Initial Thoughts - Apple Special Event, Sept. 9, 2015
We all knew what was coming and it was still a doozy. The rumor mill basically got everything correct and this was still one of the best keynotes in a long time. I plan on writing more in depth about each major topic but for now, here are my first impressions.
Lack of “Status Updates”
In the past, Apple has kicked off every event with a stacatto of numbers about how great Apple has been doing. The past few events, however, Tim Cook has basically said “we’ve already crammed so much into this time slot that we don’t have time for updates; things are great; let’s do this”… which, in my opinion, is a welcome change that shows Cook’s leadership style comfortably in place at Apple.
I’m not über thrilled about the Watch-related announcements but there were a few gems. The updated watchOS will bring some much needed stability & performance improves to the fledgling platform (including a few nice new features like third party complications). Additionally, I think it’s great that not only is Apple continuing to produce new finishes and bands, but they are beginning to partner with serious companies to branch out with new collections of bands.
A huge (and yet light) screen powered by iOS 9. Multi-tasking. Touch ID. Retina Display. Stereo speakers. All day battery life. Coupled with a ridiculously engineered Pencil (I didn’t say stylus!) and an interesting keyboard case, this could be the general purpose computing device that I’ve been waiting for. Slim, beautiful, powerful, versatile. I’m am stoked about this product combo.
This will be in my living room as soon as it comes out. The AppleTV finally has an app platform. Apps are universal. Unified, refine-able search across content sources. A multi-touch remote that also acts as a microphone for voice commands. Powerful Siri voice search. A powerful, 64-bit system on a chip capable of Apple’s new Metal technology (high performance graphics). Support for bluetooth controllers.
The new iPhones are pretty amazing. Tougher materials. 3D Touch technology (the “peak” and “pop” paradigm is pretty ingenious). 12MP camera capable of 4K video. Moving photos from the Wizarding world. Rose gold isn’t for me but it is beautiful.
If only Apple would stop shipping 16GB phones. An uncompressed 4K video a few minutes in length can be close to 10GB in size (depending on format). Seriously Apple, come on. The fact that Apple continues to ship 16GB iPhones seriously rained on my parade.
This may be the announcement that I’m most excited about. Apple’s new upgrade program will finally allow one to affordably decouple our iPhone purchases from our service carrier bills. Here are the key points:
- New iPhone every year
- Low monthly payments (2 year commitment required through the Apple Store)
- AppleCare+ (protection plan)
I think decoupling hardware purchases from cellular service carriers is a good thing that will benefit the consumer and further drive carriers to focus on their service reliability and affordability rather than the handsets.
With iOS, watchOS, & now tvOS, I don’t think it will be long before we see Mac OS X become macOS. And I really like this naming convention.
I had thought that with Apple’s adoption of USB Type C on the new MacBook that we might see the iPhones transition to the new connector in a year or so. However, with several new products (the TV Remote & Pencil) adopting the Lightning Connector for charging, I’m not so sure.