Looking back on another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop features Apple’s FaceTime issues, iPhone 14 Pro camera broken, serious power issues with haptic keyboard, Apple’s secret iPhone repair upgrade, Apple Maps turns ten , Apple’s App Association support, and the ongoing saga of a foldable iPhone takes a new turn.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the many discussions surrounding Apple over the past seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
Apple confirms FaceTime issues
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro owners who have purchased the new handsets are experiencing FaceTime and iMessage issues. Even with an update to iOS 16.0.1, the apps are unusable. There is no news of a full fix yet, but Apple has confirmed the issue:
“…the company has confirmed additional issues with iMessage and FaceTime. In a new support document, Apple has also admitted that “iMessage and FaceTime may not complete activation on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro” and acknowledges that issues may still occur , even after updating to iOS 16.0.1.”Read:Apple Looking to Make Its AR/VR Headsets More Immersive With Sharper Displays
Audible Grinding Tears iPhone 14 Pro Camera
That’s not the only problem. Some users report that the phone makes grinding noises and vibrates when they try to take photos with third-party apps such as SnapChat and TikTok, severely distorting the camera images and in some cases damaging the camera hardware. The problem doesn’t appear to be universal, but MacRumors has collected complaints from users on multiple social media sites and its own forums, as has The Guardian. Some YouTubers have also documented the phenomenon:
“The distortion and judder are most likely caused by the camera’s optical image stabilization gyroscope, which, in normal use, corrects for jitter and hand movement so that the camera can capture a little more light without producing blurry photos (although the iPhone cameras have). a kind of “optical” zoom, it is achieved using several physical lenses and not one lens with mechanical parts that can physically zoom in and out).Read:Get an iPhone 12 and other great Apple devices on sale today
Apple has confirmed that a software fix is on the way to address the camera shake issue. Until then, Apple’s own apps aren’t causing any audible problems.
Battery impact on haptic keyboard
Problems always come in threes, of course, so the third iPhone issue this week is here, and it has to do with the haptic keyboard. The improvements in iOS 16 to keyboard feedback could negatively impact battery life, Apple confirms:
In the support document, Apple outlines how the keyboard’s new haptics feature changes your iPhone: “Your iPhone keyboard may make a sound or vibrate as you type.” As we’ve explained in the past, you can enable this feature in the Settings app. under the ‘Keyboard Feedback’ option in the ‘Sounds & Haptics’ menu.
However, at the bottom of the support document, Apple has a small warning for users who enable keyboard haptics: “Enabling keyboard haptics may affect your iPhone’s battery life.”
Restore secrets in the new iPhone
The team at iFixit conducted their annual teardown of the new iPhone models to find out how they’re constructed, what components and techniques were used, and perhaps most importantly, how easy third-party repairs will be.Read:Spotify audiobooks launch with 300k titles, but no discounts
The iPhone 14 may look quite like the iPhone 13 from the outside, but there has been a significant redesign of the inside. The handset is now built in such a way that both the front and back of the phone can be opened to make repairs. It’s fair to say the team is impressed:
“The back glass is easily secured with two screws and a single connector… And as a bonus, removing the exact same screws as the back glass gives you access to the screen. Just two screws and both the screen and back glass are immediately accessible. Incredible. This is a drastic rethink of the phone and the new approach affects most aspects of the design. Adding an all-new opening surface introduces a world of engineering challenges. There’s twice the circumference to seal against water , lots of radio frequency complications, and a whole world of parts changes.”
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, unfortunately, are a different story… because the hardware tells the same story as the last few years of repair-hostile clunky internal designs:
“This is the same well-known process as the 13 – and the last five years of iPhones, for that matter – and very different from the brand-new procedure we discovered in the iPhone 14. Apple completely dropped its innovative new design from its flagship phone… the problem with this is the ridiculous difficulty of repairing the rear window. Apple’s price for rear window repair on the 14 Pro Max is $549, a price that seems absurd, but in fact reflects the difficult process.”
(I fix it).
Apple Maps turns ten
Launched in a state that felt sloppy at best, Apple Maps has always overtaken the competition. Ten years after its launch, the disaster of a launch is behind us as Apple works to improve the app. Is it at the level of Google Maps? Mostly, if you ask the US market, but it has a way of going elsewhere in the world:
“I’m also lucky enough to use Apple Maps while living in a metropolitan area of the US. One of my colleagues in Europe is not happy that Apple still doesn’t offer directions in Amsterdam, the cycling capital of the world. Apple redesigned maps are only available in a handful of countries outside the US, including the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, although Apple first started talking about the new maps in 2018.”
Apple and the App Association
Emily Birnbaum of Bloomberg reports on claims that Apple contributes to the App Association (ACT), which represents app developers for small businesses. Since Apple’s App Store is one of the main routes to market, this support is worth noting:
The group, known as ACT, says Apple is not obligated, but confirmed it gets more than half of its funding from the company. The former employees say the actual percentage is much higher.
“…ACT executives defended the company’s role. ACT president Morgan Reed said in an interview that it “passes the laughter test” to say that the association is the front man for Apple. “Our job is to make sure we pay attention to how government can, inadvertently or otherwise, impact all those small businesses that make cool software products,” Reed said.
Apple’s latest patent application is curious. Yes, it continues Apple’s R&D efforts around a foldable iPhone, but it also discusses a new protective screen cover marked as “self-healing”:
Apple suggests that while the screen could extend across the entire device, it could consist of three elements. Two would be regular, fixed screens, while the third would be a flexible part connecting them together… Apple suggests that this flexible layer itself “may contain a layer of elastomer”, and this is the self-healing element. Elastomer is stretchy, but can be made to return to its original shape – an analogy would be the memory foam in certain mattresses. Usually, that ability to return to a previous form is caused by heat, such as body heat from a person sleeping on a mattress.
Apple Loop brings you seven days of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any news 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.