50% smaller Face ID sensor could shrink iPhone 13 notch

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This concept image shows how the iPhone 13 notch might shrink.
Are you fed up with the iPhone notch?
Artists concept: Cult of Mac

Apple could shrink this year’s iPhone “notch” thanks to a 40% to 50% smaller VCSEL chip in the Face ID sensor, Digitimes reported Friday. According to the report, the smaller die size could show up as soon as the “new iPhone and iPad devices to be rolled out later in 2021.”

Only a tiny proportion of iOS users let apps track them

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App Tracking Transparency will be part of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5. It’s already showing up in betas.
App Tracking Transparency is here -- and users seem to be responding.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency feature looks surprisingly popular with users — and potentially devastating to advertising. According to analysis by Flurry, just 4% of U.S. users allow apps to track them when given a choice.

The new privacy feature, rolled out in iOS 14.5 in late April, requires developers to ask for permission to use Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers tag to track users’ movements across websites and third-party apps. Flurry’s stats indicate a massive 96 out of 100 users in the United States denied that permission.

Apple shines in hugely successful quarter

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Apple earnings call 2Q 2021: Apple racks up another impressive quarter.
Apple racks up another impressive quarter.
Photo: Razvan Chisu/Unsplash CC

The first three months of 2021 brought a flood of revenue for Apple, up 54% from last year. And profits, too. The company had a successful quarter all around, with double-digit growth in iPhone, Mac, iPad, wearables and services revenue.

A shining star in the results was iPhone revenue, which increased by a whopping 65%. But other product categories increased by even higher percentages.

2021 iPad Pro boasts M1 processor, beautiful mini-LED display

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2021 iPad Pro still comes in a 12.9- and 11-inch versions.
2021 iPad Pro makes huge strides forward in its processor, screen, port, storage and RAM.
Photo: Apple

The 2021 iPad Pro is built around an Apple M1 processor that brings a tremendous speed boost.  And the USB-C has been upgraded with Thunderbolt, leading to faster connections to external drives. Plus, there’s a version with 5G.

But the latest top-tier iPadOS tablet more than fast — it looks great too. The 12.9-inch version includes a mini-LED display that both improves the look and uses less power.

Apple saves 861,000 tons of precious metals by ditching iPhone chargers

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iPhone 12 box
Miss power chargers from your iPhone box? The environment doesn't.
Photo: Marco Verch/Flickr CC

Apple has saved 861,000 metric tons of copper, tin, and zinc ore by removing power adapters from iPhones, starting last year. That’s one of the tidbits from Apple’s factoid-studded Environmental Progress Report, released Friday.

It showcases how Apple is working toward its efforts of achieving net carbon neutrality across its whole supply chain by 2030. As Apple notes, that includes “How [an Apple product is] designed, how it’s made, how it’s shipped, how it’s used, [and] how it’s recycled.”

Brilliant MacBook Pro concept packs in the features we want

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This 14-inch MacBook Pro concept is by Renders by Ian
A new 14-inch MacBook Pro concept is based on leaks about this upcoming macOS laptop.
Concept: Ian Zelbo/Renders by Ian

A 14-inch MacBook Pro reportedly will join Apple’s product lineup, and a concept artist merged all the rumors into a design that might hit store shelves later in 2021.

It includes more ports than any MacBook in years, but even important is what’s missing: the Touch Bar and most of the screen bezels.

New Star Trek and NBA games lead major Apple Arcade expansion

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Apple Arcade
The 11 original games that just debuted on Apple Arcade cover a wide range of genres.
Graphic : Cult of Mac

Apple made a huge push for its gaming service on Friday, launching 11 original games. These cover a range of genres, from NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition to Star Trek: Legends. And Fantasian from the creator of the Final Fantasy series also launched in Apple Arcade. Plus many, many more.

Apple’s AR headset could weigh half as much as rivals’

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Apple could take on the likes of Oculus with a VR headset as early as 2022.
Ming-Chi Kuo has the inside track on Apple's AR headset.
Photo: Minh Pham/Unsplash CC

Apple’s augmented reality/mixed reality headset reportedly will weigh less than 150 grams. That’s about half the weight of current VR headsets, suggesting that Cupertino plans to make its debut AR/MR headset more streamlined than competitors. (What a surprise!)

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities made this prediction in a new note to clients, seen by Cult of Mac.

Go old-school with iPhone icons inspired by 1984 Macintosh

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The iPhone and Macintosh can be friends
Wax nostalgic for the 1984 Macintosh with a set of iOS icons and wallpapers inspired by Steve Jobs’ pet project.
Photo: Ben Vessey

Take your iPhone back to Apple’s roots with a set of replacement iOS icons inspired by early Macintosh computers. Keep the links to your 2021 applications on your iPhone, but sub in icons that have the look of the first Mac’s 72 dpi screen thanks to the iOS (Old School) collection from designer Ben Vessey.

Apple accuses former employee of leaking trade secrets to the press

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Apple Glass concept from the Hacker 34.
VR glasses is one of the secret projects that a former Apple employee might have leaked to the press.
Photo: the Hacker 34

Apple filed a lawsuit against Simon Lancaster on Thursday, accusing the former employee of leaking company secrets to the media.

He worked at Apple as a materials engineer for over 11 years, helping to design upcoming products. That gave him access to information not publicly available. Apple alleges he traded that info for personal gain.