Opinion pieces & commentary Overview Updated September 20, 2021

Opinion pieces & commentary

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557 'Opinion' stories

December 2010 - September 2021

OpinionOpinion pieces are intended to provide interesting perspective on an Apple-related topic, and to be an entertaining read. They represent the opinions of their authors, and not of the site as a whole: this is the reason we don’t label them as editorials.

We use the ‘Opinion’ prefix for longer pieces, and ‘Comment’ for shorter pieces that may be making just a single observation.

We fully encourage discussion and debate on opinion pieces, and you are of course welcome to strongly disagree with both the author and other commenters. All we ask is that you apply the golden rule to your interactions: treat others as you’d wish to be treated. In particular, debate the topic not the person – it’s absolutely fine to say that you think someone is completely wrong because x, y and z; it’s not ok to call their views idiotic.

That said, we love to hear your thoughts and views, and really appreciate those who take the time to give their considered opinions.

Opinion Stories September 20

Apple has really gotten itself into a CSAM no-win situation. If it presses ahead, then it will be condemned by civil rights groups and security professionals. If it doesn’t, it will be condemned by child protection groups.

The company has currently bought itself some time by delaying the rollout while it tries to think of additional safeguards, but the question remains: What could those be? …

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Opinion Stories September 15

If I had to write a brutally honest headline for yesterday’s Apple event, it would be: Apple announces exciting new iPad mini (alongside worthwhile updates to Watch and iPhone).

It’s not that the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 updates were uninteresting. Indeed, Apple has successfully sold me a new iPhone. It’s just that the improvements were, for most use cases, relatively modest when you compare them to the complete transformation of the iPad mini …

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Opinion Stories August 31

There has been much discussion of a pair of iPhone 13 satellite communications reports, and it now appears that there may have been some degree of misunderstanding in these.

We’d already indicated that this was likely to be an emergency/backup communications system for remote areas only, but some are now going further and suggesting that it doesn’t involve satellites at all…

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Opinion Stories August 30

When Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo yesterday suggested the possibility of iPhone 13 satellite communications capabilities, that might sound exciting. The reality, however, is that is isn’t – at least, not for most of us.

That’s not just because Apple may not actually enable the technology, but even if it does, most of us will never use it.

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Opinion Stories August 27

Apple’s App Store changes, announced yesterday, succeeded in settling a lawsuit – but do nothing to offer the company any protection against the far bigger threat of antitrust legislation.

Apple wants to give the impression that it has addressed one of the key antitrust concerns, something known as anti-steering, but it hasn’t really. The company literally did the absolute least it could have done …

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Opinion Stories August 13

Update: Within minutes of writing this piece, an interview was posted where Craig Federighi admitted that Apple should have handled things differently.

One thing about the CSAM scanning controversy is now abundantly clear: It took Apple completely by surprise. Which is a surprise.

Ever since the original announcement, Apple has been on a PR blitz to correct misapprehensions, and to try to address the very real privacy and human rights concerns raised by the move …

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Opinion Stories August 6

The announcement yesterday of Apple’s child protection measures confirmed an earlier report that the company would begin scanning for child abuse photos on iPhones. The news has seen mixed reactions from experts in both cybersecurity and child safety.

Four concerns had already been raised before the details were known, and Apple’s announcement addressed two of them …

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Opinion Stories August 5

A report this morning said that Apple is set to announce that it will begin scanning for child abuse images on iPhones. Update: Apple later confirmed the report.

The method Apple is expected to use is one that maximizes privacy, but we noted earlier that there are still a number of ways in which this could go badly wrong …

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Opinion Stories July 31

Who could have predicted that the unsubstantiated report of the week would be Elon Musk once vying for control of Apple? In the strange times that we now live in, that’s the rumor that topped off tech and EV news this week.

And while both Elon Musk and people speaking for Tim Cook deny that the Tesla CEO once offered up his electric car company for the top job at Apple, the existence of what I’ll call the Teslapple mega-corporation is irresistible to consider.

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Opinion Stories July 16

Reactions were mixed when Apple last month revealed its approach to flexible working post-pandemic. CEO Tim Cook announced that staff would be expected to return to the office three days a week, but would, with line management approval, be free to work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Cook described the arrangement as a temporary one, and appeared to be hinting at a fuller return to work next year …

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Opinion Stories June 23

Apple is currently busy trying to extricate itself from an App Store mess. It’s making calls, writing letters, publishing white papers, and conducting interviews, all in an attempt to reverse the antitrust tide.

Some of the moves it is making frankly signal desperation, and it’s astonishing to me that the company missed an opportunity to enjoy a PR dream instead of its current defensive nightmare.

It’s not like Apple couldn’t see this coming – it had internal discussions about the issue a full decade ago …

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Opinion Stories June 22

When Apple announced that it was bringing lossless music and Spatial Audio to Apple Music, it majored on the latter and mentioned lossless almost in passing. That struck me at the time as the wrong way around, but listening to Spatial Audio tracks has changed my mind.

Spatial Audio – aka Dolby Atmos – had obvious appeal for movies, but with the possible exception of recordings of live performances, I couldn’t see much point in it for music …

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Opinion Stories June 17

Apple officially announced its 2021 Back to School promotion today in the US. Like last year, students, teachers, and faculty can get a free pair of AirPods along with the standard education discount on Mac and iPad but there’s more complexity this time around. Here’s why you might want to wait on Apple’s Back to School promotion – at least for a bit.

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Opinion Stories June 16

iPadOS 15 is a huge leap forward for the iPad. The best features of iOS 14 like Home Screen widgets and App Library are coming to iPads. That means you can put the Weather widget directly on your Home Screen just like on the iPhone. Widgets update with new information like temperature and forecast, and tapping a widget launches the app just like tapping an icon…

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Opinion Stories June 15

The path to getting a UK contact tracing app was a rather tortuous one. The country initially decided to ignore the joint Apple/Google API and develop its own app. Having wasted literally millions of pounds doing so, it then reversed course and decided to build the COVID-19 API into an NHS app.

Unfortunately, my experience suggests that even the API-powered app doesn’t work too well in practice …

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Opinion Stories June 11

I’ve argued for years that moving beyond passwords is something that urgently needs to happen from both a security and usability perspective.

The technical framework to make it possible to abandon passwords – WebAuthn – was agreed back in 2018, and Apple added support for it in Safari last year. Adoption is as yet close to zero, but all that looks set to change, thanks to the latest move by Apple …

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Opinion Stories June 4

We know very little about what we’re going to see at WWDC on Monday, but there have been plenty of hints dropped along the way about some of the potential announcements. The first and most obvious thing we expect and hope to see is a major update to iPadOS that takes advantage of the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro. The second, a new brand name for the software on Apple’s home products called “homeOS,” leaked through a job listing posted the other day. Apple now has 5 core platforms plus the HomePod. They’ll have 6 if homeOS becomes a reality. That leaves iOS, just for the iPhone. If that’s the case it should probably be renamed ‘”iPhoneOS” again.

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Opinion Stories May 31

We spend a lot of time here at 9to5Mac looking forward to new products, but sometimes it’s fun to look back at our favorite Apple products, too.

For me, a few stand out for different reasons – some going way back into the mists of time, some more recent. I have to open with a confession…

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Opinion Stories May 26

With the new iPad Pro models out, there has been another flurry of comments about the urgent need for an iPadOS update to allow the software to catch up with the hardware.

I absolutely agree – but for me, none of the rumored improvements expected from iPadOS 15 address the single biggest difference between an iPad and a Mac…

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Opinion Stories May 25

With all the arguments completed, we’re now waiting for the judge’s Epic Games ruling in the antitrust trial against Apple. The consensus view among lawyers is that Apple did the better job overall in presenting its arguments – but the iPhone maker did come in for some close questioning by the judge, so the result is certainly not a foregone conclusion.

There are three possible outcomes in the case, and one of them might just be a better result for Apple than an outright win …

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Opinion Stories May 20

Android smartwatches have so far very much been also-rans compared to the market-leading Apple Watch, but all that looks set to change. Google has announced big plans for Wear OS 3, and looks like it may finally turn Android wearables into something that could seriously compete with the Apple Watch.

Android watches are getting a dramatically improved UI, better apps, and health and fitness features that rival those pioneered by Apple …

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Opinion Stories May 18

A day after the Apple Music Lossless Audio announcement, there’s still a great deal of confusion. A few things have become clear in the meantime, but other elements remain murky.

Apple spent most of its press release talking about Spatial Audio, and very little talking about Lossless Audio. That wasn’t a surprise: Anyone with the right kit will be able to hear the benefit of the former, while rather few will be able to hear the lossless difference

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Opinion Stories April 21

We’ve known since 2019 that AirTag was coming, but there was still one big surprise yesterday: AirTag pricing.

With the Tile Pro coming in at over $30, pretty much everyone assumed that the combination of added smarts and Apple branding would see AirTag come in at a significantly higher price, likely in the order of $50 …

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Opinion Stories March 31

Apple yesterday announced that for the second year running its Worldwide Developers Conference will be a virtual event – and I think this has implications for the future of WWDC.

While the Cupertino company is a great fan of in-person interactions, the online event definitely offers significant benefits …

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