An iPhone with a festive background resting in a Christmas treeSource: iMore

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, December 25 is on its way, and although Apple news is doing its typical holiday slowdown, that doesn't mean iMore wasn't busy. This week we saw Apple release some new software, including the Apple Music Voice Plan, and there were some pretty significant Apple anniversaries.

A new Apple Music plan will have you asking Siri for a lot

Apple Music HomePodSource: iMore

Announced a few short months ago, the Apple Music Voice Plan is a new subscription for Apple's music streaming service that is cheaper than its individual plan coming in at only $5 a month. However, as the name suggests, the way you interact with Apple Music on the Apple Music Voice Plan is mostly by using Siri.

I've been using the new plan since iOS 15.2 launched and figuring out all the quirks on how to use the Apple Music Voice Plan. While it's only been a few days, as an early assessment, I definitely see the use case for this plan. It's for very casual listeners who maybe only listen to music while doing tasks or entertaining company.

The good news is Siri is pretty good at controlling Apple Music and has been for a while. Tell Siri to play a song or the latest album from your favorite band or one of the many Apple Music playlists, and the music starts right away. You still have access to your entire personal music library, and you can still control playback by touch on your iPhone or iPad.

As I use it more over the holidays, I'm sure I'll have more to say about it, so stay tuned.

Some Apple anniversaries

Grogu Airpods Max Iphone 12 ProSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

Can you believe it's been one year since the AirPods Max shocked the world with its $550 price tag?

iMore contributor, Joe Wituschek, took some time this week to write about how much he's loved using his AirPods Max over the past year, despite the price point being high.

"So, while the $549 has been seen as a high price for many, it has held its own when you compare it to the quality and experience you get out of the headphones once you put them on."

As someone who has been quite fond of Apple's newest basic AirPods — AirPods 3 — I certainly understand the excitement Joe has for these headphones.

On top of the AirPods Max being a year old, this month also marks the AirPods' fifth anniversary. Looking back on just how much has changed in the wireless earbud market in the last five years, it's hard to argue Apple's influence over the product category. Every major audio company has multiple sets of wireless earbuds, and the amount of direct AirPods knock-offs in the market is astounding.

Enjoy the holidays

I won't be writing to you all again until the new year, and I'm certainly excited for what 2022 has in store for us Apple fans. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it's joyous for you and your loved one. If you don't celebrate but are taking some holiday time, I wish you a restful and relaxing holiday. And, if it's just another day of the week for you, I hope you have a wonderful couple of weeks before the new year!

Take care, everyone!

- Luke Filipowicz