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Apple iOS 16.1, Sideloading & a new MacBook Air is on the way

Appleviews – 16th December 2022

Apple Mythic Quest & spin off Mere Mortals

Still got some news!

Apple came up trumps!

Well, I thought these next couple of weeks, were going to be painfully slow, and that Appleviews may just suffer a long, drawn out death! But hey – guess what? We have news! So let’s get straight in to it…

Updates

So, have you been good boys and girls? Have you done your updates? This week, there were updates for Mac, iPhone, iPad, TV, and Apple Watch. Some updates, such as that for TV, were pretty superficial, but there were some highlights.

Of note, for me, was the new Freeform app, tweaks to the Always On Display, and Advanced Data Protection. M1 & M2 iPads can now be used with external displays, which should help make the iPad a bit more usable, at least.

Emergency Satellite via SOS arrived in the UK as well. I made a short about the demo mode, and it’s well worth trying out. I did wonder if the demo mode was really looking for a satellite, or if it was just a gimmick.

Well, having tried to launch it in a basement, I can report, it actually is looking for a satellite. And, every time I tried it, the location was different, proving it was trying to find the nearest, and best placed satellite to connect me to.

Open all hours

Apple has sure had to deal with a load of enforced changes recently. First was the long-running saga over the standardisation of the USB-C connector. With that now seemingly behind them, the next change on the horizon is over the opening up of the App Store.

Once again, the EU have stepped in, saying that ‘gatekeepers’, or large companies such as Apple, will have to open up their services and platforms. Sideloading now looks as if it is to become a reality for Apple. Customers will not only have a choice of several app stores, but more crucially, they will also have other options of paying as well.

Apple will no longer be able to prioritise Apple Pay, as the mantra behind the EU’s Digital Markets Act is to give the choice back to the consumer. Although the law will not come in to effect until spring 2024, it seems Apple are already throwing some heavy-hitters at the project.

A little continuity

I love the Continuity Camera app in Ventura. I use it all the time now, rather than third-party webcams.

When I covered the app in a video recently, I bemoaned the fact that the Belkin stand I bought only worked on my MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. There was no way you could use that stand on a Studio Display or Pro Display XDR.

Well, Belkin has just released a new mount for these displays. The Belkin iPhone Mount for Mac Desktops is now available on Apple’s website. The mount is listed as being compatible with most external displays and monitors, and it also works with a standard 1/4″ tripod screw. It’s priced at $40.

If you haven’t given Continuity Camera a go yet…do! It works seamlessly with all suitable apps such as Ecamm, FaceTime, Zoom and Quicktime.

Spring is in the air

Apple is busy developing a new 15.5-inch MacBook Air that is due for release in spring 2023.

The man who knows about these things, screen analyst Ross Young, tweeted that production of the panels designed for this new, larger, MacBook Air will start in Q1 2023.

The panel is not expected to be the mini-LED one we see in the MacBook Pros, as keen pricing is a must on this model. It is likely we could see not only the M2 chip, but also the M2 Pro chip in this new MacBook Air too.

The new size will mean that Apple will then be able to offer 13-inch, 14-inch, 15-inch, and 16-inch laptops.

Size does matter

It was five years ago this week that Apple launched iMac Pro. It was March, this year that they announced they were to discontinue it, with the arrival of the new Mac Studio & Studio Display.

Since then, there have been scant rumours whether we’d ever see an Apple silicon iMac Pro. But recently, three of the big hitters have waded in to the discussion, and now it looks pretty likely that we may see something next year, after all.

Ming-Chi Kuo, Ross Young, and Mark Gurman all seem to be in agreement that a revamped iMac Pro is going to happen. Bloomberg’s Gurman, recently wrote;

“I also still believe that Apple is working on a larger-screened iMac aimed at the professional market. I’d imagine this will use a variation of the M3 chip, likely an M3 Pro and M3 Max. That would match the chips inside the MacBook Pro. I don’t think the combination of a Mac Studio or Mac mini plus an Apple Studio Display cuts it for many pro users who want more screen real estate.”

As to the specs on the iMac Pro – Young has said it will have fewer mini-LED zones than the iPad Pro or MacBook Pro. We think it will remain a 27-inch display, with ProMotion. There will probably be even more ports than on the current MacBook Pros, and it is likely that the Apple silicon inside, will be M3 Pro and M3 Max.

So, 2023 could be a year for the high-end, pro Mac users, if the iMac Pro does make a welcome return, and the Mac Pro finally makes its overdue debut.

Ouch

Next year’s iPhone 15 Ultra, sounds as if it really could be the business…but with a price to match.

The latest details on the handset show a significant price increase thanks to rising production costs, inflation, and economic conditions. Latest guesses are that the 15 Ultra, with 1TB of storage could come in at around $1800. Start saving now. What cost of living crisis….?

The road home

Apple today announced that its revamped Maps app is rolling out in the Netherlands, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

The latest version of this app now offers greater detail, improvements to navigation, 3D models of landmarks, and AR powered, immersive, turn-by-turn directions.

Look Around, which is Apple’s answer to Google’s Street View, will also be available in those countries as of yesterday. Look Around offers crazy high resolution street imagery.

This is the latest roll-out of Apple Maps, which was first re-launched in the US in 2019.

Trouble at home

Apple HomeKit users were also affected by this week’s slew of updates in iOS 16.2. The aim was to improve the underlying architecture, bringing with it greater speed and performance.

To upgrade the HomeKit architecture, though, you’ll have to update every device you own to the latest OS. It gets more complicated, though, as that applies to all family members who belong to your Apple Home.

Even with all that faff, though, problems have been reported by those that have chosen to upgrade. Devices have been stuck in ‘updating mode’ for hours, for no apparent reason.

As yet, Apple has not released any updates, or bug fixes. It isn’t clear what is triggering these issues, but it could be related to multiple causes.

End of the road for NFL

After months of lengthy negotiations, Apple, it would seem, have finally pulled out of the race to bring the NFL Sunday Ticket package to Apple TV.

Dylan Byers, of Puck News reports that the NFL will now be seeking a new partner for the start of the 2023 season. The deal, which is valued at around $3 billion, is now attracting the attention of Google (YouTube), and Amazon.

Earlier this year, Apple’s Eddy Cue, was spotted chatting at length with big-wigs from the NFL. Why the deal ultimately fell apart is unclear, but Puck says that “Apple doesn’t see the logic” at closing out the deal.

The NFL package is far from straight-forward, with a lack of international rights, geographic blackouts, and an enforced minimum subscription price.

By comparison, the Major League Soccer deal, is far more transparent. With none of the above restrictions, Apple will stream MLS for the next decade, to over 100 countries.

Apple is paying about $250m per year for the MLS rights. MLS Season Pass begins February 2023, priced at $14.99/mo or $12.99/mo for Apple TV+ subscribers.

The next quest

Apple TV+ has had numerous hits this year. Black Bird, Bad Sisters and Slow Horses comes to mind. But, one of the other huge hits, looks as if it is likely to spawn a spin-off series. Apple is keen to build on the run-away success of Mythic Quest – a comedy series based on a game development company.

The working title is ‘Mere Mortals’, and Variety reports that this series will focus on the lives of employees, players, and fans, and how their lives are affected by the game.

Ashly Burch, who plays Rachel in Mythic Quest, is part of the team writing Mere Mortals. Burch will be joined by other co-stars John Howell Harris and Katie McElhenney. Exec producers will be Megan Ganz, Rob McElhenney (who plays Ian on Mythic Quest), David Hornsby (David Brittlesbee on the show), and Charlie Day.

Apple has not yet officially released a date when Mere Mortals will air, but, in the meantime, you can catch up on the main Mythic Quest show now, which is currently in its third season. A fourth season has already been commissioned.

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