You know? I like the number 9. It’s the highest single digit decimal number, it’s the number for the first month of fall, it’s my favorite number squared, and, for some silly reason, 9/10ths of a cent are added to the price of every gallon of gas in the U.S. Yes, 9 is a pretty special number. Unfortunately, some people tend to disagree with me. Namely, Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft jumped from Windows 8 to Windows 10, perhaps to distance itself from the disaster that was Windows 8, and Apple just released the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X (pronounced “ten”). In one or two years, it’s unlikely they’ll release the iPhone 9 and iPhone 11, they’ll likely mix up the names, so we likely will never see the number 9 on an iPhone. Why’d Apple release an iPhone X (ten in Roman numerals), alongside the iPhone 8? For nostalgia’s sake, of course, but it’s anything but a device stuck in the past. The new iPhones weren’t the only new Apple devices on the stage on during Tuesday’s event. Apple also announced the Apple TV 4K, Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, and new features of iOS 11. With the introduction of three new flagship iPhone models, it was certainly a unique event, and with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus going on preorder last Friday, we can get an idea of how popular these devices will be.
Apple has never been a company to look into the past, always moving forward. However, once before, they celebrated how far they came with a brand new product that encapsulates all the greatness of their past products while simultaneously forging forward. The 20th anniversary Macintosh, released in 1997, came out just a few years before Apple released Mac OS X, a dramatic leap forward in the desktop operating system. It’s a rare moment of nostalgia for Apple before they forge ahead with new technologies. Plus, customers love these creative devices. Something else Apple rarely does? Leak their own products. 2017 seems to be a unique hear for them, because this year, they’re both looking back, and leaking their own products.
For the second time, Apple accidentally released firmware that reveals their upcoming products. Now we know for sure that the next iPhones will be called the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and a new premium model, the iPhone X. Apple also revealed a new Apple Watch, presumably the LTE Apple Watch, as well as a secret feature of the iPhone X: emoji that track (and react to) your face!
I was in a restaurant having lunch with a few friends. Someone in our group looked at my wrist, “Oh, is that a new band? I like it!” She’s a fashionable woman, exactly the kind of person you’d want to get a compliment like that from. Here I was, wearing a piece of technology on my wrist, yet it was somehow considered fashionable, unlike the calculator watches of old. The Apple Watch managed to impress a style-minded person in a way that no wearable piece of technology has ever been able to do. Is it thanks to smartphones that technology became personal and cool? Perhaps. But it’ll be the smart watch that makes technology truly fashionable, and Apple has taken note. In that sense, the Apple Watch was designed by the most forward-thinking engineers, designers, and executives who knew their watch would be more than a utilitarian smart device for your wrist, but an actual accessory as well. Apple knows that technology must not only improve your life from a functionality standpoint, but also compliment your outfit.
If you have diabetes, you’re likely tired of pricking your fingers, no matter how little blood is required with more recent monitors. Researchers have been working for years on non-invasive techniques for measuring blood glucose levels. Among them is Apple, who has apparently been working on the technology for the past 5 years, since before Apple even introduced the Apple Watch. It was apparently a goal of the late Steve Jobs to introduce a product that could help people monitor their health without inconveniencing them, and Apple may soon be in the position to release a non-invasive glucose monitor for diabetics in the form of an Apple Watch upgrade.
Without fanfare, an event, or a large announcement of any sort, Apple released a number of new products. This included A new (Product)Red iPhone, a beautiful red finish for the iPhone 7, a new low cost iPad to replace the iPad Air 2, and an update to the storage capacity of the iPhone SE. Along with the new hardware, Apple also introduced a spring collection of Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases. The updates bring new options to Apple’s lineups, whether it’s new colors, new prices, or new storage space. However, these certainly aren’t as exciting as Apple’s usual product announcements, which is likely why they did so quietly, without a large event.
Mac Otakara doesn’t have a perfect track record with Apple rumors, but slightly more often than not, they leak something that turns out to be true. The latest report from the site claims the iPad lineup is about to get a huge update. Apple will be updating the 7.9″ iPad Mini, 9.7″ iPad Pro, and 12.9″ iPad Pro. On top of that, they claim that Apple will also release a 10.5″ iPad Pro that will share the same dimensions as the 9.7″ iPad Pro, but feature an edge-to-edge display. iPads are often updated in the Spring, so this isn’t an outlandish leak, although the presence of a new screen size thanks to new display technology may be something Apple saves for the release of the 2017 flagship iPhone. Speaking of the iPhone, Mac Otakara also reports that there will be updates to the iPhone SE, adding new storage capacities, and a new color option for the iPhone 7, a red color scheme that may tie in with Apple’s (PRODUCT)RED campaign. Finally, we’re expecting to see updates to Apple’s lineup of watch bands for the Apple Watch. Which rumors hold merit? Surprisingly, most of them sound possible, if not likely.
One of the biggest complaints about the Apple Watch has been battery life. The watch must be charged nightly. At the end of the day yesterday, after 18 hours off the charger, my Apple Watch sat at 33%. Still, it wouldn’t have been able to last until morning if I tried to use it for sleep tracking, and even if it had been able to last until the morning, I wouldn’t have been able to use it the next day. If you think of it like a smartphone, this is understandable. Without tweaking settings, an iPhone can’t last more than one full day off the charger either. However, for a wearable, some consider this inconvenient. I was already charging my Pebble every three to four days, so adapting to doing it nightly wasn’t so bad. Using a small charging stand from Spigen made the entire process easy. I don’t even think about it anymore. I wake up, I put on my Apple Watch. I go to bed, I take it off and put it in its stand. Simple. I love my Apple Watch.
But for some (and Apple) this isn’t good enough. If the power demands for watchOS or the Apple Watch hardware grow in the future, Apple will need creative ways to supplement the battery life in the watch. That’s why Apple’s next iteration of the Apple Watch, supposedly due this fall, will focus on battery life improvements. A recently revealed patent shows Apple’s willing to think outside of the watch to make this happen.