AWT News Update: October 12, 2015

After a long weekend, the AWT News Update returns with news of the A9 chip manufacturing controversy that wasn't... and more:

  • It doesn't matter who made the A9 system-on-a-chip that's in your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. Really.
  • iOS 9.1 is getting closer to release with the release today of beta 5.
  • releases an updated list of iOS 9 Safari content blocker apps.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 12, 2015. I’d like to apologize for not publishing the News Update last Thursday and Friday. Due to issues beyond our control, we were unable to complete the podcast recording on time.

There’s been a lot of controversy about the fact that Apple used chips sourced from two different vendors — TSMC and Samsung — in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. What started the controversy was testing done with the popular Geekbench app that showed a significantly lower battery test score for the Samsung chip than for the TSMC chip. Apple responded almost immediately that the Geekbench app does not test real-life usage and that the company only saw 2-3% differences in battery use in their testing. Now Ars Technica has conducted controlled battery life tests on two iPhone 6s models, one with the TSMC A9 chip and one with the Samsung model. The results were exactly what Apple had predicted, with the battery life being extremely close for both chips under real-life conditions. When the Geekbench Battery Test was conducted, the Samsung chip caused 28% less battery life. The moral of the story? Your battery life won’t vary more than 2 to 3% if you’re using a Samsung chip rather than the one from TSMC. Don’t sweat it.

Although it seems like Apple just released iOS 9.0.2, the company is getting close to releasing iOS 9.1. The new version is going to have compatibility updates for the new fourth-generation Apple TV and soon-to-arrive 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Since the latter device has two accessories that are integrated deeply into the operating system — the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil — the 9.1 release will be required before the company can ship the big iPad. 9.1 also includes support for Unicode 8, which means that we’ll finally have support for important emoji like the taco, burrito, unicorn head, cheese wedge and middle finger. Expect to see iOS 9.1 in late October.

Shortly after iOS 9 appeared, a few content blockers or ad blockers became available, with apps like Purify and Crystal taking an early lead. Now Apple fan Carlos Oliveira and Apple site have created and published a list of 27 content blockers, along with information on whether or not they’re free and if they allow you to create your own whitelist so that your favorite sites — like Apple World Today — can still show you non-obnoxious ads. That list can be found here.

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.