Editor's Desk: Apple's retreat, Pokémon, Black Friday preview, and more

With Apple's 2021 product lineup now in stores and 2022 still weeks away, it should be a quiet time on the Apple beat. And yet, it isn't thanks to some big news in the past few days.

This week, iMore published numerous stories about what I'm calling the Apple retreat. No, the iPhone maker isn't getting out of the iPad business or saying goodbye to AirPods. Instead, it appears to be rethinking its stance on personal device repairs, which has the potential of being a huge deal. The company also seems to be taking a breath and reevaluating how it plans to roll out one of its newest software tools that remains in beta.

Beyond this, we're gearing up for the unofficial start of the holiday buying season by finding our readers the best deals heading into Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Because the technology supply chain is perhaps tighter than ever before, these pre-December deals take on much more significance this year.

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Apple's about-face

For the past few years, Apple has made it nearly impossible for owners to self-repair any of its products. This stance came into increased focus just weeks ago when it was reported Face ID would no longer work when third-parties repaired iPhone displays. iFixit called the news a "dark day" for repairers of all kinds.

Perhaps acknowledging it went too far, Apple then pivoted pretty abruptly on two fronts.

First came word that the company would soon release software that would remove the Face ID kill when anyone but Apple replaced iPhone displays. Next, Apple announced a self-repair program, initially for some of the best iPhones on the market, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.

The trick Apple tried to play with Face ID, and third-party repairs was beyond frustrating, and I'm glad it's one that was quickly ditched.

Meanwhile, Oliver Haslem discovered an interesting change in the latest iOS 15.2 beta. In it, Apple has switched the text "iCloud Private Relay" for "Limit IP Address Tracking." He says the name change was probably made because no one understood the feature, which was first announced in June and remains in beta on iOS, iPad, OS, and macOS. The feature prevents websites from tracking you by hiding your real IP address. He further explains this tiny step could be proof the company finally understands its messaging about new features has been horrendous in recent months.

I've never been one to obsess over whether or not I can repair my Apple devices. My position has always been that they're expensive devices and should be fixed by Apple when necessary. And yet, the trick Apple tried to play with Face ID and third-party repairs was beyond frustrating, and I'm glad it's one that was quickly ditched. Where things go from here will be interesting. Will Apple's self-repair program extend to Mac and iPads? Will it do a better job at explaining new would-be features like its feature like Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) system moving forward? Time will tell on both counts.

Great weekend reads

Though iMore is primarily an Apple-focused website, a lot of our weekly traffic surrounds Nintendo and Pokémon. Lately, that focus has been on Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. For those who haven't, check out Rebecca Spear's hugely popular post, "How to get Mew, Jirachi, and Manaphy in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl."

You should also consider reading our posts about how an Apple Watch saved the life of a nurse practitioner and how an Apple car could be closer than we once imagined.

Black Friday

The entire Future team is dedicated to uncovering the best Black Friday deals available at any given time or day. At iMore, we're focused on the best Apple Black Friday deals. My advice: visit iMore often in the coming days to see what we've discovered. No doubt, you'll save a lot of cash by doing so.

Happy upcoming Turkey Day to those in the U.S, and to everyone, thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Bryan

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