Looking back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes a round-up of iPhone 14 Pro reviews, Apple’s hidden iPhone price hike, Android’s lead over the iPhone, an annoying upgrade to eSIM, the Apple Watch series. 8 review, new security updates for older iPhones, photo contrast issues and what Dynamic Island should be called.
The Apple Loop is here to remind you of the many discussions at Apple over the past seven days (and you can read my weekly Android news at Forbes).
iPhone 14 Pro reviewed
With Apple’s new iPhone 14 handsets on sale, the first reviews have arrived. Ahead of the public release, Apple has provided several iPhone 14 Pro units for review. The consensus is that Apple has certainly built on the iPhone 13 Pro platform but hasn’t thrown a knock-out punch to the competition…even if the dynamic island’s approach to notifications is deceptive:
“Perhaps the biggest talking point is the dynamic island. Apple is hyping it up as a brand new way to work with your smartphone. For the more cynical, it’s a giant notification pop-up that tries to hide the display cut-out. The cameras and Face ID. As always, the truth lies somewhere. is in the middle.”
Apple has hidden the iPhone price hike
During the Apple event, Tim Cook and his team announced pricing for the iPhone 14 family, and the returning handsets were priced to match their iPhone 13 counterparts (so the iPhone 14 stayed at $799, the 14 Pro at $999, and the 14 Pro maxed out at $1099); This was good news for Apple’s US fans. Unfortunately, once you check the local price, all you see is that prices are going up.
You can highlight the strong dollar and constraints in the supply chain, but with US and Chinese iPhone prices holding steady, there’s a sense that Apple is biased towards its two biggest markets, and everyone needs to support them:
“…Apple introduced price hikes for some — if not all — iPhone 14 models worldwide. For example, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models in the UK have increased by £70 ($80) and £100 ($115) respectively. Similarly, in Europe, there are jumps to €110 ($111) for standard models and €170 ($172) for Pro models. While in Japan, iPhone 14 prices have risen by an average of 21,000 yen ($145).
Apple, you’re playing catch-up
Apple may have packed in some magical words and celebratory phrases, but that doesn’t mean the technology in the iPhone is ground-breaking. Miriam Zoire points out how long Apple’s geekerati have been waiting for many features:
“But here’s the thing. High-megapixel-count sensors that control pixel binning are nothing new. The Nokia 808 Pureview (Symbian) pioneered this technique in 2012 with a 41MP sensor, followed by Nokia’s Lumia 1020 (which added Windows Phone), in fact, in 2018 with a 40MP quad-bearer. From Huawei’s P20 Pro flagship, which used a sensor (Sony IMX600), pixel binning is par for the course in Android land.”
Apple’s annoying upgrade to eSIM
Apple’s move to eSIM for iPhones sold in the US is interesting. This will certainly push the new technology forward – and the eSIM industry will no doubt hope that Apple’s adoption will force other manufacturers to follow suit – but from a practical perspective, those traveling beyond their own country have found the eSIM annoying and awkward. Not available at best, and at worst. Photographer Austin Mann offers some practical feedback on why eSIM is still not mature enough for travelers:
“I’m a little concerned about the practicality of an eSIM-only approach for travelers with US iPhones who frequently visit the developing world. My wife and I usually drop into a plan, change money, and pick up a local SIM card. It’s easier and cheaper to communicate with people in the country. I use these SIM cards. I keep it in my everyday bag (see picture above), and I can swap out the SIM card once I land in the areas I frequent and be ready to go.
“Apple recommends using an eSIM to get your line ahead of time, so I tried to sign up for a line in East Africa (we plan to go there sometime next summer), but still can’t figure out how.”
(Apple Support and Austin Mann).
Apple Watch Series 8 Review
The iPhone 14 family takes the previous model and builds on a lot of small improvements that add to the new model, just as the Apple Watch Series 8 builds on the Series 7. The new Apple Watch Ultra packs in features and Apple. The Watch SE targets the mid-range, the series’ branded range, highlighting the slow and steady changes to arguably the best-selling smartphone:
“Spoiler alert: It’s not a fast chip. As far as performance and battery life go, the S8’s chip is virtually identical to the S7’s, which is basically the same as the S6. (I’m sensing a theme here.) What the S8 adds is a bunch of new sensors to the mix. Namely, you get two temperature sensors. , get a new Hi-G accelerometer and a new gyroscope. These new sensors power the Series 8’s two marquee features: cycle tracking and crash detection.”
Older iOS hardware picks up vital security patches
With a new iOS release, Apple leaves older Apple hardware locked to iOS 15 as much as possible – meaning only the first-generation iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus and iPod touch receive emergency security updates to iOS 15. .
This is useful as Apple released iOS 15.7 with the release of iOS 16, the former providing the latest security patches on critical bugs.
“According to Apple’s official security page, iOS 15.7 patches 11 vulnerabilities, the most serious of which is CVE-2022-32917. This vulnerability is in the iOS kernel, which could potentially allow attackers to execute malicious code on iPhones and iPads. iOS 15.7 fixes two additional vulnerabilities in the kernel, Both fix flaws in WebKit (the engine behind Safari) and Contacts, Maps, Media Library, and Shortcuts.”
Where is my phone’s contrast?
As tastes change, software changes to match. That’s certainly happening with imaging software as manufacturers tweak algorithms for a more natural look. But is that what many want? What if you took modern photos on old equipment with a different bias? For example contrast:
“When I look back at the photos I took in those few fleeting hours [of using an iPhone SE], I noticed that I didn’t see much in the photos of the new phones – something I didn’t know I was missing. That thing? Contrast. It’s fallen out of favor with smartphone image processing lately, but there are some easy ways to bring it back to your photos. I think it’s a good time for us to do that.”
A fun chat on reddit with this week’s big question. If not ‘Dynamic Island’, what name have you created for Apple’s performance notification bar?
“My money’s on “Chill Pill”, “Top Notch” or simply “Island”. Which name would you suggest? Dynamic Island is perfectly descriptive, but it feels like it’s missing the magic and metaphor of names like “Airdrop”. “Center Stage”, and “FaceTime “.I’m thinking the name might be better?”
Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of headlines every weekend here at Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any future coverage. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here or this week’s edition of the Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, also available on Forbes.