iPhone 15 with USB-C, Apple Watch Series 9, and new AirPods?
Not all wonderers lust. Some of us will form an orderly queue in One Apple Park Way’s holding area on Tuesday morning. Tim Cook and co. will unveil the latest hardware at 10 AM PT on September 12 ahead of the holiday push.
We can confirm the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9 will be shown at the major Apple event. Some things can be set on your smartwatch. Naturally, there have been many rumors. For instance, some AirPods are getting old.
Macs are always possible. I think most of us would like to see more of the Vision Pro headset that stole the show at WWDC in June.
What follows is a mix of what we know, think we know, and wildly speculate.
The main announcement this time. Most intriguing about the iPhone 15 is that Apple was obliged to make it. No one in the huge glass spaceship was eager to adopt USB-C (or Thunderbolt 3). Thanks to EU regulators. Last year, the European Parliament standardized device ports.
Technically, regulators give manufacturers until 2024 to integrate the tech across handsets, but all indicators point to Apple ripping the iPhone 15 Band-Aid. For consumer advocacy and e-waste, more regional governing bodies will follow the EU’s lead.
Last September marked 10 years since Apple mandated the Lightning connector. Lightning is nasty and I loathe it. My coworkers dislike it. Family and friends dislike it. My rabbit enjoys it, but she’ll eat any cable, regardless of the ends. It’s horrible and always has been.
It’s intriguing that the iPhone 15’s ordinary model will only support USB 2.0, while the pro models will support USB 3.2.
Wireless charging will be increased to 35W worldwide. The iPhone may be one of the first phones to use Qi2, which mixes wireless charging with magnets, as Apple has done for a while. This seems secure since Apple is one of 344 Wireless Power Consortium businesses and all of the IFA Qi2 iPhone accessories.
Dynamic Island, launched on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, should be coming to lesser versions.
The iPhone 15 Ultra, which would replace the Pro Max and follow Apple’s new naming pattern, is another intriguing inclusion. It will have a 6.7-inch display with 120 Hz refresh rate, slimmer bezels, and a new “Action” button instead of Mute. The iPhone 15 Pro would have the Apple Watch Ultra’s new button. It offers customized shortcuts to the camera, accessibility options, flashlight, and Shortcuts app (if you want to be creative).
Series 9 Apple Watch
Considering the Apple Watch. The rumor mill is quiet here. That may indicate a poor year for wearables. Apple may wait till next year to go all out because next year is the big 1-0. It may wait until next year for an Apple Watch SE.
However, a new Apple Watch Ultra may launch next week. Ultra 2 and Series 9 may get new processors and colors. After embracing 3D printing for Vision Pro components, Apple may consider it for case design. However, the Apple Watch’s mass market appeal raises questions of scale.
A new AirPods set feels natural. However, the headphones may have the H2 chip in 2024. A standalone USB-C charging case may be sold. Speaking of delayed, the AirPods Max arrived little about three years ago. I wouldn’t mind a new HomePod small.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces major iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS updates at Apple Park’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Images: Brooks Kraft/Apple Inc.
Vision Pro looks better almost certain. Content is still unclear, so this could be a year of demos since the “spatial computing” headset launches early next year. Games were scarce. With the SDK and Unity’s development platform out in the wild, that’s possible.
More details on iOS/macOS/iPadOS/watchOS release dates are needed. Macs are more unlikely this time, and the M3 is more likely to arrive in 2024.
The Apple Event begins September 12 at 10 AM PT. We’ll broadcast live.
Mobile apps from Threads make profile switching easy
Twitter rival, Threads, owned by Meta, now allows account switching without logging out.
This Thursday, the social networking app announced that users can swap accounts on its mobile apps by long pressing the bottom right profile icon. Tap “Add profile” after the long press to add a profile.
Users can easily switch between work and personal profiles. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri did not say if the profile-switching feature allowed you to add a limit of accounts.
On the same day as Facebook allowed multiple personal profiles on Blue, the text-based social networking app announced its profile feature.
Threads keeps adding features three months after its launch. It began testing full-text search in New Zealand and Australia late last month. The company launched global search this month.
Threads’ competitors ship features in a competitive social media landscape. Mastodon released version 4.2 this week with improved profile and post search, automatic quick action suggestions in the search box, a new web interface with thread indicators and article previews, and a Privacy and Reach settings tab.
Elon Musk said X will collect ‘a tiny monthly payment’ for its service
X owner Elon Musk suggested today that Twitter may no longer be free. Musk said the business was “moving to a small monthly payment” for the X system in a live-streamed meeting with Netanyahu on Monday. He suggested such a tweak to address platform bots.
Musk said, “It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.” According to him, bots have a high effective cost due to their low cost (a tenth of a penny), even though they require a few dollars. Each bot creator needed a new payment method to make another bot.
Musk said the new subscription price would be a “small amount of money.”
Musk also announced that X now has 550 million monthly users and 100 to 200 million daily postings. Musk’s stats may include automated accounts, either good bots like news feeds or malicious bots like spammers.
This figure couldn’t be compared to Twitter’s pre-Musk user base, which was computed using mDAU, Twitter’s own metric. This earlier statistic identified Twitter users who may be monetized by adverts. Twitter reported 229 million mDAUs in Q1 2022.
Musk did not specify when he would charge for X. Since Musk took over the network last year, it has been pushing users to subscribe to X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue). This $8 per month or $84 per year subscription service lets you modify posts, reduce the ad load, prioritize search and conversation rankings, make lengthier posts, and more.
X doesn’t divulge its paying subscribers, but independent research shows X Premium doesn’t attract most customers. X Premium has 827,615 subscribers, according to one estimate.
Musk has considered charging everyone for X. In fact, Platformer claimed last year that Musk was considering a Twitter paywall.
Though hate speech on X came up, Musk and Netanyahu discussed AI technologies and regulation today. Musk called himself “against antisemitism” and “anything that promotes hate and conflict.” Musk threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League, which has accused Musk and X of antisemitism, in his latest fight.
X launches government ID account verification
For paid users, X, formerly Twitter, has implemented government ID-based account verification to prevent impersonation and provide “prioritized support.”
Social media partner Au10tix provides identity verification solutions from Israel. The ID verification pop-up says the Au10tix can store this data for 30 days.
X’s verification support page says ID verification is available in “numerous countries,” but not in the EU, EEA, or UK. The region’s strict data protection laws likely explain this.
ID-based verification seems unnecessary and rarely beneficial. The company may age-gate content based on ID age.
“X currently focuses on account authentication to prevent impersonation and may explore additional measures, such as ensuring users have access to age-appropriate content and protecting against spam and malicious accounts, to maintain platform integrity and healthy conversations,” it said.
Users who pass the verification badge will receive a government ID verification note. Only clicking the blue checkmark on the profile page shows it. The company said ID-verified users will get “prioritized support from X Services,” but this is unclear.
The company allowed paid users to hide checkmarks from their profiles last month.
X plans to speed up checkmark reviews if users verify their IDs. Plus, they can frequently change their names, usernames, and profile photos without losing the checkmark.
Only paid users can use ID-based verification. Ironically, X promotes impersonation and spam reduction but doesn’t offer verification tools to all users.
Twitter discontinued legacy verification and removed account checkmarks in April. However, the company reinstated the top account checkmark after much chaos.
“This will additionally help us tie, for those that choose, an account to a real person by processing their government-issued ID,” X told Bloomberg. “This will also help X fight impersonation attempts and secure the platform.”
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