Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which brings together all the Apple news you missed last week in a handy summary. We call it apple breakfast because we think it goes great with a cup of coffee or tea on a Monday morning, but it’s great if you want to read it during lunch or dinner too.
The thin line between informed and depressed
Seasoned observers from Cupertino have noticed an unexpected strategy over the past few years: Apple is trying to convince us to use its devices. less.
Admittedly, the original Do Not Disturb mode was added to iOS back in 2012, but in recent years it has been expanded into a whole host of focus modes. Covering driving, sleep, work and fitness, with the option to add your own, they offer users the ability to focus on one activity and instruct the iPhone to refrain from interrupting that activity with staccato Morse code notifications that punctuate the rest of our lives. Screen Time, meanwhile, allows us to control how we use our device and set limits on our use of content and apps to reduce this or make it more friendly to our mental health.
It’s an illogical strategy, but it makes some sense when you think about Apple’s reliance on our goodwill. A healthy and satisfied shopper is more likely to associate their device with positive experiences and therefore more likely to buy another one in the future. And the flood of digital interruptions that is so important to smartphone owners in 2023 is not really good for our ability to get work done (or sleep well, drive safely, etc.) or stay active. even an emotional keel.
Of course, the company would be unhappy if we bought their products and then put them in a drawer; now it’s a service company as well as an equipment dealer that wants us to spend money on the App Store, watch TV+ series, and participate in Fitness+ workouts. But a balance needs to be struck, and Apple’s business model doesn’t depend on whether its customers stay up all night scrolling through Twitter or chasing a dopamine rush on Facebook.
This, of course, raises the question of what we should do with our Apple products when we studiously refuse to interact with them, and the Apple Watch offers a glimpse of one possible future. Announced this summer, the watchOS 10 update changes the direction of the device, reflecting a fundamental shift from apps to widgets and small information. Because smartwatches are always with you but have small screens, they are the perfect use case for a device that informs without trying to engage. It makes sense for them to offer small snippets of information that can be accessed at a glance without trying to get you into a significant interaction.
It would be too radical to suggest that this is a sound principle for how we interact with All digital devices? The exact balance between information and interaction will vary by format, but there are limits to healthy interaction even with a screen as big as a Mac. Naturally, we interact with the Mac for a long time, but when the work day ends, we want it to leave us alone. At this point, it seems ideal for a product that was previously very popular to switch roles and become a provider of information pieces – something that Apple seems to be looking into at the moment. In certain contexts, the traditional Mac is no longer required, and the owner will benefit more from a smart display showing widgets, photo slideshows, and smart home controls.
Whether this vision of a healthy and balanced technological future will ever come true is hard to say. Apple may not need us to be too passionate about our devices to be good customers, but there are plenty of other companies that do, and it’s unlikely that app makers and advertisers, as well as social networks, will be satisfied with our attention to just eight hours a day. But it’s a fight worth fighting and I hope Apple continues to lead.
To tell your opinion
Lots of interesting responses to my complaints about Apple sales in the last column: thanks to everyone who emailed me their thoughts.
Longtime reader Michael Long believes that Apple is being unfairly vilified for behavior that is commonplace elsewhere. “As far as I can tell,” he said, “Apple is just now doing what every other phone maker has done: releasing a flagship phone with the latest and greatest processor, and introducing a less expensive second-tier phone using the latest processor of the year. Google Pixel, Samsung and others do it regularly.”
Meanwhile, Kurt R. Todoroff cited Apple’s iCloud pricing strategy of offering just 5GB free to each customer as evidence of its shortsightedness and greed. “We old devotees are the backbone of Apple’s resurgence and this enviable profit,” he wrote. “The cracks in the granite of our loyalty are constantly growing as we face an increasing number of software defects with each new release of the operating system, and Apple continues its ancient, self-defeating (self-defeating?) “premium pricing” paradigm.”
John Leibovitz thought the prices of the company’s storage systems were outrageous and asked for $400 for a 1TB specification increase that would have been available elsewhere for $50 if only home upgrades were allowed. “Apple seems to be holding on to older component specifications longer,” he said. “How many years has 256GB been the minimum specification for a Mac mini?”
But Humberto Muñoz was finally more optimistic about the situation. “The goal of any company is to sell more products and increase profits,” he wrote. “The fact that you, me and the others are not like just because we’re spending more money on Apple products doesn’t change the fact that we’re still doing it.”
Trending: breaking news
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Apple Market capitalization $3 trillion nice and all, but does it matter?
Jason Cross explains why you should jump on iphone 15 pro this year.
Apple takes over fortnite fight up to the Supreme Court.
The best feature of the iPhone 15 might be how long does it take.
Apple Watch Ultra next generation microLED screen may not launch until 2026.
the next generation of AirPods will focus on high-quality health and hearing features.
Software updates, bugs and issues
Firefox’s latest update drops support for several latest versions of macOS.
In recent years 13 inch Macbook Air now supports Bluetooth 5.3, says Apple.
You must follow unexpected NFC Tag alerts on your iPhone. That’s why.
That concludes our apple breakfast this week. If you would like to receive regular news updates, subscribe to our newsletters. You can also follow us on twitter or on Facebook to discuss the latest Apple news. See you next Monday and stay Eppley.