Leaker suggests Apple is gearing up to unveil new AirPods, Apple Pencil

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Like everything else, the new Apple Pencil is better.
Potentially they could debut at next week's Apple event.
Photo: Andrea Nepori

Apple may be on the verge of showing off new AirPods and a third-gen Apple Pencil, claims a tipster on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

An image, posted by user UnclePan, shows what they claim are the next-gen AirPods, along with text claiming that Apple is currently gearing up to show off the Apple Pencil.

Today in Apple history: Apple scrambles to fix doomed Apple III

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Apple III
The problems encountered by the Apple III sound strangely familiar.
Photo: Alker33/YouTube

April 15: Today in Apple history: Apple scrambles to fix doomed Apple III April 15, 1981: Apple CEO Mike Markkula defends the struggling Apple III with a surprisingly straightforward admission, even as the company pushes an unorthodox “fix” for the computer’s hardware problem.

“It would be dishonest for me to sit here and say that it’s perfect,” he tells The Wall Street Journal, after critics blast the Apple II’s doomed successor for its overheating motherboard. Apple’s official solution to the problem? Ask users to drop their Apple III from a height of 6 inches, thereby hopefully reseating the chips.

Apple chipmaker warns that supplies may be constrained into 2022

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chips
There's a big global chip shortage right now.
Photo: Intel

Apple’s A-series chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) has warned that constrained chip supply will continue for the rest of this year and into 2022.

While it didn’t specifically mention Apple, it nonetheless admitted that capacity will remain “tight” for the immediate future. TSMC is currently gearing up to manufacture the A-series chips for Apple’s next-gen iPhone, set to debut in the fall. This will reportedly begin in May.

Earth Day Apple Pay promotion donates funds to conservation charity

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Apple Pay
Apple has long celebrated Earth Day.
Photo: Apple

Earth Day takes place on April 22 and, as it has for years, Apple has its own tie-in promotions ready to help publicize the annual event dedicated to environmental protection.

From today through Earth Day, Apple will donate $1 to Conservation International — up to a maximum of $1 million — for every Apple Pay transaction via Apple’s website, the Apple Store app, or in physical Apple Stores.

Skydance Animation produces sci-fi film Blush for Apple TV+

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Skydance Animation is producing ‘Blush’ for Apple TV+.
Skydance Animation produced Blush about a stranded astronaut meeting an ethereal visitor. Coming soon to Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple and Skydance Animation teamed up to create Blush, a short film about a stranded astronaut. It’s written and directed by Joe Mateo, whose credits include Big Hero 6 and Prep & Landing.

The upcoming film is the first in a multiyear partnership to create animated movies and shows for Apple TV+.

Active 2.0 band makes Apple Watch the perfect workout partner

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Active 2.0 band for Apple Watch
Comfortable, durable, good-looking.
Photo: Laut

Apple Watch can be the perfect workout partner, but only if it’s comfortable to wear during even the most strenuous activities. That’s why Laut designed the ultra-comfortable Active 2.0 sports band.

Made from a bespoke rubber compound developed specifically for active lifestyles, the Active 2.0 is lightweight, incredibly durable, and feels great no matter what you get up to. It’s also sweat-resistant.

Get yours in one of a number of vibrant color options for under $30.

Run Windows 10 with great performance on Apple Silicon Macs with Parallels Desktop

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Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac with M1 support now available.
Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac lets you have the best of both words: macOS and Windows.
Photo: Parallels

Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac debuted Wednesday, bringing full native support for computers with Apple Silicon. It allows users to run Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview and its applications on Macs with an Apple M1 processor.

Running a virtual version of Windows 10 on Apple Silicon is up to 30% faster than in an Intel-based Mac, according to Parallels. And it uses 2.5x less power.

Mac mini M1 forces 2020 MacBook Pro into early retirement [Setups]

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Two smart monitors with matching light bars easily run off a Mac mini M1.
Two smart monitors with matching light bars easily run off a Mac mini M1.
Photo: TimTheEnchanterz@Reddit

You see it every year. Accomplished, vibrant computers that still have a lot to offer are cast aside in favor of hard-charging young upstarts more than willing to take somebody’s job.

In the case of React developer TimTheEnchanterz (on Reddit), a MacBook Pro from just last year lost its job to a bright new Mac mini M1 boasting 16GB of unified memory and effortless connection to two external displays.

Such a shame. It’s not clear from the post, but the poor 2020 MBP probably had to shuffle off in search of a new taskmaster on r/hardwareswap, eBay or — say it ain’t so — Craigslist.

Seattle study will loan participants Apple Watch to see if it can help predict COVID

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Apple Watch Series 6
This could prove to be a game-changer for Apple Watch capabilities.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Can the iPhone and Apple Watch help predict illnesses like COVID-19? That’s the question being asked by researchers from Apple, the Seattle Flu Study, and the University of Washington — and you can help them answer it. And get loaned an Apple Watch for the duration of the six-month study for your troubles.

The study is currently recruiting for participants who live in the greater Seattle area. Participants must have “higher than normal risk of respiratory illness because of frequent exposure to other people through work or other activities, health conditions, or other factors.”

Leaked image suggests this year’s iPhone will shrink the notch

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This concept image shows how the iPhone 13 notch might shrink.
The notch was introduced in 2017 with the iPhone X.
Artists concept: Cult of Mac

This year’s iPhone notch looks set to get a bit smaller, with the latest evidence for this being an image posted to Twitter by user DuanRui, who frequently posts material shared on Chinese social media.

While not guaranteed to be genuine, the image does depict an iPhone display with slimmer — in width, not height — notch. Apple introduced the distinctive iPhone notch in 2017 with the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge display. It contains the Face ID sensing tech, front camera, and speaker.