The newest iPad Pro seems like a killer machine, and many reviews of it are quite positive. But a lot of reviews that I saw all came back with similar thoughts:
Ars Technica – “The iPad Pro raises the bar for performance, but has too many other limitations.”
CNET – “It’s got a big, laptop-like screen. It’s more portable than the last version. But it doesn’t solve the final few things I need to make it a true laptop.”
TechRadar – “(…)that would help elevate the new iPad Pro towards the level of a real laptop a little more.”
Everyone is expecting iPad to replace laptops at some point in the future. But what exactly are they wanting?
It seems the expectation is that, if iPad is the future of computing, that we’ll eventually not need laptops (and maybe desktops) because iPads will replace the PC category for what we do. Thus, iPads need to eventually do everything current PCs can do and more.
However, Apple itself gave a hint about that. And I don’t think any of that is a good expectation to have.
Charlie Rose: Is there danger of one product cannibalizing the other product?
Phil Schiller: It’s not a danger, it’s almost by design. You need each of these products to try to fight for their space, their time with you. The iPhone has to become so great that you don’t know why you want an iPad. The iPad has to be so great that you don’t know why you why you want a notebook. The notebook has to be so great, you don’t know why you want a desktop. Each one’s job is to compete with the other ones.
When I read that, I see each segment in its own tier, competing with the one above it. But it doesn’t imply that one category would eventually eliminate the others. It just forces each tier to keep improving.
Let’s look at the notebook tier. You can split that into two segments: consumer and pro. How am I doing that? I’m basically looking at MacBook and MacBook Air, and comparing that against the MacBook Pro line. They all do similar things, but the Pro line has more power, more ports, and is typically used for a lot more work. But they’re all in the notebook tier.
In the iPad tier, we can simplify it between iPad and iPad Pro. iPad Pro gives you more capabilities and more features to do more work on it. The USB-C port in the new iPad Pro can enable a lot of new functionality now, and it has the potential to open up even more with iOS 13 and beyond.
Yet, it’s still an iPad. It’s on the higher end of the iPad tier, but it’s in no way meant to completely replace the MacBook Pro. Again, looking at Phil Schiller’s comments, it’s competing against the notebook. It’s not replacing the notebook.
(…) when pushed on the iPad’s limitations, the company insists that the iPad is still an ongoing attempt to build the future of computing, not a laptop replacement.
Sure, you can review the new iPad Pro against a laptop and see what it can and can’t do. But looking to see if it’s a complete notebook replacement is futile. Sure, it may replace a notebook for some people. If someone just used a laptop for email, news, and staying in touch with family, then an iPad can definitely do all that that person wanted a laptop for. But, implied by Phil Schiller’s own words, there will always be things that a notebook or desktop do better that can’t be done by an iPad. Always.
As the iPad Pro gains more features, I’ll continue to be interested in reviews showing how people can do work on it compared to laptops. I know there are some that live the iPad life already. But I’d also be interested in seeing things from the other angle: How improvements in devices like iPad Pro drive changes and improvements to the Mac line.
The notebook is essentially defending itself from constant attack from the iPad tier. It has been from day one. As each tier improves, so do the tiers they are competing with. iPhone and iPad eventually lead to the inclusion of multi-touch on the Mac line, which I think was a very important addition. Those kinds of influences will only continue.
But whether or not an iPad replaces the notebook tier for you has no relevance to whether or not iPads will replace laptops in general. They won’t. Apple has said it as part of their own intentions. And eight years of iPad history can prove it, too. Notebooks will remain. Desktops will remain. Their differences in UI/UX will remain.
Just like any advancement in iPhone doesn’t threaten the existence of iPad, or any Apple Watch can’t kill the iPhone market, iPad won’t kill the laptop. They’ll just keep getting better and better.
In March, alongside a few hardware announcements, Apple also unveiled a new media sharing app called Clips. Clips was released today. Reviews seem mixed. But I’m not here to talk to you about Clips.
iOS 10.3 was released to a vast majority of iOS devices on March 27. It was a huge behind-the-scenes update that migrated iOS devices to Apple’s new file system. But I’m not here to talk to you about iOS 10.3.
What I am here to talk to you about is 32-bit app support. It’s definitely coming to an end. And this might affect some apps you like using. For me, some of my favorite games fall into this category. Want to see which of your apps won’t work on future iOS versions? Head to Settings > General > About > Applications to see the list.
You might’ve gotten a glimpse of this even without going to the Settings app. One other change in iOS 10.3 noted by people before and after release: Apps not compiled for 64-bit present an alert to the user upon launch. This alert says that the app in question will not work with future versions of iOS.
Now, why did I mention Clips earlier? Because Clips has some notable requirements. Sure, it requires iOS 10.3. That’s the latest OS release, and its no surprise that Apple will target the latest release with its latest apps. But the hardware requirements don’t include all devices running iOS 10.3. Specifically, Clips only works on 64-bit devices. Don’t believe me? Check the bottom of the Clips site and try to find a 32-bit device in the list of supported devices. You won’t find any.
Another big tip: iOS 10.3.2 is available for developers to test. It is only available for 64-bit devices.
The writing is clearly on the wall: 32-bit apps will soon be unsupported in iOS. But while some think iOS 11 will be the big cutoff, it may be sooner than most people realize. If you see your favorite apps in that list in your Settings app, consider contacting the developers of those applications. Urge them to update their apps.
There’s been some confusion as to the iPad’s name, as well as Apple’s approach to its design and price. But if we take a moment to analyze its name, I think we can put the rest of the details into place.
Apple is calling this simply iPad. Specifically, it shows up as iPad (5th Generation) ((For instance, in the list of supported devices for the new Clips app.)) on Apple’s site, which is leading to issues on Wikipedia, as the iPad Air was unofficially known as the 5th generation iPad. Why is Apple calling it the 5th generation iPad?
Ultimately, I think we can consider the iPad itself having ended as a product line with the 4th generation iPad. When a new 9.7-inch iPad model debuted in 2013, it came with a new name: the iPad Air. This began a new line of Air model iPads. These models kept pushing the envelope forward in terms of weight, thinness, and power. I still think the iPad Air 2 is a very capable iPad, even if Apple no longer advertises it on their website.
Apple’s two iPad Pro models
That said, the iPad Pro line is yet another new line of iPads. The fact that the iPad Pro 9.7-inch model happens to have identical dimensions to the iPad Air 2 just shows the evolution of that sleek, powerful design.
With the Pro moniker, Apple is clearly targeting the iPad Pro towards those wanting to do more with their iPad. Looking to do serious work? Here’s an iPad that also supports a convenient Smart Keyboard and state-of-the-art Apple Pencil.
The iPad (4th Generation), the predecessor to the iPad (5th Generation)
What about the consumer? That’s where the iPad (5th Generation) comes in. This iPad isn’t a new Air model. This isn’t related to the Pro models at all. Instead, this is the follow-up to the iPad 4. As such, it’s able to get away with a few things.
First, we can revert to the design of the iPad Air. Sure, it means the iPad is thicker than the Air 2. But it still is a great size and, more importantly, is still close to 1 pound in weight. That makes this iPad one you can hold for a longer period of time than the iPad 4 (or older).
This older design also shows up when we look at the various technologies used in the iPad (5th Generation). The display is still of Retina quality, but it lacks the anti-reflective material that’s built into the latest iPads. We also see Apple resorting to the older antenna bands for the LTE models.
However, despite having some older technologies in this new model, they can also throw in some very capable internals. The A9 chip, while technically over a year old, is still more powerful than what’s in any other consumer-targeted iPad model. This puts it on par with the iPhone SE, another iOS device considered to be for those looking at a more price-friendly option.
This leads me to the second point: price. Because Apple is using a mix of older technologies and designs along with semi-newer chipsets (which, as a volume purchase, likely cost less the more Apple integrates them into products), they can also release this iPad at an amazing price: $329 for 32GB. That’s the lowest any new 9.7-inch iPad model has ever sold for.
The lower price leads me to two conclusions:
Apple is going to create two tiers of iPads like they’ve done for years with the MacBook line. The average consumer will go for a powerful-but-not-too-powerful MacBook, while professionals will grab the MacBook Pro. Similarly, the iPad line will be what most consumers will need. And at a new lower price point, there’s very little reason for someone to get one of these iPads, especially as an upgrade from an older model.
The iPad Mini will never again have the top-of-the-line specs. Right now, the only iPad Mini left in Apple’s lineup is the iPad Mini 4. The only configuration is a 128GB model for $399. I still think the iPad Mini line has a place with certain audiences, but at best it will share the same specs as the new consumer iPad line. At worst, it will disappear completely.
Overall, this new iPad will be a very positive thing for Apple. The lower price should bring in new iPad owners, as well as move those with anything older than an iPad Air 2 to upgrade.
This post originally appeared in NotedTech on 31 August 2016.
In 2014, Apple announced the Apple Watch. While many were expecting a shrunken iPhone on your wrist, Apple instead focused on a new experience. The Digital Crown, for instance, let users scroll their content without blocking most of the screen with their finger. To add further interactivity to apps, they also introduced something new: Force Touch.
In 2015, Apple added Force touch to the Mac lineup with the new MacBook, updated MacBook Pros, and the new Magic Trackpad 2. Later that year, the iPhone 6s was launched with a Force Touch capable display, branded on iOS devices as 3D Touch.
On each platform, the concept of Force Touch or 3D Touch acts a bit differently. For instance, with watchOS, Force Touch is really a required element to provide more interactive options without sacrificing screen space. On the Mac, default implementation seems to duplicate 3-finger taps while providing a few useful improvements, such as making use of the Taptic engine to provide feedback to the user’s finger.
On iOS, at least with iOS 9, the introduction of 3D Touch seemed like a gimmick to some. Live Photos required 3D Touch to move, yet can be activated by a long press on older devices. On the home screen, a hard press shows app shortcuts. And the concept of peeking and popping into content lets user quickly glance at information before committing to loading a certain view.
On Android, some said that the idea of detecting pressure on the screen was an old concept. Yet, looking at what was introduced early in the Android SDK showed those functions to be based more on the size of the tap than the actual pressure. In other words, it wasn’t truly making use of a pressure sensitive display.
That’s not to say that no Android device has a pressure sensitive display. Huawei beat the iPhone 6s to market with the Mate S and its pressure sensitive display. Yet, despite launch in 2015, we have yet to see many major flagship Android devices come with that feature. Even the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7 devices this year fail to include that functionality.
Following the introduction of the iPhone 6s, word began to spread of Android manufacturers coming out with their own displays. The recently released Android N was said to include support for their own implementation of 3D Touch, but the feature has now been reportedly moved to a maintenance update to the OS. Do Google, Samsung, and other Android manufacturers just think this is a useless gimmick?
If we look at Apple, however, we see a different picture. iOS 10 seems made for 3D Touch. The lock screen experience, and notifications in particular, truly benefit from 3D Touch. Having been running the iOS 10 developer beta on my iPhone 6s, I can say that my use of 3D Touch has greatly improved over iOS 9. In fact, when I switch to a non-3D Touch device, such as my iPad Air 2 or an iPhone 6 Plus used for app testing at work, I find myself trying to hard press the screen to perform certain actions.
While the implementation isn’t complete on the Mac, I fully suspect Apple will be making further use of Force/3D Touch on all of its devices. In fact, I would be surprised if this year’s iPad updates didn’t include some level of 3D Touch. And the rumored MacBook Pro update? It’ll definitely have a Force Trackpad. But in the coming months and years, I’d suspect Apple will add more 3D interactions to macOS.
All of this shows something that Apple excels at: taking their control of the hardware and software of the iPhone to make a unique experience. If Android supports pressure touch in the future, not all manufacturers will. It’ll introduce another level of fragmentation to their ecosystem. Yet, for Apple, adding this capability to their line is no trouble at all, and I’m convinced that the use of 3D Touch will only improve with each generation of Apple’s operating systems from now on.
This post originally appeared on NotedTech on 12 June 2016.
With just one day until WWDC 2016 begins, I wanted to do something different. While everyone is making guesses and wishlists for this year, I wanted to look back at recent WWDC keynotes, their announcements, and what stood out for me.
2010, THE BIRTH OF RETINA
While much has happened since 2010, there is a lot that still stands out to me. While not the last WWDC keynote by Steve Jobs, I think his performance here was better than the following year. Personally, I see this being related to his health, as he seems more frail in 2011. Overall, Steve here was well composed and was able to throw in his fair share of jokes among various announcements. He was a natural on stage. While no replacement, I think Craig Federighi is the best Apple currently has when it comes to bringing back Steve’s flare.
Among other things this keynote is known for, the first is the introduction of the iPhone 4. It was the last time a new iPhone would grace the WWDC keynote. The iPhone 4 was a first in a few areas for Apple: An LED flash, a front facing camera, and the Retina display. We take all of that for granted now, but none of that existed on previous iPhones at the time.
Of course, one thing we’re quite used to now are leaks and rumors. Unfortunately for Apple, a test iPhone 4 was also leaked before the announcement, leading to the press having clear shots of the final device. But Steve handled it well on stage: “Stop me if you’ve already seen this.”
Alongside the iPhone 4 came something else that a lot of Apple users are likely quite familiar with: FaceTime. While not the first video communication system, it became the easiest way to start a video conversation with another Apple user. Since the initial introduction, we’ve seen FaceTime come to all of Apple’s mobile devices, and FaceTime Audio makes for a clear alternative to a standard phone call, especially in a WiFi-only environment.
Overall, this keynote stands out to me as one of Steve’s best. Between dealing with the announcement of a leaked product, jokes about whether or not Apple would approve their own apps, and handling WiFi problems in the middle of a demo, Steve still gave an entertaining, informative, and captivating presentation. (Well, all but the iAd demo. RIP iAds.)
2011, THE YEAR OF ICLOUD
The iPhone was 4 years old; the iPad was just over 1. Despite the relatively short lives of those devices, there were plenty of technologies to bring back to their parent platform. The 2011 keynote saw a 4th preview of OS X Lion, something Apple had been beta testing for months. This brought a few technologies and improvements from iOS, including more iOS-styled interfaces and FaceTime. It also was the first OS X update distributed exclusively through the new Mac App Store.
It also was the year we saw the Mac demoted. Initially, the Mac was the hub of your digital life. Now, with the introduction of iCloud, the Mac was to be a device in the same manner as an iPhone or iPad. While some would say Apple has a ways to go on delivering that vision, it all began with 2011.
The iCloud of five years ago was missing a few of the features we’ve come to love recently. But while not having features like iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library, or iCloud Music Library, it did introduce a few useful features to Apple users. Calendar, Contact, and Note syncing quickly made those apps much more useful. iCloud Backup made iTunes a little less necessary for device owners. And iTunes Match, while not necessarily an iCloud feature, provided an option to access your music on devices without syncing with your Mac or PC.
But as great as that all is, iOS 5’s big feature to me, besides iCloud support and Notification Center, was iMessages. Looking back, it’s hard for me to imagine now having iMessages. Yet, five years ago, it was just being announced. This feature would lead to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch being more useful as social devices. Suddenly, someone could message a friend with just an Apple ID and WiFi. Gone were the requirements of needing a cellular connection or a phone number to message others.
As this was Steve’s last WWDC keynote, it also is the last time we saw Apple’s CEO delivering the majority of the event.
2012, FORSTALL’S LAST
From the beginning, iOS development was lead by Scott Forstall. If WWDC 2011 was Steve Jobs’ last, 2012 was the last for Forstall, though no one could have known that at the time.
Ultimately, Tim Cook’s Apple was to be one based on cooperation and collaboration. While we don’t know all of the inner workings at Apple, some anonymous reports made out Forstall to be a polarizing force. Steve Jobs was able to hold onto his reins, but after Jobs’ death, he just couldn’t fit into the culture Cook was putting together.
One item in particular that Forstall presented on stage was Apple’s new Maps app in iOS 6. From the start, some users had issues with it. Google Maps, which had been on iOS up until that point, had been around longer than Apple’s service, leaving Apple trying to catch up. But even though it was inferior to some, the new service also brought turn-by-turn navigation natively to the iPhone. That, along with Flyover, made Apple Maps a shiny new application. Forstall’s pride is clearly seen as he demos it.
iOS 6 also brought Passbook, one of the initial steps ultimately leading to Apple Pay with iOS 8. Looking back, it’s possible to see Apple working on new ideas one piece at a time. Here, Passbook provided a way to put cards and codes into a single app. Next year, with the iPhone 5s, Apple would introduce a required piece of hardware side in the form of Touch ID.
On the Mac, OS X Mountain Lion brought Notification Center, iMessages, Game Center, and Notes. It was pretty clear that iOS was starting to lead when it came to new features. The Mac would eventually get iOS apps and features once they were created to fit the Mac’s interface mechanism.
And speaking of the Mac, WWDC 2012 was the birth of Retina on the Mac. The MacBook Pro with Retina started with only a 15-inch configuration and started at a price higher than the existing MacBook Pro models. But it also showed something very clear: Retina was the only way to go with a display. The new model also took some pointers from the MacBook Air in terms of removing older technologies and moving parts. Gone were the SuperDrive and spinning hard drive. Everything was flash, solid state, and ultimately made for a sleeker, more powerful MacBook Pro. In the end, it was the first of many transitions for Apple’s Mac line. And after having moved to solid state and Retina, I’ll never go back.
As iCloud began to mature, it also was starting to become clear that the iOS and OS X platforms could start doing more together. Things weren’t perfect yet (and still aren’t), but it was beginning to seem like there were more and more benefits to working across all of Apple’s devices.
2013, THE FIRST REDESIGN
Many months before WWDC 2013, rumors were flying around the various Apple blogs: iOS 7 was going to be a major redesign. Gone were the shadows, gradients, and textures of iOS 6. Everything was going to be flat.
While somewhat true, there was more to the story. Sure, plenty of textures disappeared with iOS 7, but they also disappeared from many of the apps found in OS X. The first non-cat release, Mavericks, boasted simpler UI, though it still reflected the window chrome found since Snow Leopard. Instead of seeing a calendar that might as well have been ripped up from someone’s desk, it was a clean looking Mac app.
OS X Mavericks also brought efficiency and performance improvements. While a focus of many OS updates, the particular focus showed that Apple wanted users to get the most out of their Mac, even if it was worth upgrading.
Mavericks also brought a price change: free. While Microsoft has offered free Windows 10 updates for now, they will eventually go back to a paid model. But Apple’s approach, likely offset by them making money on hardware and not software, means they can provide these updates to as many users as possible.
The biggest news of the keynote, of course, was iOS 7. While things seemed flatter, a lot of it ultimately seemed to be shaping up future UI for Apple. Of course, this wasn’t clear at the time. But looking back, the changes in iOS 7 ultimately lead to Apple changing OS X’s appearance in 2014, allowed for the dark but familiar UI for the Apple Watch, and brought similar changes to the Apple TV with tvOS.
I believe iOS 7 was more than just a quick redesign of the OS. I think it was purposeful planning for the future. Apple knew they wanted to go into a new direction with the Apple Watch and likely had some plans for the new Apple TV. They also were planning larger iPhones for the following year. All of that would benefit from ‘simplifying’ the operating system’s appearance.
And speaking of bringing things together…
2014, EVERYTHING COMES TOGETHER
The first iPhone was famous for ‘running OS X’. While true in a certain fashion, ultimately iOS (initially “iPhone OS”) was an offshoot of OS X running on a different processor architecture. Thus, while having similar roots, for several years both were developing their own features. In 2014, both were brought up to a level that let them work almost seamlessly with each other.
To me, the 2014 WWDC keynote is the best with regards to useful user and developer features and announcements. There are just so many wonderful things that were announced that year:
OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 both included features like Handoff and Continuity, making it easy to pick up a task from one device to another, send SMS from any device, or take a call from any device.
iCloud Drive enhanced iCloud into something similar to Dropbox, making it easy to store documents between multiple devices.
Extensions to iOS, letting developers create third-party keyboards, share extensions, notification widgets, and more. In a way, this was a precursor to WatchKit with the initial launch of the Apple Watch, as communicating with a Watch app was no different than sharing data with a widget or extension.
iCloud Photo Library, and Photo enhancements in iOS 8, made it very easy to store all of your photos in one place while still keeping them accessible to all of your devices.
HealthKit, providing a single store for applications to share health data.
HomeKit, making it easy to control multiple smart devices in the home through Siri.
Even after announcing all of those great features, Apple still had more to give to developers with the introduction of Swift, their new programming language.
As an Apple user, this was my favorite keynote. OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 truly made it worth living entirely in the Apple ecosystem. It always gives me a good feeling when I can show off features like AirDrop, Handoff, and Continuity to owners of Apple products.
As a developer, both iOS extensions and Swift were exciting. And given that WWDC is a developer conference, it makes sense that Apple would focus on software and things directly pertaining to developers and their apps. Apple would never make us sit through an awkward half hour of a non-developer related service at WWDC…
2015, MULTITASKING (OH, AND APPLE MUSIC)
Okay, maybe Apple would make a rather long intro for something not related to developers and software at WWDC.
The big item in 2015, and the one that I use often, is iPad multitasking in iOS 9. Split View, Slide Over, and Picture-in-Picture made the iPad a more useful device. So long as an iPad has a 64-bit processor (A7 chip or newer), some form of multitasking is available.
While not as notable of a feature for some, OS X El Capitan also included split screen support for full screen apps. As someone that uses full screen apps constantly across multiple displays, this was a great feature.
Thankfully, the 2015 keynote ended after all of the software talk.
Okay, it didn’t.
Seriously, though, Apple Music seemed out of place for a developer conference. Still, Apple will make the most of their public events. And for a lot of people that I talk to, Apple Music is a great service. Me? I like my local music library, consisting of songs and albums I’ve accumulated since I was a teen. I’m not ready to trust my music needs to the cloud just yet.
2016, THE YEAR OF…
So how will I remember 2016? As this isn’t a post about my wishlist or thoughts on rumors, I’ll leave this blank. Once WWDC 2016 is behind us, then I’ll go back and say exactly what my highlights are.
If there is anything on my “wishlist”, though, it is that this year’s event is as good as 2014. That’s my current favorite. Between new user features and developer enhancements, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I only hope I’ll feel the same after Monday morning.
I remember being rather skeptical of Apple’s original marketing of the Apple Watch as “our most personal device ever”, but a year later I must say that it would be a hard case to make that something that has been physically attached to me for 83% of my life is anything other than personal.
Thankfully, David is someone that will dig into numbers. In this case, it’s seeing how many hours a day he’s worn his Apple Watch since first putting it on a year ago. I know I’d love to see what my numbers reveal. Since using Sleep++, I’m sure I’m in the 20+ hours a day category.
This post originally appeared on NotedTech on 2 October 2015.
After a week with the iPhone 6s, I’ve been able to finally put together my early thoughts on it. There are plentyofgoodreviewsout there, so I won’t go into every tech detail.
First, my typical buying habits: I’ll get a new iPhone every two years. My first iPhone was the 3GS, and I’ve been on the ’S-cycle’ ever since. The new design has been perfected, and the internal upgrades are typically more significant than with the new designs. Thus, my previous iPhone was the 5s.
Compared to what I had before, this new iPhone definitely is a wonderful device. There are a few areas that I especially appreciate.
First, the FaceTime camera. Living two time zones away from family, FaceTime has become a regular thing for us. The front facing FaceTime camera on the iPhone 6s is now a 5MP sensor. Both photos and videos are much higher quality than in previous iOS devices. Yes, it makes for great selfies. But it also makes for better video chats, too.
The iSight camera on the back is very important to many people. For me, with a ten-month old son, photos are something that happen all day, every day. Again, these are photos that get sent back to family. The jump to a 12MP camera, along with the usual ‘Apple refinements’, means we always have cute pictures for the grandparents.
Of course, the iPhone 6s also includes support for taking Live Photos. Shortly after coming home with our new iPhones, I tested this out with our son. The first Live Photo that I took is now my favorite Live Photo (thus far) and has been my wallpaper several times this past week. Being able to touch my screen and see him move and smile is one of the most pleasant experiences I’ve had with my new iPhone. This feature also is a big hit with our family (at least the family members who have updated to iOS 9). Instead of just seeing a still photo of their grandson, they can almost see the memory as we did. This alone is probably the best feature to come to the iPhone 6s.
One other new feature to the 6s is 3D Touch. Some have, incorrectly in my opinion, compared it to right click on the desktop. Others, typically Android users, like to say it’s analogous to a long press. Both actions give the impression of a junk folder of actions. When you right click on something on a computer, you don’t expect to do things quicker than a click or two, you expect to find additional options. And in iOS, that’s still true of things like a long press. 3D Touch, however, makes things simpler. For me, previewing links while in Mail, News, or Messages is wonderful for productivity. You can get a quick idea of what is there without needing to load the entire link, email, or article. If I want to head into something, I can press harder and pop into it. Otherwise, I can just peek my way through things. And unlike a long press, I don’t need to wait for this to kick in. I can just do a hard press and instantly get a peek into something. I think this interaction has a lot to offer iOS, especially as more apps take advantage of it. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see this hit iPad models next year.
All in all, I’m very happy with the iPhone 6s. Coming from the 5s, I’m still adjusting to the size difference. Most people probably got that out of their system last year with the release of the iPhone 6. Besides that, though, there’s everything to love and little to hate in Apple’s latest iPhone.
One thing I do like about the Apple Watch is the ability to easily change your watch face. Very quickly, the Watch can go from being a simple time piece to something very personal. As I’ve now spent 48 hours with a Watch, I wanted to share how I’ve set up my Watch faces. I’d also love to hear comments on how you set up your faces.
Before I begin, note that the complications are likely to change as I try more apps for Apple Watch. I know I’ll drop some of these eventually. But for now, these are the ones I’m using:
Battery – Temporary while I learn how long my Watch will last during the day
Activity – The main purpose for buying the Watch was to help me be more active. So having this visible at all times is a must.
Weather – Makes it real quick to see how things are outside
Calendar – Being able to see when my next meeting or event occurs at a glance is great.
Now that I’ve listed all of the complications, here are my Watch faces.
This Watch face is my main one. I like the overall appearance of it, as it feels like the kind of watch face I’d want even on a mechanical watch. I have this one when I’m not working (and sometimes when I am). I have the Battery complication in the top left, Activity in the top right, Date with the day of the week inside, and the weather along the bottom. When I drop the Battery one, I’ll move the weather to that corner (even though it’ll only show the temperature) and replace it with the calendar at the bottom.
This is my current Watch face during the work day. The center complication is the calendar because of the amount of data it can show. It’s a bit odd to see the time off-center, but I will let that slide given the amount of data all of the complications can show.
I thought I would use this one more, but I don’t use it as much anymore. I do like how it’ll show color more than the Utility face. When I go out and want a little fun with the Watch, I’ll use this and tweak the color.
I do miss complications when using this Watch face, but this is a fun one to sometimes switch to at night.
Timelapse / Photo Album
These are my evening Watch faces for when I don’t need to see data but want to see something personal, especially with the Photo Album face. I look forward to creating some Live Photos next week and making Watch faces out of them.
There are other faces I don’t use. I don’t have anything to say on them really. The ones I just listed are my favorites thus far. But I’ve not had my Watch for months like some people, so I’m sure this will change the more I use it.
Update (Dec 1)
Having had some more time with my Watch, I’ve cut down on some of the faces that I was using before and added a few new ones.
Utility, as mentioned above, is still the same, but it is now my main Watch face.
Modular, while still the same, is hardly used anymore. It’s nice, but I find it doesn’t provide me as much useful information while I’m working at my desk. If I was working elsewhere and not always near my computer’s calendar, then maybe I would find it more useful.
I’ve made some new additions to my faces.
As the name implies, this is a simple face. I use this when I’m out or at meetings. I think it removes enough distractions to allow me to focus on where I’m at without feeling the need to always glance at my wrist.
This is another Modular set up. However, I use this one specifically for when I sleep. The center complication is for the app Sleep++ by David Smith. When I’m ready for bed, I’ll switch to this complication, set my alarm, go into Airplane mode, and then tap on the center complication to take me to the Sleep++ app to start tracking my sleep. The other complications, including the weather and sunrise/sunset, seem appropriate for this watch face.
This post originally appeared in NotedTech on 12 September 2015.
Once again, in what doesn’t seem like a full year, we’re looking back at another iPhone event. This time, though, Apple packed in quite a lot of information about products across its device lines.
It wasn’t until I rewatched the event yesterday that I was able to get all of the details and finally start thinking about everything that was announced. Here are some of my initial thoughts.
While there is little new that Apple announced regarding Apple Watch, what they didmention was pretty nice. New bands and models, especially the gold Sport models, have the potential to bring more people to the Apple Watch. If you’ve seen the rose gold aluminum case with the lavender sport band, you understand what I mean.
It’s nice to see Apple adding more options to the ‘entry level’ Watch. This keeps the Edition model for those that actually care if their Watch is made of gold or just looks like gold.
Since it debuted, the iPad has been perplexing for many and has seemed like a product with no clear vision for some. Is it a productivity machine? Is it just for consumption? While Apple has tried to show that it can do both, the iPad has yet to make in-roads into the enterprise market and creative industries.
The iPad Pro has the potential to change that. With a larger screen, a highly accurate Apple Pencil stylus, and enough processing power to run two full iPad apps side-by-side (thanks to iOS 9’s new multitasking capabilities). The possibilities of being more productive with this new device, while very familiar to existing iPads, have me wondering if the recent partnerships with IBM and Cisco were pre-requisites to the iPad Pro’s launch. These partnerships give Apple a foot in the door of corporate IT departments, and this new iPad could be the iOS device to open that door wider.
It also made perfect sense (for Apple at least) to have Microsoft and Adobe showing off their software on the larger 12.9-inch display.
I personally find myself using my iPad every day. It’s a great device for when I want to do things while I relax. Reading when I’m off work? Playing a game? Creating a new backing track in GarageBand? It’s perfect.
The problem lately has been with iPad sales. It doesn’t have the same upgrade cycle that smartphones do. I know many people that are still using an iPad 2 (from 2011) or iPad 3 (from 2012). And they’re perfectly happy with their devices. I don’t see the iPad Pro pushing a lot of people to upgrade. What I do see is the iPad Pro reaching people that normally wouldn’t want an iPad, much like the iPad mini caught a new segment of tablet users. We’ll have to see how people react once the iPad Pro launches in November.
Apple says the future of the TV is apps. While that includes bringing downloadable games and other similar apps to the big screen, I think there’s more potential than that. Apple TV already has support for networks like HBO and Showtime. Having support for third party apps now makes it even easier for other networks and stations to start bringing their content to Apple TV users. And this is without a new streaming TV service like what Apple supposedly is working on.
This in itself, added with the existing capabilities of the new Apple TV, make me feel like it is a vital addition to someone’s living room. Already, my family uses it for 90% of our TV watching, either through content in iTunes, using Home Sharing from a nearby Mac, or AirPlaying content from an iOS device. Add apps with support for more cable networks and shows and you can definitely say goodbye to cable.
The iPhone 6s rumors seemed to all come true. New 12 megapixel camera, A9 chip, potentially 2 GB of RAM, newer and faster wireless technologies, and Force 3D Touch. But seeing all of it, including how 3D Touch is being used, as well as Live Photos, makes the iPhone 6s a definite buy for me. Then again, I’m still using an iPhone 5s. Anyone running an older iPhone than the iPhone 6 should definitely consider this upgrade.
I didn’t think 3D Touch would be that big of a deal. But with how Apple has implemented it for additional functionality without compromising the current Multi-Touch system is impressive. It’ll be something that I probably could describe better once I’ve used it. I’ll tell you all about it after September 25, when iPhone 6s starts shipping.
Overall, I think the Apple event went pretty well. It flowed better and was more interesting than their WWDC Keynote in June. I’ll just call that a temporary hiccup in their otherwise well organized events. And if Apple decides to surprise us with another event next month, perhaps with Mac news, let’s hope it goes off as well as this event did.
Now that we have seen the new iPhones, my thoughts have started to move ahead to the next likely update: iPads. Typically updated on a yearly cycle, the iPad has continued to receive refinements that continue to perfect the device.
Right now, the iPad lineup is strong with the thin and powerful iPad Air and its smaller sibling, the iPad Mini with Retina. If we’re to make any predictions about what is to come, I think we can safely say the next generation of each of those devices with be iterations on the existing models. (( Very rarely does Apple introduce a device and not create an upgraded iteration in the same design. ))
There’s also something new that is rumored to come with the next iPads (or a future iPad Pro): the option to run two apps side by side. Some have wondered how such a feature could operate. Now, I think I have it figured out. (( Because, obviously, I know these things. Okay, no, I don’t. I’m just guessing. But am I close? I’d love to know! ))
On the new iPhone 6, due to the larger screen size, Apple introduced something called “Reachability“. By double-pressing (not clicking) the home button, the top half of the screen moves down to within range of the user’s thumb. This is only possible due to the Touch ID sensor, which can respond simply by a finger being on the home button yet not clicking it.
On an iPhone, this makes sense, as the iPhone originally began as a one-handed device. But what about iPads? They have never been designed for one hand. The next generation of iPads are rumored to include Touch ID. Obviously, this could allow for increased security on an Apple, as well as the inclusion of Apple Pay. Could Apple also include a new feature for the double-press interface on the iPad? What could it be? Hmm…