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Apple Maps revamp, AirPods Max are the new must-have, iPhone 15 latest, and time to service your Watch Ultra

Appleviews – 03rd March 2023

Apple Watch Ultra free service

The quiet after the storm

Apple caught us all with our pants down in January, when they kindly showered us with loads of goodies.

Of course, the flip side of that coin, is that now we are in to a bit of a barren period – and it could last awhile too! With the spring event, by no means a certainty, it might be the summer before we have any more releases.

But, that’s not to say that we haven’t still got a bag of news to go through this week!

Let’s get going with a bit of news about Apple Watch Ultra…

In too deep

Were you one of the lucky ones that bagged yourself an Apple Watch Ultra last year, and if so, are you a diver?

Well, if you have used your Ultra in earnest over the past eight months, it may be time for a freeservice. This week, Apple released a support document which offers you to send the watch off to have its Depth & Water seals checked over.

As all the watches are under a year old, the service will be carried out free of charge. You’ll be sent a replacement watch while yours in being checked over, so if you have any suspicions about the seals on your Watch Ultra, this is something you’ll want to follow up.

Heads up display

I love my Studio Display – in fact, this week’s video, will be about it – so get subscribed to my channel for that.

But, as much as I love it, it has not been without its controversies, and, for some, problems.

The camera was the first issue that the display faced, and the first firmware update, last year, went some way to addressing that.

Then, last August, Studio Display Firmware Update 15.5 (19F80) was sent out, which the company said, “resolves an audio issue with Studio Display.”

The latest update, which was sent out this week, is the second developer beta of macOS Ventura 13.3 that was rolled out to developers a couple of days ago.

No notes have been released as yet, though, as to what the update addresses, so the guess is, that it will be a fairly general performance improvements and bug fixes firmware update.

TV times

Next, a few bits I’ve picked up on this week about the Apple TV platform.

It seems more certain, than ever, that adverts will be making their way to the platform in the not too distant future. Digital video advertising executive, Lauren Fry, who has joined the company from Simulmedia, has the specific brief to help build a video advertising business.

Initially, the ads will be targeted towards their sports content – Major League Baseball, and MLS, which started last weekend. One can only imagine that this will be the thin end of the wedge, though.

While the subscription fee for Apple TV is actually quite keen in comparison to other streaming services, particularly as for $7 per month, you get full 4K HDR content. But, there are rumours that they could eventually roll out an even cheaper, ad supported tier, similar to Netflix.

Carrying on with more Apple TV news…

Apple Originals

Following her Oscar nomination for her role in The Whale, Hong Chau, has added her name to the dotted line to appear alongside Matt Damonin The Instigators.

The movie, which will be produced by long-time friend of Damon, Ben Affleck, follows two thieves who must go on the run with the help of one of their therapists after a robbery goes awry.

Apple warded off fierce competition to win the coveted package, and it will be directed by Doug Liman.

Russian roulette

Reuters reported this week that Apple has paid a $12.12 million fine regarding an antitrust case, which alleged abuse of its dominance in the mobile apps market.

It was in August 2020 that Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) ruled that Apple had abused its dominant position. A directive was then issued which required the company to remove provisions giving it the right to reject third-party apps from its App Store.

This directive came after cybersecurity company, Kaspersky Lab claimed that a new version of Safe Kids, had been declined by Apple’s online store.

The FAS released a simple statement this week which said, “Apple has paid a 906 million rouble antitrust fine”.

Apple had denied the claims continuously through the many stages of this case, but ultimately complied with the order.

Apple ceased all sales in Russia a year ago, after Moscow sent its forces to Ukraine. Apple Pay services in Russia have also been severely restricted.

Finding your way

Apple Maps this week has been updated, with three more European countries now having 3D landmarks, and other improved functionality such as Look Around – a feature that displays interactive 3D images at street level.

Apple Maps users in Norway, Finland, and Sweden now have high-fidelity map data, which not only allows for the 3D landmarks I mentioned, but also vastly improved road details, and information too. This feature was first rolled out last year in Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego, and London.

Maxed out

An update that last year ruined the Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) effect on AirPods Max, it seems, has still not been fixed.

After the firmware update 4E71 was released in May 2022, many users of the most expensive headphones that Apple sells, reported a dramatic reduction in their ANC.

Tests that have since been carried out by rtings.comnoted that AirPods Max “blocks out a bit less noise between the mid-bass to high-bass range after the 4E71 firmware update.”

Following complaints, Apple rolled out another update late last year, but many still feel that their AirPods Max are not back to how they originally sounded.

But, it seems, AirPods Max remain desirable…

Celebrity item

New York Police Department (NYPD) revealed that twenty-one pairs of AirPod Max have been stoled from the heads of the owners since 28th January, and that they have become the newest celebrity ‘it” item.

Thieves in New York are using mopeds, to ride up behind people, ripping them from their heads, and then speeding away.

Until quite recently, AirPods Max had not been seen out and about too often. But now that celebrities including Bella Hadid, Timothée Chalamet, and Sarah Jessica Parker, have been spotted wearing the $549 cans, Vogue has said they expect them to “become the Starbucks cup” of 2023”.

All twenty-one incidents have taken place in Manhattan, seemingly by one gang of four people.

Colour me yellow

Apple’s PR team has announced they will hold a press briefing next Tuesday – which almost to the day mimics a briefing held last year.

At that briefing, they announced the new green colours for the midterm spruce up for the iPhone 13.

Rumours from a Weibo post are suggesting that this year’s spring colour will be yellow.

And as for the 15…

All change

We have been hearing that this year’s iPhone will move away from physical buttons in favour of haptic feedback style buttons instead.

But, this week, another detail has come to light – namely that the volume button will now be just one long button, rather than the two we have become accustomed to.

Fellow YouTuber, ZoneOfTech, tweeted that having had some physical dummies made up, from the recent CAD leaks, that the volume button will now operate by detecting a touch for up at the top, and down at the bottom –

Almost 100% sure that the iPhone 15 Pro will have a LONG Unified Volume button, rather than 2 separate ones. While making our iPhone 15 Pro Concept, we’ve found that Apple uses 2 pins on each of the 2 volume buttons. The iPhone 15 Pro CAD only shows 2 pins on a longer volume button.

Not only that, but 100% sure that the mute switch will also switch to a singular press button, rather than the up and down switch that we have now. Take a look at the iPhone 15 Pro CAD VS regular 15 & the inside of the buttons. — Daniel.

Are you a fan of the haptic buttons, or would you rather they’d stayed with the physical ones we have currently? How will they work through a case…

Wrapping up

So, it’s Friday, which means – it’s time for the next episode of the brilliant Shrinking. Cue to open the wine, put my feet up and watch Jason & Harrison do their thing!

I’ll catch you back here Monday.

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