Welcome to our 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 morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s great if you want to read it during lunch or dinner as well.
Glass half full
Google Glass is a failure. It’s not exactly news, but it’s official now: This week, the company finally discontinued the business version of the product, which itself replaced highly unpopular consumer devices whose owners were subjected to ridicule and occasional physical abuse, and coined the term Glass Hole. The inglorious tale came to an end, and not a moment sooner.
On the other hand, the timing is noteworthy and a bit surprising because it comes just a few months before Apple is expected to make its own entry into the world of facial computing with a mixed reality headset. (Negotiators may point out we’ve been waiting for the headset for years and insist they believe it when they see it, but the chorus of leaks and rumors is getting deafening.) This suggests that one of the two tech giants has completely misread the market. : Google thinks it’s time to move on from augmented reality – or its own vague approximation to it, as I’ll explain in a bit – and Apple thinks now is the right time to get into it. They can’t both be right.
Google’s negative experience in this area could be beneficial for Apple, for which it will be a hugely important launch with the potential to open up a wide-ranging ecosystem that could one day rival the success of the iPhone or permanently tarnish the legacy of Tim Cook. Apple needs to look at where Google went wrong and the hurdles it failed to overcome and find another way…or just hope the market has changed enough that the same methods will now be more successful. That’s where the importance of timing comes in.
The single biggest problem that both companies, Google then and Apple now, have is how different a face-mounted device is from the tech products we use most of our time. The advent of tablets and smartwatches, in fact, reproduced the work of a smartphone on a larger or smaller screen and did not require a paradigm shift in the relationship between the user and the device. It was still a small glowing rectangle hidden somewhere around you that you took out and looked at when it needed attention. But a pair of smart glasses or, especially, a mixed reality headset requires interaction with technology and with the outside world, which is unprecedented in the lives of most users.
Google Glass was an object “in your face” in many ways, and they managed to make their users look like hipsters, crazy futurists, and Orwellian whistleblowers at the same time. And it was a relatively inconspicuous product that at least slightly mimicked the look of regular glasses. How much more annoying is a mixed reality device that covers the eyes and most of the head? How long will it take before a Reality One user is openly laughed at?
The hope here is that the world has changed and that Google Glass was considered especially provocative because it was deliberately new. In this regard, Apple could benefit from Google’s selfless work to get the world used to smart glasses that no longer feel as cosmic as they did in 2013. Also, when a product’s user base reaches critical mass, it doesn’t seem strange anymore. Apple will hope to normalize its headset through a combination of sales weight and marketing know-how. A lot of people thought “iPad” was a ridiculously bad brand name until all of their friends suddenly got one.
The key here and the way to avoid Google’s mistakes will be to provide the benefits of augmented reality and inform the public about these benefits. Because, as my colleague Jason Cross points out, Google Glass was not an augmented reality product at all. Rather, it was a fancy heads-up display without the ability to interact with objects in the real world. And so its users accepted the public shame of wearing an AR device without seeing the benefits of such a product. It was all pain—literally, in some cases—and no gain. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Microsoft’s HoloLens, which is actually an augmented reality device, still works, or at least still works.
I suspect Apple won’t be happy with a niche role in the enterprise sector like that of HoloLens, or in medical or educational settings, but that still leaves us without a clear idea of what Reality One’s killer consumer app will be. . Considering it will also offer VR features, home gaming is one possibility, but the suspicion remains that Apple doesn’t really understand the gaming market and that VR gamers will have much better and likely cheaper options in another place. It could also give Apple a path to the metaverse, however nauseating the word may be to type.
But the most promising thing is this: With so many talented app developers, Apple doesn’t have to decide what a product is for. You just need to put in the hardware and see how the community takes it. Maybe it will be used primarily for gaming, maybe social or educational, or maybe users will completely abandon the outside world and take refuge in an imaginary universe free from poverty and hatred. If you build it – and build it right – they will come.
However, it’s probably worth making sure the product name isn’t an obvious insult.
View Corner (and preview)
Our review of the iPhone 14 Plus (highlighted in yellow) shows that this is a great phone at an affordable price. not a very big price.
Apple first 3nm chip promises to be a big step up from the A16. Find out more in our A17 preview.
Trending: breaking news
We’ve rounded up four iPhone 15 updates that will make you want right now.
Yes, Apple will “fake” enlarged photos on the iPhone 15 too – but how far will that go?
There is a new reality distortion field because Tim Cook is doomed, says Macalop.
The key to Mac survival is not a new Air, but next iPad Pro.
Microsoft Word for Mac is going to get two huge cuts that we’ve wanted for years.
A political shift could give Apple a breather in US antitrust pressure.
Apple cuts hiring and bonuses as income falls, but avoids layoffs.
Tim Cook canceled AR/VR headset The design team is opposed to a 2023 launch, according to a new report.
It is assumed that Apple is testing a new generation Bobcat language generation for Siri.
iphone 15 pro could start at over $1,000, the first ever price increase for the Pro line.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Ultra will reportedly “break the record” for the thinnest bezels.
Apple is working to turn AirPods into a “health tool”. enhance hearing.
Podcast of the week
Third and possibly final season Ted Lasso already here, so we thought it would be a good time to share our thoughts on Apple TV+. Is Apple doing enough to keep up with the competition? It’s in this edition of the Macworld podcast!
You can watch every episode of the Macworld podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app, or our own website.
Software updates, bugs and issues
iOS 16.4 beta 4 is out, bringing new emoticon and a few improvements.
Plus: macOS Ventura 13.3 beta 4 now also available.
That’s where we ended up 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 Saturday, enjoy the rest of the weekend and stay Eppley.