By Doug Hunter
Unsurprisingly, I have been proven wrong. Anyone who had the patience for me pre- Brexit will know that my predictions have not gone well this year.
Having spent the last couple of weeks (actually several months) being scathing about the multitude of rumours around the Apple keynote I have come out the other side mildly pleased.
The iPhone 7 is here, after all the speculation, leaks and discussion points (mostly about the lack of headphone jack) it seems ok. The sad bit is that I am using the word ‘ok’ in my opening statement when summing up the launch of what may well be the best selling phone for the next 12 months.
Before we get going, let’s look at the biggest upset: Just before the official launch, Apple further cemented its reputation of failing with social media by accidentally leaking its own devices using the @Apple twitter account which had been dormant for half a decade, waiting for this moment… Hats off Apple.
There is plenty of good news to glean from the event though, firstly, there will be no 16GB storage option for the iPhone 7. Anyone that has previously owned a small capacity iPhone will relate to the trauma of having to delete apps or photos on a night out to shoot videos, or having to carry around their previous phone for music purposes. It also comes at no extra cost to early adopters as the price points are staying the same. Simply put it is just the storage capacity which is shifting the price brackets along. Spot on Apple!
The iPhone 7 has a much improved camera, and the 7 Plus gains an extra lens, DSLR-style depth of-field and 2X optical zoom. I have to admit this excites and disappoints at the same time: I have always been one to say that the ‘Plus’ size iPhone editions are way too big, giving such separation might well be the most annoying thing because simply put, I do want the 7 Plus dual-lens camera, but on the standard 7 model. I am now going to have to purchase a sling to carry that behemoth of a phone around when I no doubt pre-order it tomorrow after one too many this evening somewhere in the depths of Shoreditch.
Seriously though, the 7 Plus camera really might be the hook Apple has been waiting for.
Next up, the lack of headphone jack.
When Apple first released the Macbook Air, the world went bonkers because Apple dispensed with optical disk drives. At the time, most people couldn’t understand but, be honest, when was the last time you used one?
This is also a little different and I am behind the choice to get rid of the jack. I just believe that the execution could have been better – this has been another extension of the walled gardens of the tech world. Apple has gone yet again with its own lightning port whilst the rest of the world will go for another option adding confusion and chaos when buying little Johnny his new headphones at Christmas. How many people will open up their presents to find that they have technology that hasn’t really changed all that much since Nathaniel Baldwin’s first ‘cans’ in 1910 or any number of miniature USB derivants.
You can read more about the history of headphones here
There is good news, however. Apple is including a 3.5mm to Lightning port if people don’t fancy switching to third party bluetooth headphones – including lightning ready EarPods or….
In possibly the most cringeworthy product launch since Steve Ballmer went mental.
Apple’s Phil Chiller managed to explain the lack of the 3.5mm headphone jack pretty well: He mentioned that they’d need more room for the stereo speakers, the internals have been reconfigured to accommodate great optics… brilliant! The battery life is improving…whoop, and the headphone jack has gone because of “courage”, wait, what was that?!?
Had he only told everyone all the good reasons why it was happening, I might have let it slide, even with the lack of agreement to make a world standard replacement, but “courage”?! It seems he is trying to put words into the mouths of the journalists. As any politician or public figure knows, Elon Musk excluded, as soon as you do this, it will get turned around straight away and thrown courageously back at you!
As our friends over at TechCrunch rightly reported, “Fighting the FBI in favour of encryption is courage. Coming out in favour or civil rights is courage. Nixing the audio jack is leverage.”
The new AirPods though, seem competent when lined-up next to competition, although I haven’t tried them yet, if reports ring true, they should sound ok and the price is competitive. I can’t tolerate however the barrage of Twitter users that think losing the wire makes them easier to lose… It’s late 2016 folks – if you want a wire, don’t buy them, use the free ones that come with the iPhone 7.
At Dimoso we love games, and there was some fairly epic news on this front. Now that we are getting slightly bored with Pokémon Go!, we don’t have too long to wait till SUPER MARIO COMES TO THE IPHONE! – Super Mario Run could have been called “I can’t believe it’s not Temple Run” but do we care? Guiding our favourite little Italian since Gianfranco Zola through a series of courses and collecting coins for either a personal high score or to simply belittle our friends on the bus, we can’t wait! Kudos to Nintendo for bringing back their most famous IP into mobile gaming – this is surely just a taste of what’s to come.
I could now jump to the Apple Watch, but meh, here are some highlights, it has GPS and there is a ceramic case option. Yes, the Nike partnership for runners is pretty cool.
However, I’d like to conclude on two points:
Firstly, despite there being some issues, I might well get an iPhone 7 and, (I can’t believe I am saying this) if I do it will be the monster 7 Plus. The slightly improved outer-casing looks good but I simply don’t think that it is worth the upgrade without the dual lens camera…
I want to dish out a huge round of applause to an old friend Hannah, watching the Apple Keynote as I do every year and seeing her wander on stage as the head of design at ViewRanger was the biggest shock of the day. I couldn’t be happier and more proud to see someone I know absolutely nailing it!
Hannah, if your next project needs any PR, you know where to come to first!