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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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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 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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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Could go either way

The headset goes on a real expectations rollercoaster ride this week as Apple clears the deck for WWDC.

The Apple headset is awesome

If you were worried about Apple’s chances in the AR/VR space you can relax because it looks like they’ve got this headset business all sorted.

Word on the street—well, it’s more like an alley, a dark alley where rumors are passed—is it’ll knock your socks off. If you wear them on your face.

I’m not here to judge your fashion choices.

Oculus VR founder and noted rich person Palmer Luckey had this to enigmatically tweet about Apple’s upcoming offering this week:

The Apple headset is so good.

How does he know? Unclear. In what way does he mean? Who knows? Do we care what he thinks? Reasonable people can disagree.

Still: huge, if true.

This, of course, comes after a tester said last month that people would be “blown away” by the Apple headset.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Finally Cut Pro

This week Apple gets around to making its own dog food and eating it too, iPhones take over the U.S. market, and it may soon be time for that “Cheers” re-watch you’ve been thinking about for years.

Can I get a “Finally.”?

Yes, this week Apple announced that Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro would be coming to the iPad. Now we can put the rest all the arguing over whether or not you can get work done on an iPad hahaha just kidding—we’re going to be arguing about that for the rest of our natural lives (and unnatural lives, if uploaded intelligence becomes a thing).

In a new move for Apple apps, both will only be available via a subscription, but the prices are quite reasonable at $4.99 a month or $49 a year. You don’t even have to be a professional to afford that. That’s doable even on just a fessional salary.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Remember to tip your Genius

It’s AirTags to the rescue as the little devices could get a standard and are endorsed by law enforcement. Meanwhile, Apple employees are making some wild demands and the company manages to pull off an OK quarter.

An AirTag and release program

Apple and Google have announced they will be working together to make all wireless tracking devices less stalker-y.

“Apple to Expand AirTag-Like Unwanted Tracking Alerts to Other Item Trackers in Future iOS Version”

As part of this initiative, the companies plan to expand AirTag-like unwanted tracking alerts to third-party item trackers in future versions of iOS and Android.

That is, of course, a good thing—even if it is like closing the barn door after all the stalkers are out.

It’s not really a barn, per se. It’s more of an institution.

AirTags were kind of having a moment this week. The New York Police Department likes AirTags so much that it’s recommending people put them in their cars so officers can track down the vehicles if they get stolen.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: A system of operating

The headset cometh, if reports are to be believed (would it kill you to clap for the headset?), and Apple has a slew of operating system updates in store with some wild and wacky features.

Headset on a hardware introduction

Have you ordered your Apple headset yet?! Why not?! THEY’RE COMING! HURRY!

“Apple’s Mixed-Reality Headset Now Said to Be in ‘Final Sprint’ and ‘Delivery Stage’ Ahead of WWDC”

To tell the truth, I haven’t ordered mine yet, either, even though people say I have a face for goggles. What I don’t have is a wallet for $3,000. Also, you can’t actually order one yet, as it hasn’t been announced, despite the veritable salivation of the rumor mill.

There’s been a lot of question about this device. What is it? When is it? Why is it? Those kinds of questions. But recently someone claiming to have seen it talked to someone else and our concerns may be unwarranted.

”Apple Tester Claims to Be ‘Blown Away’ by AR/VR Headset, Says There Was Giant Development Leap”

[Leaker Evan] Blass said that over the course of the last few months, the tester has gone from “lamenting its ‘underwhelming’ capabilities” to being “blown away” by the experience and the hardware.

OK, so they were blown away. But were they blown away in a “take my money” kind of way?

“I was so skeptical; now I’m blown away in a ‘take my money kind of way,'” they said.

Oh! Well, glad I asked.

You might be asking yourself “but is it still going to have an external battery pack?” That, my friend, is an excellent question to which the answer is “boy, is it ever.”

“Apple Headset to Use ‘New Proprietary Charging Connector’ for External Battery”

Do you like MagSafe? Cool, because this is not that. This is more like ScrewSafe, which is not the hot new hookup app all the young people are using these days. As far as I know.

According to Gurman, the round tip must be rotated clockwise to lock it in so that it doesn’t fall out during use…

Again, not a hookup app. I can’t stress that enough.

I know I keep saying that but you keep looking at me and doing that Milhouse thing with your eyebrows.

The battery will power the headset for approximately two hours…

I swear, everything in this article just sounds like an innuendo now. Let’s just move on.

An OS by any other name

Speaking of Apple’s headset, there’s been a lot of consternation over what its operating system will be called. The current contenders are xrOS—is that “ex-arr-oh-ess” or “ten-arr-oh-ess”?—or the longer but equally capitalization-challenged sobriquet of realityOS.

What’s in a name, you may ask? Well! There’s, uh, there’s the letters…

Yeah, I don’t get the fuss, either. Look, they already lowercased “mac” on us; I think we’ll get through either of these options (although “realityOS” seems a little more Apple-y to me).

If you think Apple’s pantheon of operating systems is getting too full, well, hold on to your software update dance card.

“Apple Working on ‘Special Version’ of iPadOS 17 for Larger iPads, Starting With 14.1-inch Model Set to Launch in 2024”

You got your macOS. You got your iOS. You got your iPadOS. Now you’re gonna have your bigiPadOS. You’ll be GLaDOS that Apple has taken care of all of your devices in such a bespoke manner.

Look, as long as Apple doesn’t start naming these anything like “Large Tablet Operating System for Workgroups, Enterprise Edition”, they can call it whatever they want.


As we’re talking about operating systems, the Apple rumor mill surfaced more purported iOS 17 features this week.

“Report: iOS 17 bringing new Lock Screen features, Apple Music UI updates, more”

For instance, you will supposedly be able to view Apple Music lyrics from the lock screen. Now you have no excuse for not sharing your dulcet rendition of Lizzo’s “Juice” anywhere, anytime.

If you like them apples, Matt Damon, how about these apples?

“iOS 17 to Include Mood Tracker and Health App for iPad, AI-Based Health Coaching Service Coming in 2024”

Codenamed Quartz, the AI-based service will help encourage users to exercise, improve their eating habits, and take steps to improve their sleep.

Hmm, well, let’s just say that, given some of the results I’ve seen from AIs to date, I’m not sure if I want to take too many of one’s health recommendations, honestly.

“You could probably do a salmon ladder, right?”

[five seconds later]

“I’m sorry, I’m not sure why I suggested you could do a salmon ladder. I have called 911 for you.”

And on top of that, a mood tracker! I predict my mood will be “bitter and disillusioned.”

While these very 2023 features will surely surprise and delight iOS 17 users, there may be a sleeper hit lurking inside.

…Apple wants to expand the social networking capabilities of ‌Find My‌.

Please, I know it’s tempting, but I must insist you make your Ping jokes inside your heart.

[John Moltz is a Six Colors contributor. You can find him on Mastodon at and he sells items with references you might get on Cotton Bureau.]

By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: SurpriSE!

This week Tim takes a trip, Apple has another convenient, easy-to-use way for it to hang on to your money, and will iOS 17 have a startling new feature?!

No, will it?

I’m really asking.


You know the old saying: only Nixon could go to China but only Tim Cook going to India will bring out all the old Apple hardware.

That’s totally in The Big Book of Old Sayings. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

India rolled out the red carpet for the Apple CEO who showed up for the opening of the company’s first retail store in the country. The store has been a long time coming as Apple was first required to conduct manufacturing in India before opening a store, a deal that actually helps the company wean itself off complete dependence on China.

One of the first shoppers brought with him a Mac SE to show Cook and if you haven’t seen Tim’s expression upon being presented with the device, well, it’s not to be missed.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Exactly the right amount of Cooks

The big news this week is Tim Cook and lots of him! Also big news are things that already happened, like the Mac’s bad holiday quarter and Apple putting all its metaphorical eggs in China’s metaphorical basket.

What’s cooking with Tim

Since the dawn of time people have wanted to know more about Tim Cook. Finally, they can.

Writing for GQ, Zach Baron has a lengthy and fascinating interview with Apple’s CEO. Turns out he’s not your father’s Apple CEO! Just looking at you, I’m gonna guess that was Mike Markkula? Maybe Sculley.

“Tim Cook on Shaping the Future of Apple”

You have a lot of Tim-related questions, right? Of course you do. We all do. Many of them are answered in this interview. Such as, what does Tim do first after he wakes up? What are his likes and dislikes? What personal grudges does he hold? Where is Tim?…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Who wants this stuff?

Another seven days, three more fantastic tales of Apple! The headset isn’t even out yet and it’s already DOA, the company’s classical music app is out with the fowlest of themes, and are you prepared for…the Mystery Button?!

Get your headset in the game

This headset mystery is already giving me a headache.

According to The New York Times, eight unnamed sources who work or worked at Apple on the headset are wondering why this device and why now?

Some internal skeptics have questioned if the new device is a solution in search of a problem.

On the other hand, if not this device then when? If not now, then why? Who? What? [Wookiee gronk]?

These are all valid questions to ask about this device that few have seen and even fewer apparently understand. This despite the fact that it was apparently recently demoed to the company’s top 100 executives.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Congrats, Russian kids!

What have we learned? This week, it’s that Russia is not happy with iPhones, the iPhone 15 will not be the same as the iPhone 14, and that Apple has reported to Spring Training in the best shape of its life and is ready to play ball.

Jokes that date to the Cold War

The word from the Kremlin this week is that Apple can’t quit Russia, it’s fired! Due to the upcoming Russian elections (gosh, I wonder what the results will be!), the government has banned officials from using iPhones. Their suggestion for what officials should do with them? ”Either throw it away or give it to the children.”

And, if you don’t wipe them, the kids will get their very first lesson in collecting kompromat! Training the next generation for a future in politics: it’s a win-win.

What exactly is Russia’s problem with iPhones, you may ask? Well, the official line is that the ban is “because of concerns that the devices are vulnerable to Western intelligence agencies.”…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: The Lasso Cinematic Universe

AI continues to be a lot more A than I this week as Apple expands its manufacturing outside of China, and we enjoy the return of everyone’s favorite mustachioed man, Ted Lasso.

An AI walks into a bar…

AI is all the rage these days, despite it kinda not working all that great.

For my money, none of these technologies will be ready to ship until they pass the Friedman/Fridman test. You may be familiar with Lex Friedman, the co-host of The Rebound, host of Your Daily Lex, former writer for Macworld, and, most importantly, author of The Snuggie Sutra. He’s quite famous, very handsome, and has not one but two custom-made suits. Lex Fridman is some other guy.

But every AI in the world insists Lex is Lex, probably because enough people on the internet have misspelled “Fridman” as “Friedman,” and this is “artificial” intelligence, after all.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Stumbling into the future

Technology marches ever forward, even if it does stumble drunkenly from side to side, as it sometimes does. This week Apple contemplates its AI strategy, sets a ship date for its classical music app, and makes plans for new Macs. Reportedly.

Begun, the AI war has

Look out, Siri, because according to DigiTimes, Apple is going to re-examine its AI strategy.

It’s fine to reexamine your strategies at any time, and there are certainly some effective applications for AI, but given the current state of “AI” (which is really more machine learning than true “artificial intelligence”), this is an area where Apple should feel free to take its time.

Why? Well, let’s just pull a quote from thatMacRumors piece:

…companies like Apple, Meta, and Amazon… are purportedly making efforts to ensure Microsoft does not maintain its lead in AI.

Its what with the whatnow? Are we talking about the same AI?…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Cocaine Bear

This week we wonder what the Apple headset will look like, hope that Apple will improve the Apple Watch’s battery life, and sigh loudly again at Twitter.

Looks aren’t everything, but they’re something

Remember Google Glass? Sure you do. You laughed so hard milk came out your nose. And you weren’t even drinking milk at the time.

Which is how we found out you were a replicant. Different story, though.

The point is, it looked silly and everyone hated it because they didn’t want someone in their face recording literally everything. I don’t want to get into a discussion of the inevitability of the surveillance state in a weekly wrap-up column, so let’s focus on the looking silly part. Because if Xiaomi’s new prototype AR glasses are any indicator, that particular issue has still not been fixed. For some reason I am reminded of the unibrowed baby from The Simpsons.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: A stopped Watch

Is the Apple Watch about to become as scarce as woke liberal elites at Elon Musk’s birthday party? Meanwhile rumors about the iPhone 15 and the Apple headset are heating up, hopefully not like the devices themselves.

Apple Watch fracas

Like squirrels storing nuts, is it time to buy up and stash away Apple Watches?

Well, that’s one strategy. A strategy employed by rats with good hair style. If you want to go that way. I’m not here to judge your role models.

If things continue apace, the U.S. International Trade Commission could ban imports of most Apple Watch models due to a patent ruling in favor of a company that makes electrocardiogram technology. ECG technology is in every currently shipping Apple Watch model except the SE.

Is this game over for the Apple Watch, one of the most successful Apple flops ever?! Before we even get the recently rumored blood glucose testing?!…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Delayed gratification

The Air might be getting bigger up here, this Mastodon deal keeps getting better and better, and the Apple headset get kicked down the road (disclaimer: kicking an Apple headset down the road will void your warranty).

Serious Air time

How big can a MacBook Air get before it’s no longer able to achieve lift? Asking for a rumored 15-inch Air, possibly coming as soon as April.

15-Inch MacBook Air Rumored to Launch in April as Display Production Begins

15-Inch MacBook Air Will Reportedly Have M2 Chip

Speaking personally, I’m happy with my 13-inch Air and, if anything, a return of an 11-inch Air would be more likely to tempt me. Still, this is a smart move by Apple. Plenty of non-pro users want more screen real estate.

It you’re a fan of smaller laptops, however, you can hang your hat on still other rumors that have the company returning to the 12-inch form factor.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Pie in the Skynet

Apple looks to the future as two of its rivals make AI announcements, rumors swirl of an even more expensive iPhone, and the company would like some games for the Mac, please.

Bing, where can I dispose of a dead loveseat?

This was a big week for announcing your new AI strategy so if you didn’t have one ready to go, that’s on you.

Google announced that its AI service, Bard, is now in a private beta test and will be opened to the public “in the coming weeks”. No word on whether or not the number of those weeks is closer to 2 or 52, but if history is any guide, Google will lose interest in the project by about 260 weeks. In fact, it’s already having a bit of a rough start.

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced an AI-aided version of Bing, which the company says will let you ask real questions from how to attend your first EDM festival to whether or not a loveseat will fit in your 2019 Honda Odyssey.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Let them fight

Cue up your best Ken Watanabe gif because the kaiju of Apple rumors are going head to head! Samsung announces it’s getting into… some kind of reality, but it doesn’t matter because Apple’s going out of business. Again.

Dueling rumors

Ming-Chi Kuo came in hot this week with a rumor that Apple would ship a foldable iPad in 2024. The killer feature? A kickstand.

I’m not going to say that Steve Jobs would never have shipped an iPad with a kickstand, but I do believe he would have said “If you see a kickstand, they blew it” a few years before he eventually did. It is reportedly a carbon fiber kickstand, so at least it’s fancy.

I dunno, though, Ming-Chi, are you sure about this?

…I’m positive about the foldable iPad in 2024…

Oh. Wow. OK.

Case closed, then, I gue-

“Rumors: Foldable iPad in 2024 dismissed, Apple developing 21-inch ‘foldable notebook’”


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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Feel the elephant

The M2 Mac mini and MacBook Pro reviews are in, Ivory is here, and details of the Apple headset?! Our collective cups runneth over.

“You made the car too good.”

The new M2-based Mac mini and MacBook Pros fell into the hands of reviewers this week and the results were mostly what you’d expect.

Let me just check the notes here I made from reading several reviews…

Just says “hecka fast”.

Actually it says something different but I changed it to “hecka” because this is a family-friendly site.

(It was “darn fast”.)

Here’s Jason on the MacBook Pro:

These are incredibly fast laptops, and they don’t slow down when they’re running on battery power.

Here’s how Dan described the M2 Pro Mac mini:

…a high-performing machine that will go up against the more expensive products in Apple’s desktop line, like the Mac Studio.

The Verge’s Chris Welch said of the same model:

So far, it’s been an absolute screamer worthy of the “Mac Studio junior” moniker — and then some.

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: Non-events

This week answered the philosophical question: what if they held an Apple event and nobody came? Even if it was because nobody was invited. And speaking of not invited, some favorite apps have been uninvited to the Twitter party.

Apple event

Apple decided to make the announcement of new M2-based MacBook Pros and Mac minis, in which the new M2 Pro and Max chips were unveiled, an online-only affair which meant reporters could cover it in their PJs. The company still produced a video featuring talking execs (if not its most senior), lots of camera swooshes through the company’s headquarters, and videos. Yes, videos inside the presentation video. Videos of people making videos.

It’s like a video turducken.

The virtual event was not entirely Tim-less (Apple’s VP of Platform Architecture Tim Millet represented the Tims of Apple) but it was Cook-less. Still, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t sizzle.

The new M2 Pro Mac mini beats the M1 Max.…

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By John Moltz

This Week in Apple: The king of content

The Apple headset cometh (but later-eth), Eddy Cue wants to sell you some hot Apple content, and get your dirty fingers off my screen!

Headset-ing into 2023

If Apple has its way, 2023 will be the year of the Apple headset. (Maybe next year, Linux on the desktop.)

Mark Gurman tells us that the company will reveal the headset at an event in the spring, before WWDC, and then release it in the fall.

It’s very exciting (whatever the heck it is) but I hope you weren’t hoping for new AirPods, iPads, Apple Watches, or Apple TVs this year because Gurman also says Apple has moved resources from those products to the headset to make sure it launches on time.

Well, maybe you can take the money you were going to spend on those products and buy… uh, half a headset, if it’s really going to be sold at the rumored $3,000 price point. Surely they’ll sell them that way.

Maybe by canceling everything else, Apple thinks it’ll be the year of the Apple headset by default. That could work.

Thank you for your services

Literally everyone: “…”

Eddy Cue: “Hey! I still work at Apple!”

Literally everyone: “Oh. Uh… OK. Cool.”

Yes, Eddy Cue would like you to know that Apple services are a very big deal, thank you very much, and they’re doing super great, K? Thanks, bye.

Cue gushes:

It’s remarkable how much great content is at our fingertips…

Please do not touch the content! The content is for the eyes not the fingers! Animals.

Last week marked my 34th anniversary at Apple…

Being at the same company for 34 years in the tech industry is like saying “I was formed on the great island of Pangaea during the Triassic period.” But it is a great testament to Cue’s utility to Apple and his devotion to the company.

Jason wonders if this note was posted in advance of Apple’s quarterly results, which look to be rough this time around. Probably, but also the timing might have to do with the Golden Globe Awards coming out this week, which saw a few Apple productions nominated, with Paul Walter Hauser winning best supporting actor for “Black Bird”.

Because in Hollywood, if you don’t stand up and take credit for something, did it even happen?

I want to touch you all over

Friends, I have spent the better part of the last 20 years trying to get my wife and son to stop touching my laptop screen and now Mark Gurman is telling me it’s all for naught?

Apple Inc. is working on adding touch screens to its Mac computers, a move that would defy long-held company orthodoxy and embrace an approach that co-founder Steve Jobs once called “ergonomically terrible.”

OK, Steve said a lot of things. He said “If you see a stylus, they blew it.” He said “You’re holding it wrong.” He said “You’re fired.”

A lot, apparently. Often in elevators.

There’s a big difference between the things Apple says publicly and what it’s working on behind the scenes. You can decry the filthy marketing aspect of it, but don’t necessarily think that they’ve changed their minds.

Not gonna lie, though, there have been times since the introduction of the iPad when even I’ve started to reach for the screen. Some of us have been saying for 10 years that Apple might eventually make a touchscreen Mac but that, to do it right, it would have to “reinvent user interaction on the desktop”. Since then, it’s gone a long way toward making trackpad gestures a convenient way of interacting with macOS. Is that enough? Probably not by itself, because there are still so many touch targets that are too small for a finger. But when you think about how the cursor on iPadOS works, you can imagine a system that lets you activate a small touch target with your finger without having to hit it exactly or by making a completely different set of interface elements like Microsoft did on Windows.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy a bunch of those touch-enabled gloves for my family before they grease up my screen.

One can only imagine the kind of content Eddy Cue is preparing for the Apple headset. I can’t wait for my family to point it all out by reaching in and touching the screen on mine, if I can ever afford one.

[John Moltz is a Six Colors contributor. You can find him on Mastodon at and he sells items with references you might get on Cotton Bureau.]

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