It's been another wild week in the world of Apple, tech and beyond. With new Apple products finally arriving on customer doorsteps, new Apple initiatives taking to air and fresh leaks, there's been plenty to talk about. Of course, the global pandemic has held center stage for much of it, but even that has brought out some great stories of joy, innovation and human persistence. Here's all the Apple news you should have read this week.
Apple's new iPad Pro and MacBook Air models are falling into the hands of customers, which means benchmarks are starting to hit the web. The earliest signs show that the MacBook Air is a fantastic improvement on its predecessor and that the i5 processor option is definitely worth it. The i7, not so much. Unsurprisingly, Apple's new iPad Pro does not offer a similar leap in performance.
- The new MacBook Air benchmarks are 75% faster than its predecessor
- Early MacBook Air i7 benchmarks suggest the i5 might be best one for you
- More new iPad Pro benchmarks show minimal gains on 2018 model
Is the next iPhone delayed?
Several reports within and without supply chains suggest that Apple might be planning to hold off on the launch of the iPhone 12. Whilst factories and supply chain partners in China are recovering from recent disruption, Apple has not been able to send engineers and designers needed to make key decisions due to travel restrictions.
When will Apple reopen it stores?
As early as the first half of April according to some. An internal memo claims that Apple is looking to reopen stores beyond Greater China on a "staggered basis". Apple's stores have been closed 'until further notice' since March 17.
The UK is upping the ceiling on contactless payments
Across the pond, it emerged that the UK plans to raise the limit on contactless payments to £45, up £15 from the previous limit of £30. Whilst retailers who support Apple Pay can accept payment without limit, not every retailer in the UK has this option. This means that from April 1, you'll be able to spend up to £45 with your iPhone at any contactless terminal, regardless of whether the retailer supports Apple Pay.
Over in the rumor mill, we got some fresh insight into Apple's new CarKey feature, which will let users unlock and drive their car from within iOS. We also heard that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has refined his prediction of ARM-based Macs, which he now states will land in 2021.
- Apple's ARM-based processors now rumored for 2021
- BMW might be the first to use Apple's CarKey feature
With working from home more popular than ever, video conferencing apps like Zoom are taking off. Turns out however that Zoom was actually sending a lot of user data to Facebook, even if its users didn't have Facebook accounts. Zoom was pretty quick to stamp this out and the problem has been rectified.
- Hey Zoom, don't send our data to Facebook without consent
- Responding to backlash, Zoom stops sharing user data with Facebook
Apple leads the fight against COVID-19
Apple has announced a new COVID-19 app and website to help users in the US get information about symptoms, travel, self-isolation and more.
Bonus round - an RGB Mac Pro
Snazzy Labs' Quinn Nelson took a power saw to his Mac Pro all in the name of adding RGB lights to the Mac Pro. Thanks, we hate it.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9