Looking 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, iOS 16 secrets, Apple’s latest AR plans, the iPhone YouTube app improvement, and a massive update for Alfred.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the very large amount of discussion that has taken place around Apple over the past seven days (and you can read my weekly roundup of Android news here on Forbes).
If you need an iPhone bigger
More details on the mysterious new iPhone 14 Plus leaked this week. The handset, which is widely expected to be a rebrand of the putative iPhone 14 Max, would certainly clear up confusion and leave the “Max” suffix for the top-of-the-line iPhone 14 Pro Max handset, leaving the larger version of the standard -iPhone 14 that can bring back brand iPhone 14 Plus. The latest iPhone case details show off the new branding and confirm other physical info like camera lenses:
“…the image was shared by trusted Apple insider DuanRui. It shows cases labeled 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 the case packaging for the iPhone 12 range, which revealed the ‘iPhone 12 Mini’ branding, which Apple subsequently confirmed at its launch event.”
Review of the MacBook Air
With the M2-powered MacBook Air now available, the first reviews have come out (you can read the Forbes roundup of all reviews here). It looks good for Apple’s consumer-focused laptop, but it’s not perfect. The overheating and throttling issues seen with the original M2 MacBook Pro are also present in this design.
“The Air quickly throttles the power it sends to the M2 chip and keeps its speed limited to keep temperatures manageable. Even then, the bottom of the computer gets significantly warm during these tests. Great for regular workloads, the M2 Air’s fanless design keeps the computer quiet but holds the system back when it comes to more intense workloads.
The Impact of the iPhone Periscope
Looking for an example of how Apple’s decision to put a technology in the iPhone creates positive feedback loops on the supply side and then on to other smartphone manufacturers? If so, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s view of the implications of Apple’s introduction of a “periscope” telephoto lens in the iPhone 15 Pro is perfect. You have more components, larger orders for suppliers and the resulting capacity to support more manufacturers:
“With more iPhone 16 Pro models adopting the periscope and other rear camera upgrades, the total output value of the new iPhone 2H24 (iPhone 16 series) rear camera components, 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 the iPhone with periscope is good, Chinese Android brands could follow it and potential suppliers are Semco, Largan, Sunny Optical, Lantech Optical and Crystal Optech.”
(Ming Chi Kuo).
iOS 16 beta reveals its secrets
Apple’s minimalist guide to iOS 16 has many features where the documentation is more like an Easter egg hunt. Luckily the team at MacRumors recorded all the fun stuff while living with the beta version of the code and put together a great guide, including a look at how to deal with duplicates:
“Merge Duplicate Contacts – Tired of having multiple contact cards for the same person?” In iOS 16, you can merge duplicate contacts directly from the Contacts app.
Get Rid of Duplicate Photos – iOS 16 Photos app can notify you when you have multiple photos of the same thing and give you the option to delete the extras to save space. Duplicate photos will appear in a new Duplicates album if you need to deal with duplicates.”
The PR around the AR
The ongoing story of Apple’s entry into futuristic headsets for AR experiences continues. In this week’s chapter, the potential ship date for the second more consumer-friendly model is reportedly 2024, not 2025 as previously thought…assuming the first-gen headset arrives in 2023, which means:
“There is a clear consensus that the first Apple headset will launch in early 2023. It’s expected to be both bulky and expensive, with a price tag of up to $3,000. This model is intended primarily for developers. Lighter, more compact, and a more affordable 2nd-gen model is already in development… The Elec says its supply chain sources indicate Apple is currently aiming to launch this model sometime in 2024.
(The electrics via 9to5Mac).
The little picture in the corner
Google’s YouTube app for iOS is rolling out picture-in-picture support to all users after a successful trial period, although use of PiP will be restricted in some areas, particularly where music videos are played:
“YouTube is now poised to roll out full Picture-in-Picture support “in the next few days” for devices running iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 or later… Once rolled out on your phone or tablet, it will be a “Picture-in-Picture.” Picture toggle under Settings > General, while YouTube Premium still offers background playback where you only hear audio with no video. It’s not live on multiple devices we checked today.”
Powerful productivity assistant Alfred has announced the release of its fifth major version. With Alfred 5 you can set up your own hotkeys, keywords and text extensions and automate many repetitive tasks in your own processes. The new version comes with a number of updates, the biggest of which is the updated workflow editor:
“The workflow editor has been rewritten from the ground up to be more powerful, efficient, easier to use and more accessible. We’ve added keyboard shortcuts, new mouse interactions, a customizable and searchable palette, and VoiceOver access to workflow content 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 future coverage. 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.