iOS 15.2, iPadOS 15.2, watchOS 8.3, tvOS 15.2, and HomePod 15.2 along with the macOS Monterey 12.1 update.
The iOS updates brings the full “App Privacy Report” feature to Settings
Also brings support for Apple’s new $4.99/mo Apple Music Voice plan
Add Digital Legacy which allows you to set up a Legacy Contact who can access your iCloud account and personal information in the event of your death
Adds the Communication safety and Safety warning child protection features to Messages
Ability to set manual control of the Ultra Wide lens macro feature on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
Apple TV app now has a Store tab lets you browse, buy, and rent movies and TV Shows
Additional bug features and security fixes
Apple also released updates for macOS Big Sur 11.6.2 and macOS Catalina basically to patch security issues
macOS Monterey 12.1
Brings SharePlay to the Mac which allow you to watch TV, listen to music, and play games with friends and family members over FaceTime. You can also use it to share the screen from a Mac or iOS device.
Universal Control however is MIA and Apple updated their website to say the feature will now not arrive until Spring of 2022
Apple released Tracker Detect for Android which allows an Android users to scan for nearby for active trackers on Apple’s FindMy Network
If an AirTag has been near you for over 10 minutes you can get an option to play a sound so you can locate it and disable it.
The first beta release of macOS 12.2 also dropped this past week and one interesting surprise is it had a fully native macOS Music app
To date the Music app on macOS, despite replacing iTunes in macOS Catalina 2019, still maintained the use of iTunes backend which is web based and just loaded into the app.
The updated app is now using AppKit – which is macOS’ native interface framework.
9to5Mac also confirmed it’s using JET, which is a technology used by Apple (from Oracle?) to turn web content into native apps.
It also seems like the Apple TV app has also been rebuilt with a native backend
27-inch iMac update in “Spring”
At least according to the latest speculation from display analyst Ross Young
He thinks Apple will release a 27” iMac “Pro” with MiniLEDs, 120Hz Variable Refresh and Oxide Backplanes
He doesn’t comment on the other specs, but considering he used the “Pro” moniker I would think it’s likely the iMac could use the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips Apple launched with the new MacBook Pros
Young goes on to comment on when Apple might move to OLED displays in Macs but doesn’t seem to think that will happen until 2023 at the earliest
And if you want to believe Twitter leaker Dylandkt the display on the 27-inch iMac (and the 24-inch) may just be the inspiration for new lower cost versions of Apple’s Pro Display XDR
He claimed that LG has three LG made Displays encased in unbranded enclosures two of which have the same specifications as the upcoming 27 inch and current 24 inch iMac displays
He said there was also a 3rd that was 32-inches with upgraded specs from the Pro-Display XDR
In addition the tweets mention a custom silicon chip powering the 32-inch model, but no mention of it on the 27-inch or 24-inch display
9to5 Mac had previously reported on the possibility of an updated ProDisplay XDR with an Apple A13 processor.
It also seems that at least the 27-inch and 32-inch displays have mini-LED back lighting and offer 120Hz variable refresh rates (ProMotion)
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Apple TV+ gets first Russian-language show
The show is called Container and according to Variety Apple will co-produces the series with the subscription-based streaming service START.
Apple continues to grow it slate of foreign shows with Container following behind the Israeli series “Tehran” and Korean language series “Dr. Brain.”
Container is the first series to come from first-look deal Apple signed with LA based AR Content back in July.
Container has already premiered on START in September and will launch on Apple TV+ in spring 2022
Apple reportedly has won a “heated” competition for a new series starring Colin Farrell.
This is according to Deadline
Apple was in competition with Netflix for the show called “Sugar” created by Mark Protosevich who is known for Thor and I Am Legend
The elevator pitch is the show takes place in LA and is a contemporary take on the private detective story
Farrell and Protosevich are also signed on to executive produce
Apple is also release a new kids series El Deafo on January 7th
The show is based on Newbery Honor-winning graphic novel of the same name
The novel is a memoir of it’s author Cece Bell and follows perceptive young Cece as she loses her hearing and finds her inner superhero.
Bell will be a narrator on the series which is being written and executive produced by Will McRobb who is know for “The Adventures of Pete & Pete”. Gilly Fogg, who worked on “Bob the Builder” is set to direct
A couple of Apple TV+ original films picked up six Critics Choice Film Award nominations
The film CODA four nominations for Best Picture, Best Young Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay
The Tragedy of Macbeth received two nominations for Best Actor and Best Cinematography
Apple announced a new documentary about the music of James Bond called "The Sound of 007"
The film will take a look at the music of the films from it’s iconic theme song and the music from Dr. No all the way through to the soundtrack from No Time To Die
The release claims it will combine heartfelt interviews with incredible James Bond archive material.
It will come to Apple TV+ in October of 2022 and is set to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film series
Mega-MP upgrade coming to iPhone 14?
MacRumors is reporting on a research note from analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities that hints at a “mega” camera upgrade coming to the iPhone 14
He claims the triple lens camera system on two of the models (guess which ones) will have a 48-megapixel Wide lens and 12-megapixel Ultra Wide and Telephoto lenses.
This mirrors a rumor from Ming-Chi Kuo from last April. He said Apple would have 48-megapixel Wide lens with support for 8K video recording.
In addition Pu expects Apple to increase the RAM in the iPhone 14 Pro from 6GB to 8GB though oddly he claims the base storage will start at 64GB (iPhone 13 starts at 128GB)
Meanwhile it could be the updated 5G iPhone SE 2 that has the biggest impact on iPhone growth in 2022
An analyst from JP Morgan thinks the updated SE, which we’re expecting this Spring has the potential to attract, “nearly 1.4 billion low-to mid-end Android phone and about 300 million older iPhone model users.”
They think that with a trade-in the average starting price of the iPhone SE could be between $269 to $399 USD and that would be very enticing to upgraders on both sides.
They think Apple iPhone SE sales could increase to 30 million units in 2022 with Apple selling a total of 250 million iPhones in 2022 more that 10 million more than in 2021.
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I had a great email come in from Jose that takes our “backup” conversation to the next logical step
Specifically, I had commented that I don’t like to consider my iCloud files as “backup”
Jose pointed out that really they are a “mirror”
More specifically iCloud tends to be a “sync” of your data and, depending on your settings, that difference can have some serious ramifications
The biggest point here is that if you delete a file or folder on one device, say your Mac, it’s also deleted from iCloud and from any other devices.
“Optimize” iCloud storage is a setting that should not be taken lightly
Basically when this is set and your device needs more storage space (because your drive is getting full) it means you given the OS permission to start deleting local copies of your data that is in iCloud
The issue with this is that you now only have the copy in iCloud.
Files that are not stored locally will not be backed up by any of your other backup schemes.
Worth pointing out that it’s really not just iCloud storage that works this way be default
In many ways other iCloud backup and even Time Machine is basically like this.
Also cloned backups.
So what’s the solution? Archive files that you want to delete, but want to save copies of.
External media. But you probably still want backups of that and you need to be aware of “bit rot”.
Multiple cloud backups?
Use case for AR/VR headset
Play comments from Josh
This is cool and I get it, but it may only re-affirm my fears?
One thing I have joked about is that your can often see the future of Apple tech by looking at Pixar films
There’s a seen in the Incredibles where he slides a tablet (basically an iPad) out of a manilla envelope. A trick Steve Jobs later did with the original MacBook Air.
Is an AR headset going to be our Wall-e moment where we are sitting right next to each other and communicating virtually?
The pandemic seems like it’s already started us down a “virtual” path, how much further is it until we enter the Matrix or the Oasis?
Couple people brought up the idea of movies in VR / AR
Mapping a movie theater screen onto a wall and then virtually “dimming” the environment, but you can still look around ad see the rest of the room, your snacks, etc.
Also the idea of movie experiences made specifically for VR. More immersive story telling where you might feel like you’re in the story and experiencing it vs just looking at the screen.
Thing of the Moment: Merlin Bird ID
From Joe a cool app for identifying birds from Cornell Labs. (i.e. Cornell University)