Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.

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Public betas are here!

Developers no longer have iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and tvOS 14 to themselves: on Thursday Apple rolled out the public betas for all three, so there's nothing stopping you from giving them a try. (Other than sensible concern that the buggy nature of pre-release software makes it unsuitable for your primary devices, of course.)

If you'd like take part, we offer detailed advice here:

Who knows, by the time you read this Apple may have found the time to release public betas for macOS Big Sur and watchOS 7 too. That second one is rather exciting, since Apple has never previously allowed the public access to a watchOS beta.

iPhone 12 special

Explosive revelations this week about the upcoming iPhone 12.

It's becoming increasingly clear that Apple is reconsidering the accessories bundled with the device; a giveaway survey, for example, shows that the company would like to leave out the charger and hopes customers will be able to provide their own.

A bigger clue, however, is this 3D render of the phone's box insert. Look closely: there is no space for a charger or headphones.

iPhone 12 box insert 3D render

Perhaps most controversial of all: an analyst reckons the iPhone 12 will be more expensive than the iPhone 11, despite the loss of those accessories. Maybe the inclusion of 5G and an OLED screen on the base model will console potential customers.

We've also seen photos comparing the expected 5.4in iPhone 12 model with current handsets.

News in brief

Tim Cook, having agreed to face questions over Apple's alleged violation of competition laws, has a date to put in his diary: he'll appear before the US antitrust committee on 27 July. His testimony will be streamed live on YouTube.

A consortium of European advertisers have criticised privacy features in iOS 14. They worry that users won't give their consent to be tracked.

While we're talking about Europeans, a number of consumer groups from that continent have demanded €60 per affected user in recompense for the Batterygate scandal.

Anders Lundberg has written a fascinating analysis piece, arguing that 'appification' - the shift towards universal app development across multiple platforms - represents a grave threat to the Mac. Marty Casserly, meanwhile, argues that Apple needs to offer a touchscreen Mac.

Despite ditching Intel's Mac processor (after a transition period), Apple is going to stick with Thunderbolt.

Apple's Back to School sale has kicked off in the UK. (It had already started in the US.)

More big-name apps have been caught copying data from iPhone clipboards. LinkedIn insists this was a bug, not an expected behaviour, and Reddit has promised to stop snooping.

Another week, another billionaire investor making a packet from Apple shares. This time it's Warren Buffett.

Bugs and problems

The big Apple security news recently has revolved around EvilQuest, a piece of Mac malware that encrypts your files then demands a ransom to unlock them. This week security researchers investigated the matter and concluded that it's actually the first Mac virus in over 20 years - the wonky ransomware elements appear to be a decoy for the real data-harvesting purpose.

Multiple iPhone owners have reported a battery-draining bug in iOS 13.5.1. The issue appears to relate to certain apps running in the background, even when they're not open.

Hundreds of apps crashed mysteriously for about half an hour on Friday.

Security researcher Csaba Fitzl has written about a troubling episode with a Mac bug that was spotted, disclosed to Apple, apparently patched and actually not fixed at all. The vulnerability allows standard accounts to read all files on the hard drive, even if they're covered by Catalina's privacy protection.

The rumour mill

iMac delivery times have slipped again, something which often indicates an imminent update. We said the same thing last month, admittedly, and nothing was announced - but while delivery estimates in June were 2-3 weeks, we're now looking at an astonishing 8-9 weeks.

Patent activity suggests, once again, that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone.

Not so much a rumour as an anti-rumour, this one, but here goes: respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says we won't get any new AirPods this year. He also thinks Apple will use the Pro case design for the vanilla AirPods when an update does arrive.

Telltale code in iOS 14 hints at QR code payments coming soon to Apple Pay.

Apple's applied for a patent on keyboards with glass-capped keys. The markings will be under the cap, instead of printed on top of it, so shouldn't wear away no matter how much you type.

And that's it for this week. Stay Appley!