I look forward to Apple events.
It’s a fun time of year for me where I can imagine how new hardware and software will improve my life in small or large ways. In some ways this feels silly to talk about, unimportant in the grand scheme of things. But I find delight in it and give myself permission to geek out.
Today’s Apple event was no exception. This time, though, I did something different. Two friends and I got together and recorded a podcast to talk about our initial thoughts and reactions to the podcast. We may publish it someday, we may not. It’s an upcoming project in the works. Still, it was fun to have a place to share. I found myself looking forward to recording the podcast. Normally I wait for my favorite shows to drop their episodes. That won’t change, but this time around I held off looking at any reactions until I’d shared mine. I like this.
Here’s a summary of some of the things we discussed on the podcast, along with my gut reactions.
Apple Watch Series 9
I love the pink color. It’s really well done, at least from what I can tell in the video. I’m excited to see it in person. I wouldn’t wear a pink watch myself, but it looks amazing.
The new S9 chip feels huge inside of the device. I haven’t checked yet, but I was surprised at its size. Seems like a moderate spec bump.
For on-device Siri I’m hopeful. Siri to this day has been a disappointment for me. It never performs as well as I hope, and I’ve ended up disabling it on all my devices. I will probably skip this update as well, but I recognize the value of having Siri available even when you’re offline.
Name drop to share contacts looks cool. I might try this at a convention next time I’m meeting new people. Other than that I don’t see it being used often enough to develop a habit.
The ultra wide band iPhone finder is a useful feature. I’ve loved having a better way to find my AirPods, and having it for the phone from my watch will be useful.
2000 nits feels like a lot. Brightness outside is always a challenge, so bring on the nits.
My favorite feature, and the one that feels like the standout, is the double tap action. At least a few times a day I need to change something on my audio, whether pausing a podcast or song or answering a phone call. Being able to control that action without pressing any glass—or worse yet trying to use my voice—sounds amazing.
I really enjoyed the environmental video with Octavia Spencer. She killed it. In fact, everyone in the ad nailed their roles. From Tim Cook’s humorous hesitation to Lisa Jackson going toe-to-toe with Mother Earth, each person played their part and as my friend Saadia called out, the ad could easily have trended toward cringey but pulled it off well.
I was surprised that in removing leather from across Apple’s product line they chose not to replace it with it vegan leather option. I was expecting that, but given their environmental angle I wonder if alternate leather options are just as bad. The FineWoven options look good, and I’d like to try one to see how they feel and hold up over time. They’re different, and I applaud the effort.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
A solid upgrade. 3000 nits is so much. I think that will make a legitimate difference outside when trying to read the screen. I don’t see a compelling reason to upgrade compared to the Series 9, but that was true last year as well.
My main reason to get an Ultra comes down to battery and the large screen. I’m interested, but not sure the increased cost justifies the price difference.
Apple Watch SE
I appreciate that they dropped the price to $249. I’m considering getting one for my son.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
Love the pink! Nice colors across the line.
Everything has a dynamic island now. That’s good! I hope this will bring more attention to developing for this area of the screen. I couldn’t tell but I think Flighty got a callout for the airline app. I need to try that!
Next generation portraits is an amazing update. I won’t have to remember which mode to choose ahead of time. I’ve been playing with cinematic mode over the last year and love being able to change the focal points in editing. Doing that with photos is a great addition.
Find my via Satellite is such a great addition to Satellite SOS. While the former is something I can see using with family on occasion, the latter I hope to never need.
I’ve been thinking about USB-C, and I’m guessing it will be a welcome change; eventually. It’s a massive shift for the average iPhone buyer. Many don’t have other USB-C devices laying around. When I shared with a non-tech friend after the event she gave an eye roll to the cord change.
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max
This piece is already getting longer than I intended, so I’ll cut to the main points that interest me.
I like having titanium. A lighter phone will be a welcome change. The new cameras look legit and I’m excited to try them.
The biggest update though? I was surprised to see spatial videos! I want to capture these types of videos of my kids while they’re still small, even though I can’t actually view them yet on any medium. This alone warrants an upgrade.
As to what I’ll buy—I’m guessing I’ll get an Apple Watch Series 9, hand down my Series 8 to my wife. For my phone I have a 14 Pro, but I think we’ll get an iPhone 15 Pro Max for my wife, since she hasn’t upgraded in three years.