Welcome to our monthly Apple News Roundup. This column recaps the top 10 biggest Apple news announcements from each month. This edition features the highlights from August of 2021.
1. Apple adds Chinese maker, Luxshare for iPhone 13 production
Chinese electronics maker Luxshare Precision Industry will build up to 3% of the upcoming iPhone 13 series. To date, Luxshare has made AirPods, as well as haptic engine modules, camera modules, and metal frames for iPhones. Luxshare is slated to start building the iPhone 13 series this month.
2. Apple to begin scanning iCloud photos for child abuse images
Apple will roll out a new technology that will allow them to detect and report known child sexual abuse material to law enforcement. Apple states that this is one of many new features aimed at better protecting children from online harm. The service will include filters to block potentially sexually explicit photos sent and received through a child’s iMessage account.
3. Big upgrades are coming for the next iPhone’s camera
Reportedly, Apple is planning to add a video Portrait mode with several video and photo updates for the next iPhone. One of the features called Cinematic Video will allow users to record videos with portrait blurring effects. There will also be a new filter system that will allow users to choose from several style options such as color and contrast that will use artificial intelligence to make changes.
4. Apple selects 15 Black and Brown-owned businesses to work on environmental solutions
These green technology and clean energy businesses are joining Apple’s inaugural Impact Accelerator, which is a part of the company’s Racial Equality and Justice Initiative. The program was designed to help combat barriers to opportunity and advance innovative solutions in communities most impacted by climate change. The 15 businesses from across the US share a focus on bringing clean energy and opportunity to vulnerable and underserved communities.
5. New Apple Music Milestones feature allows artists to celebrate with fans
Singers can now share their achievements with their fans through Apple Music’s new Milestones feature. The feature allows artists to share on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram Stories. Possible Milestones may include a new song being added to the A-List Pop, played over 20 million times, or receiving one thousand Shazams, for example. Images of the artist’s achievements will also be displayed on the Artist’s iOS overview page with suggested marketing text and a share link.
6. Apple reverses controversial changes to iOS 15
After listening to consumers, which the company is not traditionally known for, Apple recently reversed controversial changes to the iOS 15 Safari browser on the iPhone. For iOS 15’s release this year, Apple planned to make some of the biggest changes ever to the design of the Safari web browser on the iPhone—starting with moving the address bar from the top of the screen to the bottom. Following mounting complaints about the new design interface, Apple made the new design an “option” in the settings app, and now offers users two distinct interfaces.
7. Apple celebrates America’s national parks
In celebration of the US National Park Service turning 105, Apple donated $10 for every Apple Pay purchase at apple.com, in the Apple Store app, or at an Apple Store in the US to the National Park Foundation through August 29. Customers learned about America’s parks through an Apple Watch Activity Challenge, and explored parks through special content collections available on Apple Maps, in the App Store, the Apple TV app, and more.
8. Apple is rumored to be developing Apple Car with Korean partners
Apple has been reported to have discussed possible partnerships with a wide range of established carmakers including Hyundai/Kia, Nissan, BMW, and Canoo. Apple is recently said to have moved its talks to South Korea as the company had “advanced meetings” with SK Innovation, the EV battery-making of SK Group, and LG Electronics. It is however still unclear as to what Apple plans to create or launch with its Apple Car project at this time.
9. Next Apple Watch release may be delayed
The next Apple Watch release is said to potentially be delayed due to manufacturing issues. Reportedly, the delay is due to complexities in the smartwatch’s new design which is rumored to include flat sides and bigger screens. According to reports by Nikkei, production has been “temporarily halted” while Apple and its suppliers work to solve the manufacturing issues prior to mass production.
10. Apple announces $30 million in commitments for its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative
Apple’s latest commitments to its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) include a partnership with California State University that supports students, innovators, and advocacy organizations. Among the new projects include a Global Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Equity Innovation Hub and expanded education initiatives for community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs.) These new commitments build on Apple’s $100 million initial investment in REJI.