On The iPhone Event

On The iPhone Event:

First off, and just to get that out of the way quickly, the Series 4 watch turned out to be the most significant device for me. Even though I have a perfectly good Series 3, I will probably buy one as soon as I figure out whether the ECG functionality will be enabled outside the US (medical regulations being what they are, and conveniently glossed over until now–there are a lot of subtleties involved).

This could be my Apple upgrade on my next trip to the US, just to make sure I get the full functionality. The problem is that my work phone program doesn’t yet have a mechanism for attaching a cellular watch to the plan.

 I still wish they’d made a round, more watch-like device, but Apple doesn’t seem to be going that path anyway soon, and there is a degree of continuity implied by having bands be compatible across generations (which may well be completely irrelevant in the long run, but still makes sense).

I was thinking about this on the train. When I hold the strap while standing on the Tokyo Metro, with a round typeface I could read on my watch with the screen text reorienting as my arm does. Imagine a compass in the blue liquid always pointing north.

And form factors are as good a topic as any to begin addressing the new iPhones. The apparent death of the SE form factor is particularly annoying to me given that I prefer small devices with just enough screen real estate for messaging, but the overarching trend to do everything on a phone has clearly driven Apple towards bigger form factors, something that I’m not keen on at all.

When my late, lamented iPhone 6S Plus still worked I had it with my work iPhone 7. Since I have to carry two phones anyway, one for work and one for personal, I like one being in the smaller form factor. And don’t get me started on analog headphone jacks.

I also deeply regret the death of Touch ID, which was in my opinion far more practical (and, from a perspective of intent, maybe even more secure) than Face ID. I don’t want to have to pick up my phone from a desk or charging cradle to unlock it or to authenticate in apps—that is highly inconvenient in many situations, and enough people have written at length about the differences (and frustrations) entailed in both approaches.

Yes. If Apple took a page from Google’s playbook and put a fingerprint sensor on the back with FaceID in the front, I would be on board with that.

Having said that, I’m relatively satisfied that the new “low-end” model shares the same CPU and overall internals as the other ones—that alone is enough for me to discard the iPhone 8 as an option, even though, to be honest, it still is the device I like the most.

Ultimately the new iPhones fail in my primary metrics: solving a problem (not a mere convenience) and/or changing the way I work & live. My S2 Apple Watch changed the way I work with the calendar, the ability to quickly capture voice notes, and how I live with the health stuff. iPhone 7 solved the problem of Suica mobile transit and Apple Pay use in Japan, partially thanks to TouchID, as an American without a grasp of Japanese.

I could not care less about OLED or case framing (although I still dislike the idea of a glass back),

Me, too!

and with the XS camera being the only significant difference for me, I will have to figure out whether it’s worth the premium.

Long ago I stopped caring even a little bit about the camera in phones. They’re all fine. Unless someone points out a deficiency I can perceive it’s all marketing hooey.

Hardware lifecycle and value are fundamentally different for Apple devices (witness my continued use of an iPhone 6 until today), and it is worth considering upgrades as continued investment spaced out over the years rather than yearly gadget binges.

I’m currently rocking a 2-year-old work iPhone 7 (Japan) and a 3-year-old personal iPod Touch 6th generation. Both are working fine and compliment each other – the 128GB iPod making up for the paltry 32GB of storage in my iPhone. The afore mentioned personal US iPhone 6S Plus succumbed to “bend gate”.

Oh, and I find the naming to be less than inspiring, but at least we’re finally out of the numbers game.

The logic behind the naming is convoluted Roman numeral-ing at best. That they replaced “Plus” with “Max” was very Motorola of them, though with 50% fewer X-es.
(Via The Tao of Mac)
The event disappointed me. I wanted to see more about the MacMini refresh, the MacBook Air refresh, and new AirPods. As it is, maybe I will buy a new watch in the next six months. Even if something breaks I think the refurbished market will be my shopping ground as opposed to what is now on the menu.
HOWEVER, dual SIM support in the Xs and Xs Max does interest me. If I can have a Japanese eSIM and slap in a Google Fi SIM … that would be pretty cool.

Be nice with what you write.