Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Apple’s mysterious new iPhone 14 choice, new MacBook Air reviews, iPhone’s periscope power, secrets of iOS 16, Apple’s latest AR plans, improving iPhone’s YouTube app, and a massive update for Alfred.
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).
When You Need To Go One iPhone Bigger
More details on the mysterious new iPhone 14 Plus have leaked this week. The handset, widely expected to be a rebranding of the presumptive iPhone 14 Max would certainly ease confusion and leave the ‘Max’ suffix for the top-end iPhone 14 Pro Max handset, allowing the larger version of the standard iPhone 14 to bring back the iPhone 14 Plus brand. The latest details on the iPhone cases show the new branding, as well as confirming other physical information such as camera lenses:
“…the image was shared by reliable Apple insider DuanRui. It shows cases labelled for four models: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max… [DuanRui] has a strong track record in this area, having previously shared case packaging for the iPhone 12 lineup, which revealed the ‘iPhone 12 Mini’ branding that Apple subsequently confirmed at its launch event.”
Reviewing The MacBook Air
With the M2-powered MacBook Air now available, the first reviews have been published (you can read Forbes’ round-up of all the reviews here). It’s looking good for Apple’s consumer-focused laptop, but it’s not perfect. The problems around overheating and throttled performance seen in the first M2 MacBook Pro are also present in this design.
“The Air will quickly throttle back the power it’s sending to the M2 chip and keep its speeds capped in an effort to keep temperatures manageable. Even then, the bottom of the computer gets considerably warm during these tests. The M2 Air’s fanless design is great for normal workloads and makes for a silent computer, but it holds the system back when it comes to more intense workloads”
The Impact Of The iPhone Periscope
Are you looking for an example on how Apple’s decisions to include a technology in the iPhone create positive feedback loops on the supply side and then on to other smartphone manufacturers? If so, Apple Analyst’ Ming-Chi Kuo’s look at the impact of Apple introducing a “periscope” telephoto in the iPhone 15 Pro is perfect. You have more components, bigger orders for suppliers, and a resulting capacity to support more manufacturers:
“Benefiting from more iPhone 16 Pro models adopting the periscope and other rear camera upgrades, the total output value of the rear camera components of the 2H24 new iPhone (iPhone 16 series), including CIS, VCM, lens, and CCM, will increase by 15–20%, 15–20%, 40–45%, and 15–20% YoY, respectively… If the market feedback on iPhone using periscope is good, Chinese Android brands may follow it, and potential suppliers include Semco, Largan, Sunny Optical, Lantech Optical, and Crystal-Optech.”
iOS 16 Beta Reveals Its Secrets
With Apple’s minimalist guide to iOS 16, there are many features where the documentation is more like an Easter egg hunt. Thankfully the team at MacRumors have been noting down all the fun stuff as they live with the beta version of the code, and have put together a great guide, including a look at dealing with duplicates:
“ Merge Duplicate Contacts – Tired of having multiple contact cards for the same person? In iOS 16 you can merge duplicate contacts together right from the Contacts app.
“Get Rid of Duplicate Photos – The iOS 16 Photos app can let you know if you have multiple photos of the same thing, giving you the opportunity to delete the extras to save space. Duplicate photos are listed in a new “Duplicates” album that appears if you have duplicates to deal with.”
The PR Around The AR
The continuing story of Apple’s move into futuristic headsets for AR experiences continues. In this week’s chapter, the potential shipping date for the second more consumer-friendly model is reportedly 2024, and not 2025 as previously thought… assuming the first-generation headset arrives in 2023 that is:
“There’s a clear consensus that the first Apple headset will launch early in 2023. This is expected to be both bulky and expensive, with a price as high as $3,000. This model is thought to be primarily geared to developers. A lighter, more compact, and more affordable 2nd-gen model is already in development… The Elec says that its supply chain sources indicate that Apple is currently aiming to have this model on sale sometime in 2024.
The Little Picture In The Corner
Google’s YouTube app for iOS is introducing picture-in-picture support for all users after a successful test period, although the use of PiP will be restricted in some territories, especially where music videos are being played:
“YouTube is now ready to widely launch Picture-in-Picture support “over the next several days” for devices running iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 or higher… Once rolled out to your phone or tablet, there will be a “Picture-in-picture” toggle under Settings > General, while YouTube Premium will still offer background play where you just hear audio without any video. It’s not live on several devices we checked today.”
The powerful productivity assistant Alfred has announced the release of its fifth major version. Alfred 5 allows you to set up your own hotkeys, keywords, text expanders, and automate many repetitive tasks in your own processes. The new version comes with a raft of updates, the biggest being the refreshed workflow editor:
“The Workflow Editor has been rewritten from the ground up to be higher performance, more efficient, user-friendly and accessible. We’ve added keyboard shortcuts, new mouse interactions, a customisable and searchable palette, and VoiceOver accessibility of Workflow contents and editing.”
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.