This week’s top stories: Apple Maps overhaul, new AirPods & HomePod in 2019, iOS 12 public beta, more

In this week’s top stories: A hands-on comparison between the new Huawei MateBook X Pro and the MacBook Pro, everything we know about the iPhone X Plus, Apple’s plans to rebuild Apple Maps, and more. Read on for all of this week’s biggest stories…

Apple kicked off the week by releasing the first public beta of iOS 12. This release comes after two releases that were exclusive to developers and allows anyone to try out the latest iOS features ahead of iOS 12’s general release this fall. Apple also released the first public betas of tvOS 12, as well macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Apple has big plans for its audio accessories in the coming year. The company is said to have a ‘pro’ version of AirPods planned for 2019 with better noise-cancellation and water-resistance. Furthermore, Apple’s over-ear wireless headphones are also said to be coming next year, as will a second-generation HomePod.

On Friday, a report detailed Apple’s plans to rebuild Apple Maps from the ground up. Eddy Cue explained that Apple has made a “huge investment” in the platform and is now focused on “building the best map app in the world” using its own first-party mapping data, as opposed to bringing in data from a service like TomTom.

Last but not least, reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was out with a new investor note this week offering some additional details on Apple’s upcoming products. He noted that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will likely be priced between $600 and $700, and that Apple has a new Apple Watch in the works for this year, as well as iPad Pro models with Face ID.

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

This week Benjamin and Zac talk about the risks and benefits of iOS 12 and macOS Mojave public betas, 9to5Mac’s Sonos Beam smart soundbar review, AirPlay 2 speakers, Apple’s surprise MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboard repair program, rumors about new AirPods and over-ear headphones from Apple, a possible explanation for AirPower not launching yet, Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest predictions, and the end of the Apple Watch Modern Buckle.

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.

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.

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.

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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