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A lot has happened in 2022. With 2022 almost behind us, it’s time to look back at the year and share with you some of the favorite articles we wrote for you.
Each of us has our favorite articles from the past year. We would like to celebrate them as we prepare to say goodbye to 2022 and welcome 2023.
It’s easy to focus on bad news, especially when it seems to dominate anything that could be classified as good news. But this year I’m happy to say that my favorite news is one of hope and positivity.
In November, Apple rolled out its new Emergency SOS via Satellite feature. Currently exclusive to the iPhone 14, this feature allows users to contact emergency services even when they have no cellular or Wi-Fi signal. It didn’t take long for the feature to prove its worth either.
In mid-December, a couple found themselves in a potentially deadly situation when their vehicle went off road in Southern California. Though their injuries were minor, the two had slid 300 feet down a ravine, leaving them stranded with no cell signal.
However, since the couple had an iPhone 14 on hand, they were able to relay their information via SMS to one of Apple’s emergency centers. Local authorities sent a helicopter, which lifted the couple from the canyon to a local hospital.
It’s not uncommon to hear how someone’s Apple Watch saved their life by detecting an underlying heart condition or alerting emergency services when someone falls hard.
But now Apple is giving iPhone owners a new tool that can easily save their lives. I think we’d be surprised how often the emergency satellite function saves people, not only while hiking or camping, but also when something unexpected happens.
Class action stories are usually difficult to write simply because it is a recurring story. A company does something wrong, lawyers get involved, the company pays money, lawyers take a piece of it, and a pittance is paid to consumers.
Occasionally things get weird.
The case is a story about Tim Hortons and the App class action lawsuit settlement in July. To end a quartet of lawsuits over its mobile app and allegations that it collected users’ geolocation data, the Canadian coffee chain offered some kind of compensation package.
In lieu of cash, Tim Hortons offered customers “a free hot drink and a free baked goods” in the form of a consumer settlement. For consumers, the total retail value would be CAD$8.58 ($6.71), but for the business, the actual cost would of course be significantly less.
This is my choice, because in hindsight it’s 20-20, and I could have made great jokes in the piece. For example, by asking if the lawyers could take a sip from a cup as payment, or by referring to the ‘sweet taste of revenge’.
In the end, when writing the story, I missed pun heaven. I just bit off more than I could chew.
There are so many fun stories to choose from in 2022 that I struggled to come up with a single favorite. from Google continuous pressure for Apple to solve its RCS problem, being iOS more customizable than ever, the Studio Display and iPhone 14 Pros dramatic jump in camera technology all come to mind.
The main story of 2022, for me, is one that spans most of the year: iPadOS 16 Stage Manager and support for external displays. This one controversial features have gone through the wringer from incredible initial excitement to irritationfinally some relief.
As I wrote in our 2021 year-end review, Apple’s commitment to iPad software improvements showed promise, but lacked conviction. In 2022, the company doubled down by announcing a radical change in the way iPadOS worked and giving the M-series iPads special features.
Stage Manager looked great in demos and external display support was a great step forward, but they didn’t function well in betas. Then, after many complaints from iPad owners, Apple removed the features for a recalibration.
iPadOS 16.1 would enable Stage Manager on iPads with the M1, M2, A12X, and A12Z processors. Then iPadOS 16.2 would bring back support for external displays, but only for M-series iPads.
The ambitious updates stumbled out of the gate with numerous bugs and odd functionality. Each subsequent update has fixed some issues, but overall the experience is needs some work.
Apple’s willingness to listen to users and quickly address bugs is why I’ve picked this as my favorite story of 2022. The iPad is not done evolving, and I hope Apple continues to push boundaries with iPadOS 17 in 2023.
We get a lot of requests to review gadgets. For most, what’s on the table is pretty bad.
If you have a small team and a lot of people ask you to review their product, you turn down a lot of obvious crap.
We recently expanded our authoring team, so we have more opportunities to open the door a little bit and let more products through. And yes, that means sometimes junk gets through.
Andrew Orr did a piece on a set of earplugs that looked pretty nice and seemed promising. Specifically, the iLive Truly Wireless Noise Canceling earbuds.
To give chase, they started well. Shortly after use, they simultaneously failed in several ways.
For some reason, maybe long hours, maybe fatigue, I simplified Andrew’s headline talking about good quality when they worked to just ‘don’t’. And two months later it still tickles.
We talked about it later as staff and we’re going to look at just about everything that’s being offered to us right now. It may be more of a service to the reader to tell you what’s terrible than to focus on what’s good, because we don’t have the time or the manpower to get more done.
And for what it’s worth, it’s now about 70 days since we reached out to their support. We’re still waiting.
My interest in Apple, and the reason I’m so deeply interested in the company’s ecosystem, is that my interest isn’t in technology at all. I’m interested in how people use hardware and software, and what they can create with them, and I’m also deeply fascinated by the unexpected results of technology.
This year we got to see this most visibly with what my favorite article of 2022 was about: how card technology told the world that the invasion of Ukraine began.
The same technology that powers Apple Maps and Google Maps, the same data they use to give us ordinary route planning, revealed an invasion. It took researchers and statisticians to see it, but the information was there when the first troop movements had a domino effect on surrounding traffic.
No one at Apple or Google intended their mapping service to be a military tool, and yet it was there. The heinous invasion of Ukraine was seen as an example of how technology works globally and ultimately brings us all together.
Researchers found that macOS had the fewest malware infections by 2022, which is great news for Mac users.
Elastic Security Labs has published a cybersecurity report in November which examined popular operating systems and the threats they have received. The company also includes forecasts and recommendations for corporate clients.
In fact, Apple’s Mac operating system beat Linux at 6.2% in malware infections, compared to Linux infections at 39.4%. But as usual, Windows remains the most popular platform for malware at 54%.
The numbers are so low that Mac users might not even need an antivirus program. Sticking to common security practices like creating complex passwords, avoiding phishing emails, and updating to the latest software are great ways to stay protected.
This year I had several favorite stories that graced the front page of AppleInsidermany of them are related to the official launch of Matter. This new smart home standard won’t be of any concern here at launch, but it will soon have major implications for Apple Home.
With Matter, devices that previously didn’t support HomeKit now magically work with Apple Home. Not to mention the litany of new device categories that will eventually be supported. For example, robot vacuum cleaners are promised to be supported in a future iteration of the Matter specification and would represent a new device type for Apple users.
Apple supported Matter in beta since iOS 15, but with iOS 16 – and the other ecosystem updates – Matter support became official. We already have several Matter devices available, such as the smart plug from Meross, three devices from Eve Systems and many more announcements to come at CES 2023.