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iPhone 6 Plus a Watch

Last week Apple took the official wraps off the new iPhones, introducing the iPhone Big and the iPhone Enormous. The existence of both had been long spoiled by the various rumour sites and component leaks. Apple also chose not to unveil the iWatch everyone was predicting, instead they introduced the Apple Watch as their long awaited entry into the smart watch market. Here are 50 of my thoughts - both serious, and not.

iPhone 6

Size
Two sizes, as was spoiled- expected. Still think 5.5-inches is likely too large, but it’s also the one I ended up buying when the Apple store magically started working after all the stock was sold out. My main concern is whether or not it will fit in the pockets in any of my pants. Would have preferred they split the difference and just released a 5-inch phone.

Antenna gaps
Glad they don’t look as hideous as they did on the early leaks, or at least that’s the case for the silver and space grey models. White antenna gaps on the gold phone are pretty awful.

Where art thou Sapphire?
Ion-strengthened glass? Only glass, but what about the sapphire. I though it was all about the sapphire.

Seamless design
Or as a normal person might call it, round edges. I’m sure it’ll feel nice in the hand, but honestly I’ll miss being able to stand my phone up on it’s own without a stand. Note to self: find a nice stand.

White iPhone face
Is still ugly.

Gold iPhone body
Is uglier than ever thanks to the horrid white antenna gaps.

Reachability
The “actually, maybe we did make the screen too large, what should we do?” feature. They say you trigger it with a double tap of the home button, but isn’t that how you trigger the app-switcher? How do I now open the app-switcher? Anyone? Apparently a double-tap is different to a double-click/press?

Retina HD
Both the 6 and 6+ get bigger screens and more pixels (guys, guys, everything is bigger, bigger I tell you). The screen on the 6+ is apparently @3x, but then scaled back to fit into the 1920x1080 res … which seems really odd.

401 ppi
Just as well, I was starting to notice the pixels on my iPhone 5.

Improver polarizer
I’m hoping this means my screen looks better through my polarized sunglasses. My current iPhone 5 screen loses about half it brightness when view through my sunglasses if I turn it landscape. My original iPhone 5 was the reverse, in portrait the brightness sucked, but landscape was fine.

Wider-angle viewing
Sure, great, I guess. Except, you know, for privacy, like when you’ve got some random international student sitting next to you on the bus who keeps looking at your phone every 2 minutes.

Sixth row of home screen icons
Good, I’ve had to keep shuffling things off the first screen lately. No, seriously, I’d rather not do that. But I’d also like the app arrangement interface in iTunes to not suck ass, I don’t want much.

Display Zoom
Is this an accessibility setting? Or is it another “actually, maybe we did make the screen too large, what should we do?” feature?

Landscape home screen (and other apps)
I mocked this up in September 2009. Five years ago. I genuinely don’t know why Apple hasn’t added the landscape home screen until now. Other people liked my mockup, they even stole it and used it on a suspicious banner ad on pirate bay for several months.

Battery life
The extra battery life of the 6+ is close to be a selling point all on it’s own. I’m also looking forward to the new energy use stats in iOS that can tell me just how much juice Instagram is ripping out of my battery. Seriously, Instagram can drain my iPhone 5 batter from 50% to dead in about 15 minutes.

New M8 bits
I’ve had a fitbit for about 18 months, stopped wearing it in April once I’d racked up 12 months. Maybe if my phone is just tracking all that stuff without me having to remember an additional device I’ll get interested in it again.

Slo-mo camera
I never upgraded to the 5S so the slo-mo feature will be all-new to me. The addition of 240fps looks neat, will just need to find something interesting to shoot.

Time-lapse
Well Hyperlapse, it was a fun couple of weeks, but I suspect you’ve just been replaced by the functionality of the core camera, and the new Cinema Video Stabilisation stuff.

FaceTime camera
Still only 1.2MP? Really? But my selfless would be much better with more pixels. Selfies, guys. Selfies. Improved Face Detection on the front-facing camera seems a little pointless though, because isn’t that all people use it for anyway. Well, that and naked duck-face shots, I guess.

Faster LTE. Faster WiFi.
I’m sure that’s probably great, but I live in Australia. Our internet is powered by asthmatic treadmill-running mice.

Touch ID
Again, I never upgraded to the 5S, so this will be new to me too.

NFC
Already heard several Android lovers spouting that they’ve “had NFC for years”. Yeah, but you’ve had to use an Android phone, so there’s that. Also it’s US only for the moment.

Apple Pay
Don’t really care. I still prefer notes and coins over card anyway. Maybe that will change once it’s available here in Australia. Maybe it won’t.

Leather case
The opening at the bottom of the case looks like it might actually be big enough for the plug on my headphones to fit. I couldn’t get a leather case for my iPhone 5 because the plug on my headphones was too big to fit through the circular cut out in the case. Maybe I just need different head phones. Either way, sign me up for a Product (red) leather case to match my iPad mini.

No 32 GB?
I don’t really care, but a few people I follow on Twitter seem too. Also, why would you get the 16 GB, when 64 GB is only $100 (or $130 if you’re in Australia) more?

128 GB
Take my money. I’ve run out of space a dozen times in the last couple of months as my collection of music that I don’t listen to, and apps I don’t need, has grown. 128 GB is very welcome.


Apple Watch

“Finally”.
To take leaf out of the “tech jernl’sm” handbook, Apple “finally” revealed their watch offering. In reality though, it’s more a case of the tech writers “finally” predicting there would be a watch and there actually being one. Still waiting for the mystical TV they’ve been banging on about for 5 years.

Three styles
The three styles make sense, ‘regular’ stainless steel for regular folk, ‘sport’ aluminium for sporty folk and ‘edition’ gold for pimps and rich assholes.

Two sizes
38mm and 42mm. 4mm difference doesn’t seem like it would actually be significant enough to justify. Going to have to seen them in person to make final judgment on that.

More bands than an alcohol fueled music festival
You can pick from a traditional link bracket with butterfly clasp (it bugs me that the band has a brushed finished by the stainless steel watch bodies are polished), a rubber fluoroelastomer sport band (the image assets used on Apple’s website actually just call it ‘rubber’), a leather loop, a ‘classic’ leather band and buckle, a ‘modern’ leather band and buckle, a chain-mail or a Milanese loop. Most with numerous colour variants - though no Product (red) leather bands. Surely one of them would fit my pencil thing wrists.

Choice of watch faces
Hardly a selling point itself, but if Apple let developers design their own watch faces, then that could be interesting. The ability to customise the various faces with additional info is kind of neat. I guess.

Dedicated contacts button
A whole button seemingly devoted to a single function seems a little odd, at least to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t know enough people who’d want regular contact with me, and who would own an Apple Watch, to have it ever be of any use to me, ever.

Animated emoticons
No. This is not a device for 12 year-olds.

Ability to use the watch to make calls
Making phone calls by talking into your wrist is going to look super weird unless you’re either Inspector Gadget or in the CIA.

Ability to get email on your watch
Dammit, no. Leave me alone email. I’ll get to you when I get to you.

Digital Touch
Drawing simple pictures with you’re finger to send to someone? Because we’re all finger-painting 5 year-olds at heart. Super cynical me with no-one I’d actually use it to communicate with says this is a gimmick, not a feature.

Fitness tracking
One of the bigger features for the Apple Watch, but will probably be an even bigger feature in future versions when it (hopefully) gets more sensors built right into the watch.

Activity and Workout apps
Like ‘fitness’ these words aren’t common in my life. They probably should be, but they’re not. If I were going to get a Watch (and I’m currently leaning towards not getting one), then it would replace the Fitbit that ha been sitting uncharged and unused on my desk for the past 6 months.

Apple Pay
See iPhone section above.

Apps
Ability to control music on the iPhone or remote control the camera seem like the most useful of the non-watch-like apps (eg. timer, stop-watch, alarm). Weather also maybe useful. Not useful? Well, that would be Stocks and Photos. What other developers bring to the Watch with their own apps, like it is with the iPhone and iPad, will be more interesting.

UI Font
Different font to iOS and OS X, but that’s ok because if they’d gone with Helvetica again most of the last 4 days would just have been spent listening to whiny designers complaining about how Helvetica is shit now that Apple are using it. Guys, that record broke long ago. Move on.

Round icons
Interesting that they chose to make the device, and its screen square, but made the icons and home interface based entirely on circles. Could it be because the circle-based interface would work fine on either square or round watch faces, but square icons would be a bit shit on a round screen? OMG guys, the Apple Watch 2 is going to be round.

Digital crown
It’s physical skeuomorphism. Isn’t it? A few of the videos I’ve seen showing it off seemed a bit jittery. I wouldn’t really be worried about it though, they’ve got several more months to sort any issues out.

Force touch
Use the force Luke. Like the digital crown, this has looked a little hanky in videos I’ve seen thus far.

Shortage of stats
They say it has a retina display, but didn’t reveal the resolution. Or how much internal storage it has (it must have some, they’ve said you can listen to music on it even when you leave your phone behind and go for a runs etc). Or how long the battery lasts. Or what the full price range will be. Or what size wrists the various bands will fit, how adjustable they are etc. Really, they didn’t tell us a lot, just that it’s pretty and it’ll be out next year. Still, it’s more than Samsung would’ve told us.

Siri
Nope. I’m not talking to my watch in public. Also Siri doesn’t understand a word I say.

Taptic Engine
Sounds like it could be interesting. Also sounds like it could be distracting and annoying.

Left/right handed
The internet was freaking out because everyone in Apple’s promo video was wearing it on their left wrist. “But what about left-handed people” they were crying. Well turns out you can flip it around and it’ll work just fine. That said, I’m left-handed, but it’s a decade since I’ve worn a watch and I honestly couldn’t tell you which arm I wore it on.

Pricing
The $349 starting you’d assume is for the ‘lighter’ sports model with aluminium case and only Ion-X glass. The regular, stainless steel and sapphire crystal, variants might be $100 more. The pimp models will be easily north of $1000 I would imagine.

Do I want one?
Eh. Given that I’ve just dropped close to $1,300 on a new iPhone, probably not. Given that I don’t need most of the things it provides, probably not. Given that I still have serious doubts that it will fit my diminutive wrists, probably not. Given that Apple refresh their products yearly, and that the Apple Watch 2 will likely be a whole lot better, I’m probably more likely to wait for that.