Defending Apple is never worth the effort

Macworld

Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which includes all the Apple news you missed last week in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a Monday morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.

The only way to win is not to play

Merry (day after) Christmas everyone! And commiserations to those of you who had to endure tiresome mealtime arguments with distant relatives whom you see at no other time of year. As every year, I tried my best to follow my own advice to be the bigger person and refuse to join in, as hard as it was to shrug off comments about my political leanings or the way I raise my kids.

And this applies to the smaller arguments too, such as the silly ones about technology. If your uncle thinks that Alexa is better than Siri (which is correct) or that Android is better than iOS (unconvincing) or that Windows is better than macOS (absurd) then let him have his little rant. There’s rarely anything to be gained by engaging. Neither of you is going to change your position, and there are much nicer things to talk about.

I know this because, while I don’t consider myself to be an Apple fanboy, I’m very much in an at-risk group. By the very nature of my occupation I often find myself getting drawn into tech-clan disputes, and pretty much always regret it. People comment on my articles, or send me antagonistic tweets (until I deleted the Twitter app from my iPhone, which was the best decision I ever made, by the way), or make jocular remarks when they find out what I do for a living, and bam! The same old tedious debate is up and running, and there’s no way this is ending well for anyone.

The problem with bitter partisan debates (and yes, believe it or not, we’re still talking about technology) is that the two sides find themselves getting pushed into positional extremes that they don’t truly believe in. In the heat of the moment, I hear myself claiming that the charging setup of the 2nd-gen Magic Mouse is fine because the fast-charging function means the cable only needs to be connected for a couple of minutes. And even if I should go on to win that particular argument, I will have lost my immortal soul.

Here’s the thing to remember when talking about technology: There are no sides, there are only products that some people like and others don’t. And you don’t need to subscribe wholesale to a company’s entire existence, warts and all. If you like AirPods, that doesn’t mean you have to justify Apple’s labor policies. If you prefer Macs to PCs that doesn’t commit you to lifelong allegiance to Cupertino, or even lifelong allegiance to the Mac itself. If someone releases a Windows PC that works for your needs and budgets, you can switch. This isn’t a religion, and there are no penalties for apostasy.

My view is that Apple is a broadly admirable corporation, as these things go, with a decent-seeming CEO and a strong and pleasingly consistent ethos and aesthetic running through most of its products. I like my HomePods and I like my iPhone, and most of the time I like my MacBook. But it’s still a corporation. For the usual tedious reasons–profit; organizational dysfunction; bad luck—it will sometimes make great clanging missteps and sometimes behave in a way that’s ruthless and essentially indefensible. The lucky thing is that defending the company isn’t my job, and it isn’t yours either.

Foundry

Trending: Top stories

Apple’s next big thing is so good it has people on the verge of tears.

Apple had a quiet 2023–but it could be the calm before the storm.

Apple is ‘pausing’ sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 to comply with a patent ruling. But it’s okay: a rescue mission is underway.

The new TV app should be the main Apple TV interface.

If you use Family Sharing, Apple might owe you some money.

Talking of cash, Apple’s new contingent pricing may save you money on App Store subscriptions.

Just under the wire, Apple announces the first round of next-gen CarPlay cars. But you probably can’t afford one.

Podcast of the week

2024 promises to be a big year for Apple. What should we expect, besides the typical iPhone and Mac upgrades? That’s the topic of this episode of the Macworld Podcast!

You can catch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on SpotifySoundcloud, the Podcasts app, or our own site.

The rumor mill

Apple will reportedly launch two new 4th-gen AirPods models in 2024.

Apple accelerates Vision Pro production, aiming for a February launch.

The next-gen Apple Watch ‘100%’ won’t work with existing bands.

Software updates, bugs, and problems

Beeper’s desperate effort to revive its Android iMessage service: Use a Mac.

Apple releases speedy update to macOS 14.2 with bug and security fixes.

Apple releases iOS 17.2.1 with mystery bug fixes.

And with that, we’re done for this week’s Apple Breakfast. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Facebook, Threads, or Twitter for discussion of breaking Apple news stories. See you next Monday, and stay Appley.

Apple Inc

​Macworld Macworld

Welcome to our weekly Apple Breakfast column, which includes all the Apple news you missed last week in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a Monday morning cup of coffee or tea, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.

The only way to win is not to play

Merry (day after) Christmas everyone! And commiserations to those of you who had to endure tiresome mealtime arguments with distant relatives whom you see at no other time of year. As every year, I tried my best to follow my own advice to be the bigger person and refuse to join in, as hard as it was to shrug off comments about my political leanings or the way I raise my kids.

And this applies to the smaller arguments too, such as the silly ones about technology. If your uncle thinks that Alexa is better than Siri (which is correct) or that Android is better than iOS (unconvincing) or that Windows is better than macOS (absurd) then let him have his little rant. There’s rarely anything to be gained by engaging. Neither of you is going to change your position, and there are much nicer things to talk about.

I know this because, while I don’t consider myself to be an Apple fanboy, I’m very much in an at-risk group. By the very nature of my occupation I often find myself getting drawn into tech-clan disputes, and pretty much always regret it. People comment on my articles, or send me antagonistic tweets (until I deleted the Twitter app from my iPhone, which was the best decision I ever made, by the way), or make jocular remarks when they find out what I do for a living, and bam! The same old tedious debate is up and running, and there’s no way this is ending well for anyone.

The problem with bitter partisan debates (and yes, believe it or not, we’re still talking about technology) is that the two sides find themselves getting pushed into positional extremes that they don’t truly believe in. In the heat of the moment, I hear myself claiming that the charging setup of the 2nd-gen Magic Mouse is fine because the fast-charging function means the cable only needs to be connected for a couple of minutes. And even if I should go on to win that particular argument, I will have lost my immortal soul.

Here’s the thing to remember when talking about technology: There are no sides, there are only products that some people like and others don’t. And you don’t need to subscribe wholesale to a company’s entire existence, warts and all. If you like AirPods, that doesn’t mean you have to justify Apple’s labor policies. If you prefer Macs to PCs that doesn’t commit you to lifelong allegiance to Cupertino, or even lifelong allegiance to the Mac itself. If someone releases a Windows PC that works for your needs and budgets, you can switch. This isn’t a religion, and there are no penalties for apostasy.

My view is that Apple is a broadly admirable corporation, as these things go, with a decent-seeming CEO and a strong and pleasingly consistent ethos and aesthetic running through most of its products. I like my HomePods and I like my iPhone, and most of the time I like my MacBook. But it’s still a corporation. For the usual tedious reasons–profit; organizational dysfunction; bad luck—it will sometimes make great clanging missteps and sometimes behave in a way that’s ruthless and essentially indefensible. The lucky thing is that defending the company isn’t my job, and it isn’t yours either.

Foundry

Trending: Top stories

Apple’s next big thing is so good it has people on the verge of tears.

Apple had a quiet 2023–but it could be the calm before the storm.

Apple is ‘pausing’ sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 to comply with a patent ruling. But it’s okay: a rescue mission is underway.

The new TV app should be the main Apple TV interface.

If you use Family Sharing, Apple might owe you some money.

Talking of cash, Apple’s new contingent pricing may save you money on App Store subscriptions.

Just under the wire, Apple announces the first round of next-gen CarPlay cars. But you probably can’t afford one.

Podcast of the week

2024 promises to be a big year for Apple. What should we expect, besides the typical iPhone and Mac upgrades? That’s the topic of this episode of the Macworld Podcast!

You can catch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcasts app, or our own site.

The rumor mill

Apple will reportedly launch two new 4th-gen AirPods models in 2024.

Apple accelerates Vision Pro production, aiming for a February launch.

The next-gen Apple Watch ‘100%’ won’t work with existing bands.

Software updates, bugs, and problems

Beeper’s desperate effort to revive its Android iMessage service: Use a Mac.

Apple releases speedy update to macOS 14.2 with bug and security fixes.

Apple releases iOS 17.2.1 with mystery bug fixes.

And with that, we’re done for this week’s Apple Breakfast. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Facebook, Threads, or Twitter for discussion of breaking Apple news stories. See you next Monday, and stay Appley.

Apple Inc 

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