Rene Ritchie: M1 Pro Max vs M2 — Buy now or wait?

As usual, this Rene Ritchie explainer is a firehose of information, but really well explained. What I found most interesting is the comparison of the iPhone processors, like the A14, to their Mac counterparts.

As you watch Rene walk through the various Apple Silicon architectures, he lays out the similarities between the iPhone and Mac chips, makes it clear how one begat the other, and how the design evolved from the iPhone’s smaller enclosure to the bigger, higher powered, better cooled Mac.

Apple shares “The Comeback” — Shot on iPhone 13 Pro video for Chinese New Year


Kick off the Year of the Tiger with the story of a father, a son and a forgotten village with an out-of-this-world dream. Apple and director Zhang Meng present their latest Chinese New Year film “The Comeback”.

Pretty good story, some great practical effects. Don’t miss the “making of” video embedded below. I’d definitely watch them in order, the bigger the screen the better, makes the subtitles easier to read.

Illinois floats bill that would let developers skirt Apple’s In-App-Purchase rules

Juli Clover:

As outlined by Arizona news site WGEM, under the Freedom to Describe Directly Act, distribution platforms like the App Store and Google Play would not be able to force Illinois developers to use a “particular in-application payment system” as the exclusive mode for accepting payments, nor would they be able to retaliate against developers who opt to use an alternate payment option.


North Dakota, Arizona, and Minnesota have all attempted to get around in-app purchase rules by passing bills, but Apple and Google lobbied hard against them.


Apple’s chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer said that Arizona’s bill was a “government mandate that Apple give away the ‌App Store‌,” and Apple’s Chief Privacy Engineer Erik Neuenschwander said that the North Dakota’s bill threatened to “destroy the iPhone as you know it.”

As Apple’s Kyle Andeer implied, all it takes is one of these bills to pass to change everything. After all, how could Apple prevent someone in Illinois (or any specific locale) from breaking such a law? And no developer is going to want to have to write code that runs one way in Illinois, another everywhere else.

Gruber clarifies that famous Ed Colligan iPhone rollout quote

Yesterday was the 15 year anniversary of that fantastic Steve Jobs iPhone announcement (video embedded below).

One of my favorite “iPhone is never going to succeed” quotes and, I believe, the origin of the John Gruber coined “claim chowder” is this, from then Palm CEO Ed Colligan:

Responding to questions from New York Times correspondent John Markoff at a Churchill Club breakfast gathering Thursday morning, Colligan laughed off the idea that any company — including the wildly popular Apple Computer — could easily win customers in the finicky smartphone sector.

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

I love this quote. Turns out, as Gruber points out in the headline linked post, the original quote was slightly different. If the Gruber claim chowder quote means anything to you, check out the slightly revised quote so you get your bit of history right.

Also, don’t miss that bit in the video below, right at 3:49 (and captured in this tweet), where Steve shows off his sense of humor.

The iPhone 14 is unlikely to be portless. Here’s why.

Tim Hardwick, MacRumors:

Ever since Apple removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 in 2016, rumors have swirled that Apple eventually aims to ditch the Lightning port next for a completely portless design. Indeed, analysts originally predicted that the highest-end ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 13 would offer a “completely wireless experience.” Of course, that didn’t happen, but a portless iPhone 14 in 2022 looks just as unlikely, for the following reasons.

There’s this:

With no Lightning port, you wouldn’t be able to physically connect your iPhone directly to a computer to reset an unresponsive iPhone through recovery mode.

But, more importantly:

In 2020, Eric Ravenscraft of Debugger found that wireless charging uses around 47% more power than wired charging for the same amount of power.

Here’s a link to that article, titled Wireless Charging Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen.

Apple Support: How to use Dual SIM on iPhone

Apple Support continues to knock it out of the Park.

This video focuses on the details on setting up dual SIMS, some combination of physical SIM card or eSIM. Incredibly useful if you have two lines or plan on traveling abroad.

The Steve Jobs tribute iPhone 13 Pro, only $6,990


While most of its smartphones feature gold, jewels, or over-the-top designs, the luxury brand’s latest takes on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max feature a far more understated design and a really cool tribute to the late Apple founder Steve Jobs. For the phone, Caviar’s artists used the unique design of the iPhone 13 Pro and combined it with parts from a first-generation iPhone.


In the center of the back of the body is a sealed capsule in the shape of Apple’s signature bitten apple with a fragment of the original iPhone 2G motherboard.


Caviar’s iPhone 2G versions of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are limited to 19 pieces and retail for $6,990.

What to get for the person whose Apple Watch Series 1 18kt Edition no longer works.

iOS 15.2 adds “Parts and Service History” to iPhone About settings

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

With the launch of iOS 15.2, Apple is adding a new “Parts and Service History” section to the Settings app that will let users see the service history of their iPhones and confirm that components used for repairs are genuine.

From the related Apple support document:

With iOS 15.2 and later, you can go to Settings > General > About to see the parts and service history of your iPhone.

Here are the specifics:

  • For iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, and later, including iPhone SE (2nd generation), you can see if the battery has been replaced.
  • For iPhone 11 models, iPhone 12 models, and iPhone 13 models, you can see if the battery or display have been replaced.
  • For iPhone 12 models and iPhone 13 models, you can see if the battery, display, or camera have been replaced.


Information about parts and service history is collected by Apple and stored as part of the device information maintained for your iPhone. This information is used for service needs, safety analysis, and to improve future products.

If the battery, display, or camera have not been replaced, then you won’t see parts and service history.

If you are buying a used iPhone, or sent your iPhone away for repair, this is an easy way to check a bit of repair history and a way to tell if there are any non-Apple parts in the device.

Personally, I appreciate the heads up. Will this make its way to iPad? How about the Mac?

Apple backs off of breaking Face ID after DIY iPhone 13 screen replacements

Jay Peters, The Verge:

Soon after the iPhone 13 launched, repair experts found that swapping out iPhone 13 screens would break Face ID unless you also moved over a tiny control chip from the original screen. It’s a complex process that makes one of the most common types of repairs prohibitively difficult for independent repair shops.

More to the point:

Apple-authorized repair shops, on the other hand, have access to a software tool that can make a phone accept a new screen.

So what’s changed?

Apple tells The Verge it will release a software update that doesn’t require you to transfer the microcontroller to keep Face ID working after a screen swap.


Apple’s iPhone 13 Everyday Experiments: Hollywood at Home

This was a lot of fun to watch. As I made my way through the beginning, the RC cars/trucks just looked very toy-like, hard to fool my brain. But jump to about 1:41 in, after shooting in 4K60, rolling it into iMovie, slowing the footage by 1/3 and applying the Blockbuster filter, and those shots start to look a lot more real.

World’s first USB-C iPhone: Bidding on eBay up to $85,550

You might think $85K is a wild ask, but there are currently 144 bids, and there’s a week to go on this auction. 144 bids makes $85K a valid bid, and with a week to do, who knows how high this will go.

To get a sense of what folks are bidding on, watch the video below.

iPhone ProMotion in SloMo: 120hz vs 60hz

This is an absolutely fantastic look at ProMotion at work. Gives you a true sense of the difference in scan lines on various iPhones and apps.

Comparing photos from modern iPhone with photos from the original iPhone

I’m new to this YouTube channel, but they have some very interesting videos. This one explores the evolution in iPhone photography, from steady camera hardware/sensor changes to a focus on software, with the rise of computational photography.

Don’t be put off by all the fooling around in the video. There’s a lot of interesting stuff here. A few highlights, if your time is limited:

  • At about 3:30: iPhone life with that original interface, before the App Store existed. Only one page.
  • At about 4:27: All about “rolling shutter”
  • And, at about 12:18: The core of this video, comparing the old and the new

I enjoyed the whole thing. Obviously, you’ll want to watch this in 4K for maximum effect.

AnandTech analysis of iPhone 13 series battery life and screen power

Andrei Frumusanu, AnandTech:

This year’s new iPhone 13 series have been extremely promising in terms of battery life as Apple has improved this aspect of the devices through a slew of different improvements. All the new phones feature new generation displays, most notably the new Pro models which have new variable refresh displays, along with increases in battery capacities. After a few arduous days of battery life testing, we can come to some very positive conclusions.

There’s a detailed discussion of LTPO VRR. If that’s just alphabet soup to you, here’s a bit from this discussion of LTPO:

LTPO is the snappy acronym that stands for low-temperature Polycrystalline oxide. In short, it allows for a display to dynamically change its refresh rate without needing any additional hardware components to sit between a device’s graphics processing unit and the display controller.

And VRR is variable refresh rate, which is being branded as ProMotion. Apple’s rates vary from 10Hz to 120Hz.

If the screen discussion doesn’t grab you, scroll down the the section labeled “Bigger Batteries”. The first table compares battery capacity of all the iPhone 12 models to that of the iPhone 13s. Big jumps (ranging from 8% to 18% across the board) in every model.

Next up is a bar chart showing web browsing battery life (in hours) for a variety of phones. From. the description:

All the new phones showcase extremely large generational gains compared to their predecessors. For the iPhone 13, we’re getting results that are 34% better than the iPhone 12, which exceeds the +14.6% battery capacity increase. The new SoC efficiency as well as increased display power efficiency would explain the remainder of the difference.

The iPhone 13 battery life is a big leap forward.

iPhone 13 Pro sample image gallery

Follow the headline link, maximize your window size (large display, if possible). Tap each of the controls on the upper right of the current sample image, just to get a sense of what each does. I’m a big fan of the loupe (click to turn it on, then drag the mini-window around the image).

I love this interface, wish there was a version that laid on top of a public, crowd-sourced gallery, with the favorite images rising to the top.

DPReview review of the iPhone 13 Pro, shot on the iPhone 13 Pro

Detailed video, filled with great looking shots of all the various lenses and modes, giving you a sense of what you might produce if you have an iPhone 13 Pro (or iPhone 13 Pro Max).

One of the many highlights in this video is at about 36 seconds in. Check out the sharpness on the jacket pocket seams, then look at the background. There’s a subtle sharpness adjustment as he moves, Cinematic Mode at work. It wasn’t so long ago that Portrait Mode and bokeh were brand new concepts. Apple’s iPhone camera team continues to push the ball forward.

The embedded video is 4K. If you have the ability to watch in higher resolution, here’s a link to an HDR version of the same video.

A gorgeous tour of iPhone Macro mode

Ben Sandofsky, Halide blog:

The iPhone 13 Pro features a new camera capable of focusing closer than ever before—less than an inch away. This opens a whole new dimension for iPhone photographers, but it’s not without surprises. Let’s take a tour of what this lens unlocks, some clever details you might miss in its implementation, why its “automatic” nature can catch you off guard, and much more. At the end, we have a special surprise for you — especially those not using an iPhone 13 Pro.

This post is way more than just a collection of macro photos, though it does have plenty of those. It’s a well presented tour of how macro works, full of detail/examples and, as Ben implies above, there’s a nice little surprise towards the end (hint: it’s a product announcement, one that you’ll find compelling if you are interested in macro photography).

The nuance of iPhone ProMotion

Jason Aten, writing for Inc:

It takes a lot of energy to light up and refresh that display, so the fewer times it has to redraw what you’re looking at, the better. Other devices with high refresh rates might adjust based on what is showing on the display. For example, if you’re watching a film shot at 24 frames per second, the display might refresh at 24 or 48Hz. If you’re playing a game, it might refresh at 120Hz.


On the iPhone, that’s still true, but Apple took it further by quietly included a remarkable way of deciding what refresh rate to use. Your iPhone 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max literally measures the speed of your finger on the screen, and then adjusts the refresh rate of the display.


Reading a tweet, the iPhone 13 Pro drops down to 10Hz. If you start to scroll slowly, it might choose a faster refresh rate, say 60Hz. If you scroll quickly, it can ramp up to 90 or 120Hz. Apple doesn’t say exactly how many different refresh rates the display uses, only that it designed the system to match the refresh rate to the speed of your finger.

Great read.

In my opinion, ProMotion is an under appreciated feature. It works everywhere on the 13 Pro models, scrolling is smooth as glass, and there are no artifacts that hint at refresh rate changes. Beautifully implemented.

Ophthalmologist using iPhone 13 Pro to take close up eye pics

Dr. Tommy Korn (via 9to5Mac):

Been using the iPhone 13 Pro Max for MACRO eye 👁 photos this week. Impressed. Will innovate patient eye care & telemedicine. 👀 forward to seeing where it goes 😊 …

Photos are from healing a resolving abrasion in a cornea transplant. Permission was obtained to use photos 🙏🏼.

PS: this “Pro camera” includes a telephone app too! 😂

Follow the headline link, check out the images. If you’ve got an iPhone 13 Pro, you can pretty easily take closeup eye pics like this. Bit by bit, tech like the iPhone 13 camera module and the Apple Watch are bringing telemedicine to life.

Side note: If you’ve not seen it, check out this macro pic I took last week, taken with an iPhone 13 Pro. This camera is incredible.

iPhone 13 ProMotion: Can people tell the difference?

This was interesting, a sort of focus group specifically set up to see if folks noticed the difference between older displays and the new iPhone 13 adaptive refresh ProMotion display.

I love the new display, but not sure I would have noticed the difference when 120Hz came into play. That said, it definitely makes for an overall better experience. Not something that would impact my purchase decision like, say, the 3x optical zoom or macro capability in the camera, something very easy to notice.

iPhone 13 Pro iFixit teardown: Any unauthorized display replacement knocks out Face ID

Lots of fascinating tidbits here, if teardowns are your thing. But deep down, all the way in Step 10:

Face ID works even when we disconnected the front sensor assembly. However, any display replacement knocks out Face ID. We tried transferring the sensors from the old display and porting over the Face ID hardware, but no dice. It looks like the display is serial-locked to the phone.


TL;DR: Unless Apple revises this behavior in software, screen replacements outside Apple’s authorized repair lose all Face ID functionality.

Is this a security measure to prevent a replacement screen from overriding Face ID on a stolen or seized iPhone? I suspect we’ll never know the logic behind this decision until far down the road.

iPhone 13 & 13 Pro: how to force restart, recovery mode, DFU mode, etc.

This is an informative video from 9to5Mac’s Jeff Benjamin. If you already know your way around shutting down and restarting your iPhone, jump to 2:20 in for a little used shutdown method that doesn’t require finger gymnastics, then rolling right into a force restart method you might not be aware of:

Press up volume, then down volume, then press and hold the power button, all in quick succession.

Go ahead and give it a try. You can cancel and, as you’d expect, you’ll need to type in your passcode, just as you would if you did the press and hold the up volume and power button at the same time.

If “Unlock with Apple Watch” isn’t working on your iPhone 13

With every new Apple rollout, there are issues that crop up. Sometimes, it’s an unfixable hardware issue (thinking butterfly keyboard failure here). Other times, it’s a bug, fixed by a subsequent system release.

From the headline-linked Apple support note:

Apple has identified an issue where Unlock with Apple Watch may not work with iPhone 13 devices. You might see “Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch” if you try to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask, or you might not be able to set up Unlock with Apple Watch.

Yup. I’m experiencing this issue. I see the “Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch” alert when I try to turn the feature on.

Fortunately, Apple follows this with:

This issue will be fixed in an upcoming software update.

Hoping the iPad mini jelly scrolling issue (I’ll get to that in a couple of posts) is just as fixable.

How Apple built the iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode

Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch, got the chance to speak with Apple VP Kaiann Drance and Human Interface Team designer Johnnie Manzari about Cinematic Mode.

“We knew that bringing a high-quality depth of field to video would be magnitudes more challenging [than Portrait Mode],” says Drance. “Unlike photos, video is designed to move as the person filming, including hand shake. And that meant we would need even higher-quality depth data so Cinematic Mode could work across subjects, people, pets and objects, and we needed that depth data continuously to keep up with every frame. Rendering these autofocus changes in real time is a heavy computational workload.”


“We didn’t have an idea [for Cinematic Mode]. We were just curious — what is it about filmmaking that’s been timeless? And that kind of leads down this interesting road and then we started to learn more and talk more … with people across the company that can help us solve these problems.”

That second quote offers an interesting insight into how features like this are born. Sometimes new features are the result of trying to solve a specific problem in a clever way. Cinematic Mode was more born from an exploration into an existing process, trying to bring an existing solution from the complex, expensive, hardware heavy filmmaking world to the iPhone.

Nice writeup by Panzarino. Don’t miss the section “Testing Cinematic Mode” with the embedded demo reel. Don’t just watch the demo reel. It needs the context of Matthew’s descriptions to give a true sense of what Cinematic Mode is and isn’t. Great read.

iPhone 13 Pro & Pro Max review: Nearly perfect, but the camera needs a fix

Another great iPhone 13 Pro camera review, filled with images to give you a sense of the reach of the newest high end iPhone lenses/modes.

If the camera is driving you to consider an iPhone 13 Pro, this is a great review to make your way through.

The only caveat:

But there’s been one thing that has been bothering me in the week I’ve been testing the iPhone 13 Pros’ cameras. Something so frustrating that, for the first time in a decade, I’m not upgrading to the best iPhone camera that Apple has to offer… at launch. Not until Apple fixes it, at least. And a fix is coming, Apple confirmed to Input.

Here’s the issue:

If you have your iPhone 13 Pro camera set to the 1x wide camera and place an object or a subject within 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) of it, the viewfinder will maintain the 1x framing/composition but use the ultrawide’s close-range autofocusing in tandem. You can literally see the viewfinder flicker/pop and “switch” to this hybrid viewfinder.

Here’s a pair of videos (here and here) showing this flicker/pop effect in action. I get the annoyance, and I appreciate knowing the cause.

Apple’s response:

A new setting will be added in a software update this fall to turn off automatic camera switching when shooting at close distances for macro photography and video.


Austin Mann’s iPhone 13 Pro camera review, all the way from Tanzania

Austin Mann:

From macro shots of tiny ants to massive landscapes by helicopter, we’ve put the iPhone 13 Pro camera through the paces and I’m excited to share the results with you.

Just start scrolling. I love these shots, especially those shot with the iPhone 13 Pro’s Ultra Wide macro. More than anything else, that macro capability is the part of the iPhone 13 Pro I’m most looking forward to. Mine is arriving tomorrow.

Reddit’s list of iPhone 13 Pro and Max unboxing, impressions and reviews, plus Rene Ritchie

Follow the headline link for an updating list of links.

One video that was missed (at least as of this posting) was this excellent, detailed, video review by Rene Ritchie, which I’ve embedded below. It covers all the iPhone 13 series, including the mini, and touched on a few points I personally found very interesting. A fire hose of detail.

Here are the best new Safari extensions to download for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac:

One of the flagship new features in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 is the redesigned Safari web browser. While the highlight of the new Safari is its user interface, it also gains compatibility with more powerful, Mac-like browser extensions. Now that iOS 15 is available to download, there are plenty of extensions hitting the App Store, and we’ve put together a list of some to try out.

Parker showcases 10 different extensions. Once you’ve looked through that list, here’s how to find lots more:

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings, scroll down (past App Store and Wallet & ApplePay section) and tap Safari
  • On the Safari Settings page, scroll down to the GENERAL section and tap Extensions
  • Tap “More Extensions”

That’ll take you to the Safari Extensions section of the iOS App Store.