The Keep-a-Snowman-Alive Edition Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Girl Struggles To Keep A Snowman Alive In Apple's Cute Holiday Ad, by Tim Nudd, Muse by Clio

Apple's 2021 holiday ad is here, and it continues the brand's recent strategy—from Damien Chazelle to Kathryn Bigelow—of having Hollywood directors shoot little films with the iPhone.

This time, it's the father-and-son duo of Ivan and Jason Reitman (Jason's film Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a sequel to Ivan's 1984 classic original, just came out) who take the reins, working with TBWA\Media Arts Lab to deliver a charming tale of a girl who tries to keep a snowman alive all year long.


How To Unwind With The Mindfulness App On Your Apple Watch, by Lance Whitney, TechRepublic

Life can be difficult, especially these days when we're still dealing with the pandemic and political strife and other obstacles. Add to those problems the stress and pressure we sometimes feel during a typical workday, and we all could use an outlet to help us unwind, even if it's just for a few minutes at a time. One quick and convenient way to relax is through your Apple Watch, specifically through the Mindfulness app.

Shazam Updated With Ability To Find More Songs By Listening Longer, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Shazam, the popular music recognition service that Apple acquired in 2018, updated its iPhone and iPad app today with the ability to find more songs by analyzing the audio that is playing for a longer period before offering a result.

'Tasks' To-do App Gets Folders, Smart Lists, And Filters With Its Latest Update, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

One of the main features of Tasks 2.0 is the ability to organize your tasks into different folders. This way you can separate your projects and lists, and even use nest folders. And for users who like lists, Tasks now has smart lists – which let you easily query tasks across projects, tags, statuses, priorities, types, date, and other categories.

Apps To Help Manage Meals For Different Dietary Needs, by Debi Lewis, Wired

From apps to help find recipes and coordinate grocery lists to apps that locate the nearest specialty bakery, plus apps offering meal planning and more, it’s easier than ever to accommodate food allergies and intolerances. Here are a few apps I wish my family had back when we were going through it.


Super-Apps Are Inevitable, by Scott Galloway, New York Magazine

Already, there are a host of companies looking to replicate the Asian model — but to do so, they’ll have to get past Apple and Google, the nearly hegemonic mobile-OS providers, which are investing billions to prevent a super-app from inserting itself between them and their users. The radical transformation of Apple under Tim Cook has been a decade-long project to extend the company’s ecosystem to nullify the potential for a super-app to sit on top of iOS. It explains why Apple now offers both credit and debit payment systems, why you can use your Apple ID to sign in to a huge range of third-party services, and why Cook is giving Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston hundreds of millions of dollars to make a worse version of Murphy Brown.

It may be that Apple’s and Google’s defenses are insurmountable. But trillion-dollar enemies are coming, and it’s possible for any given market — especially one as wealthy as the U.S. — to sustain more than one super-app.

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Okay, so there isn't a third product announcement from Apple this fall...



Happy Thanksgiving! And thanks for reading.