Looking back on another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the latest iPhone 15 disappointment, more iPhone 14 Pro issues, A16 Bionic chip struggles,… iPhone 14 Plus review, the disappearance of the Lightning port, Apple’s failed patent challenge, and quite a lot of songs in Apple Music.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the many, many discussions that have taken place around Apple over the past seven days (and you can read my weekly Android news roundup here on Forbes).
Rumors of TouchID’s Return Might Be Wrong
It’s rare that Apple brings back the old technology (although we’re happy to see the return of the SD card reader in the MacBook Pro), but will that change for TouchID on the iPhone? While the fingerprint recognition system remains on the iPhone SE, the larger handsets rely on FaceID. The iPhone 15 family was going to be the big comeback, but that seems doubtful:
“In addition, [Bloomberg’s Mark] Gurman suggests Apple won’t be bringing Touch ID back to the iPhone 15 or any of the next flagship iPhones for years to come. We may see an iPhone SE with a side-mounted Touch ID scanner integrated into the power button down the line. “
(Power on via GSM Arena).
iPhone 14 Pro facing more power issues
Not content with having to deal with charging issues in software and grinding the cogs and gears of camera hardware, iPhone 14 Pro owners have a new problem to solve…the bump camera makes wireless charging difficult or impossible. By pushing the handset up and away from the charging plates, the resulting gap of a few millimeters is enough to disrupt the Qi charging option. And since this is a physical issue, there is no obvious solution via a software update:
“However, many owners of the new iPhone 14 Pro are reporting a big problem with the enlarged camera bump needed to make all of this happen. Not only did the camera have early issues with physical vibrations in the third-party apps, but now owners are reporting that their wireless chargers won’t work with the handset.”
(The Mac Observer).
Game powerhouse needs a modifier
And the iPhone 14 Pro fun doesn’t stop there. Apple is proud of the performance that the A16 Bionic chipset brings to the handset, but they prove temperamental under continuous load. This usually happens during long gaming sessions, and as Nadeem Sarwar notes, the new iPhone’s thermal capabilities leave a bit to be desired:
“The iPhone 14 Pro has unusually poor thermal management hardware. Every demanding game I played for 30 minutes or more turned the phone into a very hot sandwich of glass and metal. area below the camera bump.”
iPhone 14 Plus Review
The first wave of reviews for the iPhone 14 Plus – the larger version of the standard iPhone – is coming. With an incredibly similar feature set to the iPhone 14, it pretty much comes down to size. Allison Johnson begins the review by looking at the physical differences of the 14 Plus:
“It’s probably an obvious point, but the feeling of having more visual space when using this phone – especially compared to a 6.1-inch model – is real. More text fits on its screen, and games and videos are a little more immersive. But it also behaves very well as a big phone. It’s a real struggle to use it with one hand, even with the interface controls iOS 16 “accessibility” user. Lots of people get along just fine with a big phone, but the 6.1-inch 14 and 14 Pro feel a lot more comfortable in my hand.”
USB-C is getting a little more universal
Following legislation passed by the European Parliament, USB-C has been adopted as the universal charging standard, with relevant consumer electronics devices for sale in Europe having to use this standard to achieve certification. While Android makers might not have too many problems here, Apple’s reliance on a proprietary connector in the Lightning Point is going to be the most hyped case:
“In an industry-changing move, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new law that requires all consumer electronics to use USB-C by the end of 2024. And with rivals already on board, the main focus of the law is Apple and its AirPods and iPhone lines.
“Apple still has the option of keeping Lightning ports outside of the European Union. But the financial benefits of the proprietary port would likely be outweighed by the complexity that split production would bring to Apple’s supply chain.”
One person who agrees with this decision is iPod designer Tony Fadell – although note that he is an investor in Nothing Tech:
“Fadell said the regulation only happened because Apple is in a monopoly-like position. The engineer believes that regulation and standardization in favor of consumers is necessary because companies aren’t always interested in do the “right thing for the best interest of society”.
(@tfadell via 9to5Mac).
Qualcomm patent challenge fails
The patent saga over smartphones owned by Qualcomm and used by the industry, including Apple, continues. Apple is seeking to revoke some of the patents:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday again refused to hear Apple Inc’s bid to reinvigorate an effort to overturn three Qualcomm Inc smartphone patents despite the settlement of the underlying dispute between the two tech giants. … The companies settled their underlying fight in 2019, signing a deal worth billions of dollars that allowed Apple to continue using Qualcomm chips in iPhones.The settlement included an Apple license for thousands of Qualcomm patents, but allowed patent attorney proceedings to continue.
Apple reports that its music streaming service, Apple Music, now lists one hundred million songs to listen to online. This is the equivalent of a stack of seven inch singles rising 62 miles into the sky… which would be above the Karman Line and considered “in space”.
Twenty-one years after the invention of iTunes and the debut of the original iPod, we’ve gone from having 1,000 songs in your pocket to 100,000 times those in Apple Music. That’s phenomenal growth by any metric. The entire history, present and future of music is at your fingertips or by voice command.
More music than you can listen to in a lifetime, or several lifetimes. More music than any other platform. Quite simply the largest collection of music, in any format, ever.”
What we don’t get is the track that was the 100 millionth song. Boo!
Apple Loop brings you seven days 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.