Stranded 205,000 miles from Earth in a crippled spacecraft, astronauts Jim Lovell (Hanks), Fred Haise (Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Bacon) fight a desperate battle to survive. Meanwhile, at Mission Control, astronaut Ken Mattingly (Sinise), flight director Gene Kranz (Harris) and a heroic ground crew race against time – and the odds – to bring them home.

Apple

  • Review of the iPhone 14 Pro Max

    Review of the iPhone 14 Pro Max

    I am fortunate enough to be able to purchase a new iPhone every year since 2007 with the introduction of the original iPhone. In that time I have owned 16 different phones. Some years that are big changes, while other years there are some improvements but those improvements come with software. There are those times when it a combination of both hardware and software that ends up creating an overall better experience. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is an instance where the iPhone has both hardware and software changes that improve the overall experience.

    Starting in 2019 with the introduction of the iPhone 11 line, Apple began to differentiate the phones into two different lines, the “non-pro” line and the “pro” line of phones. This started with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. 

    Some years there was very little that differentiated the non-pro and pro lines. Once thing that has been a differentiator, at least since the iPhone 11, the two has been the number of cameras on the device. The non-pro phones have had a dual camera system while the pro line has a triple-lens camera system. This remains true through the iPhone 14 line. One thing that has not been the case is that all new models of the iPhone have received the same processor across the line. The exception to this was the iPhone 5c, which had an A6 while the other phone introduced that year, the iPhone 5s, had the A7. Beyond that, all new phones have had the latest processors. 

    This year though, that changes. Now the processors are different between the non-pro and pro lines. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have an A15 Bionic while the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have the A16 Bionic processor. This bifurcation is the first time where there is a clear delineation between the two lines. I suspect that this will continue to be the case in the future.

    The hardware changes for this are exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, but some of the features are also available in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. Before we dive into the actual device, the iPhone 14 Pro Max, let us look at my pre-order, pickup, and setup experiences.


    Pre-order Experience

    Pre-orders opened up on Friday, September 9th at 7am Central Time, or were supposed to start at that time, but as usual, due to caching and other issues, some were not able to order their devices in the first few minutes and up to 10 minutes after. My pre-order experience was a frantic one due to the many issues I had.

    When the Apple Store app finally refreshed to allow me to order, it prompted me to complete the pre-order information that I saved. I went through the steps and attempted to complete the transaction with picking up at my local Apple Store. I initially chose 9:15am. Upon check out it indicate that my contact information was incorrect, even though it has not changed in years. So, I changed it and went back to checkout, but when it completed, it was changed it to shipping instead of pickup. This in itself would not be a problem, except the delivery date range was September 27th to 29th. If the delivery was for launch day, I might have kept it. 

    When I placed the order that would have been delivered late, I also ordered a Midnight case. I opted to just cancel the entire order and I re-ordered the Apple Midnight MagSafe case separately. That did arrive early, as iPhone cases tend to do. The next thing that happened was the wait for pickup day, so let us look at that.


    Pickup

    The pickup for the Apple Store could not have bee smoother. I got there at 9:50, stood in line for 5 minutes, got helped and was out. I left the Apple Store at 10:12. It might have even been quicker, but I also wanted to pick up a couple of Apple Watch bands while I was there and it took a little bit of time for another Apple employee to bring them out. After I left the Apple Store I drove home and did the setup on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so  let us cover that next.


    Setup and Transferring Phone to Phone

    The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the 16th iPhone that I have owned, so I am no stranger to having to move between devices. My typical approach is as follows:

    1. Unpair Apple Watch to perform a backup to my current phone.
    2. Plug iPhone into my Mac.
    3. Perform encrypted backup using Finder
    4. Plug in my new iPhone.
    5. Restore from encrypted backup.
    6. Pair new watch using Apple Watch backup from encrypted backup.

    However, this time I did something a bit different. Instead, I decided to do a Phone to Phone transfer. Last year, as mentioned in my review of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, I intended to do an iPhone to iPhone transfer, but canceled that because the amount of time was up to 7 hours and stayed there. So last year I went with my tried and true approach. This year, I decided to do the device to device transfer and let it run its course.

    As with many other device setups with Apple you bring your new iPhone next to your old iPhone and tap on the “Setup New iPhone” popup. After this you enter in your Apple ID credentials. Once this has been done you walk through the transfer. You will need to enter in your iPhone’s passcode during the transfer. 

    The iPhone 14 Pro Max, along with the other iPhone 14 devices, do not have a physical SIM card slot, at least not in the United States. Instead, all iPhone 14 models in the United States have an electronic sim, or eSm. iPhones have had an eSim option since the iPhone XS, except in China where physical SIMs are mandated by law. I have not used an eSim previously, so this has been my first experience doing so. Some people have used eSim previously, and a few have preemptively converted their physical SIM to an eSim before they got their iPhone 14s.

    Converting Physical Sim to eSim

    Photo of an iPhone 14 Pro Max on the "Set Up eSIM" screen.
    Photo of an iPhone 14 Pro Max on the “Set Up eSIM” screen.

    The setup of my eSim was fairly straight-forward, well it is supposed to be. During the setup there is a screen titled “Set up eSim”. The screen is supposed to allow you to transfer your phone number from a physical SIM on your old iPhone to the eSim on your new phone. However, it did not go as smoothly as you might expect.

    The first time that I tried to do the transfer it came back as “Failed, could not transfer the number”. When this happens there are three options, Back, Try Again, Setup Later in Settings. I was going to set it up later, but I decided to go back and try it again. The second time it was able to successfully transfer my phone number. 

    I know I am not the only who had this exact experience. Friend, and editor of my books, Barry Sullivan also got two iPhones on launch day and he let me know that he had the exact same experience when trying to activate his phones. The trick of going back and doing it again allowed both of his phones to transfer properly. It was a simple fix, but still a very odd one. I am not sure if the issue was an AT&T one or an Apple one. Regardless of the ultimate cause of the issue I hope Apple and AT&T are able to figure out the issue and correct it for future versions of iOS and people who are trying to convert their physical sims to an eSim. After this step the actual transfer began.

    Remaining Device to Device Transfer

    Once transfer was finished, which took just about an hour and 45 minutes, there was the last screen. I tried to wake up the screen, but the backlight would not fully turn up to a correct brightness. It was super difficult for me to see the screen. I had to hold the iPhone 14 Pro Max at an angle to see what was on the screen. I entered in my passcode and the phone restarted. Once that was done, my phone was ready to go with the next step, downloading everything.

    The phone to phone transfer is intended to transfer over all data, like app data, photos, and other similar data. What is not transferred is apps or downloaded songs. Once the data has transferred over then your apps and songs will be downloaded again. At one point while doing this, my phone was consuming a good 92% of all of my internet bandwidth by downloading at 277 megabits per second. 

    The downloading of apps and songs went perfectly, as did most of the phone to phone data transfer. There was one thing that did not transfer over, my Apple Watch. It never prompted me during setup either, even though I specified to transfer it over on the first step.

    Since it did not transfer over, When I opened the Apple Watch app on my iPhone 14 Pro Max, it kept saying “Pair Existing Watch” and when I tried to say “Pair Existing Watch” it would constantly fail. I contacted Apple, and the genius suggested unpairing the Watch from my iPhone 13 Pro Max. In itself un-pairing and re-pairing an Apple Watch is not a big deal. The problem I had is that given the length of time that the restore took, I got three standing hours in and I had burned 100 more calories. My Phone finished early enough in the day where  I could finish closing my standing rings. In reality, it was not really a problem, but an annoyance none-the-less.

    What was really odd, is that I went back and checked my activity information, those missing standing hours showed up on my watch, as did the missing calories and steps. What would be really nice would be if there was a way to force the Fitness app to synchronize data up to iCloud and then trigger a download, but Apple seems opposed to these types of things. Instead, “it just works”, except when it does not.

    Looking back there are two things that I could have done. The first would have been to unpair the watch entirely before beginning the transfer. This would have provided a backup to the iPhone and then it would have  likely transferred that data over to the Apple Watch. However, it likely would have resulted in me missing those two hours of stand time, as well as any other calories and steps earned during that time, due to the data not being transferred over.

    The second thing I could have done, which now in hindsight might have been the correct answer, would have been to just setup my new Apple Watch Series 8 and not worry about the missing data, because it would eventually synchronized. Again, I was not worried about the time of the day, because I had plenty of time to get the standing hours back, but it was a bit annoying. There is one downside to using the device to device transfer.

    Downside to Phone to Phone

    One of the biggest downsides to using the “Phone to Phone” transfer method is that you cannot use either device while it is transferring data. This meant that the two devices were just sitting there the entire time. An hour and 45 minutes was long enough, but if I had even more data it likely would have taken longer. There has to be some other sort of solution, like possibly even using a wired connection. I suspect that using a wired connection would have make the process faster because it could have used more bandwidth. I am guessing that I am an outlier by using this process. I am presuming that most people just use iCloud for backing up their iPhone and then restoring it. But there is just something to using a wire to do a transfer that makes it more reliable, at least to me anyway.


    Color

    When I purchase a new iPhone I have always gotten the “gray” variant of a phone. For the early iPhone this was not a problem, because there was only two choices, Black or White. The white iPhones always had a white bezel, and I did not like the look of those, therefore I ended up selecting the black or space gray option. With the introduction of the iPhone X the choice of color became less relevant, because all of the bezels on the Face ID phones have a minimal bezel, which is black. The one exception to this was with the iPhone 12 Pro Max where I got the Pacific Blue.

    There was the Deep Purple option for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but I opted to go with my standard and ordered the “Space Black” iPhone 14 Pro Max. As you can see in the image below, there is a distinct color difference. The Space Black is a much darker than the Graphite of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

    Comparison of the back colors of an iPhone 13 Pro Max in Graphite and the Back of an iPhone 14 Pro Max in Space Black
    Comparison of the back colors of an iPhone 13 Pro Max in Graphite and the Back of an iPhone 14 Pro Max in Space Black

    Now that we have covered the setup, let us look at the actual features of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, starting with the biggest change, the Dynamic Island.


    Dynamic Island

    Back in 2017 Apple revolutionized the iPhone by introducing a whole new form factor for the iPhone. Gone was the home button, Touch ID, and most of the front bezel. Instead of the Home Button and Touch ID sensor, Apple replaced it with a new technology called Face ID. In order for Face ID to function a brand new set of sensors was needed, called a True Depth sensor. 

    iPhone 14 Pro Max - True Depth Sensor Array that shows the sensors as being separate elements
    iPhone 14 Pro Max – True Depth Sensor Array that shows the sensors as being separate elements

    The True Depth sensor contains an infrared sensor, the actual Face ID infrared camera, and the FaceTime camera. When FaceID was introduced on the iPhone X, the top of the iPhone’s screen was where the Face ID sensor housing was placed. Over the last five years, Apple has shrunken the size of the notch. Now with the iPhone 14 the notch has been moved to an area slightly below the top of the screen, that is entirely surrounded by pixels, hence the use of the term ‘island’. In the photo below you can see the notch on the iPhone X as compared to the notch on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

    Photo of an iPhone X, iPhone 13 Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro Max for a notch comparison
    Photo of an iPhone X, iPhone 13 Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro Max for a notch comparison

    Now that the sensor array is not attached to the top of the screen, so it creates a cutout near the top of the screen. With the notch not being attached to the top of the screen, it needs a new name. The new area is called the “Dynamic Island”.

    The Dynamic Island will now look a lot like a pill, most of the time. The pill is not an actual pill, but it is two different sensors that are actually separated by a bit of spacing. A majority of the time this will appear as a single pill with the area between the two cameras being filled in with black pixels, thus making it look like a pill.

    The term “Dynamic Island” is an accurate name because the Dynamic Island will change based upon what you are doing at any time. For instance, if you are listening to audio, whether it be a podcast, audiobook, or music, it will be minimized to the Dynamic Island, as will all other audio apps. When an audio app is minimized to the Dynamic Island you will see a small version of the cover art on the left and a wave form of the playing audio on the right. This straddles the Dynamic Island.

    When an item is minimized to the Dynamic Island, the animation for the minimization will differ slightly depending on which direction you push the app. Here is a video showing various animations.

    Dynamic Island Animations for various animations

    As mentioned above the Dynamic Island will be a pill, most of the time. There is one exception to this. If there are multiple items that can be minimized to the Dynamic Island, the lower priority item will be moved to its own icon to the right of the Face ID sensor array. There will be some pixels shown between the two islands.

    Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro Max with two items, the Music app and a Timer
    Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro Max with two items, the Music app and a Timer

    When there is an audio app, or other app, minimized to the Dynamic Island, you can perform two different actions. You can either tap or you can tap and hold. When you tap on the item it will open the corresponding app. However, if you tap and hold on the Dynamic Island it will display a miniature interface. For an audio app it will just appear just like it would look like on the Lock Screen. For an app like the Timer, you will see the timer countdown with a pause and cancel button.

    I have been going back and forth on whether these two gestures are the right ones or not, and I think they should be reversed. I think tapping should bring up the miniature interface and tapping and holding should open the app. I think this is a more natural interaction to tap on the Dynamic Island and see the miniature interface. Even a toggle for allowing this would be sufficient, so then people can decide how they want to handle the interactions.

    Uses of the Dynamic Island

    There have been some interesting interactions created with the Dynamic Island. There are two apps in particular. The first is a game called “Hit the Island”, which is a breakout-type game where you try and hit the Dynamic Island with a ball. “Hit the Island” is not only limited to iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, but it also works on any Face ID-enabled iPhone as well.

    The second is within the Reddit app called Apollo. There is an option to add a cat that walks back and forth, as well as rests, on the top of the Dynamic Island. This does not have any functionality, but it does provide a bit of ambiance while browsing Reddit. I do not use Apollo, nor Reddit in general, but I saw it cross my twitter feed.

    Adjustments Needed

    One behavior that might take some adjustment is using the area below the notch to try and scroll up. With the Dynamic Island this does not work. You can still tap off to the left or right of the Dynamic Island it will scroll, but not directly underneath it. This is a minor thing that will take some time to get acclimated to, but it is something to be cognizant about.

    It will be interesting to see what developers do with the Dynamic Island in the future once the Live Activities APIs are available for all to use. Next, let us look at another new hardware feature, the Always-On Display.


    Always on Display

    Modern phones can differ in a variety of ways. These differences could be in size, storage, operating system, authentication mechanisms, and even cameras. One thing that has been same across all phones, at least since 2007, is that they all have a screen that takes up most of the front of the device. Depending on the size of your iPhone this can range from a 4.7-inch screen on the iPhone SE (2nd Generation) up to a 6.7-inch on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

    If you needed to check something while your phone was locked you could hit the sleep/wake button or raise your phone to actually show your Lock Screen. Starting with the iPhone X you could tap on the screen to wake it up. This approach certainly does work, but having to constantly wake your screen to check for new information can become tiresome after a while. What would be even better is if there was a way of quickly glance at your screen and see if there is any new information without needing to do anything. This is now possible with the new “Always On” display.

    iPhone 14 Pro Max 'Always On Display' in a Locked State.
    iPhone 14 Pro Max ‘Always On Display’ in a Locked State.

    You might be wondering how the screen can always stay on, given that the screen is a huge use of battery power. The reason that the screen can always stay on is because the Always On Display on the iPhone 14 Pro Max works similarly to the Always On Display on the Apple Watch Series 5, and newer. This means that the screen is always on but it will be dimmed when not in use. Beyond dimming, the refresh rate of the screen will drop its refresh rate down to a rate of 1Hz, meaning it will refresh once every second. This is is comparison to the iPhone 13 Pro Max where it can refresh up to 120 times per second while the screen is on. The combination of the backlight not being at full brightness and the refresh rate being so low, it should not interfere too much with battery life.

    Even though the screen is an “Always On” display on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, this does not mean that the screen will be on 100% of the time. In fact there are some instances when the screen will turn off. The situations are:

    • When the phone is off (obviously)
    • During wind down. As soon as it starts the screen turns off.
    • When you are in a sleep focus.
    • If your iPhone is face down on a surface. There is no need to have the screen on at this point.
    • When you walk away from the iPhone and you are wearing an Apple Watch. Once the distance is far enough away the phone screen will turn off.
    • When you are using your iPhone as a continuity camera on your Mac. The screen is not needed for this.

    You can simply tap on the screen to have it activate again and interact with it as you normally would. If you do tap on the screen it will return to its dimmed state after 7 seconds. This is the same behavior as the iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

    Disabling Always On Display

    If you find that you do not like the way that the Always On Display functions, you can easily turn it off by using the following steps:

    1. Open Settings.
    2. Scroll down to Display & Brightness.
    3. Tap on Display & Brightness to open up the Display & Brightness settings.
    4. Scroll down to “Always On”.
    5. Tap the toggle next to “Always On” to disable the Always On functionality.

    When you do disable the Always On Display, it will act just like all previous iPhones, if that is more of your style. Next, let us now turn to another area that has seen some improvements and needs to be covered, the Cameras.


    Camera

    With each new iPhone Apple tends to improve the camera year over year, and there have been some improvements of the iPhone 14 Pro Max over the iPhone 13 Pro Max. I will go into most of the camera specifications in a bit, but let us look at a couple of the biggest changes, starting with the TrueDepth camera.

    The TrueDepth camera has gone from a 12megapixel ƒ/2.2 aperture to a 12megapixel camera with an ƒ/1.9 aperture. As with all photography, the lower the number means that even more light will be captured when using the FaceTime camera. In practice what this means is that you should be able to get better pictures when using the FaceTime Camera, including the ability to have more than one person’s face be in focus, even when using the FaceTime camera. The TrueDepth camera is not the only camera that has seen some improvements. The rear camera sensor has seen some improvements. Specifically, the Main camera has been significantly improved. The second item to talk about when it comes to specifications is the Wide camera.

    If you were to look at Apple’s specifications pages or the iPhone 13 Pro Max you may notice that there are three cameras, Wide, Ultra Wide, and Telephoto. Now, if you compare these to the iPhone 14 Pro Max there are actually four, but more on the fourth one in a moment. What you may notice is that on the iPhone 13 Pro Max specifications page there is no “Main” camera. Previous models called the Main camera the “Wide”. While the name of “Wide” was technically accurate, most people never called it the Wide camera, and instead just called it the Main, or primary, camera. Hence, it is now called the “Main” camera. Before we delve any further, let us look at the specification comparisons between the iPhone 13 Pro Max an the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

    For the first time Apple has listed the actual size of the sensors. Here are the sensor sizes, apertures, and zoom for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

    Lens Zoom Megapixels Length Aperature
    Ultra Wide 0.5x 12 Megapixels 13mm ƒ/2.2
    Main 1x 48 Megapixels 24mm ƒ/1.78
    Telephoto 2x 12 Megapixels 48mm ƒ/1.78
    Telephoto 3x 12 Megapixels 77mm ƒ/2.8

    For comparison, here are the iPhone 13 Pro Max Camera specifications

    Lens Zoom Megapixels Length Aperature
    Ultra Wide 0.5 12 Megapixels 13mm ƒ/1.8
    Wide 1 12 Megapixels 26mm ƒ/1.78
    Telephoto 3x 12 Megapixels 77mm ƒ/2.8

    When you look at a the specifications you may notice a few things that jump out right away. The Main camera has gone from a 12 Megapixel ƒ/1.5 aperture camera to a whopping 48 Megapixel 24 mm, ƒ/1.78 aperture camera. This is four times the number of pixels. However, you do not get 48 Megapixel images, most of the time. Instead pixels are grouped into a set of quad-pixels. Each set of quad-pixels will allow more light into each photo, which should provide even cleaner and more crisp pictures. 

    One of the complaints about the last few iPhones is that they had three optical zoom options, 0.5x, 1.0x, and 3x. These are all great options to have, in particular if you do want to zoom in and have a super crisp picture, the 3x zoom would deliver that. However, there is a wide range between the 1x and 3x. What was missing is 2x. With the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you now have 2x zoom in addition to the existing 0.5x, 1.0x, and 3x options.

    When you use the 2x zoom, what is doing is it is actually using the central 12 Megapixels of the Main 48 Megapixel image. The image is still being taken at the standard 4K resolution, so you will still get the 12megapixels that you are expecting. There are no controls for which part of the sensor is used, it will use the central pixels. There is one use case when you can use the full 48 Megapixels within the sensor. That is when you use the ‘Raw’ mode in the Camera. When you do this you will get the raw information off of the sensor in Apple ProRes Raw format. This can then be used by various photo editing applications to tweak and get the images that you want. 

    Scaled down version of a 48 Megapixel image taken on an iPhone 14 Pro Max
    Scaled down version of a 48 Megapixel image taken on an iPhone 14 Pro Max

    Note: The above image is scaled. You can see the full resolution image. The image that is linked is a JPG, but it is the full 48 Megapixel dimensions.

    Be warned though, Raw images are rather large. As an example, I took two pictures using my iPhone 14 Pro Max. The processed HEIC photo is 998 Kilobytes, while the Raw image is 45.7 Megabytes. This should not be a surprise, but it is something to be aware of.

    One of the other photo-related changes to the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a new dedicated engine that will help process photos. That feature is called the “Photonic Engine”. Apple has not clarified if this is a set of hardware, software, or a combination of both. The purpose of the Photonic Engine is that that it will take your photos that have been captured in non-ideal lighting conditions and it can use the additional Focus Pixels to gather more light, and then use machine learning to help improve the lighting on your photos. According to Apple:

    “Through a deep integration of hardware and software, Photonic Engine improves mid- to low-light performance for photos across all cameras: up to 2x on the Ultra Wide camera, 2x on the TrueDepth camera, and an impressive 2.5x on the new Main camera. Photonic Engine enables this dramatic increase in quality by applying the computational benefits of Deep Fusion earlier in the imaging process to deliver extraordinary detail, and preserve subtle textures, provide better color, and maintain more information in a photo.”

    You cannot really get a feel for the Photonic Engine through words, so here are a couple of photos for comparison.

    Photo of the Moon from an iPhone 13 Pro Max using Night Mode
    Photo of the Moon from an iPhone 13 Pro Max using Night Mode
    Photo of the Moon from an iPhone 14 Pro Max using Night Mode
    Photo of the Moon from an iPhone 14 Pro Max using Night Mode
    Photo of the 'Big Dipper' from an iPhone 13 Pro Max using Night Mode
    Photo of the ‘Big Dipper’ from an iPhone 13 Pro Max using Night Mode
    Photo of the 'Big Dipper' from an iPhone 14 Pro Max using Night Mode
    Photo of the ‘Big Dipper’ from an iPhone 14 Pro Max using Night Mode

    Overall, the cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro Max are a huge improvement. The return of the optical 2x zoom is a very welcome feature that will allow people to take photos that are at the right distance. The addition of the new Photonic Engine means that pictures will be even better, particularly in low light. Ultimately though, which camera you are going to use depends on the current situation, but you should be able to get the picture you want from one of the cameras. No photo that you take with your iPhone is exactly what the sensor sees unless, of course, you are using the Apple ProRes Raw format. Now, let us move to the obligatory benchmark comparison.


    Obligatory Benchmarks

    As with all of my reviews I include some benchmarks for general comparison. All of the items below are based on Apple Silicon, in some manner. This could be the A-Series or the M-Series. I used Geekbench for all of these comparisons. Here are the results of the benchmark tests.

    Device Single Core Multi-Core Compute
    iPhone X (A10) 917 2462 3776
    iPad mini (6th Generation) (A15 Bionic) 1594 4523 11960
    5th Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro (M1) 1673 6455 21007
    Mac mini (Late 2020, M1) 1743 7619 21646
    iPhone 13 Pro Max (A15 Bionic) 1746 4410 14460
    Mac Studio (2022, M1 Max) 1765 12467 62662
    iPhone 14 Pro Max (A16 Bionic) 1902 4543 15106

    Closing Thoughts

    Each new release of an iPhone is not a huge leap in standards as compared to the immediately previous model. Even though it is not a gigantic change the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a big upgrade. There have been both hardware and software changes. Many do use their iPhones as a phone, but many also use their iPhones for all other tasks. One of the biggest uses is taking pictures. The iPhone 14 Pro Max bring a whole new main 48 megapixel camera. While it will only provide 12 megapixel images, the amount of light let in will be four times as much, meaning better low light photos. Low Light photos will look better with the new Photonic Engine, which is a combination of hardware and software that will enhance low light images and make them sharper.

    Beyond the camera, there is the new Always On Display. This display will allow you to easily see updated information on the Lock Screen including any widgets that you have configured on your Home Screen. The Always On Display can automatically reduce its refresh rate down to 1Hz, or only refresh the screen once a second, which will reduce the battery usage. If the Always On nature of the screen is not to your liking, you can disable it within Settings.

    The biggest change to the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the new Dynamic Island, which is currently exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The Dynamic Island is a progression of the notch that began with the iPhone X in 2017. The Dynamic Island is an area in the display that is surrounded by pixels. Apple could have chosen to just leave this as is, but instead they created a whole new way to interact with applications that uses the fact that the Face ID sensor is surrounded by pixels to its advantage. If you tap and hold on the Dynamic Island while there is an application

    As of this review the current version of iOS is iOS 16 and third-party applications cannot create custom interactions with the Dynamic Island, but it will be available in iOS 16.1 and it will be interesting to see what uses third-party applications create with the Dynamic Island. The Dynamic Island is the biggest change to interaction methods since the iPhone X.

    Overall, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a solid upgrade, should you want, or need, the 6.7-inch screen. If you want a bit smaller screen the iPhone 14 Pro may be the right option for you. If you have an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, it might be worthwhile to wait for the iPhone 15 Pros before upgrading your device.

    A Space Black iPhone 14 Pro Max with an iPhone 14 Pro Max Case in Midnight in their respective boxes
    A Space Black iPhone 14 Pro Max with an iPhone 14 Pro Max Case in Midnight in their respective boxes
  • A Review of the Apple Watch Series 8

    A Review of the Apple Watch Series 8

    The Apple Watch is now a pretty mature product and it has come into its own, in terms of finding its primary use cases. The biggest uses for the Apple Watch are for fitness and health. The reason for this is that the Apple Watch is almost always on ones wrist throughout the day, including when someone is sleeping.

    With the Apple Watch being a mature product, it does not get nearly as many hardware advances as one might expect. However, there are a couple of new features for this year’s Apple Watch Series 8. Before we dive into those, let us quickly cover my pre-order experience.


    Pre-Order Experience

    Apple held their “Far Out” event on September 7th and Apple Watch pre-orders were available that afternoon after the event had concluded. Once orders were available, I ordered a 45mm Aluminum Series 8 in Midnight with a Midnight Sport Loop band. Due to my choice of band, the only option I had was delivery. If I had gone with another band, like the Storm Blue, I could have picked it up at my local Apple Store. However, delivery was fine with me since Fedex and UPS do not deliver until the afternoon, at least for me.

    Product photo of an Apple Watch Series 8 in Midnight with a Midnight Sport Loop
    Product photo of an Apple Watch Series 8 in Midnight with a Midnight Sport Loop

    Let us briefly look at the Midnight Watch and the Midnight Watch Band.


    Midnight Apple Watch and Midnight Bands

    Last year when they introduced the Apple Watch Series 7 they introduced a new color, “Midnight”. Midnight replaced the standard “Space Gray” or “Black”. Midnight is not a pure-black, but more of a really dark blue. Typically when Apple releases an Apple Watch they have a corresponding set of bands to go with it, however, they did not do that last year. This year though they have released a new Midnight Sport Loop as well as a Midnight Solo Loop.

    Apple classifies these as “black”, but they are not. Here is a comparison of the Midnight Solo Loop and the Black Solo Loop. In the picture below the Midnight Sport Loop is lying on top of the Black Sport Loop. The Black Sport Loop is on an Apple Watch Series 7.

    Midnight Solo Loop on top of the Black Solo Loop to demonstrate the color difference
    Midnight Solo Loop on top of the Black Solo Loop to demonstrate the color difference

    As you can see the Midnight Solo Loop is a slightly brighter shade and is more blue than black. Even though it is a brighter shade that does not mean that it is a bright blue, far from it. It is still a dark color, but just not as nearly dark as the Black Solo Loop.

    The Midnight Watch is the same shade as the Series 7 Midnight color. As mentioned above, the Midnight Sport Loop is a new band. The Midnight Sport Loop has alternating stripes of colors. One side is green, while the other is a light gray. There are stripes of blue, green, orange, and gray throughout the band. It was the most subtle band that Apple offered, hence the reason why I chose it when I did my pre-order. 

    Apple Watch - Midnight Sport Loop
    Apple Watch – Midnight Sport Loop

    What I would really like is a color-matched Solo Loop because even the Black Solo Loop is not as dark as Midnight Apple Watch. Now, that we have covered the color and bands, let us look at a couple of new features for the Series 8, Crash Detection, and the Temperature Sensor.


    Crash Detection

    One thing that everyone hopes to not be involved in is a crash. However, should a crash occur the Apple Watch Series 8 has the ability to detect when you are in a crash. This is done using the new accelerometer and gyroscope, along with algorithms for crash detection. The new accelerometer can handle up to 256Gs of force, which is way beyond what a human can withstand. If you are in a crash, the Apple Watch can contact emergency services, and your emergency contacts. The Watch will do so if you do not cancel out of the SOS emergency call.

    Back in 2016 there were reports about Apple doing testing in an area and there were complaints of excessive engine noise from neighbors near the facility. I am now thinking that some of that noise could have been testing of the Apple Watch, and iPhone 14, Crash Detection algorithms. If it was not that, it could have been testing to obtain data for the algorithms. This is pure speculation on my part, but the crash detection does make some sense. Features like this are not created in just a few days, but they do take significant testing and tweaking to get correct.

    Let us turn to another new hardware feature, the Temperature Sensor.


    Temperature Sensor

    The Apple Watch is designed with health tracking in mind. This includes fitness, mindfulness, and even sleep tracking. One area that can be health related is cycle tracking. Cycle Tracking was added to watchOS 6 in 2019. The Cycle Tracking features would allow women to track their menstrual cycle and record various aspects, like how much bleeding, any factors like being pregnant, lactating, or using contraceptives, or any other symptoms that they might be experiencing. 

    One area that the Apple Watch has not been able to help with is temperature. That changes with the Series 8 Apple Watch, because there is a whole new temperature sensor.

    Front Temperature Sensor on the Apple Watch Series 8
    Front Temperature Sensor on the Apple Watch Series 8

    The temperature sensor in the Apple Watch Series 8 has two different parts. The first is on the back of the Apple Watch that is in contact with your skin. The second is closer to the surface of the Apple Watch Series 8. The reason that this is needed is because temperatures can differ depending on sleeping environment. The sensor closer to the surface of the Apple Watch is used to detect the temperature of the environment, while the one on the back of the Apple Watch is used to detect your body temperature. According to Apple, “Wrist temperature data will be available after about five nights.”

    Rear Temperature Sensor on the Apple Watch Series 8
    Rear Temperature Sensor on the Apple Watch Series 8

    The temperature sensor on the Series 8 Apple Watch is designed to provide you with a baseline measurement and not the actual temperature. This information can be used to provide you with some possible insight into when you might have ovulated. This can help you with being able to assist you in possibly becoming pregnant. This is not a predictive feature, but a retroactive one. The feature is called “Retrospective Ovulation” and can only provide you with information about when you might have ovulated. It does not predict when you will ovulate. One thing to note about retrospective ovulation is that according to Apple, “retrospective ovulation estimates should be available after about two cycles.”

    Temperature Report from Apple Watch Series 8 within the Health App
    Temperature Report from Apple Watch Series 8 within the Health App

    That covers all of the new features that are for the Apple Watch Series 8 itself, but let us cover a couple of new features for watchOS 9 that are worth noting. These features are the new Compass app, Low Power Mode, and some notes about the Nike Apple Watch.


    New Compass App

    The Apple Watch has a had a compass feature ever since the original Apple Watch was released in April of 2015. Its functionality has been fairly basic with just providing a digital version of an analog compass. For many people this is enough, but watchOS 9 brings some enhancements to the Compass app.

    The Compass app has a new feature, called Backtrack. Backtrack is a way of being able to mark different points along a route so that you can make your way back, should you find yourself in a situation where you get off course.

    While this feature is primarily designed to help you when you are out in the wilderness, it could be useful in any situation where you might not be able to find your way back to a place. Some possible examples could be if you are out on a hike, but it could also be just as useful in a new city and you need assistance making your way back.

    Backtrack, and the new compass app, are not exclusive to Apple Watch Series 8, but they are new in watchOS 9. This is available for Apple Watch Series SE, and Apple Watch Series 6 and later. Next, let us talk about conserving power with Low Power Mode.


    Low Power Mode

    The Apple Watch has long had a feature called “Reserve Mode”. This mode is an extreme one that would shut off all functionality of the Apple Watch with the exception of being able to keep and display the time. Power Reserve was a binary choice, it was either on or off, there was no middle ground.

    The iPhone has long had a way of preserving battery through a feature called Low Power Mode. When you enable Low Power Mode on the iPhone many of the background processes are turned off, or their refresh rates are reduced.

    Starting with watchOS 9, Low Power Mode is making its way to the Apple Watch. Low Power Mode is designed to allow someone to extend the battery life on Apple Watch. Low Power Mode can be enabled by swiping up on the Control Center, tapping on the battery percentage, and then toggling the Low Power toggle.

    Low Power Mode toggle on watchOS 9
    Low Power Mode toggle on watchOS 9 with the toggle being off.

    When you enable Low Power Mode there are a number of items that are turned off, or reduced. The items that are turned off include:

    • The Always-on Display
    • Background heart rate measurements
    • Background Blood Oxygen measurements
    • Start Workout reminders
    • Irregular heart rate notifications 
    • High heart rate notifications
    • Low heart rate notifications

    If your iPhone is not nearby the following items will also be disabled

    • Wi-Fi connectiosn
    • Cellular connections
    • Incoming phone calls and their notifications

    Beyond these items being turned off, there are also other items that are affected including:

    • Phone calls taking longer
    • Siri may take longer to process requests
    • Compilations update less frequently
    • Background app refresh occurs less frequently
    • Animations may stutter more

    You can enable or disable Low Power mode as needed. Low Power is not a feature of only the newest watches. In fact, it is available for any Apple Watch that is a Series 4 or later. You can also view additional information on Apple’s website. Low Power Mode: Apple Support Article https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT213336. Next let us move onto Nike Watch Faces.


    Apple Watch Nike

    Since the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 2, in 2016, there has been a separate version of the Apple Watch specifically branded as the Nike Edition. The Nike Edition of the Apple Watch has had all of the same features of their corresponding non-Nike aluminum versions. The one thing that the Nike version came with is a set of exclusive Nike Watch Faces that would only work on Nike Watches, and not on non-Nike versions.

    Let us say that you had an Apple Watch Series 2 Nike edition and then you upgraded to a regular Series 4 Apple Watch, any Nike Watch faces that you had configured would no longer be available for you to use. This can be somewhat annoying for users of the Nike Watch who upgraded and wanted to continue to use those Nike Watch Faces. The only way to be able to continue to use those would be to upgrade to another Nike edition. This all changes with watchOS 9.

    With the release of the Apple Watch Series 8, there is no separate Nike version. Instead, starting with watchOS 9 you can use any of the Nike Watch Faces that you would like. You can add any of the Nike Watch Faces by doing so on your Apple Watch or by adding one from the Face Gallery section within the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone. The Nike Watch Face options that you have available are:

    • Nike Analog
    • Nike Bounce
    • Nike Compact
    • Nike Digital
    • Nike Hybrid

    Each of these has its own layout, but each of them can be customized in terms of complications and colors. One of the differences with the Nike Watch Faces is that you have a limited number of options when it comes to color. This is because the faces are designed to correspond to Nike watch bands. As an example, on the Nike Compact and the Nike Hybrid faces you can select any color combination from Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Fall 2022. 

    The Nike Analog, Nike Bounce, and Nike Digital watch faces allow you to select any of the colors from Spring 2017 going forward. 

    It is good to see the Nike Watch faces available to all Apple Watch users. I am sure that having separate watch models provided additional strain on supply chain, as well as trying to predict how many to manufacture. Beyond this, watchOS also had to know which models could use the Nike Watch Faces and which ones could not and that provided additional overhead for maintaining watchOS.

    In some respects it did not make sense to have these versions be entirely separate since they were the exact same as the Aluminum watch, but it is what Apple wanted to do in cooperation with Nike.

    The Apple Watch Hermès models still have their own unique Watch Faces. I do not expect the Hermès watch faces to come to other Apple Watches any time soon because the Hermès watches are a more expensive edition and have a more limited user base.


    Closing Thoughts

    The Apple Watch is focused on glanceable information, like notifications and complications on a watch face. Along with this, the Apple Watch is designed for fitness and health. The Apple Watch Series 8 is no exception for this. The Apple Watch Series 8 does add a few exclusive feature. The first of these is Crash Detection. If a crash is detected, Crash Detection will be able to contact emergency services and your designated emergency contacts that you have configured in the Health app, automatically on your behalf.

    Along with Crash Detection there is a new Temperature Sensor. The temperature sensor is a two-part sensor that is designed to work for being able to sense minute changes in temperature for women who are using cycle tracking. The temperature information can be used to provide you with retroactive ovulation estimates. This is a great addition for women to help them with their reproductive health. I would not be surprised to see the temperature sensing feature be enabled for everyone in the future, or be used for future features.

    The Apple Watch Series 8 is powered by watchOS 9. watchOS 9 has a bunch of new features, like Low Power Mode. Low Power Mode allows users to extend their battery life. When you enable Low Power mode some functions will no longer work, or the frequency in which they refresh will be reduced. These changes are made to help extend the battery life of the Apple Watch.

    Lastly, you have some new options for Watch Faces with the availability of the Nike Watch Faces now being available for all Apple Watch users, and no longer being limited only to the Nike Editions of the Apple Watch.

    Overall the Apple Watch Series 8 is a slight upgrade from the Apple Watch Series 7. If you have a Series 7, it may not be worth upgrading. However, if you do want, or need, the Temperature Sensor then it is worth the upgrade.

    If you have an Apple Watch Series 6, it would be a stretch to upgrade to a Series 8, that is, unless your battery is not holding enough of a charge to get you comfortably through an entire day. If you have a Series 5, or an even older model, then the Series 8 should be a solid upgrade and one worth looking into possibly upgrading your Apple Watch.

  • iPhone 14 Availability for Friday, September 9th, 2022 (Early Morning)

    iPhone 14 Availability for Friday, September 9th, 2022 (Early Morning)

    It is that time of year again, new iPhone Pre-order day which means that it is time for me to do some posting about iPhone Availability.

    This will be the only one that is posted to my main Twitter feed. Be sure to follow @waynedixonfeed for future updates.

    This information is for 45 minutes after pre-orders opened, so approximately 7:45 am Central Time on September 9th, 2022.

    All iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models are still available for their respective launch days. The same goes for the iPhone 14 Pro in Deep Purple or Gold. The 256GB in Silver or Space Black and 1TB Silver are also still September 16th.

    iPhone 14 Pro Max is October 3rd to October 10th for all models except for the 1TB Gold.

    It should be noted that these are for delivery, there may still be available product at a local Apple store, or third-party retailer.

    iPhone 14

    Sim-Free 128GB 256GB 512GB
    Blue Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16
    Purple Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16
    Midnight Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16
    Starlight Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16
    PRODUCT(RED) Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16

    iPhone 14 Plus

    Sim-Free 128GB 256GB 512GB
    Blue Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7
    Purple Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7
    Midnight Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7
    Starlight Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7
    PRODUCT(RED) Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7 Fri, Oct 7

    iPhone 14 Pro

    Sim-Free 128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB
    Deep Purple Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16
    Gold Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16 Fri, Sep 16
    Silver Oct 3 – Oct 10 Fri, Sep 16 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Fri, Sep 16
    Space Black Oct 3 – Oct 10 Fri, Sep 16 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Sep 23 – Sep 27

    iPhone 14 Pro Max

    Sim-Free 128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB
    Deep Purple Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10
    Gold Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Fri, Sep 16
    Silver Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10
    Space Black Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10 Oct 3 – Oct 10
  • Apple “Far Out” Event Prediction/Wish List Results

    Apple “Far Out” Event Prediction/Wish List Results

    Yesterday Apple held their “Far Out” event and I had made some predictions and here are the results.

    Four new iPhones, with no iPhone mini

    iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus arranged in a semi-circle

    There were four new iPhones, the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. You can still purchase an iPhone 13 mini for $599.

    Always On Screen for some, if not all, iPhone 14 models

    This one was correct, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max both have an Always-On display. The display will be able to be reduced down to 1Hz to save battery.

    iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max in Deep Purple
    iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max in Deep Purple

    No new iPads and no new Macs

    Both of these were correct, because there were no iPads nor any Macs at this event.

    New Apple Watch Series 8

    There is an Apple Watch Series 8, which is very similar to the Series 7, but does include Crash Detection and a new thermometer designed for recording differences in temperature.

    Apple Watch Series 8 in Midnight with a Midnight Band
    Apple Watch Series 8 in Midnight with a Midnight Band

    New Apple Watch SE

    This is also correct, with the introduction of the 2nd Generation Apple Watch SE. The 2nd Generation Apple Watch SE is available to order and will begin arriving September 16th.

    Apple Second generation Apple Watch SE
    Apple Second generation Apple Watch SE

    Possible Apple Watch Pro

    This was half-right, because there is the Apple Watch Ultra, not the “pro”. It is the Apple Watch Ultra. You can order it today and it will be available beginning September 23rd.

    Apple Watch Ultra with its bands
    Apple Watch Ultra with its bands

    Second generation AirPods Pro

    There is a pair of second generation AirPods Pro. You can order them starting September 9th and they will begin arriving September 23rd.

    2nd Generation Air Pods Pro
    2nd Generation Air Pods Pro

    Recap

    I think I got every single one of them correct, which is not likely to happen again in the future. You can read my recap of all of the announcements at the “Far Out” event.

  • Apple “Far Out” Event Recap

    Apple “Far Out” Event Recap

    Today Apple has their “Far Out” event at Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino. There were three products covered, AirPods, Apple Watch, and iPhone. Let us look at each of these starting with AirPods.

    AirPods

    2nd Generation AirPods Pro in a case

    AirPods are a popular set of in-ear headphones that many people like to use. The AirPods Pro were last introduced in October of 2019 and today Apple introduced the 2nd generation AirPods Pro. The 2nd generation AirPods Pro has gained improved battery life with up to six hours of listening time on a single charge. This is up from 4.5 hours on the 1st generation AirPods Pro. The charging case also allows for up to 30 hours of total listening time. On the topic of the charging case that has seen some changes as well.

    The AirPods Pro charging case can now be charged via lightning, using MagSafe, or any Qi-compatible charger, including the Apple Watch charger. The 2nd generation AirPods Pro case also includes a lanyard, so you can easily attach them to items like a bag, purse, or any other item.

    AirPods Pro are still $249 and they will be available for pre-order on September 9th, and will be available starting on September 23rd. Next, let us look at the Apple Watch.

    Apple Watch

    The largest part of today’s event was spent on the Apple Watch. There were three new models introduced, the Apple Watch Series 8, the Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), and the all new Apple Watch Ultra. Let us look at all of them in turn, starting with the 2nd Generation Apple Watch SE.

    Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation)

    Apple Second generation Apple Watch SE
    Apple Second generation Apple Watch SE

    The new Apple Watch SE is a redesigned Apple Watch. It still has the 40mm or 44mm size as the previous version. It now has an S8 SIP. The S8 system-in-package includes some new features like Crash Detection, which can be used to automatically contact emergency services and your emergency contacts should you get into a crash while wearing the Apple Watch SE.

    There are variety of bands and styles, like the Solo Loop which comes in Sunglow, Succulent, Chalk Pink, Storm Blue, Midnight, and Starlight. There are Braided Solo Loops in Rainforest, Slate Blue, Beige, Midnight, Black Unity, Pride Edition, and (PRODUCT)RED. A Slew of Sport Bands, Sport Loops, and Nike Editions.

    The Apple Watch SE also has a slightly lower price at $249 for the 40mm and $279 for the 44mm version. This is in comparison to its previous $279 price tag for the 40mm and $309 for the 44mm. The GPS + Cellular models are $299 for the 40mm, and $349 for the 44mm version. You can order the 2nd generation Apple Watch SE today in one of three colors, Midnight, Starlight, and Silver. It will begin delivering on September 16th.

    Now, onto the Apple Watch Series 8.

    Apple Watch Series 8

    Apple Watch Series 8 in Midnight

    The Apple Watch Series 8 is an improvement over the Apple Watch Series 7 in a variety of ways. It still has the same 41mm and 45mm case options. The Apple Watch Series 8 has the same S8 SIP as the 2nd generation Apple Watch SE, which means that it has the same Crash Detection feature.

    There is a new “Low Power Mode” on the Apple Watch Series 8. This can increase the battery life up to 36 hours from a full charge, when an iPhone is paired with the Apple Watch. This can be toggled on and off in the Control Center on the Apple Watch. When you enable Low Power Mode it will disable auto-workout detection, the Always-On display, and heart health notifications, amongst other items. You can This feature is available on all Apple Watches from Series 4 and later with watchOS 9.

    The Apple Watch Series 8 also brings a new sensor, this time it is a temperature sensor. To quote Apple’s press release:

    “Apple Watch Series 8 takes a unique approach to temperature sensing with a two-sensor design — one sensor on the back of the watch, nearest the skin, and another just under the display — reducing bias from the outside environment. Nighttime wrist temperature can be a good indicator of overall body temperature. The sensors in Apple Watch Series 8 sample the wrist temperature during sleep every five seconds and measure changes as small as 0.1° C. In the Health app, users can see nightly shifts in baseline temperature, which can be caused by exercise, jet lag, or even illness.”

    The temperature sensor was designed for use for women’s health, specifically this is designed to allow women to keep a record of retrospective ovulation estimates, which can be useful in family planning. Along with this temperature sensing also enables improved period predictions.

    Beyond family planning, iOS 16 and watchOS 9 also add additional features for Cycle Tracking. Now users can receive notifications if their logged cycle history shows any deviations, like irregular, prolonged, or spotty periods. Thees can be symptoms of an underlying health condition, which can be discussed with a woman’s physician.

    As mentioned above, the Apple Watch Series 8 comes in two sizes, the 41mm and 45mm versions. You can choose from an aluminum case or a stainless steel case. The aluminum case comes in Starlight, Midnight, Silver, and (PRODUCT)RED. Pricing for the Aluminum is $399 for the 41mm GPS, $429 for the 45mm GPS, $499 for the 41mm GPS + Cellular, and $529 for the 45mm GPS + Cellular.

    The Stainless Steel colors are Silver Graphite and Gold. The Stainless Steel are GPS + Cellular models. The 41mm is $699, and the 45mm GPS model is $749.

    One thing to note is that there are no longer “Nike Editions” of the Apple Watch. There are still Nike Bands, but now you can use the Nike Watch faces on any of the Apple Watches. This is a big change from previous Apple Watches.

    The Apple Watch Series 8 is available to order today and will be available starting September 16th. Now, onto the Apple Watch Ultra.

    Apple Watch Ultra

    The Apple Watch Ultra is a brand new model designed for extreme conditions, and its design is meant for this. The Apple Watch Ultra sports a 49mm watch face, which is 8.8% larger than the 45mm and 17% larger than the 41mm model. The screen is enclosed by the case of the Apple Watch to help protect it against damage when hit against surfaces. Beyond encasing the screen with the case of the Apple Watch, the case material is Titanium which should also help with protecting the Apple Watch Ultra.

    Apple Watch Ultra with Action Button
    Apple Watch Ultra with Action Button

    The Apple Watch Ultra has the side button and Digital Crown, but it also includes a new Action button. The Action button can be configured to allow you to easily perform a quick action by clicking the Action button. The actions available can be customized in the Apple Watch Ultra’s settings.

    The Apple Watch Ultra is designed for extreme sports, like ultra marathons, diving, hiking, and more. Since it was designed to be used in a variety of environments the screen is brighter, up to 2000 nits. There is a “Night mode”, which will remove any harsh lights and change the color to be a Red to make it easier for you.

    Since it is possible that you will be out in extreme environments, if you do need help there is an 86-decibel alarm that you can enable that will travel up to 600 feet, or 180 meters, so others can help find you. There is a new Compass app that will allow you to mark waypoints so you can try and find your way back.

    Apple Watch Ultra with side button and digital crown
    Apple Watch Ultra with side button and digital crown

    The larger screen on the Apple Watch Ultra allows for up to 36 hours of battery life while in full workout, or up to 60 hours with low power mode. This is very helpful if you do not have a charger with you, or if you are in an area where you cannot charge the Apple Watch.

    Watch Bands

    Apple Watch Ultra Bands
    Apple Watch Ultra Bands

    There are three different watch bands designed with the Apple Watch Ultra in mind. These are Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, Ocean Band. The Alpine Loop comes in three different colors, Orange, Starlight, and Green. The Trail Loop comes in Yellow/Beige, Blue/Gray, and Black/Gray. The Ocean band comes in Yellow, White, and Midnight. There are also some bands that you find on the other Apple Watch models, like the Solo Loop, the Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, and Sport Loop. The Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, and Ocean band are each $99.

    The Apple Watch Ultra is available for order today for $799, and will be available beginning on September 23rd. Now, onto the iPhone

    iPhone

    Apple introduced four new iPhone 14 models today. The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, as predicted there is no iPhone mini model. Let us look at each of the pairings, starting with iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. There are two physical sizes for devices, either 6.1-inch or a 6.7-inch screen. The entire iPhone 14 line up has some commonalities. This includes some camera improvements, Crash Detection, changes to Emergency SOS, and a change to SIM cards.

    SIM Card Changes

    There is a big change across all of the iPhone 14 models, at least in the United States. There are no longer any physical SIM slots. All devices will now have eSim. This means that you will need to transfer your number from your physical SIM to an eSim.

    Action Mode

    All of the iPhone 14 devices have new camera sensors, which will be discussed in each section, but one of the common items is a new feature called “Action Mode”. Action Mode is designed to allow you to be right in the action and still have stabilized photos and videos, without any third-party accessory, like a Gimbal stand for stabilization. This means that you can keep up with the action and have the video come out stabilized.

    Photonic Engine

    iPhone 14 Pro takes computational photography even further with Photonic Engine, offering a giant leap for mid- to low-light performance in photos across all cameras through a deep integration of hardware and software: up to 2x on the Main camera, up to 3x on the Ultra Wide camera, up to 2x on the Telephoto camera, and up to 2x on the TrueDepth camera. Photonic Engine enables this dramatic increase in quality by applying Deep Fusion earlier in the imaging process to deliver extraordinary detail, and preserve subtle textures, provide better color, and maintain more information in a photo.

    Crash Detection

    Mentioned in the Apple Watch section is the Crash Detection. The iPhone 14 line also supports Crash Detection and can contact emergency services, if you do not cancel it in within 10 seconds.

    Emergency SOS

    There may be times when you are outside of cellular cover and you may need some emergency services. There is a new service called “Emergency SOS via Satellite”. This function will allow your iPhone 14 to connect to a satellite and contact emergency services via text message. The iPhone 14 will help you align your iPhone with the satellite to be able to connect. This feature will be free for two years when you buy an iPhone 14 device. There is no indication of how much it will cost after the first two years. This will be available starting in November.

    Emergency SOS via Satellite on iPhone 14
    Emergency SOS via Satellite on iPhone 14

    Now, let us look at the iPhone 14 devices.

    iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

    iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus arranged in a semi-circle
    iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus arranged in a semi-circle

    The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are the non-pro models of the iPhone 14. The iPhone 14 has a 6.1-inch screen, while the iPhone 14 Plus has a 6.7-inch screen. The iPhone 14 Plus is a new model and matches the same 6.7-inch screen size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have a 4 nanometer A15 Bionic processor. This is a slightly improved A15 Bionic that provides even better efficiency which results in better battery life.

    The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have a total of three cameras, the front True Depth camera system, a 12MP Main Camera, and an Ultra Wide camera.The new camera has a larger ƒ/1.5 aperture and 1.9 µm pixels. This enables photo and video improvements in all lighting scenarios. The new front TrueDepth camera features an ƒ/1.9 aperture that now includes autofocus. This means that it can focus even faster than before, including with groups of people and it can make sure each one is focus.

    The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus come in five colors, Midnight, Purple, Starlight, PRODUCT(RED), and Blue. They come in storage sizes of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. The iPhone 14 pricing is $799 for 128GB, $899 for 256GB, and $1099 for 512GB. The iPhone 14 Plus is $100 more, so it is $899 for 128GB, $999 for 256GB, and $1199 for 512GB. You can pre-order an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus on Friday, September 9th. The iPhone 14 will begin delivering September 16th, and the iPhone 14 Plus will begin delivering on October 7th.

    iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

    iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max in Deep Purple
    iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max in Deep Purple

    The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have the same screen size as the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max at 6.1-inches for the iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inches for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.This chip features a new 6-core CPU with an accelerated 5-core GPU. The GPU has 50 percent more memory bandwidth, which will make graphic intensive apps and games that much better. The new 16-core Neural Engine provides up to 17 trillion operations per second, which is great with the new Photonic Engine.

    There is a new camera system for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This system includes a 12MP Ultra Wide camera with 1.4 µm pixels, which delivers sharper images with more detail. The telephoto lens has an improved 3x optical zoom capability. The True Depth camera on the front is just like the one on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus and comes with an ƒ/1.9 aperture that, according to Apple, enables better low-light performance for photos and video. The new camera system also allows for a new Cinematic mode, which is 4K at 24 frames per second, which is the standard for many films. This is in addition to the existing 4K at 30 frames per second. There is one last big feature with the Main camera.

    The Main camera is a new 48 Megapixel sensor with quad-pixel grouping. This means that each of the pixels is groups of four, which provides more light in low-light situations. Along with this, the 48 Megapixel sensor, with quad-pixel grouping, results in the standard 12 Megapixel images, with more details, and is optimized for professional workflows. The quad-pixel sensor also allows for a new 2x zoom, which will take a 12-megapixel image with the pixels that are in the center of the sensor. This results in a full 4K image with no digital zoom.

    The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a completely new feature for the screen, an Always-On display. The Always-On display is similar to that on the Apple Watch, in that it can reduce the refresh rate down to 1Hz. This will be fantastic when you do not need the information on the screen to refresh that often. The screen is one of the biggest uses of battery on an iPhone, so being able to reduce it down to 1Hz should allow you to improved battery life.

    The TrueDepth camera location has changed slightly, to be right inline with the status bar at the top of the screen, including screen around the sensor. This new sensor area is call the “Dynamic Island”. This area will dynamically change depending on usage. Things like notifications will adjust and appear out of the Dynamic Island. You can tap on a notification and interact with it. Similarly, the Face ID popup will appear around the Dynamic Island. If you have multiple items that could use attention, one of the items will be off to the right, so you can interact with it as necessary.

    Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
    Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

    The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max come in four colors, Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple. They also come in four different sizes, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. The iPhone 14 costs $999 for 128GB, $1099 for 256GB, $1299 for 512GB, and $1499 for the 1TB. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is $100 more for each, meaning $1099 for 128GB, $1199 for 256GB, $1399 for 512GB, and $1599 for the 1TB model. You can pre-order iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max on Friday September 9th, with delivery starting on on September 16th.

    Closing Thoughts

    Today’s event was packed at just over 90 minutes. 40 minutes was dedicated to the Apple Watch, another 40 minutes to the iPhone, and the last 10 minutes to the AirPods Pro. The Apple Watch models are available for order today, with the AirPods Pro and iPhone 14 line of phones being available for pre-order this Friday, September 9th.

    Sources

    Apple Watch Ultra
    iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
    iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
    AirPods Pro
    Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation)

  • Apple September 7th “Far Out” Event Wish List

    Apple September 7th “Far Out”  Event Wish List

    Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event is on Wednesday, and with that I have some ideas of what I think we will see at the event.

    iPhone

    One of Apple’s Fall events is usually about the iPhone. I expect that we will see four phones, The same as the previous two years. There have long been rumors that the iPhone mini would not be in this year’s line up of phones. And my guess is just that. The iPhone mini will leave the . In its place will be a larger iPhone. This will result in two 6.1-inch iPhones and two 6.7-inch iPhones.

    I am presuming we will see the iPhone 14 (6.1-inch), iPhone 14 Pro (6.1-inch), and iPhone 14 Pro Max (6.7-inch). The name of the remaining phone is likely to be the “iPhone 14 Plus”, with the ‘Max’ name being reserved for the highest end phone.

    The other thing that I think the phones may have is an always-on screen. It is possible that this might only be on the “Pro” line of phones, but it is also possible that it will be on all of the phones.

    The Apple Watch has had an always on screen for a couple of years, and it is likely that the iPhone will get the same feature.

    Apple Watch

    The Apple Watch was introduced in September 2014 and released in April of 2015. I expect a new Apple Watch Series 8 to be released in the same 41mm and 45mm configurations. I also think it is possible that there might

    There are rumors of an “Apple Watch Pro”, and it is possible that Apple will release one. I suspect if this is introduced it will be a larger screen, and the larger screen means a larger battery and loner battery life.

    If there is a larger Apple Watch, I suspect that existing Apple Watch bands will not work with the new Apple Watch.

    Along with the Apple Watch Series 8, I think there is also going to be a new Apple Watch SE model. The last one was introduced in September of 2020, so it is about time for a new model, and this event makes the most sense for that to happen.

    AirPods Pro

    I am suspecting that we will see a new version of the AirPods Pro. The first generation AirPods Pro were introduced in October of 2019, so it definitely time for a second generation of the AirPods Pro.

    No new iPads

    Apple officially made a statement to TechCrunch indicating that iPadOS 16 would be delayed until ‘later this fall’. With that, this means that there are no iPads. Any new iPads will be released would likely be closer to the release of iPadOS.

    No Macs

    I do not expect there to be any Macs announced at this event. Similar to the iPads, it is likely that any new Macs will be released later in the fall, probably the same time as any new iPads.

    Recap

    Here is a recap of what I think we will see.

    Prediction/Wish List
    Four new iPhones, with no iPhone mini
    Always On Screen for some, if not all, iPhone 14 models
    No new iPads
    No new Macs
    New Apple Watch Series 8
    New Apple Watch SE
    Possible Apple Watch Pro
    Second generation AirPods Pro

    Overall, I think it will be a packed event, but a good one regardless. You can watch the event live at 10 am. Pacific Time on Wednesday, September 7th, on the Apple Events page, or on your Apple TV.

  • Apple Announces September 7th “Far Out” Event

    Apple Announces September 7th “Far Out” Event

    Today Apple sent out invitations to various people in the media about an event happening on September 7th. There were two different invitations sent out, one for an in-person event and another for streaming. The fact that there are two different invitations being sent out indicates that this might be a similar to the World Wide Developer Conference keynote where a selection of press and developers were able to attend the keynote in person.

    In Person Invitation to the September 7th, 2022 "Far Out" Event
    In Person Invitation to the “Far Out” Event
    Streaming Invitation to the September 7th, 2022 "Far Out" Event
    Streaming Invitation to the “Far Out” Event

    This event will begin streaming at 10 am Pacific Time on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022. Typically, Apple has Tuesday events, but September 5th is Labor Day in the United States, so it will be on Wednesday the 7th.

    As with all other events this one has a theme, “Far Out”. It has also become standard that there is an Augmented Reality experience when you visit the Apple Events page.

    This event’s AR object is a star field that you can zoom in on and view. Music will also play if you zoom in far enough.

    Augmented Reality object for September 7th, 2022 "Far Out" Event
    Augmented Reality view for the “Far Out” event

    It is likely that Apple will announce the new line up of iPhones as well as any new Apple Watches. It is not likely that we will see any new iPads given that Apple confirmed that iPadOS will be released later in the fall.

    As is the case with all Apple’s events I will have a recap of what was announced sometime after the event, as well as my predictions, sometime before the event.

  • Apple Confirms iPadOS 16 release delayed until later in the fall

    Apple Confirms iPadOS 16 release delayed until later in the fall

    There has been speculation that Apple would be releasing iPadOS later than iOS 16.0. Typically, Apple does not comment on when they will do this, but Apple has indeed made this official. Apple issued a statement to TechCrunch that said:

    This is an especially big year for iPadOS. As its own platform with features specifically designed for iPad, we have the flexibility to deliver iPadOS on its own schedule. This Fall, iPadOS will ship after iOS, as version 16.1 in a free software update.

    Beyond this, today Apple released another set of betas for developers. Specifically they released, iOS 16 Beta 7, iPadOS 16 Beta 7, and watchOS 9 Beta 7. The installed version of iOS is displayed as 16.0, and the installed version for iPadOS is displayed as 16.1. This just provides additional confirmation to Apple’s statement above.

    This is not the first time that iPadOS has been released later than iOS and it is not known whether or not Apple will continue to have separate initial release cycles going forward, only time will tell if that is the case.

    With iPadOS being its own operating system, it does not necessarily need to be tied to the release of iOS, even if it has been so in the past. Even so, it would be beneficial for Apple to possibly let developers know earlier in the beta cycle whether or not the operating systems will be released at the same time, or even close together, so that developers can plan their new releases and upgrades accordingly.

    Source: TechCrunch

  • Strange Issues with two different iPads with Cellular

    Strange Issues with two different iPads with Cellular

    Over the lats six months or so I have had to debug a couple of interesting issues with iPads, in particular iPads with cellular on them. The two devices were an 2nd generation iPad and another was a 2nd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Let us look at both of these, starting with the 2nd generation iPad.

    2nd Generation iPad

    2011 2nd Generation iPad

    The issue that this iPad was exhibiting was that it would start randomly saying “Activating iPad”. The issues as intermittent and would do this upon reboot as well as when waking the iPad up.

    Rebooting it would not fix it, as it would still give the same issue. Sometimes, letting it sit and attempt to activate would allow it to work, at least for a while. Before it would just be intermittent and happen occasionally, but starting in May it would do it consistently.

    While sitting and pondering it for a bit, I came to realization of what was happening. The 2nd generation iPad had a 3G modem in it. The reason that it started doing it consistently in March was because the T-Mobile 3G service began to be shut down in March.

    The fix for this was quite simple, remove the 3G SIM card from the iPad, and it works perfectly fine now.

    2nd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro

    2017 2nd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro

    The second iPad that has been having issues is a 2nd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro from 2017. The issue started with the iOS 15.0.1 update. Updating to iOS 15 on this device was no problem, but starting with iOS 15.0.1 it would no longer update.

    The update would download, but upon trying to install it, it would get stuck on “verifying update”. No matter how long I let it sit there, it would not do anything. I tried updating using a Mac, through Finder, but that also did not work. The same thing would occur, it would just sit there and spin at the “Verifying Update” window. I could reboot the iPad, and try again, but it would not do anything differently, just the same results.

    Now, being the Apple nerd that I am, the fact that it would not update bugged me to no end. So yesterday, I wanted to really figure out what the issue was. I had tried doing some searching online previously, but everything that came up would lead me to a bogus solution.

    That is, until this thread (available at https://discussions.apple.com/thread/253245929) came up from the Apple discussions forums, why it did not appear the previous times I did my searching, I do not know.

    The first solution suggested to “Insert a SIM card and then do the update”, and after inserting a SIM card, and re-trying the update, it actually worked. The second most helpful suggestion on that thread indicated that simply removing the SIM card tray would fix the issue. I did not try this second solution, because the first one worked. It should be noted that the SIM does not need to be an active one, just any compatible SIM card would work.

    Obviously, there must be an issue with iOS 15 and verifying an update on a cellular iPad Pro when there is no SIM card in the slot. It is not yet known if the same thing will happen when updating to iOS 16, or if Apple will actually fix it. It seems like these types of issues wait until major versions to be fixed. At least there is a workaround that does indeed work.

  • Mid-2007 13-inch Black MacBook: 15 Years Later

    Mid-2007 13-inch Black MacBook: 15 Years Later

    This post is another in the series of me looking back at the technology related events that occurred during the year. The reason for the is because 2007 turned out to be a big year for me technology wise. This is the seventh in the series. the previous articles are:

    Mid-2007 13-inch MacBook

    Back in March I posted about the fact that I purchased a Late-2006 20-inch iMac. While that was both my first Mac overall, it was also my first desktop Mac. A mere 4 months later, I ended up buying a MacBook. In fact, the one that I ended up purchasing was the 13.3-inch Black MacBook.

    Price

    The 13-inch Black MacBook was more expensive than the regular MacBook. In fact, it was quite a bit more, it started at $1499. The model that I got was the base model, because any upgrades would significantly add to the cost. The second reason I chose that model was because the base specifications were enough for what I needed. On the topic of specifications, let us look at the specifications.

    Specifications

    Picture of the back of the 2007 MacBook box

    What was interesting with the 13-inch Black MacBook was that it had most of the same specifications as the Late 2006 20-inch iMac that I had purchased. It had a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, with 1GB of RAM. The only difference between that and 20-inch iMac is that the MacBook only had a 160GB 5400 hard drive, whereas the iMac had a 250GB 7200 hard drive.

    These specs go along with the two USB 2.0 ports and single Firewire port. Along with this, the MacBook had a first-generation MagSafe power port.

    OS X

    The MacBook came with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The last version of OS X that the 13-inch MacBook supported was Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. The reason that it did not support any newer operating system is the fact that the Intel 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo is a 32-bit processor, and the logic board was 32-bit as well. Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion dropped support for 32-bit processors.

    Having multiple Macs, I know I ended up buying the family pack of macOS Leopard so I could install it both of my Macs. The upgrade price of $199, so for $70 more than the single price you could install it up to five computers. This was a great thing to have at the time. Now, of course, macOS upgrades are free, so no special licensing is needed.

    Picture of the Mac OS X Tiger DVD
    Mac OS X Tiger DVD

    On the topic of upgrades, let us look at upgrading the hardware next.

    Upgrading Hardware

    Even though I purchased just the base model, it was inevitable thaT I would upgrade the MacBook, because it was still possible with that model.One of the best features of the 13-inch Black MacBook was the simplicity of upgrading. The upgrade process was pretty quick. The steps were:

    1. Turn off the MacBook.
    2. Unlock the battery using a coin.
    3. Remove the battery.
    4. Unscrew the four screws holding the memory and hard drive cover.
    5. Remove the memory and hard drive cover.

    Once you have removed the cover, you had access to the memory and the hard drive. For the hard drive you could easily remove it with the tab on the hard drive enclosure. The memory could easily be removed by pressing on the two tabs next to the hard drives.

    I do not know when, but I know I upgraded both the hard drive and the memory. I know I ended up installing a 250GB 7200 RPM drive and 3GB of memory.

    Usage

    The MacBook was designed to be portable. At the same time, it was not an inexpensive item. Because of the price, I went looking for a way to protect it, even while I traveled with it. I went looking for a good solution. I ended up buying two things. The first was an Incase 13-inch Laptop sleeve, which I still use to this day, but for my 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Th second item I purchased was a Pelican case. Specifically, it was the Pelican 1450.

    Image of the Pelican 1450 case
    Image of the Pelican 1450 case

    The reason I chose this case was two fold. The first reason is that, as mentioned above, I wanted something that I knew could protect the laptop and a Pelican case definitely could do that. The second reason I went with this model was that it included an insert system that consists of tiny blocks. The blocks can be removed individually which would allow you to customize the function of the case.

    Therefore, what I ended up doing was creating a layout for being able to transport just about anything that I could possibly need to transport with it. This included the power brick, the extended charging cord which would go into the power brick, a Mini-DVI to VGA adapter, a Mini-DVI to HDMI adapter, an ethernet cable, and other various cables that I might need, like USB to 30-pin cables.

    Was the Pelican case excessive? Looking back now, yes, it was. I definitely did not need such a rugged case. I still have the case today, but it not really used for anything, but I am reluctant to get rid of it, because If I want to use it for something else, I simply need to get a replacement foam set and reconfigure it as necessary.

    Now, let us look at how I use the 2007 Black MacBook now.

    Usage Today

    I no longer really use the 13-inch MacBook. It still functions, but the battery ended up swelling, so I removed it. Furthermore, my brother needed a replacement power cord for his MacBook Pro, so I gave him mine, along with a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adapter that he can use for his 2012 MacBook Pro.

    After initially writing this, I ended up buying a replacement power adapter and a NewerTech battery from MacSales.com. After I powered up the MacBook there were a few updates that needed to be installed, and the last version of macOS that is supported on the Machine is Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which was released in 2011 and the last update was in October of 2012, so it’s been a while since I booted up the MacBook.

    Therefore, if I need any data off of the hard drive, I can either copy it directly on the MacBook, using File Sharing, or even use Screen Sharing to copy data.

    Closing Thoughts

    Even though the 13-inch Black MacBook was more expensive, it did have some higher specifications when purchased. I used the 2007 Black MacBook regularly from 2007 until April of 2015 when I purchased an early-2015 13-inch MacBook Pro, which coincidentally, I am actually using now to write this post, so almost a full eight years of usage of the 2007 MacBook before it was replaced.

    I miss the pure black color on the 2007 MacBook. I understand why it is not possible to get a pure black MacBook Pro these days, but it would be really nice to get a MacBook Pro that is darker than the current Space Gray, even if it would cost a bit more for the color.

    Apple Newsroom: Apple Updates Popular MacBook – May 15, 2007