Hey, Apple … don’t be evil! [Cult of Mac Magazine 372]

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Why Apple needs a
This is how Apple could avoid Google's fate.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

As Apple faces increasing scrutiny from governments around the world, the company should take a lesson from Google. We think Apple really needs to implement its own “don’t be evil” policy — and stick with it.

Also, with the new iPhone 12 and 12 Pro arriving this week alongside iPad Air 4 it’s time to take a look at reviewers’ first impressions. (It’s also a good time to revisit best practices for setting up and optimizing a new iPhone).

Read it all — along with reviews of new Apple TV+ movies On the Rocks and Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You — in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine.

Download it now to read on your iOS device.

iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPad Air 4 arrive in stores today

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iPhone 12 packaging
Packaging up Apple's new devices for eager customers.
Photo: Apple

It’s a big day for Apple fans as the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro with 5G have gone on sale, alongside the iPad Air 4 — marking a trio of devices with the new, breakthrough A14 chip.

As preorders arrive and Apple Stores open with the new handsets and tablet, Apple shared some images of satisfied customers, along with fulfillment workers gearing up to dispatch the new iPhones and iPads to stores.

Apple reminds iPhone 12 customers of all the ways they can buy devices

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There are plenty of ways to buy a new iPhone or iPad, either online or in stores, including new Shopping Sessions.
There are plenty of ways to buy a new iPhone or iPad, including new Shopping Sessions.
Photo: Apple

Thanks to COVID-19, the idea of queuing up for an iPhone, huddling up with other people eager to get their hands on the latest Apple smartphone, seems like the stuff of another lifetime in 2020.

To ensure that as many people as possible can get the iPhone 12, 12 Pro or iPad Air 4 when they launch this week, Apple’s issued a press release Wednesday detailing the myriad ways would-be customers can give the company their hard-earned cash.

iPad Air 4 is now available for preorder, shipping October 23

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iPad Air 4
Gets your starting October 23.
Photo: Apple

As rumored, Apple’s iPad Air 4 is now available for preorder on the Apple Online Store. The fourth-gen iPad Air was shown off by Apple at last month’s “Time Flies” event, but Apple declined to announce a preorder date — beyond simply “October.”

Because both the iPad Air 4 and new iPhone 12 handsets feature Apple’s A14 chip, Apple reportedly wanted to hold back the iPad Air 4 until the first iPhone 12 handsets were available to preorder.

Best Buy’s Canadian website suggests iPad Air 4 goes on sale October 23

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iPad Air 4 Touch ID Sensor
Apple previously said the tablets would be available sometime in October.
Photo: Apple

Beyond saying it would be available in October, Apple didn’t announce a precise launch date for the iPad Air 4 when it showed it off at last month’s “Time Flies” event.

Eagle-eyed Apple watchers may have uncovered the official release date, with Best Buy’s Canadian website listing October 23 as the date it will go on sale. While that’s not conclusive on its own, it coincides with a previous date suggested by Apple tipster Jon Prosser.

iPad Air 4 could ship at the same time as iPhone 12

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iPad Air 4 launches later this month.
The iPad Air 4 offers a big speed boost over its predecessor.
Photo: Apple

Apple showed off its iPad Air 4 at last month’s “Time Flies” event. One thing it didn’t reveal at the time? A precise shipping date for the next-gen tablet, the first new Apple device to feature the 5nm A14 processor. Instead, Apple simply said it would arrive in “October.”

According to tipster Jon Prosser, Apple could make the iPad Air 4 available for shipping at the same time as the iPhone 12.

Apple A14 processor makes iPad Air 4 dramatically faster

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iPad Air 4 launches later this month.
The iPad Air 4 offers a big speed boost over its predecessor.
Photo: Apple

The iPad Air 4 is the first computer of any kind unveiled with the Apple A14 processor. The tablet isn’t out yet, but an early Geekbench 5 benchmark score apparently shows it’s nearly 50% faster than its predecessor.

This bodes well for the iPhone 12, which is also expected to run Apple’s new chip.

Deciding between iPad Air 4 and iPad Pro could be a real struggle

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iPad Air 4 vs. 2020 iPad Pro vs. iPad 8
Apple’s current lineup of tablets offers a lot of overlap in features.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The newly announced iPad Air 4 is going to make choosing a tablet harder. It borrows so many features from the 2020 iPad Pro models that many who might have gone for one of Apple’s professional tablets should choose this new model instead. But certainly not everyone.

Here’s how these devices compare, with the newly-unveiled iPad 8 thrown in for good measure.