The Quite-Heavy-and-Quite-Expensive Edition Friday, December 11, 2020

Heavy Is The Head That Wears The AirPods Max, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

AirPods Max sound great and they’re very well-made, but their premium audio and build quality come at the expense of making them quite heavy, and, well, quite expensive. If you think any wireless headphones could be worth $550, these might be them.

This Is Not A Review Of Apple’s New AirPod Max Headphones, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

The sound is impressive. Don’t worry about this being in the Beats region of a bass-heavy crowd pleaser. Though there is plenty of low end, this is a more nuanced affair, with crisp delivery across the spectrum.

Apple AirPods Max First Look: Lots To Prove, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

I have no idea what’s going on with the AirPods Max case, which is a goofy one-piece contraption that’s folded and glued over on itself to form a case. It looks very much like a purse when wrapped around the headphones, which is at once fun and clever and also not the point of a headphones case that needs to survive in a backpack. It does not appear very protective, feels like it will get dirty fast, and generally does not hold a candle to the nice hard cases that come with almost every other set of premium headphones.

For Beginners Too

Apple Fitness+ Is Designed To Make Working Out Easier For Everyone, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

Unlike other exercise apps which offer different workouts for different experience levels, Fitness+ tries to address every fitness level within its various workouts. To do so, each video includes three different trainers on screen at the same time, and at least one of them—Blahnik calls them “modifiers”—is doing a simpler or less-taxing version of the activity.


You’ll also find a series of 10- or 20-minute “getting started” videos that are designed for absolute beginners who aren’t quite ready to jump into the main studio workouts. These videos usually have just one instructor who welcomes you and gives you some pointers on how to do a particular exercise.


The M1 MacBook Air: Perfection, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

I know I’ve said this a lot over the years, but now that Apple has clearly solved performance and battery life with the M1, the extreme form factors are worth revisiting. For now, this is the most perfect Mac ever made.

Apple Confirms 29W Power Adapter Incompatible With MagSafe Duo Charger, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Notably, the support document confirms that Apple’s older 29W USB-C power adapter is not compatible with the MagSafe Duo, presumably because that adapter does not support the necessary 5V/3A or 9V/1.67A power ratings.

Apple Rolling Out Rare Update To Music Memos App For iOS With Voice Memos Integration, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has announced that it is discontinuing its Music Memos application. As such, it has rolled out an udpate to the app today to allow users to export their recordings to the Voice Memos app.

Apple’s New Map, Expansion #10: Canada, by Justin Obeirne

Canada is the fourth country to receive Apple’s new map.


Apple CEO Says Most Staff Won’t Return To Office Until June, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Cook said it “seems likely” that the majority of teams won’t be back before June 2021. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has historically had an office-centric culture, but the CEO implied that the company’s success this year during the pandemic lockdown could enable more flexibility to work remotely in the future.

Still, Cook has been adamant publicly about his desire for staff to ultimately return to the office.

Microsoft Says Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Will Add Browser-Based iOS Cloud Gaming In 2021, by John Voorhees, MacStories

It’s a testament to the importance of the iPhone and iPad as platforms for game streaming and the power of their hardware that Microsoft and others are willing to work around Apple’s App Store restrictions by developing progressive web apps. However, it’s also disappointing.