Welcome to our monthly Apple News Roundup. This column recaps the top 10 most significant Apple news announcements from each month, giving you a glance at all the headlines you need to know. This edition features the highlights from December 2022.
1. Apple announces upgrade to App Store pricing
On December 6, Apple announced the most comprehensive upgrade to pricing capabilities since the App Store first launched. This upgrade provides developers with 900 additional price points and new pricing tools — making it easier to set prices in the App Store by country or region. This is nearly 10 times the number of price points previously available for most apps. For developers who distribute their apps around the world, the App Store’s global equalization tool provides a convenient way to manage pricing across international markets.
2. Apple advances user security with new data protections
Apple’s new Advanced Data Protection for iCloud provides users with important tools to protect their sensitive data and communications. iMessage Contact Key Verification and Security Keys for Apple ID were also introduced to protect against threats to user data in the cloud. Users can now verify they are communicating only with whom they intend and they have the choice to require a physical security key to sign in to their Apple ID account.
3. watchOS 9.2 becomes available for Apple Watch
Alongside the iOS 16.2 updates, Apple rolled out watchOS 9.2 for Apple Watch users. This update includes several new changes and features including Race Route, Crash Detection improvements, and more. Race Route lets you compete against your previous performance in Outdoor Run, Outdoor Cycle, and Outdoor Wheelchair Workouts. There’s also a new custom Kickboxing algorithm in the Workout app and improved response time and accuracy of hand gesture controls for AssistiveTouch and Quick Actions.
4. Apple introduces Apple Music Sing
On December 6, Apple expanded its world-class lyrics experience by adding Apple Music Sing — a new feature allowing fans to sing along to their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and real-time lyrics. Background vocals and duet view are also included in this new experience and Apple Music will be launching a suite of more than 50 dedicated companion playlists. “Apple Music’s lyrics experience is consistently one of the most popular features of our service,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats.
5. Redesigned Apple Maps expands to five new countries
Apple expands its latest version of Apple Maps to new countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. This upgrade will provide users in those five countries with a better experience — including faster and more accurate navigation, more detailed graphics, 3D visualizations for landmarks, and more. The update also brings support for the “Siri Natural Language Guidance” feature, which offers easy-to-follow directions.
6. Apple stock drops for the fourth consecutive season
Yahoo Finance examined the fall in Apple shares following concerns around delays in the iPhone 14’s production from Chinese manufacturers. In December, Apple stock fell to its lowest price since June 2021. iPhone 14 production is at 78.1 million units and 47 million units are slated for the first quarter of 2023. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that the 2022 shortfall for the iPhone 14 Pro models will equal a 6 million unit deficit.
7. Apple launches Freeform — an all-new creative collaboration app
On December 13, Apple launched its newest app designed for greater visual collaboration. Freeform helps users organize and visually lay out content on a flexible canvas. Users can now share and collaborate all in one place without worrying about layouts or page sizes, and they can even collaborate via a FaceTime call. Freeform boards are stored in iCloud, making it easy for users to stay in sync across devices.
8. Apple raises the visibility for World AIDS Day
Apple turned (RED) to raise visibility for World AIDS Day, recognized annually on December 1st. A wide range of (PRODUCT)RED products and accessories were made available during the holiday season, and a portion of the proceeds from each purchase goes toward the fight to end AIDS. Apple has been part of this fight for the past 16 years supporting the Global Fund — which provides access to healthcare services for millions of individuals in sub-Saharan Africa. Among the products available include seven Apple Watch faces in red available for download from apple.com/product-red.
9. Major League Soccer announces 2023 season schedule
Major League Soccer announced the complete 2023 MLS regular-season schedule kicking off in St. Louis CITY SC. All MLS matches will air live on the new MLS Season Pass, Apple TV’s streaming service launching February 1st. Fans will be able to enjoy consistent match windows on Saturdays and select Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. local time. To access the full MLS schedule, visit mlssoccer.com/schedule.
10. Apple releases iOS 16.2 beta 4 to developers early
Following the release of iOS 16.1.2 to iPhone users, Apple released iOS 16.2 beta 4 to developers early at the beginning of December. Several notable changes were made to the Home app, along with updates to the Weather app, and more. Additionally, the Freeform collaboration app became available to iPad, iPhone, and Mac users, and Apple has been testing new betas for watchOS 9.2, tvOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1
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