Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes major iPhone delay, latest MacBook Pro reviews, the MacBook Pro battery secret, fixing the MacBook notch, macOS Monterey released, Apple’s quarterly results, Apple Music on the PlayStation 5, and another sold out Apple product.
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).
iPhone SE Delayed For A Year
Apple, like every consumer electronics company, is dealing with supply chain disruption and a shortage of silicon chips. Therefore it comes as no surprise, albeit tinged with disappointment, to read that the third generation of the iPhone SE has been delayed, and 2022’s refresh is not going to be much to write home about.
“In an exclusive report, remarkably accurate industry insider Ross Young has revealed that Apple has “pushed” plans for a redesigned third-generation iPhone SE back to 2024. Moreover, the company’s plans for the next iPhone SE, which launches in early 2022, are now frustrating and confusing.
“The frustration stems from Young’s report that Apple has now decided to reuse the 2017 iPhone 8 design (itself based on the 2014 iPhone 6) for the 2022 iPhone SE. Externally, nothing appears to be improving with the same large top and bottom bezels, a 4.7-inch display and an LCD panel.”
MacBook Pro Reviews Arrive
With the embargo dipped, the reviews of the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro were published at the start of the week. Apple offered early access to the hardware to a number of publications, and the reaction has been uniformly positive, with the raw performance of the chip highlighted by all.
“Overall the reaction to the MacBook Pro has been solid to outstanding, although its notable that many reviews are focusing on the same specific areas of discussion such as the raw performance of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. The focus is very much on the “Pro” inside the MacBook Pro. Given the short window to review the hardware supplied by Apple (which has supplied reviewers with the higher specced models that will report much higher benchmarks) this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.”
The MacBook Pro Battery Returns
The first looks at the hardware have also turned up something rather interesting with the battery… Apple has made it easier to replace, with pull tabs on the batteries and easy access to the cells without having to stripe the entire laptop down, as the iFixit tear-down team found out.
“The four outer battery cells have easily-noticeable pull tabs, which are the typical thin white strips we know and love from the iPhone and MacBook Air. But wait, we don’t see any pull tabs on the middle cells. Are we screwed—or, worse, glued?
“Not entirely! We removed the trackpad and, lo and behold, there are cut-outs to access the pull tabs that hold the middle battery cells in place. We’ve still got a long way to go with disassembly, but this new MacBook Pro has, at the very least, the first reasonably DIY-friendly battery replacement procedure since 2012.”
The Notch Does Not Have An Easy Fix
The one thing that is causing a lot of raised eyebrows is the notch. Yes it was seen last week at the laptop launch, but now the MacBook Pros are out in the wild the interaction between the notch and the macOS UI is not of the standard you would expect from Apple.
“While the menu items are handled smoothly, the menu status items are being hidden by the notch. Rather than wrap around the dead space, the operating system just slaps the status items into the menu with no consideration to the big black block covering that same space.
“The behaviour of the cursor around the notch is also inconsistent, sometimes being blocked, sometimes jumping immediately from one side to another, and sometimes able to activate the menu bar items under the notch.”
Thankfully Apple has a fix, although it does feel like a bit of a kludge. Users can ‘scale to fit’ the desktop on the display so the top of the menu bar touches the bottom of the notch, so there is no interference. The problem with this? You have some rather large bezels on all four sides of the screen:
“To turn on “scale to fit below built-in camera” for an app on the new MacBook Pro models, open the Finder app and click on Applications in the sidebar. Then, right click on the desired app and select “Get Info.” In the Info window that opens, check off the “scale to fit below built-in camera” box and the display will automatically adjust when the app is open.”
MacOS Monterey Released
Also launching alongside the new MacBook Pro is macOS Monterey. This version of macOS ships with the laptops, but is also available to download for older MacBooks and Macs. Is it worth the update (beyond stopping Apple’s incessant alerts to do just that)? If you are working on macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, the new AirPlay functionality is.
“With macOS Monterey, AirPlay lets your Mac be an AirPlay destination, so you can quickly play content from your iPhone on your Mac’s display For the first time, the Mac can be used as a speaker for multiform audio, just as the HomePod can. AirPlay works both wirelessly and wired using USB. A wired connection is useful when you want to ensure that there’s no latency or you don’t have access to Wi-Fi. Learn more about this feature here.
Record Results Under Difficult Circumstances
Apple has announced its fourth quarter results, with record revenue for the September quarter and strong performances from both Services and the Mac departments.
“…financial results for its fiscal 2021 fourth quarter ended September 25, 2021. The Company posted a September quarter revenue record of $83.4 billion, up 29 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.24.”
Strong numbers, but these were still below expectations. Tim Cook acknowledged the supply issues cost Apple around $6 billion for the quarter. These issues will continue into the December quarter, one that is traditionally strong with the new iPhone featuring heavily.
“Apple hasn’t provided official guidance since the start of the pandemic, but Cook said Apple expects “solid year-over-year revenue growth” in the December quarter despite the fact Cook said Apple will face worse supply constraints, higher than the $6 billion hit to revenue in the September quarter. Still, Apple says that its December quarter will be the company’s largest in terms of revenue in its history.”
Let’s PlayStation Some Music
Apple Music has opened up a new frontier this week, as it launches on Sony’s Playstation 5. The subscription music service joins the likes of Spotify on the platform, offering music and video to gamers:
“Starting today, PS5 users with an Apple Music subscription can enjoy more than 90 million songs from Apple Music, tens of thousands of curated playlists, music videos in 4K, Apple Music Radio streaming today’s hits, classics, and country live, and personalized playlists based on your music preferences. PS5 offers seamless integration with the Apple Music streaming service with background music and music video playback, so players can listen before, during, or after their gameplay session.”
Apple’s hottest items always run out quickly after a launch event; although it’s impossible to know how many units were stockpiled the long wait times have become an expected pattern. So it should come as no surprise that the most desirable are the most delayed. Well… Apple’s exclusive $18 cloth is sold out until January.
“It’s highly unlikely that everyone purchasing the Apple polishing cloth owns a device with a nano-texture screen. Currently, only the Pro Display XDR and customized Intel iMacs feature nano-texture. It’s far more likely most people simply bought it because it was new to the Apple Store. For most Apple screens, a decent-quality microfiber cleaning cloth is all you’ll need to clean your screen. Apple suggests that you lightly dampen a soft, lint-free cloth with water and wipe off any offending grime.
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.
Nothing Earbuds Join The Dark Side | Screen Rant – Screen Rant
The Nothing Ear (1) earbuds, which launched this year as the first product from Carl Pei’s Nothing Inc., now come in black after being available in only white for months. The new colorway keeps the price tag and features unchanged and will be available later this month.
Nothing has been teasing a new color option for the new earbuds for days now following a leak last week. It finally took the wraps off a black version of the earbuds which, frankly speaking, looks a lot cooler.
The black version of the earbuds comes in a case with a smoky finish, but it still retains its transparency. The earbuds themselves have a matte silicone tip and a carbon-black stem. The UK-based electronics brand will be selling a limited edition of the black version of the Nothing Ear (1) earbuds soon. There will be 100 units available and each pair will be engraved with a number between 1 – 100. Those who want the limited edition will be able to purchase it on December 4 at a pop-up kiosk in London. There will also be in-store drops with global partner retailers on December 8. The non-engraved version of the Ear (1) black will be available for purchase at 11 AM GMT on December 13 from the Nothing online store.
Nothing Goes Carbon Neutral
The Nothing Ear (1) earbuds are now carbon neutral as seen from a logo on the purchase page. What this means is that Nothing has achieved a balance between emitted carbon and absorbing carbon emissions from carbon sinks. The earbuds have a Carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2e value of 1.78 kilograms.
Nothing launched as a startup last year following Carl Pei’s exit from OnePlus, the phone company he co-founded with Pete Lau. The Nothing Ear (1) earbuds are its first product, and for $99, they offer a lot of features. Each earbud has an 11.6mm speaker driver with the sound tuned by Teenage Engineering. Like a lot of premium earbuds, they also have active noise cancellation and a transparent mode that lets environmental noise in. This mode can be useful when having a conversation with someone or when at the airport or train station. The Nothing earbuds have a battery life of 5 hours, and that goes up to 34 hours with the case which charges via USB-C and also supports wireless charging. Other features of the earbuds include support for gestures, Find My Earbud, Google Fast Pair, and the ability to customize equalizers using the companion app that is available for both Android and iOS devices.
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Battlefield 2042 is getting a Santa Claus skin and players hate it – Eurogamer.net
Santa’s in a F-35.
To say Battlefield 2042 had a rough launch would be an understatement.
DICE has been scrambling to patch the game after it arrived riddled with bugs. But just as it has started to quell the community’s frustration with the game, the EA developer has kicked off a set of new frustrations.
Today’s update included a range of cosmetic items that seem to have been accidentally revealed too early, although this does explain why the update is a meaty 5GB in size (on the PlayStation 5).
Players haven’t taken too kindly to the hidden cosmetics, which one fan described as “Fortnite skins” (sorry, Fortnite fans).
But one particular skin has been seen as particularly offensive to the hardcore Battlefield community: the legendary “Father Winter”.
Available for the specialist Pyotr Boris Guskovsky, the sentry operator dons a red-hooded jacket that perfectly complements Boris’ lush beard.
Preview of the upcoming weekly mission rewards! ?
— Battlefield Bulletin (@BFBulletin) December 2, 2021
The main gripe players have is the creative decision by DICE to move away from the dark and gritty tone the franchise is known for to something more akin to the likes of Fortnite, which is continuously monetised through the addition of new cosmetics.
“DICE expects me to be able to take the game seriously with literal santa claus running around shooting people in what’s supposed to be a world where billions are displaced, natural disasters are destroying the planet, and there’s about to be a massive world proxy war,” questioned one Reddit commenter. “And we’re supposed to take all that into account with santa fucking claus running around on the battlefield.”
Similar issue has been taken with the post-match quips, which seem out of place in a game where players actively slaughter each other.
DICE has yet to comment on the fan reaction to these latest additions.
Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge Specifications Emerge Online Ahead of Its Launch – LatestLY
Xiaomi, the Chinese phone maker, is tipped to launch the 11i Hypercharge smartphone in India soon. The device is said to be launched as a rebadged Redmi Note 11 Pro+ that was unveiled along with the Redmi Note 11 and Redmi Note 11 Pro smartphones in China this October. Ahead of its launch, tipster Ishan Agrawal in collaboration with 91Mobiles has leaked a few key specifications of Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge. Redmi Note 11 Pro, Note 11 Pro+ Likely To Be Launched in India as Xiaomi 11i, Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge: Report.
According to the tipster, the handset will be launched in India in a single variant i.e. 8GB RAM + 128GB internal storage. It will be offered in two colours – Stealth Black and Camo Green. As mentioned earlier, Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge will be a rebadged Redmi Note 11 Pro+ phone. So it will carry similar specifications as that of the China model.
The smartphone will feature a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz. The handset will be powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. For optics, it will sport a 108MP primary camera and come packed with a 4,500mAh battery with 120W fast charging support. Moreover, Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge will get JBL stereo speakers with Doby Atmos and Hi-Res support.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 01, 2021 05:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).
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