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.
If you'd like to get regular roundups of breaking Apple news, sign up to our newsletters.
What's in the box? Just an iPhone 12
We've been hearing whispers of this for a while, but the evidence is mounting that the iPhone 12 won't come with headphones or a charger.
If this is true - and that remains a big if - it will cause a lot of anger among customers and potential customers, even though it really makes quite a lot of sense: by this stage most of us have an iPhone charger and a set of EarPods somewhere in our homes, and it's not very eco-friendly to keep bundling them anyway. Those who haven't got them to hand can buy them separately (which is extra cash, sure, but it sounds like this measure will help Apple keep the price of the phone down) or buy something better, like AirPods or a more powerful charger.
And besides, this move will enable Apple to design exquisite new boxes, and what's better than a smart new box? Nothing, that's what.
We've got lots more iPhone 12 speculation in the Rumour mill section.
Apple Silicon is here... unofficially
We know that Apple is switching from Intel chips in its Macs to an ARM-based alternative it will brand as Apple Silicon; we also know that the transition will take a while - most likely around two years, although the first ARM-based consumer Macs will start to appear around the end of this year.
But ARM Macs are already here, in the form of a special-edition A12Z-based Mac mini that Apple is making available to developers, so they can make sure their software is optimised for the new hardware. This has been handed out on the strict understanding that devs do not disclose speed testing scores to the general public; inevitably, the scores immediately leaked.
The scores are okay, but they're not great, for the simple reason that Geekbench for Mac is not a native app for Apple Silicon and everything is having to go through the Rosetta 2 translation layer. It's not really a fair test, in other words.
Which is why we wonder why Apple didn't get out in front of the story and publish its own speed numbers, together with an explanation of why they are comparatively low. Sometimes a policy of issuing boilerplate comment can leave you exposed by viral information.
Blame games at Apple Arcade
Sad news this week: Bloomberg reports that a number of Apple Arcade developers had their projects cancelled back in April, as Apple responded to disappointing subscriber numbers by trying to focus more on 'engagement', which appears to mean 'being like Grindstone'.
I've outlined my thoughts about this on Twitter, but will briefly recap them here: maybe it was idealistic, but at launch Arcade seemed to a lot of us like a potential cure for the malaise of cloning and financial cynicism that had spread across App Store gaming, and it's gutting to hear that a) it's not doing well and b) Apple now appears to be willing to compromise on what it was all about.
Because so many games were bundled under a single monthly fee, it was possible for some of them to be weird, artistically risky, maybe even political, rather than - as would be the case on the main store - having to worry about getting a certain number of people to spend a certain amount of time looking at adverts or buying IAPs. We don't know what exactly Apple defines as engagement, and of course Arcade doesn't have adverts or IAPs, but we hope the metrics the company uses to define success and failure are more to do with the quality of a game than the money it delivers.
By the way, and on a somewhat more positive note, we updated our grand ranking of every Apple Arcade game again this week, to include the new Beyond a Steel Sky. There are lots of glitches and we'd stay away for now, but in terms of look, writing, story, puzzles and more it's a wonderful game and we're sure will be worthy of recommendation soon.
News in brief
Tim Cook has agreed to face questions in the US House of Representatives over alleged violations of competition law. He'll be joined by Mark Zuckerberg and other tech bosses.
iOS 14 is brilliant at spotting threats to your privacy: namely, it highlights any time an app you're using copies data from your clipboard. TikTok famously came a cropper on this one, and has since promised to mend its ways; but that's the tip of the iceberg. A security researcher has found a stunning 53 apps - some of them major apps from respectable organisations - that snoop on your data.
Talking about OS updates, are you excited about macOS Big Sur? One of the less heralded changes is its support of APFS Time Machine backups, but this will make a big difference to a lot of Mac owners: the backups are likely to take up less space and you'll be able to locate files more quickly. Also, Big Sur will install updates more quickly; and take a look at the new-look icons.
Our man Anders Lundberg has argued that Apple Silicon represents the perfect opportunity for Apple to recapture the education market. And Samuel Nyberg has written a brilliant analysis of how the Apple Silicon announcement - along with changes in macOS Big Sur - points to the arrival of a Mac/iPad hybrid at last.
On the subject of platform hybridisation, Apple has been spotted testing macOS on an iPhone. Which is... peculiar.
Not to get all 'inside baseball' on you, but one of the most famous Apple leakers on the planet had a bad night at WWDC. We've written about how Jon Prosser can come back from his iPhoneOS error, and tried to give him a fun new nickname.
Facebook is rolling out a Dark Mode for its iPhone app, which should help you sleep better after late-night doomscrolling. How does Mark Zuckerberg sleep at night? The answer, of course, is on a bed made of money.
Apple's announced the winners of this year's Apple Design Awards. Sayonara Wild Hearts is a deserving winner, although we were rooting for Pilgrims to get something: it's one of the most beautiful games we've ever played.
Bugs and problems
Ransomware called Evilquest has been spotted spreading on the Mac via infected pirate copies of the legitimate program Little Snitch. It impersonates Google Software Update, encrypts your files, and then demands $50 in Bitcoin.
Fortunately, and slightly amusingly, the ransomware doesn't actually seem to work very well. The authors of the malware don't seem to be very familiar with Mac file structure.
In the latest of her popular articles, Karen Haslam discusses the new Apple products coming in July. There really is no rest for the wicked.
The iPhone 12 - or at least its Pro versions - will get a 120Hz screen, according to the latest iteration of this long-running rumour. Or, er, it might not. Separately, sources say it could be the first smartphone to offer 4K video at 240fps.
Oh, and the iPhone 12 looks like being delayed by 1-2 months. It could even be pushed back to 2021.
A mystery iMac has shown up in public Geekbench speed tests. Is this the clue to an imminent processor upgrade? Those 10th-gen Intel chips aren't going to install themselves - and yes, we'll still be getting Intel Macs for a while yet.
Ming-Chi Kuo says there will be a new 10.8in iPad this autumn, with a new 8.5in iPad mini a few months later. We thought you'd retired, Ming-Chi? Guess you couldn't stay away.
And that's it for this week. Stay Appley!