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Apple's April 2023 in review: Honoring Steve Jobs, opening up India, and learning to save

From the front cover of the new Steve Jobs book

April 2023 was about looking back to the work of Steve Jobs, of Jony Ive, and of Ted Lasso, plus pressing ahead into India and the future of iMessage outside of Apple's platform.

Where March 2023 had the mid-cycle iPhone 14 in bright yellow, April's most visible launch was the book, "Make Something Wonderful: Steve Jobs in his own words." It was hardly the first book about Steve Jobs, but it was the first from the Steve Jobs Archive, its first-ever ebook.

Also, as it turned out, its first hardback. After an announcement of an ebook release, suddenly printed copies were appearing on eBay and it practically looked like a scam.

But then the Steve Jobs Archive confirmed it had made physical copies, and that they had been distributed exclusively to Apple employees.

It was strangely hard to tell whether Jony Ive got anything physical like a trophy when he was given the Edison Achievement Award for his lifetime of design successes.

The Steve Jobs Archive produces its first book
The Steve Jobs Archive produces its first book

Mind you, surely few people would want to be the one to design an award intended to honor a designer like Ive.

It's much easier to mount a short TV skit and not fully pull it off, as happened with the third of Apple's most famous names, Ted Lasso. Ted (played by Jason Sudeikis) and fellow characters from the Apple TV+ comedy, got to give a pep talk to latenight comedian Stephen Colbert.

So, that happened.

Ted Lasso gives Stephen Colbert a pep talk
Ted Lasso gives Stephen Colbert a pep talk


There were some actual launches this month, most notably include the quite long-awaited high yield Apple Savings account. That launch was immediately followed by questions over just how high the high yield was, and then that was answered with lists of savings accounts that give more.

Apple launches a high yield savings account
Apple launches a high yield savings account

Still, Apple's 4.15% API is not to be sniffed at, even if its claim that it is "more than 10 times the national average" only works as long as there are a lot of banks pulling down that mean figure.

But at least it was here, which is not something you could say for Humane's Star Trek combadge. It got a tease this month with the first-ever public showing of the device, albeit under controlled TED-talk conditions.

Built by ex-Apple people, Humane's unnamed device had been as secret as, well, Apple products, but now it was tentatively out in the light. No proper view of it, no details, and you can forget asking about the price, but its demo was compared to how Steve Jobs would have done it.

Whereas we also got to see how Microsoft would have done iMessages, and that's less pretty. Specifically, Microsoft's Phone Link was updated to let Windows 11 owners use iMessage, and if you stop there, if you stop with that specific information, then it's true.

Windows 11 users can access iMessage, and iMessage notifications, right on their PCs. Definitely.

Only, it was typical Microsoft in that yes, the feature exists, tick, but no one would actually use it. Not only won't the Windows option let users see images or videos, not only wouldn't it support any group chats, but also fails to show the history of a messaging thread.

It also doesn't work with iPadOS, it's an iPhone exclusive.

But at least you can ignore Microsoft's inadequate software and just use Apple's. Except, Apple's software seems to be a little less than perfect, as one poor man in Texas keeps answering his door to angry Apple Maps users demanding their devices back.

Someone at Apple Maps had a date to get to or something, because it looks like they assigned this man's address to every home in his neighborhood.

If you're thinking that this is Apple Maps, so you consider it directing people to the right State was an improvement, then you are very harsh indeed.

Most of the Apple Maps problems of yore have so long been fixed that only you remember them. And even you might be challenged by an only slightly older memory from Apple's past that came up this April.

This is true: there were iPhones that were labelled "Lucky You." An iPhone with that label went up for auction this month and even the auctioneer didn't know why it had that label.

The rare
The rare "Lucky You" iPhone

But research from AppleInsider uncovered the answer. For a brief time with the very first iPhone in 2007, and specifically during the holidays that year, buyers could get a gift box that had this sticker in it.

Presumably whoever was given the gift box with the original iPhone wasn't exactly thrilled, because they said yeah, yeah, thanks, whatever, to the person who gave to them. The ungrateful recipient then kept that iPhone without opening it, without even tearing at the sticker on the packaging.

And all these years later in April 2023, they got $40,000 for it at auction.

Hidden treasures

Between 2007 and April 2023, Bitcoin went from nothing to quite possibly still nothing, depending on when you check. But also sometime in those years, a Bitcoin white paper got included in macOS.

The Bitcoin white paper that (was) hidden within macOS
The Bitcoin white paper that (was) hidden within macOS

If it were ever there for some actual purpose, we will never know, but it was spotted in April 2023. Once it was revealed, someone of course saw a chance to make some money out of Apple.

That's a lawsuit so we may never know if it's won, lost, appealed, or bought off. But we do know that before the end of the month, that mysterious Bitcoin white paper vanished from macOS.

China, India and the world of Tim Cook

Tim Cook also did some vanishing this month. One moment he was rocking it down at the Coachella festival in California, and the next he was in India. It's unlikely that he flew economy class.

But once he arrived in India, he did make the most of his time there. It looks like a key reason for his visit was to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Deirdre O'Brien and Tim Cook in India
Deirdre O'Brien and Tim Cook in India

Yet the most visible part of his trip was his opening, along with Apple's head of union bashing Deirdre O'Brien, the first ever Apple Store in India.

Apple BKC in Mumbai was swiftly followed by Apple Saket in New Delhi.

Also in India, and also involving a physical presence in the country, Apple took out a new 10-year lease on office space in Bengaluru. Apple is said to be paying $51,300 per month for the office space, plus a 2% revenue share.

Apple BKC in India
Apple BKC in India

Unless that's some kind of record high or low to office space, though, the real news was to do with what Apple insisted on before signing. Reportedly, Apple has specified that some 22 specific firms — including Microsoft, Amazon and even Foxconn — must be barred from renting space in the same area.

Travelling the world on a schedule to suit you, paying enough that you can dictate who your neighbours are, it must be good to be Apple.

Sometimes, though, it seems that Tim Cook's prediction that Apple would be remembered for health is at risk because it's more likely to be remembered for constant lawsuits.

Gerard Williams III (middle) with fellow Nuvia co-founders John Bruno (left) and Manu Gulati (right)
Gerard Williams III (middle) with fellow Nuvia co-founders John Bruno (left) and Manu Gulati (right)

For once though, this month Apple pulled out of one suit, meaning one whole legal case has actually ended. For three years, Apple has been working to sue Nuvia co-founder Gerrard Williams III, who it had previous accused of poaching employees.

So that's nice for Nuvia, and Apple's legal team must have enjoyed a beer after winning its appeal against Epic Games over the App Store.

That's all sorted now, by the way. Come May 2023, nobody will ever be talking about App Stores, Fortnite, Epic Games, or any of this.