iThink: My thoughts on new iPhones and Apple
September is a huge month in the technology calendar. It is the month Apple annually reveals its latest iPhone and this year we saw three new iPhones debut: iPhone X S, iPhone X S Max and iPhone X R. This week, I wanted to talk to you about the event, the new iPhones and overall what I think about the current state of Apple.
iPhone X S was revealed as the follow up to last years major design overall of Apple’s flagship device. Looking identical to the all screen iPhone X, the X S model offers a faster processor, clearer display, improved camera with depth control and improved Facial recognition. A pretty standard upgrade in my opinion. iPhone X S Max was also revealed, a larger version of the X S, which is my favourite out of the lineup. Other than battery life, I like the fact that the XS and X S Max offer the same hardware and features regardless of size, which is a nice change from the likes of the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus offering more features over their smaller versions.
The nicest part of the event was seeing the reveal of the iPhone X R, this years “affordable” option. The X R takes the great design and features from the X S and puts it into a device that will be much more accessible to people. However, the trade off of this lower price is some slightly less premium materials used, such as an LCD display rather than the higher quality OLED (which still good!), an aluminium frame rather than stainless steel and a slightly different camera. I absolutely love that Apple have created a product with the specs and almost feel of the top model and brought technology such as Face ID to more people by offering it at a price point which isn’t top of the line. They have been very good at making their products more accessible this year, they did it with the iPad by offering more features at a lower price.
Having said all of this, I won't be upgrading just yet. My iPhone 7 Plus does everything I need. There are things I like about the newer phones but I don't have a justification for needing it. I think though, we've reached a peak in capabilities. What I mean by this is whichever premium brand you go for, be that Apple, Google or Samsung, you're going to get a similar level of features, each system just offers a different or slightly faster way to do these things the higher the model.
I am passionate about Apple products, I absolutely love using the iPhone and the ecosystem that syncs information across to my Mac seamlessly. I believe they have created some genuine innovation over the last few years, particularly Apple Pay, which has disrupted the nature of purchasing products. I love that Apple puts customer privacy at the forefront of their values. Although I am a massive fan of Apple, I’m not one of those people that thinks Apple does everything right. It doesn’t. There are things that need to be improved.
The first thing I wanted to mention is about leaks and the hype around events. I feel there is no hype and surprise around the Apple events anymore because all of the information about the new iPhones had been published online several times before the event. We knew everything that was going to be announced. Part of the reason why I became interested in Apple was watching the events being surprised about the announcements because the rumours were speculation rather than full leaks or they announced something that hadn’t even been rumoured. Those days are long gone and to be honest, I don’t see much point in watching the keynotes anymore because for the past few years the leaks have been the real deal. Even Apple end up leaking their own images.
iOS 11 is a mess but 12 will be along next week to sort this out. I’m disappointed that iOS 12 hasn’t changed up the design, because it's been the same other than a few tweaks since the big redesign in iOS 7. I can understand though why 12 is more about refinement than design and features because 11 is just awful.
Siri is also a big mess that needs sorting out. It once was the biggest voice assistant around but in recent years has fallen behind Google and Amazon. Despite what I said earlier about my appreciation of Apples stand on customer privacy, this lock down of data is partially the reason why Siri has fallen behind, because Google and Amazon are using data to offer further functionary to its services.
Overall, I like the direction that Apple is taking with the iPhones, but iOS and Siri need to be fixed and refined.