Apple vs OpenAI

This battle could be a reality sooner than we think.

Good morning! ☀️ *Tim Cook voice*

Apple previewed iOS 17 features, Apple could be competing with OpenAI, Tim Cook’s mistake with the Headset, a new trend in tech, and much more.

Estimated reading time: 4.2 minutes

📊 Poll

Last week, I asked: how often do you upgrade your iPhone..

Here were some of my favorite replies:

“I don't need a new phone every year or 2. I'm good with the iPhone I have until Apple stops supporting it.” This makes a lot of sense. Only upgrade when you stop receiving the new features.

“Every year because I always get a good price selling it/trading it in.” This is the only plausible reason to upgrade every year imo. Mainly selling.

“I used to upgrade every 2 years; however, price increases & less significant changes made me decide to squeeze out more time with the hardware.“ Ever since 2020, this has been a growingly common answer - and I agree with it.

“iPhones are my addiction. I have to have the latest or I go loco” LOL same. Good thing my addiction is also my job

This week: Have you ever used a VR headset? How was your experience?

Have You Ever Used a VR Headset?

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🚨 New Updates Patch Scary Things

Spoiler: Software has bugs

This week, Apple dropped new updates for all of its platforms, but the most notable were iOS 16.5 and macOS 13.4. Here’s why they matter:

iOS 16.5

  • 39 security patches, including 3 that were being “actively exploited”

    • One of these reads “A person with physical access to a device may be able to view contact information from the lock screen” Yikes!

  • News app gets a Sports tab & Following tab

  • New Pride wallpaper (with cool animation)

  • Can now install updates with under 50% battery

  • Several bug fixes

  • Full video covering all changes

macOS Ventura 13.4

  • 49(!!) security patches, including the same 3 that were being “actively exploited”

  • Fixed Apple Watch Unlock for MacBooks

  • Bug Fixes for Safari, Screen Time & more

  • Full video covering all changes

So while the updates aren’t anything ground breaking - we are nearing the end of the iOS 16 lifecycle after all - they are still important updates.

📲 Apple Shows iOS 17 Features

Upcoming Accessibility Features

Apple gave us a preview of some Accessibility features coming with iOS 17 later this year, and the first one is 🤯.

Personal Voice

  • Uses AI & ML to clone your voice in just 15 minutes!

  • Integrates seamlessly with Live Speech, so users can speak with their Personal Voice when connecting with loved ones

  • Game changer for users at risk of losing their ability to speak

The ‘Personal Voice’ feature in action

Live Speech

  • Users can type what they want to say to have it be spoken out loud during phone and FaceTime calls, as well as in-person conversations

  • Can save commonly used phrases to chime in quickly during conversation

  • Huge for those who are unable to speak or who have lost their speech over time

Live Speech

Assistive Access

  • Choose between a grid-based layout or row-based layout for the Home Screen and apps

  • Simple interface with high contrast buttons and large text labels, as well as tools to help trusted supporters tailor the experience

  • Excellent feature for users with cognitive disabilities

Detection Mode

  • Point and Speak in Magnifier makes it easier for users with vision disabilities to interact with physical objects that have several text labels

  • Combines input from the camera, LiDAR Scanner, and on-device machine learning to announce the text on each button as users move their finger across the keypad

  • Amazing feature for users who are blind or low vision

And there are several other Accessibility-focused features that Apple mentions in this press release! Awesome stuff!

🥳 ChatGPT is iOS Official

After thousands of knockoff ChatGPT apps made their way into the App Store, OpenAI has finally launched an official ChatGPT application for the iPhone!

I’ve been testing it out for a bit and I must say, it’s better than I thought. Here’s why:

  • Voice-to-text using Whisper

  • Haptic feedback with generated responses

  • Lock Screen widget for quick access

  • Clean interface with a history tab, delete chat, etc

  • Very, very fast. Somehow seems quicker than the web version

Download it on the App Store (US only), and expect an app review video on my YouTube channel soon.

🥊 Apple vs OpenAI

If the launch of ChatGPT on the App Store seems a bit late and… random, it’s because it is. And the alleged reason why has me excited.

According to the WSJ, Apple restricted the use of ChatGPT and other external AI tools for its employees, as Apple develops similar technology.

Apple is concerned about the leak of confidential data by employees who use the AI programs and has also advised its employees not to use Microsoft-owned GitHub's Copilot, used to automate the writing of software code.

Wall Street Journal

So this practically confirms that Apple is indeed working on a generative AI tool! This is huge news, and something I’ve been waiting to hear for the past 7 months.

Now, the big question is: Would this be an extension of Siri?

Because we know that engineers behind the scenes do not like Siri and the limited functionality. So do they move on to something else and leave Siri be, or do they supercharge Siri with a ChatGPT-style generative AI model?

This will be fun to follow, and we might get an answer as soon as June 5th, during WWDC 2023.

💀 This Trend is Back

The $169 Beats Studio Buds+

The new Beats Studio Buds+ were just released and while the buds have improved a lot internally, it’s impossible to ignore the massive change externally as well.

That’s because this new “transparent” color is the latest, in what seems to be, a new trend in tech.

First (in my recollection), was the Gameboy. And then, more recently, it was the Nothing phone, which was followed up by the Nothing Ear (1) earbuds.

And now, Beats has done something similar with their latest set of earbuds.

What do you think of this shift in design? I honestly love it. I think it’s fresh and different, especially in a day & age where “different” is hard to come by.

Thoughts? Vote below and let me know if you’d like to see a transparent iPhone one day!

Are You a Fan of the Transparent Design?

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🕶️ Tim Cook’s Mistake

Mark Gurman just put out a new piece that details the long history of the Apple headset and the major challenges it is still facing. It also details how Tim Cook’s hand-off approach might be a mistake.

  • Key Apple execs including Tim Cook, Craig Federighi & Johny Srouji have kept their distance from the mixed-reality headset throughout its development process - and employees are not happy

  • The headset has faced a series of setbacks and compromises

Apple began considering building a headset around 2015. It started with other products, including Samsung’s Gear VR and the HTC Vive, as the foundation for its own prototypes and experiments, giving demos to top executives and board members.

Cook was adamant in his preference for augmented reality, preferably in the form of lightweight glasses. “Nobody in here—few people in here—think it’s acceptable to be tethered to a computer walking in here and sitting down. Few people are going to view that it’s acceptable to be enclosed in something, because we’re all social people at heart.”

Despite his strong views, Cook wasn’t deeply engaged in the specific design of the headset, say people who have worked with him. This was notably different from Jobs, who was famous for imposing his strong design sensibilities onto Apple products, down to the feel of a touchscreen or the shade of blue used in a Mac app icon.

Cook, in contrast, made his name overseeing operations and has never been known as a “product guy.” His more distant approach was consistent with his role in the development of the Apple Watch and AirPods.

“The closest Cook gets to product development is a demo,” says one of the people. “But even then, he’s not the type of guy who says it should do X and not Y. He’s the complete opposite of Steve in terms of having strong opinions on the minutiae.

Still, some people involved in the headset project say Cook’s relative noninvolvement has been more consequential this time, given the stakes—the budget has exceeded $1 billion annually, with more than 1,000 engineers dedicated to the project—and the extent to which the direction of the project has changed.

His approach was sometimes perceived as indecision, leading to delays and concerns about obtaining sufficient resources. “Tim didn’t throw his weight around the project at all, and this frustrated people,” says another person who worked on the project.

[..]

One open question is how people who buy the device will use it. “It was very clear what the iPhone and iPad would do, but the watch meandered all over the place,” a person with knowledge of the product says. “The headset will be similar, but there is hope that third-party apps will save it.” (One internal presentation suggested that people will wear the headsets to parties in the physical world, interacting with people through the external devices.)

Apple is already engaging with software and game developers, as well as other entertainment companies to have content ready once the device goes on sale.

When Cook makes his pitch in June, he’s unlikely to dwell on how much Apple’s headset resembles the bulky ones he criticized at the outset of this process. Still, having something to sell is just one of the necessary steps along the way to finding what works, says one person familiar with the project. “You land a beachhead, and improve on it.

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

June 5th can not come fast enough because at this point, I have more questions than I’ve ever had for any Apple product. Ever.

🎨 Set Wallpaper

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🫶 Reader Love

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You guys are too kind 🥹

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Until next week, ✌️

PS: If you want to see this week’s iOS Weekly episode early, here you go!

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