jb… a weblog by Jonathan Buys

The September 2019 Apple Event

Several more professional sites have written longer and better articles about Apple’s recent event than I can do here. A few of my favorites in no particular order are John Gruber’s take, Ryan Christoffel and Alex Guyot cover the new iPhones and Apple Watch, respectively, at MacStories, Jason Snell’s take on hits and misses at SixColors, it’s always worth a click to read everyone’s pal Jim Dalrymple at The Loop’s thoughts on the event. And of course, the team at iMore has an entire section set aside for the many articles they’ve already written about what’s new.

This is not a review, just my thoughts on the new products after letting the dust settle for a couple days.

Apple Watch Series 5

I can see myself upgrading my Series 3 for the 5. The bigger screen that debuted in the Series 4 is attractive enough, but the always on screen in the 5 really pushes it over the edge. This is the one Apple device I use every day, all day. For almost two years straight now I’ve worn my Watch nearly every day.

iPad 7

I have many conflicting thoughts about the modern computer for the rest of us. Setting those aside for the moment, this looks like a great update to the entry-level iPad. Larger screen and finally a proper keyboard option, but the same A10 chipset. For $330 this is the right option for someone looking for a casual computing device to take notes, watch video, send and receive emails, and surf the web.

iPhone 11

When compared to the XR, the iPhone 11 is an incremental update with a slightly faster CPU, slightly better battery life, a big update to the camera, and worse color options overall. I’m not a fan of the washed-out pastels, especially when compared to the vibrant and fun colors of the XR. The yellow is especially egregious.

That being said, it’s important to note that this is how Apple rolls. One small incremental update after another, and after a few the iPhone 11 is a massive update in all aspects from something like an older iPhone 6S. Color preferences are just that, preferences. That this year doesn’t match mine doesn’t make them bad, just not for me. What we can’t ignore is that this year Apple ships yet again another incrementally better iPhone, one that’s better in all the ways that matter from previous versions.

iPhone 11 Pro Max Super Duper Cool XDR Edition

Apple really can’t name anything anymore.

Better battery, better camera, better screen, but not better enough to justify the additional $300 the Pro costs. Not to mention that the colors for the Pro are just awful. Speaking of color, that Midnight Green looks like a sad color for a car in East Berlin before the wall fell. The gold is more of a copper, and the white is more of a cream. Space Grey remains the best option for an iPhone that lacks the color options of the 11.

Of all the Apple devices that are “not for me”, the Pro Max is the not for me’ist. I’m actually looking for ways to use my phone less, not more, and I’d rather have a smaller SE-sized phone than even the larger size that originated with the iPhone 6, let alone the Max.

Apple Arcade

$5 per month? Sold. I’m always looking for new games, and I know my kids will get a kick out of this too, especially once it’s available on the Apple TV. I’m even considering getting an Xbox One controller to turn the Apple TV into an almost real gaming console.

Also, I take back what I said previously. Apple Arcade is a great name for the service.

Apple TV+

$5 per month? Sold. I have high hopes for the shows they’ve advertised so far, and I think that over time the TV+ catalog will grow to a respectable size. My current plan is to drop Netflix, pick up TV+, and upgrade to the Hulu and Disney+ bundle. And maybe, someday dropping cable once more.

Miscellany

As discussed on the most recent ATP, the game demos were not good. I also thought they had too many videos, and I miss Jony’s British voiceovers. I also 100% agree with Marco that the forced applause from Apple Retail employees is really starting to feel fake and cringe-worthy. This video for the Watch was Apple at their best.

apple, iphone, ipad, iwatch