Mac Rumors

Apple Executives Talk Watch Bands: Emphasis on Backward Compatibility, Design Philosophy, and More

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 11:32:24 PST
In a new interview, two Apple executives have discussed Apple's wide range of Apple Watch band options for customers, how they're designed, and their thinking behind them.


Evans Hankey, Apple's vice president of industrial design, and Stan Ng, Apple's vice president of product marketing, recently spoke to HYPEBEAST about Apple Watch bands.

Apple has a wide range of Apple Watch bands for customers to choose from, and the design of the Apple Watch allows them to quickly change their bands as they please, a typically hard thing to do with traditional watches.

When considering the ability for users to change their watch face, the watchband style and color, and the material of the Apple Watch casing itself, Hankey said customers have "an unbelievable number of potential combinations, well into the thousands" of styles to use.

One hallmark character of the Apple Watch is that bands from previous years have, so far, been compatible with the newest model in the same size. For example, with the Apple Watch Series 7, Apple increased the case sizes to 41mm and 45mm, and yet, watch bands for 40mm and 44mm Apple Watch models remain compatible.

Hankey said that backward compatibility remains a top priority for the Apple Watch team.
Since the first Apple Watch to today's Series 7, the interchangeability of the band has been a cornerstone of the product. Between the band style and color, the material of the Watch housing, and which Watch face you've selected and customized, the system affords an unbelievable number of potential combinations, well into the thousands. Each time we have refined the Apple Watch's design, we have pushed ourselves to maintain backward compatibility, which has been no small feat as the display has grown over the years.

For us, the band is not at all about technology — each band expresses our love for materials, craft, and the process of making. 
Apple Watch bands themselves include no technology, but their design plays an important role in making sure that functionality of the Apple Watch doesn't get interrupted. Ng said that Apple Watch bands feature "innovations" to ensure they're comfortable, and don't ruin the Apple Watch experience.
For example, the velcro tabs on the Sport Loops, magnets on the Milanese Loop and Leather Link, and nine sizes of Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop make it easy to adjust or find the right band size for a perfect fit.

This ensures the watch is comfortable to wear — not too snug and not too loose — while also enabling features like all-day heart rate tracking, blood oxygen readings, and on-wrist detection that allow you to use Apple Pay or unlock your iPhone securely without authenticating every time.
Apple designs its own set of bands, but it also works with high-end luxury brand Hermès. Ng said that Apple's collaboration with Hermès is unique since both companies have an obsession over details, craftsmanship, and storytelling. In the remainder of the interview, the executives go into more detail about some popular Apple Watch bands, such as the Braided Solo Loop, Leather Link, and Milanese Loop. The full interview can be read here.
Related Forum: Apple Watch

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Review: Belkin's Latest 3-in-1 Charger is Ideal for Apple Watch Series 7 Owners

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 11:09:29 PST
With the launch of the Apple Watch Series 7, Apple introduced a new fast charging feature that allows the latest Apple Watch models to charge up to 33 percent faster than prior-generation models, but it requires new hardware.


To take advantage of fast charging, ‌Apple Watch Series 7‌ owners need an updated charging puck that supports the fast charge feature, which means all existing chargers from both Apple and third-party companies are out of date and won't offer the fastest charging speeds when paired with a Series 7. To address this, Belkin in November launched the Boost Charge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with MagSafe, which is equipped with a new fast charge Apple Watch puck.

Priced at $150, the Boost Charge Pro is a multi-device charger, so it also features a 15W wireless charging pad for the iPhone 12 and 13 models (limited to 12W for the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini), and a secondary Qi-based wireless charging spot for the AirPods and AirPods Pro.

For some time, Belkin's multi-device chargers have featured an upright charging position for the iPhone with other devices accommodated below or at the other side, but this new model is flat.


On the right, there's an Apple Watch charging puck that can be used flat or popped up for Night Stand mode, along with a flat MagSafe charging pad on the left. In the middle, there's a circular indent where the AirPods are meant to be positioned.

In terms of the amount of desk space that this design takes up, I'm not a fan. My iPhone 13 Pro Max needs to be positioned in a portrait orientation to charge, so there needs to be space both above the charger and below the charger to fit the phone. With an upright charging pad design, the ‌iPhone‌ is up out of the way and the charging pad can go at the back of my desk (which is up against the wall), but with this flat design, it needs to be more in the middle of my desk to have room for the ‌iPhone‌.


With all three charging spots in a row, the Boost Charge Pro measures in at nine inches long and a little over three inches wide. That size won't matter on a good sized desk with a lot of room, but if you have a smaller, more compact space like I do, this design might not be ideal. Belkin says that this design is meant to be more packable, but it's too thick and heavy for that purpose, in my opinion.

In terms of build quality, the Boost Charge Pro Wireless Charging Pad has a premium feel with a solid weight that keeps it on the desk when using the ‌MagSafe‌ charger with an ‌iPhone‌, and it's made from a soft touch material that comes in either black or white. The Apple Watch charging puck and ‌MagSafe‌ charger are white, and there are chrome accents for both. As you might notice in my photos, with the black model, it picks up lint and dust, and it's difficult to get off because of the texture.


There's an LED light on the charger for the AirPods charging spot, but Belkin relies on the Apple Watch and ‌iPhone‌ screens to confirm charging for the other devices because they're both magnetic chargers with more simple alignment.

I tested the ‌MagSafe‌ charging speed with an ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ Max, and it was as fast as a standard ‌MagSafe‌ charger. The same goes for the ‌Apple Watch Series 7‌ charging puck - it charged at the same faster speed as the Apple Watch charging puck that shipped with the watch. The middle spot is limited to 5W charging.

Though designed for ‌MagSafe‌ iPhones and the latest Apple Watch, the Boost Charge Pro is compatible older iPhones and Apple Watch models. You won't get faster charging speeds with an older Apple Watch and with the ‌MagSafe‌ charger, non-MagSafe iPhones will max out at 7.5W, but it works. You can also squeeze another ‌iPhone‌ into that middle charging spot too.

Belkin ships the Boost Charge Pro with a power adapter that has a barrel plug rather than something more universal like USB-C, but that's typical of these 3-in-1 Belkin chargers. I do wish Belkin would adopt USB-C, and I also wish we could get more variance in naming to keep the different charging options straight.


Belkin's last wireless charger was also the Boost Charge Pro, so don't get this new Wireless Charging Pad with ‌MagSafe‌ version confused with the prior Boost Charge Pro Wireless Charger with MagSafe if you're looking to buy.

Bottom Line


If you have the budget and the desk space for the Boost Charge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad, it's potentially worth picking up to get the fastest wireless charging speeds for the newest ‌iPhone‌ and the Apple Watch.

Most people can get by with older, slower charging options, but the Boost Charge Pro may be of particular interest to ‌Apple Watch Series 7‌ users who wear their Apple Watches to bed. Faster charging can be a real quality of life improvement if you want to get to sleep but need to charge up your Apple Watch to have enough juice to get through the night.

Just about 10 minutes of charging provides sufficient battery life for an eight hour sleeping period, which is convenient. Of course, there is the option of the charging puck that came with the Apple Watch, but for those who prefer a single-cable charging solution and want fast charging, the Boost Charge Pro is the only available option right now.

How to Buy


The Boost Charge Pro 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad can be pre-ordered from the Belkin website for $150. It will ship in December or January.

Note: Belkin provided MacRumors with a 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Belkin. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Tag: Belkin

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Leather Apple Watch Band From Southern Straps

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 09:16:50 PST
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Apple Watch accessory company Southern Straps to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Black or Brown Leather Band compatible with all Apple Watch models.


Priced at $129, Southern Straps' Leather Bands are made from full grain Horween leather and hand sewn in California. Each band is vegetable dyed for rich color that will develop a unique patina with use over time.


Each Apple Watch band is stitched with a durable waxed cord material that ensures the band will hold up to daily use for years to come. Southern Straps Leather Bands come with a two-year warranty.


The Leather Bands are available in two sizes. The smallest size is designed to work with 39, 40, and 41mm Apple Watch models, while the larger size is compatible with the 42, 44, and 45mm Apple Watch models.


According to Southern Straps, the bands are designed to fit nearly all wrist sizes and can accommodate wrists sized 14cm to 25cm in circumference. Bands can be ordered in black, silver, or gold hardware to match some of the Apple Watch finishes.


For those interested, Southern Straps also offers a range of affordable, high-quality nylon Apple Watch bands that are available in multiple striped designs and colors.


We have five Leather Bands from Southern Straps to give away to MacRumors readers. To enter to win, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older, UK residents who are 18 years or older, and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. All federal, state, provincial, and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. To offer feedback or get more information on the ‌giveaway‌ restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

The contest will run from today (December 3) at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time on December 10. The winners will be chosen randomly on December 10 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.
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Apple Reportedly Notified Some U.S. State Department Employees They May Have Been Targeted by NSO Group Spyware

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 08:56:26 PST
Apple has notified at least nine U.S. Department of State employees that they may have been targeted by state-sponsored spyware created by Israeli company NSO Group, according to a Reuters report citing four people familiar with the matter.


A spokesperson for NSO Group told Reuters that it will investigate and take legal action against customers using its tools illegally if necessary.
"If our investigation shall show these actions indeed happened with NSO's tools, such customer will be terminated permanently and legal actions will take place," said an NSO spokesperson, who added that NSO will also "cooperate with any relevant government authority and present the full information we will have."
Last month, Apple filed a lawsuit against NSO Group to "hold it accountable" for state-sponsored spyware targeting Apple users. Apple also said it would contribute $10 million to organizations pursuing cybersurveillance research and advocacy.

Apple said NSO Group's "spyware product" Pegasus was used to attack a "very small number of users" across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android.
Apple's legal complaint provides new information on NSO Group's FORCEDENTRY, an exploit for a now-patched vulnerability previously used to break into a victim's Apple device and install the latest version of NSO Group's spyware product, Pegasus. […]

To deliver FORCEDENTRY to Apple devices, attackers created Apple IDs to send malicious data to a victim's device — allowing NSO Group or its clients to deliver and install Pegasus spyware without a victim's knowledge. Though misused to deliver FORCEDENTRY, Apple servers were not hacked or compromised in the attacks.
Apple said NSO Group's spyware could allow for attackers to "access the microphone, camera, and other sensitive data on Apple and Android devices." Apple added that iOS 15 includes new security protections and, as of November 23, Apple said it had not observed any evidence of successful remote attacks against devices running any iOS 15 version.

In a support document, Apple said it would notify users who may have been targeted by email and iMessage "in accordance with industry best practices."
If Apple discovers activity consistent with a state-sponsored attack, we notify the targeted users in two ways:

- A Threat Notification is displayed at the top of the page after the user signs into appleid.apple.com.
- Apple sends an email and iMessage notification to the email addresses and phone numbers associated with the user's Apple ID.

These notifications provide additional steps that notified users can take to help protect their devices.
Through the lawsuit and notifications, Apple aims to cut down on the abuse of state-sponsored spyware.

"State-sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability," said Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi. "That needs to change."

(Thanks, Jordan Golson!)
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Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 07:10:07 PST
Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police.


Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely conventional, the purpose of the AirTag is to track a high-end car back to a victim's residence where it can be stolen from the driveway.

Since September 2021, police officers in York Region alone have investigated five incidents where suspects used ‌AirTags‌ in thefts of high-end vehicles. Thieves target any particularly valuable vehicles they find in public places and parking lots, placing an AirTag in an out-of-sight area, such as in the tow hitch or fuel cap, in the hope that it will not be discovered by the car's owner.



Thieves have no way to disable Apple's anti-tracking features that alert users when an unfamiliar nearby AirTag is tracking their location, but not all victims receive or act on the notification, or have an iPhone.



While only five thefts have been directly linked to ‌AirTags‌ so far, more than 2,000 vehicles have been stolen across the region in the past year, and the problem is likely to extend to other localities and countries around the world. The police expect to see ‌AirTags‌ used on a wider scale in an increasing number of vehicle thefts in the future.

The police have encouraged car owners to park in a locked garage if possible and inspect their vehicle regularly for trackers, especially if they receive an unknown AirTag notification, and have released two public information videos related to the growing problem.
Related Forum: AirTags

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Google's 'Pixel Watch' Planned for 2022 Launch to Compete With Apple Watch

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 06:59:55 PST
Google is planning to launch its first smartwatch next year, according to a new report from Business Insider, signaling Google's expansion into creating smartwatch hardware rather than just software.


Google has so far only developed wearOS, an operating system that the company has partnered with Samsung and others to implement into smartwatch offerings. Next year, however, Google is planning its first watch codenamed "Rohan." According to the report, the watch will feature a rounded design with no bezels.

Earlier in April, YouTube personality Jon Prosser released renders of what the supposed watch may look like. Prosser said the watch could launch as soon as October, but it has not yet materialized.


A "Pixel Watch" branding would fit with Google's product lineup, but the report says it's unclear what name Google will ultimately decide on. The "Pixel Watch," like the Apple Watch, will help users track their health and fitness, but to what extent remains unknown.

Apple released the Apple Watch in 2015, and in the years since, the watch has gained new features and functionality. The "Pixel Watch" is unlikely to include some advanced sensors, such as ECG or blood oxygen, in its first iteration, unlike the latest Apple Watch.

Internal documents seen by Business Insider indicate that Google wants to target the masses for its watch. A document by the company reportedly said "insufficient sizing excludes some users from wearable wristables entirely" and that it intends to design a watch that's "comfortable to wear for at least 90% of the population."

Google employees who spoke to Business Insider say Google is aiming for a launch in the Spring of 2022, but that timeline is subject to change based on feedback from a select group of employees using the new watch.
Tag: Google

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Deals: Take 20% Off Brydge iPad Keyboards This Week

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 06:51:47 PST
Brydge's Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion has extended into early December, and is set to last through December 9. With this sale, you can get 20 percent off Brydge's tablet keyboards and MacBook vertical docks.

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

Brydge keyboards on sale include those compatible with iPad Pro, iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Brydge also sells keyboards that are compatible with the Surface Pro tablets, and residents in the United States can get free shipping this week.


MacBook



iPad



iPad Air



iPad Pro



iPad mini


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

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Apple Fitness+ to Feature Prince William on Time to Walk and Apple Music 1

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 05:19:14 PST
Apple today announced that Apple Fitness+ will feature the UK's Prince William on Time to Walk and Apple Music 1 on December 6.


Prince William will close the second season of Time to Walk with a holiday special episode. During the episode, Prince William discusses the importance of keeping mentally fit, going outside of your comfort zone, and the value of listening.

Time to Walk is a selection of Apple Fitness+ audio experiences on the Apple Watch that feature influential people as they share personal stories and memories, photos, and music to explore thoughts on purpose and gratitude, levity, and thought-provoking topics. Each episode is recorded while the guest walks outside or in locations that are meaningful to them.

The series has featured Dolly Parton, Anthony Joshua, Randall Park, Jane Fonda, Camila Cabello, Kurt Fearnley, Naomi Campbell, Draymond Green, Bebe Rexha, Min Jin Lee, Shawn Mendes, Stephen Fry, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Kesha, and more as guests.

Apple added that it is making donations to three charities around the world chosen by Prince William that focus on mental health: Crisis Text Line in the U.S., Shout 85258 in the UK, and Lifeline in Australia. These charity provide free, confidential crisis support.

Prince William's holiday special episode will be released on December 6, available to Apple Fitness+ subscribers on demand in the Fitness app on the Apple Watch, and, in a first for Time to Walk, it will also be streamed three times on ‌Apple Music‌ 1.

Apple says that listeners who tune in on Monday, December 6, at 8 a.m. local time in London and Los Angeles; and on Tuesday, December 7, at 8 a.m. local time in Sydney, should plan on a 38-minute walk.
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Intel Eager to Avoid Clashes With Apple As It Looks to Secure TSMC's 3nm Chip Supply

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 02:20:29 PST
Intel is looking to develop a closer relationship with TSMC, Apple's largest and most important chip supplier, to avoid possible clashes with the Cupertino tech giant over TSMC's 3nm chip production, according to DigiTimes.


Yesterday, we reported on TSMC beginning pilot production of its 3nm process that will eventually be used in future Apple silicon Macs. Apple currently uses a 5nm process in its latest iPhones, Macs, and iPads.

Ahead of Apple's adoption of the smaller chip process in its products, Intel is now trying to establish a clear relationship with TSMC to ensure the Taiwan supplier will fulfill its orders for a rumored upcoming 3nm GPU, without conflicting with Apple's orders.

DigiTimes reports today that high-level executives from Intel plan to visit Taiwan and TSMC in mid-December to discuss 3nm chip production and production capacity. The report says that during their meeting, Intel will be "striving for more available 3nm process capacity at TSMC" and that "Intel is eyeing a closer tie with TSMC to avoid fighting with Apple for the available process capacity."

A report last month said that Intel would be looking to adopt TSMC's 3nm process for its upcoming Meteor Lake processors. Intel currently doesn't utilize any smaller processes, and handing off the job to a third-party, such as TSMC, is a way Intel can possibly catch up to Apple.

Apple is undertaking a two-year-long transition that will phase out Intel chips in its Mac lineup in favor of Apple silicon. The transition officially began in November 2020 with the M1 chip in the 13-inch MacBook Air, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro. Apple furthered its transition this year with the 24-inch iMac, followed more recently by the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

The 27-inch ‌iMac‌, the Mac Pro, and a high-end ‌Mac mini‌ remain the only Intel-based Macs in the lineup. Apple has described Intel's chips as "power-hungry processors" and has credited the efficiency and size of Apple silicon for some more radical Mac design changes, such as those seen in the most recent ‌iMac‌.
Tags: TSMC, Intel

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U.S. Federal Trade Commission Sues to Block Nvidia's Planned Arm Acquisition

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 13:11:25 PST
The United States Federal Trade Commission today announced that it has filed a lawsuit to block Nvidia from acquiring Arm in a deal worth $40 billion.


According to the FTC, the deal would give Nvidia, one of the largest chip companies, control over computing technology and designs that rival firms rely on to develop competing chips. The FTC believes an acquisition would stifle "innovative next-generation technologies." The combined firm would be able to "unfairly undermine" Nvidia's competitors.
"The FTC is suing to block the largest semiconductor chip merger in history to prevent a chip conglomerate from stifling the innovation pipeline for next-generation technologies," said FTC Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova. "Tomorrow's technologies depend on preserving today's competitive, cutting-edge chip markets. This proposed deal would distort Arm's incentives in chip markets and allow the combined firm to unfairly undermine Nvidia's rivals. The FTC's lawsuit should send a strong signal that we will act aggressively to protect our critical infrastructure markets from illegal vertical mergers that have far-reaching and damaging effects on future innovations."
Nvidia's plan to acquire Arm from SoftBank was announced back in September 2020. At the time, Nvidia said that it would use the Arm acquisition to create the "world's premiere computing company for the age of AI." Nvidia pledged to continue Arm's open licensing model and customer neutrality, but that hasn't convinced companies like Qualcomm, which has opposed the deal.

Qualcomm in February told the FTC, the European Commission, the UK Competition and Markets Authority, and China's State Administration for Market Regulation that it was against Nvidia's acquisition of Arm. Qualcomm said that Nvidia could become the gatekeeper for Arm's technology, which could prevent other chipmakers from using it.

Qualcomm has suggested that the only way that Nvidia could make its acquisition profitable would be to restrict Arm's technology. Arm licenses its chip technology to more than 500 companies, including Apple, so there are major concerns around potential licensing changes.

The FTC has sided with Qualcomm, and believes that the merger would give Nvidia "the ability and incentive" to use control over Arm technology to undermine its competitors and reduce competition. According to the lawsuit, an Nvidia acquisition of Arm could impact high-level advanced driver assistance systems, DPU SmartNICs for datacenter servers, and Arm-based CPUs for cloud computing service providers.

An acquisition would also give the merged company "less incentive to enable otherwise new beneficial features or innovations" if Nvidia decides that these innovations would harm Nvidia.
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macOS Monterey: 40 Tips, Tricks, and Features You Might Have Missed

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 10:39:03 PST
Apple released macOS Monterey to the public in the fall, and the new desktop OS brings a whole slew of useful new features and changes to apps like Safari, Maps, FaceTime, Notes, Photos, Messages, and more.


Beyond the headline features, Apple has also made numerous tweaks and changes to macOS that aim to make the time you spend using your Mac‌ more efficient, more functional, and more enjoyable. To that end, we've pulled out 40 additions and improvements to Monterey, some of which may have gone under your radar, and we've highlighted 20 of them in the video up above. Keep reading to refresh your memory or perhaps learn something new.

1. Click to Save Photos in Messages


There's a good chance you'll want to save the photos you receive in the Messages app to your ‌Photos‌ library, and ‌macOS Monterey‌ makes this easier than ever.

messages
You no longer have to right-click or open the image (or stack of images) to save it. Simply click the Save to Photos button to the right of the image instead.

2. Change Mouse Pointer Color


Apple has made it possible to change the color of the mouse pointer from the standard white outline and black fill, to pretty much any color combination you want.

mouse prefs
To do so, go to System Preferences -> Accessibility, then click Display (under "Vision") in the left column. Click the Pointer tab in the window of options, and you'll find Pointer outline color and Pointer fill color settings. Click the color swatch to choose a custom color from the palette that appears. You can always click Reset to revert to the default colors.

3. Manage APFS Snapshots in Disk Utility


In the macOS Disk Utility app, you now have access to individual APFS drive snapshots. An APFS snapshot is a read-only copy of its parent APFS volume, taken at a particular moment in time, and you can maintain these snapshots and copy items from them, provided you know what you're doing (see Disk Utility's Help menu for more).

disk utility
To view them as a list, simply select a volume and choose View -> Show APFS Snapshots from the menu bar. The fixed order list shows you the name, creation date, and cumulative size of each snapshot, while the most recent snapshot has a partition symbol beside its "Tidemark." Select a snapshot from the list and you can right-click or use the ellipsis button at the bottom left corner of the list to mount the snapshot, rename it, and delete it.

4. Test Network Quality


It's now possible to measure the quality of your Mac's internet connection directly from within macOS. Simply open a Terminal window and type networkQuality into the command prompt.

terminal
After a short while, you'll have an upload/download measurement, along with the number of "flows" (test packets) used for the responsiveness (network round trips) test. The upload/download capacity is roughly the same result metric you get from online internet speed tools like Speedtest by Ookla, although it tests upload and download concurrently rather than sequentially.

5. Protect Mail Activity


In the Mail app, a new feature called Mail Privacy Protection prevents senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about you. It does this by preventing senders from knowing when you open their email, and masks your IP address so that it can't be linked to your other online activity or used to determine your location.

mail
To turn on the feature in Mail, select Mail -> Preferences... in the menu bar, click the Privacy tab, and then check the box next to Protect Mail Activity. If you leave it disabled, you can still independently opt to Hide IP address and Block All Remote Content.

6. AirPlay to Mac


In ‌macOS Monterey‌, you can ‌AirPlay‌ content from an iPhone or iPad straight to your Mac, or even from one Mac to another Mac. Start playing a song/podcast or video on your ‌‌iPhone‌‌ or ‌‌iPad‌‌, tap the ‌AirPlay‌ icon in the app's media playback interface, and then select your Mac from the list of ‌AirPlay‌ devices.

music
If it's music or a podcast, the audio should start playing through your Mac's speakers or any external speakers connected to your Mac, and you can control playback on your Mac by opening the Control Center. Video should automatically play on your Mac's display in fullscreen mode, and you can control playback directly on your Mac by moving the mouse and selecting the onscreen playback controls.

Note that ‌AirPlay‌ only works on MacBook Air 2018 and later, MacBook Pro 2018 and later, iMac 2019 and later, M1 Mac mini, ‌iMac‌ Pro, and Mac Pro 2019.

7. Hello Screensaver


macOS 12 includes two new screen savers worth checking out. "Hello" is a homage to the original Macintosh that writes the iconic word on the screen in joined-up handwriting, while "Monterey" offers simpler slow transitions through hills and valleys in different shades of pink, purple, and blue.

screensaver
The Hello screen saver cycles through various colors, and there are several themes to choose from including Soft Tones, Spectrum, and Minimal. Soft Tones uses the pastel colors introduced with the new iMacs and matching colored text, while Spectrum uses more saturated shades with lighter text. Minimal shows the "Hello" wording in black, white, and gray.

By default, the screen saver will display "Hello" in multiple languages, but you can force it to use only your native language by toggling off Show 'hello' in all languages in the Screen Saver Options. A match system appearance toggle is also available for use to match light and dark mode preferences.

8. Convert Image Quick Action


Convert Image is a new pre-installed Quick Action in Finder that can quickly convert an image file from one format (JPG, HEIC and PNG) to another. It also lets you change the file size (small, medium, large, or actual size) and lets you choose whether to keep the file's metadata in the converted image.

finder
To use the Convert Image Quick Action, right-click (or Ctrl-click) an image file and then select Quick Actions -> Convert Image. Choose your settings in the dialog that appears, then hit Convert. You'll also see the Quick Action in the Finder preview pane when viewing images.

9. Create a Safari Tab Group


Tab Groups in Safari aim to make organizing and preserving your open browser tabs more manageable without having to have those tabs active. They offer a way to easily save and manage related tabs, such as those used when planning trips or shopping, or groups can be used to store the tabs you visit daily.

safari
To create a new Tab Group, click the Show Sidebar icon next to the traffic lights and then select New Tab Group. (Alternately, click the down arrow next to the Show Sidebar icon and select either New Empty Tab Group or New Tab Group With X Tabs, "X" being the number of tabs currently open. Any Tab Groups you create are listed in the sidebar for easy switching.

10. Change QuickTime Playback Speed


In macOS, you can now adjust the playback speed of video in Apple's native QuickTime Player.

QuickTime
Simply click the chevrons in the bottom-right corner of the media controls overlay and select your preferred speed from 0.5x to 2.0x.

11. Compact Safari Tab Bar


In early beta versions of macOS, Apple introduced a default compact and unified Safari design that did away with the dedicated URL and search interface, instead letting any individual tab be used for navigation input. The design caused an outcry from many users, which led Apple to walk back the change and reinstate the original design in which the URL/search bar sits at the top of the Safari window, with your tabs arranged below it.

safari
However, if you liked the Compact tab bar design, you can find it as an option in Safari -> Preferences.... Click the Tabs tab and select Tab Layout: Compact to turn on the original compact tab bar that merged everything together.

12. Erase Contents and Settings


Following in the footsteps of the ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, Apple silicon Macs and Intel Macs with a T2 security chip (2017-2020 models) now have an "Erase All Content and Settings" option available in ‌macOS Monterey‌.

sys prefs
Not only does this effectively erase all user data and user-installed apps from your Mac without reinstalling macOS, it also signs out your Apple ID, removes your Touch ID fingerprints, purchases, and all Apple Wallet items, and turns off Find My and Activation Lock, making it far easier to restore your Mac to like-new factory settings.

Click the Apple () symbol in the menu bar and select System Preferences.... When the preferences pane appears, select System Preferences -> Erase All Content and Settings from the menu bar, and then follow the onscreen instructions provided by the Erase Assistant.

13. Low Power Mode


In ‌macOS Monterey‌, Low Power Mode reduces the system clock speed and the display brightness of your Mac in order to extend battery life. So if you're doing less intensive tasks like watching videos or browsing the web, you can turn it on to eke even more out of your Mac's battery.

battery
Open System Preferences and click the Battery pane. Then, in the sidebar, select Battery, and check the box next to Low power mode.

14. Turn Off Shared With You for Specific Contacts


In the Messages app, there's a new "Shared with You" feature that takes content you've received in Messages and makes it available in the relevant app on your Mac. So if someone shares an Apple Music song with you, for example, the song will be listed in the For You section of ‌Apple Music‌. Similarly, if someone shares a website link, it shows up in the "Shared with You" section of the Safari start page.

messages
You may not want content shared by a particular person appearing in other apps, in which case you can turn it off for individual contacts. To do so, select the conversation thread in Messages, click the info (i) icon in the top-right corner, and uncheck the box next to Show in Shared with You.


Monterey includes a new productivity feature called Quick Notes that offers a quicker way to jot down things without you having to go in and out of the Notes app.

notes
Quick Notes can also detect the app you're currently using or that you just recently used, and provides a dropdown menu at the top of the editor window from which you can add a link to the specific message you're viewing in Mail, or the website you were just viewing in Safari, for example. When a note includes such a link, you can just click the link and you'll be taken directly to the related content.

16. Memoji User Profile


In ‌macOS Monterey‌, you can use an animated Memoji as your Mac user profile instead of a standard static image. Go to System Preferences -> Users & Groups, and then hover your pointer over the circled profile picture and click edit. There you'll find a full gallery of Memoji characters, including any you've made yourself, and you can customize them in various ways, right down to the frames of their glasses and the clothes they're wearing.

memoji
Next time you log in to your Mac, you'll see your animated Memoji avatar there to welcome you. And if you get your login password wrong a few times, just watch the expression on their face go from mildly irritated to irate. If you leave them hanging, they may even take a nap...

17. Select Text in Quick Look Previews


Invoked with a press of the spacebar, Quick Look is a great way to swiftly preview files in Finder without opening them in their associated app or the dedicated Preview app.

preview
For whatever reason, Apple in previous versions of macOS removed the ability to select text in a document when viewed in Quick Look for copying/pasting elsewhere. In Monterey, however, this ability has quietly, and happily, been reinstated. Not only that, Apple's Live Text feature means the text you select needn't be in a document – you can also highlight text displayed in a photo and perform different tasks on it, such as translation and web search.

18. Blur Your Background on a FaceTime Call


In ‌macOS Monterey‌, Apple has brought several enhancements to ‌FaceTime‌, including Portrait mode in video calls. With this mode enabled, you can blur your background so that the focus is on you rather than what's behind you.

FaceTime
To enable it, open ‌FaceTime‌, then click the Control Center icon in the menu bar and select Video Effects -> Portrait Mode.

19. Add Shortcuts as Quick Actions


Thanks to the introduction of the Shortcuts app to macOS, you can now add shortcuts as Quick Actions to execute in Finder.

shortcuts
Simply launch the Shortcuts app, and then drag shortcuts from All Shortcuts to Quick Actions in the sidebar. You can then make the shortcuts accessible in Finder's right-click contextual menu by checking them in System Preferences -> Extensions -> Finder.

20. Maps Interactive Globe


In Monterey, Apple has enhanced the Maps app to include a new globe view that allows you to spin the world around and zoom into different regions on Earth.

maps
In previous versions of Maps, zooming out would present you with a flat world map, but the new globe view gives you a three-dimensional view of Earth from space that's a lot more fun to navigate. You can drill down into areas, where you'll find more detailed information on vast geological features like mountain ranges, deserts, forests, and oceans.


In Monterey, you can enable anyone, even if they don't have an Apple device, to join a ‌FaceTime‌ call with you by creating a link to a ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ conversation that can be shared anywhere. Using this new link facility, friends and family members who do not have an Apple account can log into a ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ call with you using a web browser opened on any non-Apple device, whether that's a Windows PC or an Android phone.

FaceTime
Simply click Create Link in the ‌FaceTime‌ interface, and then select a method of sharing your link from the Actions menu, e.g. over Messages or Mail. Once you've sent the link and the recipient opens it, they'll be directed to a webpage where they can enter their name to join the conversation. Once they've joined the call, they'll have the usual ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ options to mute their microphone, disable video, switch the camera view, and leave the call.

22. Spot Mic and Camera Access


When an app is using the camera or the microphone on your ‌Mac‌, a small indicator light will appear in the menu bar just next to the Control Center icon (if you have the menu bar hidden, it'll appear in the top-right corner of the desktop).

control center
Like in iOS, a green dot means an app is currently using the camera, while an orange dot means an iOS app is currently using the microphone. If you click the Control Center, you'll see which app is responsible for using the camera or mic. This way, they can't be accessed in the background without your knowledge, and you can be sure that apps aren't sneakily recording conversations or videos.

23. Offline Dictation


Keyboard dictation on Apple silicon Macs now protects user privacy by performing general dictation processing on-device, meaning it's completely offline. (Dictated search requests remain server-based, however.) And thanks to on-device dictation, users with Apple silicon Macs can also dictate text of any length without a timeout.

textedit
With keyboard dictation, you can dictate text anywhere you can type it, and the feature improves the more you use it, personalizing over time. The Start Dictation command can be found in the Edit menu of text-based apps.

24. Full Keyboard Access


Apple has expanded its Full Keyboard Access options so that you don't have to use a mouse or trackpad to use your Mac. These settings can be found in System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Keyboard.

sysprefs
With Full Keyboard Access enabled, the item on the screen that has focus is highlighted. You can customize the color, contrast and size of the highlight using the Options in the Navigation tab. When Full Keyboard Access is turned on, you can quickly show the Full Keyboard Access shortcuts by pressing Tab-H, then using the arrow keys to navigate the lists.

25. View File Path


In Finder, you can now press the Option key while holding the pointer over a file or folder to momentarily show the path bar, so you can easily see where the file or folder is located.

finder
You can also right-click (Ctrl-click) a folder in the path bar to open it in Terminal, or copy the file path to that folder. Lastly, you can also Shift-click a folder to see or navigate to any subfolders in the same directory.

26. Go to Folder Window


It's easy to miss, but Monterey includes an enhanced version of the Go to Folder menu bar option in Finder (Go -> Go to Folder...).

finder
Instead of a dialog, the command brings up a Spotlight-style floating search bar that features a vastly improved auto-complete engine and even a Recents list.

27. Add to Quick Note


We've already mentioned Quick Notes' ability to include links to emails, web URLs, and so on. But the New Quick Note command deserves special mention when used in conjunction with Safari.

quick note
Highlight some webpage elements, such as text and images, then right-click (Ctrl-click) and select New Quick Note/Add to Quick Note. Now, the next time you click the captured elements in the Quick Note you created, you'll be taken to the original webpage with the highlighted elements still there. You can also reopen the note by clicking on your highlights.

28. View Shared iCloud Files in Finder


There's a new Shared collaboration folder for the Finder sidebar, where you can easily find documents shared with you over iCloud or using the collaboration features in Apple's productivity apps. It can display information such as invitation status, the person who last modified the file, and other sharing-related metadata to help you manage your shared files.

finder
To add/remove the ‌iCloud‌ Shared folder to the Finder sidebar, select Finder -> Preferences..., click the Sidebar tab, and then click the checkbox next to (‌iCloud‌) Shared.

29. Automate a Focus Mode for Specific Apps


Apple's new Focus feature in Monterey lets you set up your Mac to help you be in the moment and zone in on a single thing. It does this by filtering notifications based on what you're doing, and you can customize Focus modes for specific scenarios, such as when you open particular apps.

focus
When setting up a Focus mode in System Preferences -> Notifications & Focus, click the + button at the bottom of the box labeled Turn On Automatically, and then select Add App Based Automation. You'll then be prompted to select which apps automatically turn on the Focus mode upon launching.

30. Right-click to Translate Text


The Translate feature from Safari is available system-wide in ‌macOS Monterey‌. Just select some text and right-click (Ctrl-click) to bring up the Translate option, which works with several languages.

translate
Not only can you read and copy the translated text, click the play button and you can get macOS to say it out loud to you so that you can better understand the verbal pronunciation.

31. Change Playback Speed and Skip Silences in Voice Memos


Apple has added a couple of welcome features to the Voice Memos app. You can now opt to automatically skip silences in recordings during playback, and also change the playback speed.

voice memos
Simply select an audio recording, click the controls icon in the top-right corner of the window, and you'll find both settings under "Playback Speed."

32. Spatialize Stereo Effect


Apple has included a new audio feature called "Spatialize Stereo" that takes any non-Dolby stereo mix and creates a virtual spatial audio environment out of it. To access it, connect a pair of AirPods Pro or AirPods Max headphones to your Mac and start playing some audio. Next, click the Control Center icon in the menu bar, and then click the Sound volume bar. You should see the option to Spatialize Stereo in the dropdown beneath your headphones.

control center
Note that Spatialize Stereo is different from Spatial Audio. Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos creates a three-dimensional experience by moving sound all around you. Spatialize Stereo on the other hand is Apple's attempt to simulate the effect of having sound coming at you from different directions in a virtual environment. It doesn't utilize Dolby Atmos, but it works with basically any content.

33. Automatic Window Resizing


Monterey is a lot more display-aware than previous versions of macOS, and will automatically resize a window to fit a secondary screen. This means you don't need to manually reduce the size of a window to fit it onto a smaller display, for example.

finder
The automation works both when you drag a window manually to another display or click-hold on the green traffic light in the top-left corner of the window to select another connected display. Note that the window options in the green traffic light menu also include tiling windows for hassle-free Split View management when working with two apps open side by side.

34. Always Show Full-screen Menu Bar


In previous versions of macOS, launching an app in fullscreen mode automatically hides the menu bar, which means that you have to hover the mouse pointer over the top of the screen to reveal it. However, in Monterey, you can force the menu bar to always remain visible in fullscreen mode, along with all its menus and items.

sysprefs
To do so, go to System Preferences -> Dock & Menu Bar, and in the Dock & Menu Bar options, uncheck the box next to Automatically hide and show the menu bar in full screen.

35. Import Photo Libraries


The ‌Photos‌ app has been updated in Monterey to enable the importing of photos from another ‌Photos‌ library. To do so, select File -> Import... from the menu bar to bring up a file browser window.

photos
Once you've selected the ‌Photos‌ library, you can review its contents before importing it into your main library.

36. Control HomeKit Devices From Menu Bar


With the Shortcuts app coming over to Mac from iOS, you can now add specific shortcuts to different parts of macOS. We've already mentioned that you can make them available as Quick Actions in Finder, but you can add them to your menu bar, too.

shortcuts
When you've dragged some shortcuts into the Menu Bar section of the Shortcuts app, a new menu item will appear in the menu bar listing those shortcuts, allowing you to control HomeKit devices from your desktop, for example.

37. Change MacBook Pro Refresh Rate


If you have a 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro, you can adjust the refresh rate of the Liquid Retina XDR display, which is useful if you want to match it to video content you might be editing.

sysprefs
Go to System Preferences -> Displays, and then click the Display Settings... button. If you're using an external monitor, select your MacBook Pro's built-in Liquid Retina XDR display in the side column, then click the dropdown next to Refresh Rate and choose from the following: 120Hz (ProMotion), 60 Hertz, 59.94 Hertz, 50 Hertz, 48 Hertz, and 47.95 Hertz.

38. Use Tags in Notes and Reminders


Both the Reminders and Notes apps support tags, a much-requested feature that means you can now use hashtags to help you organize your notes and reminders and find stored notes and to-dos more easily.

notes
Tags can be a powerful method of organization, because there's no limit to how many you can have, and a single note or reminder can include multiple tags, so the same note/reminder can show up in different tagged categories that you've created (something Smart Folders are useful for generating). Also, when you input a hash symbol, macOS will conveniently suggest existing tags for you to pick below the cursor.

39. Turn On Private Relay


In Monterey, Apple introduced ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay for Mac, a feature of all ‌‌iCloud‌‌+ paid plans that's designed to encrypt all of the traffic leaving your computer so no one can intercept it or read it.

sysprefs
Private Relay works by sending web traffic to a server that is maintained by Apple to strip the IP address. Once the IP info has been removed, Apple sends the traffic to a second server maintained by a third-party company that assigns a temporary IP address and then sends the traffic to its destination, a process that prevents your IP address, location, and browsing activity from being used to create a profile about you.

sysprefs
The checkbox to enable Private Relay can be found in System Preferences -> Apple ID, and you can also turn it on and off for individual networks in the Network preference pane (shown above). Once ‌‌iCloud‌‌ Private Relay is enabled, you can choose how the assigned IP address uses geographical information to conceal your actual location. If you still want to receive local content when you're browsing in Safari, the IP address can maintain your general location without being specific (the default setting), or if you want the relay to be more private, the IP address can simply include your country and time zone.

40. Resume Copy in Finder


In Finder, Apple has made it easier to know how long copying files will take, thanks to a new pie chart progress indicator. What's more, it's also added the ability to start or pause a long copy and resume it at a later time.

finder
If you cancel a copy midway through, a ghosted version of the file or folder will remain in the destination location. Just click it and you'll be given the option to Finish Copying it, or you can Keep the Resumable Copy for finishing the transfer at a later time.
Related Roundup: macOS Monterey
Related Forum: macOS Monterey

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Apple Seeds Fourth Betas of iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 10:07:57 PST
Apple today seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 15.2 updates to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the third betas and a month after the launch of iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1.


iOS and iPadOS 15.2 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or an iPad.

iOS and iPadOS 15.2 add support for App Privacy Report, a feature that Apple first highlighted back at WWDC. With App Privacy Report, you can see how often apps are accessing sensitive info granted to them through privacy permissions, such as location, camera, microphone, and contacts.

The feature also gives you details on the various domains that apps and websites are contacting, so you can keep an eye on what your apps are doing behind the scenes and where your data might be going.

App Privacy Report can be enabled by opening up the Settings app, selecting the Privacy section, and choosing App Privacy Report. From there, you can toggle it on. After you start using apps, data will begin showing up in this spot. Apple shows seven days worth of data.

iOS 15.2 introduces an updated version of Apple's Messages Communication Safety feature for kids, and it adds a Legacy Contacts feature that lets you set a person who can access your Apple content like photos in the event of your death.

Apple added a new "Items That Can Track Me" option in the Find My app for scanning for nearby items, and the TV app on ‌iPad‌ has a new sidebar to make navigation simpler. In the Mail app, there's also a new option to use the Hide My Email feature when composing or replying to an email.

There's a tweaked Notification Summary that gives summaries more of a card-style look, a toggle in the Camera app for Macro mode on iPhone 13 Pro models, and an update to Emergency SOS. The Auto Call feature can now be enabled by pressing on the side button rapidly or holding down the side button and the volume button together. Apple has added a longer eight-second countdown (up from three seconds) to give you more time to cancel an accidental dial.

For a full list of features that have been added with each beta, we have dedicated guides for the initial beta, the second beta, and the third beta.
Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 8.3 to Developers

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 10:06:00 PST
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming watchOS 8.3 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming two weeks after the launch of the third beta and a month after the release of watchOS 8.1.


To install ‌‌‌watchOS 8‌‌‌.3, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed, ‌‌‌watchOS 8.3‌‌‌ can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software update.

To update to new software, an Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌.

No new features were found in the first three betas of watchOS 8.3, so we don't yet know what's included in the update.
Related Roundup: watchOS 8

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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of tvOS 15.2 to Developers

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 10:05:00 PST
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming tvOS 15.2 update to developers, with the software coming two weeks after the third beta and a month after the release of tvOS 15.1, an update that introduced SharePlay support.


Developers can download the new tvOS 15.2 beta by downloading a profile onto the ‌Apple TV‌ using Xcode.

tvOS updates are often minor in scale, focusing on under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements rather than major outward-facing changes. There's no word yet on what's included in tvOS 15.2 update, but we'll update this article should anything new be found.

Though we don't often know what's new in tvOS during the beta testing process, we let MacRumors readers know when new updates are available so those who are developers can download it upon release.
Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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Tears of Joy Remained Most Used Emoji in 2021

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 09:58:15 PST
Tears of Joy continued to be one of the most popular emoji used worldwide in 2021, according to the Unicode Consortium's list of the top emoji used throughout the year.


The 😂 emoji accounts for over five percent of all emoji use, and the only other emoji that comes close is the heart emoji (❤️).

Other top emoji in 2021 included rolling on the floor laughing face, thumbs up, loudly crying face, hands pressed together, face blowing kiss, face with hearts, face with heart eyes, and smiling face, or in emoji: 😂 ❤️ 🤣 👍 😭 🙏 😘 🥰 😍 😊.

The most popular emoji haven't changed much over the past couple of years, and in fact, crying laughing face and red heart were also the top two emoji in 2019, which was the last time that the Unicode Consortium shared emoji data. Other emoji on the list have shifted position and there are a few that are new to the top 10 list, such as thumbs up and face with hearts.

The Unicode Consortium also broke emoji down by category to discover the top used smileys, people emoji, symbols, clothing, animals, travel emoji, objects, and food emoji, with graphs of the frequency of use available on the Unicode Consortium website.


Party popper is the most popular event emoji, for example, followed by balloon and gift. Fire is the most popular weather emoji, unsurprisingly, and the most popular plant emoji is the rose. The butterfly is the most used bug emoji, and rabbit face is the most used mammal emoji.

Of the clothing emoji, the crown is the most popular, and the birthday cake is by far the most popular sweet food emoji. Hot beverage is the most popular drink emoji, and in the fruit category, strawberry takes the top spot.

More on the most popular emoji in 2021 can be found through the Unicode Consortium's full 2021 emoji breakdown.
Tag: emoji

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Amazon's EC2 Service to Offer M1 Mac Mini Instances for Faster Build Times

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 09:43:56 PST
Amazon today announced that its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service is now offering a "preview" of M1 Mac mini instances in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) regions of U.S. East and U.S. West, with other regions to be available when the instances are fully released.


An "instance" is a virtual server available for rent through Amazon's EC2 service for running apps on AWS infrastructure. Intel-based Mac mini instances were already available since last year, but M1 models will provide improved performance, allowing developers building apps for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV to benefit from faster builds.

From the announcement:
If you are a Mac developer and re-architecting your apps to natively support Macs with Apple silicon, you may now build and test your apps and take advantage of all the benefits of AWS. Developers building for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV will also benefit from faster builds. EC2 M1 Mac instances deliver up to 60% better price performance over the x86-based EC2 Mac instances for iPhone and Mac app build workloads.
More details are available on the Amazon Web Services website and there is also a sign-up form for the M1 Mac mini instances preview.
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Macs With 'M3' Chips Expected to Use TSMC's 3nm Chip Technology With Test Production Reportedly Underway

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 07:36:07 PST
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes.


The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of 2023.

As usual, this process advancement should allow for performance and power efficiency improvements, which can lead to faster speeds and/or longer battery life on future iPhones and Macs. The first series of Apple silicon Macs powered by M1 chips already deliver industry-leading performance per watt while running impressively quiet and cool.

The first Apple devices with 3nm chips will likely debut in 2023, including iPhone 15 models with an A17 chip and Apple silicon Macs with M3 chips — all names are tentative. The Information's Wayne Ma last month reported that some of the M3 chips will have up to four dies, which the report said could translate into those chips having up to a 40-core CPU, compared to the 8-core M1 chip and 10-core M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

In the meantime, Macs with M2 chips and iPhone 14 models are expected to use chips based on TSMC's N4 process, which is another iteration of its 5nm process.
Tag: TSMC

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Deals: Amazon Has AirPods Max at the Best Price This Year ($429 in Two Colors) [Update: Sold Out]

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 07:21:27 PST
We've been keeping an eye on AirPods deals in the wake of Black Friday, and before today only the AirPods 3 have seen a return of Black Friday pricing. However, Amazon now has the AirPods Max at their best price of the year of $429.00 in Sky Blue and Space Gray, down from $549.00.

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.

If you missed this deal last week, today could very well be one of the last times in 2021 that you'll be able to order the AirPods Max at this price in time for the holidays. Space Gray is in stock and will arrive by December 8 for users in the United States, but Sky Blue's availability is quickly dwindling and may not ship to your location in time for the 24th. Order now if you're interested.



Amazon's pricing on the AirPods 3 is at $149.99, down from $179.00, and this model is in stock and will also arrive sometime next week. We track sales for every model of the AirPods in our Best AirPods Deals guide, so be sure to bookmark that page while you shop around for the wireless headphones.

Update: This deal has now expired for both Space Gray and Sky Blue AirPods Max models.
Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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Apple Reveals the Most Downloaded iOS Apps and Games of 2021

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 00:05:00 PST
Along with naming its editorial picks for the top apps and games of 2021, Apple today shared charts for the most downloaded free and paid apps and games in the United States across 2021.


The number one most downloaded free iPhone app was TikTok, followed by YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. The top paid iPhone apps included Procreate Pocket, HotSchedules, The Wonder Weeks, and TouchRetouch.

Popular free iPad apps included Netflix, Disney+, and Zoom, while GoodNotes 5, Notability, Duet Display, and Procreate were popular paid iPad apps.

Top games on iPhone and iPad included Among Us!, Roblox, Project Makeover, Minecraft, and Heads Up. Apple this year also highlighted the top Apple Arcade games, which included The Oregon Trail, NBA 2K21, and Sneaky Sasquatch. Apple's top 10 lists for each category are listed below.

iPhone



iPad




Apple Arcade


Top Apple Arcade Games:

The top charts can also be viewed in the Today section of the App Store on the iPhone and the iPad.
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Apple Picks the 2021 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting the Best Apps of the Year

Thu, 02 Dec 2021 00:01:00 PST
Apple today shared its 2021 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 15 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, and positive cultural impact.

"The developers who won App Store Awards in 2021 harnessed their own drive and vision to deliver the best apps and games of the year -- sparking the creativity and passion of millions of users around the world," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "From self-taught indie coders to inspiring leaders building global businesses, these standout developers innovated with Apple technology, with many helping to foster the profound sense of togetherness we needed this year."
Toca Life World, from Toca Boca, was named Apple's iPhone App of the Year. Designed for children, the app allows players to create their own worlds and bring their stories to life.

Apple's iPad App of the Year is LumaFusion, a popular mobile video editing app. It is recognized as one of the best ways to edit video on an iPhone or an iPad, with a wide range of editing tools and effects.

Multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends: Wild Rift won the title of iPhone Game of the Year for its online play, and MARVEL Future Revolution was Apple's pick for iPad Game of the Year.

Apple picked a Mac app and game of the year, an Apple TV app of the year, and an Apple Arcade game of the year, with details below.

  • Mac App of the Year: Craft Docs and Notes Editor, from Luki Labs Limited.

  • Mac Game of the Year: Myst, from Cyan.

  • Apple TV App of the Year: DAZN Sports Streaming, from DAZN Group.


  • Apple TV Game of the Year: Space Marshals 3, from Pixelbite.


  • Apple Watch App of the Year: Carrot Weather, from Grailr.

  • Apple Arcade Game of the Year: Fantasian, from Mistwalker.


Apple also highlighted "Connection" as the trend of the year, recognizing a selection of apps and games that brought people together in meaningful ways. Apps acknowledged in this category include Among Us!, Bumble, Canva, EatOkra, and Peanut.

Each App or Game of the Year winner will receive a physical App Store award that's modeled after the design of the App Store logo. Each award is created from 100 percent recycled aluminum and it has the name of the winner engraved on the side.
This article, "Apple Picks the 2021 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting the Best Apps of the Year" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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