Samsung introduces pair of Studio Display competitors at CES 2023


Samsung’s two new Studio Display competitors



The Samsung ViewFinity S9 and Smart Monitor M8 are both new 27-inch monitors introduced at CES 2023 as competitors to Apple’s Studio Display.

Samsung has introduced a handful of new monitors during CES 2023, with a few targeted directly at potential Studio Display customers. The 5K ViewFinity S9 and 4K Smart Monitor M8 are both 27-inch monitors with Apple-like design and functionality.

The ViewFinity S9 is optimized for creative professionals like graphic designers and photographers. It has a 5,120 x 2,880 resolution with a P3 color gamut.

In addition to the existing Samsung Smart Hub functionality, the Smart Monitor M8 can act as a SmartThing Hub. It will soon be updated with Matter functionality, though it isn’t clear how this will affect Apple Homekit users.

AppleInsider will be covering the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in person on January 2 through January 8 where we’re expecting Wi-Fi 6e devices, HomeKit, Apple accessories, 8K monitors and more. Keep up with our coverage by downloading the AppleInsider app, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos throughout the event.





iPhone Self Repair Program, Twitter, Studio Display webcam ‘fix’ – Apple’s April 2022 in review







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In April 2022, while most of the world’s attention was on Elon Musk buying Twitter, Apple quietly launched its self-service repair program, and Apple may or may not have fixed the Studio Display‘s webcam.

If you don’t happen to know this already, you’ve just seen it in action in April 2022. There is a Goldilocks pricing strategy where a company will sell something at three different prices.

It’s similar to how Apple has promoted good, better, and best options before. But the first price is very low so that Apple or whoever can claim that they offer an affordable product.

The company has worked it so that no one buys this cheapest option, and if anyone does, they find out it’s lacking something vital. Then there’s the middle price, which is expensive but has what most people need.

And then there’s the most expensive one, but its only real purpose is to make the middle one seem cheaper. The company knows few people will ever buy the top-price version, but it’s hardly any skin off the company’s nose if they do.

In April 2022, Apple launched its promised self-service repair program, but its purpose is to achieve many things other than being a repair service. There will be people who buy or rent its toolkit to make repairs on their iPhones, but very few.

Instead, the program answers Apple’s critics, giving the appearance that it’s given a victory to Right to Repair fans, though it’s really made it harder for them to protest. It’s also got Apple ahead of likely new legislation, too.

But the biggest thing it’s going to do is take its place in the Goldilocks price range. Seeing the cost and then the complexity of any repair job you can do with it, most people will instead send their broken iPhones to an Apple Store.

Depending on what’s wrong with the iPhone, some people may just buy a replacement. Apple can live with that.

Apple's new self repair program toolkit. If only it were available in blue.

Apple’s new self repair program toolkit. If only it were available in blue.

Apple still fixes things itself

Quite apart from the issue of what you can repair in an iPhone, what it will cost, and whether you’ll ever bother, April also saw Apple doing a fix. The promised software update for the Studio Display came. The one Apple let us believe would fix that monitor’s webcam problems.

Now we’ve got the release, everyone’s noticing in retrospect that Apple had stopped short of actually promising a fix. Instead, Apple just said it would look at the problem and improve the situation.

Looked at from that way, the new update did the job. The webcam is improved.

It isn’t fixed, though. And now we see that it never can be — because people’s complaints about its quality are caused by the physics of what lens Apple chose to put in there.

Apple's Studio Display

Apple’s Studio Display

It is better now, and the webcam isn’t horrendous, and Apple has always used poorer FaceTime cameras, but it doesn’t seem to stop people from buying Macs. But this is a case where Apple’s original hyperbole about the quality of every aspect of Studio Display has led to disappointment.

Smaller launches and un-launches

That Studio Display was a big launch for Apple in March 2022, and it got a lot of fans as its shipping slipped on into April. But for April itself, Apple did make a few smaller launches, all of which were lighter than the 79 pounds of the self-repair service toolkit.

Whereas for businesses, Apple launched a webinar to help people take up its new Apple Business Essentials. It’s Apple’s mobile device management program and if you thought about it at all, you’ve figured it’s Apple’s competitor to Jamf.

You would be wrong. Not because Jamf says no, no, it’s fine, but because it’s actually Apple’s competitor to Jamf — and also its replacement for Fleetsmith.

You haven’t heard of device management service Fleetsmith, and now it’s too late.

Take a look while you can, this is Fleetsmith, Apple's previous device management service

Take a look while you can, this is Fleetsmith, Apple’s previous device management service

Apple bought it in 2020, and in April 2022, announced that it was ending. If you’re using it, you’ve got until October to high tail it out of there, and if you’re not, you can no longer join up.

If that was Apple’s un-launch for the month, YouTube beats it with how thoroughly it unlaunched iPhone Picture-in-Picture after an extended beta test. But then said it hadn’t ditched it, we would all be getting it in days.

Having an App Store award won't keep your app on the store if it hasn't been updated lately

Having an App Store award won’t keep your app on the store if it hasn’t been updated lately

Apple, for its part, chose to tell developers that they had 30 days to update their old apps or they would be pulled from the App Store. Then after a lot of protests, Apple said okay, okay, call it 90 days.

In comparison, one event this month went according to plan.

Elon Musk buys Twitter

First he came for some Twitter shares, and we said nothing. Then he became a Twitter director, and we said nothing — except “pardon?” when he changed his mind about that.

Elon Musk doesn't hang about

Elon Musk doesn’t hang about

Maybe it’s just that Musk finally visited the director’s canteen and decided it had to be improved. Or perhaps he was always working to a plan, because after the shares and director shuffle, Musk announced he wanted to buy Twitter outright.

There was a corporate “poison pill” legal and financial trick used to make him change his mind, but as interesting as the details were, they didn’t work.

The Twitter directors who were so against him buying the company that they concocted this poison pill legal approach are now fulsomely welcoming Musk.

Musk says he believes Twitter shouldn’t limit free speech. So he came for Twitter, and we can say anything.

Exit Apple, stage right

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter has already seen high-profile tweeters leave the service. It’s seen low-profile, and even vanished, previous tweeters come back.

Apple is quite keen on this privacy idea

Apple is quite keen on this privacy idea

Sometimes only temporarily, sometimes only briefly, but Musk is changing what people think of Twitter and what they want it to be.

Similarly, Apple presumably wanted the State Privacy and Security Coalition (SPSC) to be what it claimed, an advocate for privacy. In April 2022, Apple said no, this group is pushing for poor legislation that offers at best weak privacy.

It was a simpler time

Privacy does seem to have been a concern for Apple since its very founding. But Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak doubtlessly never expected to be running a TV station, not least one with critically-acclaimed shows.

They also couldn’t have spent a lot of waking hours worrying about it, as by April 2022, Apple would be involved in far more legal cases than it has currently-shipping products.

Equally, Tim Cook and the rest of today’s Apple executives would be forgiven for thinking fondly of the past. And this month, two things happened to help them.

Apple Museum Poland was announced in April 2022 and reportedly is home to 1600 items related to the “history and development” of Apple products.

If Cook and co can’t go to Warsaw to see the museum’s collection, it won’t be because they can’t afford the airfare. But even as preparing for June’s WWDC might be keeping them busy, any Apple executive with a long memory — or you — can now relish a glimpse of the past.

The good old days. If only real 1990s Macs booted this quickly

The good old days. If only real 1990s Macs booted this quickly

Developer Felix Rieseberg launched the ability to run fully-working versions of Mac System 7, and Mac OS 8, in a web browser. Honoring the production schedules of times gone by, Rieseberg said the release was part of #MARCHintosh2020, but brought it out on April 1.

No fool, his version of a Mac emulator brought many a user back to the 1990s, and distracted us from waiting for May 2022.

2022 in review



Pro Display XDR update with Apple Silicon one of many in-development monitors


Apple’s Pro Display XDR





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Apple’s next monitor releases will include an update to the Pro Display XDR, with multiple screens allegedly in development that will use Apple Silicon to improve performance.

When Apple introduced the Studio Display, it included an A13 chip to handle features such as Center Stage and Spatial Audio processing. For Apple’s follow-up monitor launches, it will employ the same principle.

Apple has multiple new external displays in development, so says Mark Gurman in his “Power On” newsletter for Bloomberg, with the list including an update to the Pro Display XDR. While details of the model’s specifications aren’t mentioned, Gurman does admit it is possible the screen could ship after the launch of a new Apple Silicon Mac Pro, as the computer is further in development.

The Pro Display XDR launched in 2019 at the same time as the current Intel-based Mac Pro.

The new monitors will include Apple Silicon in some form, the newsletter continues, in the same fashion as the Studio Display. The chip handles processing of display-related tasks, taking part of the workload off the connected Mac, as well as enabling some extra features.

In the Studio Display, this included handling Center Stage, a feature that automatically zoomed and reframed the built-in webcam’s video feed for FaceTime calls, so that the user was always in frame.

Along with a new Pro Display XDR, the Studio Display could be joined by the previously-rumored Studio Display Pro, which is speculated to have a 27-inch display using mini LED and ProMotion. However, while it was speculated in May to launch in October, that launch did not materialize, making early 2023 more plausible.



Apple invents a unique lighting system for Foldable Devices that implements separate brightness controls for the 2 Display Halves


 

While Patently Apple has posted many reports on foldable devices over the years, as seen in our archives, it took until March 2021 before an Apple patent clearly spelled out the fact that one of their future foldable devices would in fact be a laptop. Apple clarified that point in 19 out of 20 of new patent claims that our report highlighted.

 

On Thanksgiving, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled “Systems and Methods for Brightness or Color Control in Foldable Displays.”

 

Apple’s patent covers systems and methods for brightness or color control for a foldable display to mitigate image artifacts due to viewing conditions of different areas of the foldable display.

 

Electronic displays may take the form of foldable displays. Foldable displays may fold or roll up to take a variety of shapes. For example, some foldable displays may have a hinged region where two areas of the foldable display can fold inwards and/or outwards. This may give a foldable display capabilities not possible for a flat display.

 

For instance, foldable displays, when in a folded state, may utilize the top half of the display to display media content (e.g., mobile applications, videos, websites) and utilize the bottom half of the display as an input medium (e.g., using a touch-based keyboard or trackpad), to display a logo, to display date and time information, or to display other information.

 

If a foldable display utilizes a constant brightness setting for the entire display regardless of whether the display is folded, different areas of the folded display may have different normal (perpendicular) axes of light emission. That is, one area of the folded display may be folded to point toward a person’s eyes while another area is not.

 

In some types of displays, the apparent luminance of the display will depend on the angle of emission, relative to the display normal direction (perpendicular to the display surface). In these cases, the “on-axis” light emission that is emitted in a normal direction can be noticeably different than “off-axis” light emission at some other angle (e.g., 45°). In a display that is not flat, a person may see more light coming from the area of the folded display that is folded to point toward a person’s eyes, even if both areas of the of the folded display have the same amount of on-axis light emission.

 

This may affect not just the brightness, but also the color, viewed from the different areas of the folded display. This is because different color components (e.g., red, green, or blue display pixels) may emit more or less light off-axis in relation to on-axis.

 

The difference in brightness or color between two folded areas of the foldable display could produce an image artifact, as the user expects reasonably constant viewing characteristics. Viewing the foldable display in a dark room or low-light setting could amplify this effect. Thus, the ability to adjust the brightness of foldable displays can enable an improved viewing experience for the user and provide a power saving benefit.

 

To reduce power emission and adjust brightness of the foldable display, the foldable display may implement separate brightness control algorithms and/or driving architecture for different portions of the display, such as each half of the display for a display that folds in the middle.

 

For example, when a display is folded the top half of the display may display media content and the bottom half of the display may function as a keyboard or other input medium. Under some conditions, particularly during low light conditions, display viewing experience may be impacted. The display may implement different special modes (e.g., pre-adjusted or dynamically adjusted settings based on environmental conditions) for different folded areas of the display (e.g., when the folded display is folded in half, each half of the folded display may have different settings), to aid in ease of viewing experience. For example, during a low-light or nighttime scenario, the display may apply a color shift mode (e.g., Night Shift® by Apple Inc.) that involves dimming down blue light for the top half of the display.

 

As noted above, the color and luminance of the foldable display relative to the viewer may also be altered based on viewing angle and viewer eye position. This can lead to a lower quality viewing experience for the user based on fold angle of the display and/or the viewer’s eye position relative to the display. The ability of eye position to be tracked and/or determined can enable foldable displays to dynamically adjust luminance and color output to enable an optimal viewing experience for the user.

 

In one example, the eye position relative to the display may be determined by a camera, proxy sensor, a face recognition system (e.g., Face ID® by Apple Inc.), folding angle of the display, or any other eye tracking method.

 

The luminance and/or color of the display may then be adjusted utilizing an algorithm taking into account fold angle and viewer eye position to adjust for optimal viewing conditions. The luminance and color of the foldable display may also be adjusted by the system by utilizing fold angle data and an estimated eye position in situations where an eye tracker component is not available.

 

Apple’s patent FIG. 7 below is an unfolded view and folded view of an inwardly folding display; FIG. 8 is an unfolded view and folded view of an outwardly folding display.

 

2 apple patent figs 7  8  20 and 222 - Patently Apple report nov 24  2022

 

Apple’s patent FIG. 20 above is a diagram illustrating a method of manual color and luminance compensation for the foldable display; FIG. 22 is a diagram illustrating a foldable display that may perform semi-automatic and automatic color and luminance compensation.

 

For more details, review Apple’s patent application number US 20220375388 A1

 

Apple Inventors

 

Shatam Agarwal: Display Analog/Mixed-Signal Architect

Hyunsoo Kim: Display EE Engineer

Henry Nho: Sr. Engineering Manager / Principal Engineer

Mahdi Baroughi: Display Electrical Engineering Manager

Hoon Kim: Product Design / New Technology (Special Project Group)

 

10.51FX - Patent Application Bar





Save $100 on Samsung’s Odyssey Ark 55-inch 4K 165Hz Mini-LED Display




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Samsung’s new (and drool-worthy) 55-inch Odyssey Ark 4K Gaming Monitor can be preordered today with a $100 discount.

The Odyssey Ark can be reserved for $3,399, thanks to a special $100 instant rebate available during the preorder period.

With a 165Hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.14 technology, the high-end Odyssey Ark is built for gaming consoles and gaming computers. The 55-inch curved mini-LED display offers an immersive experience that is sure to enhance your current setup. And with Flex Move Screen and Ark Dial, you can adjust the screen position and ratio (16:9 > 21:9 > 32:9) quickly and easily.

To unlock the $100 rebate on the Odyssey Ark display, head over to Samsung and complete the reservation form.

Additional Apple deals

Best Apple prices

Want to save some dough? There are plenty more deals going on today in the Apple space, including exclusive discounts on the new M2 MacBook Air. Here’s an overview of the special offers running this August:



Apple considered edge-to-edge iPod nano display years before iPhone X




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Apple considered an all-screen iPad nano more than a decade before it launched an iPhone with an edge-to-edge display — and years before even the first iPhone was released.

Tony Fadell, the former senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division, posted an image of several different iPod mockups to this Twitter on Monday. Fadell shared the images ahead of the launch of his new book, “Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making.”

According to the former Apple SVP, the mockups were 3D printed dummies that allowed staff to have “something to hold in your hand.”

“Creating a model is a way to trick your brain, to jumpstart your imagination – once you make it physical, once you see & feel it, you can start to picture how it will become part of your life or your customers’ lives,” he wrote.

The team behind the iPod nano explored virtually every possibility, Fadell added — “what if the screen was this big? What if the wheel was that big? What if there was no wheel?”

Apple released the first iPod nano in 2005, three years before the first iPhone and 13 years before the edge-to-edge iPhone X. Although it never released an edge-to-edge display model of its popular music player, Fadell’s images show that it at least considered the possibility.

Fadell said his book contains an entire chapter about the design of the iPod nano. The book goes on sale on May 3.



Studio Display issue prevents some owners from updating their monitors




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A number of Apple Studio Display owners are having trouble updating their monitor’s firmware, with some asked to take their $1,599 screen in for servicing.

The Apple Studio Display is unusual for a monitor, as it uses iOS as its operating system to function. Like other Apple hardware, it can be updated with new firmware, but some users are encountering issues when trying to do so.

Posts on the Apple support forum reveal a number of people who cannot perform an update of the firmware. In some cases, users see the message “Apple Studio Display firmware update could not be completed. Try again in an hour. If the problem persists, contact an authorized Apple service provider.”

Others have also seen that the firmware installation is attempted, but it only completes the “Preparing” phase partway, and not concluding.

In one instance where a user attempted to contact Apple for support, they were informed to take the monitor to their local Genius Bar to try and force the update. However, they were quoted a turnaround time of between 24 and 48 hours for the fix, rather than an expected quicker resolution.

Some posts on the Macrumors forums discussing the issue believe the problem could be a server-side issue, since it relates to failed downloads of the software. One user claimed an attempt by a Genius Bar employee to update a demo Studio Display in their local Apple Store also failed to update.

Apple has yet to officially comment on the problem, but a server-side issue would presumably be one that could be fixed without any further intervention by users.

The ability to update the monitor is important, as new firmware can be used to fine-tune features, fix bugs, and add new elements. For example, the webcam quality of the Studio Display have been attributed to a software bug, which could be fixed as part of a software update.



Boot Camp updated to support Apple Studio Display




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Intel Mac users who run Windows on their Mac can now update the drivers in Boot Camp to enable support for Apple’s Studio Display.

Apple updates Boot Camp periodically to introduce support for new hardware, along with typical compatibility and performance improvements. In a March update of the software, Apple has enabled Boot Camp to work with the new Studio Display.

The update that brings Boot Camp to version 6.1.17, spotted by Reddit, introduces two key elements of support. First, it adds compatibility for the Studio Display, ensuring Intel Mac users running Windows can still use the monitor without any issue.

The update also includes AMD graphics driver updates, changes that will be especially useful for eGPU users.

Boot Camp, Apple’s software for running Windows on Mac hardware, is available to use on Intel-based Macs. Apple Silicon Macs can run Windows within a virtual machine in macOS, meaning support for the Studio Display will be available by default so long as macOS is up to date.

While the Studio Display will work on Windows desktops, macOS-specific features like Center Stage for the webcam won’t function.



Apple unveils all-new Mac Studio and Studio Display





iPhone 13 Pro Max has world’s best smartphone display, according to DisplayMate


Display technology expert DisplayMate on Tuesday issued an in-depth evaluation of Apple’s top-tier iPhone 13 Pro Max, finding the handset’s 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion technology is the best in the industry.

After thorough testing, DisplayMate’s Dr. Raymond Soneira determined iPhone 13 Pro Max’s screen to set or match 12 display performance records including color accuracy, brightness, contrast ratio, screen reflectance and visible screen resolution. The results earned the handset DisplayMate’s highest overall assessment rating, a grade of “A+” and the publication’s Best Smartphone Display award.

In lab testing, iPhone 13 Pro Max measurements were “green” across the board, meaning each metric earned “very good to excellent” ratings. Categories evaluated include image quality, viewing angle, absolute color accuracy, image contrast accuracy, performance in ambient light, brightness, reflectivity and more.

Six measured attributes — absolute color accuracy, shift in color accuracy, maximum color shift, contrast accuracy and intensity scale accuracy, shift in image contrast and intensity scale, change in peak luminance — were “visually indistinguishable from perfect.” The handset also set a record for peak brightness at 1,050 nits for average picture level calculations.

“The iPhone 13 Pro Max joins the very select Top Tier of Smartphone Displays which all provide Close to Text Book Perfect Calibration Accuracy and Performance that is Visually Indistinguishable From Perfect, so they all received and maintain Concurrent DisplayMate Best Smartphone Display Awards,” Soneira said.

Since making the switch to OLED screen technology, iPhone has consistently received industry accolades for class-leading panel quality. DisplayMate previously awarded its Best Smartphone Display award to iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone XS Max.

The latest top-tier iPhone 13 Pro Max introduces Apple’s ProMotion dynamically variable refresh rate technology to the iPhone lineup, promising smooth graphics and new levels of power efficiency. When announcing the device earlier this month, the company touted the Super Retina XDR display’s improved peak brightness, enhanced color fidelity and additional viewing area thanks to a 20% reduction in TrueDepth “notch” size.

Apple’s continuing work on camera systems is also paying off, with DxOMark lauding the iPhone 13 Pro’s improved video capabilities in a report today.