Earlier this week, Apple announced a bunch of stuff. The hour long “show” was exciting and well made. But once the pizzazz was over and the glitter settled to the floor, I looked at things more objectively, as matter of fact. Also, the one thing I was hoping to hear…it was not announced.
The new iPhone color, purple, looks delicious. It even caught my wife’s interest. She’s overdue for an upgrade from her original iPhone SE, so I expect that to happen this year. This purple iPhone 12 (or maybe the 11) could do nicely.
As for Podcasts, I like that the app will be updated. I just want to see it remove the card overlay interface and instead adopt the Apple Music UI. Simple. And consistent. Otherwise, it works fine as is. I think I heard there was another user interaction improvement: tapping the podcast will bring up the description instead of playing it immediately. That’s a welcome change. Now, about Podcast Subscriptions? That seems like it could be a big deal, but I don’t know how it will play out. Let’s wait and see.
The new iMacs look fabulous! I’ll take orange, please. Oh wait, those prices are…higher. Overall, I think it’s a good value, even at $1,500 for an Orange iMac. But that is more than twice the cost of a Mac mini at $700. Yes, the mini lacks all the peripherals, but those are easy to come by. I already own them, in fact. If I really want to get back into macOS on the desktop, a mini is far and above a better deal to me. Even if it only comes in bland shiny gray (silver).
Onto the iPad Pros. I think it’s very smart to use the new M1 chips in the iPads because the marketing is consistent to both consumers and developers — all your apps will work on either Mac, iPad, or both. It’s a clear message on a unified platform. The M1 in an iPad also strongly suggests that iPadOS software should become ever more powerful for “pro” apps and the like.
All that said about the iPad Pros, I still prefer the iPad plain because it basically does the same things but for much less cost. Especially if the entry-level iPad is used as a tablet rather than a full-on computer, then it’s a better deal over the pros. But there is just one thing wrong. The base iPad at $329 is still limited to a meager 32GB of storage. I know many people can stream almost everything, but that pittance of storage is still too small to load much more than the stock apps. You might get one big game and one big movie stored on the iPad before it’s running low on space. The one thing Apple should have done for the iPad is give it 64GB of storage to start with. I think that will happen in the Fall. I hope.
Apple TV 4K got some needed upgrades, but it still costs too much. The old HD version should not cost more than $99. My Roku plays Apple TV+ content and it AirPlays screen-mirroring from my iPhone, and it only cost me around $60. Come on, Apple. I’m pretty sure the company could sell more Apple TV devices at a lower cost and make up for revenue/profit in sales volume. Seriously.
The only real new thing Apple announced was AirTag. This seems cool, like it could be useful. I’m glad it’s affordable by itself, but it’s kind of a bad joke that the AirTag accessories made by Apple cost more than the AirTag itself. Even for Apple, this seems surprising. I’d like to buy an AirTag, but since my iPhone 8 Plus lacks the new U1 chip, it doesn’t support UWB. That means I would miss the cool ultra-fine locating capabilities with AirTag. And that, to me, isn’t worth it. So eventually, after I someday buy a U1 equipped iPhone, then I’ll likely get some AirTags. I can wait like I did for Apple Watch. Let the new technology mature over a few years, then buy into it. Then again, since one AirTag is only $29, I could easily just drop one into my EDC bag if nothing else. I think I will. Start simple. It’s mobile technology for your other stuff.
Overall, it’s nice to see Apple continue to innovate or iterate, always pushing some progress forward. It’s still my favorite platform to compute on, though I use Windows and ChromeOS too. I’m still loving my iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch. Apple sets a high standard, which affects the overall computer industry. The competition ups their game and advancement is made all around. I like it. More please.