Transcript of Macworld Podcast episode 819: Apple 2022 year in review
RL: In this episode of the Macworld Podcast, we’ll go over some of the highlights and lowlights for Apple in 2022. It’s the year in review coming up. Stay tuned.
RL: Welcome to the Macworld Podcast. I’m Roman Loyola [RL] here with Jason Cross [JC].
JC: Good morning.
RL: And Michael Simon [MS].
MS: Hello, sir.
RL: So since it’s the end of the year and it’s also a slow news time of the year.
MS: Apple released Apple Music Sing today. That was big news on Macworld.com.
RL: But yeah, we’re going to take this opportunity to do the usual end-of-year topics and today we’re going to do the year in review. Overall, going through and trying to see what happened during the year, major announcements, I had this feeling beforehand, but it kind of reaffirmed to me that compared to the last couple of years–it was kind of a regular, ho-hum year.
MS: Particularly with the Mac, it started out really strong. We got the Mac Studio, which is the first new Mac in I don’t know how many years, but a long time. And the redesigned MacBook Air, which was great. And then nothing. Like literally nothing.
JC: Well, yeah. Studio Display, first monitor in a million years.
MS: Yeah, right. So, all of that came in March and then July or June, July brought the MacBook Air redesign and the M2 chip. Then the whole second half of the year, it was like absolutely…
JC: Yeah, everyone expected MacBook Pros with the M2 Pro and Macs and Ultra and stuff.
MS: Maybe a Mac Pro which they teased in March but we didn’t get it.
JC: Yeah, and all that stuff’s been apparently delayed till the spring at least, just supply shortages and all that other stuff. I still think that’s a pretty good Mac year. First all, the new Air is great. The M1 was already a good chip, but that old design really needed, improvement to giant bezels and stuff. So yeah, that’s great. That’s my favorite Mac. Mac Studio was a giant surprise. Everybody knew a Mac Pro was coming at some point. And we were all thinking, oh, when there’s going to be like a bigger iMac, like Apple’s silicon iMac and something added, and then out of nowhere, they’re like, surprise, like, super powerful, tiny, like small form factor PC.
MS: That rumor, I remember it was like three or four days before the event started to kind of pick up the display and they didn’t know at the time what it was going to be called, that it was a real powerful tiny Mac for your desktop.
JC: Like two or three Mac mini stacked on top of each other kind of thing. And it’s like, yeah, we had no idea. And I thought that was like a real kind of resurgence for the Mac in a lot of ways, because certainly the M1 iMac, as it is now that 24-inch size M1 iMac and the Mac Mini, those don’t really satisfy all the desktop users. Then there’s this wide gulf to the Mac Pro, this huge gap because they made the Mac Pro such a high-end, huge high-end machine. Yeah, it filled in that gap for it, really.
MS: Yeah, the Mac Studio with an Ultra is, as it stands faster than the Mac Pro, that’ll change once it gets Apple silicon, but yeah, for two, three, $4,000, which is, that’s a significant investment, but not out of reach for smaller creative type to development studios. You can get a real powerful machine.
JC: Even just the one I have is the entry level, right? But for somebody who doesn’t, need or want a laptop, they don’t want to pay for a battery and a screen and all that other stuff. There was just nothing in that range. It’s relatively affordable as Apple stuff goes. Yeah, I thought a tremendous product. I thought the studio display was the one that had me scratching my head. They put like a whole iPhone in it. It’s got all this storage.
MS: Touch display. It’s like an iOS device.
JC: Yeah. It has no power button or other physical controls of any kind. I understand the camera and speakers aspect, but it’s got all this storage it doesn’t need and it doesn’t have display stuff it should have. It has no HDR, high refresh rate. They made weird choices with that.
MS: It kind of died out, but when the reviews came out, the camera was basically trashed and Apple kind of fixed it, but then people said they didn’t and then we haven’t heard about it since and I don’t have one to know if it’s gotten any better, but I doubt it. It’s just an inferior camera in an expensive display and you get 5K, but no one really needs 5K. 4K would have been fine, chop 300 bucks off. It is, you’re right. It’s a weird…
JC: And we do need HDR, right? We do need HDR and variable refresh rate would be nice for creatives, but we didn’t get those. Yeah. So 4K HDR instead of 5K. It’s the old eight-year-old iMac 27-inch panel. It’s essentially that panel just with the brightness cranked up a little bit. Yeah, it seems like everything was a new, better version of something we had.
MS: Yeah. Apple Watch Ultra falls absolutely into that category where there’s a lot of new stuff there. The design is different, the display is different, the action button is total but it’s still just kind of a variation on a theme, filling a niche that the Apple Watch might not have felt. Good price, 800 bucks I thought.
JC: I was shocked.
MS: For what it is. That’s a solid price. They had it for a 730 over Black Friday which is I mean that’s – if it wasn’t such a big watch, like if it was a 45mm, I might have considered it. It’s too big for me. I just don’t like that type of watch. It isn’t for me. Even though I wouldn’t – regardless of how small it is, I don’t use three quarters of it. What I would really want is the battery life. My biggest barrier to using an Apple Watch every single day is the fact that I constantly I had to take it off my wrist to charge it. The Apple Watch Ultra gives you 36 out of the box and then you can even push that to 60. That’s acceptable. I have an SE1 that I really want to use every day and I just can’t because I take it off, I put it on the charger and then I forget to put it back on for a day and a half. Happens all the time.
JC: What other hardware was interesting this year? We got some, I think, like the M2 update to the iPads was uninteresting. The 10th gen iPad was, I thought, a disappointment, just because…they introduced it, it’s the 10th gen iPad, but they introduced it like it’s a new in-between product. They kept the 9, they raised the price a lot, and then they had that complete wonkiness with the pencil support and stuff like that. I love where they put the camera and then everything else about that, I’m like, no, it just feels greedy.
MS: Well, it’s fine. So the 10th gen iPad is a fine product. It’s not a $449 product is the problem if it was $399, if that was a regular $399, we’re looking at a complete effect. I wrote a deal today was on sale for $399 and at that price point, it’s way more understandable. That $50 puts it from maybe to don’t even consider it.
JC: Yeah, and they could have gotten rid of the 9th gen. It’s still cheaper but like that, they could still – it would be cheap enough that they could have gotten rid of the 9th gen and it would be clear. This thing where they keep the 9th gen around and they have the 10th gen and they both use the old pencil and then there’s the–it’s just kind of a mess. I feel like just get the Air.
MS: And the 9th gen is still a very popular product. So I understand why they keep it around. So drop that price to $299 and make the new one $399. You have to price it far enough away. $399 and $329. So the 9th gen I pay $329, if they price the 10th gen at $399 that’s not enough.
JC: I think the ninth gen iPads popular because it’s the cheapest one and people just want a thing. But they got to get rid of it. They got to get that out of the lineup. They’re sticking around with that stupid old design from a decade ago. It’s got to go. I was excited that they could get it to go with a new design and then they made the new design too expensive and kept the old one around. I’m like, oh, what are you doing?
MS: That’s what we were expecting. When we we heard rumors about the 10th gen iPad for a long time that it would kind of be an iPad but not and this and the home button is moving and I’m sorry, an iPad Air but not. We thought alright, maybe $349, maybe they raised it a little bit. That’s fantastic but then $449 is like well, wait a minute, that’s way too much. And I’m sure at some point they’ll tweak that pricing but I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody. The mini at that price, the mini is $499, the Air is $599 and I know that’s $150 more but you’re getting so much of a better tablet for your money there.
JC: And then if you want to use the Apple Pencil, you have to do all these dongles and stuff. So yeah, so that was a swing and a miss for me. The new Apple TV, I think was fine. There was nothing wrong with the old one, but what I love about it is, I mean, it’s smaller, it has no fan. You couldn’t hear the fan in the old one or anything. Yeah, nobody knows because it barely moves. What I love about it is they did the right thing, which is they dropped the price and they dropped it a lot. The new one with twice the storage of the old one is cheaper. They did get rid of the ethernet port unless you buy the more expensive one, but you can actually even buy the more expensive one for $20 less than the old cheap one.
MS: The top of the line Apple TV 4K is the same price as the Apple TV HD from earlier this year which is…that’s a massive price cut. No one should have bought but I’m sure people did because they didn’t know. But now you can spend 150 bucks, get 128 gigs of storage which you don’t need, an ethernet port which you might need, a Thread support and if you have a Samsung TV, HDR10 support. And a new processor. And there’s a million things better about it than that Apple TV HD from just a couple months ago. So yeah, that’s a rare home run for Apple in the pricing department.
JC: To be clear, that’s HDR10+. HDR10 is what everybody’s got.
JC: Sort of, yeah. It’s like less good Dolby Vision and they won’t ever do Dolby Vision because they invested in this.
MS: I have a Samsung TV and it’s annoying.
JC: Yeah. And there’s some stuff they didn’t do. They should have had HDMI 2.1 and something. It’s fine, whatever. For what it is, it’s fine. They still do need an Apple TV– they You need a streaming device that is less than $100. All the competition is still way cheaper, but they’re moving in the right direction big time here. When this thing is a year old and it goes on sale, it’s going to be… You’re able to buy one for $20 or $30 off on sale. It’s going to be a great deal. Yeah.
MS: For $99 to $100, which is close already. It’s on sale on Amazon generally like $125 which is only a few dollars less but you know, you knock 20 percent off that which it often goes on sale. The old one was on sale for $100. That’s what I bought. I bought the second gen for or third gen, whatever the one from last year was. Yeah, so it was 80 bucks for the 32 gig which is like that’s just that’s an impulse buy that you just don’t get with Apple products very often. And you know, so I don’t have the new chip. I don’t have the HDR10 Plus support, but I got the new remote, which is fantastic. If you are even considering the Apple TV at all, the new remote is so much better. It’s become my main remote now. It’s that good.
JC: So the other hardware, the other hardware sort of thing for me was the new AirPods Pro, I thought was very better than I thought it would be. Disappointing to me that they didn’t really adjust the design at all. I think the whole touch controls on the stem is like bad design and awkward to use. It’s like one of those things that’s quote cool, but it’s actually worse to use than just like a button or even just tapping. But they did a lot of nice little things with it and the sound quality is like a big boost. And the noise canceling is a big boost and, the battery life is a big boost and everything about it is considerably better. And they didn’t rocket the price up or anything like that. So yeah, I thought the new AirPods Pro was a successful update, let’s call it.
RL: Apple unveiled their self-repair program.
JC: Oh yeah.
RL: For the iPhone.
MS: I wonder who’s doing that. It’s cool that they have it and they kind of have no choice but to have it, but it’s an investment in time and money and everything else that just bring it to an Apple store and get it fixed. My son over the weekend has he has an iPad Air and he dropped it and it shattered into a million pieces the screen. And like the first thing I did was I checked Apple. It was literally the day. Like, I’m not kidding. Had he dropped it on Monday, it wouldn’t be covered. Like, it was Sunday was the end of his AppleCare. But I wonder, like, so if it was Monday, like, would I have gone through that whole rigamarole and gotten the screen and well, I don’t think I even can for the iPad. But it’s a whole thing. You have to rent stuff and get stuff and it screws and it’s a…I think it’s a very small specific portion of the market that’s going to care enough to do that at home. But it’s cool that it’s there.
JC: The number of people or even percentage of people who are going to go through any of that is nothing. It might as well not exist. But it’s more important to me that part of doing this is also designing their products to be repairable. If we’re going to have to offer a kit, then our next thing can’t have so much glue and all this other stuff that we can’t. I think that’s more important. Then this is nice for those independent repair shops that they just have to buy official parts. They can get official tools. They’re not just going with third party tools that maybe don’t take the screen off properly. or whatever. They can get Apple stuff and for them, it’s an investment, but if this is their business, then it’s a no-brainer. It’s actually cheap for them. I think it’s a step in the right direction just in terms of making these things easier to repair and keep longer instead of having to trade them in. But I don’t think anybody’s going to do it themselves. I think this whole thing of of them doing it. You’ll hear from every single one of them. Every single one of them is going, to contact us, tweet at us or whatever at this podcast. Every single person who would do it. I would do that. We’ll hear from all 20 of them. There’s a billion iPhone owners.
MS: There are some videos. You know, right after it launched, like, you know, well-minded tech people who tried this out and even they were like, this is hard.
JC: You know, the iPhone this year was weird for me in that this is a little bit true every year but it was more true this year. It felt like the Pro was the only new device.
JC: The regular iPhone more than previous years felt like he didn’t get anything. It actually did get slightly better cameras. It got like the previous year’s Pro’s cameras, but it didn’t get hardly anything while the Pro got always on display and the Dynamic Island and, even newer cameras and that 48 megapixel camera. There’s no wonder the Pro model is the one that’s in demand. It got the new processor. The regular 14 got last year’s processor, but just the Pro version that has the extra GPU core. But everything about the 14 just felt like the least they could do to change the number on it. And all the cool new stuff is in the Pro. Honestly, it’s still really good. The regular iPhone 14, it’s still good, just like it would have been great to buy an iPhone 13. It’s still a really good phone.
MS: Yeah, it got, you know, emergency SOS. Satellite was like the biggest feature, which the kind of thing like alright, I mean, I hope I never actually have to use that, but I guess it’s nice to have crash detection. The plus is the big one there. So last year, there was the mini, the last two years was a 13 and 12 and a 13 mini, 5.4 inches. And it was, you know, a small, really the only small phone on the market. And everyone thought like, okay, this is like, this is the niche that everybody wants and then nobody bought it. So now Apple went the other way, came out with a 6.7 inch non-pro iPhone 14. And it appears as though nobody wants that either, because I don’t think that’s selling very well either. Yeah, 900 bucks.
JC: The other thing people liked about the Mini is it was by no means cheap, but it was cheaper. It was the cheapest new iPhone you could get, the cheapest like new model with the new stuff. and they replaced it with one that’s more expensive.
MS: Yeah, it was $699. The 13 mini when it was new was $699. Now it’s $599 because they knocked a hundred bucks off. But yeah, so it starts at $899, which is a lot. And you’re not getting much. You’re getting a bigger screen and you’re getting better battery life. That’s it. Other than that, it’s the same as what the 14 mini would have been.
JC: I think globally, it’s the right move to have small and big, to have regular and big instead of regular and small. But what people really want, what globally sells so well are cheap big phones. So having the more expensive big phone is the wrong way. But maybe this is just part of a longer term strategy because they build these devices and the bodies and, the design form and everything and then they can kind of get used for a while. They keep selling them the next year sometimes. So maybe what we’ll see is, two years from now, they’ll still be selling a 14 plus, $300 cheaper and it’s going to be like popular.
MS: But they have to, four iPhone models is too many. They got to figure out what to do with that.
JC: I don’t necessarily think four is too many. I just think that the pricing doesn’t work out well. I think a small and big regular to a small and big pro is a fine strategy. I just feel like there’s a weird overlap. Instead of getting the 14 plus, you can get a regular pro and it’s not going to be a meaningfully different spend for you, right?
MS: Yeah. Way better camera dynamic island always on display, better chip. It’s a laundry list of upgrades to that pro. So yeah, maybe you’re right. Maybe if the plus was $799 or even $749 would really make it interesting. $250 less than the entry-level Pro or the base Pro, whatever. Yeah, something like that. But Apple doesn’t generally do that. Apple TV Plus aside or Apple TV 4K aside, they don’t generally go in the opposite direction. But maybe, they might have to. But maybe once they look at the sales, particularly this quarter, so they’re going to get trounced because the whole production thing in China, they cannot make iPhone 14 Pros, they can’t make them period, really. Shipping right now is late December, some places, early January. They’re going to take a massive hit in that holiday quarter just because they can’t get these things to people.
JC: I think overall, I think the strategy, I don’t think they’re going to be hurt by nobody wants the plus because I think they’re just buying Pros instead and then their average sale price goes up this generation and they’ll be happy with that. Yeah, so overall, I just feel like the Pro was a really good phone. We were really surprised by the whole Dynamic Island thing because we all heard about the whole punch camera pill thing. We had no clue the software side of that and how it worked and how they make a UI element out of it. Everybody was floored and it was great and it’s fantastic. Then the 14 was a big disappointment because I was like, well, why would I get this over 13?
MS: Yeah, it’s true. Right. It’s really for like an iPhone 11 upgrader. Even 12, I would say. And hold on to the 15, because the 15 looks like we’re going to get USB-C, maybe the Dynamic Island on the non-Pros. So, I would hold off if you have a 12 or later.
RL: Sort of to wrap up the hardware…the middle of the year, the iPod touch was discontinued, which meant the iPod product line–
JC: The real news is that it is that there was up until that point, it was there. It was still existed.
MS: Yeah, that was one of those things. didn’t actively promote it, you had to like go to the store, the apple.com store and find it. But it’s still, it’s a bit of a bummer that Apple never created like a handheld non-phone, Phone for kids or for not even kids, for anybody. Like, so you got to buy an iPhone which has you know, 5G, 4G, you got to hook it up and activate and all that stuff. The iPod was like this perfect little like entry-level iPhone device that they just never really developed into what it could have been. It could have, should have been just a phone without cellular service, but they ignored it for years and then they updated it with something that no one really wanted.
JC: It could have been every time they make a new iPhone SE, they make a non-cellular version and that’s priced like $150 cheaper and that’s all it is.
MS: I want like an iPhone 12 that I can give to my son and doesn’t have well, I mean, now he’s getting older anyway but as like, you know, between the ages of like four and nine, like people would love those things. But the iPad touch just didn’t get the attention or the promotion that I think that it deserved.
RL: Should we move on to software and services?
JC: We better. We’ll never finish this podcast.
RL: Like we do every year, we got major OS releases, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, WatchOS 9. I always forget to mention WatchOS in this whole OS roundup.
MS: And I think we had this discussion every year. Like, I mean, I think at this point they have to update everything every year, but it’s a lot. It’s a lot to do on an annual date. Yeah.
JC: Just to keep the services in apps and sync and stuff like that. Just one year, just skip, just make watchOS, just skip the numbers and get it all to be the same.
MS: They did that with tvOS. They skipped like eight versions, but with the watch they have it too.
JC: Right, right. Yeah, just do it with watchOS. Just stand up there on stage at WWDC and say like, you know, we’re just unifying this to make it clear for you. Nobody will have a problem with it. It’s fine. Anyway, iPadOS 16 was delayed/skipped. They started with 16.1. They just didn’t release the 16 release because its biggest feature, Stage Manager, was busted. Sadly, when they released it, it’s still busted, but it was in bad shape and really couldn’t have been released. It held off on that and macOS, but macOS is often later anyway.
MS: Well, it’s weird that they separated iOS and iPad OS for the first time, but even weirder that they still kept the numbering the same. So as Jason said, 16.1 was the first…
JC: Which I think is the right way to do it. It would be because it is that release. They just literally skipped shipping the 16.0 release and fine. They didn’t have to the way they had to with the iPhones because the new iPhones need to ship with iOS 16 and they didn’t have new iPads to ship then.
MS: We had universal control last year. And Apple delayed it by several months, even though it was working in the beta, they kept it back until they got it right, which is what Apple does. No one was surprised when they do stuff like that. This is very surprising. Whereas people who champion the iPad and champion Apple products are like, this is terrible. I can’t use this. This is just…
JC: And they’re leaping to Twitter with all these screenshots and videos and stuff of like, look how broken this is, look how this totally fails and this is, you know, it’s the keyboard screwed up and all these like serious stuff. Not just like, oh, I don’t like it but it’s literally broken.
MS: And Apple doesn’t seem to be really kind of urgently fixing it either. It’s like, we’ll look at it, don’t worry.
JC: Yeah, I think they just got a lot to do and they’re never gonna admit there’s a problem. There’s only ever improvements. There’s never a problem that needs fixing in Apple land. I think that might be part of it. It might be interesting next year. I also think iPadOS 16 is a bit of a disappointment because the coolest stuff in iOS 16 isn’t there. It’s just like the widgets and app library from a couple of years back where the iPad’s behind, but like all the lock screen customization stuff. That’s like the biggest, most obvious cool thing in iOS 16 and it’s not there at all on the iPad.
We did get cool stuff like unsending, and editing messages and messages. That’s a big one. And some notifications changes that in iOS 16, that’s not, again, that’s part of a new lock screen thing that you don’t get. But stuff like the grabbing images and just like grabbing the image without the background and taking the background out and all those cool things. You get those cool things. But the biggest thing, that home screen redesign and the things that go along with it like, live activities and stuff like that. Some of that, interestingly, didn’t ship with the first release of iOS 16 as it usually does. I think iOS 16’s best… I think the starting block for iOS 16 is coming this month with 16.2 where it’s got the new home architecture and it has live activities and live activities are updated and more apps start to support it. There’s just a lot of tweaks that happen the first couple of months.
RL: And then with Mac OS Ventura, probably the biggest feature we got is being able to use the iPhone as a webcam, expanding on the continuity camera features.
JC: That is great.
RL: Jason has been using it in our podcast recordings.
MS: It’s a stark difference when he turns it on and uses it.
JC: It looks like all those Twitch streamers who’s got their DSLR hooked up.
R: Yeah, it’s really easy to do. There’s some nice interoperability that’s happening between the Mac in iPad and iPhone that Apple’s starting to do more of in Mac OS.
JC: I feel bad for everybody getting a Sherlock like this, but this is exactly the interoperability and the ease of use of that interoperability. That’s the Apple promise. That’s the like, why you are okay with the walled garden is because it’s really nice in the garden and everything works together. So, I love seeing that. That’s my favorite stuff in every macOS release is when these things work together better. I wish they’d update messages on Mac.
RL: That’s a whole other podcast.
JC: That’s a whole other podcast. I wish it was more like the iPhone’s messages.
RL: How about with services? Is the big service thing that happened this past year the price increase to the subscriptions?
MS: They didn’t announce any new services. I mean, the price increase is substantial. It went from $5.99 to $7.99 for Apple TV+, a buck for Apple Music and $2 or $3 for the bundles like we get. I think it’s $2. $3? It might have been $3. But the Apple TV+ one is a big one and I get it. Their library is vastly bigger than it was when it launched at $4.99 and it’s some really good stuff. Like if you look at end of year lists, like there’s a bunch of shows that are on most of them that Apple TV makes. It’s just not the service that people think of subscribing to when they think of subscribing to a streaming service yet. They’re still Netflix is still number one. Disney Plus is up there even Hulu. But Apple TV+, it’s getting to be like a legitimately really good service. Definitely worth $7.99. That’s for sure.
JC: Yeah. It’s still also kind of the cheapest. Everybody’s raising their prices. So, it is still cheaper than Hulu and all these other things. And that combined with they’re doing all this stuff with MLB and soccer and there’s talk about football, although that will probably cost them extra. They really are building out the service.
MS: Soccer starts next year, it’s $100 a season, and $80 a season if you’re a subscriber, so you don’t have to subscribe. I don’t watch soccer but if it was a sport that I watched, I would jump on that because it’s every game is no blockouts or anything, and you’ll have you’ll be able to watch it live and then replays and if it’s anything like baseball, although I will join the chorus of Twitter people that say that the broadcasters were horrendous. But the broadcast if you muted it was gorgeous. Yeah. And it’s a great presentation, and if it’s anything close to that for soccer, which I assume it will, that the cameras that they use, the angles that they get, the replays, it’s really good. And if you’re a soccer fan, it’s going to be fantastic. I can almost assure you that it’ll be worth the money if you’re a fan of Major League Soccer. I have been watching the World Cup for the first time in forever and it’s fine. I just don’t think I would watch enough of it.
JC: And you don’t get any of those, right? You don’t get any of those leagues, you just get MLS.
MS: Right. Major League Soccer which is the stepchild of soccer. It’s just the North American League, right?
JC: Which is not where soccer is most popular, but to their credit, MLS is growing a lot. They just passed NHL in popularity.
MS: Not saying a ton, but it’s something.
JC: It’s the number four, right? It’s getting there.
MS: It’s getting there, yeah.
JC: Football, basketball, baseball, and it was hockey and now it’s soccer and it’s going up quickly and this is probably going to help. Having more people have more access to all the games and stuff. They’ll do free games and free weekends to try and get subscribers. But this includes things like playoffs and championships and all the stuff, like all the stuff. It’s really impressive.
MS: It’s exclusive. It’s unprecedented as far as I can tell for a major sports league to be exclusive to one network with everything like basketball. You can watch the playoffs on TNT and ESPN, baseball, it’s on Fox. And this is only Apple TV. You’re getting everything for 100 bucks on Apple TV.
JC: We got Mike talking about sports now and it’s…
RL: Welcome to Sports Talk on Macworld!
JC: Other Apple services. Yeah, so other Apple services.
MS: Wait, there are others?
JC: You know, iCloud is still disappointment.
MS: Yeah, they still have an up to 5 gigabyte.
JC: They keep trying to find any way they can not do that to find free. But the starting paid volume should be higher. The five free should be at least 10. But now they’ll do things like, well, if you don’t have it and you don’t have enough room in your 5GB to do an update, we’ll let you do the update only. We’ll give you enough storage just for the iPhone update you’re trying to do over iCloud, just for the length of time to do the update and then you don’t really have it. It’s just kind of annoying.
Not VPN sort of. You know, private browsing stuff. It’s not quite a VPN, but it’s to hide a lot of stuff from browsers. It’s a good service, not a big deal, but these sort of privacy things are. Good stuff to have built into the OS.
And what else? Apple Music had kind of a boring year.
RL: Apple Music Sing!
JC: Yeah, that’s neat.
MS: That feature just came out.
JC: We’ll see what happens when that comes out. As we record this, it hasn’t landed yet. It’s a neat idea and it’s just in time for Christmas.
MS: Yeah, it’s a cool idea. And the Apple Music Classic, we were talking about that this morning over Slack. That was supposed to come out last year. It was in August that they announced that they had bought, the name escapes me, so that’s with a P, a classic music, yeah, Primafonic, a classic music service that they were going to bring into Apple Music and have it.
JC: Yeah, they were going to have a dedicated classical experience. So nobody really quite understood if it was going to be a section in Apple Music or a separate app, but they haven’t done either. And that was last summer they bought them. So it’s kind of weird.
RL: That’s going to headline WWDC in June.
MS: I mean, if you’re into classical music, it sounds like a cool thing, but I don’t know what’s happened.
JC: Apple Music Voice launched this year as a way just to be cheap.
JC: It’s a $5 a month thing. I’m really curious how well that’s doing sort of globally. In the U.S., everyone’s fine either not paying at all or paying $10 a month. Nobody’s going to go $5 is the price I’ve been waiting for. But over the whole world, I think it might matter more.
MS: Maybe. It’s a frustrating thing. You can only use Siri. If it was $5 with ads or something, then okay.
JC: You can make playlists and do all the things. Yeah. Yeah.
MS: There’s a lot that you can’t do and you have to use Siri, which let’s be honest, isn’t always that great at finding stuff. It’s really just like a way to upsell people to the full Apple Music, it seems. Bait and switch, so to speak. Yeah.
JC: It feels like maybe a cheaper thing that they can eventually, when they have all these services that give you free Apple Music, it can be Apple Music Voice. I think they give it to you for a long time.
MS: Something like that works really well for like Amazon has something very, that’s basically their services that too, but you’re you’re accustom to using Alexa for that stuff. This is not like you use I use the Apple Music app on my phone all the time. This Apple Music Voice, it takes that away. So, it’s an interesting thing and Homepod mini isn’t ubiquitous enough to kind of supplement, I don’t think.
JC: To me, the best thing about it was that since it’s voice only, and you can ask for any track or artist or whatever, but they also made dozens of playlists to fit like moods and activities and stuff like that. Just dozens and dozens of them. And that benefits everyone. Those are just there. If you have full app in music, you can search or you can use Siri or you can whatever. So I just love the thing. We got a whole ton of like playlists, dynamic playlists for moods and activities and stuff.
RL: We also saw in Apple Arcade, I guess, some game developer contracts expired. So some game developers decided to stop becoming available on Apple Arcade.
JC: Not many, but yeah, a few.
RL: Not many, but a few, which I guess shows that for developers, Apple Arcade isn’t for everybody, I guess. We don’t know how much developers benefit from it, how much they’re making, I guess, in other words.
JC: Yeah. I think it depends. I think the contracts are all a little different. It certainly doesn’t seem to be a service that anyone talks about. It seems to be one of those things that nobody talks about subscribing or the new game that’s on Apple Arcade or anything. It seems like a benefit of having Apple One. There’s some good stuff. Now that they’ve changed their policy to be, we’re taking a lot of hits from the last few years usually after they’re a year or two old and just putting a plus by the name so you know it’s a different version and putting it on Apple Arcade. Like Dead Cells Plus just came out. Dead Cells is a tremendous game. Like play with a gamepad, but that game’s awesome. It’s been in the App Store and they just take the App Store versions, call it Ten Cells Plus and put it in Arcade. Like, since they’ve been starting doing that, there’s been good stuff in there. Just not brand new.
RL: But yeah, I wish Apple would promote it a little more and maybe induce something else with it. I don’t know what, but it does kind of feel like it kind of gets overlooked a lot. And all we hear about are new games. Here’s a new game. Jason updates it weekly.
JC: Yeah, every Friday, here’s the new Apple Arcade game.
JC: It’s not a big deal. Like nobody’s going to be all talking about it online.
MS: I don’t know, SpongeBob Salad was pretty cool.
RL: I think that does it for this episode of the Macworld Podcast, episode 819. Thanks to Jason Cross.
JC: Thank you!
RL: Thanks to Michael Simon.
MS: Thank you, sir.
RL: Thanks to the audience. Thank you for tuning in. You can subscribe to the Macworld Podcast in the Podcast app, on Spotify, or through any other podcast app. If you have any comments or questions, send us an email at email@example.com or contact us on Twitter (that’s @macworld) or on the Macworld Facebook page. Join us in the next episode of the Macworld Podcast as we talk about the latest in the world of Apple. See you next time.