Apple Loop: iPhone X Defeated By iPhone 8, New Curved iPhone Leaked, More iOS 11.3 Problems
Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the iPhone 8 beating the iPhone X, a futuristic curved iPhone concept, the latest iOS 11 updates, the challenge of the iPad and the iPhone X, Apples disappearing Apps, new jobs with Siri, and Apple Music subscriber numbers.
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).
The iPhone 8 Is the Best iPhone
The issue of battery endurance was brought into focus this week as a number of websites reported on the relative merits of the current iPhones versus the Galaxy S9 competition. The winner was the iPhone, but not the iPhone you might have expected:
PhoneArena has been testing a number of flagship handsets in the battery life stakes. Under its conditions, the iPhone 8 Plus clocks in at 10 hours 36 minutes, the iPhone X at 8 hours 41 minutes, the iPhone 7 at 8 hours 37 minutes. Curiously all three models beat the latest South Korean flagships, with the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus managing 8 hours 22 minutes, and the Galaxy S9 just 7 hours 23 minutes. Anandtech’s battery testing applies different criteria. The Galaxy S9 Plus, at 10.48 hours, overhauls the iPhone X (9.76 hours) and the iPhone 8 (10.41 hours), but once more the iPhone 8 Plus wins out with 11.83 hours.
Apple’s Curveball iPhone
What advanced technology is Apple working on for the iPhone in the future? A number of ideas leaked out this week, including new gesture controls for iOS and a curved glass form factor, as I reported earlier this week:
If you want to be particularly smart, you might want to highlight the curved display of the iPhone X. While it is not obvious to the user, the bottom of the screen curves back on itself in a u-shaped design to place the screen’s physical hardware below the screen, rather than the traditional approach of a lower ‘chin’ on the smartphone. Apple’s twist here is that the curve will be towards the user, rather than away. That would prove to be a slightly more ergonomic solution, but one that will likely drive up the price without necessarily bringing in more users.
But what would a curved iPhone look like? Over to iDrop News and designer Martin Hajek with a render based on the reports, although he has added a Nokia/Matrix like sliding cover for the bottom two-thirds of the handset:
Lots Of iOS 11 Updates
After a fraught development process in public, iOS 11.3 is now available to the general public. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly has taken a closer look at the release to ask the question ‘should you upgrade?’ There are many smaller changes and security updates, and of course this is still early in the release cycle so there may be some flaws, but the big attraction is battery management:
Apple iOS 11.3 is ‘the big one’ because it will give users full control of how their devices function for the first time. Controversially Apple admitted it previously throttled device performance as batteries age to maintain system stability. The fact users didn’t know this has prompted no less than 59 class action lawsuits and global government scrutiny with claims this throttling misled owners into buying new handsets when they only needed a new battery.
Meanwhile iOS 11.4 is already in the developer pipeline, with the first beta seeded this week. Juli Clover reports:
What's new in iOS 11.4 Beta 1: Messages on iCloud is present in the iOS 11.4 beta after being removed from iOS 11.3 ahead of its release, as are AirPlay 2 features. Apple TV devices are once again listed in the Home app, an AirPlay 2 option. Stereo support for the HomePod is included, but the feature doesn't work properly as it requires unreleased HomePod software.