Apple’s Spring Ahead event: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh - Macenstein

Apple’s Spring Ahead event: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh

Well, it’s been an exciting couple of weeks leading up to Apple’s Spring Ahead Event!

Haha, just kidding. I honestly could not be less interested in the Apple watch or this event in general, so let’s see if Apple was able to change my mind. Here’s my take on what was the Good, the Bad, and the Meh of the Apple Watch special event!


The Good


Research Kit

Apple’s new open source (that’s a big deal) Health Research programing tool is a potentially awesome way to gather data from medical research participants via their Apple devices. Assuming developers embrace it, it may not be an understatement to say that Apple may actually help save lives and even help cure diseases in the future. This announcement actually gave me chills the way the original iPhone announcement did. We really saw the beginning of something amazing here. This was unexpected and wonderful.

Jony Ive says “aluminum” for the 6700th time.

I could honestly listen to a loop of Jonathan Ive saying “aloo-min-ee-um” forever. In fact I think I will make it my new text tone. However, as much as I love him, Apple needs to rethink the way these videos are made. I feel like I have watched the same video for 12 years now. I guess it gives journalists a chance to zone out and write some stuff, but maybe think about bringing in a fresh set of eyes to these creative meetings.

Apple TV price cut

Hey, the Apple TV didn’t really get an upgrade, but it it’s price got a downgrade, which is almost the same thing. At $69 the Apple TV is on par with some Roku and Amazon FireTV devices, although inexplicably still without game support. Hopefully we’ll see some new Apple TV hardware come Christmas. The Apple TV finally got the pricey HBO plus upgrade people wanted, and HBO’s rep most-likely provided the internet with a new #tanMan meme, so that was also cool.


The Meh

New MacBook

Well, even if we didn’t watch the keynote we could tell you that any new MacBook would thinner, lighter, and have (allegedly) better battery life, and all those things are indeed true about the new 12-inch MacBook. Apple has once again thinned their flagship laptop to the point of necessitating it losing some features most of us use constantly, namely, ports. Apple has ditched them all in favor of ONE new USB C port, which currently works with… nothing yet, but Apple is selling adapters. Yes, this is the final step before Apple goes entirely wireless. Probably the only news the mainstream press will care about is that there is for the first time in years a choice of colors in an Apple laptop. Available in Silver, space grey, and a somewhat gaudy gold, ultimately there’s not all that different here, perhaps illustrated by how much time Apple devoted to talking about the new keyboard key mechanism, something no one was complaining about.

macbook pro

While I’m sure using this MacBook is a delight, it goes into the MEH category for a couple reasons. First, I am not a fan of Apple’s continuing quest to thin to the point of harming the product, and Apple is approaching that, if it hasn’t already hit it, with this MB. We have lost the optical drive in the past, we have lost some ports, but now in the quest to shave mm’s off thickness and ounces off weight, we have lost pretty much all ports and fans, and these are going to cause trade-offs in performance. We are not talking about POUNDS and INCHES here. You are not holding this in your hand as you walk 4 miles. This is a laptop that is going in a bag, probably on your shoulder, where you will never notice the difference in weight. I’m OK with Apple slimming down phones, iPads and watches as thin as possible, as those ARE tactile devices that are held hours a day. But to thin a computer, even a laptop, to this point is silly, and most of us would rather have a larger battery, a faster processor, or a port for our mouse. To slim the edges of an iMac for no reason, or to shrink the Mac Pro to the current “garbage can” form factor, when these are professional workstations that need features over design, is not serving the end customer.

Rant over.

Secondly… well, I guess I really just don’t like the losing features thing.

Apple Watch

I hope this is a success. I haven’t worn a watch since I was 18, and have no intention to start even after this keynote. Until the Apple Watch works without a phone, it is simply a gimmicky toy that adds nothing to the equation. If Apple REALLY wants to make the Apple Watch useful, they should create the ultimate spam removal tool to Mail. Otherwise the thought of my watch beeping every 4 seconds with the Spam I get is alone enough to turn me off of this device. But as someone who has not gone anywhere without my phone in over 4 years, the watch offers me nothing, and I am not even close to the most phone-addicted of my friends. I certainly don’t want to be quoted as saying the Apple Watch will be a flop as a product line, as I honestly think that in around 5-7 years it WILL have become useful if it continues to be developed, but this current version seems like more of a hobby than the Apple TV, and one could argue the Apple TV is where the Apple Watch R&D SHOULD have been spent.


The Bad

No Giant iPad / No new Beats Music Service

I assumed the rumored giant iPad would get its own event, and last week’s reports of production delays and a possible October release took most of the wind out of my hope sails, but it’s really the only “new” Apple device I am looking forward to, so I was still a slight letdown. Also, I am sick of Spotify and would have loved to see the new Apple / Beats music service launch. But again, odds are that will get it’s own event. This was all about the Apple Watch (unfortunately).

So, there you have it. Once again I have correctly analyzed an Apple special event, and crystalized all your feelings about it as well. Feel free to thank me in the comments.

6 Responses to “Apple’s Spring Ahead event: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh”
  1. Andrew says:

    Correct again Doc! Don’t forget to mention CarePlay is out there somewhere, I think.

    p.s ther is ugh small ty po at the und of ur posten.

  2. gewappnet says:

    The new MacBook is actually just called MacBook. MacBook Pro and Air got updates as well, but still look the same.

  3. McPerlt says:

    The new MacBook is actually (and probably carefully, seeing as it has traded performance for portability) NOT labeled “Pro”. I foresee the Pro line continuing to offer higher performance options together with a heftier form factor. What the justification is for the MacBook Air line alongside this new machine is more in doubt, I think…

  4. dj_aris says:

    No MagSafe? It was the best feature of all MacBooks by far…

  5. Jon says:

    I agree with just about everything you said. I wish Apple had upgraded the MacBook Air with a retina display. I’m not that excited about the nearly portless MacBook. The Apple Watch doesn’t do enough for me to give it much thought, but I believe that by the second or third version I’m going to want one.

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