Svalt Launches New Lineup of Cooling Stands and Docks for Macs

Svalt, known for its line of docks designed for Apple's Macs, today launched a whole new collection of 2020 docks and stands designed for Apple's latest notebook and desktop Macs.

The Cooling Stand S, designed for the 16-inch MacBook Pro and other Mac and PC laptops, features silent passive cooling, an ergonomic raised design, adjustable feet, and a design that hides accessories and cord clutter.


There's also a Cooling Stand S Pro, a variant of the Cooling Stand S that comes equipped with a fan for active cooling to complement the passive cooling features. The fan offers dual speeds depending on whether quiet operation or maximum cooling is preferred, and it is user upgradeable.


For the Mac mini, Svalt has a Cooling Stand Mini that offers both passive and active cooling with a built-in dual-speed fan and a design that hides away cords and accessories.


The Svalt Cooling Stand S sells for $179, the S Pro sells for $279, and the S Mini sells for $269, with purchases available now from the Svalt website. All of the stands are modular and can be converted to accommodate other devices with additional add-on accessories.


Svalt also has a new Cooling Dock Model D, which is designed to be used with a ‌MacBook Pro‌ in clamshell mode. It features a sculpted aluminum heat sink and a flexible leaning design for optimized silent passive cooling. The Svalt Dock D can be purchased from the Svalt website for $169, though adding a fan will raise the price.

Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 99 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

safaripreviewiconApple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced three years ago 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 release 99 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, Web API, Cookies, CSS, Media, WebRTC, Payment Request, Web Animations, JavaScript, Web Share API, WebDriver, and IndexedDB. Today's update also removes support for Adobe Flash.

The new Safari Technology Preview update is available for both macOS Mojave and MacOS Catalina, the newest version of the Mac operating system that was released in October.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store 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.

Deals: B&H Photo Offers 1TB 16-Inch MacBook Pro Custom Configuration for $2,399 ($300 Off)

B&H Photo is offering a discount on a custom configuration of Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro in Space Gray. This model has 16GB RAM, a 1TB SSD, a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 6-Core processor, and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU (with 4GB GDDR6), priced at $2,399.00, down from $2,699.00 ($300 off).

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. 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 upgrade on the base model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD, so it'll offer you more storage and improved graphics. Currently on Amazon, the base model is going for $2,187.92, down from $2,399.00 ($211 off).

Amazon also has the model with 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 2.3GHz Intel Core i9 8-Core processor for $2,499.00, down from $2,799.00 ($300 off). For this high-end model, Amazon's price is the lowest we've ever tracked and the best discount found online among the major Apple resellers.

Head to our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more discounts on Apple products and related accessories.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Deals: Get the 128GB 2019 MacBook Air for $899.99 at Amazon ($199 Off)

Amazon today is discounting the 2019 MacBook Air to notable low prices, including savings on the 128GB and 256GB models. The centerpiece of the sale is the 128GB model in Gold and Space Gray, which Amazon has for $149 off, along with an extra $50 savings when you reach the checkout screen.

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

This will result in a total of $199 off the original price of the notebook, priced at $899.99, down from $1,099.00. Currently, this is the best sale price on this version of the 2019 MacBook Air among the major Apple resellers online. The sale also extends to the 256GB model in a few colors, but you won't find an extra discount at checkout for these configurations.

2019 13-inch MacBook Air


Our full Deals Roundup has more information on the latest Apple-related sales and bargains.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Deals: Get the 256GB 15-Inch MacBook Pro for $1,799.99 ($600 Off, Lowest Ever Price)

Amazon and Best Buy today are offering a couple of solid discounts on the MacBook Pro in various configurations. In the sales, there are lowest-ever prices on the 15-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro, both from 2019.

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

We've also included a few discounts on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has prices starting at $1,199.99 for the 128GB configuration. All of the links below represent discounts found at either Amazon or Best Buy, unless otherwise noted. For the Best Buy sales, you'll need to be a My Best Buy member to see the lowest-ever prices.

2019 MacBook Pro Sale


Be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup to shop for even more Apple-related products and accessories.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Tim Cook Invested in Nebia Shower Head After Stepping Under a Prototype in His Local Gym

Back in 2015, Tim Cook threw his weight behind a water-efficient shower head called Nebia, which sprays in a way that uses less water, but still keeps people warm. It doesn't have an Apple logo on it, but looks like something the company would design – if it made bathroom hardware.


Today, Nebia unveiled a new version of its shower system, and some of the interesting backstory behind Cook's arguably left-field investment choice has also come to light.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the Apple chief reportedly made his decision off the back of first-hand experience with the product, after he serendipitously stepped under a prototype at his local gym in Palo Alto, California.

Philip Winter, who helped create the Nebia, told Gurman he managed to persuade fitness centers in Silicon Valley to run pilot tests of the eco-shower, and after installing the prototypes he would wait outside locker rooms to get feedback. That's when he met Cook.
Cook was drawn to the environmental aspect, according to Winter, who asked the Apple boss if he'd be willing to make an investment. Despite the first prototype being "crude," the Apple CEO was excited about the product because there hadn’t been much recent innovation in the shower market. He also appreciated the design, Winter said.
Cook subsequently backed Nebia and also went on to contribute in later financing rounds. The startup has raised almost $8 million in total, according to Crunchbase.

Winter said Cook had invested a "significant" amount of his own money in the eco-shower head and advised Nebia on suppliers. He also pushed the startup to prioritize user experience, design and sustainability. According to Winter, Cook's input came in a series of emails that were "very long, well crafted and detailed."

The new Nebia, launching today on Kickstarter, is a smaller and less expensive version of the one Cook originally tested first-hand, but it's the result of a two-year partnership with faucet maker Moen that the Apple boss supported. The Nebia by Moen starts at $160 on Kickstarter, and will eventually be available for $199, down from $499.

Mac Catalyst App 'Asphalt 9: Legends' Now Available

Asphalt 9: Legends, a game that was ported to the Mac using Apple's Mac Catalyst tools, is now available for download from the Mac App Store.

The app was one of the titles that Apple promoted when macOS Catalina and Mac Catalyst technology were introduced at WWDC in June, but the app did not launch as expected when ‌macOS Catalina‌ became available.


At the time, Gameloft said that Asphalt 9: Legends had been slightly delayed in order to polish the experience, and after a wait of several months, the game has now launched.

Because this is a Mac Catalyst app, players who already have Asphalt 9: Legends on iPad or iPhone can pick up their game on the Mac and swap between devices when playing thanks to cross-platform saves.

The game supports Sign in with Apple for account creation (required to transfer between devices) and the content is the same as the content in Asphalt 9: Legends for iOS devices.

According to Gameloft, Asphalt 9: Legends will have content parity across devices going forward, so the Mac and iOS apps will be updated simultaneously.

Asphalt 9: Legends can be downloaded from the ‌Mac App Store‌ for free, though there are in-app purchases. [Direct Link]

Apple Opening New Office in Munich, Germany

Apple is expanding its presence in Germany with plans to open a new office building in Munich, Germany, according to German news site Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Located in the "Karl" office building of the former Mahag site on Karlstrasse, the new office space is expected to house around 1,500 employees when it is completed in 2021.

A rendering of the Karl office building, designed by British architect David Chipperfield

Apple has rented the entire 30,000 square meter location, though declined to respond to questions about the upcoming office space.

Apple already operates the Bavarian Design Center in Munich, Germany, with 300 engineers that work on silicon chips and other technologies for Apple devices.

New Classicbot Plush Lets You Snuggle a Classic Mac

Designer Philip Lee, who makes a range of "Classicbot" toys based on classic Mac designs, this week unveiled a new huggable 12-inch Classicbot Plush.


The Classicbot Plush, priced at $67, is based on Apple's Macintosh Classic, which was sold in the early 90s. While expensive, the Classicbot Plush is highly detailed and has a few notable features worth pointing out.


All of the Classic Macintosh details are carefully embroidered, and the plush features articulated arms that can be put into different positions. The fabric the Classicbot Plush is made from has been chosen because it's "very soft" to the touch.


Along with articulated arms, the Classicbot Plush features interchangeable facial expressions thanks to velcro-backed pixel pieces that can be arranged in a multitude of ways.


The Classicbot Plush can be pre-ordered from the Classicbot website as of today, with orders set to ship out at the end of April 2020.

Reminder: Apple to Announce Q1 2020 Earnings on January 28

As a reminder for anyone who may have missed the announcement during the holidays, Apple revealed that it will share its earnings results for the first quarter of its 2020 fiscal year on Tuesday, January 28.

The financial report should be released at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time on that day as usual, followed by a conference call with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time that will be streamed live on Apple's website. Cook and Maestri will discuss the results and field questions from analysts.


Apple's guidance for the quarter, which ran September 29 through December 28 of 2019:
  • revenue between $85.5 billion and $89.5 billion
  • gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent
  • operating expenses between $9.6 billion and $9.8 billion
  • other income/(expense) of $200 million
  • tax rate of approximately 16.5 percent
By comparison, Apple brought in revenue of $84.3 billion in Q1 2019, despite issuing a rare earnings warning due to declining iPhone sales at the time. The company's all-time quarterly revenue record is $88 billion in Q1 2018.

Apple's earnings results will provide some insight into how well the latest iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max models sold during the holiday shopping season. The devices became available to purchase in stores on September 20 in many countries, nine days before the quarter began.

Apple's services and wearables categories have also been growing for several quarters, so investors will look to see if that trend continues.

(Thanks, Leonard!)

Tags: earnings, AAPL

Apple Seeds Second Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.3 Update to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS 10.15.3 update to developers for testing purposes, nearly a month after seeding the first beta and over a month after releasing the macOS Catalina 10.15.2 update.

The new ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper software from the Developer Center.


We don't yet know what improvements the third update to ‌macOS Catalina‌ will bring, but it will likely focus on performance improvements, security updates, and fixes for bugs that weren't able to be fixed in the ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.2 update.

‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.3 has code in it that suggests a new "Pro Mode" is coming to Apple's Macs. Pro Mode appears to be an optional setting that overrides fan speed limits and energy saving restrictions to improve performance. The code says that apps "may run faster" but battery life could decrease and fan noise could increase.

It's not entirely clear if Pro Mode is coming to Macs in the 10.15.3 release, but the code is there so it is a possibility.

We didn't find any other new changes in the first beta of ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.3, but we'll update this post if there's anything new in the second beta.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

Xcode 11.3.1 Released Nearly One Month After Apple Last Seeded Betas of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS

Apple on Monday released Xcode 11.3.1 with bug fixes and improvements, including reducing the size of dependency files produced by the Swift compiler, which can improve incremental build times and disk usage for targets with many source files. Full release notes are posted on Apple's developer website.

As with Xcode 11.3, version 11.3.1 supports developing apps for iOS 13.3, iPadOS 13.3, macOS 10.15.2, watchOS 6.1, and tvOS 13.3.


It has been nearly one month since Apple seeded new betas for its software platforms, which is an unusually long time. The first betas of iOS 13.3.1, iPadOS 13.3.1, macOS 10.15.3, watchOS 6.1.2, and tvOS 13.3.1 were seeded on December 17, but no further builds have been made available since then.

Apple always stops seeding betas over the holidays, but the cycle usually resumes in early January, including January 7 in 2019, January 3 in 2018, and January 9 in 2017, so there is a bit of a delay this year.

On an Xcode-related note, Apple has reminded developers that, starting April 2020, apps submitted to the App Store must use an Xcode storyboard to provide the app's launch screen and must have an interface that supports any display size. Apple also strongly encourages supporting multitasking on iPad.

Apple:
Apps should look great on all models of iPhone and iPad, regardless of display size or aspect ratio. With features like Xcode storyboards and Auto Layout, your app’s interface elements and layouts automatically fit the display. As announced at WWDC19, starting April 2020, apps submitted to the App Store must use an Xcode storyboard to provide the app’s launch screen and must have an interface that supports any display size.

Support for Multitasking on iPad is strongly encouraged. Adding support for multiple windows, and adopting Multitasking capabilities, including Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture, will ensure your app delivers a modern and complete experience on iPadOS.
Apple says it has addressed an Xcode bug in the storyboard canvas that could cause the development tool to crash.

Tag: Xcode