This week saw a solid mix of Apple news and rumors, including the release of iOS 16.5 and associated software upgrades, the Beats Studio Buds + earbuds, and an early mention of Apple’s forthcoming accessibility improvements.

On the rumor front, we learned a bit more about what to expect with the iPhone 15 lineup and the M3 family of Mac and iPad chips later this year, but the Apple headset is the main focus of attention in the lead-up to WWDC in a few weeks, so read on for all the details on these stories and more!

Apple Releases iOS 16.5 and iPadOS 16.5 With Sports Tab in Apple News, Bug Fixes and More

Apple released iOS 16.5 to the public this week, after almost two months of beta testing, bringing some sports-related upgrades to Apple News, a new Pride Celebration wallpaper, and many bug fixes.

It’s a minor update as iOS 16 development winds down ahead of the iOS 17 unveiling at WWDC next month, but we’ll see at least one more iOS 16 update before the public release of iOS 17 in September, as Apple has seeded initial betas of iOS 16.6 and related updates for testing.

The capabilities of Apple’s headset are said to ‘far exceed’ those of rival devices.

With an announcement at WWDC in just a few weeks, reports regarding Apple’s AR/VR headset are circulating, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that its capabilities will “far exceed” those of competing products.

Other sources, however, are more hesitant, with Bloomberg stating that senior Apple officials like as Tim Cook and Craig Federighi have mainly stayed away from the project during its development, raising the issue of whether Apple is completely behind it.

Beats Studio Buds Plus with Improved Performance and Transparent Design for $169.99

Beats Studio Buds Plus

Apple’s Beats brand launched the Beats Studio Buds + earbuds this week, in one of the worst-kept secrets that has witnessed repeated leaks in recent months.

In comparison to their predecessors, the new $170 earphones feature increased performance, longer battery life, and an eye-catching new Transparent color option. They are already accessible in the United States, Canada, and China, with other nations to come in the following months.

Studio Buds Plus also improve on fit, with a new extra-small eartip option joining the current small, medium, and large sizes to suit a wider range of ears with a better seal.

Each earbud’s multi-function “b” button has been updated to minimize inadvertent pushes and provide a stronger feel. The button retains typical media functionality, with a single push controlling play/pause, a double press skipping forward, and a triple press skipping backward.

A press-and-hold mechanism switches between ANC and Transparency mode, but it can also be set to engage a voice assistant or change volume up and down. Call handling functionality can also be configured to require one or two key pushes end a call.

Beats Studio Buds Plus, in addition to ANC and Transparency, enable Spatial Audio content on Apple Music, albeit they lack the immersive head-tracking capability present on the Beats Fit Pro and many AirPods versions.
Rather than using Apple’s H1 or H2 chip, the Beats Studio Buds + employ a custom second-generation “Beats Proprietary Platform” that provides many of the same features as Apple’s chips, including “Hey Siri” and Find My support, automatic device switching via iCloud, and more, while also offering similar features on Android, including Find My Device, one-touch pairing, and automatic pairing to all devices linked to the same Google account.