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Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

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We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned.


This week also saw rumors about the iPhone 13 getting a smaller notch, and Apple is just about ready to unleash a set of operating system updates including iOS 14.4 and macOS 11.2, as Release Candidate versions of all of the updates were pushed out to developers and other testers this week. Read on for details on all of these stories from the past week!

Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Following up on last Friday's batch of rumors, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman came out with a new report this week sharing a few more details on Apple's product plans. Most notably, Gurman says that Apple is working on a thinner and lighter MacBook Air that could launch later this year or sometime next year. The new MacBook Air will include an updated Apple silicon chip, MagSafe charging, and perhaps a smaller body enabled by shrinking the display bezels.


The redesigned MacBook Air is said to be a high-end model that will be sold alongside cheaper models that continue to use the current design. Apple reportedly considered making a 15-inch version of the MacBook Air to go along with the popular 13-inch size, but has opted not to move forward with the model, at least for the next generation.

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization on All Models

Apple plans to combine various Face ID components into one module to allow for at least a slightly smaller notch on iPhone 13 models, according to DigiTimes.


The same report claims that Apple plans to extend sensor-shift optical image stabilization to the entire iPhone 13 lineup, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models. The technology stabilizes the camera's sensor instead of individual lenses for even greater image stabilization. Coupled with a larger sensor, users can expect even better photo quality.

Earlier this month, DigiTimes reported that the LiDAR Scanner will also be expanded to the entire iPhone 13 lineup, while mmWave 5G is expected to become available on iPhone 13 models sold outside of the United States.

Face ID for iMac Likely Pushed Back to Second Iteration of Upcoming Redesign

Gurman also shared that while Apple has been working on developing Face ID technology for its Mac lineup and was planning to introduce it in the upcoming redesigned iMac he discussed last week, Apple has decided not to include it in the initial version.


In addition, he says that Apple has tested offering cellular connectivity for its Mac lineup, but it sounds like that's not coming soon either.

Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Redesigned MacBook Pro models are also in the works, as reported by Bloomberg last week, and one of the tidbits from that initial report was that the new designs will include more ports than the current models.


This week's report expounds upon that claim a bit, specifically claiming that the new MacBook Pro models will include the return of an SD card slot, making it easier for photographers and other users of the popular removable storage standard to directly use the cards in their Macs without the need for a separate card reader.

iOS 14.4 Release Candidate Now Available

Apple this week seeded the Release Candidate version of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to developers and public beta testers. This version should mirror the final release of the software updates coming soon.


iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 are relatively minor updates. Apple's release notes confirm that iOS 14.4 introduces a notification for when the camera is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera on the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and there are several other bug fixes. The update also enhances Handoff functionality with the HomePod mini.

Apple has also seeded Release Candidate versions of macOS 11.2, watchOS 7.3, and tvOS 14.4 for testing. All of the software updates should be released to the public in the near future.

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: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming
 

acblue94

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We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned.


This week also saw rumors about the iPhone 13 getting a smaller notch, and Apple is just about ready to unleash a set of operating system updates including iOS 14.4 and macOS 11.2, as Release Candidate versions of all of the updates were pushed out to developers and other testers this week. Read on for details on all of these stories from the past week!

Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Following up on last Friday's batch of rumors, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman came out with a new report this week sharing a few more details on Apple's product plans. Most notably, Gurman says that Apple is working on a thinner and lighter MacBook Air that could launch later this year or sometime next year. The new MacBook Air will include an updated Apple silicon chip, MagSafe charging, and perhaps a smaller body enabled by shrinking the display bezels.


The redesigned MacBook Air is said to be a high-end model that will be sold alongside cheaper models that continue to use the current design. Apple reportedly considered making a 15-inch version of the MacBook Air to go along with the popular 13-inch size, but has opted not to move forward with the model, at least for the next generation.

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization on All Models

Apple plans to combine various Face ID components into one module to allow for at least a slightly smaller notch on iPhone 13 models, according to DigiTimes.


The same report claims that Apple plans to extend sensor-shift optical image stabilization to the entire iPhone 13 lineup, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models. The technology stabilizes the camera's sensor instead of individual lenses for even greater image stabilization. Coupled with a larger sensor, users can expect even better photo quality.

Earlier this month, DigiTimes reported that the LiDAR Scanner will also be expanded to the entire iPhone 13 lineup, while mmWave 5G is expected to become available on iPhone 13 models sold outside of the United States.

Face ID for iMac Likely Pushed Back to Second Iteration of Upcoming Redesign

Gurman also shared that while Apple has been working on developing Face ID technology for its Mac lineup and was planning to introduce it in the upcoming redesigned iMac he discussed last week, Apple has decided not to include it in the initial version.


In addition, he says that Apple has tested offering cellular connectivity for its Mac lineup, but it sounds like that's not coming soon either.

Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Redesigned MacBook Pro models are also in the works, as reported by Bloomberg last week, and one of the tidbits from that initial report was that the new designs will include more ports than the current models.


This week's report expounds upon that claim a bit, specifically claiming that the new MacBook Pro models will include the return of an SD card slot, making it easier for photographers and other users of the popular removable storage standard to directly use the cards in their Macs without the need for a separate card reader.

iOS 14.4 Release Candidate Now Available

Apple this week seeded the Release Candidate version of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to developers and public beta testers. This version should mirror the final release of the software updates coming soon.


iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 are relatively minor updates. Apple's release notes confirm that iOS 14.4 introduces a notification for when the camera is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera on the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and there are several other bug fixes. The update also enhances Handoff functionality with the HomePod mini.

Apple has also seeded Release Candidate versions of macOS 11.2, watchOS 7.3, and tvOS 14.4 for testing. All of the software updates should be released to the public in the near future.

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: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming
Bring the Touch Bar. I don’t understand why Apple can’t give the option of having the F keys “always on” for those that dislike the Touch Bar. Make both sides happy at the same time. Didn’t realize so many people depend on the F keys.
 
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antonypg

macrumors member
May 8, 2008
77
22
Every rumour seems to say "Thinner and Lighter". I don't mind laptops being lighter, although it can make them difficult to open.

I would like to see a few more standard ports being fitted, including USB-A and an SD card reader, plus the return of MagSafe. Even an Ethernet port would be handy. If this makes the machine thicker, then that's OK with me. Maybe they can then fit a better keyboard and a bigger battery.
 
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applicious84

macrumors regular
Sep 1, 2020
216
505
Bring the Touch Bar. I don’t understand why Apple can’t give the option of having the F keys “always on” for those that dislike the Touch Bar. Make both sides happy at the same time. Didn’t realize so many people depend on the F keys.
It's because they're tactile. If they really had to find a way, they might add dynamic oled displays to each key, and let them change for each app, while allowing them to be fixed for people who depend on them in settings. It's still a compromise from the old touch bar, but it's sooo much more useful for people who depend on those function keys.
 
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duanepatrick

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2019
241
114
That MacBook air is so thin that it looks so fragile.

And I am still hoping for a notch-less phone from Apple or maybe a big improvement like M1 processor last year.
 
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Eggtastic

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2009
804
468
NJ
I will be pissed if they decide to shrink the notch this time around vs. just doing it for the 12 series.

I am ready for the 14" mbp though and despite the criticism I do hope the touch bar remains lol.
 
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Darth Tulhu

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2019
1,041
1,495
It would be really nice for the notch to be reduced/eliminated at some point, but after using my iPhone 12 Pro for a couple of weeks (coming from a Note 8) I can say that I don't even notice it anymore. It's like going nose blind to something stank in the room. ;)

As far as the other products, I'm disappointed that they're going with the whole "the redesigned model is now the upmarket version" on the MacBook Air, just like they did with the AirPods and iPads.

And why is it taking Apple so long to put cellular or even FaceID on their Macs??? I figure it's the usual "next year's upgrade feature" they always do.

Gotta keep them waiting more, right?

Damn it.
 
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x-evil-x

macrumors 603
Jul 13, 2008
5,098
2,751
It would be really nice for the notch to be reduced/eliminated at some point, but after using my iPhone 12 Pro for a couple of weeks (coming from a Note 8) I can say that I don't even notice it anymore. It's like going nose blind to something stank in the room. ;)

As far as the other products, I'm disappointed that they're going with the whole "the redesigned model is now the upmarket version" on the MacBook Air, just like they did with the AirPods and iPads.

And why is it taking Apple so long to put cellular or even FaceID on their Macs??? I figure it's the usual "next year's upgrade feature" they always do.

Gotta keep them waiting more, right?

Damn it.
how do you not notice it when you watch video turned sideways? Its a livable solution but its far far from great. The notch also cuts into the ui so you are really not getting all the screen we could be getting. Safari has a small top bar under the notch and the whole top section is pulled down just because of the notch.
Ive lived with it since the x. But id be very happy when its gone. Dont care for faceid anymore either it was cool for a few months then realized how bad it is compared to Touch ID.
 
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Cape Dave

macrumors 68000
Nov 16, 2012
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how do you not notice it when you watch video turned sideways? Its a livable solution but its far far from great. The notch also cuts into the ui so you are really not getting all the screen we could be getting. Safari has a small top bar under the notch and the whole top section is pulled down just because of the notch.
Ive lived with it since the x. But id be very happy when its gone. Dont care for faceid anymore either it was cool for a few months then realized how bad it is compared to Touch ID.
I agree. I miss touchID. I will buy the 13 to get fingerprints back!
 
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cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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Bring the Touch Bar. I don’t understand why Apple can’t give the option of having the F keys “always on” for those that dislike the Touch Bar. Make both sides happy at the same time. Didn’t realize so many people depend on the F keys.
That doesn’t solve the problem for anyone. The issue isn’t that the f-keys are not available. It’s that they offer no tactile feedback and are not raised, and do not require pressure. So touch typists accidentally trigger them, and less skilled touch typists can’t be sure they are hitting the right one - because you aren’t supposed to look at the keyboard when you are typing.
 
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x-evil-x

macrumors 603
Jul 13, 2008
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I agree. I miss touchID. I will buy the 13 to get fingerprints back!
apples solution to more screen but they must of known that over time people will want Touch ID and full screen phone. It was a way to sell future phones imo.
Also the reason they left out Touch ID in the 12's was to sell them to people that don't need to upgrade in a year.
Seriously should of been released with the pandemic they have the parts available from the iPads for touchid but they put it off to sell more phones this year when they add it back.
All about money and getting people to upgrade for little things like removing the notch and adding touchid back into the phone.
 
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Successful Sorcerer

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2019
112
31
Just kill the touchbar already. It is one reason I bought an M1 Air.

Adding a usb-a, hdmi, sd slot, and magsafe the MBP would be ideal, but hard to believe it will happen, no matter how practical they would be for a lot of people.
Come on, I get it some older devices still use usb-a but the last few years it's all been usb-c. It's a much more versatile connection. And you can also buy a new usb cable for a few dollars if you use a device a lot. There is a ... to usb-c cable for almost everything. Also hdmi <-> usb-c. I've got usb-c cables for all devices for very little money and would hate it if they'd go back to all the different ports. There isn't an easy alternative to sd yet and wireless image transfer is still too slow on all cameras I used so I'd like that as well.
 
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Madhatter32

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2020
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Bring the Touch Bar. I don’t understand why Apple can’t give the option of having the F keys “always on” for those that dislike the Touch Bar. Make both sides happy at the same time. Didn’t realize so many people depend on the F keys.
Don't feel too bad. Apple didn't realize it either and its their business.
 
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Madhatter32

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2020
286
906
That MacBook air is so thin that it looks so fragile.

And I am still hoping for a notch-less phone from Apple or maybe a big improvement like M1 processor last year.
Yes, a notch-less iPhone would be a significant improvement.
 
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mi7chy

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2014
7,306
8,244
Prefer no notch but I'll settle for V notch. Squared edges worked on the iPhone 4/4S because they were tiny devices but not a fan of it on larger phones since it digs into hand. Also, too rounded corners don't look as nice. Fix all those design issues along with camera upgrades and I'll buy one.
 
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