The Silicon-Lead Edition Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Review Of Apple’s iPhone 14 And iPhone 14 Pro: They’re Leaning Into It, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Apple’s iPhone 14 lineup delivers on a bunch of different vectors this year with very few peccadillos or complaints. Apple is really leaning into its silicon lead to deliver big gains year over year in cameras and it’s leaning on its design teams to give users new ways to interact with their very familiar devices.

The always on display does what competitors have done, but better and more logically. The cameras improve upon the already dominant iPhone 13 Pro’s arrays especially in low light and telephoto performance.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Review: Early Adopter Island, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

Apple pulled off some unexpected surprises with the iPhone 14 Pro: there had been lots of solid rumors about the company switching from putting the front-facing camera and Face ID system in a pill-shaped cutout instead of the familiar notch, but the new “Dynamic Island” alert system came out of nowhere. And while it was getting clearer that Apple would have to follow the industry in using bigger camera sensors eventually, Apple went even further and rebooted its entire computational photography system as the Photonic Engine.

There’s a lot of that sort of thing in the iPhone 14 Pro, whose prices in the United States still start at $999 and go up. Apple’s late to having an always-on display, but it’s much more vibrant than other always-on displays. In the United States, Apple’s going all in on eSIM, which no one else is really doing. There’s a basic satellite connectivity system that isn’t quite like anything else we’ve heard about, but Apple is going to ship millions of these phones with the service coming online later this year. All in all, there are more beginnings of big ideas in the new iPhone 14 Pro than we’ve seen in an iPhone for a long time.

Apple iPhone 14 Review: iPhone 13S, by Allison Johnson, The Verge

The iPhone 14 is good. You probably shouldn’t buy an iPhone 14.

If those two phrases sound at odds with each other, then let me explain. The iPhone 14 is highly capable. Its chipset can handle everything from day-to-day tasks to graphics-intensive gaming. Its cameras are capable of very good photos, and it records the best video clips you’ll see from any phone in its class. This is all true of the 14, but it’s also true of the iPhone 13.


watchOS 9: The MacStories Review, by Alex Guyot, MacStories

Recently, I’ve found my excitement for the future of watchOS rekindling. The Apple Watch hardware is far stronger than it was in the early days, from larger screens to far more powerful processors.


Maybe I’m reading too much into a sample size of one, but I think watchOS 9 may already show signs of new life in this area. Banner notifications make watchOS feel like a software platform again rather than a high-end Fitbit. The ability to create and edit calendar events and reminders, and to discover and follow new podcasts, aid in this vibe shift as well. I hope we continue to see more features like these in the coming years.

How Apple Watch Low Power Mode Works, And What It Turns Off, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Low Power Mode works by turning off features that usually run on the Apple Watch, bringing it down to just the core functionality. Other features are allowed to run, but are adjusted to reduce the number of refreshes or updates.


How To Fix App Widgets Not Appearing On iOS 16 Lock Screen, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The heart of the issue is not in these third-party apps, but rather in iOS 16 and how it recognizes the availability of widgets. It appears that if an app has been installed before the iPhone was updated to iOS 16, it may not be recognized.

Apple Now Warning Dark Sky For iOS Users Of The Upcoming Shutdown, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple is moving forward with its plans to shut down the Dark Sky weather app at the end of this year. If you open the Dark Sky app today, you’ll see a new pop-up message telling you that “support for the Dark Sky app” will end on January 1, 2023.

Agenda 15, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

Momenta has issued version 15 of its Agenda date-focused note-taking app with added support for Focus Filters in macOS 13 Ventura to hide projects and categories when you are focused, plus initial support for Shortcuts.

Mophie Launches New MagSafe Power Bank Stand Alongside Powerstation Pro XL And More, by Rikka Altland, 9to5Toys

Taking on different approaches with much of the same fabric-covered design cues, there are four new offerings today for Apple users – specifically those who have an iPhone 14 on the way.

How To Maintain Your Exercise And Wellness Habits While You Travel With Apps And Tech, by Lindsay E. Mack, MakeUseOf

Traveling is exciting and broadening, but stepping outside your usual routine and surroundings can also be stressful. By using a few apps, videos, and other devices, you can avoid a lot of the discomforts and anxieties that can arise when you're on the go. Here’s how to keep up some healthy habits to beat stress during travel, while still enjoying every minute of your vacation.


Thoughts And Observations On Last Week’s ‘Far Out’ Apple Event, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

A few people had an “If they’re just going to show us the same movie they’re streaming to everyone, why are we even here?” take, but it’s obvious that the real value of being invited to attend live has always been about what happens after the keynotes, not seeing them on stage live. The hands-on areas after keynotes are useful not just for seeing and touching the products — colors, in particular, demand being seen in person — but for impromptu off-the-record conversions with Apple folks and other invited guests.


These pre-filmed product introductions move faster — the transitions between scenes happen at the speed of energetic cinema, not the speed of a human being walking across a large stage to hand the slide clicker to the next presenter. This allows Apple to cover the same amount of information in less time.

Live, On Tape, At Apple Park, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

And let’s be clear: It’s not like the old live “stage show” presentation was interactive. They never stopped the show to ask Nilay Patel and Carolina Milanesi and Matthew Panzarino how it was going. So going to a pre-taped presentation really didn’t change anything, from our perspective.

The iPhone 14 And Apple Watch Series 8 Expose Apple's Surprising Silicon Struggles, by Jason Snell, Macworld

This year’s iPhone 14 announcement was extra tricky because there was no “last year’s model” to compare it to. The iPhone 14 uses the same A15 processor Apple used in the iPhone 13–albeit the variant from the iPhone 13 Pro that had an extra GPU core enabled. A casual observer would assume that the announcement was normal, but it was anything but–instead, Apple had to do a lot of sleight of hand in order to make it seem like the iPhone 14 revision was business as usual.

Now, next year things will resume their normal pattern. The iPhone 15 will presumably get this year’s A16 processor, and the iPhone 15 Pro will get next year’s A17. This year, Apple’s going to have to take its lumps–but it’s not going to welcome comparisons to last year’s iPhone if it can avoid it.

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Day two of using iOS 16, and I have not gotten used to the new location of the play/pause button on the lock screen.


I am using the Weather lock screen, and everything goes to black-and-white when the forecast calls for Cloudy weather. Not a single shade of blue anywhere.

It definitely doesn't match what I can see in the sky when I glance out of my windows.


I am a little amused when I see the legend in Apple's precipitation map for Singapore -- a country right next to the equator -- includes 'Snow', alongside with rain and sleet.

Either Apple is really prepared for major climate change, or it is very confident that we can cool the earth back down significantly.


Thanks for reading.