This week’s top stories: AirPods 2, iOS 12.2 beta, MacBook Pro ‘stage light fault,’ more

In this week’s top stories: AirPods 2 rumors and speculation, Facebook plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger chats, Apple trims its Project Titan staff, and more. Read on for all of this week’s best stories.

Apple this week released first beta of iOS 12.2 to developers. The update includes several notable changes, and lays groundwork for two future features. We found evidence of Apple’s upcoming Apple News subscription in the update, as well as images for ‘Hey Siri’ setup for AirPods 2.

Further, Digitimes reported on Wednesday that AirPods 2 will launch during the first half of 2019 and support new “health monitoring” features. In order to accommodate those new health capabilities, AirPods 2 will purportedly be redesigned, but we don’t know much more at this point.

A report from The New York Times on Friday said that Facebook plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger chats. This means a WhatsApp user would be able to start a chat with an Instagram user, or a Messenger user could send an end-to-end encrypted message to a WhatsApp user.

As rumors of a new iPad mini 5 and 10-inch iPad continue to swirl, Apple this week registered a handful of new iPads with a Eurasian regulatory database. Further, iOS 12.2 includes references to new iPad and iPod touch models, suggesting a launch is relatively close.

CNBC reported this week that Apple has dismissed over 200 staff members from its Project Titan autonomous vehicle department. An Apple spokesperson acknowledged the changes in a statement, but attributed them to staff restructuring rather than layoffs.

Lastly, a Wall Street Journal report said that Apple will drop LCD screens from its iPhone lineup entirely in 2020. This would mean that all new iPhones feature OLED, enabling “a more flexible handset design,” according to the report.

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

iOS | macOS | tvOS | watchOS |

iPhone |

Mac + iPad |

Top Apple stories, retail |

Apps |

Apple Watch |

AirPods |

Top Apple stories, company |

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This week’s top videos |

Happy Hour Podcast #209 |

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss their hands-on experience with Apple’s new Smart Battery Cases for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, new places where Apple Pay is accepted, Apple’s first-ever ‘Shot on iPhone’ contest, the latest iPhone 11 and beyond rumors, and much more..

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.

Making The Grade |

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.

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Featured in top image: Dell 38-inch UltraSharp Curved Monitors, Grovemade’s Desk Shelf System, Nixie Tube Clock, Apogee Quartet, KRK VXT6 Studio Monitor speakers, Classicbot Classic Vintage Mac Toy. Read about the setup over on 9to5Toys as part of the ‘Behind the Screens’ series. 


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