In this week’s top stories: iOS 14.4 released, Apple Watch Series 7 rumors, ‘Time to Walk’ feature now available, AAPL’s record-breaking Q1 earnings, and much more. Read on for all of this week’s top Apple Stories.
Time to Walk
Apple this week officially launched its new Time to Walk feature for Apple Watch and Fitness+ subscribers. . Time to Walk offers “an inspiring new audio walking experience on Apple Watch for Fitness+ subscribers,” Apple announced.
Time to Walk is launching with four episodes with guests including Country music star Dolly Parton, NBA player Draymond Green, Musician Shawn Mendes, and Emmy Award winner Uzo Aduba. New episodes will be released with a different guest each Monday through the end of April.
After beta testing with developers and public beta users, Apple this week officially released iOS 14.4 to the public.
Apple says that iOS 14.4 includes support for recognizing smaller QR codes in the Camera app, as well as the option to classify Bluetooth device types in Settings. Notably, the update also adds new notifications for when your iPhone can’t verify if you’re using a “genuine Apple camera.”
iOS 14.4 also includes a handful of bug fixes related to HDR photography, the Messages app, and more. There is a fix for keyboard lag, which is an issue that has been plaguing many iPhone users since iOS 14 was first released.
In addition to the new features, iOS 14.4 also brings a trio of notable security improvements. In a new Support document, Apple said that iOS 14.4 fixes a kernel vulnerability and two WebKit vulnerabilities, all three of which “may have been actively exploited.”
iOS 14.4 is available to users via an over-the-air update in the Settings app. Simply open the Settings app, choose General, then choose Software Update. With these major security improvements included, we highly recommend updating as soon as possible.
HomePod Software 14.4
Alongside iOS 14.4, Apple also released HomePod Software 14.4 with new features for HomePod mini users this week.
The leading change with HomePod Software Version 14.4 is an all-new Handoff experience powered by the Ultra Wideband, or U1 chip, in the iPhone. Now, when you bring an iPhone near the HomePod mini to use Handoff, you’ll feel physical feedback from the iPhone’s Taptic Engine, as well as a card on the iPhone’s display and a visual indicator on the top of the HomePod mini.
You can learn more in our full coverage right here.
Limited-edition Apple Watch
Apple published a new press release this week detailing the multiple ways it will be celebrating Black History Month in February. The company is launching new editorial collections, Apple Maps Guides, limited-edition Apple Watch hardware, and more.
Apple is introducing the Black Unity Collection for the Apple Watch. This collection includes a limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6 as well as a Black Unity Sport Band. Through this collection, Apple is supporting global organizations to help advance their missions in promoting and achieving equality and civil rights.
The Black Unity Sport Band uses colors inspired by the Pan-African flag with the words “Truth. Power. Solidarity.” laser-engraved onto the closure. Meanwhile, the limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6 features “Black Unity” laser-etched onto the back crystal.
Apple Watch Series 6 Black Unity and the Black Unity Sport Band will be available starting February 1. The Watch starts at $399 for the GPS and the cellular model starts at $499. The Black Unity Sport Band is $49.
Apple (AAPL) has officially reported its earnings for Q1 2021, covering the lucrative holiday shopping season. For the first fiscal quarter of 2021, Apple reported a record-breaking $111.44 billion in revenue and profit of $28.76 billion.
For comparison’s sake, Apple reported revenue of $91.8 billion and profit of $22.2 billion during Q1 2020 last year. This time around, there are a handful of different factors. For instance, the Mac and iPad businesses have seen major growth because of the work-from-home trend driven by the pandemic.
Learn more in our full coverage
These and the rest of this week’s top stories below.
- iOS 14.4 now available with Apple Watch Unity face support, bug fixes, and more
- Apple adopts new ‘BlastDoor’ security system on iOS 14 to reinforce iMessage integrity
- Apple says iOS 14.4 patches 3 security flaws that ‘may have been actively exploited’
- iOS 14.4: How to label Bluetooth devices as a speaker, headphones, hearing aids, more
- Apple releases HomePod Software Version 14.4 with new Handoff experience, more
- Apple support document adds new details on how iPhone 12 and MagSafe can impact pacemakers
Apple Watch |
- watchOS 7.3 now available with new Unity watch faces, ECG in more countries, more
- Apple Watch blood sugar measurement coming in Series 7, claims report
- Apple Watch credited with helping police locate kidnapped Texas woman
- Apple officially launches new ‘Time to Walk’ feature for Apple Watch and Fitness+
- Apple Watch credited with helping cyclist call for help after being swept into flooded river
- A look at the iconic watches which inspired five Apple Watch faces
- Apple unveils limited-edition Apple Watch Series 6 and more for Black History Month
- Here’s how Apple Watch blood glucose monitoring could work, with a skin tag
- Apple airing fun new Apple Watch Series 6 ad showing ECG use in everyday life
Mac and iPad |
- Video: Microsoft takes shots at Apple’s MacBook Pro in new ad for Surface Pro 7
- macOS Big Sur 11.2 RC 2 now available as a public release nears
- M1 Mac mini power consumption and thermal output figures highlight Apple Silicon efficiency
Top Apple stories, retail |
- Apple Pioneer Place mural donated to nonprofit Don’t Shoot PDX
- COVID-19: Which Apple Stores have reopened?
- How to use Apple’s ‘Find My AirPods’ feature to locate your lost headphones
- AirPods in 2021: What to expect from the rumored AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 updates
- Developer modifies 4th-gen iPod with built-in Wi-Fi and Spotify
- Facebook says a ‘configuration change’ mistakenly logged iPhone users out of their accounts
- Robinhood users petition Apple to remove it from the App Store after blocking trades of GME
- Signal is the most private messaging app, but staff say it has no plans to prevent misuse
- Robinhood app controversy grows, with likely motive now revealed [U]
- GameStop and Elon Musk send Reddit and Robinhood to the top of the App Store charts
- Carrot Weather receives major overhaul with new design and customization, now free to download
AAPL Company |
- Apple (AAPL) reports record-breaking Q1 2021 earnings with $111.4 billion in revenue
- Tim Cook condemns Facebook business model, says valuing engagement over privacy leads to ‘polarization’ and ‘violence’
- Report: Facebook building antitrust lawsuit against Apple over iOS 14 privacy features
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