iPhone X Day

I woke per usual at 3AM EST to preorder my next phone. That in it self sounds ridiculous because it is. But us humans are prone to do ridiculous things. Also, per usual, my supposed silky smooth preorder process was anything but. To spare you the boring details, I finally got my confirmation email at 3:31 AM EST. That’s a lot of pull to refreshes on the Apple store app.

To be honest I wasn’t really surprised. That preorder process has never gone smooth for me. I’m always up at an ungodly hour, my devices are ready, and before I know it, people on twitter are saying what model they purchased and i’m still waiting for the store to open. At the end of the day I got in and my phone is set to arrive 11/17 – 11/24. The original launch date is 11/3. Considering dates fell all the way to December, I shouldn’t complain.

I settled on the black (space gray) iPhone X 64gb with Apple Care Plus. It wasn’t cheap, but also not extremely more expensive than what a regular iPhone would cost someone.
I think people get this confused because they are paying monthly on a phone (30 or 40 bucks usually) and for whatever reason, this particular model (X) was being lauded by its full price.

Days since my preorder have been interesting, though. My buddy Jeremy ordered one almost 24 hours after preordering opened and he is scheduled to get his sometimes in the next few days. I figure this was because he ordered through T-Mobile and not Apple, but this sort of thing was unheard of years ago. I’ve also seen people’s preorders jump dates from my expected ship date all the way to launch date. I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs. No movement on mine.

I don’t care much anymore to be completely honest. There was a time in my life I would be sitting in a line at some Apple store somewhere at this very moment instead at home typing. I guess the rumor is true, you change as you get older. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited for a new phone. My current is almost 4 years old now. Thats the longest i’ve ever kept a phone. I’m proud of such an achievement, but the age is showing in more ways than one.

Happy iPhone day to all! If you’re getting a shiny new iPhone X today, enjoy it! If you’re not, you’ll be ok. You’ll get one eventually. After a little while, you’ll start looking up rumors for the next iPhone. Thats just what we do. But challenge yourself to enjoy the now instead of the next. After all, its what you’ve been waiting for.

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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?

The Most Skippable iPhone?

Like a kid at Christmas, there I was doing my part. I waited patiently. I was ready. This year though, Apple had other plans.

I have been anxiously awaiting this years iPhone release for more than a year. It has been my customary tradition to upgrade my most used tech device every 2 years. Even when Apple introduced their now infamous “Upgrade Program,” I still held off. Because frankly, I like keeping my phones for 2 years. I don’t why, I just do.

So around June-ish the rumors started to hit pretty heavy that the new upcoming iPhone is not what we thought it may be. It’s not redesigned, it’s not exciting and most notably it’s not even garnering the most attention. Turns out this year, the next next iPhone is getting more attention then the soon anticipated one. The rumors started to hit hard that Apple was working diligently on a revolutionary, edge to edge screen design for the 10th anniversary iPhone that would release in 2017. This was a first. I didn’t know what to think about this. Essentially my mind translated all this into: this new, unreleased iPhone (2016) is already outdated.

I didn’t like this. Who would? Here I am intentionally waiting for the new hotness, only to start hearing rumors that the new hotness is not the new hotness. I thought to myself, “Be Patient”. Wait and see. And wait I did…

Fast Forward…. Enter September 7, 2016. Apple officially reveals iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The rumors were dead on. Not newly designed. Not exciting. Not new hotness. To be fair, the iPhones 7 have a lot going for them. This marks the first time Apple has ever made a design 3 times in a row. At this point I would assume they have perfected it. So a big benefit is naturally, if your buying an iPhone 7, your receiving a very well polished, solid device to surely last you 2 years.

So there I was faced with this unusual situation I never chose to be in. I waited, I did my part. Apple showed their cards and I’m kind of left scratching my head. What do I do? I thought about this a bunch. I didn’t want to waste my upgrade on a phone only to be left out in the dark when/if Apple does release this magical, unicorn, 10th anniversary iPhone next year. Also another huge element in my decision making was Apple’s new operating system, iOS 10. In my mind, iOS 10 was going to make or break my decision. If it ran awful on my current iPhone 6 my choice would be an easy one. If it ran silky smooth. That would pull me in the keeping the 6 camp.

On the other hand, iPhone release week is a fun time to be an Apple fan. You get caught in the excitement extremely easy and naturally, you want to be a part of it and on my traditional 2 year cycle, I usually am. Another huge benefit I was to gain is simply having a new phone. My current phone is 2 years old and showing some age. The great thing about buying a new phone every 2 years is really receiving upgrades from 2 new phone generations, not 1.

So honestly speaking, the night preorders hit, instead of my usual super excitement, I set my alarm for 2:55 AM with an indecisive (who me?) mind. My alarm sounded, clock showed 2:55. Here I go. Pull out my trusty laptop. Apple.com here I come. Do all my preorder set up and come to the moment of truth: the “place order button.”

Excitement got the best of me. I preordered feeling “OK” about the decision but also in the back of my head knew iOS 10 dropped in 3 days. If iOS 10 would run smoothly on my current iPhone 6 and I wasn’t impressed with the 7, the plan of action would be pretty clear: my usual return policy which is return everything! Lindsey now calls it my “ride of shame” which I laugh at because it unbelievably accurate of my emotions when I’m driving to the Apple store with a receipt and a box.

So, iPhone 7 preordered and coming on launch day and awaiting iOS 10. The day of iOS 10’s release I was excited. Kinda like the excited I used to be for new iPhone releases. And that spoke volumes to me. I asked myself why? The truth I came to find out was simple. I really didn’t want the iPhone 7. In many ways I was hoping to pass on it. If I passed on it, I would have many, many options for next year.

iOS 10 released and I honestly think my phone runs better then it did on iOS 9. The big things checked out: battery life, responsiveness, all good! I was excited. I felt confident my 6 would be good to last another year, Then my 7 came in the mail. And to give Apple credit, the phone is gorgeous. I ordered the matte black model and boy I’m happy I did. Even without a new design, somehow Apple made this phone better looking then ever. I was tempted briefly to keep it (of course I was) but after some clear thinking and adding up all the moving parts: iOS 10 performance on my current phone, next year impending magical phone and keeping my upgrade intact. I just couldn’t do it. Ride of shame, we meet once again.

So thats it, thats my story (so far). The back up plan is if something happens to my third year iPhone that deems it unusable, I’ll bite the bullet and head on over to Apple and pick up a 7. Until then I feel at peace with my decision. An odd choice ill be the first to admit. I’ve never had a cell phone for 3 years. So we will see how that pans out.

I should note, people have mentioned the obvious to me. What if Apple’s magical unicorn phone does not come out next year? Do you hold on to your iPhone 6 a 4th year? The answer: I don’t know. I doubt it, but we’ll see. For the record, I’m really hoping Apple comes through.

Like many reviewers currently out there, I can’t bash Apple. My decision was based on what I wanted and not what Apple did or did not do, if that makes sense. Sure the iPhone 7 didn’t ring my bell this time around. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great phone. In fact it is a great phone. Any time Apple makes something 3 times over you better believe its a solid product. You also have to give Apple props that my current daily driver (iPhone 6) is 2 years old and simply running better then ever. What other tech company can boast about something like that? So in one way the iPhone 7 is Apple’s most skippable phone. In many others, Apple’s most conceived phone. Its all in how you look at it.

If you ordered an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. Be excited. It’s a worthy representation of the newest iPhone. But as for me, When I returned mine I finally got to play with one in the store. The best way for me to sum up my hands on experience of an iPhone 7 is simple. IPhone 7: next year’s iPhone hidden in this years casing. Its extremely clear to me that this years iPhone is a transition phone until next year. And you know who can’t wait to be excited again for a new iPhone announcement? This guy.