Technology

What's Up With Apple: Rumors Abound, No Image Scanning Yet, and More

While we still do not know the exact date for the expected Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) event to launch the new iPhone and a variety of other products, that has not stopped the rumor mill from shifting into overdrive.

Last week’s big newsmaker was satellite capability that would allow people who got lost tramping around in the back of beyond where there is no cell service to send a text or even make a voice call via satellite to get help. In his Sunday newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said it won’t happen:

While some have speculated that the functionality will show up this month with the iPhone 13, I’m told we won’t see the features go live until next year. That doesn’t mean hardware support won’t be embedded this year, but don’t expect your iPhone to save your life for at least several more months.

The other much-discussed item that will not be announced at the event is Apple’s planned software feature for scanning photos uploaded to iCloud for child sexual abuse material (CSAM). On Friday, the company said in a statement to TechCrunch, the feature would be delayed:

Last month we announced plans for features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material. Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.

Releasing bad news on a Friday before a long weekend is a time-honored way to making sure that as few people as possible see it.

Apple did not anticipate the negative reaction from privacy groups that virtually unanimously spoke out against the CSAM feature. The company was planning to make a change that would affect millions, perhaps billions, of people “and was doing so without external public input about possible ramifications or necessary safeguards.” It’s not often that Apple is this tone-deaf.

If you have purchased an iPhone 12 in the 10 or so months since Apple released the device, you might be surprised to learn that the company now refers to the iPhone 12 as a “legacy” device.

MacRumors reported Tuesday morning that Apple updated a filing with the Federal Communications Commission for its MagSafe charger. The new filing doesn’t assign model numbers to the expected iPhone 13, but MacRumors inferred that “Apple may have needed to retest the charger as per FCC regulation on the new iPhones, given their stronger ‌MagSafe‌ system than the 2020 lineup.”