A few thoughts on yesterday’s Apple event.
The iPhone has now reached a point, I think, where it’s an established platform and its updates aren’t “run out and get it day one” essential any longer. This is a good thing. New innovations will come, but the phone is much more a reliable tool rather than a shiny gadget at this point.
The speed of the A14 is sort of interesting. A 5nm chip in a telephone is bonkers, but it seems like a lot of that speed is being used only in ways you don’t really ever appreciate. All the computational photography is impressive, but Apple has managed to make it all happen in the background to such a degree that you don’t really ever realize or appreciate what’s going on under the hood. And on the iPad side, the lack of advanced software means I don’t have many opportunities to take advantage of the processor power I do have. How much faster would my iPad transcode video than my Mac if I could run Handbrake on it?
MagSafe looks like a handy upgrade to Qi charging. If you plug it into a larger brick, it seems like it’ll charge a good bit faster, too (though in practice I always just charge my phone at night so charging speed is rarely relevant). I’ll probably get one of the duo chargers for my bed stand and might get another to keep in my travel bag. (Travel tip: For everything you can, get a redundant copy and just keep it in your bag. You’re less likely to forget it when you’re packing if it never leaves your travel kit. Travel tip 2: On the topic of charging speed, getting a 20W charger for fast fill-ups for your travel bag is nice for when you’re not on your normal routine or need to share chargers with family.)
The magnetic wallet is interesting, but presumably you have to detach it whenever you wirelessly charge the phone, which sort of diminishes the “keep everything in one handy place” idea. Obviously it’s only for people who can get away with carrying just 2–3 cards.
I had to laugh at Apple trying to pass off League of Legends as an innovation on iPhone. As a graphics showcase, the game is over ten years old, and a MOBA with onscreen controls is terrible fit for touch.
My current AT&T plan won’t give me access to 5G. Moving to one of their unlimited plans—which I don’t need, data quota-wise, even in months when I do leave the house—would cost me something like $25/month.
HomePod Mini looks great. I have an original HomePod and like it a lot. It wasn’t cheap but it sounds fantastic, and does exactly what I want, which is to play music when I ask it to with the added ability to pick songs directly from my phone. Echo and Google Home obviously do this for much cheaper, but I really don’t trust those companies. Even after the story about Apple keeping Siri recordings, I still prefer their stance on privacy over the competition.