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Apple Watch Ultra getting microLED, the pain of the USB-C swap and Happy 20th Birthday iTunes Store

Apple Watch Ultra with microLED coming soon & Apple TV+

Appleviews – 28th April 2023

Watch it

Apple Watch Ultra has been with us for just under a year and there is already talk surfacing that it is about to get a makeover – just not yet though.

A Watch Ultra with an upgraded microLED display is in the works, but if you are tempted, you’ll have to wait. Initial rumours of a 2024 release have now been quashed by the ever-reliable Ross Young.

Young now believes we won’t see the new watch until the second half of 2025. This will be the first Apple device to use a microLED panel, but we know that they also have plans to use it on iPhone and other devices as soon as possible.

Pardon me

OK – I am going to ‘fess up’ here – I wasn’t even aware that Apple still sold wired earbuds, but apparently, they do!

They still seemingly sell in quite large numbers but are currently only available with either the old style 3.5mm jack or the lightning adapter. With iPhone 15 finally switching over to USB-C though, the earbuds will join the list of accessories that will need updating.

Off the top of my head, I can think of AirPods charging cases, MagSafe Battery Pack, and the trio of Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard and Trackpad that will all require updating before the spring of 2024 to comply with those pesky new regulations. AirPods Max of course, due to the way they charge & are designed will have to be entirely updated as well – simply making a new case won’t work for those.

All in all this switch is going to cost Apple a few of its $3 trillion, that’s for sure.

Happy Birthday

Turns out 28th April – the day I am writing this epic is a pretty big day in Apple history.

It was this day twenty years ago that Apple launched a service that was to revolutionise the music world. The iTunes Music Store was born two decades ago today.

During the late 80s and early 90s, the music industry was undergoing a change they were none too keen on. The internet was flying and consumers quickly picked up the idea of digital music through early pioneers such as Napster.

Steve Jobs, a massive music fan himself, had long-held plans to launch an online music store. The biggest revolution though was not only the selling of albums online, but the fact Apple & Jobs wanted to sell individual tracks too.

Initially, the pushback was hard from the main players such as Warner, Universal, Sony and BMG, but in the end, Apple won the day and the way we now buy, stream and consume music has been changed forever.

Happy Birthday my old friend – who recalls downloading iTunes for the first time?

It’s big

Any online platform with more than forty-five million active monthly users, under new EU laws, now has to disclose precisely how many customers they have.

This week Apple casually disclosed they have 101 million iOS App Store customers. The iPad App Store has 23 million users & the Mac equivalent 6 million. The App Stores for Watch and Tv are tiny by comparison though, as you’d expect.

But with 101 million active monthly users, no wonder Apple has fought hard against sideloading!

Updates coming

With WWDC looming into view, it’s time to think about the macOS replacement and what it will be called.

Although it won’t be made public until later in the year, we normally get the new macOS showcased at the summer developers conference, giving developers time to catch up.

We are not expecting a major upgrade this year though and the focus from Apple this time will be to continue pushing for every feature to work across all of Apple’s devices and be better integrated across all of Apple’s ecosystem.

But what of the new name? Well in a short I made this weekI revealed that Apple has fifteen trademarked names that are all up for grabs. They include Diablo, Miramar, Redtail and Mammoth.

Apple is known to select a name in keeping with the size of the update. What do I mean? Well, if it’s a year for a big overhaul, then it would get a big strong name – Diablo for instance to represent it. Whereas on years of smaller updates, the name would reflect that too – Shasta for example.

Do you have any favs there or any features you’d like to see come with the twentieth iteration of Mac’s operating system?

Lining them up

Apple is working on bringing another supplier into its supply chain for this year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max. A report I found in DigiTimes claims that Genius Electronic Optical (GSEO) will be brought in to help provide additional supplies for the phone’s periscope lens module.

Largan had been the sole supplier but Apple is keen to ensure that this year they can meet the expected demand with enough supplies.

This new lens will take light entering the telephoto lens on the back of the handset and reflecting it with an angled mirror towards the phone’s camera image sensor. This innovative system will mean Apple can push a longer lens setup inside iPhone 15. It’s hoped the benefits for users will include better zoom capabilities and low-light capture too.

Latest on the Headset

The stories about the long-anticipated headset are starting to come fast and furious as we get ever closer to its eventual release.

The headset will almost certainly ship with the apps you currently find pre-loaded on iPad – that means you’ll be getting AR/VR enhanced versions of Books, Camera, Contacts, FaceTime, Files, Freeform, Home, Mail, Maps, Messages, Music, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari, Stocks, TV and Weather.

The health and fitness side of the headset is becoming apparent as well. An all-new Wellness app that focuses on meditation is in development as is a new VR-ready Fitness+ app too.

And Apple will utilise the fact they have the rights to more and more live sports now to create a new portal for watching live sports in full VR.

All about you

And following on from the Wellness app for the headset, it seems that Apple is about to include a fitness & wellness journal app in iOS 17.

Day One and stoic are already examples of journalling apps, but Apple hopes theirs will be better focused on letting users log several aspects of their life and would integrate with the Health and Workout apps to log physical well-being along with the user’s thoughts and emotions.

Its hoped that it will be highly intuitive as it learns about your daily activities, down to the times you normally carry out certain tasks – even down to the time you are at home, commuting or at the office.

And a gem

If you are regular with me, you’ll know I’m a big fan of Apple TV+ – it’s pretty much all I watch these days. Well, I came across another gem for you.

It’s called The Last Thing He Told Me and it’s based on a New York Times best-seller. Starring Jennifer Garner as Hannah we watch as her seemingly perfect partner Owen inexplicably disappears. He leaves not only Hannah alone but his daughter as well.

And the last thing he did tell her was ‘protect her’ – meaning his daughter.

Episodes are available every Friday and you can check out the official trailer here.

And a reminder that Still, a movie all about Michael J Fox premieres on 12th May. I’ve watched the trailer and it looks amazing.

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