iOS 15 Redesign
Apple is developing some major improvements for the iPad home screen as part of the next major operating system, iOS and iPadOS 15, according to a new report by Mark Gurman for Bloomberg. This will include adding widgets to the iPad’s home screen, just like iOS 14 enabled widgets on the iPhone home screen. The report calls this the biggest change to the iPad home screen ever. iPhone users will benefit from an ‘updated’ lock screen UI.
More details on the redesigned iPad home screen are not disclosed. However, iPad users have been anticipating a significant iPad software overhaul following the release of the latest-generation iPad Pros.
App Store Ad Expansion
9to5Mac reported in February that Apple was testing a new ad slot in the iOS 14.5 beta. Pictured above, the ad appears on the main page of the App Store’s Search tab, before the user has entered a search query. This joins existing App Store ads that appear alongside search results, relevant to the user’s search terms.
The Financial Times says that this new ad slot has completed testing and Apple will be rolling it out publicly by the end of the month. The timing comes as third-party ad networks are set to be disrupted by iOS 14.5’s App Tracking Transparency changes, which require a permission dialog to be shown before an app can display user-targeted advertising.
Ransom Leak Details
We continue to learn more about what Apple has in store for the 2021 MacBook Pro update. As we detailed earlier, a hacker group called REvil is currently in the process of blackmailing Apple supplier Quanta. The group has released detailed documents showcasing the 2021 MacBook Pro logic board, including details and imagery of new ports.
Reports from both Bloomberg and Ming-Chi Kuo had previously indicated that the new MacBook Pro models would add additional ports. These documents make multiple references to codenames “J314” and “J316,” which Bloomberg has previously reported represent the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple Silicon inside.
Apple Hit By Ransomware
While we were all focused on Apple’s special event this week, the company was facing an unusual situation. The group behind the REvil ransomware claims to have confidential information about the engineering of Apple’s products, threatening the company for money in order to not release these files.
As reported by The Record, the team obtained such information after a data leak from Quanta Computer, a Taiwanese company that operates as one of Apple’s main factories. In a dark web forum, the REvil crew claims to have obtained internal engineering schematics of Apple devices such as MacBooks and Apple Watch, which are used by Quanta Computer to assemble the products.