The Super Bowl, Production Shifts and Bug Fixes for the iPhone 14 Line

The Daily Observations

Apple’s finishing the week strong, based on what we see from the Observation Deck. It’s taken Pepsi’s place as sponsor for the Super Bowl halftime show, and it’s getting Foxconn to shift production to keep up with demand for the iPhone 14 Pro family. The Cupertino-based tech giant is also squishing bugs big and small, and has even more in store for its Apple TV+ lineup.

Apple Music Replaces Pepsi as Sponsor of Super Bowl Halftime Show

Are you ready for some football? Apple Music apparently is. Variety ran a report Thursday saying that Cupertino’s streaming music service is taking Pepsi’s place as the sponsor of the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show. 

Kind of a big deal. Variety ties the news to Apple’s growing interest in sports programming, including streaming Major League Baseball games this year and signing a multi-year deal for the streaming rights to Major League Soccer. Even if Apple had no interest in sports, though, the Halftime Show is one of the biggest advertising platforms around. Variety says the spectacle “draws one of the biggest single TV audiences of the year.” In a prepared statement, Oliver Schusser, VP of Apple Music and Beats, said:

Music and sports hold a special place in our hearts, so we’re very excited Apple Music will be part of music and football’s biggest stage… We’re looking forward to even more epic performances next year and beyond with the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Report: Apple Asks Foxconn to “Dismantle” Five iPhone 14 Production Lines

Apparent support for a story I brought you earlier this week. On Monday, TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo took to Twitter to say that Apple had asked Foxconn to shift some of its line work from the consumer-end iPhone 14s to the more expensive iPhone 14 Pros. Now, “supply chain employees who spoke to ITHome” say that’s a thing that’s happening. MacRumors writes up the story. According to that, Foxconn:

…has been instructed to dismantle at least five production lines that were previously making the ‌iPhone 14‌ in Zhengzhou, China.

Such a move could help allay one fear of at least one Apple watching financial analyst. With wait times for iPhone 14 Pro models slipping into November, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives expressed concern earlier this week that Apple might not have enough units to meet demand this holiday season. 

Big Little Updates for Little Big Things

Apple Issues iOS 16.0.2 to Fix Shaky Camera, Copy/Paste Permissions, and More

Another day of small-ish updates for Apple’s latest hardware. The Mac Observer says Apple has released iOS 16.0.2, addressing a number of issues for a number of iPhone models. 

For Apple’s latest phones, the update’s release notes say iOS 16.0.2 fixes the camera’s rattle and hum in some third-party apps. “Camera may vibrate and cause blurry photos when shooting with some third-party apps on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max,” according to the notes. 16.0.2 will apparently fix that. Other issues hit, according to Apple:

  • That thing where iOS 16 sought user permission every time they tried to copy and paste between apps? It won’t do that as much in 16.0.2
  • Display may appear completely black during device setup
  • VoiceOver may be unavailable after rebooting

And — for phones older than last week, Apple’s note says the update:

Addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone X, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 displays after being serviced

The update is available now in Settings on supported iPhones.

An Early Update for Apple Watch Ultra

Just before iPhone 14 units went out last week, Apple released an update meant just for them. Now, the company’s doing it again for hardware due out today. AppleInsider says Apple on Thursday released watchOS 9.0.1 specifically for Apple Watch Ultra. “It isn’t clear what the update addresses,” according to the report, “but if users want to avoid service issues or other setup problems,” AppleInsider says, “it should be the first thing they do.”

Brand New AirPods Pro Get Day-One Firmware Update

Apple Watch Ultra isn’t Apple’s only new hardware hitting today, nor is it the only new hardware with an update. Another piece from AppleInsider says the second generation AirPods Pro also get a day-one update. According to the report:

The firmware release is 5A377, up from the shipping 5A374 version, and applies to the AirPods Pro 2 only. Previous models will not receive the update.

If you’re wondering what the update does — Apple has yet to say. As for how to get it — be patient. AppleInsider reminds (likely frustrated) readers:

There is no official method to manually update the firmware of AirPods. It installs automatically without any user input. This occurs when your AirPods are connected to an iOS device and are stored in the charging case with sufficient power.

Jerk Email Crashing iOS 16 Mail App on Some iPhones

Despite the spate of updates, there is at least one more thing for Apple to fix. Jeff Butts at The Mac Observer writes up a Mail bat that’s driving people buggy… or… a mail bug that’s driving people batty. Apparently the Mail app in iOS 16 is prone to go crash if the “From” field has certain “maliciously-crafted” text. If the address in the “From” has such text, “iOS 16 Mail will crash every time it sees it.”

The piece says that iPhone 14 models running iOS 16 and iOS 16.0.1 are vulnerable to the flaw. However, Jeff says it looks like a fix is underway in a beta he’s running of iOS 16.1. 

Perhaps not overly helpful if you’re currently stuck with a crashtacular Mail app. However, there is a fix for that available. To get your Mail app working again, TMO says:

Access your email from a device not running iOS 16, such as your Mac or a device on the 16.1 beta. Delete the [troublesome email], and you should be fine going forward.

The piece says you can also “Go to iCloud Mail from a web browser, where you can delete the malicious email.”

Waiting for Things to Watch

Saoirse Ronan to Lead Apple TV+ Film “Blitz”

We’ll wrap the day with a couple of stories tied to Apple TV+. To Variety we go, where we find a lead for the Steve McQueen World War II movie Blitz. Saoirse (sersha) Ronan is set to star in the film, which the piece says:

…tells the stories of a group of Londoners during the aerial bombing of the British capital during the war. McQueen is writing, directing and producing the film, which is expected to begin shooting later this year.

Roles for which Ronan is known include parts in The French Dispatch, Jo in 2019’s Little Women, and the title role in 2017’s Lady Bird.

As for the film’s director, McQueen has helmed such films as 2011’s Shame and 2013’s 12 Years a Slave. He was nominated as Best Director for that one. Though he didn’t win, the film itself did take best picture.

Now word on when  Blitz will hit Apple TV+. 

Deadline: Apple TV+ Nabs Untitled Vince Gilligan Series

And finally today — From “The X-Files” to “Breaking Bad” to “Better Call Saul,” television creative Vince Gilligan is huge, and Apple TV+ is said to have his next series. Deadline says the untitled series is the “biggest TV project to hit the marketplace in quite a while…” Little is known about the show now. According to the piece:

  • “Better Call Saul’s” Rhea Seehorn is set to play the lead
  • Apple has already picked up two-seasons of the show
  • Did I mention Vince Gilligan of “X-Files,” “Breaking Bad,” and “Better Call Saul” fame? 

As for what it’s about, Deadline’s heard hints. The show seems to walk away from the grey-and-darker areas hit by Gilligan’s last two titles. “Compared to The Twilight Zone,” Deadline says:

…the new series is said to be set in our world while putting a tweak on it, bending reality and focusing on people and exploring the human condition in an unexpected, surprising way. Thought-provoking but not a morality tale, the series also is expected to carry the signature Gilligan tone that infuses drama with humor.

No word in the piece on when the show might premier.

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