Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the latest iPhone 14 leaks, benchmarks of the new M2, macOS Ventura new features, a larger MacBook Air, a smaller MacBook Pro, the latest iPad controversy , future of the Apple Watch, and an important anniversary.
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).
iPhone 14 Selfie Camera Details
New details on the upcoming iPhone 14 family have come to light this week, and it’s all about the forward-facing selfie camera. Details on the options come from long-term Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, with autofocus and an improved portrait mode on the cards:
“The front camera of four new iPhone 14 models in 2H22 would likely upgrade to AF (autofocus) & about f/1.9 aperture (vs. iPhone 13’s FF (fixed-focus) and f/2.2). AF support and a lower f- number can provide a better shallow depth-of-field effect for selfie/portrait mode. In addition, AF can also enhance the focus effect for FaceTime/video call/live streaming.”
How Much More Does Two Give Over One?
The ever-reliable Geekbench has spotted some early benchmarking of Apple’s new M2 chipset, with a potential 20 per cent increase in raw power compared to the M1. Do note that this is only the original M1… the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra are all outperforming the M2:
“The M2, which runs at 3.49GHz compared to 3.2GHz for the M1, earned a single-core score of 1919, which is roughly 12 percent faster than the 1707 single-core score of the M1 13-inch MacBook Pro. The M2 earned a multi-core score of 8928, up about 20 percent from the 7419 score of the M1 model.”
(Geekbench via MacRumors).
A Closer Look At macOS Ventura
With the beta release of macOS Ventura, Apple is pulling the codebase further away from the older Intel-based Macs in favor of its own Apple Silicon. It’s also notable that – much like Continuity last year – not ever feature announced at WWDC will be available in Ventura when it launches. It may be a signposted release, but it is very much an interactive process:
“That progression is far from surprising. Apple even said at the launch of Apple Silicon that it was doing the transition specifically to be able to take the Mac further. What also shouldn’t be surprising is that macOS Ventura isn’t finished yet. Apple was up front about how features like the Freeform collaboration tool won’t be released until later this year, and going through the beta you see other elements that aren’t ready or complete.”
When The Air Is Bigger
You might have to wait until 2023, but Apple is finally answering the desires of many MacBook Air fans. The latest leaks build on previous discussions around the release of the first MacBook Air with a 15-inch display:
“Apple has offered Mac laptops with smaller screens including the original 11-inch MacBook Air and a 12-inch MacBook, but never moved into the larger laptop category. Presumably, the MacBook Pro range is strong enough to be differentiated by power and not by size.The only catch is this new and exciting future for the MacBook Air is in the future.”
Apple’s Controversial iPad Pro Decision
Apple introduced a new way of multitasking iPad apps in iPadOS16 with Stage Manager; while at the same time limiting it to iPad models equipped with the M1 chipset, with Apple’s Craig Federighi citing the larger amount of RAM, faster virtual memory available, and the more ‘computer’ focused support on 4K, 5K, and 6K monitors.
This seems rather a lot for what many Apple fans see as a Window Manager that is better suited for iPad use on any iPad. And for everyone who bought a high-end iPad in the last two years, to not get a new feature stands in opposition to the perception of Apple offering long-term support. Ben Lovejoy notes:
“My bet is that most 2018-2020 iPad Pro owners would rather have a constrained Stage Manager experience than none at all. We’d accept four apps rather than eight. We’d accept a simpler animation. We’d accept a slightly slower switch (and let’s face it, every performance increase offered by each new generation of app is scarcely noticeable in anything but gaming, so the speed difference would indeed be slight).”
Watch The Future
Speaking to Apple COO Jeff Williams, VP (Health) Dr. Sumbul Desai, and VP (Fitness) Jay Blahnik, Darrell Etherington reports on Apple’s first steps with the Apple Watch, how its health potential caught Apple by surprise, and what happens next with the popular wearable:
“Williams said that the impact of that felt responsibility is what has resulted in the many health features Apple has introduced in the years since the Watch’s introduction, both on the Watch and across its platforms. Ultimately, Williams said, Apple has two “fundamental tenets ” that undergird its approach to introducing new health-related products and services: that they be “deeply grounded in science,” and that “privacy is at the core of everything” Apple does.”
This week saw the tenth anniversary of the first Retina display equipped MacBook Pro. Ten years later, many of these laptops are still running. And ten years later, many of the features introduced and removed from the line-up have returned in 2022. Gerard Lynch has an ode to the most-expensive laptop ever… at least for their wallet:
“Its screen was a thing of beauty, topping out at 2880 x 1800 resolution with a 220ppi pixel density, popping with brightness and color. Its keyboard remains the best I’ve ever used on a laptop, offering plenty of travel despite its low profile Its selection of ports, including a full-sized HDMI and SD Card slot, was so useful that Apple has returned to a similar array for its most recent and best MacBook Pro configurations – not to mention the now-returning magnetically-snapping MagSafe charging cable, an idea so wonderfully safe and intuitive that you have to wonder why Apple ever saw it wise to remove it from the lineup.”
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.