Welcome to our Apple Weekend Breakfast column, featuring all the Apple news you missed this week in a handy bite-sized recap. We call it Apple Breakfast because we love it with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but it’s also cool if you want to read it over lunch or dinner.
Just give it to the dongle
Macworld’s review of the 10th-generation iPad went live this week (and is linked below). It’s an odd review: in many ways it’s a positive description, with the attractive design, excellent cameras, and Magic Keyboard Folio support all worthy of heartfelt praise. But there were enough comments to bring it down to 3 stars — not least the downright ridiculous dongle needed to pair the iPad with the only version of the Apple Pencil it supports.
Dongles, which cost extra and get lost, and make everything less convenient, are understandably a pain point for Apple users, and they seem to be growing in number. Using a dongle always reminds me of what Steve Jobs said about (appropriately) styluses: if you see a dongle, they broke it. A dongle is a tacit acknowledgment that something has gone wrong. Either the wrong product was bought for the job, or it was designed incorrectly in the first place. Apple has had many dongles over the years, but the Apple Pencil adapter is particularly annoying.
1. It doesn’t even work as a Lightning to USB-C adapter
A general-purpose Lightning/USB-C adapter would be of some use, but as a Redditor found after extensive testing, the dongle appears to be a single-use product. So if you were hoping to use the dongle to reuse your old Lightning cables, you’re out of luck.
2. You lose it
Of course you do. It’s small and doesn’t stick to anything when not in use. And then your Apple Pencil is useless until you pay another $9.
3. It doesn’t work ‘just like that’
The writer of this column considers himself somewhat tech-savvy, but was stunned for about half an hour when he tried to charge an old Apple Pencil using the adapter. I assumed you could go Apple Pencil > adapter > USB-C to USB-C cable > USB-C power adapter > wall outlet, but that got me nowhere fast. You need to use a cable and connect to the iPad to charge. (The fact that Apple Pencils can’t indicate when they’re charging is another pain point.) As pointed out in the first point, the dongle is only suitable for one specific use, but that won’t be obvious to most users at first.
4. It’s there to sell you to a better model
The dongle fits very well with Apple’s general approach this year, which we’ve also seen with the oddly cautious iPhone 14 upgrade: buy the better model. Apple is a company that is extremely detail oriented, and at some point you have to assume that the flaws in its entry-level products are not there because of management mistakes or lack of resources, but because they want to urge you to buy something more expensive.
5. It creates more e-waste
As mentioned above, the dongle is now bundled with the 1st gen Apple Pencil, but we have to assume that at least some of those won’t be needed (for example, when the Pencil is bought by a 9th gen iPad owner) and will end up with a dump. Others are lost (see point 2) and end up in a landfill. And the fact that it doesn’t work as a general purpose adapter (see point 1) will contribute to some Lightning cables ending up in a landfill.
Inefficient design is not only bad for the user, it is also bad for the environment. And if Apple cared as much about the environment as it claims, it would have found a better solution.
6. Apple has had years to fix this
Apple still sells the 1st generation Apple Pencil because it still sells a Lightning iPad. The 9th-generation model is the last iPad with a Lightning port, so as long as it’s still on sale, the original Apple Pencil should exist. Reasonable. But the USB-C switch didn’t happen yesterday. The first USB-C iPad Pro and the 2nd generation Pencil came out 2018.
With four years to plan for the switch to the standard iPad, it’s absurd that Apple hasn’t come up with a more elegant solution than this one. The most obvious would be support for the 2nd gen Pencil, so whether it’s a technical issue, a cost issue, or an upgrade issue (see point 4), the whole Lightning thing seems to have taken Apple by surprise.
Apple, we keep hearing, is the most valuable company in the world, valued at over $2 trillion. In the most recent quarter, Apple made the comically unimaginable $90 billion, so it could probably afford to miss a few bucks here and there in favor of user benevolence and an improved user experience. But no: Apple likes to suck up the nickels and dimes. It’s pushing additional ads to the App Store, raising the prices of its subscription services, and now charges $9 for a adapter. (Admittedly, the adapter now comes free with the 1st-gen Apple Pencil, but if you bought one a year ago, you’ll have to pay.)
The USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter is Apple’s design at its worst: we just need to use it because Apple was lazy, stubborn, and a little greedy.
Trending: Top Stories of the Week
Apple could be great or it could be Google, but it can’t be bothsays Jason Snel.
The iPhone’s most promising feature is wasted. MagSafe could have provided unique experiencesbut all we got were magnets.
The Macalope is worried about Apple’s attitude. It seems that money can make a jerk out of anyone.
This epic M1 Mac mini-Nintendo Wii mashup is the mod of our dreams.
Even with record profitsApple cannot buy our trust.
This Chrome feature is so good it could make us switch from Safari for good.
Like Apple’s prices keep risingwhere does the value come from?
there is doom on the horizon for Apple – and ads are the only answer.
In our Apple Watch Ultra review we look at a convincing Garmin killer-but one with drawbacks to consider.
Meanwhile, our iPad (2022) review finds a nice disappointment.
(We also compared the 2022 and 2021 iPad models to see which ones) standard iPad suits you.)
Finally, our 3rd Gen Apple TV 4K review concludes that the best new feature is the price.
(On a related note:Michael Simon explains why he bought a 2021 Apple TV 4K instead of a new one.)
The rumor mill
Apple is reportedly working on a major Siri change that no one asked for it.
The next round of M2 Macs may have been postponed to 2023.
The iPhone 15 Pro may not have actual buttons.
The glowing Apple logo could be the next MacBook feature to make a comeback.
Podcast of the week
Apple’s iPad lineup is ready for the 2022 Christmas shopping season, and one thing is certain, there are many models to choose from. We are talking about the condition of the iPad in this episode of the Macworld Podcast.
You can watch every episode of the Macworld Podcast on Spotify, Soundcloudthe Podcasts app or our own site.
Software updates, bugs and issues
Apple plans big change to home screen layout iOS 16.2.
Apple has patched a patch few security flaws with the macOS Ventura 13.0.1 update.
Google warns all Mac users to patch ‘high risk’ Chrome security flaw.
“Privacy issues” have arisen over collect usage data in the App Store.
The 2nd generation AirPods Pro just got a mysterious firmware update.
And with that, we’re done for this week. If you would like to receive regular round-ups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay Appley.