Looking Back Once More at the September Invite

I recently wrote about whether iPhone event invites give us any clues about what is coming with the new product announcements. My conclusion was decidedly mixed:

By my count, that’s 2 completely on the nose, 2 where people guessed what the clue was, 2 with tenuous clues no one guessed, and 2 with no real clues at all.

Now we have a 9th entrant, and I wanted to give that invite the same treatment as the others, so here we go…

2019

Announced

iPhone 11
iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Arcade (new info)
Apple TV+ (new info)

Connection

I give this one a decent, if imprefect connection. The iPhone 11 does indeed come in a green, and yellow, and purple, and a red, but all of them are in notably different hues than are in the invite. Also, there is no blue iPhone, despite showing up here. But hey, this is a tease, not a product shot, so maybe that’s fine.

Speculation at the time

People speculated that these could be the new colors of the iPhone 11, or they could be a hint at the return of the 6 colors logo.

Some may argue that the invitation also teases one of the wallpapers seen in promo shots of the iPhone 11, but I’d say that’s not what any of us are talking about when we talk about these invites being “teases.”

Apple Could Flip a Switch and Kill Wear OS

Comment: Apple could kill Wear OS with a pull of the Apple Watch lever – 9to5Google

It’s a sad reality, but if Apple made the Watch compatible with Android, it would be bar-none the best smartwatch for Android phones. It already is the fastest, most useful, and most technically impressive wearable you can buy. The problem for Android users is that — outside of hacky methods of using the LTE model — it’s only compatible with the iPhone.

I think Apple could single-handedly take out Wear OS by flipping a switch. That’s even more true now that the one non-Apple Watch feature Wear OS had going for it — many models with always-on displays — is this year’s big addition.

After testing some of the latest smart watches from Fossil and Samsung this spring, I can attest to the wide gap between what Android options are out there and what Apple is offering to iPhone users. The Apple Watch would not only be the most competent smart watch available on Android, it would be so by a wide margin.

Then again, maybe this isn’t something Apple cares at all about and they’re perfectly happy to see strong continued growth selling only to iPhone folks. It’s worked well for them so far.

The Loop, Pulling No Punches

The New York Times shaming of a crying reporter is shameful

Hey Jack, here’s a piece of advice for you. Before you call people down for, you know, being compassionate human beings (and bloggers), maybe you should take a look in the mirror and decide how you can be less of a complete total fuckhead.

I read the opinion piece in the New York Times and thought it was insane.

Yeah, I disagree with this piece completely. Among other things, it’s really another “Apple in headlines gets clicks” article. Do they suggest Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung should also stop presenting their new products. Almost every single point applies to them as well.

Next month Google is going to debut a $1,000 phone, will trot out execs on stage, and I’m sure this writer will be just as upset about them doing it. Especially since there is an antitrust investigation into them initiated this week.

I just don’t get the motivation behind publishing the piece. I would have thought twice about publishing that here, let alone to the freaking New York Times.

Some More Put-Together Thoughts About Today’s Apple Announcements

I recorded my reactions podcast this afternoon, literally minutes after the event ended, so all i had were hot takes. But now, several hours later, I’ve had time to digest everything and have slightly refined feelings on the two main products they unveiled.

Apple Watch Series 5

This is my darling product and I of course ordered one the moment they were available. But after a few hours I feel:

  • This is the first Apple Watch clearly not targeting people who bought last year’s model. Yes, I know one year updates are not super common, but each previous year’s upgrade was so significant it made the last models look, or more importantly feel old. This year, if you have a Series 4 there is basically no reason to get the Series 5, unless…
  • The always on display looks just as good as I thought it might be in the stage presentation and it’s the top reason I’m getting this. It might be enough for some folks to upgrade already as it’s a fundamental change to the product that people have been asking for since day one.
  • Rumor has it the S5 SoC in this model is the same as the S4 from last year, but with a new name printed on it. If true, it’s kind of disappointing, but also speaks to how good the Series 4 is in terms of performance. How often does Apple not upgrade the speed in a product from model to model?
  • The new two-tone sport loop bands look excellent!
  • The Milanese Loop and leather watch bands cost $99 instead of the $149 they used to be.
  • I adore the ceramic look, but can’t justify the cost.

iPhone 11 and 11 Pro

  • It’s really all about the cameras this year, like 80% of their marketing and promo pages for these phones is devoted to how amazing these are.
  • These phones look like they’re in a case, even when they’re naked. Maybe it’s because of the matte and glossy difference between the back and the camera square.
  • Oh, and that camera bump…oof. Apple stylized it a bit, but that is one hell of a gaudy bump.
  • Somehow, I think the phones look even weirder with a case on them, as the cutout for the cameras is so massive, it’s actually kind of humorous. I’d love to know why Apple went with this design of something like the S10 line that has the 3 cameras in a row and looks totally fine.
  • The “Deep Fusion” photo mode Apple teased is singlehandedly going to make me get the Pro instead of the regular old 11 this year. I was totally sold on the purple iPhone 11, but I’m too tempted by what this mode could be to miss out on it.
  • Oh, and I plan on getting the green or gold 11 Pro. The green looks unique, but I invariably kick myself for not getting the gold iPhone any year I don’t.
  • My wife watched a few videos with YouTubers talking about the phones still having notches and said “you guys spend a lot of time complaining about things literally no one else cares about,” which made me laugh.
  • The telephoto lens went from f/2.4 in the XS to f/2.0 in the 11 Pro. That’s a pretty sizable difference and should help with getting much more light into the camera. For comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus’s telephoto lens had an f/2.8 aperture.
  • Night Mode is everything I’ve wanted from an iPhone since last year’s Night Sight in the Pixel 3 (and now $399 3a!) blew me away.