Apple event megathread: Impressions, reactions, etc
I figured a big thread might be better than smaller individual threads, so maybe we can centralise the discussion here. What are your impressions of what they've presented today?
I figured a big thread might be better than smaller individual threads, so maybe we can centralise the discussion here. What are your impressions of what they've presented today?
As a frugal phone purchaser (proud owner of an iPhone 5S) I can say that Apple has for sure priced me out of buying any new apple products (used, maybe).
They have iPhones from $349 now. Sure, they might have priced you out of the new models, but you can still get new-as-in-never-used iPhones.
It seems their latest thing is to make phones even bigger. I own an iPhone SE because of the small form factor, it's the only halfway current smartphone model that fits in my pocket. Also, it doesn't seem like these new iPhones have a single feature I actually want/need. Not one. That makes it easier for me to not feel jealous of X owners (besides the price being ridiculous). I look at the X S and wonder why on earth you would buy it if you already own an X. Even if money is no issue.
I've been keeping track of some cheap 'chinese' phones (use a wileyfox currently) and off-brand android things are actually doing really damn well right now; there's quite some brands that are less well known here in the west but have fantastic hardware and get a ton of updates
however, apple has a better record with longevity of upgrades (although there's been times when they've semi-intentionally botched upgrades just so they can say an older model is still supported)
Chinese hardware has been great for a while now, especially at the price point they offer. But, for me at least, it's the software that turns me off them. It seems like they come with a lot of bloatware, spyware and bugs. Of course if you spend more you might be able to avoid the bugginess, but at that point, prices are on par with phones you can get in the US, and then there's no point really in shipping from China.
And for Android updates, you're screwed when the manufacturer and your carrier don't release anything new for years. At least with iPhone, you're able to get the latest OS updates, even on some pretty old phones. With Android, I've been constantly disappointed at the lack of updates, while I see the new features being rolled out. You virtually have to buy a new Android every year if you want to stay up-to-date, unless you get a Pixel.
To be honest, though. Android hasn't really added any major feature in an OS update for at least a couple of years now. I've been consistently disappointed with updates for a while. They're only adding minor features that you could already get via 3d party software anyway.
And most average users I've talked to about phones and OS updates don't really care about them. It's only tech enthusiasts that do.
I have my old 5S sitting on my desk. When I upgraded to an SE, no one wanted it. I love the size of the 4S/5S/SE and don't want the large phone format.
I've had a phone since the brick days. I kinda miss my StarTac phones. Perfect size for a portable phone, just not for a smartphone.
I'm not spending $600 out of pocket on a phone that get's "patched" out of usefulness in two years when I don't need or want most of what they change. Just patch the security flaws and give me the choice if I want the new gui, new app support, etc.
I'm definitely with you on the screen size. If i wanted a tablet, I'd buy a tablet.
Doesn't Apple support phones for five years?
Yes, but they also start intentionally slowing down the phone to encourage upgrading.
The throttling was to prevent random shutdowns, and they have since disabled it.
Source? What I've seen is that they provide the option for individuals to disable throttling. That's not at all the same thing.
"Support". As in, Apple will create a single new iOS version for ALL phones and tablets not EOL. Regardless whether that version lowers the performance, removes original apps or functionality, blocks even forces uninstalls of paid for apps, even cripples the device beyond use.
My wife's iPad Mini was crippled by a sub-iOS 9 update that was force installed by Apple. It was a known issue. Apple denied and denied even thought thousands of people proved it was that update causing the same exact issue across all the devices.
My iPad 2 ran perfect on iOS 7. As soon as iOS 8 got force installed, battery power got cut in half. and I mean as soon as it got installed. Before that install I easily got straight 10 hours of use. Directly after (I had charged before the update as always recommended) and I only got 5 hours. Never more. Even with a total wipe with no software or accounts installed.
My 4s and 5s had similar issues. I've kept my SE on 9.3.3 after seeing my wife's get progressively castrated by updates beyond that.
It should be illegal that Apple blocks reverting to previous OS and Apps. I get that I may not be able to install newer versions of apps on an older OS version. I'm OK with that. But I should be able to pick what versions of OS and Apps I want.
4s is a seven year old phone. 5s is five years old. iPad 2 is seven years old.
I get that it can be frustrating when updates don't play nice with older devices, but these devices are getting quite elderly. It's got to be difficult to make sure every OS update doesn't have some adverse effect on devices that were sold during Obama's first term. I'm not sure if Apple does, but most companies (Google included) that don't let you choose OS versions at will do so under the guise of security, and although it's sometimes difficult to tell if that's the honest case, it gives them an excuse.
Yes, they are that old. However, when the updates I mention came out, they were not that old.
The SE is two and a half years old. iOS 11 is not good to it.
Same here, I was really hoping they would have a "new" SE
I think the iphones are ridiculously expensive, but it looks like they've looked at some of the chinese makers, and google's pixel, and brought in things that might be nice.
Besides that I really don't like the way they push the apple watch as a health device. Most trackers (that claim to help you monitor health) are notoriously unreliable, so I don't really think they should make any claims (about it functioning as a ECG or helping diagnose heart rhythm issues) if they haven't had it verified in proper clinical trials.
Apparently the Apple Watch's heart monitor functions were approved by the FDA. Not really sure if that means much.
My wife is in the Apple Watch Heart monitoring program. We didn't even know it was a thing until she got an alert from her Apple watch about her heart rate dropping to 30 at night. It actually started vibrating and her phone started alarming.
When she would start to wake up, her heart rate would come back to normal. A couple weeks of that and Apple contacted her. Her doc had already scheduled her for a two night study. That came back good. But her watch also didn't alert those nights. First normal night it did. And every night for the next two weeks.
So she accepted Apple's study program. They worked with her docs, the cardiology center and paid for all the bills over the next two months. She actually does have a night-time heart rate drop that we never knew about till she got her watch.
That's been six months ago and she's still in their Hearth Health monitoring program. They pay all the bills and only get what data the watch collects, she gives them, or she give or she approves her doctors give them.
It's pretty cool and may have saved her life.
So she just has an abnormally low heart rate when sleeping? How'd she get selected for this program? That's a weird mix of wild, neat, and scary all wrapped up into one feeling.
Could be sleep apnea, a condition where you simply breath less or stop breathing for periods while asleep. It can cause heart attacks, failure, and arrhythmia such as bradycardia (which is what 30 BPM while sleeping is).
Well that's even scarier.
Not always though. Most times it's normal. Just out of the blue, it will drop, stay there for a couple minutes (actually lasted 10 minutes a couple times), then rise back to normal sleep rate.
Docs still don't have a clue. But because of the Apple watch, the medical industry is finding out that thousands of people have this happen. The cardiologists are starting to wonder if it's more normal than not. Being in a sleep study environment or even wearing portable monitoring gear while at home, is known to skew monitoring results.
My childhood friend had a major heart issue (he passed away at 25 after 9 open hear surgeries through his life). He was frequently wearing heart monitoring gear. It was weird how normal his heart was when doing so.
I read something elsewhere, and no, it seems like it doesn't (as in, FDA has approvals for things like crutches, walkers, etc, so it still doesn't tell you anything). A big part of that is that the FDA doesn't carry out any experiments themselves, they just put a little stamp on "this went according to how the author planned it", more or less, which Apple will of course use to promote their stuff but I worry it might mislead people
I wonder where this data lives and if HIPAA data rules apply to it.
They said in the keynote that it's encrypted on device. It's FDA approved, which would imply to me that they thought about HIPAA compliance. The Apple Health app has already been able to store medical reports for years, and HIPAA enforcement tends to be taken very seriously. I doubt it's anything other than compliant.
I'm most excited about the ECG function. I recently had a bout of PVCs that lasted about three months. I went from not feeling any to having many every minute. It was disconcerting to say the least. I'm young so it was quite the scare and enough to make me want to keep a closer eye on my heart.
Pretty much in line with standard iPhone pricing, though. Are you just saying that iPhones, in general, are "ridiculously expensive?"
I'd argue the loss of the $349 iPhone SE is more impactful than what's going on with the high end in terms of the generalized iPhone cost situation.
Yeah, that's what I'm saying, that they're offering these new phones that start at a really high price, but don't have anything for a lower budget (anymore). I mean it works for them, it's just a bit much.
Traditionally Apple only made high-end phones. They have branched out a bit, but that's their brand. Like a Porsche of smartphones, but for some reason even people who are struggling financially buy them. Relatives of mine who are unable to afford health care buy iPhones not just for themselves, but also their 25+ year old children.
I understand phones are a modern necessity, but there are much cheaper ways to connect to cell towers.
But do those uggo android phones have that nice little Apple with a cute little bite on it on their back?
Exactly. Didn't think so... /s
$30-40/mo doesn't really compare to health insurance prices...
Well there's the $449 iPhone 7, but I agree, down in that bracket, $100 is a huge difference.
I'm what you'd call an Apple "fanboy", so take my commentary with a grain of salt, but it's articles like this one by MensHealth that give me some level of confidence that Apple Watch does a somewhat reliable job of fitness and health tracking, given it's for the most part a sub-$500 consumer device that sits on your wrist.
I'm a bit of a runner, and my Apple Watch S3 has reported caloric burn, heart rate, and distance data on a repeatable track in a consistent manner for the past year. Seems to be just as accurate, if not more so, than your standard Garmin/FitBit curiosities.
That being said, if you're the health-equivalent of an Audiophile, then you're right, you need dedicated, professional equipment. We'll have to see about the EKG stuff.
I mean it's definitely improved, but there's a slight difference between 'health-equivalent of an Audiophile' and apple claiming it can work like an EKG. At least, my worry is that it will mislead people, and that people will ignore other symptoms if their apple watch tells them they're doing OK. I just wish they hedged it more (as in "it might even pick up on arrhythmia and tell you to get it checked out"), from what I've heard it sounds a lot more like they're confident in it, and if you're talking about people's lives I don't think you can be too careful on it. I hope it's at least internally reliable, so that even if it's off it can track that you are improving, even if it's not completely what the irl measurements would tell you. Then it's useful. Not if they start claiming it's a proper medical device, imo.
Isn't that specifically what the example in their event said?
They actually do quite a good job hedging, I think. From using my Apple Watch and their health stuff regularly since launch, they either stick to straight informational text (as in their blood pressure info in Health), or stick to the phrase "[x] may indicate important changes in your health [consult a physician, etc.]". For stuff like high resting heart rates, it basically says "hey, maybe go to a doctor".
Hm, yeah, thanks for pointing that out! I think what makes it difficult is that they might hedge it, but news sites do not (so they're to blame I suppose), I've seen quite a few headlines along the lines of "apple watch will tell you if your heart is functioning right!" or other claims that apple wouldn't support nearly as strongly. I suppose it has more to do with how news works
Apple had such a good naming convention from 4 to 7 (8 is ok, but skipping 7S was ehh). Now we have "Xs", "Xs Max", and "Xr". Asking people to pronounce "X" as "ten" was already a bad idea, now they want people to see two letters but pronounce a number and a letter.
I'm disappointed they don't have a fingerprint reader built into the screen, which other phones have already. And the notch will forever be ugly (and they know it, that's why they hide it in the feature image on the product page). I'm waiting for them to either figure out how to go truly bezel-less or give up on bezel-less because it's not really needed.
Their marketing is a bit of a curiosity surrounding the notch. They absolutely emphasised it last year, and throughout the iOS 11 software, yet here they're intentionally hiding it. I'm unsure why.
They had to pretend it was a good thing to get people on board. Now that it is "normal", they are treating it like the ugly compromise it is.
What baffles me is that the only point of bezel-less is to make the phone look better, but the notch accomplishes the opposite, while hurting functionality.
There is just no way Jobs would have let that complete design failure that is the notch happen. He'd have screamed and shouted and thrown the prototype out the window and demanded his engineers sort their shit out and get rid of it.
Say what you like about Jobs, he had high standards and enforced them.
When they released it it was innovative and new (nobody but tech enthusiasts knew about the Essential phone) and didn't have the stigma it now has.
New sure, but in no way was it innovative. It added nothing besides those two little bit of screen on the side of it that aren't even needed. A side effect is the top bar is now crammed, which means it can't show as much information.
I was surprised with the names. They don't seem... Apple like? Kind of reminds me of the days when Android manufacturers would name their phones something long and convoluted. Sony still does it: "Sony Xperia XZ2 compact"
Apple has never really worked that way. Unlike say, Samsung, they're not going to release a half-assed new technology and see if it sticks. They like to perfect features before releasing them. I mean, they only added wireless charging last year.
I would argue that between the notch and the lack of fingerprint sensor, they half-assed the whole "bezel-less" thing.
Perfecting before release would mean we wouldn't have gotten any sort of bezel-less until they figured out how to build the fingerprint sensor and camera into the screen.
I'm interested in the new Apple Watch, since I use mine a lot in conjunction with AirPods; the Series 4 looks like it has a pretty decent amount of quality-of-life upgrades. A little less enthused about the continuing limitation of the stainless steel model to LTE-only.
The march of the iPhone toward a higher ASP feels distasteful, though. The hardware looks great, but I think for the price it's gross that they tack on a bunch of services revenue. Having your $1000 flagship phone come with a free 5 GB of cloud storage in 2018 is just indefensible -- if they're going to make expensive things, fine, whatever, but then demanding a small fee every month to enable cloud backups seems shitty.
Oof no real iphone improvements and shitty price.
Eyeing the apple watch though. On S2 currently and I love it.
This is the 'tock' in the iPhone tick-tock cycle, so all that was expected is a SOC bump and the A12 seems like a decent bump over the A11. If you were expecting something more groundbreaking from this event then you haven’t been paying attention to Apple’s cadence the past few years.
Not sure if there's anything exciting in it, but Axios posted a short hands-on video with the new Apple Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJapPpkNc0A
Probably going to pick up the XR. I've been using a 6S since it launched and my only real complaints are the camera and the battery. Looks like the XR will somehow offer the "portrait mode" that Apple calls their faux long lens with only one physical lens and a longer battery life. Besides iOS (I am in Apple's ecosystem with almost everything else I own), those are the two things I most want out of a new phone.
Apple has traditionally done really well with cameras, but if I had the money I'd be buying the Huawei P20 pro, since that is apparently the best phone camera on the market (had the chance to play with one in a store and it looked super nice). I'm super curious to see how these new iPhones hold up to that, seeing as there does seem to be a good amount of attention put on the cameras
Yeah, this definitely seemed like the year of the camera, which is why I'm finally going to upgrade.
Apparently the P20 has this weird "beautifying" effect that's common in Asian OEMs. There's a setting to turn it off but it's still apparent. A fairly respected reviewer talks about it here. I've heard(and seen) it's night time capabilities and it is awesome at those type of shots.