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News bites – the stories you may have missed

Plenty of Apple, iPhone, and iPad news gets released every single day – but we know you’re busy, so we’ve got your back. Here, we’ve picked out some of the most important stories from the past week or so and summarized them for easy digestion. You’re welcome.

Let’s take a quickfire look at some of the most interesting recent headlines of late. As ever, click through to read the full stories if you want to know more!

FaceTime quietly gets a lot better

Apple has quietly rolled out a significant improvement to FaceTime for many iPhone users in the form of Full HD video calls. While new iPhone 12 owners have been able to benefit from sharp 1080p calls (at least with each other), older iPhone users have been stuck with 720p HD for some time. However, it turns out that iOS 14.2 quietly bumped up the quality for anyone with a post-iPhone 8/iPhone X device, as long as they’re calling on Wi-Fi. iPhone 12 owners can also make 1080p calls over 5G.

MagSafe Duo Charger finally on sale

The MagSafe Duo Charger was announced back in October alongside the iPhone 12 family, but  it has only just been made available to buy from Apple. The unusual-looking accessory is capable of charging an iPhone 12 and an Apple Watch or a set of AirPods simultaneously, using Apple’s new revised MagSafe technology. At $129 / £129, it’s not the cheapest charging solution around – especially when you consider that you don’t get a wall socket with it.

Apple lays down delivery deadlines

Apple this week hit us with a list of delivery deadlines for anyone wishing to receive their devices ahead of the end-of-year festivities. Customers in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia will want to check the new localised Holiday Fulfilment website to check the very latest date they can order specific items and still expect a prompt delivery. If the date has passed for your item, in-store pick-up or special courier options may still be available.

Apple names best books, audiobooks, and podcasts of 2020

We’ve already covered the news that Apple has announced its picks for the best apps of 2020. But if you head to its various digital storefronts, you’ll see that the company has also picked out its top books, audiobooks, and podcasts of the year. It varies according to which country you’re in, but in the US, Code Switch by NPR has been named Apple Podcasts Show of the Year. Best book picks include Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half, 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, and Long Bright River by Liz Moore.