Welcome to our weekly collection of all the Apple news you missed this week, in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.
Turning a win into a victory
The most memorable Oscars in recent memory took place this week. It can’t be easy to win the Academy Award for Best Actor and still end up having the worst night of your career–but spare a thought for the evening’s other winners, whose triumphs have been overshadowed by The Slap, at least in the short term.
One of the biggest winners was “CODA,” which collected three major awards and made history as the first Best Picture winner from a streaming service. Some vindication there for Apple’s beleaguered TV+ service, which acquired and distributed the movie, supported the makers’ creative choices and championed it to the Academy. We’ve been pondering how much credit Apple really deserves, given that the acquisition took place after “CODA” had been completed and even premiered at the 2021 Sundance Festival, but at the very least this highlights the quality of programming that Cupertino is lining up on TV+.
Creating a world-beating streaming service might seem simple when you’ve got pockets as deep as Apple’s, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Subscriber numbers do not appear to be especially healthy, the result of Apple’s refusal to purchase a back-catalog of shows and filming of its original shows being disrupted by the pandemic. Disney+ debuted at around the same time and brought with it a mountain of legacy movies; Apple had to start from scratch and struggled to convince subscribers with its far smaller library of (admittedly good-quality) material. Right now, Disney+ is a long way ahead.
But that doesn’t mean the TV+ strategy can’t work. Disney, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video are all afflicted with a surfeit of content in a way that isn’t wholly positive; if you don’t plan ahead you can spend half your evening wading through straight-to-video sequels and trying to decide what to watch. A narrow, curated and consistently high-quality streaming experience can work, if you can get at least a reasonable volume of content. And a high-profile awards victory can be just the thing to highlight your USP and nudge–or even slap–a few more users into subscribing.
iOS 15.4.1 and macOS 12.3.1 bring important bug fixes and security updates.
Please stop writing April Fool’s stories
Lucky readers of this column will have 364 days of freedom stretching ahead of them, but I’m writing it on April Fool’s Day, the worst day of the year.
As I sit here, the top-ranked post on the Apple Reddit page is a claim that the company is partnering with AMD and will close its Apple Silicon division at some point in the next two years. (It’s funny, you see, because it’s untrue. Aha ha ha.) And roughly half of my Twitter feed, and a good chunk of my email inbox, is made up of mirthsome pranks from corporate PRs with a sense-of-humor bypass. As Fast Company puts it, “Today is the day that brands replace the shackles of commerce in favor of jokes, with usually indifferent—but sometimes worse!—results.”
Saying things that aren’t true is not funny and never was. But this stuff is even more pointless now, in a world where objective truth was long ago abandoned in large sections of the media and the tech beat is largely occupied with sifting truth from the endless parade of rumors (see below). That Reddit post is followed by a link to a MacRumors story about foldable iPads which I think is serious, but since we’ve given up an entire day to nonsense, who can be sure?
For this reason, I hereby make a proposal. Next year, let’s all announce a permanent boycott on any and all companies which release an April Fool’s joke, and we’ll see how seriously they’re committed to the cause of lie-based comedy.
The rumor mill
Is Apple done with iOS 15? With all major features released and no beta on tap, it could be time to focus on iOS 16.
Apple TV+’s CODA won big at the Oscars, plus Major League Baseball is coming to the service. And Macworld readers have plenty of thoughts on Apple’s Magic Mouse. That’s all in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.
iOS 15.4.1, meanwhile, fixes iPhone battery drain issues and patches a critical security flaw.
Here’s what to do if you can’t log into your Google account on your Mac.
Has your Mac stopped responding? Here’s how to unfreeze a Mac that’s hanging.
And if you’ve having the opposite problem, help is at hand. Here’s what to do if your Mac won’t shut down.
Video of the week
According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a hardware subscription service that would allow users to lease its devices like people lease cars. This program would differ from the 12- and 24-month loan programs currently available. And while its release date is months away, specs have already leaked about the upcoming iPhone 14.
Ken Mingis, Michael Simon and Juliet Beauchamp discuss why a hardware subscription service could benefit enterprise users, and what to expect in the iPhone 14.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley!
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David has loved the iPhone since covering the original 2007 launch; later his obsession expanded to include the iPad and Apple Watch. He offers advice to owners (and prospective owners) of these devices.