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Apple Loop: iPhone 6S Reviews, Embarrassing Bugs Stop iPhone Updates, The Many Secrets Of iOS 9

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Forbes’ review of the iPhone 6S, a round-up of other iPhone 6S and 6S Plus reviews, thoughts on the ‘incremental’ aspect of the ‘S’ updates, the hidden features of iOS 9, the speed of the iOS rollout, issues with the iOS 9 update, the update of Microsoft Office for Mac, details on WatchOS 2′s release, and the story behind Apple’s San Francisco font.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read our weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

iPhone 6S And iPhone 6S Plus Review Round-Up

Looking around the internet, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus have both picked up critical acclaim. While the design remains the same as last year’s release, the inclusion of 3D Touch, improved camera hardware, and beefed up specifications has contributed to a handset that will likely be Apple’s best-selling smartphone, even if the overall package is very similar to the iPhone 6.

The expectation in an odd-numbered year is for an ‘S’ handset that is a refinement on the previous year’s model and 2015 is no exception. That said, the 6S and 6S Plus bring with them enough new features to help the two smartphones stand out, namely the 3D Touch interface, the improved camera, and the increase in hardware specifications.

My round-up of online reviews can be found here on Forbes.

Apple iPhone 6S (image: Ewan Spence)

But Is It More Than An Incremental Update?

The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are just incremental updates on last year’s design. That’s the easy answer, but Jon Gruber has another idea. He argues that the ‘S’ handsets are when the engineers get to advance their ideas on a two-year cycle that is offset by twelve months from the designers cycle signified by the cardinal model number:

Instead, I think what’s obvious is that knowing the basic industrial design at least two years ahead of time gives the engineering teams inside Apple an opportunity to make significant changes to the components and the materials used to construct them. The timeline for iPhones, because of the massive scale at which they must be manufactured, is such that, right now, as I’m typing this, the design for next year’s iPhone 7 is either locked down or very close to it. The company will now spend the next year hustling to make it work and put it into production so it can start shipping a year from now. But that means there are also teams already at work on the iPhone 7S slated for 2017 — and they have a massive head start in terms of knowing the shape and dimensions of the device.

Gruber’s full analysis of the iPhone 6 can be read at Daring Fireball.

Apple Could Have Made A Better iPhone 6S

You can read my review of the iPhone 6S here on Forbes. Apple has certainly improved on the iPhone 6 and there are a number of features that show the future direction of the platform, but part of me thinks that Apple could have made far more advances than it has done in this ‘S’ update.

…would I recommend the iPhone 6S? Yes I would. It’s a competent smartphone, it has a huge ecosystem that remains compatible with it, and there is an assurance that support from the manufacturer and the developer community will always be there.

Do I think this is the best iPhone that Apple could make right now? No. I think Tim Cook is holding back, delivering just enough to get the sales and the forward momentum, but not really pushing hard to redefine the smartphone experience. Apple is in the business of iteration, and the iPhone 6S iterates just enough and advances just enough to maintain its place in the smartphone world. That it will be...