Alex Guyot

125 posts on MacStories since January 2014

Alex has been writing for MacStories since 2013. As a MacStories contributor he covers Apple and related technology on the site and for Club MacStories. Alex also keeps the site running smoothly and works on new technology as MacStories’ senior software engineer.


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watchOS 10: The MacStories Review

In my watchOS 9 Review last year, I spent the introduction reminiscing on the more exciting days of watchOS yore. Those early years were full of whimsy and foolishness, with many wild and ambitious new features that failed far more often than they succeeded. By my count, it took until watchOS 4 for Apple to find its footing, and by watchOS 6 the predictable pattern of iteration that I laid out last year had begun.

As I said last time, it’s hard to argue against the slow and steady march of watchOS. This software joined with the Apple Watch hardware has resulted in a years-long market domination that shows no sign of stopping. Yet, market be damned, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Health and fitness features were flourishing, but the rest of watchOS never quite felt fully baked.

As it turns out, Apple seems to have agreed.

In watchOS 10, for the first time in years, the iterative update pattern is broken. Rather than the usual handful of minor app updates, new watch faces, and health and fitness features, Apple has instead dropped another major rethink of Apple Watch interaction methods. The side button has been reassigned, the Dock has been demoted, apps have a new design language throughout the system, and widgets have made their Watch debut.

This is the largest year-over-year change to watchOS since version 4, and I am here for it. Let’s jump in and see if Apple has hit the mark this time, or if they’ll be back to the UI drawing board again in the years to come.

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    Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2: The MacStories Overview

    Following the introduction of the Apple Watch Ultra last September, one question that stood out was whether this would be a new addition to the annual Apple Watch lineup, or another device like the Apple Watch SE which was only updated every few years. Two years may not yet make a trend1, but the Ultra 2 signals that the high-end device will be riding the annual update cycle alongside its standard Apple Watch sibling. This is great news for Ultra enthusiasts, even if the update isn’t quite enough to justify a single-year upgrade for most users.

    In a similar vein, the Apple Watch Series 9 continues the slow, methodic, inevitable drumbeat of iterative Apple Watch updates. It too offers minimal allure for owners of last year’s Series 8, but looks a bit more intriguing for those with a Series 6 or 7, and downright mouthwatering for any Series 5 holdouts. This, as with every year’s iteration, is a great device.

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    Apple Announces Availability Dates for New iPhones and Apple Watches

    At this morning’s annual September Apple Event, Apple announced its latest lineup of iPhones and Apple Watches. Kicking things off with the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, both devices can be ordered starting today, with availability beginning September 22nd.

    Despite rumors of a delayed launch date for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple will in fact be delivering the device at the same time as all other models. All of the new iPhones — the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max — are available for preorder starting this Friday, September 15th, at 5 AM PDT. Like the new Apple Watches, ship dates and availability for the iPhones will begin on September 22nd.

    Apple is also releasing a lineup of new “FineWoven” accessories — a more environmentally friendly alternative to their previous leather accessory lineup. Most of these accessories are available for order here starting today, with the same ship date of September 22nd.

    You can follow all of our September 2023 Apple event coverage through our September 2023 Apple event hub or subscribe to the dedicated September 2023 Apple event RSS feed.

    watchOS 10: The MacStories Preview

    Apple itself is hailing watchOS 10 as the largest software update since the introduction of the Apple Watch. I’m not sure I quite agree with that characterization, but it’s certainly the biggest update we’ve seen in many years. The tenth iteration of watchOS includes an exciting fresh take on some of its core interactions, including a reassignment of the hardware side button and a brand-new widget interface. Apple has released the watchOS 10 public beta today, which you can access as part of the Apple Beta Software Program.

    There’s a lot to dig into here, but we’ll leave most of the digging for my official watchOS review later this year. For now, let’s take a look at the highlights of watchOS 10, what exactly has changed, and what seems to be working after just a few weeks of usage.

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    WWDC 2023: Mac Hardware Roundup

    The Apple Vision Pro wasn’t the only new hardware announced at Apple’s WWDC keynote event this Monday. The company also introduced a few new Mac models: a new 15” MacBook Air, an upgraded Mac Studio, and the long-awaited Apple silicon Mac Pro. Powering the freshly minted top of Apple’s Mac line is a brand-new chip: the M2 Ultra.

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    WWDC 2023: New FaceTime Features Coming This Fall

    FaceTime is getting more attention in iOS 17 than it’s seen in quite a while, with a number of new features announced at yesterday’s WWDC keynote. All of these changes are coming to the iPad and Mac as well, and even tvOS has been shown some love.

    tvOS 17 will include a brand-new FaceTime app, which will connect with an iPhone running iOS 17 to use as a camera. All you’ll have to do is place your iPhone in front of the TV, with the camera facing your couch, then sit back and take your FaceTime calls on your TV screen. The iPhone will use Apple’s Center Stage technology to keep the frame centered and focused on you, or expand it if someone else joins you on the couch. This feature also integrates with Apple SharePlay to enable you to watch a movie or TV show simultaneously with those on your FaceTime call.

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    WWDC 2023: StandBy for iPhone

    This fall, iOS 17 will introduce a brand new viewing mode for iPhone, but it will be quite familiar to most Apple Watch users. StandBy is enabled automatically when you turn your iPhone on its side while it’s charging, and functions nearly identically to Nightstand mode on the Apple Watch.

    Nightstand mode has been around since all the way back in watchOS 2 (I covered it in my very first watchOS review in 2015), and exists as a way to view the time in the middle of the night just by bumping your nightstand while an Apple Watch is charging on it. Just like the new StandBy mode, the Apple Watch must be charging on its side, thus placing the screen at an ideal angle to be read from your bed without having to sit up or search for your device in the dark.

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    WWDC 2023: A First Look at Messages in iOS 17

    iOS 17 is coming this fall, and Apple has once again directed a significant amount of attention to one of the iPhone’s most popular apps: Messages. This year we’re getting another round of minor UI tweaks, most notably shifting the positioning of iMessage apps again: they will now pop up in a new full-screen overlay. The two-page overlay starts with your most frequently used iMessage apps, which is where you’ll find Camera and Photos. Swiping the first page up will reveal any further apps you have installed beyond your top six.

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    WWDC 2023: Apple Publishes Keynote Video

    Craig's form is even better this year.

    Craig’s form is even better this year.

    In a packed WWDC keynote, Apple raced through many impressive additions to their hardware and software lineup, including a new 15” MacBook Air, an upgraded Mac Studio, and an all-new Apple Silicon Mac Pro. Significant changes are coming to watchOS 10, and Widgets are getting super-powered across all major platforms. But the star of show came in a rare One More Thing-style announcement: the Apple Vision Pro.

    We’ll be posting coverage on all this and more in the coming hours and days, but in the meantime you can see it all for yourself in the keynote video on Apple’s Events site or on YouTube.

    Apple is also hosting the keynote presentation in higher quality on Apple Podcasts, where you can choose between video or audio versions.

    You can follow all of our WWDC coverage through our WWDC 2023 hub or subscribe to the dedicated WWDC 2023 RSS feed.