Apple in July began providing developers with access to a beta version of the AirPods Pro firmware to test new features ahead of their release. Last Friday, Apple released a second version of the ‌AirPods Pro‌ firmware (4A362b), but it went under the radar until today when it was shared on Reddit.

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware
According to Apple's developer website, the second ‌AirPods Pro‌ firmware update adds support for Conversation Boost, a feature that was missing from the first beta.

Conversation Boost is an iOS 15 feature that uses the beamforming microphones in the ‌AirPods Pro‌ to boost the volume level of conversations, which is ideal for those with mild to moderate hearing challenges.

The initial ‌AirPods Pro‌ firmware beta added support for FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction, two other ‌AirPods Pro‌ features that are coming in the ‌iOS 15‌ update.

Only registered developers are able to install the ‌AirPods Pro‌ firmware, and the installation process is rather complicated and requires Xcode. We have a walkthrough on installing the profile for the beta, but as with all over-the-air firmware updates, it takes some time for new software to be seeded to users.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Neutral)
Related Forum: AirPods

Apple has established a deal for the rights to "Argylle," an upcoming spy thriller from Matthew Vaughn, reports Deadline. A film package is nearing completion, and Apple is expected to pay around $200 million.

Apple TV Ray Light 2 Yellow
"Argylle" is based on the upcoming spy novel of the same name from author Ellie Conway. It follows the world's greatest spy in a globe-trotting adventure, and shooting is set to start later this year.

The upcoming film has a star-studded cast, with Henry Cavill set to star. It will also feature singer Dua Lipa along with John Cena, Bryce Dallas Howard, Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Rockwell, Catherine O'Hara, and Bryan Cranston.

Matthew Vaughn is known for directing films that include "Kingsman," "Kick-Ass," and "Stardust." In a statement, he said he was thrilled to work with Apple.

I'm thrilled to team with Apple and bring the most compelling spy thriller I've ever read to the only streaming service that can create a franchise of this scale and quality for global audiences to experience.

Apple has been working to secure the rights to multiple high-profile films to attract customers to Apple TV+. The company has also inked deals for "Killers of the Flower Moon" with Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, "Emancipation" with Will Smith, "Bride" with Scarlet Johansson, "Snow Blind" with Jake Gyllenhaal, "Sharper" with Julianne Moore, and "Kitbag" with Joaquin Phoenix.

Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March 2016. Apple designed the ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview Feature
‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release 129 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, CSS, Scrolling, Rendering, WebAssembly, Web API, Platform Features, IndexedDB, Media, WebGL, and WebCrypto.

Apple says that on macOS Big Sur, this release requires enabling the GPU Process: Media option from the Experimental Features setting in the Develop menu. Turning on the option addresses issues with streaming services.

The current ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release is built on the new Safari 15 update included in macOS Monterey, and as such, it includes several Safari 15 features. There's a new streamlined tab bar with support for Tab Groups to organize tabs, along with improved support for Safari Web Extensions.

Live Text allows users to select and interact with text in images on the web, but the ‌macOS Monterey‌ beta and an M1 Mac is required. There's also Quick Notes support for adding links and Safari highlights to remember important information and ideas.

Other updates include WebGL 2 and new HTML, CSS, and JavaScript features.

The new ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available for both ‌macOS Big Sur‌ and ‌macOS Monterey‌, the newest version of the Mac operating system that's set to release this fall.

The ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's aim with ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

Best Buy and Amazon are both offering great deals on numerous models of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air today, including a handful of record low deals on the latest Apple notebooks.

discount m1 macbook pro triadNote: 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.

13-Inch M1 MacBook Air

Starting with the 2020 M1 13-inch MacBook Air, you'll find the 256GB notebook for $899.00 at Amazon and $899.99 at Best Buy, down from $999.00. Amazon stock has dwindled and will "ship soon," but Best Buy has plenty of stock in all three colors.

Additionally, both retailers have the 512GB M1 MacBook Air at $1,099.99, down from $1,249.00. While this is a record low price on the 512GB notebook, the 256GB model's discount is a second-best price.

  • M1 MacBook Air, 256GB - $899.99, down from $999.00 at Best Buy / Amazon
  • M1 MacBook Air, 512GB - $1,099.99, down from $1,249.00 at Best Buy / Amazon

13-Inch M1 MacBook Pro

For the newest MacBook Pro models, Best Buy and Amazon have lowest ever prices on the new 2020 M1 13-inch MacBook Pro. You can get the 256GB notebook for $1,099.99, down from $1,299.00, in both Silver and Space Gray.

For more storage, the 512GB M1 MacBook Pro is on sale for $1,299.99, down from $1,499.00. This model is also available in both Silver and Space Gray at this price.

  • M1 MacBook Pro, 256GB - $1,099.99, down from $1,299.00 at Best Buy / Amazon
  • M1 MacBook Pro, 512GB - $1,299.99, down from $1,499.00 at Best Buy / Amazon

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

A movie version of the hit Broadway musical "Come From Away" is set to debut on Apple TV+ on Friday, September 10, Apple said today.

come from away movie
"Come From Away" tells the story of several thousand people who have been stranded in Gander, Newfoundland after flights into the United States were grounded after the attacks that took place on September 11, 2001.

"Come From Away" tells the story of 7,000 people stranded in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland after all flights into the US are grounded on September 11, 2001. As the people of Newfoundland graciously welcome the "come from aways" into their community in the aftermath, the passengers and locals alike process what's happened while finding love, laughter and new hope in the unlikely and lasting bonds that they forge.

Directed by Christopher Ashley, who directed the original Broadway production, "Come From Away" has an ensemble cast led by members of the Broadway show.

Apple says the live performance of "Come From Away" was filmed in May at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater in New York City for an audience of 9/11 survivors and front-line workers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has fallen to eighth place on a list of the highest-paid CEOs and executives in the United States last year despite earning more than the previous year, according to Bloomberg.

Tim Cook Feature Yellow
Cook was paid $265 million in 2020, mainly comprising stock awards and a bonus as in previous years, making him the eighth highest-paid executive in the United States. Last year, Cook was paid compensation of $133.7 million, but ranked second after Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was paid $595.3 million.

Cook has overseen Apple's rise to become the most profitable company in the world this year with revenue of $274.515 billion and profit of $57.411 billion, according to the Fortune Global 500 rankings.

In 2020, Cook was surpassed in terms of pay by the COO of Oak Street Health, the CEO of Palantir Technologies, the CEO of Opendoor Technologies, and the Co-CEOs of GoodRX Holdings. Elon Musk again overwhelmingly topped the list with compensation amounting to $6.658 billion.

Last month, it was alleged that Musk demanded to become the CEO of Apple as part of early discussions around a potential Apple acquisition of Tesla, though Musk denies this.

Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and People Deirdre O'Brien and Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kate Adams also made the list in 93rd and 96th place, with pay of $45 million each. This makes O'Brien and Adams the fourth and fifth-highest paid women executives in the United States.

Today we've gathered a collection of notable sales across retailers like Amazon, B&H Photo, and Best Buy, covering discounts for charging accessories, Apple TV 4K models, MacBook Pro, and more.

deals august 4Note: 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.

Hyper on Amazon

Starting with Hyper accessories, you can get 20 percent off a trio of the company's accessories on Amazon today. Get these savings by adding any of the products listed below to your Amazon cart and entering the code NWR3WRBJ at checkout.

Apple TV 4K on B&H Photo

Next, you'll find the previous generation 32GB Apple TV 4K for $129.95 on B&H Photo today, down from $179.00. Although this is the 2017 model and does not include the updated Siri Remote, it's a second-best price and a solid deal for someone looking to add an Apple TV 4K to their entertainment center.

apple tv 4
This sale is about $40 cheaper than the current discount price of the new 32GB 2021 Apple TV 4K, which is at $169.00 on Amazon, down from $179.00. If you opt for the previous generation model, you can always buy the Siri Remote separately for $59.00 on Amazon, B&H Photo, and most other retailers.

Back to School at Best Buy

Students with a My Best Buy account can take advantage of additional savings on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iPad Pro devices at Best Buy this week. Best Buy's Student Deals section has the full list of items on sale, also including coffee makers, Chromebooks, and noise canceling headphones.

macbook air m1 unboxing feature
MacBook Pro and MacBook Air savings reach up to $250 off select models, with in-store pickup available for most locations. For iPad Pros, students can save $50 on select models of the new tablet, and this offer will expire on August 8, 2021.

To sign up for the program, you'll need a free My Best Buy membership and be a college student actively enrolled in at least one course, or a parent/legal guardian of a student.

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

Apple remains "largely absent" in the U.S. smart speaker market while Amazon and Google continue to dominate, according to data gathered by Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (CIRP).

HomePodandMini feature orange
Since 2017, Amazon has been the dominant company in the smart speaker market, with over two-thirds of smart speakers in U.S. homes being Amazon devices. Google holds about a one-quarter share of smart speaker devices, while Apple and Facebook have the small remaining share.

Josh Lowitz, CIRP partner and co-founder, said that while the installed base of smart speakers added over 25 million units over the past year, reaching a total of 126 million units, Apple still "failed to make meaningful inroads." According to Lowitz, Apple's original HomePod strategy, "with a single premium-priced model competing against products that included low-priced entry-level devices" struggled to gain a significant share of sales, which has led to other brands growing faster and establishing a grip on consumers.

Last year, Apple discontinued the original HomePod and introduced the HomePod mini, a smaller smart speaker priced at just $99. In spite of the launch of the ‌HomePod mini‌, CIRP's data shows little change between Apple's market share in 2020 and 2021.

smart speaker market share 2021 cirp
CIRP estimates that over 20 million U.S. households have more than one Amazon Echo device, while about eight million U.S. households have multiple Google Home units, meaning that 43 percent of Amazon Echo owners and 38 percent of Google Home owners have more than one smart speaker. By comparison, only two million households have more than one ‌HomePod‌.

Apple is rumored to be rethinking its smart home strategy, scrapping an updated model for 2022, and introducing new ‌HomePod‌ models, including one with a screen and a camera for FaceTime calls and one that is combined with an Apple TV.

CIRP's latest data was based on a survey of 500 U.S. owners of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple ‌HomePod‌, surveyed from July 1 to July 8, 2021, who owned one of these devices as of June 30, 2021.

Related Roundups: HomePod, HomePod mini
Tag: CIRP

Apple is today hosting the first of three "Fan Experience" events to celebrate the second season of the hit Apple TV+ show "Ted Lasso" (via The Drum).

ted lasso believe fan experience
"The Believe Fan Experience" is a themed tailgate event centred around Ted Lasso. Fans of the show are invited to get their hands on official merchandise, take a ride on the double-decker "Believe Bus," play games such as soccer darts and participate in contests, watch freestyle soccer performers, and take photos with themed installations.

There will be free food, including Ted Lasso biscuits from the show, prizes, and a live DJ. The first 10,000 arrivals will receive a free "Believe" rally towel.

The first event is being held today at the Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, between 4PM and 6PM. The Believe Fan Experience will also be available in Santa Monica on August 7 and Downtown Los Angeles on August 8.

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo appears to be preparing "VivoCard" as a rival to Apple Card, following similar moves by Apple competitors Google, Samsung, Huawei, and Oppo.

apple card feature2
According to Chinese trademark filings from late last month seen by DroidMaze, Vivo is attempting to trademark "VivoCard." The trademark is filed under international classifications, meaning that the company hopes to use the "VivoCard" brand overseas.

Apple launched the ‌Apple Card‌ in 2019 as a credit card that is linked to Apple Pay and built directly into the iPhone's Wallet app. Apple partners with Goldman Sachs for the card, which is optimized for ‌‌Apple Pay‌‌ but will still work as a traditional credit card for all of your transactions. ‌Apple Card‌ also offers a number of features such as Daily Cash, spending tracking, purchase notifications, an engraved titanium physical card, and more.

Following the launch of ‌Apple Card‌, leaked images showed that Google was developing its own physical and virtual debit card in partnership with banks in the United States, featuring the ability to add or remove funds from the card after connecting a bank account.

In 2020, Samsung launched "Samsung Pay Card" in the captive market of the UK, where ‌Apple Card‌ is currently unavailable, with a comparable offering of cashback, instant spend notifications, and software integration. Huawei has also launched "Huawei Card," featuring a very similar model to ‌Apple Card‌ with a physical and virtual card, cashback, and other perks.

Last month, similar Chinese trademark filings revealed that Oppo was the next Android brand looking to join the smart card market, but the news that Vivo is also planning to move into the space means that Apple is likely to face at least five Android competitors to ‌Apple Card‌ in the near future.

Given the increasing number of smart card options from major tech companies, it is likely that VivoCard will seek to compete with cashback and software integrations, but little else is known about the company's new finance product at this early stage.

As Apple prepares to launch its upcoming iOS 15 operating system to millions of iPhone users this fall, the latest beta for the update has seemingly improved how users' iPhones take and process photos in certain lighting conditions.

ios 15 lens flare

Image Credit: Reddit

The camera hardware inside iPhones plays a significant role in the quality of photos that users can take with their devices, but another factor affecting image quality is the ‌iPhone‌'s on-device processing done by the Image Signal Processor, or ISP.

In the latest ‌iOS 15‌ beta, Apple has possibly improved ‌iPhone‌ processing when users take photos in conditions where lens flare is sometimes an unwanted artifact. The change was first brought to light on Reddit and further publicized by the popular ‌iPhone‌ camera app Halide on Twitter.

Two side-by-side photos appear to show that Apple removes lens flare from photos during post-photo processing on the newest beta. The photo below shows the final still shot from a Live Photo without lens flare.

ios 15 no lens flare

Same image as above, after ‌iPhone‌ processing

This is not a change Apple has promoted or commented on, so it's not clear what exactly is going on. However, the latest beta could be improving the system that the ‌iPhone‌ uses to detect different indoor and outdoor scenes, and using that information to compensate and remove unwanted lens flare.

One Reddit user points out that they could see noticeable lens flare after taking a photo on their iPhone 12 Pro. When revisiting the image later on in the day, though, they noticed it had automatically been removed from the photo.

So I've noticed something that I haven't seen reported elsewhere; whilst out and about I took this photo and thought it was ruined/needing to be edited later due to the lens flare (as I've done numerous times in previous photos with the iPhone 12 Pro as it's so prone to lens flares). However, I got home and noticed the lens flare has automatically gone in the original photo despite it being obviously there still in the live photo, meaning the automatic post processing has gotten smart enough to remove lens flares now!

iOS 15 is still in beta testing with developers and public beta testers and won't be available to all ‌iPhone‌ users until later this fall. Apple is also testing iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Apple next year is expected to ditch the iPhone notch and adopt a punch-hole design for its front-facing TrueDepth camera array. Meanwhile, Android maker Oppo continues to publicize new iterations of its under-screen camera technology, which it has yet to feature in a shipped phone.

oppo 3rd gen under screen camera1

Prototype device featuring Oppo's USC

Oppo unveiled its first go at under-screen camera tech back in June 2019, and this is its third attempt at refining the system. According to the Chinese phone maker, the new version allows for a selfie camera to be placed under the display "without compromising the integrity of the screen."

In previous iterations, Oppo improved the camera quality at the expense of the display, by reducing the pixel density in the area of the screen that covers the camera in order to let more light in.

This time, it's taken a different tack, by shrinking the size of each pixel without decreasing the number of pixels "to ensure a 400-ppi high-quality display even in the camera area." It's also replaced the traditional screen wiring with transparent wiring material.

oppo 3rd gen under screen camera2

A prototype device featuring Oppo's USC

As a result, Oppo says users should notice "almost no visual difference" between the portion of the screen where the camera resides and the rest of the display, and to back up that claim, it has released an image of a prototype phone showing a black-and-white ebook app filling up the screen.

The company has also publicized a sample photo taken by the under-screen camera, although without several shots taken in different conditions, it's hard to judge its capabilities, and Oppo is still falling back on imaging AI algorithms to reduce some of the negative side effects typically found in under-screen cameras, such as blurry images and image glare.

oppo 3rd gen under screen camera3

A selfie photo taken with Oppo USC prototype

Oppo hasn't said when it intends to bring a phone to market with an under-screen camera, but it won't be the first. Chinese mobile maker ZTE took that plaudit with its own fullscreen display-enabling technology appearing last year in the Axon 20 5G.

ZTE's approach effectively used two screens simultaneously – a small square one on top of the selfie camera inside the phone's main OLED display – but the square was sometimes visible when using some apps, and the selfie shots were also improved artificially by software algorithms to compensate for haze, glare, and color cast issues.

Long-term, Apple is thought to be working towards a notchless ‌iPhone‌ design. The notch has been a controversial design decision since it debuted on the ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ X in 2017, and it has always felt like a stopgap on the way to an ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ with a truly edge-to-edge display, but when that will appear – and how it will be realized – remains unknown.

This year's upcoming iPhone 13 will have a slightly smaller notch, while next year rumors suggest this will be replaced by a punch-hole design that's previously been used for some Android devices, including Samsung smartphones. Where Apple goes from there is unclear.

According to one rumor dating back to 2019, Apple has prototyped at least one iPhone with no notch, with the TrueDepth camera sensors for Face ID instead housed in the thin bezel above the display.

Given that Apple is believed to be relying on a more tightly integrated camera module to achieve the smaller notch expected on the ‌iPhone 13‌, miniaturization could be one way for Apple to bring a truly edge-to-edge display to market one day while avoiding the attendant problems that come with hiding a camera under the screen, but mass-producing such technology could still be years away.

Tag: Oppo

As part of a class action lawsuit settlement, Zoom says it will pay $85 million to users for misleading them about offering end-to-end encryption on its videoconferencing service.

zoom app icon
According to ArsTechnica, the company was accused of lying about its encryption description on its website and in a security white paper, as well as providing user data to Facebook and Google without users' permission.

Filed at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the proposed settlement will give Zoom users around $15 or $25 each, depending on whether they had a free or paid subscription between March 30, 2016 and July 30, 2021. Assuming the settlement is approved by the court, the payments will apply to Zoom users nationwide.

In addition to payments, Zoom agreed to over a dozen major changes to its practices, "designed to improve meeting security, bolster privacy disclosures, and safeguard consumer data," according to the settlement. A hearing on the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary approval of the settlement is scheduled for October 21, 2021.

In April 2020, Zoom faced accusations of misleading encryption claims after an investigation by The Intercept revealed that Zoom was securing video calls using TLS encryption, the same technology that web servers use to secure HTTPS websites.

TLS encryption is different to end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever.

For Zoom meetings to be truly end-to-end encrypted, calls would need to be encrypted in such a way that ensured only the participants in the meeting had the ability to decrypt them through the use of local encryption keys. But that level of security was not what the service offered at the time.

Apple is tapping more Chinese suppliers as it seeks to meet ambitious targets for iPhone 13 production, according to a new report by Nikkei Asia.

iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2
Apple is set to produce between 90 million and 95 million iPhones through January, according to a previous Nikkei report, and China's Luxshare Precision Industry has won 3% of orders away from Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron.

Luxshare will start building the iPhone 13 Pro -- as the premium model is expected to be called -- this month, according to sources, a major breakthrough for a company that has never produced iPhones on its own. Newcomers to the Apple supply chain normally start out making older iPhone models. Two companies that Luxshare acquired last year, South Korean camera module maker Cowell and metal frame maker Casetek of Taiwan, will also supply key components and parts for this year's new iPhones, sources familiar with the matter said.

Despite Luxshare's small percentage of iPhone production this year, its involvement has reportedly rattled rival ‌iPhone‌ suppliers are said to be wary of the Chinese manufacturer's competitiveness and the possibility that it could steal away bigger chunks of orders in the future.

Luxshare's ability to break into ‌iPhone‌ production comes despite U.S. trade restrictions on China, whose increasing involvement in Apple's lucrative supply chain has reportedly come at the expense of rivals in the U.S., Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

For example, China-based Lens Technology has only supplied glass backs and cover glass for iPhones in the past, but this year it will also supply metal casings for the first time, according to Nikkei.

Meanwhile, China's biggest maker of smartphone camera lenses, Sunny Optical Technology, is also said to have entered the ‌iPhone‌ supply chain for the first time, supplying a small amount of rear camera lenses.

The news comes on the heels of multiple reports suggesting BOE Technology will soon begin supplying OLED panels for the ‌iPhone 13‌, pending approval from Apple, with several other Chinese suppliers and assemblers waiting in the wings.

Today's report highlights Apple's continuing mission to diversify its supply chain as much as possible, reducing risk and improve its bargaining power between major supply chain players like Foxconn and Samsung, which have traditionally dominated ‌iPhone‌ production.

The ‌iPhone 13‌ models are expected to be announced next month and will look similar to the 2020 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, with four devices in sizes that include 5.4-inches, 6.1-inches, and 6.7-inches, with two of the iPhones being higher-end "Pro" models and two positioned as lower-cost, more affordable devices.

For everything we know about what's new in the ‌iPhone 13‌ series, be sure to check out our dedicated roundup.

Related Roundup: iPhone 13
Related Forum: iPhone

T-Mobile is planning to shut down Sprint's LTE network on June 30, 2022, T-Mobile confirmed to Light Reading. The shuttering of Sprint's LTE network is part of an effort to merge the two networks following T-Mobile's purchase of Sprint.

tmobile sprint logos
T-Mobile is building a 5G network that uses Sprint spectrum and towers, and it is aiming to shift Sprint customers to the T-Mobile network instead of the Sprint network.

In addition to shutting down the Sprint LTE network, T-Mobile plans to deactivate Sprint's 3G CDMA network on January 1, 2022.

To ensure all customers can enjoy a more advanced 4G and 5G network, we will be retiring older network technologies to free up resources and spectrum that will help us strengthen our entire network, move all customers to more advanced technologies and bridge the Digital Divide. An additional part of this effort involves moving Sprint's LTE spectrum to the T-Mobile network.

At the current time, T-Mobile has transitioned approximately 33 percent of Sprint customers to the T-Mobile network. Before Sprint's LTE network is shuttered, customers will need to transition to T-Mobile by replacing their Sprint SIMs with a T-Mobile SIM and ensuring that Voice over LTE is enabled in the device settings for voice calls on applicable devices.

T-Mobile says that most Sprint LTE and 5G devices are compatible with T-Mobile's LTE and 5G networks.

Following a short downtime, Apple has updated its Apple.com website to add a dedicated "Store" section, which has a new look.

apple store website
There's a new "Store" tab in the top navigation bar on the website, which goes to a dedicated online store portal where customers can select from a product carousel with cards that include Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and more.

The design is similar to the design of the Apple Store app, and the main store page also features current deals and promotions, along with accessories and products that Apple is highlighting. Navigation is done through horizontal scrolling, which feels more natural on iOS devices than on the desktop.

apple online store redesign 3
Clicking into a product category like Mac presents all of the different options, along with access to comparisons and shopping specialists, accessories, and other information.

apple store redesign mac section
Choosing to "Buy" a product through the store interface goes to the standard purchase pages that can also be accessed through any of the standard Mac, ‌iPad‌, ‌iPhone‌, or Watch categories.

The Apple online store previously had a store tab, but it was removed in an earlier redesign. The return of the tab will make it easier for customers to get to the product they want to purchase without having to navigate through the various product pages for each device to find the "Buy" button.

Apple's online Apple Store is down at the current time, and attempting to access it to make a purchase gives the standard "Be Right Back" message.

applestoredown
Given that it's a Tuesday night/afternoon in the United States and we're not expecting any new products this week, it's likely that this is a temporary maintenance outage that is not related to a new product release. The Apple Store app is also down at the current time.

We'll update this article when the online Apple Store is back up and functional, and we'll let MacRumors readers know if there are any notable changes.

Update: The online Apple Store is back up. Apple has re-added a "Store" tab to its main site, but that appears to be the only change, suggesting the outage was mostly a behind-the-scenes maintenance update.

apple store new website section

OtterBox today expanded on its gaming accessory offerings with the launch of the Mobile Gaming Clip for MagSafe, which is designed to work with the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max.

mobile gaming clip magsafe
Priced at $40, the Mobile Gaming Clip attaches to an Xbox controller using a fitted clip and holds an iPhone with the magnetic mount. It can be used when playing an ‌iPhone‌ game with an Xbox controller, and OtterBox says the magnetic mount and clip design will not interfere with Xbox controller functionality.

The Mobile Gaming Clip allows for one-handed angle and tilt adjustment for a more comfortable gaming experience, and according to OtterBox, the design offers optimal controller balance to cut down on wrist stress. The magnetic mount offers "strong magnetic alignment and attachment" to keep the ‌iPhone‌ in place during gameplay.

The clip is able to detach from the base to serve as a table top stand, and when not in use, it folds flat for easier storage and transportation.

The Mobile Gaming Clip for MagSafe can be purchased from the OtterBox website for $39.95. It is compatible with the Xbox Series X/S Controller, the Xbox One Controller, and the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2.