I just realized something about the Apple oriented "press"

I don’t think it really exists anymore. We’ve got lots of podcasts and websites… but jiminy, go to any of the big Apple websites and the content is increasingly just garbage hot takes on the latest rumors, hot deals, and general fluff designed to with the primary purpose of driving affiliate links…

Just a few minutes ago John Voorhees on Mastodon posted about the current episode of Appstories podcast was about peering “into the future to try to imagine the apps that will define Apple’s rumored VR headset.” Okay, well, that fits in with months of speculation by all of the Apple sites and podcasts that this rumored headset is coming.

My reaction was to comment back asking why they’ve not done a show on the Affinity 2.0 updates, a very real product released recently and arguably important for the Mac and iPad. Especially given the attention that Affinity has paid to the iPad I expressed my disappointment that a website/podcast known for highlighting the iPad would not have at least mentioned it. I’m not sure they’ve mentioned or discussed DaVinci Resolve or LumaFusion either. Interestingly Federico commented back that they haven’t covered it because they haven’t used it. Yet they haven’t used this non-existent product from Apple either.

I’m not trying to single out MacStories here… My next thought was to wonder, has MacWorld covered the Affinity apps? It’s been ages since I visited MacWorld.com so I hoped over. No. No mention of it at all that I could find using their site search. In fact, I found a 2018 review of Affinity Photo but only minor mentions of of Affinity Designer and no mention of Affinity Publisher at all.

It just got me to thinking about the Apple press of 1998 or 2000 or 2002 or 2004. I guess the decline was gradual. But what a bummer that we apparently no longer have an Apple oriented press that’s willing to actually sort through actual important news. I remember the above mentioned time period and discussions and reviews and articles about Quark and Adobe. And actual attention paid to the important software and why it mattered. Real reviews of real products. I did a search on Quark and the results from pre-2012 painted a picture of an Apple press that fits my memory. Namely that they took the issue of important software and software categories seriously.

I think TidBits.com might be one of the only remaining Apple sites that still properly covers this stuff. Are there any others?

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I have cut back my Apple media reading to next to zero from Apple specific sites in the last year. They all just cover the same stuff repeatedly. Any big news gets picked up by generic tech sites like The Verge or Ars Technica.

At the same time, I still love my Apple stuff, I am just finding less urge to think or read about it.

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I didn’t realize how much of the same stuff was covered until I put a bunch of Apple related websites into my RSS reader and as I sort through them I noticed each site is covering the exact same thing, and it’s usually all just rumors from Mark Gurman.

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I agree. I’ve cut down to one podcast and one ‘news’ source, though I’m losing interest in those.
I still like MPU as it’s a bit different, and I’d forgotten about Tidbits so I’ll try that again and see if it’ll replace the podcast and blog I follow. A couple of weeks ago I started to listening to Waveform from MKBHD, which I’ve found more interesting (maybe because it’s new to me).
I have definitely found the constant speculation about rumours has become boring to me, especially since people seem to be discussing merits of things as if they are true, not rumour.

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I spent a few minutes since my original post looking at AppleInsider and 9to5Mac and as expected, they offered small blurbs about Affinity 2.0 based solely on Serif’s press releases. No actually reviews. Of the Apple websites I’ve checked Tidbits is the only one to actually offer something of an actually review based on use.

Now I’m really curious if Tidbits is the only site that is offering anything remotely close to the coverage of 1990s era MacWorld magazine. I mean, MacWorld was a full on magazine with a staff. I guess what we have today is just a faint, faint echo of that era.

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No surprises here. This is true for any specialty publications, especially “free” ones. They keep the lights on (and the Internet connection flowing) by advertising, and they need those “clicks” to survive.

Conjecture about non-existent products brings people in who hopefully will click on an advertiser. Articles about existing products are old news and they really won’t make money off of them unless there is an “affiliate program”. And I don’t know about you but I upgraded to the new Affinity apps directly from Serif so no profit from me reading an Affinity article.

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The majority of the Apple Centric sites are simply not technical. I often try out new YouTube content creators and I’m quick to exit when they begin to bemoan the “lack of excitement” or missing fantom features expected for Apple product XYZ leading to disappointment.

Apple’s always had fans employing the “Pie in the sky, amaze me with something I didn’t see coming” approach and that’s just not appealing to me. If this is your gig …you should understand with deeper knowledge Apple’s sector and be able to guess the roadmap.

I’m enjoying the content from A Better Computer (I think Ben is his name) on YouTube. Christopher Lawley delivers good iPad coverage. I really wish Brett Terpsta did more video content. He looks at Mac software in a way that I like.

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I thought that Ming Chi Kuo was a consulting tech strategy firm until I realized it was some analyst guy.

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I think that a mix of the perceived need to post at least once daily, and the fact that there’s relatively little that’s truly new or exciting leads to this. Speculation fills gaps between actual news and garners eyeballs.

MPU doesn’t really focus on news, and I listen to Upgrade+ for news, but that’s it. One of the reasons I stopped listening to connected.

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And everyone has the exact same opinions. Gruber is going to same the same thing as Snell or Richie, etc. I had a bunch of bloggers in my RSS feed years ago and then I realized I am just rereading the same take again and again.

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I’m not so sure about that, but I don’t need to hear 15 different opinions, just those I trust who have traditionally had similar experiences and opinions as me.

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Twitter vs Mastodon is the perfect example. Everyone in the Apple world is all excited about Mastodon and wants to dog on Twitter. I am sick of hearing about either of them.

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I don’t actually follow any “news” sites, but I follow a lot of personal blogs and mastodon accounts of folks in the community. Those are almost always more interesting.

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Yes. I agree with the OP that the quality of coverage has slipped, but I also think the period referenced — the early part of this century — just had more cool stuff going on. A “serious” Apple journalist, or content creator or whatever you want to call them, had more interesting material to work with.

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I almost mentioned iPad Pros as the best podcast covering iPad apps for professionals. Then I realized @Denny was the guest on their Affinity 2 episode, haha. Give it a listen; it’s good.

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This is such a salient point. Roughly 15 years ago I read a simple suggestion about “Movie Reviewers” that changed how I approached reviews. In essence the person writing the article said “You’re not going to get much use from reading a bunch of random reviewers. You are better off finding a handful of reviewers whose tastes align closely with yours. When they say a movie is good you are more likely going to like it as well because of the similar tastes”

This approach works in many cases beyond movies of course.

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Also of note, even Apple is delivering news in a different way because its portfolio and strategy has changed, and even the communication itself is not around the Jobs persona, keynotes are a choral exercise now… See last week news, even computer hardware gets released like it fell from Apple’s magic pockets, as if it was inevitable.

WRT MacStories, I think they’ve reoriented themselves towards the people who have signed up to the membership and hangout on their discord server - i.e. their hardcore, paying customers.

I think they get most of their feedback from that community and serve that community.

They are, after all, the people who pay “for their shoes” and that’s a very clever business model.


That said, I’m fully paid up member of macstories but the tone has changed over the last few years, so I won’t renew later this year. Which is disappointing for me, but okay for them.

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I think that last week – just after the M2 MBP’s and MM were released – some website ran a story that sometime in 2024 an M3 Mac might see the light of day according some analyst. You bet!

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Yeah, I’ve been on his podcast twice, both times to talk about the Affinity apps on the iPad. :nerd_face:

Apparently I really like the Affinity apps. :joy:

No, but really, I do greatly appreciate the work they’ve done on creating some great apps and hope they continue to get the attention and support they’ve earned!

And back to the original post, it’s a shame that of all the Mac/Apple websites currently publishing I was only able to find 1 that has done anything beyond a press release. In the larger context, it speaks to a general lack of substantial content that used to exist 20 years ago. Real, thoughtful reviews that were published every month that covered the important software people were creating and using.

For some reason now that I’m thinking about it I’m feeling both a bit sentimental about that era of Apple-oriented media and the loss of the quality of the reporting.

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