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iPredict | Follow up

The dust hasn’t settled on the Apple Special event but I’m back to review my predictions. Firstly, let me convey my condolences to the intern who posted the tweet about the iPhone 7 on Apple’s (new and till now unused) twitter account before it was even announced on stage. Also, for a company whose mysterious aura used to captivate audiences, if the only things you could hide from everyone was the Mario app and the Pokemon Go what-ever-the-hell announcement, you might want to take a step back and evaluate where it all went wrong.
It’s naïve of me to expect the return of the Apple of Steve Jobs. But if you want any evidence that Apple has changed, it was all in today’s presentations. More on that in a later post! For now, let’s get straight to it!
Predictions from the previous post are italicized. My reactions to my predictions are below them. If you want to read the previous post, it's here.

An amazingly new iPhone.

Well, amazement lies in the eyes of the beholder. The new iPhone will have a faster processor and a better camera. The difference from its predecessors being that this one will have iOS 10 and as we have noticed increasingly in small yet significant features of iOS 10, there seems to be a lot of on-board machine learning happening which means that the 64-bit, rumored 3Gb RAM might finally be put to more use than just driving that retina display for watching videos.
I got this one right. Not much to add. The processor got a bump up and is faster and more power efficient.

Wireless “AirPods”?

Err. Umm. I’m going to stick my neck out and say no. iOS 10 is Siri-heavy. To my mind, while you can design a mic into the “AirPods”, it’d be quite an experiment to make that deep-dive before giving users time to adapt to them. The other reason this rumor has been gaining traction is the expectation that Apple will remove the 3.5mm audio jack (which is a reasonable thing to assume) and the discovery of a low power Bluetooth chip patent. That chip PROBABLY has something to do with the Apple Watch and less to do with the earphones.
My guess would be that the earphones are lightning-enabled.
I got his one half wrong. The Bluetooth chip WAS for the “AirPods”. They made a lovely “double tap to activate Siri”, emphasizing my point about the importance of Siri in this phone. But apart from that, the “AirPods” are a, excuse my French, shit device. Steve Jobs once said “you’ve to take them out and put them away and blah. Nobody wants a stylus”. Find and replace stylus with annoyingly tiny AirPods. That plus the fact that it lasts barely 4 hours and, here’s the most amazing part, it costs $160. Whoever thought that something would beat the Apple pencil at being the most pretentious product ever.

Design Changes!

I hate what the iPhone 6 and 6S feel like (I’m not even going to mention the plus versions of those things). But since millions around the world seem to like this new design, Tim Cook-led Apple is unlikely to fix what isn’t broken. But here’s a word I’d expect to be mentioned somewhere in the keynote: Liquid Metal.
Slightly embarrassed that I got this one right for the most part. Liquid metal was NOT mentioned but the new home screen button seems to have used it. I’ll hold out for more details on that one.

Pencil

With all the weird rich-text and media support throughout the iOS 10 system, it is only logical that Pencil support comes to the iPhone. But the moment those words are spoken at that keynote, remember these words “If you see a stylus, they blew it”. Google it if you don’t know who said that.
Thank god I got this one entirely wrong.

Camera

“It’s the best camera that has ever been put in a smart phone”- Phil Schiller, tomorrow.
But Phil, if it’s going to be protruding, I still don’t understand it. Just make the phone that much fatter please. Nobody really cares about 3mm. If you want to make the thinnest phone ever, congratulations on losing that battle anyway.
Quote unquote. I got that one right. As usual, the camera is brilliant but it still protrudes. He used the word “courage” to describe the act of dropping the audio jack. Make the iPhone fatter. THAT takes courage. Not that brave after huh?

Storage Space

Here’s why the “best camera ever” matters. Storage. The one tiny but relevant rumor has been that apple will wave goodbye to the 16Gb model. Say hello to 32, 128 and 256Gb! The size of iOS 10 probably has a lot to do with that too.
Easy to get this one right.

Other announcements

MacBook Pro update

It’s feels like it’s been ages since the previous one and they’re really proud of the MacBook so this will be something to watch out for. Expect Skylake, USB-C and Touch ID. I like the rumor about the OLED touch bar for the function keys but somehow that feels like a gimmick they’d have on the MacBook first. I’m on the fence on that one.
So depressingly wrong. DID YOU FORGET ABOUT THE LAPTOP, TIM? Spent all that time making the goddamn AirPods and forgot the MacBook?

Apple Watch

This is the one Apple device that has so much scope for improvement, it feels like a joke to me. Sure there’s cool tech in it but if Apple was simply about the tech, it wouldn’t be Apple. I’m waiting patiently for the day when all the bio-engineers and fashion designers sit together in Jonathan Ive’s design studio and say “Can we fire that intern who talked us into releasing this thing and pretend like it never happened and start over?”
HealthKit, ResearchKit and CareKit are really, really good. Here’s my problem with the watch- It’s the dumbest smart device to come out of one infinite loop. And while I’m sure that will change in the future (when it becomes capable of existing without an iPhone), in the meanwhile I’d expect it do something to complement the iPhone and change this parasitic relationship they share into symbiotic relationship. Remember the low power Bluetooth chip? That could help, no?
Wrong about the Bluetooth chip again. The in-built GPS is a small step towards independence but the UI remains weird as ever. But there is some seriously cool tech in there that has SO much potential.

Image Courtesy: Apple Inc


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