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Apple Loop: iPhone 13’s Stunning Features, Massive Apple Podcast Problem, Shock MacBook Pro Details – Forbes

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Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes new iPhone 13 details, updated release dates, Apple’s new screen technology, NSFW App Store problems, iCloud on Windows 10, an Apple Pencil for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro release discussion, FlickType discontinued, virtual iPhone saga continues, and Apple’s podcast problem.

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).

The New iPhone Gets Something Bigger

With production under way ahead of the launch of the iPhone 13 family, it’s hard to hide the components that are going to be used, with the supply chain analysts at Wedbush confident that we’re getting at least one model with LiDAR scanning, and at least model with a 1 TB storage option:

“From a spec perspective, we have increased confidence that iPhone 13 will have an eye-popping 1 terabyte storage option which is double from the highest Pro storage capacity today (512GB) and will also include a number of key enhancements with Lidar across all iPhone 13 models.” 

(WedBush via 9to5Mac).

New Apple Release Dates 

Mark Gurmna has rounded up the expected hardware releases for Apple in September and October. There’s no huge surprises; the iPhone 13 family will launch alongside the Apple Watch 7 and AirPods; a refresh of the iPad and iPad Mini; and the MacBook Pro release “by the time of the second anniversary of the current MacBook Pro.”

“Expect major changes to the smallest iPad, the highest-end Apple notebooks and the entry-level AirPods. The iPhone won’t get quite as big an upgrade, but it remains Apple’s star. The company is expecting one of the biggest iPhone launch cycles ever, projecting the need for over 90 million shipments through calendar 2021 as the world shifts to 5G and economic recoveries spur spending.” 

(Bloomberg).

Screens For The Future 

Apple may be planning for a future with miniLED displays the signature technology in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, but it’s going to be a rocky road getting there; 2021 has not made it easy to get the supplies needed for the upcoming MacBook update, with new suppliers and techniques still being worked on:

“While miniLED does offer the aforementioned benefits, when you step back and look at miniLED as part of the consumer electronics ecosystem, it’s not an easy technology to rely on. Apple’s yield on miniLED displays, both for the upcoming MacBook Pro and the current iPad Pro, has been lower than hoped for. Over the summer Apple’s suppliers have worked hard and changed the design t lift the yields up.”

(Forbes)…which may explain why LG is joining the ’supply OLED screens to Apple’ game:

“We recently learned that Samsung is gearing up to make OLED screens for the 2022 iPad Air using a new advanced manufacturing technique, and a fresh report says that LG is doing the same.” 

(9to5Mac).

NSFW Content And the App Store 

Apple’s approach to regulating sexual content in the App Store is damaging LGBTQ+ apps far more than the mainstream heterosexual apps. Kendra Albert and Afsaneh Rigot explain why it is time to stop automatically throwing NSFW content out of the App Store:

“Attempts to limit sexually explicit speech tend to (accidentally or on purpose) harm LGBTQ people more. Many of these rules are aimed in particular at sex workers, and LGBTQ people are disproportionately likely to use sex work as means of survival. A recent report from Fight for the Future, a digital rights group, argues that Apple often outright refuses to provide access to apps that primarily serve LGBTQ people.” 

 (Wired)

Where OneDrive Goes, iCloud Follows 

Following Microsoft’s updating of OneDrive for macOS, Apple has updated iCloud for Windows. Isn’t nice when everyone plays fair between the various ecosystems:

“Apple is today updating its iCloud app for Windows users, finally bringing a new password manager app. Learn everything new about version 12.5. This new password manager app is available with this update and allows users to access and manage their iCloud passwords on their Windows computers.” 

 (9to5Mac).

Goodbye Touch Bar, Hello Apple Pencil 

With Apple expected to retire the Touch Bar with the upcoming MacBook Pro laptops, many are rejoicing at the return of the physical function keys. But what if Apple took another route, and decided the top row would be a perfect place for an Apple Pencil? Against a background of ‘macOS does not need a touchscreen’, this curious Apple patent suggests just that:

“Potentially (at least according to the schematics in the patent), the Pencil or ‘Pencil-like device’ would sit right above the keyboard, replacing the area originally reserved for the largely ignored Touch Bar. At least for the concept, I’ve shrunk down the Touch Bar instead of removing it entirely. For now, it sits in the top right corner, between the Pencil’s docking area and the Touch ID button.”

 (Yankodesign).

MacBook Pro Release Dates Discussion

As for the release date on the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops, more signs are pointing to an early November release, which would match up with the release schedule over the last two years:

“Apple likes its hardware to have a predictable release rhythm. The last two major MacBook Pro updates (the final intel line, and the first Apple Silicon line) have set the tempo. Now we have confirmation on top of the expectations of the third beat. How does the second Tuesday in the month, November 9, sound to you?”

 (Forbes).

Keyboard Removed From App Store 

Kosta Eleftheriou, the developer behind the FlickType iPhone keyboard developed for blind users will be discontinued. Citing numerous obstacles and objections made by Apple when rejecting the app and its updates from the App Store:

“t’s with a heavy heart today that we’re announcing the discontinuation of our award-winning iPhone keyboard for blind users. Apple has thrown us obstacle after obstacle for years while we try to provide an app to improve people’s lives, and we can no longer endure their abuse.”

(@FlickType)

The Virtual iPhone Story Continues 

Last week it was reported that Apple had settled with Corellium over its ‘virtual iPhone’ service. Well, not so fast. Apple has filed a notice of appeal; albeit over a different issue with Corellium. This isn’t over yet:

“The appeal came as a surprise because Apple had just settled other claims with Corellium relating to the Digitial Milennium Copyright Act, avoiding a trial. Experts said they were also surprised that Apple revived a fight against a major research tool provider just after arguing that researchers would provide a check on its controversial plan to scan customer devices.”

(Reuters).

 Opposition To On-Device CSAM Scanning Grows

Opposition to Apple’s implementation of CSAM scanning on a user’s own device continues to rise, with the use of the technology as a wedge in Apple’s much-praised approach to the personal encryption of data. Over 90 groups and policy makers have published an open letter to Apple asking them to think again:

“More broadly, they said the change will break end-to-end encryption for iMessage, which Apple has staunchly defended in other contexts. Once this backdoor feature is built in, governments could compel Apple to extend notification to other accounts, and to detect images that are objectionable for reasons other than being sexually explicit,” the letter says. Other groups that signed include the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Now, Privacy International, and the Tor Project.”

(Reuters).

And Finally….

Apple’s efforts to launch a podcast subscription service so podcast producers could easily monetise their audience continues to have issues since its launch in April; issues that are impacting smaller podcasts and listeners far more than the big production companies:

“Even now, after the subscriptions launch, when one would hope the worst of the platform’s issues had subsided, podcasters say they’re still experiencing other technical glitches, namely, major delays in new episodes publishing. One executive, who prefers to remain anonymous, says one popular show, which is time-sensitive, experienced 72-hour publishing delays on multiple occasions. Another executive, who also prefers to remain anonymous, tells me their show listeners emailed them asking where the new episodes were, all because of Apple’s delay. (In a couple of these cases, the episodes in question weren’t even behind a paywall and relied on the typical RSS system.)”

(The Verge).

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.

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Apple Card, Apple Pay, and iUP all fail on iPhone 13 pre-order day, exposing fragility of Apple's expansion into credit and payment services – eMarketer

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The news: iPhone 13 pre-orders went live early Friday morning. But buyers’ initial buzz of excitement at securing Apple’s latest smartphone was quickly replaced by frustration as those paying with Apple Pay, Apple Card, or using the iPhone Upgrade Program faced errors that stalled the checkout process, per 9to5Mac.

The problem: Customers using Apple’s own payments, credit, and iPhone upgrade services faced major issues that left many unable to complete their iPhone 13 purchases. Citizens One, Apple’s partner bank for the iPhone Upgrade Program, was also plagued with a variety of issues once preorders went live. Even buyers that were pre-approved for the yearly upgrade found their applications rejected by the website and Apple Store app.

  • Apple Pay in the Apple Store app and via the Apple Store website was also buggy— many users were unable to check out using their Apple Pay and had to enter their card details manually.
  • The Apple Card processing system went down with a variety of bugs. Users were unable to pay for their iPhone 13s using Apple Card—but other cards worked, which means Apple Card users missed out on the 3% Daily Cash incentive, a major feature of the service. 
  • Frustrated iPhone buyers opted to use other payment options like higher-interest credit cards or PayPal just to get an order in. Those that managed to get through later saw delivery dates pushed past mid-October.

What’s next: While new iPhone pre-order days are usually a big payday for Apple, the iPhone 13’s modest updates—as well as indications that only 10% of users plan to upgrade to the latest models—could result in an equally modest yield that may be further reduced by Apple’s pre-order fiasco. 

  • The collapse of its multiple payment and upgrade options on such a key day isn’t likely to show down iPhone 13 demand or sales, but its numerous frustrated customers could reflect poorly on Apple’s reputation.
  • Consumers’ difficulties in obtaining iPhone 13 orders using Apple’s own credit card, payments, and upgrade programs underscores the fragility of companies overextending their reach into complicated new segments like financial services. 

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What Happens Next With Oppo And OnePlus – Forbes

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OnePlus has laid out its new direction today, with further details on the integration of OnePlus and Oppo. This is the latest in a series of announcements following the news that OnePlus would be taken under the wing of sister company Oppo,

At the time this was seen as OnePlus and Oppo moving closer together to explicitly share resources behind the scenes with Oppo becoming the more dominant partner overall, while OnePlus’s customer facing activities would remain independent.

A few weeks after that announcement, OnePlus followed up with news that the two Android-based operating systems of the two companies, ColorOS and OxygenOS – would be merging much of the codebase while presenting the two different variants to their customers base; so OxygenOS remains for global devices and ColorOS for Chinese devices.

Today, OnePlus’ Co-founder Pete Lau has detailed the next step in the partnership with Oppo. Brandon it OnePlus 2.0, it reinforces the integration of ColorOS and OxygenOS, as well as keeping the distinctiveness between the forward facing parts. From a resources point of view, the benefits of having more commonality should be obvious while keeping granularity for the users. 

Lau has also presented a broad strokes timetable for the switchover. The new combined OS will launch in a OnePlus device with the 2022 flagship… i’d assume that is going to be the OnePlus 10 Pro, although there is an opportunity here to introduce a new brand name for the top end devices. Following that, the new OS will roll out across the OnePlus global devices along with 2022’s major Android upgrade.

How this will fit with the increased use of regional brands such as the OnePlus R handsets in India and the OnePlus Nord handsets in Europe remains to be seen. 

What can be seen is the OnePlus team keeping its community up to date with the changes. While its too early to go into precise details on the availability of upgrades (at least in public), the roadmap has been brought into focus a little bit more today.

Now read my review on OnePlus’ latest earbuds, the active noise cancelling OnePlus Buds Pro…

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M1 brings new iPhone 13 lineup, iPad models to Singapore – Telecompaper EN

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Singapore operator M1 has announced it will offer the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini, iPad (9th generation) and iPad mini on the local market. M1 customers can now pre-order the iPhone 13 lineup, as well as the iPad mini and iPad. The devices will be commercially available starting 24 September.

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