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).
Vital Security Updates Available Now
In all the launches, it’s important for Apple users not to get carried away in the hype and keep an eye out for security patches and bug fixes. Apple has rushed out iOS 17.0.1 (alongside similar updates for iPadOS and macOS) to address three critical vulnerabilities around webkit and kernel attacks:
“As always, Apple has released very little detail about any of these iOS vulnerabilities, or the exploits using them. This is no surprise, as Apple delays such detail until as many users as possible have had the chance to update their devices so as to prevent other attackers from producing exploits.”
iPhone 15 Pro Max Camera Makes The Difference
This week saw first the reviews and then the public availability of Apple’s new iPhones, with photography high up on the marketing ladder. Chris Niccolls looks over the Pro and Pro Max variants with the eye of a professional photographer, noting the combination of lenses (bar one) is the same hardware as the iPhone 14 Pro. That one new lens is the 120mm lens on the 15 Pro Max. Does it make a difference:
“I certainly enjoyed the new focal length for portraits and the occasional shot at a distance. The optical stabilization unit does a good job of allowing for stable hand-held shots, although image quality-wise, it’s very similar to the 77mm f/2.8 lens on the 15 Pro. The tele cameras are 12-megapixels, and due to the relatively small sensors inside, they suffer from some noise, especially in darker situations. The only appreciable differences between the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are the screen size and which telephoto camera you get, so those should be your main deciding factors.
iPhone 15 Pro’s Big Win Is Thanks To EU
Much is being made of the addition of USB-C over all four variants of the iPhone 15 family, an addition we should remember that Apple refused to consider until the European Union mandated universal charging ports to reduce e-waste. Not much is being made of this because, well, there’s not much else that has changed:
“The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are no exception to recent trends: they’re not seismic shifts; they’re just a bit better than the things that came before them in a lot of small but meaningful ways. What’s unusual this time around is how easy it is to boil those changes down to the simple numbers and specs: 19 grams, USB 3, 120mm. This isn’t just a vibe shift; these are updates you can see and measure. And they add up.”
The Small Small Steps Of Progress
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus pick up the aforementioned move to USB-C, along with the “dynamic island” notification area surrounding the selfie camera and the A16 Bionic chipset launched in the iPhone 14 Pro last year. All are welcome changes, but the iterative steps mean progress is limited:
“Overall, these changes come together to make the iPhone 15 feel like a big step forward for those upgrading from an aging iPhone. (That includes me, an iPhone 12 owner.) But it’s not a dramatic difference from Apple’s previous generation phone. Rather, it feels like an extension of the iPhone 14 Pro, which can make it hard to recommend over last year’s premium iPhone if you can still find it at a discount.”
Apple Watch Ultra 2 And The New Battery
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 was also released. Apple’s most powerful wearable to date again offers some solid arguments for updating, including offline maps, more haptic features, and Apple’s carbon-neutral claims. Yet the battery life remains an issue in everyday use:
“With what some might consider normal use—one GPS-tracked run per day, along with some walking and swimming—the Watch Ultra 2’s battery life can stretch almost four days. However, with what I would consider the expected use of the Watch Ultra 2—a trail run with GPS-enabled workout tracking, playing music, and running Backtrack (sort of)—I can drain the Ultra 2’s battery by about 25 percent in two hours.”
What Now For Your Next MacBook?
With news that Apple is unlikely to launch an M3-powered MacBook Pro or MacBook Air in October, those who need a new macOS laptop have several options to consider. One is to wait until 2024 for the latest hardware; another is to choose a reconditioned model:
“Apple has finally added the largest MacBook Air to the refurbished section of the Apple Store. Refurb machines have replaced defective parts and are inspected and certified before going on sale. When they are sold, it is with a full Apple warranty that matches the warranty of a new machine. The laptops are also eligible for Apple Care, giving you the same protection as buying a new laptop offers. The difference is that you get a discount of around fifteen percent on the list price.”
Apple’s long lead times mean that the 2024 iPhone planning is under way, and 2025 and 2026 models are being discussed as well. So it won’t come as a surprise that plans for the 2026 Jaxx chipset are also being discussed, and after the debut of 3nm silicon fabrication this year, a three-year jump to 2nm is entirely plausible.
“In a recent post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple will likely begin to use TSMC’s 2-nanometer chip fabrication technology to produce iPhone chips as early as 2026. The iPhone 15 Pro’s A17 Pro chip is the industry’s first 3-nanometer chip, sporting performance and efficiency improvements thanks to its increased transistor density.”
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.
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