a 32-inch screen size with 6K resolution, but it lacks a camera and a stand costs $999 extra.

In December, Gurman said Apple was working on multiple new external monitors, including an updated version of the Pro Display XDR that will be equipped with an Apple silicon chip, just like the cheaper Studio Display has an A13 chip. However, it's unclear when the new Pro Display XDR will be released or other new features it will have.

AirPods Max

AirPods Max Gen 2 Feature Black 2
Released in December 2020, the AirPods Max are now over two years old. Apple's over-ear headphones have not received any hardware updates since and remain priced at $549 in the U.S., with green, pink, silver, sky blue, and space gray color options.

Last month, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said mass shipments of second-generation AirPods Max would likely begin in the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025, but there's always a chance that new color options could be introduced sooner.

The new AirPods Max could adopt several features from the second-generation AirPods Pro, such as an H2 chip, improved active noise cancellation, Adaptive Transparency mode, Conversation Boost, skin-detect sensors, longer battery life, and more, but it remains to be seen exactly what improvements are introduced with the new AirPods Max.

HomePod mini

homepod mini thumb feature
Released in November 2020, the HomePod mini is now among the list of current-generation Apple devices that are over two years old. The smaller Siri-enabled smart speaker remains available for $99 and has not received any hardware updates since launching, although it did get new blue, orange, and yellow color options in November 2021.

Apple is not currently working on a new HomePod mini, according to Gurman, but it did recently enable the temperature and humidity sensor in the speaker.

Apple recently introduced a new full-size HomePod that launches this Friday.

Apple is set to report its earnings results for the first quarter of its 2023 fiscal year tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri will discuss the results on a conference call for investors a half hour later.

10th Gen iPad Feature Fanned Blue
Keep reading for some key things to know about the quarter, including a recap of products announced, revenue expectations, and more.

New Products During Quarter

Apple's first quarter ran from September 25 through December 31, according to the company's 2023 fiscal calendar. Apple released a handful of new products during this period, including updated iPad and Apple TV models:

  • 11-inch iPad Pro (4th generation) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (6th generation)
  • iPad (10th generation)
  • Apple TV 4K (3rd generation)
  • iPhone 14 Plus (pre-orders began in September)

First Revenue Decline Since 2019?

On average, Apple is estimated to report revenue of $121.2 billion for the quarter, according to Yahoo Finance. This would be down around 2% from $123.9 billion in the year-ago quarter and represent Apple's first revenue decline since 2019.

In November, Apple issued a rare warning to investors about iPhone 14 Pro supply constraints:

COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China. The facility is currently operating at significantly reduced capacity. As we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prioritizing the health and safety of the workers in our supply chain.

We continue to see strong demand for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. However, we now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products.

We are working closely with our supplier to return to normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every worker.

Conference Call

Apple's CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri will hold a conference call at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time tomorrow to discuss the company's first quarter earnings results. The call should be around one hour long and will include a Q&A segment with analysts.

A live audio stream of the conference call will be available on Apple's Investor Relations page, and a recording will be available at a later time for replay.

Investors will be listening for any potential commentary surrounding the economy as concerns persist about a recession in the U.S. and other countries.

What's Next

Apple's second quarter of fiscal 2023 began January 1 and runs through April 1. The quarter has already included orders for updated 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, updated Mac mini models, and a new HomePod.

Apple has not provided guidance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but analysts currently expect Apple to post sub-1% year-over-year growth in Q2 2023.

AAPL is currently trading slightly below $143, down around 20% from a 52-week high of $179.61.

Tags: Earnings, AAPL

A new Apple Watch Ultra with a larger 2.1-inch display will be released in 2024, according to a report today from Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, citing industry sources. This lines up with information shared last month by Jeff Pu, a tech analyst at Hong Kong-based investment firm Haitong International Securities.

apple watch ultra 1 1
The current Apple Watch Ultra has around a 1.93-inch display, so the 2024 model would have nearly a 10% larger screen and would likely become the first Apple Watch with over a 50mm case size. The new Ultra is also expected to be the first Apple Watch to adopt microLED display technology, resulting in higher brightness, decreased power consumption, and improved contrast ratio compared to current models with OLED displays.

It's unclear if an Apple Watch Ultra update is planned for 2023.

Taiwanese research firm TrendForce today reported that microLED technology could allow for Apple to offer future products with "game-changing product innovations," ranging from foldable and rollable iPhone models to fully transparent AR glasses.

microLED display production costs are currently high, so Apple's transition to the technology will likely take many years to be completed.

In the meantime, Apple is still completing a transition to OLED displays across its product lineup. The first Apple device with an OLED display was the Apple Watch in 2015, while the iPhone started moving to OLED in 2017. Rumors suggest the first MacBook Air and iPad Pro models with OLED displays will be released in 2024.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Ultra
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Amazon is kicking off February with a fresh discount on the Apple Watch Series 8. You can get the 41mm GPS (PRODUCT)RED Aluminum version of the wearable for $349.00, down from $399.00.

apple watch series 8 redNote: 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.

Only the M/L band size is on sale at this price, which is a match of the all-time low price on this version of the Apple Watch Series 8. As of writing, Amazon estimates free delivery to arrive between February 15 and 18.

If you're shopping for a cellular model, Amazon also has the 45mm cellular Apple Watch Series 8 for $479.00, down from $529.00. This one is available in three colors, with delivery estimates as soon as February 5 for the Midnight Aluminum model.

The Apple Watch Series 8 features an Always-On display that lets users see their watch face and complications at all times, as well as crack-resistant front glass, IP6X dust resistance, and a WR50 water resistance rating. Heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen detection, ECG readings, sleep tracking, fall detection, and loud noise monitoring are also available, plus a built-in temperature sensor that's used for giving women additional insights into their health.

Head to our full Deals Roundup to get caught up with all of the latest deals and discounts that we've been tracking over the past week.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Apple today launched the new MLS Season Pass, with the new subscription service available to Major League Soccer fans in more than 100 countries and regions.

Apple MLS Season Pass hero
Available in the Apple TV app, the MLS Season Pass can be accessed on Apple devices, Smart TVs, consoles, set-top boxes, and on the web with the tv.apple.com website.

You don't need an Apple TV+ subscription to purchase the MLS Season Pass, but it's cheaper if you have one. Non-TV+ subscribers can pay $14.99 per month or $99 per season, whereas TV+ subscribers pay $12.99 per month or $79 per season.

MLS season ticket holders automatically get access to the MLS Season Pass on ‌Apple TV‌. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share the subscription using their own Apple ID and password, and fans can ask Siri a wide variety of questions related to MLS, including schedules, scores, standings, club rosters, and player stats.

The Season Pass includes every live MLS regular-season match, the playoffs, and the Leagues Cup, with no blackouts. There is also a free selection of pre-season on-demand content to get fans hyped up for the new season.

The MLS 2023 regular season begins on February 25, with the 2022 MLS Cup champions Los Angeles FC to face off against the LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl Stadium. All matches during the opening weekend will be free to watch through the ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ app. More information on free matches can be found by visiting the full 2023 MLS season schedule.

From Apple's press release:

"Having accessibility is huge for the sport. It's going to help grow MLS not only domestically, but internationally. You'll have eyes all over watching our games," said Kellyn Acosta, Los Angeles Football Club's midfielder. "We talk about how we want the league to continue to grow and bridge the gap in comparison with other leagues, and I think having this Apple partnership is a step in the right direction. Leading into the World Cup in 2026, you want to build momentum and gain more exposure, and I think this partnership is going to truly be beautiful. I know my family is excited to have all the games in one place, and I think it’s going to be huge for the league and for the sport in the US."

When the season kicks off, fans can visit Apple Maps to explore dedicated Match Day Guides created by MLS clubs, including Atlanta United, Nashville SC, and Toronto FC, and find recommendations for local bars and restaurants to catch a game, detailed information about their stadiums, and more.

‌Apple Maps‌ is also launching several new custom-designed three-dimensional landmarks of MLS Stadiums in time for the season openers, including Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey; Lumen Field in Seattle; and Audi Field in Washington, D.C.

The Season Pass is the result of a deal between Apple and Major League Soccer for a 10-year partnership. All 29 MLS clubs now have an ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ patch in a different color to mark the agreement.

Former Apple designer Sir Jony Ive has created a new-look red nose to celebrate Red Nose Day, the annual Comic Relief charity telethon broadcast on British television that aims to raise money for poor and disadvantaged people.

red nose day jony ive
The nose is made from 95% plant-based materials and has a folding paper design that starts out as a small, flat crescent that springs into a honeycomb paper sphere when opened, ready to sit on one's nose. It even comes with a little carry case.

The BBC's Newsround described Ive's design as "the most dramatic makeover since the red nose made its debut in 1988."

red nose day ive
To launch the nose, Comic Relief co-founders Richard Curtis and Sir Lenny Henry enlisted actress and comedian Diane Morgan to narrate a tongue-in-cheek short film.

In the short, Morgan compares the design to planet Earth, then hails the importance of "the perfect circle" before describing how the new model is "the most perfect nose in history."

HingeClose ive nose
When Ive left Apple in 2019, the British designer recruited at least four of his former Apple colleagues to join him at his LoveFrom design firm, which is responsible for the nose.

"We've grown up with Comic Relief and are proud to support their remarkable work," said Ive. "This new and seemingly simple Red Nose has been a fabulously complex little object to design and make and has involved our entire team. We hope it brings a little moment of joy to everyone who wears one."

ive red nose hinge detail 2

Money raised from the BBC appeal will support people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and tackle issues such as homelessness, mental health problems, and food poverty. Last year's Comic Relief raised £42,790,147 ($52,735,219).

The new nose is being sold for £2.50 (about $3) on Amazon and the Comic Relief website, where orders are limited to eight per person ahead of this year's Red Nose Day on Friday, March 17. Donations can be made via Amazon Pay, with 100% of proceeds going to Comic Relief.


(Thanks, Alan!)

Following the launch of iOS 16.3 on January 23, Apple is no longer signing iOS 16.2, the previously available version of iOS. Now that Apple has stopped signing iOS 16.2, it is no longer possible to downgrade to that version of iOS after installing the iOS 16.3 update.

iOS 16
Apple routinely stops signing older versions of iOS after new releases come out in order to encourage customers to keep their operating systems up to date, so it is not unusual that the iOS 16.2 update is no longer being signed.

iOS 16.2 was a significant update that added Apple Music Sing, the Freeform app, Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, and more. iOS 16.3 introduces Security Keys for Apple ID, changes to Emergency SOS, and it adds support for the new HomePod model.

Apple is expected to release the first beta of iOS 16.4 in the near future, but as of now, iOS 16.3 is the only available version of iOS 16. Apple has also stopped signing iOS 15.7.2 and iOS 12.5.6 following the release of iOS 15.7.3 and iOS 12.5.7 security updates earlier in January.

Back in November, Anker's Eufy brand made headlines after security consultant Paul Moore discovered that Eufy security cameras were sending data to the cloud, even when cloud storage upload settings were disabled. Further, Eufy camera streams were allegedly able to be watched live through an app like VLC, which presented a glaring security issue.

eufy deal
That the Eufy cameras were uploading content to the cloud was problematic because Anker has long touted the security of its Eufy devices, claiming that they feature local-only storage and end-to-end encryption for those who want a more private camera solution. Following this debacle, The Verge began trying to get answers about Eufy camera security from Anker, and Anker was providing deliberately unclear and often misleading answers about how Eufy cameras worked.

The Verge was finally able to get answers from Anker by threatening to publish a story about the company's lack of communication, which has led to some clarification about Eufy security. Eufy cameras do not offer native end-to-end encryption, and they did indeed provide unencrypted video streams through the Eufy web portal, though Anker says this is an issue that has now been fixed. From Eufy:

Previously, after logging into our secure Web portal at eufy.com, a registered user could enter debug mode, use the Web browser’s DevTool to locate the live stream, and then play or share that link with someone else to play outside of our secure system. However, that would have been the user’s choice to share that link, and they would have needed to first log into the eufy Web portal to get this link.

Today, based on industry feedback and out of an abundance of caution, the eufy Security Web portal now prohibits users from entering debug mode, and the code has been hardened and obfuscated. In addition, the video stream content is encrypted, which means that these video streams can no longer be played on third-party media players such as VLC.

I should note, however, that only 0.1 percent of our current daily users use the secure Web portal feature at eufy.com. Most of our users use the eufy Security app to view live streams. Either way, the previous design of our Web portal had some issues, which have since been resolved.

Video stream requests originating from the Eufy web portal will be end-to-end encrypted going forward, as they are with the Eufy app, which Anker says is the primary way that Eufy users access camera streams. Anker says that every Eufy camera is being updated to use WebRTC, which is encrypted by default, and it will no longer be possible to play Eufy video streams through third-party apps.

Anker was regretful about its lack of communication, and said that it would do better in the future. The company is bringing in third-party security companies to audit the Eufy security products, and it is working on an official bug bounty program. Anker will also establish a security micro-site in February, and will provide customers with more information on the changes that have been implemented.

For those who are interested in the full details of what Eufy has to say, The Verge published its complete email communications with Anker spokespeople.

Apple is working on a new Home accessory that is designed to serve as a central hub for smart home management. The Apple TV and the HomePod are already home hubs and almost all Apple devices can control a HomeKit setup, but Apple is designing an all-in-one home management product to make control even easier.

iPad iOS 16 WP Display Feature eric edit
This guide aggregates everything that we know about the Apple Home display product that's in development.

Design

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the display is going to look similar to an iPad. In fact, he described it as akin to a low-end ‌iPad‌, which suggests that it could resemble the entry-level 10th-generation ‌iPad‌.

We don't know concrete details about sizing, but it would be designed to mount to walls and other objects using magnetic fasteners, so it could be positioned in the most central part of the home. A mounted design would make it more integrated into a house than something like an ‌iPad‌, and it would provide a centralized spot for anyone inside the home to control ‌HomeKit‌ and Matter-connected products.

Right now, both ‌HomeKit‌ and Matter devices need to be controlled from an iPhone, ‌iPad‌, or Mac, and each person in the home needs to be individually invited to a ‌HomeKit‌ setup, which can be a hassle if there are guests in the house or for quick controls when an Apple device is not handy.

Presumably, two or more of the Home displays will be able to work with one another for use in separate rooms, similar to how the ‌HomePod‌ and ‌Apple TV‌ work now.

Capabilities

In addition to being able to be used for smart home control purposes, the display could allow for streaming video and making FaceTime calls. It would have a built-in speaker, so it could also be some kind of ‌iPad‌ and ‌HomePod‌ hybrid device, which we've heard rumors about previously.

Competition

An Apple-designed smart home management product with an integrated display would compete with other smart home devices from companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. Facebook, for example, makes the Meta Portal, a device that can control Alexa-based products and that allows for video calls with friends and family.

echo show
Amazon makes the Echo Show, a smart display with a speaker and a 10-inch display. It can be used for controlling smart home products, watching video, making calls, and more. Google offers the Nest Hub Max for streaming content, listening to music, and controlling products that integrate with the Google smart home system.

With almost all of Apple's major competitors offering an in-home device that is designed to serve as a hub for controlling smart home products and making calls, it's not hard to imagine a similar device from Apple.

Launch Date

Apple is said to be targeting a 2024 launch date for the smart home display, but when in 2024 remains to be seen.

Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year.

General iOS 16 Feature Yellow
Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases and an Apple Card savings account that will allow for interest to be earned on Daily Cash.

Web Push Notifications

safari icon blue banner
Apple said iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will add opt-in support for web-based push notifications at some point in 2023. This feature will allow iPhone and iPad users to receive notifications from websites through Safari, just like notifications sent from apps.

Apple Pay Later

Apple Pay Later Quick Green Feature
Announced at WWDC 2022 last June, Apple Pay Later is a financing feature that will let qualifying customers in the U.S. split a purchase into four equal payments over six weeks, with no interest or fees to pay. The feature will be built into the Wallet app and will be available for purchases online and in apps on the iPhone and iPad.

Apple says the feature is coming in a future software update for qualifying applicants in the U.S. and noted that it may not be available in all states. Last year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said the feature might launch with iOS 16.4.

iMessage Contact Key Verification

Apple advanced security iMessage Contact Key Verification screen Feature
In December 2022, Apple previewed a new iMessage Contact Key Verification security feature and said it would launch globally in 2023.

iMessage Contact Key Verification allows users who face "extraordinary digital threats," such as journalists, human rights activists, and government officials, to further verify that they are messaging only with the people they intend. In conversations between users who have enabled iMessage Contact Key Verification, users are alerted if a state-sponsored attacker or other malicious actor were ever to succeed breaching cloud servers and inserting their own device to eavesdrop on the conversation.

As an additional layer of security, iMessage Contact Key Verification users can compare a Contact Verification Code in person, on FaceTime, or through another secure call to further verify they are communicating only with whom they intend.

Apple Card Savings Account

Apple Card Savings Account JPG
In October 2022, Apple announced that Apple Card users would "soon" be able to open a new high-yield savings account from Goldman Sachs and have their Daily Cash automatically deposited into it, with no fees, no minimum deposits, and no minimum balance requirements. The account would be managed through the Wallet app on the iPhone.

Once the account is set up, all Daily Cash received from that point on would be automatically deposited into it and start earning interest, unless a user opts to continue having Daily Cash added to their Apple Cash balance. Apple Card provides 2-3% Daily Cash on purchases made with Apple Pay and 1% on purchases made with the physical card.

The savings account was listed in the release notes for the iOS 16.1 Release Candidate in October, and Goldman Sachs updated its Apple Card customer agreement for the feature in December, but it has still not launched.

Next-Generation CarPlay

next generation carplay multi display
At WWDC 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of its iPhone-based software platform CarPlay, which will feature support for multiple displays, widgets, and integration with vehicle functions like the instrument cluster, climate controls, and FM radio.

Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Volvo, and others. Apple plans to share additional details about the next generation of CarPlay later this year.

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

Samsung today announced the launch of a 4TB version of its popular T7 Shield portable SSD, with the new version joining the 1TB and 2TB size options that Samsung debuted last April.

samsung t7 shield 4tb ssd
The T7 Shield is Samsung's most damage-resistant SSD, offering a durable casing that protects the device both indoors and outdoors. The Shield's enclosure is made from aluminum and has an IP65 water and dust resistance rating, so it can hold up to rain and other elements. It also offers crush resistance and protection from drops over nine feet high.

There is a rubberized exterior casing around the aluminum that adds further protection, and because of the small size, it is portable and ideal for use when traveling. The 4TB model is available in black.

The T7 Shield offers read speeds of up to 1,050 MB/s, and write speeds of up to 1,000 MB/s. It connects to a Mac using a USB-C to USB-C cable, and has a built-in thermal guard to protect from degradation due to overheating.

The 4TB T7 Shield Portable SSD can be purchased from the Samsung website for $430. Samsung also sells a 2TB variant for $180, and a 1TB model for $100.

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Tag: Samsung

Apple is developing a 20.5-inch foldable notebook that could be released as soon as 2025, according to information shared today by display analyst Ross Young.

Foldable iPhone 2023 Feature Yellow
Young shared the details in a tweet disputing a recent iPad rumor from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said that Apple was developing a foldable iPad for 2024. So far, both Young and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman have said they see no signs of a foldable tablet that's coming next year.

The rumor about an all-screen foldable MacBook is not exactly new, as Young shared similar information back in February 2022. Young at the time said that Apple was discussing foldable notebooks with displays around 20 inches in size with its suppliers.

Based on today's report, Apple is still pursuing some kind of foldable notebook product, which would feature a full-size on-screen keyboard when folded, or the option to use it with an external keyboard when unfolded. Young previously said that it would be an all-new product category for Apple.


The dual display design would differ from current Mac notebooks that are foldable, as those machines feature a single display paired with a keyboard and trackpad. It has been unclear whether the rumored 20-inch foldable would be positioned as an ‌iPad‌, Mac, or something new entirely, but so far multiple sources seem to think 2024 is too early for some kind of foldable.

The 2024 iPhone 16 Pro Max (or Ultra should Apple change the ‌iPhone‌ naming scheme) will continue to be the only ‌iPhone‌ model that will get a higher-end, upgraded periscope camera with new zoom capabilities next year, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iPhone 14 Pro Rear Camera
As has been previously rumored several times, Apple this year will limit periscope lens technology to the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max, perhaps because of the space that the hardware requires. Keeping the periscope lens exclusive to the ‌iPhone‌ 16 Pro Max as well will see Apple breaking a tradition that often sees new features introduced as exclusives for one ‌iPhone‌ and then later expanded to additional ‌iPhone‌ models when next-generation devices release.


Kuo's information contradicts a recent report from The Elec, which said that a "Folded Zoom" periscope lens would be available in both the ‌iPhone‌ 16 Pro and the ‌iPhone‌ 16 Pro Max next year.

With a periscope lens, light is reflected by an angled mirror toward the image sensor in the camera. The directional shift allows for a "folded" telephoto lens system for improved optical zoom capabilities without the blurriness that comes with digital zoom.

Periscope lens technology is already used by Apple's competitors like Samsung, and the ‌iPhone 15‌ Pro Max could feature up to 6x optical zoom, an improvement over the current 3x optical zoom in the iPhone 14 Pro models.

For the last few years, the Pro and Pro Max iPhones have offered similar features, and battery life has been the main distinguishing feature between the devices aside from display size. Limiting periscope zoom technology to the Pro Max will likely frustrate those who like to have the latest technology but who do not care for the larger 6.7-inch size.

As Apple is adding more features to the larger 6.7-inch ‌iPhone 15‌ "Pro Max," there are rumors that it could instead be called the ‌iPhone 15‌ Ultra, similar to the Apple Watch Ultra.

Related Roundup: iPhone 15
Related Forum: iPhone