Top Stories: iCloud Encryption Expansion, Apple Music Karaoke, and More
The holidays are quickly approaching, which means Apple is wrapping up its final announcements and launches of 2022. This week saw Apple announce an expansion of encryption options for iCloud, a new karaoke-like experience called Apple Music Sing, and the launch of HomePod mini in new countries.
Apple is also rolling out the "biggest upgrade" ever for App Store pricing options for developers, and for those who are having a hard time getting a hold of an iPhone 14 Pro due to shortages, we took a look at why you might just want to wait until next year's models to upgrade, so read on for all the details on these stories and more!
Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption Option for iCloud Photos, Notes, Backups, and More
Apple this week announced a major expansion of end-to-end encryption for iCloud on an opt-in basis.
Starting with iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, and macOS 13.1, coming later this month, a new Advanced Data Protection feature gives users the option to enable end-to-end encryption across many other iCloud data categories, including backups, photos, notes, and more.
Apple also previewed two other security features for iMessage and Apple ID accounts that will be available in 2023.
Apple Music Sing: New Karaoke Feature Announced for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV
Apple Music Sing is a new karaoke-like feature in the Apple Music app that lets you sing along to tens of millions of songs.
The feature allows users to lower the volume of the vocals in a song and then take over as the singer within the lyrics section of the Apple Music app. You'll need a device with an A13 chip or newer, including the iPhone 11 and newer, select iPads, and the latest Apple TV 4K.
It's officially launching later this month, but it's available now for users running the iOS 16.2 beta and we went hands-on with the new feature to get a sense for how it works.
iOS 16.2 for iPhone Expected to Launch Next Week With These 12 New Features
iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week following nearly two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now has over a dozen new features for the iPhone.
We've put together a list of 12 notable features and changes for the iPhone with iOS 16.2, including the Freeform app, a new AirDrop setting, and more.
Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra
Due to production issues at the main iPhone factory in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are currently very hard to find.
If you are unable to get your hands on an iPhone 14 Pro right now, it might be a good idea to check out our list of reasons to consider waiting for the "iPhone 15 Ultra" rumored to launch next year. New features expected include a faster USB-C port and much more.
Apple Announces App Store Changes, Including Expanded Pricing Up to $10,000
Apple this week announced it is providing developers with an additional 700 price points for App Store apps, allowing apps to be priced as low as 29 cents, or as high as $10,000 upon request.
Apple is also making it easier for developers to manage foreign exchange rate fluctuations. These changes apply now to apps offering auto-renewable subscriptions and will be available for all apps in 2023.
HomePod Mini Launching in More Countries This Month
Apple says the HomePod mini will be available in Finland, Norway, and Sweden starting December 13, with orders available now.
The smart speaker is also launching in South Africa on December 19 and in Denmark in early 2023.
It's been over two years since Apple released the HomePod mini in the United States. Earlier this week, we outlined what's next for the smart speaker.
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.