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Apple Wallet ID, 'iPhone 13' satellite support, AirPods Max long-term on the AppleInsider podcast

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On the AppleInsider podcast this week, future iPhone models may use satellites for emergency SOS, Apple buys classical music service Primephonic, Apple Wallet to store drivers' licences and other digital ID, plus App Store policy changes.

This week, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated in a note to investors that the "iPhone13" could support low-earth satellite communications based on Qualcomm's work with Globalstar. Future iPhone models with this feature would be able to send emergency SOS messages even when cellular service is unavailable.

According to Bloomberg Apple has had teams working on satellite technology since 2017. However, Bloomberg also stated these satellite features are "unlikely to be ready before" 2022.

Speaking of the future, Apple is believed to be working on a range of new health-related features coming to Apple Watch, including blood pressure monitoring and a thermometer to aid in fertility planning. According to The Wall Street Journal, most of the more ambitious features won't be available on this year's "Apple Watch Series 7."

Meanwhile, Apple has acquired the music streaming company, Primephonic in an effort to bring new classical features to Apple Music. The current Primephonic app and service will shut down on September 7, but Apple will release a standalone app dedicated to the classical genre next year.

It's time now, though, for a long-term review of AirPods Max. Made available in late 2020, your hosts have spent over eight months using Apple's over-the-ear headphones for podcast production, music consumption, and more. There's a lot to say about whether they're worth buying.

Next, in a press release, Apple announced the first US states to utilize digital IDs in the Apple Wallet app coming with iOS 15. Arizona and Georgia will be the first, but some have raised the question of security and privacy in general use. We review the technical aspects of the service and how Apple is protecting user's data, plus describe how to lock your iPhone so it temporarily disables Face ID or Touch ID.

On August 27, Apple reached an agreement on App Store policies in order to end a lawsuit by U.S. developers. In a press release Apple claimed to make several concessions regarding the App Store, but in practice not much will change here in the US. Meanwhile, the South Korean government has voted to force Apple and Google into accepting alternate payment methods in addition to Apple's first-party payment processing, otherwise face a 3% fine on revenue.

We round out the show discussing the perennial question of whether it's good or bad to leave a MacBook Pro permanently docked, Tim Cook's impending retirement, and what new product category he hopes to launch before stepping down as CEO.

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