Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes all the details on iOS 9.3, the continuing anger over Apple’s removal of the headphone jack in the next iPhone, Microsoft’s attack on the iPad Pro, Apple’s potential purchase of Time Warner, the impressive sales of the MacBook range, Apple Music’s subscriber numbers, the problems with Apple News statistics, Jason Snell’s report card on Apple in 2015, and a new secret feature in iOS 9.3.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read the weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
Here Comes iOS 9.3
Apple has released the next iteration of iOS to developers for final testing. Nudging the version number up to 9.3, this build (along with the requisite bug fixes) focuses on the educational environment, with support for multiple ID’s and classroom management:
Highlights include iPad multi-user support (called ‘Shared iPad’) which enables students to log onto any iPad and get full access to their apps, books, documents and places them exactly where they left off. ‘Photo ID’ will show the student’s picture once they’ve logged in to avoid iPads getting mixed up during the class. Young students get a more basic version accessed with a simple four digit PIN.
Also breaking new ground is the ‘Classroom’ app which allows a teacher to control all the iPads of the students in their class (for example to open a particular app) and even jump to individual student’s iPads to monitor work (‘Screen View’). Meanwhile ‘Apple School Manager’ is a hub for teachers to compile courses, purchase class books and apps, track individual iPads and more.
Apple has also addressed smart screen filtering (to give out less blue light at night to help sleep patterns), more moments in the user interface where 3D Touch can be used, and a number of updates to Notes, Health, News, and the Apple Watch client.
Can Your Hear What’s Coming Around The Corner?
The idea that Apple will (finally) drop the 3.5 mm headphone socket on the next iPhone, relying on wireless protocols or the lightning connector for audio output, has been generating a lot of interest and surprise from many people. Do you know who wasn’t surprised? The headphone manufacturers. The Verge’s Vlad Savov covered the issue while reporting on CES:
The people who don’t seem to be particularly perturbed by this potential development are headphone makers themselves. I’ve spoken with many of them during this year’s CES and none feel threatened by or unprepared for Apple’s rumored removal of the headphone jack. There are two reasons for this: one is that almost every headphone manufacturer, major or minor, has some sort of wireless product to offer prospective iPhone 7 owners. Only the truly premium, audiophile-class vendors — whose products aren’t intended to be used with mobile devices anyway — don’t have a Bluetooth variant to offer. The big names like Sennheiser and Audio-Technica are already working on entire portfolios of high-end wireless headphones, and others like Bose have been developing the technology for years. Nothing new on this front.