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iPhone event 2019

Posted in Apple

WWDC is my favourite Apple event of the year, but I always make a point to watch their others. The iPhone event has just passed and it was interesting, but didn’t get me too excited; I won’t be putting my hand in my pocket this year.

Nevertheless, here are some of my highlights:

  • The always-on Apple Watch is a great feature. Not one that would compel me to ditch my Series 4 for, but very useful. I prefer minimal faces with a black-background, so I imagine those are the most battery efficient faces on those OLED screens.
  • iPhone naming makes more sense – the base model is an ‘iPhone’ and the souped-up models are ‘Pro’, just like iPads and MacBooks. What is an ‘R’ anyway!? There were too many meaningless letters with last year’s models, and the whole ‘XS’ sounding like either ‘tennis’ or ‘excess’ was weird.
  • Talking of meaningless letters, the phone isn’t an ‘S’ model, it feels like one. No great big feature releases (Retina! Bigger! NFC! Edge-to-edge screen! Face ID!), just better. We’re pretty much at the point where phones are feature complete; it’s more about getting faster and better at the things it already does (like photos and video), and adding new features with things we didn’t know we needed (the U1 chip looks neat).
  • 3D Touch is gone. It will still work on older phones that have it, but it’ll be a shortcut for the long-press/haptic touch that has superceded it. It’ll be a pain for people that are used to the speed of 3D touch who move to a new phone and have to wait longer to, for example, turn their torch on from the lock screen, but it sounds like dropping the 3D Touch hardware has made space for more battery, which is never a bad thing.
  • The extended battery life sounds like a huge deal:
    iPhone 11 Pro offering up to four more hours of battery life in a day than iPhone XS, and iPhone 11 Pro Max offering up to five hours more than iPhone XS Max
    Having said that, my XS battery lasts two days with normal use, so I’ve never found myself out of battery, but as it degrades naturally with age/use, every bit of battery counts.
  • The new iPhones have two levels of camera bump – the rounded square is raised off the back of the phone, and the lenses themselves sit on top of that. I’ll be interested to see how much it protrudes and if the cases still let the phone sit flat on a table when they arrive in the Apple Store. Also, I wonder if it protrudes further overall or whether it’s the same as the current bump.
  • Giving a year’s subscription to Apple TV+ away with every device purchased is a great idea.
  • £4.99 for Apple TV+ is a good price, though I’m not all that interested at this stage. Let’s see how their library grows.
  • £4.99 for Apple Arcade is extremely compelling, but even if it were 99p, I wouldn’t be tempted; computer games are not my thing, and the kids haven’t really been introduced to them yet.

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