Friday, September 15, 2017

iPhone X Keynote

Straight out of camera photo taken with iPhone 7 Plus by Maruk.A couple of thoughts with regards to Apple’s latest event where iPhone X was announced among other things. A little bit on each topic of any interest to me.

Apple TV

Apple TV is getting upgraded to support 4K video. And even though we ended up with a 4K TV a while ago we already have a 4th generation Apple TV — previous one — and it already runs tvOS. So we have no plans to upgrade. The quality is plenty good for us.

The good news is that Apple said that all the HD content that you have purchased through iTunes will be upgraded to 4K for free. And we do have quite a bit of movies purchased. That’s nice to have for the time when we do upgrade to 4K. Haven’t touched our blu-ray or DVD content in ages — all that feels so dated.

Apple Watch

Apple has announced a 3rd generation of Apple Watch which has an option for an LTE chip. I currently wear 2nd generation and it serves my needs just fine. On-board LTE also cost an additional $10 per month from our carrier — AT&T. Really have no need to pay anything extra to AT&T. No upgrade.

The Phones

This is the most interesting category. I will preface this by saying that I take an enormous amount of photographs with my phone. My current Instagram library contains 2,245 pictures and that is curated content only. Camera is one of the most important features of my phone.

Currently I have iPhone 6s. I love my iPhone. I use a normal sized phone and Plus version would just not fit into my pocket comfortably. So when iPhone 7 Plus got a dual-lesn camera system I felt sad that I wouldn’t be able to get that — wasn’t willing to carry a tablet around with me. So we all hoped that with the next generation the “little” phone would get the camera.

It kind of did. iPhone 8 didn’t get lucky. If it was the only option I would feel no need to upgrade at all. But then there is iPhone X. Slightly bigger than a regular iPhone with a screen size of iPhone Plus and a dual camera system not only on the back, but upfront as well. Without going through its new features and the loss of the old ones I will say that I’m looking forward to getting my iPhone X.

There is a long way before the pre-orders start and it sounds like there is going to be a good chance of not being able to get one at that point either. I’m going to try. Going to stick with 64GB version as my current phone is, which seems to be doing OK on memory. Leaning towards the silver one and not sure on which payment plan to pick yet. It’s going to be one of the Apple’s offerings though, not AT&T.

Little annoyances that I have — and I’m saying that without seeing the phone, so I might be off — is the alignment of the icons on the top status bar. One of the reasons why I like Apple is because their aesthetics always lined up with mine and they have never caused my OCD to flare up the way Palm used to — to the point of me redrawing icons for apps.

For some reason the icons in the bar are bottom aligned with the bottom of the notch. There have been several mocks done by Max Rudberg of how Apple could do it and centering them vertically around the notch always looked a lot better. I hope it’s not as glaring in person, but on all the screenshots it just looks off to me. I hope they rethink this.

The rounded corners are interesting to say the least. It doesn’t seem to affect the apps since the bottom touch handle — new home-button gesture bar — seems to always be in place — in most cases on the screenshots that I’ve seen at least. Not sure if that space of the screen will be utilized in any other way or it will stay occupied by that bar. Landscape screenshots also looked somewhat iffy. Overall though I’m fairly sure the device will make me happy.

Face ID doesn’t scare me either. It worked well during the demo — no, it didn’t fail as the most people think it did. There were also good reports from hands-on people. Speaking of Touch ID — it works perfectly for me, but it also works only half the time for my wife and my parents to the point that they have given up. We re-calibrated it multiple times and it goes back to not performing well for them. So by the time Face ID rolls around to the rest of the line-up they will all probably benefit from it.

I’m also looking forward to the upcoming — in a month and a half — reviews and what popular Apple bloggers and podcasters1 will think of all these things.

October 23rd can’t come soon enough.

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