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Universal Control, Apple's record Q1 earnings, and more on the AppleInsider podcast

On this week's episode of the AppleInsider podcast, Apple sets new holiday quarter records, software updates address multiple bugs across Apple's lineup, and iPhone could one day process credit card payments.

During their Q1 earnings call, Apple exceeded Wall Street expectations with a record $123.9 billion in revenue. CEO Tim Cook also revealed that there are 1.8 billion Apple devices in active use around the world, service revenue is up, and half of iPad purchasers are new to the product.

Apple has now released iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3 beta which includes Face ID unlock without Apple Watch, and the long-awaited Universal Control feature.

Earlier this week Apple issued software updates across its devices including iOS 15.3, iPadOS 15.3, macOS Monterey 12.2, watchOS 8.4, and tvOS 15.3. These updates were largely bug fixes with under-the-hood improvements to Apple Music on macOS, making the app faster and more responsive. HomeKit camera owners will also see thumbnails fixed to display recent images in the Home app.

Separately, in celebration of Black History Month, Apple released the new Unity Lights Apple Watch face, featuring the colors inspired by Afrofuturism. The new Black Unity Braided Solo Loop is also available for purchase and arrives in early February.

Next, a Bloomberg report claims that Apple is working on technology that will allow iPhones to directly process credit card payments. Using the NFC chip that current iPhone models use for Apple Pay, this technology would compete with companies like Square and all payment systems that require a secondary hardware device for payments.

Meanwhile, Intel has released new Alder Lake chips that it claims beat out M1 Max in performance tests. I'ts true - benchmarks confirm better performance. However, these new Intel chips require significant more power and only score 4% faster than Apple Silicon.

Our hosts round out the show with tips for filtering unknown senders in Messages, highlighting MagSafe battery packs, and answer listener questions.

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