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Apple Classical become a thing, another new HomePod for ’24, and some new Apple patents

Appleviews – 10th March 2023

Apple Original Shrinking gets a 2nd season

The wheels keep moving

In the week that it possibly became apparent that we may not get an event from Apple this spring, there has still been plenty of news floating around, that I can send you off in to the weekend to mull over.

Let’s start of with the obvious…

A classic move

Apple Classical – the dedicated classical music player from Apple, yesterday, became a reality. It will launch on 28th March, and is available on pre-order now.

This story stems back a few years now, to 2021, when Apple bought the classical streaming service Primephonic. Apple have taken their time in deciding how best to utilise the catalogue they bought, but finally, the new platform has been unveiled.

Apple Classical will have a library of over five million tracks on its database at launch, along with curated playlists, composer information, and Apple exclusives. If you have an Apple Music, or Apple One bundle, then this new service comes at no additional cost.

Being a dedicated classical music app, the interface, as you’d expect, reflects that, and you’ll be able to search by composer, conductor, and even a catalogue number.

Apple has also bought numerous high-res digital portraits of composers such as Beethoven, and Bach to compliment the app, and complimentary colour palettes from the classical period will be used throughout the UI.

A smart move

On the back of the release, earlier this year, of the new, full-sized HomePod, Apple is now rumoured to be looking in to releasing another new model, next year.

Ming-Chi Kuo took to Medium yesterday, to reveal what he knows about this new smart speaker.

According to Kuo, it will look unique from any of Apple’s smart speakers, so far, as it will house a 7-inch display, and will see further other benefits when used as part of a smart home.

Tianma is about to be added to the roster of Apple’s display supply chain, as they are set to be the exclusive panel supplier for the speaker. Kuo speculates that the speaker will be available as early as 1H24. In his blog-post, he went on to say that;

“The HomePod, which equips a panel, could enable tighter integration with Apple’s other hardware products, marking a significant shift in the company’s smart home strategy.”

It’s good times for Tianma, as they seem to be featuring heavily in Apple’s future plans. They’ll start off slowly, with lower-end products, but will eventually supply higher-end products too. Tianma’s next orders from Apple may be for iPad panels if this first shipment goes well.

Still my favourite

You must know by now, I am a huge fan of the Apple TV+ original, Shrinking – episode ten is available today.

The comedy, with its wonderful cast led by Jason Segel, and Harrison Ford, and the beautifully crafted scripts, has been a success from episode one, back in January.

It’s consistently been in the top of all streaming platforms this year, and that success has just been rewarded with a second season being commissioned.

Matt Cherniss, head of programming for Apple TV+ said that;

“We have loved the engaging, touching and hilarious world of Shrinking since the beginning, and it has been wonderful to watch as audiences around the world continue to connect with these big-hearted characters; we can’t wait for viewers to experience what the cast and creative team have for season two.”

Still, by far, the best series I have watched this year. I’ve also started to get in to Liaison too, though. Set in London, and starring Bond girl, Eva Green, it’s another series I can honestly recommend.

A nod of the head

Apple is looking in to new, and innovative ways to control the volume on AirPods.

This week, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that details the possibility that next gen AirPods will use gestures, and head movements to adjust the volume.

The patents suggest it possible that you may be able to adjust the volume on the earbuds, simply using head movements, gestures, poses and more.

Apple thinks this could be beneficial when the user’s hands may be occupied, preventing the user from adjusting the volume level. For example, if you’re exercising, or training, gestures would prove a far more convenient way to alter the volume.

Let’s face it

Under display face ID on iPhone is still some way off, it would appear.

The respected screen supply chain analyst, Ross Young, tweeted this week, that he doesn’t anticipate it happening until 2025 at the earliest.

Originally, Young had expected the face ID components to move under the display in time for next year’s iPhone. But, due to ongoing sensor issues, that dateline has now been rolled back a further twelve months. Even then, though, he still expects there to be a hole in the display for the front camera on the device.

And, leading on from that…

Finger bobs

According to a new rumour, Apple is still continuing to research under-screen fingerprint sensor technology for the iPhone, with the end-goal being to eventually re-introduce Touch ID in its first full-screen model.

Apple’s commitment to Face ID, has been chequered since its debut on iPhone X in 2017. Some believe that Apple considers Face ID to be the exclusive all-in-one biometric solution going forward.

We know, from patents that have been granted to Apple, that they’ve continued to work on developing Touch ID for around a decade now. Although some experts think it unlikely that under-screen Touch ID will ever find its way to an iPhone, Apple, if anything, seems to up’ing the research in the under-screen fingerprint sensing technology arena.

Once again, Young, has shed his thoughts on this too. He believes it possible that we could see a new under-screen version of Touch ID in an iPhone as soon as 2026.

Points make prizes

This week, Apple expanded the range of App Store price points that developers can now choose to set their purchase options at – and this includes paid apps and one-time in-app purchases.

Apple started to address this issue in December, but at that point, the changes were limited to auto-renewable subscriptions only.

After these latest changes, astoundingly, there are now 900 price points that developers can make choices from. Price points start at $.29 and go up to $9,999.99 – with the 100 highest price points available by request only.

Globally equalised pricing that follows the most common pricing conventions in each country or region, along with worldwide options for a base price, has now also been implemented.

And, come May, Apple also plans to update pricing for existing apps and one-time in-app purchases across all 175 global storefronts – the price hikes will take into account the global equalisation.

Wrapping up

Whatever you have in store for the weekend, I hope you have fun doing it.

If you get a spare hour or so, don’t forget to catch up on Shrinking and Liaison – no, seriously, thank me later.

See you all next week, when we might take a look at what’s in my dock…

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