Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.
The weird openness of Windows 11
Microsoft's thoughtful CEO, Satya Nadella, has given an interview espousing the values of openness and declaring that Apple - and its iMessage service in particular - would be welcome in Windows 11's app store. "Anything that Apple wants to do with Windows, whether it's iTunes or iMessage or what have you, we would welcome that," he said.
Talking of Microsoft's latest baby, there's been much talk this week about whether Macs will be able to run Windows 11 - and the answer seems to be no, at least for now, because it requires a TPM security module which Macs do not have.
Which is a shame, because we've taken a look at how Windows 11 compares to macOS, and, while Microsoft is *cough cough* borrowing some of our favourite macOS features, there are a few gems we wish we had on our Macs.
In related news, Michael Simon has noticed that if the current 21.5in iMac was a PC, it wouldn't be able to upgrade to Windows 11, simply because its Intel processor is so far out of date.
The AirPower of goodbye (and hello)
What is there left to say about AirPower, the great cautionary tale told to any tech CEO tempted to announce a product before the technical issues have been worked out?
Well, how about this: AirPower is back on! Possibly. That's right, the doomed wireless charger announced in 2017 and de-announced in 2019 could yet make it to an Apple store near you.
AppleInsider has spotted a patent, registered in February 2020 well after the project was officially called off, named 'Wireless power system with device movement detection'. This describes one of the key technical challenges AirPower was supposed to solve: being able to move devices around on its charging surface without interrupting the flow of current.
Obviously that doesn't prove Tim Cook is about to rush onstage to announce the imminent launch of AirPower II; it might be wise for the company to do a bit of branding sleight of hand so as not to remind customers of the errors of the past. But it certainly seems like Apple is going back to the realm of intelligent multi-device wireless charging, whether it has the AirPower name or not.
You can keep up with all the happenings in our AirPower news hub.
News in brief
According to Front Page Tech, some Apple employees now have to wear body cameras "to ensure that its hardware trade secrets stay out of the hands of leakers". If the allegation is true - and it's worth pointing out that Mark Gurman says it's "obviously not", and it does sound like it would create as many problems with secrecy as it solves - this policy would sit oddly for a company that positions itself as a defender of privacy. This follows claims last week that Apple was sending out threatening letters to leakers.
Despite spirited objections from employees, Apple appears to be pressing ahead with its plan to make staff work three days per week in the office. Confirmation of the plan appeared in a leaked internal video.
Apple has offered free downloads of Mac OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, for those who miss the far-off days of 2011 and 2012. The company used to charge money for its operating systems. Can you imagine? If you actually want to install these ancient versions of Mac OS X on your Mac read this: How to install older Mac OS X versions on your Mac.
There's lots of chatter about how Apple's going to be adding mmWave to the new iPhones. Right now it's a feature only available on the iPhone 12 In the US. But there's a good reason why it's absent from the iPhone 12 everywhere else - mmWave hasn't been picked up in other countries yet. Find out more in What's the point of adding mmWave to the iPhone 13?
Apple is going to be boring this summer, says a pessimistic Simon Lohmann. Who hurt you, Simon?
Coinciding with - but absolutely not officially tied in with - the Tokyo Olympics, Apple has launched its International Collection of Apple Watch straps based on the flags of 22 nations. They come with matching watch faces and look, we reckon, pretty great:
If Apple wants to fix its App Store problem, it should allow sideloading, argues the Macalope.
Apple TV+ has bagged a further 19 nominations for the 2021 Daytime Emmy Awards, on top of the six previously announced. This is impressive for a streaming service in only its second year of eligibility, but pales in comparison with the nominations collected by Netflix, which was more than three times as successful.
Apple plans to replace our wallets with the Apple Watch, thanks to updates in watchOS 8, but Simon Lohmann isn't convinced it will make much of a difference to the average person.
Bugs & problems
ACCC, the Australian consumer group, has issued a strongly worded warning urging parents "to keep AirTags away from children". This follows the raising of concerns that the devices' button batteries are too easy to access and, potentially, swallow; one Australian retailer already pulled the AirTag from sale back in May.
Video of the week
Michael Simon, Ken Mingis and Juliet Beauchamp discuss Apple's position against sideloading iPhone apps, when to expect the iPhone 13 announcement and how it will differ from previous iPhones.
The rumour mill
Bloomberg's well-informed Apple expert, Mark Gurman, has revealed that Apple is currently working on an iPad with a much larger screen, implying that it will sit in the 14in-16in range. Over on Macworld US, David Price argues that this would be a giant mistake.
A completely new MacBook Air project is underway at Apple, sources report. The updated laptop could lose its distinctive sloped shape, while gaining extra graphics cores and a wide range of colours.
And what about the new MacBook Pro? That will arrive in the autumn, says Mark Gurman (again!), who claims "all attention is on the fall" at Apple. DigiTimes, meanwhile, has told us to expect completely new and redesigned 14in and 16in MacBook Pro models late in the third quarter of this year, which probably means September. Sources suggest this will be the biggest update since 2016.
One last Gurman snippet: he claims that three top members of Apple's secretive Apple Car project have left this year alone. Management reshuffles are a good sign, right?
The S7 processor in the Apple Watch Series 7 will be smaller than the older S6 chip, freeing up space in the device to include new components - or make the battery bigger, radically improving battery performance. That ought to make up for the lack of new health sensors.
What's the point of adding mmWave 5G to the iPhone 13, wonders Karen Haslam. On which subject, leaked dummies suggest that a new colour will be the biggest design change in this autumn's new iPhones; some Apple fans have described the purported look of the new handsets as "boring" and "ugly".
We won't see new AirPods Pro until next year, says the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The standard version of the AirPods will probably get an update this autumn, if that's any consolation.
Finally, David Price rounds up the new Apple products we expect to see in July 2021, with the caveat that he might be completely wrong about everything.
And that's it for this week. See you next Saturday, and stay Appley!