Welcome to our weekend Apple Breakfast column, which includes all the Apple news you missed this week in a handy bite-sized summary. We call it Apple Breakfast because we think it goes great with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but it’s great if you also want to read it over lunch or dinner.
“This product literally saved my life. 7/10”
This week I’ve been primarily reviewing the Apple Watch Series 8, a boring update to Apple’s excellent line of wearables. For one thing, it changes very little from the previous generation, which is boring; but it’s also the best mid-priced smartwatch on the market. If it ain’t broke, I guess, why fix it?
Products like the Series 8 can be a challenge for reviewers, who are naturally keen to seek out and assess change. It’s important to remember that most people looking to buy a product haven’t tried the old model and iterative upgrades can still be a must buy. (That’s assuming you don’t have a Series 7, of course. If you do, you should probably put your wallet away for another year.) The media machine wants sensation, but boring is usually good.
Oddly enough, the exciting change for this year’s watches is another challenge for reviewers, but in a completely different way. Crash Detection is a fascinating addition to the iPhone and Apple Watch, but it’s also very difficult to test because it kicks in at times of high danger.
That’s not to say that some reviewers, bless them, haven’t risen to the occasion. YouTuber TechRax went in first, drove one (remote-controlled) car against another, and recorded the results as expected. But subsequent Wall Street Journal tests (featuring a destruction derby champion, for extra style points) were less successful: the devices in the crashing cars did their job, but the ones in the cars To crash against systematically did not recognize the situation. Apple has argued that the feature was confused by the lack of movement that led to the crash and that it will work better in real-world situations. Maybe, but then how do you test a feature that needs a real, life-threatening situation to work properly?
The extremely small sample size of Crash Detection reviewers among the dozens of reviews that have already been published raises another abstruse question: How much weight should a reviewer give to a feature that can literally save your life, but usually doesn’t? will do anything at all? During the Far Out event, Apple presenters repeatedly said they hoped the user didn’t need to use the feature, and it’s a kind of consumer tech Pascal bet: Should a feature that offers peace of mind but never gets used be a reason to spend $399 on an upgrade.
Presumably, that’s the equation Apple hoped we all had in mind when it put together the “Dear Tim” segment of last month’s Far Out press event. This was a surreal video of testimonials from customers who had survived hair-raising tests thanks to their Apple devices, along with Apple TV+-style dramatizations featuring bears and crashed planes. It would be uncharitable to interpret this as “Buy Apple products or they’ll eat you,” but there was definitely a whiff of I remember I died. Life is Beautiful.
The sad reality we tech reviewers must face is that some features can’t really be reviewed. With something as existential as fault detection, the best we can do is examine and explain the mechanism, then let customers make their own decision. It may save your life, we must say, but the chances of this happening are so small and the consequences so great that it’s impossible to rationally factor it into a review’s score. (Careful, the ideal that it saves your life, the peace of mind that owning it will give you is a real and valuable benefit that is much easier to quantify and should not be discounted).
It is possible, of course, that this is all post-rationalization. I didn’t do any proper crash tests with my Series 8; I drove up and down the street making sudden emergency stops to see if that triggered the warning. (It did not). And then I went back home and wrote about the quality of the screen, which is very nice and does not require me to weigh the value of a human life for a smartwatch review.
Trends: The best news of the week
Dan Moren brings together three must-see features in iOS 16 and watch OS 9 that you may have… missed.
Ken Mingis explains how the apple watch ultra convinced him to finally switch from Garmin.
Despite Apple’s best efforts, Meta and Google they are still out of control.
In an interview with the BBC, Tim Cook criticized the lack of women in the technology industry.
Amazon has announced a new event called the Prime Early Access Sale later this month, which means it could save big on Apple gear.
We’ve posted another review of Apple’s fall product list:
Plus a trio of head-to-head comparisons:
The tumor mill
the iPad Pro M2 it will probably come very soon.
And the Mac mini M2 could be released in October. It was time!
This fall can be quiet. but there are five brand new apple products which could debut in 2023.
of Apple october event it might not happen at all, according to Mark Gurman.
But Roman Loyola believes that Apple’s October event it is coming – and also new macbook pros.
While we’re on that topic, here’s everything you can expect on the october eventassuming it happens.
adaptive transparencyOne of the best features of the AirPods Pro 2 comes to the original model.
podcast of the week
There are less than 100 days left in 2022. What can Apple release in this short period of time? We talk about what we hope to see during the rest of the year in this episode of the Macworld Podcast!
You can watch all the episodes of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, sound cloudthe Podcasts app or our own site.
Software updates, bugs and issues
A security researcher has warned of nine iOS apps that are “committing various types of ad fraud.” Delete them now.
Apple has expanded stage manager support for older iPads, while delaying a key feature.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you would like to receive regular summaries, please subscribe to our newsletters. You can also follow us On twitter for breaking news. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend and stay Appley.