This week was mostly about Apple gearing up for WWDC, but aside from the expected preparations like updating its apps and websites to stream the keynote and other sessions and beefing up other areas to support the first all-digital WWDC, Apple also cleared the decks a bit with a few launches including a new high-end graphics option for the 16-inch MacBook Pro, SSD kits for the Mac Pro, and the annual Back to School promotion.
Another big story this week was Apple’s rejection of apps for the new “Hey” email service, due to the developers refusing to include a payment option using Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism. The situation is leading to a more comprehensive discussion about what the rules for playing in the App Store should be more than a decade after the marketplace’s debut.
Check out our video above and read on below for more on this week’s biggest stories and to make sure you’re ready to go for WWDC on Monday!
What to Expect at WWDC 2020: New iMac, Custom Arm-Based Chip Unveiling, iOS 14, macOS 10.16, and More
In a world that could use a little excitement, WWDC 2020 is finally almost here. While the event will be held virtually this year, it will still be jam-packed with announcements, with everything from iOS 14 to a potential redesigned iMac. For a look at everything we expect or hope to see at Monday’s keynote, check out our overview guide!
Ahead of WWDC, Apple got the ball rolling this week by updating its Developer app and extending it to the Mac, announcing its Swift Student Challenge winners, launching its redesigned Developer Forums, and more.
Apple will live stream Monday’s WWDC keynote at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time through its website, the Apple Developer apps, the TV app on the Apple TV and other platforms, and on YouTube, but for those unable to watch, we’ll be covering the event on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
16-Inch MacBook Pro Now Available With Up to 75% Faster Radeon Pro 5600M Graphics
As a pre-WWDC treat, Apple has released a new high-end graphics option for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. For an extra $700, the notebook can now be configured with AMD Radeon Pro 5600M graphics with 8GB of HBM2 memory.
Apple says the 5600M graphics are up to 75% faster than the base 5300M option.
Apple has also released user-installable SSD storage upgrade kits for the Mac Pro, with 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB options available. Each kit contains two SSD modules, enabling users to upgrade the internal storage capacity of a Mac Pro themselves without needing to contact a service provider.
Apple Card Extends 0% Financing to Mac, iPad, and More
Previously limited to the iPhone, Apple Card Monthly Installments are now available for the Mac, iPad, AirPods, HomePod, Apple TV, and several accessories, including the Apple Pencil.
This program allows customers to purchase new Apple products and pay for them in 6-24 monthly installments without any interest charges.
Apple Card remains limited to the United States.
Apple Launches 2020 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase
Apple has launched its annual “Back to School” promotion in the United States and Canada, several weeks earlier than usual. This year, Apple is offering free second-generation AirPods with the purchase of an eligible new Mac or iPad.
During the checkout process, it is also possible to upgrade to second-generation AirPods with a wireless charging case for an additional $40 or to AirPods Pro for $90.
Phil Schiller: Apple Will Not Change Decision on ‘Hey’ Email App, No App Store Rule Updates Imminent
The App Store developer rules are back in the spotlight just ahead of WWDC, as controversy has erupted surrounding Apple’s rejection of the new “Hey” email service that refuses to implement subscriptions via Apple’s in-app purchase.
Apple is digging in its heels in noting that email apps like Hey don’t qualify for an exemption of the in-app purchase requirement, which is limited to “reader” apps for content services like Netflix and Spotify. The controversy is leading to a broader discussion about Apple’s App Store rules, the fees it charges, and more.
Alleged iPhone 12 Molds and CAD Images Show New iPad Pro-Style Design
Alleged molds and CAD images for Apple’s rumored iPhone 12 models suggest that the devices will have flat edges like recent iPad Pro models, as widely rumored. The return of this design would coincide with the 10th anniversary of the iPhone 4, which also featured a flat stainless steel frame.
There remains some debate as to whether the iPhone 12 models will feature a smaller notch, and exactly how many models will feature a LiDAR Scanner for augmented reality. It is also unclear whether the devices will be equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem for 5G, as widely rumored, or the Snapdragon X60 as one report has claimed.
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.