Apple Car Development Accelerated, Qualcomm Could Soon Rival Apple Silicon, More

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In case you missed events and exciting news from the world of Apple this week, check out this roundup of top stories, so you’re all caught up with everything Apple.

This week, we saw speculation from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggesting that Apple could have kicked the Apple Car’s development into high gear under Kevin Lynch’s leadership. The Cupertino company also announced a Self Service Repair program for tinkerers comfortable with repairing their own iPhones. Apple was also caught buying Google ads for subscription-style apps to drive up ad prices for developers and leech its 30 percent revenue off of subsequent purchases.

Mark Gurman reported that Apple is shifting the Apple Car development into high gear under the leadership of Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch. He is the fifth to take charge of the project and has reportedly set an internal target of launching a car with full self-driving capability by 2025. Safety, however, remains a key priority.

The Cupertino company has reportedly reached “key milestones” in developing the autonomous driving system and has completed “much of the core work.” Gurman revealed several details about the Apple Car project, including rumors about its processor, its interiors, hiring efforts, and new ties with supply chain partners for the product.

apple car interior

At its investor day event, Qualcomm revealed plans to release its next-generation ARM-based SoCs to rival Apple Silicon’s performance. Besides PCs, the chipmaker intends to optimize the architecture to work with mobile devices, vehicles, and data centers. It also promised desktop-class performance with its Adreno range of GPUs.

However, it remains to be seen if Qualcomm’s foray into PC chips will live up to the hype. Notably, its 8cx processors and partnership with Microsoft for the SQ1 and SQ2 chips failed to enter the computer chip industry. We are hopeful because Qualcomm acquired Nuvia this year, a company founded by ex-Apple engineers who worked on the A-series chips.

Much to developers’ chagrin, Apple was reportedly caught secretly buying ads for expensive subscription-style apps this week. Moreover, Google won’t delete these ads because Apple doesn’t violate any policies buying them. Developers are complaining that advertising prices rise when multiple parties bid for the same ad slots. The iPhone maker’s ads direct unwary Safari users to the App Store instead of the developers’ sites.

Developers suspect Apple wants to funnel users to the App Store and make a 30 percent commission off subsequent customer purchases. Apple quickly defended itself against these allegations and dismissed them as a mischaracterization. It claimed that developers were aware Apple was running the ads for them. The brand also noted that developers appreciate the “support” it provides.

This week, Apple launched the Self Service Repair program for individuals skilled in electronics repair so they could access Apple’s repository of manuals, parts, and tools to repair their devices. The company claimed that when the program launches next year, customers will be able to choose from over 200 parts and tools to fix the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13’s most common issues, including batteries, cameras, and displays. Macs will be added to the list soon. Despite this, Apple urged the average consumer to seek repair from skilled professionals.

However, a recent survey of 2,000 Apple customers from the last year in the US suggested that a mere six percent of them had damaged the display to the point of interoperability, and just 14 percent reported severe battery degradation. This indicates that the Self Service Repair program may not help as many people as initially expected. The program could benefit older iPhones, but Apple hasn’t revealed when or if it will add support for them.

iPhone Self-service repair survey

Apple Music’s feature that closely resembles Spotify Wrapped was back in the news this week. Apple Music Replay 2021 will show the top 100 songs you have enjoyed this year. It can sort your taste in the form of playlists, albums, and by the artist. Interestingly, unlike Spotify Wrapped that is available for a brief period every year, Apple Music Replay is available throughout the year on the platform’s website.

To check out what you have been listening to on repeat, visit music.apple.com/replay and sign in with your Apple Music account. Your Replay playlists should be listed under the Listen Now tab. You can also see your Replay playlists dating back to 2015 when it launched or whenever you started using Apple Music after that.

Apple Music Replay 2021 screenshot

Other Top Apple Stories This Week:


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