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Over the past ten years, Apple’s iPhone has become the company’s most valuable —and recently, somewhat volatile— asset. Since its introduction in 2007, the iPhone helped to jumpstart the smartphone revolution, and with it came some big innovations. The App Store, touchscreen gaming, the mass adoption of social media, and protecting user data with biometrics. Its product lineup is enmeshed in Apple’s ecosystem, and the impact that it continues to have around the globe is vast.

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Temu dominates app download charts even as US lawmakers reportedly float import ban.

China hawks in Congress are concerned that shopping giant Temu has not done enough to ensure it’s not working with suppliers using forced labor. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) is among those pushing to list Temu as a violator of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which could effectively ban its imports, The Information reports.

Meanwhile, the Chinese e-commerce app sits among the top free apps on iOS and Android.

X is starting to roll out search filters.

Premium users on iOS will see the feature first, according to X designer Andrea Conway. The feature will let you sort through posts based on the date, language, location, and more.

Image: Andrea Conway via X
The App Store verification prompt in iOS 17.4 is just a bug.

Earlier today, iSoftware Updates (via MacRumors), spotted a new prompt in the iOS 17.4 beta 4 that asks EU users to “verify the information before installing” an app on the App Store. However, Apple spokesperson Peter Ajemian tells The Verge the feature is just a bug, and it will be disabled before iOS 17.4 rolls out.

Update February 23rd, 3:16PMET: Noted that this notification is a bug.

Apple dominates top 10 best-selling smartphone list.

We already know that Apple dethroned Samsung by selling the most phones globally in 2023, now we can see the model mix according to data compiled by Counterpoint Research. Samsung’s lucrative flagship phones were a no-show on the list, with only mid-range devices taking up the bottom three positions.

Is the iPhone 16 getting a redesigned camera module?

Leaker Majin Bu has shared an image of what they claim is the new camera module on the iPhone 16. This design appears to stack the camera sensors vertically, similar to the module on the iPhone 12. The leak lines up with some other recent rumors, too, which also indicate a shift away from the diagonal camera placement we’ve seen on the last few iPhones.

Here’s the cost of running Death Stranding on the iPhone 15 Pro.

Digital Foundry takes a look at Death Stranding’s performance on Apple’s iOS and macOS platforms. The iPhone 15 Pro version takes a hit, DF says, with performance issues and smeary, low-resolution rendering.

That’s been my experience with other recent iPhone console ports, like Resident Evil 4 or Village, but if you own an M-series Mac, the iOS version ends up being a happy bonus, since Death Stranding supports Universal Purchases.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon deal with Samsung will continue, and Apple’s licensing arrangement now runs through 2027.

Qualcomm’s Q1 2024 earnings presentation has wrapped up, with revenue of $9.9 billion and net income of $2.77 billion that’s up compared to last year.

But more notably, analyst Ben Bajarin points out that execs revealed Apple extended the licensing deal they signed in 2019 for an additional two years. It now runs through 2027, aligning with reports that Apple’s own 5G modem tech isn’t ready, while Samsung has added “several years” to a multiyear deal for Snapdragon chips in Galaxy phones.

Slide from Qualcomm presentation announced it has extended a Snapdragon platform agreement with Samsung.
Qualcomm Q1 2024 earnings presentation slide
Image: Qualcomm

Arc Search combines browser, search engine, and AI into something new and different

‘Browse for me’ is the new search engine, at least if The Browser Company is right about the future of the internet.

The Verge
Apple’s new default browser prompt for EU market iPhones will have a dozen options.

Among iOS 12.4’s DMA-mandated changes, there’s a prompt to pick a default web browser the first time people in EU markets open Safari after they upgrade.

9to5Mac reports that, according to Apple, options will include the top 12 browsers for that country, presented in random order.1 It also has the lists for each country, so Luxembourg users, for example, should see Aloha, Brave, Chrome, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Edge, Firefox, Web@Work, Onion Browser, Opera, Safari, and AI Search Assistant.

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It looks like Apple is testing more AI features.

Code in the iOS 17.4 beta suggests Apple is experimenting with a SiriSummarization framework that uses the ChatGPT API to summarize text and answer questions, according to findings from 9to5Mac.

However, 9to5Mac notes that Apple likely won’t use ChatGPT to power its upcoming AI features, and is likely just using it for testing purposes. Ajax, the codename for Apple’s rumored in-house AI model, also makes an appearance in the code.

The iOS 17.4 beta also includes a small emoji update.

MacRumors points out that today’s beta release of iOS 17.4 with EU-required sideloading also includes several new emoji characters. A head shaking horizontally, a head shaking vertically, a phoenix, a lime, a brown mushroom, and a broken chain were approved by the Unicode Consortium last fall and published as part of Emoji 15.1.

Emojipedia’s renderings of what some of the new emoji in Emoji 15.1 might look like.
Emojipedia’s renderings of what some of the new emoji in Emoji 15.1 might look like.
Image: Emojipedia

The Verge’s favorite mobile phone gadgets

We talk about the cases, chargers, and other gadgets we use with our phones.

Here are the features Apple didn’t announce in the WWDC keynote

Here’s everything we could find for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch that didn’t get screen time.

The Verge
PSA: Update your Apple devices now to avoid known exploit.

In case Apple’s new security features weren’t reason enough to update to iOS 17.3 and iPadOS 17.3, Apple has also confirmed that it addresses a WebKit vulnerability that “may have been exploited” in the wild, alongside other security updates. Its macOS 14.3 and tvOS 17.3 updates include a similar fix, and there are also fixes for devices stuck on older versions of macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. Get updating!

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You can AirPlay what’s on your Vision Pro to an iPhone.

Or iPad, Mac, or any AirPlay-enabled device, including smart TVs. According to Apple’s website, the Vision Pro will support 720p AirPlay mirroring, however earlier on Friday, it said it would support 1080p AirPlay.

Correction, Friday, January 19th, 2023, 8:11PM ET: The description on Apple’s website changed after this post was originally published, and it has been updated to note the new resolution listed.

Microsoft ended Friday as the world’s most valuable company.

The company’s valuation surpassed Apple during trading early Thursday, though Apple took the top spot at the end of the day. However, Microsoft won the day yesterday with a market valuation pegged at $2.89 trillion (versus Apple’s $2.87 trillion).

This all happened, as Tom Warren wrote for The Verge, against a backdrop of floppy iPhone sales and Microsoft’s aggressive moves with its Copilot AI features.

Keep an iPhone or iPad close by if you’re ordering a Vision Pro online.

If you’re spending $3,499 to be one of the first 70,000 or so people with Apple’s Vision Pro, we can probably assume you own a recent iPhone. But just in case, 9to5Mac points out details from an Apple email explaining the online ordering process.

Despite rumors of required in-store appointments for face scanning, it looks like Apple will let you use FaceID on another device to judge the fit requirements and provide a current prescription if you need the $149 vision-correcting lenses.

Have an iPhone or iPad with Face ID nearby. When you order Apple Vision Pro, you’ll need to scan your face with an iPhone or iPad with Face ID. This helps us determine the right size Light Seal and head bands, which work together to give you a precise fit. Make sure your Apple Store app is up to date. For the face scan, you’ll need the latest version of the Apple Store app, which became available on January 11.
Apple Vision Pro pre-order instructions
Image: Apple email