Pre-9.9.14 Apple Announcement Final Thoughts (maybe)

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 5.59.20 PMOkay, I know that I’ve already shared plenty of thoughts on tomorrow’s announcement, but with just over 16 hours to go, I have a few more notes. I will be watching/following the announcement live tomorrow, which I have done with every event for the last 14 years. As I have mentioned before, it is like Christmas morning for me, and as my family knows, I am pretty giddy on Christmas morning.

On to my further musings, in no particular order:

  • Tomorrow’s event will be big. The venue is much larger  than the ones they usually use, and they have also constructed some top-secret White House-looking structure out front. There will be more than double the press in attendance than usual, including many top people from the fashion industry, which lends credibility to the ‘wearable’ rumors.
    Aerial footage of mysterious white box at Apple’s ‘iPhone 6’ event site from AppleInsider on Vimeo.
  • One thing I completely forgot about on the last post was the AppleTV. We are long overdue for an update and there has been a lot of talk of Apple changing the television game with this device. I personally don’t think they will mass release an actual TV, but could make some generous improvements to the current add-on box.
  • I am sad to say that over the last few days there has been more and more info leaking about a 5.5″ iPhone. That being said, it is still a rumor, and I hope Apple doesn’t do it.
  • There have been a few people talking about ‘water-proofing‘ of the iPhone 6. I think this is a great idea and many other phones have it. It just makes sense.
  • The mobile payments rumors have been going crazy. It sounds as though Walgreens, CVS, Nordstroms and other major retailers might already be on board. Again, this could change how we pay for things forever.
  • There are many other rumors out there, but nothing is for sure until we see it on stage.

After years of watching these announcements, let me remind you of how the cycle works around these things:

  1. Rumors, Rumors, Rumors
  2. Announcement
  3. People are upset because they knew everything ahead of time
  4. The press says Apple is doomed because of x, y, or z
  5. Lines form for release day (there have already been people lined up for a week at Apple Stores as we speak)
  6. Apple sells more than they ever have before
  7. People love the product
  8. A few iPhones have some minor problem and every one says Apple is doomed
  9. The rumors begin for next year (someday I will create a chart or write a book on how this process is tied to the 5 stages of grief)

Expect to hear plenty more from me tomorrow, and make sure to like the Facebook page for updates. Get excited!

iPhone 6, what iThink

iPhone 6, What iThink.

How big will the iPhone get?
How big will the iPhone get?

The only thing we know at this point is that Apple has an event scheduled for September 9th, 2014. This date lines up with what they have done the past several years for the annual iPhone announcement. Now over the last 11 months (yes, the rumors for the next iPhone usually start the day the previous one is released), I have listened to, watched, and read hundreds of hours of speculation on what this next iPhone will be like. Having processed through all that data, and injecting my own thoughts, I wanted to share what I expect to see on the 9th.

Size

This has been probably the biggest discussion for this year’s announcement. The rumor has been that there will be bigger iPhones. A lot of people seem to think that they will be 4.7″ and 5.5″ screens. I understand the 4.7″ but I highly doubt the 5.5″ will be here this year. People need to remember that the  #1, #2, and I believe, #3 phone models in the world are all 4″ iPhones. I really hope they have an updated 4″ along the 4.7″ model that we have seen leaked photos of. Please see my diatribe* at the end of the article on the possible 5.5″ model. In the leaked photos of the 4.7″ it looks a lot like the iPod Air design, very sleek. You can expect the insides of the phone to improve, including the camera.

Software

From what we know, iOS 8 should be the biggest change since Apple introduced the App Store. Last year the look changed quite a bit, this year the functionality will improve tremendously. Most of the new features were discussed back in June, but Apple tends to keep a few surprises for the iPhone announcement. This Boy Genius Report article lists 5 top features, in his opinion. I also think the features they are building in for home automation and health tracking will be revolutionary.
The rumors are also flying about a mobile payments system that could be pretty game-changing for the way we pay for things. Heck, they already have your credit card on file, now you could use it to pay for real candy, not just the crushing kind. It should also be expected that the new iPhone will have some awesome features that no one knows about yet.

Release

If Apple follows the pattern from the last 2 or 3 years, the iPhone will be released on 9/19, and there is a good chance iOS 8 would be released on 9/16.

iWatch

iPod Nano with watch band.
iPod Nano with watch band.

The very long-rumored ‘iWatch’ or more properly called ‘Apple Wearable’ is also looking like it will be announced, but probably not available until later. There are many other companies producing watch-like devices that have all been reviewed pretty poorly. Samsung has released about a dozen models in their usual ‘throwing spaghetti at a wall’ strategy. In my mind, Apple’s device will be similar to the iPod Nano from a few years ago that people started making a watch band for. I envision a small squarish (not ruling out round, but it isn’t very functional in a non-analog watch interface) device that will have a watch band available, but also clips, chains and other ways to attach it to your body. As far as functionality, this is Apple’s speciality, taking something that exists and making it into something that actually works in a way you need it to. It will probably connect to Apple devices in some way, giving you some control and notifications. Again, I know Apple well, but I also know that they think in ways others don’t, or else they wouldn’t be so successful. Whatever they announce, put me down for one!

Other

The invite
The invite

You can see why people are saying this has the potential to be one of the most historic Apple announcements. Besides the iPhone and possibly the iWatch, there probably won’t be time to discuss much else. Expect another event in October with discussion on iPads, computers and likely some other cool stuff. I would also wager that we won’t hear much about the update to the Mac OS, Yosemite, until a later date.

I could have kept writing for hours, but I will spare you. This post covers what I consider the top points. What do you think? Let me know on the Facebook Page. If you will be following along with the announcement on the 9th, you can look for Today in iOS to release their iPhone bingo card soon.
UPDATE: Today in iOS has released their 9.9.2014 Apple Event Rumor Bingo card.

*5.5″ iPhone – The current consensus is that Apple would release the 5.5″ iPhone 6 later than the 4.7″ and either announce it on the 9th or surprise people a few months down the road. I highly doubt that they would do either due to two major factors:
  1. The lines outside the Apple Store and first-week sales are probably the most important data point for Apple each year; a later release would split those numbers.
  2. Especially in the United States, the majority of all phone contracts are two years long. A later phone or a surprise phone would throw all of this off and not only anger customers, but carriers as well.

Some people think that Apple needs to play catch-up on a bigger phone to compete with Samsung and others. I personally don’t think the other companies are selling that many, they are just such eyesores that we always notice them. It is actually easier to make a huge phone because you have lots of room to jam more stuff in there, like a larger battery. Others are also saying that the 5.5″ would have better specs than any of the other phones. I could see it perhaps haveing a better battery life with the added space, but a better processor, etc. would again just anger the tiny-handed, well-visioned iPhoners.

Are you ready to update to iOS 7?

apple-unveils-ios-7-1At some magical point tomorrow, September 18th, Apple will release iOS 7 to the masses. Before you go ahead and press that update button, I have a few points for you to consider that might save you a headache.

  1. Backup your iPhone – Please, please backup your phone before updating. Everything should work, but better safe than sorry (you’re probably due for a backup anyways). My recommendation, plug it into a computer and back it up in iTunes. Make sure your photos are backed up too!!! Here’s an article to help or this one.
  2. Maybe don’t update right away – Not what you expected me to say, huh? Apple’s servers are going to be busy. If you rely on having your iPhone available, maybe wait a little while and make sure you have some down time.
  3. Be patient once you do update – Like I have said, iOS 7 is a big change, it might be frustrating, confusing or obnoxious at first. Give it some time, I think it will grow on you.
  4. Update your apps – Yeah I’m looking at you with the circle with the big number in it above the app store app. Update your apps now, it can only help.
  5. Backup your iPhone – Did I mention this already? Oh yeah I did, because it is really important, see #1.

I hope these help, if you know someone with an iPhone that might need this, please share it!

Further reading:

Top Five Reasons to Install iOS 7 on your iOS device from iphonehacks.com

Here’s why you shouldn’t upgrade to iOS 7…yet from iMore.com

What (I think) you need to know about Apple’s 9/10/13 iPhone event

So, I am guessing most of you have heard that Apple announced 2 new iPhones. But, I am guessing most of you didn’t risk losing your job Tuesday morning to hang on every word of the Apple announcement. Or stay up past your bed time watching the stream of it, of which you already knew everything about. Or spend the last 2 days listening to and reading dozens of reviews, reactions and recaps.

Well that is why I started layPhone, to give you the info you need from the hours and hours I have spent nerding out on the iPhone.

Here is what I think you need to know:

iOS7

  • ios7The new version of iOS will be released Sept. 18 and will work on iPhone 4 or newer (All compatible devices are listed here)
  • It is a huge change and will take some getting used to. There are over 200 new features, it will take patience but you will get used to it quickly, that is what Apple prides itself on.
  • Read more on my previous post, My thoughts on iOS7.
  • For all new devices Apple’s productivity apps will be free. This includes Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto, and iMovie. If you haven’t used them before this is huge and they were like $10 a piece. Read more here from ZDnet.

iPhone5C

  • 5cBasically the insides of the iPhone5 with a bigger battery and a plastic back.
  • Comes in 5 colors. Some new Apple cases to go with it.
  • Starts at $99 on contract.
  • Can be preordered starting at midnight 9/13. Shipping 9/20.
  • Apple’s 5C page.

iPhone5S

  • 5s“Apple’s most forward thinking iPhone” (Their words)
  • New faster more powerful 64 bit A7 processor.
  • New M7 ‘motion’ processor for sensing all kinds of moving stuff.
  • The camera has been vastly improved and will take amazing pictures. (The new flash actually measures the light in the room and tries to match it)
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor, amazing stuff.
  • Available in 3 colors Gold, Silver, Gray. Starts at $199 on contract. Available in stores 9/20.
  • Apple’s 5S page.

Other notes/opinions on the event:

  • If you’re looking for a new phone, I would highly recommend the 5s, it has some serious next level stuff. If you can’t justify spending the money, talk to me, I have some good reasons to spend the money anyway.
  • You can get an iPhone4S free on contract, I wouldn’t recommend this though, See above.
  • I have heard a lot of complaining that Apple didn’t surprise us with anything. Well that is because high level tech spies spend every waking second trying to figure out what Apple is doing. That doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing, just that it got spoiled, like when you snuck into your parent’s closet before Christmas.
  • People are saying that Apple needs to innovate more to keep up with Android. Hogwash, just look at the sales numbers to see what people want. Besides bigger screens (just hold your phone closer to your face) Android phones have nothing on Apple, yes I am willing to debate this.
  • Have questions, concerns, comments, answers? Let me know.

Last but not least do you need some accessories for your iPhone, old or new? Monoprice has great stuff at amazing prices. If you are planning on getting a new iPhone that will have the new awesome lightning connector, they have you covered for extra cables. Head on over and shop now! Monoprice iPhone Products

My Thoughts on iOS 7

iOS-7

First things first: I haven’t used iOS 7, and it won’t be available to the public until the Fall. But I did watch Apple unveil it on Monday at WWDC and have listened to, watched, and read a ton about it the past few days. Here are some of my thoughts on what Tim Cook called “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone,” which was the start of iOS.

Let’s back up a little. As my wife asked the other night, you might be wondering, “what is iOS?” OS stands for operating system, for example, Windows XP. It is the base software that runs on your “computer,” in this case your iPhone, iPad or Touch device. Each year Apple has released a new version, this being the 7th version. One problem that Apple runs into is the fact that as they advance iOS, some older devices aren’t capable of running the new features. Cult of Mac posted this handy iOS 7 Compatibility Chart to help show where you stand. Of course, this doesn’t account for the new iPhone that will come out about the time iOS7 is available.

I heard a great quote today from Apple:

“it’s a bit like getting a new phone that you already know how to use.”

The media has been adamant that it was time Apple needed to make some changes to iOS; that it was falling behind. That they did. Apple actually fired the guy that has been responsible for iOS to this point and turned it over to the guy, Jony Ive, that has been responsible for designing all their beautiful devices.

OK, enough blabbering…on to some of the new stuff that I am excited about:

    • The Whole Look – It has a much flatter design. It looks more modern and has gotten rid of Skeumorphism, basically making everything look like real life. Example: the calendar app no longer looks like a desk calendar.

      control-center
      Control Center
    • Control Center – Now when you swipe up on your phone you can control all those things that you need to control. This was one of the main reasons I jailbroke my phone.Turning on/off Airplane Mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Orientation Lock, and adjusting brightness without having to navigate through Settings makes life so much easier. There are also music controls and some quick links to useful things like the flashlight, clock, calculator and camera. Sorry to the 10,000 flashlight apps in the app store…
    • Scrolling Folders – You can now add tons of apps to one folder. No more need to have 3 games folders, which was another big reason that I jailbroke.
multitasking
Multitasking
    • Multitasking – When you double click the home button you no longer just get the icon of apps you have used. Instead you will get a screenshot of what you were doing in the app. They have also built a lot into the backend to make things work much better.
    • Photos – I currently have 2,729 photos on my iPhone. Apple is going to help me look through those faster. You can look at your photos with super tiny icons by year or location. Trust me, it looks great. And yes, I need to delete some pictures off of my iPhone.
    • iTunes Radio – Basically, Pandora, Apple style. I think it will be a great feature.
    • AirDrop – This is like the thing where you have to bump your phones in the Samsung commercials, but you don’t have to bump. It will be very nice for sharing files between Apple devices.
  • Weather, Messages, Siri, Notification Center, Mail, Safari – All lots of improvements, different look, etc.

That is a quick rundown of a few things, but for further reading:

I am really excited about iOS 7. There are a lot of tech writers that are complaining about the new look, but they are the same ones that complained about the old one. Apple makes the best products, so they have become the ‘in’ thing to complain about. But everyone will update and get the new iPhone and decide again that Apple is the best.