The iPhone 14 (in base and plus sizes) It does add some image features, but the standout features are two security features that might seem rather appropriate: the ability to send a cry for help via satellite, and collision detection.
The iPhone 14 Pro (at basic and max sizes) does some silly stuff with the notch, and renames it Dynamic Island. It’s hyperbolic, but it’s actually a very elegant user interface. Pro models also have satellite SOS and fault detection, offer always-on view, and include better cameras than last year.
The second-generation AirPods Pro are perhaps the least convincing from a purely spec sheet basis. Yes, the sound quality is better. Yes, noise cancellation is better. But until you put it in your ears, you won’t really be able to fully taste the improvements. AirPods Pro are really great, and the improvements are expected to make them even better. Fine.
Then there’s the new Apple Watch. There is a bump in the specifications at a reasonable price Apple Watch SE. Apple Watch Series 8 gets temperature sensorEspecially with a focus on women’s health.
Plus, it’s not as expensive as we thought Apple Watch Ultra $799, a powerful Apple Watch designed for adventurers and klutzes. It has dual-frequency GPS, so you have a better chance of connecting to a satellite in cities or in mountain canyons. The battery lasts several days, which is a feature that almost everyone has long requested. And the thing is waterproof enough to serve as a diving computer.
So yeah. Some new features. Maybe some new stuff to buy. yawn.
But, think about that yawn for a minute
Let’s get some perspective. Let’s go back. Apple has been offering iPhones every year since 2007. MacTracker It lists 38 models, including multiple models designed for different carrier systems in the early days. The four presented today will bring the number to 42.
The Apple Watch hit the scene relatively recently in 2015, but it’s become ubiquitous on the wrists of millions of us.
Apple’s first external sound system was the product called AppleDesign powered speakersgoing back to 1993. But AirPods have only been around since 2016 (AirPods Pro since 2019), and yet AirPods have become iconic in the years since.
In the 15 years since the iPhone was launched, the device has not only changed drastically, it has fundamentally changed our world. We had smartphones, but once the iPhone (and then Android) arrived, BlackBerry and Palm Treos were sent to the trash of history. Apps and always-connected broadband have brought us Uber, Instacart, the freelance economy, mobile computing, and more.
The original iPhone had 4GB of storage, a 3.5-inch screen, and a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. This first model did not have App Store apps. It had a 2-megapixel camera on the back. Selfies weren’t a thing until now.
Apple today announced a phone capable of capturing 48MP photos. The OG iPhone could only take an image of 1600 x 1200 pixels, and its quality was good, to be charitable.
All this without talking about processor performance, image processing performance, machine learning performance, memory and other things. The truth is, if any of us get an old original iPhone, or even iPhone 3G after a few years, we’d love to flip it against the wall in frustration. We’ve come this far.
But since we’ve come that big of a mile year after year upgrading by upgrade, the incremental improvements don’t look great. For example, camera features aren’t really enough to get rid of them iPhone 12 Pro Max And buy one of the new iPhone 14 models.
The AirPods Pro are already so good that the improvements in the AirPods Pro 2 don’t justify an upgrade in my opinion (although people have reported being able to cancel dog barking, I might consider it).
I’m still using An Apple Watch Series 4 that you purchased as a refurbishment Back in 2019. While battery life and hardness Apple Watch Ultra Interesting me (less for mountain climbing and more for surviving in the workshop), my current watch is working fine. I’d like to try to hold out until the Apple Watch comes out with a continuous blood pressure monitor and some other health sensors.
It’s the security features that stand out
On the other hand, don’t assume that the security features Apple has announced only apply if you’re climbing a mountain.
Back in 2019, Hurricane Irma was weighing on my house, which all news reports said was ground zero of what was expected to become a Category 5 storm. So, my wife and I packed some of my belongings, two MacBook Pros, and a few iPads, dragged us into the Ford Escape and drove out of town.
I’ve crossed America by car many times, and while much of America looks like central New Jersey, much of it also looks like the surface of the moon. There comes a point when you take the highway you realize you better have enough gas in the tank, because the next filling station is hundreds of miles ahead of you, and the last one was a hundred miles in your rearview mirror. And of course there are no cell towers.
You are completely alone, with your entire life, your family, and whatever may be left of your belongings in a 10-year-old car driving down an open, empty road. At times like this, it would be nice to know that your phone can do it up to 22,300 miles straight, Regardless of all this havoc, to a geosynchronous satellite and call for help.
Crossing the Rocky Mountains, on very narrow winding roads and steep slopes, it would be good to know that if something terrible should happen, your phone could detect the accident and call for help.
Hopefully, these are the features you’ll never have to use. But as my ZDNET friend Jason Pirlo mentioned early on about his Apple Watch ownership, Sometimes bad things can happen. When your watch or phone saves your life, it certainly justifies the investment.
There is not much investment. The rumor mills were full of speculation that the iPhone 14 price would go up. But the basic iPhone 14 is still the same $799 price tag as last year’s basic iPhone 13. Now it can talk to satellites.
We have come a long way
We, and our technology, have come a long way since Steve Jobs carried the first iPhone. Smartphones have changed our world in small and huge ways, in beneficial ways, as well as in ways that dehumanize people and foster resentment. We are all a little bit closer to each other in terms of being able to share our thoughts and opinions, which paradoxically has pushed us further apart in terms of civilized speech A sense of camaraderie. We hope our technology will help us find creative ways out of some of the mess we’ve put ourselves in.
The way this can be done is probably through change, being brought up little by little. Every incremental change is just: incremental. Slightly longer battery life. A processor that processes instructions a little more quickly. Brighter screen. Slightly smaller degree. A camera that takes slightly higher quality pictures. Transition from 4G to 5G. Few sensors. Another way to maintain our health.
It has become a rhythm. Regular annual event. Of course phones will be faster. Of course, the battery life will be longer. Of course the cameras will be better. Thousands of engineers, designers and programmers work with their hearts all over the world, so that we can give us what we think is our right.
“Innovation brings us” we command. We direct you to “Make Hardware Better and More Powerful”. “And try not to give birth to us again,” we say lightly, as if we were arbiters of the court, speaking to the court jesters.
We insist on “our entertainment”. “We were amazed,” we direct. “Oh, and try not to raise the price.”
What do you think? Are you bored or surprised? Are you going to buy a new iPhone, Apple Watch, or set of AirPods Pro? Let us know in the comments below.