Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes iPhone 16 design leaks, iOS development pause, new iMac and MacBook Pro reviews, macOS update problems, Apple’s new battery plans, and arguing 8GB is really 16GB…
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).
A New Way To Use Your iPhone
The success of Apple’s user-definable Action Button on the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max looks set to be available across the full iPhone 16 range. But that’s not the only new button, with details on a new camera shutter-styled button—the capture button—leaking this week:
“Unlike the current physical button on the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, the new button would be a capacitive button with feedback provided by the Taptic Engine—Apple’s brand name for its haptic feedback system.”
Apple Takes A Pause
Apple has taken the unusual step of pausing development on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to address a significant number of bugs and issues following the first milestone being reached. The knock-on effect remains to be seen, and it’s not an unknown step to take in a large project. Nevertheless, it’s not a step Apple requires typically:
“The delay, announced internally to employees last week, was meant to help maintain quality control after a proliferation of bugs in early versions, according to people with knowledge of the decision. Rather than adding new features, company engineers were tasked with fixing the flaws and improving the performance of the software, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.”
Reviewing The New Macs
Lori Grunin reviews the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. Equipped with the M3 Max chipset, 48 GB of memory and 1 TB of SSD, this laptop comes in at $3,999. Given the high-end specs, what performance benefits are there for the professional?
“A lot of the performance increase I see in the M3 Max over the M2 Max is the general lift you get from increasing the core frequency, the number of cores and how they’re distributed. But it also (as with everything) depends on what you’re doing… For a sense of practical scale within the M3 line, the MacBook Pro 14 with the base processor took just under 20 minutes to import (with lens corrections on import) and simultaneously create full-resolution previews of around 1,000 raw+JPEG photos and videos; the MacBook 16 Pro took just over 8.5 minutes.
Also reviewed this week was the new M3-powered iMac. There are no visible design changes; the only real differentiator is the entry-level M3 Apple Silicon chipset, although there’s more speed in more than the silicon:
“All the other changes to the new iMac are internal, including WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. If these are just numbers to you, you’re not alone. Essentially, these updates are better, with Bluetooth 5.3 an upgrade from Bluetooth 5.0 on the previous iMac. It means there’s faster data transfer speed, lower latency and improved audio quality. All of which are worth having, for sure.”
Your New MacBook Pro May Have Problems Updating MacOS
An interesting quirk in the new MacBook Pro models means that many of them cannot update macOS over the air. For now, M3 iMac and M3 MacBook Pro models shipped with MacOS Sonoma will not accept an over-the-air update to macOS Ventura. Using the Install Assistant to do the update manually still works, and no doubt Apple will have a fix shortly:
“As noted by @aaronp613 on X, at least some 14-inch MacBook Pro models with the M3 chip shipped with an unreleased build of macOS Ventura 13.5 installed. When users attempt to update to macOS Sonoma in the System Settings app, macOS Ventura 13.5 is listed as the latest version available instead of macOS Sonoma 14.1.”
Apple’s Battery Plans
A new report highlights work Apple is doing to improve it batteries. A number of new techniques are listed, suggesting Apple is still in but nearing the end of the project’s research phase, with the report noting a 2025 debut at the earliest.
“…increased battery performance is universally to be welcomed. As devices such as phones and tablets become more capable and require faster computations that draw more power, the struggle to improve battery life continues… It also says that while the long-term aim could be for the long-predicted car, “mobile is the main target of battery development identified this time.”
(ET News via Forbes).
If you’re worried about the new MacBook Pro with its paltry 8 GB of RAM, then there’s no need to worry. According to Apple VP Bob Borchers, 8 GB of RAM in a Mac is just as good as 16 GB of RAM in a PC
“Comparing our memory to other system’s memory actually isn’t equivalent, because of the fact that we have such an efficient use of memory, and we use memory compression, and we have a unified memory architecture. Actually, 8GB on an M3 MacBook Pro is probably analogous to 16GB on other systems. We just happen to be able to use it much more efficiently.”
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.