Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the biggest iPhone ever, the iPhone SE’s weakness, how to crash an iPhone with a message, more Mail vulnerabilities in iOS, FaceID adapts to face masks, Microsoft’s multi window support for iPad, and the magical things MacOS cannot do.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
The Biggest iPhone Ever
The latest leaked details on the iPhone 12 family from Apple Watcher Jon Prosser, show that the top line iPhone 12 Pro Max is going to come in at $1099 for the entry level model, and it’s going to be the largest iPhone… ever.
“The final and most expensive model is the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This model, just like the all the other iPhones, will utilise 5G and new processors. However, this model will utilise a bigger 6.7” OLED display with three cameras and a LiDAR sensor at the rear. This will be the most expensive iPhone 12 model, with it being expected to retail for about $1,099.
“This would be the biggest iPhone in the history of Apple. The iPhone 11 Pro Max is 6.5”, so this iPhone will be about 0.2” bigger. “
CUPERTINO, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the new iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch … [+]
2014 Getty Images
The Weakness Of The iPhone SE
Apple’s iPhone SE is performing better than many expected, according to analysts. The lead time for delivery has shot up as well – although with constrained supply lines that may not be as reliable an indicator as in previous releases. Nevertheless, the iPhone SE has also picked up critical acclaim and consumer love for the all-powerful handsets. Or is it? I took a closer look at the problems with this branding earlier in the week, starting with the memory:
Apple has put a lot of effort into the message that the iPhone SE has the same power available as the iPhone 11 due to the inclusion of the A13 processor.
…the iPhone SE does ship with the A13 chip, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get the same performance out of the SE compared to the 11. Apple has trimmed the memory in the handsets, with SE owners looking at just 3 GB, compared to the 4 GB of the iPhone 11 family.
One Message To Lock Up Your iPhone
Another text bug has hit iOS 13. iPhone and iPad users receiving messages containing sindhi characters can result in a device crashing or locking up, requiring the use of DFU mode to restart. It’s not the first time that badly formed messages have triggered issues.
“First reported last week, we now know every iPhone running Apple’s latest iOS 13.4.1 software can be made to crash, often completely locking up the device and even forcing a restore via DFU mode, if it receives a message containing characters in the Sindhi language. Anyone can initiate the crash on another person’s iPhone just by sending a specific combination of these characters (excluded from this post for obvious reasons) to Message or Mail. iPads, Macs and even the Apple Watch can also be affected.”
A fix is already present in the latest beta of iOS 13.5.4, which should roll out to users over the next week. More on the Sindhi text bug here on Forbes.
War Of Words Over Mail Vulnerability
Staying with bugs and errors in iOS, Apple has both acknowledged the bug and has prepared a fix for the vulnerability in the Mail app reported lat week. Apple states there is no immediate risk to the user, but ZecOps, who reported the issue, say that exploits are in the wild. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:
“[ZecOps CEO Zuk Avraham:] “According to ZecOps data, there were triggers in-the-wild for this vulnerability on a few organisations. We want to thank Apple for working on a patch, and we’re looking forward to updating our devices once it’s available. ZecOps will release more information and POCs once a patch is available.” This additional information will make for fascinating reading once iOS 13.4.5 is released. This story seems to be far from over.”
Got Mask? Get Passcode
Apple’s FaceID has a bit of a problem. In the current climate, your iPhone is going to struggle to recognise you if you have a face mask on. Luckily Apple’s software can recognise that ‘someone’ is wearing a face mask. In the iOS 13.5 beta released this week, spotting that mask will lead you to straight to the passcode screen. Julie Clover reports:
“In the iOS 13.5 beta, released this morning, Apple has streamlined the speed with which the passcode pops up when a person wearing a mask is detected, making it easier to get into an iPhone with a passcode when Face ID fails.
“Speedier access to the passcode interface is noticeable when you swipe upwards on the Home screen when unlocking the iPhone , as this action now immediately brings up the passcode interface if your face is covered by a mask.”
More at MacRumors. There is, of course, one new iPhone that comes with the TouchID solution… the new iPhone SE. Apple may have pushed ahead with facial recognition, but that left Android manufacturers to do all the innovation. The iPhone 12 would have a mountain to climb, as I reported this week:
“Apple’s move to facial recognition meant that many of the innovations seen in fingerprint recognition were seen on Android devices. One of the major changes was to move the sensor away from the chassis (be it a sensor at the rear of the handset, built into the power button, or embedded in the home button) and into the screen. First using optical imaging, and now using ultrasonic detection, the under-screen fingerprint sensor is expected in all Android flagships.”
Microsoft Supports iPad Multi-Window For Word And PowerPoint
Multi-window support was introduced to the iPad last year, and many developers have been working on updates to their apps to use the feature. Microsoft has confirmed that key iOS applications – including Word and PowerPoint – is testing a multi-window version in a public beta. Chance Miller reports:
“Microsoft is now beta testing support for iPadOS multi-window in Word and PowerPoint for iPad. This allows you to open and work on two documents or presentations side-by-side.
“As of right now, Microsoft has not revealed when it plans to make iPad multi-window support available to all users, but hopefully, it is sooner rather than later. For the time being, you can join the Microsoft Word public beta through this TestFlight link and the Microsoft PowerPoint beta through this link.”
SHANGHAI, CHINA – 2020/01/12: American multinational technology company Apple logo seen on a screen … [+]
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Sometimes it’s worth remembering that the Apple way is not the only way, and the Apple way can sometimes be awkward and unsettling. Terence Eden has taken a look at macOS alongside Ubuntu, in the snappily titled “Things I can’t do on MacOS which I can do on Ubuntu”, starting with some font issues:
“Resize the system font: I find the menu bar at the top too small. The only way to do this on MacOS is to lower the resolution of the entire screen!
“Change the system font: I know you like Helvetica San Francisco – but I find it a bit too thin to read.”
Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, or this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.