Top Stories: “Thinner and Lighter” MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13, iOS 14.4 Coming

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

This week also saw rumors of the iPhone 13 getting a smaller notch and Apple is almost ready to release a number of OS updates including iOS 14.4 and macOS 11.2, as Release Candidate versions of all updates have been sent to developers and other testers this week. Read on for details on all of these stories from last week!

Apple is working on ‘thinner and lighter’ high-end MacBook Air with MagSafe, may launch in second half of 2021

Following last Friday’s spate of rumors, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman came out with a new report this week sharing some more details on Apple’s product plans. Notably, Gurman says Apple is working on a thinner and lighter MacBook Air that could be launched later this year or next year. The new MacBook Air will include an updated Apple silicon chip, MagSafe charging, and perhaps a smaller body enabled by shrinking 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 has reportedly considered making a 15-inch version of the MacBook Air to move forward with the popular 13-inch size, but has chosen not to move forward with the model, at least for the next generation.

IPhone 13 is rumored to have a 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 says Apple plans to extend optical sensor-shift image stabilization to the entire iPhone 13 range, compared to just the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models. The technology stabilizes the camera sensor instead of individual lenses for even greater image stabilization. Together with a larger sensor, users can expect even better photo quality.

Earlier this month, DigiTimes reported that the LiDAR scanner will also be rolled out across the entire iPhone 13 lineup, while mmWave 5G is expected to be available on iPhone 13 models sold outside the US.

Face ID for iMac likely postponed to the second iteration of the next redesign

Gurman also shared that while Apple worked on developing Face ID technology for its line of Macs and was planning to introduce it in the next redesigned iMac it discussed last week, Apple has decided not to include it in the initial release.

It also claims Apple has tested the cellular connectivity offering for its Mac lineup, but it looks like it won’t be coming anytime soon.

Next MacBook Pro with SD card reader

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

This week’s report exposes this claim a bit, specifically stating that 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 use directly. cards in their Macs without the need for a separate card reader.

iOS 14.4 Release Candidate now available

This week Apple launched the Release Candidate version of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to public developers and beta testers. This version should reflect the final version of the upcoming software updates.

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 cannot be verified as a new original Apple camera on iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and there are many more. bug fixes. The update also improves Handoff functionality with HomePod mini.

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

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