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Apple Breakfast: Folding iPhones and ARM-based Macs

apple-breakfast:-folding-iphones-and-arm-based-macs



Two days to WWDC, and antitrust investigations on two continents: all the Apple news you missed this week, in a handy bite-sized roundup


Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.

If you’d like to get regular roundups of breaking Apple news, sign up to our newsletters.

Antitrust in me

To be investigated in one continent for alleged violations of competition law may be regarded as a misfortune; to be investigated in two looks like carelessness.

At the end of last week it was announced that Apple would face questioning in the US House of Representatives, after developers criticised the company for its insistence on taking a 30% cut of subscription revenues. (To be fair to Apple, it’s not the only tech giant under investigation: Facebook, Amazon and Google parent company Alphabet will be questioned too.)

Days later we were hearing almost the same story, only this time in Europe: the EU is going to investigate the App Store and Apple Pay.

And now, on perilously similar ground, it’s emerged that Apple has threatened to remove the email app Hey from the App Store unless the startup enables users to sign up for the $99 subscription through the app, as well as externally – which would coincidentally earn Apple a 15-30% commission. Marketing boss Phil Schiller later attempted to explain the company’s position, arguing that “There are many things they could do to make the app work within the rules we have. We would love for them to do that.”

We understand that Apple has to earn its share from app transactions – it maintains the store, after all, and has running costs of its own – but the annoyance seems to stem from inconsistency. Larger apps such as Netflix seem to be allowed to direct users to external payment methods without sanction, and Apple needs to be careful not to lose a lot of goodwill over this issue.

An ARM and a legend

Last week’s Breakfast led on the story that Apple is about to switch from Intel to its own ARM-based chips on the Mac. As WWDC approaches – the keynote is on Monday night, at 6pm UK time – we’re getting more and more excited about it.

Our Swedish colleague Samuel Nyberg calls the move “a monumental, structural, architectural change”. Read an English translation of his article here: Great news for Mac looms, at a historic WWDC.

We also hear that the first ARM-based Mac is already being planned. It will be a 12in MacBook, and launch in 2021.

News in brief

As mentioned previously, there are just two days to go until WWDC 2020. Invitations went out this week – although those are invitations in the loosest of senses. You won’t be allowed anywhere near the keynote speech, which will be broadcast online and has probably already been recorded. (Sorry if that spoils the magic.)

On the same subject, Apple has highlighted the work of the bright-eyed young developers who’ve won its Swift Student Challenge. The winners won’t be going to WWDC this year, of course, but we wish them well in their careers.

Apple has updated its 16in MacBook Pro and Mac Pro line-ups. Nothing earth-shattering: the MBP gets new graphics card options and the MP gets a new SSD kit.

Slightly harsh but probably fair results from a recent survey show that users think Apple TV+ offers the worst value for money of all the streaming services.

Apple’s smartwatch market share is down. But chin up, Tim Apple: you’re still selling two and a half times as many watch units as your closest rival.

Apple Stores continue to gradually reopen following their corona-related closure, but what safety procedures are in place and is it safe to visit?

And in Non-Apple News That Affects Lots Of Apple Users, this week’s big story was that Adobe has updated Creative Cloud – in fact, it’s the biggest revision in ages. Here’s everything you need to know.

Bugs and problems

Another week with only one bug to report! Things are looking up.

So what’s the problem? Oh yes: plugging an older USB device into a hub has been reported as causing some 2020 MacBooks to crash.

The rumour mill

iPhone 12 moulds have leaked, indicating that this autumn’s handsets will have straight sides and the same notch as current models – although there is a possibility that they tell us only how accessory makers are interpreting the rumours, rather than coming from Apple directly. Oh, and it won’t come with any headphones.

The week’s most interesting iPhone leak, however, relates to a future generation – the iPhone 13, perhaps. Hot-streak leaker Jon Prosser says a foldable iPhone is currently at the prototype stage.

Patent activity strongly hints at the next version of macOS being called Mammoth, Monterey or Skyline.

Apple Glass, Apple’s as yet unconfirmed AR glasses project, hasn’t even been announced yet and already we’re hearing rumours about version two. At some point in the future – based on patent activity – the device will automatically adjust lenses to suit your prescription and put opticians out of business forever. Possibly.

Thomas Armbrüster has given Macworld readers a glimpse of the processors available for the new iMac we expect to appear on Monday night.

Reports suggest that Apple will unveil a new iPad mini and iPad Air this autumn, both of which will feature larger screens than ever before. In the Air’s case that means 10.8in, but it’s increased in size once before; the mini, on the other hand, has always been 7.9in. This year it’s going to leap up to… 8in.

References to a new Car Key feature have been spotted in the beta of iOS 13.6. It’s exactly what it sounds like, letting you store digital car keys in the Wallet app and unlock your vehicle using only your phone. That might sound like a nice feature to trumpet in iOS 14, but the smart money is on it rolling out in the public release of iOS 13.6.

And talking of iOS 14, code discovered in that pesky leaked build suggest a redesigned iMac will launch imminently.

That’s it for this week. Stay Appley!


, Editor

David has loved the iPhone since covering the original 2007 launch; later his obsession expanded to include iPad and Apple Watch. He offers advice to owners (and prospective owners) of these devices.

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