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 cool if you want to read it during lunch or dinner hours as well.
The fault of the dongle
Macworld’s review of the 10th generation iPad went live this week (and is linked below). It’s an odd review: in many ways it’s a positive write-up, with an attractive design, excellent cameras, and Magic Keyboard Folio support all deserving of heartfelt praise. But there were enough quibbles to knock it down to 3 stars, including the frankly ridiculous dongle needed to pair the iPad with the only version of the Apple Pencil it supports.
Dongles, which cost more and get lost, and make everything less convenient, are understandably a pain point for Apple users, and they seem to be proliferating. Using a dongle always reminds me of what Steve Jobs said about styluses (rightly so): if you see a dongle, they blew it. A dongle is an unspoken acknowledgment that something has gone wrong. Either the wrong product was purchased for the job or it was poorly designed in the first place. Apple has had plenty of dongles over the years, but the Apple Pencil adapter is particularly irritating.
1. It doesn’t even work as a Lightning to USB-C adapter
A general-purpose Lightning to USB-C adapter would have some use, but as Redditor discovered through extensive testing, the dongle appears to be a single-use item. So if you were hoping to use the dongle to reuse your old Lightning cables, you’re out of luck.
2. You will lose it
Of course you will. It is small and does not attach to anything when not in use. And then your Apple Pencil will be useless until you pay another $9.
3. It doesn’t “just work”
The author of this column considers himself at least moderately tech-savvy, but was baffled for about half an hour trying to charge an old Apple Pencil using the adapter. I figured you’d be able to go Apple Pencil > adapter > USB-C to USB-C cable > USB-C power adapter > plug, but it got me nowhere fast. You need to use a cable and connect to the iPad to charge it. (The fact that Apple Pencils have no way of indicating when they’re charging is another issue.) As stated in the first point, the dongle is only good for a specific use case, but for most users, this will not be obvious. first.
4. He is there to offer you a better model
The dongle is an integral part of Apple’s overall approach this year, which we also saw with the oddly cautious iPhone 14 upgrade: buy the best model. Apple is an extremely detail-oriented company, and at some point you have to assume that the flaws in its entry-level products aren’t there because of management missteps or a lack of resources, but because that they want to pressure you into buying something more expensive.
5. It creates more e-waste
As mentioned above, the dongle now comes bundled with the 1st generation Apple Pencil, but we have to assume that at least some of them won’t be needed (when the Pencil is purchased by an iPad owner from 9th generation, for example) and will end up in a landfill. Others will be lost (see point 2) and end up in landfill. And the fact that it doesn’t work as a general-purpose adapter (see point 1) will contribute to the number of Lightning cables that end up in a landfill.
Inefficient design isn’t just bad for the user, it’s also bad for the environment. And if Apple cared as much about the environment as it claims, it would have found a better solution.
6. Apple had years to fix this problem
Apple still sells the 1st generation Apple Pencil because it still sells a Lightning iPad. The 9th generation model is the last iPad to feature a Lightning port, so while it’s still sold, the original Apple Pencil must exist. Fair enough. But the USB-C switch didn’t happen yesterday. The first USB-C iPad Pro and 2nd-gen Pencil released in 2018.
Given four years to plan the switch to the standard iPad, it’s absurd that Apple hasn’t come up with a more elegant solution than this. The most obvious would be support for the 2nd Gen Pencil, so whether it’s an engineering issue, a cost issue, or an upgrade issue (see point 4) , the whole Lightning affair seems to have taken Apple by surprise.
Apple, we keep hearing, is the most valuable company in the world, with a valuation well over $2 trillion. In the last quarter, Apple made the comically unimaginable sum of $90 billion, so it could probably afford to miss a few dollars here and there in favor of user goodwill and an improved user experience. . But no: Apple loves sucking up nickels and dimes. It runs additional ads on the App Store, jacks up the prices of its subscription services, and now charges $9 for an adapter. (Admittedly, the adapter is now free with the 1st generation Apple Pencil, but if you bought it a year ago, you’ll have to pay.)
The USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter is Apple design at its worst: we only needed to use it because Apple was lazy, stubborn and a bit greedy.
Trending: Top stories of the week
Apple may be great or it may be Google, but it can’t be bothsays Jason Snell.
The iPhone’s most promising feature is wasted. MagSafe could have offered unique experiencesbut we only had magnets.
The Macalope is worried Apple’s attitude. It seems money can make a fool out of anyone.
This epic M1 Mac mini-Nintendo Wii mashup is the mod of our dreams.
Even with record profitsApple cannot buy our trust.
This Chrome feature is so good it could make us switch from Safari for real.
Like Apple prices continue to risewhere will the value come from?
There are doom on the horizon for Apple – and ads are the only answer.
The opinion corner
In our Apple Watch Ultra review, we look at a convincing garmin killer– but with drawbacks to consider.
Our review of the iPad (2022), meanwhile, finds a beautiful disappointment.
(We also compared the 2022 and 2021 iPad models, to see which Standard iPad suits you.)
Finally, our review of the 3rd generation Apple TV 4K concludes that the the best novelty is the price.
(On a related noteMichael Simon explains why he bought a 2021 Apple TV 4K instead of a new one.)
The rumor mill
Apple is reportedly working on a big change to Siri that nobody asked.
The following Mac M2 series may have been pushed back to 2023.
The iPhone 15 Pro may not have actual buttons.
The shiny Apple logo could be the next MacBook feature go back.
Podcast of the week
Apple’s iPad lineup is slated for the 2022 holiday shopping season, and one thing is certain: there are plenty of models to choose from. We talk about the iPad status in this episode of the Macworld podcast.
You can watch every Macworld podcast episode on Spotify, Soundcloud, Podcasts app or our own site.
Software updates, bugs and issues
Apple is planning a major change to the Home screen layout in iOS 16.2.
Apple patched a pair of security vulnerabilities with the macOS Ventura 13.0.1 update.
Google warns all Mac users to fix ‘high risk’ Chrome security flaw.
“Privacy concerns” have been raised usage data collection on the AppStore.
The 2nd Generation AirPods Pro just received a mysterious firmware update.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you want to receive regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest news. See you next Saturday, enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay Appley.