MIA at Apple event: Tracking tags, reverse charging and more

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AirPods 2 pairing with iPhone
Sadly, your AirPods can’t charge off your iPhone 11.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Apple’s press event today included the iPhone 11 series as well as updated iPad and Apple Watch versions. However, some rumored devices, features and accessories failed to materialize.

Most notably, the company didn’t announce a line of item-tracking tags, and the latest iPhones can’t wirelessly charge other devices. And there are other predictions that didn’t come true.

2020’s iPhone SE upgrade won’t bring edge-to-edge display

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Watch a iPhone SE 2 TV ad
No, the new iPhone SE won't look like this.
Screencap: Creative Concepts

A reliable source today echos claims that Apple is developing an iPhone SE upgrade for early next year.

The new low-cost handset will feature Touch ID, just as expected — but it won’t be the new in-display Touch ID technology that Apple could bring to other handsets in 2020.

That means there’s no hope of an edge-to-edge display.

Google says iPhone security holes went unnoticed for 2 years

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for story on iPhone security
iPhone security had a few holes.
File photo: Cult of Mac

Google’s Project Zero team said it found gaping security holes in iPhone software that left users exposed to hackers before Apple fixed the flaws earlier this year.

Project Zero released a report on the flaws for the first time Thursday night. The team’s Threat Analysis Group found 14 different exploits that hackers used to gain private data, including photos, messages, contacts and real-time location information from iPhones.

Database exposes loads of incoming Apple products

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While not a literal crystal ball for seeing the future, the EEC database gets close when it comes to Apple products.
While not a literal crystal ball for seeing the future, the EEC database gets close when it comes to Apple products.
Photo: Jennifer Hubacher/Pexels CC

Multiple new MacBook, Apple Watch, iPod touch and iPhone models are coming this fall, according to a database that’s so far been very accurate about upcoming products. It belongs to the Eurasian Economic Commission, which become a gold mine for information on Apple computers that are right around the corner.

Latest iPadOS 13 beta is finally stable enough for almost anyone [Opinion]

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iPadOS Home Screen
Widgets on the Home screen are something you can have today, if you install the iPadOS13 beta.
Photo: Apple

The iPadOS beta Apple introduced this week offers something none of its predecessors did: reliability. Stability, even. After days of testing on an iPad Pro, I found it close enough to the final version that an average person can access a mouse or thumbdrive with their iPad nearly hassle-free. That hasn’t been true of earlier betas.

Less rigorous testing of iOS 13 on an iPhone XS Max indicates it’s also relatively stable.

Apple wants iPhone users to shun third-party battery replacements

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iPhone XR battery life is the best of any iPhone on the market.
You'll need to get your iPhone battery replacement carried out by one of Apple's chosen repairers.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

Apple has long been trying to push users to shun third-party repairers and go through Apple for device repairs. Now it’s activated a previously dormant software lock on iPhone to try and crack down on battery replacements by third-party repairers.

That’s even the case if they’re replacing your battery with an official Apple battery.

Siri eavesdropping controversy underlines why Apple must be more transparent [Opinion]

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Siri
Apple backed down after a privacy backlash this week.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple wants you to know that, at least for now, it has stopped listening to Siri queries made by users. It’s the right move to make. But it’s the unnecessary result of a backlash Apple brought upon itself.

The Siri eavesdropping controversy perfectly illustrates why Apple needs to be more transparent with users — even if that means sacrificing some ease of use.

Steve Jobs insisted every bolt on Pixar’s HQ be hand-tightened

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Steve Jobs sweated the details of the Steve Jobs Building on the Pixar campus in Emeryville, California.
Steve Jobs sweated the details.
Photo: Duluoz cats/Flickr CC

Breaking news: Steve Jobs was kind of a perfectionist when it came to design.

OK, so that’s not exactly the world’s best-kept secret. But a new story about the creation of Pixar’s headquarters highlights Jobs’ obsessive attention to detail. For anyone who remembers hearing about the creation of Apple Park, it will sound eerily familiar…

Why Apple doesn’t prosecute factory workers who leak iPhone secrets

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iPhone 11 schematics
The person who leaked this purported iPhone 11 schematic almost certainly wasn’t arrested for industrial espionage.
Photo: Weibo

When the casing or another component for an unreleased iPhone leaks before the official unveiling, it’s often because someone at an assembly plant in China snuck it out. Apple always does its best to track down the culprit and the punishment is … generally not much.

And there’s a good reason why.

New MacBook Pro teardown reveals surprising internal tweaks

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2019-MacBook-Pro-13-teardown
Here’s what’s inside the new 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Photo: iFixit

iFixit just got its hands on Apple’s newest 13-inch MacBook Pro, which can only mean one thing: It’s time to take a look at what’s inside its svelte aluminum shell.

The new model ships with a Touch Bar, Touch ID, and the Apple T2 Security Chip as standard. It also boasts newer Intel chips that promise up to 83% faster multi-core performance.

But that’s not all you get for your money. There’s a bigger battery inside it, too — plus some other surprising tweaks. And not every change is a good one.