Welcome to our Apple Weekend Breakfast column, featuring all the Apple news you missed this week in a handy bite-sized recap. We call it Apple Breakfast because we love it with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but it’s also cool if you want to read it over lunch or dinner.
The power of low expectations
One of our most read articles this week was a minute-by-minute preview of the Far Out event, posted the day before by our internal psychic (me). This was partly an excuse to joke about Apple’s marketing ways, but it turned out to be fairly accurate, predicting all eight products unveiled and quite a bit of detail.
This predictability was itself predictable, as the general feeling these days is that Apple can’t keep a secret. And it’s pretty hard to hide the existence of a hugely hyped new product while 95 million units are being produced in a supply chain on the other side of the world.
But against all odds, Apple found a way to provide a few surprises. For example, while the physical design of a product should be shared with your manufacturing partners, the name of that product does not, and to my knowledge no one predicted that the rugged Apple Watch would be given the name Ultra. Also, no one has leaked its price, and here at Macworld we were pleasantly surprised that the Ultra costs $799 instead of $999 or more.
The biggest surprise of the keynote, however, was the Dynamic Island, a masterstroke that could have turned a hardware defeat into a software victory. Like the notch in front of it, the cameras and sensors on the top of the iPhone 14 Pro are essentially a compromise: we’re giving up a little screen real estate in a potentially distracting area because the alternatives — from the notch and Home button to faint bottom screen cameras – are worse. Apple’s screen cutouts are a necessary disappointment that customers have to swallow to get other good stuff. In other words, it’s something to fly past in the keynote so as not to make it a big deal.
However, Apple made it the biggest deal of the entire presentation. The name and the bravado with which it was introduced — including a mission statement about making notifications “rich and delicious” — seemed almost laughable until we saw the feature itself: a dynamic interface area that grows and shrinks to provide relevant information as the sensors are turned on. disguised. For once, the hype was fully justified. It’s a neat, cute and extraordinarily clever way of turning necessity into virtue, giving the 14 Pro an instant sense of personality and huge potential for usability.
Such a clever design would do well in any context. But the best thing about the Dynamic Island launch is the way it emerged against a backdrop of zero expectations. Like a parent walking into the cinema to watch the second one Frozen movie, keynote viewers were led to expect something that was actively bad and annoying. And just as that parent loved the powerful storyline and great tunes, iPhone buyers got a source of pleasure where no one expected them to.
Legal filings, patent filings, supply chain leaks and media hyper-research mean it’s unlikely Apple will ever again succeed in launching a completely surprising new product on an unsuspecting world. But at the Far Out event, we got a glimpse of what the company can do instead, which is to promise too little and deliver too much. And of course keep launching the next right thing.
Trending: Top Stories of the Week
The biggest surprise of the Far Out event is how little everything costs.
Apple is here to remind you that life is precious— and so does your wallet, writes Jason Snell.
Tim Cook has a solution for green Messages bubbles but you are won’t like it.
Apple much revealed at the Far Out event, but some big things didn’t make it.
Podcast of the week
In this episode of the Macworld Podcast, we give our two cents on the Apple Watch Ultra, the iPhone 14, the AirPods Pro, and everything else that happened on the Far Out Event.
You can watch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app or our own site.
Software updates, bugs and issues
iOS 16 starts on September 12!
Some of The best features of iOS 16 won’t make it to Monday’s launch. You will have to wait a little longer.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you would like to receive regular round-ups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend and stay Appley.