Earlier in the week, Apple announced a slate of new hardware and software products. While most of the focus was on new iPads and Macs, updates to privacy and tracking programs are forcing app developers to ask users to track them.
In a recorded event last Tuesday, Apple announced a slate of new and updated products including a completely redesigned iMac desktop computer.
- New software and services were highlighted, as the Apple Card credit card will have more family-sharing functionality and a subscription podcast service to compete directly with streaming service Spotify.
- A previously-unveiled, now imminently-available tool in Apple’s mobile device software, App Tracking Transparency (ATT), will be included sometime next week when an update is pushed to devices in use.
- ATT will require apps and websites to ask Apple device owners for permission to track them, leading to criticism from Facebook executives.
- Tech writers are noting Apple’s new slate of hardware now share the same processor, the in-house built M1 first debuted last year, with the iPad Pro, MacBook lineups, and now the high-end desktop iMac running off the Apple Silicon System-on-a-Chip M1.
- Comparing price and functionality between the new M1 iPad Pro and the M1 iMac, CNET said the “fusion of the iPad and Mac” was “inevitable.”
- The New York Times focused on the privacy elements and anti-competition allegations from rivals of Apple, noting the Cupertino-based tech giant has become more difficult to work with as they research and introduce products that compete in similar spaces.
- CNN piggybacked off the New York Times, zeroing in on the new AirTags devices (which allow users to attach the small puck-like products to items for tracking in Apple’s Find My app) and software update required that will also include the ATT disclosures. Separately at CNN, tech analyst David Goldman said Apple bucked its own tradition of choosing “form over function” by creating an iMac product that will perform well, but looks ghastly.
- Gizmodo lauded the new iMac but said it left something to be desired and that Apple’s shift to hardware with components that are next to impossible to upgrade individually means they should be focused on “an affordable monitor”, but don’t appear to be.
- Wall Street Journal’s resident tech writer Joanna Stern recapped Apple’s announcement, saying that while the iMac had not seen a significant update in years, one longstanding gripe about the Mac lineup, the webcam, was upgraded to a still-unsatisfying 1080p resolution.
- OANN ran a Reuters wire report that focused on the new iPad Pros and smaller iMac desktops, which framed the hardware updates as “catering to a work-from-home world.”
- While the hardware announcements made the biggest splash across the media, Big Tech’s tracking and privacy issues, as well as allegations of bias against conservatives dominated coverage by The Washington Examiner, while a separate report earlier in the week notes the free-speech focused social media app Parler favored by some conservatives will be allowed back onto the Apple App Store soon.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021