Thoughts & Impressions on Apple Event

In order of appearance:

Steve Jobs Tribute – Easily best part of the keynote. I had goosebumps when Job’s voice came over the speakers in that dark, intimate setting. Tim Cook was understandably, emotionally shaken. He delivered a well structured tribute for a well deserved man. Again, easily the best part of the keynote.

Apple Park Video – Very impressive. Very awkward. Don’t get me wrong, Apple Park is amazing. Every inch of the place looks like an Apple product. Obviously no money was left on the table here, Apple spared no expense in building this. So, in that instance, sure the video was great. Unfortunately it ran long for me. And by the end, it felt more like a “look what we did and you can’t have” video. Maybe thats just me, but after the first couple minutes, I’m thinking… “Are you guys just showing off at this point?” To which I’m pretty sure they would have answered: “yes and your welcome.”

Apple Retail Update – I like Angela Ahrendts a lot. I really do and I think shes doing great work…. But Apple Townsquares? Just stop. Its a place we go to give you money..

Apple Watch Series 3Solid upgrade in the Apple Watch line. I don’t love the price bump, but its Apple. Now we have an LTE enabled watch which I think makes sense, but the other side of me can’t quite connect the dots yet. Especially when cellular companies are selling me ‘air.’ Or more specifically charging me 10 extra dollars for use of the Watch on their network. A great reminder that I loath cell companies. All in all, same design, awesome new bands (sport loop) and good on Apple for pushing the line forward. If cellular means the world to you then update. If you have a series 2 and don’t care much about LTE, then sit this one out. Even if you have a Series 1 or 0, (like myself) I think unless cellular is something you’ve been waiting for for a while, then jump, if not. No worries and wait for next year’s redesign. (My opinion)

Apple TV – 4K, HDR, chip bump and SAME remote. Apple really? That remote is without a doubt one of the worst designed pieces of hardware to ever creep out of Apple. How in the world was this not redesigned and let out a 2nd time. 4k is great if you have a TV that supports it, HDR is the real winner here. Again, your TV has to support it, but HDR alone would make me upgrade if I had a TV capable. I’m holding off, but considering our Apple TV is our main way we watch our television, I’m happy to see Apple pushing their TV agenda forward.

iPhone 8’s – Its been the popular thing to bash these phones all because iPhone X was announced at the same event. Sure, the 8’s are less desirable for tech enthusiasts. But not only tech obsessed people buy iPhones. Apple knows this, and the truth is the 8’s are unbelievably great products. I really love the way the aluminum mixes with the new glass back. Also, the new gold color looks fantastic. I wouldn’t write off these phones just yet. I’m sure the demand will be a whole lot less compared to iPhone X, but these are solid upgrades which Apple should be commended for. Not to mention they feature almost every software upgrade that iPhone X does. iPhone X trumps 8 in hardware, sure. But there’s something to be said for tried and true, and the 8 is exactly that to the core: tried and true. I’m still heavily considering purchasing one.

iPhone X – The main event. I felt a very odd merging of emotions watching the unveil of iPhone X. Sure, I have been waiting for over a year for this phone, even published why I was passing on the 7 to wait on this very model. But as Phil Schiller was proudly announcing iPhone X I felt a sense of dread mixed in with my excitement. The lack of home button is really bothering me. I love my home button, specifically because I think its easily the best feature ever implemented on any tech product. And now Apple is ditching it. There is no denying how good iPhone X looks though. Its everything I thought it would be a year ago and in some ways more. I was little worried about Face ID and how well it would execute, but the hands on videos and trusted tech reporters cleared any doubt on that front. But one more gripe… That notch at the top of the display literally offends me. I don’t know how else to say it. It looks so out of place and so un-Apple. I get that Apple had no choice. That’s obvious. Internally, they can’t be thrilled with it either. But man, its rough to look at. Maybe using in real life changes things, but that notch. Anyways, bottom line for me is I’m excited to use it. As far as iPhone X as an over all product: Its obvious they believe in the design language and clearly is the future moving forward. Very impressive work for Apple.

My Verdict – I really enjoyed this event. A lot of it has to do with the Steve Jobs tribute in the new building. It just felt like an old school Apple event again. Maybe it was Steve’s voice. I don’t know. All the devices announced were impressive to say the least. The more interesting aspect of this event was wasn’t said though. No HomePod talk, no iMac Pro talk. Actually no Macintosh talk at all. Nothing ever mentioned. Thats kind of amazing to me. Amazing in a sad way. All in all, I’d say a solid day for Apple. They delivered on some heavy rumored products and high expectations of millions. But that notch though. Oh and by the way where in the world is dark mode?

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End of the iPod

Like many of you i’m sure, the gateway device that introduced me to Apple Products was the original iPod. For obvious reasons, that device holds a special place in my heart. I was sad to hear today Apple is quietly phasing traditional iPods out (via macrumors)

Apple today removed the iPod nano and iPod shuffle from its website and online store around the world, and it has since confirmed the iconic portable media players have been discontinued. Apple continues to sell the iPod touch with updated pricing and storage, including a 32GB model for $199 and 128GB model for $299.

Apple also released this statement to clarify:

“Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch, now with double the capacity starting at just $199, and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano,” an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider.

End of an era for sure. Business-wise, it just doesn’t make much sense to keep iPods around much longer. But the 15 year old in me is sad to see it go.

10 Years of iPhone

Hard to believe the iPhone has been around for 10 years now. Today marks the exact 10th anniversary of the original iPhone release. Love it or hate it, use it or don’t. You can’t deny its impact in the world today. Calling it the most successful consumer product of all time is accurate and anything less would be selling it short.

Let’s see where another 10 years gets us. Happy 10th Anniversary iPhone.

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Fidget Spinner & Rubik’s Cube: The Tale of Distant Cousins 

It’s no secret today’s kids get a lot of flak. They don’t dress right, they have zero attention span, they stare at a glowing plastic screen all day, etc. etc. etc..

Sure, I’ve heard all of these statements. But the other day I was watching someone at work spin this toy thing on their finger for minutes upon minutes. Finally I asked: “What is that thing?” “A fidget spinner” he replied. And so it began.

Something about it struck me as odd. Well, many things about it struck me as odd. First, apparently this is a country wide phenomenon, to the likes of the infamous Furby revolution. They didn’t exist and then bam, there they are. The 2nd thing was how no one was making the obvious comparisons to the Rubik’s Cube. It’s a no brainer for me. Make sense or not, these things are cousins. Well, distant cousins.

The toys have some major differences though, the Rubik’s cube was a problem solving mechanism. It had a mission statement. That little cube stared at you, playing or not, and demanded to be solved. For the majority, the RC was a puzzling, difficult contraption that was a bicycle for the brain. A tool for young and older minds alike.

The Fidget Spinner is none of that. It’s a thing that spins, thats it. It doesn’t even try to be advantageous. It has no motivation or drive. It just spins. Even someone as dimwitted as myself could see the potential for some kind of gaming experience or challenge inducing feature. Like just thinking out loud, maybe a digital counter to number the spins. So when you pass it from person to person, they could compete for the most spins. I don’t know, you get the idea. But no, the Fidget Spinner effortlessly lacks the ambition.

So your probably asking why are these things distant cousins? Simple reason I tell you, the masses are consuming it. Sure the majority of certain demographics play with other items in large scale. Video games, cell phones come to mind, but this is a plastic little toy.

Here’s why this is somewhat scary to me. The way my brain works is odd sometimes. I try and reverse situations to make sense out of them. So here I go. If the Fidget Spinner was released when the Rubik’s Cube was (1974), is it a hit? Is it a run away, hands down worldwide sensation? Or what about the Rubik’s Cube? If the Rubik’s Cube took the stage in 2017, does every young child to early adult lust for one?

I mentioned in the first paragraph what the general consensus of the young generation is to some. Lazy, unambitious, and mostly idle, a zero competitive spirit, etc. Personally, I don’t really believe that. I’ve always believed you can’t judge by the majority, you have to do your due diligence and judge on a person to person basis. Thats how I would want to be judged.

I will say this though, with the rise of the Fidget Spinners, I’m scratching my head harder then ever. Truth is, the Rubik’s Cube wouldn’t make it in today’s world. It’s problem solving, thinking required, mentally intimidating demeanor would be unattractive in comparison to the Fidget Spinner customers. Which makes me wonder more than ever; after the Fidget Spinners time in the limelight is long gone and the masses spin their last fidget, what comes next?

Could it be that the these toys mirror the current state of cultural and societal span of attentions? I seriously hope not. But it does raise the question quite boldly.