Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s biggest quarter ever

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Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple achieved its
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple achieved its "biggest quarter ever," Tim Cook said
Photo: Elena Mozhvilo/Unsplash license

Apple sold a crazy number of iPhones and Macs during the December quarter. And the result is what CEO Tim Cook called the company’s “biggest quarter ever.”

Take a deeper dive into the details to see how Apple was so very successful.

Apple’s boffo quarter easily beats Wall Street expectations

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Apple’s financial results were all the company could ask for.
Multiple products contributed to Apple having a stellar financial results last quarter.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Apple raked in $123.9 billion in revenue during the last three months of 2021. That’s a year-over-year increase of 11%. More importantly, it’s significantly higher than financial analysts had predicted.

All that revenue led to quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.10. Again, that solidly beat expectations.

Latest iOS beta lets you use Face ID while wearing a mask

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Why Apple Watch’s iPhone unlock will change your freakin’ life
Being able to easily unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask is coming in iOS 15.4.
Photo: Ivan Samkov/Pexels CC

Face ID in iOS 15.4 will let users unlock their iPhones while wearing a mask. No Apple Watch necessary. The system will scan just the area around eyes. It comes with a warning that the change makes Face ID less secure, though.

Apple seeded the first iOS 15.4 beta to developers on Thursday.

macOS Monterey 12.3 beta testing begins amidst hope for Universal Control

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macOS Monterey Universal Control: Coming soon to a Mac (and other Apple gear) near you.
Universal Control: Coming to a Mac (and other Apple gear) near you. Eventually.
Photo: Apple

Apple seeded the first beta for macOS Monterey 12.3 to developers on Thursday. Testers will be eagerly looking for signs that this will bring the long-overdue Universal Control feature.

It comes just a day after macOS 12.2 ended testing and was released to the public.

AirPods with Ear ID could someday unlock your iPhone

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AirPods 3 drop back to their lowest price ever
Apple hopes to someday enable AirPods to identify who is wearing them.
Photo: Apple

First there was Touch ID, then Face ID. Now Ear ID could be on the way. Apple filed for a patent on a biometric system using AirPods wireless earbuds.

The idea is that headphones should be able to identify who is wearing them and refuse to work for unidentified wearers. But if the system is accurate enough, it could potentially be used to unlock an iPhone or Apple Watch without needing a passcode.

12 reasons to love the iPad on its 12th birthday

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12 reasons to love the iPad on its 12th birthday
There are so many reason to love the iPad — here are 12 of them.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac/Dan Prado/Pexels license

Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad exactly 12 years ago today, and the device has evolved enormously since then, in both capabilities and hardware. Today’s devices can do so much more than their forbearers. Tablets have lived up to Jobs’ vision … and exceeded it.

Here are a dozen reasons to love what Apple’s tablet has become.

Sweeping multinational drama Pachinko premieres on Apple TV+ this spring

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Sweeping multinational drama ‘Pachinko’ premieres on Apple TV+ this spring
Lee Minho and Minha Kim in Pachinko, premiering globally March 25, 2022 on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

An adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel Pachinko is now scheduled to premiere on Apple TV+ in March. The international drama series will take place across three countries and star an internationally renowned cast.

The first images from the upcoming eight-episode season were revealed Wednesday.

Star-studded animated film Luck gets August release date on Apple TV+

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‘Luck’ is coming to Apple TV+.
Luck, coming to Apple TV+, takes a trip to a world of good and bad luck to discover there are more powerful things than luck.
Photo: Apple/Skydance Animation

Skydance Animation’s Luck will be the second full-length animated film on Apple TV+ when it premieres in August 2022. The story of the unluckiest person in the world will feature the voices of Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg and other stars.

While the release date and additional details on the film were revealed Wednesday, there is as yet no trailer.

Wall Street expects best-ever Apple quarterly earnings

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Apple MacBook cash dollars money
Apple probably raked in more revenue in the 2021 holiday quarter than in any previous quarter in its history.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

When Apple reveals its financial results from the holiday shopping season on Thursday, analysts predict the company will announce its best quarter ever.

Whether the Mac-maker meets this lofty goal will have a big effect on its stock price, which has been sliding in recent weeks. 

watchOS 8.4 squashes frustrating Apple Watch charging bug

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watchOS 8.4 squashes frustrating Apple Watch charging bug
Apple Watch users can return to happily charging with watchOS 8.4.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch wearers can now install watchOS 8.4. And many will want to do so soon because the new version removes an irritating bug that prevented some third-party chargers from working.

This is just one of a slew of system software updates from Apple on Wednesday, including macOS Monterey 12.2, iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3.