Apple Loop: Disappointing iPhone Delay, Gmail Arrives On MacOS, Controversial MacBook Plans


Updated September 14: Further details on Apple One added; post originally published September 11:

 Taking a look back at another week of news and headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes a disappointing iPhone delay, an invite to a very special launch, new leaked iPhone features, the end of the MacBook Air, a cheaper Apple Watch, the Apple One bundle plan, and Gmail arrives on MacOS.

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).

Apple Hopes You Are Not Busy And Can Attend Its Event

As expected for this time of year, Apple has announced ‘an event’. Taking place on Tuesday September 15th, there’s no explicit confirmation on what to expect, but John Gruber has some thoughts:

"I’m in the camp who believes there often aren’t any noteworthy clues in the logos or event names for Apple events, but you don’t have to be a genius to guess that “Time Flies” implies that Apple Watch is the headliner at next week’s event, which, in turn, means that there will be no iPhones announced.

"Apple doesn’t like saying in advance what will be announced at an event, but they do like setting accurate expectations for what won’t be announced.”

More at Daring Fireball.
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 10: The new Apple iPhone 11 is displayed during an Apple launch ... [+] event on September 10, 2019 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled several new products including iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, Apple Watch Series 5 and an updated iPad. (Photo by Qi Heng/VCG via Getty Images)VCG via Getty Images

Delaying The iPhone 12

Missing from the managed buildup to Apple’s event is the iPhone. In previous years, the iPhone launch has been the key moment in the early September presentation. 2020 is, to put it mildly, not a normal year. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the iPhone 12 family has been delayed. While Apple may still make the presentation, customers expecting a late September delivery face delays. It looks likely that only some of the iPhone 12 models will be late… others will be very late. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:

"In a blow to fans of Apple’s newly shrunk iPhone 12 and supersized iPhone 12 Pro Max, Digitimes has confirmed that both models will be pushed into a ‘second stage’ roll-out with the (newly renamed) 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Plus and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro launches prioritized. Moreover, the gap between first and second stage releases could be up to six weeks, which may push the latter’s launch as far back as November." 

More here on Forbes.

The Secret Attraction Inside The iPhone

The iPhone 12 design still, amazingly in the highly connected world, has a few secrets inside the case. The latest appears to be magnets, with a circular array showing up both inside an iPhone 12-esque enclosure, and in third party case designs. Tim Hardwick reports:

"EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of magnets built in, which he suggests are "likely for perfect alignment with Apple's wireless chargers."

"Apple hasn't released any native wireless chargers for iPhone. The company canceled its much-anticipated AirPower charging mat last year due to quality concerns. Rumors persist that it continues to work on an AirPower-like charging mat, although faked images have been shared in support of this.”

More at MacRumors.

More Apple One Details Discovered 

Updated September 14: Following on from reporting last week’s Apple Loop, more details on Apple’s potential subscription bundle service - Apple One - have been discovered inside the beta code of iOS 14. This comes after the discovery of Apple One specific text strings int he Android version of Apple Music. Benjamin Mayo reports:

“Now, 9to5Mac has found references to Apple One in iOS code. These strings appear in the localization files used for the iPhone’s Manage Subscriptions screen. The text has been added recently, which may further suggest that Apple One is going to be announced at Apple’s special event on Tuesday.

"The strings include mentions like “Cancel Apple One,” “Keep Apple One,” and “You can unsubscribe from Apple One and keep only what you want.” The string references are in the same file as code strings that talk about selecting which individual Apple services to keep, rather than continuing with the bundle.” 

The question now is if Apple will roll out this news at the September 15 event, or if it will be held back for the iPhone 12 launch event expected later in the year. More at 9to5Mac.

MacBook and MacBook Pro, No Space For Air

With production on the ARM-based A14X CPU set to commence next month, Apple’s plans to move macOS away from Intel continue with two new MacBooks to be launched by the end of the year. The MacBook Pro will remain as the (err) pro machine, while those looking for a smaller, lighter, and more portable laptop will have the titular Macbook. Apple is ready to say goodbye to the MacBook Air, as I discussed earlier this week:

"Apple is set to leave this marquee brand behind, allowing the titular MacBook to take the stage. This seems a curious choice in one sense because the benefits of moving to the ARM based CPU should allow for a machine that requires less battery capacity and less infrastructure for cooling, while still harnessing significant computing power. In other words, everything that the MacBook Air brand stands for.

"Tim Cook’s Apple clearly believes that the brave new world of the MacBook just needs MacBook to succeed.”

More here on Forbes.
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Tim Cook, CEO of Apple unveils a new MacBook Air during a launch event at ... [+] the Brooklyn Academy of Music on October 30, 2018 in New York City. This is Apple's first full upgrade of the laptop in three years. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)Getty Images

Stand By For A Cheaper Apple Watch 

We already have an iPhone SE, could we see another key Apple product pick up Cupertino’s ‘Lite’ suffix? There are a number of indications that the upcoming launch will see an ‘Apple Watch SE' revealed. Noted Apple commentator Jon Prosser has posted details on just such a product, even if he’s not completely convinced about the name:

“Codename: N140S: GPS 40mm. Codename: N140B: Cellular 40mm.

“Codename: N142S: GPS 42mm. Codename: N142B: Cellular 42mm.

“Series 4 design; No always-on display; No ECG; M9 chip”

Let’s see what September 15 brings our wrists.

Here Comes One Apple Payment To Rule Them All

Tucked into the latest version of Apple Music for Android devices are signs that Apple is preparing to launch a bundle of subscription services that package up the likes of Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and iCloud storage into a single payment - much like a cable TV provider. There’s a good chance these will appear alongside the iPhone 12 family. Kyle Bradshaw reports:

"Reportedly, there may be a base bundle with just Apple TV+ and Apple Music as well as more premium bundles that include Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and more iCloud storage. At that time, the name “Apple One” was tossed around as a working name.

"With the latest release of Apple Music, version 3.4.0 beta, we find that Apple may have settled on the name “Apple One,” alongside an internal codename “aristotle.” These new strings in the app all but confirm that Apple Music will be included with Apple One when it launches.” 

More at 9to5Mac.

And Finally…

Would you like a native Gmail app for your Mac? It might not come from Google, but ‘Mimestream’ comes from a former Apple engineer, which surely counts for something. Joe Rossignol reports:

"Mimestream uses the Gmail API rather than IMAP to support more Gmail-specific features, such as categorized inboxes, automatically synced aliases and signatures, full labels integration, and search operators. Jhaveri plans to add more features over time, including Google Drive support, server-side filter configuration, and G Suite directory autocomplete.

"Mimestream’s advantages over using the Gmail web interface include support for multiple Gmail accounts with a unified inbox, system-level notifications, system-level Dark Mode support, swipe gestures, tracking prevention, and more."

More at MacRumors

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.