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Top Stories: New MacBook Air, iOS 17.4 Released, and More

We heard some last-minute rumblings that an Apple product launch might be coming this week, and indeed it did with the debut of new MacBook Air models based on Apple’s M3 chip.

Alongside the new MacBook Air, we got the usual spring refresh with new Apple Watch band and iPhone case colors, while this week also saw the release of iOS 17.4 and related operating system updates, so read on below for details on these stories and more!

Apple Announces New MacBook Air Models With M3 Chip

Apple this week updated the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air with several new features, including the M3 chip for faster performance, Wi-Fi 6E support, expanded external display support, an anti-fingerprint seal on the Midnight finish, and microphone improvements.

Apple MacBook Air 2 up hero 240304 feature
The new MacBook Air models became available to order immediately after the announcement on Monday, with a launch following on Friday, March 8. Apple has discontinued the 13-inch MacBook Air with the M1 chip and the 15-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip as part of this refresh, while the 13-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip now starts at $999 in the U.S.

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The first reviews and unboxing videos for the new MacBook Air were published just ahead of the launch, and we’ve gone hands-on with the machine ourselves for some early impressions.

14-Inch MacBook Pro With M3 Chip to Get Multi-Display Support With Software Update

The new MacBook Air models support two external displays when the laptop’s lid is closed. Previous models were officially limited to one external display, although DisplayLink adapters allow for more.

m3 macbook pro new blue
Apple has confirmed that the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 chip will also gain support for up to two external displays with a software update. As with the MacBook Air, the laptop’s lid will need to be closed to use a second display.

Apple Releases iOS 17.4 With EU App Changes, New Emoji, Podcast Transcripts, and More

Apple this week released iOS 17.4 for the iPhone following over a month of beta testing.

iOS 17
iOS 17.4 include major App Store, Safari, and Apple Pay changes in the EU, as a result of the Digital Markets Act. Other key new features include Apple Podcasts transcripts, an iMessage security upgrade, new emoji, and Apple Cash virtual card numbers. The update also further prepares for the launch of next-generation CarPlay this year.

Later in the week, Apple released macOS Sonoma 14.4, watchOS 10.4, tvOS 17.4, HomePod software 17.4, and visionOS 1.1.

Apple Refreshes iPhone Case and Apple Watch Band Colors

As it does on a seasonal basis, Apple this week updated some of the colors available for select iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands.

3 4 24 iPhone Case Refresh Feature
For example, Apple’s Silicone Case with MagSafe for ‌iPhone‌ is now available in new Soft Mint, Sunshine, Light Blue, and Pink color options.

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Apple has yet to announce a new color option for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, and it’s unclear if it has any plans to.

EU Fines Apple $2 Billion for Anti-Competitive Behavior Toward Spotify

The European Commission this week levied a significant fine of nearly $2 billion against Apple due to alleged anti-competitive behavior towards Spotify.

App Store vs EU Feature 2
In response, Apple said EU officials failed to “uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm,” and said its decision “ignores the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive, and growing fast.”

Spotify said the decision “marks an important moment in the fight for a more open internet for consumers.”

Apple to Let EU iPhone Users Delete Safari and More Easily Transition to Android

Apple already introduced several changes to the App Store and more on iOS 17.4 in the EU, in response to the Digital Markets Act.

transfer to android
Now, Apple has shared additional plans. For example, the company will allow iPhone users in the EU to delete the Safari app and to more easily transition from an iPhone to an Android smartphone. More specific details about these plans will be released at a later time.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we’ve covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

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My lisa Nichols is an accomplished article writer with a flair for crafting engaging and informative content. With a deep curiosity for various subjects and a dedication to thorough research, lisa Nichols brings a unique blend of creativity and accuracy to every piece

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