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This week on AppleInsider: New iMacs, iWork updates, 'Magic' accessories & more

Apple this week made surprise announcements of new iMacs, Mac accessories and iWork updates, but also found itself in the spotlight for less enjoyable reasons, including lawsuits and problems with its online services.




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Court frees Apple from e-book antitrust monitor



On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote ruled that she would not extend the term of Michael Bromwich, who was appointed to monitor Apple's antitrust compliance in 2013. Apple and Bromwich have often clashed, but ultimately even Bromwich and the Department of Justice expressed satisfaction with the company's compliance program.

Bromwich was installed after Apple lost a case accusing it of conspiring to fix the price of iBooks titles in 2010. The company was revealed to have persuaded publishers to switch to an agency model, and adopt "most favored nation" clauses, forcing Amazon and other rival e-book vendors to raise their prices.

Apple debuts 21.5-inch 4K iMac, new 27-inch 5K models






All but abandoning non-Retina displays, Apple launched a 4K model of the 21.5-inch iMac, starting at $1,499. By default the system comes with a 3.1-gigahertz quad-core Core i5 prcoessor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a 1-terabyte hard drive.

All 27-inch iMacs, meanwhile, now use 5K displays, as well as Intel's latest Skylake processors. Prices start at $1,799 for a system with a 3.2-gigahertz Core i5, 8 gigabytes of RAM, a 1-terabyte hard drive, and a 2-gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 M380 graphics card.

Apple ships Magic Trackpad 2, Magic Mouse 2 & Magic Keyboard






To complement the new Macs, Apple also released three new "Magic" accessories, each featuring Bluetooth, Lightning ports, and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The highlight may be the $129 Magic Trackpad 2, which brings Force Touch to the desktop.

Though the Magic Mouse 2 is mostly unchanged apart from Lightning and the new battery, the Magic Keyboard borrows the layout of the 12-inch Retina MacBook, and uses a redesigned scissor mechanism to improve key stability and travel.

Apple found in infringement of University of Wisconsin CPU patent






After a federal jury found Apple in infringement of a University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation patent covering chip architecture this week. Apple's A7, A8, and A8X processors are all said to be in violation, as were the iPhone and iPad products they powered.

After three and a half hours of deliberation on Friday, the jury returned a damages number of $234 million. Apple is expected to appeal.

iTunes & App Stores hit by multiple outages






A portion of Apple's online services went down four times this week, with each incident lasting hours at a time. The iTunes Store and iOS App Store were consistent victims, but a Thursday outage also briefly took out other services like the Mac App Store and Apple TV services.

Apple occasionally suffers service disruptions, but the recent cluster of outages is unusual.

iWork gets Mac, iOS & Web updates






On Thursday Apple pushed out new versions of the iWork suite for iOS and OS X. iOS users gained access to features like 3D Touch and enhanced iPad multitasking, while OS X users received Split View, Force Touch enhancements, and more.

iWork for iCloud finally emerged from beta, picking up improvements like mobile document previews and a commenting interface.

AppleInsider podcast



Our editors had plenty to talk about this week, including not just the latest Apple products but Elon Musk and the Apple Car, ResearchKit partnerships, and the death of ifoAppleStore creator Gary Allen.