Looking back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the latest iPhone 15 disappointment, more iPhone 14 Pro issues, A16 Bionic chip issues, iPhone 14 Plus review, missing Lightning port , Apple’s patent challenge failure, and probably a lot of songs on Apple Music.
The Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the many conversations surrounding Apple over the past seven days (and you can read our weekly roundup of Android news here at Forbes).
Rumors about the return of TouchID may be wrong
It’s rare for Apple to bring back old technology (although we’re glad to see the return of the SD card reader on the MacBook Pro), but will that change for TouchID on the iPhone? While the fingerprint recognition system remains on the iPhone SE, the larger handset relies on FaceID. The iPhone 15 family was supposed to be the big comeback, but that seems doubtful:
“In addition, [Bloomberg’s Mark] Gurman suggests Apple won’t bring back Touch ID on the iPhone 15 or any of the upcoming flagship iPhones in the coming years. There’s a chance we’ll see an iPhone SE with a side-mounted Touch ID scanner built into the power button below the bar. “
(Activation via GSM Arena).
iPhone 14 Pro has more power issues
Not content with dealing with charging issues in software and missing gears and cogs in camera hardware, iPhone 14 Pro owners have a new problem to deal with… camera bump makes wireless charging difficult, if not impossible. By pushing the handset up and away from the charging plates, the resulting gap of a few millimeters is enough to disrupt the Qi charging option. And since this is a natural problem, there is no obvious fix via a software update:
“However, many owners of the new iPhone 14 Pro are reporting a major inconvenience associated with the camera zoom required to make all of this happen. Not only did the camera have early problems with physical vibration in third-party apps, but now owners are reporting that their wireless chargers won’t work with the handset.”
(The Mac Observer).
Gaming Powerhouse needs a modifier
And the iPhone 14 Pro fun doesn’t end there. Apple prides itself on the performance the A16 Bionic chipset brings to the handset, but it proves temperamental under constant charge. This usually happens during long periods of gaming and, as Nadeem Sarwar notes, the thermal capabilities of the new iPhone are not desirable:
“The iPhone 14 Pro has uncharacteristically poor heat management hardware. Every demanding game I played for 30 minutes or more turned the phone into a hot sandwich of glass and metal. The heat is mostly in the area below the camera hump.”
iPhone 14 Plus reviewed
The first wave of reviews for the iPhone 14 Plus – the larger version of the regular iPhone – is coming. With an incredibly similar feature set to the iPhone 14, it’s almost all about the size. Allison Johnson begins the review with a look at the physical differences in the 14 Plus:
“This is probably an obvious point, but the feeling of having more visual space when using this phone – especially compared to a 6.1-inch model – is real. More text fits on its screen, and games and videos are a little more immersive. But it also handles a lot like a big phone. It’s a real struggle to use it one-handed, even with iOS 16’s “accessibility” interface controls. A lot of people are fine with a big phone, but the The 6.1-inch 14 and 14 Pro feel much more comfortable in my hand.”
USB-C is getting a little more universal
Following legislation passed by the European Parliament, USB-C has been adopted as the universal charging standard, with relevant consumer electronics sold in Europe having to use this standard to gain certification. While Android manufacturers may not have too many problems here, Apple’s reliance on a dedicated connection to the lightning point will be the most significant case:
“In an industry-changing move, the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new law requiring all consumer electronics to use the USB-C port by the end of 2024. And with opponents already onboard , the law’s primary target is Apple and its AirPods and iPhone lines.
“Apple still has the option to keep Lightning ports outside of the European Union. But the economic benefits of the dedicated port will likely be offset by the complexity that breaking up production will bring to Apple’s supply chain.”
One person who agrees with this decision is iPod designer Tony Fadell – although note that he’s an investor in Nothing Tech:
“Fadell said the regulation only happened because Apple has a monopoly position. The engineer believes some pro-consumer regulation and standardization is necessary, as companies are not always interested in doing the ‘right thing in the interest of society.’
(@tfadell via 9to5Mac).
Qualcomm Patents Challenge Failed
The saga of smartphone patents held by Qualcomm and used by the industry, including Apple, continues. Apple is seeking to invalidate some of the patents:
“The US Supreme Court on Monday again refused to hear Apple Inc’s bid to revive a bid to invalidate three Qualcomm Inc smartphone patents despite a settlement of the underlying dispute between the two tech giants… The companies settled their underlying fight in 2019, signing a billion-dollar deal that allowed Apple to continue using Qualcomm chips in iPhones. The settlement included Apple’s license to thousands of Qualcomm patents, but allowed patent board proceedings to continue.”
Apple reports that its music streaming service, Apple Music, now lists one hundred million songs for people to listen to online. That’s the equivalent of a seven-inch stack of singles rising 62 miles into the sky… that would be above the Karman line and considered “in space.”
Twenty-one years after the invention of iTunes and the debut of the original iPod, we’ve gone from 1,000 songs in your pocket to 100,000 times that on Apple Music. That’s amazing growth by any measure. The entire history, present and future of music is at your fingertips or voice command.
More music than you can listen to in a lifetime or many lifetimes. More music than any other platform. Simply the greatest collection of music, in any format, ever.”
What we don’t understand is the track that was the 100 millionth song. Boo!
The Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here at 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 the Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.