Taking a look back at this week’s news and headlines from Apple, including the latest iPhone 16 hardware leaks, iPhone 15 Problems, foldable iPhone plans, touchscreen for your Mac, Apple’s quiet AI grab, Windows loses iTunes, and Apple Maps Chaos.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the many discussions around Apple in the last seven days. You can also read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes.
The iPhone 16 Prepares For Vision Pro
New details on the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus have leaked, and there are some impressive changes to the main camera. This year’s layout will see two lenses in a vertical arrangement. Not only are the camera lenses closer to the chassis than previous raised lenses, but the layout also shows an interesting choice that supports Apple’s expanding ecosystem:
“While the angled position found on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus allowed bigger lenses in a similarly sized squarish camera panel, the vertical shape may mean the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will be capable of a feature reserved for Pro models in the current series.”
That feature? 3D recording, Apple’s Spatial Recording, for playback on the Apple Vision Pro headset.
Apple Addresses iPhone 15 Problems
A surprise release of iOS is coming up in the next week or two to fix an annoying problem found on the iPhone 15 family. While iOS 17.4 will be a landmark release, it can’t be delayed. Therefore, iOS 17.3.1, to address bug fixes around text display, is being pushed out because to delay this release would be to delay 17.4. And that can’t happen:
“[iOS 17.4 has to arrive on time, because it’s fitting in with new legislation. That’s the Digital Markets Act and though it only affects the 27 countries of the European Union, for now at least, it needs to be punctual. And since Apple wouldn’t release an update for one territory and not another, that means it has to be ready to go in the U.S. at the same time as the EU. In other words, a delay now, to minor updates like the new iOS 17.3.1 could have a catastrophic effect on the big update coming next month.
Apple’s Foldable iPhone Can’t Find The Magic
As the Android world continues to explore and innovate in the foldable phone space, Apple remains committed to the slab style in public. Naturally, the R&D team are doing their own work, but a recent report by The Information, Apple is facing the same challenges as the competition:
“…they’re too thick when folded up; they’re easily broken; they would cost more than non-foldable versions; the seam in the middle of the display tends to be both visible and feel-able; and the hinge on an iPad-sized device would prevent the device from sitting flat on a table (though this concern hasn’t stopped Apple from introducing substantial camera bumps on many of its tablets and all of its phones).”
(The Information via Ars Technica).
Touching Your MacBook
Apple has resolutely refused to add a touch screen to the MacBook, but with macOS and iPadOS drawing closer together, the lack of a screen-based input is an Achilles’ heel. This week saw Apple granted a patent for an Apple Pencil-like device that can be stored in the MacBook and used to interact with the screen:
“There’s one big operational difference between the iPad and the MacBook… a touchscreen. While you can work with the trackpad, it’s not a great solution. If Apple is looking to equip the MacBook with an Apple Pencil, that suggests a digitizer for the stylus and a touchscreen is being planned.”
Apple’s Quiet AI Grab
Android manufacturers, led by Google’s Android 14 and the launch of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, have leaned heavily into AI with their latest handsets. Yet Apple is working behind the scenes to bolster its corporate knowledge and toolsets through the purchase of smaller AI companies, according to the latest report from Statista:
“Apple’s pursuit of AI innovation has been evident in recent years. The tech giant has made a series of strategic acquisitions, including staff hires from AI startups to bolster its AI capabilities across various product lines […] Apple purchased up to 32 AI startups by 2023, the highest number among tech giants. In the overall AI startup acquisition, Google trails Apple with 21, Meta with 18, and Microsoft lags with 17.”
(Statista via 9to5Mac).
Goodby Windows Cuckoo
At a time when Macs were rare sights in the wild (at least outside of designers and publishers), iTunes on Windows was a gateway for many into Apple’s ecosystem, first with the iPod and then with the iPhone. Årguably the world’s greatest cuckoo egg is getting ready to say goodbye to its useful nest:
“Apple is officially launching its Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Devices apps on Windows this week. The apps were originally launched in preview last year, but Apple has now removed the preview tag after working with Microsoft to launch the apps. The trio of apps, in combination with an overhauled iCloud for Windows app, are designed to move Windows users away from the reliance of iTunes. “
Apple Maps has been causing a bit of a problem in my home town of Edinburgh this week. When roads close, and Apple Maps doesn’t register the update, things go wrong. Such as vehicles driving down a former road that’s now a flight of stairs:
“[Edinburgh] council said it had been made aware the change had led vehicles to careen into the steps.
A representative for the City of Edinburgh told Fortune that Google had updated its GPS to reflect that Greenside Lane was no longer suitable for cars, while Apple had been asked to make a correction…While it waited to confirm the maps had been updated, the council installed a temporary barrier to prevent further accidents from happening.”
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.