The Anticipated-New-Era Edition Thursday, June 1, 2023

Apple Declares The Start Of 'A New Era' In Thinly Veiled WWDC Tease, by Michael Simon, Macworld

While WWDC always includes Apple’s newest software advancements and could be described as “a new era” every year, it’s hard not to read this as a reference to the anticipated launch of the mixed-reality headset. While Apple is expected to launch numerous products at the event, “a new era” certainly speaks to something bigger than a 15-inch MacBook Air or some new iOS 17 features.

Beat Saber Is The Latest VR Game That Could Be Coming To The Apple Headset Next Week, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Beat Games co-founder Jaroslav Beck cryptically tweeted yesterday that “June 5th is going to be [popcorn emoji] [glasses emoji],” and as far as we know there are no 3D movie releases planned for Monday.

Wishing Well 2023, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

Whatever the future may bring, what I hope for this WWDC is what I hope for every year: bug fixes and performance improvements. If iPadOS represents one vision for the future of computing and xrOS is another, more distant one, the most mature products in Apple’s line should reflect a level of solidity and reliability not yet possible for its more ambitious ideas.

Angles Are All Weird

The Unsung Hero Of The Apple Watch Is Its Hidden Buttons, by Antonio G. Di Benedetto, The Verge

While I often prefer a universal solution over a proprietary connector, here’s the thing — Apple’s band release button beats the hell out of fiddling with little spring bars and jeweler’s tools. Instead, you just press a near-invisible button, slide your band out, slide another one in, and get a lovely audible click as it locks in. No fuss, no muss; just a simple swap for a different visual vibe to match your style and wardrobe.


The secret: there are actually three buttons in the Apple Watch, two of which interlock so precisely that Apple had to rethink its entire approach to manufacturing. “The tolerances in there are kind of insane,” say our sources. “It’s super hard to machine. You can’t get tools in there; the angles are all weird.” So the company wound up buying Swiss CNC machines that cost up to $2 million — each — just for the sake of its swappable band system. “It didn’t cut anything else on the watch, just this, that’s all it did.”


MLS Season Pass Drops Price For Midseason, Apple Says Service Uptake Beat Its Own Expectations, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

MLS Season Pass on Apple TV is dropping its price to account for the fact that about half of the season is now over. The 2023 pass subscription is now available for $49 (down from $99), with an additional $10 discount for Apple TV+ subscribers. The monthly subscription price is unchanged.

Although Apple does not release viewership figures, Apple SVP of services Eddy Cue commented this week that MLS Season Pass had exceeded its own expectations and doing “much better than forecasted” in terms of both subscription and viewership numbers.

Portal's Mac App Helps Users Focus With Immersive Backgrounds And Audio, by Ivan Mehta, TechCrunch

Portal for Mac has more than 80 environments to choose from, which include high-quality looping videos captured by the company’s own team. The startup said that it has used 12K cameras to record some of the most scenic and peaceful surroundings in the world.

The Roll App Is An AI-powered Video Studio For Your iPhone, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

Roll AI is a new video creation and collaboration platform for iOS and web that allows users to add simulated video effects to iPhone footage that would typically require professional camera equipment to achieve, such as stabilized pan or crane shots. It’s one of the latest examples in a boom of new apps and services that utilize AI to simplify technical creative processes like photo and video editing.

No Man’s Sky Just Launched On Mac With Cross-play Support, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

No Man’s Sky is touching down on Macs starting today. Hello Games announced that the space adventure is available for Mac users on Steam now (it’ll be free if you already own the PC version), while the game will be coming to the Mac App Store “shortly.” The studio says the game will be “available on any Mac with Apple silicon” and will also be playable on “Intel-based Macs with a Core i5 processor.”


Developers Generated $1.1 Trillion In The App Store Ecosystem In 2022, by Apple

Apple today announced the App Store ecosystem facilitated $1.1 trillion in developer billings and sales in 2022, building on developers’ track record of strong, resilient growth, an independent study by economists from Analysis Group found. The App Store continues to create incredible opportunity for developers around the world, with more than 90 percent of the billings and sales accruing solely to developers and businesses of all sizes — without any commission paid to Apple. Additionally, new analysis from the Progressive Policy Institute found the iOS app economy now supports more than 4.8 million jobs across the U.S. and Europe, with approximately 2.4 million in each region.


The iPhone Is Dead — Long Live The iPhone, by David Pierce, The Verge

The real story of the iPhone is not about smartphones. It’s about the way Apple taught the world to touch their screen, to rely on a single device to do everything, to interact with each other and the world through a piece of technology. The iPhone gave Apple an unstoppable marketing machine, an unparalleled supply chain, and a cultural cachet that’s downright bizarre for a gadget company. That’s all going to come in handy for Apple as it navigates whatever is next.

Apple didn’t invent the world we live in, but the iPhone certainly played an outsize role. And if what comes next is AR and VR and glasses on our faces, it’ll only work because the iPhone worked. The future may not be smartphones, but the iPhone’s not going anywhere.

The Case For Leaving Strangers In Your Family Photos, by Rebecca Onion, Slate

People’s relationship to photographs, and to strangers, is not the same as it was when I was young. Because we have smartphones, and thousands of jpegs taken at each individual event to pick from, why wouldn’t we pick the frames with no randos in them for our albums, before even considering Magic Eraser? I’ll tell you why: Because that blond lady in the suede ankle boots is there to remind me that J. was once a 4-year-old who made friends with strangers easily, and loved crowded festivals, way more than I ever have. The boots lady, in my opinion, stays in the picture.

Should We Know Where Our Friends Are At All Times?, by Rebecca Jennings, Vox

The typical conversation will likely go something like this: You’ll have plans to meet up with someone at a crowded place — a concert, a park, a beach, etc — and have an obvious immediate need to know where someone is. The tricky part, though, is gauging how long to extend the access: On Apple’s Find My Friends, you can choose to either share your current location for one hour, until the end of the day, or to share indefinitely. “If the person only shares their location with you for [an hour], it’s definitely, like, a signal. You’re like, “Oh, are we not good enough friends for you to permanently share your location with me?’” Camberg says she gets around the awkwardness by sharing her location permanently with people to avoid that conversation, “and then maybe turn it off a few days later when we aren’t together.”

“It can be very awkward to bring up the topic of, ‘Hey, start sharing your location with me’”

Bottom of the Page

It would be quite funny if all the press and developers are in Apple Park for WWDC, and all are given the new headset just so they can participate in a virtual WWDC where you see Tim Cook and folks presenting in India.


(This, of course, will never happen.)


Thanks for reading.