The new Apple stuff

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I shall ignore the fact that Apple Events was unavailable on my Apple TV at the start of the keynote and that AirPlay kept playing up when streaming from my iPad. These things happen I guess, but perhaps it is an indication that there is still much to improve no matter how often people accuse Apple of not innovating anymore.

Apple Watch

Still no real numbers for Apple Watch sales apart from the fact that it now sells more than any other watch. This number, however, is likely not as high as you may think. Irrelevant of that, the Apple Watch is selling in decent numbers and should have a long future from what we saw tonight.

The software tweaks that were first spoken about are nice to see and once again Apple is focussing on the nuances that many other companies would not even consider. Faith in the heart rate monitoring is obviously strong and Apple is proving that by looking at the medical side with the Apple Heart Study. To have the trust to notify users if there is a potential heart problem is a huge deal and a selling point for many more people.

The Series 3 has cellular built in which perplexes me somewhat. I can see why serious Apple Watch fans would want this type of connectivity, but think about the limited use of apps on the Apple Watch currently. It is a nice to have option and the Apple Music streaming integration is brilliant, but cellular connectivity is not enough to get around the small screen and natural lack of usability any smart watch suffers from.

I keep thinking about this and do wonder if there is a case for leaving the house with just a cellular Apple Watch, and there obviously is, but it took a long time to get the world using smartphones and it will take a LONG time to get enough people to leave their phones at home, even for a minute.

The big question comes to money though and the immediate thought of having to pay for 2 contracts sprang to mind. Only limited networks are available at launch and the mention of ‘a special offer’ from the carriers did not allay my fears for having to pay for 2 contracts. We will find out more in time.

Apple TV

Next up was the device that failed to display the event, but ho hum. Apple TV 4K feels slightly behind the times when you consider that so many TVs already display the latest TV resolution. The HDR thingy is nice I guess, but in my personal experience the Apple TV has been overtaken by so many competitors and standalone TVs that I am failing to see its relevance anymore. I only use it to play purchases I made through iTunes with all others going through Amazon which is available on my Samsung TV, as is Netflix and the rest.

There is no doubt that Apple is going to play hard in the TV arena and that the battle is just beginning, but the actual hardware could be the limiting factor here more than any other Apple product. People want access to Netflix, Amazon TV Prime, YouTube and maybe iTunes. The problem for Apple is that people will not buy a physical product to watch the latter. Games and apps are nice, but have not set the world alight and I remain convinced that Apple TV is not special enough to beat the competition.

It also needs to be cheaper than it currently is and $179 is not cheap. And where is Amazon Prime for the Apple TV? Later this year apparently, but September is already later this year.

iPhone

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are what you would expect in any other year. Glass front and back are nice with the same slippery bar of soap form that feels all too familiar to me and the Retina HD display comes with True Tone which is a huge bonus. If you have seen True Tone on an iPad Pro you will know why. Better speakers (stereo) with deeper bass, a better camera and a more powerful processor create a phone that will be better than the iPhone 7, that will be better than any iPhone before it, but this is 2017 and that’s not enough.

Some of the lighting effects are extremely impressive in the camera and once again highlight how much Apple thinks about mobile photography. The video demo was amazing- who knew we would be able to capture such quality from a phone?

The AR stuff also looks good and will likely be a slow burner. It could, however, be what we use in almost every app and game in a few years time.

Wireless charging! I can hear people scoffing now at the unoriginality of it. However, iPhone users have not been able to do that and now we can. At some point the charging port will follow the headphone port to a place that does not exist and it’s good to see Qi chargers from almost anyone will work with the iPhone 8 models. No dedicated accessories needed.

OK, forget everything above. The iPhone X.

Strangely Tim called it ‘iPhone 10’ which seems silly because we will all say ‘X’.

Slippery bar of soap form again, but that display looks stunning. The entire phone looks stunning as it happens- give me the silver one please.

The notch at the top really does stand out in a bad way, but maybe we will get used to it in time and I wonder if app developers will start adding black areas at the top.

Face ID looks brilliant, it really does, and is likely to work so much better than the competition. It could make Touch ID seem archaic in comparison and I was mightily impressed by the technical innovations behind it. I also like the simplicity of using Apple Pay with it because it is even quicker than now.

I actually like the Animoji idea a lot. It’s silly, but its the kind of silly I enjoy and would use.

I must say that the iPhone X looks and feels like a leap and is a phone that has jumped from the iPhone 6 – 8 designs to feel brand new in 2017. It has been some time since a new form arrived and I am impressed. This feels like a new beginning for the iPhones we will see over the next half-decade and that is far from a bad thing.

From $999 (64GB) – order from end of October. Is that expensive? Well, Bob commented with this today-

Shaun wrote “it is likely better value than almost every other object you buy.”

So I thought about this and did some calculations. If I keep an iPhone for 2 years and it cost me $1000 Cdn, then that’s about $1.3 per day. It kept it simple and didn’t consider resale. Obviously the longer I keep it, the less the per day cost. If I buy a 65″ 4K TV for $1500 and keep it until the next “standard” comes out, say 5 years, that’s about $0.82 per day. However, most people probably use their phone more than their TV.

Then, out of curiosity, I did a car. Say $30,000 and you keep it for 5 years. That’s about $16 per day!!! If you drive it into the ground, say over 10 years, that’s $8 per day not including operating costs and maintenance. And just to get ridiculous, if you bought a house for $400,000 and kept it for 40 years, that’s about $27 per day.

Suddenly the iPhone is a bargain.

As to Shaun’s question, will I be buying the new iPhone? Probably not. Since I’ve retired, I don’t use my phone as much and the 6S I have is perfectly adequate. I’m also coming to the end of my 2 year contract, so the phone is paid for and my monthly bill will be going down.

 

 

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