Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.3 With Pro Display XDR Optimizations, Improvements to Multi-Stream Video Editing for 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.3, the third update to the ‌macOS Catalina‌ operating system that was released in October. ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.3 comes over a month after the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.2.

‌‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌‌ 10.15.3 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free using the Update feature in the System Preferences app, and it is available to anyone who has a compatible Mac.


‌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. According to Apple's release notes, the update includes Pro Display XDR optimizations and multi-stream video editing improvements.
The ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.3 update improves the stability, reliability and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users.
This update:
- Optimizes gamma handling of low gray levels on Pro Display XDR for SDR workflows when using macOS
- Improves multi-stream video editing performance for HEVC and H.264 encoded 4K video on the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019)
For more on everything that's new in ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌, make sure to check out our dedicated macOS Catalina roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

Deals: Amazon Discounting New 128GB MacBook Air to $899.99 ($199 Off)

A notable sale on the 2019 MacBook Air continues on Amazon, with the retailer offering a $50 off coupon at checkout on the 128GB model in select colorways. Specifically, you can get the Gold and Space Gray MacBook Air for $899.99, down from $1,099.00, thanks to the automatically applied $50 discount on Amazon.

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 is currently the best price for this configuration of the MacBook Air among the major Apple resellers online, and as of writing both models are in stock and ready to ship. There are also a few discounts on the 256GB SSD model of the 2019 MacBook Air, priced at $1,099.99, down from $1,299.00.

2019 MacBook Air Sale


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

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Tim Cook Says Apple Will Donate to Coronavirus Relief Efforts in China

Apple intends to donate money in support of groups fighting the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China, Tim Cook said on Saturday.

Electron micrograph of coronavirus virions

In a morning tweet marking the Luna New Year, the Apple chief said the company will be "donating to groups on the ground helping support all of those affected."

A coronavirus is a family of viruses that include the common cold, but this particular virus has never been detected before. Medical doctors have subsequently named it 2019-nCov, for "novel coronavirus."

The new virus causes severe acute respiratory infection. Since its discovery in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province, it has killed at least 42 people and infected 1,372 across China.

On Saturday, Australia confirmed its first four cases in Melbourne, followed by three more in Sydney. Two cases of 2019-nCoV have been discovered in the United States. It has also spread to Europe, with three cases confirmed in France.

The cases largely involve people who had recently travelled from the affected region in China.



Apple often provides donations during natural disasters and catastrophes. The company recently made a donation pledge to support fire fighting efforts in Australia, where bushfires have been burning after one of the worst droughts in history and record-breaking heat waves.

Throwboy Launches New 'Pocket Pillows' Featuring Original Macintosh and iMac G3 Designs

Throwboy, known for its Iconic Pillow Collection featuring a selection of plush pillows designed to look like Apple devices, today launched a new selection of mini pillows called the "Pocket Pillows."


Like their larger-sized siblings, the Pocket Pillows are modeled after Apple devices. The first palm-sized pillows are made to mimic the 1984 Classic Macintosh and the 1998 iMac G3, and they can be ordered today on Kickstarter. Depending on how the campaign goes, additional classic Apple products could be turned into little desktop plushes.


Each plush is made from a soft, huggable material and is embroidered to resemble one of Apple's Macs. The detail for each pillow is impressive, with all ports, vents, drives, and other features sewn on. Inside the Pocket Pillow, there's a plush filling along with pellets to give them some heft.


Unlike the couch-sized standard Iconic pillows, the smaller Pocket Pillows are designed for a desk, shelf, or nightstand.


Pocket Pillows can be pre-ordered for $15 each, or $30 for two, though there are some early bird backing options that are a few dollars cheaper. We don't typically feature Kickstarter projects as many of them don't come to fruition, but Throwboy is an established manufacturer that already has a line of plushes available. Pocket Pillows are expected to ship out in May 2020.

Apple Rents All Six Floors of 'Triangle Building' Near Apple Park

Apple has leased the entirety of the so-called "Triangle Building" near Apple Park in San Jose, California, reports The Mercury News.


The prominent six-floor building is located at 5300 Stevens Creek Blvd, just two miles from ‌Apple Park‌, and the company has reportedly leased all 86,000-square feet of the property.

According to the report, a "considerable" amount of construction work is already to be underway on all six floors, and Apple logos can be seen throughout the building.

Apple first rented part of the building in 2012, but information from property listing services obtained by The Mercury News suggests that the company has not continuously made use of the office space.

The report notes that Apple began expanding its presence around ‌Apple Park‌ last year, when it leased office space in a complex located directly across from the Triangle Building.

Apple owns and leases several properties in and around the Bay Area, including its Cupertino campus in Santa Clara and offices in San Jose.

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]