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Apple & Formula 1’s big plans, Sideloading side-step & Vision Pro rollout details

Appleviews – 07th July 2023

On your marks

Apple & Formula 1 seems like a match made in heaven.

If you’ve been following Formula One over the past couple of seasons you’ll have heard the news that a new movie is due out soon and this week Apple released the first sneak images from it.

The unnamed groundbreaking film stars Brad Pitt as a former driver that returns to the grid to race in the fictional mid-grid team APXGP alongside his younger team-mate played by Damon Idris.

The film has been shot over actual race weekends and has been made in full collaboration with F1. The team behind the movie sees director Joseph Kosinski collaborating once more with writer Ehren Kruger and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. If that team sounds at all familiar it should – they last worked together on Top Gun: Maverick.

The film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and seven-time F1 champion Sir Lewis Hamilton’s Dawn Apollo Films banner and will have an extended global run of between 30-60 days in theatres before coming to Apple TV+.

The deal is structured so that the creative teams will receive payouts from three distinct revenue streams – their upfront fees, hefty buyout fees and the theatrical backend.

Before this comes to our screens though Pitt has another Apple-backed movie due out – Wolves in which he stars with George Clooney.

The F1 movie is looking to build on the spectacular success and interest caused in Formula 1 by the Netflix fly-on-the-wall series Drive to Survive.

Side to side

Sideloading is coming to iPhones – well sort of but as you’d expect, Apple is not making it straightforward.

The EU is keen for iPhone users to able to be able to download apps from stores other than Apple’s App Store but Apple has steadfastly stuck to their guns citing that this process enables them to have complete security over their devices.

Developers however complained for a long while about the high fees that Apple charges. The EU listened and a new legislation comes into play on 5th March 2024 which, in theory means that Apple will have to comply…or will they?

Apple was quick to pick up on the fine print of the ruling that offers exceptions for the protection of hardware devices going on to say that proportionate technical or contractual measures can be implemented, provided there is no less-restrictive means to achieve that goal.

So although a date has been set, Apple is likely to say that their App Store can protect users from scam apps and malware. If this turns out to be Apple’s game plan and they play the security card, all this will do is kick the sideloading tin down the road – as it will come into full effect at some point.

There are a couple of other minor changes in this EU legislation that could affect Apple. Firstly Apple would have to allow developers to use third-party payment platforms helping them side-step Apple’s 30% transactional fees and the EU is keen for RCS to become the messaging standard which would mean an end to the blue bubble versus the green bubble wars.

These battles are set to rumble on for years.

iPhone 15 updates

Early rumours and leaks had suggested that Apple were going to replace the physical side buttons on iPhone with solid-state buttons.

Recently though an Apple supplier has confirmed that after they had seen CAD files and schematics for iPhone 15 that the plans for solid-state buttons have now been quashed due to ‘unresolved technical issues’ before mass production. Apple’s ultimate goal is for both a button-less and port-less phone that will make the device stronger and more water resistant

This news was backed up by Jeff Pu who also thinks it unlikely that solid-state buttons will even be ready in time for next years iPhone 16. The other nugget that Pu dropped was that he’s pretty certain that the 15 Pro Max will see a price hike.

Battery life is expected to see a significant improvement with the release of iPhone 15. If the stories are to be believed the battery for the 15 Pro Max will increase from the 4,323 mAh battery currently in this year’s iPhone 14 Pro Max to 4,852 mAh.

The A17 Bionic chip is expected to offer higher speeds and more efficient power consumption thanks to the new 3nm technology process to further help battery life. Some internals such as the LiDAR Scanner will be moved to allow for the physically bigger battery.

Vision Pro getting real

This week saw Apple tell developers that they can now submit apps built with Xcode 15 to TestFlight.

In real terms that means developers can invite users to trial their apps built for iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, tvOS 17, watchOS 10, and visionOS 1 via TestFlight. The headline here though has to be that Vision Pro is now included in that list.

Apple will start to invite a few select developers to try out the new device which won’t be available until next year this month.

It’s been a busy week for Apple which also added support for visionOS apps to App Store Connect.

Starting today, Apple’s global community of developers will be able to create an entirely new class of spatial computing apps that take full advantage of the infinite canvas in Vision Pro and seamlessly blend digital content with the physical world to enable extraordinary new experiences.

With the visionOS SDK, developers can utilise the powerful and unique capabilities of Vision Pro and visionOS to design brand-new app experiences across a variety of categories including productivity, design, gaming, and more.

Apple is planning an appointment-only rollout when Apple Vision Pro is released. We’re expecting details of exactly how the in-store and online purchase experience will flesh out soon along with which countries will be getting the device after its initial release in the U.S.

Streaming Wars

JustWatch this week released the Q2 results for the most viewed streaming platforms.

Amazon Prime holds onto the top spot with a 21% share while Netflix holds on to second place just behind with 20%. Warner-owned Max (formerly HBO Max) is next on the list with 15%.

Disney occupies both 4th and 5th spots with Disney+ and Hulu. Apple holds on to sixth place (6%) just behind Paramount with a 7% slice of the action.

Apple though is not following Disney’s lead in taking down unpopular series. Both Disney+ & Hulu are in the process of removing tons of shows Apple has decided to leave the less-watched shows available to view.

For instance, Monster Factory which has been cancelled after its first season will still be available to catch up on. That show was odd actually in that those that watched it loved…it’s just not many people watched it! Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 95% audience rating and it received a 7.3 rating on IMDb.

iHealth

It looks likely that AirPods Pro are being lined up to receive two new health features with their next update.

Firstly Apple has developed a sensor for AirPods Pro that will eventually use your ear canal to give you more accurate body temperature readings. These measurements will be more general than the ones that Apple Watch 8 gives which are centred around mensural cycle tracking.

While that seems a logical progression, the other development is more surprising. Apple is working on AirPods Pro being able to give a user a version of a hearing test.

AirPods will play frequencies aimed at detecting any possible hearing loss and then they would adjust the audio output from your AirPods Pro to reflect the results. The feature is based on the existing Personalised Spatial Audio feature already found on AirPods Pro 2 thanks to the H2 chip. Further down the line, Apple is looking to get into the lucrative hearing aid market.

Both features although feasible are still a little way from being ready to come to market though possibly being a few years away.

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