You’ll be surprised to hear that Apple wants to convince us that theory number 1 is correct, and this week product line manager Shruti Haldea appeared on a podcast to
defend the notch’s merits and argue that it’s a “really smart way to give you more space for your content”.
It’s a bit of a softball interview – the hosts suggest unprompted that it was “unused space” anyway, and offer no follow-up questions about visual distractions and the lack of Face ID – but it’s still good to see Apple fronting up and talking through its design decisions with the media. You can watch the whole conversation below.
The discussion above is fairly gentle, but a less forgiving take was provided later in the week by Quinn Nelson, who runs the
Snazzy Labs YouTube channel. Nelson
discovered a bug in the way certain menu bar items interact with the notch, sometimes avoiding it – as they are presumably supposed to – but sometimes hiding inconveniently behind it.
“A lot of people have been asking, with the notch in the way now, what happens if your app menus go too far to the right, or your status menus go too far to the left?” says Nelson. “Do they get smaller, or do they jump to the other side, or are they scrollable?
“The answer is, fricking nothing! Look at that: there is stuff behind the [notch] that I can’t see!”
It’s perhaps inevitable that some bugs would sneak through when such a major hardware change is made to the environment in which software runs – even if I’d agree with Nelson that this is a surprisingly big gaffe. But the timing is unfortunate: with so many people complaining about the notch’s very existence, the last thing Apple needs is a high-profile bug to go with it.
News in brief
Apple has posted earnings figures for the final quarter of its fiscal 2021, and inevitably
shattered a load more records. Profit was up 62% year on year, while revenue was up 29%. And it could have been even better if it wasn’t for supply constraints, which could yet ruin the next quarter with
Christmas shortages; Jason Snell can be relied upon to
look on the dark side.
A teardown has revealed the
inner workings of the new MacBook Pro. There are lots of revelations, but one of the most striking is that the M1 Max processor is huge.
As expensive as it is, the new MacBook Pro could actually be viewed as a bargain. Andy Sommerfeld, chief developer at Affinity Photo, calls the M1 Max “the fastest GPU we have ever measured” and says it
beats the £6k graphics card in the Mac Pro.
“It has an awful lot to recommend it; but the things that put people off last year remain the case, and I can’t see this changing many minds.” The iPhone 13 mini is
the last of a dying breed, reckons David Price.
reviewed the new AirPods. They are a little prone to falling out of your ears, which is a shame, but in other respects this is a massively impressive upgrade with major improvements to battery life and audio quality.
Intel introduced its 12th-gen Alder Lake CPUs this week, with leaked benchmarks suggesting the Core i9-12900HK outperforms Apple’s new M1 Max. Google’s new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones (powered by the Tensor chip) also arrived. And the chip shortage rolls on.
In the video embedded below, Michael Simon, Ken Mingis and Juliet Beauchamp discuss chip innovation. It’s the hot topic on everyone’s lips!
Software, bugs & problems
Apple has rolled out the macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 update, which
addresses 21 security vulnerabilities, ranging from Bluetooth (“a malicious application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges”) to SoftwareUpdate (“an unprivileged application may be able to edit NVRAM variables”). We recommend you
update at your earliest convenience.
Apple Music is now
available on the PlayStation 5. But they’ll all be too busy twerking their Fortnites, won’t they? (Apple Breakfast is not up to date with popular culture.)
A new version of the iPhone SE, based on the chassis of the iPhone XR but souped up with an A15 processor,
will launch in spring 2022, according to the latest report.
Hoping for Apple to make it three in three by announcing a November event to go with the September and October ones? Think again, buster: Bloomberg reckons
Apple is done for the year, which means the wait will go on for a new MacBook Air, iMac, AirPods Pro and the rest.
Did Apple once plan to release an Apple Watch Pro? Leaked documents released this week
suggest it did.
And finally, we round up all the new products Apple could conceivably
launch in November, together with the chances of the company doing so. We’re feeling quite pessimistic, on the whole, although the Mac mini and iPod touch could happen.
Apple deals of the week
I’ve embedded a list of the best current Apple deals below, but other than that, we’re done for this week. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley!
Top 10 Apple Deals
Apple 11in iPad Pro (2021, M1, 2TB) – Wi-Fi + Cellular
Amazon’s excellent £64 saving on the AirPods Pro from March is no longer available. Multiple sites are selling for £189 (a £50 saving), including AO and Laptops Direct – but we’d go with John Lewis on account of its two-year guarantee.
David has loved the iPhone since covering the original 2007 launch; later his obsession expanded to include the iPad and Apple Watch. He offers advice to owners (and prospective owners) of these devices.