Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes news on the Apple 15 Ultra, more iPhone 14 problems, iPhone 14 Pro review, hiding the MacBook Pro update, Apple removes VK apps from App Store, Microsoft removing Swiftkey, and Tim Cook is still teasing AR and VR plans.
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).
Stunning iPhone 15 Leaks
If you thought that Apple generating a difference in specs between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro was interesting, then the introduction of a third ‘even higher’ tier in the presumptively named iPhone 15 Ultra is going to be something you are going to be intense about:
“It will come with 256GB base storage, USB-C (potentially with Thunderbolt 4 speeds) and a display that integrates two front-facing cameras… only the iPhone 15 Ultra will have dual front cameras and, while rivals have experimented with dual front-facing cameras in the past (notably the Pixel 3/3XL), the feature has disappeared in recent years. Which is often a cue for Apple to reinvent something and show how things should’ve been done all along.”
More iPhone 14 Problems
More problems with the iPhone 14 family’s power management have come to light, with reports of random restarts when users charge their phones in various Apple communities. It’s an issue that was there at launch and remains there even in the unreleased iOS 16.1:
“I just got the iPhone 14 Pro and ever since I noticed that it restarts while charging (MagSafe/cable),” wrote the initial poster. “It does not restart at all while it’s off the charger. Anyone else having similar issues?”
“Expanding upon this, affected iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro owners added that it is happening on all versions of iOS 16, including the new iOS 16.1 beta, and that the reboots occur on both third-party and official Apple Lightning cable and MagSafe chargers.”
Reviewing The iPhone 14 Pro Camera
That said, the iPhone 14 Pro is a serious piece of kit (which gets a lot more examination and dissection than most flagships). As always, one of the key features used by manufacturers to show the evolution and advancement of a phone through the camera. Jason Snell looks at just that as part of his comprehensive review:
“While you can get a 48-megapixel image out of the iPhone 14 Pro, you have to do it by turning on RAW capture in the Settings app. These RAW captures are slow—it takes a second or more for the camera to be available to take another shot after you snap one—and they’re huge (80 to 100 MB each). But they are also, especially in bright light, spectacularly detailed. Yes, they can be a little noisy, but with a little work in a RAW photo editor (I used Adobe Lightroom Classic), I was able to make great-looking images that had amazing levels of detail the likes of which I’d never been able to do on an iPhone before.”
The MacBook Update You Might Never See
October will see the launch of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops running the M2 architecture (the presumptively named M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets), as well as the debate of the first Mac Pro to run Apple Silicon. But will these key products get the reward of a full-blown launch or just a quiet press release alongside a few hands-on with selected journalists? Mark Gurman speculates:
“None of these new products is a major departure for Apple. They’ll get some improved specifications and a chip that was already announced at a formal event in June at WWDC 2022. That has me thinking: Does Apple really have enough here to make it worth pulling together another highly polished launch event?
“It seems unlikely. Apple may ultimately end up feeling differently, but I think the company (as of now) is more likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases, updates to its website and briefings with select members of the press—rather than via a major iPhone-style keynote.”
(Power On via 9to5Mac).
Russian Social Network Apps Removed From Apple Store
Apple has withdrawn a number of Russian-based social media apps from the App Store, including the app for the VK social network. With Apple operating in the UK, sanctions put in place by the government mean that Apple can no longer do business with the developers of the app, leading to the cancellation of the developer accounts and subsequent delistings:
“Russia’s communications regulator on Wednesday demanded an explanation from Apple after applications operated by the Russian state-controlled tech firm VK were removed from the U.S. firm’s App Store… Apple said it follows laws in the jurisdictions where the company operates. Apple said the apps in question were being distributed by developers majority-owned or majority-controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government.”
Swiftkey’s Not So Swift Exit
Microsoft has confirmed that, after a year with no updates, its third-party keyboard for iOS, Swiftkey, is being removed from the App Store. Support will continue for anyone with the app already installed, but no upgrades will be offered, and no way to move the app to a new device (or a device that needs reset) can be offered. The suspicion is that Apple is not allowing Switkey access to the same features as its own built-in keyboard. Mary Jo Foley reports:
“I asked for the official reason why Microsoft had made this decision and was told officials had nothing more to say. I’m guessing the decision had as much to do with Apple’s policies around safeguarding its walled garden as anything. The Microsoft Phone Link team knows well that if Apple doesn’t grant access to certain interfaces, there’s no easy or good way to make a product which needs integration to work.
Tim Cook is evangelising AR and VR once more, talking up a subject that has been in tech discussion circles for decades, hinting that this is a unique problem that only Apple can solve and unlock for the rest of the world. The bar keeps getting set higher for the mythical Apple Headset that has been expected ‘next year’ for many many years:
“I’m super excited about augmented reality. Because I think that we’ve had a great conversation here today, but if we could augment that with something from the virtual world, it would have arguably been even better. So I think that if you, and this will happen clearly not too long from now, if you look back at a point in time, you know, zoom out to the future and look back, you’ll wonder how you led your life without augmented reality. Just like today, we wonder, how did people like me grow up without the internet. And so I think it could be that profound, and it’s not going to be profound overnight…”
(Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II via MacRumors).
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.