Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Apple finally fixing the iOS 12 charging problems, ignoring the other iOS 12 bugs, damaging consumer confidence, why you might want to wait before buying the iPhone XR, kill switches in MacBooks, saving lives with the Apple Watch, and the new iPad Pro release date.
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 XS Charging Issues Tweaked In iOS 12.01 Update
Following countless online reports that Apple’s PR team refused to comment on, a minor update to iOS (v 12.0.1) has addressed the issue around the iPhone XS’ charging problems. This saw many iOS powered smartphones refusing to charge while in standby. The change log is Apple’s first acknowledgement of the issue. Harrison Weber reports:
Apple says iOS 12.0.1 “fixes an issue where some iPhone XS devices did not immediately charge when connected to a Lightning cable.” Apple first addressed the new iPhone’s charging issues (Chargegate) in a beta release of iOS 12.1. The broader release of 12.1 is still on the way, and it will include some fancy new emoji when it lands.
More at Gizmodo. Of course this is not the only issue, there are far more worrying issues on show in iOS 12. Gordon Kelly has taken a closer look at a growing list of problems:
A major issue iOS 12.0.1 upgraders are reporting is broken calls.. Since upgrading, owners of both new and old iPhones are finding their phones either don’t make or receive calls. Similarly, investigative site PiunikaWeb has found iOS 12.0.1 does nothing to fix the 4G/LTE connectivity problems suffered by a lot of new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max owners.
Meanwhile, Bluetooth connectivity has been hit as has WiFi and battery life problems are once again surfacing on an iOS generation which Apple has promoted as being all about efficiency, stability and speed.
Why is Apple having so many problems with the new hardware and software, and why is it not following best customer practices and engaging with those having issues? The aura around the company gives it more protection than most companies in similar situations, but ‘Apple’s reality distortion field’ is growing weaker. These issues are chipping away at consumer confidence in Tim Cook’s Apple:
The last few percentage points of quality are the hardest to get right, but Apple’s reputation is that it can deliver that final step up the quality ladder to provide magical experiences. That may have been true under Steve Jobs, but as his influence becomes second- and third-hand knowledge within Apple’s rank and file staff, there is a complacency starting to shine through.
Whether that is through reduced staffing in the QA department, lower standards being applied, or too much testing being demanded from the available resources doesn’t really matter to consumers. What matters is that the famed Apple reliability is no longer something that can be counted on.
More thoughts here from myself.
Maybe You Should Wait Before Buying The iPhone XR?
With the iPhone XR pre-orders opening next week (and retail sale the week after) there is a keen sense of anticipation within the geekerati. Have consumers been waiting for the XR to be available, or have the bulk of the ’need a new iPhone’ crowd already purchased the XS or XS Plus. The answer is key to Apple’s Q4 sales, but it’s also something every Apple fan looking to purchase from the 2018 portfolio will be considering. Adam Mills has the pros and cos of going for the iPhone XR, noting that Apple’s ongoing issues loom over initial sales of the XR:
Apple’s fixed some of these early problems, but iPhone XS problems continue to linger as we push deeper into the fall. New iPhones almost always come with hardware issues and the iPhone XR will almost certainly have issues of its own.
If you don’t want to deal with early problems, you’ll want to hang around and wait for Apple to fix them. The company is planning to roll out a huge iOS 12.1 update sometime this fall and we will likely see additional iOS 12 updates in late 2018 and early 2019.
More at Gotta Be Mobile.
MacBook Repairs Not Locked Out… Yet
If you see a gun in act one, it’s going to be fired by act three. So if you build a lock-out for repairs not authorised by Apple, the lock-out system will trigger… when? The last week has seen details of the latest security system in the MacBook laptops. I took a closer look at the issues earlier this week:
Indeed, this is not a time to celebrate, this is a time to question. Apple has form in locking out repairs (notably the TouchID sensor and home button in the iPhone), and you would not spend your limited engineering time and resources to build a lock-out system for the new MacBooks and not use it. In effect Tim Cook has built the digital equivalent of Chekhov’s Gun.
…Apple has built a lock-out system. Therefore Apple needs to be asked when this is going to become active, and what will be put in place for those who do not wish to use the Apple Store or Authorized Service Centres to repair their machine.
More here on Forbes.
That’s How You Save A Life
The Apple Watch will save lives… not every life, and not in every circumstance, but the medical sensors in the Apple Watch Series 4 (when they are full activated around the world) will have an impact on personal health. Paramedic Rich Mogull explains:
Thanks to its health monitoring features, the new Apple Watch Series 4 will save lives, probably within weeks of launch. I’ve been on real calls that might have had happier endings had the person been wearing one. I don’t know if wearing one would have saved that first victim—probably not—but Apple should get full credit for building a mainstream device that will save some lives.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The Apple Watch Series 4 is far from a comprehensive life-saving device. It suffers from some serious limitations and faces some very real obstacles, especially cost and battery life, but in the end, some people will live longer because they wear one. Over time these features will become more reliable, more affordable, and more comprehensive, especially as Apple’s competitors catch up.
More at Tidbits as Mogull explains the benefits of the three key sensors – fall detection, atrial fibrillation detection and the simplified electrocardiogram (and a hat tip to John Gruber).
When will Apple launch the new iPad Pro hardware? The October event is not as permanent as the September iPhone event, but David Phelan has started sleuthing:
I would have said the week commencing October 15 was likely but for the fact that it’s so very nearly here. I’m sure the following week is out while the iPhone XR goes on sale and the CEO visits Brussels.
So, I’d guess the last few days of October may be the ones to watch. Apple never has an event on a Monday, apart from the WWDC keynote, so keep an eye on Tuesday October 30 or Wednesday October 31. Thursday November 1 is fourth-quarter earnings day, so that’s out, but the following week isn’t impossible
More here on Forbes.
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.