Ian Zelbo (twitter.com/ianzelbo) is an editor at Apple Track. He is also a concept creator best known for his digital renders for the Front Page Tech YouTube channel. In addition to working with Front Page Tech, Ian has collaborated with various content creators. His work has been featured in CNET, Forbes, Gizmodo, MacWorld, Mashable and Wired.
Ian’s take: This is certainly an interesting rumor. I am absolutely a fan of Apple adding options for users that want a larger screen but don’t want to spend upwards of $2500 to get it. Having the option for an M2 Pro chip in this thinner and lighter machine is very intriguing, but I worry it may encroach on the 16-inch M2 Pro MacBook Pro coming later this year…
According to Apple, the feature allows for payment using “contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets through a simple tap to their iPhone — no additional hardware or payment terminal needed”
Along with using credit and debit cards with an iPhone, the feature also allows for iPhone to iPhone transactions with no additional hardware
In a video shared by Michael, a customer is making a payment by taping their iPhone onto another…what we are seeing in the video is likely the unreleased Tap to Pay app (it features the same design as shown in the press release)
Ian’s Take: This is very cool to see Tap to Pay in person! While most didn’t bat an eye when it was announced, I think it will be a massive deal in the future. Any person with an iPhone, without any additional hardware, will be able to pay and be paid with just a tap: imagine the possibilities for small businesses!
The proposal states that all smartphones, tablets, and headphones that are sold in the UK must use a USB-C connector
EU politicians have petitioned for a standard connector, citing that more than 11,000 tonnes of unused charging cables are thrown out per year
USB-C is already on a number of Apple devices such as Mac, iPad Pro and iPad Air…plus the benefits include faster charging and transfer speed
Ian’s take: While this is exciting news, I’m not that confident in its validity. We have heard from many sources that Apple’s long-term goal is a portless iPhone, and if they do make the switch to USB-C, it would only be for a few years (something uncharacteristic for Apple). I also believe that the Made For iPhone program (MFI) has a massive role in Apple’s persistence to keep Lightning. MFI is a licensing program that guarantees the compatibility of accessories with iPhones and gives accessory makers tools to make these accessories. When one of these millions of 3rd-party products is sold, Apple gets a cut. With USB-C, they could not have this program because USB-C is a universal connector, unlike Lightning. It would be fantastic if Apple switched to USB-C, and while I can’t see it happening, I would love to eat my words.
AirPods Max were first announced in December 2020, and no updates have happened since then
Ian’s take: I am excited to see the new colors on the AirPods Max! It has been really quiet on that front for a number of months now and I’m ready for something fresh. I would expect Apple to use the same colors of the new iPad Air, but nothing concrete has been reported yet. AirPods Pro 2 are also coming this Fall!
Ian’s Take: Finally! We have been hearing about these updated AirPods Pro for years, with sources constantly disagreeing on release. I am confident that these will release this fall: 3 years is a long time between releases (original AirPods Pro users are already struggling with battery health). This is going to be an exciting fall!
The rumor: iPhone 13 models have a strange design inconsistency…but that could be changing on iPhone 14, as noticed by render artist Ian Zelbo..
There is a quirk with the iPhone 13 Pro design: the radius of the phone’s corners do not match the radius of the camera bump (obviously, an odd decision for a company like Apple, who is known for their cohesiveness)
Ian’s Take: Finally! As soon as the iPhone 13 Pro came out, I noticed the uneven radius of the camera module and the device’s frame. I am not only excited that Apple is addressing this design quirk, but the more rounded design looks fantastic. My insanely detailed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro will release first on the Front Page Tech YouTube channel.
iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro – close up comparison, iPhone 14 Pro is in front
Ian’s Take: Every year, analysts say that under-display Touch ID is coming…but then always end up saying that it is happening in the following year. I would love for Touch ID to be reintroduced as I still have trouble unlocking my phone while wearing a mask, but we shouldn’t hold our breath, according to Kuo.
Miani took the wiped SSD from the second machine and inserted it in the open slot on the first machine, but the Mac’s status light blinked SOS and it wouldn’t boot up
He then swapped the SSDs between two Mac Studios and found again that neither would boot
In a disappointing move, it appears that Apple has locked user-upgradability in software (the device recognizes the SSD, but Apple stops it from booting)
Ian’s Take: After Apple’s announcement that they were going to allow users to repair their iPhones with genuine Apple parts, I had hoped that Apple would allow upgradeability. While I am disappointed in this move by Apple, it is certainly not without precedent. Apple currently solders the SSDs in all of their other computers with Apple silicon making upgradability impossible. In the Mac Studio, the SSD isn’t soldered and could be upgradable…but Apple has locked it in software.
This is a clear message to me that Apple doesn’t care about the right to repair. Hopefully, if Apple receives enough backlash, they will change this (it is, after all, only software). One can only hope that Apple’s upcoming Mac Pro is upgradable, or pro users will certainly not be happy.
The video: While not technically user-replaceable, in a surprising move, Mac Studio’s solid-state drive (SSD) is not soldered, according to YouTube channel Max Tech.
Taking apart the Mac Studio is a dangerous ordeal with an exposed power supply…but there is a removable SSD…a first for Apple Silicon
It was assumed that the SSD would be soldered, but instead it is a simple connection covered with tape (there is also an extra slot on the opposite side for future upgrades)
Apple says that the Mac Studio features non user-accessible storage, but it is very possible that authorized providers could offer upgrades in the future
Ian’s Take: While Apple didn’t go as far as making the SSD user-replaceable, this is a step in the right direction. When Apple first unveiled its plans for Apple silicon, many assumed that nothing would be user-replaceable and everything would be soldered. While that has been true for all Apple silicon Macs so far, even the Mac mini, the Mac Studio changes this. While this removable SSD does not tell us much about the Mac Studio, it could give us a peek at the upgradable future of a more modular Apple Silicon Mac.