Welcome to our monthly Apple News Roundup. This column recaps the top 10 biggest Apple news announcements from each month. This edition features the highlights from January of 2022.
1. Apple stock (AAPL) hits $3 trillion market cap
The value of a single AAPL share hit around $182.90 during intraday trading in January, making Apple the first company in the world to be worth $3 trillion. According to 9to5Mac, this can be attributed to Apple’s ever-expanding services and continued global success with iPhone, iPad, and the Mac. In August 2018, the company became the first to reach a $1 trillion valuation—then its value doubled two years later when AAPL hit a $2 million market cap. Apple is trailed by Microsoft and Google.
2. Apple patents futuristic self-lacing shoes
Apple is working on ‘Back to the Future’ shoes that will reportedly be self-lacing. The company originally filed the patent in July of 2019. The patent for “footwear having motorized adjustment system and elastic upper” was just granted on January 11, 2022. The idea of tennis shoes with motorized laces achieved cult status after Marty McFly wore them in the classic Back to the Future II film.
3. Apple in talks of broadcasting Major League Baseball
In a report published by the New York Post, Apple is said to be in ‘serious talks’ as part of negotiations for Major League Baseball broadcast rights. Apple has been rumored to be exploring sports for some time now, and presumably, would bundle sports streaming as part of Apple TV+. Live sports are becoming increasingly important in the streaming world, and the sports package on the table is weekday national games—owned by ESPN until recently. If the deal is reached, Apple would start airing MLB games as early as next season.
4. Apple Fitness+ introduces new ways to motivate
Starting January 10, Apple Fitness+ introduced new ways to motivate people toward their goals with Collections and Time to Run. Collections are a curated series of workouts and meditations from the Fitness+ library organized to help users reach a goal, while Time to Run is an audio running experience designed to help users become better runners. Additionally, new guests were added to Time to Walk and Artist Spotlight workouts joined Fitness+.“At the beginning of a new year, we know many people are looking for new ways to go after their goals,” said Jay Blahnik, Apple’s vice president of Fitness Technologies.
5. Apple implements new verification process for Education Store
The Apple Education Store in the US implemented a new verification process and product limits for university students purchasing a new Mac or iPad for education purposes. This trend has existed in the United Kingdom and the European Union for years—and in order to get a discount, students will now need to prove that they’re currently enrolled in a participating university. Students will need to get verified with UNiDAYS in order to receive a 10% discount on selected products. Additionally, the Apple Education Store now limits customers to buying only one product per category in a year.
6. Apple is no longer allowing users to stay on iOS 14
Prior to the iOS 15 announcement, 9to5Mac learned that Apple was working on a new way to deliver alternate security updates to iPhone and iPad users. Apple later confirmed that it would offer security patches for IOS 14 to users who weren’t yet ready to upgrade—apparently, this is no longer the case. The company has since backtracked and is no longer allowing users to stay on iOS 14 with security updates. It has reverted to the traditional method of updates, and users are now forced to install the latest version of the operating system.
7. Apple spotlights Black business during Black History Month
Apple invited customers to celebrate Black History Month in January with a special focus on Black health and wellness through exclusive content and curated collections. Throughout the month, users were able to listen to special episodes of “The Message” on Apple Music 1—that discussed Black creators’ contributions to culture. New workouts that honored Black History Month were also available on Apple Fitness+, along with new podcasts on Apple Podcasts from Black creators discussing health, well-being, culture, and history.
8. Apple releases iOS 15.3 beta 2 for developers
Following a short hiatus due to the holidays, Apple recently restarted its beta testing process. On January 13, the company released iOS 15.3 beta 2 for developers via an over-the-air update in the Settings app. This was just three weeks after the release of the first beta. Additional betas rolled out included iPadOS 15.3 beta 2, watchOS 8.4 beta 2, and tvOS 15.3 beta 2—all of which are now rolling out to public beta testers as well. Learn what’s new in iOS 15.3 for iPhone users here.
9. Apple hits roadblock with iPad Pro redesign
Previous rumors suggested that Apple would be introducing new IPad Pro models this year featuring a glass back and wireless charging. But, according to 9to5Mac, the glass redesign may have been scrapped. Sources have said that using glass on the back of the Ipad would make it easier to damage, however, an aluminum back would make it difficult for compatibility with the MagSafe charger.
10. New Apple AirPods Pro 2 coming in 2022
Apple is expected to announce its new AirPods Pro 2 sometime in late 2022. The new AirPods are rumored to come complete with support for Lossless audio playback, a new in-ear design, health-focused features, and a more powerful processor. The original AirPods Pro were first released in 2019, and there have not been any upgrades since. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the processor in the “AirPods Pro 2” will likely see a significant upgrade as well.