Apple releases iOS 15.1.1 update for iPhone 12 & iPhone 13 only

The news: Apple just dropped a fresh version of iOS 15…but only for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 devices.

  • “iOS 15.1.1 improves call drop performance on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models” the release notes say
  • Apple has not apparently made any additional changes or fixed other bugs in this latest update

Our take: Hoping to see some additional bugs in iOS 15 addressed in the near future (ex. general stability and less app crashes), as this is an issue I wasn’t even familiar with until now.

Apple launches iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro service program for sound issues

The news: Apple has introduced a new repair program for owners of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro not hearing sound during phone calls.

  • “Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro devices may experience sound issues due to a component that might fail on the receiver module. Affected devices were manufactured between October 2020 and April 2021.”
  • iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max are not a part of the program
  • Users who own an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro that “does not emit sound from the receiver when you make or receive calls” should contact Apple support to get the issue fixed for free

Our take: Apple initially launched the program at the end of the day on Friday, so I waited to publish until the following week when there would be more visibility for the issue. Definitely reach out to Apple if you have experienced this issue. I have not seen this issue on my iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro.

Apple releases all-new MagSafe Battery Pack for $99

The news: Apple just released a new MagSafe-enabled battery pack that attaches directly to the backs of iPhone 12 models.

  • Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack features a total of 2920mAh of juice inside and requires iOS 14.7, which should be launching soon, to work properly
  • The product is available in white only for $99 on apple.com

Our take: This is a wonderful idea and is an instant-cop for me. These are the type of wildly cool MagSafe accessories that I want to see!

Update: As noted by Andru Edwards, there are actually two 1460mAh batteries inside the pack, not just one as we previously reported.

Download the new purple iPhone 12 wallpaper here

The fun: Announced at its April 20 event, Apple has included a new default wallpaper alongside the new purple iPhone 12.

Our take: As a huge fan of Apple’s default wallpapers, I love that the new iPhone has a matching aesthetic to the 5 other models.

Some iPhone 11/12 models are already showing aluminum discoloration

The news: The aluminum finish on iPhone 11 and 12 may not be all that durable, as first reported by Svetapple.

  • The issue, not currently widespread, seems to be affecting the aluminum edges of recent iPhone 11 and 12 models
  • From the images that have surfaced so far, it appears that (RED) iPhones could be disproportionately affected.

Our take: This doesn’t seem to be too pressing of an issue so far, but I’d certainly hope that Apple would provide replacements for devices exhibiting this in under two years. Perhaps in a few months we’ll see a replacement program…

Apple MagSafe smart battery pack may be coming soon

The leak: New code in iOS 14.5. beta 2 reveals Apple could be releasing an exciting new MagSafe accessory soon, as spotted by Steve Moser.

  • A new “Mobile Charge Mode” has been added in iOS 14.5 beta 2 that keeps iPhone charged to 90% when this unreleased MagSafe accessory is attached
  • It is possible this future product could also be an updated version of Apple’s Smart Battery Case with MagSafe support

Our take: Apple has released a Smart Battery Case for the past two years, so it’s reasonable to assume that they will do the same this year. But with MagSafe on iPhone 12, I definitely seem them going the pack route over a proper case.

iPhone 12 Pro’s raw materials cost only $406

The news: The bill of materials for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, which tells us the raw competent cost, has been published by Formalhaut Techno Solutions (via Nikkei Asia).

  • The raw parts of the iPhone 12 Pro are said to add up to $406 USD…and the cost is only a few dollars cheaper for iPhone 12 at $373 USD
  • The most expensive components? Qualcomm’s X55 5G modem and Samsung’s OLED display, both around $90
  • Last year’s iPhone 11 Pro Max saw a higher cost of $490.50, according to TechInsights

Our take: I always look forward to seeing how the numbers change year-over-year, but context is important here: this is how much the materials alone cost for the 2020 iPhones. Manufacturing, assembly, storage, shipping, distribution, advertising, etc. all add significant margins on top of the base cost.

Leather sleeve iPhone 12 cases now available

The news: Apple just released the iPhone 12 leather sleeve cases first previewed at their October special event.

  • Colors include Baltic Blue, Pink Citrus, Saddle Brown and (RED)
  • At $129 USD, the leather sleeve is one of Apple’s more expensive offerings

Our take: I don’t totally understand the appeal of this case, considering it fully covers your entire phone, but it’s finally out for those interested. Now we wait for MagSafe Duo…

iOS 14.2.1 released for iPhone 12 only with MMS text & lock screen touch fixes

The news: Apple just released iOS 14.2.1 in order to address a number of launch issues for iPhone 12 models.

  • Fixes for unreceived MMS messages, hearing devices and Lock Screen responsiveness have all been addressed
  • The update is only available for iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

Changelog

  • Some MMS messages may not be received
  • Made for iPhone hearing devices could have sound quality issues when listening to audio from iPhone
  • Lock Screen could become unresponsive on iPhone 12 mini

iPhone 12 owners report display, SMS & touch issues

The news: While most iPhone 12 users are loving their new mini to max devices, some are reporting issues with strange tinting on the display, missed SMS messages and even when using screen protectors.

  • Gray/green tinting on the display: As spotted by MacRumors, some users are noticing their OLED displays exhibiting characteristics similar to LCD, with an off-putting gray/green tint rather than true black. Apple is currently investigating the issue.
  • Weak touch input on iPhone 12 mini: When using iPhone 12 mini inside a case and screen protector, the device may not be responding to touch as expected, as noted by AppleInsider. Some users say switching screen protectors does not fix the issue, but removing the screen protector entirely does.
  • And lots of intermittent issues with texts: MacRumors says some folks “aren’t seeing SMS messages from friends, are missing text messages in group chats, and…aren’t getting notifications when text messages are incoming.” Some Verizon users were able to fix the issue by installing Message+.

Our take: The only issue I’ve experienced is intermittent notifications for new messages…which is more annoying and makes me look like a bad person because I don’t reply than anything else. Let us know if you have seen any of this!

iPhone 12 Pro Max camera shows mild upgrades in new test

The news: iPhone 12 Pro Max’s upgraded camera system isn’t as wild as Apple suggets, according to YouTuber iupdate.

  • Where the 12 Pro Max shines: in some lower-light scenes, when recording while moving around (sensor-shift stabilization is as smooth as butter), and with the 2.5x telephoto lens
  • Everywhere else, the camera system produces images that look the same as every other iPhone 12 model

Our take: A bit disappointing that the 12 Pro Max is only mildly to moderately better, overall. Thought for sure that the upgrades will be more significant.