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Benjamin Mayo

@bzamayo

Follow Benjamin on Twitter to keep up with his latest projects. Benjamin blogs about Apple news and rumors, and posts insightful product and app reviews. Read his work on 9to5Mac and his personal blog.

Benjamin Mayo also creates apps for iOS as a professional indie developer and contractor; more details here. Email to discuss making your iOS project.

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Connect with Benjamin Mayo

AirTag review: An easy-to-use item tracker empowered by a network of a billion iPhone users

Following years of rumors and leaks, the Apple AirTag is finally available to buy. I received mine on launch day last week, along with a Belkin Secure Holder to attach it to my keys.

The real test of any Bluetooth tracker is when you actually lose the item they are attached to, and so far I haven’t lost my aforementioned keys. After a few days of artificial testing, though, I am generally very happy with the AirTag and would easily recommend them. The breadth of the Find My network is going to be hard for any other company to beat …

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Apple and Epic once planned a subscription bundle combining Fortnite Crew, Apple Music, and Apple TV+

As part of the documents turning up in the ongoing Epic vs. Apple trial that commenced today, various details have leaked out about Epic’s planned road map for the game.

Seemingly, when Apple and Epic were on better terms, the companies plotted a services bundle that would offer a bundle subscription of Fortnite Club (a Fortnite subscription tier, which was later released in the US named “Fortnite Crew”), Apple Music, and Apple TV+.

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Apple runs App Store with 78% profit margin, according to court testimony

App Store commission cut

It is an open secret that the App Store is a huge revenue and profit driver for Apple but to date Apple has not disclosed figures that break out exactly how profitable the App Store is. Apple has previously told senators that its business does not calculate profit and loss for individual products and services.

However, new court testimony in the Apple-vs-Epic trial (which commences next week) seemingly reveals a number that Apple has tried to keep quiet. Via Bloomberg, the App Store ran at a 78% profit margin in 2019.

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You can now pre-order the new Apple TV 4K and redesigned Siri Remote

You can now order the new Apple TV 4K ($179 for 32 GB, $199 for 64 GB) and the new Siri Remote ($59) from the Apple Store. We expect first deliveries on May 21.

The new Apple TV features upgraded performance, powered by the A12 Bionic chip. In addition to generally being speedier at running tvOS, Apple specifically says this box will be able to play/stream 4K HDR content at ‘high frame rate’ 60 FPS. However, the biggest update this cycle is the new remote, which comes bundled with all new Apple TV purchases …

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EU commission says App Store in breach of competition law, Apple unfairly favored Apple Music over other music streaming services

As expected, the head of the EU competition commission Margrethe Vestager today said that in their preliminary conclusion, Apple unfairly favored Apple Music over rivals.

This is due to the high commission fees Apple imposes on third-party apps in the App Store and the fact that Apple does not allow app developers to tell users that other purchase methods may be available outside of the application.

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EU commission to announce charges against Apple today, regarding anticompetitive In-App Purchase policies

App Store

The European competition commission is set to hold a press conference today where it will formally announce charges against Apple for anticompetitive behavior regarding the App Store.

Sources suggest that the commission is particularly concerned that Apple does not allow developers to tell users that alternative payment methods are available outside of the native app.

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Siri thinks you’ll be able to add your Apple TV remote to Find My [update: not anymore]

Update (May 2nd): Apple appears to have changed something on the backend as now Siri refuses to attempt to find the Apple TV remote, and responds with a ‘That type of device can’t be set up in Find My’ message.

In a rather curious discovery, Siri seems to believe that the Apple TV Siri Remote will have some kind of Siri integration. If you ask Siri on iOS 14.5 to “Find my Siri Remote” or “Find my Apple TV Remote,” it will reply that it cannot find any Siri Remotes associated with the iCloud account. (Thanks to William from Maryland for the tip-off.)

However, the fact that it attempts to execute your request at all is interesting. Asking for other unsupported devices (like an Apple Pencil) will result in a different failure response stating that this type of accessory cannot be used with Find My. So why does Siri believe the Apple TV remote can?

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New iMac, iPad Pro and Apple TV launching on May 21 [update]

Update: The Apple newsroom source code is also floating a May 21 date. Image after the break …

According to multiple sources, including Jon Prosser who has a good track record of nailing these release dates, Apple will release the new iMac, iPad Pro with M1 and the upgraded Apple TV 4K with revamped Siri Remote on May 21.

Apple previously announced these products at its April product event, only saying that they will ship in ‘the second half of May’. These devices go up for preorder tomorrow.

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Report: EU commission announcing anticompetitive charges against Apple’s App Store later this week

App Store commission cut

The European competition commission is set to announce charges against Apple regarding App Store policies later this week, in the conclusion of an investigation that was led by Spotify’s formal complaint filed two years ago.

The Financial Times says the ruling will come ‘late this week’, on the basis that App Store rules break EU law.

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Next-gen Apple Silicon ‘M2’ chip reportedly enters production, included in MacBooks in second half of year

According to Nikkei, the next-generation of Apple silicon — tentatively dubbed “M2” — has entered the production cycle. Chip ramps are slow, and Nikkei indicates that beginning production now means the chips would be available in mass supply as soon as July. This schedule likely means they will be included in new MacBook models in the fall, probably the upcoming revamped MacBook Pro line.

The 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU M1 chip architecture delivered impressive performance and battery life when it debuted in the first Apple Silicon Macs last fall. Apple used the same chip in the just-announced iMac and 2021 iPad Pro. However, the chip has some limitations that pro users are hoping will be addressed in the second-generation.

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Apple increasing commitments to US investment, including 5G and artificial intelligence research

apple remote work

Apple today announced that it is increasing its financial commitments for US investment, now up to $430 billion and 20,000 new jobs over the next five years. Apple said it is now supporting 2.7 million jobs across direct employment, US suppliers and manufacturers, and developer jobs in the iOS app economy.

The $430 billion is set to be spent on various projects including supplier relationships, data centers and research into 5G modem, chip silicon, and artificial intelligence research. Apple also said it has created thousands of jobs in creative industries thanks to dozens of Apple TV+ productions in the United States.

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Download the stunning new wallpapers for the 2021 iPad Pro

Apple announced the 2021 iPad Pro last week with an M1 processor, Thunderbolt port, 5G support and more. The larger 12.9-inch iPad now sports a mini-LED display offering ‘XDR’ contrast ratios and high peak brightness levels.

The new wallpapers for the iPad Pro highlight that fact with vibrant swirls of color juxtaposed on a dark background. These wallpapers will come preinstalled on the 2021 iPad Pros when they ship in May. But if you want the stylish new wallpapers for your current iPad, you can download them below.

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You can now order the AirTag and the purple iPhone 12, delivers April 30

The Apple Store is back up and you can now order an AirTag or four, as well as the purple iPhone 12. First orders deliver next Friday, April 30. Remember you’ll also need an AirTags case or bag loop to actually attach the AirTag to your keys or luggage.

A single AirTag costs $29 or you can get a four-pack for $99. The new purple color is available for the iPhone 12 (from $799) and iPhone 12 mini (from $699).

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