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Apple Breakfast: iPhone SE Reviews, Financial Results & More



Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.

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Apple’s financial results

It’s sort of odd that we’re all expected to care when Apple releases its earnings report. Unless you’re a shareholder, Apple making an extra billion or two doesn’t affect you at all – but there does remain a fascination, sometimes because the numbers are so incomprehensibly vast, sometimes because it looks like the graph is about to change direction and everyone gets excited.

The numbers were expected to be bad this time because of COVID-19, but it turns out the numbers were good – at least by comparison with the same quarter last year. Are you excited? Like I said, it’s odd.

iPhone SE reviews are in!

Like cicadas, iPhone reviewers emerge from their burrows simultaneously, following some mysterious internal logic. This week saw the publication of Macworld’s iPhone SE review, as well as Tech Advisor’s and the Guardian’s.

(In fact, a few cicadas recklessly left the nest early. The Verge posted about a week ago, and immediately got eaten by a bird.)

Tech Advisor were the real outliers of that bunch, citing bad battery life and an outdated design in a critical review. We found battery life okay, and feel that the totality of everything the SE offers for £419/$399 makes it a tremendous offering… but there’s no denying that the design (into which many iPhone 8 components fit and work perfectly) is looking old. Hey, 2014 called, it wants its bezels back.

Interesting how similar observations can result in wholly different reviews, depending on your viewpoint and whether or not you see mid-range Chinese Android phones as a viable alternative.

One thing that isn’t in doubt is the SE’s astonishing processing power for the price. Even Android sites acknowledge that the A13 chip has got their best flagship phones beat for speed. And customer demand appears to be there, if the long waits are any indication.

Finally, if you just bought an iPhone SE, try these five things first.

Things to be worried about this week

Apple platforms are among the most secure you can get, but they’re not perfect, and this week saw the emergence of several flaws and vulnerabilities that it’s worth knowing about.

There’s a space-guzzling bug in macOS that’s slightly less exciting that that sounds: it causes your photos to take up more gigabytes than they should, rather than consuming the solar system. Actually, both of those things would be annoying.

A text message containing Sindhi text and an Italian flag emoji could crash your iPhone. Read our guide to text bombs for information on protecting yourself.

And Google’s Project Zero security team has discovered and published details of vulnerabilities in Apple’s Image I/O. You don’t need to worry about these, because they’ve been patched, but it’s interesting stuff.

The rumour mill

If you believe every rumour, Apple has enough products on the way to do a launch event every day of the year. We hope that doesn’t happen.

Patent activity appears to indicate that Apple is considering flexible iPhones, iPad and MacBooks. Another patent shows the company could introduce an option to edit iMessages.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 could have under-screen Touch ID when it finally arrives; it’s now expected to see a delay of at least one month. (That’s not too bad, in fact. Previous rumours suggested it might be delayed until 2021.)

The next iPad Air will feature Touch ID under the screen, according to a Twitter pronouncement, and the so-called AirPods Pro Lite are more likely to be branded as Beats headphones.

COVID corner

A worrying report was published this week, featuring interviews with some Apple employees who say they are struggling to juggle work and childcare amid the lockdown. As the company itself has put it, “No deadline is more important than caring for loved ones.”

CultofMac reports claims that Apple is cutting orders of its upcoming 5G iPhone in anticipation of a possible global recession. Component suppliers have had the call already, sources say.

More positively, iOS 13.5 will offer COVID tracing and the ability for Face ID to tell when you’re wearing a mask and jump straight to the passcode screen.

And that’s it for the week. Stay Appley, everyone!



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