Reflecting on the news and headlines from Apple this week, including the most recent iPhone 16 hardware leaks, difficulties with iPhone 15, Apple’s plans for a foldable iPhone, touchscreen for Mac, Apple’s subtle AI acquisition, Windows losing iTunes, and confusion with Apple Maps.
Apple Loop is here to recall a few of the numerous conversations about Apple in the past seven days. You can also check out my weekly roundup of Android news here on Forbes.
iPhone 16 Prepares For Vision Pro
Recent information on the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus has been uncovered, revealing impressive modifications to the main camera. The layout for this year includes two lenses placed vertically, which not only brings the camera lenses closer to the body compared to the previous raised lenses but also supports Apple’s expanding ecosystem in an interesting way:
“While the angled position found on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus allowed for larger lenses in a similarly sized rectangular camera panel, the vertical shape suggests that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus may have 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 Acknowledges iPhone 15 Issues
A surprise release of iOS is scheduled for next week or the following to address an irritating problem found in the iPhone 15 family. While iOS 17.4 will be a significant release, it can’t be postponed. As a result, iOS 17.3.1, to address bug fixes related to text display, is being rolled out because delaying this release would also delay 17.4, which cannot happen:
“[iOS 17.4 needs to be released on time because it’s in line with new legislation. This is the Digital Markets Act, and even though it only applies to the 27 countries of the European Union for now, it needs to be punctual. Since Apple wouldn’t release an update for one region and not another, it has to be prepared for 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 Struggles
While the Android world continues to explore and innovate in the foldable phone space, Apple remains committed to the slab style in public. However, a recent report by The Information suggests that 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 steadfastly refused to add a touch screen to the MacBook, but with macOS and iPadOS drawing closer together, the absence of a screen-based input is a weakness. This week, Apple was granted a patent for a device similar to an Apple Pencil, which 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 operate 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 Silent AI Acquisition
Android manufacturers, spearheaded by Google’s Android 14 and the introduction of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, have heavily emphasized AI in their latest smartphones. Nonetheless, Apple is covertly building its corporate knowledge and toolsets through the acquisition of smaller AI companies, according to the latest report from Statista:
“Apple’s focus on AI innovation has been evident in recent years. The tech giant has acquired a series of strategic companies, including staff hires from AI startups, to enhance its AI capabilities across various product lines […] By 2023, Apple had acquired up to 32 AI startups, the largest number among tech giants. In terms of overall AI startup acquisitions, Google follows Apple with 21, Meta with 18, and Microsoft lagging with 17.”
(Statista via 9to5Mac).
Windows Says Farewell to iTunes
During a time when Macs were rare 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. Arguably, the world’s greatest cuckoo egg is preparing to bid its useful nest farewell:
“Apple is officially launching its Apple TV, Apple Music, and 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 collaborating 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 reliance on iTunes.”
Apple Maps has caused some issues in my hometown of Edinburgh this week. When roads close and Apple Maps doesn’t update, problems arise. For example, 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.