Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the latest iPhone leaks, Apple’s new iOS plans, all the software updates before WWDC, Apple’s Mixed Reality history, browser problems in Europe, and Apple’s foldable iPhone 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).
Why Is Apple Moving The iPhone To USB-C?
Following reports last week on Apple’s potential move away from the lightning port on the iPhone, more details have come to light that not only backs up the assertion but also suggests a key reason for the change:
“…Apple’s decision is motivated by upcoming changes in European legislation that would force all phone manufacturers to adopt USB-C. The company has previously railed against the changes, claiming that “regulation mandating just one type of connector for all devices on the market will harm European consumers by slowing down the introduction of beneficial innovations in charging standards, including those related to safety and energy efficiency.””
iPhone 14 Set For Major Changes
The USB-C change is expected in 2023, but there looks to be some major changes happening before that. With the beta of iOS 16 expected to launch at WWDC next month (alongside macOS, watchOS, and iPadOS), we’ll have a look at the changes Apple is making to the whole ecosystem:
“Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, [Mark Gurman] reveals that iOS 16 — Apple’s next generation of iOS, which will launch in conjunction with the company’s iPhone 14 range of smartphones — contains “major changes across the system”. Gurman states that these include an array of “fresh Apple apps” as well as, intriguingly, “new ways of interacting” with the operating system. The first of these is well overdue with a number of Apple’s core iOS apps starting to look long in the tooth.”
Apple’s Final OS Releases For This Cycle
Before WWDC and the reveal of the next versions of Apple’s various operating systems, Tim Cook and his team have made the final notable changes to the various OS platforms and closing the book on some key features.
“These are almost certainly the last updates before the company’s annual developer conference, which is scheduled to kick off on June 6. Among other things, Apple will announce iOS and iPadOS 16, macOS 13, and watchOS 9 at the conference, but those updates won’t arrive until later this year.”
For many the question is whether to update immediately or wait for any bugs to show themselves, especially on the iPhone. It looks like everything is smooth sailing for this update:
“For everyone else, the first 24 hours is promising. While I have seen isolated reports from upgraders of poor network reception, screen wake up failing during calls and missing FaceTime notifications there has been no momentum around any of these so far. Reddit and Apple Support Communities are also quiet.”
It’s also work noting that one of the key features launched at WWDC 2021 for MacOS – Universal Control – is finally out of beta and granted a ‘full release’ tag in the macOS update. Just in time for new features at WWDC 2022:
“Announced last year at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2021, Universal Control allows Mac owners to use another Mac, or an iPad, as a secondary device. With the device displays next to each other you can easily slide the cursor on your MacBook screen over to the iPad to do some work, and then move it back again… dragging and dropping files if you need to.”
The First Steps To Mixed Reality
Apple continues to work on a Mixed Reality headset, with reports that a major internal presentation took place this week. Speaking to a number of sources, The Information’s Wayne Ma has put together a history of the program to date:
“The prototypes weren’t exactly the lustrous products the company is known for. Many were cobbled together from off-the-shelf parts and ran on Microsoft’s Windows operating system, software Apple normally keeps its distance from. Several were jury-rigged HTC Vives, one of the few commercially available VR headsets at the time. At least one was so heavy that it had to be suspended by a small crane so the Apple board members could wear it without straining their necks, the two people said.”
iOS Browser Engine Problems In Europe
Apple is racking up the mentions in the EU Digital Markets Act. This time it’s the dominance of the Safari browser engine and the mandate that any iOS browser must use Apple’s underlying software. Which is something that reduces competition and choice in the market:
“The Register has received a copy of unpublished changes in the proposed act, and among the various adjustments to the draft agreement is the explicit recognition of “web browser engines” as a service that should be protected from anti-competitive gatekeeper-imposed limitations.
“Apple requires that competing mobile browsers distributed through the iOS App Store use its own WebKit rendering engine, which is the basis of its Safari browser. The result is that Chrome, Edge, and Firefox on iOS are all, more or less, Safari.”
As with any new technology in the smartphone space, Apple will be a few years behind the competition (and likely come up with a fancy name for the same feature). With Android devices all in for folding phones, what will Apple do? There’s a curious option under discussion, and that’s to provide an ultra-low power eInk screen on the outside of a folded iPhone:
“The choice of e-ink would be an interesting deviation from the direction of the Android foldable market. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold features a 6.2-inch AMOLED cover display, which makes the device look almost like a standard phone in closed operation. The user can unfold the device to reveal the flexible 7.6-inch main screen inside. An e-ink display would not be appropriate for this design.”
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.