If Mark Facebook thought Tim Apple enforcing Privacy Labels and App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 was terri-bad… wait ‘till he gets a load of App Privacy Reports and Private Relay in iOS 15, because, well…
Read the whole story in my weekly column at iMore...
Same iPhone 8 chassis. New iPhone 13-class A15 chipset and 5G radio. Coming next spring. Those are the latest leaks surrounding the iPhone SE 3 or iPhone SE 2022. Whatever. But… this story actually absolutely fascinates me and for a couple reasons, because…
Last month, supply chain exfiltrator extraordinaire Kuo Ming-Chi reiterated his expectations for an updated iPhone SE in the first half of 2022. An iPhone SE with an A15 Bionic.. Trionic… and 5G, the cheapest 5G iPhone ever. Just this week, slightly better than randomly accurate rumor site DigiTimes said much the same thing. Now Nikkei is piling on as well, but adding that the 5G will come courtesy of a Qualcomm X60 modem, a process-shrinked and more efficient version of the X55 in current iPhone 12 Variants.
Now assuming all these reports are at all accurate, Apple will basically be taking the iPhone SE 2, the one that launched back in spring of 2020, with an iPhone 8 chassis stuffed with an iPhone 11 A13 chipset and LTE radio, keeping that exact same chassis, and re-stuffing it with an iPhone 13 A15 chipset and 5G radio.
For those of you trying to plan out your next purchases and upgrades, I’ll get to how I think it’ll compare with the iPhone 13, value-wise, in an alligator Loki hot minute, but given the dodgy state of rumors these days,I kinda want to sanity check ‘emm all first. In other words, do they make the kind of sense that does… or the kind that doesn’t?
Well, first half 2022, which typically means spring 2022, would line up with the OG iPhone SE launch in spring of 2016 and the second edition launch in spring of 2020. There were four years between those generations, though, and there’d only be two between these. But those generations resulted in a move from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone 8 chassis, and this one… well this one is sticking with the iPhone 8 chassis.
So maybe it’s more of an iPhone SE S… Instead of what some previous rumors suggested, and that was going with a modified iPhone XR or 11 chassis, minus Face ID, plus Touch ID in the power button like the iPad Air.
Could be Apple is saving that for a 2023 or 2024 update, or for a bigger iPhone SE Plus at some point.
Sticking with the iPhone 8 chassis for a second update is closer akin to what Apple does with products that are super low cost and juuuuuuust popular enough to keep around, but not anywhere nearly popular enough to justify a significant update.
The whole “old devices a few customers love, with new internals so they can keep on loving them just a bit longer” strategy. The one Apple’s been using for the iPod touch, sporadically, and the entry-level iPad nothing, for a while now.
Giving it an A15 chipset, which is Apple’s next-generation silicon architecture and likely the basis for M2 as well at some point next year , means the $399 iPhone will continue to have better performance efficiency than… anything other than an iPhone 13… Including any other full-price, premium flagships on the market.
It’ll also ensure anyone buying an iPhone SE 3 in 2022 or thereafter will have enough overhead for iOS updates and new apps going into 2026 or 2027. I mean, the original iPhone SE launched with iOS 9 back in 2016 and it’ll be updated to iOS 15 later this year, in 2021. Limited features, sure, but still updated. And that’s a ton of value for $400.
The big question will be, of course, be battery life. The current iPhone SE 2 with an A13 struggles to make it through the day on anything more than a really, really light work load. Will the iPhone 14 hit it even harder? That’s tough to say. Apple has been making the A-series faster but also much more efficient recently, and this would move the iPhone SE not just two silicon generations, but from 7 to 5 nanometers. So… we’ll have to wait and see… how mythical phones with fantasy specs perform in the very real world.
Real, fake, or just really fake, 5G will almost certainly hit the battery harder than LTE though. X60 will also be moving Qualcomm’s modems to 5 nanometer, but on Samsung’s process, not TSMCs. Because Apple pretty much bought out TSMCs. And this generation, Samsung’s process isn’t quite as good. But it’ll still be more power efficient than the X55 we have in the iPhone 12 now. And Apple tends to have very clever antenna systems as well, especially for the train wreck that’s remains mmWave.
Of course, just having Qualcomm modems will be a plus for anyone living in an area where Intel modems resulted in less than stellar performance to begin with.
Now, again if these reports are at all accurate, the iPhone SE 3 won’t have the modern design of the iPhone 13. It won’t have Face ID, a high dynamic range OLED display, an ultra wide angle or optional telephoto camera, U1 chip, or any of the other flagship iPhone latest bells and greatest whistles.
Even though it will have the iPhone 13 image signal processor to make the presumably still single camera system all that it can computationally be. But for $400. Way less than even the iPhone 13 mini’s estimated $700 starting price. Which means less phone, sure, but for a lot less money. Pretty much the same trade-off we have now, today, with the iPhone SE 2 and the iPhone 12 mini… iPhone 12 regular even.
So, while I don’t think it’ll lure any tech aficionados or premium, price-insensitive customers away from the next flagships, I do think it’ll continue to appeal to Android switchers, who’ll be tempted by the performance fueled value prop, but also more casual iPhone upgraders who are still holding on to iPhone 7 or 8, maybe even SE 2, and want to stay on that Home button and low cost train for as long as they can.
Now, I do have an idea for an entirely different iPhone SE I’d love to see Apple test on the market. Not an SE… S… so much as an SE… X. Stop it!
Now, I do have an idea for an entirely different iPhone SE I’d love to see Apple test on the market. Not an SE… S… so much as an SE… X. Stop it!
Really similar to what’s been rumored for an iPhone SE Plus. The basic chassis from an iPhone XR or iPhone 11. LCD display, to keep the price just way down compared to OLED panels. Doesn’t have to be higher resolution either. Pixel quality still beats pixel quantity, especially when you factor in battery life. Which I personally think the iPhone SE really still needs to improve on.
Because it’ll still have to have 5G. That might not be a big deal yet, but with modems getting better and deployment in markets outside the U.S., primarily China, improving rapidly, it’s gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have already.
Touch ID in the power button works great for me — literally. And that means the front-facing camera system can lose all the Face ID sensors and scale just all the way back to a single RGB camera. Throw a punch hole or tear drop around it — I can’t tell you how little I care which, because they’re all equally can’t un-see-able — and then let it loose.
I realize no MagSafe or U1 will bum some people out and cost some accessories upsell, but if Apple can land it at $400, even $450, I think it’ll be magic in a handset. Again.
At least that’s the next generation iPhone SE I’m waiting for.
I've got Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack, I'm unboxing it, I'm trying it out on the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with and without a case, showing off AirPods charging, and comparing it to previous-generation iPhone Smart Battery Cases. Plus my first impressions! Oh, yeah!
Pegasus is military-grade spyware sold to nation-states, governments and agencies, ostensibly to fight crime and terrorism, also at incredible expense, but reports say it’s being abused by authoritarian regimes against journalists and dissidents. So, is your iPhone safe?
So many leak bombs. So many Master Plans. So, so many release dates and prices, ends of Facebook, Wrong about, finallys, truths, confirmed, here you goes, and M1X and iPhone 13… galore. So. Much. Thirst. In all the titles and Tim Cook festooned thumbnails you see, I see, we all see, so always.
But why? Why is it this way? Well…
OK, so, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Actually, a pretty big secret. The secret to all tech videos on YouTube. Hell, all videos, period.
Here’s how YouTube actually works: It tries to find videos that will satisfy audiences. Videos that will satisfy you. Every time you land on YouTube, just think of a billion little bots running over to fill up your homepage and sidebar with the videos they think you’ll really want to click on next. Because the longer you stay on YouTube watching those videos, the more ads they can show you, and the more money they can make.
Now, notice I said YouTube tries to find videos for the audience, for you. I didn’t say YouTube tries to find an audience for the videos — For creators like me. Because it doesn’t. YouTube wants the videos you’re most likely to click on next. It doesn’t care at all if those videos are from me specifically or any other creator in particular. And that’s the everyday new fresh nightmare hellscape every creator — including me — faces every day. The battle for you.
It’s why we ask you to hit that subscribe button and bell, because it makes it far more likely you’ll see and hopefully watch and enjoy our specific videos, which will then encourage those little YouTube bots to show them to more and more people. So, yeah, hit that subscribe button and bell.
But if that’s it, that’s all, how do we end up with leak bomb master plan end of Facebook finally truth confirmed don’t make a mistake filling up our feeds on the daily?
Because there are so many videos competing for our attention on the daily. Hell, the hourly. The minutely. And that’s what gets our attention. That’s what people click on. As much as some say they hate seeing them. As much as we say we hate using them. Time and again, when given a choice between a simple title like “iPhone 12 review” and a sensational one like “I bent an iPhone 12 into a pretzel”, precisely almost everyone chooses the pretzel.
There are a few exceptions, of course. There are always a few exceptions. Marques, MKBHD, and Justine, iJustine have built up such massive audiences over such a long period of time that they can keep everything super simple and still pull massive views. Although, you may have noticed, if they try anything even remotely off-topic, even they get fewer views than normal.
Because, turns out, audiences don’t really like off-topic. If you sign up for a chocolate machine, and every time the button lights up, you press it, and you get chocolate, odds are you’ll press that button every damn time it lights up. At least every time you want chocolate. Which might be a lot.
But if every few times that button lights up it says Brussel sprouts, maybe you won’t press it. Especially if you were expecting, wanting chocolate. And if it starts just lighting up with rando things, chocolate, sure, sometimes, but also Brussel sprouts, blue cheese, vanilla ice cream, black licorice, red licorice, maybe you still press the button every once and a while, but not often, and if you signed up for chocolate, that’s what you want, and we jerks keep denying you it, maybe never again.
And that’s the dirty little secret of how YouTube really works. It’s not publish or perish, it’s get clicked or get kicked. Doesn’t matter if you have a dozen subs or a dozen million, a fresh channel or one of the first. The bigger you are, the bigger buffer you have, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to:
A thumbnail eye-catching enough to stop people mid scroll or mid scan, a title compelling enough that people can’t stop thinking about it until they click, a topic so trendy or timeless it appeals to the biggest audience possible, an intro so instantly rewarding that it immediately pays off the click, and earns enough attention for people to keep watching, with editing so tight it leaves nowhere for people to click out, storytelling so engaging it keeps people watch the whole way through, and ultimately a video so satisfying it gets them to immediately watch another one of your videos and then another. And another. Do that and those little YouTube bots will fall all over each other stuffing your videos into as many homepages and sidebars as is inhumanly possible.
Forget beating the algorithm. That’s urban myth, deus ex machina John Wick killed the fucking boogie man nonsense. Replace the algorithm with the audience. If you can stop the audience in their tracks with your thumbnail, live rent free in their brain stems with your title, keep them locked to the video they loaded with your storytelling and editing — and make things your audience, that same audience, will love and come back for over and over again, forget finding a golden ticket, you’ve made the golden ticket.
You’re MrBeast or SSSniperwolf with hundreds of millions of impressions per video earning tens of millions of click throughs, up to three quarters average view percentage, and a dozen or more average views per viewer.
But most YouTube creators aren’t MrBeast or SSSniperwolf any more than most musicians are Taylor Swift, or most actors are a Chris from an MCU movie.
So we try to find the topics we think you want to see, that have worked the best for us in the past, give them a thumbnail we hope you’ll click on the most. Either with the latest, hottest gadget or with an emotional face your human instincts will latch onto, or both, because face + thing is a YouTube classic for the same reason it’s a magazine classic. Pure social engineering. Just, so often with Tim Cook’s face now… And then, yeah, the greatest hits of leak bombs. Master Plans. Release dates and prices, ends of Facebook, Wrong abouts, finallys, truths, confirmed, here you goes, and M1Xes and iPhone 13s. Basically all the title thirst traps that have trapped the most thirst. Because, the horrible truth is… we are what we click on.
Remember what I said about rewarding that click and providing satisfaction. If the button says chocolate and you get Brussel sprouts, you’re going to get mad. If the button says chocolate and you get an electric shock, you’ll be madder.
It’s why YouTube moved from prioritizing click through rate to view duration to, now, satisfaction. Why we’re all getting those surveys after random videos.
A compelling, interesting, even sensational title isn’t clickbait if it delivers. It’s just compelling, interesting, even sensational, especially if we do our jobs and we over deliver. But if we click-bait-and-switch you. If we burn you. If we promise you something in the title and utterly fail to deliver it in the video, then we risk losing you. We risk losing the audience. At which point YouTube will notice and start serving our videos to fewer and fewer people. We’ll be tempted to blame the algorithm, but the algorithm is still happily serving those same people videos that still make them happy. Those videos just aren’t our any more. And we did that to ourselves.
So we have to be super extra extremely careful any time we use The TRUTH About Insanely Great M1X iPhone 13 Price and Release Date CONFIRMED Leak Bombs Are Apple’s Master Plan to FINALLY End Facebook — Don’t make a Mistake! As the title of a video, because if we fuck it up, it could be our last.
It’s why I personally make damn sure that any time I use a title anything like that, I give you so much value that not only can I sleep at night, I can sleep knowing you got the absolute best value I could possibly give you, hopefully the best sourced, most accurate, most reliable information and analysis on the planet — at least outside Apple Park. That’s my promise to you. The thumbnail and title are just the candy coating I use to get the opportunity to deliver on that promise to you.
As to how we got to this point, all our content served up by machine learning in the most hyper-competitive contexts imaginable? Well, that would be off-topic for this video, and I just explained why that’s so bad for YouTube, so I’m going to make it into it’s own mini-video and stick it on the end of the Nebula version of this video.
With no ads and no sponsors, just like all my Nebula videos. Often uncut or extended or with bonus segments are well, sometimes whole entire original videos that just wouldn’t work on YouTube, for reasons I’m going over, unicronically, in the Nebula version of this video.
It’s the exact reason we’re building Nebula — as an expansion pack to YouTube. And you can get a Nebula subscription, bundled in for free, when you sign up at CuriosityStream.com/reneritchie or just click the link in the description.
And right now, because you watch this channel, you can get that bundle for 26% off, less than 15 bucks a year — less than the price of a fancy bistro burger — for a whole entire year. And that includes their thousands of amazing documentaries and series like The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms, which delves into how all these recommendation engines affect all of our lives.
As well as all the ad-free and often extended videos on Nebula from MKBHD, TechAltar, Jordan Harrod, Ali Abdaal, Real Science, Georgia Dow, EposVox, and so many more!
You’re supporting smart, educational content directly. For over 26% off, less than $15 a year. Just click the link in the description or go curiositystream.com/reneritchie.
And clicking on that link really helps out this channel.
How did we get here? Well, once upon a time there were kids on most every corner yelling “hear ye, hear ye, read all about”, desperate to sell their stack of papers for a nickel or whatever a piece. Then, over time, we began to subscribe to newspapers, comic books, magazines… we bought albums, tapes, CDs, boxed sets of TV shows, boxed sets of software too…
And that meant newspapers could use classified ads, and a few zippy bleeds-it-leads headlines to fund deep, expensive, investigative journalism. Musicians could use a few hit tracks to slip in some more experimental stuff on the same album. It made things, if not perfectly predictable at least somewhat stable.
But then came digital. Print was torn apart and posted piecemeal, article by article, on the web. Music was sold as singles, then streamed. Shows could be binged but also episodes skipped or one-offed. And we aren’t cooped up in theaters any more, sodium and sugar drunk on popcorn and pop cola, willing to give character arcs and stories a chance to develop. Now, if we don’t like a movie in the first few minutes, we can not-today-satan right out and find any of a billion others to watch.
And thanks to social networks, every bit of content is atomized and algorithmically served up to us based on innumerable data points benevolent and malevolent, all the time always. In an endless stream… of streams. The feed.
Yup, we’re back to street corners and “hear ye hear ye” again, but times infinity. Nothing is scarce. Nothing is valuable. Everything is abundant. Everything is a commodity. And we’re all screaming our lungs off trying to get you to “hear all about us”, to pay attention to us! Not the infinite other articles or music streams or shows or movies or videos or social network feeds you could be paying attention to at any moment.
In the early days, YouTube only cared about the click, so you’d see… wait for it.. a ton of clickbait. But that just caused people to click out or feel burned, so YouTube started caring about watch time more. Average View Duration, or how long people watched. That’s why you saw a lot of long ass videos for a while. But then people started getting bored, so YouTube started caring about retention. Average View Percentage. Or how much they watched. That’s when you saw videos getting shorter again, but also much more tightly edited. Paying off your click with an epic moment immediately, and then trying to keep you hooked for as long as possible, just ratcheting up the tension, the stakes, over and over again.
But that tended to promote the more extreme, more outlandish, more conspiratorial content as well, so now YouTube is all about satisfaction. How good do you feel after watching a video? So now we get surveys asking us exactly that, randomly, after some videos. And we see YouTube caring much more about average views per viewer — how many of your videos people are actually watching.
Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice-president of technology, who helped launch both Apple Health and Apple Watch, has reportedly taken on an even bigger, faster project — helping launch Apple Car.
So, what does that mean?
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So, yeah, there’ve been a ton of changes at Titan, Apple’s autonomous technology aka self driving car project over the last few years. But that’s true of most projects. Imagine if Apple back in the day was covered the way they are now?
“Project Purple in chaos, Apple abandons tablet plans for risky attempt at phone.” “All out war at Apple as iPod phone battles OS X phone for Steve’s love!” “Cingular in the dark, is Apple making a lego phone?” “No developers in site, will the iPod phone even run apps?” “Panic in Cupertino as Jobs scratches his screen!”
Titan is just a much bigger, harder project, so the scale of those changes is proportionately larger, and I’ll get to why in a 2 second launch mode hot minute.
But I’m psyched about Kevin Lynch’s involvement. Kevin came to Apple from Adobe, where he’d waged a bit of a back-and-forth war with Steve Jobs over the future of Flash media in the age of web apps.
At Apple, he hit the ground running on Project Gizmo, the Watch, and all the health features that would go with and beyond it.
Meanwhile, Dan Riccio, former head of hardware engineering and current head of the VR and AR projects at Apple, began ramping up Project Titan.
And… Titan was different. The iPhone, the iPad, even the Watch while monumental challenges in terms of cracking interfaces, nailing interactions, miniaturizing components, maximizing battery life, and all that, Titan was and is the biggest challenge to date — making a car that could drive itself. Like Knight Rider.
And the technologies that requires, not just the novel operating systems and interfaces but just… ingesting, understanding, contextualizing, and acting and reacting to the entire world at any point in time and space… are the technologies that are going to lead us to everything that comes next. Cars, sure, but anything autonomous, including personal robots, holodecks, the machines that make the machines…
Maybe, those a-holes the Terminators. So it’s kinda really gotta be done right. As one look at Tesla and every other company grappling with the same, ridiculous level of complexity will tell you.
How does it deal with rain or snow so heavy it’s near indistinguishable from walls? A dog running out into the street when there are other cars on both sides? Weighing the actuarial-like risks of hitting an elderly couple in a Prius vs. a family of five in a F150. Black ice. Potholes. Hulk angry human drivers? That’s all hard for our million-year evolved brains to handle on the daily, never mind neural networks that are, relatively speaking, babies.
But I digress. Riccio was eventually replaced on Titan when Bob Mansfield, his predecessor as hardware boss, came back out of retirement to give it a more singular focus. Around that time, Apple also brought in Dan Dodge, founder of realtime operating system QNX, which had since been sold to BlackBerry.
Then, Mansfield handed off to John Gianandrea, who’d left Google to pursue what he hinted at was more ethical artificial intelligence at Apple, becoming head of machine learning.
Which is the key component to putting the self into the car driving.
With Kevin Lynch, who’ll still be reporting into Apple’s chief operating officer and health head, Jeff Williams, Titan is getting a software lead who knows how to ship new product categories, but also how to help craft new and compelling experiences for us, the people using it.
To help make time for Kevin to focus on the car, it sounds like Evan Doll will be taking on more at Health. Which is also terrific. Evan may be most famous of co-founding Flipboard, but that was after working on Apple’s Pro Apps back in the day, helping make the apps as part of the original iPhone team, and more recently coming back to work as director of health software.
Clear the way for 120 Hz Display
September they say, on the Pro, Same as LiDAR so
All the Wi-Fi 6E, just no Touch ID
So not psyched, plus the lack of a terabyte
And 13 not 12 s is stressed
But let’s break down new leaks bound round this thing
Before the next iPhone rings
(With apologies to Chuck D!)
iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12s
Economic Daily News, which has a whopping 43% accuracy rating according to AppleTracks — yup, somehow less accurate than a coin toss — says:
“the supply chain has reported that this year's new phone will be named iPhone 13”
Now, I’ll get to the surprising, and annoying news in a bootlooped minute, but as anyone who follows this channel knows, Apple can and will name any iPhone anything they damn well please. They typically have a preferred name, but they can make up their minds basically until they need to start printing boxes and billboards. So, iPhone 13, iPhone 12s, iPhone the Dark Knight Returns and, yes, iPhone Mother of Dragons, it all really depends on whether Apple wants to set expectations and drive sales higher with a new number, like they did when they used iPhone 8 instead of iPhone 7s, or tamp them down with a more internal, less external update, like iPhone XS before iPhone 11. I’ve got a whole entire video up on how this all works, so check it out.
Look, me to you, I really need Apple to ship a 120Hz display just so we can finally kill all the will-they-won’t-they about 120Hz displays, like we’ve done for 5G.
But, not today satan, so yes, 120 Hz, even higher refresh rate displays are easy. Other phones have had them going on a couple years. Good high refresh rate displays, ones that don’t screw up power management or force summary deresolution or just chew through battery life is hard. Especially at iPhone scale, which is 10s of millions of units.
But there’ve been several reports now that Samsung, maybe even LG, have nailed OLED processes at just exactly that scale, and with LTPO and IGZO, which will enable ProMotion. That’s Apple’s marketing name for adaptive refresh, what lets the Apple Watch go from 1-60Hz for the always-on display and the iPad Pro from 24-120Hz for both power saving and to show movies at 24fps the way nature and Hollywood intended.
Where the rumors currently break down is on whether or not ProMotion will be coming to all the iPhone 13 models this fall, or just the Pro models.
Just the Pro models make the kind of sense that does for me. First, Apple’s kept ProMotion exclusive to the iPad Pro for over 4 years now. Because, second, the Pro models are better able to absorb the higher cost of the displays.
And the non-Pro models already saw their prices hiked last year just for going OLED and 5G.
Same for LiDAR. Same same.
Mark Gurman and Debbi Wu, in addition to saying the iPhone is back on its traditional September launch schedule, with a sharply increased production run, and a slightly decreased notch.
But, that while Apple has tested an in-display fingerprint scanner for this year’s devices, that feature will likely not appear on this generation
Which is Bloomberg hedgingese for not gonna happen. Maybe not even in the power button like the iPad Air already shipped.
Now, the first law of Vulcan metaphysics might be nothing unreal exists, but only slightly less first is the second law — nothing unannounced doesn’t exist.
Basically, because it would not only be more competitive with other phones, it will be far, far more practice for people with iPhones. I mean, having a second form of biometrics just makes all the sense in the post-pandemic, mask-sensible world, and gets us one step closer to the passive, persistent authentication system of my dreams. So, forgive me if I won’t not believe it until I don’t see it.
1 Terabyte of storage sounds like a no, but slightly better than randomly accurate rumor shop DigiTimes says Apple Wi-Fi 6 is good to G.O. Something Barkleys also rumored back in January.
Wi-Fi 6E is a better version of Wi-Fi 6. A… dare I say… go version of Wi-Fi 6 that stretches into the similarly fast but way, way less congested 6Ghz frequency. Which means it should end up letting you use more of that available speed. If you have a Wi-Fi 6E compatible router, which should also be better than many of the early Wi-Fi 6 non-E routers… we can hope.
Especially since Apple does tends to be hella aggressive when it comes to adopting new Wi-Fi versions in the iPhone line, unlike cellular technologies where they tends to wait a bit for power draw to go down and next-generation networks to build up.
The original iPhone project was code-named Purple. Purple Experience Project, or PEP if you want to get fancy. The iPhone hardware had its own codenames. The typical, boring letters and numbers of all Apple hardware codenames. M68 for the original. N82 for the 3G. N88 for the 3GS. You get the idea.
But the software… the software had way more interesting code names. And like I said, I all caps love them because they’re so spycraft. So, Agent of SHIELD. And iOS had… a lot of them. A lot a lot. None were ever made public, though. Not like Steve Jobs did with OS X Jaguar for the Mac. And here's why!
iOS Code Names
The original iPhone project was code named Purple. Not Purple Rain. Purple Experience Project, or PEP if you want to get fancy. P1 was the iPod phone run by Tony Fadell. P2 was the OS X phone run by Scott Forstall. It should be beyond super wicked apparent by now which one… won.
The iPhone hardware had its own codenames. The typical, boring letters and numbers of all Apple hardware codenames. M68 for the original. N82 for the 3G. N88 for the 3GS. You get the idea.
But the software… the software had way more interesting code names. And like I said, I all caps love them because they’re so spy craft. So, Agent of SHIELD. And iOS had… a lot of them. A lot a lot. None were ever made public, though. Not like Steve Jobs did with OS X Jaguar for the Mac. And I’ll get to why in a hot minute.
iPhone OS 1.0 was Alpine for an internal firmware version, maybe even the one McGyvered together for the demo. The launch was Heavenly, though. Not in the religious sense, but in the Lake Tahoe ski resort sense. A favorite getaway of Bay Area engineer-erati, among many, many others. 1.1, which firmed up… a lot of the firmware… was Snowbird. After the Snowbird ski resort in Utah. Are you getting it yet?
I’m going to skip the point releases, like 1.1.2 Oktoberfest and 1.1.3 Little Bear, because there are so many we’d be here until… iOS 15 comes out of beta.
So, 2.0 was Big Bear, which shipped alongside the App Store, and where a lot of early frameworks were given shaves and a haircut so they’d be way, way more presentable for the public debut of UIKit proper. 2.1 was Sugar Bowl, and 2.2, Timberline.
3.0 was Kirkwood, 3.1 Northstar, and 3.2 Wildcat. That version, 3.2, was also what shipped on the original iPad. Because back then, the iPad ran… iPhoneOS.
4.0 was Apex, not as in predator, though it did kill iPhoneOS when it was renamed iOS… even though it only ran on the iPhone at first. 4.1 Baker, not as in dozen, and 4.2, released as 4.2.1 Jasper, not as in Sitwell (Hail Hydra) which finally brought unified support to the iPad. And 4.3 was Durango, not Django but also not as in Dodge. As in Purgatory… Colorado. We’re still deep in the ski resorts here.
5.0 was Telluride and 5.1, Hoodoo, not to be confused with Hodor. 6.0 was Sundance, which might have been fitting given how photorealistic design was about to be Butch Cassidy’d in a hail of gunshots if not glory. Wikipedia it. And 6.1, Brighton.
7.0 was Innsbruck, but also the great flattening, a jolt of digital authenticity and gaussian blur injected right into the OpenGL Stack by Jony Ive and Alan Dye. And if you listen close enough, you can still hear the screaming in Brooklyn. 7.1 was Sochi, because Winter Olympics.
8.0 was Okemo, and it stayed that way until 8.2 Stowe, and 8.4 Copper. Special shout out to 8.4.1 Donner, though, because its namesake, Richard, made me believe a man could fly. Rest In Peace.
9.0 was Monarch, 9.1 Boulder, 9.2 Castlerock, and 9.3 Eagle, like the Legal. 10.0 was Whitetail, 10.1 Butler, 10.2 Corry, and 10.3, Erie. And if you all get me to a million subs by the end of the year, I… probably still won’t say word one about the only ever unshipped version of iOS. But you can certainly try!
11.0 was Tigris, 11.1 Bursa 11.2 Cinar, 11.3 Emet, and 11.4 Fatsa.
And then 12.0 changed everything. At least when it came to code names. The world got dark, in mood and mode, and so Apple decided to bring a little light. At least internal. That year, WatchOS became Glory. tvOS, Hope. macOS, Liberty, and iOS… Peace.
iOS 13 stayed weird. First, by forking into iPadOS lucky number 13… for the iPad. Yup, after taking away iPhoneOS lo just nine short versions before. But also because the era of Ski Resorts was over. All the iOS and iPadOS 13 versions were Yukon, and like Peace, included B, C,D, and even enterprise E versions. F, G, as well, even H for Yukon.
Then 14 was Azul and now, the 15 seed, Sky.
So, why aren’t any of these names public like the macOS ones? Or rather, why aren’t there public marketing names in addition to the internal codenames, like macOS Monterey? Hell, like Google had tasty treat names for Android until things got Q-as-in-questioning why they didn’t realize it’d be impossible to think of a Q-as-in-dessert name way before c-as-in-cupcake?
I mean, the big cats sold themselves. Announcing Mac OS X Jaguar was fire. Especially compared to how Windows was spending their branding XP back then. And across a range of Macs that weren’t all that revolutionary but needed something to seriously set them apart from the boring OS numbers of the past?
The iPhone… was and is the bleeping iPhone. It was the revolution. It didn’t need no stinking software marketing names. And it won’t unless or until it’s old enough, and the system gets a transition big enough, for the software to become at least a co-star.
At WWDC 2021, Apple unveiled new interface designs for Safari on Mac, iPad, and iPhone. They're all radical but none as in-your-face radical as the iOS 15 version for the iPhone, which pulls the address bar to the bottom and hides a ton of controls behind a menu-hamburger button.
And Daring Fireball's John Gruber and I have thoughts!
Apple has just announced the new MagSafe Battery Pack for iPhone 12... all the iPhones 12 — iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max. It's like the previous Smart Battery Case but, without the case. Yeah, just the hump!
Apple has just announced a MagSafe Battery Pack. It's $99 and it works with the full range of iPhone 12 products. That means the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max. Just one MagSafe Battery Pack to charge and rule them all. And yes, I will get my hands on it for review as soon as is inhumanly possible. So make sure you hit that subscribe button so you see it the second it goes live.
And yes, absolutely totally sure, iPhone 12 Pro Max users might be just laughing at this saying they've got their hump already built in. But iPhone 12 mini users might still be loving their baby phone on the daily, but might want to really, really take a look at the MagSafe Battery Pack to extend that into the whole daily, the nightly. Now, because it's an Apple battery pack, you're immediately gonna see a lot of criticism saying it is low capacity and high price. Because that has traditionally been the knock on Apple's previous Smart battery cases. You'd see them just get trounced in articles, even first looks.
And then a couple months later, you'd see it's the only thing even those tech reviewers were using at CES or other trade shows. And the reason for that is Apple doesn't focus on raw capacity. They focus on the efficiency. There's a lot of things that are counterintuitive about battery pack technology. For one thing, batteries are terrible for radio frequencies. They block them. So a lot of traditional battery cases back in the day would actually prevent the signal from getting out, forcing the radio to power up, thereby wasting a lot of the charge you were busy trying to give them. Also, they would tend to put the iPhone into plug-in mode. You know, when it thinks that it's actually on a cable in a wall. And then it just loses all its mobile restrictions. All the networking activity starts ramping up, it starts updating things. It starts again consuming much more power than normal. So it's not taking full advantage of the charge you are trying to give it. That's something that some other companies sometimes ignore, going for the more brute force, maximum capacity, absolute unit approach, which, you know, some people appreciate.
Apple has been very good about engineering around a lot of those concerns. You know, they just wanted to get as much casing out of the way as possible. And that led to that giant hump. And now this is just that giant hump. It is the pokey evolution, the final form of Apple's slap on battery technology, but now they don't even need that case anymore because it's using MagSafe. Now there are some drawbacks to that, obvious drawbacks to that, One is it won't stay on as securely as a case will, it will only stay on as securely as the MagSafe battery allows. And if you've used other MagSafe products then you'll know sometimes that's really good and sometimes it feels like it's moving around in your pocket. Remains to be seen how well the MagSafe specifically stays on, but it's something to certainly keep an eye on.
The other thing is because it's charging wirelessly and not going through the lightning port, it's limited to 15 Watts currently for Apple's iPhones. Now it does have an independent lightning port on it, all of its own. So you can plug in your iPhone as you would normally while you're using the MagSafe Battery Pack, but you can also plug in any other accessory without any interference. You know, plug into wired CarPlay or hard-line sync to your Mac. You can also plug directly through lightning into the MagSafe Battery Pack. And that means you'll be charging the battery pack, which will then be wirelessly charging your iPhone. And depending on the power brick you're using, if you're using one of the new 20 watt Apple Charging Bricks, it'll charge the MagSafe unit much faster. And it'll do what Apple's previously done with battery packs, and that is move the charge between the battery itself and the device. It'll tend to prioritize the device, especially at the beginning so that you can get back up and using it without any worries.
Even if you have to take off the case as fast as possible, and then it'll start shifting power to the case so you have that reserve built up. Those are the sorts of things that really, really appeal to Apple and their sensibilities. So if those are also appealing to you and your sensibilities, then you might want to check out Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack. $99, you can order it now and if you want to learn more about the iPhone 12 or MagSafe, check out these videos.