What If Steve Jobs Had Presented the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch?

This article reimagines Tuesday’s event if Steve Jobs was the one running it. The first part of the text makes some interesting points and criticisms of the actual presentation, followed by a Steve Jobsified reimagining of it. It’s so spot-on that it hurts to read, and it makes me realize just how much the world and Apple lost when Jobs died. I miss his presentation style, and even though Tim Cook makes references to it (“one more thing”), he’s still not Steve Jobs. Makes me wonder if maybe Apple should just have a hologram of Steve Jobs do the keynotes…

13 Years Later

It’s been thirteen years since that fateful day in September, yet my memory of that day is still crystal clear. It was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect, and America was on top of the world. We were invincible, or so we thought. Then the towers came tumbling down, and with that, the perception of our safety and global dominance were torn down as well. Past the initial shock of the tragedy, the effects of 9/11 are still felt around the country today.

Even after everything that’s happened, we still stand strong, and I still firmly believe the US is the best country in the world. We’re not without our faults, but there’s no other place in the world that’s like the US of A. No act of terrorism will take away our love of this country and its freedoms.

Thoughts on the iPhone 6, Apple Watch, and More

Yesterday’s Apple presentation left me wishing they would have more secrecy around their iPhones. The whole iPhone 6 and 6 plus part of the presentation was just checking off boxes of features that I had heard of months ahead. I wish I could have been truly excited instead of ambivalent. The updates themselves were much-needed to keep the iPhone competitive with the Android market, though personally I don’t care for big screens.

The Apple Watch was the truly exciting part of the presentation, and I won’t lie, when Tim Cook uttered the infamous “one more thing” line, I got chills. This is a major step for Apple, as it’s their first new product since Steve Jobs’ death. What’s particularly interesting is how it’s called the Apple Watch instead of the rumored iWatch name. It makes sense though, as the “i” stands for “internet,” and the internet is so ubiquitous now that it’s pointless slapping that “i” on every new product. As for the watch itself, I was mostly surprised by how many options it was offered in; three main editions, each with their own color schemes and watch bands. Clearly, Apple is positioning themselves as a serious competitor in not just the smartwatch industry, but also in the general watch industry.

The Apple Watch takes an interesting approach to the smartwatch, as it allows you to do things as opposed to just receiving notifications like with Android Wear. The “digital crown” interface is quite an original take on the smartwatch, and in a way it’s the spiritual successor to the iPod click wheel. The way they completely made a new OS for the watch while still keeping the look and feel of iOS 7 is definitely an accomplishment. They’ve really put thought into making the watch genuinely useful. Contrary to rumors, it was not the iPhone 6 displays that were made with sapphire glass, but the Apple Watch display. It makes sense though, starting small with sapphire glass before moving on to a much bigger display— much like how Apple introduced their Retina Display on the iPhone first before bringing it to the iPad and subsequently the MacBook Pro. The videos and photos of it look nice, but I’m curious to see what people will say once they actually come out early next year. The biggest concern right now is battery life, as it can ruin even the best attempts at a smartwatch (Moto 360). At $350 it’s not unaffordable, especially when you consider how much an iPad or MacBook Pro costs, but it definitely has to prove its merits. Though I might just wait for the next version of the Apple Watch, as first generation Apple products have always proven to be far inferior to their second generation versions.

What’s interesting is that because a 128gb iPhone edition of the iPhone was announced, the iPod Classic has officially been killed. The next generation iPod Touch will most likely be available in 128gb too, as it tends to follow the iPhone pretty closely. It’s the end of an era for Apple, with all of the clickwheel iPods officially dead at this point. I’m wondering if the iPod Nano will be updated, but I’m betting it will be killed off in favor of a cheaper iPod Touch, as having an iPod Nano with a touchscreen but not iOS puts it in a weird place. It also looks rather dated with the glossy icons and iOS 6 visual style still being used on it.

Apple Pay was a long time coming, and if Apple can deliver on their promises of security and ease of use, it could really take off. Google started pushing NFC-based payments with NFC-equipped Android phones, but not every Android phone has NFC, and the system didn’t always work perfectly. With Apple’s push, NFC payments could become a new standard, just like how iTunes revolutionized buying music online.

It’s certainly an exciting time for Apple, but I have one concern, and that’s the amount of products Apple has been making in these past years. They now have four iPhones available (iPhone 5c, 5s, 6, 6+), at least nine editions of the Apple Watch (regular, sport, and “edition,” each in at least three metal colors), and three iPads (iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini). While it’s nice to see Apple offering options, I get uneasy as I remember the Apple of the 90’s, where they made everything and anything. I certainly hope Apple doesn’t lose its focus now that it doesn’t have Steve Jobs to trim the excess.

Tomorrow

Apple will reveal the iPhone 6, which while nice, will be fairly routine and expected, no thanks to a million leaks. However, it’s the iWatch (or whatever it’ll be called) that I’m most intrigued by. Unlike most of its iPhone updates, we barely know anything about the iWatch, and that’s what makes it so exciting.

I don’t plan to buy a smartwatch, but knowing Apple, they’ll make me want one. Plenty of manufacturers have been hammering out smartwatches like there’s no tomorrow, but I’m confident that Apple will make them all look like jokes. Based on the intense secrecy, special presentation venue, and being a completely new product, this will be huge. The last time Apple was this secretive was in 2007 before they announced their iPhone. Smartphones had existed prior to the original iPhone’s launch, but the iPhone was announced and made all of them obsolete in less than two hours. Blackberry, Microsoft, and Palm may have been laughing, but two of them are dead at this point— the iPhone got the last laugh.

I believe this iWatch will be as groundbreaking as the original iPhone. It’s typical Apple; waiting until the right time to come into a market and conquer it. They have the manufacturing capabilities, their own processors, a Sapphire glass factory, and some of the best industrial designers in the world. The timing could not be any more right.

Pun totally intended.

Just a Thought

If you don’t want compromising pictures of yourself to get into the wrong hands, the best advice is to not take those compromising pictures in the first place. That’s the unfortunate truth of the internet. It is a wonderful tool that allows the limitless spread of information, but at the cost of spreading literally everything.

You can hide behind layers of security and encryption, but if you’re a popular target, those walls will eventually come crashing down. If you’re a well known person, don’t take that risk, it’s just not worth it in the end. Put your phone away, and put your clothes back on; that’s the best security advice I can give.

Life with the iPhone 5s

After my Nexus 4 started developing problems with charging in April, I got an iPhone 5s. I needed a phone that would just work, and have enough battery life to get me through a busy day. I had originally planned to get the 32gb version of the 5s, but the T-Mobile store didn’t have it available, so I got the 16gb base version.

I’ll admit, I was not the biggest fan of iOS 7 when it first came out, but I’ve since grown to love it. At this point, I appreciate what a bold move Apple made with iOS 7, they’ve essentially started another major design trend1. That’s what makes them innovative, they lead the pack instead of just following others. I used to be a huge fan of the iOS 6 era design, but now it looks gaudy and overbearing compared to iOS 7.

I could easily go on and wax poetically about the fingerprint reader, the camera, the processor, and more, but you could just go and read an Engadget review if you want the details. The bottom line is everything just works. I don’t think about any of the features the 5s has, I just use them. The fingerprint reader works flawlessly, the camera takes good pictures quickly, and the phone is still just as zippy and fast as it was when I got it four months ago.

That, in my opinion, is the best feature of the iPhone. You don’t need to fiddle with options and a million third party apps to get a decent experience, and you don’t need to kill apps and toggle wifi/bluetooth/data/gps on and off to try and get decent battery life. After using Android phones for close to two years, it’s lovely to be able to just use a phone without thinking about it.

The iPhone 5s definitely has a much more premium feel as compared to a Nexus 4. It feels like a solid device, as opposed to the toy-like plastic feel of most Android phones. In addition to having fantastic hardware, I also love the Apple ecosystem of apps. The apps really are designed better, and function better, almost always better than their Android counterparts (if they even have Android versions). In addition, so much hardware is designed to work with Apple devices, like my car, or the treadmills at the gym.

The physical size is one of the 5s’ greatest features in my opinion, and I really am not too thrilled with the upcoming iPhone 6 being bigger. I love how the 5s fits into my pockets very comfortably, instead of sticking out and feeling bulky. Nowadays, my Nexus 4 feels bulky and unwieldy, as compared to the perfectly sized iPhone 5s.

The storage space being only 16gb hasn’t bothered me very much at all. I started using Spotify Premium shortly after I got the 5s, and it really has eliminated the need for a large internal storage disk. Streaming music over mobile data did not work very well in NYC, especially with the large gaps in service in the subway system; however, here in Phoenix where I drive everywhere under the open sky, I always get perfect reception. Now that T-Mobile has started allowing unlimited data for music streaming, I can stream in high quality without ever worrying about my data running out. It’s super liberating to be able to listen to literally anything at any time, without needing to sync or wait.

Battery life is no longer a concern for me, as the 5s always has enough juice to get me through at least a day and a half. Since I generally charge it nightly, I’ve never had a dead battery, or even gotten close to it. I wish I could say the same of my Nexus 4, where I had to ration my battery use at the end of the day and come home with 2% battery life.

Having the iPhone 5s is just a weight off my shoulders, as I can just use it without thinking about the technical aspects of it. I already spend most of my days staring at code and debugging, so it’s really nice to not have to do the same with my phone.

1. I know that Microsoft technically did flat design earlier than Apple with Windows 8, but nobody really caught on. When Apple did flat design, everybody and their mother scrambled to redesign everything to match the iOS 7 style. That’s what being an industry leader does.