Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the iPhone 15 Ultra design, the importance of iOS 16.1.2, the glass MacBook, Elon Musk challenges Apple decisions, App Store faces crypto issues, another virtual reality PR moment, and the importance of “The Greatest” ad campaign.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
iPhone 15 Ultra Design Leak
Following on from the discussion of the iPhone 5C-like curves on the upcoming iPhone 15, its; the turn of the iPhone 15 Ultra (nee Pro Max) to show a bit of ankle. The latest concept images show off the new curves, as well as the all-important camera and connection:
“Extraordinarily detailed renders by Saad Ismail (for AppleInsider) illustrate how reports of curved edges, dual front cameras and the transition to USB-C should look. And the result is an iPhone that is unmistakably modern yet undeniably retro.”
Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2
While there are no show-stopping issues, iOS 16 has had a rough ride since its launch alongside the iPhone 14 family. As with any software release, the updates are taking on the various issues that a broad public distribution will always reveal:
“Apple released iOS 16.1.2 on Wednesday with a few fixes and updates. The update comes three weeks after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and more than a month after the release of iOS 16.1. This latest iOS includes some security updates, improved compatibility with wireless carriers and improvements to crash detection for the iPhone 14 line.”
A Glass Keyboard For Your Macbook
Last year saw one of the most radical physical changes of the MacBook Pro design for five years – the curved edges were squared off, and the screen got a bit bigger. Yet Apple’s R&D continues to work on some bleeding edge ideas, as a recently published patent demonstrates:
“Apple engineers have been researching and filing patents related to using glass bodies for future MacBooks and iMacs (01, 02, 03 and 04) since at least 2018. This week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an update to one of Apple’s patents relating to a Glass-bodied MacBook with a softer, bendable glass surface to lessen the impact of typing on solid glass like an iPad. Apple is also considering providing for raised softer glass keys on a keyboard that integrates touch sensors beneath each key.”
Musk Faced Down Over App Store “Tax”
Apple’s thirty percent rake on all App Store app sales and in-app purchases continues to draw attention. This week, the owner of the personal millstone that is Twitter. The (now paused) iOS-only blue-tick program saw thirty percent of the $8 head to Apple. Along with issues around app updates and ad-spend on the service, Elon Musk has issued a very public ‘I like Apple’ message
“While Musk may have come out swinging just a few days ago, it seems like he is calmed down considerably. In the intervening days, Musk has deleted at least one of the tweets memeing the App Store’s 30% cut. He also complimented Apple’s headquarters as “beautiful”.”
Coinbase Faces Impossible App Store
Quick question, would you expect Apple to take thirty percent of your bank account’s transaction fee every time you transfer money with a banking app on your iPhone or iPad? Now, what if that bank account was actually a cryptocurrency account where you have to pay a transaction free every time you transfer money? The former is fine, but the latter is attracting App Store fees. Which looks awkward:
““Apple’s claim is that the gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through their In-App Purchase system, so that they can collect 30% of the gas fee,” Coinbase said via its Coinbase Wallet Twitter account. “This is akin to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols.””
Apple’s Virtual Reality Has A New Name
The latest mention to keep Apple’s virtual/mixed/augmented reality headset at the forefront of discussion comes with some changes to the operating system’s name:
“The company plans to introduce the headset as early as next year, along with a dedicated operating system and app store for third-party software, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Internally, the company recently changed the name of the operating system to “xrOS” from “realityOS,” said the people, who asked not to be identified because the project is still under wraps. “
Apple’s recent marketing campaign around “The Greatest” does something more than simply promote the tools and services the company offers. It offers visibility:
“Of course Apple wants you to use their products, but so too does Amazon and Google and Microsoft and others. There exists a deeper message: the point is not whether Apple is subliminally advertising to people; the salient point is Apple is overtly advertising a disabled person’s basic humanity.”
Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.