Some of this stuff feels like a solution in search of a problem (share tab groups). And just because Google or MS does something, should never be a reason to also do it. There should be a solid use case—and it’s not like they didn’t have enough good stuff to talk about
Me, I’d prefer to see Apple finally fix iCloud Safari sync before they try to add more stuff to sync.
And next-gen CarPlay: Good. Luck. With. That. Show me just three car manufacturers who eagerly await some outside non-automotive company to swoop in and commandeer there UI, thereby inserting themselves between said manufacturer and their customers. It took forever to get basic CarPlay into most cars, and yet we still see several non-negligible holdouts. But here we are, Apple flaunting their wildest dreams in front of the world as if this thing had any legs outside of Apple. Perhaps this was just a lot of marketing (and perhaps indeed to remind people to keep obsessing about Apple Car rumors), but reality in say the most-sold makers’ cars in the US (or Europe for that matter) in the next few years? Fat chance.
I suspect that Apple is aiming to expand its financial services portfolio. And like other credit and loan services, they charge a % fee to participating retailers, so this isn’t a total freebie. They’ve been working with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard for years, and maybe this is another opportunity for all the partners and retailers to acquire more users, and acquire valuable user and retailer information.
A question…will this service be in the US only, or will Apple expand it to other countries?
It occurs to me that the next-gen CarPlay may be coming out of Apple’s efforts to develop their own car? If this new CarPlay is going to be a user interface for an putative AppleCar, then they might figure that it’s a good idea to roll it out early so people have a chance to get used to an Apple interface for all things driving.
I’ve been using Miro as a shared whiteboard/feedback spot with my photography students, it’s excellent and it has emerged as a shared file space which was far more usable and interesting to navigate, leave comments on, re-arrange and group than a shared Dropbox or OneDrive folder. I had begun to think of the infinite canvas as a more interesting metaphor than the desktop. I see huge potential here for a future OS interface.
Handoff, please, now… Teams handles this excellently, I have often had a Teams (audio!) meeting while on the move using my iPhone and ended up at my desk and resumed on my Mac all seamlessly handled. I get tired holding phones up and my iPad in a stand or my iMac is far better for lengthier chats.
Shared Tabs will be great for our upcoming ‘application to College’ season… Already my wife and I and our kids use shared Notes for Christmas lists and so on. I share Maps location groups when we are heading off on vacation or for trips with them too. Shared Tab Groups will be great for all of these.
Key points are: no interest to users, transparent to merchants, Apple controls information (so better privacy), limited to “smaller” purchases, no hard credit checks, no late fees. Hardly a payday loan. Not as bad as a credit card purchase, even. Somewhere along the way people got so afraid of usurious credit practices they wrote off all credit as evil and we lost the ability for people to look at whether something is a good credit offering or bad. This is free money offered as a convenience for customers of luxury products. The interface they showed off also seems like a good dashboard for keeping track of your spending and financial planning. Whether you are budgeting and saving for a future purchase, or budgeting and paying off a purchase is pretty similar in a 0% APR situation. Similar skills at play.
As for why, well, making a product you offer more appealing to convince consumers to use your product instead of competitors is a pretty tried and true strategy. And if customers love Apple Pay they will not want to switch to a phone/watch that does not offer it. Seems pretty straight forward.
Interesting discussions on Apple Pay Later. Now that Apple is directly engaging in lending services, I wonder if it might attract even more scrutiny from regulators, especially financial ones.
I am not in the US, so Apple Pay Later is not available to me; but I wonder how useful the service is if it is available.
I personally think it is quite a hassle to use even though it effectively offers “free credit”. I use sinking fund arrangements to save up for large purchases, and fund small purchases using “line-item” budgets. Since the limit is $1,000, it seems to be mostly for the latter.
Adding one more layer to the payment process (Apple Pay Later pays for purchase → Pays Apple later) makes tracking expenses and reconciling budget quite a bit more laborious. If I need to use Apple Pay Later to bridge a purchase because of liquidity issue, I will be very worried if $1,000 presents a problem!
I will be glad if Apple offers a way to manage budget and sinking fund allocations (and encourage good financial habits), but that seems not to be in its interest.
Regarding Apple Pay Later, as someone in their mid-sixties I’m guessing this isn’t aimed at me. We pay for everything on credit cards and the entire balance gets automatically paid by the bank at the end of the month (paying zero interest). We get flights for the frequent flyer miles which more than covers the very low annual fee.
On the other hand, my mid-twenties daughter has used AfterPay in the past. She wasn’t even sure why she used it as she has a good job, a solid bank balance and still lives at home with us. She said she’d probably just use AfterPay again if she needed rather than switch to Apple’s offering - primarily because she’s used it before. If Pay Later works without additional set up I imagine she’d consider it.
Of course, we’re in Australia so at this stage it’s all academic.
Some of these items are valid criticisms, but I think others fall into the bucket of features that don’t match your way of working, but others find great value in.
Tab groups stands out as an example of the latter to me – it’s one of my favourite features of MacOS 12, and has become embedded in the way I use the web. And I know several other people of who this is true as well. It’s precisely because they’re not permanent like bookmarks that they’re useful. (I do agree that the behaviour when clicking a link in another application is annoying though.) Shared tab groups will be very useful to me for certain situations, and I imagine for millions of others too. So I’m thrilled to see them expanding on it, and I think they absolutely should be evolving the feature.
Handoff for FaceTime is another feature that I was surprised to see included in this article. I run into this problem all the time, certainly in over 50% of my FaceTime video calls. Either on my end or the other end, someone starts on one device, then wants to switch to another one with a bigger screen, or the battery runs low, and we have a little dance of hanging up and calling back which sometimes isn’t smooth and always disrupts the conversation. FaceTime handoff was definitely a “finally” moment for me when watching the keynote (similar to mark unread in Messages). This is a genuine and frequent annoyance, and it’s going to make FaceTime calls a lot more convenient.
These days when I buy almost anything from Apple I use their monthly (price/12) or (price/24) payment plans. Why not? Interest free, part of my income is guaranteed (unless Congress shuts down Social Security), I have assets that I can use to quickly pay off the remainder if necessary. The payments show up on my Apple Card bill which automatically gets paid off at the end of the month. There’s no downside for me. I don’t personally have trouble managing credit or buying large items on impulse, so I’m not worried that I’d abuse Pay Later. I’m not sure that I’d actually use it, though, for something outside of the Apple Store.
One caution when using this: I had the same thought when I bought my mom an Watch. It was free via my Apple credit card, so why not do it? Then I noticed that this reduced the amount of credit available to me (which makes sense), which was reported to credit agencies and dinged my credit score. I paid it off in full and my score promptly went up!
So just be aware that this kind of interest-free delay could impact your credit score (if that’s important to you — I was refinancing house at the the time and it was for me).
By the same token, all these buy now pay later schemes claim to not hit your credit, but what they often don’t mention is that also means paying off in full and in time will do nothing for your credit score. Unlike a CC.
Apple Pay Later isn’t a head scratcher for me because I’ve been in places where such a system is commonplace. In my wife’s native Colombia, for instance, you’re routinely asked “¿Cuantas cuotas?” when paying with a credit card in a brick-and-mortar store. That means: “How many payments?” This is pretty much identical to Apple Pay Later, but it’s been around for ages.
But we don’t see how Apple sticking its toe in the Buy Now, Pay Later industry helps users make smart financial decisions, and it’s not a good look for Apple.
Wow, could I not disagree more. This kind of patronizing attitude toward those with financial difficulties never ceases to amaze me. “Let’s take options away from poor people so they don’t abuse them! It’s for their own good!”
I can’t tell you how many times something like this would have been a lifesaver. “I can’t pay my electric bill right now; it’s about to be shut off!” “Just put it on Apple Pay Later, and pay it off when your paycheck comes in, with no interest!” This is absolute genius, and is going to make a lot of people’s lives better.