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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

The features that didn’t get discussed onstage at WWDC

Apple’s Monday keynote at WWDC was jam-packed as usual, but even at two hours there’s never enough time to cover everything that the company is rolling out in its latest platform updates—especially when you’re updating five major platforms and rolling out a brand new headset.

So, as usual, I’ve perused the product pages for Apple’s latest updates to pull out the details about all the new features coming later this year.

I’ve broken these features down by platform, though as always, many of Apple’s features are available across all its devices. As ever, there may be more to come, but this is the most current list I can find as of this writing.

Continue reading “The features that didn’t get discussed onstage at WWDC”…

By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: The keys to the note

In the waning days of the Apple headset as a rumor, please remember to tip your local rumormonger. Remember, they survive on tips. If you’re worried about Apple’s keynote being too long, don’t. It may be our last if AI takes over.

My conspiracy theory board is now full

Have you heard about this headset thing? Big deal. Supposedly getting announced next week. Huge, if true.

Even Apple is… “subtly” is not the word… ham-fistedly teasing big things for next week’s keynote, tweeting that a “new era” will begin. The company also dropped the tag line “Code New Worlds”, perhaps a reference to VR opportunities for developers. (If it’s supposed to be a Star Trek reference, I give it a “B”.)

Certainly other headset vendors believe Apple’s going to announce one, as both Oppo and Meta rushed out some “Hey, look at us!” announcements this week.

Apple execs are on the record as stating that they will not use the term “metaverse”, which makes sense when one of your primary competitors has the first four letters of that as its name.…

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By Jason Snell

What I’m watching for at the WWDC keynote

Tim and Craig welcome people to last year's WWDC.

It’s almost time. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is just days away. Come Monday morning, both Dan Moren and I will be somewhere on the Apple Campus, watching Apple unveil whatever it chooses to put in front of the world.

Here’s what I’ll be watching for:

The headset’s developer story. This is a developer conference, and Apple’s launching a new hardware platform. Presumably, that means that Apple is going to have a strong story for its developers about why they should develop for the new platform, whether it’s bringing existing apps over from iOS or creating entirely new AR or VR experiences.

The big question is, how are developers going to be able to build VR or AR apps without having access to the hardware? I’m sure there will be a simulator that’ll run on a Mac, but you can only simulate so much. And once Apple has announced the headset, it’s a lot freer to share it with members of the public—so developers may be able to sign up to try out the hardware at Apple’s campus or in other Apple offices around the world.

But a few days at Apple isn’t the same as having a headset to test with, day in and day out. That’s why I think it’s worth watching to see if Apple provides a pathway for developers to get hardware in advance of the general public. In the past, Apple has offered developer kits during Mac chip transitions and for the release of the tvOS app platform. Perhaps this summer, Apple will allow developers to sign up to be considered for a limited number of test units?

I keep hearing that the hardware is actually done, or close to it—and yet there are also reports that it won’t ship to the public until late this year. Maybe there’s an interim step that allows developers to build apps on final hardware that’s running a special developer build of the new headset’s operating system. It’s just hard for me to imagine Apple getting developers excited about its platform and then telling them all to wait many months until they can actually use the hardware. (Not only is that poor form, but it’s also how you get apps that don’t properly take advantage of the new hardware.)

The headset’s consumer story. Unlike those of us who have been bathing on Apple VR headset rumors for years, most of the general public is going to be hearing about the product for the first time on Monday. So what’s the first impression Apple wants to make?

I’m anticipating that Apple will highlight numerous potential areas of value, as it did nearly nine years ago with the launch of the Apple Watch. But what will those areas be, and how will Apple choose to show them off? Will games be a focus or a peer with other areas like fitness, media, and communication? Will Apple sell the headset as a portable computer with an enormous virtual screen you can use to work productively? The choices Apple makes in terms of how it shows off uses for the product will say a lot about the company’s priorities.

I feel pretty strongly that this product is designed to show the current state of the art in AR and VR, which is why it’s apparently using such pricey components. Apple wants to dazzle people with the synthesis of—stop me if you’ve heard this before—its hardware and software. But it’s also clearly just the first step on a much longer journey, which will include more affordable hardware coming in the next couple of years.

Apple famously doesn’t discuss future products, but the company could presumably blunt a lot of criticism if it made it clear that this is just the beginning of a long-term commitment. The company doesn’t want people to write off Apple or this category but to get excited about the possibilities. If someone walks away from the event thinking they might buy a product like this from Apple someday, that’s a win for Apple—even if they’re not sold on the current device.

How mixed is this reality? All through the development of the headset, we’ve heard reports that some people inside Apple have been very concerned with the idea that a VR headset fundamentally closes you off from the rest of reality. There have been reports that Apple has considered various approaches to counter this issue, from a Digital Crown-style dial that lets you switch between virtual reality and the real world to an external display that shows your face to anyone who’s watching you. (That second one sure sounds weird to me.)

But as someone who has spent dozens of hours using VR devices, I can see their point. Whether I’m home alone or if a family member is in the house, when I’m playing on my Quest 2, I have no idea if someone’s watching me or not. (Also, if a cat has come into the room and I’m in danger of stepping on them.)

My favorite Quest game is Eleven Table Tennis. I can play virtual table tennis in an arena or a ski chalet. But what I can’t do is choose to play it in my house. Part of that is down to the Quest 2’s external cameras being lousy, but assuming that Apple’s headset can provide you with a high-quality view of the world around you using external cameras, wouldn’t it be nice to have the option of playing that game in reality rather than being entirely cut off from the world?

I’m very curious how much Apple will lean into the idea of mixing VR and actual reality. A device that fundamentally prefers that software work in either mode—an overlay on what’s really around you or something entirely manufactured—would be pretty interesting philosophically. (And even in a “pure” VR environment, those cameras could do things like alert you when there’s a cat or a person in the doorway.) I’m curious how much Apple tries to lean into the idea that just because this thing is a headset, it doesn’t mean you’re cut off from the world.

The headset’s price. Or more specifically, is Apple going to announce a price? On the one hand, if the price is going to take people’s breath away (in a bad way), maybe it’s better for Apple if it lets people get used to that price for a few months. On the other hand, if the product’s not for sale and not going to be until fall or winter, what’s the rush? Apple is rarely a company that discloses anything until it has to. It could go either way.

The presence of Mac hardware. WWDC isn’t traditionally an event focused on hardware—except for all the times when it is. The fact is, there are only a handful of times a year that Apple can declare that it’s having a media event and draw the attention of the world—really, WWDC and the iPhone launch in the fall are the only ones you can bank on. And this year, interest is higher than usual because of the headset rumors.

If Apple wants a lot of people to see new Mac hardware, this would certainly be a good time to show it to them…. right? The problem is that the top headline or two or three coming out of the event will certainly be that shiny new headset, not some new Macs. Rumors have been swirling that Apple’s got a larger M2 MacBook Air laptop ready to ship, and since there’s an event, the company could release it. But is that a more effective strategy than waiting a few weeks, when headlines about the headset have faded, in order to put a new product in the spotlight?

I can see both sides of that argument, though I lean toward the idea that Apple can launch new Macs whenever it wants and doesn’t need to do it on Monday. And while reliable reporter Mark Gurman of Bloomberg keeps suggesting that new Macs are on the agenda, he’s mostly using phrases like “as early as at the conference” and “testing Macs ahead of the conference.” This doesn’t actually show a lot of confidence that those Macs, waiting in the wings though they are, are definitely making an appearance.

Gurman has also suggested that a revision of the Mac Studio might suddenly be on the agenda—after quite a long time when it seemed that the Mac Studio would skip the M2 generation entirely. (As Dan Moren and I discussed on Friday’s Six Colors podcast, it makes you wonder if the Mac Pro has been bumped back to the M3 generation, leaving the M2 Ultra chip nowhere to go but into a late revision of the Mac Studio.)

Again, seems like a weird thing for Apple to do—but given Apple’s supply chain since 2020, weird things do happen. The only case I think I can make for such an announcement to be made on Monday is to tie it specifically in with the rumors of the headset. What if an M2 Mac Studio was pitched as the perfect device for developers to use to create new AR/VR apps? At least there would be some thematic coherence.

In any event, I’m prepared to not see any new Mac hardware at WWDC, but if Apple has decided this is as good a time as any to revise the Mac product line, it can do what it wants—and balance the benefit of the increased attention with the fact that the new Macs will be lost amid the other announcements.

And hey, Apple could always tease the Apple silicon Mac Pro. Again.

A new page for watchOS. As I mentioned earlier, we’re coming up on the ninth anniversary of the announcement of the Apple Watch. watchOS has grown and changed a lot in the intervening time, but some of the basic assumptions of its design—watch faces with complications over there, apps over here—haven’t really been touched. Six years into the iPhone, iOS 7 totally reimagined the iPhone experience. It would seem like a good time for Apple to take a step back and reconsider some fundamental aspects of the Apple Watch rather than just tinkering around the edges. Will this be the year? I hope so.

Steady on, other operating systems. Reports suggest that this will be a lighter year for other Apple operating-system updates, given all the effort that has gone into launching the headset. But what does that mean? Historically, even “light” macOS releases like Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion boasted hundreds of new features. If this operating-system cycle is a little different, where has Apple decided to focus its attention? Which features are being introduced for specific platforms, and which ones are being spread across many of them?

Last year’s WWDC felt disorganized, in a way, because so many of the features Apple introduced were available on Mac, iPad, and iPhone—but the company chose to introduce those features in segments devoted to individual platforms. The result was disjointed—oh, this Mac feature is also on the iPad! Surprise!—and didn’t really sell the advantage of a single feature being available simultaneously across most of Apple’s devices. I’ll be watching to see if the company has rethought how it introduces new features for every operating system that isn’t a mixed-reality headset.

The Max launch and prioritizing tech stacks; Netflix’s ad viewers and the future of ad-free streaming; and in Sports Corner the regional sports network collapse has begun. Also, we announce our own plus—Downstream+!

Our current device-charging setups, how we manage our windows, our weather apps of choice, and the travel items that have saved our bacon.

by Jason Snell

Reddit has it in for third-party clients

Every now and then I type something into Spotlight on the iPad and I see that Twitterrific is still installed. I can’t bear to uninstall it, but since Twitter killed third-party client apps, I don’t use Twitter very often. Maybe I check one of my lists once a day. That’s it. And I used Twitter a lot—with my third-party client of choice.

The geniuses who own Reddit have apparently decided to walk the same path as Twitter. Here’s the report from Christian Selig, the developer of Apollo, a leading (and beloved) Reddit app:

Had a call with Reddit to discuss pricing. Bad news for third-party apps, their announced pricing is close to Twitter’s pricing, and Apollo would have to pay Reddit $20 million per year to keep running as-is.

Apollo made 7 billion requests last month, which would put it at about 1.7 million dollars per month, or 20 million US dollars per year. Even if I only kept subscription users, the average Apollo user uses 344 requests per day, which would cost $2.50 per month, which is over double what the subscription currently costs, so I’d be in the red every month.

Not only is the price ridiculous, but (as Selig shows with some back-of-the-envelope math) it’s far beyond what Reddit itself makes on its users. As with Twitter, there is a path for Reddit to walk that allows Selig to build a sustainable app business and for Reddit to be compensated for its service. But this isn’t it.

If Reddit continues on this path, it may discover that some of its most devoted users are devoted because they love Apollo. And if it vanishes, many of those users will too.

—Linked by Jason Snell

By Dan Moren

The Back Page: Release Notes for Apple Reality 1.0.1

We’re delighted you’ve chosen to embark upon Apple Reality. Today is the first day of a whole new world for you, and we hope that you enjoy living in it as much as we did creating it.

With Apple Reality, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to not only provide you with an immersive experience but to actually improve on reality itself.

We’re committed to making Apple Reality the best reality you can experience, and to that end we plan regular updates to add new features, improve existing capabilities, and fix any bugs that may arise. A major update coming later this year will add one of our most requested features: the ability to experience multiple realities.

Today, we’re releasing Reality 1.0.1. This launch-day update is recommend for all Reality users and includes the following enhancements, bug fixes, and security updates:

  • Corrected inconsistent rendering of sky that could make it appear white or gray and fixed issue where it could leak.

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by Jason Snell

How I edit podcasts (2023 update)

I’ve updated another eight-year-old article of mine, bringing my discussion of my podcast editing technique a bit more up to date.

Interestingly, my methodology hasn’t really changed much. I still use the Remove Silence command in Logic to separate sounds into visible blocks, and then edit left to right, looking for collisions and interruptions.

The big changes since 2015: I’ve abandoned Skype for Zoom, and Skype Call Recorder for Audio Hijack. And Ferrite Recording Studio on iPad is now in the mix. But my article also covers editing in GarageBand, since it’s free. It’s been literally a decade since I pointed out that GarageBand would be fantastic for podcast editing with a few very small feature additions that already exist in its big brother, Logic. Unfortunately, Apple has never bothered to add them.

—Linked by Jason Snell

by Jason Snell

‘MLB to produce and broadcast Padres games’

After the failure of bankrupt Diamond Sports to pay licensing fees, Major League Baseball will take over all San Diego Padres broadcasting starting Wednesday:

As a result of the new arrangement, Padres fans can now obtain a new direct-to-consumer streaming subscription for $19.99 per month or $74.99 for the rest of the season by registering at MLB.TV.  This offer is only for Padres fans in the Club’s Home Television Territory and is a separate service than the MLB.TV out of market package.  By offering a direct-to-consumer streaming option on MLB.TV in the Club’s territory for the first time, MLB is able to lift the blackout for Padres games previously distributed on Bally Sports San Diego.  Fans can also find more information about the availability of Padres games at

The oncoming failure of regional sports networks in the face of cord cutting is one of the more interesting media stories of our times. While some local cable channels have begun to sell games to cord cutters—Red Sox broadcaster NESN was the first—this is the first time that Major League Baseball itself has taken over all production for a team’s games, and is streaming them directly in the MLB app. (For continuity’s sake, the games will also be on local cable, satellite, and Internet TV providers in the Padres’ geographic territory.)

It sure feels like a milestone moment in the future of sports broadcasting—and the unwinding of the exclusivity of cable TV for sports broadcasting.

—Linked by Jason Snell

By Dan Moren for Macworld

A lot will be announced at WWDC, but wearables will steal the show

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is imminent. In just a few short days, all that rumor and speculation will finally be answered, and we can make way for…new rumor and speculation. (At least then it will be based on things we’ve actually seen.)

But as we enjoy our last hurrah before the hurricane of news and updates hits, it’s time to compile a look at what exactly we might be expecting when Apple executives appear (in a no doubt slickly compiled video) at Apple Park next week, and what isn’t likely to make the cut.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦

Apple Classical launches on Android before Mac and iPad

Zac Hall at 9to5Mac:

Prioritizing Apple Music Classical for Android over Apple’s other platforms does make sense, though. The separate app is based on Apple’s acquisition of Primephonic, which was a standalone classical music subscription service, and the Android app went away with Apple’s purchase. That’s similar to how Apple Music for Android has served as a replacement for Beats Music for Android.

Well, yes and no. I’m sure the Apple Classical app leverages a lot of Primephonic’s work, but just looking at the app also makes it clear that it’s drawing heavily from Apple Music; it seems unlikely that it’s more technically challenging to bring Apple Classical to the Mac and iPad than it is for Android.

That said, Apple could very well have metrics from both Apple Music and Primephonic showing which devices people use to listen to classical music, and it decided to prioritize where there were more users. I also wonder if developers of Android apps at Apple might have somewhat more availability than engineers working on apps for its own platforms—especially right now.

Despite all that, the lack of support for macOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and CarPlay definitely feels a bit awkward. Here’s hoping a subsequent release will not only improve the Classical app for iOS (which hasn’t been substantively updated since launch) but also bring users of the rest of Apple’s platforms into the fold.

—Linked by Dan Moren

It’s time for our eighth annual competition regarding what will happen at Apple’s WWDC keynote! Jason and Myke will be there in person—but what will be announced? Is the Apple mixed-reality headset really going to happen? Will there be room for new Mac hardware? And what do we anticipate for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS?

By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: The flaw of averages

Hey, it’s our antepenultimate week talking about the Apple headset speculatively! New apps are a-shipping and generative AI asks “How many fingers am I holding up?” The answer may surprise you.

Will the realOS please stand up?

Cue the “IT’S HAPPENING!” gifs because it turns out that all these headset rumors have legs, unlike Meta’s offering.


If you needed more proof of the actual thingness of Apple’s headset, this week did not disappoint. According to one of the outlets that received an invitation, Apple has invited a number of XR media outlets to WWDC. This is the first time the company has done so.

So, either Apple will be announcing a headset at WWDC or this is a really amazing troll. Either way, should be exciting.

Apple has also gone through a flurry of trademarking activities, including scooping up xrOS as well as realityproOS and realOS. Rest assured it will be called something.…

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