Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes iPhone 14 display leaks, turning the iPad into a MacBook, Safari defeated, new Apple Watch details, Apple Pay’s European controversy, testing the iPhone repair kit, and Apple Staff challenge return to work policies.
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 iPhone 14 Pro Displays Leak
The larger iPhone 14 models – specifically the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max – are set to lose the awkwardly iconic notch, but rather than have something small and elegant that challenges smartphone norms, Apple is expected to use an asymmetrical lozenge approach. This week’s leak of the display elements highlights the change:
“The other two iPhone 14 models are the iPhone 14 Max and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and they follow the same pattern: while they’re both the same size the standard one, the Max, gets the notch while the Pro one, the Pro Max, gets the pill-shaped cutout. That fits with previous reports that the camera hardware would differ between the standard and Pro models.”
This Keyboard Could Turn Your iPad Into A MacBook
What happens when you clip an iPad to a keyboard? In the future, it could switch over to a macOS-like interface – or even macOS itself – to allow for hybrid working, according to a newly published Apple patent. As always, a patent does not mean a technology will reach the public, but with macOS and iPadOS drawing ever closer, this feels very much plausible:
“While Apple’s patent suggests it’s a possibility, philosophically speaking, Apple has always refused to consider such a hybrid OS device. Only time will tell if Apple’s position will ever change.
“On the hardware front, Apple notes that in one embodiment the new accessory device for iPad includes a base portion and a coupling mechanism. The base portion may include a keyboard having a set of electromechanical keys. The coupling mechanism may be positioned along a side of the keyboard and may be configured to rotatably couple the base portion to the tablet computing device having a touchscreen display.”
Safari Loses Out To Edge
Google Chrome is still the web’s biggest web browser, but there’s a new name taking second place. Microsoft’s Edge browser has overtaken Apple’s Safari browser on the desktop. Next up for Microsoft is going to be getting Edge on more mobile devices:
“Microsoft Edge is now used on 10.07 percent of desktop computers worldwide, 0.46 percent ahead of Safari, which stands at 9.61 percent. Google Chrome remains in first place with a dominant 66.64 percent share, and Mozilla’s Firefox stands in fourth with 7.86 percent.”
(StatCounterr via MacRumors).
New Apple Watch Details
Both the Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch SE2 picked up leaks this week that gave us a clearer idea of Apple’s next steps with its wearable health-focused smartwatch. While the Watch 8 already feels familiar, it’s the Watch SE2 that looks to be the more interesting model:
“…the new Apple Watch SE will feature the S7 chip (which, by the way, is just the S6, but has been renamed). Plus, there will be even more improvements like always-on display technology, better audio, and a new sensor that will allow the Apple Watch to take ECGs.”
Apple Pay Dominance Queried In Europe
EU Anti-trust regulators have published a statement of objectives to Apple and its use of Apple Pay, specifically about how the European Commission believes Apple has abused its dominant market position. This is a slow process, which can take years to work through various stages. The next would be for Apple to set out its arguments in written statements or a hearing before the Commission’s next step:
“The Commission said Apple’s anti-competitive practices dated back to 2015 when Apple Pay was launched. We have indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple’s devices,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. “In our statement of objects, we preliminarily found that Apple may have restricted competition, to the benefit of its own solution Apple Pay,” she said.
Testing The iPhone Repair Kit
Now that Apple has a ‘self-repair’ program, how practical is it? MacRumors Dan Barbera decided to find out by changing the battery on his iPhone 12 Mini. The battery bundle is $70.99 (already more expensive than Apple’s Genius bar replacement service, although you get $24 back on returning the old battery), but you have to add the $1300 worth of tools Apple recommends you borrow from them for the job. The whole process does not feel very supportive and is at odds with Apple’s championing of satisfying customer expectations:
“Overall, for the layperson, it’s probably better to take your phone to a professional for repair rather than attempting to fix it yourself. This is especially true of repairs for things like the battery and the display, which are generally cheaper to have Apple replace .”
Many of Apple’s staff have signed an open letter to Tim Cook and his team over the imposition of a return to office culture at Apple, leaning into words from Steve Jobs to make their case for more flexibility:
“Or as Steve said: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Here we are, the smart people that you hired, and we are telling you what to do: Please get out of our way, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, let us decide how we work best, and let us do the best work of our lives.”
(Apple Together via Apple Insider).
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.