It is time to see out 2021 with our final email issue of TidBITS for the year. We’ll keep an eye on the industry for the rest of the week, covering anything that merits your attention on our site, but I sincerely hope nothing will—I encourage everyone to shut down and take a break. The next issue of TidBITS will appear on 10 January 2022, when we’ll start another year of helping you keep up with your ever-changing Apple devices, work more efficiently and productively, and revel in the magic of our modern-day technologies.
We’re already slipping into holiday hibernation. This year is proving more jolly than last, thanks to our son Tristan braving airplanes and airports to visit from his PhD program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His travel was stressful for all of us, but he went into it fully vaccinated (and got his booster shot here today), double-masked the entire time, avoided people who somehow remain unclear on the masking concept, got a required negative test before leaving, and has had two more negative antigen tests and a PCR test since arriving (see “Ellume COVID-19 Home Test Goes High Tech,” 28 June 2021). Even still, given the massive spikes in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, he might not have come had his flight been scheduled for this week. Boosted vaccinations, mask-wearing, cautious behavior, and testing will mean that we can spend time with our parents over the holiday as well.
It’s easy to obsess about what might have been, wallow in today’s depressing numbers, and wish for a world without the constraints that hobble our best efforts to move past this pandemic. But it’s more constructive to recognize, be grateful for, and support the extraordinary scientific, logistical, and cooperative efforts that have resulted in this unprecedented vaccination program. Without it, the death toll in the US alone might have been three times higher, and we might have seen five times as many hospitalizations that would have overwhelmed our already-strained healthcare systems.
More specifically, we are also grateful to the people who make TidBITS possible:
- TidBITS members: Thank you to the nearly 3700 people who support us through the TidBITS membership program! TidBITS could not survive without you. It means more than we can say that you value our efforts to bring you practical, useful information every week.
- TidBITS sponsors: We remain ever grateful for our long-term corporate sponsor Smile, makers of TextExpander, for their ongoing support. Thanks too for sponsorship support this year from our friends at Rogue Amoeba, whose stable of audio apps set the standard in the Mac world, from Global Delight and its Boom 3D audio enhancement utility, from device management firm Jamf, and from hearing-aid company Eargo.
- Staff and contributing editors: Tonya and I are always thankful for the highly competent and amiable assistance of Josh Centers, Agen Schmitz, Julio Ojeda-Zapata, Glenn Fleishman, Michael Cohen, Rich Mogull, Jeff Carlson, Jeff Porten, and Lauri Reinhardt. You’re all terrific, and while we try to express our appreciation regularly, you deserve public acclaim as well.
- Guest authors: Funding from TidBITS members enabled us to commission some outside articles again this year, and we appreciate the authors who brought new voices to TidBITS: Dave Kitabjian, TJ Luoma, Sharon Zardetto, and David C. We look forward to more articles from these fine folks and others.
- Translators: Our gratitude goes out to the diligent volunteers who translate TidBITS into Dutch and Japanese each week and distribute their translations to several thousand people who prefer reading in their native tongue. (Both teams are always looking for new volunteers, so if you’re looking for a new hobby with new friends, see “New Dutch and Japanese Translators Wanted!,” 13 November 2020.)
- The TidBITS community: Our burgeoning TidBITS Talk forum has become a great place to bring your Apple questions and contribute answers from your own experience and expertise. While our SlackBITS chat group doesn’t see as much regular traffic, we enjoy having hundreds of TidBITS readers join us to watch and comment on live Apple events.
- Readers like you: Finally, even if you haven’t become a TidBITS member, left a comment, or participated in TidBITS Talk, we very much appreciate that you’ve made the time to read what we write. That’s what’s most important.
Thank you, one and all, and here’s hoping that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy throughout 2022!