Charles: Hey everybody and welcome to Episode 173 of the iPhreaks Show. This week on our panel, we have Alondo Brewington.
Alondo: Hello from Croatia.
Charles: Andrew Madsen.
Andrew: Hello from Salt Lake City.
Charles: Jaim Zuber.
Jaim: Hello from my parent’s basement.
Charles: I’m Charles Max Wood from Devchat.tv. It’s September 7 right now as we record this and the Apple event got over about an hour ago. We’re going to be talking about some of the stuff that came up there and share our opinions for however much time we have. I’m a little curious, what was your overall impression of the event?
Alondo: I have to say while there were some parts that we’ll get to at some point that I was pleased with, I expected more, I really was expecting there to be maybe multiple devices or more things talked about in terms of different services or products. It was a little disappointing.
Charles: Okay good, it wasn’t just me.
Andrew: I think the rumors were just completely 100% right. Rumors have said they were not going to talk about Macs, that it was going to be iPhone and Apple Watch. Those were right, I think every single thing they announced have been leaked expect for Mario Brothers which was the big surprise for me. I haven’t heard anything about that.
Maybe it’s disappointing to me that these days we can’t really watch an Apple event with surprises because everything gets leaked weeks in advance but ignoring that, ignoring the leaks, I thought they announced some good stuff. The new iPhone looked really nice.
We’re well firmly, I think, now in the days of incremental iPhone updates. We’re never going to get our mind blown away the way we did when the original iPhone was announced or at least not for a long time.
Charles: I don’t know. I mean, I hadn’t really gone out looking to see what they were going to talk about at the event, I just figured I’d show up and see what happened. Most of the stuff they talked about was new to me but I was still not that impressed.
It’s cool stuff, it means new and interesting things for iOS developers and for iPhone users, but overall, I don’t know, I wanted more. Jaim, what was your impression?
Jaim: Hated it. It was fine. I think Andrew was right on nothing mind blowing. We knew what was going to happen and they brought out. People I know that are at the camera things got really excited about the 7 Plus camera functionality and they’d have to explain that to me again with the two lenses. There are some people that are really, really excited about it but I think they’re just some cool stuff, just some steps forward.
Charles: Gotcha. Where should we start as far as the announcements they made and discussing those?
Andrew: I think we should start at the beginning.
Charles: That’s a really good place to start.
Alondo: Apple Music.
Andrew: Apple Music, well we can ignore that because that’s always the most boring part of every keynote.
Alondo: Okay. I felt the same way. When we started, I listened to it and I watched it with about six or seven other people and just the general tone of the room was just meh. Yes, it exists. Let’s move on.
Charles: Does anyone here actually use Apple Music because I really don’t.
Andrew: No, I did the three months free trial when it first came out. I think I might have paid for a month after that because I just forgot to cancel it but no, I don’t.
Alondo: I may be the lone person here, I actually do still use Apple Music but I’m not blown away by it.
Charles: I was just curious if somebody was actually going to, “Oh, I’m getting that now.” What was after Apple music?
Andrew: I think it’s Mario.
Alondo: Absolutely, Mario. The App Store updates. They didn’t talk about how many apps on the App Store which I pretty much figured was coming with the recent announcements. They started talking about Mario.
Andrew: Actually, Alondo, you’re right and that was actually interesting. They did not talk about how many apps are in the App Store. One thing that’s interesting about that is that few days ago they announced that they’re going to start basically going through the App Store finding all the apps that haven’t been updated for a long time or are broken and just start removing them.
They’re going to give developers notice and whatever which is a really great thing, something they should’ve started doing a long time ago that developers have been asking for.
I think one thing that’s interesting is if they have announced numbers at this keynote like there are two million apps in the App Store and then next year or in six months, they have another keynote and they’ve started that process, the number is actually going to go down. They don’t want to be saying, “Oh, now we only have a million and a half apps in the App Store,” because that number for the very first time I think is about to start going down.
What they did do is they said, “We have had a hundred and forty billion downloads total,” I think, and I think maybe the most interesting they said that app download numbers are up 101% year over year which to me is them trying to counter the idea that I’ve seen out there in the pres that apps are on their way out, the boom is over and whatever. I think that was their way of saying, “No, no, see, they’re still growing.”
Alondo: Agree. I did notice that as well. The one number that they did mention though right before the Super Mario Run announcement was that they still mentioned the number of games, that there were 500,000 games. I think they’re still trying to push the fact that, “Oh, we still have lots of games for you to choose from and purchase on this platform.”
Charles: Right. Well the other thing is they want to bring those, I forget the industry term but you know the top tier games. They want those companies to continue to make games for iOS as a platform and not just focus on consoles or other PC or other systems.
I think that was also the credibility thing with the Nintendo, was just that it was, “Hey look, this is one of the big names in gaming, in console gaming and look, now they’re on the iPhone.”
Andrew: This was big, big news for Apple people because I think a lot of iOS users have wanted Nintendo games on their iPhone for a long time but it was actually really big news for Nintendo because they, for a very long time, resisted putting their games on other platforms.
They announced maybe a year ago that they were going to finally start making tentative moves into mobile gaming and they started with some Meez, the little avatar that are on the Wii. Some app for that which I think was a pretty big failure. Pokémon Go which is not really a Nintendo thing, it’s Niantic Labs and the Pokémon Company, Nintendo has some hand in it because they own the IP or whatever but it’s not really their thing.
This I think is the biggest jump they’ve made yet into mobile gaming by putting Mario, which is obviously their star character and property. It was interesting, it’s not Super Mario Brothers for the NES, on your iPhone it’s a new game and it’s very iOS or mobile like game. It’s an endless runner where your only control is tapping on the screen.
I saw some people that were disappointed about that, they said, “Well, we just want real Super Mario Brothers on the iPhone.” My personal opinion is Nintendo made the right choice there. I just don’t think touch screen is a great way to play games like real Mario, so instead make a game that works well on the hardware that people are playing it on.
Charles: I view systems that try to use multi touch to basically have a controller type interface on it and it’s really glitchy. It either doesn’t pick up my touch or it thinks I’m touching something else or it thinks that I’m doing some kind of motion interact with it instead of touching.
I agree, they made the right move. I could see them going to the point where they talked about the lightning cable a little bit later. I could see them maybe allowing you to put some controller or made for iPhone connector on there that provides you with some kind of hardware controller type interface and I think that might work but I agree with you, just with the touch screen. Doing what they did I think was a right call.
Andrew: Those hardware controllers exist, Apple has an entire program that they announced couple of years ago at WWDC for hardware companies to make controllers for iPhone and now for Apple TV and that’s all fine.
You can’t really release a game and have it be successful if you require one of those especially not if you’re somebody like Nintendo. You want 500 million people to download your app, not the 1,000 super nerds that bought a game controller for their iPhone.
Charles: That’s true.
Alondo: I agree. I think it’s a good start. They’re on the platform now. You can expect to see some new offerings that are going to be better experiences for users on iOS.
Charles: It does make me wonder though, are we going to get Sonic the Hedge Hog or some of these other properties that are associated with Nintendo?
Jaim: Sonic has been on iOS for a long, long time. The very first app I ever downloaded for iPhone on the very day that the App Store came out in 2008 was Super Monkey Ball which is SAGA property and they had Sonic on there, it seems like within the first year of the App Store.
Andrew: Anymore thoughts on the App Store or games before we move on to the next area?
Jaim: Pokemon Go was another thing that was mentioned and I think Pokemon Go has faded out a little bit from its peak when it seemed like everybody on Earth was playing it but hearing those guys saying that they have had 500 million downloads since they launched was pretty incredible. Can you imagine making an app that got 500 million downloads in a matter of three months or how long, not even three months, I think.
Alondo: Honestly, I just still get some of my members. I take 5,000 at this point.
Jaim: Right, exactly. Who knows if they’re happy if anybody downloads their app. Even if a short lived thing but to become a real cultural phenomenon where you can just go anywhere and see people outside playing the game must have been pretty incredible for those guys.
Alondo: Yeah. One of my fellow remotes actually works for a company that does management consulting for them and that he briefly worked on the Pokémon Go project and the general consistency in the room today was that while it may not be mind blowing because the game play experience on the watch, when they got to the watch, was like pretty impressive that they really did do something different.
They weren’t trying to replicate it, they were really trying to take advantage of the device. I’ve never played Pokémon Go but a lot people here do and the general consist, they we’re very pleased and I thought that was pretty impressive.
Charles: I thought that was really cool, the watch stuff.
Jaim: Yeah. I agree. I do play Pokémon Go and they announced right around the same time the app first came out, they announced a little dedicated hardware device that’s a little bluetooth bracelet that you wear that sort of does some of the same stuff I think as the watch app does but he actually very briefly showed that on stage and talked about it which I kind of thought was interesting because in some ways it’s a competitor to whatever they’re doing on the Apple Watch but that thing has been impossible to get.
I don’t know if it’s even out yet but it’s gone for really high price on eBay and whatever so bringing it to the Apple Watch seems like a really, really smart move in terms of their user base instead of this thing that nobody can actually get their hands on.
And it looked like they had done a nice job with the watch app, it looked like it was not a half-hearted effort.
Charles: Yeah, I agree. That’s one of the reasons why I want an Apple Watch. Up till now, the Apple Watch 2 or whatever it was before, I was just kind of like, “Oh well.” I don’t know. I just wasn’t that excited about it. The battery life, I have a pebble time steel, the battery life on it is really nice.
I think if they can solve the battery issues, that’s cool but the fact that it has a GPS in it and the fact that it has some of the complications and can allow you to interact in the ways that the Pokémon Go app leads you toward, that was exciting for me. It’s like, “Oh, you do all kinds of other stuff with this now.”
Alondo: Yeah, I agree. I think that those are the things that you could finally see, like usefulness with the watch beyond some of the basic functionality that you have when it initially came out.
I’m a fan of the Apple Watch but I know that the value of it is pretty limited in its initial iteration. I’ve mainly used it just for the basic fitness tracking and for directions. Outside of that, it really hasn’t been much, get the multitude of notifications but again I tend to turn those off because they can get annoying depending on what, if you’re trying to use Slack or Whatsapp or something like that. But I’m really looking forward to these new improvements.
Jaim: Was there anything on the new Apple Watch that they announced that’s a feature that the old one doesn’t have? I don’t think so.
Charles: Besides the GPS built in.
Jaim: Oh yeah, yeah. Okay.
Alondo: The built in GPS was huge. I don’t remember what the supposed water resistance is for the Series One but they gave a definitive answer on water resistance up to 50 meters with the Series 2 watch.
Jaim: Yeah. The first one is supposed to be, whatever the rating they have on it, is waterproof or water resistant to one meter for 30 seconds which doesn’t sound that great but I know a lot people that swim with their original Apple Watch and have a lot.
It’s actually more waterproof than they ever sold it as being. It’s interesting to see them go all in and make it official that the Apple Watch is now truly waterproof and they’re calling it a Swim Watch.
Alondo: Yeah. I did get a kick out of the portion when they showed the speaker pushing the water out because I was just wondering how much force that water is coming out of there. I could just see someone just pulling the old water and the flower clown joke.
Jaim: Well, the other thing is what’s the volume, it seems like it’s probably a lot of drop. That speaker is not very big but I did like that actually. I liked that little animation or whatever that they showed. That was one of those fun technical, we’re Apple, we do really cool innovative stuff, things that they pull out every now and then and I think it’s really fun.
Charles: Yeah, they did just got it to the point where it felt like it was a device that I would actually use. The waterproof was one thing and the GPS was one of the other things. My watch is waterproof but having the company say you can take it in deep water and also just being able to use it. What I want from an Apple watch, it’s nice that it can use my phone to do all the stuff but I really want a computer on my wrist. I feel like this gets it closer to where it’s not 100% dependent on my phone.
Alondo: Yeah, that’s a good point because I’ve done several remote hikes this year and those types of things really come in handy to be able to have that on the watch and I don’t have to retake my phone just being able to go up trails and not have to worry about that and I get lost.
Jaim: I love my original Apple Watch, I use it all the time, I don’t know for sure if I’ll upgrade TO this new one faster. To me a GPS is not a huge deal but the new stuff in Watch iOS 3 which of of course was saw at WWDC but it is now going to be real, sooner out for real seems really good to me, seems like it’s going to address most of the truly major shortcomings of the first two versions of the iOS. The main one being how slow it is to do anything.
Alondo: Yeah I agree and I like the fact that even by providing this new series to the watch, those improvements in watch iOS allow the original purchaser of the watch, the series one, to get a lot of those games and it shows that it’s not leaving customers behind. I appreciate that.
Charles: Yeah, I really like the performance characteristics that are in it. It’ll be interesting to see, like I said, I don’t have an Apple Watch so I don’t know where it falls down and fails and what issues they’ve actually fixed with it other than that it’s faster and it’s not as heavily relying on the phone.
Jaim: Well, the biggest thing is on watch iOS 1 and 2, you tap on an app to start it up and it takes five, ten, fifteen, thirty seconds, sometimes it just times out, doesn’t even ever actually manage to start. That’s the thing they have apparently actually fixed.
Andrew: Yeah I think most of the apps time out at this point. People got a minute on the store early on because Apple want to take it good press from Apple. Good promotion. I tried run things, it doesn’t happen. But now, they become better.
Jaim: That’s the hope anyway.
Charles: Yup. So what did they talk about after the Apple Watch?
Alondo: After the Apple Watch, they did mention briefly before we got to the Apple Watch, they talked about education a bit and I just wanted to get any ideas or opinion about ConnectEd and this program that they started, working, providing the 45,000 teachers with laptops and iPads and then 50,000 students with iPads.
Charles: I thought the initiative was really cool, I didn’t really have too much other than that though.
Jaim: Yeah, I don’t know if I can say too much about that. I love that Apple is doing this learn to code thing of course, former panelist Caleb is now on that team working on the curriculum for that so it’s fun to see that in the keynote so soon after he left to work on it.
Charles: Yeah. They do that in the Apple Store?
Jaim: No, this is curriculum that they’re producing for all kinds of education programs but basically for schools to use, to teach kids to code. It’s much more than just the hour of code that they do in the Apple store. These are like full semester curriculums.
Charles: I have to check that out because I keep thinking I want to start a club at my kid’s school. This might be the thing.
Alondo: They mentioned this new ceramic body on the watch, I’m saying back through their and then the Nike plus model which I was incredibly confused by. I just didn’t get it, they announced this watch and I was trying to understand like, “Is this a singular app watch or what else can we do with this or why was there a need for this particular brand? Why is this just not an additional app on the existing watches?”
Charles: That was kind of the impression that I got was that it looked like it was mostly styling. I think they said it cost the same as the other watch so I think you just get Nike branding on it and all of the fitness features, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to get those out of the Nike plus app.
Jaim: My thinking on that was, I thought about this while they were announcing it, I don’t know exactly but it seemed like it was very much like that Hermes edition which is actually more expensive but it’s just co-branded thing, you buy the Hermes edition, you get a special watch face that you can’t get on the regular watches and the watch band which I think they actually sell separately.
I think the Nike plus is just one of those and I assume they’ve got a deal with Nike that they get some of the money from every one sold and seems stupid to me if they don’t make that Nike app available to everyone though.
Alondo: Yeah, I agree. I actually do like the app because as a runner it solves a couple of the problems I have with the existing running apps in the basic fitness app on the watch currently.
Jaim: I’m not sure but I heard a rumor that if you have the Nike watch and you say, “Just do it,” three times, Michael Jordan comes and gives you three wishes.
Charles: I know some of the things I wanted to talk about but I don’t remember the order that they came in.
Alondo: After the Apple Watch app, they talked about the improvements in the Series Two and then they immediately moved into the phone and then we were told they presented the iPhone 7 and we got the video of course with Johnny Ive. I still don’t know where he’s locked away but the regular spiel in it was on into the new features of the phone.
Charles: Alright. I’m going to rewind a little bit then because the air pods, I want those.
Alondo: Yes, that is the must have. I’m definitely am excited about the air pods.
Charles: Were they air pods? Is that what they call them?
Alondo: The price point is a little high, in fact one of the other people that were there, he immediately said, “I’m going to buy those and I’ll lose them immediately.” The problem is I really do like not having to have the connection and I like the design of them, they’re very small, it comes with the case, it charges, just so much about it that appeals to me then I’m really excited about that.
The one thing that I did not hear and maybe someone else got this is, are they backwards compatible or they’re only working with the iPhone 7?
Jaim: They did not explicitly say that but they did show a slide and say that they work with your Mac and I think also your iPad. It seems silly to say that if they require hardware changes, if it’s not just using Bluetooth, then it presumably would not work current Macs and they were not announcing new Macs today so my guess is, my speculation is based on that it should work with existing iPhones. I should probably go look on their websites and see if they say now.
Alondo: Yeah I’m not sure because I haven’t looked in a while which is updated but yeah. That was the thing. I still have the 6S Plus and my chances of being able to physically get my hands on a 7 when it comes out are going to be slim because of where I’m located so I am excited about it because I have the iPhone program with the upgrade. I just have to get state side and then pick up some of those air pods but if I can use them with my existing phone, that would be even better.
Charles: Yeah, I just like the idea. My nine month old likes to grab the cord from my ear pods. Having them wireless would be nice. The other thing is that I just hate having that cord for my hand to grab onto whenever I’m running and stuff.
Alondo: Yeah. I’ve actually caught those things recently on stairs and just walking on the corner of the desk and you feel like that is just freezing from you don’t have to worry about that. One point of clarification, I think that there are two, the air pods are the wireless ones and then the earpods are the updated lightning cable already connected by ear pods. They both exist, both names are correct.
Jaim: Yeah. The air pods are the wireless ones, they’re on the Apple page, for them they don’t actually say specifically which devices they work with. They do say they will work with your Apple Watch, Mac and iPad in addition to your iPhone and there’s nowhere on the page where they say they require an iPhone 7 so it kinda sounds to me like they’re bluetooth and they will work with any bluetooth compatible Apple device. They do actually say you have to have Mac OS Sierra, iOS 10 or watch iOS 3 for them to work with your device.
Charles: Yeah. One other thing that I’m worried about though is that I’ve had bluetooth headphones that are, they sound good but not great. I’ve never had any bluetooth or wireless headphones that sound as good as the ear pods that are wired from Apple. I worry a little bit about whether or not they’re going to just work as nicely.
Jaim: That remains to be seen. I actually did just find out compatibility iOS and they’re compatible with the iPhone 5 and later. All models of the watch and the iPad mini 2 and later and the iPod Touch, the latest iPod Touch, if you use it.
Nothing about the Mac but maybe just all the Macs with bluetooth, I guess. All Macs that Mac Sierra runs on. I don’t know if Apple even remembers that they have a product line called Mac.
Charles: Sad, but true. That’s one thing maybe we should talk about for a minute because I can tell you that I’ve been wanting to upgrade my laptop for a while. I have a 2013 model I think, might be older than that and I keep waiting for a release of new hardware and they haven’t. I don’t have a strong desire to upgrade to something that’s essentially equivalent to what I already have.
Alondo: A bit of silence with regard to upgrades on the other devices. Laptops, didn’t hear anything about Apple TV as well and it will be nice if there’s going to be a separate event. I haven’t heard any rumors. I’ve been pretty good about not listening to any rumors so the entire event was still a surprise to me. I had no expectations but I’m just curious if anyone’s heard anything about maybe a second event coming up in another month or so.
Jaim: Yeah an event in October has been pretty heavily rumored and I don’t think it would be unprecedented. Apple has done that plenty of times before where they have their, I don’t know what you might call it like their fall consumer event where the new iPhones and previously iPods, they don’t talk about iPods anymore but iPhones, iPods, it’s now Apple Watch.
Sometimes iPads come out and then later in October they have what you might call the Pro 1 and it’s always a smaller thing but they announce new Macs and I think the original Apple TV was announced at the October thing. I’ve heard that from several sources online and otherwise that there is likely to be one in October. That’s certainly the optimist in me is that Apple’s got a bunch of really cool stuff on the Mac front and they’re just waiting for a month and they’re going to do a separate event. I hope so.
Jaim: Yeah. I’m still rocking that 2013 MacBook Pro and there’s no recent update even though other systems are lapping us at this point.
Andrew: Yeah I’m on the 2012. The very first model for a MacBook Pro that I bought right after WWDC that year and I’m perfectly happy with it. It’s not like I’m, “Oh man, this thing is old and horrible.” It’s working fine but it just seem like they’ve been neglecting the Mac for a long time. The Mac Pro of course is the biggest glaring example which is now almost three years old and they have never updated it.
Alondo: It’s hard to believe with so much excitement about that thing when it was released that it has not been updated since.
Charles: Yeah. The only complaint I have about my laptop is that I wish I have more hard drive space and I just need to buy another hard drive and pop the case and open and then stick it in.
Jaim: There has been pretty, pretty strong rumors that they’re gonna do a MacBook Pro with a new case design and the top row of keys is going to be basically a little touch screen, strip but there’s a touch screen with keys that change depending on whatever app you’re using. That’s sounds really cool.
I’m not so sure about all the specifics of that but I certainly hope they’ve got something more than just “Hey, it’s .1 gigahertz faster processor this year,” again. Just something to tell us they still care about the Mac and are not sliding to its retirement.
Charles: Alright. Well, let’s get into iPhone.
Alondo: I really like the design improvements although some people might not be thinking of it as a big deal but I was happy that they improved the speakers and we finally get a real stereo and not a fake stereo.
Jaim: My point of reference for that is if you use the iPad Pro, I have a 9.7 inch iPad Pro and it actually has four speakers but same thing where it’s got them on the top and the bottom. It’s real stereo and they’re really loud, and they sound really, really good. They sound way better than any other iOS device I’ve used and actually a lot better than a lot of laptops.
I’m sure the iPhone won’t be as good as the iPad just because of physical size constraints but just the fact that they’re making a big upgrade there seems cool to me, I’m looking forward to it.
Charles: I agree. I have an iPad Pro as well and it sounds terrific. I used to, when I would be in a hotel room and I just unwind, watch a show and I put my headphones in and I don’t do that anymore. I just pull it up in the iPad Pro and play it there because it sounds great.
Andrew: My favorite thing about the new iPhone or about the keynote I guess anyway as far as the iPhone goes was actually the manufacturing video. They often show those but they showed some of the new manufacturing techniques they’re using for the new iPhone. It was a pretty, pretty cool, visually interesting video with the machines that polish the case and run it through some sort of, I don’t know what they called it, some sort of really fine abrasive substance to polish it then they run it through a like a bath filled with magnetic particles and it was pretty. The video was pretty.
Alondo: Did it remind you of interstellar?
Andrew: Yeah it kinda did. That’s part of Apple that I love. They’ve got this obsessive and I think unique focus on the design of stuff and on materials and manufacturing processes.
Alondo: I agree. I think it’s the best one they’ve done in a while because some of the other ones they’ve done in the past, they go to the same level of detail when they talk about the process but I didn’t really come away as impressed as I did with this one.
Andrew: Yeah. I’ve seen in real life CNC machines milling out aluminum with the cutting head moving around, whatever, it’s cool but it’s not like oh, Apple is the only one doing that. I had personally never seen any of those machine that they are showing with the polishing and the magnetic bath and whatever they were doing to do the high gloss.
Charles: Yeah, but I don’t remember seeing lasers. I wanted to see lasers.
Jaim: They’ve done lasers in previous ones.
Charles: Okay. I guess that’s forgivable then.
Andrew: I remember one is the lights that are in some of their devices where there’s a light under the aluminum and they laser cut tiny little holes so that the light can get through the aluminum. They’ve talked about that before.
Charles: Yeah, that make sense. I remember watching that particular film and I was like, “Yeah that’s so cool but I’m just going to get a really nice case for my phone and no one will see it anyway.”
Andrew: We actually have this, a few of us had this discussion. It was a twitter discussion this morning but there are two kinds of smartphones owners, those that break their phone screen pretty often and those that never break their phone screen.
I’ve never really used a case on my iPhone now that I have invisible shield, skin on it, that’s been a long time since I’ve ever had one of those. I’ve never broken the screen. I like when they do really nice, cool finish because I do think it looks nice and I don’t put a case on.
But then there are other people that for whatever reason seem to be prone to breaking their iPhone and does seem a little sad that you buy this really beautifully designed device and put it in a ugly plastic case.
Alondo: I really hate putting mine in a case but I crossed over from being one of those people that have never cracked the screen, that one is cracked it twice, it cracked it nice. iPad and then iPhone screen and at that point, especially being so far away from an Apple store, I can’t take the chance anymore, I really don’t like having a case on it and all the times I’ll just pull it out and just have it available when I know I’m not walking around somewhere where it can be damaged but it just ruins the aesthetic to me so much to put something around it.
Charles: Yeah, I understand that.
Andrew: You have an excuse Alondo. You’re traveling all around the world. You gotta be careful.
Alondo: Yeah. I’ve actually already had a couple incidents so I’m just, “Oh well, I’m so glad I had a case on there when I was going through this place.”
Andrew: You got your essentials. Water, food, iPhone and you’re good.
Charles: I’ve never broken my screen but I always have a case on it. I have dropped my iPhone a few times, I don’t know if that would’ve broken it or not.
Jaim: I’ve seen the future that two of you have just reported that you don’t break your screens. Within two weeks, they’re done. Sorry.
Andrew: Well you’re probably right, I’m probably going to walk out of here right after we finish recording and break one for the first time except that I’ve been saying this for a long time, I still never broken one so I feel relatively confident but we’ll see.
Andrew: If I make it, I bought the original iPhone the day it came out which was it seems like the end of June in 2007. I’ve got less than a year before I hit my ten year mark of owning the iPhone and after that I’ll allow myself to break the screen and not feel bad because I went ten years right, that’s a good streak.
Alondo: Andrew, this is the equivalent of playing golf in the thunderstorm, go for it. We’re right behind you.
Andrew: I thought something that’s sort of interesting about the presentation of the iPhone was how much time they spent on the camera. I think they devoted more time to the camera than to any other thing. We all know that Apple cares a lot about the camera in the iPhone and they’ve used that as a differentiator for a long time but it was just fun to see them still show up there as excited as ever about all the improvements they’ve made to the camera.
Alondo: Yeah I agree, I think it was great to see and in particular the good changes to the lighting was the most impressive to me just because I’ve had recent attempts to take photos right after sunset and some low light situations and I’ve not been able to capture that with my existing iPhone 6 camera.
It would be nice when they explain the improvement in the amount of light that’s going to get in and be able to take those photos in little light at the time of day. I’m really excited about it.
Andrew: I do feel a little bit, I don’t know what the word is because it’s not actually new, it’s true, you’re not too late, Alondo.
One thing that I, I don’t know if disappointed is the right word because it’s not new. They’ve done this now for two years but it’s just that the iPhone, the plus, the bigger one, is actually a better phone. Not just counting in size but some of the camera improvements they talked about are only in the 6 Plus. That’s a little bit annoying.
Charles: The dual lenses and stuff?
Andrew: Yeah the dual lenses is of course a big one but then also that last segment where they talked about how they’re using basically some really fancy image processing to give the illusion of shallow depth of field. They’ve been doing that shallow depth of field, optically like you are with it. A big wide aperture on a real camera.
Anyway they’re doing that, I guess they’re doing software but even that is just on the iPhone, on the plus, the 7 Plus. I don’t know. I’m sure there are some limitation there that makes that possible. It certainly sounded like it was all a software thing so why not bring it to the regular 7 as well?
Alondo: I agree. Even looking at the phone though, I was wondering why you couldn’t get both of those lenses on the 7 and not just the 7 plus if it means to add significance, size or be a problem but I don’t know a lot about the internals at that section on the phone either.
Charles: Well they did take out the headphone jack to make room for stuff.
Charles: I know so many people who, they heard the rumors and they were ticked. It’s like, “What do I do with all these headphone?” It’s like I don’t want to dangle. I just want to plug it into my phone.”
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t know that I sympathize with that particular viewpoint very much. These people are obviously not long time Apple users if they have that attitude about it because Apple has been notorious for doing that.
Literally going back to the original Mac where they had their own weird serial port that was not really the same as everyone else is. They dropped the floppy drive from the iMac and everybody freaked out. Even just the change from the thirty pin connector to the lightning connector, everybody freaked out about it.
Anybody who’s been with Apple for a while knows that’s one of the things that Apple does is they push ahead, they dropped technology they think is obsolete a little bit before everybody else thinks it’s obsolete. In hindsight, they’re almost always right. You go, “Oh yeah, who cares about a floppy drive right?”
On the other hand, I had a little hard time with that because usually it’s pretty easy to see why the technology they’re getting rid of it is truly worse than whatever they’re sort of moving to and I don’t see that with the headphone jack. I don’t think lightning is a better connector for headphones than a regular analogue headphone jack.
Alondo: I agree. I think I did like Sculler’s explanational for the moving forward but I think it’s really a stop cat to the wireless. I think the wireless is really the big thing they’re moving forward with. My take away with that is it was more than just, or taking away with analogue, more placing it with the lightning but we’re taking away the analogue and you have wireless headphones that you’re not even going to be thinking about that connection anymore at some point.
Andrew: Yeah. I guess that’s the thing they really need to sell it with because wireless is clearly better than having a cord that gets snagged and broken and whatever.
Charles: That’s true as long as it’s good as the wired alternative.
Andrew: Right. But I think they’re trying to do that with the air pods. I was talking with some friends. I actually got a really nice pair of Sony Bluetooth headphones for my birthday about two weeks ago. They’re $400 headphones or something, they’re not cheap junk and I’m really enjoying them, they’re really nice, in fact I’m wearing them now. I’ve got them wired right now but I’m wearing them now.
They sound really good, they work well but one of the things that has annoyed me about them is if I have them paired to both my Mac and my iPhone, switching between the two is a little bit of a pain. I want to switch from my Mac to my iPhone, so first I turn Bluetooth off on my Mac and then I go into my iPhone settings, find the headphones quick connect and it works, it’s fine, whatever but it sure would be nice if that was a more seamless process as it is, it’s a lot harder than pulling a cable out of my Mac and plugging it into my iPhone.
Actually, that’s one of the things that Apple really was trying to sell with the air pods and on their marketing website that they’ve put up for it. It’s supposed to be super, super easy and seamless to switch between devices.
I think they are thinking, not only does it need to be wireless but it needs to be wireless and as good or even better in all of other aspects as wired headphones. Can’t be wireless so that’s good but then it’s got always disadvantage, is they’re making actually kind of annoying and I think currently Bluetooth headphones actually do have some of those kinds of problems and I think it was a good sign that they’re thinking about those and already trying to improve upon them.
Charles: Yeah, I agree. I definitely have issues with the bluetooth part of my bluetooth headphones and I’ve only ever owned one pair of bluetooth headphones that I actually liked.
Alondo: One question, telling back into the camera and talking about the photos, was it me or are the live photos longer in duration?
Andrew: I don’t know, did they say? They said that you’d be able to edit them. I know that.
Alondo: Yes. They mentioned editing them, just with the examples that they gave, it looked like the ones taken so far, they don’t seem to last that long. It’s sort of like a really quick movement but the ones that they have displayed in the demo seemed to go on for like maybe a second and a half to two seconds.
Andrew: I think the current ones are three seconds. I think it’s a second and a half before the photo and then second and a half after the photo.
Alondo: Oh. I’m just terrible at taking these live photos.
Andrew: If you think the ones in the keynote were two or three seconds, that sound like it’s about same as what they’ve already got. I think at some point a live photo, if you make it long enough, it’s not a life photo anymore. It is a video right?
Alondo: Yeah. That’s true.
Charles: I’m curious too on the topic of video and audio or video and pictures, is they kept talking about the color that was available on the new iPhone, maybe I just don’t see the difference. It looks nicer on my TV or in the movie theater but is it that much richer? It looked richer on what they had that showed up in my computer screen but I couldn’t tell if that was just the lighting or the way the picture have been taken or if it was retouched at all or anything like that.
Alondo: I was completely unable to tell, I didn’t noticed the difference.
Andrew: Here’s the thing, this is something Craig Hockenberry who’s a really long time Mac developer and iOS developer, worked for the Icon Factory. He’s been on about this for the last year. They’re using a wider colored gamut called P3, it can actually represent colors that are not able to be represented by SRGB and also not able to be represented by most of the screens that are out there.
The new iPhone screen can actually display colors that other screens are not capable of displaying. Phil Schiller actually mentioned this on stage. He said that the projector that they used at the auditorium cannot display those colors so it’s actually physically impossible for you at home, watching on your screen that can’t really display those colors to see any of the differences that they’re talking about.
You have to be looking at pictures that were taken with this wider color gamut on an iPhone 7 screen, the 9.7 inch iPad Pro has that wider color gamut screen. It also has something called true tone but this does seem to be a focus for Apple right now in moving displays to support these wider color gamuts.
My guess that it’s something, it just seems obvious right. It started on the 9.7 inch iPad Pro, now it’s on the iPhone 7, soon enough it’s going to be on every Apple device, it’s just like retina move from the iPhone to every Apple device well except for the MacBook Air, I guess they are still shipping one device with the non-retina screen.
Anyway, they’ve also added for the iOS, developers, they’re actually listening. They’ve also added a bunch of APIs to iOS to support this new better colored capability. I don’t know all the details of that current, Huckenberry is actually writing a book but I think that’s a bigger deal than a lot of people realize right now. It’s one of those small things that probably doesn’t seem huge when you hear about it. They can’t even actually effectively demo it but at some point, we’re going to look back at old screens and just know that they were worse.
I think it’s a bigger deal for photographers and designers and movie makers and stuff than maybe the average person. I think it’s good that Apple’s trying to push the envelope on that. I do have a 9.7 inch iPad Pro and I found some website that had side by side comparisons of the pictures with the wider color gamut and the old SRGB gamut and you can definitely see a difference. It’s mostly in the shadows and highlights but it’s there.
Jaim: Very cool.
Charles: One other thing I think is funny at these events is that they bring in some band or artist after the event and I think I’ve watched a total of one Apple event where I actually had heard of the band that played after the event. Like this one, I was like, “Who?!”
Alondo: Yeah, it’s funny because everybody else that was watching will walk out of room and I’m a big CF fan so I literally sat down and watched the performance after everyone else. I was the only person there and they’re just like, “Oh, we need this projector, can we got this back now?”
Andrew: No, of course not yet.
Alondo: Yeah exactly. Let her finish. That and finally bumping up the minimum storage on the iPhone devices and I’m just like it’s about time. What took so long? I guess they finally sold up all those 16 gb drives that they need to get rid of.
Andrew: They’re still selling the iPhone SE with 16 gb so they still have one phone in the lineup with 16 gb. Of course the cheapest one. It’s the one that everybody that you really would’ve want to have a small amount of space because it causes problems with the updates and whatever and they’re all gonna have still.
Jaim: I think you actually need two iPhone SEs to run iOS 10.
Andrew: You plug a lightning cable between them and then you can run it. We joke about finally one people say, “Apple finally does this now.” Finally it’s not really warranted, finally is definitely warranted now.
I have the original iPhone with 16gb which is the high end model at that time but just seems absurd that they were still shipping 16gb devices nine years later.
Charles: Well, I remember when they were shipping 8gb devices.
Andrew: First iPhone came in the 4gb version.
Charles: This seem ridiculous now.
Andrew: It seem weird at the time, I remember talking to people who bought them or are buying them in the line while I was waiting to get one and the vast majority of people are going to get the 8gb one because it’s $100 extra, 4 gb is even not very much.
Charles: Alright. Well, to our listener, thank you for listening. Hopefully you enjoyed the event as much we did or more and we’ll talk to you next week.
Andrew: Thanks guys.