Below are my thoughts on the the September 2015 Apple event. As a reformed Apple fan, my opinions about Apple products are somewhat biased. Just keep that in mind…
There was nothing revolutionary here. All of the features announced, including voice commands, universal search, gaming and apps have been on various Roku, Amazon TV, and Android TV devices (such as the Nexus Player) for some time. My wife and I have a Roku in our bedroom upstairs, and we regularly use a Chromecast (which I absolutely love) downstairs. We also have an Xbox 360 and an Xbox One in our upstairs living area. Additionally, we have a Dish Network Hopper that also does “apps” like Netflix and Pandora and also gives us access to traditional, live TV and DVR. As we are sports fans, traditional, live TV is important during football and basketball seasons. I say all that to say that for our family, we have absolutely no need for an extra set top box that does the same things as most of the things that we already have.
What would have been really revolutionary is if Apple had been able to work a deal with the cable and satellite companies to allow one to replace their proprietary,company issued set top box with an Apple TV — a one box to rule them all solution, so to speak. The only company that has come anywhere close to this so far is Microsoft with the Xbox One, which has DVR capabilities and an HDMI pass through to allow one to watch TV through the Xbox. The Xbox One not only offers this capability, but also offers “real” games and apps, as well as the ability to play back Blu-ray discs.
Bottom Line: The new Apple TV is a great upgrade that brings the Apple TV to feature parity with the other boxes on the market, but it is hardly “the future of TV” as their marketing suggests. It is a must have for those people who buy most of their media content from iTunes. It is not desirable for people who already uses other boxes and content ecosystems.
Again, there is nothing really revolutionary here. Apple basically created a knock off of the Surface Pro 3, complete with optional keyboard and stylus (sorry, I mean “Pencil”), that runs an operating system with nowhere near the professional capabilities of Windows 10. There are no real advantages to having an iPad Pro over a Surface Pro 3, unless one is just really invested in the iOS ecosystem or hates Windows.
Bottom Line: I think the choice of iOS over OSX on this supposedly professional level device will really hold it back. With regards to the Pencil, Steve Jobs famously once said, “if you see a stylus, they blew it”. For what it is worth, Steve is probably rolling over in his grave.
iPhone 6s & 6s Plus
In my personal opinion, there are other phones available that are considered “flagship” class devices that do just as much as the iPhone, if not more, for a fraction of the cost. One such example is the Moto X. I am a fan of what I call “good enough computing”, and it is my humble opinion that a Moto G would actually work just fine for those who don't care about having a flagship device and/or those who just want to save a little money. I love my 2013 Moto G. It does everything I need it to do, and while I sometimes wish it had a better camera, I do not feel that I am missing anything from not using an iPhone.
I think it is interesting that Apple showed not only the typical contract pricing for the iPhone, just as they have each and very prior year, but they also showed what the iPhone would cost on a typical carrier installment plan and lease plan. I am not sure I am on board with the phone leasing options. There is just something about the phone being one's own that is appealing to me. However, these options do make sense for people who feel that they must have the latest and greatest, and I actually have to hand it to Apple for coming up with an installment plan that bypasses the carriers.
With regards to 3D touch, based on the video of it in action, it appears that Apple has implemented their version of the long press, which has been a staple of Android and Windows Phone for years. However, because it is technically not a long press and instead uses pressure sensitivity, it is much more complicated than it needs to be, and of course, requires new hardware. To me, it simply looks like another way for Apple to keep one addicted to coming back for new hardware. I am not sure why Apple just did not implement standard long touch and make the functionaility backwards compatible with previous iPhone and iPad models. Here is a well written article that goes into 3D Touch versus long press in a lot greater detail and which pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter.
Apple Watch 2.0
I don't care about the Apple Watch or wearables in general. Maybe that will change with time, but I think the Apple Watch is just a really over priced accessory. For the lemmings that need to be told when to stand up — rock on. For the record, I am not big on Android Wear either.
To Sum It Up...
The presentation was well done, as they always are. However, there was nothing annouced that would compel me to make the switch back to any of Apple's products.
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