Yep, I'm still here.
I've been having a season of downtime before fall really and truly starts, but rest assured I have writing-plans for the coming months.
Until then though, I'd like to share some brief & muddled thoughts that I had about today's Apple Event where they announced the iPhone 7 & Apple Watch Series Two.
There will be loads of full-recaps around the web, so I'll try to keep each thought here unique-ish and to the point.
- After some deliberation, I've decided that I enjoyed the opening Carpool Karaoke skit with James Cordon & Tim Cook. It's not every day I get to see Tim Cook jamming out with shutter-shades on.
- San Francisco looks nice as a presentation font, and Apple seems to be moving to using it across their website and product packaging as well. I can't get enough of it.
- Nintendo being onstage with Apple to announce Super Mario Run seems a huge deal to me. Not because the game looks out of this world or because I think this solves all of Nintendo's problems going forward - but because it shows that Nintendo is starting to make some smart decisions with its' IPs, and it shows that Apple is willing to play ball as well.
- My last point would be ditto for Niantic's presentation of Pokémon GO for Apple Watch, except I grew bored of the game about two months ago. Oops.
- I doubt anyone was expecting an iWork portion of today's keynote, but the real-time-collaboration features announced look promising. Here's hoping iWork gets more updates to keep it modern going forward - too many of Apple's apps separate from the operating system feel abandoned right now.
- Apple Watch Series Two looks to be exactly the sort of update that Apple Watch needed. More horsepower, GPS, and real waterproofing were all things the original watch sorely needed - and I'm glad to see Apple making that call along with the smart ones they made for WatchOS 3. I would've loved to see a True-Tone or an Always-On display announcement, but you can't have everything.
- The new Apple Watch Nike+ features look fantastic to me. I'm not very keen on the design, but some of the encouragement and fitness features look well thought out. Here's hoping that Nike+ Run Club app is available for all watches, not just the Nike+ models.
- iPhone 7 & 7 Plus look to be great updates all around. The design looks just different enough for the people to whom that matters, and nearly everything else is an improvement. Brand new cameras, better performance & battery life, waterproofing, stereo speakers, a better display - all great year-over-year updates.
- The two things people seem to be bothered by initially are of course (🙄) the removal of the headphone jack, and the new taptic-enabled home button. As far as the headphone jack goes, I've been essentially bluetooth-only for over a year now and don't plan on going back. For those few times out of my year that I use a reference set of 'cans or for when a 🔥 album needs to be played through an aux jack, well it sure is nice that an adapter comes in the box. As for the home button I think it's to soon to tell, but I'll be open to trying something new come later this month.
- The only thing I'm really mad about is the omission of a True-Tone display. What gives Apple!? I thought it was "So good that once you get used to it you can't go back." 😡
- The camera upgrade really seems huge this year for both phones. A new sensor, OIS as standard, wide-gamut capture and displays, and of course the whole second camera and lens on the iPhone 7 Plus that enables better zoom and depth of field. Between all those things iPhone pictures are going to get a lot better across the board. I want to try and showcase that by posting more of my daily iPhone photos here on the blog. We'll see how that turns out.
- AirPods were rumored of course, but it still made me really happy to seem them announced. I'm a bit of an earbud geek, so seeing Apple's integrated take on the new (completely) wireless earbuds has me excited. I even like the design, which seems to be an unpopular opinion this afternoon. Also, that little carrying case is adorable and so Apple.
- The increase in diversity onstage didn't go unnoticed - it's really good to see more women and new faces in general being featured in these events.
- A small thing to note, but I enjoyed the focus on black backgrounds and dark composition in Apple's presentation and marketing today. It's obviously a callout to the new Jet Black color, but it's also something very different from the usual Jony Ive white-land that we've come to know.
- Pre-order day is two days from now - eep! - and I'm curious as to if the new Apple Store app's web backend will get slowed down like the website usually does come preorder night. We shall see.
- I think I'll be picking up the iPhone 7 Plus as part of the iPhone Upgrade Program (which I enrolled in last year) in the gold finish and with 128GB of storage. That jet black finish is attractive, but I just don't do dark colors like that in my life. As for the new Apple Watch I think I might hold off a bit - the new features are nice enough to warrant my purchase, but I need a little more time to justify that money and to decide on which finish I'll be buying.
I think that about does it. iPhone announcement day is always one of the most-fun days in my year. All the reporting, the show itself, the raucous opinions and jokes on Twitter, and of course adding in a couple thoughts of my own - so much fun for a geek like me.
Thanks for sticking around and reading - I promise to be back with more writing soon.