What the new iPhones mean for Microsoft Office

Not a lot, to be honest.  Everyone seems to have an opinion about the new iPhones so I’m joining in from the side-lines with some comments and a little reality check on some especially silly remarks from Apple.

iPhone 14’s have two different but faster chips which means Word docs, PowerPoint decks and especially Excel sheets should also be faster to open and use.

The Apple announcement was slick and well-rehearsed.  As usual, there are too many unsubstantiated statements.  In particular the slides that say  “Best battery life ever in an iPhone” and “Faster than all the competition” which may be true but have no facts to support and could have been copied from any past iPhone presentation.

There are four new iPhone models

  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus

which have the A15 Bionic chip … not the latest Apple processor but the same as in the current iPhone 13 Pro.  Both are really minor upgrades from iPhone 13 compared to the Pro models …

  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max

A lot of the ‘new features’ you’re hearing about are limited to the Pro models.

All new iPhones on sale (iPhone 12, 13 and 14 plus iPhone SE) are all 5G mobile network capable.

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eSim only iPhones – beware

There’s no physical SIM tray in US models of the new iPhones. The only way to connect to a network is with a downloadable, virtual eSIM . That’s good for Apple and mobile network carriers but perhaps not so good for customers.

eSims can be very useful but without a physical SIM tray it also becomes a way for mobile carriers to lock iPhones into their network.

eSIMs give more network flexibility because six or more virtual SIMs can be saved, depending on the device. You choose which ones are active for calls/SMS and the network to use for Internet access.  Meaning you could use a cheaper network for data while keeping other phone numbers available for calls and texts.

However, no option to add a physical SIM will severely limit choices for adding a local or cheaper connection.

Apple says “Traveling is a breeze. Before you go, activate an eSIM for the country you’re visiting” In 2022 that’s nonsense.

As a regular traveller and holder of many SIM cards, I can tell you that eSIM’s are nowhere near as common as Apple pretends.  On a personal level I have four SIM cards (Australia, US, UK and Europe) and none of those major carriers have an eSIM option. In the UK now, only three networks offer eSIM’s with at least a dozen others who do not, including some major providers. One UK provider (Three) trialled eSIM’s but has stopped the test entirely, which doesn’t look good.

Even when a network does offer an eSIM option, it’s usually for post-paid or contract plans, not prepaid plans more commonly used by travelers.  Many of the cheaper MVNO’s don’t have eSIM’s at all.

US customers might want to think twice before spending big bucks on a phone they can’t use when overseas without high roaming charges.

We’ll see more widespread use of eSIM’s in years to come, but we’re nowhere near that point yet.  For anyone roaming Planet Earth, a SIM tray is still essential.

The Dynamic Island

The front facing ‘notch’ is necessary to reveal camera lenses and other front sensors without taking up too much space.

The Dynamic Island is Apple, making a virtue out of a necessity.  It’s a new notification pop-up that appears around the notch area, in effect disguising it.  If you look carefully at the notifications, you’ll see they appear around the camera lens notch.

The camera notch only (top) then two dynamic island notifications around it (bottom two). Source: Apple.

Satellite SOS

Emergency SOS is interesting, let’s see how well it works in practice. 

Some media coverage talks about “sending texts via satellite” however that’s not the whole story.  Only limited emergency messages can be sent.  They are received by a relay centre which passes the text onto the appropriate emergency service.  The phone has to be manually pointed at a compatible satellite and connection established before the special text is sent.

Source: Apple

This is free for the moment (starting November 2022) but after two years will be a paid extra.

Find my Phone also works with the satellite connection but only if the user connects to a satellite. Someone ‘off the grid’ can update their location via satellite so their friends know where they are. In other words, it won’t find an iPhone that’s lost in the wilderness.

Quite possibly, it’s the start of a move towards more satellite connections in future iPhones, as both ground and space-based technologies improve.

Camera improvements

Better f-stop options and software mean that better low-light shots are possible.

The Pro cameras will have a 48mp RAW mode.  The files will presumably be HUGE because unlike JPG photos, RAW photos are not compressed.

Also new is the “Photonic Engine” …  wasn’t that in an old Star Trek episode?😁🖖

Action and Cinematic Modes

Action mode keeps the image stable while you’re moving.  It looks like a Steadicam for mere mortals.  You’ll be able to remake Kubrick’s The Shining (one of the first uses of Steadicam) with an iPhone <g>.

Cinematic mode makes videos which change focus as you move.

Videos can now be recorded at 4K resolution @ 24 frames per second. People over a certain age will remember that’s the usual speed of a film projector.

Crash Detection

Crash Detection looks interesting. The idea is that the iPhone detects when there’s a car crash and will call the emergency services if you don’t respond.

Source: Apple

It’ll be interesting to see reports of Crash Detection wrongly triggering like a roller-coaster or dodgem cars <g>. According to Apple, Crash Detection works like this:

Source: Apple

For the official blurb on the new iPhone 14 range go to https://www.apple.com/iphone-14/

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