I’m not going to go in depth about the announcements from Apple this week, but I did want to touch on a couple of things. If you want more detailed coverage and haven’t already found it, I suggest Sixcolors, iMore, Daring Fireball, 512pixels and Macstories. There’s a lot of good discussion of it on various podcasts hosted at Relay.fm.
My overall take: I’m pretty impressed with what Apple showed us.
Apple Watch: I understand why Apple wanted to add LTE to the watch, but I wasn’t sure they could pull it off. From what I can see, they have (of course). Assuming they have battery life working well, this is a big winner.
I’m really fascinated by the health capabilities they talked about around monitoring the heart. My doctor and I spent a few months late last year and into the spring trying to track down a gremlin that was randomly appearing and sending me to the emergency room every few weeks, and at one point, we were both convinced we were chasing an Atrial Fibulation problem, so I got to do what’s known as a 30 day Holter test, which involves wearing a portable EKG device for a month. It was this wonderfully Rube Goldbergian piece of hardware that would send back reports via a Windows Phone (on 3G) that I also got to wear for a month. And now it looks like all that will exist in my Apple Watch in the next year or so. Amazing, and having lived through what this is all about, I’m going to watch what Apple does here with great interest. (FWIW: the tests were all negative, and we ultimately tracked down and got rid of the Gremlin elsewhere)
Will I buy it? At this point, no. I think my Series 2 watch is good enough for what I do, but I will admit thinking if my existing watch dies for some reason I won’t feel terrible about replacing it. I did order one of the new sport loop bands to try out, and I expect I’ll really like it; it may be the best band option for those of us with really large wrists.
Apple TV 4K: A necessary and perhaps late update to the Apple TV. The free upgrade to 4K content (for most studios) was a nice and unexpected bonus. But it still feels like Apple is playing catch up here because the kind of system they wanted to build they couldn’t get the content owners to buy into. It also still feels expensive compared to a Roku. But I think we’re seeing progress towards some new system Apple has in mind since the one they originally planned for couldn’t be done without the content providers buy-in.
Will I buy it? Maybe. I don’t currently have a 4K TV. Most of our viewing is live sports, not movies or shows. There are some new things involving sports in this update to the TV I want to look at, but unless I can get NHL Center Ice and baseball’s package without weird blackouts to protect the cable carriers, Im’ probably not interested.
iPhone 8 and iPhone X: the iPhone 8 models are nice improvements on the iPhone 7 devices. The iPhone X is bloody gorgeous, and I really like both the look and the capabilities. I think Face ID is fascinating, I want to see how it works in the field and how crazy the nerds have to get to compromise it. But I’m likely to get a device like the X the next time I buy a phone.
Will I buy it? Not planned. We bought 7’s last year, and they’re doing fine. I typically upgrade phones every other year, so on that schedule our next upgrades are next year, not this set. But I can look forward to what might be coming next year…
The Steve Jobs Theater is absolutely gorgeous. I live fairly close to the new campus so we drive past it on a regular basis and watching it get built was fascinating. The theater is exactly the kind of place I expected Apple to build.
I thought the keynote overall was well paced, didn’t rush, didn’t drag, and presented their products and the stories of them well. Very happy with it. I admit to getting a bit emotional when they talked about Steve, which I didn’t expect. And I think they did a great job of honoring Steve.
So well done on all counts from me, folks. Great product, great presentation, great messaging and a great start to the new campus.
By the way, I took a few days off and went to Lake Tahoe, and so I was out of town and staying in a hotel for the keynote. I watched it by sitting in the hotel lobby with my iPad connected to an external battery, watching the social media chatter on my iPhone, sipping a tea. The hotel had good WIFI, and I was able to watch the entire thing just fine with a couple of short drop outs.
Stepping back a bit, being able to do that like it was how things ought to work? That’s the magic of Apple.