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Apple

There were plenty of big announcements at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday, There were new iMacs, new laptops, new iPads, a preview of iOS 11 and MacOS High Sierra, plus sneak peaks of the iMac Pro and HomePod speaker, both due in December.

Here are a few things that got less attention, but are nonetheless important:

  • Augmented reality iPhone support: Apple added ARKit to the many developer tools built into iOS. While this may sound boring, such support makes it far easier for developers to add virtual objects onto the real-world images from iPhone's camera. And when things are easier for developers, they are far more likely to act.
  • Hardware support: Both of Apple's new operating systems, iOS 11 and MacOS High Sierra, will work on most of the same devices as their predecessors (The iPhone 5 won't get it, but the 5S will). That means that the enhancements Apple introduced on Monday are highly likely to make it on the majority of Macs, iPhones and iPads in active use.
  • The Lightning port isn't going away: There were some rumors that perhaps with all the Mac support for USB-C, maybe Apple was going to switch things up on its iPhone and iPad too. There is some USB-C support with the new iPads, but it's via a USB-C-to-lightning cord that allows the new iPad to use Apple's USB-C charger.

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.