Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our Saturday morning roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
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iPhone 13 launch date ‘revealed’
Here at Macworld we spend most of our summer counting down the days until the iPhone launch, a magical evening when we stay up late, drink too much coffee and update dozens of articles. Part of the magic is that we don’t know when it will happen until the last minute, so we can’t even plan around it.
But one brave analyst has put his head above the parapet and made a firm prediction. The iPhone 13 will be announced in the third week of September, says Dan Ives, and since iPhones are generally announced on Tuesdays, that translates to a
date of 14 September. Put it in your diary!
So what can we expect on that special day?
You can check out our
iPhone 13 news hub for all the leaks and latest info, but we’ve had a couple of intriguing snippets this very week. One pundit has predicted, for example, that the
iPhone 13 will get an always-on display (you know, like the two most recent Apple Watch models). And the terabyte theory – the notion that Apple will finally break the one-terabyte storage barrier with this year’s phone – was
revived by a new report.
But not everyone is convinced. Dennis Steimels outlines some key reasons you might be well advised to skip the iPhone 13 and
wait for the iPhone 14. Somebody hasn’t caught the spirit of the most wonderful and magical time of the year.
Death to spyware
Pegasus Project, a collaboration of journalists and activists looking into the political use of spyware, escaped the tech bubble to dominate the week’s headlines in mainstream news outlets. But Apple got caught up in the story in a way it won’t have appreciated.
Amnesty International’s Security Lab announced that iPhones – even iPhones with the very latest iOS updates – are
vulnerable to attack by NSO Group’s now-notorious Pegasus spyware, which gives hackers control of your camera and microphone and access to your messages, files and so on. That may come as a surprise to many iPhone owners, given how highly Apple has talked up the privacy and security credentials of its mobile hardware.
There are some caveats we should get out of the way. Firstly, the nature of this method of surveillance – expensive, and designed to avoid attention – means it will only ever be used on a small number of high-value targets. If you’re not a head of state, an activist or an influential political journalist, NSO’s clients simply won’t bother with you. (And if you’re still worried, you can
check if your iPhone is infected by Pegasus using a free tool.)
The second caveat is the usual one: that Apple nearly always gets more negative headlines than it deserves, just because it’s the most famous and click-friendly tech company in the world. Android phones are also susceptible to attack; the Macalope goes so far as to call the scandal
much ado about Android. Indeed researchers say that the traces of Pegasus are actually harder to detect on Android, which makes it more dangerous on that platform, yet would naturally lead to a higher discovery rate on iPhone.
Yet we can’t escape the feeling that Apple dropped the ball on this one. Or rather, that the company has been dropping balls for years, in terms of its complacent marketing and its relationship with security researchers, and has only this week been exposed for it. Stephan Wiesend explores the company’s culpability in his detailed and highly recommended analysis
Is Apple to blame for failing to stop Pegasus?
Video of the week
Anyone interested in the Pegasus scandal should definitely watch our video of the week, in which Ken Mingis, Michael Simon and Juliet Beauchamp discuss iPhone security in light of Amnesty International’s spyware revelations.
News in brief
Good news for Cupertino: the iPhone is
gaining market share and Android loyalty is down. The iPhone 12 appears to have kickstarted a super cycle year.
Bad news for Cupertino (and for all of us, really): a spike in numbers of the COVID Delta variant has persuaded Apple to
put off its planned return to the office for at least a month. You’ll note that this extension covers the expected launch of the iPhone 13, which now appears certain to be announced virtually. (Which is a
Fakespot, a relatively popular but controversial app that claimed to be able to spot fake reviews on e-commerce sites, has been
kicked off the App Store after Amazon complained. The retail giant claimed Fakespot “provides customers with misleading information about our sellers and their products”.
The second season of Ted Lasso premiered on Friday 23 July. Find out about the best thing on Apple TV+ (and the rest of the shows worth watching) here:
Everything you can watch on Apple TV+.
Speaking of Apple TV, the one-year trial offered to those who bought a new Apple product is no more, but there is a six-month trial for students who subscribe to Apple Music for half price, and also anyone who owns a PlayStation 5. More details here:
How to get Apple TV for free.
Did you know that there’s another difference between the entry-level 24in iMac and the next model up? Not only does the cheaper model have one fewer GPU core, it also lacks a second fan, so you can expect it to heat up and slow down much faster. Read all about why that matters here:
Why you should buy the iMac with 8-core GPU.
Someone is auctioning off
an old job application filled in by Steve Jobs, and bidding, at time of writing, stands at $35k. There’s also an NFT available, because of course there is.
The number of counterfeit wireless earbuds seized by US Customs is
breaking all records, with Apple’s AirPods Pro proving particularly popular among the fakers.
Tim Cook has pledged that Apple will make (so far unspecified) donations to
European flood relief efforts.
Software, bugs & problems
It’s been confirmed that the notorious XLoader, one of the most prevalent pieces of malware on Windows,
also affects Macs. “This is definitely a promising new market,” writes the malware. Sorry, I mean the security researchers.
Big Sur 11.5 is here now, bringing lots of security fixes. Find out why you should update here:
Big Sur 11.5 is here: should you install? There’s also good news for those on older platforms: Apple has released key security fixes for
macOS Mojave and Catalina as well.
iOS 14.7 is also here. We explain
what features and fixes iOS 14.7 brings.
Note, however, that a bug in iOS 14.7
breaks the unlock with Apple Watch feature. That issue is relevant only to people who own both an Apple Watch and an iPhone with Touch ID, but if that’s you, give iOS 14.7 a miss. Hopefully it will be fixed in iOS 14.7.1.
Adobe has updated a lot of Creative Cloud apps to be native on the M1 Mac including, most recently, Premiere Pro, InDesign and Illustrator, joining Lightroom and Photoshop. Catch the latest info in
Which apps work on M1 Macs?
One of the new features coming to FaceTime later this year is the ability to reduce background noise. We explain how that will work, and how you can do it now, in
How to reduce background noise on FaceTime calls.
WhatsApp too has added a handy new feature for group video chats. You can now join conversations that are
already in progress.
You can now
beta-test new AirPods software. It’s a bit of a faff.
The rumour mill
Industry sources claim the third-gen iPhone SE will launch in
March or April 2022. It should be worth the wait, though, given that it’s expected to feature a
super-fast A15 processor. That sound you can hear is Phil Schiller crying about all the people who just decided they won’t be buying an iPhone 13 mini.
Talking of things that are worth the wait, the new MacBook Pro
won’t launch until September at the earliest, according to reliable analyst Mark Gurman, and might not be here until November.
But when the MacBook Pro does launch, there is yet more evidence that MagSafe will make a return as a means of charging it:
Apple has updated the MagSafe support doc on its website.
New AirPods are imminent! Industry sources say they will
go into production next month, which would mean a launch in September or October. They could appear alongside the iPhone 13.
The new iPad mini will
get that speedy A15 chip too. It could be with us in the autumn, which would make that chip brand-new: a big deal for the littlest iPad.
Martyn Casserly rounds up all the new Apple products that
could arrive in August 2021, and how likely it is that each one will happen. It’s the summer, to be honest, so there might not be any at all. Please don’t get mad.
Apple deals of the week
I’ve embedded a list of the best current Apple deals below, but other than that, we’re done for this week. See you next Saturday, and stay Appley!
Top 10 Apple Deals
Apple 11in iPad Pro (2021, M1, 2TB) – Wi-Fi + Cellular
We’re not sure if Amazon will bring back the £639 discount we saw in October on this iPad Pro M1 variant, but almost £600 off is still an excellent deal. See our review of the 11in iPad Pro with M1.
Adobe Creative Cloud – All Apps (1 Year)
Was: £49.94 per month
£39.95 per month
Adobe’s slashed 20% off its Creative Cloud subscription prices. The offer ends 14 April.
Apple AirPods 3
The AirPods 3 offer better battery performance, an updated design, and support for Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ. Save £30 from Amazon.
Smarty 12GB data SIM-Only
Was: £8 per month
£4 per month
(50% off for 3 months)
Grab three months of 12GB data for just £4 per month. If you’re after more data, you can see all its plans here. You can cancel anytime.
Apple iPad mini (2021, 6th gen, 64GB, Cellular)
This is the best deal we’ve seen on the iPad mini you can get the 64GB Cellular (RRP £619) for just £464 – which is less than the RRP for the Wi-Fi model!
Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB (2020)
From: John Lewis
For some time a gang of retailers have been offering the entry level MacBook Air for £889, but this month John Lewis has dropped the price to £887, RRP £999. Very has the same deal.
You can also get the £999 MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU in gold for £889 from Currys or Amazon, and AO.
Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm)
Bag the last gen Watch 6 for under £300 at Amazon’s Spring Sale!
Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm, Cellular)
Amazon’s just slashed £160 off the Watch Series 6 with Cellular connectivity as a part of its Spring Sale.
Apple 10.2in iPad (2021, 256GB, Wi-Fi)
Save $50 on the latest regular iPad. It’s a great affordable slate that’s perfect for web browsing or video calls.
Logitech Combo Touch Keyboard for iPad Pro 11
Save an excellent £74 on this Logitech keyboard for the iPad Pro 11 – this is currently the best discount we can see. The Combo Touch works with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd gen models.
Grab this set of Apple AirTags for just under £80 – that’s a saving of roughly £9 per AirTag, which costs £29 separately.
Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS, 41 mm)
The Apple Watch Series 7 has a solid $120 discount in Amazon’s Prime Day sale, making it one of the best prices around.
Beats Solo 3 Headphones
Get £80 off the Beats Solo3 Wireless on-ear headphones (which we gave four stars in our review). They’re available in a range of colours.
Apple AirPods Pro with MagSafe charging case
From: John Lewis
Amazon’s excellent £64 saving on the AirPods Pro from March is no longer available. Multiple sites are selling for £189 (a £50 saving), including AO and Laptops Direct – but we’d go with John Lewis on account of its two-year guarantee.
Apple Watch SE 2021 (44mm, GPS)
Get a great saving on last year’s Apple Watch SE from Amazon.
Want a more affordable alternative to the Apple Pencil? Check out the Logitech Crayon, which works with all iPads from 2018 and later.
Apple iPhone 12 mini (256GB)
The 256GB iPhone 12 mini has over £100 off from Amazon.
Apple iPad mini (2021, 6th gen)
From: Currys PC World
A handy saving on Apple’s new iPad mini model for 2021, but note that this price applies to the Starlight colour finish only. eBuyer is matching the deal on certain colours.
Apple iPad Air (2022, 256GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular)
KRCS has knocked money off the 2022 iPad Air. You will find savings across the whole range.
Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB (2020)
An excellent deal, this. Save money on the MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU from Very. The discount applies to the silver version only.
This deal is only slightly better than Currys who has the silver model for £1,099.97. John Lewis had the same deal, but it is currently out of stock there.