It’s not Apple’s job to make our lives easier

Welcome to our weekend Apple Breakfast column, which includes all of the Apple news you missed this week in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a 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 king has evil counselors There is a centuries-old practice in the UK—and likely in other tinpot monarchies*—whereby canny political operators disguise criticism of the king by instead complaining about his “evil counselors.” It’s a fiction that has been exploited to great effect by a few prime ministers, too, and more than once I’ve caught myself applying it to Apple’s CEO. Tim Cook is a seemingly transparently decent man. Around the peripheries of his role as Apple boss, he has done some transparently decent things, from championing the rights of gay and transgender people and migrant workers to pushing back against climate skeptic shareholders. But when it comes to the company’s core business, his eye is on the bottom line. He has one of the most important corporate jobs in the world for a reason, which is that under his direction Apple has made and continues to make a metric shedload of cash. And as tempting as it is to assign the company’s less fluffy strategies to an imaginary evil counselor (a profit-obsessed shareholder spokesperson, perhaps), the simplest explanation is that Cook is a ruthless businessman. @uptin First time I’ve even seen an ad for android and it’s going all out ♬ Funny Song – Cavendish Music Take iMessage, for example–which was in the news this week, when Google took out a massive billboard ad trying to shame its rival into adopting the RCS messaging standard so that iPhone and Android owners can message each other from a position of equality. Now, if Cook’s Apple existed to make the world a better place (as it might occasionally like us to think) this would be a no-brainer. There are technical hurdles, to be sure, but a universal standard across platforms would help people to stay in touch more easily regardless of their choice of device. Apple doesn’t want to, however, because iMessage (and the shaming handed out to Android users when they join a group chat and force everyone to use SMS) is a brilliant way to encourage people to buy iPhones. And Cook’s job isn’t to do the right thing for its competitors, it’s to do the right thing for Apple. A similar principle applies to the company’s ongoing and multi-front battle against accusations of anticompetitive behavior. Once again, it’s difficult to argue that empowering users to repair their own devices, for example, wouldn’t make life easier for at least some people. But in-house and authorized repairs are a juicy source of income, so Apple resisted the idea for as long as possible and then launched a self-repair program seemingly designed to put people off. Ditto for alternative payment systems and app stores—both things resisted, not because they open users up to security problems (a worthwhile but soluble consideration) but because they undermine valued revenue streams. On the whole, I’m okay with this. It’s not Apple’s job to make our lives easier. It’s a corporation, whose only jobs are to increase profitability and obey the law. What’s more, I don’t in general trust corporate responsibility: if we want change, why should we depend on the beneficence of some suit? Instead, we should enforce the behaviors we demand from our corporations using the law and the ballot box. Not just because that’s the only language they understand, but because they can’t change their mind when it becomes inconvenient. *It’s fine, I’m British, I’m allowed to say this. IDG Trending: Top stories of the week In memoriam: five once-great products Apple killed in 2022. Jason Snell explains why Apple’s most baffling decisions aren’t as crazy as they seem. We’ve rounded up the five most impactful features Apple unveiled in 2022. And here are five CES 2023 announcements Apple fans shouldn’t ignore. Fix the iPhone, and other New Year’s resolutions Apple needs to make. Jason Cross discusses Apple’s 3nm chip advantage (and explains why it doesn’t really matter) Apple is ‘seriously’ considering a price cut as iPhone 14 Plus sales slump. Apple shares MagSafe with the world in the new Qi2 wireless charging standard. The rumor mill Which of the biggest Apple rumors will become reality in 2023? WWDC 2023 could be Apple’s most exciting keynote in years. A cheaper pair of AirPods ‘Lite’ will reportedly help Apple compete with sub-$100 earbuds. And a bigger and brighter Apple Watch is reportedly arriving next year. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are rumored to get a massive Pro camera upgrade. Apple’s first release of 2023 might be an Android app. How big will 2023 be for the Mac? This big. Fortnite may return to the iPhone in 2023. Podcast of the week The new year is of

It’s not Apple’s job to make our lives easier

Welcome to our weekend Apple Breakfast column, which includes all of the Apple news you missed this week in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a 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 king has evil counselors

There is a centuries-old practice in the UK—and likely in other tinpot monarchies*—whereby canny political operators disguise criticism of the king by instead complaining about his “evil counselors.” It’s a fiction that has been exploited to great effect by a few prime ministers, too, and more than once I’ve caught myself applying it to Apple’s CEO.

Tim Cook is a seemingly transparently decent man. Around the peripheries of his role as Apple boss, he has done some transparently decent things, from championing the rights of gay and transgender people and migrant workers to pushing back against climate skeptic shareholders. But when it comes to the company’s core business, his eye is on the bottom line. He has one of the most important corporate jobs in the world for a reason, which is that under his direction Apple has made and continues to make a metric shedload of cash. And as tempting as it is to assign the company’s less fluffy strategies to an imaginary evil counselor (a profit-obsessed shareholder spokesperson, perhaps), the simplest explanation is that Cook is a ruthless businessman.

@uptin

First time I’ve even seen an ad for android and it’s going all out

♬ Funny Song – Cavendish Music

Take iMessage, for example–which was in the news this week, when Google took out a massive billboard ad trying to shame its rival into adopting the RCS messaging standard so that iPhone and Android owners can message each other from a position of equality. Now, if Cook’s Apple existed to make the world a better place (as it might occasionally like us to think) this would be a no-brainer. There are technical hurdles, to be sure, but a universal standard across platforms would help people to stay in touch more easily regardless of their choice of device. Apple doesn’t want to, however, because iMessage (and the shaming handed out to Android users when they join a group chat and force everyone to use SMS) is a brilliant way to encourage people to buy iPhones. And Cook’s job isn’t to do the right thing for its competitors, it’s to do the right thing for Apple.

A similar principle applies to the company’s ongoing and multi-front battle against accusations of anticompetitive behavior. Once again, it’s difficult to argue that empowering users to repair their own devices, for example, wouldn’t make life easier for at least some people. But in-house and authorized repairs are a juicy source of income, so Apple resisted the idea for as long as possible and then launched a self-repair program seemingly designed to put people off. Ditto for alternative payment systems and app stores—both things resisted, not because they open users up to security problems (a worthwhile but soluble consideration) but because they undermine valued revenue streams.

On the whole, I’m okay with this. It’s not Apple’s job to make our lives easier. It’s a corporation, whose only jobs are to increase profitability and obey the law. What’s more, I don’t in general trust corporate responsibility: if we want change, why should we depend on the beneficence of some suit? Instead, we should enforce the behaviors we demand from our corporations using the law and the ballot box. Not just because that’s the only language they understand, but because they can’t change their mind when it becomes inconvenient.

*It’s fine, I’m British, I’m allowed to say this.

Apple Breakfast hero

IDG

Trending: Top stories of the week

In memoriam: five once-great products Apple killed in 2022.

Jason Snell explains why Apple’s most baffling decisions aren’t as crazy as they seem.

We’ve rounded up the five most impactful features Apple unveiled in 2022.

And here are five CES 2023 announcements Apple fans shouldn’t ignore.

Fix the iPhone, and other New Year’s resolutions Apple needs to make.

Jason Cross discusses Apple’s 3nm chip advantage (and explains why it doesn’t really matter)

Apple is ‘seriously’ considering a price cut as iPhone 14 Plus sales slump.

Apple shares MagSafe with the world in the new Qi2 wireless charging standard.

The rumor mill

Which of the biggest Apple rumors will become reality in 2023?

WWDC 2023 could be Apple’s most exciting keynote in years.

A cheaper pair of AirPods ‘Lite’ will reportedly help Apple compete with sub-$100 earbuds.

And a bigger and brighter Apple Watch is reportedly arriving next year.

The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are rumored to get a massive Pro camera upgrade.

Apple’s first release of 2023 might be an Android app.

How big will 2023 be for the Mac? This big.

Fortnite may return to the iPhone in 2023.

Podcast of the week

The new year is often used as a gateway for change. And while Apple does plenty of things right, we’re hoping that Apple takes this cue and introduces some much-needed changes. The Macworld staff talks about a few things that we’re hoping Apple does in 2023 in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.

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

Software updates, bugs & problems

Apple has ‘temporarily’ pulled a major iOS 16.2 feature.

Noticed the overexposed raw image export bug in macOS Monterey Photos? Don’t worry, it’s fixed in macOS Ventura.

And with that, we’re done for this week. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy the rest of your weekend, and stay Appley.

Apple