iOS 13 and iPhone 11s Have Shipped. What’s Next for Apple?

This week, we saw a lot of articles about iOS 13. Hidden amidst all that fuss, however, were some real gems. So let’s just dig in forthwith. [Tell Bryan Chaffin I used that word.]

More News Debris

• Wired
has an exceptionally sober, balanced and detailed review of the iPhone 11.

Apple’s iPhone 11 Line

• Now that Apple’s September 10 iPhone event is behind us, talk of what might be next has kicked in. Digital Trends gives us a glimpse of what might appear in a possible October hardware event. “Apple October 2019 event: 16-inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and more.

• Meanwhile, 9to5Mac has posted an Apple OS roadmap. “iOS 13.1 and iPadOS launching September 24, tvOS 13 at end of month.” tvOS changes appear to be heavy on Apple agenda. I’ll have more to say later.

• The U.S. Department of Defense has a warning for its iOS users: “iOS 13 Is Here, but the Department of Defense Is Telling People Not to Upgrade Yet.” Subtitle: “In an email, the DOD is ‘strongly encouraging’ its employees and contractors to wait for iOS 13.1.” The concern is that iOS 13 could break some enterprise services.

SSDs are great, but they have a specific kind of problem that can adversely affect longevity. But Samsung research has found a solution. “Samsung has unearthed the secret path to immortal SSDs.

Gotta love that.

• Google has been touting its emphasis on privacy in newspaper ads. But Mozilla/
Firefox says Not really.Firefox calls BS on Google’s full-page privacy ads in the Washington Post.

To be cast out?

• AT&T bought DirecTV in 2015 …

… with high hopes of dominating the pay-TV business using both DirecTV satellite and a new online service based on DirecTV. But AT&T’s total number of video subscribers dropped from 25.4 million in Q2 2018 to 22.9 million in Q2 2019, and AT&T told investors last week that it expects to lose another 1.1 million TV customers in the third quarter.

ars technica has the story. “AT&T considers getting rid of DirecTV as TV business tanks, WSJ reports.” This was an exceedingly dumb purchase by AT&T. It’s nice that Apple has had the sense to avoid such misadventures.

• Finally, back in the spring, we all kinda smirked at the problems Samsung was having with its Galaxy Fold. Here’s an interesting video update. “How Samsung ‘fixed’ the Galaxy Fold.

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

2 thoughts on “iOS 13 and iPhone 11s Have Shipped. What’s Next for Apple?

  • John:

    Although it’s good to know that Apple plan to come out with some new hardware next month, I’ve been looking far more forward to the software releases, at least this year. I’m reminded of an article published years ago in Macworld about that year’s Mac laptop, that this might be the last laptop that one would ‘need’, as in once going beyond these performance specs, one might not be able any longer to see any real world performance boosts. Granted, while the technology has moved on substantially since then, it has mainly been in the twin areas of platform or ecosystem integration (eg Handoff) and security (eg Security Enclave) than it has with the speed of doing mainstream tasks (eg file access, text generation, app performance speeds). Apart from the camera, which is indeed impressive, there is little that separates this year’s hardware from last year’s, at least on the iOS and watchOS sides. I will be upgrading older iPhones piecemeal for the family, beginning with my wife who has an approaching BD, and will do so for everyone else’s next BD (so gift finding problem easily sorted), but will likely hold onto my iPhone X, as it’s still a powerful device whose performance meets my professional and personal needs without compromising security, at least for now. Which leads to the next point; security.

    What drives my willingness to upgrade hardware is increasingly on the security side, more so than on the spec performance side (ie speed, raw processing power), as these latter are harder and harder to discern, whereas security needs to keep pace with global, industry-level and state sponsored-level threats. I’m confident that there is an increasing number of consumers whose thinking is not dissimilar, and Apple and other hardware manufacturers may want to take note. I guarantee you that, if there is a security threat that any of my hardware can no longer be hardened against with a software or firmware patch, but that require new hardware, then I will upgrade in a heartbeat, even if other indicators of performance improvements are non-discernible. I will not do that simply for bragging rights; the hardware is not simply too expensive for that, and I have better uses for both my time and money (like paying off my parental contributions to educational student loans for my kids – oh yeah).

    And speaking of security, what stands out in Jason Aten’s piece on the USDOD warning against upgrading to iOS 13 is the interplay between private consumer vs industry enterprise standards and exigencies for security. Such is the professional and industry – level complexity of security, and the software and hardware requirements to meet compliance with those standards, that we are far, far beyond the day when we can even remotely hope that mere hobbyist and dilettante tinkering, including so-called ‘jailbreaking’, can keep pace or leave our devices, and more importantly the platforms on which we store our data, safe. I find keeping pace with progress within my own profession such a full-time occupation (which it should be) that I recognise that it would be pretentious for me assert that I am keeping pace with security developments at that level with my tech tools. It’s far too complex now, and there are serious plays for compromising that tech by bad guys and state actors at a level that I could never match or even be aware of in real time. I have to rely on industry-standard countermeasures by the tech professionals, be they Apple or third party developers. The best that I can do in 2019 and beyond is to keep pace with the latest developments of tech security hygiene (published guidance), and insure that I am doing due diligence to maintain the security of my devices.

    This puts the burden on both industry and the individual client to read, and accept that there may be differences in security requirements at times for the individual user and enterprise, and for the individual user to make an informed decision on how best to respond to an upgrade, and on fully transparent advice by the tech companies to advise on the risks and benefits for doing so.

    In sum, now more than ever, upgrades in hardware and software is about truly informed consent in making choices that affect our data security. The marginal gains in performance specs is secondary, pending the next paradigm shift, at which point, we all enter another brave new world of uncertainty.

  • With the AT&T / SBC merger some years back, AT&T inherited a good deal of the plain old telephone network that the original AT&T / Western Electric created during your and my life time. SBC made a decision many years ago to only run fiber to a node. Thus you can have for example 4 city blocks served by 1 fiber node, converting fiber to high speed DSL for the individual subscribers. In many of the same areas a cable provider such as Comcast can offer triple play services and AT&T was trying to do the same with fiber to the node / high speed DSL.

    In the process of doing this, AT&T stopped delivering fiber to the node as it became too costly. AT&T had a working relationship with Direct TV to offer video where they could not with fiber or high speed DSL. So, AT&T simply just purchased Direct TV as a stop-gap to offer their customer base video until the implementation of 5G services. It’s assumed that 5G will not only offer high speed wireless for cell phones but will offer home high speed internet to replace current AT&T fiber and their current DSL implementation.

    Remember that AT&T was really only successful at delivering high speed fiber to new suburban sub-divisions. Existing city implementation was spotty at best. So, what was stupid was the fiber to the node concept that actually necessitated the need to offer Direct TV as a stop gap.

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