Apple’s September 9, 2015 Special Event – The Good, the Bad, and The Meh

AppleSpecialEvent
Wow, that was sure super exciting! Or was it? Another Apple Special Event is over and you may not be sure how you feel about all the various announcements Apple bombarded you with. Well, don’t worry, I’LL tell you what to think! Let’s take a quick look at was was Good, Bad, and Meh about Apple’s September 9, 2015 Special Event!

iPhone6s

The Good

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Surprise, surprise, an iPhone update that is faster, has a better camera, and is thinner… er, what? Slightly THICKER?!?! Mind BLOWN. Like most “S” upgrades, there’s not too much to get excited over here, and even a slowly rotating shot of the phone with Jony Ive narrating can’t really do the job. For years we’ve been hearing about iPhones with sapphire crystal displays, and this isn’t that phone. Nor is it built from liquid Metal (although it does have a slightly stronger aluminum body). The only really good news here is Apple has FINALLY upgraded the RAM from 1GB to 2 GB. I don’t know why Apple likes to under-RAM its devices so much, almost like it’s a badge of honor to see if you can still make a competitive device AND save 3¢ a unit. 3D Touch doesn’t seem overly useful (see below). 4K video? I still constantly see people videoing VERTICALLY with their iPhones. Apple should put out a PSA explaining to these idiots how to hold your iPhone while videoing before they bother upping them to 4K.

I’ve owned every version of the iPhone since the first, but I think I may be skipping this and waiting for the 7 (or 7 Plus, more likely). It’s an “S” model, still the best iPhone you can get, just this particular S hasn’t motivated me to upgrade. But it certainly looks like a no-brainer upgrade for anyone coming from a 5S or earlier.

iPadPro

iPad Pro

A GIANT iPad. GOD I have wanted this forever, and now that it’s here, I dont know if I can really spend $1000 on it… I owned the first iPad, and I’ve owned the iPad minis, and I have not used either in over a year. The illustrator in me has high hopes for being able to draw on it in a more accurate way than past iPads, but the skeptic in me fears that the Apple Pencil is too good to be true. But DAMN does it look good… But Geez, $1000… not even including the $100 stylus… or the $169 Surface Keyboard… Gah! my internal debate will rage on well into November I fear, which will then be followed by the debate between myself and the Bride of Macenstein. Maybe the fact that I am not buying a new iPhone can somehow help me justify the cost of this beast.

ApplePencil

Meh

Apple Watch
Meh. New bands, new operating system… still a sort of an ugly, bulky digital watch with limited usefulness without an iPhone.

AppleTV

New Apple TV
For YEARS people have wanted games on their Apple TVs, and now we have them. And now I don’t care. Why? Because in the time Apple took to get off their ass and make the Apple TV almost worth buying, I went and bought an Amazon FireTV, which can play games. And you know what I learned? I never use it. I have an XBOX ONE, and an iPhone. Both offer a far more enjoyable gaming experiences for their respective gaming types than the “mobile apps on TV” experience. I’m not saying I am upset we have games now, but its a bit late, and will likely be a “hit” only with kids under 9. That being said, if I did not already own an Apple TV 2, a Roku, an Amazon fire, and an XBOX ONE, I would definitely consider getting the new Apple TV. But as is, there doesn’t seem to be any must-buy feature. Really, all the demos seemed to illustrate is that Apple TV is designed mainly to sell me TV shows and Movies from iTunes (using my Siri by talking, which I hate). Hopefully you can still input searches with your iPhone’s keyboard like a caveman.

FORCE TOUCH / 3D Touch
Unfortunately this is one of those features you probably have to actually use in person in order to judge, but I like judging things even with zero first-hand knowledge, so I’ll put this in the meh column for now. I have not been blown away by Force Touch’s usefulness on the laptop side of things, and I’ll assume the same will hold true on the phone end. Currently it feels like a feature they wanted to implement before other tech companies, but one that currently does not have a real use yet. Hopefully it can be turned off in the settings.

SIRI Gets supercharged.
I have never liked Siri, nor have I been amused by all the “hilarious” responses you can get by asking Siri specific questions. My kids thought Siri was funny about 2 years ago, and for all I know they use her, but I do not find her to be fast or accurate, nor do I like talking into my phone to control it, especially in public, so while I’m pleased Siri is improving, I do not yet care about this and don’t love that it appears to be Apple’s preferred method for interacting with your devices.

Live Photos
A new feature that is ON by default on your new iPhone, simply take a photo, and Apple seamlessly saves a video along with it. I don’t see a benefit to this, other than forcing everyone to upgrade to pricier iCloud storage since most people won’t know why their photos are suddenly taking up so much space (although Apple DID finally upgrade their somewhat anemic iCloud plans to include more storage). Also, every demo Live Photo photo seems to have been taken using a tripod in a serene, ultra peaceful setting. The reality of shaky video at night in an amusement park with people just saying CHEESE! in the background seems ridiculous.

Jony Ive narrating every video for the last 12 years
Sorry Jony, love your designs, but your slow-motion video delivery has long since passed being a parody of itself. EVERYTHING sounds both “magical” and pretentious.

The Bad

Apple’s iPhone color choices.
Rose Gold is pink. Not sure who wanted this. Make a black one.

Conclusion

So that’s it. Basically the iPad Pro is the standout star of this keynote and even I am having trouble convincing myself I should drop a grand on it. Feel free to tell me how right I am in the comments.

Comments
5 Responses to “Apple’s September 9, 2015 Special Event – The Good, the Bad, and The Meh”
  1. Andrew says:

    Once again the Doc delivers. The commentary and points are spot on, is he reading my mind? I am glad that something that is Apple related still delights me.

  2. Yann says:

    I also agree completely with all comments above, and I also have not used my iPad in about a year but always wanted a bigger one, but ouch! The cost is just too much.
    The Apple TV is basically a better looking Roku with the iTunes library as a backbone with all and only it’s dreadful Hollywood industry driven choices. If Vudu will be doing an app for it and if the universal search is not too iTunes biased I might consider it.
    The rest of the announcements are not really worth talking about. 😉

  3. Nemanja says:

    One of the worst Keynotes thus far. Steve would probably be appalled by the way company is run.

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