This week’s top stories: 2021 MacBook Pro rumors, MagSafe battery for iPhone 12, AirPods 3, more

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In this week’s top stories: AirPods 3 leaked images, more details on the 2021 MacBook Pro update, Apple takes action against a macOS malware, and more. Read on for all of this week’s top Apple Stories.

AirPods 3

AirPods 3 are rumored to offer an all-new design in the entry-level AirPods, similar to the AirPods Pro. The biggest change here is that this means AirPods 3 would feature an in-ear design, rather than resting on your ear like the current AirPods do.

Leaked images this week offered a potential real-world look at the redesigned AirPods 3. Check out our full coverage right here.

MagSafe battery for iPhone 12

Bloomberg reported last week that Apple is developing a new MagSafe battery pack accessory for the iPhone 12. This week, however, Anker beat Apple to market with its own MagSafe compatible battery pack for iPhone 12.

The new Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank features a 5,000mAh battery that can charge the iPhone 12 mini from 0 to 100% with a little to spare, the iPhone 12 from 0 to 95%, the iPhone 12 Pro from 0 to 97%, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max from 0 to 75%.

Whether or not Apple’s MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 ends up seeing the light of day remains to be seen, but the MagSafe-compatible Anker is available to order from today.

macOS malware

Last week, a piece of macOS malware was discovered in the wild with optimization for Apple Silicon. Silver Sparrow forces infected Macs to check a control server once per hour, and it includes a self-destruct mechanism, but researchers have yet to actually observe its malicious intent.

Apple this week took action to prevent further spread of Silver Sparrow by revoking the security certificates of the developer accounts used to sign the packages, which will prevent it from being installed on any further Macs.

MacBook Pro ports

Ming-Chi Kuo reported earlier this month that the new MacBook Pro models coming this year would feature additional I/O options compared to the current models. The analyst followed up on that report this week to be more specific. Kuo says that he expects Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro models to feature an HDMI port and an SD card slot. This is a significant change compared to the current MacBook Pro models, which feature exclusively Thunderbolt connectivity.

You can find our full expectations for the 2021 MacBook Pro update right here.

These and the rest of this week’s top stories below.

iOS |

iOS 14.5 makes zero-click exploits ‘significantly harder’ according to security researchers Apple updating the subscription sheet in iOS 14.5 with clearer pricing and trial information Apple confirms there will never be an Apple Music free tier

iPhone |

Anker beats Apple to market, new iPhone 12 MagSafe-compatible battery pack now available T-Mobile launches a real unlimited 5G plan with no throttling and 4K video streaming

Apple Watch |

Everything we know so far about Apple Watch Series 7 Apple Watch users can workout to unlock a virtual trophy on International Women’s Day

Mac |

Kuo: New form factor MacBook Pro to feature HDMI port and SD card slot Mysterious macOS malware discovered with M1 optimization, threat remains unclear M1 Mac users report excessive SSD usage, potentially affecting the component’s lifespan macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 released with fix for using MacBooks with ‘non-compliant’ USB-C hubs First M1 MacBook Pros now available from Apple Refurbished Store Apple begins selling first refurbished M1 MacBook Airs, save up to $250 Apple acts to prevent further spread of Silver Sparrow Mac malware Everything we know so far about 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro updates with Apple Silicon Rumor: Redesigned Apple Silicon iMac might be available in iPad Air-style colors Final Cut Pro subscription might be on the way as Apple updates trademark Opinion: 2021 MacBook Pro ports could be an IO dream or nightmare Apple now selling refurbished M1 Mac mini, some iMac models currently unavailable

iPad |

Should you buy the iPad Air or the 11-inch iPad Pro? More supply-chain evidence of upcoming mini-LED iPad Pro Chick-fil-A turns to iPads and FaceTime to help speed up drive-thrus

Top Apple stories, retail |

Apple Stores offering free sign language interpreter appointments Interactive: Explore the new Apple Cherry Creek in Denver Gallery: Apple Yeouido celebrates grand opening in Seoul Apple confirms MacArthur Center store in Norfolk will permanently close Fayette Mall Apple Store moving to The Summit at Fritz Farm Studio Dumbar shares animated map created by Today at Apple artists around the world Target launching new ‘Apple shopping destinations’ in stores and online COVID-19: Which Apple Stores have reopened?

Apple TV and AirPods |

Leaked images purportedly show new AirPods 3 with in-ear design and smaller case What to expect from the rumored AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 updates Apple TV+ Guide: Here are all the Apple TV shows and movies available now Belkin planning AirPlay 2 and HomeKit audio adapter for retrofitting smart features

Apps |

Spotify counters Apple Music with new HiFi tier, expands to 80 new markets, more These are the best iPhone apps for converting images and screenshots to text Twitter reveals ‘Super Follow’ paid service, new groups feature, more at Analyst Day event Are your ears good enough for Spotify HiFi? Take this test to find out Genius Scan for iPhone gets overhaul with next-gen AI, shadow removal, smart renaming

AAPL Company |

Will Apple hold a March event this year? Here’s everything we know right now US DOJ investigating antitrust complaints regarding the ‘Sign in with Apple’ button Apple tells Epic Games it doesn’t have Scott Forstall’s phone number Facebook’s new PR blitz touts benefits of personalized ads ahead of Apple’s privacy feature Apple begins showing repairability index for iPhones and Macs in France

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This week’s top videos |

The Rewind: M1 Mac mini diary – my favorite Apple product of the moment 2021 “M1X” Mac Leaks! – MacBook Pro w/ HDMI & Multi-colored iMacs

9to5Mac Daily |

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Sponsored by Appfigures: To get the latest scoop on the newest apps and games, sign up for the Appfigures ‘This Week in Apps’ newsletter right here.

9to5Mac Watch Time |

Jeff Benjamin joins Zac Hall to give Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 an exit interview before new models are announced. 9to5Mac Watch Time is a podcast series hosted by Zac Hall. In this series, we talk to real people about how Apple Watch is affecting their lives.

Sponsored by Pillow: Pillow is an all-in-one sleep tracking solution to help you get a better night’s sleep. Download it from the App Store today.

9to5Mac Happy Hour Podcast |

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Sponsored by Unite 4: Take any website and make a stand-alone app out of it. Get 20% off when you purchase Unite 4, go to https://bit.ly/3jfbuxW, and use promo code happyhour at checkout.

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Sponsored by Audible: Visit audible.com/9to5mac or text 9to5mac to 500-500 to start your 30 day trial.

Sponsored by TextExpander: Visit textexpander.com/podcast and select 9to5Mac Happy Hour to save 20% off your first year!

Stacktrace Podcast |

Stacktrace by 9to5Mac is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

Sponsored by Pillow: Pillow is an all-in-one sleep tracking solution to help you get a better night’s sleep. Download it from the App Store today.

Apple @ Work Podcast |

Apple @ Work by 9to5Mac is available on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, and via RSS for other podcast players.

Sponsored by Kandji: A modern, cloud-based platform for centrally managing and securing your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices, saving IT teams countless hours of manual work with features like one-click compliance templates and 150+ pre-built automations, apps, and workflows. Request access.

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