Save 20% on amazing Monowear bands, accessories for Apple Watch

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Monowear-collection
Prices start at just $17.60.
Photo: Monowear

Enjoy 20% off all Monowear bands and accessories for Apple Watch today in the Cult of Mac Store.

You’ll find comfortable nylon, sturdy stainless steel, and luscious leather options to choose from, with prices starting at just $25.60. You can also pick up AirPods cases and travel accessories for even less.

Is the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar a goner? [Cult of Mac Magazine 384]

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The next-gen MacBook Pros might add a bunch of cool features. But they also might lack a Touch Bar.
The next-gen MacBook Pros might add a bunch of cool features. But they also might lack a Touch Bar.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

From CES product unveilings to juicy rumors, this week suffered zero shortage of new for Apple fans. You’ll find the cream of the crop in this week’s issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. As always, it’s free — and it’s ready for consumption on your iOS device of choice.

I don’t want to slow you down on your way to the week’s top news stories. But if you use Safari (and you really should), don’t miss our new series of how-tos on getting the most out of Apple’s web browser. Those Safari Pro Tips are in the mag as well.

Or you can get it all, plus our reviews of the new Apple TV+ seasons of Servant and Dickinson, in your browser at the links below.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh Plus brings big changes to Mac

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The MacIntosh Plus was arguably the first truly great Mac.
The MacIntosh Plus was arguably the first truly great Mac.
Photo: Rama/Wikipedia CC

January 16: Today in Apple history: Macintosh Plus brings big changes to Mac January 16, 1986: Apple introduces the Macintosh Plus, its third Mac model and the first to be released after Steve Jobs was forced out of the company the previous year.

The Mac Plus is also the first Macintosh to include a SCSI port, the main way of attaching a Mac to other devices until Apple abandoned the tech on the iMac G3 upon Jobs’ return. The Mac Plus also boasted an expandable 1MB of RAM and a double-sided 800KB floppy drive.

Apple might give paid podcasts a whirl

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Everything on Apple Podcasts now is free. That could change if the company creates Podcasts+.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly considering a for-pay podcast subscription service. It would join other Apple services offering premium content, like Apple TV+ and News+.

The news sent shares of rival Spotify down over 7% on Friday.

Apple plans the iMac redesign we’ve been dreaming of

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Apple plans the iMac redesign we’ve been dreaming of
The 2021 iMac could dump the huge screen bezels of the current version.
Concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The iMac is about to get the dramatic redesign so many people have been hoping for, according to a highly reliable source. Smaller bezels and an M-series processor are highlights.

Apple is also reportedly planning a significant redesign of the Mac Pro desktop.

2022 iPhone will be cooler than ever. Literally.

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Future iPhones might need a Vapor Chamber cooling system
The 2022 iPhone could sport an advanced cooling system.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A powerful processor and 5G wireless networking will force Apple to build a cooling system into the 2022 iPhone, according to an analyst and trusted Apple prognosticator.

But the system Apple is reportedly investigating won’t be ready in time for the iPhone 13, expected this autumn.

Apple Watch could spot COVID-19 symptoms a week before it strikes

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Apple Watch Series 6
Two studies suggest Apple Watch could be a useful diagnostic tool.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Smartwatches such as Apple Watch could detect COVID-19 infections a week before the wearer feels sick or would test positive for the novel coronavirus, two medical studies suggest.

Since such devices can identify subtle changes in heart rate that might indicate an early infection, they could spot asymptomatic individuals, who make up a sizable proportion of COVID-19 cases.

Last chance: Save 25% on wonderful Wood Mark bands for Apple Watch

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Wood-Mark-Apple-Watch
An Apple Watch band unlike any other.
Photo: Wood Mark

If you don’t want your Apple Watch to look just like everyone else’s, pair it with a unique band unlike any other. Choose a Wood Mark strap from the Cult of Mac Store — made almost entirely out of wood — and enjoy 25% off the usual price for a limited time.

They’re wonderfully comfortable, long-lasting, and kind on the environment. This discount ends later today, so enjoy it while you can!

MagSafe charger could make triumphant return to MacBook Pro this year

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MagSafe
MagSafe was a great Apple innovation.
Photo: Gordon Mei/Flickr CC

Apple’s MagSafe branding technically made a return last year with the iPhone 12. But the MagSafe fans most fondly recall — the neat magnetic charging system for the MacBook — is also gearing up to make a comeback.

According to a Friday report from Bloomberg, Apple is bringing back MagSafe for this year’s MacBook Pro refresh. The connector will reportedly be similar in design to the “elongated pill-shape” original MagSafe. It will provide faster charging for the MacBook.

A16 Bionic: TSMC gears up to produce first 3nm chips for future iPhone

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Apple A14 is made with an amazing 5nm production process.
Ready to see the A14 look like old hat?
Screenshot: Apple

Apple’s A14 chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is gearing up for “risk production” of its next-gen chips, Digitimes reported Friday.

The chips in question are TSMC’s 3-nanometer chips, expected to be the eventual successor to the current 5-nanometer chips. Risk production refers to the dress rehearsal process for manufacturing, in which things appear ready to go, but are not quite ready to go into mass production just yet.