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Top Stories: Apple Silicon Macs, macOS Big Sur, iPhone 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max Launch

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Well that was quite the jam-packed week of Apple news, wasn't it? From a media event on Tuesday where Apple unveiled three new Macs based on the brand-new custom M1 chip to the release of macOS Big Sur on Thursday and the release of two new iPhones on Friday, this week had it all.



Next week is shaping up to be another busy one as well, with HomePod mini deliveries beginning and the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models making their way into customers' hands, but before we get to that, take a breath and read on below for details on everything that happened this week.
Everything Announced at Tuesday's Apple Event in 6 Minutes

Apple on Tuesday held its third virtual media event in as many months, this time focusing on the Mac. As expected, Apple introduced the first Macs based on Apple Silicon in the form of the new M1 chip.



The M1 arrived in three different machines this week, including the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. All of the new machines are available to order now, with availability starting next Tuesday, November 17. Apple also continues to offer Intel-based configurations of the higher-end 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini.

Apple's event was an efficient one, clocking in at under an hour, but we also boiled it down to just a six-minute summary, so make sure to check out our video recap and links to all of our coverage from the event.

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur With Fresh Design, Control Center, Safari Privacy Report, Messages Updates, Maps Overhaul and More

In the wake of Tuesday's event, Apple on Thursday finally released macOS Big Sur to the public, bringing a new look and a host of new features to macOS.



The launch did not come without hiccups, however, as Apple's servers appear to have crumbled following the launch, halting downloads of Big Sur and even preventing some third-party Mac apps from launching due to Apple's Gatekeeper service being down.

The craziness has settled down, so once you've been able to get macOS Big Sur installed, be sure to check out our features guide and our more detailed roundup with all of the details. We've also got a great list of 50 tips and tricks to get you started on macOS Big Sur.

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

It didn't take long for the first benchmark results to show up for Apple's new Macs with the M1 chip, and those results are looking impressive.



With a multi-core score well over 7,000 on Geekbench 5, the new MacBook Air manages to outperform even the highest-end 16-inch MacBook Pro with Intel's 9th-generation Core i9 processor.

Benchmark results have also surfaced for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini, showing very similar performance, which is to be expected given that the M1 chip has virtually identical tech specs in all three machines beyond the lowest-end MacBook Air configuration having a 7-core rather than 8-core GPU.

If you need help deciding between the new MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip, we've put together a helpful buyer's guide.

Hands-On With the New iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini

It was easy to lose track given all of the news surrounding Apple's Mac event this week, but this week also saw the launch of two new iPhone models, the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.


Advance media reviews of both the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max have been positive, although some reviewers have some concerns about limited battery life on Apple's smallest flagship phone. We of course have our own hands-on overview of both of the new phones, and we'll have more coverage next week once we've some more time to spend with them.

What's New in iOS 14.3: ProRAW Support for iPhone 12 Pro, Cardio Fitness Features, and More

Apple released the first iOS 14.3 beta on Thursday, and MacRumors was able to dig into the software update and make some discoveries.



Specifically, iOS 14.3 introduces support for Apple's new ProRAW image format on iPhone 12 Pro models, the beginnings of support for a new cardio fitness feature for Apple Watch, functional QR codes for App Clips, and more.

The update also includes an icon that may hint at the design of Apple's rumored over-ear AirPods Studio headphones, appears to be preparing to support third-party Bluetooth item trackers in the Find My app, and may begin suggesting third-party apps to users during a device's setup process in certain countries.

Apple also released the first betas of watchOS 7.2 and tvOS 14.3.

Future Apple Silicon Macs Rumored to Include Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro, 24-Inch iMac, and Smaller Mac Pro

Following its event on Tuesday, Apple reiterated that the transition to Apple Silicon across the Mac lineup will take about two years to be completed.



Apple did not reveal which Macs will be getting M-series chips next, but based on rumors, we can expect redesigned 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac, and smaller Mac Pro models, with at least some of those models expected to launch in 2021.

At WWDC 2020 in June, Apple also said that it still had exciting new Intel-based Macs in development in the interim, but it's unclear if that will extend beyond the updated 27-inch iMac released in August.

Watch: HomePod Mini Reviews, Sound Quality Tests, and Unboxing Videos

Amid a very busy week for Apple, the first reviews and unboxing videos have been shared for the HomePod mini, with many media outlets and YouTubers finding that the speaker delivers "big sound" despite its compact design.



Priced at $99, the speaker is available to order in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Spain, and the U.K. Orders will begin in China, Mexico, and Taiwan later this year.

HomePod mini will begin arriving to customers on Monday, November 16.
MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Article Link: Top Stories: Apple Silicon Macs, macOS Big Sur, iPhone 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max Launch
 
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iBluetooth

macrumors 6502
Mar 29, 2016
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It's amazing how Apple managed to make a SoC outperforming Intel by leaps, even when using much less energy. I feel like 386 -> 486 -> Pentium era again, when your new computer would impress you with all the speed-gains!
 
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4jasontv

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Jul 31, 2011
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I have waited to get a new Mac mini but the limited RAM and lack of high speed networking is a real killer. So is the lack of an egpu. I wanted a Mac mini to go under my desk that was low power enough to run a devonthink server but could scale up do some decent rendering when necessary.

They still have the old Mac mini, with an even old intel chip.
 
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StellarVixen

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Mar 1, 2018
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What are future possibilities with the ARM? We are already at 5nm, and next is 3 I heard. How long until we hit the ceiling with classical computers?
 
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jumpcutking

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2020
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I am excited about all the new Apple releases. I may be gifting HomePods to all My family. However my first day with the iPhone 12 pro max - on wifi not 5g - found the battery life less than what iPhone 11 Pro max users in my industry experienced. Some were able to get 3 days before having to charge their phone. The iPhone pro max is still all day battery life but... it’s sad. Initial testing may prove about a day and a half.

I need that larger Mac Pro with Apple silicon please. Just saying. But I want to know how the graphics card stacks with Adobe After Effects.
 
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Populus

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Aug 24, 2012
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In my humble opinion, we may see new M1X chips for the beefier macs, such as the iMac and the MacBook Pro 16”. Also, the iMac Pro is slowly losing its place on the lineup, unless we see a regular iMac with the fanless M1 (like the MBA), and a more powerful iMac Pro with active cooling. But honestly, I would go with just one iMac to simplify the lineup.
 
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dakwar

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Nov 2, 2010
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Excited to try out the HomePod mini. The biggie has amazing sound! If the mini can deliver even half the sound quality, ... absolute game changer.
 
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Darth Tulhu

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2019
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The issue of only two monitor support (including the built-in screen) is disappointing.

I can always get a single giant monitor, but I can see that the list of compromises is stacking up.
 
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Freeangel1

macrumors 6502
Jan 13, 2020
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when will Big Sur be available to download on the APPLE OS download site?
Its 12GB in size. I got 3 Macs to update. wanna just download once and keep it on a portable drive to connect to other Macs and update.
 
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Realityck

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2015
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I thought this was a great week for Mac Rumors members - M1 based laptops and Mac mini , all those released software updates from Apple, and a lot of news as developers announce M1 updated software. Hands on with the iPhones 12, and next week should see hands on with M1 Macs. 👍
 
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sideshowuniqueuser

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Mar 20, 2016
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The issue of only two monitor support (including the built-in screen) is disappointing.

I can always get a single giant monitor, but I can see that the list of compromises is stacking up.
Calm down, this is obviously the first, low-end chip. It's the quickest to make, because it seems to be basically the upcoming iPad Pro chip but with added support for a couple of thunderbolt ports etc. And it's self-evidently aimed at the MBA, low end MBP, and low-end Mini. Next to come will be at least one high end chip, the first rumoured with 12 cores, aimed at the higher end MBP, iMac, and possibly Mac Pro. One would expect greater connectivity such as more ports and more screens. And possibly another even higher end chip with maybe more cores and connectivity to additional external RAM, SSD, and graphics cards, thus suitable for the Mac Pro. Apple did already state they will replace the entire Mac line up with Apple Silicon, so there is no way they can do that with only the M1 chip.
 
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sideshowuniqueuser

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I have waited to get a new Mac mini but the limited RAM and lack of high speed networking is a real killer. So is the lack of an egpu. I wanted a Mac mini to go under my desk that was low power enough to run a devonthink server but could scale up do some decent rendering when necessary.

They still have the old Mac mini, with an even old intel chip.
Quite obviously, by the fact there is still a higher end Intel Mini available for sale, just like the higher end MBPs are still Intel, there will be another AS Mini to come when the higher end chip is released. And quite obviously this new chip will have greater ports, RAM, SSD, and graphics options than the low end M1. Have a bit of patience, the rumours are for early next year sometime. And by then most of the software compatibility and OS issues will be ironed out. Good things to come, fingers crossed there aren't any major Apple-esque quality control issues.
 
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steve333

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2008
946
629
There is an annoying delay before bookmarks scroll down.
Do not like the look of Big Sur at all, the icons are ugly especially Safari and Music and I don't like how everything flows together on the scroll bars and top of Safari and the Desktop. Better get used to it I guess
 
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4jasontv

macrumors 68040
Jul 31, 2011
3,791
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Quite obviously, by the fact there is still a higher end Intel Mini available for sale, just like the higher end MBPs are still Intel, there will be another AS Mini to come when the higher end chip is released. And quite obviously this new chip will have greater ports, RAM, SSD, and graphics options than the low end M1. Have a bit of patience, the rumours are for early next year sometime. And by then most of the software compatibility and OS issues will be ironed out. Good things to come, fingers crossed there aren't any major Apple-esque quality control issues.
I mean, I don't have much options but to wait. I can't buy an intel chip that's 3 generations old even with a substantial discount - which we don't have.
 
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Darth Tulhu

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2019
1,008
1,454
Calm down, this is obviously the first, low-end chip. It's the quickest to make, because it seems to be basically the upcoming iPad Pro chip but with added support for a couple of thunderbolt ports etc. And it's self-evidently aimed at the MBA, low end MBP, and low-end Mini. Next to come will be at least one high end chip, the first rumoured with 12 cores, aimed at the higher end MBP, iMac, and possibly Mac Pro. One would expect greater connectivity such as more ports and more screens. And possibly another even higher end chip with maybe more cores and connectivity to additional external RAM, SSD, and graphics cards, thus suitable for the Mac Pro. Apple did already state they will replace the entire Mac line up with Apple Silicon, so there is no way they can do that with only the M1 chip.
This is all irrelevant. The Intel machines don't have this issue TODAY.

We're at least A YEAR out before the multiple monitor issue is addressed, if Apple even decides to address it at all.

So the decision here (for those whom multiple-monitor support is a factor) is to suck it up for the life of your device ownership, or wait it out.

Given how long Apple took to fix those damn keyboards, this is not something that can be apologized away.
 
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