Seven Head-Scratching Features from WWDC 2022

Any thoughts on Customize Spatial Audio, Tommy?

Well, I’m loving Spatial Audio on the songs that are mixed for it, I’m definitely curious about it improving.

Sony announced if for the Playstation 5…kinda. Not much seems to have come of it since. Apple having the LiDAR built into so many iPhones and iPads certainly makes the setup process something I could imagine to be better than the “send us your ear pics” plan. PS5 features: Sony reveals an audio upgrade with a very weird requirement

Quite a number of questions and incorrect information about the Pay Later service in this thread. Here’s an article that provides more information: Apple digs into its massive pile of cash to fund new Pay Later service | Ars Technica

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.


The improvements in spacial audio using the camera?

It’s probably a byproduct/feature of the coming AR capabilities.

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.


As for Shared Tab Groups, what I’m hoping for is that you’ll be able to generate a link to a tab group, so I can invoke it with Shortcuts or whatever. It’s a real lack in the current setup.

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No need to get agitated. It’s a fact that overly easy access to credit creates an incentive for people to live beyond their means. There’s no wonder places that make getting credit easy also end up having people overburdened by debt. And we here in the US know how bad on average we are with savings and rainy day funds. If you save just a little bit today, you won’t need BNPL tomorrow.

Now that said, I have no doubt that there are plenty of people who can use this stuff responsibly. That doesn’t change there’s certain groups that cannot and they can become a serious problem, not just for themselves, but also for society at large, including all those people who never wanted anything to do with easy credit in the first place. And naturally, to them that’s not OK. Maybe that poster was a bit stern in their wording, but in principle I don’t think there’s anything terribly wrong with pointing out that there’s a fine line to walk here. Not just for Apple of course.


I agree 100%, and I think that rapidly rising inflation and higher interest rates will make it even more difficult, and probably impossible, for many responsible consumers to immediately shell out cash for recent purchases, including food, gas and electricity. Apple probably won’t be making much money at all from this service, but they will be building up good will among consumers who use Apple products and services. It looks to me to be less expensive and aggravating than accumulating credit card debt and/or loans can be. And Apple’s timing on this new service is very good.


Certainly it is the case that just about anything can be abused, if people wish to do so, and some people have great difficulty behaving responsibly. But this is the equivalent of saying, “Apple allows Apple Pay to be used at liquor stores! Alcohol is abused by many. This is not a good look for Apple.” Or, of course, providing a credit card at all, or, indeed, having attractive products for sale which people might buy even if perhaps they can’t afford it (guilty!).

However, it does not seem to be the case that, say, payday loans, which were called out in the article, seem to do more harm than good, even for just those “certain groups" (i.e. poor people) which you would think would be damaged by them:


In a perfect world…you’re probably correct…but there will be many people that get into even worse financial trouble with this. Doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or a bad idea…just that some it will help and others it will hurt…and iMao will hurt more than it helps by being used thoughtfully.

Came across a different perspective from Jano le Roux (@janoleroux on Medium). He’s of the opinion that Apple Pay Later, Freeform, Passkey, and Tap to pay will “wreck” (his word) 15+ startups.

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Though they are not startups, companies like PayPal and Klarna are probably not at all happy about Apple Pay Later either. My guess is that they, and their stockholders, are probably going to the bathroom in their pants. There are a lot of people who own iPhones, iPads and Macs out there.