The $19 "Polishing Cloth" that Apple introduced alongside the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models has proven to be wildly popular, and it is now sold out until the end of December/early January.
Orders placed today have delivery estimates ranging from December 20 to January 17, so those who hoped to purchase one for use with their new MacBook Pro or another Apple device will need to wait for two to three months.
Made from a "soft, nonabrasive material," the cloth is suitable for Apple displays, including the nano-texture glass of the Pro Display XDR. It can also be used with the mini-LED display of the new MacBook Pro models and all of Apple's iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
As of right now, the Polishing Cloth is available exclusively from the online store, and it is not available in Apple's retail locations or from third-party companies. Apple may potentially start selling the cloth in stores at some point, but for now, those hoping for a cloth will need to wait patiently.
This week, Apple announced a major update for its standard AirPods, with the new earbuds featuring spatial audio, Adaptive EQ, force sensors, sweat and water resistance, MagSafe charging, and more.
Should you consider purchasing the $179 third-generation AirPods, or do you need the higher-end AirPods Pro, which sell for $249? Our guide helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these sets of AirPods is best for you.
Comparing the AirPods and AirPods Pro
The AirPods and AirPods Pro share a large number of important features such as spatial audio, sweat and water resistance, and the H1 chip. Apple lists these identical features of the two devices:
Five minutes in the case provides around one hour of listening time or around 1 hour of talk time
Personalized engraving option
Apple's breakdown shows that the two sets of AirPods a share large number of key features. Even so, there are some meaningful differences between them that are worth highlighting, including design and Active Noise Cancellation.
Up to six hours of listening time with a single charge (up to five hours with spatial audio enabled)
Up to four hours of talk time with a single charge
Up to 30 hours of listening time using the charging case
Up to 20 hours of talk time using the charging case
In-ear design with silicone ear tips (three sizes)
Vent system for pressure equalization
Dual optical sensors
Active Noise Cancellation
Up to 4.5 hours of listening time with a single charge (up to five hours with Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency off)
Up to 3.5 hours of talk time with a single charge
More than 24 hours of listening time using the charging case
More than 18 hours of talk time using the charging case
Apple's product design has improved since former design chief Jony Ive left the company in 2019, according to an opinion column by Bloomberg reporter Alex Webb.
Webb believes that Apple has reemphasized function over form since Ive's departure. For example, while the design of the previous Siri Remote for the Apple TV made it easy to pick up the remote upside down by accident, a new Siri Remote was released in May with an improved design and added power and mute buttons for a TV.
There's also the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models this week, which feature the return of several ports that Apple had removed in 2016, including an HDMI port, an SD card slot, and MagSafe. Function over form certainly applies here, as the new MacBook Pro models are slightly thicker and heavier than the previous-generation models, but gain back expanded connectivity that many professional users appreciate having.
Webb argued that the flat edges on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models also prioritizes function over form, arguing that the curved edges on previous iPhones made the display prone to cracking if the devices were dropped on their sides.
"There is merit in sometimes listening to your customers, particularly when the pendulum has swung too far away from function and towards form," wrote Webb. "After all, you're liable to lose professional customers – architects, musicians, film-makers – if they can't plug their laptops into external monitors. And professional users can afford to pay for the top-of-the-range devices that are more profitable to Apple."
Webb acknowledges that perhaps at least some of these design changes would have happened under Ive, but he ultimately feels there has been a change of philosophy.
Of course, as Webb notes, Apple would not be the same today without Ive, a highly-respected creative who helped design some of the company's most iconic products, ranging from the iMac and iPod to the iPhone and iPad.
The Box desktop experience for Mac users has been improved with the adoption of Apple's File Provider Extension APIs, which will offer a more secure and simple setup system for Mac users.
Box Drive users who have Macs can expect full support for Apple silicon, a more seamless experience thanks to Finder integration, and compatibility with the upcoming macOS Monterey release.
The update also brings a streamlined install experience for Box Drive on Macs, and broader application compatibility.
Box says that the updated architecture will allow it to build new Box Drive capabilities on macOS more quickly going forward. The updated Box Drive experience for Macs is available today for all users on macOS Big Sur 11.5 and later and macOS Monterey.
Known for its range of battery pack options and other Apple accessories, Hyper just recently launched its newest products, the HyperJuice 245W USB-C Battery Pack and 245W GaN charger.
Hyper says that the 245W GaN Charger and Battery Pack are more powerful than four 61W chargers because at 245W, it's capable of charging up to four laptops at the same time.
The Battery Pack features four 100W USB-C ports and it can provide a maximum of 245W for various devices. So you can charge four 61W MacBook Pro models all at the same time, or do a 16-inch MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPhone, and another accessory all at full charging speeds.
It's a 100Wh battery so though it provides up to 245W, it can still be brought on an airplane. The Battery Pack has enough juice to charge a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air up to two times with 27,000mAh capacity.
A built-in OLED display lets you know your battery status, providing real-time battery information like charging status, capacity, time to recharge, and the power being drawn from each port.
With the 245W GaN charger or any 100W USB-C PD charger, the battery pack can be charged up in as little as an hour.
Hyper is offering the new products on Indiegogo, and pricing for the battery pack starts at $149, while pricing on the 245W GaN charger starts at $99. A combo deal is available with Hyper offering both the battery pack and charger for $239.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Indiegogo. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Apple says that developers can use the sessions to dive into technical content, get answers to questions, and seek one-on-one meetings for guidance. Sessions will be held online from Apple locations around the world in multiple time zones, including Bengaluru, India; Cupertino, California; London; Mexico City; São Paulo; Seoul, South Korea; Shanghai; Singapore; Sydney; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Tokyo.
"Every single day, developers around the world are creating incredible apps and games for our platforms, and it's our goal to provide them with every resource we can to help make the hard work they put in that much easier and more impactful," said Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "Our team is looking forward to connecting with even more developers around the world so we can better support the important work of this incredibly valued community, and listen to and learn from them."
Live sessions will provide developers with details on how to integrate the latest technologies into their apps, while 30 minute office hour sessions can be used to make app improvements, design revisions, and bug fixes.
Tech Talks will take place from October 25 to December 17, and developers can register for sessions and submit office hour requests starting today. The first Tech Talks will start on October 25 and new sessions and office hours will be posted every two weeks.
Bonhams today announced that it will be auctioning several rare prototype Apple devices on November 3, including an unreleased VideoPad.
The VideoPad was intended to be a personal digital assistant (PDA) device similar to Apple's Newton MessagePad series, with Apple testing three versions of the device between 1993 and 1995, including the VideoPad 1, VideoPad 2, and VideoPad 3, according to Bonhams. The auction company says the VideoPad 2 headed to auction is the only surviving concept prototype, and it is estimated to fetch up to $12,000.
The three VideoPad prototypes were based on a conceptual design sketch drawn by Apple's former CEO John Sculley, but the devices were ultimately scrapped by Steve Jobs upon his return to Apple in the late 1990s, according to Bonhams.
The prototype VideoPad 2 features a hinged flip-top design with two screens, although the top screen appears to be missing. The device was apparently going to have a built-in camera for video conferencing, two speakers, a memory card slot, a power socket, and a phone line input, but it was ultimately never released to the public.
The prototype was purchased from an Apple engineer in Palo Alto in 1999, and it comes in its original black leather carrying case with the Newton logo, according to Bonhams. More details are available on the auction website.
The frame can be positioned vertically or horizontally, and it will require a 20W USB-C power adapter, which is not included. The accessory can charge any smartphone that supports Qi charging, as well as devices like the AirPods Pro.
Similar to the previous model, the idea behind the PowerPic Mod is to hide a wireless charger within an unassuming piece of home decor. Twelve South says that the device works well on desks, bedside tables, and in kitchens.
The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros include entirely new designs and a new chassis, and one improvement of the newer chassis compared to its predecessor is improved thermals.
Apple says that the new thermal system in its latest high-end MacBooks is capable of moving 50% more air at lower fan speeds. While the new thermal design is greatly improved, the efficiency of the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips mean that for most customers, the "fans never turn on" for tasks done daily, according to Apple.
Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering, John Ternus, touted during this week Apple's event that the new chassis was designed with an "intense focus on performance and utility." The new MacBook Pros are "precisely machined around an advanced thermal system," he added. All in all, the new thermal architecture allows the new MacBook Pros to maintain high performance over more extended periods, without overheating or requiring the fans to turn on at higher speeds.
The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, both configurable with the M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, are currently available for pre-order and will begin shipping to customers next week. Catch up on everything you need to know about these new MacBook Pros using our roundup.
Following the highly accurate leaks about the new MacBook Pros that were first reported by MacRumors, we now have clearer details and more certain expectations about the next-generation MacBook Air that Apple is working on. Here's everything we've learned in the past few months.
Here Comes the Notch (Again)
The next-generation MacBook Air will feature a notch in the display housing. This is according to Ty98, the same leaker who was first to mention the notch on the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. This detail was mentioned in the same highly accurate forum post from August 19 discussing the new MacBook Pro models.
The likelihood is that, similar to the MacBook Pro, there will be no Face ID in the next MacBook Air, as the notch will house only the camera and ambient light sensor plus an indicator light.
Goodbye Tapered Wedge Design
Ty98 also said that the next MacBook Air will "look much better" because Apple will eliminate the current wedge design that has been synonymous with the company's thinnest notebook since October 2010, when the tapered unibody chassis was introduced. The tapered design transitions from thicker at the back to thinner at the front, whereas the new, more uniform design will be not only "light" but "very round," according to the Chinese leaker.
Wedged tapered design of current MacBook Air
Other MacBook Air rumors have also suggested that Apple is designing a thinner and lighter version of the machine with thinner bezels than the current model. For example, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in January reported that Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air, which is likely to achieve a smaller profile by shrinking the border around the 13-inch screen. On a related note, Apple considered building a larger version of the MacBook Air with a 15-inch screen, but Apple isn't moving forward with this for the next generation, according to Gurman.
Given that Apple has adopted a black well for the keyboard and full-size function keys on the new MacBook Pro models, as was predicted, it would seem logical for Apple to bring this look to the MacBook Air as well. Such a change would also necessitate a smaller trackpad.
In Gurman's report, he clams that MagSafe will feature in the new 13-inch MacBook Air model in addition to a pair of Thunderbolt/USB4 ports for connecting external devices.
Enter Apple's 'M2' Chip
Apple this week unveiled the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which are specially designed for the new MacBook Pro machines. These chips share high-performance architectures aimed at sating the needs of resource-hungry creative professional workflows, therefore are unlikely to feature in Apple's entry-level MacBook offering.
Instead, Apple is expected to debut a high-end "direct successor" to the M1 processor found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and current MacBook Air. The new chip, codenamed Staten, will include the same number of performance and efficiency cores as the M1 but will run faster, according to Gurman. It will also see the number of graphics cores increase, from seven or eight, to nine or 10. In addition, Gurman says Apple plans an update to the low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro using the same chip.
The new chip in the next MacBook Air could take the moniker "M2." This revised nomenclature is based on rumors from leakers Jon Prosser and Dylandkt, both of whom have accurately predicted some of Apple's plans in the past.
Another Mini-LED Notebook
According to Kuo, the MacBook Air will feature a mini-LED display, a prediction also echoed by DigiTimes. Both the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro feature mini-LED-based Liquid Retina XDR displays, and there is good reason to expect if not an identical specification display, then a mini-LED variation in the MacBook Air.
Mini-LED display technology brings a significant improvement in MacBook display quality, allowing for thinner, lighter designs while offering benefits like improved wide color gamut, high contrast and dynamic range, and truer blacks. Several reports have suggested that MacBooks will be the main driver of mini-LED panel shipments going forward as Apple transitions to the technology across all of its display-based products.
Multiple Colors Could Be Coming
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the current 24-inch iMac. Prosser has shared concept renders of MacBook Airs in several colors, and his source has told him he has personally seen a prototype of a blue MacBook. Kuo has also intimated that the next MacBook Air will be offered in multiple colors.
Notably, a Reddit poster that recently collated the accurate MacBook Pro leaks also claimed that the rumor about a MacBook Air launching in additional colors is "true."
MacRumors concept render
If the information is accurate, the new colorful lineup of MacBooks would be a throwback to the older iBook G3. Apple first started to offer vibrant color options for its iPad with the iPad Air, released in October 2020, and the iMac followed suit. Just this week we saw new color variants of the HomePod mini introduced, suggesting this could be a trend as Apple hones its ability to mass produce products in multiple colors at scale.
That said, the introduction of colored chassis could pose problems for a notch. If the MacBook Air goes the way of the colored iMac, that would likely entail white display bezels – and presumably a white notch, which couldn't so easily be hidden, at least by using dark mode. In which case, Apple would have to settle on a multiple-color design that remains notch-friendly by incorporating black bezels around the screen.
When Will It Be Released?
The current MacBook Air was announced in November 2020, and 334 days have passed since its release as of writing. The average time between MacBook Air updates in the last few years is 398 days, which suggests an update could be coming soon.
Bloomberg originally reported that the new MacBook Air could come as soon as late 2021, but given that Apple's last event of the year has likely come and gone, a launch next year is much more probable.
Kuo also initially reported a 2021 launch, but subsequently revised his expectation and now believes Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, although it could always come sooner.
In a press release earlier this week, Apple confirmed that the third-generation AirPods feature a new skin-detect sensor that accurately discerns if the AirPods are in the ear — versus in a pocket or on a table — and pauses playback when removed. Industry insiders told TrendForce that the new skin-detect sensor may allow the third-generation AirPods to detect water content in the wearer's skin for this purpose.
Meanwhile, Apple's tech specs page indicates that the third-generation AirPods do not support Conversation Boost, a feature designed to help people with mild hearing challenges stay more connected in conversations. Conversation Boost is only available on the AirPods Pro following a firmware update earlier this month.
Conversation Boost uses the AirPods Pro's beam-forming microphones to boost the volume of a person talking in front of you, making it easier to listen to a face-to-face conversation, and there is also an option to reduce ambient noise.
Apple unveiled the third-generation AirPods on Monday with a similar design as the AirPods Pro, but no active noise cancellation or silicone ear tips. Key features include improved sound quality with Adaptive EQ and spatial audio, longer battery life, a MagSafe charging case, IPX4-rated water and sweat resistance, and more. The third-generation AirPods are available to order now for $179 and will launch on Tuesday, October 26.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Verizon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
All prices in this sale have been applied automatically, so you won't need any coupon codes to gain access to the deals. For a few products, Verizon's sale is offering all-time low prices, including on the MagSafe Battery Pack ($74.24) and the MagSafe Duo Charger ($96.74).
Facebook is reportedly planning to change its name to better reflect Mark Zuckerberg's goal of creating a "metaverse," reportsThe Verge, claiming the change could come as soon as next week.
From the report:
The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company's annual Connect conference on October 28th, but could unveil sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant's ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more. A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment for this story.
Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to shift people's mindset around Facebook, no longer limiting it to just a social media company but to "being a metaverse company." The naming change also comes amid heightened scrutiny on Facebook following a whistleblower sharing several internal documents from the social media company.
A rebrand could also serve to further separate the futuristic work Zuckerberg is focused on from the intense scrutiny Facebook is currently under for the way its social platform operates today. A former employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen, recently leaked a trove of damning internal documents to The Wall Street Journal and testified about them before Congress.
As for what Facebook's new name and brand could be, it's not entirely clear. The Verge says that even some of Facebook's own high-ranking leadership executives are not aware of the name, but speculates it could have something to do with "Horizon."
I'm told that the new Facebook company name is a closely-guarded secret within its walls and not known widely, even among its full senior leadership. A possible name could have something to do with Horizon, the name of the still-unreleased VR version of Facebook-meets-Roblox that the company has been developing for the past few years.
Facebook's forthcoming change draws stark similarities to 2015 when Google restructured to be under "Alphabet," its holding company that includes Google itself and its subsidiaries.
Just two days after Apple further advanced its Apple silicon portfolio with the M1 Pro and M1 Max, marking the first professional high-end chips designed for the Mac, Intel is reportedly making yet another attempt to win Apple back as a customer.
A day before Apple's long-awaited "Unleashed" event, Intel's CEO, Pat Gelsinger, said despite Apple moving away from his company's processors, he still hopes that Apple will return to Intel as a customer. Apple announced in June of 2020 its two-year-long transition to Apple silicon for the Mac, and despite Intel's best hopes and dreams, Apple is continuing its momentum to break up with it.
Now, a new report from DigiTimes is further indicating Intel is still trying to win back Apple as a customer. According to the report, Intel, alongside Samsung, is "striving to win orders for Apple's in-house developed Mac processors." Such a move from Apple would mean the company no longer relies entirely on TSMC for the production of its Mac processors, a decision that sources quoted in the report say is unlikely.
After the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple no longer has an Intel processor in its entire MacBook (Air and Pro) lineup. Apple still has the larger 27-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, and a high-end Mac mini running with Intel processors. All of which are expected to be updated next year, with the latter happening sooner rather than later.
An Intel spokesperson declined to respond to our email asking for a comment about the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and Apple dropping even more Intel-powered Macs from its lineup.
The increasingly popular privacy-focused browser Brave is officially saying goodbye to Google as its default search engine, replacing the world's most popular search engine in favor of "Brave Search," the company announced in a blog post.
Brave Search is Brave's answer to customers wanting a "privacy-preserving" search engine, and it's built using Brave's own "independent index, and doesn't track users, their searches, or their clicks." Brave users in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada will automatically have Brave Search set as their default search engine in the address bar instead of Google. Brave Search is also replacing other default browsers, such as Qwant in France and DuckDuckGo in Germany.
Today's Brave desktop browser update (version 1.31), as well as the Brave Android app (version 1.31)* and the Brave iOS app (version 1.32) all automatically offer Brave Search as the default for new users in these five countries, with fully localized versions in non-English geographies. Brave users can easily choose a different search option if they prefer by managing their search engine settings. Brave Search is also available in any other browser at search.brave.com.
Users in all countries will still be able to revert their default search engine back to Google or DuckDuckGo, but Brave is hoping the majority won't. Brave Search does not display any ads in its current form, but the company announced plans this week to change that. Brave says that the free version of its search engine will "soon be ad-supported," with the company planning to offer a premium ad-free plan later down the line. Brave launched Brave Search in beta earlier this summer.
Young told MacRumors that the 27-inch display for the iMac will feature mini-LED backlighting, which likely means that it will have XDR branding. Young tweeted that Apple is currently planning to release the new iMac in the first quarter of 2022.
Young added that the 27-inch iMac display will feature ProMotion, allowing for an adaptive refresh rate between 24Hz and 120Hz. At the time this story was published, Young did not say what the display's resolution would be, but the current 27-inch iMac has 5K resolution.
Apple has introduced a few other products with mini-LED displays, including the 12.9-inch iPad Pro earlier this year and the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro this week. Young expects Apple's recent leadership with mini-LEDs to continue with the new iMac.
Update 9:45 p.m.: This article has been rewritten to reflect a correction issued by Young. While he initially stated the 27-inch mini-LED display was for an external monitor, he is now saying it is destined for an updated iMac. A monitor could come later.
The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros both feature a notch, a first for the Mac. Given we've never had a notch on a Mac, there are some questions over how macOS handles the notch, and more specifically, how the mouse pointer does.
The predicament about how the mouse pointer handles the notch has been a question floated across Twitter and Reddit over the last 24 hours or so since the new MacBook Pro's announcement. An animation posted on Reddit portrayed two main possibilities, one in which the mouse pointer travels behind the notch, being invisible to the user. The other option showcased the mouse pointer traveling around the notch.
The new MacBook Pros will begin arriving next week, but thankfully, we don't have to wait that long to get an answer. Linda Dong, an Apple designer, has confirmed on Twitter that the macOS pointer travels behind the notch, allowing users to essentially hide the mouse pointer from view.
This behavior will come in handy, fundamentally making the notch a hiding place for the mouse pointer. This may come in good use, for example, when users want to more easily hide the mouse pointer while they watch a video.
Apple is taking steps to make the notch less of an annoyance for most customers in day-to-day use. When macOS apps are in full-screen mode, Apple adds an artificial black bar to the top of the display that hides the notch. Developers can, however, opt to allow their apps to make full use of the entire screen real estate, notch included. Learn more about the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros in our comprehensive roundup.
Made from a "soft, nonabrasive material," the cloth is suitable for Apple displays, including the nano-texture glass of the Pro Display XDR. It's also suitable for use with the mini-LED display of the new MacBook Pro models and all manner of iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Those who were hoping to get a Polishing Cloth with their MacBook Pros and who have not already ordered may be out of luck, as initial supplies have sold out. If ordered today, the Polishing Cloth will not arrive until November 18 to November 24, which is quite a long wait for a piece of cloth.
Apple's support document on cleaning Apple products recommends a soft, lint-free cloth and minimal wiping. Cleaners should not be used, but if a deep cleaning is required, a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol solution can be used to moisten the cloth.
Apple has been shipping a similar Polishing Cloth with the nano-texture Pro Display XDR since its launch. Based on the instructions provided with that cloth, the new cloth can be hand washed with dish soap and water should it become dirty.
As of now, the Polishing Cloth is not available in Apple's retail stores, though retail locations could potentially begin offering stock next week when the MacBook Pro models launch.